5 Recipes That Are Keepers (Slideshow)

2 home cooks share their secrets to success and happiness in the kitchen

Expat Fried Rice Recipe

"When Kathy told her friend Ginny about this cookbook and the kind of dishes we planned to include, she immediately offered up her fried rice recipe. A single mom and news editor who worked and traveled in Asia for more than 20 years, she knows a thing or two about getting a fast, fuss-free meal on the table.

She uses leftover meat or fish (salmon is a favorite) — but you can also start with raw and cook it in the pan before you add the rice. The thyme is an unusual addition that Ginny calls a delicious accidental discovery. What’s more, she felt compelled to clarify two things: It’s oyster sauce, not soy sauce, that belongs in fried rice (otherwise, it’s like a "salt lick"), and don’t just serve it for dinner; it makes a great weekend breakfast."

— Caroline Campion

Click here to see the Expat Fried Rice Recipe

Japanese-Style 'Meat and Potatoes' Recipe

"This recipe is based on a popular Japanese stewed dish called nikujaga (niku means "meat"; jaga means "potato"), which Kathys mom often made when she was growing up. Its home cooking at its best, the kind of food you want to eat when youre tired or in a funk or under the weather.

Unlike in America, stewed dishes in Japan tend to be very light and contain only a small amount of liquid, which is more of a flavorful broth than a "sauce." Like most stews, though, it reheats wells and tastes even better when the flavors have had time to meld, so dont hesitate to make it in advance or to double the recipe to ensure leftovers. This is also a good dish for nights when people will be eating dinner at different times; just leave it on the back of the stove and spoon it out when needed. Serve with steamed rice, if you like."

— Caroline Campion

Click here to see the Japanese-Style 'Meat and Potatoes' Recipe

Quinoa Salad with Shaved Raw Vegetables and Carrot-Ginger Dressing Recipe

"To us, the best salads include warm grains, raw vegetables, creamy cheese, crunchy seeds, and a tangy, slightly sweet dressing. This one has all that and is also so substantial and satisfying that it’s an ideal one-bowl meal for those (possibly rare) nights when it’s just you and the remote. If you’ve only eaten Brussels sprouts and asparagus cooked, you’ll be surprised at how good they are when raw and very thinly sliced. If you have one, use a mandoline or Benriner slicer to cut them, and the radishes, too; a peeler also works well with the asparagus."

— Caroline Campion and Kathy Brennan

Click here to see the Quinoa Salad with Shaved Raw Vegetables and Carrot-Ginger Dressing Recipe

Shrimp with Green Curry Recipe

"This dish always seems to get a "wow" when we serve it. It also takes less than 15 minutes to make, thanks to jarred Thai green curry paste, which is one of our pantry staples. Yes, fresh curry paste is superior, but we can’t always find lemongrass, Thai ginger, Kaffir lime, and bird’s eye chiles, and grinding them is a whole ‘nother story. Recommended brands include Mae Ploy and Maesri. Feel free to substitute different vegetables, such as thinly sliced carrots, sugar snaps, or frozen peas, in place of the green beans."

— Caroline Campion and Kathy Brennan

Click here to see the Shrimp with Green Curry Recipe

Italian Tomato-Bread Salad Recipe

"If we had to name the top 10 dishes requested by our families, this salad would be high on the list. It’s our version of the classic Tuscan salad known as panzanella, with some celery thrown in for a bit of crunch and lemon zest and mint for a refreshing kick.

It’s common to moisten the bread with water before adding it to the salad, but depending on how stale the bread is and how juicy the tomatoes are, sometimes it’s not necessary. So we hold off, mixing the bread with the rest of the ingredients first. Whether or not you add water, be generous with the salt — the tomatoes and bread soak it right up."

— Caroline Campion and Kathy Brennan

Click here to see the Italian Tomato-Bread Salad Recipe