Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

shrimp lettuce wraps, lettuce wraps

Hussein loves Asian food. From Thai to Japanese to Vietnamese to American takes on Asian flavors.

I also love Asian Cuisine and don’t cook it often enough. We generally get take out Pho or go out for sushi!

But I need to do a better job of using these flavors (& the personalized chop sticks my friend Rana got us) in my kitchen!

personalized chop sticks, chop sticks, cool chop sticks

When planning my dinner menu for the week, I try to mix up the proteins and styles of cooking to keep things interesting.

But I also don’t want to spend two hours making dinner. Because in the words of Sweet Brown:

via GIPHY

 

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Butternut Squash and Arugula Pasta

Amanda's Plate butternut squash pasta

One of my favorite things about fall are all the different varieties of squash. Growing up, my family ran a small produce market and I absolutely loved when we got in the first pumpkins of the season. All those gourds, inspired this butternut squash and arugula pasta! 

My sister, Deana and I would help arrange the vibrant, orange squash on hay stacks. We would carefully place heirloom Indian corn in between the pumpkins and then stand back and admire our work. 

I created this butternut squash and arugula pasta recipe last year. It makes a filling and satisfying dinner.

How To Cut Your Squash

The most time consuming aspect is peeling, cubing and roasting the butternut squash which takes about 15 minutes. I learned a tip while watching The Chew. If you first prick the squash with a fork and place in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, it will help loosen the skin and the squash will roasted just a little bit faster.

butternut squash, how to cook butternut squash, how to peel butternut squash IMG_4099 IMG_4106 IMG_4108 

Butternut Squash and Arugula Pasta
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
A delicious pasta dish with beautiful, sweet, oven roasted butternut squash
Ingredients
Squash
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, cubed about 5 cups
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
Pasta
  • 1 pound spaghetti noodles
  • 6 cups fresh baby arugula
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (or almond slivers), toasted
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Instructions
For the butternut squash
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Toss cubed butternut squash with olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and fresh sage
  3. Spread onto a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once, until squash is tender and golden. Set aside
  4. Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup pasta water.
  5. In a large pan, heat olive oil and add in garlic and onions. Mix in the arugula until wilted and stir in the cooked spaghetti noodles. Add ¼ cup reserved pasta water.
  6. Add the butternut squash, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese
  7. Toss until all noodles are evenly coated
  8. Sprinkle on more Parmesan, if desired
  9. Place in serving dish and enjoy!

Butternut squash arugula pasta

Make this recipe? I’d love to see! Tag me using #CreateAmandasPlate @AmandasPlate.

 

Xoxo, 

 

Amanda

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Game Day Bites

spinach artichoke dip, dip, spinach dip, football game food, game day bites, tailgating, seahawks

I grew up watching football, college and professional. Sundays, Monday’s and Thursday nights from September until the Superbowl in February, were spent watching football.
My mom a Dallas Cowboys fan. My dad a Detroit Lions fan. My sisters and I, didn’t have strong opinions until years later when Deana became an Indianapolis Colts fan, Mona a Lions fan and myself a Seahawks fan.

Yes, I was a fan of the Seahawks before I moved to Seattle, met Russel Wilson and they won the Superbowl!

It was in 2007 when the Superbowl was hosted in Detroit, when I really became a Seahawks fan. I bought an oversized Seahawks sweat shirt and wore it in Downtown Detroit where the Steelers fans growled and booed at me!

Fast forward a few years and I was living in Seattle with my husband, Hussein. My sister Mona came to visit and we went to the mall and I casually said “Oh, hey!” to Russell Wilson as he walked past. My sister asked “who is that?”. “Russell Wilson” I responded. She quickly turned to follow him, grabbing my arm as she hurried towards him. She asked for a picture with him and to our delight he agreed! This was just a few weeks before the Seahawks Super Bowl win!

russell wilson with seattle fans, seahawks, 12th man

As I reflect on football and my family, I can’t help but think about all the amazing food we would snack on while watching the game! The Superbowl always had the most elaborate menu, as it usually falls on my birthday!

Game Day spread

Some of my favorite Game Day Bites include:

Turkey Burger Sliders

Eggplant and Jalapeno Toast

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Key Lime Cupcakes

And my spinach artichoke dip:

Spinach Artichoke Dip
Serves 6
A rich and creamy spinach artichoke
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Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
312 calories
7 g
90 g
29 g
8 g
16 g
121 g
586 g
3 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
121g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 312
Calories from Fat 253
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g
44%
Saturated Fat 16g
82%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 90mg
30%
Sodium 586mg
24%
Total Carbohydrates 7g
2%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 3g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
34%
Vitamin C
6%
Calcium
18%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 eight ounce packages of cream cheese
  2. 1 ten ounce frozen package of shredded spinach, defrosted
  3. 1 cup artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons sour cream
  5. 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese + more for topping, if desired
  6. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground Cayenne, optional
  9. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit
  2. Strain spinach and squeeze out all water
  3. In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients until well incorporated
  4. Spread mixture into an oven safe dish and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
  5. Top with additional Parmesan cheese and brown the top under the broiler for 2 minutes
  6. Serve with slices of baguette or your favorite chips!
  7. Enjoy 🙂
beta
calories
312
fat
29g
protein
8g
carbs
7g
more
Amanda's Plate http://amandasplate.com/
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International Food Blogger Conference Overview

IFBC, International Food Blogger Conference

Sadly, the International Food Blogger Conference has come to an end. It was an exciting, and energizing weekend of food, friends, photography and technology. I enjoyed some aspects far more than others and I’m feeling most excited about the new blogger friends I’ve made.

The highlight of day two was hearing and meeting Kim Severson. She is incredible talented (she’s received several awards for her writing), absolutely hilarious and completely relatable.

Kim Severson, Amanda Saab, International Food Bloggers Conference Key Note

After Kim’s fun talk, I attended the Krusteaz Cookie Swap session! You can’t really go wrong with crafts and cookies, can you?

I met a great group of fellow food bloggers, made some cute vessels for sharing cookies in a fun way and got to taste a variety of Krusteaz cookies!

IFBC, International Food Blogger Conference

I’m not going to lie, I was skeptical that a cookie mix would taste like a bakery quality cookie but these did. My favorite was the butter cookie.. I had two.

IFBC Krusteaz cookies

Day three was short and the most exciting part was hearing the incredible Christopher Testani.

You’ve probably seen his work on the covers of Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart Living, GQ, Women’s Health and more.

Christopher showed a slide show of his work and I was in complete awe. From the markets of Peru, to a studio in New York, every photo told its own story; the food is always the star.

At the closing of the conference, it was announced that next years conference will be held in Sacramento, CA at the end of July. I am not sure if I will be able to make it, but encourage those who can to take advantage of such a great conference!

 

Xoxo,

Amanda

 

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MasterChef Season 6 Finale

Wow! I cannot believe this season is over! It has been an incredible summer of watching the best cooking competition on TV!

Before I continue, if you have not watched the finale, please stop here! Go watch the finale and come back and read this 🙂


 


The finale was incredible. The top 20 of us were brought back to watch Derrick and Claudia battle it out for the title of Masterchef, the trophy, $250,000 and their very own cook book!

Claudia and Derrick are both incredible home cooks turned chefs! They have very different culinary points of view, both bring their own flare and style!

The battle began with the appetizer round. Claudia created a beautiful, truly elevated tamale and Derrick a pork belly with watermelon three ways. From my view point (on the balcony and later my couch), both dishes were elegant, beautifully plated and something I could imagine seeing come out of a restaurant kitchen.

Their creativity, flare, refinement, technique and personalities continued to the entree course! I remember being completely blown away by Derricks puff pastry cage!

Dessert is where things got most interesting. Claudia made a beautiful hibiscus poached pear that was the most beautiful shade of red! She then initialed the plate! 😀

Derricks matcha cake gave him some trouble and I remember thinking “that’s it, there’s no way he can do it” and he did!

After a neck to neck battle, Claudia brought home the win. I couldn’t be more happy for her, her daughter and her family. I know what this win means for her and what a difference it will make in her and her daughters life.

Masterchef contestants, amanda and clauda, Claudia winner of Masterchef

Claudia won the title, but she is not the only winner. Each and every contestant is a winner. Derrick,  Stephen, Nick, KatrinaHetal, TommyOliviaShelly, ChristopherSara, Kerry, Charlie, Jesse, Veronica, Ailsa, Dan, JustinDarah, BrianaMateo and every one else who battled for an apron, who made it to the top 100, and who auditioned; you took a risk, put yourself in unfamiliar territory, followed your passion and tried something new.. for that you win!

Life is about taking chances, making sacrifices and embracing every part of the journey on your way to fulfilling your dreams! I truly believe that with God, patience and a strong support system, you can do ANYTHING!

So go do it! 😀

XOXO,

Amanda

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Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

I love a good cookie. Chocolate chip, Reese’s Smores Cookies, white chocolate macadamia nut, sugar cookies, Birthday Cake Cookies, Snikerdoodle, double chocolate chunk, Mint Chocolate Chip; the list is never ending.

But one of my new favorites is this; my Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies.

I found the peanut butter M&M’s and knew immediately that I needed to make a new cookie. It was feeling like fall (way too early in my opinion, but I can’t argue with mother nature), so I decided on a peanut butter cookie.

But peanut butter cookies are basic. Yes, I said it.

So, I decided to add some oats! Because texture, flavor, health. 😉

I was so pleasantly surprised by the outcome! A soft, chewy cookie and an added crunch and burst of peanut butter with the M&Ms. YUM!


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To start you want to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

creamed sugar and butter

Add in the eggs, one at a time. Mixing really well in between each addition.

Next, mix in the vanilla extract and peanut butter.

peanut butter added to wet ingredients Add in the dry ingredients: oats, flour, salt and baking soda. Mix well.

add dry ingredients

Stir in the M&Ms.

peanut butter M&Ms

Use a small ice cream scoop to drop cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. You may want to press some M&Ms into the tops of the cookies.

cookie doughBake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown!

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup quick oats
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 (11.4 ounce) bag of peanut butter M&Ms

 

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. This will take a few minutes.
Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between each addition.
Mix in vanilla extract and peanut butter.
Add oats, flour, baking soda and salt to wet ingredients and mix until combined.
Stir in M&Ms. You may wish to reserve some of the M&Ms to top the cookies with.
Scoop cookie dough onto baking sheet, leaving space in between each cookie.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
Allow to cool
Enjoy 🙂

 

Oatmeal peanut butter cookies

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Peach and Blackberry Cobbler

Peaches are one of summers best treats! Sweet, juicy, easy to eat and a great addition to almost any dessert! While at the Farmer’s Market, I picked up some beautiful peaches that were grown in Cashmere, WA.

Washington Peaches

I knew immediately that I would make a favorite; peach cobbler. But I couldn’t just make an ordinary peach cobbler. I wanted to add another fruit and decided on the beautiful blackberries that I also picked up at the Farmer’s Market.

peach, peaches, blackberries
Aren’t they beautiful together?

 

I made individual cobblers, because I L-O-V-E serving up cute, individual portions of dessert 🙂 There is something special about an individual treat.

Be sure the make my Peach and Blackberry cobbler before summer is over! Serve with a large scoop (or two) of your favorite vanilla ice cream! So may say the ice cream is optional… but I think not 😛

 

Here is my recipe:

 

Ingredients:

2 cups peaches, peeled and cut into segments
3/4 cup blackberries
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
For the Topping:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
mint for garnish, optional
vanilla ice cream

 

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat butter and brown sugar. Add in peach segments and blackberries, vanilla, salt and lemon juice.
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and melted butter.
  5. Spoon fruit into baking dish or individual ramekins.
  6. Drop topping on top of the fruit. Leave some spots open for the fruit to peek thru!
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
  8. Serve with vanilla ice cream and mint for garnish!
  9. Enjoy 🙂
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Loaded Hummus Dip

loaded hummus dip

This summer has been unusually dry and hot for the Seattle area! Climate change? Al Gore would say so! Whatever the case, it is often too hot to cook and bake. I find myself looking for a quick dinner using the tomatoes and cucumbers from my little patio garden 🙂

Garden

The quickest dinners in our household consist of grilled chicken breast, a large salad and fresh baguette from one of many favorite bakeries. Some days, I would be okay with a bowl of cereal for dinner but Hussein says “that’s not dinner” and “has no protein”.

This recipe was developed on a super hot day. It was 90 degrees and I was not feeling the heat in my kitchen 😛 I grilled some chicken and decided to make a salad and hummus. Then it hit me; we often dip the chicken into the hummus, and add salad to the top for a perfect bite, so why not make it a loaded hummus!

I made my hummus using canned chickpeas, but feel free to use a premade hummus for an even easier dinner! I served this dish with Stacy’s Pita chips 😀


 

Ingredients:
3 cans chickpeas, rinsed
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup tahini
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup cucumber diced
1 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup Kalamta olives, pitted and halved
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons red onion, finely minced

 

Procedure:

  1. Reserve 1/2 cup chickpeas.
  2. In a food processor combine remaining chickpeas, tahini, garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh lemon juice.
  3. While on low speed, slowly stream in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl mix tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, olives, parsley, mint, oregano, and 1/2 cup chickpeas.
  5. Using a mason jar make dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and red onion. Shake until emulsified. dressing
  6. Pour dressing over salad and toss until well coated.
  7. Smooth hummus over serving plate.
  8. Top with salad mixture and sprinkle feta crumbles over the top.
  9. Serve with fresh pita, pita chips, or whatever you like!
  10. Enjoy 🙂

Loaded hummus, easy hummus, hummus and salad

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So Many Ways to Toast

Eggplant toast, eggplant and jalapeno toast,

Many often ask where I find inspiration for my recipes or what my process is for developing new recipes. I sometimes have an idea after seeing something at the farmer’s market or on the web. But most of the time, I have no idea what I am going to do until I actually start doing it! I just get in my kitchen and start working.

My husband does not like this! In his words, he “needs to know what’s for dinner” so that he can “get excited about it”! I think he’s learned to accept that my menu planning is non-existent and this is the best way for me to be creative 😛

I know which flavors I like and which flavors and ingredients work well together; this helps a lot! I rarely have a recipe that is totally off!

I’m also inspired by all of you! When you tag me in your beautiful culinary creations, it inspires me to create something using those flavor profiles! So keep tagging me: Twitter and Instagram and by using #TeamAmandaSaab

My best friends mother, Mona Elhelou send me a picture of her eggplant toast! I loved it so much, I created my take on an eggplant toast! 🙂 These make for a great appetizer! I served them with a BBQ chicken salad 🙂

How do you toast? Tell me on Instagram


 

 

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant
1 baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons almond slivers, toasted
2 tablespoons pomegranate arils
1/2 cup micro greens
2 jalapenos, sliced thin
1 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar

 

Procedure:

1. Placed jalapeno slices in bowl. Heat vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons sugar until boiling. Pour over jalapenos and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Roast eggplant on open flame, until skin is charred.

Eggplant and Jalapeno Toast
3. Peel away skin and mix eggplant flesh with 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 tablespoons lime juice.
4. Brush bread with olive oil and toast until broiler until brown.
5. Toss micro greens and pomegranate arils with remaining olive oil.
6. Drain jalapenos.
7. Assemble: spread eggplant over toasted bread, layer on jalapenos, sprinkle on micro green mix and almonds!
8. Enjoy 🙂

 

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Frozen Milk Cubes?

ice cubes in cereal, ice in cereal, frozen milk cubes

I’ll start by apologizing for falling off my schedule for posting new recipes and blogs.. I’ve been catching up after Ramadan and Eid and Hussein and I took a long weekend trip down to San Diego! San Diego was amazing! It rained the first three days we were there but that didn’t bother us. We met with our friends Claudia and Nick from Masterchef! We ate delicious food.. food pics here! And really enjoyed the beautiful beaches!

It was a great trip and I can’t wait to get back down to San Diego and maybe even cross the border to Mexico for some real Mexican food 😀


 

During Ramadan, I read an article by Delish.com about people putting icecubes in their cereal to keep the milk extra cold throughout their cereal eating experience.

Okay, I’ll admit it, never really thought warm milk was a problem because I usually finish my bowl of cereal fairly quickly.

I shared the article on my Facebook page and was quite surprised by all the responses! I mean people have been adding ice cubes to their cereal for years!! While others heat their milk up and then add it to their bowl.

All this talk about cereal and milk had me thinking… why not freeze some milk into cubes, so that when they melt I don’t have watery milk!

I poured the 2% milk I had on hand into a plastic ice cube tray. The next day, I pulled them out and was really surprised at what I saw! The milk had turned a pale shade of yellow! Once they were out of the freezer for a few minutes they became a milky color again-weird!

That wasn’t enough to stop me from adding them to my cereal bowl tho! I added in three cubes and my cereal was ice cold! It was wonderful and I really enjoyed it and there was a noticeable difference in the temperature. (I will leave it to the Chef Steps guys to find the difference in temperature tho! Aint nobody expect them got time for that!)

Did I enjoy it enough to keep a tray of frozen milk in my freezer? Not really. To me, cereal is a super quick breakfast that I don’t have often enough to have a frozen tray of yellow ice cubes in my freezer, but it was a fun little trial!

 

Do you add ice to your cereal?

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