everyday food made simple

 The Big Game is tomorrow – are you ready?!

For all your last-minute party planners that are in need of a last-minute appetizer ideas, I’ve got you covered today! Here are some of the most popular game day recipes here on SEF:

>> Buffalo ranch chicken cups

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>> Mini taco cups


>> Mini taco cups, 2.0

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>> Wonton wrapper wrapped mozzarella sticks

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>> Chipotle hot corn dip


>> Bacon cheeseburger quesadillas

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>> Tailgate turkey chili

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(can you tell which of these pictures were from a few years ago when I knew nothing about food photography?)

Plus I even have a new super quick and simple shrimp cocktail recipe for you to satisfy all your seafood-loving party guests.

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Instead of the traditional cocktail sauce, I made a soy-ginger sauce to go with them instead. Because you know, I can never seem to make anything “traditional”. That’s just how I roll, yo.

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This dish comes together easily within an hour and there’s really not a whole lot of prep work that goes into it – the most work you’ll have to do is mince some herbs and grate some garlic and ginger. Otherwise it’s just a lot of “throwing the ingredients in a bowl”, boiling, chilling, mixing, and more chilling. Not a lot of labor involved so you can spend more time watching the game and spending time with friends.

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Whether you’ll be rooting for the Seahawks or the Patriots tomorrow, or if you’re just going to parties just for the food – I hope everyone has a fabulous time spending the day with family and friends!

shrimp cocktail with soy-ginger dipping sauce
For the shrimp
  1. 2 bay leaves
  2. 1 lemon, quartered, plus more for serving
  3. 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  4. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  5. 2 tablespoons salt
  6. 1 pound large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
For the sauce
  1. 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  2. 3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  3. 1 green onion, green parts only, minced
  4. Juice of 1 lemon
  5. Juice of 1 lime
  6. 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  7. 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  8. 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  9. 1/4 teaspoon grated garlic
Make the shrimp
  1. In a large pot, combine 8 cups water, bay leaves, quartered lemon wedges, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the shrimp and simmer until the tails curl slightly and the shrimp is just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp onto a plate and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  2. While the shrimp is chilling, make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Mix to combine and refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving.
  3. Shrimp can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Adapted from Food Network Kitchens
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
Recipe adapted from Food Network Kitchens

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

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Do you like peanuts? Do you like limes? Do you like Thai peanut sauce?

If you answered “yes” to all of the above, well, you’re in luck. Tonight’s marinade is inspired by the peanut sauce that often accompanies a lot of Thai food. It’s almost similar to the peanut sauce I used in my pad thai.

Actually, now that I think about it, about 80% of the ingredients found in this recipe can also be found in that peanut sauce as well….

So, if you’re a fan of shrimp pad thai, think of this is a dish as a “skinny” version of it since you’ll be saving yourself a lot of carbs but I promise you what this recipe lacks in carbs, it sure makes it up in flavor!

Another plus to this dish is that since your food processor is going to do all the hard labor for you, there’s really not a whole lot of work that goes into this either.


Throw ingredients into food processor. Pulse. Marinate shrimp. Throw on grill. Enjoy.



It’s as easy as “1, 2, 3!”

And if you’re making this as an appetizer for a party, your hungry guests wouldn’t have to wait long either since it only takes 4-5 minutes on the grill, and BAM! These bad boys are done and ready to be served.

peanut-lime marinated shrimp
For the marinade
  1. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  2. 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  3. 3 tablespoons unsalted peanuts
  4. 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  5. 2 tablespoons lime juice
  6. 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  7. 1/3 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  8. 2.5 tablespoons ginger, roughly chopped
  9. 1 large clove of garlic
  10. 1 teaspoon hot chili sauce
  11. 12-15 jumbo grilling shrimp
  1. In the food processor, combine all the marinade ingredients and pulse until smooth and there aren't any big chunks of ingredients visible. Combine shrimp and marinade in a medium-sized bowl, toss to evenly coat the shrimp, cover and set aside at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Using a charcoal grill, place shrimp over direct high heat. Cover and grill until shrimp are firm to the touch, lightly charred, and slightly opaque in the center, turning once (about 2-3 minutes per side).
  3. Remove from grill and serve with a fresh squeeze of lime juice, if desired.
Adapted from Weber Grills
Adapted from Weber Grills
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/


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When you find a good recipe, it never hurts to make it again… right?

Our dry-rubbed ribeye steaks from a few months back was such a success that we decided to make it again tonight to kick-start the weekend. Except this time we decided to be fancy and make some grilled shrimp to make a surf-and-turf instead.

Wooo… fancy, eh?

We’ve never made shrimp on the grill before, so it was a first for us.

We decided on some spicy Cajun rubbed shrimp with a spicy chipotle mayonnaise dipping sauce.


It sounds fancy, but it’s actually quite simple to make. If you like shrimp and you like spicy dipping sauces, there’s no excuse why you shouldn’t try this out this summer!



cajun shrimp with spicy chipotle mayonnaise
For the shrimp
  1. 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  4. 1/2 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  5. 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
For the mayonnaise
  1. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  2. 2 canned chipotles in adobo sauce
  3. 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
  4. Juice of 1/4 lime
For the shrimp
  1. Soak bamboo skewers in water. In the meantime, get your charcoal grill ready so it's nice and hot.
  2. In a large bowl, toss shrimp with olive oil, brown sugar, Cajun seasoning, and chopped chipotle peppers so all the shrimp are evenly coated with seasoning.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. With 3-4 shrimp per skewer, cook on grill over direct heat, about 1-2 minutes per side, or until they turn pink, turning once or twice (we cooked ours for 1.5 minutes per side and they were perfectly done).
For mayonnaise sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend. Transfer to a small bowl and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  1. Depending on taste, you can add more or less chipotle peppers to your seasoning & mayonnaise sauce. Our mayo turned out to be a little spicier than what I thought, but it was still quite delicious.
Adapted from Scrumpdillyicious
Adapted from Scrumpdillyicious
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
Even though my steak tasted amazing, the star on my plate was definitely the shrimp. They were succulent, juicy, flavorful, spicy all at the same time.

We threw some russet potatoes in the oven for a quick side of (unhealthy) carbs.


The chilled mayo dipping sauce can play tricks on your palate though – just when you think the chilled mayo was going to balance out the hot spiciness of the shrimp, you taste the kick of the chipotle peppers in the sauce. Although spicy, they were super addicting. These would be great for either a side dish (like we did), or as an appetizer if you have a group of people over for a cookout this summer.


Recipe adapted from Scrumpdillyicious

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Being Asian and growing up eating authentic Asian food, I’m always searching for good restaurants and recipes that bring back childhood memories.

Just a little background info: about 99% of Asian moms like my mother cook without using a recipe book. They don’t use measuring cups, they don’t use measuring spoons, and they don’t have recipe books. The next generation learns to cook from watching their mothers in the kitchen. Everything is cooked using the “guess-timate” technique. If something didn’t have enough salt, just add a little bit more in there and taste it again. Still not enough? Add some more until it tastes good.

How much salt total did that dish just take?

Yep, since everything is based on the “taste test”, I’ve never gotten any written recipes from my mom. Everything that I try to recreate is based on memories.

That being said, I love fried rice. And me being a fan of seafood, I’m a really big fan of shrimp fried rice. The flavors of fried rice in Taiwan is something that the Chinese-American restaurants just couldn’t recreate (at least I haven’t found a place here in the Twin Cities that can). I’m not saying this recipe is 100% authentic, but it’s pretty tasty, and I guess that’s all it matters.


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • A bunch of scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveind
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 3 cups cooked rice – I used brown rice to make it a little healthier
  • 1.5 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • In a large skillet, scramble the eggs with the scallion whites with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • In the same skillet over medium heat, cook the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then transfer to the plate with the eggs and set aside.IMG_0625
  • In the same skillet (again), slightly cook the carrots with the scallion greens until it’s no longer crunchy – I like my carrots cooked well, not raw and crunchy.


  • In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, and water.
  • In the skillet (if you have a wok, a wok would be better), heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and soy sauce mixture and stir until warmed through. Then add the eggs, shrimp, and carrots. Toss until everything is evenly mixed.



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I’ve always had an obsession with Pad Thai. Noodles packed with Asian flavors with a splash of lime juice and crunchy chopped peanuts on top – what’s not to like about it?

I’ve tried many different versions of Pad Thai from different restaurants, but so far the only place in the Twin Cities metro area I regularly get shrimp Pad Thai from is Sawatdee. Yes, it’s just that good (I also recommend their roast duck curry and their sweet green curry as well).

I’ve always wanted a good Pad Thai recipe, but many of the ones I’ve came across often involved about 20 ingredients, half of which I’m sure I’m never going to use again. Needless to say, I was elated when I recently stumbled upon an easy Pad Thai recipe, and I’m glad to say I’ll be making my own Pad Thai from now on!

It’s healthier (and super easy), it’s not going to cost me $20 per plate, the most of the ingredients are things I already have in the pantry, AND who doesn’t love leftovers?!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 box (16 oz) of dried, wide, flat rice noodles
  • For the sauce:
    • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 4 tablespoons lime juice
    • 5 tablespoons soy sauce (I used reduced sodium soy sauce to be healthier)
    • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
    • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
    • A couple squirts of Sriracha hot sauce (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 5 scallions, green and white parts, separated and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ pound of large, tail-off shrimp
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts

photo 1

Note: 16 oz of noodles yields A LOT of noodles in the end. It’s probably enough to feed a family of 4, so if you’re cooking for yourself, feel free to halve the ingredients. Or just make the whole thing and save some for next day’s lunch.

Now, here’s what you’re going to do:

  • Soak and drain the noodles according to package directions. Use the hottest tap water you can get your hands on. I used a casserole dish and placed the cover over it to trap in all the steam.
  • While noodles are soaking, I placed my shrimp on some paper towels to soak up all the moisture, and seasoned them with some salt and pepper.
  • In a bowl, whisk together ingredients for the sauce.

photo 2

  • In a large nonstick skillet (I used a wok), heat 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the shrimp until it turns pink, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer shrimp onto a plate.
  • Using the same skillet, add the remaining oil and sauté the scallion whites and garlic until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the eggs and cook, constantly scraping the skillet with a spatula until eggs are almost done. Transfer to the plate with the shrimp.

photo 3

  • Turning the heat down to medium, add the noodles, scallion greens, and the sauce to skillet. Cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft (about 3 minutes). This is also a good time to break up noodles that have stuck together while they were bathing in the hot water.
  • Once the noodles are thoroughly cooked, add the eggs and shrimp. Toss to evenly distribute the ingredients.
  • Serve with the chopped peanuts.

I personally am not a fan of cilantro, but you can chop about ½ cup of fresh cilantro to top the dish off if desired.

photo 4


Recipe adapted from: Patricia Lawless

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