Friday, April 11, 2008

Sesame Noodles with Chicken

Saw this recipe in the Fine Cooking Magazine, and wanted to try it out. It's pretty good for a quick lunch, and the kids liked it. I used fresh organic green pasta from the produce section of the grocery store, and increased the peanut butter amount to recipe to suit my taste.

Here's the recipe:
1 lb fresh pasta, cooked
6 tbs Asian roasted sesame oil
4 med cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup cream peanut butter
1/2 cup lite soy sauce
6 tbs rice vinegar
1/4 c light brown sugar
2 lbs grilled chicken breasts
2 tsp peanut oil
Dash of ground white pepper
6 scallions, sliced

Transfer cooked pasta to large bowl and toss with 1 tbs sesame oil while it's still hot. In food processor, pulse garlic til chopped. Add the rest of the 5 tbs sesame oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Process til smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the bowl, about 30 secs.

Pour about 1 1/4 cups of dressing over pasta and chicken to toss. I did it with half the chicken and placed a few pieces of grilled chicken on top for presentation, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and chopped red peppers, and served it with the rest of the peanut sauce on the side.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


This is Hub's favorite snack or dinner while watching college basketball. I used ground turkey instead of ground beef and added corn kennels and red peppers to the recipe.

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup water
1 packages taco seasoning mix
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 can 16 oz fat-free refried beans
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped red peppers
1/2 cup corn kennels
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 can sliced ripe olives, drained
Tortilla chips
Sour Cream and

Heat oven to 350F

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. In a nonstick skillet, cook ground meat over medium heat. Drain away the fat and stir in corn, red peppers, water and taco seasoning mix. Heat to boiling, cook 2-4 mins. Stir in chilies.

Spread refried beans in baking dish, top with ground meat mixture. Cover tightly with foil. Bake 30-40 mins until bubbly around edges.

Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, tomato, onions, and olives. Arrange about 20 tortilla chips around the edges. Bake uncovered for 10 mins. Serve with sour cream and guacamole on the side.

Recipe adapted from Pillsbury.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Cherry Almond Coffee Cake

The week of spring break is coming to an end soon, and I'm going to miss having my kids with me 24/7. So far, we had braved the crazy crowd at the zoo, the ski slopes and the play park when the weather was good. And on snowing/rainy days, they played with the slides, jumped on the bouncers (both were in the basement), did straw painting and finger painting (thank goodness for washable paint, but what a fun mess we had!) and made cupcakes. We also did puzzles and played with our fluff on fb alot! It is getting to be so much fun as they grow older and we can do more crafts and stuff together. :)

So today Hubs wanted a coffee cake for dessert, and I thought of this recipe. Had made it once in the pass, and remembered that he like it as it was not too sweet, and I increased the amount of almond extract this time around. The kids helped me measure the flour into the bowl and onto me, but they did a great job ploping the little cherries into the batter before it went into the oven.

Tried this recipe from Bon Appetit and I used self-raising flour and increased the almond extract.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light sour cream

1 21-ounce can cherry pie fillingHeat oven to 350F.

Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light. Add eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract and beat well. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Mix half of dry ingredients into butter mixture. Mix in sour cream, then remaining dry ingredients.
Pour 2/3 of batter (about 2 cups) into prepared pan. Drop pie filling by tablespoons evenly over batter. Drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over pie filling. Using back of spoon, carefully spread batter over filling. Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with foil and store at room temperature.) Cut around sides of pan. Remove pan.

Note: It's becoming a favorite of Hubs, and it's not bad, but I'm not happy with the cherries, and am still searching for a better almond coffee cake recipe.

Oxtail Soup

We had bright sunshine all day yesterday, and a combination of snow and rain for most of the night. Looking out my window now, there's fog everywhere as the sun is fighting its way to get out from behind the thick clouds. That's what I love about spring time! You never know what weather you get from one day to the next!

I finally got my hands on some fresh, not frozen (as indicated in bold letters on the packaging) beef oxtail yesterday, and couldn't wait to try out this special recipe.

These are the ingredients that went into a milky, somewhat brothy, and rich oxtail soup I tried using a recipe found at Ioyces site. I followed her method of soaking and blanching the oxtails, added a couple of carrots to her recipe, and increased the onions and garlic (can't help myself!), covered everything in water, boiled and simmered for about 3 hours. Thanks Ioyces for this soup idea!