Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fried Egg BLT

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Fried Egg BLT This sandwich is the cholesterol king! Please don’t eat this if you’re going for a healthy meal. I don’t know what it is about my husband but he just loves fried eggs on top of things – especially burgers! So when I was making BLTs for dinner one night, I thought I’d throw an egg on top for fun. And he LOVED it. He was so excited when he got home and saw I’d added the egg. It’s a really easy way to please him ;) Soon I will be posting how I cook perfect fried eggs every time. It’s really crazily simple. Basically don’t touch them. Just crack ‘em, cook ‘em, and wait for them to cook. Here’s how I make the sandwiches:


  • Bacon (you’ll need about 3-4 strips per sandwich, depending on how much you like ;)
  • Hoagie rolls or steak rolls (I like these because they are long sandwich rolls which hold the bacon well)
  • Eggs (1-2 per sandwich)
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Mayo
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray

To start, cook your bacon and set aside. I like it cooled more to room temperature for the sandwiches so I always make it first. You can see how I make it in the oven here.

Next get out the sandwich ingredients. Chop the lettuce and tomatoes. Layer them on the rolls with a light layer of mayo, then the bacon, and set aside.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and turn the heat up to medium high. Let the pan get hot before you crack your eggs. This is important! It takes about 2 minutes. Once the cooking spray is hot crack the eggs, one by one, into the pan. Don’t touch them! Just let them cook until the whites start to bubble and until the yolk is a tiny bit set. We like the yolks to be a tiny bit done with just a little ooze in the middle.

As soon as they’re done, turn off the pan. Use a knife to cut out each egg white. Transfer with a spatula to the top of your sandwich and sprinkle with salt and pepper. SO easy!

Fried Egg BLT   Fried Egg BLT Fried Egg BLT

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels

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Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels | Shan-Made
For Christmas my mom sent us a huge case of dark chocolate sea salt caramels. We quickly (too quickly!) devoured them and after they were gone they were all I could think about. Earlier this week I was craving them so badly I thought, why not just try to make them? Best and worst idea of my life! Now that I know how easy and delicious these are I’ll probably be making them WAY too frequently.
Here’s how you make them – first make my 6 minute microwave caramels, recipe here. Let them set in the pan, cut them up and then you can be ready to make the chocolate. They are REALLY REALLY easy! Huzzah!
Ingredients, caramels:
  • 1/4 c. butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
  • Cooking spray
  • Wax paper for wrapping
Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Set aside. Pour all ingredients in a bowl. Microwave for 6 total minutes, but remove every 2 minutes to stir. Mixture should be bubbling when you remove it. Quickly pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. Let cool. Cut into squares and set on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Set aside and get ready to make your chocolate. *Note to make the best squares you have to kind of push each side of the caramel flat against a pan or cutting board to get an even square.
Ingredients, chocolate topping:
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz.)
  • 1/3 c. shortening
  • coarse ground sea salt
Melt together in a glass bowl in the microwave on 1/2 the full power level (my microwave’s highest power is 10 so I melted them on 5). Melt them in 1 minute increments, stirring after each minute, until smooth.
Using a spoon, lower caramel squares, one by one into chocolate. Remove with spoon and set onto pan with wax paper. Immediately sprinkle with sea salt. Let cool until chocolate hardens. This is the BEST homemade almond bark because it is a really good dark chocolate from the chips, rather than the candy chocolate “flavor” of most “chocolate” bark.
Eat some, then wrap the rest up for friends. Or eat them all. You choose ;)
Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels | Shan-MadeHomemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels | Shan-Made  Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels | Shan-MadeHomemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels | Shan-Made

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fish Taco Bowls

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Fish Taco Bowls We love fish tacos! This recipe was a little lighter than normal tacos (no tortilla!) so we gave them a go for dinner. Oh wow this was insanely good for something SO healthy. I mean this meal had no dairy, no carbs, just lots of veggies, brown rice, black beans, and some yummy pan-seared tilapia.

The original recipe is from the amazing blog - The Live-In Kitchen - and can be found here. I only changed a couple things, as noted. Mainly I drudged the fish in the seasonings but also added flour before searing in oil. What we can we say, we like our fish a tiny bit fried ;) My notes are in italics.

Fish Taco Bowls:

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. seasoned salt (like Lawry’s)
  • 4-5 tilapia filets (3-4 cod filets)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed, or fresh corn cut off the cob
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • Avocado, cilantro, and lime juice for garnish (optional)

In a small bowl combine chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Add mixture to flour in a low wide bowl. Add 1 tbsp. seasoned salt. Drudge evenly over both sides of the fish.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil (about 1/4 inch up the side) in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the fish and cook, undisturbed, for several minutes per side. Check the middle of the fish for doneness. It should flake easily and be opaque throughout. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.

If necessary, add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan and add the onion, pepper, and corn (I cooked the veggies in a separate pan with a drizzle of oil). Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp tender, about 7 minutes.

Drain the black beans but don’t rinse. Mix in a bowl with a dash of garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder. Add to veggies once cooked to warm.

Layer rice, bean mixture, and fish in a bowl and top with avocado, cilantro, and lime juice if desired.

2014-02-17 15.10.53    2014-02-17 15.12.18

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hot Fudge Thin Mint Sundae

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Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Sundae | Shan Made We like to have friends over for dessert and pretty much since having 3 kids we find it much easier to have a little ice cream bar than making complicated desserts. Also it seems that most kids just prefer ice cream to something more gourmet. We had friends over a couple nights ago for dessert and decided on a girl scout cookie themed topping station since we stocked up when the girl scouts came by this weekend. I was so surprised how delicious the thin mints were on top of the sundae! They are just crumbly enough but then have that chocolate coating that melts into the hot fudge and it’s just delicious. Here’s how we made them:


  • Brownies
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Homemade hot fudge (my recipe is here)
  • Thin mints, crushed

Layer 1 brownie, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, and then thin mints – the more the better!

Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Sundae | Shan Made Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Sundae | Shan Made Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Sundae | Shan Made

Monday, February 10, 2014

Chinese Chicken Salad

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Homemade Chinese Chicken Salad

When I was in high school my best friend’s mom made this for us when we had a long trip on a coach bus for a basketball game. She made us a big container of it and we scarfed it down! I remember asking her the ingredients soon after and have been making it ever since! Hard to believe that was 12 years ago. I love chinese chicken salad and it’s so nice to have the option to make it at home, and not only get it at restaurants when you’re out. The key to this is the homemade dressing. Most asian dressings in stores are a toasted sesame or some thicker soy based dressing. This dressing is light and sweet with a hint of salty. Whenever we make this for friends or a dinner get together it gets eaten super quickly. Just try it this week—you will LOVE it!

Ingredients (salad):

  • 1/2 head green cabbage, sliced super thin almost into shreds
  • 1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 bag spinach
  • 1 can mandarin oranges (reserve juice for dressing)
  • breast meat from 1 rotisserie chicken or 3 chicken breasts cooked in the crock pot with a homemade rotisserie seasoning (see below for chicken instructions)
  • 1 2oz bag sliced almonds
  • 2 packets ramen noodles, crushed (just the noodles, reserve one chicken flavor packet for dressing)
  • 2 large carrots, grated

Ingredients (dressing):

  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. mandarin orange juice (from can)
  • 1 chicken flavor packet (from ramen noodles)

Ingredients (crock pot “rotisserie” chicken):

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. italian seasoning
  • water

If you have a rotisserie chicken, remove the breast meat, shred with 2 forks and place in a bowl in the fridge for 45 minutes or freezer for 20 minutes to cool. If you don’t have a rotisserie chicken, you’ll need to make the chicken beforehand. I like to make it in the crock pot with the above chicken recipe. Place all ingredients in the crock pot and add enough water so it comes up about 1/2 inch on the sides, and so it only covers the chicken breasts about halfway. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours. Once cooked shred and place in fridge or freezer to cool.

Once the chicken is cooling, prepare the salad ingredients. In a bowl combine and mix cabbage, lettuce, and  spinach. Then add almonds, crushed ramen noodles, grated carrots, and mandarin oranges. Add chicken once cooled.Homemade Chinese Chicken Salad 

In a medium bowl, whisk together ingredients for salad dressing. Pour about 3/4 of the dressing onto the salad, toss and see if it needs more. I usually use almost all of the dressing but you don’t want it to get too soggy. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving to let the dressing marinate the flavors. Be prepared to love this salad! I’ve been loving it for 12 years and still going strong on it ;) Homemade Chinese Chicken SaladHomemade Chinese Chicken Salad

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Valentine M&M Rice Krispie Treats

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Valentine Krispie Treats | Shan Made

This morning my kids and I made some fun Valentine treats that were pretty much the easiest dessert you could make, but they still loved to help. They love to dump the rice krispies in and also loved adding the M&Ms with this recipe. It’s the perfect easy way to make some yummy Valentine treats for friends ;) I used the same recipe I always use for the Browned Butter Salted Rice Krispie Treats here, but I actually doubled the salt because with the M&Ms you need even more salt to offset the sweet. They are delicious!


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 1/2 c. M&Ms
  • Cooking spray for pan

Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) an 9x13 pan with 2-inch sides.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is often less than a minute. (A light brown color with some darker brown bits on the bottom.)

As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off and stir in the marshmallows. The residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if it is not, turn it back on low until the marshmallows are smooth.

Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt, cereal, and M&Ms together. Quickly spread into prepared pan. I liked to use a piece of waxed or parchment paper (*I just saved the wrapper from the stick of butter, sprayed it with cooking spray and used that to press it firmly into the pan. Pressed firmly they taste better!), that I’ve sprayed with oil to press it firmly and evenly into the edges and corners, though a silicon spatula works almost as well.

Valentine Krispie Treats | Shan MadeValentine Krispie Treats | Shan Made

Monday, February 3, 2014

Easy Philly Cheesesteaks

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Easy Broiled Philly Cheesesteaks

Need a really easy, really satisfying meal for weeknights when you don’t have much time to cook? Cheesesteak sandwiches on big hoagie rolls are such a hit with my husband and are quick to prepare. They are delicious once that steak is broiled with the peppers and cheese all melted together! I know many cheesesteaks have that nacho-style cheese sauce but I feel like that would just ruin my steak. So I used mozzarella. Here’s how I make them:


  • 2 lb. flank steak, seared on each side and sliced thin
  • oil, for pan
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced in strips
  • 1 onion, diced in strips
  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • steak seasoning (My favorite is the Montreal Steak Seasoning from McCormick and Weber makes a great Chicago style steak seasoning too)

Directions: First prep all your ingredients. Dice your bell peppers and onion, and grate the cheese. Set aside. Get out your flank steak and season generously with salt on both sides. Pour oil into a large pan so it covers about 1/4 inch thick on the bottom. Turn the heat up to medium high. Let oil heat until a drop of water sizzles in it. Then, using tongs (and being careful or you’ll get burned!), slowly place your flank steak into the hot oil. Let cook for approximately 4-6 minutes on each side, until cooked through to desired well-ness. We like a little pink in the middle. Once the steak is done, transfer to a large place, season with more salt, and cover with tinfoil for 10 minutes to rest.

Meanwhile, using the same pan and oil the steak was fried in, add the peppers and onions. Add a little water if needed to remove the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add steak seasoning and cover. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until the peppers are soft and onions translucent.

Once steak has rested, slice into strips at an angle. Assemble the sandwiches by layering steak, peppers/onions, and then cheese onto each hoagie roll. Broil until cheese is golden brown. Eat right away! That cheesy steaky flavor is making me salivate.

*Note: yes I only use the steak seasoning on the veggies and NOT on the steak. My favorite way to eat steak is seared to keep the juices in with only a little salt on top. I feel like this keeps it tasting like steak and doesn’t overpower the flavor with seasoning. However it’s a great little accent to the sandwich to have the steak seasoning and flavor spicing up the peppers. Enjoy!Easy Broiled Philly Cheesesteaks Easy Broiled Philly Cheesesteaks