Fast and Simple Pho

This recipe was really a turning point for me in regards to my home-cook confidence. Angelo LOVES pho. Like so much that we traveled over an hour to get a bowl of pho back when we were stationed in San Antonio. That was my first time having it, and it didn’t disappoint. It is this big bowl of goodness, with yummy rice noodles, perfectly cooked beef, crunchy bean sprouts, savory broth, and fresh herbs. I really thought it was just something you had to leave your house and go to an actual Vietnamese restaurant to get. But, a while ago Angelo said it sounded so good and asked if I could make it. After some research and adding my own spin, my very own Pho was waiting for him when he got home from work. Wife for the win!

This broth only has to simmer for ½ hour, which is way less time than the traditional way. I also found already thinly sliced beef in the meat section of my grocery store that made things easier as well. Rice noodles can be found in the international section of the grocery store along with some other ingredients in this recipe. YOU CAN DO THIS!

Enjoy!

Fast and Simple Pho

Makes: 6 servings

12 cups beef broth.

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp siracha

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

½ Tbsp hoisin sauce

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp ginger, minced

1 tsp dried basil

¼ cup green onions, chopped

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1 package rice noodles

2 cups bean sprouts

1 lb boneless beef short ribs, sliced ¼ inch thin (or any thinly sliced meat in fresh beef section)

  1. In large stock pot, add beef broth, soy sauce, siracha, rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and basil. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer.
  2. Simmer broth for ½ hour.
  3. Cook rice noodles according to package.
  4. If using boneless beef short ribs, place them in the freezer for 15 minutes, then take out and slice as thinly as possible with sharp knife.
  5. To assemble the bowl: place a handful of rice noodles and bean sprouts in a bowl. Place meat on top in one layer. Spoon simmering broth over, making sure to fully cover meat (it will cook from the heat of the broth). Add some green onions, cilantro, and siracha sauce if desired.

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Grandma Betty’s Crepes

I present you with an EASY crepe recipe!

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My great grandma Betty gets all the credit for this crepe. This recipe means so much to me; the fact that it’s an old family recipe and that every birthday breakfast-in-bed had these on my platter as a child. These were one of my first recipes trying on my own when I first started baking at 10 years old. They are so simple to make, but turn out so fancy and with endless filling possibilities. You can go savory with chive cream cheese and smoked salmon, or sweet with fresh peaches and whipped cream. My family’s special filling is a bunch of butter that melts as you spread it across the crepe, with cinnamon and sugar (a bunch of that too). It tastes like a cinnamon roll- and also like my childhood. And now, my husband REALLY enjoys them, and I get to pass the recipe down to my daughters!

When you serve these at Saturday breakfast, your family will think you hired a Parisian chef.

 

Enjoy!

Grandma Betty’s Crepes

Makes: 12 large crepes

1 can evaporated milk

1 can water

3 eggs

3 Tbsp sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

cinnamon/sugar

butter

  1. Beat together milk, water, eggs, vanilla, and sugar.
  2. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and mix thoroughly
  3. Heat small amount of oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add ½ cup of crepe mixture to pan, tilting pan in all directions to cover completely.
  5. Cook until bubbles form on top of crepe. Flip and cook an additional minute.
  6. Generously butter crepe then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and fold or roll up. Or use filling of your choice.

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Welcome to Bring to the Table!

Don’t we all have something to bsmall logoring to the table? It’s probably a question we don’t ask of, or for, ourselves often enough. The name of this blog actually came about because when I was contemplating starting one, I thought, “What do I have to bring to the table that is different from any other food blogger out there?”

Recently, after the reality of turning 30 in September has set in, I find myself asking what I have to offer the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dreading turning 30; I think it’s a solid rite of passage. But I do have thoughts of have I done enough to claim 30? Am I where I want to be to officially be an adult (I’m declaring 20s as still the transition into adulthood)? And am I really living out my dream? *Queue existential crisis* But in all seriousness, I realized there is only one me and maybe someone will find what I have to say and share interesting. And if not, I have somewhere to log all my tried and true recipes!

My love for food exceeds just eating it. The recipes I will be sharing on my blog each mean something to me and each have a story. Food is a common denominator in relationships, community, and culture. Cooking is an expression of myself, and has been a bigger part of my life that I’m just starting to appreciate.family 1

I am a wife to an amazing husband, and a stay at home mom to a 4 and 2 year old in this military life we live. Angelo (hubby) is in the Army, which means we move more than the average family. I resourcefully make a kitchen in a new area code work for

DSC_0186me every couple of years. Cooking and baking has been a constant for me in an unpredictable life; I can take it with me wherever we go. Each duty station inspires new recipes.

I grew up in Ames, Iowa, home of Iowa State University (go Cyclones!) Although I never lived on a farm, there seemed to always be a cornfield within sight. I have come to realize growing up in the country’s heart of farming made an impression on how I view food. Don’t get me wrong: I ate my fair share of overly processed, sugary, salty food. I mean hey, I was a 90’s kid; the generation of, “let’s see how long we can make ‘food’ last and how neon bright we can we color it!” But I had the exposure to fresh, farm-to-table food constantly and the knowledge of where it came from just from looking a little beyond my backyard.

My grandma, who lived just down the street delighted in always busying herself in the kitchen. I observed how it connected her and my mom in a special way, as if they were part of some club- a club I wanted to be a part of. I got my first cookbook when I was 10, and with the encouragement from my grandma, I started to try things I never thought I could do. When I got a little older, I worked at a local bakery through college, and still use what I learned there in my kitchen today.

Although I don’t have any formal training, I like to think the love I pour into my recipes makes them special in their own right (and the fact my toddler girls actually eat

me and angelo (1)my food helps). I am also so grateful for my husband. To have someone who believes in me and my abilities in the kitchen as much as he does makes me feel like I graduated from the top culinary school. He is the first one to try my new innovations and gives me to resolution to keep cooking (and dreaming). So thank you baby; this blog is dedicated to you and us 🙂

My culinary point of view is simple, clean, fresh, and delicious food. I don’t like putting a million ingredients in my recipes, because I like to know what I’m tasting. My version of clean usually means from scratch, so I know exactly what I’m putting in my food. I spend most of my time in the produce section of the grocery store because fresh food tastes the best and I think something fresh should always be a component of a recipe. Of course, my recipes are always tested to make sure they taste great!

I am here to help you be bold with ingredients and excited by recipes, not intimidated or overwhelmed. I am just a regular home cook, and I want my food to be approachable and confidence boosting. I will also be trying new things on this blog journey, so stay tuned!

Being able to express my creativity through cooking and baking is a blessing and my calling. The amazing thing about food is there are endless possibilities. Thank you for going on this journey with me. I am excited to get started and hear what you all think of what I bring to the table! Remember to ask yourself from time to time what you have to bring to the table, and make sure you’re bringing it!

Enjoy!

Allison