Thursday, May 31, 2012

Asian noodles with tofu and veggies

Step 1: Find a yummy noodle recipe (check - please note that while this recipe is called peanut noodles, the only peanut ingredient is considered optional. I used soba noodles and no peanuts.)
Step 2: Marinate and bake some tofu (check-ish... marinate pressed tofu for 30 minutes per side, then bake for 30 minutes at 400)
Step 3: Quickly cook up some veggies (check - steamed broccoli and snow peas, sauteed peppers and mushrooms)
Step 4: Devour

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

BBQ bean panini

I had intended to make my Grilled cheese and apple sandwich, and as I started pulling out the ingredients - d'oh! I didn't have any apple left. Hmmm.... So I had to make up something with what ingredients I had. And to my surprise, it turned out really good!
    On the bottom slice of bread, I layered:
  • Half a slice of Swiss cheese
  • 3-4 tbsp of mashed pinto beans
  • 1 slice cooked bacon
  • 1 large leaf of fresh basil
  • 1-2 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • The other half of cheese and bread.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mother's Day Brunch

Mother's Day has come and gone, but this recipe will suit you anytime a delicious, easy breakfast is in order. Make it for your mom next time you see her!

Adapted from this recipe from Whole Foods.

They say this recipe serves 6, but I beg to differ. Two hungry adults and one toddler took this to town.


1/2 - 3/4 loaf of stale challah bread, sliced thick
blueberries and sliced strawberries (as many as your heart desires)
4 eggs 
1 cup milk (I used soy, but any milk would work)
1 Tbsp maple syrup 
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg 


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch baking pan with bread, overlapping slices; scatter berries over top. Whisk together eggs, milk, syrup and nutmeg and pour over bread. Bake until golden brown and set, 45 to 50 minutes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Grow your own onions

I've seen many posts online lately from people saying that they were able to grow green onions from used onions. Oh really....? I gave it a shot. I first chopped up some of the onion down to about half an inch from the bulb. I then put the bulb in a small glass of water. And wouldn't you know it - the onion started growing back!
So get twice the amount of onions for the price of one!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wine of the Week - Lions Peak 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve


Lions Peak's 2007 "Roaring Lion" Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve comes highly recommended from this taster.

On the nose are strawberry, honey and some nice dried spices underneath.

With a watery mouthful, this wine tastes light up front.  It quickly fills out in the middle, where you begin to taste some smokiness and tannins.  Those continue on through the finish, where a delicious acid taste is left on your tongue.  A really enjoyable, lingering experience.

13.25% alcohol

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Zucchini Muffins

A friend found this recipe, altered it and passed it along to me. I altered it further and pass it along to you. I'm not kidding when I say it's out of this world. I made them yesterday and want to make more right now. Because she halved the recipe, it calls for 1 1/2 eggs, which is awkward. I used 1 egg, plus some Ener-G egg replacer. You could also probably do without it, since the applesauce will do some of the binding for you. Or double the recipe, which I think is the best suggestion.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 eggs (or sub: 1 egg, 3/4 teaspoon egg replacer, and 1 tablespoon water)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup applesauce
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup grated zucchini (or a mix of zucchini and carrot - I used one of each and it was exactly one cup)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Grease muffin tins (I used mini muffins). Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. 
3. Sift in flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon, beat well.
4. Stir in zucchini, carrots and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes (for mini muffins) or 20-25 minutes (for regular muffins), or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and completely cool. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Italian Meatloaf

May is a very busy month for me with all kinds of traveling for work. Thus, Joe is left home alone to fend for himself. If I have time between trips, I try to prep a meal or two for him so he'll still have some sort of homecooked meal while I'm gone. So at his special request before one of my trips, I whipped up an Italian meatloaf.


  • Ground beef (enough to fill a meatloaf pan)
  • Sliced pepperoni
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Bread crumbs
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • 2 eggs (or egg-replacer equivalent)

1st layer: In a large bowl, mix together beef, crumbs and eggs. Grease your meatloaf pan, and line the bottom with a third of the mixture.

2nd layer: Spread pepperoni and cheese and sauce, completely covering the beef.

3rd layer: Add another third of the beef mixture.

4th layer: Spread pepperoni and cheese.

5th layer: Top with remaining beef, sprinkle with cheese, and a few tablespoons of sauce.

Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes, or until meat is longer pink on the insider.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Wine of the Week - STO 2009 Rollers Reserve


From Sort This Out Cellars comes this 2009 Central Coast "Rollers Reserve Casino Vineyard."  Following up on last week's 50/50 blend of Shiraz and Monastrell, this wine is a 50/50 blend of Syrah and Grenache.

The scent is mostly flowery, with discrete scents of perfume and sage.

There's a lot going on with the taste of this one.  It hits you with its acidity right up front.  Then you start to detect some cloves and earth.  There's a little bit of anise as well.  A sedimenty finish.

As you can tell, this is an interesting wine that keeps evolving as you drink it.  Highly recommended.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Simple Salad Dressing

I found this gem while looking for coupons in Whole Foods "Whole Deal" coupon booklet (that they conveniently only have AFTER the checkout, so you have to really try to get coupons for your current visit).

1 clove garlic or small shallot, finely chopped (I used garlic, because that's what I had on hand, but will use a shallot next time I can get my hands on one)
1 teaspoon 365 Everyday Value Organic Dijon Mustard 1/4 cup white or red wine vinegar  (I used red wine, but may try apple cider next time)

1/2 cup 365 Everyday Value Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs (chives, chervil, parsley or dill) (dried works in a pinch, but fresh is better)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Put garlic or shallot into a bowl with mustard. 

Whisk in vinegar, and then oil. 
Stir in herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Find the original recipe and variations here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Veggie Pesto Panini

I saw a recipe in Vegetarian Times, but I wasn't a fan of many of the ingredients - mayo, olive tapenade, and others. But I liked the basic idea. So I rummaged through the fridge to see what I could find, and I came up with a splendidly yummy sandwich!

Fresh asiago bread
1 can chickpeas, mashed
1 large golden beet, thinly sliced
1 large granny smith apple, thinly sliced
Swiss cheese
Basil pesto

1. Spread the chickpeas on slices of bread. Top with slices of beet, apple, and cheese.
2. Spread a small amount of pesto on the cheese and top with arugula.
3. Make the sandwich and heat on a small grill or panini press, or in a pan with a small amount of oil.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Wine of the Week - First Drop 2009 Half & Half Shiraz-Monastrell


This week's wine is a 50/50 blend of Shiraz and Monastrell from the Barossa Valley of Australia.

On the nose, there's strawberry and cheese funk, as well as something earthy - a little like broccoli.

Nice and acidic on the tongue.  Earthiness carries over from the nose and ends up tasting a little like tree bark. Also some spice, in particular nutmeg.  I detected a little bit of green olive too.

Definitely recommended.

14.5% alcohol

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Blueberry Raspberry Flax Maple Steel Cut Oats

The name literally says it all. This recipe makes enough for 4 servings, so you can have extra in the fridge for later in the week. I like to make it ahead of time, since it takes 30+ minutes. If you do, 2 minutes in the microwave is all it takes to have a hot breakfast. You can use any kind of milk you'd like, or only water

1 cup steel cut oats
2 cups almond milk
2 cups water
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds

Put everything in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 25-30 minutes. If your flax seeds are raw, you can add them after the oats are cooked to get all of the flaxy goodness out of them. If they're toasted, add them whenever.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Orange-glazed beets

Thumbing through my BHG cookbook, I came across this recipe and realize I've never made anything with golden beets before! I love beets, so it's time to start!

4 golden beets
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp shredded orange peel (see my instructions here!)
1 cup orange juice

1. Drop beets in a pot of boiling water - don't peel them first! Boil for about 25 minutes.
2. In a small pot, melt butter, then mix in sugar and cornstarch, then orange peel and juice.
3. Remove beets from water and slip off the skin. Slice, and drown in in the sugar mix.

I served this with my Apple rice salad.