Monday, January 27, 2014
snapshots from the weekend
last thursday was national pie day! every year i think that i'll make a pie, and then end up being very grateful for our local bakery. they go all-out and celebrate with many different slices, mini pies (pielettes) and whole pies. last year i went in the afternoon and discovered, much to my dismay, that the banana cream slices were sold out. it is the only day of the year that they make banana cream pie, so this year i went in the morning. naturally i bought slice of coconut cream to keep all to myself and enjoy during preschool/nap time that morning. then i got a slice of chocolate cream and a banana cream pielette for vincent and i to share that evening. the evening pies were eaten before photos could be taken. sorry; i assure you they were as beautiful as they were delicious!
sniffles, coughs, sore throats, and a toddler who cried for hours through his sleep made for a mellow weekend. the weather was cold but sunny enough to spend some time outside. my overwintered chard is peeking its way out of the leaf mulch, and i am so happy to see buds on the quince! i know that it is still january, but bulbs are coming up and hints of spring are around almost every corner.
i found these wonderful vintage christmas crafting magazines in a pile of free stuff by the side of the road. they're like scenes out of my childhood. i was five and six years old when these were published.
after a chilly day outside it was nice to have warm bowls of broth-y ramen for dinner.
my quick ramen recipe: heat 6-8 cups chicken broth (homemade is best!) in a pot, add in a clove or two of minced garlic, and a little grated ginger (or more if you like it, i don't), add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sherry or mirin or dry white wine (i use sherry because i always have a bottle of it in the fridge). that is the base for the broth. you can add a tablespoon or two of miso paste, but i would cut back on the soy sauce since miso is also salty. it's nice to change it since we eat it weekly for dinner. then you can add whatever you have around. this time i put in shredded kale, carrot rounds (a lot of times i will grate the carrot if i need to cook really quickly), leftover steamed broccoli, sautéed red pepper and sautéed marinated tofu. we almost never eat tofu, but i had it and it worked with this meal. usually i use leftover meat. for our family of four i use two packages of ramen noodles, flavor packets thrown away. once dean gets a little bigger i will probably need to add in another package of noodles.
so i make the broth, add in veggies that need to cook a bit (carrots, kale) then bring it to a boil right before it is time to eat. add the ramen and quick cooking veggies, such as small pieces of raw broccoli. once the noodles are cooked add in your leftover meat and super quick cooking veggies, like baby spinach or leftover steamed broccoli. if you boil it for too long the broth will reduce and become too rich and salty. trust me. i've done it. then put it in bowls. with this last batch i made i ladled the soup into the bowls and then added the peppers and tofu on top. they never went into the soup pot. they wouldn't have handled being boil well at all. mushy peppers aren't my idea of a good dinner. then garnish at the table with your favorite condiments. i like seasame seeds, seasoned rice wine vinegar and a little sriracha hot chili sauce on mine. i love how comforting and easily adaptable this meal is.