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2012 in review

While I’ve been frolicking Wisconsin for the holiday season (with 2 mostly completed, unposted recipes in the queue… sorry) the stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. So, I figured I could share. Thanks for those of you who follow me, comment on recipes, encourage me to keep posting, and most of all thanks to you all who are willing to try new things and eat creatively! More to come in 2013!!!

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Respectful Pause

I was going to post about spaghetti squash and meatballs this afternoon, but I can’t seem to muster the effort nor do I think this would be in good taste (pun not intended actually). For those of you who know me outside of the internet, you know my love of cooking is equaled only by a few things: passionate political debates, amazing live music, encouraging people to pursue education… Something I’m also very passionate about is mental healthcare, which today is especially on the top of many people’s minds. So, for today, instead of planning our dinners or shopping for groceries, I hope we each tell those we love that we love them, listen attentively to our friends and acquaintances with a special attentiveness to those who express despair  depression and loneliness, and remember that we belong to one another. If someone seems like maybe they need help, they probably do. Please do what you can to connect them with professional attention if necessary. Be courageous in doing this – It can save families, save lives.



Personal Food Revelation

I’m 99% sure that I could live off of goat cheese on rosemary triscuits and fresh grapefuit. That is all I have for the day.

Hope your Wednesday was wonderful. New post soon!



Vote! And posting delays…

First, GO VOTE! Don’t give me that ‘my vote doesn’t count’ BS… I sincerely don’t want to hear it. Do it. Only vote local, vote 3rd party, I don’t care. Participate.

Ok, Second, Just want to say sorry for the slow posting lately. I’m going to try to do some this week but I’m on client site for work w/o open internet. This means my laptop is actually really a word processor. It’s hilarious. And by hilarious I mean please kill me now. I’m tethering my phone right now… which is going to be expensive soon. So, all that to say, hopefully Wed or Thursday night I’ll have a new post up. Maybe both! I have a few dinners/snacks lined up to write about so it should be soon.

Thanks for reading, thanks for participating in civil society, and have a great election results night.

Hurricane Eating & Preparedness #Sandy

Just a short post to say hello from hurricane land. Here in DC we’re at home (technically I’m working from home, while the boyfriend gets the day off to read fishing blogs etc). I’ll try to take photos of dinner, which he is preparing, and update this post. But our plan for the day/tomorrow is as follows:


Breakfast: With Electricity (yay!)

Egg, bacon, cream cheese bagel sandwiches with fresh berries (raspberries and blueberries) on the side

Lunch: With or w/o electricity capable

Ham sandwiches with a side of banana or carrots and our favorite, buffalo flavored pretzel chips

Dinner: With or w/o electricity capable (thanks to great planning by the dude)

Pre-cooked crumbled spicy chicken sausage tacos w/ lettuce, cheese and chips & salsa


Other ready to eat hurricane prep items

Water (we’ve got one bought gallon and 2 pitchers we filled up, just in case. You never know)

Candles & flashlights/headlamps (w/o power our house will smell like the inside of a cheap version of Yankee Candle)

Snack foods that require no refridgeration: bananas, apples, fixings for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, crackers, granola bars etc.

A plan for cold foods: we have a cooler and have been storing up extra ice. The hope is that any power will only be out shortly so we can just keep the fridge closed (and we set it to the coldest level last night to chill it out as much as possible) and wait it out, but we’ll do what we need to.


Stay dry and safe out there. We’re lucky this storm missed hitting DC directly, but it looks like parts of NJ and NY are really facing some brutal winds and surf. Hoping all have moved to higher ground, and stay wary of down power lines etc.

Ginger Tea-infused Soba Noodle Stirfry Salad

Yes, that title is a mouthful, but it’s the most accurate thing I could think of. And clearly “accuracy” is so important in my “a little bit of this”, “a little bit of that” kind of cooking. ANYWAY, this was probably one of the best dishes I’ve created this year, so get excited. AND it’s vegan. AND if you use rice noodles instead (and are of course careful about the sauce thing), it could be vegan and gluten free… what??? And still delicious? Even good for lunch the next day? How can it be? Magic. Or tea-infused grains. Or both perhaps.
So, What you need:

  • Soba noodles (or any other noodles you want to use in your asian fusion made up dish)
  • 3+ tea bags (I used Lemon-ginger… which made the noodles taste more like ginger than lemon, but try whatever kind you like! Orange tea or green ginger tea would also be really tasty. Use whatever teas you don’t want to drink!)
  • Lettuce and other crunchy raw veggies (for the salad base! Cabbage would work too. I used romaine and cucumbers)
  • Vegetables of all kinds for stir frying (mushrooms, carrots, peppers, onions, jalapeno, celery, snap peas, broccoli etc)
  • A lime (or 1/2 a lime… if you have one of those around)
  • Olive Oil and/or sesame oil (sesame oil adds some flavor but isn’t necessary)
  • Minced garlic
  • Soy sauce and/or your favorite asian themed sauce (I used literally something named ‘stir fry sauce’… very high class. One day I’ll write about how to make a sauce… but not today)
  • Sneaky optional ingredients if you have them: worcestershire sauce (used it), cilantro (didn’t have any on hand), ground ginger (just a sprinkle)

Ok, you’re ready.

Step 1: Make the Tea-Infused Noodles

Boil water like you normally would for making the noodles you’ve chosen. I selected soba noodles (made from buckwheat) because they’re delicious, quick cooking, and have a great texture. But you could certainly use another type of noodle if you liked. Heck, you could probably even use run of the mill spaghetti and make it work here. If you go with a rice noodle, this can be made gluten free friendly, which is always a bonus.

Add the tea bags to the water when it reaches a boil, and wait at least 2 minutes. You want the water to all be pretty tea-flavored. Then toss in the noodles. Leave the tea bags in while the noodles cook.

Cook these until they’re done (according to the directions) and then strain. Give them a light rinse in cold water, and set them aside. I put the soba noodles in a bowl  (rinsed and strained) with the 3 steeped tea bags under them just in case more tea flavor would seep out. May not have done anything, but who knows. That’s what I thought made the most sense at the time for whatever reason.

Step 2: Chop all of the Veggies

You heard me. Get to it. Lettuce and crunchy veggie salad base? Chop and get on a plate. Stir fry veggies? Chop into bite sized bits. You know the drill. This takes awhile but is totally worth it to have a variety of veggies on your plate. No one wants 2 veggie stir fry – snore. A little bit of everything you have in the fridge or freezer is the way to go.

I also highly recommend the jalapeno. Deseeded and chopped up, 1/2 a jalapeno is perfect in this dish. The ginger noodles can be a little sweet so this is wonderful with that.

Step 3: Plate the Crunchy Veggies

And maybe the noodles too… you want to be ready when your stir fry is done. So get that chopped lettuce, and maybe cabbage or cukes ready to go.

Step 4: Stir fry the Veggies

Using a wok or your trusty cast iron (obviously what I used) you want to stir fry the veggies. You can start with medium to medium high heat, your oil, minced garlic and harder veggies like carrots and celery and perhaps onions and peppers. After these have a few minutes to get ahead in the cooking, toss in your sliced mushrooms and jalapenos. Let those stir fry up. Then toss in the softer veggies you want to steam a little, broccoli and snap peas in this case. You may want to cover these for short periods of time, just 30 or 45 seconds at a time. Due to the high heat some veggies will get a little lovely char to them, while the softer veggies should steam to a cooked yet still with a little crunch which is great for this salad.

DO NOT overcook your veggies. When in doubt, undercook. Mushy veggies on soft noodles on lettuce isn’t very appealing. When you think you have about a minute left, add your sauces & any additional spices (a splash of soy sauce, splash of worcestershire, and as much of your stir fry sauce of choice as you wish, small pinch of ground ginger or perhaps pinch of cayenne if you didn’t have the jalapeno but like it spicy) to the pan and toss everything around. Again, careful about that overcooking thing. When it’s done, pull it off of heat and plate.

Step 5: Plate

Pile the noodles on the lettuce etc. if you haven’t already (don’t go overboard, with all those veggies you don’t want too many noodles on one plate, trust me). Then scoop stir fry veggies on top. Garnish with a lime slice or two and a few sprigs of cilantro (or just squeeze the lime on and toss on a few sprinkles of chopped cilantro on top if you’re not trying to impress anyone with your presentation and just want to eat your dinner like a normal person)

Enjoy! The tea-infused noodles really add flavor to this dish, so there’s no need for extra sauce or seasoning for the lettuce etc which is great if you’re trying to watch your diet. Sauces can be cruel in regards to sugar and sodium. But tea? Tea is as low cal as it gets for flavoring and was remarkably tasty. I was pretty impressed myself. This also made a wonderful lunch the next day. I put the stir fry on the bottom, then lettuce then noodles (to keep everything from getting too soggy) and then heated it up a little and stirred it up at work. It’d also be good just cold, but was really a treat at room temp/slightly warm too. VERY filling, hearty, healthy and made my week. Try it and let me know what you think!

For your entertainment…

From two of my favorite cartoons Toothpaste for Dinner (which is not a diet I recommend) and Natalie Dee (fun fact: they’re a couple… I hope their child starts making comics too one day)


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