O’Neill Park Interpretive Center, Trabuco Canyon, California

September 22, 2019

Today was a perfect day to be outdoors so my son and I filled our water bottles and went to ride our bikes. O’Neill park is nearby and provides easy, paved roads if we want an easy ride, or difficult, unpaved inclining trails if we’d rather suffer. 😊

We chose a mix of easy and some challenging road for our 1 hour plus ride.

We stopped by the play ground and noticed that the Nature/Interpretive Center was open. We frequent this place but never saw the exhibit open.

It’s small but it provided lots of things kids and adults can learn from and some activities for kids too.

If you’re around the area, come by for a quick visit. http://www.ocparks.com/parks/oneill/

http://www.ocparks.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=15695

Paw prints
Mountain lion display
Coyotes
Little mammals
Deer family and a fox
Badger and foxes

Korean Style Pork Ribs

My son loves ribs and my go to recipe was always the braised ribs that I featured here https://athomewiththeresa.com/2019/07/06/braised-pork-ribs/.

Today I wanted to branch out a little since we had dinner at Shik Do Rak (Korean bbq) a couple of weeks ago, and Enzo loved the Korean barbecue beef. This has some similar ingredients to the other recipe so I think it will be yummy. I only have pork ribs on hand so I am using pork ribs and since it is drizzling outside I’m going to try to braise it instead of marinating overnight and grilling it. Hoping it will turn out good!

It did turn out really good! Top with chopped green onions then serve.

Ingredients:

3/4 soysauce

1 cup water

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons white sugar

1/2 – 1 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

3 pounds pork ribs, cut into individual bones

Chopped green onions, for serving

Procedure:

This is the easy part if you’re braising! Place everything in a dutch oven and simmer until almost dry, about an hour. Sprinkle with chopped green onions before serving.

*If you want to grill it instead, place everything in a ziplock and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Drain and grill until done. Sprinkle with chopped green onions before serving.

Place everything in the dutch oven.
Done!

Korean Style Pork Ribs

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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An easy, braise recipe that uses pantry ingredients and is so delicious. .

Ingredients

3/4 soysauce

1 cup water

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons white sugar

1/2 – 1 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

3 pounds pork ribs, cut into individual bones

Chopped green onions, for serving

Directions

This is the easy part if you’re braising! Place everything in a dutch oven and simmer until almost dry, about an hour. Sprinkle with chopped green onions before serving.

*If you want to grill it instead, place everything in a ziplock and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Drain and grill until done. Sprinkle with chopped green onions before serving.

Sauteed Green Beans with Beef, Tofu, and Rice Noodles

I grew up in the Philippines where breakfast, lunch, and dinner consisted of multiple dishes prepared by the household cook/s. Meats, veggies, fruits, sweets, and always, rice. Meat or fish is the main dish, then there would be 1-3 sides of veggies, some fruits and desserts. Usually vegetables were “ginisa” (sautéed) with garlic, onions, and tomatoes. They were always delicious specially with fried main dishes.

Nowadays, with no live in help, a full time job and a kid with a lot of extra curricular activities, I only get to serve one side and one main, usually with some salad or some sort of cooked veggies. Most of the time I would make an all in one dish, meat and vegetables together in the main dish.

This is one of my favorite, although slicing the green beans at an angle is work, it’s worth it as it tastes yummy! You could use ground or cubed beef or pork, even chicken, add cubes of fried tofu, chayote, whatever you feel like. It adapts to whatever you have on hand easily although I always have the green beans, meat, and the noodles. Take the amounts stated in the recipe only as a guideline, add more or less to adjust to your taste.

This is my version for today’s recipe. I added tofu because I had some on hand.

Slice the beans at an angle

Ingredients:

1 pound green beans, ends removed and sliced at an angle

1 block extra firm tofu, cubed

2 tablespoons oil

1 pound ground beef

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

4-6 cups water

1/2 package of dried rice noodles, soaked in water

1-2 tablespoons Beef bouillon, adjust to taste

1-2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce, optional

Procedure:

Rinse and slice the green beans. You’ll have to do this one by one as i never did a good job with even 2 at a time. Place in a large bowl with water and set aside.

Heat the oil in a fry pan and fry the tofu until browned on both sides. Set aside.

Fry the tofu until browned and crispy.

Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat and add the ground beef. Let it cook and brown, breaking up big pieces with a spatula.

Move the meat to one side of the pan and add garlic to the empty side. Brown lightly then add onions. Cook until onions are softened and lightly browned. Add tomatoes and cook a few more minutes until tomatoes are soft. Stir in the ground beef and mix well.

Add the fried tofu, 4 cups of water (adding more later as necessary), drained noodles, bouillon powder, soy sauce and fish sauce, if using. Make sure noodles are submerged. Simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes, until noodles are cooked. Add water if necessary.

Add the sliced green beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve hot.

Sauteed Green Beans with Beef, Tofu, and Rice Noodles

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A refreshing, light veggie side with beef, tofu, and noodles.

Ingredients

1 pound green beans, ends removed and sliced at an angle

1 block extra firm tofu, cubed

2 tablespoons oil

1 pound ground beef

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

4-6 cups water

1/2 package of dried rice noodles, soaked in water

1-2 tablespoons Beef bouillon, adjust to taste

1-2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce, optional

Directions

Rinse and slice the green beans. You’ll have to do this one by one as i never did a good job with even 2 at a time. Place in a large bowl with water and set aside.

Heat the oil in a fry pan and fry the tofu until browned on both sides. Set aside.

Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat and add the ground beef. Let it cook and brown, breaking up big pieces with a spatula.

Move the meat to one side of the pan and add garlic to the empty side. Brown lightly then add onions. Cook until onions are softened and lightly browned. Add tomatoes and cook a few more minutes until tomatoes are soft. Stir in the ground beef and mix well.

Add the fried tofu, 4 cups of water (adding more later as necessary), drained noodles, bouillon powder, soy sauce and fish sauce, if using. Make sure noodles are submerged. Simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes, until noodles are cooked. Add water if necessary.

Add the sliced green beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve hot.


Lomo Saltado (Peruvian Stir Fried Beef with French Fries)

This is one of those recipes that every family in Peru makes a little different from the others, so I encourage you to try all if you can!

When I was in Lima at my in law’s home, the cook said that no one likes onions in the household so she is adding thinly sliced celery instead. I’m all for adding veggies so I picked that up and have been adding it since. I usually add a handful of chopped cilantro but somehow I did not have it right now. I was going to go get some tomorrow but my dish was gone before then. Try it with cilantro if you can as it adds another layer of flavor that goes really well with this dish.

For the french fries, I usually use the ones available in the freezer section of the grocery stores to make this dish come together that much faster. I air fry the whole bag of fries while I am cooking the meat on the stove. If you have the time and inclination, feel free to substitute home made fries!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 lb sirloin steak, cut into strips
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 medium tomato, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced thinly into matchstick sizes
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lb french fries, fried
  • white rice, cooked with some oil and salt

Procedure:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a large pan over high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper, and cook until browned, 5-10 minutes. Move to one side of the pan.
  2. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same pan, then add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, until browned. Add the onion and cook until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Add tomato, and aji amarillo paste, and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until the tomatoes have released some of their juices, but are still intact.
  3. Add the soy sauce and vinegar and stir to combine, let boil for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the fries, and cilantro. Toss gently to coat the fries in the sauce.
  5. Serve with rice on the side.

Lomo Saltado(Peruvian Stir Fried Beef with French Fries)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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A very tasty Peruvian main dish that is served with rice and topped with french fries.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 lb sirloin steak, cut into strips
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 medium tomato, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced thinly into matchstick sizes
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lb french fries, fried
  • white rice, cooked with some oil and salt

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a large pan over high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper, and cook until browned, 5-10 minutes. Move to one side of the pan.
  2. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same pan, then add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, until browned. Add the onion and cook until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Add tomato, and aji amarillo paste, and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until the tomatoes have released some of their juices, but are still intact.
  3. Add the soy sauce and vinegar and stir to combine, let boil for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the fries, and cilantro. Toss gently to coat the fries in the sauce.
  5. Serve with rice on the side.

Yaki Soba (Japanese Stir Fried Noodles)

I went to Mitsuwa last week with my mom and one of the items I got was this bag of Yaki Soba (of course I forgot the cabbage!). This is the short cut version for busy weekday lunch/dinner. Of course you can prepare the sauce from scratch but sometimes, we just do not have time to do everything we want to do. For those days, I am more than grateful for semi-prepared foods. This allows you to get something on the table pretty fast, yet still good for you, with all the veggies, protein and carbs that your body needs.

Everything needed to flavor the dish is in the bag together with the noodles, so all you need to add is protein and a ton of veggies. You can definitely tailor this to your taste, adding veggies, or substituting more of the ones you like. Water chestnuts, cabbage, carrots, scallions, leeks, shiitake mushrooms, chicken, pork, shrimps, etc. would all taste great in this dish.

Ingredients: 

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 – 1 lbs meat or sea food, sliced thinly 

1 onion, sliced thinly

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 bag bean sprouts

1 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup water

ground black pepper

1 package Yakisoba Noodles (comes with 3 servings, 16-17 oz or 454-480 g)

Procedure:

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan and brown the meat. Add onions and cook until soft.
  2. Add mushrooms, beansprouts, and celery and cook for about a minute.
  3. Mix well and transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. In the same saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of oil and 3/4 cup water. Add all 3 packages of noodles and loosen a bit while mixing gently. Cook until the water is absorbed and the noodles are not stuck together anymore.
  5. Add the seasoning packets and mix well. Add back the reserved meat and vegetable mixture, sprinkle with ground pepper and mix well.
  6. Serve hot.

Yaki Soba ( Japanese Stir Fried Noodles)

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A quick and easy Japanese stir fried noodles with meat and vegetables.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 – 1 lbs meat or sea food, sliced thinly 

1 onion, sliced thinly

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 bag bean sprouts

1 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup water

ground black pepper

1 package Yakisoba Noodles (comes with 3 servings, 16-17 oz or 454-480 g)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan and brown the meat. Add onions and cook until soft.
  2. Add mushrooms, beansprouts, and celery and cook for about a minute.
  3. Mix well and transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. In the same saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of oil and 3/4 cup water. Add all 3 packages of noodles and loosen a bit while mixing gently. Cook until the water is absorbed and the noodles are not stuck together anymore.
  5. Add the seasoning packets and mix well. Add back the reserved meat and vegetable mixture, sprinkle with ground pepper and mix well.
  6. Serve hot.

Mummy Hotdogs

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! So much fun to see scary beings, goblins, vampires, super heroes, and scary, decorated houses! It’s the one night a year that kids and kids-at-heart alike get to dress up and get candies all night!

One of my physical therapist mentioned two years ago that she prepares a special Halloween dinner for her kids every year. Complete with meatloaf shaped like a foot, eyeball ice in their glasses, wormy pasta, etc. What a tradition, right? Something the kids for sure will remember forever!

I am all for tradition and what better way to do it than with food! However, going all out like that takes a lot of time planning, then cooking and making it. So I started simple with just one recipe.

This will not be a difficult one at all! You’ll just need a few, store bought ingredients and a little time! My son loves to have this for his school lunch around halloween. I’m sure the kids in your life will too!

You can easily double or triple the recipe to make this for a party.

Ingredients

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent rolls

1 slice American cheese

8 hot dogs

Candy eyes

Mustard or ketchup, if desired

  • Heat oven to 375°F.
  • Unroll dough and separate at perforations, creating 4 rectangles. Press perforations to seal.
  • With knife or kitchen scissors, cut each rectangle lengthwise into 8-10 pieces. Slice cheese into 1/2 inch by 1 inch pieces for the face. You’ll only need 1 piece per hotdog.
  • Wrap pieces of dough around each hot dog to look like “bandages,” stretching dough slightly to completely cover hot dog. Continue with another dough as needed, pinching the ends to seal. About 1/2 inch from one end of each hot dog, separate “bandages” so hot dog shows through for “face.”
  • Place wrapped hot dogs on an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving space in between each hotdog mummy.
  • Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until dough is light golden brown and hot dogs are cooked through. After removing from the oven, immediately place a piece of cheese on the hot mummies face and a pair of candy eyes on the cheese, and press down lightly to attach.
  • Let cool and decorate with mustard or catsup if desired.

Chocolate Bread

Chocolate bread with chocolate chunks in it? Count me in! The chocolate lover in me just couldn’t resist and every bite was instant happiness!

This bread needs to be started the day before so that it can rest and develop it’s flavor overnight. Makes it perfect for breakfast!

You will need the following:Enjoy!!!

2 1/4 cups water

2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise dry yeast

5 1/4 cups bread flour

1/2 cup dutch process cocoa powder

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

Place water, yeast, flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in the Thermomix bowl. Set to dough/knead function for 2 minutes. Add chocolate chips and knead for 1 minute, reverse blade function.

Let rise, covered, for about an hour until double in size.

Tip the bowl over and remove the dough to a floured surface. Pull the edge and fold the dough over itself several times. Shape into a ball, place into a greased bowl then turn the dough over and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

Shaped and ready for proofing.

Remove from the refrigerator after the overnight rest. Leave to warm to room temperature for about an hour.

Divide dough into 3-4 pieces and shape each into an oval and place onto a baking sheet, leaving a few inches between the loaves. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for about another hour, until doubled in size.

Proved and ready for scoring.

Preheat oven to 450F.

Spray loaves with a fine mist of water and slash the tops at an angle 2-3 times. Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Hardest part is waiting until it is cool enough to EAT!

Enjoy!