October 18, 2015

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Chap Chae… A Korean Delight

This year has been an event-FULL year for our family.  Tony came home from his far, far away place; M is still creating some beautiful, functional pottery and continues her education at UNM; A graduated college, then commissioned into the USAF, THEN married wonderful A;  T graduated high school and committed to joining the USAF in a totally different capacity.

This post features a Korean dish we had while visiting the A’s somewhere between the commissioning and the wedding.  Chap Chae is a wonderful, flavorful Korean noodle dish. Meat can be added (I used a pork loin, roasted and cut into small strips), but is not necessary.  This dish comes together so quick, so if you’re pressed for time, give it a try. (I made something very similar when the kids were little, and always let them use their hands to pick up the extra long noodles; made for a fun meal!)

Please join me, as I continue the celebration of an Italian-American boy who married his love, a Korean-American girl ~ love and good food ~

chap chae

chap chae

Chap Chae

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 c matchstick cut carrots (about 3 large)
  • 3 c baby spinach
  • 3 baby bok choi, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 c mushrooms, washed and sliced thin (optional)
  • 6 oz package of bean thread noodles
  • 1/2 c tamari
  • 4 T sesame oil
  • 4 T brown sugar
  • 1 T olive oil
  • crushed red pepper flake, to taste (optional)
  • chopped scallions, optional
  • bean sprouts, optional
  • sesame seeds, optional

Soak noodles in a large bowl of very warm water, just until softened (5-8 minutes). Drain; cook in a large pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes (I season the water with salt and a drizzle of sesame oil); drain then rinse under cold water.

Whisk tamari, sesame oil and  sugar in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat olive oil in large pan/wok over med-high heat; add onion, garlic and carrots; stir-fry until tender, about 3 minutes.  If using mushrooms and meat, add to pan/wok, stir-fry another 2-3 minutes. Add noodles and tamari sauce; simmer until liquid is absorbed. Toss baby spinach in just before serving to wilt slightly. (Can add spinach just before noodle/tamari addition, if you like your spinach cooked a little more). Serve, topped with scallions and sesame seeds if desired.

enjoy ~ v

October 12, 2015

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Match-A-Flavor Donuts


Match-a-flavor Donuts

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp *Matcha Green Tea powder (optional)
  • 2/3 cup oil (I used melted coconut oil, but veg or canola oil will work, too)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I made my own by combining milk with 1 T Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar to equal 1/2 cup)
  • 1 lg egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, give a quick stir with a whisk (I guess that could be, “give a whisk”). In a large liquid measuring cup, combine all wet ingredients, give another whisk to incorporate. Using a wooden spoon, stir wet stuff into the dry stuff, mixing to form thick batter.  Prepare donut pan(s) – I used 1 large and 2 small pans, and I also doubled the recipe, as I took them in to work!  Spoon batter into a large ziplock; snip end of bag at an angle. Fill pan(s) 3/4 full; place on rack in center of the oven, bake for 8-12 minutes, rotating pans if necessary.images

*I named these Match-a-flavor because of their versatility, also, it was a cute play on the Matcha Green Tea flavor I used for these.


If you desire a more traditional flavor donut, omit the green tea powder and add 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg. Please don’t stop there! Oh, and don’t forget the party on top: icing, frosting, glaze! possibilities are truly endless: apple fritter baked donuts with a buttermilk glaze, blue berry with a simple dusting of powdered sugar, chai with a chai tea infused glaze , the flavor-du-jour: PUMPKIN SPICE with a maple glaze, lemon drop with a raspberry glaze, chocolate with chocolate icing, maple with maple glaze

Simple Matcha Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Matcha powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-3 T hot water

Whisk all ingredients together to form a smooth glaze. Dip cooled donut tops into glaze; set on wire rack to drip dry (I place a sheet of waxed paper underneath to catch all the drips. Makes for easy clean up!). Why not add some finely chopped pistachio to embrace the green!

For Matcha powder ordering information, click here:  
Green Tea Powderbaking

August 24, 2015

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the south is gonna rise again…


For Christina

Originally posted on delectablediction:


There is something sweet and very humbling to hear, “oh, my! that is better than momma’s!” ~ while very kind, I know this cannot be true ~ for it is the love of that momma that made the pie taste a little sweeter, the dumplings a little fluffier and those biscuits, light as air…

Here’s to all the mommas out there, pouring your hearts into those complicated, multi-course dinners, stirring your love into every glass of chocolate milk, spreading the joy of your soul into the simple peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.


old fashioned buttermilk pie

  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 c buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/3 c flour
  • zest of lemon (about 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-deep dish piecrust

preheat oven to 350; whisk eggs & buttermilk in a medium bowl; add in remaining ingredients, whisking just until smooth. bake for 30…

View original 45 more words

April 15, 2015

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Oh Happy Day!

25 years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful itty, bitty baby girl…  

 Happy birthday to my amazing daughter!

Steak Tacos with radish salsa

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound skirt or flank steak
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, divided
  • 4 radishes, trimmed, chopped
  • 2 spring onions or 4 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 serrano chile or jalapeño, seeds removed if desired, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 2 ounces queso fresco or Cotija cheese, crumbled


March 10, 2015


Basta Pasta

There’s a new pasta in town…gone are the days of using ricotta for pasta al-forno. Have you ever wondered why your perfectly prepared pasta, with the succulent sauce seasoned just right, noodles with the just-right bite of al dente, turns just a bit dry? Its the ricotta. Trust me.  Next time you have un gusto per la pasta al forno (a taste for a baked pasta, ie lasagna, baked ziti, ect), try a bechemel AND your red sauce ~ you’ll not go back.

Baked Pasta

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices pancetta, diced
  • 2 2/3 c milk
  • 5 T butter
  • 1/3 c flour
  • 2 cups red sauce (24 oz jarred sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • fresh basil, cut in ribbons or torn by hand
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • pasta
  • spicy Italian sausage, optional
  • 3 c parmesan cheese, finely shredded
  • fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 2 cups mozzarella, grated

In a mediuml saucepan, melt butter, add 1 minced garlic clove and whisk in flour, cooking for up to 10 minutes until flour/butter browns. Slowly whisk in milk; add pinch of salt. Stir occassionally until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups parmiggiano; set aside. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente (if using boxed pasta, subtract 4 minutes from LOWEST cooktime).

In a separate saucepan, brown pancetta, garlic and onion in 2 T olive oil; add sauce, a pinch of kosher salt, crushed red pepper, oregano and basil. If using sausage, brown in skillet and drain. Get a large cassarole prepared (spray with non-stick spray and drizzle lightly with olive oil). Toss pasta, all but 1 c of red sauce, bechemel and grated mozzarella (and sausage, if using) in prepared cassarole; top with remaining parmiggiano and 1 cup red sauce; distribute sliced mozzarella over top. Bake in a 350 pre-heated oven for 18 minutes. Place pasta under broiler until cheese and pasta just get bubbly and browned…um, deliciousness. pasta

February 24, 2015

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Val’s Chocolate Heaven Cupcakes.

Originally posted on delectablediction:

I finished reading Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich yesterday, and was inspired to make cupcakes.  I have always used a others’ recipes for cakes, but yesterday, I created a chocolate cupcake that is possibly THE best, most tender and tasty cupcake EVER. The problem now?  Naming it:

Val’s Chocolate Heaven in a Cupcake?
Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes?
Divine Chocolate Cupcakes?
Oh, this makes about 30 cupcakes.

Val’s Chocolate Heaven Cupcakes:

2 c. sugar,
2 c. flour,
1 c. baking cocoa,
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda,
1 tsp. kosher salt,
2 tsp. vanilla,
2 eggs (slightly beaten),
1 1/4 c. buttermilk,
1/2 c. vegetable oil,
1 c. boiling water,
confectioner’s sugar (for sprinkling).

Preheat oven to 350.  Line cupcake tins with paper liners, spray with non-stick spray.  In a a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar.  Add buttermilk, 2 eggs, vanilla, and oil.  Beat until well mixed.  Stir in…

View original 24 more words


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