Friday, March 25, 2011

Asian Noodle Salad

adapted slightly from The Pioneer Woman

The 'final product' picture was taken in extreme haste, but hopefully the bottom picture is enough encouragement to try this. Only changes I made were personal preferences- this dish serves a ton, and I thought it tasted better the 2nd day (only adding dressing just prior to serving). This is a fantastic way to get tons of veggies in at once.


1 package whole wheat Linguine noodles, cooked, rinsed, and cooled
1/2 head sliced Napa cabbage
1/2 head sliced purple cabbage
5-8 oz. baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
chopped cilantro (up to 1 bunch, to taste)
3 whole scallions, sliced

optional: cucumbers, peeled and sliced
                mung bean sprouts
                almonds or cashews, lightly toasted

1 whole lime, juiced
1 tsp. lime zest
8 Tbsp. olive oil
8 Tbsp. soy sauce
2-3 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
3-5 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 jalapenos, chopped
additional chopped cilantro {dressing will keep up to 3 days w/o cilantro added}

1. Prepare pasta. Chop veggies til your hands hurt. Mix salad ingredients together. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on a platter.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Grilled Pork and Fontina Sandwiches

 adapted slightly from Giada

2 (8oz) 1 -inch thick, boneless pork chops
olive oil
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. herbes de Provence
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp packed chopped fresh basil leaves
1-2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 loaf ciabatta bread, cut in 1/2 horizontally and cut into 4-5 sandwhiches
romaine lettuce leaves or spinach leaves
4 oz. fontina cheese, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices


1.  Put a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the pork chops on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle both sides with the herbs de Provence and grill for 10 minutes. Turn the chops over and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 160 degrees F. Transfer the chops to a cutting board and let them rest for 10 minutes. Slice each chop into 6 (1/4-inch thick) slices.

2. While meat is cooking or cooling, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, basil, lemon zest, and lemon juice until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. To assemble the sandwiches: spread mayonnaise on each sandwich, layer pork slices, lettuce/spinach leaves, and cheese. Serve.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oatmeal Coconut Chewies

from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Okay. Really I ate at least 9 of these yesterday. Easily.
The only thing I might play with next time would be trading a little more oatmeal for a little less flour. Thanks for introducing these to me, Katie!


1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to cool room temperature
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour (can also use white-wheat flour)
1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cup quick oats

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl cream together the sugar and butter. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.  In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to sugar mixture and mix until combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased or lined (silpat or parchment) baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies are set but not overly browned (bake a few minutes longer for a crispier version- I baked mine right at 9 min). The cookies will appear a little doughy at first, but quickly settle upon being transferred to a cooling rack.

Monday, March 7, 2011


originally from San Antonio Express-News, seen on Perry's Plate

Also known as the "Seinfeld soup" which is how I convinced Nick to try it- he couldn't deny it was pretty darn good.


6 Tbsp butter
2 small yellow onions, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 green or red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 cup flour
1 T good quality curry powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
6 whole cloves (or 1/2 tsp ground)
4 sprigs parsley (or 2 tsp dried)
2 quarts chicken broth
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups chopped tomatoes (or one can diced/whole tomatoes, undrained)
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
2 cups cooked brown or wild rice


1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy soup pot over medium-high heat (I used my 7 qt, but I had plenty of room). Add onions, carrots, celery and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently until onions are soft and clear. Stir in the flour, curry powder, nutmeg, and cloves and cook for a minute or so. Add the chicken broth, parsley, salt, pepper, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about an hour.

2. Blend soup with an immersion or stick blender (or transfer to a blender in batches and puree) until completely smooth. If using whole cloves, remove before blending.

Stir in the chicken, cream, and rice; heat through before serving.

Serves 8.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Blackberry Jam

adapted slightly from Giada


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 packed cup light brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup blackberry jam {I had raspberry on hand, so that's what I used}


1. Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, peanut butter, 3/4 cup of sugar, and light brown sugar together, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until blended. With the machine running on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until incorporated.

3. Put the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Form the dough into 1/4 cup-size balls-split in half- and roll in the sugar. Arrange 8 balls of dough, evenly apart, on each baking sheet. Using a round 1/4 teaspoon measure, or the thin end of a wooden spoon, make a hole in the center of each ball of dough, about 1/2 to 3/4-inch deep. Fill a ziploc bag with jam, cut one corner off, and squeeze about 1 tsp. jam into each hole. Bake for 11 to 14 minutes until the dough has spread and the surface of the cookies are crackled (mine were ready at 11). Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.