Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sweet soy chicken and vegetable noodles

As spring and warmer weather come, I almost always find myself increasing the number of Asian dishes we eat. The varieties are endless and the flavors are so bright. Plus, you can throw in pretty much any vegetables and protein to your liking and it will still taste delicious! For this dish, I wanted to make a sauce that was sweet with a bit of a kick from ginger. I decided to throw in some sesame for good measure and it totally worked. I used carrot, scallions, and green cabbage for my vegetables. Other tasty ideas are snow peas, red bell pepper strips, or broccoli. I used chicken thighs but you can just as easily use tofu or shrimp (or a mix). It's super versatile.

I'm excited because the farmers' market is back open now and last weekend we were able to get some asparagus and they had scallions, radishes, and spinach available already, too. I'm not a huge fan of the hot weather that summer brings, but I'm a huge fan of the fresh food it brings after a long winter. I'm ready for strawberries and blueberries and peaches to be ready! 

Give these noodles a try. They will feed about four people (more of less depending on hunger level and how many vegetables you add).

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Baked cinnamon-orange French toast

Need a little pick-me-up this weekend? Say hello to this baked French toast made with Challah bread, fresh orange juice and zest, and cinnamon. It's a lovely treat for a Saturday or Sunday morning, especially with some bacon and piping hot coffee. I mean, who doesn't love a big weekend breakfast?? We ate this batch of French toast before going out for a nice walk in the woods to see find spring wildflowers and enjoy some warm weather. It was a hearty meal to get us going! Plus, we had some leftovers for the next day.

This French toast is baked in the oven instead of frying it. This allows for more hands-off time in the cooking process and also keeps it a bit lighter. The top of the bread will get all golden and slightly crispy this way. All the better for covering in maple syrup, I say. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Smoked white fish chowder

Spring has been slow to get started here this year. In fact, it's still be rather chilly most days. I've yet to retire my jackets and sweaters and heavier jammies and it's almost May. On a chilly and damp day, a thick, creamy, and hearty chowder with a side of buttery bread is a perfect meal to me. This chowder uses a firm smoked white fish for the protein and it's paired with lots of vegetables and a creamy broth. Capers and a dash of hot sauce help add that extra something to really bring this chowder together.

This soup will serve about four people, especially with a side of crusty bread. I made a spelt sourdough to go with our chowder and it was a perfect companion for sopping up all the leftover broth. I'm working on perfecting my sourdough skills and will probably begin sharing more recipes using sourdough starter in the near future. You should be able to find smoked white fish in most larger grocery stores near the meat and deli section (probably near the smoked salmon). 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Strawberry sour cream-poppy seed pancakes

I've been quiet for a couple weeks, but I'm back with yet another pancakes recipe (is there an end to the amazing things one can do with pancakes?! I think not). I made these pancakes for dinner for myself the night before a somewhat stressful medical procedure recently (hence, my quietness for a couple of weeks). Pancakes are one of my favorite things to eat when I'm not feeling my best, or when it's the weekend, or a Tuesday evening... Yes, pancakes ALL THE TIME!

I'm okay and the procedure went well. Hopefully I'll be cooking up all sorts of new and tasty stuff in no time! 

These pancakes contain sour cream and then I topped with a bit more. Having a bit of savory contrast is the perfect way to have a pancake to me - otherwise they can be just too sweet for my liking, especially after you throw in the maple syrup. Bacon also helps with this. Or sausage. I'm not picky.

These pancakes will feed about 2-3 people depending on hunger level. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spicy tofu and pinto beans (Sofritas)

So we are not big tofu fans around here. I mean, I just have never really been able to get into it - it's mushy and bland and looks weird. But, this is tofu I can get behind and actually eat on purpose. This is my interpretation of the sofritas burrito filling that's now available at Chipotle. The sauce for this filling is where all the flavor comes from. It's a spicy and flavorful sauce, but once you mix it up with the tofu and beans (and then throw in some rice), it really mellows out. You'll want to adjust the sauce amount to suite your tastes.

We enjoy this filling wrapped up in a burrito shell with rice, avocado, sour cream, and other toppings like cheese, lettuce/cabbage, and quick pickled onions. We also like to use it in burrito bowls (same ingredients minus the shell) and I'm thinking it would be great on some nachos. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Silky peanut butter pie

This pie is sure to please everyone at your next gathering or dinner party. Smooth, creamy peanut butter whipped together with cream cheese and whipped cream in a shell of chocolate cookies - I mean, who could resist?? Peanut butter + chocolate is a favorite combination of mine (as I bet many of you) so I knew when I finally got around to making a peanut butter pie during 25 Pies of 2015 that it would be in a chocolate crust. 

We had this pie when my in-laws were over for dinner and then had the leftovers the next night with my mom. It was a big hit with everyone; so much so that I never had the opportunity to get a photo of a slice. We were all too busy eating it! It's okay though - just trust me when I say you won't be disappointed by this rich, delicious pie.