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Pad Thai Remix

I love this dish! Spaghetti squash is subbed in for the classic noodles.

Spaghetti Squash-Chicken Pad Thai

Chicken

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper flesh
  • 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast half, finely chopped

Pad Thai Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

Pad Thai

  • 1 small to medium spaghetti squash (about a 2-pound squash)
  • Peanut or olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Chicken: In a medium bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the soy sauce and then stir in the garlic and jalapeño.

Add the chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.

Pad Thai Sauce: Whisk together the rice vinegar, fish sauce, brown sugar and 2 tablespoons in a small glass bowl, Microwave on high heat for 30 seconds and whisk until everything is combined into a thin sauce.

Pad Thai: Cut the squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Place the halves, cut side up in a large Pyrex dish, add 1/4 cup water the dish and cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 8 minutes or until tender.

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August 30, 2017   4 Comments

garlic bread +++

I have been making a version of this Ina Garten recipe for more than 10 years. Over that time it has evolved several times over. The basics of it stay the same; make a garlic-herb mixture in a food processor, warm it in oil, use along with some softened butter on a loaf of bread and bake.

Photo

It is such a basic recipe and since we all make garlic bread, I never thought it was worth sharing. So why share it now? Well, I finally decided that it’s not just the bread that I’m sharing here, but the side benefit of making this bread – the extra oil/garlic/herb mixture that you end up with.

You see, over time, I’ve added more ingredients and volume to the original recipe, so there is always some of the oil mixture left. I freeze the excess in mini-ice cube trays and use the resulting oil cubes for sautéing.

They add extra and unexpected oomph to just about any savory dish. It’s like having little nuggets of cooking gold at your fingertips.

So make a loaf of garlic bread this week and some gold-green nuggets at the same time.

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August 28, 2017   1 Comment

And the winners are….

The 8th Blogiversary Contest has come to an end and The Lucky Three have had their names drawn out of a pot by a random Trader Joe’s employee.

Thanks to all 30 of you who entered.

Once again the prize is that each winner will receive $100 in cash to spend on a Shopping Field Trip. We’ll spend the day shopping and learning the in and outs and best buys at:

Trader Joe’s

Queen Creek Olive Mill

The Pork Shop

and

AZ International Marketplace

After I typed up all your names on a sheet of paper. I cut them into strips…

Then placed them in a pot, a saucepan actually, and drove myself and the pot to the Trader Joe’s on Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, east of Scottsdale Rd.

I put the pot in a shopping cart and walked around looking for an employee that wasn’t too busy. I decided on the nice woman who was cooking up samples in the back of the store.

I let her know I’d be filming her and then posting the video on my blog, she kindly agreed and drew out the winning names.

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August 24, 2017   5 Comments

total eclipse of the potato

There is so much to talk about today!

First of all, do you want $100 in cash? For free? If so, you still have time to enter and a shot at winning it. Just leave a comment here and you’re in the Wednesday drawing. That’s all you have to do!

You can just say, “Hang in there baby, Monday’s almost over.” Or, “Hey Linda, I understand your life is in a state of change and flux but you really need to get back to posting recipes more often!” Or just, “Hi.”  Anyhow, learn more about the Happy 8th Blogiversary Contest at this Link and leave a comment today.

Secondly, feast your eyes on this hilarious vintage-style oven mitt that my adorable friend, Lisa, gave me! She told me she had a prize for me (what I did to deserve a prize, I don’t know, but I need to figure it out so I can do it again and again!)  I love it! Thank you Lisa! xoxo.  The oven mitt says so and it is true, below there is a new recipe that I’m droppin’ on y’all.

Lastly, have you heard that in just about 2 hours there is going to be a total eclipse of the sun? No one is talking about it, but it’s true! It’s all going down at 10:34 AM, Arizona Time. If you’re like me and don’t have eclipse glasses and have been too lazy to make a viewing box, set your timer and look out the window and see how dark it looks and say, “Well, that was cool.” and go about your day.

The boys all came over for dinner last night and I made yummy smashed new potatoes. When I was taking photos of the process, I inadvertently made my own little potato eclipse. Cool! No special glasses needed to view this baby!

Wrecking Ball Baby Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary

  • 20 new (baby) potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • Sea salt (preferably Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced rosemary leaves

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August 21, 2017   9 Comments

Blogiversary #8

Yup, it’s that time of year! Another year older. It’s time to celebrate!

Before we get to the details of this year’s giveaway, let’s run down a few stats:

1904 posts (posting an average of 4.5 times a week)

5216 comments (granted, nearly 1/5 of those are me commenting back to you)

254,629 spam comments …. that I have scanned through before deleting (legitimate comments sometimes get tossed in the spam folder) to prevent your delicate eyes from seeing. Let me tell you, there is more graphic porn spam than anyone should have to see!  If only the spammers used their time to do something good for the world … you get where I’m going with that.

Also, I’m sorry to say that I have sad news to share.

My high school friend, loyal blog follower and frequent commenter, Nancy Bull, passed away suddenly on her birthday on May 31st.

Nancy was the grand prize winner in the 7th Blogiversary Contest last year. The prize was to come to my kitchen and cook your favorite recipe with me and then have that recipe posted here on the blog. Nancy and I had the best time making her family’s Chili Rellenos recipe together. When I snapped this beautiful photo of Nancy, I had no idea it would be the last time I’d see her radiant smile. Nancy used the photo as her Facebook profile photo. It is there on her page to this day. It is a reminder of how lucky and blessed I was to share that special time with her. Prayers and blessings to Nancy’s family. She is deeply missed.

I know Nancy would want me to turn this back around and get to the fun and happy stuff. She entered every contest I have ever had and she would want you to enter this one, because it’s a goodie!

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August 16, 2017   26 Comments

Anne is up to bat

We spent the day at the Del Mar Racetrack on Wednesday. The most that was bet by any one of us on any one race was $3. Big spenders or gamblers, we are not. But we had fun! Our seats were right in front of the finish line. If not for that pole in front of us, they would have been perfect. Darn structural engineering.

We arrived back too late to cook, so we had leftovers and watched a movie. The next morning, I woke up early and took a 5-mile walk up the beach, to the Oceanside Pier, while Peggy and Anne slept in.

I don’t generally find many shells along the beach in Carlsbad, but the tide was low and I filled my pockets. I wanted to go out again this morning, but with the internet getting busy in the late morning and constantly kicking me off, I decided to get this post up instead. I’ll go out again on Saturday and take a bag with me to collect more.

Since we hung around the resort all day yesterday, Anne had time to cook us up a delicious dinner! The recipe is one she found on allrecipes.com. But she switched it up and made it her own, in true Annie-style.

One great twist she made was switching out the regular pasta for a chickpea variety. It was fantastic!

She found the Banza brand pasta at Sprouts (in the Phoenix area you can also find it at Whole Foods and Target) and although we didn’t have wheat pasta available to do a side-by-side tasting, I’m certain I would not be able to taste the difference if we had.

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August 11, 2017   1 Comment

Peggy’s turn to cook

This deliciousness was Tuesday night’s dinner. Peggy not only manned the grill but was master of the kitchen as well.

Since it was my night off, it didn’t even cross my mind to take any preparation photos. Sorry, but I’m on vacay! I will try to do better when Anne takes over the duties tonight.

We spent Tuesday afternoon having lunch at Stone Brewery and wine tasting at Orfila Vineards & Winery, with a little T*J*Maxx on the side.

We were ultimate Maxxinistas. Peggy was looking for a swimsuit and I was looking for a barstool. The Carlsbad patio has only two stools. There are three of us. I had no choice but to find another stool!

I was successful, Peggy was not. I picked up this industrial style barstool for $29.99. I’m keeping the tag on it in case I decide to return it after the week is over, although I’m leaning towards keeping it for future visits. Decisions, decisions.

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August 9, 2017   1 Comment

Carlsbad and a brothy pasta situation

Peggy, Anne and I are at my timeshare in Carlsbad, CA for the week.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon.

Upon our arrival, I opened the hatch of my car … and this happened. We may have over-packed a tad.

My intention was to post daily. Turns out that the WiFi is easily overworked here at the resort. This is the first day I have not been kicked off before I could at least load the photos. I’ll post as often as the network will allow.

We had a planning session before we left town, each taking a night or two to cook dinner. I was up first with a ravioli dish that I was inspired to make from an Instagram photo my friend, Gwen, posted last week. Gwen has a gorgeous blog called Pen & Fork. You can always get to it over in the “Foodie Blogroll” on the right side of the page.

For the mushroom ravioli, I used the Trader Joe’s brand. It comes with truffle sauce, which you do not want to use in this recipe.

These are the truffle sauce frozen squares. They are easily picked out and removed from the ravioli squares. You can throw them back in the freezer and use for another pasta night or you can throw them in the trash. That’s what I do because I’m not a huge truffle fan. I’ll eat it if it’s served to me but I don’t go out of my way to put it in my mouth.

The spinach is cut into thin strips. When cutting leafy greens, the technique to do so is called chiffonade. It is easy to do, just stack the leaves, roll up tightly and slice. The word is French and translates to “little ribbons.”

“Brothy Situation” Mushroom Ravioli with Shredded Chicken

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms; cleaned, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 pound package frozen mushroom ravioli
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, garnish
  • Roughly chopped fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary and oregano)

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August 8, 2017   1 Comment

7 year old’s story

When I was in Chicago last month, I met up with two of my nieces, Megan and Amy, for dinner. Amy brought her son, my grand-nephew, Greyson. Grey, is seven years old and had just finished 1st grade.

(You may remember Greyson from THIS POST in October 2014)

The three of them were already seated when Lori and I arrived and Grey was sitting at the end of the table. I sat next to him and noticed that he had a paper and pen in hand and was working on something.

Lori was sweet enough to take a photo of the four of us. (Amy, Greyson, me and Megan.)

Anyhow, I asked Greyson what he was doing and he said, “I’m writing a story.”

As we all chatted and caught up, Grey continued to put pen to paper and write his story. A while later he announced that he was done and asked if I would like to read it.

“Yes!”

He handed me the paper and I proceeded to read it out loud.

“Once upon a time there was a man.

One day the man went to a castle, he went in the castle something punched him. Aaaaa!

It was an invisible guy. The invisible guy cut the man’s hand off. The man found a hook, he put the hook on his hand. He ran out of the castle.  

The invisible guy grabbed a bow and arrow and shot the man. AW! AW! AW! AW!

The man never went to the castle.”

By: Greyson Hopkins
Monday, June 26, 2017
7 years and 1 month old
Summer between 1st and 2nd grade

 

I have to say, I was impressed! He just turned seven a month before. Amy told us that he loved to write, so she had enrolled him in a summer creative writing class. What a fantastic and proactive mom she is!

I asked Greyson if I could keep it and he said that he wrote it for me. My heart melted. I asked if he would sign it for me. He said yes and asked if he could make all the letters in his name into pictures. I told him I’d love that, but asked if could he please sign his name on the front and sign it again on the back in pictures? He did and then he even wrote his name backwards for me too.

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July 28, 2017   4 Comments

not borscht

This bowl of soup might look like beet borscht, but I guarantee you that it is not. You can search this site from top to bottom and you won’t find a single recipe using beets.

Never! My least favorite food in the world is … beets!  So what is in this soup turning it purple if it’s not beets?

You may remember when I bought purple sweet potatoes at Whole Foods for THIS 4th of July dish.

I had extra purple sweet potatoes, along with a handful of baby potatoes, that were beginning to sprout. In the fridge, there were a few cobs of corn. It was logical that potato and corn chowder would be a good way to use it all up.

What I didn’t count on was just how deep purple those few sweet potatoes would color the chowder. It started out a light lavender color, which was rather unappealing. But as it continue to simmer, it turned a deeper and richer purple until it looked like borscht. Honestly, if it had stayed lavender colored, I wouldn’t be sharing the recipe, no matter how good it tasted.

Feel free to use whatever potatoes, sweet or otherwise, that you prefer for this recipe. Just know that if you do choose to use sweet potatoes, of any color, they need to be cooked first because they take longer to become tender. The regular potatoes are added later since they are not as hard.

You’ll also note that I add the cleaned corn cobs to the soup when the broth was added. Adding the kernel-free cobs, lends an extra rich corn flavor to the soup.

Oh and I wanted to tell you something I discovered. Remember how I was complaining about the electric stove in my last post?

Believe it or not, I found one great advantage to electric over gas! It’s been so hot and muggy with the monsoons in full swing, that I must have an oscillating fan in the kitchen while I’m cooking to make it bearable.

There is no fear of the fan blowing out the flame… since there is no flame! See, I can appreciate the little things. 🙂

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July 27, 2017   No Comments