Archive for November, 2009

Recipe: Chinese Coleslaw

I am making this for a potluck at church tomorrow. It is very simple to make and tastes great, two very important things for any recipe.

The first day, the noodles will be delightfully crunchy. After that, the noodles in the leftover salad (if you have any), will absorb the dressing and become absolutely delicious. If I did not know the sodium count of those little ramen flavor packages, I would eat this all time.

Originally, this recipe used vegetable oil, but I pretty much substitute olive oil for almost all other kinds of oil. Feel free to use what ever you like best. Sesame seed or coconut would be great as well.

Chinese Coleslaw

    1 c. olive oil
    1/3 c. white vinegar
    1/2 c. sugar or sugar equivalent (like Splenda)
    2 pkgs Oriental flavored Ramen noodles
    1 tbls butter or margarine
    16 oz coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrots)
    1 bunch green onions, chopped
    1 c. sunflower seeds or slivered almonds

Mix vinegar, sugar, and the two flavor packets from the noodles. Emulsify the olive oil into the mixture. Refrigerate this mixture for at least two hours.

Chop the uncooked ramen noodles into small, not tiny, pieces. Brown the noodles in 1 tbls of butter. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the coleslaw, green onions, and either sunflower seeds or almonds.

Just before serving, add the noodles to the coleslaw mixture. Remove the dressing from the fridge. Stir it a few times, then toss with the coleslaw and noodles.

Note: if you do not like the crunchy noodles, add the dressing a couple hours before serving to give the noodles time to soak up some of the dressing.


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Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

This year, I am thankful for the many blessings my family has been given, not the least of which is the care of this little guy. Gideon never ceases to amaze me. Being a parent has brought more joy, challenges, and faith into my life than anything else.

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Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

I thought that, after all that mouth flapping about that awesome computer Ries has been building, you might like to see it in all its glory.

Bask in the glory.

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Gideon thinks he is the boss of everyone.

In the morning, I usually do my Bible study while Gideon and I eat breakfast. I have experimented with different times for my quiet time, but there is not another consistent time that I can spend studying. Getting up before Gideon is not an option because he already gets up at 5:15 or 5:30 and that is early enough for me.

Sometimes, Gideon finishes his breakfast before I finish my study. When this happens, he gets to watch Animal Atlas. That gives me time to finish up.

This evening, I told Gideon that he could watch Animal Atlas if he wanted. I turned on the TV and sat down beside him on the couch. He pointed to the table and said “Bible.” I was not sure I heard right. “Bible?” I said. He shook his head yes. Then it dawned on me.

“You want me to do my Bible study?”

Yes, Gideon answered.

I guess he really is watching everything I do. He is too smart for his own good. I explained to him that I already did my study today. He obviously did not want my company for Animal Atlas, so I got out my laptop instead.

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Pirates Get Tired Too


Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

From our trip to the Texas RenFest, it was Pirate Weekend. Arg!

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Giada De Laurentiis is easily my favorite chef personality. If I was a professional chef, I would want to be like Giada, cooking unpretentious, family favorites that are delicious and easy. Her recipes rarely call for random things and almost never take longer than a normal person has to spend on a meal, plus they are fabulous.

At a conference once, some librarian friends and I had a discussion, over beer of course, about who would win in a fight Giada or Rachel Ray. I voted for Giada though admitted that Rachel would have the scrappy advantage (aka be a dirty fighter).

My sister gave me Giada’s Family Dinners for my birthday and this recipe is lifted directly from that. Where applicable, I added my comments in (parenthesis).

Garlic and Citrus Chicken

    1 (5 to 6-pound) whole roasting chicken, neck and giblets discarded
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 orange, quartered
    1 lemon, quartered
    1 head garlic, halved crosswise, plus 3 garlic cloves, chopped (I was feeling lazy and used powder in the sauce)
    2 (14-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
    1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed (we were out of orange so I used apple)
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves (I used dried)

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the orange, lemon, and garlic halves. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string to help hold its shape. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

Place a rack in a large roasting pan. (My roasting pan does not have a rack. I omitted this..) Place the chicken, breast side up, on the rack in the pan. (I cooked mine breast side down to keep it moist.) Roast the chicken for 1 hour, basting occasionally and adding some chicken broth to the pan, if necessary, to prevent the pan drippings from burning. Whisk the orange juice, lemon juice, oil, oregano, and chopped garlic in a medium bowl to blend. Brush some of the juice mixture over the chicken, after it has baked 1 hour. Continue roasting the chicken until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the innermost part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F, basting occasionally with the juice mixture and adding broth to the pan, about 45 minutes longer. (My chicken was small and only took about 1.5 hours) Transfer the chicken to a platter. Tent with foil while making the sauce; do not clean the pan.

Place the same roasting pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in any remaining broth and simmer until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Strain into a 2-cup glass measuring cup and discard the solids. Spoon the fat from the top of the sauce. Serve the chicken with the pan sauce.

(I wanted to make the sauce, but it was a very long day here at the Smith house, so we did not have the sauce. The chicken was still great without it.)

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Homebrew Inventory

There is no recipe up yet today because I have not yet decided what to post.

We have been doing a lot of brewing lately so I thought I would share with you what we have here at the Smith Homebrewery.

Ready to serve: Pumpkin Ale. It does not taste like pumpkin, sadly, but it is tasty. It has the fruity flavor of a Trappist Ale but maybe we think that because we just finished off the last of our Trappist Ale. I think this ended up around 5% ABV.

Aging in the Bottle: We bottled a Malted Apple Cider last night and I tasted a bit. It is more sour than sweet with a touch of malt. It should age very well. This was made using English Cider Yeast and it definitely tastes more like an English brew which is just what I was wanting. It is about 7% ABV. I think it should be ready to drink around Christmas. It should age longer but I doubt I will be able to wait much longer than a couple months.

In primary fermentation:
Friday, we brewed a batch of Holiday Ale. We will rack it this weekend (move it to a secondary fermenter) and then bottle after a week. We are going to label these and give them to deserving parties for Christmas. Are you on the Nice list?

In our dreams: Because we are going to give away or share most of our current batches, we were thinking we should brew one just for us as well. We have a yeast colony from a wheat beer that I would like to try using before it gets to old from languishing in our fridge. If we do brew, it will be soon, so we have some on hand for Christmas and New Year’s.

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