Saturday, November 21, 2009

Applesauce Cake

Another winner from America's Test Kitchen! I love these people! I made a sweet potato casserole earlier this week that was hands down the best I've ever had or made. (and I am known for my sweet potato casserole at the holidays) This new recipe will become a holiday staple. Back to the cake...A little different than just a regular apple sauce cake, you reconstitute dried apples in apple cider on the stove top. It gives the cake great flavor! The topping is just a simple spiced sugar sprinkled over the top.

Look how tasty!

Brilliant idea of making a parchment paper sling that allows you to lift the cake out of the pan.

Take the cake out and start cutting!

Oh so moist and delicious. It's not dense. It's not overly spiced. Just right.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Chicken

I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light's Sesame Noodles with Chicken. It's different in that I don't put sesame seeds in mine b/c I don't always have some. I use more chili sauce than their recipe calls for (makes it spicy). I add chicken stock instead of vegetable stock b/c it's what I keep in my pantry. And I use a vegetable peeler for my carrots and I stir them in while everything is hot so they don't fully cook (b/c many of you know I hate cooked carrots). Clearly this recipe is very versatile. It reminds me of almost Pad Thai. David wants to try it with shrimp one day.

Here's the original from Cooking Light's website:

8 ounces uncooked linguine

1 cup matchstick-cut carrots

2/3 cup organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson's Certified Organic)

1/2 cup reduced-fat peanut butter

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)

2 teaspoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)

2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast

1 cup thinly sliced green onions

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add carrots to pasta during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain well.

Combine broth and next 5 ingredients (through Sriracha) in a food processor; process until smooth. Combine pasta mixture, chicken, and onions in a large bowl. Drizzle broth mixture over pasta mixture; toss well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Kim to the Rescue!!!

So yesterday I kept hearing a screeching coming from our fireplace. And then last night some scratching. I couldn't convince David to poke around in the chimney, so we called our apartment office to have someone take a look on Monday. But then this morning I heard less scratching and no screeching. I got worried. Worried enough that I was going to poke around myself if David wouldn't. But he came to my rescue, seeing as how I was getting upset, and poked through the leaves that blocked our flue. Lo and behold look what we found!

She was cold to the touch at first, so I heated up my rice heating pack and made a nest for her. Poor little thing; helpless, cold and doesn't even have her eyes open yet.

After searching on the internet, I found someone who answered their phone and would take her in. According the rehab volunteer, squirrels are having babies late this year and it is highly unusual to have a 4 week old squirrel in November.

My efforts worked, and when it came time to drop her off she was moving and screeching again! Looks like she's gonna make it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Doggy Sweaters

So today is my big sister's birthday...Happy Birthday!!!! And since I don't live near them anymore I had to mail her present down to FL. She got an extra special set of presents this year, handmade with love. Hehe. Look how cute. Little doggy sweaters. She has 2 small tea cup size Chihuahuas.

Both are in a lovely Avocado sister loves the color green people.

A bow for the girl and buttons for the boy.

Here's Moxie or as we fondly call her Miss Mox.

And Mojo!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dinner Tonight 11/04/09

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This recipe is soooo easy. And though the photo looks like a plain pureed broccoli soup, I assure you it's very cheesy. And you don't have to puree the whole thing, you could very easily save some smaller bits of broccoli out to stir in later. I used fat free evaporated milk and skim milk, that way I can use the full fat cheddar cheese and not feel too guilty. And if you like cauliflower you could substitute that for the broccoli. The sharp or extra sharp cheddar is really key here people. Do not skimp on a cheapo brand. As you can see the soup is green, you are not making a cheese sauce so you need the cheese to have really good flavor. But I assure it is cheese-licious.

Mrs. Bailey's Broccoli Soup

Broccoli - 3 large stalks
Chicken Bouillon Cubes
Can of Evaporated Milk
1/2 cup of Milk
Butter (optional)
1 - 1 1/2 cups of Cheddar Cheese (good and sharp, my favorite is Cabot's Extra Sharp)
Salt & Pepper to taste

3 large stalks of broccoli cut into small pieces
Cook in 1 cp of water and 3 small chicken bouillon cubes or 1 large.
Take the Broccoli out and put into the blender with 1 can of evaporated milk and puree.
Then add the cheese and some of the milk, add it all if it too thick or add more to get it to your liking. Season with salt & pepper. I usually pop it back into the sauce pan I cooked the broccoli in to warm it back through.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dinner Tonight 11/03/09

David and I love Asian style food. Luckily for us Cooking Light did a feature of delicious noodle bowl recipes. Here is my first attempt. It's Char Siu over Sesame Noodles. If you look at the recipe it calls for a pork roast but I did a pork tenderloin instead. It turned out great. The marinade on the meat was fantastic. I don't eat a lot of pork tenderloin or pork chops but I ate seconds tonight!

Here's the recipe courtesy of Cooking Light:

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce, divided 1/4 cup honey 3 tablespoons rice vinegar 3 tablespoons dark sesame oil, divided 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek), divided 5 garlic cloves, divided 1 (1 1/4-pound) boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed 12 ounces (1/4-inch-thick) uncooked rice sticks (rice-flour noodles) 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves 3 tablespoons torn fresh mint leaves

1. Combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, honey, vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, hoisin, 1 tablespoon chile paste, and 3 garlic cloves, stirring well with a whisk; place mixture in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Place pork in bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

2. Preheat oven to 450°.

3. Remove pork from bag; reserve marinade. Place a roasting rack in a small roasting pan; fill pan with water to a depth of 1/2 inch. Place pork on rack. Roast pork at 450° for 15 minutes. Baste pork with some of reserved marinade. Turn pork over; baste. Reduce oven temperature to 400°. Cook pork an additional 40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes. Discard remaining marinade. Let pork stand 10 minutes; thinly slice.

4. Prepare noodles according to package directions; drain. Combine remaining 1/4 cup soy sauce, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1 tablespoon chile paste, remaining 2 garlic cloves, juice, and sugar in a large bowl, stirring well. Add noodles to bowl; toss to coat. Divide noodles evenly among each of 6 bowls. Combine cilantro and mint; sprinkle about 1 tablespoon herb mixture over each serving. Divide pork evenly among bowls.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup noodle mixture, 3 ounces pork, and 1 tablespoon herb mixture)

CALORIES 428 ; FAT 13.3g (sat 3.4g,mono 5.4g,poly 3g); CHOLESTEROL 42mg; CALCIUM 33mg; CARBOHYDRATE 60.1g; SODIUM 623mg; PROTEIN 15.8g; FIBER 0.6g; IRON 2.4mg