Egg Drop Soup

Egg Drop Soup
Another classic dish at Chinese restaurants is egg drop soup! This is a super simple soup where a egg is poured into simmering chicken broth in a thin stream the cooks into smooth ribbons that gives the soup an amazing creamy texture. I like to use a homemade chicken broth for this to maximize flavour but store bought will also do! The chicken broth is jazzed up by simmering it with green onions, ginger and white peppercorns along with a dried shiitake mushrooms and a few slices of bacon. The green onions, ginger and white peppercorns give the chicken broth a nice Asian flare and the dried shiitake mushrooms and bacon add layers of umami flavour and a hint of smokiness and meatiness! Once the broth is ready cornstarch is added to thicken a bit before the eggs slowly are added in a thin stream that allows them to cook into thin ribbons in the soup. The egg drop soup is finished off with toasted sesame oil, for its magical aroma, along with a garnish of green onions and optional sliced shiitake mushrooms. The perfect way to start off your Lunar New Year celebrations!

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Pasta
This quick and easy spicy garlic shrimp pasta is one of my favourite recipes for busy weeknight meals or for special occasions! The combination of shrimp in spicy garlic tomato sauce using Pomì organic chopped tomatoes comes together with almost no effort and it's sure to impress! If you're still looking for a last minute Valentine's Day dinner, look no further!

Check out my tasty spicy garlic shrimp pasta recipe on Pomì!

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
Next up in my V-day dessert lineup is a red velvet white chocolate chip skillet cookie that I came across on pinterest a while ago. Chocolate chip cookies are an absolute favourite and the idea of a single huge skillet cookie that you eat with a spoon was a must try! This skillet cookie is really easy to make where you mix the standard butter, sugar, egg, flour, baking soda and salt, and throw it in the oven to bake, just like a cookie or a brownie. What makes these cookies "red velvet" is the addition of a full tablespoon of red food colouring and a bit of cocoa powder. When making this recipe for the photos I had one of those kitchen accidents where I grabbed the dark cocoa powder rather than the regular cocoa powder and this red velvet skillet cookie came out more of a dark red velvet, which I actually like! Melting ice cream is one of those pure delights in life and these red velvet white chocolate chip skillet cookie are simply divine when topped with it!

70 Valentine's Day Recipes

70 Valentine's Day Recipes

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and that means that it's time to start thinking about what recipes you want to make for that special person in your life. Homemade food is a great way to show that you care so I thought that I would take the opportunity to roundup some of my favourite recipes for Valentine's Day. This list includes tasty recipes for everything from breakfast in bed, to appetizers, dinners for two and of course plenty of decadent chocolate treats! Most of these Valentine's Day recipes are super quick and easy to make for all levels of cooking skills. No matter what you make, a homemade Valentin's Day recipe is bound to bring a smile to that special person in your life!


Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
When I am thinking about Valentine's Day I usually think about chocolate and this decadently creamy dark chocolate cheesecake is the perfect treat to end a fabulous Valentine's Day! This cheesecake is so easy to make with it's chocolate cookie crumb crust and the cheesecake part being the simple combination of cream cheese, eggs, sugar, cream and of course, plenty of dark chocolate! You really just need to mix the cookie crumbs and melted butter, press them into the bottom of a spring form pan, mix the remaining ingredients and pour them into the pan before baking until set. The hardest part is waiting until it's cooled before cutting into it, but it's well worth the wait! Surprise that special someone in your life with this dark chocolate cheesecake this Valentine's Day, or any day for that matter, or just bake one for yourself!

Recipes for the Chinese New Year

Recipes for the Chinese New Year

The Lunar New Year, aka the Chinese new year, is this coming next Friday, February 16th, the year of the dog, and it's the perfect excuse to to pull out some of my favourite Chinese recipes in addition to trying some new ones! I am a big fan of Chinese cuisine, both traditional style Chinese and American style Chinese, ie. Chinese takeout, and luckily they are both easy to make at home! Below you will find a mix of both traditional and takeout style Chinese recipes that are really easy make and most of them can be made with ingredients that are already in your pantry! I always find that it's fun to try to recreate recipes that I have had at restaurants and this is especially true for Chinese takeout where I can make the dishes much lighter and healthier than the takeout version and what's more, the homemade version tastes even better! Whether you are celebrating the Chinese New Year or not, you really cannot go wrong with making any of these tasty recipes at home!

Pan Seared Steaks with Sauteed Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic Gorgonzola Butter

Pan Seared Steaks with Sauteed Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic Gorgonzola Butter
I have been testing out some new recipes for Valentine's Day and a tasty teak dinner for two is always a nice way to go! This recipe uses the classic combo of a perfectly pan seared steaks with sauteed mushrooms and onions and if that were not enough, it's all topped off with a homemade roasted garlic gorgonzola butter! Steak, mushrooms, butter and blue cheese is a match made in heaven! With this dish I am letting the flavours of the ingredients shine so the mushrooms are really simple with onions, garlic, thyme and a bit of parsley which all complement the steak well! This pan seared steaks with sauteed mushrooms and roasted garlic gorgonzola butter is a fantabulous option for an intimate Valentine's Day dinner, or any other special occasion!

Roasted Garlic Gorgonzola Butter

Roasted Garlic Gorgonzola Butter
Butter is one of my favourite condiments and although it is simply divine all by itself it's also fun to add flavour and make compound butters! This roasted garlic gorgonzola butter is a great example of a compound butter and it's so easy to make! You just need to mix some room temperature butter with the roasted garlic, crumbled blue cheese, fresh parsley and a touch of fresh cracked black pepper, before chilling it all in the fridge. I like to use gorgonzola cheese but stilton and other blue cheeses also work well! Once the flavours have had a chance to mingle while hanging out in the fridge this roasted garlic gorgonzola butter excellent melting on anything from steaks to baked potatoes!

Recipes for Mardi Gras

Recipes for Mardi Gras

This Tuesday is Mardi Gras and even though I will not be in New Orleans to celebrate, I take it as an excuse to whip up some NOLA inspired dishes since I am a huge fan on NOLA cuisine. I was really into New Orleans cuisine before I had even had a chance to go there and after finally getting the chance to visit a few years ago I came back with a long list of new recipe ideas to try recreating at home! Below you will find a list of some of my favourite New Orleans style recipes many of which are staples and pretty authentic (well as authentic as someone that did not grow up in New Orleans can make them) along with a few of my creative outtakes using the flavours of New Orleans cuisine. If you are looking for a way to celebrate Mardi Gras from home this Tuesday you cannot go wrong with one of these recipes!

Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)

Oyakodon (Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)
The other day I was at my favourite ramen joint and I noticed that they had some non-ramen items on the menu including oyakodon! Oyakodon (親子丼) is a Japanese style rice bowl with chicken and egg in a sweet and savoury onion broth. I was a little surprised as I had never noticed anything but the ramen on the menu before and it immediately brought up some nostalgic memories from 11 years ago when I first started Closet Cooking!

Closet Cooking first came about shortly after a trip to Japan where I had really enjoyed the food. When I returned I wanted to eat more of the dishes that I had tried there and after going to Japanese restaurants for a few weeks I decided that I would try cooking them at home, since eating out all the time didn't really fit my budget. I looked for the recipes for those dishes online and came across food blogs where people were sharing photos and recipes that they had made, and they looked amazing! I did not really know how to cook, unless you count throwing frozen dinners into the oven or microwave, so I was learning from scratch and on a whim I decided to start my own blog, as a kind of journal documenting my adventures in learning to cook. I found that I enjoyed it and Closet Cooking grew from there.

A lot of the recipes that I shared in the first few months were Japanese including a recipe for oyakodon so when I saw it on the menu, I just had to order it! It was good, though it did not live up to my expectations, so I decided that I would have to make it at home again!

This dish is so easy to make! You simply cook the chicken and onions in a broth, typically dashi but chicken broth is also good, seasoned with soy sauce, mirin and sugar before adding the eggs to cook in the broth and serving it all in a bowl on rice. The quickest and lightest way is to cook sliced boneless and skinless chicken breasts in the broth at the same time as the onions but I prefer to go with boneless skin-on chicken thighs as the thighs have more flavour and I am a huge fan of the crispy skin! To get the crispy skin I cook the chicken thighs until the skin is crispy and set them aside before adding the broth and onions and then I return them at the end. All said and done these tasty, chicken and egg rice bowls with their tasty sweet and savoury sauce can be made and on the table in less than 20 minutes!

This homemade oyakodon certainly hit the spot and what a great trip down memory lane!

Quick and Easy Chicken Dinners

Quick and Easy Chicken Dinners

Chicken is one of my go-to foods for when I want an easy meal, or better yet a quick and easy meal, and that's because there are so many chicken recipes that are really easy and taste great! Chicken is really versatile with recipes ranging from simple roast chicken (pure comfort food!) to light and yet filling chicken salads and everything in between such as soups, pastas, sandwiches, etc. Since I have been enjoying a lot of easy chicken recipes these last few weeks I thought that I would take the opportunity to gather some of my favourites to share with you! Whether you are looking for a quick weeknight meal or you are looking for an easy meal that will also impress guests you have plenty of tasty options!

Mexican Shredded Beef Nachos

Mexican Shredded Beef Nachos
This weekend is the big game, aka the football playoffs, and I have one last recipe planned for my game day party menu, some Mexican shredded beef nachos! When I made the Mexican shredded beef the recently I could not help but think about making it again for nachos for party finger food! I mean, who could resist, crispy and crunch tortilla chips, topped with tasty tender shredded beef and plenty of melted cheese? Nachos could not be easier to make! You simply throw the tortilla chips onto a baking sheet and top with your choice of ingredients followed by the cheese which melts and holds everything on the chips so that you can easily pick them up. I topped these nachos with the Mexican shredded beef, a tasty chipotle and ancho cocoa enchilada sauce, onions and jalapenos along with the cheese. After they are baked I like to throw on some fresh and cool ingredients like guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream. Yum! The trick to quick and easy nachos on game day is to have all of the ingredients ready ahead of time so I try to make the beef a day or two earlier and make the guac and salsa the day before so I can just assemble and bake just before the game!

Decadent Dips

Decadent Dips

With the football playoffs coming this weekend I thought that it was time to dust off one of my favourite list of recipes my list of decadent dips, which are perfect for snacking on while watching the game! There are so many different dips out there, and I am a huge fan of them, so I have quite a collection of dip recipes and these are my top 50 dips! You can make dips from so many different things and of course a lot my favourites are based on plenty of ooey gooey melted cheese but you can also make dips from things like pureed beans, avocado, yogurt, etc. Once you have chosen your dip it is time to decide what you are going to be dipping with and that can be anything from chips to crackers, tortilla chips, veggies, toast, breads, pitas, etc. A lot of these dips are truly decadent (and delicious) but there are also a lot of healthy options so no matter what your preference you are sure to find one, or if you are like me, several, to make for snacking while watching the game!

That's enough of my rambling; it's time to get dipping! Oh yeah... and watching the game!