“Ribbons of colorful vegetables and fresh herbs intertwine with tender noodles in this delicately flavored salad.”

That is how Ellie described this tasty salad. And she was RIGHT!! Of course!!

Soba noodles mixed with fresh bell pepper, carrot, basil from my garden and some cilantro. Mix that with a fantastic sauce will all the Asian flavors – rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic fish sauce – and you have a healthy alternative to the usual heavy noodle salads. Delicious!! The sauce alone will make you swoon!!

I loved the bite of the cilantro mixed with the sweet bell pepper and carrot. Make this one! SOON!!

You can find Ellie’s recipe on FOODTV or on page 139 of The Food You Crave.

The theme this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs was Oodles of Noodles.  I know there will be other delicious noodle dishes posted there.

Admit it.  You have more cookbooks than you actually use.  You read them.  You mark recipes.  You intend to go back and make. each. one.  But you don’t.  At least not all of them.  And don’t you just hate that.  Well here is the solution!

Joyce of Kitchen Flavors and Emily of Emily’s Cooking {Makan2} Foray have started Cookbook Countdown to solve that problem.  They started in January but I didn’t find it until late that month so decided to start in February.  And here we are, the first week of February and I am actually following through with my resolve to join and cook from a single underused cookbook each month – which is what Cookbook Countdown is all about.

For February I am using Deb Perelman’s the smitten kitchen cookbook.  You may know of Deb already from her website – Smitten Kitchen.  I have book marked so many of her recipes and not gone back to many.  Having the cookbook in front of me is old school.  And that’s me – Old School!!

To start the month I made her WHOLE LEMON BARS.

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I don’t know about you but most of the lemon desserts I make just don’t have enough lemon flavor in them.  This one, however, blew me away with the deep and tart/sweet lemon flavor.  The reason for that?  Instead of just juice and zest Deb includes THE WHOLE LEMON!! Yes, the whole thing!!!

And it works.  Beautifully!  Tartly! Tastefully!

The lemons are sliced.  Extra pith is cut out and the rest of the lemon, sans seeds, is then processed into a puree with the sugar and the rest of the filling ingredients. What a great idea. Why didn’t I think of that when I was dissatisfied with wimpy lemon flavors??  Because I am not as creative as Deb. Which is why I love her cookbook.  So many flavors.  So many ‘out of the box’ {at least to me} flavor/ingredient combos.

Thanks Joyce and Emily for this easy solution to underused cookbooks.

The recipe is on page 217 of the smitten kitchen cookbook.  I also found it ONLINE.

“I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

cookbookcountdown

 

I am not a sandwich fan. Not cold ones anyway. If I eat a sandwich it is usually a nice hot one. And I usually sub in a wrap rather than a real sandwich. So when Kayte chose this week’s theme I was all in. (A little late maybe, but all in!)
Especially when it contains just veggies and grilled veggies at that.

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This is Ellie’s Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Wrap and it is perfect. And very colorful and very easy to put together.

Simply – a whole wheat wrap spread with Hummus {I used Roasted Red Pepper Hummus} stuffed with grilled zucchini, red onions {Ellie said just diced purple onion but I am not a fan of raw onions so I grilled some thin slices.}, spinach, mint leaves. pine nuts, and roasted red pepper. 

It just doesn’t get any better!!! I could eat this every day for lunch!

The recipe is from Ellie’s The Foods You Crave  on page 99.  I also found it on Food NetWork 

Please visit Eating with Ellie for more Wraps

Who said salad has to made from greens or pasta?  What about rice?  Brown rice?  When Kayte chose Sensational Salads for this weeks WWDH theme the first thought that came to mind was a GREEN salad.  And that is what I looked for – at first – but then I thought about pasta salad, potato salad, even fruit salad.  Rice never really entered my mind until I found Donna’s recipe with brown rice and salmon.

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And I am so glad I did.  Full of Asian flavors, salmon, carrots.  It was wonderful.

Simply cook brown rice.  Mix it with some flaked salmon, shredded carrots and a dressing of mirin, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and ginger and you have a lovely, filling, tasty salad suitable for lunch or dinner.

Donna’s recipe called for smoked salmon but I used some steamed salmon instead.  I also didn’t have the snow peas she called for but I didn’t miss them.  The salad is supposed to be served totally chilled but I am not a fan of cold rice so I served it warmed.  Good choice!

I will definitely make this one again.  Glad I made extra rice!

The recipe is on Donna’s website.

Did the others go green with salads?  Check our links.

This weekend my ladies dinner group enjoyed High Tea at “Ortigo Abbey”.  We were celebrating the new, and last, season of  Downton Abbey.

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We started with soup.  Then came the sandwiches, including the mandatory cucumber ones.  Then we had some hot buttered scones, from an Edwardian cookbook, with Clotted Cream followed by the sweet treats.  This is where Donna comes in.  I needed something bite sized and chocolate.  Something decadent seemed reasonable.   I found her Chocolate Truffle Cakes in Flavours.

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They did not come out nearly as pretty as Donna’s but they were very tasty, very chocolate-y and now they are very gone.

  • 300g  (10 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 150g butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
  • 4 Tbl sugar

Glaze:

  • 200g  (6 1/2 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1cup cream
  • 85g ( 3 oz) butter
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F (170C).
  2. Line base of eight 1 cup (8 fl oz) capacity non-stick muffin tins with non-stick baking paper. {Since I needed bite sized I used a mini-muffin tin.  I ended up with 32 minis}
  3. Place chocolate and butter in a saucepan (absolutely dry) and stir over low heat till melted and smooth.
  4. Place the egg, vanilla and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat until thick and pale.
  5. Stir through the chocolate mixture.
  6. Spoon the mixture into muffin tins and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cakes are just set.
  7. Cool in the tins and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  8. To make the glaze, place the chocolate, cream and butter in a saucepan over low heat and mix till smooth.
  9. Chill the glaze til it is firm.
  10. Unmold the cakes onto serving plates and spread with the glaze.

My glaze wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked so I topped the mini mouthwatering treats with powdered sugar.  They were very rich. and no one complained that they were rather ugly.

The recipe is on page 124 of Donna’s flavours.  (and several places on the web)

BTW it was POTLUCK week for I Heart Cooking Clubs.

 

We haven’t done sweets in a while with Wednesdays with Donna Hay so this week’s theme – Small Sweet Sensations – was just right.  Course I planned it that way by picking the theme.

Donna’s food-processor cookies were calling my name.  LOUDLY!!

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I’d like to say these were some of the best cookies EVAH! but I cannot.

They were easy to make.  All the ingredients, except the chocolate, in the food processor then add the chocolate chips  M&Ms in a separate bowl.  I found them to be rather tasteless except for the M&Ms.  Oh, well.

The recipe is a short order recipe from Donna’s off the shelf.  Page 160.

Want more sweet treats – Small Sweet Sensations – at Wednesdays with Donna Hay.

We are definitely meat eaters. It is seldom we have meatless meals. Even our soups usually have some kind of meat – beef, venison, chicken, fish.

So I was excited to see Peggy’s choice for this week’s Eating with Ellie – sloppy joes with out the beef.

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I liked these but I did’t love them. I think I may have chopped my mushrooms a little too tiny. The flavor was very intense.  Chili powder, molasses, cider vinegar, and mustard powder all come together with tomato sauce to give the mushrooms that basic spicy sloppy joes flavor.

I left out the pinto beans Ellie called for because I am just NOT a bean eater.  I think some cheese would be good on these.

So much better, though, than the canned.  Thanks Peggy.  I’ll try these again with bigger pieces.

Who else made these this week?  Check out Eating with Ellie to see.

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