3/5/15

Asian Shepherd’s Pie with Cornbread Recipe

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Yes you read it right; this recipe is a fusion of Asian flavors with Shepherd’s Pie but with the twist of a cornbread topping instead traditional mashed potatoes. Inspired by my mom’s own ground chicken and corn stir fry recipe, I adapted it to create this Asian-inspired version of Shepherd’s Pie.

The Asian Shepherd’s Pie with Cornbread recipe is a hearty, satisfying meal that’s perfect for dinner. It has meat, grains, and vegetables all in one dish. It’s flavorful so even the kids will love it.

For best results I recommend using Krusteaz Honey Cornbread & Muffin Mix. That’s the base I used in this recipe. For the Asian ingredients such as Hoisin sauce and Mirin, you can find these in the Asian aisle at the grocery store. If you can’t find Mirin you can substitute it with white cooking wine.

You can make Ground Chicken Mixture up to a day ahead and then refrigerate until you use it.

3/2/15

We Showed Our #DisneySide with a Princess Birthday Party!

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Disclosure: I received free products to host a Disney Side @ Home Celebration via Disney Parks and MomSelect. The opinions expressed here are my own.


When Bicultural Mama was selected to host a #DisneySide @ Home Celebration with a princess theme, we had the perfect occasion to combine it with – my daughter’s birthday. As such, we threw a Disney Princess Birthday Party this past Saturday.

Most of the party supplies we received featured Sofia the First, so we decided to make invitations with Sofia printed on them. We sent invites to all the girls in my daughter’s class and asked everyone to arrive in their favorite princess costume. My daughter was so excited as she happened to already own a Sofia the First dress.

To prep for the party, we decorated the dining room table and blew up lots of purple balloons. Decor included cute items such as Sofia the First placemats, tiaras, tablecloth, plates, napkins, cups, confetti and table displays. 

2/25/15

Applebee’s Dinner for Two Giveaway – Long Island and New Jersey Only

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Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal to try new menu offerings. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Applebee's All-In Burger: The American Standard

Photo: Maria Adcock


Applebee’s, your favorite neighborhood bar and grill, is always coming out with new and interesting menu items. They’ve recently introduced the “All-In” Burgers, which puts a creative twist on cheeseburgers by smashing ingredients – like onions, bacon and even pineapple – into fresh ground beef before cooking to sear in the flavor. The burgers are then topped with additional ingredients and served on a brioche bun for a better-tasting burger.

I was interested in trying the All-In Burgers. Would I be able to taste all the flavors when ingredients were pre-mixed into the ground beef? Would the burger look strange? Would it taste good? I had the opportunity to have my questions answered by visiting our local Applebee’s with my family.

The Applebee’s in our town is truly a neighborhood place. There’s no generic restaurant décor here as it’s customized to the community. The walls are decorated with the names of the local high schools with pictures of people who live in the area. It’s a friendly atmosphere with fast service that’s especially accommodating to families.

The menu offers a large selection for all preferences, but I zeroed in on the new All-In Burgers.

All-In Burger varieties include:

2/22/15

Quinoa, Millet and Amaranth in Baby Food? Love Child Organics Brings Homemade to Market

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Disclosure: I received product to assess. All opinions are solely my own.


Did you know that many “organic” baby and toddler food manufacturers still add preservatives, ascorbic acid, sugar and artificial ingredients to their products? 

Leah and John, parents of two young children, were shocked to discover this. Leah began making 100% clean, organic meals at home, adding in superfoods to maximize nutritional benefits. Together with her husband they launched Love Child Organics, the first company to introduce the concept of BEYOND ORGANICS. This means all of their organic products do not include any refined sugars, additives, preservatives or fillers.

Leah and John believe that chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides and genetically modified foods have no place in babies and toddlers. Their products are 100% organic and also include superfoods like kale, sweet potatoes, blueberries, mangos, strawberries, quinoa and acerola fruit.

2/19/15

Win a Chinese New Year Calendar by McDonald's - GIVEAWAY

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Enter for a chance to win this Chinese New Year calendar.

Asian American consumers represent a growing and attractive demographic for brands. One such company who embraces this is McDonald’s. For years, McDonald’s has outreached to the New York Tri-State Asian American community.

Through its Ronald McDonald House Charities® / ASIA Scholarship Program, McDonald’s annually provides the largest scholarship program offered to Asian high school students residing in the New York Tri-State area.

McDonald's celebrates Chinese New Year with
Chinatown's P.S. 1.

Regarding Chinese New Year (also known as Lunar New Year), for the fifth year in a row McDonald’s and Chinatown’s P.S. 1,  Alfred E. Smith Elementary School celebrated the holiday with a cultural show for the school’s 600 students. Event performances included Columbia University’s Chinese Yo-Yo Club, New York University’s Asian Fusion Dance Group and the Chinese Free Mason Athletic Club’s Lion Dance Troupe.

2/16/15

Chinese History E-books for Kids by Jillian Lin Makes Learning History Fun

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Disclosure: I received a free copy to assess. All opinions stated are solely my own.

Author Jillian Lin hated history class while growing up. With teachers droning on about dates that required rote memorization, learning history was not enjoyable.

This all changed years later when Lin states, “I realized then that history doesn't have to be about boring facts and dates. It can be as exciting, gripping, and fascinating as the best made-up adventure stories. I realized that in the very word 'history' sits the word I've always loved: 'story.' Inspired, I decided to bring those stories from Chinese history to life. No dates, no dry details -- just interesting stories that children as young as five can enjoy and hopefully, learn a fact or two in the process.

Lin recently released the first e-book in her collection of historical Chinese e-books called, The Emperor Who Built the Great Wall. Illustrated by Shi Ming, the book tells the story of China’s first emperor who built the Great Wall, unified China, and was buried with thousands of terracotta warriors. Fun fact: China was named after him.

China boasts a history spanning thousands of years, but the stories encompassing them are often too complex for young children to read and understand. Lin makes learning Chinese history accessible to children by using simple language and vivid illustrations to tell stories.

2/13/15

Chinese New Year Recipes, Crafts and Activities

Pin It Chinese New Year is the most revered holiday in China and is also celebrated in many other regions within East Asia. Also called Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, this festival spans 15 days. Families celebrate with food, gifts, activities and family get-togethers. To celebrate Chinese New Year in your home, here are recipes, crafts and activities that both kids and adults will enjoy!

SPECIAL CHINESE NEW YEAR RECIPES (4-6 servings each)

Recipes and photos republished with permission by Allison “Aixin” Branscombe, author of All About China: Stories, Crafts and More for Kids. Read Bicultural Mama’s review of this book HERE.


Long Life Noodles


 Kid-Friendly Long Life Noodles


Ingredients
  • 1 lb. fresh Asian-style long life noodles, either rice or wheat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely diagonally sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter added in Step 2 (optional)
Directions
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions, without oil and salt. Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients except green onions in a small bowl. Stir until mixed.
  3. Add mixture to noodles while gently stirring.
  4. Sprinkle green onions on top of noodles and serve either hot or cold.

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