Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Let me break it down for you... noodles, cream (lots of it), butter, and four kinds of cheese (2 cups worth). How on earth could this be bad? I tried the Pioneer Woman's Pasta ai Quattro Formaggi and it was delicious. My kids and I gobbled it up. I made it with spaghetti instead of angel hair but followed the rest of the measurement because honestly, with this type of pasta there's no point in making it if you're going to skimp on the fatty ingredients. To really get the flavor you have to go for the gusto. It's worth it, especially hot and steaming right out of the bowl.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
I'm always interested in hearing what Michael Pollan has to say on current food issues. Click here to read an interesting interview with him about the war on the food movement.
I'm in no way prepared to go vegan, but as Oprah says "I'm leaning into it". So I'm making easy substitutions where I can, and taking a little more enjoyment when I do have cheese, eggs, and meat. This morning I substituted rice milk for cow's milk for my morning latte and it was delicious. I was actually getting bored with my morning cup of joe anyway so it was nice to mix it up and I really enjoyed the new flavor. It's a little sweet so I didn't even need sugar. I also substituted almond milk for cow's milk in our oatmeal and it was fantastic.
"Leaning into it" Vegan Oatmeal
old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 apple (preferably organic)
1/2 t cinnamon
slivered almonds, toasted
almond milk, steamed or warmed
Cook oatmeal according to instructions on package. When it's 1/2 or 3/4 of the way cooked, stir in cinnamon and use a microplane to grate apple into the pan. Stir to combine. Warm the almond milk and set aside. When the oatmeal is ready, spoon into bowls and top with banana, raisins, almonds and almond milk.
Serve with rice milk latte for a delicious vegan breakfast. You won't miss the dairy for a second.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Vans Kids - Zapato Del Barco in white
Saturday, March 19, 2011
WE ARE NOT PUT ON THIS EARTH FOR OURSELVES, BUT ARE PLACED HERE FOR EACH OTHER. IF YOU ARE THERE ALWAYS FOR OTHERS, THEN IN TIME OF NEED, SOMEONE WILL BE THERE FOR YOU.
- Jeff Warner
I heard this quote at a brunch for Seattle's Sacred Heart Shelter which is an amazing resource for women in need. We heard one such story from a former resident who had the entire audience in tears after telling her heartbreaking story that lead to her stay at the shelter. She was so grateful to have found a temporary bed for herself and her young daughter in their time of need, along with a warm meal, a shower, and help tapping into available resources in the city. With the help of the shelter she found a job, an apartment, and the opportunity for a better life.
Click here to learn more about the shelter, buy a cookbook to support their fundraising efforts, or read about ways you can get involved.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Without realizing it I made an amazing VEGAN dinner. This was such a welcome surprise since I'm trying to be more mindful of how much meat and dairy I consume. While making the dinner I glanced over the recipes and ingredients on the counter and realized that it was not only "meatless night", it was our first ever "vegan night".
I recently tried the new Ballard restaurant, Golden Beetle, and LOOOOOOOVED it. We tried a ton of stuff and I loved every bite of the meal. I especially loved the kale which was sauteed and had toasted almonds. So, you know me, I tried to re-create it. I used my latest kale recipe and added cumin and toasted almonds. My kale wasn't exactly like the Golden Beetle's but it was delicious and a perfect pairing with the Curried Red Kidney Beans and Cauliflower that was the main course for my vegan dinner.
Whenever my husband gets home from work he peeks over my shoulder to see what we're having for dinner. If it's meatless night, I always hear a sigh followed by "meatless night!" which he says with a sarcastic enthusiasm. It's funny that he acts less than thrilled because he always ends up liking it, and he always goes back for seconds! (...even on this vegan night!)
Inspired by The Golden Beetle
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 T canola oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 T garlic, minced
1 T ginger, minced
Few pinches of red pepper flakes
1/4 t cumin (Rough estimate. I just sprinkled it on once or twice.)
One bunch kale, rinsed well and roughly chopped
Few splashes red wine vinegar
Fresh lemon juice
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute onion until soft. Add garlic and ginger and saute for several more minutes. Add red chili flakes, cumin and kale. Saute for roughly 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When it's almost done, add a few splashes of vinegar. Stir to combine. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the top and stir in almonds.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Every once in awhile when I saute kale it has a fishy taste. I'm never sure what the cause is so I posted the question on Food Pickle. I didn't get an answer on the specific cause but I did get input on how others cook kale without a fishy flavor. One helpful cook, Pretty Peas, said that she sautés hers with onion, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and vinegar. Ooooh, ginger. I'm on a ginger kick. So I tried it tonight and it was great. It was the perfect accompaniment to the perfect meal...
Start with a large bowl. Spoon tofu fried rice into one side. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and a squirt of Sriracha. Spoon sautéed kale into the other side. Top rice and kale with an egg cooked over-medium so it's a teense runny). Splash a little soy sauce over the egg and serve with chopsticks. I served that bowl of heavenly delight along with pancit. It's my every-pot-in-the-house-is-dirty-meal but in the end it's so worth it. I love this meal.
Inspired by PrettyPeas via FoodPickle
1 T canola oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 T garlic, minced
1 T ginger, minced
few pinches of red pepper flakes
one bunch kale, rinsed well and roughly chopped
salt & pepper
few splashes red wine vinegar
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft. Add garlic and ginger and saute for several more minutes. Add red chili flakes and kale. Sauté for roughly 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When it's almost done, add a few splashes of vinegar. Let simmer until ready to serve.
I got my knives as wedding gifts and after seven years of them being so dull that it was like chopping with a butter knife, I got off my lazy ass and took them in. I took half at a time so I had something to use while they were being sharpened (takes a few days). I can't recommend The Epicurean Edge enough. You don't realize how bad you've had it until you get them professionally sharpened.
I don't follow a recipe for this so when I went to write it up, I was estimating the measurements. Well I goofed. I thought I used way more soy sauce than I actually use. I've updated the recipe. I apologize to anyone who made this and thought it was terrible.
"They say" that everyone who makes Pancit makes it differently and I'd bet that everyone loves, if not prefers, the version they grew up with. I grew up with my aunt's Pancit. She is Filipino and learned the recipe from her aunt who always made it when she was growing up. It's been the main Pancit in my life for over 20 years so I was thrilled when she taught me how to make it the other day. Several steps, all easy, leave you with this delicious dinner that provides leftovers for days. It's not a recipe that's going to blow your mind but it's good comfort food Asian-style. My cousins love it. I love it. Now my hubby and kids love it too. A good recipe I'll make for years to come.
1 or 2 big handfuls Rose Brand Fine Cut Plain Chinese Noodles (1.5-2” thick)
Half of one chunk of Vermicelli Bean Thread noodles (sold at Uwajimaya - a package that looks like this)
2 chicken breasts (I used bone in but that is not required)
2" ginger, sliced (or more)
1-2 T canola oil1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (I did it in a mini-Cuisinart with the garlic)
1-2 t ginger, minced
2 T garlic, minced (4-6 cloves)
1 quart chicken stock
1/4-1/3 cup soy sauce pepper
Put 3" water, ginger and some salt in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add chicken, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes (I used bone-in breasts and 20 minutes was perfect. Boneless breasts might cook faster.) Remove and allow to cool. Once cooled, shred.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil Rose Brand Fine Cut Plain Chinese Noodles for exactly three minutes, then strain and set aside. (Do not overcook!)
Soak Vermicelli Bean Thread noodles in a small amount of water to soften. *
Bring a large pot or braiser to heat over medium heat. Add oil, then add onion and stir to coat. Saute until softened. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for a few minutes, being careful not to let anything brown. Add ½ or 1 cup chicken stock and a few splashes soy sauce. Let simmer and reduce. Continue to add this amount of stock and soy sauce, heating until simmering and reducing. Be patient with this process. You want to create a really good sauce for the noodles to soak up. One you've used the entire quart of chicken stock and roughly 1/4 cup soy sauce, add shredded chicken and allow to soak up sauce. I like mine to turn out a bit darker than this photograph so use more soy if yours is this light.
Working in layers, add a handful of noodles to a large pot. Top with bean thread noodles, then 1/4 of the chicken with sauce. Continue to layer a bit of each and mix together to combine. I like to stop adding noodles when there’s still a big of sauce accumulated at the bottom because the noodles will continue to soak up the liquid.
Serve hot, warm or cold.
We like to stir in a few splashes of Sriracha into ours.
* I haven't been using the Vermicelli Bean Thread noodles because the kids don't like the texture. It's fine without.
Monday, March 14, 2011
My mother-in-law (as I've said 100 times) is a great cook and I'm always trying to copy her recipes, although there are no recipes to copy because she's such a seasoned cook they're all in her head. Saturday night I tried to make her prawn & veggie stir-fry with Madras curry sauce. Unfortunately there were lots of problems... (1) I did not have Madras curry powder so I had to use a basic curry powder (2) the frozen prawns I bought at Whole Foods were terribly fishy and (3) some veggies were overcooked and some were undercooked. My husband was about to call for Thai take-out when I rescued the dinner. I could not stomach the thought of wasting all my time and money on this meal. I took out the prawns and decided we were going to have meatless night. I already had the veggies in curry sauce and basically, in our house, anything with sauce over white rice is a go. I whipped up some of my uncle's asparagus and roasted broccoli with garlic and we had ourselves something Michael Pollan would have been proud of - three servings of veggies and no hunk of meat in sight. It was such a good dinner that my hubby said he'd be happy to eat this meal anytime. Music to my ears after our near disaster.
Here is a really rough recipe for my "Prawn" & Veggie Curry Stir-fry, sans prawns... It wasn't half bad with the curry I used but I just ordered some Madras curry powder for next time. I also changed the recipe from how I did it to adjust for the veggies all having the same doneness so nothing is too soft.
Veggie Curry Stiry-Fry
2 T canola oil
1 yellow onion, cut in half and sliced along the ridges
2 or 3 carrots, cut into matchstick pieces
1 red pepper, cut into matchstick pieces
1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into 2 or 3" pieces
2 T garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 cup chicken stock*
2 T Madras curry powder
1 t corn starch
Mix chicken stock, Madras curry and corn starch together in a glass and set aside. Taste and adjust as you like (more curry to strengthen the flavor or more stock to lessen it).
Heat canola oil (or peanut oil) over medium high heat. Add onions and saute for a few minutes. Add carrots, red pepper and asparagus. Saute for several minutes until veggies are softening. Reduce heat to medium at any point if necessary. Add garlic and saute for a few more minutes, watching garlic so it doesn't burn. Add the white wine and let it reduce by half. Add chicken stock/curry mixture and bring to a quick boil, then reduce to a simmer. Once veggies are cooked to your preferred texture spoon veggies and sauce over white rice.* You could probably replace the chicken stock and corn starch with coconut milk for a differently flavor. I might try this next time.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Here's a short essay from The New York Times Magazine that I enjoyed. We all might be reminded of this article next time we have an opportunity to help a stranger. A quick read worth your time.
"The Tire Iron and the Tamale"
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
IF THERE IS RADIANCE IN THE SOUL, IT WILL ABOUND IN THE FAMILY. IF THERE IS RADIANCE IN THE FAMILY, IT WILL BE ABUNDANT IN THE COMMUNITY. IF THERE IS RADIANCE IN THE COMMUNITY, IT WILL GROW IN THE NATION. IF THERE IS RADIANCE IN THE NATION, THE UNIVERSE WILL FLOURISH.
- Lao Tsu
Found via All Children Flourishing (more on this book soon!)
Sad and interesting article from The New York Times Magazine called "Phantom Twin" about the composer Allen Shaw where he "recalls the wrenching separation he felt when his autistic twin sister was institutionalized."
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
My friend Tara told me about the Holuakoa Gardens & Cafe on Hawaii's Big Island. We went last year for brunch and loved it so much that I convinced (begged) the hubby to go again this year for dinner. It was a hidden gem on an island full of tourist traps and heavy fried foods. Everyone loved their meal, and I have been obsessing about mine. I got a "Pizzetta" with poached pear, Gorgonzola, and macadamia nuts with a little side salad of arugula and pesto drizzled over everything. It was so good that I was determined to re-create it. Last night I did and it was as good as I remembered. This would even make a great appetizer to serve hot or room temp the next time you have friends over.
If you want to serve with the arugula as they did, toss with a light vinaigrette and serve on the side. Sprinkle with a little of the pesto as well. Delish!
Inspired by the pizzetta at Holuakoa Gardens & Cafe
2 pears, poached and sliced (my poaching recipe below)
Macadamia nuts, chopped small
Pesto (I bought PCC's vegan pesto because it was all they had and it was fantastic)
Place pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500. Sprinkle a work surface, rolling pin and pizza dough with flour and roll out dough to thin pizzas. (I never worry about the shape of the pizzas. I don't know that I've ever rolled out a circle. They're usually rectangle, triangle, or a big blob - but they all taste great!) Sprinkle the bottom side of a cookie sheet with cornmeal and a little flour (to prevent the dough from sticking) and transfer rolled-out dough onto it. Brush dough with olive oil. Top with slices of pear, then sprinkle with macadamia nuts and top with Gorgonzola crumbles. Carefully remove pizza stone from oven and reduce heat to 450. Sprinkle pizza stone with cornmeal and then slide pizza onto the stone CAREFULLY. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove and carefully transfer to a wood cutting board to slice. Mix pesto with a bit of olive oil and then sprinkle over the pizza. Serve hot or room temp.
Cider Poached Pears
2 pears, peeled, quartered, and cored
2 cups apple cider
juice of 1/2 orange
1 cinnamon stick
Bring cider, orange juice and cinnamon stick to a light boil. Add pairs, reduce heat and simmer for roughly 15 minutes until fork tender (check after 10 minutes and then adjust time as necessary). Remove and let cool.
As long as you're poaching pears, maybe do an extra one or two and use for dessert. Just Google a bit and find something delicious to create.