Review: Chicken & Veg Stir Fry with Udon Noodles – Anne Burrell


Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry with udon noodles – Anne Burrell

Recently my husband was out of town for a couple of weeks and I might have binge watched America’s Worst Cooks on the Food Network, ya now…maybe.  OK, I did!  I had never seen the show and enjoyed it, the mentors do a great job teaching basics like knife skills, definitions, and styles of cooking.  I have been holding my knife wrong and now when I stick my finger out on the the blade I can visualize Anne Burrell running down to paint my finger with red marker and I pull it back in.    I am a pretty decent cook and comfortable in the kitchen, but I was reminded that most of the difficulty in the kitchen is in our minds.  So, i encourage you to hop in there and be adventurous.  It just seems scary, but once you step out and try you will be surprised and delighted.

One of the recipes Anne Burrell made was a simple stir-fry.  I gave it a try this week and think you will find it an easy and yummy meal to fix any night of the week.

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Easy

Review:  This dish was made to be a substitute for Carry-out and I think it did a nice job.  It was quick and easy to prepare, full of flavor, and had that Take-away/Carry-out feel.  I realized a little too late that I had forgotten to buy edamame, but it still had a nice blend of textures and flavor.  I think this is a dish you will be able to play with and make your own.  Some of you will want a spicier dish, try adding chopped Jalapeños  as a garnish to complement the one in the dish.

Tips:  Mise en Place – A French term meaning “putting in place”.  You know all those little bowls with the prepped ingredients that you see on the cooking shows? That is a Mise en Place.  This is a huge time saver and sometimes a dish saver!  When you are cooking and a lot of things are going on you will be glad you already have your items prepped and ready to go.

  • Read your recipe
  • Prepare each recipe item and place in a small bowl or dish
  • Before you begin cooking, double check and make sure you have every ingredient that was listed prepared and ready to go in your dish
  • Keep the prepared items close by; at your stove, a nearby counter etc.  This way you save time by having it at hand.
  • Now start cooking.  As you get to each step just grab the right bowl and add it in.


Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and virtual health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.

All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.

Reviews: The Weenie Stand, Sushi, Springrolls & Praline French Toast

weenie standThis is the Weenie Stand, in Lynchburg Va.  Yep, I said Weenie Stand.  It opened in 1970 and has been declared the “World’s Best Hotdog”, I’m not sure by whom.  But, in my opinion it is pretty darn close.  My mother and I have visited the Weenie Stand all my life and when I had kids we took them, somehow they were less impressed.  Ahh, Youth!  BUT, This week we took my husband for breakfast and they have a new fan!  The breakfast is great.  Good ole’ southern style biscuits, eggs, and hash browns. mmm, mmm. See:

Photo 3That is hash browns, with mushrooms, onions & cheese with a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit. My arteries are chugging, but surely just a few times a year is ok.

The holidays bring all sorts of changes, busyness and foods into our lives I hope you remember to enjoy each one from the things like the Weenie Stand to a full hot Christmas meal.  This week’s blog only features a few reviews because of our busyness, but we enjoyed every moment!

Have a Happy New Year!

This week’s Reviews:


Spring Rolls

Praline French Toast

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

1. Sit down, relax and plan 4-5 meals (or pick some meals from here, that’s what this is here for.  I’ll pick so you don’t have to)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip (My British friends will need to make several trips)

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy.  Remember that there is such an opportunity to build friendships and family when gathered around a meal.  Even if you mess it all up.  So, just relax, experiment, and have fun.  Don’t forget to include your friends.

The Meals:

sushi prep

spring rolls sushi

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Simple.  Scary at first, but really easy once you get the hang of it.  First watch this video before making:

Review: I found this to be easy to follow and fun.  Remember to relax and be able to laugh.  It is easy enough, but can be messy at first so just laugh and enjoy.  Try this with a group.

Tips: Keep a bowl of water nearby to keep hands moist so that rice doesn’t stick to you hands.  For the Rice, follow the directions on the package and buy sushi rice.

Spring Rollsspring roll

Time: Time varies depending on the number you make.  Allow a good 30 minutes to make a plate of spring rolls.

Ease: Simple-moderate.  It is easy once you learn to wrap, but in the meantime, once again remember to just relax and have fun.  You may need to tell your perfectionist side to “shut-up”, just for a little bit and then you can let it back out have perfect spring rolls. Here is a video to help: (see review before watching)

Review: This is a very good video, instruction wise, from  I feel Hilah is very informative, but may not be everyone’s style.  She is a little cheesy, but gets the job done and pretty well.  I recommend this video, but suggest an open mind.

Praline French ToastP1100282


Time: Prep: Refrigerate overnight & 30-45 minutes cooking time.

Ease: Simple

Review: This recipe is adapted from the “Let the Serving Begin” cookbook from Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, in Lynchburg VA.  If they still have copies available I recommend you snag one. Allow me to step into the shoes of Garrison Keillor, from Prairie Home Companion for just a bit as I sing the praises of the Lutherans. I believe I would convert to Lutheran solely for the food and wine.  These people know how to eat, cook, drink, and have fun and do it with decorum. This recipe is decadent, but with humility!

“The Meal

the meal

My family simply calls this “The Meal”.  For 50 years it hasn’t changed: Recipe– this recipe is pretty close.

Corn Pudding: This is a southern dish that I’m afraid is slowly disappearing.

Butter Beans with pot liqueur.  Which is to say, you cook it wit fatback or butter and lots of water until very soft, as they soften squish some against the pot.  What you have in the end is butter beans (lima beans) in a yummy sauce thickened from the squished beans.

Macaroni & Cheese – Our recipe has changed over the years, but there are so many great ones out there.  Try lots of them until you find the perfect one.


Candied Yams – In my family we don’t mash them, coat them marshmallows or nuts.  We use them right out of the can with lots of butter and sugar.

Potato Salad – Every family has a favorite, in my family we like the mustard based kind, unless we are talking about my dad’s side of the family and then we like the mayonnaise based kind- a la Hellman’s.


Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones I Have created.  Thank you.

Reviews: Giada, Pampered Chef, Ellie Krieger & Fresh Market

merry christmas

I hope you have been enjoying this new blog, I’d love to have your feedback.  What would you like to see?  What would make it easier for you to use? Ideas?  I may not take every suggestion, but will take them all into consideration.

This has been an adventure for me, one I am completely loving!  I thought, “hmmm, I’ll just write a little blog” and found there is a lot more to it than that.  I wrote about it in another blog I have called Never Thought I’d Blog: Cultivating Thoughts; Yielding Action, feel free to check it out.

This week’s Reviews:

Giada:Grilled Lamb Chops with Grilled Tuna Steaks by Ina Garten

Pampered Chef: Family Burrito Bake

Ellie Krieger: Oven Fried Chicken

Fresh Market: Curried Sweet Potato and Pear Soup

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

1. Sit down, relax and plan 4-5 meals (or pick some meals from here)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy

The Meals:

Giada: Grilled Lamb Chops with Grilled Tuna Steaks by Ina Garten
lamb & fish

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: We visited Wales in April and I discovered that my family really likes lamb.  I had no idea.  This dish was very good and simple.  I added Tuna steaks because the meat was small and it seemed like a good combo.  Both were very good.

Tip: Look for the meat and fish on sale.  I found the lamb on sale, but in small pieces which made it a nice combo dish.

Pampered Chef: Family Burrito Bakeburrito bake

Time: 30 minutes in the microwave  1 hour in the oven

Ease: Simple

Review: I am a huge fan of Pampered Chef products and I enjoy the recipes because they are quick and often look like you put much more time into them than you actually did.  My family liked this meal and it was ready in minutes.

Tip: You can make this in any casserole dish and do not need the Deep Dish Baker by Pampered Chef.  Although it is a nice thing to have.  just make sure you have room to layer.

Ellie Krieger: Oven Fried Chickenchicken tenders

Time: 30-45 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  This is a family favorite.  We will never buy store bought chicken nuggets or tenders again.  It is fresh and healthy and just plain good.

Tip: I alter this to make it in to nuggets or tenders rather than use the bone in chicken thighs.  The basic recipe works with any type of chicken I’ve tried.

Fresh Market: Curried Sweet Potato and Pear Soup
sweet potato pear soup

Time: 30 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  Wow, this was so simple and so good.  Everyone enjoyed it even though it has neither cheese nor cream in it! But you would never know.  We served it with Goat cheese on toasted bread instead of Roquefort Cheese as suggested. Ok-there still must be cheese somewhere!

Tip: You can use chicken broth in place of wine if you prefer

With the holiday season in full swing life is pretty crazy and I caved, don’t feel bad if you have to sometimes too.  I bought frozen lasagna one night, but when you have been eating nice fresh, homemade meals frozen just can’t compare and they are loaded with extra sodium and preservatives.  But sometimes….

Restaurant Review: Josephine’s Bistro Greensboro, NC

We had a lovely date night this week and visited one of our favorite restaurants, Josephine’s Bistro.  If you get the chance to go here you should!  The food has been consistently good.  I find most places are too heavy on the salt, but Josephine s has a delicate hand with seasoning allowing you to experience the most from the flavors.  The wait staff is helpful and courteous and they have a great wine selection.

Have a wonderful Christmas week!

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones I Have created.  Thank you.

Birthdays, Thanksgiving and Decking the Halls: Food, Food, Food!

birthday cake 2Thanksgiving is a time when we often stop and reflect on the things we are, well, thankful for and even if you don’t post something to facebook everyday, make scrapbooks or make a big production about it we still find ourselves reflecting on the more lovely things in our lives, at least for just a moment.  It is a good exercise and one we should consider practicing more than once a year.

I am thankful for people to share life with, people to celebrate and celebrate with and for being able to make someplace for people to feel at home.  It was an awesome week.

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

1. Sit down, relax and plan (or pick some meals from here)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy

The Meals:

Provencal Vegetable Soup: Food Network  Chef: Ina Garten

provencial vegitable soup

Time: 1 1/2 hours

Ease: Simple

Review: Soups are warm and comforting by nature, but this soup is especially comforting.  It is the kind of soup you eat while curled up in front of a fire with your favorite blanket.  Do not let the pistou scare you, it is an additional step, but makes all the difference in the flavor.  I believe in you, I promise even with this added step I still call it simple.

Tip: Saffron can be expensive and sometimes we just have to watch the budget.  Try the Hispanic section of your grocery store for a more affordable option, it still adds nice flavor and color.

Glazed Asian Chicken Thighs:  All

asian chicken 3


stir fry

Time: 1 1/2 hours

Ease: Simple

Review:  I try to make chicken at least once a week and learned something this week; my family prefers dark meat, hmm I think I should have know this already.  They loved this dish! It was easy to prepare and the flavors were nice with a little heat, but not so much as to scare off my heat sensitive people.  Try experimenting with your own stir fry  as side dishes.  For this one I added Ginger, thai chili paste, reduced sodium soy sauce, and a little pepper.  Just enough flavor without taking away from the fresh, crisp, vegetables.  Yum!

Sliders/ Mini Man Burgers  Food Network    Chef: Alton Brown

Ooops, we ate them too quickly!


Time: 15 minutes

Ease: Simple!

Review:  These burgers were so good, that we all ate them so quickly that I didn’t even have a chance to take a picture! What you see above is the review: gone, good, and quick! I think you’ll like them; clearly we did!

Thanksgiving Day and Birthday Celebration #1:
thanksgiving day

  • Turkey with sweet Italian sausage, sage, parsley and breadcrumbs stuffed under the skin and apple, onion, sage and lemon in the cavity.  Brushed with olive oil.  I used Food and Wine Magazine as a guide and adapted to what I thought we would like.
  • Chantilly Potatoes with a Parmesan Crust
  • Broccoli Salad
  • Cranberry Salad:  My husband made this with orange jello, lemon jello, red wine and nuts.  It was great.
  • Rolls
  • Chocolate Truffle Cake ( we didn’t do the eggs) with Whipped Ganache and poured Ganache: Birthday Cake for the birthday boy

It was a wonderful day celebrating, enjoying family, and just hanging out.

Chili and Birthday Celebration #2chili & Spoons green

Time: 2 hours

Ease: Simple

Review: I have made this recipe for years and years and everyone loves it!  The go to chili recipe.

This recipe uses a jar of spaghetti sauce and you might think “what!! no way!” but trust me it is great.  No one would ever guess.

Tip: Adapt this recipe to suit your family.  We omit green peppers, sometimes, and always omit corn just because we aren’t fans.  I like this slow cooked to develop a lot of flavor.

And Aunt Lacie‘s Carrot Cake for the birthday girl.

Apple Sausage Stuffing Bites  For Decking the Hallsapple sausage stuffing bites

We finished the week by decorating for Christmas.  Each year we invite a bunch of people over and have apple cider, coffee, lots of food, and decorate.  We are loud, silly, and have so much fun!

This year’s feast included some of the following items, prepared by me and my friends:

tomoato cheese sandwich bites

Now, it is time to put the house back together and start fresh for another week.  Remember to take a dinner time breather, relax and relate.

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones I Have created.  Thank you.