Because Dinner Should Be About Making Mealtime Memories- Easy To Make Recipes With Ling Ling Asian Food And Chef Katie Chin #LingLingAsianFood #SF #IC #ad
This post was sponsored by Ling Ling, however, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
We’ve all been there-it’s Thursday night, you’re tired, you’re exhausted, there are a million things to do still on your “have to be done before Friday list”, the kids are needing to all be in a thousand different places at once and then comes the most dreaded question of the week “What’s for dinner?”
And if you’re like so many of us, dinner sadly, more often than not, becomes which drive-through it the closest because cooking is the last thing on your mind as you’re trying to get one kid from cheer to basketball practice and the other from Coding Club to competition practice and the third child announces that their end-of-semester project is due tomorrow at 8:00 am and they need to go to the craft store, let’s face it, dinner may not be at the top of the priority list at that particular moment in time but it should be because we’re not just making dinner, what we’re really making is memories.
This week, I had the chance to head to San Francisco and join in with the most wonderful group of ladies and the incomparable Master Chef Katie Chin for some cooking fun thanks to Ling Ling Asian Food and learned that in the time it would take me to drive-through yet another fast-food place,I could cook, plate and serve up not only some of the best tasting food around, but what I was really serving was a plateful of memories for my family.
With my daughter passing away several weeks before, I will be the first to admit that cooking might not have been the first thing on my mind that particular Monday night but from the moment I walked through the door, I knew that this was exactly what I needed to remind me of how the smallest moments and what seem like inconsequential things in life such as cooking dinner, can turn into the biggest moments of all.
Cooking should be full of laughter and joy and fun. It should be family gather around together, talking about their day, good or not so good, and for those 30 minutes, the outside world fades away, and it is just about you and the family.
It is in those simple little tasks, whether it is the kids helping to set the table or teaching the how to chop up the vegetables, I can still hear Katie telling me “Hold the knife like it was your friend”, or creating that top-secret family recipe by tossing in their own special ingredients so it would be that meal “just like mom used to make” that create the memories that at the time, don’t seem like much, but the reality is, are actually the memories that will last a lifetime and at the end of the day, isn’t that how life should be lived?
Luckily, Ling Ling makes it so easy to not only do just that but also create a meal that is full of delicious goodness and healthy, you’ll wonder how you ever did it any other way.
To meet and cook with Master Chef Katie Chin is like to be in the kitchen with your childhood best friend who just makes everything right and easy with the world.
A renowned chef in her own right, Katie not only touched our hearts with her stories of her life all while seamlessly showing us just how quick and easy putting not just a good, but a great meal on the table can be.
We quickly had the insider cooking tips including everything from easy to use kitchen hacks such as the proper way to peel fresh ginger, to yes, how to hold a knife to scrumptious pairings that make mealtime something to celebrate. And at the end of the day. shouldn’t every meal time be cause for celebration? And with the Ling Ling Asian Food line of products, you can do all of that and so much more.
Did you know that the Ling Ling Asian Food brand was started more than 20 years ago with their signature potstickers, which were the jumping off point that inspired them to branch out, and thus Ling Ling Fried Rice was born? Their goal was always to bring delicious Asian food from authentic family recipes from China, Japan, Korea and Thailand from their home into yours and they did just that and so much more.
I quickly discovered that I could probably live on the Drunken Noodles and Yakisoba Asian style noodles that are infused with the most mouth-watering sauces, succulent proteins, and vegetables for the rest of my life and be a very happy camper.
Add in Ling Ling potstickers that are made from the most delectable chicken or pork, and tender vegetables expertly combined in a mouthwatering dumpling wrapper, each with Ling Ling signature dipping sauce and the Ling Ling delectable Fried Rice dishes from Japan and China which are expertly crafted and made with tender vegetables, delicious proteins and flavor infused rice that tastes great down to the last grain with flavors to fit every taste, talk about a meal fit for royalty and at the end of the day, doesn’t your family deserve nothing but the very best?
Throughout the course of the night, Chef Katie took us into the kitchen and showed us how easy it was to make pairings to use as side dishes as well as include the noodles themselves as a base for the main course.
There was something for every style and every taste and each of us came away with not only filled and happy tummies, but meals that we could recreate at home and share our new found skills and recipes with our family members. Throughout the course of the evening, we were able to create, cook and serve some of the most spectacular meals, that tasted as good as the looked and no one would ever know just how easy it was.
They may have looked fancy, but I have to tell you thanks to the teaching skills of Katie, and the amazing staff of Parties That Cook everything was made, plated, on the table and served in no time at all. Here are a few of the great recipes that we learned that you can make and serve up for dinner tonight:
Asian Marinated Veggie Skewers
8 large wooden skewers
2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons Srircha sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 Tablespoon green onion, white and green parts, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
8 cherry tomatoes
8 fresh shitake mushrooms
1 yellow squash, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 small red onions cut into sixths
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
Soak the skewers in water for 20 minutes.
Make the marinade: In a small bowl, whisk the marinade ingredients together. Gradually whisk in the sesame oil. Set aside.
Alternatively thread the tomatoes, mushrooms, squash, zucchini, onion and bell peppers onto the skewers. Pre-heat a grill or grill pan to medium heat and brush with oil. Brush the marinade over the vegetables.
Cook skewers on the grill or grill pan until vegetables are tender, turning and basting vegetables with sauce mixture occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes.
Cucumber Edamame Salad with Ginger Soy Vinaigrette
2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 English cucumbers, spiralized or very thinly sliced
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 red bell pepper, seeded, deveined and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and chopped
Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Gradually whisk in the sesame oil and canola oil until well blended. Set aside.
Spiralize or very thinly slice the cucumbers, soaking up any excess liquid with a paper towel. Toss together the cucumbers, edamame, red bell pepper and jalapeno. Drizzle the dressing on top and toss again to blend. Garnish with black sesame seeds and serve.
Then simply plate and serve family style-it’s just that easy! Why order takeout when you can bring something in more flavorful and healthier for you right from your own kitchen to the table? Plus the family that cooks and eats together makes more than a meal, they create memories that will last a lifetime, and recipes that can be handed down through the generations.
But the party and fun doesn’t have to stop just because the family has a full and happy tummy! With Chinese New Years right around the corner, Katie served up the easiest to do craft project that you can create with things that you already have on hand and within a matter of minutes and then adorn your walls with priceless masterpieces that in the years to come, will transport you back to those special moments in time.
Cherry Blossom Art
- Black and pink acrylic paint
- Paper, cardstock or canvas
- Empty plastic bottle (Or in my classroom I use the student’s thumbprints for the blossoms)
- Sponge brush or paint brush
- Paper Plate
Using the black paint, create the branches of the cherry blossom tree on your paper or canvas. This is the perfect project for those of us that are “artistically challenged” as the more unique the branches, the better.
Place a small amount of the pink paint onto the paper plate and simply dip the bottom of a plastic bottle, or your child’s thumb, into the pink paint. The best part is you need very little paint and can use different size bottles to create a unique design. Stamp the bottle onto the black branches that you have just created-yes it is just that easy! Let dry and done!
With meals this good, we may never eat out again. One thing is for sure, I am going to make sure that I stock my cupboards with all of the flavors of Ling Ling Asian Food. Whether it’s just for me, or unexpected company comes over, and just looking to create a special family treat, it all starts with Ling Ling .
Thank you to Ling Ling Asian Foods, Parties That Cook and Chef Katie Chin for not just hosting us for a fun and informative evening but for bringing back so many great memories of being in the kitchen with my daughter, and dinner time with all of my kids and reminding me that it is not the meals you make, but the memories you create that make mealtime a cause for celebration. I can’t wait to try out all of these recipes on my own family and put my new found cooking skills to the test.