Pickled Cucumber with Ginger (Korean side dish)

These measurements are approximations… This is the type of dish that you can whip up quickly before dinner and serve as a light side dish, perfect next to rice or another carb.

Pickled Cucumber with Ginger (Korean side dish)

1 cucumber, thinly sliced (mandolines are perfect for this)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
dash of sesame oil
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
10-15 basil leaves, chopped
Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Sprinkle the cucumbers with salt, let them sit for a few minutes, then rinse. Mix everything but the cucumbers and sesame seeds (if using) together. Add the cucumbers and let them marinate for 5-10 minutes. Top with the sesame seeds (optional) and eat!

Baby Artichokes (Weekend Herb Blogging)

This post is being submitted to Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Marija from Palachinka and created by the lovely Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Baby artichokes are, in fact, the same variety as the full-sized artichokes. They are fully mature, but they are picked from the bottom of the artichoke plant.

If you carefully trim them, you can actually eat the entire baby artichoke whole (without having to deal with pulling off the meat with your teeth). You simply trim the bottom of the stem, pull off the few lower leaves, and trim off about 1/2 inch from the top (getting rid of the tough top parts of the outer leaves).

I decided to leave mine whole, because I like the ritual of peeling and eating an artichoke – but if you’re looking for a sophisticated and easy addition to a pasta dish, definitely try trimming them before cooking – you’ll be in for a treat.

Some other ways of cooking baby artichokes are: microwaving, sauteing, grilling, and boiling. Here is a great site that has more information on these little cuties.

Steamed Baby Artichokes

Baby Artichokes
Water, for steaming
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2-3 tablespoons of butter, melted (for dipping)

Cut off the very bottom of the artichoke stem. Steam the artichokes with water and lemon juice for up to 20 minutes. They should be quite tender at this point. Dip the leaves in melted butter and pull away the meat with your teeth. Eat the heart whole.

Baby artichokes are fantastic because they are so tender, and the center is so easy to get to! The heart is most of the artichoke, unlike normal-sized artichokes. You don’t have to make a terrible effort to get to the best part. Enjoy!

Jap Chae (Korean noodle dish)

Also spelled as Jap Chae, Chab Chae, Chap Chae.

I have been a bad, bad blogger. I promise to post a lot of recipes this week! I made this for dinner tonight (after having it 3 times in the past week at 2 different Korean restaurants). This Korean noodly dish is sweet and savory, but very light – the noodles I used are yam noodles that are low in calories but high in fiber and nutrients. This is definitely my favorite Korean dish (followed closely by Bi Bim Bap), and I hope you’ll give it a try.

Bobby says: “It was delicious and I loved it. I especially love those noodles.”

Jap Chae (Korean noodle dish)

7-8 ouce pack of Shirataki noodles
2-3 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
3-4 cups chopped kale
3-4 slices thin sliced tofurkey/turkey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Boil the Shirataki in 1.5 cups of water for 8-10 minutes. Rinse and drain.
2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick skillet. Add the onion and saute until it starts to turn translucent (3-4 minutes).
3. Add the carrots and zucchini. Reduce heat to medium and continue to saute for 3-4 minutes.
4. Add the kale and tofurkey/turkey. Saute for 3-4 more minutes.
5. Mix together the soy sauce and sugar. Add this to the sauteed veggies and mix well.
6. Add the drained Shirataki noodles and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
7. Serve plain or with rice.


Slow-cooked French Toast

We had French toast for breakfast both Saturday and Sunday – it ended up being so good on Saturday that I just had to make it again. And don’t worry! Those are Morningstar Farms breakfast sausages (veggie), which I highly recommend!

French toast is a great way to use up slightly stale bread or extra bagels. I like French toast to be cooked all the way through (not very juicy on the inside – the eggs should be cooked fully!), but light and fluffy at the same time. I’ve found that using more milk and extra egg whites produces that texture. This thinner mixture also penetrates stale bread more easily and you don’t have to soak the bread for very long at all. I cook the bread/bagels for longer than one might cook them normally since there is more moisture due to the extra milk.

Slow-cooked French Toast

about 6 slices of smallish bread, or bagels (cinnamon raisin is especially good)
1 cup milk
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional; I didn’t have any but when I do I put it in)
2 teaspoons butter/margarine
maple syrup & butter/margarine for topping

1. Mix together the milk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla.
2. Soak the bread and bagels on each side in the milk mixture – they don’t have to soak for long, just 1-2 minutes for each side. If the bread/bagels are stale, soak them for 2-3 minutes longer. Sprinkle some extra cinnamon on the side that will be cooked first.
3. Heat the butter/margarine in a pan over medium high heat, then add the soaked bread. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5-6 minutes on that side. Sprinkle some cinnamon on the top as well.
4. Flip the toast and cook on the other side for 5-6 minutes as well. If you’re using bagels, you may want to press on them with the spatula for 30 seconds near the end to make sure they are cooked all the way through.
5. Serve with maple syrup and butter/margarine. We had ours with fake sausages, but I also like french toast with fruit. Enjoy!

Moscow Mule (drink recipe)

Today’s recipe is from my dad. I was on the phone with him today and he shared a simple and delicious cocktail recipe with me – Bobby, Griff and I stopped at BevMo before dinner and picked up the necessary ingredients.

I’m not a big drinker, but this cocktail was great. The ginger beer gives it a real punch of flavor and the raspberry vodka mingled well with the lime and mint leaves. Ginger beer is not alcoholic – it’s a soda found in most liquor stores. We used the Stewart’s brand. Ginger beer is quite savory and definitely adds a spicy zest to the drink.

Moscow Mule

Ingredients (for 1 drink)
2 parts ginger beer
1 part vodka (we used raspberry flavored vodka)
juice from 1/2 lime
4-5 mint leaves

Mix the ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice. Drop the juiced lime half into the drink as well. Slice 2-3 mint leaves and mix into the drink. Garnish with another few mint leaves. Enjoy!