Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pad Thai

Oh blog, please don't think I abandoned you. I simply went on vacation. I intended to update you, I really did. It's just that I was in a beach house with 9 really fun people, and they all kept distracting me. I am back now, I promise!

To kick things off this week, here is a really delicious Pad Thai recipe that utilizes ingredients you can find in just about any grocery store. It's easy, keeps well for leftovers, and can feed a crowd. Get ready for something spicy adapted from "The All New Complete Cooking Lite Cookbook."


1 cup chili sauce

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

2 teaspoons chopped serrano chile

1 box (14 ounces) wide rice noodles

2 tablespoons of canola oil

1 8 oz package of extra firm tofu cubes

2 cups of rotisserie chicken

3 eggs

5 cloves of coarsely chopped garlic

3 cups of bean sprouts

1 and 1/4 cups diagonally cut green onions

3/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts

12 lime wedges

Serves 6

Combine chili sauce, brown sugar, water, fish sauce, ginger and serrano chile to form a thin sauce. Set aside.

Cook noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain well and set aside.

Next heat one tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high (Seriously, you'll need a really big pan before this is all said and done.) Cook tofu cubes in the oil for about 7 or 8 minutes stirring occasionally. You want them to turn a golden brown color, and develop a crispy texture. Remove from the pan.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil into the pan and saute garlic for about 1 minute. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk them (just like scrambled eggs). Add to the non-stick skillet and cook with the garlic until you have scrambles. Stir in chile sauce mixture, cooked noodles, tofu, chicken, bean sprouts, green onions, and half of the cilantro. Cook for 3 minutes or until all of the noodles are warmed through and the bean sprouts begin to wilt.

Serve garnished with peanuts, the remaining cilantro, and lime wedges.

I enjoyed this recipe because it gives you that sassy Thai food flavor, without sending you running in all directions for obscure ingredients. Give it a try one night this week, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Guilt Free Cupcakes

I'm going to the beach on Saturday. That means me in a bathing suit.... So, in order to stave off the little bit of guilt that I almost always feel after eating something sweet (and hopefully slim down my middle), I have found a wonderful and healthful trick to lighten up a boxed cake mix. This isn't exactly a recipe, but more a calorie saving hint that I just had to share.

Here is the deal. Simply make the cake mix according to the directions on the package, only omit the oil. Instead peel, and then grate the flesh of one apple into the mix. You'll need about a half cup of grated apple. Now how healthy and wonderful is that?!

Anytime you remove the fat from something, there is a concern that the end product may be dry. To combat this unpleasant side effect of being health conscious, simply shave off a few minutes from the cooking time to ensure that the finished cakes are nice and moist.

Now if I could only figure out how to make a creamy low fat frosting. Any ideas....anyone? Oh well, these I decorated with chocolate icing and natural peanut butter sweetened with honey. They were the perfect guilt free treat for this health conscious foodie. If you have a healthful baking tip to share, don't hesitate. I am all ears...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kicked Up Banana Smoothie

A Breakfast for Champions....or Monkeys

I love a smoothie, but not that crappy sugary kind that gives you a headache 15 minutes after drinking. I get suckered into those from time to time by an unfounded craving or two. All of that fake fruit, and high fructose corn syrup can wreak havoc on my system, how 'bout yours? Here is something that I discovered just a few weeks ago after hearing my friend Meghan talk about making a similar concoction. This is my rendition of a slurp-able breakfast that has almost all of your nutritional bases covered.


1/2 cup of skim milk

1 banana

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 and 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons of raw oatmeal

1 tablespoon of peanut butter

8-10 ice cubes

Put all of the ingredients except for the ice into a blender and whaz it up. Whaz...i really wanted to use that particular word for some reason! Then add in the ice cubes, and blend until smooth. This is so simple you can even do it at 7am. I must preface these simple instructions with the fact that I have a wonderful blender. Thanks, mom! Gotta love all of the cool kitchen stuff you get when you get married. If your blender leaves a bit to be desired, just go slow and add the ice cubes one at a time through the hole in the lid. Eventually your smoothie will come together into a tasty, filling, and nutritional treat.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Weekend Feast

Sometimes you've just got to destroy the kitchen, and go for it. Let's face it, every good meal comes with a good deal of dishes to do later. I am convinced that's why they invented cabernet. After a few glasses, a mountain of dishes seems like no big deal. So if your anything like me, and you enjoy creating an amazing feast at home, get ready and dive into this great menu, perfect for a Friday night in.

The Game Plan:

Appetizer: Tomato and Cucumber Bruschetta

Main Course: Rosemary Seared Steak

Sides: Asparagus with Roasted Garlic Mayo

Sweet Potato Wedges

Dessert: Chocolate Haupia Pie

If you'd like to pair wine with this meal, I'd recommend starting with something light and slightly acidic such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Beaujolais for your appetizer course. Once you get to the main meal, try something a bit heavier such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, or Zinfindel.

Bon Appetit!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fettuccine with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Ok, wow, I haven't posted in awhile. Sometimes life just gets BUSY!!! We just spent the last 3 days cleaning the hell out of our house. It is going on the market tomorrow, so we can move down the street a bit to a much newer house that we designed ourselves. Yay! And that, my dear readers, meant there has been no time at all for cooking. So here is one I've had in the wings for a few weeks. A delicious and creamy fettuccine with roasted red pepper sauce. I know, how good does this sound?

1 pound of fettuccine
2 cups sliced roasted red peppers (about 2 small jars)
1/2 cup cream
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil

Boil your pasta according to the directions on the box. Cook al dente (or until soft with a slight bite), and heavily salt the water. While the pasta is boiling, you can whip up your sauce. In a food processor, combine all remaining ingredients accept for the basil. Pulse until very smooth. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan over medium heat, and cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. You basically just need to cook the sauce long enough to heat it through, and allow the more pungent garlic flavors to mellow a bit. It should reduce slightly in volume. Towards the end of cooking, throw in one ladle of pasta water. The starch from the water will help to thicken the sauce and allow it to better stick to the pasta.

Pour sauce over your cooked and drained noodles, and garnish with roughly chopped basil. This recipe would also be delicious with shrimp, or even chicken.