Archive | January, 2012

Sesame Soba Noodles with Broccoli and Kale

23 Jan

This morning I went to a free Barre class at the Lululemon near my house.  I was accompanied by my coworker, Courtney, for some leg shaking, tricep burning action.  After our workout, we swung by Starbucks for our soy lattes (we’re both addicted) and proceeded to make a pit stop at World Market.  Spending time in this store is always fun, but is especially fun with Courtney, as she is the worlds coolest vegan and a fabulous cook.  She has a way of making vegan food taste so delicious you would choose it over a non-vegan dish any day.   One time she made a vegan cake that tasted like exactly like a perfectly under-cooked chocolate chip cookie.  And the best thing about it??  She made it out of garbanzo beans.  Talent, I tell ya.  So when she started to tell me about these sesame soba noodles she makes, I made sure to listen.  Too excited to wait for her to email me her recipe, here’s my take on the “Courtney special”.  I’ll be making her version soon, too.

Sesame Soba Noodles

1/4 cup sesame seeds (toasted)

8-9 oz. dried soba noodles

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp ginger, minced

1 tsp sesame oil

5 green onions, chopped

3 cups broccoli

2 cups kale

1. Cook soba noodles as directed (about 4-5 minutes until just tender).  Drain and rinse with cold water.

2.  Meanwhile, boil another pot of water and cook broccoli and kale for 1-2 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, mix combine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and green onions.

4.  Add the noodles to the bowl.  Add sesame seeds and toss well,

5. Mix in broccoli and kale.  Wait 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.


Granola Bars with Nuts and Dried Fruit

21 Jan

If you know anything about the Mishurda family, it’s that they don’tstop for snacks and/or lunch when skiing.  They maximize their time on the slopes by being 1st or 2nd on the chair lift in the morning and end up being about the last ones down at the end of the day.

The first time I ever went skiing with the family, I did not know this.  We took off from our hotel in Salt Lake bright and early, grabbing some oatmeal at Whole Foods on the way out.  It was a crowded ski day, so we were forced to park our car and take the shuttle up to the mountain, Alta.  We proceeded to ski ALL day, stopping once for a quick (and I mean quick) bathroom break.  The day ended with us jumping back into our shuttle, eager to grab some food.  When I say eager, I mean “I think I may die from exhaustion and hunger”.  Little to our knowledge, we were about to embark on the world’s worst bus ride.  I thought I lucked out when I found the last seat in the bus, but the second I sat down, I knew I was wrong.  The guy sitting next to me smelled like he hadn’t showered in weeks and felt the need to talk to me the entire 2 1/2 hour ride back to the parking lot.  There was a huge storm that afternoon and what took us 20 minutes up, took us close to 3 hoursdown.  At this point, I want to vomit from hunger and disgust all at the same time, as we’re nearing the 8 pm hour.  We get back to our car, drive back to the hotel to shower, change and are off to dinner at around 9:30pm, where I completely house a double cheeseburger of sorts.

It didn’t take long for me to learn my lesson about bringing ample snacks with me on the slopes.  My pockets usually bulge with Balance bars and nuts, etc.  Basically, as much as I can possibly fit in there without looking too much like a hoarder.

Joe leaves for Vail tomorrow on a work trip.  Not. fair.  I know he will not be stopping for lunch and since  coconut cupcakes (his fav) aren’t very “suitcase” friendly, I decided I’d make him some snacks for the slopes.  The granola I made comes from a book my mom and dad’s friends gave Joe and I when we moved into our apartment together.  Amy is afabulous cook and this gift meant a lot coming from her.  Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.  Possibly be the best cookbook I own.  Thanks, Amy and Alan!


Makes: About 8 cups
Time: 30 minutes

6 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds: a combination of sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, etc.
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
Dash salt
1 /2 to 1 cup honey or maple syrup, or to taste
1 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine the oats, nuts and seeds, the coconut if you’re using it, cinnamon, salt, and sweetener. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. Themixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.

2. Remove the pan from the oven and add the raisins. Cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until the granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely.

After cooking the granola, mix some brown sugar, honey, a little maple syrup (ran out of honey) and some oil in a pan until boiling.  Pour this mixture over 2 cups granola and 1 added cup of toasted almonds (or any combination you choose), stir until combined, and press into a baking pan.  Cool it in the fridge. cut it up into bars, and bag em for some easy energy as you hit that pow pow.

Delinquent Blogger

18 Jan

I know, I know, I said I was going to be better at this!  I could make all the excuses in the world– the final season of Sopranos distracts me from everything else in my life, I have way too many pictures on my camera that it takes forever to upload anything, I am lazy, etc.  But the truth is I’M JUST TOO EXCITED FOR LEXIE LOWS WEDDING!  9 days and counting until Brian and Lex get hitched and I cannot wait.  Selfishly, for the dance party, and unselfishly, for the start of what will surely be a long and laugh-filled life for my friends.

Pictures and recipes to come once I get my life in order:  Orange almond biscottis made for Joe’s mom’s birthday, Banana-walnut pancakes (for dinner) and four kinds of Meatball Shop meatballs that were served at our NYE soiree.

Oh, and we all know how hard shoe-purchasing is for this girl.  6’3″ and a foot the length of a small yacht.  But, with the help of my trusty shoe guru, Lily, I found some for the wedding.  Bonus: heel, but not too much.  Added bonus:  sparkles!!

A “Win-Win” Kind of Morning

6 Jan

I biked to work this morning, not necessarily by choice, but because my car is in the shop getting fixed from when Ms. Walk (Drive) of Shame plowed into me when I was completely stopped at a red light a couple months back.  On my way to work.  It was a great morning.  With absolutely no public transportation options from Manhattan Beach to Santa Monica, my only choice was to bike it.  And it turned out to be a win-win.  I not only enjoyed myself (fancy that!) and took in some great views, but spent $0 on gas and got a workout in before sitting at a desk all day.  Total mileage count (assuming I make it back, too): 24.   Now let’s see if I’ll be able to voluntarily choose the bike option when my car comes home and is sitting in my driveway…

Hello 2012!

5 Jan

The new year always seems like the best time to commit to those things you’ve been meaning to do last year but never got around to.   Hence, the new blog.  I started a cooking blog last year and never really kept up with it.  But with my new years resolutions in tow, I’m committed to it this time around.   Here’s what I have planned for this year… 

1. Cook at home more often.  We inevitably eat healthier and save some $$.

2. Bake at home more often.  Not the healthier option, but so much fun!  Expecially when you can share those treats with the people you love.  Here’s my grandma on her 84th birthday with the pink cake I made her.  Hearing her say, “This is the best birthday present I’ve ever gotten” made me the happiest person in the world.

3. Update my blog more often.   My mom, sister, and a couple close friends are the only ones who actually read this thing, but it’s fun to be able to look back through the year and see what I’ve created in the kitchen and all of the memories we’ve made.

4. Take at least one exercise class/week.  As long as I’m doing this, I find I am more motivated to workout throughout the week:  a long walk after dinner, a bike ride, a hike, the stairs near my house or the “gym” (read: free outdoor gym equipment on the beach).  As an incentive to remain active, for every workout I do I put one dollar in a jar.  Once I reach 75, I get to treat myself to a Kindle.  Which leads me to my next resolution…

5. Read more!   Once Joe and I finish watching the entire series of Sopranos and get over the depression of not having the company of Tony and Carmella every evening, I want to dive back into the wonderful world of literature.  I never thought I’d be a huge fan of an electronic reader, but I gotta say, it looks pretty travel friendly.

6. Be patient and positive, as it relates to relationships, life and my somewhat ambiguous career.

7. Take classes– either sewing, or tennis, or both!  Wow, if that doesn’t make me sound old…

8. Stick to my budget.  Joe and I decided that if we stick to our budgets for the first 6 months of the year, we’ll treat ourselves to some sort of vacation in the summer.

9. Send more snail mail.  Is there nothing better than getting a card in the mail from a friend?

Feeling good about you, 2012!