Anotheryarn Eats

August 24, 2009

sesame noodles

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 1:10 pm

Whenever I read about sesame noodles I read about how common they are as chinese take-out.  I must have been ordering chinese take-out from the wrong sorts of take-out places all my life, because I swear I’ve never seen sesame noodles on the menu (maybe it is an east coast or NYC thing?).  At first I had plans for peanut noodles, but then this recipe jumped out at me from my growing delicious list as I was researching pickle recipes yet again (why oh why can’t I find my notes from last year’s pickle making venture?).  Pickles and sesame noodles you ask?  They both share the cucumber tag.

I opted to use tahini as an experiment (the recipe states either can be used), but I suspect my toasted sesame oil is not the same thing as dark sesame oil.  Something probably went wrong, because as you can see, the sauce came out a little grainy.  Texturally it was unnoticeable in my mouth.  I skipped the chicken because we don’t cook meat that often and didn’t have any in the house.  I added red bell pepper because we had a beautiful pepper from the Farmer’s Market, carrots and green onions because we had them (also based on the fact that we normally put all three in our peanut sauced noodles).

sesame noodlesCold Noodles with Sesame Sauce, Chicken and Cucumbers from Mark Bittman’s Bitten Blog

My version is: 6 oz noodles, 1/2 recipe of the sauce, 2 small cucumbers, 1/4 red pepper, a few carrots thinly sliced and green onion thinly sliced.


August 19, 2009

first week August condensed

Filed under: thoughts — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 2:24 pm

8/3: What did we eat?  I simply don’t remember, but I suspect it wasn’t at home since I have no pictures of food from that day

quiche8/4: Quiche with that chard, yup that chard that amazingly made it in my fridge for way longer than I expected.  I jazzed it up with the remaining feta and some oil-packed sun dried tomatoes – they might no longer be “in” with the foodie crowd but they sure can give a bit oomph to an otherwise drab dish and I consider them a posh pantry staple

indian8/4: Crazily, despite being a Tuesday (share night) and cooking one dish that could have been dinner, but was intended for lunches I had to go and make an indian “feast” (I joke about feast because I generally make one-pot type dinners and this required 1 pot, 2 pans and a few bowls).  If there had been anyway that I could have just had us eat quiche for dinner I would have, but I’d had ingredients for these two dishes sitting in my fridge for over a week and kept putting off cooking them due to the horrible heat.  That cauliflower wasn’t going to last forever, neither was the cabbage, and I’d already re-bought the potatoes once (after using the first round for the yummy green bean and potato salads that I made).  Anyway.  I cooked up a storm that Tuesday night and had the dishes to prove in on Wednesday morning (also, we ate after 10 pm – oops).  Smitten Kitchen’s Red Lentils with Cabbage (love, so making this again, but my version came out much soupier than her version), Aloo Gobi supposedly from Bend it Like Beckham; every transcription I’ve seen of this recipe seems to leave something out, whether a measurement or ingredient on the list, I think I looked at about half a dozen aloo gobi recipes before settling on following this one – but it turned out nicely in the end other than needing a longer cooking time that stated) and raita from The Moosewood Cookbook.  And of course garlic naan from TJs (basically I bribe TheHusband into eating indian spiced dishes by providing garlic naan).

8/6: Camping!  and eating the leftover crustless quiche, heated up by wrapping it in foil and leaving it on the grate over the campfire.  A nice crusty bread would have rounded out the meal nicely, but no such luck.

camping8/7: Camping!  And eating delicious grilled sausages (don’t have ketchup?  order some onion rings at a fast food place on the drive to the camp site), and super pretty veggie hobo packets.  Seriously, I should start looking for purple potatoes whenever camping is in plans.  These hobo packets are made like so, this time with red bell pepper, carrots, yellow squash (CSA!), potatoes and a couple garlic cloves per packet.  We are still figuring out campfire cooking and that sweet heat spot that allows for some char while not blackening one side of the food and leaving the other side raw – this night we settled for nicely steamed packets – no char but everything is cooked through.  Some campmates shared their baked beans, heated oh so classically in the can over the fire.  Sometimes I like to go all out coming up with new camping meals, other times it is nice to be able to fall back on the standards.

And recapping this week made me exhausted from thinking of that Tuesday cooking marathon.

July 19, 2009

Yummy Salad #2

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 2:14 pm

Tonight Thursday night it was hot.  And we were busy packing our vehicle for a speedy getaway tomorrow.  We skipped the grilled zucchini and just had salad.  I also finally took the time (and had the supplies) to make an awesome creamy dressing.  See, I can’t recall the last time we bought salad dressing, it might have been summer 2007 and that was because we had company in town.  But we rarely venture into creamy dressing land and were getting tired of vinaigrettes.  So tonight I made ranch dressing.  I sort of followed the basic idea behind everybody likes sandwiches zesty ranch, but not quite (I looked at 4 or 5 recipes before making mine).


The salad really looked a lot like Tuesday’s salad minus the almonds – oh and with an important addition – radishes from my very own mini garden!  We also had some yummy garlic-parmesan bread from our favorite farmer’s market bread vendor.  And that blender holds the ranch dressing.  In the end our dressing had chives, parsley, garlic, a bit of lemon zest, lemon juice, dried dill, sweet paprika, salt and pepper for the seasonings.  Oh and I did 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup buttermilk.  It made a very thin dressing but I like it that way.  If you wanted a dip I’d use more mayo and sour cream and less buttermilk.

Four ranch dressing recipes to choose from

Everybody Loves Sandwiches Zesty Ranch

Homesick Texan’s Buttermilk Dressing (she might call it buttermilk, but the ingredient list is very similar)

Simply Recipe’s Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

The Pioneer Woman’s Ranch Dressing

July 17, 2009

Yummy Salad take 1

Filed under: almost a recipe — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 12:23 am

Growing up I ate a green salad with dinner almost every night.  I love a nice big green salad and often start craving them after eating too much junk food, but as I work on eating more locally and seasonally I have eliminated the green salad side dish from our dinners (we still indulge the cravings though).  Bah humbug.  I want salad all the time, of course they are always better in the summer, especially if you managed to hit a sweet spot where it isn’t too hot for lettuce but the cucumbers and tomatoes are beginning to arrive.  The tomatoes I found at the farmer’s market were small but looked promising so I grabbed a few and then we didn’t eat them right away (what! why! oh yeah – ice cream sundae’s on Sunday and asian inspired on Monday).  Anyway, Tuesday came and we still had a lot of lettuce from last week’s share, so a big green salad was definitely on the menu to make room for everything else.  Luckily we also got two beautiful and delicious cucumbers on Tuesday too.  At first this salad looks a little plain, and I’ll admit it didn’t look very promising as I poured the dressing on but the toasted almonds were really all the embellishment that it needed (and a little bit of crusty bread didn’t hurt either).


Salad composed of: CSA lettuce, CSA cucumbers, tomatoes, carrot and toasted almond slivers, topped with vinaigrette

October 9, 2008

October 9: refashioning leftovers

Filed under: almost a recipe — Tags: , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 11:50 pm

While I wasn’t overwhelmed by veggies this week but I was underwhelmed at the rate which we are eating my supposedly well-planned leftovers.  The trouchia/quiche that I thought had 4-6 servings was deemed to be 8 servings by TheHusband (and so far we’ve only eaten half of it).  The pasta bake has only been eaten as leftovers once as well.  While we finally made a dent in the trouchia/quiche, I think it is probably time to put the remainder of both dishes in the freezer.

I also finally started to use the lettuce we received during week 14 (and 13).  Did you know that you can revive wilty lettuce in a good soak of cold water?  You can, not all leaves will perk back up to their original state, but I’m always surprised by how well this trick works.  The other trick, to avoid wilty leaves is to store them in a closed moist but not wet manner.  Normally I would use a large ziplock with a papertowel, but when I refreshed the lettuce over the weekend I was out of paper towels and wanted to come up with a more re-usable method.  The usual suspect, my salad spinner, was still needed for other prep work, and my largest pyrex bowl already had tofu for potstickers in it.  Then I thought of my [former] unitasker, the round plastic cake server/saver; flip that sucker upside down and you have a huge bowl with a flat, sturdy and sealable lid.  I put a clean woven dishcloth on the bottom and then filled it with my freshly cleaned and dried lettuce.  Tonight I opened it up and the lettuce looked great.  Success (and washable too).

While I reheated 3 small slices of the trouchia/quiche in the toaster oven I made a salad with my refreshed lettuce, a beautiful red bell pepper from the farmer’s market, a cucumber hanging on by a thread and some cherry tomatoes (most of this stuff is just over a week old and still decent – a testament to how long produce can last if you get it really fresh and store it decently.  Then I made croutons from some leftover french bread bought on Tuesday for garlic bread.  Dinner was delicious.

October 5, 2008

September 27: Panzanella

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 10:53 am

This meal was the result of one of those moments where you have a flash of brillance and realize that you have everything you need at home to make a good dinner (thank goodness I picked up a loaf of bread the day before and our heirloom tomatoes were still good).  I really should thank Deb of Smitten Kitchen for introducing me to panzanella.  During asparagus season I made the Spring Panzanella a few times and then I made her Summer’s Last Hurrah Panzanella and both are delicious.  If the tomatoes and cucumbers hold out I might just make this panzanella one more time despite the grey and rainy weather.  I also added some blanched green beans since I had them and think they worked nicely, used a combination of lemon cucumbers and small english cucumbers, and I had to use white wine vinegar instead of champagne vinegar.  But it was oh so good.  The huge bread cubes worried me at first, but her directions for toasting them made them just the right amount of crispy yet soft.  The worst thing I can say about this dish is that I ate the leftover serving (I made about 2/3’s of the recipe) about 3 hours after dinner because I wanted more (and now my mouth is watering looking at the photo).

Summer’s Last Hurrah Panzanella from Smitten Kitchen.

October 3, 2008

Success? Pickles

Filed under: thoughts — Tags: , — anotheryarn @ 10:44 am

Ugh.  After too much agonizing I did it.  I ended up calling my mom a second time (what is alum? her answer: a chemical that helps keep pickles crispy).  I pulled out two quart jars and two new flat lids + rings, placed a clean towel in the clean sink and put a big pot of water on to boil for scalding/sterilizing the jars. Then I picked my brine solution (1/4 of MIL’s recipe minus alum plus the darn pickling spice I blended together), I grabbed my cucumbers (sitting out at room temp per MIL’s suggestion) and single anaheim pepper and washed them, grabbed the garlic and dill and started the process.  It didn’t even take very long from start to finish (but I forgot to time it so “not very long” might have been 25 minutes or 75 minutes, I have such a faulty internal clock).  I even managed to judge the correct amount of brine and cucumbers as both filled the two quart jars perfectly; cutting and filling jars at the same time also helped, since I had grabbed two extra cucumbers at the last minute and it turns out I didn’t need them.

Frankly I’m not giving you the recipe.  This not-really-canning stuff is scary I don’t want to be responsible if they make someone (other than the two of us) sick.  

However I will share a few links I found.

How do I? …Pickle from the National Center for Home Food Preservation

My various pickle finds from the googling process.

Now I am left with three questions.

  1. why is the vinegar-water-salt ratio all over the place in dill cucumber pickle recipes?
  2. why do some recipes call for a 12+ hour soak in water (or water and salt) and what does it do?
  3. how long should I wait before opening the first jar of pickles?

September 24, 2008

Brief interlude, brave enough for pickles?

Filed under: thoughts — Tags: — anotheryarn @ 4:37 pm

Well, if my photo counts are correct, on Tuesday I picked up share number 13, this time it was even photographed (unlike share number 12, doh).  And once again I am overwhelmed with cucumbers (2+ pounds in the fridge right now).  How it is even possible when I live with a boy who is known in his family for eating most of a 5 gallon bucket of cucumbers before they got from garden to house?  I have no clue.  Wow, that was a convoluted sentence.

Anyway, as I realize that I have 5 tabs (among my 23 or so, yes I have a problem) open with pickle recipes, 3 cookbooks open and then go to my RSS feed to find one more pickle recipe I decide I need to do something about it.  Nope, not actually make the darn things, just write about my fears.  See, I am afraid to try canning on my own.  I remember helping my mom can tomatoes, salsa and green beans (as well as getting onions and potatoes ready for storage and prepping a few other things to freeze) while I was growing up.  I swear we even made pickles, oh and jam too (there was a horrible incident involving my mom burning herself while trying to process grape juice).  And now preserving food seems to be back – at least among the food bloggers and those trying to become a locavore; but I’m too chicken.  Earlier this year a friend called me looking for help on this exact thing.  I don’t think she believed me when I claimed I was not up to the task of teaching her to can her own food.  I know I did confidently say “start with jam”; if only she could see my foot in my mouth when I decided I wasn’t up to jam either (of course we don’t eat enough jam to make it worthwhile either – a small batch of 6 or so 1/2 pints would probably last 4 years in this house).

I did call my mom yesterday looking for some encouragement, but it didn’t quite work.  I still haven’t made pickles yet.  Mom’s words of “just pick a recipe and try it” didn’t work so well on this sometimes perfectionist.  It turns out mom stopped making pickles since her family just didn’t eat them often enough (and IIRC she never quite got the knack of nice crispy pickles, I have vague memories of limp rubbery homemade pickles which probably explains why my family didn’t eat them enough to warrant the effort).  Maybe a call to my MIL will do the trick?  I know TheHusband is super happy when he gets a jar of pickles from her.

Also, I thought, after reading a few “rah rah, look at me I made pickles” I’d post my own “eeek pickles are scary post” and hopefully I can follow up with a success story.

September 21, 2008

Labor Day weekend: Camping Food

Filed under: almost a recipe, Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 1:09 pm

I tried to make a camping meal plan that would incorporate as many veggies as possible.  I don’t think I was spectacularly successful but I tried. We also bring various snacks and drinks camping (like cheeze-its, peanuts, kettle corn, grapes, nectarines, soda and beer).

Friday Dinner

Tabbouleh, Hummus and Pita bread: used cucumbers, tomatoes (I don’t cut them until we serve it), parsley

Saturday Brunch

Breakfast Burritos: used none of our veggies as our camping cohorts make this meal

And morning tea thanks to the fabulous camp stove (theirs) and tea kettle (ours)

Saturday Dinner

Hobo packets: used carrots, 1 squash and part of 1 bell pepper (also bought an onion, a potato and garlic for this)


Hobo packets are our standard camping dinner.  When we ate meat we made smaller packets and grilled a nice sausage to go along with the veggies.  Basically I chop all the veggies into bite size pieces (including garlic to add a wonderful roasted garlic component), toss with some oil and seasonings (I think we used our Greek Seasoning blend from Penzey’s this time, as well as salt and pepper), pile into doubled heavy-duty foil, wrap into packets, and place on grill (or in the coals but our coals weren’t ready when we wanted to cook), flip a couple times, and then plate around 30 minutes later.  If you do nice neat folds in the foil packet it is easier to open for checking doneness and then re-close.

Saturday Dessert

S’mores of course, but it was too dark for pictures

Sunday Breakfast

Egg sandwiches: no veggies used

Sunday Lunch (eaten as a picnic half-way home)

leftover tabbouleh and hummus and pita

August 28, 2008

August 27 dinner: salad of some sort

Filed under: almost a recipe — Tags: , , — anotheryarn @ 4:15 pm

I didn’t manage to cook something for dinner last night, but as I left for my knit night thing TheHusband asked me if I had anything in mind for him to cook for himself.  I answered, “I don’t know.  Just eat some produce”.  And so he did.  When I got home I first asked what he ate, and then if he took a picture – he looked at me like I was nuts.  From his description this was his salad:

  • cucumbers
  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • feta
  • balsamic vinegar and olive oil

It probably looked a lot like the salad we made on August 12.

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