New Wok= Stir Fry Time!

Today I met my friend, Kristen, at Ikea in College Park.  I tend to frequent Ikea, and I am a tad-bit obsessed with it (of course I had already blogged about Ikea in my Craft room post).  While she was looking for furniture for her new apartment, I had my eye set on a new wok!  I have been using a really large, deep frying pan to make stir fry, but I have always wanted a wok.  I am sure that she thought that I was crazy, but as soon as I saw it, I got super pumped.

Dan, of course, was also pumped (not really, but he did appreciate my stir fry that I made tonight).  My mom had given me a bunch of cook books for Christmas one year, so I decided to use the Taste of Home: Winning Recipes book for a stir fry recipe.  Of course I ended up changing things around a little bit, but it was DELICIOUS!  Here is the Taste of Home‘s recipe:


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 pound beef top sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups cauliflowerets
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • Hot cooked riceDirections
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the first eight ingredients until smooth; set aside.
    • In a skillet or wok, stir-fry steak in oil for 3-5 minutes. Add broccoli, cauliflower, onion, carrots and soy sauce mixture; cover and cook for 8 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice. Yield: 4 servings.**In my recipe I did not use the ginger, I marinated my sliced beef in Trader Joe’s Soyaki marinade, and I did not use cauliflower (I used canned baby corn, a diced portabella mushroom cap, and water chestnuts instead).

Ramen Stir Fry. Spruce It up!


Pretty much everyone has either heard of or tried the packaged instant Ramen noodles sold in virtually every quick stop hop or grocery store in the U.S.  (If you haven’t, I am not really sure what to say to you.  Perhaps you should go try some.)  Ramen/ Oodles of Noodles is pretty much the camping/ college food.

As much as I like Ramen on its own, I do try to figure out ways to spruce it up from time to time.  A couple of nights ago, Dan and I realized that once again we had some vegetables that we needed to use up and I didn’t have a lot of time to make a fancy dinner.  So while browsing the pantry I came across chicken flavored Ramen.  First thought- gross with veggies.  Second thought- oh. Don’t use the flavor packet. Duh.

I cut up some yellow onion, half a clove of garlic, diced carrots, a portabella cap, and half of a yellow squash.  I found some Soy Sauce and sesame seeds.  In a my deep frying pan (I do not have a Wok), I sauteed the veggies, onion, and garlic (using some soy sauce and oil).  While doing that I cooked the Ramen according to the instructions on the packaging, but I did not use the flavor packet.  After the veggies were soft, I drained the Ramen and added it to my pan (med.-low heat).  As I cooked them, I added a little more oil and more soy sauce for flavoring (the oil helps the noodles not the stick to your pan).  I added the sesame seeds at the end.

Stir Fry!

This is very quick!  You can use up some of those veggies in your fridge/ counter without having to spend a lot of time cooking! Yum!

What’s for Dinner?

This question never fails… especially in our house.  I usually have some idea of what I am going to do, but tonight was a little bit different.  Dan went to the movies with friends and I had just finished drawing our wedding oak tree, so I didn’t really have dinner on my mind.  (Moose kind of reminded me that it was dinner time when she started whining…. I got lost in the drawing. Whoops.)

After feeding Moose I basically pulled out all of our left over food tid bits and veggies from the fridge.  Once again I was left trying to figure out how to combine these in some kind of yummy way.  So I ended up with chili lime marinated portabella mushroom, avocado, and a mexican fried rice.



One large Portabella Mushroom Cap

Chili Lime Marinade (Target)


Basmati Rice (cooked)


Canned Corn


Garlic Salt (optional)



Taco Seasoning

Vegetable Oil

I marinated the mushroom cap in the chili lime marinade for about 10-15 mins.  I then baked that in the oven on 350 degrees for 15 mins.  I finely chopped the onion and used a garlic press for the fresh garlic.  When the oven timer was at 10 mins remaining for the mushroom, I started up my pan with about a tablespoon of oil.  When  it was heated I added my onion and fresh garlic and sautéed that for a couple of minutes.  I then added my left over basmati rice, a tablespoon of taco seasoning, and a pinch of garlic salt, salt, and pepper.  I mixed these together and turned the heat to medium.  After the mixture seems fried, add the corn and keep mixing for another couple of minutes (the mushroom should be done by now).  I mashed the avocado and added salt and pepper to taste.

Great option for left over tid bits and really yummy!!

Beer and Pizza, What Could be Better?

Blueberry Dog Beer.

Last night Dan and paid a visit to one of our all time favorite spots- Pub Dog Pizza and Drafthouse.  We like Pub Dog so much that we have made it our weekly tradition to eat there every Friday (as long as nothing gets in the way of that).

The beer and the food are delicious!  Pub Dog offers 11 draft beers and one seasonal beer regularly.  You can also purchase a “Mixed Breed” which is 1/2 and 1/2 of their drafts.  The beer comes in two 8 oz. mugs for $4.50- “Same Kind, Same TIme”.  I always get the Blueberry Dog and Dan typically gets the Brown Dog.  The beers are house- brewed, so they do not offer your typical beers.  Their gourmet pizzas are also wonderful.  I always get the Spinach Pizza (Olive Oil, Fresh Mozzarella, Spinach, Mushrooms, Bacon, Fresh Garlic, and topped with Shredded Parmesan) for $9.00.  I highly recommend this pizza (I think that it is the best!).  Dan usually tries something different, last night it was “The Original” Wing Dog Pizza (Buffalo Wing Sauce, Mozzarella, Green Onion, Smoked Gouda and Spicy Marinated Buffalo Chicken with Cool Ranch Dressing) for $10.00.  His favorite, however, is the Alaskan Husky Pizza (Our 3-Cheese White Pizza with Olive Oil,Mozzarella, Parmesan, Asiago And Fresh Basil) for $9.50.  The pizzas are thin crust and are personal sized.  We have also tried their Garlic Sticks appetizer which is pretty tasty, but personal pizzas is the way to go.

Top- Wing Dog Pizza
Bottom- Spinach Pizza

The Pub Dog location that we frequent is in Columbia, MD off of Stanford Boulevard, but the original location is in Baltimore off of E. Cross Street in Federal Hill.  We have never been to the original location, but it looks amazing.

So, if you haven’t already noticed, all of their beers and most of their foods are dog themed. Why do they do that?  Well these people aren’t just dog- crazy, you can bring your four-legged friends with you when you dine at Pub Dog.  I can’t speak for the Fed Hill location, but at the Columbia Pub your furry friends can hang out with you on the outdoor patio at the side of the building while you eat and drink.  We have yet to bring Moose (our lab mix) with us.  She gets a little bit nutty when she sees other dogs, and she just had hip surgery.  We would really love to try it though!

I really recommend trying either location if you are in or near Columbia or Baltimore.  The atmosphere, the beer, and the food really make for a good experience!

Some of the Pub Dog house-brewed beer.

I need to use my veggies before they go bad!

I really did…. and it was a success!  One thing that I hate the most – buying veggies and then they go bad because I forgot that they were in the bottom drawer, or I bought too much.  Last night was one of those “Oh crap… I forgot about this veggie drawer!” nights. I had to use a yellow squash, asparagus, and portabella caps before they had to be trashed.  So I scrambled to figure out what to make.  I pulled out my go to- Basmati rice and made that using my rice steamer.  After dicing all of my veggies, I marinated them in italian salad dressing.  I first sautéed the yellow squash, then added the asparagus, and then the portabella mushrooms.  After all of the veggies were sautéed and the rice was finished, I poured both into a large bowl and mixed well.  We added a pinch of salt and ….. Voila! Dinner.  Very yummy, and it only takes about 20-30 mins.

About Me.

Oh hi.

My name is Allison.

I am an art teacher based in Maryland.

I enjoy art, ceramics, sketchbooking, dancing when no one is around, singing in the car, decorating.. and redecorating, cooking, people-watching, and random music.

I am engaged to the love of my life... I can't wait to be married to him.

I like learning about new things.

I find people to be interesting.

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