Easy weeknight meals with Lee Kum Kee Ready Sauces

Lee Kum Kee

Samples provided for review.

In addition to sending me chili sauces for review – more on that here - Lee Kum Kee also sent me some Ready Sauces to try, specifically Broccoli Beef, Kung Pao Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and Orange Chicken. A photo of their Kung Pao Chicken is below.

chicken (1)I’m always looking for ways to save money by cooking at home, and these sauces were all delicious and easy to use: all I had to do was dice some easily-accessible ingredients and fry them up. I made a big batch of chicken and beef dishes on Sunday, and was enjoying home-cooked meals with rice and pasta all week long.

chicken (2)My favorite was the orange chicken, which I enhanced by adding the fresh-squeezed juice of 1 orange, along with garlic and ginger — you can see those big chunks of garlic and ginger in the photo above. Those ingredients really made the flavor of everything pop!

beef (1) 

I also found myself really liking the Mongolian beef — it was a bit spicier than I expected, though not unpleasantly so. As you can see from the photo above, this is REALLY simple to make: just 3 ingredients!

To make my meals more nutritious, I had vegetable stir-fried rice as a side with most of these dishes. I’ll share the recipe for that below.

chicken (7)Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 5 scallions, diced
  • 10 sprigs cilantro, leaves only
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • one 1″ cube of ginger, diced
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Olive or sesame oil, to taste


  1. Fry carrots, bell peppers, and onions in oil for 5 minutes, until the bell peppers start to soften slightly.
  2. Add scallions, cilantro, garlic, and ginger. Fry for 2 minutes, until aromatic.
  3. Slowly add the rice, a handful at a time, so that it doesn’t clump. Stir carefully with a wooden cooking spoon.
  4. Add pepper, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Cook an additional 10 minutes, until the carrots soften and the flavors are thoroughly mixed.

Everything I tried from Lee Kum Kee was delicious. Combine their Ready Sauces with some protein and boil some noodles with frozen vegetables for a complete, hot weeknight meal you can make in less than 40 minutes!

Look for Lee Kum Kee Ready Sauces in a grocer near you, and be sure to check them out on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube!

Totally porked out Annie Chun’s Pad Thai


Samples provided for review.

As I mentioned earlier on this blog, Annie Chun’s recently launched their “Next Noodlepreneur” contest, closing April 21st. Participants submit creative ways they’ve added to Annie Chun’s noodle bowls, and can win gift cards and prize packs to continue daydreaming up new meals and flavor combinations.

I decided I wanted to get in on the fun, so Annie Chun’s sent over some noodles for me to noodle on.

noodlepreneur (2)

I received Korean Sweet Chili, Hot & Sour, and Pad Thai noodles. I love everything peanut-related, so I decided to make a totally porked out version of Pad Thai, with Annie Chun’s noodles as the base.

noodlepreneur (3)


  • Annie Chun’s Pad Thai noodles
  • 1 cup ground pork, cooked with 1 tsp hoisin sauce and whatever vegetables you have on hand (I used chopped carrots and water chestnuts)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 lime, juiced


  1. Combine dry toppings from Annie Chun’s Pad Thai noodle bowl.with 1 cup hot water and noodles. Microwave 90 – 120 seconds, depending on your microwave.
  2. Fry 1 egg sunny side up. 
  3. In a serving bowl, combine cooked pork, Sriracha, peanut butter, lime juice, and chopped peanuts and sauce from Annie Chun’s noodle bowl.
  4. Drain cooked noodles, and add to serving bowl.
  5. Add egg while yolk is still slightly runny. Stir to combine.

noodlepreneur (1)

Here’s my finished Pad Thai. I ate this all within 10 minutes — while the combination of hoisin and tamarind took a few bites to get used to, on the whole, the flavors balanced nicely, and I consider it a success!

Feeling inspired? Head over to their Facebook page and post your recipe and photos of your completed meal by April 21st! Good luck, future noodlepreneurs!

Sriracha deviled eggs with Lee Kum Kee

Lee Kum Kee

Samples provided for review.

Easter is right around the corner, and with it, excuses to make lots of egg recipes. Having spent the past year in the South, my mouth waters at the prospect of indulging in delicious deviled eggs again!

Lee Kum Kee sent some of their chili sauces for review. As soon as I saw their Sriracha and Sriracha Mayo sauces, I knew I was going to have to try to make Sriracha deviled eggs!

eggs (2)
eggs (3)


  • 1 scallion (white part only)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • 5 sprigs of cilantro (leaves only)
  • 3 tablespoons Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Mayo
  • Lee Kum Kee Sriracha (for garnish)


  1. Hardboil 6 eggs. Older eggs work better for deviled eggs!
  2. Allow eggs to cool completely. I usually put them in a bowl full of ice, or just put them in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  3. While the eggs are cooling, slice the cilantro leaves and white parts of 1 scallion fine.
  4. Once the eggs have cooled, remove the shells, cut them in half, and scoop out the yolks into a separate bowl.
  5. Whisk together the yolks, Sriracha Mayo, scallions, cilantro, pepper, and lime juice until completely blended and not lumpy – about 5 minutes.
  6. Once the yolks are completely smooth, spoon them back into the halved eggs.
  7. Garnish with additional Sriracha, scallions, or cilantro to taste. Put them on your favorite serving dish and enjoy.

Sriracha deviled eggs

Be sure to set some aside for yourself – these tend to go quickly!

Look for Lee Kum Kee Chili Sauces in a grocer near you, and be sure to check them out on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube!

Use your noodle with Annie Chun’s “Next Noodlepreneur” contest!


Annie Chun’s is known for its quick, healthy Asian-inspired meal options that are all-natural and use no preservatives. I’ve picked their noodle bowls up in the past when I wanted a quick, filling lunch while working away on new projects.

To celebrate March as Noodle Month, Annie Chun’s launched their “Next Noodlepreneur” contest — now extended for an additional two weeks! Participants submit creative ways they’ve added to Annie Chun’s noodle bowls, and can win gift cards and prize packs to continue daydreaming up new meals and flavor combinations.

Have great ideas of ways to use Annie Chun’s noodle bowls as your blank canvas? Head over to their Facebook page and post your recipe and photos of your completed meal. Good luck, and happy noodling!

Walt Disney’s Family Chili Recipe

Download Walt Disney’s Inspiring Recipes

If you’re a Disney fan, check out the widget above for a recipe printable you won’t want to miss: Walt Disney’s very own family chili recipe! Also included are contemporary recipes for yums like Pineapple Upside Down Cake & Butter Cake, created by food stylist Chris Oliver in honor of the movie Saving Mr. Banks.

Do you have any favorite family recipes?

Chicago Culinary Adventures

Cucumber Salad

Travel, accommodation, and most food provided by The Chicago Auto Show. Pizza provided by me. ;)

Earlier this month, I headed to the Windy City for the Chicago Auto Show. As tends to be the case when I travel, I sampled all kinds of interesting food during my trip!

When I arrived at the airport, I was met by a limo which took me to the hotel. It was stocked with beer and Tootsie Rolls – my kind of ride!

I stayed at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, where I found a package of Terry’s Toffee: Lemon Paradise waiting for me. I love toffee and I’d never had a citrus variety before. Yum!!

To welcome us to the auto show, Nissan hosted a reception the first evening that featured a variety of appetizers, taco bar, and a slider bar.

Gyro Cone

These were the first appetizers I tried when I arrived – yes, it’s a terrible photo, but I was too hungry to care. ;) The dim, red lighting in the building made it so that I really couldn’t tell whether the little cone the waiter handed me was a mini chocolate ice cream, or a savory cone filled with Gyro meat. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “We’ll see” – and it was indeed beef and not ice cream. It was delicious, and also hilarious to not know whether I was about to taste meat or chocolate!

Beer Van

Beers on tap

Nissan beer van

Another memorable part of the night was the fact that they had a beer van on hand!


The next morning, I attended a breakfast hosted by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. We dined on a breakfast buffet including red velvet muffins while listening to a number of talks, including one from Robert Carter, the Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations for Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc. He discussed everything from Toyota’s 2014 sales forecast to why you should never let a NASCAR driver borrow your car.

Toyota Test Track

Toyota Highlander 2014

After breakfast, I had a busy morning full of press conferences and displays to view at the Chicago Auto Show Media Preview, from the Toyota Test Track and Muppets SUV to the debut of Captain America’s car. This helped me work up my appetite for the Economic Club of Chicago Luncheon.


We were served a pretty cucumber salad, some chicken that I wasn’t crazy about, and dessert. No one seemed to like the hazelnut macaroons but me!

Hazelnut Macaroon

The main speaker for this luncheon was Joseph Hinrichs, Executive Vice President & President of The Americas at Ford Motor Company. I also heard him speak during a lunch in December when I attended a Ford News Briefing in Dearborn, Michigan.


After lunch, I spent some time gawking at the million dollar car, and then stopped for a mid-afternoon snack from Chrysler!


The Chrysler 200 Snack Break celebrated the 2015 Chrysler 200 by importing 200 snacks from Detroit. They offered goodies from Sanders Fine Chocolates including chocolate covered espresso beans that kept my energy up during the trip home and yummy chocolate fudge bumpy cake that was a big hit with everyone! I also brought home a bag of pistachios as a souvenir for Jai, and unfortunately I’m not sure who made those since we threw out the bag.

Later that day, several friends and I decided to get a cab to Giordano’s Pizza for dinner. I was excited to see another tiny piece of Chicago during a packed trip, and I couldn’t wait to have my first taste of real Chicago pizza!

Giordano's Pizza

I ordered a traditional deep dish Chicago-style pizza, and it was everything I could have hoped for! So, so, so good! The thick crust was truly a “Pizza pie” and smothered in so much cheese – heavenly! I was absolutely, positively stuffed after one slice, but I insisted on a to-go box even though I wasn’t sure if I’d have room to take it home. You know how much I hate wasting food!

The day closed out with the Subaru Sweet Home Chicago 2014 party. This shindig had snacks by the barrel-full – and I mean that literally:

I was sorry that I was so unbelievably stuffed from the pizza, because they had so many delicious-looking goodies on hand! As the evening went on, I eventually made room to try a Subaru lollipop:

Or to be more accurate, a gluten-free, caramel-coated chocolate lollipop with sea salt. I’ve never been too big on the idea of salt and chocolate, but this was so good that I had seconds even though I was still full from the pizza. I also had an RC Cola Chocolate Cupcake!

After a late night at the party, I got about an hour of sleep and then got ready for the WOMMA “Driving Engagement” Award Ceremony & Breakfast. The most memorable part of my breakfast was the fact that it ended up all over the floor! There were no tables, and trying to eat off your lap while listening to a speaker and taking notes/photos = awkward. The disaster actually occurred before the ceremony started, when I put my plate down on my chair, since there was no where else to put it, and left the room for a minute. The chair appeared to be a flat surface, but apparently after I turned my back, the plate slid right off and splattered all over the floor! Several other media cleaned it up and Louise fixed me another plate, so when I got back I had no idea what happened until they told me. I sure know how to make an impression!

We had a little more time to look around, and then it was time to head back home. Since Louise and I had flights leaving around the same time, we had time to get lunch in the airport. We decided on Chili’s, and I had a very memorable adventure in the middle of the meal. I asked the waitress where the restroom was, and she said something about it being around the corner, but I looked and couldn’t see anything. I had to ask a second time, and she pointed across the restaurant to the rest of the airport, where I spotted a men’s room sign. I made my way out of the restaurant and towards the sign, and I saw that the men’s and women’s rooms were divided by a revolving door. So, I walked through the door, used the ladies’ room, and then headed back for the door when I saw a security officer who said, “You can’t go back through there – you left the secure area. You have to go through security again.” What?! As it turned out, there was yet another restroom that was hidden around the opposite corner that the waitress was talking about, but since she was pointing at a different sign to a second bathroom on the other side, I didn’t realize there was more than one. And for whatever inexplicable reason, the airport thought it was a great idea to split up the restrooms so that the men’s room was inside the secure area, but the women’s room was not. As I discovered later, there was a sign on the very opposite side warning that you were about to leave the secure area, but since there wasn’t one near the revolving door I exited, I had zero idea. I was panicking about having to go through security again since the first line had been so long – will I miss my flight? What is Louise going to do, stuck inside the restaurant with my suitcase? All I can say is thank goodness I took my purse with me, or I wouldn’t have had my ID and boarding pass. Mercifully, the second time through security was way faster and I made it back over to the restaurant in maybe 20 minutes. My food had naturally arrived by then and was a bit on the cold side, but it was still pretty tasty. ;)

That day proved to be very adventurous all around, since I arrived back in Portland to a freak snowstorm that made the roads impassable. Since Jai couldn’t come to pick me up – as the storm continued, Portland ended up issuing an emergency warning advising everyone to stay home because it was so dangerous – my awesome soon-to-be-in-laws ended up braving the road in chains so that I could stay at their house until the snow melted. I ended up snowed in Portland from Friday night until Monday morning! It was crazy – the only clothes I had with me were thin business suits, so I ended up having to borrow clothes from my sister-in-law so I wouldn’t freeze. When the roads cleared enough on Monday morning that the busses started running again, I layered pajama pants with one of my suits so I wouldn’t be cold on the way home! ;) But the funniest part? I did manage to take my Giordano’s leftovers with me, since my suitcase conveniently has a pizza-box size pocket. I ended up eating my delicious leftovers over the course of several days while I was snowed in the house. Pizza: The perfect sustenance for snowstorms! ;)

Game Day Recipes From Frank’s RedHot + Giveaway!

Frank's Red Hot

Product is being provided as a thank you for this post.

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up this week, and if you’re hosting a gathering, you’re probably looking for some good Game Day dishes to serve. Frank’s RedHot are celebrating 50 years since the first “Buffalo Wings” were created using Frank’s RedHot Sauce mixed with butter, and since nothing says “Football Food” like a plate of wings, they wanted to share some of their signature recipes with you!


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes



  • 2 ½ lbs. chicken wing pieces
  • ¾ cup any flavor FRANK’S® REDHOT® Wing Sauce


  • BAKE wings in foil-lined pan at 500°F on lowest oven rack for 20 minutes until crispy, turning once.
  • TOSS wings in sauce to coat.
  • Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • Tip: You may substitute ½ cup FRANK’S® REDHOT® Sauce mixed with 1/3 cup melted butter for the Wings Sauce.
  • Alternate Cooking Directions:
  • Deep-fry at 375°F for 10 minutes.
  • Broil 6-inches from heat 15 to 20 minutes, turning once.
  • Grill over medium heat 20 to 25 minutes, turning often.


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes



  • 2 ½ lbs. chicken wing pieces
  • ½ cup any flavor FRANK’S® REDHOT® Buffalo Wings Sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2tsp. Cajun seasoned spice blend


  • BAKE wings in foil-lined pan at 500 °F on lowest oven rack for 20 to 25 min. until crispy, turning once.
  • MIX Buffalo Wings Sauce, ketchup and spice blend.
  • TOSS wings in sauce to coat.
  • Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • Tip: You may substitute 1/2 cup FRANK’S® REDHOT® Sauce mixed with 1/3 cup melted butter for the Wings Sauce.
  • Alternate Cooking Directions: Deep-fry at 375°F for 10 min.
  • Broil 6-inches from heat 15 to 20 min., turning once.
  • Grill over medium heat 20 to 25 min., turning often.


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes



  • ¼ cup honey barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup FRANK’S® REDHOT® Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • ¼ cup apricot jam
  • 1 Tbsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 2 ½ lbs. chicken wings, split and tips discarded
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds


  • Combine barbecue sauce, Frank’s RedHot Sauce, jam and sesame oil; set aside.
  • Deep fry* wings at 375°F (HIGH) for 10 min. or until cooked and crispy; drain.
  • Toss hot wings in jam mixture. Place on serving platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Makes 8 servings
  • *Alternate Cooking Directions: Bake 20 min. at 500°F until fully cooked and crispy, turning halfway; Broil 6-inches from heat 15 to 20 min., turning once; Grill over medium heat about 20 min., turning often.


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes



  • 3 lbs. chicken wing pieces
  • ¾ cup FRANK’S® RedHot Sweet Chili® Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. grated peeled ginger
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. minced green onion or cilantro


  • BAKE wings in foil-lined pan at 500°F on lowest oven rack for 20 to 25 min. until crispy, turning once.
  • MIX Sweet Chili Sauce, soy sauce, ginger and garlic in large bowl.
  • TOSS wings in sauce to coat. Sprinkle with green onion or cilantro.
  • Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • Alternate Cooking Directions: Deep-fry at 375°F for 10 min.
  • Broil 6-inches from heat 15 to 20 min., turning once.
  • Grill over medium heat 20 to 25 min., turning often.


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes



  • 1 (8 oz.) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • ½ cup Blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
  • ½ cup any flavor FRANK’S® REDHOT® Sauce
  • ½ cup Crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cans (12.5 oz. each) SWANSON® White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained


  • HEAT oven to 350ºF. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish. Stir until smooth.
  • MIX in salad dressing, Frank’s RedHot sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken.
  • BAKE 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish as desired. Serve with crackers or cut up vegetables.
  • Makes 4 cups dip
  • Microwave Directions: Prepare as above. Place in microwave-safe dish. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 5 min. until hot, stirring halfway through cooking.
  • Tips: You may substitute 2 cups shredded cooked chicken.
  • Slow Cooker Method: Combine ingredients as directed above. Place mixture into small slow cooker. Heat on HIGH setting for 1 ½ hours until hot and bubbly or on LOW setting for 2 ½ to 3 hours. Stir.
  • Tailgating Tip: Prepare dip ahead and place in heavy disposable foil pan. Place pan on grill and heat dip until hot and bubbly.

Win! Win! Win!

To celebrate Game Day, Frank’s RedHot is giving away a fun little prize pack to one Cooking Catastrophe reader which contains:

  • (3) Coupons for $1.00 off
  • (1) Frank’s RedHot Magnet
  • (1) Frank’s RedHot Blinking Hot Lips
  • (1)Frank’s RedHot Keychain
  • (1) Frank’s RedHot Drink Coozie
  • (1) Frank’s RedHot Tote

To enter, check out the Rafflecopter widget below, which also contains the full official rules. Giveaway is open to residents of the continental US aged 18+ and ends January 30th, 2014 at 11:00 PM PST – sorry, no P.O. Boxes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Play With Your Food, Win a Prize

Twinkie Minion

This is a sponsored post.

Your mother probably warned you about playing with your food, but sometimes it can be a good thing – at least when Twinkies and prizes are involved! Now through January 5th, 2014, Hostess is challenging you to decorate your Twinkies to look like the little minions from Despicable Me. You can download their sheet of printable cut-outs and decorate your Twinkie like a paper doll, or come up with your own design using frosting or other creative materials. Why would I do this?, you ask? Well, besides using up all those Twinkies you stockpiled last year, you can also enter to win some pretty sweet prizes! Uploading a photo of your decked-out Twinkie will qualify you for daily Despicable Me 2 Blu-ray drawings as well as the grand prize of a home theater system complete with a 30-disc Blu-ray collection and a year’s supply of Hostess products. To enter, visit the Hostess Facebook page and click on the Twinkie Minion Makeover tab.

Do you play with your food?

My Appearance on Simple Kitchen With Missy Maki


This morning, I had the pleasure of appearing on Portland radio station KPAM AM 860 as a guest of Simple Kitchen with Missy Maki. Missy is a local food blogger who talks about everything food on Sunday mornings. This year, Simple Kitchen hosted its first-ever Holiday Cookie Bake-Off, asking listeners to send in their recipes for a chance to win a gift basket with prizes including goodies from Tillamook Butter, LaGrima Vanilla, Wild Friends Peanut Butter and Bee Local. Out of the hundreds of recipes submitted, they chose a handful of favorites to be baked and brought into the station, enlisting a group of area bloggers to serve as both bakers and judges. I was assigned Chocolate Spice Crackle Cookies with Gingerbread Caramel and whipped up a fresh batch last night to share with everyone at the studio. I couldn’t wait to see what the other entries were!

Bake-Off Cookies

Cookies at the radio station

There we so many treats to taste, from yummy Pistachio Cranberry Christmas Crisps made by Marisa to Rebekah’s tasty White Chocolate Cherry Almond Teacakes, which was eventually crowned the winner by our votes. But the prize for “Most original/insane” cookie has to go to Brandie, who was assigned the task of making a cookie using pine needles and Parmesan cheese as ingredients. You know, like pine needles from a tree? Brandie actually had to get a trimming from a pine tree and told of her adventures trying to chop up pine needles in a food processor. (Spoiler alert: It doesn’t work.) She did an awesome job baking such an unusual cookie!

Beeb on the radio

I was the first guest on air, and I discussed the process of making my assigned cookie and what I thought of it. This is the first time I’ve been on the radio – unless you count the time I called into a local station in the 1990s and won a Flintstone VHS tape for answering a trivia question, but I’ve never been a real guest before. ;) You can listen to the full show online at the KPAM website:

Hour 1 of Simple Kitchen With Missy Maki: Holiday Cookie Bake-Off – my segment begins at the 12 minute mark.

Hour 2 of Simple Kitchen With Missy Maki: Holiday Cookie Bake-Off

This was a very fun experience and I’m so glad I had a chance to take part with these lovely bloggers and DJs!

Delicious Dinners From Lee Kum Kee

Lee Kum Kee

Samples provided for review.

I love making one-dish meals, so I was happy to receive a package full of Lee Kum Kee Ready Sauces to try out. The basic idea is that you add meat to one frying pan, toss in veggies and sauce, and voilà! Dinner is served. I tested out the full line of flavors, and had tasty dinners all week.

We tried Kung Pao Chicken:

Lee Kum Kee Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

Broccoli Beef:

Broccoli Beef

Orange Chicken:

Orange Chicken

Mongolian Beef:

Mongolian Beef

And Lettuce Wraps:

Lee Kum Kee Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce Wrap

Every single one of these meals was delicious. The package advises that you serve these on rice or noodles, but because we’re trying to cut down on unnecessary carb overload, we just had the dinners by themselves and it was perfect. Because we ate them alone, it served perhaps a little less than the 4-6 servings listed on the package – Jai and I each had a plate for dinner, and usually had leftovers for lunch the next day, but not with every single one. I admit that my serving size could have been a little smaller on a few of these occasions, which is what I got for skipping breakfast. ;)

Look for Lee Kum Lee Ready Sauce in a grocer near you, and be sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube!