Category Archives: Recipes

Thai-Style Peanut-butter Soup

Since things are relatively quiet on the class front right now, while I hunt for a new teaching space, I figure I should share a few of my favorite recipes.

Long ago, I used to write a food blog called Sooper Farmer Jo. As of late I have been rereading posts and recreating recipes I have long forgotten.

This recipe, for Thai-style peanut-butter soup has been a staple in our household. It is a great “kitchen-sink” soup which utilizes all the vegetable odds and ends wilting in the produce drawer. (Am I the only one this happens to??) My one edit to the recipe would be to cook the noodles separately if you think you will have leftovers, otherwise they will get all mushy when you reheat to eat it for lunch the next day!

Peanut Butter Thai Soup

1 tablespoon sesame oil
2-3 tablespoons crushed garlic
1 bunch green onions or 1/2 an onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons chopped (or microplaned) ginger
1-2 chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bit-sized pieces
1 large can of stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup peanut butter
6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup chopped brocolli
1/2 cup chopped carrots
fish sauce to taste
handful of cilantro

1 large bunch of long thin noodles, either rice or wheat (I have used both and actually prefer the wheat noodles)

1.  In a large soup pot heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, ginger and chicken. Cook 2-3 minutes until chicken starts to brown.
2. In a large measuring cup or bowl mix together the tomatoes and peanut butter.
3. Add tomato mixture and stock to the soup pot. Bring the heat up to high. When it comes to a boil, turn back down to medium and add all the vegetables, except the cilantro, and noodles.
4. When noodles are cooked through, in about 7 – 8 minutes, spoon into large soup bowls. Sprinkle with cilantro and add fish sauce to taste. I also like to add a dollop of siracha for some heat.

Turnip’s Green Dip

This has been my go-to demo recipe when I am at events talking to kids and grown-ups about cooking. It is a family favorite.

I recently wrote up the recipe for PDX Parent on the dip. Enjoy!

The daphne in my yard are starting to die off. I love the lemon-scented, January-blooming flowers, but once they have faded, I know that spring is almost here. Have you gone out to check your long-neglected garden bed for signs of life? I wouldn’t be surprised if you find some brave kale, chard or spinach holding steady through the dark and rainy Oregon winter. If your garden is barren, take advantage of the breaks in the spring rain to visit the farmers market or any market for some greens to make this easy-to-make, veggie-packed dip. (You can use just about any leafy green in this recipe.) Have your kids help you wash and tear the greens or shred the carrot. Scoop this up with veggie sticks or potato chips. It is also delicious tossed with hot pasta.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup shredded carrot (from about 1 medium carrot)

½ cup yellow onion, small dice

2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

2-4 cups finely chopped (or torn) spinach, kale or chard (remove the tough stems)

1 cup sour cream

½ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

Directions

1. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add olive oil. When it shimmers, add the onion, carrots and garlic, and cook until soft. Add shredded greens and cook 3-5 minutes or until the greens are bright green and slightly softened.

2. Move greens mixture to a mixing bowl. Stir in sour cream and mayo.

3. Taste and adjust flavor with salt and pepper.

Day One of Summer Camp 2017

Today we “traveled” to Vietnam for our first day of Art and Cooking Summer Camp. We have a big group this year, but they are fantastic group of kids.

Our menu today was salad rolls with peanut sauce, chicken bahn mi sandwiches and a fantastic tropical tapioca.

I like Bob’s Red Mill’s tapioca, but I did find some really fun multi-colored tapioca at Fubon. We mixed them together for the pudding pictured.

 

Tropical Tapioca

1/2 cup tapioca pearls
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
3 ripe bananas , peeled, sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds , toasted
1 mango or other seasonal fruit (or more bananas!)

  1. Soak the tapioca pearls in cold water for at least an hour prior cooking. They will swell to almost double in size, so check to keep the water level up.
  2. Drain well. Put in a big saucepan with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until the tapioca pearls are opaque and softened. Drain. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan over low heat, combine the coconut milk, water and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Add bananas to the saucepan and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked tapioca pearls and gently stir to combine. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool and thicken.
  7. Spoon into individual bowls, sprinkle with sesame seeds and top with mango slices. Enjoy!

 

Easy-Peasy Jam!

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I used to be an avid canner. My friend and I would spend whole summer days filling jars with pickles, jams, chutneys, tomatoes and fruit. Now, I just freeze all my summer produce and make a lot of refrigerator pickles.

But, yesterday I was inspired after reading an article on Food52 about making tomato jam in the oven. My counters are filled with tomatoes, plums, grapes and pears slowly being covered in fruit flies, the official nemesis of late summer. Something had to be done.

So, with outdoor temperatures closing in on 90 degrees, I did what any sane person would do, cranked the oven to 400 degrees and started chopping fruit. After the fruit was cooked I ran them through my food-mill (to remove peels and seeds) and stirred in 2 tablespoons of instant pectin. Then poured into clean jars. I filled some jars only 3/4 of the way and tucked them into the freezer for later eating. The rest went into the refrigerator to eat sooner.

My small taste-taster tasted them all this morning and I got gold stars!

Here is my vague recipe: 
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small oven safe pan add 2 cups of chopped fruit or tomatoes, 1/3 cup sugar and any spices your heart desires. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft and juicy. Run through food mill if desired, then stir in 2 tablespoons of pectin. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Tomato Chili Jam: 2 cups cherry tomatoes, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 3 garlic cloves, 1 -2 teaspoons chili flakes

Grape Plum Vanilla Jam: 1 cup grapes, 1 cup Italian plums, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla (stirred in with the pectin)

Pear Butter: 2 cups ripe pears, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, a little bit of water added to roasting pan.

Grape Jelly: 2 cups ripe grapes, 1/3 cup sugar

Sweet Onion Jam: 2 cups sweet onion, 5 garlic cloves, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, a little bit of water added to roasting pan.

 

Looking for more canning recipes? Here are some from my old cooking blog.
Refrigerator Dilly Beans
Pickled Green Tomatoes (my favorite!!)
Fig Jam

 

 

 

Drinking Vinegars

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I have had a long standing love of drinking vinegars. I started drinking them in 2010 when I first discovered them at Pok Pok. Now, drinking vinegars, or shrubs are everywhere.

If you have an extra handful of berries and fruit I highly recommend making yourself a sour, sweet batch of drinking vinegars. This is my recipe, I have simplified it from my original recipe written 6 years ago.

Homemade Drinking Vinegars – makes about one quart
1 cup of berries or chopped stone fruit
3 cups organic apple cider vinegar (I think a rice vinegar would work well too)
1 – 1 1/2 cups white sugar

1. In a clean quart jar add fruit and smoosh with a spoon until juice is released. Top off the jars with vinegar. Push fruit under the vinegar if it floats.
2. Cover the top with a clean cloth napkin and secure with a rubber band. Leave in a cool place for 3-4 days. (At this point you have a fruit vinegar for salad dressings)
3. Strain vinegar to remove fruit solids. Put vinegar into a sauce pan. You should have about 3 1/2 cups of liquid.
4. Add sugar and bring mix to a simmer just until the sugar melts.
5. At this point I would do a taste test. Mix 3 tablespoons with a large glass of seltzer. Is it sweet enough? If not, add more sugar and simmer until the sugar melts.
6. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge. Use as needed.

PS. A yummy cocktail recipe: In a large glass mix 3 tablespoons of strawberry drinking vinegar, shot of vodka, squeeze of lime and top with seltzer.

 

Here are some drinking vinegar taste tests! Part 1 and Part 2

New Year, New Blog, New Adventures!(And Some Coconut Waffles!)

Happy New Year!

I am still in shock that 2014 has arrived. I can remember being in high school and not being able to comprehend the year 2014. I would be SO old! And the world would be SO different. I suppose a bit of both is true. I am not usually a person who makes resolutions, but this year I hope to start offering cooking classes regularly. (I would also like to get back to blogging regularly, but baby-steps!)

I am excited to have a new blog. I will slowly be moving my recipes from my old space to here. I will also use this space to advertise my cooking classes. I am still looking for a cooking space in Portland, so if you have any ideas please pass them along.

-31

We kicked off the new year with some coconut waffles. I have been playing around with Thai food this week and have been craving a coconut treat. I decided to try a little waffle experiment and I am happy to report it is a winner. These are dairy free and quite filling. (I am usually someone who can easily eat two plates of waffles and be hungry again in 20 minutes. I think it is because of the high fat content that I was set until lunch with one waffle.)

To play off the coconut flavors I added a quick caramelized pineapple topping. Let me know what you think!

Coconut Waffles (Makes about 6 waffles)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat or white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1 egg
1 can of coconut milk

Plug in and begin to heat waffle iron.

1. In a large bowl stir together all the try ingredients.
2. In a smaller bowl whisk together coconut milk and egg.
3. Slowly stir the coconut milk mixture into the dry mix until combined.
4. When waffle iron is hot, grease with coconut oil or a spray oil. Pour in about 3/4 a cup and close iron. Cook about 4 minutes or until golden brown. (Or whatever your machine tells you to do!)
5. Serve with pineapple topping, lemon curd, or whatever your heart desires. They freeze well too!

Caramelized Pineapple Topping (I would start this before the waffles so it will be done at the same time!)

1/2 of a pineapple, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
pinch of salt.

1. In a medium frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar and salt and stir continuously for 2 minutes, until it begins to bubble.
2. Add pineapple, stir to coat in sugar mixture. Turn heat to low and let cook for 10 minutes.