Tag Archives: Black pepper

Pad Thai

14 Nov

My kids like to bring their entire room with them when we go places. Stuffed animals, blankets, toys, pillows…you name it, it should be with us…always. And they are all about carrying it themselves for about the first 2 minutes. And then its, “Mom, it’s getting too heavy. Can you carry this…and this…and this.” Never mind the fact that I am holding a baby, a diaper bag, a bink in my teeth, a blanket, a sippy cup – you get the idea. I try to discourage the entourage, but sometimes I cave when the tantrum is just not worth it. We went to the fabric store yesterday and my two year old fell asleep in the car. It’s hard to wake up from a 5 minutes nap sometimes, I get that. So, blankie was allowed to accompany us inside to help. Unfortunately, as soon as the world started looking a little brighter, so did everything else in the store, and poor blankie got left behind. I didn’t realize that we didn’t have it until, of course, we had already gotten home. Sigh. Reload everyone up and trek back to the store. Luckily, someone had found it and brought it to the front register (a blankie a few years back was not so lucky and has never been seen or heard from again). Today, we went to the library. Same two year old: “Mom! I want to hold my movie!” I was laden with the same baggage as I listed before, and then add in seven or eight books precariously balanced in my free hand – I didn’t mind at all having someone offer to help for a change. I should have been a little wiser considering our escapade from the day before. We got home, got everyone out and…I had a two year old with two fists full of acorns, but no movie. Gah! Back to the library we went, to search for the movie that had been left on the lawn to make room for the acorn collection (which they actually tried to eat, but declared to be ‘disgusting!’) Again, someone had found our abandoned treasure and had returned it to the library for us. Too bad for two year old, I did not check it out again. Maybe she’ll learn a lesson…maybe.

This recipe is actually a Chinese Pasta Salad – I liked it better warm and with a little more veggies, which turned it into Pad Thai instead of pasta. Works for me. Top with some crispy noodles (or improvise with some tortillas strips like me when you don’t have crispy noodles 😉 – still tasty!), and enjoy!

photo 5

Ingredients:

1/4 cup sesame seeds
4 (3 oz.) packages Ramen noodles, any flavor
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 cups diced, cooked chicken breast
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
choice of mixed vegetables, cooked

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds and cook, stirring frequently until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add pasta (break each brick into at least 4 pieces so the noodles aren’t too long) and cook 3-4 minutes or until slightly tender but not soft – do not use seasoning packs. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Combine vegetable oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, ginger and pepper. Mix well. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat evenly. Gently mix in chicken, cilantro, and mixed vegetables.

Advertisements

Summer Salad

30 Jun

Not sure why, but I lose my appetite when it’s hot. I just don’t feel like eating much. Snacking I can do, but full meals? Blah. We have been enjoying a heat wave in these parts (I have to remember that I was craving this kind of weather a few months ago when the snow didn’t seem to want to go away!), so lately, my creative dinner juices have just not been flowing. I have one little munchkin that loves salads and she begged me to buy some lettuce on our last trip to Costco. Costco sized lettuce means that you have to make a serious effort to eat salad…a lot…before it goes bad. Luckily, this Summer Salad hit the spot for all of us – light and fresh for me, full of lettuce for her and my Costco stash. I don’t have too many measurements for the ingredients – I usually have small bowls filled with optional toppings and let everyone make up their own. So have fun with this one! But make sure not to skip out on the candied pecans – there can never be enough of those on my plate!

photo-37

Ingredients:

Lettuce

1 or 2 diced apples

Cooked chicken – cubed or shredded

Candied Pecans

Craisins

*Grapes and strawberries are also a great addition

Toss together and top with dressing

Candied Pecans:

1/2 cup pecans

1/4 cup sugar

To make the candied pecans, pour the sugar in a small skillet and pour the pecans on top. Cook over medium heat until sugar melts and turns a caramel color stirring constantly so that the nuts and sugar do not burn. Once the sugar turns a caramel color coat keep stirring to coat the pecans with it. Pour pecans onto greased wax paper or aluminum foil to cool. Once pecans are cooled, break them into pieces. I usually double this – I like a lot of pecans 🙂

Honey Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1-2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
In a blender, combine vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place lid on blender and blend on high. While blender is running, add oil in a steady stream. Store in refrigerator for about 2-3 weeks. Shake well before serving.