Photo Credit: Google Image Search

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summatime Peanutty Noodles

I have been trying to eat colder meals lately. You know, cuz it's 5,000 degrees outside.

I also have had a real hankering for peanuts. And Thai food. For once in my cravings have aligned in a beautiful way that yields a delicious result.

I knew I wanted a Thai peanut noodle dish, and I knew I wanted to make this recipe from one of my favorite vegan bloggers. Peasandthankyou is a hilarious blog that combines funny real life anecdotes about being a mom and a healthy one at that with delicious recipes that are TOTALLY doable. Mama Pea, if you are reading this, I love you. Your blog makes me smile on a regular basis.

Just putting it out there...

Ok, things just got awkward...

Moving on.

So, I screwed up a few parts of this recipe, as could have been expected, so here's the round-up:
-Couldn't find any fire roasted tomatoes, so I just used stewed. Same thing? Not sure about that...
-My peanut butter was decidedly UN-natural. Jiffy just has to do sometimes.
-If you know me, you know I LOATHE maple syrup. Read this if you need your memory jogged. Against my better judgment, I put maple syrup in this sauce. I only used 1 teaspoon and the second I added it, I regretted it. I tasted the sauce and almost gagged. I'm sure if you are a normal human being, this would not have been an issue, but I just really can't handle even a hint of maple in savory dishes. So then I spent the next 5 minutes trying to throw anything I could into the sauce to hide the maple (mainly, rooster sauce and a whole jalapeno). The result was a VERY spicy sauce with a hint of maple. Thankfully, after it had sat out for a little bit, the maple disappeared. Lesson learned.
-I basically live in China town, so my local grocery store is awesome and has tons of Chinese staples. Unfortunately, much of the grocery store is actually IN chinese. Which has resulted in numerous fatalities, including a purchase of some authentic Chinese instant Ramen noodles that may have included Shrimp seasoning packets. Those packets are now awkwardly sitting in my cabinet...NO idea what on earth I will do with those.

All in all, this was a delicious summer meal once it had been chilled and kept very well. I'd highly recommend it, just sans maple for those maple haters out there like me.

Here's the recipe for Noodle Salad with Peanut Mmmm Sauce from

Noodle Salad with Peanut Mmmm Sauce

Serves 4

Peanut Mmmm Sauce:

•1/2 c. light coconut milk
•1/2 c. fire-roasted tomatoes in juice (i.e. Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes)
•1/4 c. natural peanut butter
•3 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
•juice of 1 lime
•2 t.. minced ginger
•1 t. minced garlic
•1 T. agave or maple syrup or 1 packet of stevia
•sriracha to taste (optional)

Noodle Salad:

•8 oz. rice noodles
•1 red bell pepper, chopped
•2 c. bok choy, chopped
•2 c. edamame, frozen or fresh
•1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
•1/4 c. peanuts, chopped

For the sauce, combine coconut milk, tomatoes, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, garlic, sweetener and sriracha, if using, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Meanwhile, prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray or a spritz of oil and place over medium high heat. Add bell pepper, bok choy and edamame and stir fry until crisp tender, about 4-5 minutes.

Add drained noodles directly to the pan.

And then add the sauce.

Toss to coat.

Serve hot immediately or refrigerate until serving and enjoy cold.

Garnish with cilantro, if desired, and peanuts

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mojito Popsicles!

I've said this before, but I'll say it again. It's been HOT. I love love LOVE hot weather, but it does discourage me from participating in another activity that I love: baking.

This means I have no desserts.

This means I'm cranky.

So, I had a revelation the other day. And that was that I should make POPSICLES! This was as I was contemplating a way to rob the CVS of all of their flavor-ice because I didn't have cash and think that charging people $7 for a package of flavored water that you then have to FREEZE YOURSELF is LUDICROUS.

I mean, I didn't care all that much...

Anyways, I did some sleuthing online and found this awesome website with recipes for alcoholic popsicles (don't ask me what I was googling), but honestly nothing sounds better than a frozen cocktail in popsicle form.

The only complicated thing about these was finding a store that carried popsicle molds. I seriously could not find them. I did however, find these weird ice cube molds that could double as popsicles, so I used that.

These were a little tricky to photograph, but here is an attempt:

They were most definitely delicious, even with my doubling of the booze involved ;)

The only thing I would warn against is that, unless you love to chew on mint leaves, be prepared for some awkward moments where you have huge mint leaves in your mouth. I would probably omit the mint leaves next time just for convenience sake, but I really do love mint and I know a mojito just isn't a mojito without mint.

Here's the recipe from "Kitchen Geek"

Mojito Pops

It makes 24 two-ounce ice cube-tray pops, six 8-ounce pops, or eight 6-ounce pops.

•1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice
•2 1/2 cups Club Soda
•1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
•1 lemon, peeled and cut into wedges
•3 limes, peeled and cut into wedges
•1 1/2 cups sugar
•4 tablespoons light rum
Pour the lime juice, club soda, and 1 cup water into a pitcher and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the mint, lemon and lime wedges, sugar, and rum to the pitcher. Mash all of the ingredients together with a muddler or a wooden spoon.

Pour into pop molds, being sure to distribute the fruits and mint evenly among the molds. Insert the sticks. Freeze for at least 12 hours. Remove from the freezer; let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before removing the pops from the molds.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rhubarb Raspberry Crisp

It was hot outside.

Really hot.

And the last thing I wanted to do was turn on the oven.

But my need for dessert some how overcame my desire to stay temperate.

I had not planned on this sudden urge for something sweet, but I knew it needed to be addressed, and quickly. Otherwise I'd start eating plain peanut butter on bread with cinnamon sugar. On repeat.

So, after taking a gander in my pantry, I stumbled upon a jar of Raspberry Rhubarb jam that I picked up on a family vacation to Door County last year. There is this awesome little local market called "Koepsels" that we have gone to every time we've been to Door County. Tons of canned fruit, jellies, jams, and all locally farmed and produced. Love.

I had not found the time or inspiration to make a Raspberry Rhubarb pie, so this jar had been sitting patiently for about a year. It was definitely nearing its "expiration date" at least in my opinion, so I'm glad I found this before it was too late.

I adapted a recipe from Better Homes and Garden to make it vegan and to make it include the Raspberry Rhubarb filling.

And this was delicious. It was delicious warm, but I think it got even better after refrigerating it. Then I could eat it while sweating on my porch without feeling like I was biting into the sun at the same time as sitting on it. I know, that's complicated to picture, but that's how I felt.

Here's the recipe, adapted from Better Homes and Garden:

Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp


1 pint Raspberry Rhubarb filling
2 tbsp. sugar (I used evaporated cane sugar)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (you can use any flour here)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (or cinnamon)
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1/4 cup coconut


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place fruit in a a 2 qt baking dish. Stir in sugar.

In a medium bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, and nutmeg. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping over filling.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden brown. 5 minutes before removing from oven, sprinkle coconut on the top but watch closely to make sure the coconut does not burn. Cool slightly and serve with ice cream if desired.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kicked Out of the Kitchen

I'm going to go against my normal format today. I'm going to post pictures of food I've been eating...but without the recipes.

There is a reason for all of this (and I promise this is only temporary): Matt is unemployed.

Now, you might find yourself asking what Matt's unemployment has to do with the posting of recipes or lack thereof, but there's logic. See, with Matt's unemployment status, he spends a good deal of the day in the apartment. He looks for jobs, watches reruns of "Boy Meets World," and has kicked up his level of responsibility when it comes to household chores. One of those chores being: cooking.

And grocery shopping.

Now, most people would rejoice in the idea of getting a break from trekking to the grocery store and coming home on a hot July afternoon to cook dinner, but most people aren't me.

And most people definitely aren't Matt.

See, Matt goes to the grocery store. And he spends no more than $40 on groceries that are to last us 2 weeks. I applaud his ability to do this since that's a fraction of what I end up spending during weekly trips to the grocery store, but the problem is that he shops without recipes. And without consultation with me.

Here's an example of the booty collected when Matt goes to the store:
-Huge jar of Peanut Butter
-8 Apples
-Loaf of bread
-6 cucumbers
-Economy size bag of rice
-4 habaneros


So, unless you are a magician, there's not much that one can throw together from these ingredients.

But on some days, I find myself wondering if his obsession with Harry Potter is actually because he's a wizard, because God bless it, he puts something together for dinner!

Like this:

Or this:

Or even this:

He's pretty magical.

And dreamy.

But that's besides the point.

You may be wondering what I do with myself while he's cooking me dinner, and that's a very good question. Lately, I've taken to concerning myself with the state of the earth while staring out the window at skies like these:

Seriously, what the heck is going on.

Then I start to panic thinking the end of the world is coming.

Then I look in the kitchen to find something to stress eat with and can only find a cucumber.

And then I collapse into a pile of emotion on the floor.

I think I need to start cooking again. And soon. It's for the best in terms of my health and the state of the world.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Look Who's Back in Action!

Hello world! I'm baaaaack!

In case you are just tuning in, over the past 3 weeks I have gotten married, gone on a honeymoon, and been informed I have a very interesting complication to an eye infection that took place prior to the wedding. I'll leave the gory details out of all the events listed above, but here are a few snapshots to give you a visual of the whole experience.

As you can see, I've had my hands full, but I'm back and ready to blog! We've been cooking up a storm and I have lots of things to share with you all, so stay tuned this week as programming returns to its normal scheduling!!

Much Love!