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Ramen

Ramen

In honor of nutrition month I would like to show everyone what I like to do with ramen.  For me, instant noodles aren’t a meal.  I wouldn’t even really classify them as a snack because 10 minutes after eating them I’m hungry again.

I started playing with ramen around the time I was in 6th or 7th grade.  At the time I realized I was no longer satisfied with 1 pack of noodles so the first thing I tried was simply eating a second pack.  This worked for a time or two, but then my mind began to wander.  Now, I don’t suggest eating a lot of instant noodles as they really aren’t that great for you.  Yet on the occasion when you find your self being drawn in to their simplicity keep this post in mind.

Now that I live in Hong Kong there are quite a few more options for instant noodles and I have found a new favorite, but this can be done with any pack you prefer.

My pack of choice is the Ajisen Ramen.  The flavoring packs have a deeper taste to them and the noodles tend to have a nicer bite.

They also come in a two pack so it’s great for couples!

 

 

We simply begin by ignoring all of the cooking instructions and boil a pot of water.  (For a healthier version boil a pot of your favorite stock instead and ditch all the flavoring packets!)

Dump out the flavoring packs into a good-sized bowl that you’re planning to eat out of.  When the water (or stock) comes to a boil add about 1/2cup to your seasonings and stir to combine.

 

 

Dump your noodles into the boiling water and cook them until they just start to get tender.  Trust me on this one, if you wait until they are cooked through by the time we’re finished here your just going to have a pile of mush in the bottom of your bowl!  Remove the noodles from the water but keep the water in the pot either using chopsticks or a noodle spoon.

Top your noodles with a handful or 2 or greens.  Dark leafy veggies are an excellent source of nutrition and they are darn tasty as well!  You and boil up some asparagus, broccoli, choy sum, or bok choy ahead of time and add it at this stage as well for an even healthier treat.

My favorite thing to do when playing with ramen is to add an egg.  Today I decided to poach my egg as I’m feeling quite lazy and don’t want to dirty another pan but you can scramble, over easy, or sunny side up if you’d like!  Another option would be to have some hard-boiled eggs on hand.  They make a great snack as well!

If you’re going to poach keep the noodle water, add a teaspoon of vinegar, stir your water, drop in the egg and let it cook for about a minute to a minute and a half.

Scoop out the egg, top up your bowl with water (or stock) and enjoy!

*Side note* You may notice my ramen flavor today is pork bone broth.  This is about as close as this lazy chef was getting to a roast crown of pork to celebrate today’s holiday.  Happy roast crown of pork day!

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Frozen Food

Now, I know that I said we’d be focusing on health this month…but it becomes very difficult with days like today.

Happy Frozen Food day!

When I first read that today was frozen food day I instantly wanted to have a junk food fest: Pizza rolls, extra buttery popcorn, burritos, and top it all off with a microwave cake.  Then I had to take a step back and try to have something a little healthier.  I’m not sure if “ding ding” dim sum can be called healthy…but it’s better than what I was planning! 😉

What’s your frozen comfort food?

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2012 in food, Lunch, Photography, What I'm eating

 

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Cheese Doodles

March is a very interesting month so far with it’s food holidays.  Take today for example :Cheese Doodle day.  Yes the cheese doodle.  A cheese puffy that looks like my hair in high school…that’s right…big and curly.  Yet, March is Nutrition month.  How the two go hand in hand I have yet to figure out but today my dear readers…I’ve decided to revolt!…slightly.

I have still chosen something in the chip category:Image

So on half of nutrition month and cheese doodle day I ate half a bag of Sun Chips…cheddar flavored.  It’s as close as I would let myself get to cheese doodles today after realizing that it is nutrition month.  We’ll try to have a healthier focus in the posts for the next few weeks.

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Unexpected Feasts

Ever had your day all planned out only to have cash thrown at you and be told you need to make dinner a littler more special tonight?  Well, there is a lot more context that belongs in this story but it’s funnier without it so I’m going to stretch the truth with you knowledge (That’s not lying is it?) and tell you that’s exactly what happened to me.  At 11:30am.  Guests will start arriving at 4pm.

So wait, shop, cook, and have a meal ready in 4 1/2 hours….AND make it special!?!?  I have to admit, I panicked for about 15 minutes until I decided to grab little miss cupcake, head to the store and hope for the best of luck.

The following is what happens if you put me on the spot:

We’ve collected a few mini bottles of vodka and had been meaning to do a side by side comparison tasting for weeks now so I decided it would be a perfect time to bring these out.Of course you can’t just taste a bunch of vodka without anything to eat so our first course was a cheese and charcuterie platter:

The platter consisted of sweet chorizo, parma ham, crottin de chavignol, aged gouda, goose liver pate with sauternes, water crackers, and baked goats cheese stuffed figs wrapped with parma ham (not pictured).

Next up was the “salad” course with salmon 3 ways. (ceviche, pan fried, & smoked)

The mixed greens were tossed in a bit of the ceviche liquid.  The smoked salmon was wrapped around avocado slices and asparagus spears.

Next we had the red course.

Marinated, pan-fried lamb chop.  Oven roasted cherry tomatoes. Seared beef cubes stuffed with roasted garlic and toasted pine nuts topped with homemade demi-glace

Last but not least was a veggie course.Asparagus spears sauteed in butter and black garlic, topped with lumpfish roe.

Of course cupcake pitched in and made us two wonderful desserts.Strawberry & basil parfait.

Follow by the piece de resistace…A sponge cake layered with fresh strawberries and strawberry basil cream.  YUM!!

So after the 20 minutes of panic dinner turned out to be just fine.  In fact, it was pretty good if I do say so myself….and of course I do say so myself.

 

**FYI** Happy pound cake day!

 

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Mulled wine

Every time I think of mulled wine it instantly brings me back to that first year living in Germany.  My first day of school was a field trip to a local market where I got to sample many sweets and even got to bring a few home.  Mom also got to have her first sip of Gluhwein….which I believe in the coming months/years we drank enough to supply a whole village.

Gluhwein is probably exactly the same thing as mulled wine but I can’t say for sure as I was a bit too young to consume it then and have created a recipe that I know as mulled wine but the taste is quite similar to what I remember.

Mulled Wine

1 bottle red wine (whatever you were going to drink next is fine…unless you’ve got expensive tastes…then save that one for later and go pick up a decent bottle of pinot noir or merlot)

1 large orange
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4cup (60ml) brandy
1/2cup sugar (100gms)

Get 6 good size pieces of orange rind off the orange by using the tip of your knife to just cut the skin into 6 equal sections and pulling them off in strips.  Juice the meat of the orange and set aside.  Remove all of the white part (pith) from the orange skin and pierce with a clove.

Put the wine, brandy, sugar, and orange juice in a pot over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is completely combined.  Add the orange peel and cinnamon stick, lower the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain out all the chunks, fill up a mug and enjoy.  To save for later simply allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, put in a container with a lid and refrigerate.  You can keep it this way for up to a week.  Simply fill a mug and pop it in the microwave for about 2 minutes and enjoy!

Happy mulled wine day!

 
 

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Banana Cream Pie

As any baker or pie enthusiast would tell you, a pie is only as good as it’s crust.  Last year I picked up a copy of the Bourke Street Bakery’s cookbook and they sure do have to great recipes.  But I think next time I’ll go back to my old pie crust recipe as this one just wasn’t quite flaky enough.

 

Unfortunately this day was full of production so my camera didn’t come out a whole lot.

A banana cream pie in its most basic is simply crust, a layer of sliced bananas, custard, and topped with whipped cream.  My family missed out on the last layer of today’s celebration as I completely forgot to whip some cream and by the time we were ready to eat pie I was way to tired to do it.  So just use your imagination on this one!

Happy Banana Cream Pie Day!

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Dessert, food

 

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Peanut Butter Lovers Unite!

Are you a peanut butter lover?  If so then today is YOUR day.  Yes, you.  The one with the choosey mom and the dog that cant stop sticking its tongue out.  Happy Peanut Butter Lovers Day!

To celebrate I sent a request to my personal pastry chef (yea, I said personal pastry chef…be jelous) for a peanut butter inspired dessert.  Here’s what she came up with:

A simple yet perfectly prepared and well balanced dessert.  Peanut butter shortbread stuffed sweet shortbread cigars with chocolate drizzled strawberry, vanilla ice cream, and a rich chocolate ganache.

Are you a peanut butter lover?

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Dessert, food, Photography

 

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