Szechuan Noodles
Recipes / September 27, 2018

This is a great lunch dish since you don’t even have to heat it up! Szechuan Noodles 6 garlic cloves, chopped 1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup tahini 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter 1/2 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup dry sherry 1/4 cup sherry or white wine vinegar 1/4 cup honey 1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil 2 tablespoons sesame oil 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 pound spaghetti noodles 2 red or yellow bell peppers, sliced 4 green onions, sliced (optional) Place the garlic and ginger in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the vegetable oil, tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, sherry, vinegar, honey, chili oil, sesame oil, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Puree the sauce. Boil the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. While still warm, toss with three-quarters of the sauce. Add the bell peppers and green onions; toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature. Add remaining sauce, as needed, to moisten the pasta. My notes: This is a long list of ingredients, but you can adjust the ingredients and measurements to your taste or what…

Tuesday Links
Favorite Things / September 25, 2018

There has been a lot of exciting cookbook news in the past several weeks. So many cookbooks, so little time! “Reese Witherspoon’s New Book ‘Whiskey in a Teacup’ Arrives This September” “Meghan Markle Launches Dream Cookbook With Prince Harry by Her Side” “Ina Garten Wants You to ‘Cook Like a Pro’” “Chrissy Teigen on the Long Road to Making Her Second Comeback” “All the New Cookbooks Fall 2018” What celebrity (or just regular) cookbooks are you looking forward to getting your hands on?

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Cookbook Overviews / September 24, 2018

The Barefoot Contessa, AKA Ina Garten, has a new cookbook called Cook Like a Pro coming out in October. It is her 11th cookbook, and as soon as I can get my hands on it, I will bring you a review. In the meantime, I thought I would review her first cookbook, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, which was published in 1999. In case you don’t know Ina Garten’s story, she left a job as White House budget analyst and bought a specialty food shop in the Hamptons called The Barefoot Contessa. That’s where she got her name; she is neither barefoot nor a Contessa. She became a very successful caterer and wrote this cookbook, which was a bestseller. She went on to host several shows on the Food Network and to write many more cookbooks. Garten is one of my favorite celebrity chefs because she cooks food that is simple and elegant. She’s similar to Martha Stewart, but nicer. 🙂 I mentioned her brownie recipe before, which is found in this book, but I can’t wait to try out another recipe and share it with you. Tomorrow I will have a round-up of all the latest cookbook news. There’s a…

My Verdict: The Stocked Kitchen
Cookbook Reviews / September 14, 2018

Here’s my verdict on The Stocked Kitchen: One Grocery List . . . Endless Recipes by Sarah Kallio and Stacey Krastins. To Read: Yes. You have to read this cookbook because it’s more about the plan of cooking from one grocery list than it is about the recipes. The beginning section explains the concept and how to get started. There are also sections on menu planning and detailed information about the items on the grocery list. To Look At: No. This book does not have high-production value. There are some photos of recipes, but they are grouped together in a couple of sections (like you often find in biographies). To Cook From: Yes. I think there are a lot of well-constructed, simple recipes that are family friendly. That being said, these are not gourmet recipes. When you are dealing with a limited pantry, there is only so much you can cook. Besides the Crab Rangoon, I have made the Pasta Carbonara, Chicken Potpie, and several other recipes. I like this idea and think it’s probably a good way to think about cooking for a family, especially if you work outside the home too. Where I get caught up is in…

Sweet-and-Sour Sauce
Recipes / September 13, 2018

Who knows how old those sauce packets in the junk drawer are! Mix up this super-easy sauce instead. Sweet-and-Sour Sauce 3 tablespoons apricot preserves 2 tablespoons ketchup 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons soy sauce Mix all the ingredients together and chill. Adapted from The Stocked Kitchen by Sarah Kallio and Stacey Krastins.

Crab Rangoon with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce
Recipes / September 12, 2018

I love crab rangoon! This recipe calls for using puff pastry, instead of the typical wonton wrappers, but they are still tasty. Crab Rangoon with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed 1 tablespoon sour cream Half an 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened Half a 6-ounce can crab, drained, or half an 8-ounce package imitation crab, chopped 1 green onion, thinly sliced 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon pureed ginger 1 teaspoon soy sauce 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar Sweet-and-sour sauce (optional) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to approximately 11 by 14 inches. With a pizza cutter, cut the pastry into 24 pieces. Stretch the pastry pieces slightly and lay in the cups of a mini muffin pan. Mix together the remaining ingredients. Fill each cup with 2 teaspoons of the mixture. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the corners begin to brown. Serve immediately with sweet-and-sour sauce. My notes: Imitation crab isn’t my favorite, but in this recipe it’s fine. I will share an easy sweet-and-sour sauce recipe tomorrow. Adapted from The Stocked Kitchen by Sarah Kallio and Stacey Krastins.  

The Stocked Kitchen: One Grocery List . . . Endless Recipes
Cookbook Overviews / September 11, 2018

I forgot I even had The Stocked Kitchen, but my husband dragged it out of a box of books that were in the basement. I know that doesn’t sound promising, but I really did use this cookbook for quite a while. I thought it would be fun to revisit some of the recipes. The concept of this cookbook is that with one standard list of ingredients you can make every recipe in this book and be prepared to make meals for your family, guests, whatever comes up. No more menu planning and creating new grocery lists every week. You just keep your kitchen stocked with the foods on this list, and you are always ready to make dinner, breakfast, or even dessert. Spoiler alert, I did try out this method a few years a go, and it does work. As you may have noticed, I do love to cook new things. Eventually I was ready to move on, so this book ended up in storage. Instead of throwing it away, I decided to dust it off and share the concept and some of the recipes with you. See you tomorrow with a Stocked Kitchen recipe!

My Verdict: Clean Sweets
Cookbook Overviews / September 10, 2018

Here’s my verdict for Clean Sweets: Simple High-Protein Desserts for One by Arman Liew. To Read:  Yes, at least the section on alternative ingredients. This is a small cookbook, and there’s not a lot to read. The book starts with the author’s story of creating his blog, which led to this cookbook. Following that, is the most useful section, which explains the various categories of ingredients used in the recipes and how to use alternative ingredients. For example, if a recipe calls for a granulated sugar, you could use regular sugar, coconut sugar, granulated stevia, or several other choices. Since each recipe allows for a lot of substitution of ingredients, this info is quite useful. To Look At: Yes. There are gorgeous photos for each recipe. Unfortunately, the photos look so good and the taste of the desserts don’t necessarily live up to the photos. To Cook From: Maybe. If you are trying to eat desserts while avoiding certain ingredients, this cookbook can certainly be useful. Just don’t expect these desserts to taste exactly like the full-sugar, full-fat, non-vegan versions. I made the Confetti Breakfast Blondie, and the results were similar to the Deep Dish Skillet Brownie. Not great. Many of…

Verdict Delayed
Uncategorized / September 7, 2018

  I really wanted to make at least one more recipe from Clean Sweets before I made my verdict. Since I haven’t had time to do that, I’m going to give my verdict on Monday and introduce next week’s cookbook on Tuesday. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday Links
Favorite Things / September 6, 2018

Sheet Pan Breakfast Bake: This works great as a breakfast for dinner recipe. I suggest you cook the bacon separately; it won’t really crisp up on the pan. Tested and Approved: The Best Reusable Straws: Plastic straws seem to be public enemy number one lately. Since I need straws for my daily iced latte, I thought I would check out some of these suggestions. 18 Classic Fall Movies: Not a food-related link, but some great suggestions for getting in a fall state of mind. How to Make Fluffy Pancakes: I don’t make pancakes. That’s my husband’s job, and he is good at it. But I was still intrigued by this article. Should I send him this link? Probably not. 🙂 16 Trader Joe’s Secrets That Will Change Your Life: Did you know Trader Joe’s has a podcast?      

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