Sesame Peanut Noodles

Noodles in every way, shape, and form are my downfall! I can’t get enough of them and IMG_2675even loved eating leftover spaghetti for breakfast as a kid. OK, maybe I still do.  Sesame peanut noodles are a favorite because the thin flavor-packed sauce pairs well with a multitude of ingredients–bok choy, snow peas, spinach, grated carrots, bean sprouts, steak, chicken, shrimp…the list goes on. I used left over grilled chicken breasts and whatever veggies I had on hand for this simple dish. Sesame peanut noodles make a great weeknight dinner and you can bring the leftovers to work for lunch the next day–IF you have anything left over!

Sesame Peanut Noodles

1 lbs package of lo mein or spaghetti noodles

4 medium garlic cloves

1 Tbsp fresh ginger

5 Tbsp sesame oil, divided

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup soy sauce

6 Tbsp rice vinegar

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tsp vegetable oil

2 cooked chicken breasts

1 bunch bok choy, chopped and white stems removed

½ cup red and/or orange peppers, matchstick slices

1 cup snow peas

6 green onions, sliced on the diagonal

Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook noodles al dente; drain and return to pot. Add 1 Tbsp of the sesame oil to noodles and toss.

Using a food processor or blender add garlic, ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and IMG_2673brown sugar. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

In a large frying pan on medium-high heat, add vegetable oil and sauté the cooked chicken and vegetables until the vegetables are crisp tender. Add the noodles, and half of the peanut sauce. Toss well then add remaining sauce. Transfer to a platter and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

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Kickstart Your Week – Overnight Oats

A healthy breakfast is essential to a productive day. Try these tasty oats for a different kindIMG_2613 of breakfast meal or afternoon snack. Also called Summer porridge, these half pint canning jars are full of old fashioned oats, chia seeds, and cinnamon then blended well with a touch of maple syrup and coconut milk. Top them with your favorite fruit or nut combinations.  Chocolate chips would be a great addition.

Though the recipe calls for coconut milk you can easily substitute almond or soy milk. I found it easier to combine all of the ingredients in a wide mouth half pint jar rather than a regular mouth canning jar as pictured above.

Overnight Oats

½ cup oats

1 Tbsp chia seeds

pinch of cinnamon

½ cup coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp maple syrup

½ pint canning jar

Combine dry ingredients in a half pint canning jar then add syrup and coconut milk. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate overnight. The next morning add fresh or dried fruit, nuts, or any combination of your favorite ingredients.

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TGIF – Citrus Margaritas

Long week. Weekend’s coming. A fresh pitcher of margaritas. Dreams of summer. Life is IMG_2568good.

1/4 cup water

6 ounces tequila

2 ounces Grand Marnier or triple sec

1 medium orange, peeled and halved

1 medium lemon, peeled and halved

1 medium lime, peeled

6 Tbsp sugar

6 cups ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender, secure the lid, and pulse on low a few times then increase speed to high until well blended and slushy.  Pour in to salted margarita glasses, garnish with lime, and enjoy!

Yield: 1 pitcher of margaritas

Prep Time:  15 min

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Lemon Pudding Cake

As winter slowly says good-bye thoughts turn to warm sunny days and the celebration of spring and its many flavors.  Lemon pudding cake is sweet, tart, and amazingly light due to the addition of fluffy whipped egg whites.  This recipe calls for only  3/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of flour and, as desserts go, its one of the lesser evils.  Use Meyer lemons, if available, for a delicately smooth, subtly sweet and tart flavor.

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Lemon Pudding Cake 

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 3 lemons

4 eggs, separated

¾ cup sugar, divided

1-1/3 cup milk

¼ cup of flour

Dash of salt, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate the egg whites and yolks. In a mixing bowl whisk together the lemon juice and zest, egg yolks, ½ cup of the sugar, milk, flour, and salt.

In very clean bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue beating while slowly addingIMG_2336 the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Whisk in approximately one quarter of the egg whites in to the lemon mixture. Gently fold the remaining whites in to the lemon mixture. Pour into a buttered casserole dish and place inside a larger pan or dish. Create a water bath by adding hot water to the larger dish (approximately 2 inches high but not so much water that it falls in to you pudding cake!)

Bake in a 350 degree oven approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown on top. The creamy IMG_2337lemon pudding will be on the bottom. Serve warm as is or topped with whipped cream, fresh strawberries, or crème fraiche.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Cookbook Journey – Beet & Chèvre Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Greetings Friends,

After taking a brief hiatus I’m back and ready to start writing about much more than just food.  Though cooking and eating have and always will be my favorite topics, I wanted to include other interests such as gardening, handmade items, and basically anything interesting or funny that won’t kill you and makes your life easier.

Though I will focus on other topics besides food, I do have a specific goal for this blog and that is to complete a project I’ve been intermittently working on for quite a long time and that is to finish writing a cookbook originally started in 2004. The twists and turns of family, work, and everyday life have prevented me from getting to the cookbook finish line.  I have tons of recipes to test and determine whether they are cookbook worthy.

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To that end, it is my hope that this blog will be a fun and helpful experience for my readers as well as a motivator for me to finish the cookbook! So let’s get going! I have tested this first recipe many times and it is definitely cookbook worthy!  Beet and citrus salad with goat cheese is perfect in winter when many typical salad ingredients are scarce and the motivation to eat veggies is often waning.  I’ve made this salad with kale, beet greens, watercress, romaine, and radish and bean sprouts–it was all tasty so be creative! The addition of quinoa would make this salad into a healthy meal.

Beet & Chevre Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

1 bunch each of red and golden beets
2 oranges, pared and slice into chunks
1 medium shallot, halved and sliced thin                                                                                                 1 large bunch of your favorite greens
1⁄4 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds                                                                                                   1⁄2 cup Chevre (goat cheese), crumbled

Vinaigrette
Zest and juice of 1 blood orange*

1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp saltIMG_2321.JPG
Pepper to taste

Trim the ends of the beets and wash thoroughly. Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add beets, and cook until tender. Drain and cool to room temperature.

Prepare the vinaigrette. In a small bowl or jar whisk/shake together all of the vinaigrette ingredients. Set aside while preparing salad.

IMG_2342Gently peel the skins of the beets then slice into wedges. In a large serving bowl, add the greens, beets, oranges, shallot, chevre, and sunflower seeds. Toss with the vinaigrette, season with pepper to taste and garnish with more sunflower seeds, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

*The zest and juice of 1 navel orange, 2 lemons, or 2 limes maybe substituted for the blood orange