Sesame Noodles

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At least for me, noodles are pure comfort food.  Add some Asian flavors and you cannot go wrong.  This recipe was given to me by a coworker.  The recipe calls for a pound of noodles, but I usually halve the recipe for just me and my husband.

This is an easy and quick recipe that is perfect for bringing to a casual picnic or party. It is intended to be served slightly cool or at room temperature, but is just as good served warm.

Sesame Noodles

16 oz. angel hair pasta

1 1/3 c. shredded carrots

4 T. sesame seeds, toasted*

1/2 c. light soy sauce

1/3 c. olive oil

1 t. sesame seed oil

1 T. sugar

1 t. ground ginger

1 T. white wine vinegar

1/2 t. red pepper flakes

4 scallions, diced for garnish (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding the carrots to the water so they cook with the pasta.  Do not over cook noodles.  Drain and rinse with cold water.

2. In a mixing bowl, mix the soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, sugar, ginger, vinegar and pepper flakes.

3. Toss noodles in the dressing mixture and add toasted sesame seeds.

4. Sprinkle with diced scallions (green onion) for garnish.

5. Serve warm or chilled.

Enjoy!

~Nancy

*To toast the sesame seeds, the recipe calls for baking at ~325 degrees for about 2-4 minutes. I prefer to put the seeds in a dry frying pan at low-med heat.  You need to pay attention though, because they will burn quickly. Stir the seeds until they are a nice light brown and then transfer them to a paper plate until you are ready to use.

Cupcake!

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I wish I could say I made this from scratch, but that would only be a half truth.  The cake is from a box with pudding in the recipe, very moist.  The icing is adapted from a recipe in a, appropriately named, cupcake recipe book.

The recipe is for Creamy Chocolate frosting and is in “Betty Crocker: The Big Book of Cupcakes”  ISBN 978-0-470-90672-9

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“My oh my, I love pie”

DSCN1554.JPGStrawberry Rhubarb Pie

The general way in which I cook and bake is primarily through internet searches.  I search for the recipe I want and look at some of the larger sites, such as  www.allrecipes.com or The Food Network.  I look at a few recipes, take the parts that I like, and I attempt to create something that I and my husband will like.

This was my first attempt at Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, but strawberries and rhubarb are currently in season in the North East so I thought, why not?  Personally, I do not make my own pie crusts, I use the refrigerator pre-made ones.  But if you are energetic, by all means, go ahead. Continue reading

Butternut Squash

This recipe came directly from a sticker on the squash, although I didn’t use all the ingredients they recommended.  Their instructions were to preheat the oven to 400 degrees, cut the squash in half lengthwise.  Remove seeds, then bake cut-side down in a shallow pan.  Test with fork. Remove and sprinkle with salt and brown sugar, then bake until golden brown.  They suggest that the squash can be mashed, drizzled with butter, honey or syrup.  ~From Stauffer Huling Farms.

I personally think that the squash is sweet enough on its own and does not need any more sweeteners or calories.  I kept it real simple.

The Ingredients

Butternut squash

2 T Olive oil

1 T Butter

Salt & Pepper to taste

The hardest part of this recipe, for me, is cutting the squash, as it is very hard-skinned.  I used a large chef’s knife, but you need to be careful.  I guess that is the mother in me talking…  I put the Olive oil on the bottom of a large baking pan.  For this recipe, I used the Pampered Chef stone pan.  I then placed the squash cut side down in the pan.

I baked it at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes, and it seemed to be cooking a little too fast, so I turned the oven down to 360 degrees and baked it for about 15 minutes more.  This is what it looked like when it was done.

I scooped out the squash from the skin, and placed it in a mixing bowl.  I added the butter, salt, and pepper and lightly mashed it.  My husband said it tasted like sweet potatoes.  Go ahead and add the sweetener if you like, but I think it is  good just the way nature made it.

Enjoy the great Fall weather! ~Nancy

Grilled Vegetables

The Ingredients

Baby carrots

Sugar snap peas, ends snipped

1-2 T. Olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

A sprinkling of Ground Coriander

Salt & pepper to taste

Since the carrots would take longer to cook than the peas, I steamed them in the microwave at 70% power for about 6 minutes.  Then I mixed all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.  Using a straining spoon to eliminate the excess liquid, I transferred the mixture to a grill basket, and cooked it on low heat, turning it often, until it was browned, maybe 15 -20 minutes.

I’m going to try to keep the grill going as long as I can before Old Man Winter comes along.  ~Enjoy, Nancy

Chicken Noodle Soup

I hope everyone is enjoying the last weekend of Summer.  I can’t believe it’s over already 😦  Anyway, I wanted to share my chicken noodle soup recipe with you.  I make it all year round, not just in the cooler months.  It’s one of my favorites.  I add lots of vegetables to make it filled with nutrients.

The recipe

1 1/2 c. carrot, chopped

1 c. celery, chopped

1/2 onion or 1 large shallot, diced

1 T. olive or canola oil

32 oz. lower sodium chicken stock

8 oz. vegetable stock

3/4 c. water

1 tomato, chopped

1/2 bag fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

1 cooked chicken breast, diced or 1/2 lb. ground chicken, cooked

1 c. egg noodles (No Yolks brand stays nice and firm)

First, I sauteed the carrots and celery in the oil, for about 10 minutes, then added the shallot for a few minutes.

Then, I added the chicken & vegetable stocks and water.

I added the diced tomato and cooked ground chicken to the soup. I chopped the spinach and put it aside.

I cooked the soup for about 20 minutes, then added the noodles and spinach.

I continued to cook for another 15 minutes, and it was ready to be served.  It makes about 4 servings. Bon appetit!

Thanks to the labor workers who helped to get our work benefits, and make our work places safer. ~Nancy

Mushroom and Sun-dried Tomato Pizza

This one is fast and easy.  I needed a break after cooking all weekend.

The Ingredients

pre-made pizza shells

pizza sauce (in the pasta section)

mozzarella cheese

mushrooms, chopped

sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

dried oregano

garlic powder

I used a cookie sheet to prepare the pies for the oven.  I layered the pies with sauce, oregano, garlic powder, and cheese.

I added the chopped mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.

I baked them directly on the oven grates for a crispy crust, according to the package directions, which in this case, was 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  Yum!  ~Nancy