Easy Homemade Wonton Soup

No need for takeout – make this incredibly easy wonton soup at home.

Just a few ingredients are needed for this rich and flavorful broth. The wontons also only have a few ingredients, and once you get the hang of wrapping them, you will put this together in no time.

One quick tip – make a big pot of broth and then only drop in the wontons you plan on eating that night and freeze the rest. The next day you can pull out your pot of broth, heat it up and drop the frozen wontons in. This worked much better for us than cooking all the wontons at once as they would be soggy the next day.

Enjoy!

Easy Wonton Soup
Adapted from: Spend With Pennies

The Broth 

Broth Ingredients

  • 3 32 oz cartons chicken broth (not low sodium)
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 slices of fresh ginger
  • 3 Tbsb low sodium soy sauce
Broth Directions
  • Add all broth ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer for one hour.
  • Once ready to cook your wontons, remove the garlic and ginger and increase to a steady simmer. 
  • Drop wontons in and let cook about 6 minutes. Serve immediately. 

The Wontons

Wonton Ingredients
Note: I made 50 wontons with these ingredients. The broth will be able to cook 30 total; the rest of the wontons can be frozen for future use. 

  • 1 package wonton wrappers (50)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tsp cornstarch 
  • Other things needed: water, flour (about 2 Tbsp), parchment paper
Wonton Directions
  • Mix the pork, green onions, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch in a large bowl until combined. 
  • Prep your area – put a small bowl of water and a small plate of flour near your wrapping station. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a clean cutting board or other flat surface in front of you.
  • There are several ways to wrap wontons and they all work! I used this process, but you could take a look at some videos online before choosing how to wrap yours: Place a wonton wrapper on the cutting board. Spoon 1 tsp of the filling onto the center of the wrapper. Wet the edges with water, and then fold the wonton wrapper in half to form a triangle, pressing the edges together tightly. Wet the 2 pointed ends and pull them together, pinching tightly. Dip the bottom in flour and place on your parchment paper lined baking sheet. 
  • Continue until you have wrapped all of your wontons. 
  • At this point, either place them in the freezer and once frozen place in freezer baggies, or drop into the broth to cook. Or do like I did – cook half and freeze half! 


Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations

Easy Pork Ramen

One of my favorite things about visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Portland, Oregon, (besides seeing them and my adorable new nephew!!) is the food scene. I have had some of my best meals in this great town – seriously, even the airport has such a great restaurant  – The Country Cat – that I go back to the airport early JUST so I can eat there. Plus, I am lucky to have foodies in my family who enjoy taking me to great places! 
The first time I went out there I got to experience something for the first time – ramen. Confession… I didn’t have my first real bowl of ramen until I was 40.  It’s not because I didn’t want to try it, we just don’t have any ramen places around here! 
The next summer when I visited we went to the Pine Street Market, a very cool food hall. Walking around this place is like a trip to heaven for a foodie. Nine of the city’s best chefs and restaurants all in one place! How do you decide what to eat? 
I went with ramen, as well as some pork buns from another spot, and once again, my meal in the great PDX did not disappoint. Rich, salty broth with curly noodles, scallions, spinach, and thinly sliced pork. This soup IS a meal. 
When I returned home I was craving ramen so badly that I had to try to recreate it. I thought back to the few times I had ramen and just went based on my memory of the flavors and ingredients.

I made a chicken stock-based broth with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a few other ingredients. We filled our bowls with mushrooms, scallions, thinly sliced grilled pork, noodles, and an egg. Craving satisfied!

Note: you can sub any protein for the pork. The last time I made it I used crispy, pan-seared tofu. You could also use chicken, beef, shrimp, mussels, clams, etc – really anything you like! Experiment with different flavors and ingredients, too – add a dash of fish sauce, dried kelp, bonito flakes, grated carrots, miso paste, sprouts, or oyster sauce.



Easy Pork Ramen
Original Recipe by Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations

Ingredients 

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed 
  • 1 tsp ginger (I used the jarred ginger – prefer the consistency)
  • 32 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 bunch green onions – stems cut at 2 inches, the rest chopped 
  • 1 c sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 2 soft or hard-boiled eggs (your preference)
  • 1 grilled pork chop, thinly sliced *
  • 8 oz cooked noodles of your choice (soba, ramen, Chinese noodles)
  • Optional: bok choy, napa cabbage, kale, or spinach
  • Optional for serving: Sambal Oelek 
* I season the pork chop with salt and pepper and grill it to 140 degrees; let rest 5 minutes before slicing. 
Directions

  • Heat olive oil in a pot
  • Add the garlic and ginger; saute 1 minute
  • Add the broth, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, mirin, and green onion stems. Bring to a steady simmer and then reduce to a low simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the green onion stems and add the mushrooms. Let simmer 3 minutes. 
  • If using greens, add them to the pot for one minute before you are ready to serve. 
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the miso until combined. 
  • To plate: Put noodles, chopped green onions, greens, mushrooms,
    and sliced pork in a bowl. Pour broth on top and garnish with Sambal and an egg. 
Quick and Easy Pork Ramen! A rich, miso broth with mushrooms and bok choy. Add noodles, sliced pork, green onions, an egg, and sambal. Weeknight meal!

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations

Celebrating 10 Years with our Best Recipes

Today Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations turns the big 1-0!! Ten years of sharing recipes from my kitchen – I can’t believe it!

It’s funny to think back on how much has changed in ten years both with this blog and with me personally. When I look back through the blog year by year I can remember things happening in my life by the way I was cooking and the food I would make. Kind of like when you hear an old song and it brings back a memory. My food brings back so many memories of times in my life. Oh how things have changed! Ten years ago we were both in our early 30s –

Food Blog Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations celebrates 10 years with their best recipes. Chicken, salads, pork, beef, lobster, quick and easy weeknight meals, romantic meals, meals for entertaining, soups, appetizers and party food.Ten years ago I had never cooked risotto. I had never baked something that didn’t come in a box. Believe it or not, I had never worked with bone-in chicken (except that one time I made chicken soup from scratch in high school). There were so many dishes and ingredients I hadn’t heard of, or wasn’t brave enough to try. I (thought) I loathed mushrooms and blue cheese and eggs. Things like homemade tomato sauce, pan sauces, homemade frosting and whipped cream did not exist in my kitchen. And my knife skills? None. I still used to put my index finger along the top of my cheap knives.

But then after being married for about three years, I took an interest in cooking, mostly because both my husband and I were getting sick of tacos, stuffed peppers, pepper steak, and cheese nip chicken. Sadly, that’s about all we ate when we were both home… Thank goodness for work travel!

When I first jumped into really cooking, I immediately discovered that I did not enjoy measuring and preferred to go by taste, look, and smell. I soon started to read recipes and decide what I’d change before even trying the recipe. I had some failures and some successes, and learned a LOT along the way. Weekly I was trying at least 2-3 new recipes, and Saturday nights were dedicated to date nights at home where we’d cook something new and fancy together (yes, my husband is an awesome cook and loves being in the kitchen whenever he can!). I don’t think we ate the same thing more than twice for at least 2 years because I was in love with experimenting and creating new recipes. That is when I decided to start this blog – it was really just a way to keep track of recipes. I had no idea where it would take me.

During those first few years, favorites were discovered and put on rotation, however I never lost that love of creating new recipes. Over the years my food has evolved to suit our lifestyle, and these days, instead of spending hours on one recipe, I focus a lot more meals to feed my family. Although every now and then I do get a full day in the kitchen and love it!!

Food Blog Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations celebrates 10 years with their best recipes. Chicken, salads, pork, beef, lobster, quick and easy weeknight meals, romantic meals, meals for entertaining, soups, appetizers and party food.

Writing this blog has taught me and brought me so much more than just cooking.

Entertaining and planning menus is one of my favorite things to do. I love sitting with my notebook writing out ideas and I totally appreciate that my husband lets me run them by him a million times. Luckily he enjoys it too, and we love creating holiday menus together. We often start talking about Christmas months before the big day!

Photography has also become a hobby of mine. I know I still have a lot to learn and hope to find the time to take some classes soon, but on my own I can see much improvement. Those early food pics were pretty homely, as my husband would say! (so please, as I share some old recipes below, be mindful of that 🙂

And finally, it’s crazy to think that I wasn’t even on Facebook when I started this blog. There was no such thing as Twitter, Instagram, Yummly, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, etc. I could go on and on! It has been fun connecting with people through those platforms and learning the best ways to use them to connect with all of you (and meanwhile my 6 year old sees a logo and knows what social media platform it belongs to – it’s like second nature to them!).

Since my life and this blog are completely entwined, I can’t help but think of how my personal life has changed over the past ten years. Ten years ago I was in my early 30s, married almost 4 years and working in the corporate world, traveling the country (and world) for pharmaceutical and medical meetings. After the birth of my daughter I decided to move on from that life, and now I consider myself very lucky that I am able to work part-time for now so I can be there for the school bus, school events, and extracurricular activities with my amazing 6 year old daughter. Cooking with kids Ten years ago I wasn’t even thinking of kids yet, and now this little one is almost 7! How awesome is it that she loves to get in the kitchen with me and we can pretty much get her to try (almost) anything. Most recently she tried mussels and loved them! She’s an energetic little girl and keeps us on on toes – our little first grader who loves acting, dancing, cooking, singing, playing outside, reading, writing, making lists, playing games and telling jokes. Things haven’t always been easy over the past ten years – although blessed to be in our forever home, it has been a continuous work in progress and it always seem like something is going wrong or breaking. We have both dealt with unemployment, secondary infertility, pregnancy losses, and the death of our first dog, Daisy Mae. During all of those times, I always turned to cooking as my therapy. Family and cooking have been my one constant through all of these ten years. 
So take a trip down memory lane with me as I share my most popular and/or favorite recipes. These are recipes that have been shared the most, liked the most, and recipes that have been favorites of my family. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My top post of all-time comes from May of 2008 – Time for a Party. In this post I shared a menu for a party including this recipe for tortilla pinwheels, and now I see them pinned all over Pinterest. They are a hit! I take them to every party and get asked for the recipe several times at each party. Sometimes simple is the best! 

The perfect party appetizer - tortilla pinwheels

My husband has contributed several recipes, desserts, and wine reviews to this blog. Two of his recipes are in my top searched, pinned and shared recipes! He loves making this Maine Lobster Stew, has made it for the last 2 years on Christmas, and is always looking for excuses to make it again. I’ll take credit for helping with the plating and taking the photos. 

Maine Lobster Stew - decadent and creamy with sherry and lobster meat

Another recipe of his that sends a lot of people to this blog through searches is his Beef Negimaki. After ordering it several times at our local sushi place he decided to make it on his own. We both agreed it was even better than the restaurant’s! Since this post is from 2009 the pic isn’t great, but what I do love about this post are the step by step photo instructions for cutting and rolling the beef. 

Beef Negimaki - rolled flank steak with green onions. Japanese food made at home

My top breakfast post of all time, and one that I make often, is a grab and go breakfast – Egg Muffins for Breakfast-on-the-Go

Breakfast on the go - egg muffins. Egg muffins with vegetables, egg muffins with sausage. Grab n go breakfast

I’m so happy that this next recipe is in my top ten of all time because it is one of my favorites – Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with a Lemon-Garlic Aioli.Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with a lemon garlic aioli. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes. “Too hot to cook” and “grilled chicken salads” are both so commonly searched, and lead my followers to this post for Yakitori Chicken with Cold Veggie and Soba Noodle Bowls. This is one of my top chicken recipes as well as a top salad recipe. 

Grilled yakitori chicken with cold veggie soba noodle bowls. Too hot to cook! Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

With close to 200 chicken recipes in this blog, it was really, really hard to narrow it down to my favorite. I have so many, from this French Onion Braised Chicken and this Gruyere Chicken with Mushrooms, to Shredded Chicken with Chiles and Chicken and Dumplings. I finally chose a popular recipe, and it is fitting that it is a bone-in recipe – Garlic Herb Roast Chicken with Vegetables

Garlic Herb Roast Chicken Breasts with vegetables. Bone in chicken. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

Soups are cooked in my kitchen once a week over the cool and cold months, so with over 80 soup recipes in this blog it is hard to choose a favorite. This Potato and Corn Chowder with Bacon is one of my most popular, and it is one of my favorites because it is so hearty and well, bacon!

Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

It’s funny that ten years ago I had never made risotto, and now I have over 20 risotto recipes on this blog. Risotto is in my top ten search words, so I picked one of my favorites for this anniversary post – Three Garlic Risotto. I have been making this one for years (it was probably one of the first risotto recipes I ever made!) but finally just blogged it recently. 

Three Garlic Risotto - Roasted garlic, toasted garlic, sauteed garlic. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

Still, after ten years of doing this, I only use my crock-pot for shredded/pulled chicken, pork or beef. My top slow cooker and top pulled pork recipe is this amazing Guinness Pulled Pork. I’m so happy it gets so much love because it definitely gets a lot of love in this house! Korean Pulled Pork Tacos

Guinness Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Crock pot slow cooker cooking. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

My personal favorite pulled pork recipe is the pork for these Korean Pulled Pork Tacos. These are pretty popular on Pinterest, too! 

Korean Pulled Pork Tacos with a Creamy Sriracha slaw. Crock pot slow cooker cooking. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

And sticking with the pork theme, this Stuffed Pork Loin with a Mushroom Wine Gravy is one of my most popular posts. It is a great recipe, perfect for holidays or entertaining, and the tutorial for cutting and rolling the pork is spot-on. This post, and the picture, are from 2008 – 

Stuffed Pork Loin with a mushroom wine gravy. Great recipe for Christmas or Easter or entertaining. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

This is a newer recipe and it quickly became my second most popular appetizer – Cheesy BLT Stuffed Jalapenos, and it is easy to see why. Look how yummy! 

Creamy and cheesy BLT Stuffed Jalapenos. BLT Jalapeno Poppers - perfect appetizer or party food. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

Let’s finish this off on a sweet note! I don’t bake that often – my husband is actually the baker in the house. This cake recipe has become a favorite of both of ours, and is my most popular dessert recipe on the blog – Philly Fluff Cake

Philly Fluff Cake. Philly cream cheese cake with chocolate swirl. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

Thank you to all of my readers and followers for making the last 10 years possible. I have enjoyed sharing and learning with all of you, and I appreciate all of your comments, likes and shares. I look forward to continuing this journey in my kitchen and with this blog, and hope you will be there with me! Thank you!

Food Blog Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations celebrates 10 years with their best recipes. Chicken, salads, pork, beef, lobster, quick and easy weeknight meals, romantic meals, meals for entertaining, soups, appetizers and party food.

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations

Spicy Quinoa Corn Chowder

A take on corn chowder using quinoa instead of potatoes, and with a spicy kick!

On Christmas Eve we were hanging out with family at my parents’ house. My cousin handed my daughter a gift that she immediately started to open. When she got some of the paper off, she saw the American Girl logo on the box and started to get really excited. Meanwhile, we are all sitting there thinking “oh no, she thinks it is a doll.” There is no way it was a doll, it was a flat, square box. She continues to rip off the paper as we all hold our breath. Well, once she saw that the box contained her own set of cooking utensils, she screamed “YES!!!!” over and over and kept jumping up and down. BEST reaction EVER, and my cousin wins the prize for best gift ever! 

In addition to the cooking tools, we gave our daughter a set of plastic chopping knives, so she now has her own drawer in the kitchen with all of her tools. Every time she is ready to cook with me she pulls out every single tool, even if she only needs a knife and a spoon, grabs her stool and gets to work. 

The last time we cooked together we made this Spicy Quinoa Corn Chowder – a hearty yet healthy soup using quinoa in place of potatoes, and only a touch of cream. 

I like a bit of kick in my corn chowder, so the minced jalapeno adds just the perfect amount. I round it out with some chili powder and cumin for that smoky flavor. The next time you want a chowder, try using quinoa – it worked so well in this soup and one cup was a delicious and filling lunch. 

Spicy Quinoa Corn ChowderOriginal Recipe by Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations
Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and stems removed, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 sm can creamed corn
  • 3/4 c frozen corn
  • 1/2 c quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 tsp each chili powder and cumin
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper
  • 4 c low sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • 1/2 c light cream
Directions
  • Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven
  • Add the carrots, celery and onion; saute 2 minutes
  • Add the jalapeno, garlic and red pepper; saute 2-3 minutes
  • Add the frozen corn and creamed corn; stir
  • Add the quinoa and spiced, stir to combine
  • Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and let simmer 15-20 minutes until quinoa has cooked through.
  • Add the cream and stir. Adjust seasoning if necessary

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations