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We Heart Ramen

15 Apr

I am a college student but here in UC Davis I don’t eat instant ramen very often. The Dining Commons (DC) is just that good and convenient enough that I don’t have to cook up ramen. However, this really cool infographic was brought to my attention:

We Love Ramen Infographic
Created by: HackCollege.com

Original link: http://www.hackcollege.com/blog/2012/2/27/infographic-we-love-ramen.html

Isn’t it cool? I thought so too and decided to make my own version of ramen. Granted this isn’t going to be super healthy but I did my best.

My ramen with egg and vegetables (red/black/green things). Photo taken using my smartphone's app called "PicsArt"; setting: Pastel.

Nell’s Quick Ramen

Ingredients

  • 1 package of ramen
  • 1 egg, boiled (takes 5-7 minutes, depends on how well you want the egg to be cooked)
  • 1/2 cup frozen vegetables, thawed
  • ground cayenne pepper OR freshly ground black pepper to taste (optional)

Ramen Ingredients

Procedure

  1. Cook ramen according to package. Usually this means 2 cups of boiling water per 1 package of ramen. Cook ramen in boiling water for 3 minutes (or package’s required time).
  2. Thaw and warm up frozen vegetables in microwave. For my microwave, it took 1 minute. It will vary based on strength of microwave.
  3. Slice up boiled egg in about 1/4 inch slices.
  4. Once the ramen is cooked, pour the entire contents (water and noddles) into a medium bowl. Mix in vegetables and ground caynene pepper or black pepper to taste. Sprinkle a little bit of the spices from the ‘spice packet’ provided in the ramen package. Do NOT pour it all if you want to reduce the sodium (and unhealthiness).  Top with sliced egg.
  5. Eat and enjoy!
My thoughts taste-wise? Not too bad actually. Of course I didn’t use all of the spice packet so the flavor wasn’t as strong as usual but I added the ground cayenne pepper to give it a kick. Having the egg slightly “gooey” helps too.
Glad this infographic was shown to me. I’m tempted to try to Spaghetti Ramen and Breakfast Ramen too… :)

Mini Shepherd’s Pie Tarts

17 Mar Shepherd's Pie Tarts (golden brown)

Luck o’ the Irish be with you all! Ho ho ho!

Just imagine a big leprechaun saying this.

But either way, I think I just combined two holidays (St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas). Uh, that kind of shows you how much I know about St. Patrick’s Day lingo. And I just found out after I made the mini shepherd’s pies that they aren’t even Irish; they’re English. (I know I’m 1/8th Irish, but hey, I just found out a earlier this year.)

Anyway, if you’ve got nothing better to do, then sit back and enjoy my anecdote and lovely pictures.

For a recipe, please comment below or email me at nell.notebook@yahoo.com

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The Reason for the Lack of Baking:Fried Rice (Original Recipe)

18 Aug

If you’ve been keeping up with me or looked at my previous archive, you’ll have realized that for a couple of weeks, I wrote about new recipes every few days. Why the sudden lack of recipes? What could possibly be keeping me from my one true love: food? Or the kitchen?

Well, it’s because I have quenched my need to bake by cooking a bowl of (lean) turkey fried rice every morning.

Ground Turkey Fried Rice

The Story Behind My Fried Rice
(recipe wayyyy below)

At first, my mom suggested that I make myself fried rice in the morning since I was looking for new breakfast ideas. Immediately, I thought, “Fried rice? Fried rice? Who makes fried rice for breakfast? It’s heavy and bulky. It’s so big. I like my usual breakfast of a piece of wheat toast, 1 egg, a yogurt, and a bowl of fruit. Who wants fried rice?” I didn’t tell her that because she wouldn’t understand so instead I said, “Okay, thanks, Mom. I’ll think about it”. She insisted that I try making myself fried rice so I told her that I would try it even though I detested the very thought of it.

The very next morning as I held my usual piece of bread ready to toast it, I saw the bowl of long grain rice that I had sitting in my refrigerator. Guilt starting creeping upon me. I knew that she would ask me how fried rice for breakfast was and I knew that I couldn’t lie to her. For one, it was my mom, I’d feel too bad. Second, she’s know I was lying. Third, I’m a terrible liar. Put those all together and it spells disaster. So I placed the bread back into the breadbox and proceeded to get the rice bowl.

I wasn’t quite sure how to start off making fried rice espeically since I hadn’t researched any recipes or watched any videos. The only experience I had was watching the chefs at Benihanna make their fried rice and how fried rice at Chinese and Thai restaurants tasted.

I remembered watching the Benihanna chef cook  the egg first so that’s what I did. I heated a small nonstick pan with less than a teaspoon of vegetable oil.  I scrambled the egg in a separate bowl while the pan was heating. Then once the pan was hot, I poured the egg mixture in the pan and watched the egg sizzle. While the egg was cooking, I defrosted the 25 ounce packet of lean ground turkey in the microwave. I heated the entire package for about 3 minutes since it came straight from the freezer.

To make scrambled eggs – rather egg – I followed a technique that I saw online. Let the egg cook a little bit so that the bottom is firm but the top is still liquid egg. Using a spatula, move the edges of the egg to the center so that the liquid egg spills over and starts to cook. Once the scramble eggs are made, I placed them on a paper towel to keep warm while I was going to cook the ground turkey.

I used about 1/5 of the package of turkey (5 ounces). By now, it was soft and ready to cook. I put the turkey into the same small nonstick pan that I cooked the egg without any extra oil. The turkey looked like it had it’s own juices so I figured that I could skip out on the oil. If I ended up needed it, I’d add in some. But to my relief, I didn’t need the oil. :)

Once the turkey was in the pan, I started to smoosh the meat so it wasn’t in one big clump. When it was all smooshed, I kept moving the meat around in the pan so it didn’t burn. I took a break and risked my chances of burning the meat, I went into the spices cabinet took out ground pepper, garlic powder, and parsley. I sprinkled out some black pepper on the cooking meat to flavor it. When the meat was cooked thoroughly cooked and well browned, I added in enough rice to fill the pan. (Later, I measured that amount to fill the pan to be about 1 cup of rice).

Now, I was really confused on how to know if the rice was cooked or not, but then after about five minutes of cooking with the meat, it started making popping noises like popcorn, only it wasn’t popping around. Thank goodness because it would have made a big mess. I quickly sprinkled some parsley and some garlic powder. I must have used about 1.5 teaspoons of garlic powder. I love garlic. :)

I added in the egg and of chopped it in the pan with the spatula. You should have seen it: I was just going by sheer instinct. I added in a bit more pepper to give the fried rice some more flavor.

After cooking it the turkey, rice, and egg concoction for about two minutes, I turned off the stove and tasted a spoonful. It tasted so delicious and flavorful and nothing that I’ve ever tasted before. Let’s just say that I’ve had my bowl of turkey fried rice every morning for 3 weeks excluding the weekends since I like to go out for breakfast. But man, that fried rice was so good. :) My mom was right (as usual).

Just in case, you’d like to try my original homemade recipe, here it is.

Ground Turkey Fried Rice

Nell’s Original Healthy Turkey Fried Rice

Makes about 1.5 cups of fried rice; good for 1

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces of lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup of rice (white, long grain, or brown); personally I use brown now
  • 1.5 teaspoons of ground black pepper; mostly for taste
  • 1.5 teaspoons of garlic powder; mostly for taste
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Defrost the ground turkey. If you bought a package of 25 ounces, then take the package and warm it up in the microwave for about 3 minutes, give or take depending on the power of your microwave.  Or you could always set out the package and let it defrost by itself. It’d take a while and I’m not too sure about the exact time.
  2. Heat the small nonstick pan with the oil on low to medium heat. Scramble the egg in a bowl and pour into the pan. Follow the video for exact instructions to make scrambled eggs.
  3. Once your egg is done, place the egg on a paper towel to keep it warm.
  4. Place the 5 ounces of ground turkey into the same pan with medium heat. Kind of mush it and break it up into small pieces. Add in about 1/2 teaspoon of the ground pepper and continue to brown the ground turkey into its well cooked with no more pink.
  5. Add in about 1 cup of pre-cooked rice into the pan with the meat. Add in the the rest of the spices. Feel free to add more if need be.
  6. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat before adding in the scrambled egg so the egg doesn’t burn. After the 5 minutes, add in egg. Break up the scrambled egg with your spatula or whatever utensil you are using.
  7. Cook for another 2 minutes on low medium heat. Taste the rice and more spices if you need too. Then you’re done! Serve warm.

I love this fried rice because it makes a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Double the recipe if making for two people; this is originally for 1 person. What I like about it is that it’s low in oil, but tastes so great.

A Savory Onion, Potato, Gruyere Galette

3 Aug

Recipe from Sur La Table; recipe also available on blog

I attended baking class at my local Sur La Table downtown. I’ve learned good tips about baking with cookies, pies, tarts, souffles, and just kitchen tips in general. One of the best things is that I got to keep all 25 recipes. :) The Onion, Potato, Gruyere (Cheese) Galette was a big hit at home so I decided I’d try to recreate the galette at home by myself (without the crew at the class). In case you don’t know what a galette is, a galette is a French pastry tart that can either be made sweet with fruit or savory for a dinner.

Here’s my result!


Here’s the recipe in case you wish to tackle it. You can also use your own high-quality pie dough from the store, but if you’re extra ambitious you use the following recipe for flaky, homemade pie/tart crust.

I know that there looks like there is a lot of directions to read, but it’s actually a lot easier than that. Don’t be intimidated!

Pie/Tart Crust Recipe

*Can be made up to 2 days ahead, cover with plastic wrap, and keep refrigerator.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water (I ended up using more; you need just enough water to allow the flour and butter to come together to make a dough)
  • 1 1/4 cup (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sugar (omit for an savory crust; I forgot to do this and it turned out fine)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Equipment: small measuring cup, pastry blender or food processor, large bowl rolling pin, pastry brush(/span>

Directions:



Potato, Onion, & Gruyere Galette Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe Pie/Tart Dough (see above)
  • 1 1/4 tbs olive oil, plus 1 tbs for drizzling
  • 1 large onion (12 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme or rosemary (I used both)
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1 pinch kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese; coarsely grated
  • 1 lb red potatoes, washed (left unpeeled) and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Equipment: rolling pin, baking sheet, parchement paper or a sillicone mat, medium saute pan large bowl, pastry brush, pairing knige, metal spatula, cooling rack, cake lifter or two metal spatulas, tart pan bottom, chef’s knife

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit and position an oven rack in the lower third. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Roll the dough out starting from the center outward while rotating the dough until the dough is circular and about 13 inches in diameter. Transfer to baking sheet and chill for 1 hour.
  2. Heat the 1/2 tbl olive oil in the medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly colored, about 8 to 10 minutes. (It only took me 8 minutes). Stire in the thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 5 grinds pepper and blender well. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the cooled onion mixture, cheese, and potatoes in a large bowl. Mound the filling in the center of the chilled tart shell, leaving a 1.5 inch border at the edge. Fold that border up around the filling, pleating it to make a pretty enclosure and leaving the center open. Drizzle the filling with the remaining 1 tbp olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and 3 grinds of pepper. Lightly brush the pleated dough with the beaten egg to give it a shine and help it brown in the oven.
  4. Bake the galette for 45 to 50 minutes. (It took my galette only 45 minutes), or until the pastry is golden brown and the potatoes are soft when tested with a pairing knife or skewer. Use the metal spatula to life the edge of the galette sightly and check underneath to see if the bottom crust is a beautiful brown color. If so, transfer to a rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer galette to a serving plate with the cake lighter or 2 spatulas or tart pan bottom supporting the bottom as you move it. Slice with a chef’s knife and serve warm. If you like, serve with dollops of creme fraiche and spoonfuls of caviar.

Storing:
Store uncovered at room temperature for up to 6 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator for up to days. Reheat in a 400 F for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

I hope you enjoy! :)

Eatting Out Asian Style: “On the Bridge”, “Balboa Teriyaki”, and “Pagan Restaurant”

24 Jul

If you’ve been reading my other posts, you’ll realize that the other two restaurants (Caffe Italia and Perry’s) are Italian and American. “Where are the Asian restaurants?” you might be asking. And well, here you go. :)

After a tired night of working, my friend and I decided to eat out in SF’s Japantown on the bridge at the “On the Bridge” restaurant. (I do love the name, don’t you?)

On the Bridge (Literally)


SF Japantwon

Ambiance:

Not my photo, from yelp.

It’s fun and ‘hip’, but good for all ages. The chairs are all different neon colors, Japanese comic books line one of the walls, Japanese stuffed animal sit on the back counter, and Japanese movies (with subtitles) always playing on the tvs overhead. Counter seats and tables for two and four are available.

What We Ordered:

Well, the food always come in great presentation. See more photos here.

Grilled Plate: Vegetable Saute – $9.95

Served on a sizzling hot plate with rice.

Mhm…Yummy… :)



Vegetable Curry with Rice – $10.95

Basically the same ingredients as the sizzling vegetable saute, but with a medium spicy Japanese curry sauce. If you’ve never had a Japanese curry, I’ll try to explain. it’s a mild curry compared to Indian and Thai curries; it’s more mild, but there are different levels of spiciness. Medium is best. Mild is good for young kids. There is no strong smell and no strange after taste. The best curry to me.
Overall:


This is one of my favorite places to go. I’ve been going here since I was four.I don’t think I’ll be stopping any time soon. :)

But honestly, it’s a pretty good price for the amount that you get. There was no curry leftovers, but there was for the sizzling plate. Good service, very friendly and prompt. Cute ambiance and good selection of foods like Japanese pastas (Neapolitan spaghetti and salmon roe noddles, I think) some kind of Japanese pizza, Au Grains, and traditional Japanese selections. I’ve yet to try the Au Grain and Pizza, but I’ve heard it’s good. I love the menu.

Balboa Teriyaki

The Outer Richmond’s Version of Japanese Cuisine

I call it fate or perhaps even destiny that the next day my other friend – who was also taking the summer school course earlier with me – wanted to go have lunch at a Japanese place. I wanted to laugh over the phone when she asked me because I couldn’t believe my luck. However, when she suggested Balboa Teriyaki I knew that I had nothing to fear.

Recently under a new management, this place has only gotten better. With the new management, the menu was the same with the addition of more sushi, don buri, and bento box options. The outside changed too; there’s now a lit picture menu like at the McDonald’s Drive Thru menu. This was slightly strange to me, but as long as the food is good, then it’s fine with me.

Ambiance:
Japanese style booths are available as well as tables for four. Japanese decor and the uniforms of the waitresses too. Good for dates, I suppose. But not a fine dining restaurant.
Ambiance: 4/5

Service:
Wonderful! We were given their Spicy Tuna Roll, Fried Shrimp Skewers, and Edamame (soft-shelled Japanese beans) for free! The waitress was nice and very accommodating too. I’ve gone here before and gotten free green tea ice cream for our party of three. This time, it was a party of 6. The more people you bring the bigger free items you get…so I hear. :)
Service: 5/5

What We Ordered:

Edameme Beans

Shrimp Skewers

Bento Box: Chicken Teriyaki + Beef Teriyaki – $8.50

Ha..Ha.. Why’s the chicken and beef naked? Well, that’s my fault. I don’t like sauce so I asked for it on the side. Otherwise, the presentation would have looked a lot better.
The bento box comes with your choice of two items, four California rolls, a salad, and miso soup, all for $8.50 at lunch time.

Chicken Katsu – $7.95

From Balboa Teriyaki

Unagi Don – $7.95

Try comparing this to the On the Bridge’s Unagi Don pictured above.

Spicy Tuna Roll

Overall:
Go here. And quickly. Run! The food is great, service is wonderful, and you never know what kind of free food they’ll give you. Decently authentic Japanese food. Good portions for price.

The bad thing I noticed was that my chicken and beef were pretty scrawny if you look at it.

I’d expect for meat please!

Pagan Restaurant
(at 3199 Clement Street, SF)

This is another good Outer Richmond restaurant. It’s like a hidden gem in this residential neighborhood. On the more quieter side of Clement Street, this restaurant is located on a strip of Clement that has two other small cafes, the Lincoln Golf Course and Playground, and a few other shops and restaurants including a belly dancing restaurant. It can be said that in time, this once quiet street will be bustling with tourists and others from all over the city as this restaurant is discovered.

Ambiance:
The dress is casual, but it still feels like a nice restaurant. Definitely good for dates and groups 12 people or less.

There is a big room (shown) and smaller, more private area too.

What We Ordered:

Ginger Salad (Thai) – $7.95

When the salad comes to the table, all the ingredients are separated and the server will explain each one and then toss it right in front of you. Seeing the swirls of colors go ’round and ’round are quite the crowd pleasers, but the taste is exquisite. This particular salad has dried soy beans/edamame beans, peanuts, fried ginger, and fried garlic slices. It’s a very “crunchy” salad with a ginger flavor that doesn’t overpower it. — 5/5



Chicken Thai Fried Rice
$7.50

Tasty and delicious. It’s not too oily, but this is fried rice so it’s not completely out of the ‘oil’ woods. However, definitely not too much oil. I have no complains. –4.75/5

Spicy Eggplant w/Beef, Bell Peppers, Basil, Garlic -$8.25

Simply the best thing that night. This paired with the rice was great. All the Thai spices with the beef, eggplant, bell peppers, green chilis – you can ask for mild – and the basil make a wonderful dish. —- 5/5

Low Carb Pad Thai – $7.95

The only difference between this dish and their regular Pad Thai is the noodles. I’m not how to explain it, but I’ll try. These seem like the same “glass noddles” that are in the Filipino pancit bihon noodles. But anyhow, if you’re not picky about your noodles, then the dish is basically the same; nothing else has changed.

Personally, I like Pad Thai, but sometimes there’s just too much oil used in the general process. Here is no different but there’s not a large amount either. It’s your typical oil amount.


Overall:
Good prices for the amount. For all those dishes plus two hot teas, the bill was about $46 (not including tip). I have yet to explore the curries and other appetizers like the platha. (I have tried the samosas which is good. No photo though). With a separate Thai menu and Burmese menu, there is a whole lot to try. Great for all ages.

For dessert, they also have a typical fried banana with coconut ice cream. ($4.50)

I hope this helps you when you go out to eat “Asian style” in San Francisco. Overall, my favs were On The Bridge and the Pagan Restaurant though the freebies from Balboa Teriyaki wasn’t too bad either.

Another Eventful Day: UC Davis and Lunch at Caffe Italia

19 Jul

I never really get a break now do I? School ends and I somehow always figure out how to stay busy. Such is life :)

Today I left my house at 9 am to meet a friend at U.C. Davis. It was a long drive and the hot weather was daunting, but I’m so glad that I went.

My friend toured me around her school wanting to show off all the great hang outs places, the dorms, and the cafes and little restaurants. It was all fun and exciting, but the heat just got the better of us. After walking around for about 2 hours – yes, we were crazy enough to walk around in 108 degree weather – , we decided that this was enough. By 2 pm I think even my friend was getting tired of her school so she decided to finally take me to the restaurant that she and her other friends go to to relax and chill. “Besides the food,” she confided, “which is very good, it has air conditioning.” At that point, that was all I cared about. I could have just been happy going into a McDonalds as long as there was air conditioning.

Boy, was I going to take that back once we had eaten there.

She ended up taking me to this Italian restaurant called Caffe Italia about a 3 minute car ride from the campus.

The ambiance was cozy and home-like. Definitely perfect for friends, family, and even dinner dates. The seating was wooden booths like Outback’s Steak House, but they had another room full of tables and picnic blankets over them. There were little “witty character signs” like this one:

Note for above: not my picture; from yelp.

I know it's a crappy photo. But it was dark in that room and I was looking through glass. I figure that they open this room during dinner time when it gets really busy.

What was really cool was that you can draw on the tables. Well, actually, the white paper that covers the table. You can be a kid here. In fact, the server writes their name on the white table-paper. Kinda cool though by the time I had gotten there I was basically a sweating city pig with a sunburned nose and raccoon eyes. I was in no shape to draw.

Note: This is not my photo, but instead, a photo I got from the yelp photo album.

So when we finally got to ordering,
we decided to share their Chicken Strips and Garlic Bread.

This is the only picture that I could take before the chicken strips were gone. It’s another bad photo (I’m sorry! But when you’re hungry and the heat is ever present, you do some funny things). The chicken strips were so gone. The batter was homemade and the seasonings/spices were unique.

The garlic bread was made out of french bread that had a slightly crunchy crust and a soft middle. They toasted/grilled the top with olive oil and garlic so that it was it crusty as well. My rating: 3.75/5 I only give it this much because I’ve tired so many other different garlic breads. Nothing was wrong, but it wasn’t anything spectacular.

For my main meal, I settled on their large Spinach Salad. It came with fresh spinach, crumbled boiled eggs, bacon bits, white mushrooms, black olives, and rotisserie-styled chicken. (The chicken was an extra $2).

The before…

The After…er…Midway…

The Spinach Salad was good. I rate this a 4.5/5. I usually go to Pasta Pomodoro in the city when I can because I love their spinach salad. However, this salad beats it. I’m not a very big fan of sauces (especially since I found out how much calories they pack into sauces. Why waste precious calories of those when I can save room for dessert or something better? But anway,) Caffe Italia’s Spinach Salad had a light vinaigrette dressing, which I love. The spinach leaves were crisp, fresh, and slightly cold (to my delight)!

I also ended up ordering their Half-Size Spinach and Cheese Ravolli. Guess what I’m into lately?)

Came with about 6 raviolis for $6. Not too bad, I guess.

The Inside. As you can see, it was quite thin.

Another inside view. Kinda messy by now, but just as delicious.

And, well, it just didn’t last long. :)
My rating: 4/5. After my friend pointed it out, the actual ravioli was not that great tasting; it was their sauce. The sauce had so much flavor that I eagerly ate the entire thing.

Now for the dessert…

I was told by my friend that I couldn’t miss out on their signiature dessert. In fact, I think it’s their only dessert.

Introducing… THE CHOCOLATE LASAGNA SUPREME!
Featuring: Whipped Cream, Chocolate Shavings, Chocolate Syrup, Vanilla Ice Cream, Toasted Coconut Walnut Brownie-Cookie

A beauty, isn’t she?


Looking back now, I realized that we didn’t get our chocolate shavings, but believe me, there’s enough chocolate in this thing that you don’t even need it.

We’re all taking our “second-wind”. The advertisement on the table is what got us. :)

(By the way, that’s my friend’s boyfriend across the table, in case you were wondering who that was).

Yumm….

Oh, the delicious, mess. :D

The Chocolate Lasagna Supreme gets a 5/5 because of the taste, originality, and presentation. The toasted coconut on the brownie/cookie gave it a great taste and the walnuts complimented it wonderfully. The ice cream was not high quality. I could tell it was the French Vanilla Ice Cream from Safeway, but it was pretty good. It would have been better with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. The whipped cream and chocolate sauce were just added bonuses. :)

The ending result for Caffe Italia? The price is reasonable, service is great, and the ambiance is quirky (in a good way!). Go there if you live near by or are ever in the area. I hear they have a superb breakfast menu (I saw it and there is quite a lot of variety) and the dinner is even better than the lunch. In fact, based on some reviews, the lunch is ‘disappointing’ compared to the dinner. The next time I visit my friend we are definitely going there for dinner because we were impressed with their ‘disappointing’ lunch.

What I’ve Been Making Lately

27 Jun
Breakfast: Whole Wheat Pancakes with Strawberries

Well, I’ve been having quite fun making breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings for the past two weeks and I’ve finally gotten around to posting the recipes and (delicious) photos. (You’ll come to learn that I use the word delicious a lot because, well, it is. :) )

Whole-Wheat Pancakes with Strawberries

This is a great alternative to the regular white flour pancakes. It keeps you fuller, offers more fiber, and is just naturally better for you than the processed stuff.

Ingredients:

– Bob’s Red Mill Buttermilk Pancake Mix (found here)
*Just as a note, Bob’s Red Mill has so many other good mixes, flours, oats, and organic, non-gluten products. Check it out. I found it in my local Lucky’s Grocery store.

Directions:
You can either follow the directions on the back, or do what I do, which is…. omit the egg and just keep the same amount of water.
  1. Prepare and mix batter according to instructions on the box or on your recipe card.
  2. Pour about a teaspoon of oil on a pan on low heat. Sometimes I don’t even have to use oil if I use a non-stick pan.
  3. Pour about 1/4 or 1/4 of a cup of better into the pan.
  4. Watch for the bubbles to show evenly throughout the pancake and for the edges to turn slightly golden. (See picture below)
  5. Flip the pancake over. Cook otherside for less than a minute. Once done cooking, remove from pan immediately to prevent burning.
  6. Continue with the rest of the batter. Then marvel at your beautiful pancakes!
Look for the bubbles and at the edges turning golden.

Look for the bubbles and at the edges turning golden.

Stuffed Tomato with Noodles

Lunch Time: Stuffed Tomatoes with Noodles

I took this idea from the “stuffed pepper” dinners I’ve seen on TV and in the magazines. This is a good alternative, but I must admit that there is an intense tomato flavor. Have more stuffing on the side.

Ingredients
serves 2

  • 2 large, round, stuffing tomatoes (or peppers)
  • 1.5lbs ground meat (i used lean ground turkey and sausages)
  • vegetables (optional), (i used broccoli)
  • 3-4 cloves cut garlic
  • pepper and salt for seasoning and to taste
  • pre-cooked noddles
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Put in cut up garlic. Cook and stir until slightly brown.
  3. Put in ground meat (and sausages if uncooked) and cook until no pink shows, breaking it up into small pieces. Add in a pinch of salt and pepper. Put in sausages if already cooked and add in the vegetables. Add in some more pepper if needed.
  4. Cut up tomatoes and take out the seeds while the meat is cooking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Once meat is done cooking, divide everything into two equal portions, and put in the tomatoes. If there is extra, save it for the topping of the noodles.
  6. Place tomatoes on greased baking sheet, and bake for about 25 minutes. Watch the oven consciously. It will be done when the tomatoes are tender, but not completely wilted. Tomatoes should serve as a bowl for the meat so try not to over cook it.
  7. Serve with noddles!

Dessert: Blueberry Galette with Lemon Ice Cream

Blueberry Galette Recipe

Ingredients
Serves 6-8

For lemon ice cream

  • 1 pt superpremium vanilla ice cream
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For galette

  • 1 lb fresh blueberries (3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie dough (from a 15-oz package)
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and butter foil.
  2. Make lemon ice cream:
    Transfer ice cream to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 30 percent power at 10-second intervals until softened, about 50 seconds total. Stir in zest and juice, then thinly spread in a shallow baking pan and freeze while making galette.
  3. Assemble and bake galette:
    Stir together blueberries, cornstarch, zest, juice, cinnamon, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl until combined.
  4. Unwrap pie dough and unfold onto baking sheet, then spoon blueberry mixture onto center of dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border around edge.
  5. Fold edge of dough over 1 inch of blueberry mixture, pleating dough, then dot blueberry filling with butter pieces. Lightly brush pastry with some of beaten egg and sprinkle with remaining teaspoon sugar.
  6. Bake until blueberry filling is bubbling and pastry is golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheet on a rack. Serve warm galette with scoops of lemon ice cream.

Blueberry Galette Recipe

I hope you enjoy the recipes as much as I did. I have to say that the Blueberry Galette and lemon ice cream are probably the best recipes. But let me know, I could be wrong.