I always loved those books. :)
Thursday, February 28, 2008
I always loved those books. :)
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Soak noodles in a large bowl of warm water until softened, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain well in a colander and cover with a dampened paper towel.
Meanwhile, make sauce by soaking tamarind pulp in boiling-hot water in a small bowl, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Force mixture through a sieve into a bowl, discarding seeds and fibers. Add 1/2 cup soy sauce, brown sugar, and Sriracha, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
Heat oil in wok over medium heat until hot, then saute onions over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden-brown, about 6 minutes. Add 1 tbsp. of soy sauce to the onions. Add garlic, broccoli and carrots and saute for an additional 4 minutes. Add eggs and swirl to coat side of wok, then heat until cooked through. Break into chunks with spatula. Finally, add shrimp and continue to saute until shrimp is almost cooked through, approximately 3 minutes.
Add noodles and continue to stir-fry over medium heat (use 2 spatulas if necessary) 3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups sauce and simmer, turning noodles over to absorb sauce evenly, until noodles are tender, about 2 minutes.
Stir in additional sauce if desired, then transfer to a large shallow serving dish. Sprinkle pad Thai with peanuts and cilantro sprigs.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Now that's a conversation starter! It's like the Chia Pet of tea, but only a little bit classier :)
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I have an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe that is my tried and true perfect recipe. The cookies come out perfectly every single time, and my hubby and I enjoy eating so many we feel sick. Unfortunately for you, I'm not posting it today since that would mean I'd have to make a batch and I can't afford to eat a dozen cookies today.m
Edit: Hubby came home & wasn't as pleased with these as me. He liked them, but said they're like muffin tops (which isn't necessarily a bad thing)! Looks like I'll be posting my old tried and true recipe in a few days :)
1. In a small bowl, beat egg and vanilla. Soak the raisins in the egg mixture for approximately an hour.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Mix in the brown sugar, then the egg white and applesauce
5. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons on the baking sheets and use a fork to gently flatten the dough.
6. Bake the cookies for approximately 13-15 minutes, or until they "look dull on the surface but are moist and soft", according the Nick. Rotate baking sheets during baking for even heating. (I made my cookies very big, so cook for less time if you are using a teaspoon or cookie dough scoop).
Storage: Once cool, store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Cooking with the worlds' most expensive spice can be an adventure. It is estimated that it takes some 14,000 stigmas to produce only one ounce of saffron threads. This labor-intensive process contributes to the figures that the bright red threads can soar upwards of $50 per quarter-ounce. Wow, don't really want to mess up a dish with these costs. I could almost fill up my gas for the same amount of money!
Well, I am always up for a culinary experiment, though one with saffron needs to be taken a little more seriously in the event of failure. Luckily, this recipe is a fairly simple one, yet still full of flavor and complexity. The saffron lends the rice a beautiful, deep yellow color. In fact, one part saffron to 150,000 parts water will still turn the water a bright yellow and impart a distinctive flavor.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Chocolate shavings or chocolate sprinkles (I was lazy and used pb chips)
For frosting: Put powdered sugar and next 3 ingredients in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until mixture is smooth, adding whipping cream by teaspoonfuls if frosting is too thick to spread. Spread frosting in swirls over top of cupcakes. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings or chocolate sprinkles. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Store in single layer in airtight container at room temperature.)
Here's a photo of some of my loot: Saimin noodles from Hawaii, Satsuma oranges and of course, the tuna I"m cooking tonight!
Monday, February 11, 2008
From appearances, orzo looks just like rice but in reality is just a rice-shaped pasta. Tricky. I went to the grocery searching for orzo in the rice aisle, but had to remind myself that it was just an illusion....orzo is a pasta!
Baked Shrimp with Tomato Feta Orzo
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (28 to 32-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 pound orzo
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cups crumbled feta
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Saute onion, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over moderately high heat, stirring, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add wine and boil until reduced by 1/2, about 3 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, mushrooms and salt, then reduce heat, and simmer briskly, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir shrimp into sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Be sure not to overcook the shrimp as they will continue to cook in the oven.
While sauce and shrimp are cooking, cook orzo in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain orzo in a sieve. Return orzo to pot and toss with remaining tablespoon oil. Stir in sauce with shrimp and reserved cooking water, then add salt and pepper, to taste.
Spoon 1/2 of pasta into an oiled 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish, then sprinkle with 1/2 of feta. Top with remaining pasta and feta, then bake in middle of oven, uncovered, until cheese is slightly melted and pasta is heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
I would consider myself skilled in various things, but portion control is not one of them. Hubby and I are on an Anti-Atkins diet, high carb movement: we go to restaurants and not only finish the bread basket, but ask for more. For kicks, try doing this in Miami where the waitress only looks at you quizzically, not sure whether you're joking and finally asks "you're not from around here, huh?!" Because of our lack of self-restraint, I've come to love my mini loaf pan. You get your own little loaf (since I never want to share my sweets), and after eating one, its at least satisfying enough to hold you out for the rest of the afternoon. Oh, and if anyone else uses a pan like this, please share your wisdom on how to clean it. It's stumped me for years. :)Though I have a file full of banana bread recipes I would like to try out, I must sadly admit my pantry is nearly empty so i went with an old standby from Cooking Light. There's no bells and whistles to this recipe, but its quick and comes out delicious every time. When I can, I would LOVE to try this recipe from delicious days' blog.
*If you're wondering, the red speck above is from a loaf I experimented with blueberries added. I prefer without.
Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean**. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
...literally. How absolutely adorable are these kimono wine holders? I received these as a gift and they instantly made me smile. The little man has a hair braid and his lady friend looks slender in her slim fitting 2 piece kimono. I am not sure where my gift giver purchased these but I did a quick search on google and found a similar (though not quite the same) item here. I can't find any with the man's beanie top, though!
I think these make adorable hostess gifts. imagine getting a bottle of wine in a kimono instead of the boring gift bags they're usually adorned in. I'm in love with his braid so I tried to take another picture. These really don't even do them justice.
Friday, February 1, 2008
In my family, serving food (in copious amounts!) has always been a sign of love, caring...and a good host. This has been so ingrained into my thinking that I cannot stand to have someone in my house that does not have a full belly! The photo above was taken during a family visit in Indonesia. Because we were visitors, it was only natural that we would be greeted with food gifts by all those stopping by to say hello. Needless to say, in those few weeks, I sampled more exotic desserts than my stomach could handle. Small desserts such as those in the photo are called "kue." Wikipedia provides more insight on these delightful treats:
the most common flavouring ingredients are coconut cream, grated coconut, pandan leaves and gula melaka or palm sugar.
While those make the flavor of kue, their base and texture are built on a group of starches – rice flour, glutinous rice flour, glutinous rice and tapioca. Two other common ingredients are tapioca flour and green bean (mung bean) flour (sometimes called "green pea flour" in certain recipes). They play a most important part in giving kue their distinctive soft, almost pudding-like, yet firm texture.
There are not too many Indonesian bakeries in the United States, although you can find Thai or Malaysian groceries often carry variations of kue. If you are adventurous, here's a picture of one of my favorite desserts that you can sometimes find in Asian grocery stores that carry fresh foods. Kue Lapis ("layered cake") is traditionally a steamed cake consisting of alternating layers - each layer is steamed separately for about 10 minutes! The green coloring usually comes from a pandan paste (or food coloring). While it's translated as 'cake' kue lapis tastes nothing like what you'd associate cake textures with. Rather, its somehow a cross between jello, pudding and tapioca balls :) As a child, I'd eat these strip by strip!