Val Cooking Again

All about the foods.

Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil

My dad and I used to go shrimping on the weekend. I don't have a ton of memories with my Dad, mainly because he took on the provider role and that was that. So, a fond memory I have with my Dad is us going shrimping and crabbing in Beaufort, South Carolina. Shrimping is an easy thing, a real instant satisfaction kinda thing in comparison to fishing per se. I am not a big fisher. I prefer the sitting aspect versus the actual action of fishing....

How to Cook Ramen Egg (ajitsuke tamago)

One of the things that has stuck with me over my years, is comfort. What foods provide me comfort? Why do they provide me comfort? What senses are intrigued by the food I am eating? And the ajitsuke tamago or the japanese soy sauce eggs are no different. I didn't become truly fascinated with ramen until my adult years. Watching documentaries on ramen noodles, the labor and love that is put into each noodle, the tare, every topping, is so...

Sun-dried tomatoes & Spinach Tortelloni

For a while I had been telling A, we should eat more vegetarian. We don't need to eat meat at every meal. Half the time the kids can't agree on a protein- one likes shrimp, one likes chicken, beef is not enjoyed by many, the toddler cannot stand meat unless it's in a nugget form, etc. So I've been making a conscious effort to cook meatless a couple times per week. Oddly enough (well, peculiar to me) is that not one person has complained that...

Garlic Steak Bites

I've always loved steak. I haven't been like "order me a t-bone" or anything, but I LOVE a good steak. Savory, cooked to medium, medium rare (depending on the place) I just cannot help but enjoy a good steak. When I was a teenager my signature thing was "teppenyaki steak" and I would cook that for the family. I thought teppenyaki was so cool as a kid. But since then I can now appreciate good marbling, a nice pink inside, and a delicious fat...

Instant Pot Mac & Cheese

Ahhh, mac and cheese. A vegetarian meal, or a lovely side dish that pleases all ages. You know before I moved out on my own, hell, even for the first 15 years, I stayed far away from real mac and cheese. Something had me in my head saying I would hate it. How weird is that? But then, I decided, what the hell. And I am in love. My goodness! The cheesy, the savory, the creamy, the delicate balance of cheeses! And in the instant pot?! Yes,...

Mushroom Tortellini

As a child I hated mushrooms. Like loathed them. What was with this fungi that was spongy, and woody? As an adult, I can't find enough recipes to make with mushrooms! Luckily my family enjoys mushrooms like I do, and that makes me a happy camper. During the week, I just don't have the time for elaborate meals so this meal is served up in under 30 minutes and as a crowd pleaser. It's time to leverage prepackaged pasta to your advantage. Easy...

Katsudon Recipe, A favorite comfort food

I love sushi. And rice. And probably a majority of Japanese foods. Oh, kara age is another big favorite. But if you had to offer me one dish that would warm my soul, soothe my tummy and fill me up ... Katsudon. I've made katsudon a couple times in my life and this one is nearly a favorite of mine as far as ingredients. My go-to Japanese restaurant locally, that is open on Sundays offers this all day and is a close second to making this at home...

How to Make Leftover Turkey with Gravy

Everyone has the questions the day after Thanksgiving. What am I going to do with this leftover turkey? A likes to eat turkey sandwiches, some nice thick bread, slices of turkey and cranberry sauce... our local deli has a turkey sandwich like this that is available year round. My personal favorite leftover as a child was leftover turkey with gravy that my mom would make every single holiday, the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Aside from...

Philly cheese steaks

One of my all-time favorite sandwiches is a meatball sub. Just kidding, its most definitely a cheesesteak. A gooey, cheesy ribeye - my mouth is watering thinking about it. As a military brat overseas, my parents used to buy Steak-ums. Do you all remember those at all? They were a hot commodity at our house. But now I've leveled up to ribeye. The key is a good cut of meat, and a soft hoagie bread. I enjoy mine with onions but I've seen...

French bread pizzas in under 20 minutes

Do you need a weeknight dinner your family will love to help make? Often time when we get home from work we're scrambling to get dinner on the table. Now, you can assemble toppings in a container the night before! Gather everything you need and have it ready for assembly when you all get home. Start baths, homework and rotate each family member at the pizza station and you'll be multitasking like a pro. These french bread pizzas are a crowd...