Way better than Top Ramen

I made sesame noodles for breakfast this morning.  Oh ya, I said breakfast because that is how I roll!

And it was WAY better than Top Ramen.  Don’t get me wrong, big fan of the Top Ramen, but I haven’t bought it in a while because of all the sodium, chemicals, yada… yada… yada.  But this is some ROCKIN’ stuff.  This will be replacing my ramen.  It may take a tad bit longer to make, but so worth it.  And really, I can do 10-15 minutes instead of the 6 it takes to do ramen from a package.

The recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers – The Pioneer Woman and it is her Simple Sesame Noodle.  I made a few changes to fit what I have on hand.  I don’t really measure, so these are estimates.

Sesame Noodles
enough for one person

  • handful of dried whole wheat angle hair pasta – cooked and drained
  • 2 Tablespoons pasta water
  • 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic chili sauce (Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 whole green onions, sliced thin

Mix sauce ingredients together and add to warm noodles. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seed if you have them.

August 14, 2010 at 9:53 am Leave a comment

one perfect pancake

What a perfect morning… it is cloudy (not quite raining, sure wish it would) and I have a cup of steaming hot coffee and one perfect pancake!

Yip, ONE perfect pancake.

I love pancakes, but rarely do I make them.  I only need one.  I don’t need a large recipe.  I don’t freeze them.  I just want ONE!  So, I rarely get one, unless we go out for breakfast to our local cafe.  But I found a better pancake than the cafe, a much better pancake and there is only one.

Recently on Joy the Baker, she had a recipe for The Single Lady Pancake and I think I fell in love with her.  What a glorious and genius idea.  She described it as a single indulgent, hearty pancake and that is just what I want!!!

So here is my adaptation of her recipe to include the things I love.  I like a simple pancake, but I have also included some optional mix-ins.

One Perfect Pancake

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon rolled oats (quick or regular)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 heaping teaspoon malted milk powder (optional, you could replace with 1 teaspoon sugar)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup soymilk (other options: regular, almond, buttermilk, any will work)
splash of vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon butter

Optional mix-ins (small handful of…)

mini chocolate chips
finely chopped walnuts or pecans
blueberries
banana

1. In small bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, malted milk powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt well. Create a well in center and add oil, milk, vanilla and cinnamon to well. Start by stirring liquid ingredients together and gently combine with dry ingredients until just combined. Gently fold in any mix-ins. Do not over mix. Batter will be on the thicker side.

2. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Melt butter in pan. Once melted, add batter to pan and smooth out. Cook over medium heat until lots of bubbles form and begin to pop.

3. Flip this gorgeous pancake. Cook until golden brown. This is a thick pancake so make sure you give it plenty of time to cook through. Remove from pan and onto plate. Top with some more butter and maple syrup (or as you please). Yum.

August 1, 2010 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Sun Dried Tomato Chicken

Finally, some yummy chicken breasts.  Mind you, totally not done in the slow cooker!  Ugh, still can’t get a good chicken breast done in the slow cooker.

On the other hand, this awesome chicken was done in the oven.  Don’t really know why I don’t do this more often.  Time never seems to be on my side, so it is usually cut into pieces and “stir fried.”  But this was so EASY and well received.  I don’t think I have ever heard, “this is good” after just one bite from the hubby.  But it has all his favorites, so I figured it would be a winner.  And has been requested again!

I tried to lighten it up a bit.  There isn’t much oil for the chicken, but the sauce is so FATTENING.  But SOOOO good and it added just the right amount of sun dried tomato flavor.  I made just enough for maybe a large spoonful per breast and used half and half instead of whole cream.  The chicken is so moist it doesn’t need a lot of sauce.

I have separated out my recipe into just the chicken (yummy by itself) and the cream sauce (so yummy and kicks the chicken up a notch).

Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Breasts
• 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon pepper
• 3 rosemary sprigs (can substitute dried rosemary, maybe 1-2 teaspoons)
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 to 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (can substitute regular dry bread crumbs)
• 1/4 cup olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray 9 x 13 glass pan with cooking spray.
2. Place 6 chicken breasts in prepared pan. Sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper (amounts can be adjusted to taste).
3. Drizzle balsamic vinegar evenly over chicken breasts (amount can be adjusted to taste).  Place whole rosemary sprigs alongside the chicken.
4. Evenly cover chicken breasts with panko bread crumbs and drizzle olive oil over top.
5. Bake for 40-50 minutes until chicken juices run clear.
6. Cover with tin foil and let rest 10 minutes while making sauce.  Remove rosemary sprigs before serving.

Sun Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 – 2 garlic cloves (minced)
• 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
• 1 cup half and half (can substitute whole cream, half and half will curdle, whole cream should not)
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1. Melt butter and saute garlic and sun dried tomatoes for 1 minute.
2. Add half and half and bring to a low boil. Simmer till slightly thickened.  Half and half will curdle a little and not make a smooth sauce.  I use half and half to lighten it up a little.
3. Add grated Parmesan and still till combined.
4. Evenly spoon over each chicken breast.

June 5, 2010 at 9:13 am Leave a comment

Still stuck on cinnamon…

I seem to be stuck on some sort of a cinnamon kick!  I see that my last few posts have all been cinnamon related.  I think my husband has influenced my recent baking trials.  I’m more of a chocolate person and he likes cinnamon.  I really was going to make some chocolate chip muffins and somehow that turned into this Cinnamon Muffin Bread.  Hehe.
I’m not complaining though, it is really good!

I combined a couple of recipes to come up with this one.  It is basically a vanilla cakey muffin with a bit of a cinnamon center and a crumb crust.  All my favorite things about a muffin!

Cinnamon Muffin Bread

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Splenda sugar substitute
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour

Crumb Topping
4 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Lightly grease bottom of a 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inch bread pan or 12 standard size muffin tins.

2. Beat together butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla until fluffy. Beat in eggs, then stir in milk. Mix in flour until just combined.

3. Place 3/4 of batter into prepared loaf pan or muffin tin. With remaining batter stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon till combined. Place into a line at the center of the loaf pan and swirl with knife. Or add by spoonful to each muffin tin.

4. Prepare crumb topping by combining butter, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon with a fork or by hand until large crumbs form. Spread evenly over top of loaf or muffins.

5. Bake loaf for about 60 minutes and muffins for about 30 minutes or until cake tester instered into the center comes out without crumbs clinging to it. Allow to cool for 10 – 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Let me know if you try it!

May 17, 2010 at 1:46 am Leave a comment

failing miserably…

Let me just say this… I have not baked bread, sweets or really anything in a long time.  How does time just slip away?

Then, I go and try to make something like lemon chicken in the crockpot that makes me never want to cook again!!!   Arg.  Anyone know how to make skinless, boneless chicken breasts in the crockpot without drying them out?  I know, I should just not do it, but I’m trying to be healthier and say away from the fattier skinned or thighs.  Ugh.  Into some chicken salad this batch goes.

Hope to have something successful and yummy to share soon!

April 13, 2010 at 1:15 am 1 comment

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies…

Wow, there is a lot going on in this little cookie, but it has all of my favorite things.

I have been wanting a peanut butter cookie for awhile, but when I make a sweet treat, I try to make it somewhat healthier.  So here is my attempt based on a Martha Stewart cookie from her Cookies cookbook.

I love this little cookie.  It is crispy!  Sometimes when I reduce the butter or try to add an oil substitute it turns into a cake like cookie.  Which is fine for some cookies, but a peanut butter cookie needs to be crispy.  These didn’t spread out like I figured they would, so you can put a lot on one cookie sheet.  They are super yummy, light and crispy and full of goodness.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from: Martha Stewart’s Cookies
Yield: 6 dozen
Preheat oven: 35o°

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old fashion rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar substitute (I used Splenda)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) room temperature butter
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
  • 2 cups salted peanuts (lightly chopped)
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Stir together oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.
  2. Cream sugars, butter and peanut butter in mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes).  Add eggs and vanilla.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low and add oat mixture until just combined.  Mix in peanuts and chocolate chips by hand.
  4. Use a small ice cream scoop or cookie scoop (about 1.5 inches).  Drop onto cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake cookies, rotating sheet halfway through, for about 13 to 15 minutes until set.  Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

I hope you enjoy, I know we sure did!

February 8, 2010 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Cinnamon Bread

Oooohhhh, so good.  I have been craving a cinnamon swirl bread for the looooonngest time!  I finally made it this weekend.

I admit it, I have been a lazy baker lately.  While I have fed my wild starter, Harvey, faithfully every few weeks or so, I really haven’t used him.  Ok, maybe I haven’t been so faithful, but he seems to be doing fine.  I really feel bad for ignoring him.  He just wants to do his job, but I just haven’t had the time.  So in my craze to get a cinnamon swirl bread NOW, I used this recipe from King Aurthur Flour.

I made only two changes to the recipe.  First, I have a 10 x 5 inch loaf pan.  So the loaf for a 9 x 4 inch pan was just not going to work.  I have learned that if I increase the recipe by 1 & 1/2 I’m usually good to go.  I also used bread flour instead of all purpose.  Not sure if it really changed the texture.

This bread was sooooooo good.  Reminded me of cinnamon sugar toast after a little time in the toaster oven and a little butter.  My husband was even impressed and that is some high praise to get complimented without proding.  The only thing I might change next time is to make 2 loaves.  This one disappeared too quickly!

Hopefully, I will find some time to get Harvey out of the fridge.  I had made some loaves at the end of last year and I’m down to the last one.  So I guess it will be time soon!

Submitting to Yeastspotting.

February 3, 2010 at 4:44 pm 4 comments

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