mohinga – burmese fish noodle soup

Mohinga - Burmese Fish Noodle Soup

in an effort to end 2016 with some
kind of happiness,
with some mad hope,
dw & i split the 4 day break
with friends,
then snuggled up,
(hygge, H O L L A!)
hiding from people,
watching sherlock.
we are our best selves
after a period of anti-social behavior.
it’s been a whirl of short weeks-long weekends,
now faced with not another holiday until spring,
i’m doing what i can to break the monotony of winter.

Mohinga - Burmese Fish Noodle Soup

the first step is a minor adjustment
to my social calendar.
i signed up to volunteer
at our local IRC office,
i was matched with a burmese family.
for a few hours a week
i will tutor them in english,
along with whatever else they’re up for.
this will likely challenge me,
i’m not naturally inclined toward teaching,
but this is necessary,
as i fight,
COME AT ME KC,
in a small way,
the absolute cluster of the next 4 years.

but first, let’s eat.
happy 2017.

Mohinga - Burmese Fish Noodle Soup

mohinga – burmese fish noodle soup
adapted from luke nguyen

makes an ass ton – we were eating this for dinner for about 5 days, and there was still more, but i had to put an end to the leftover thing

note: i did not add the rice powder, because i didn’t feel like grinding rice. my spice grinder is for coffee grinding anyway.

noodle bowls:
rice vermicelli noodles
hard-boiled eggs, halved
chopped cilantro, to garnish
lime wedges, to serve

broth:
1 head of fish, if you had to choose, catfish is fine
1 lemongrass stem, bruised
2 garlic cloves, bashed
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 TBL cooked chickpeas, mashed (i used jarred jovial)
1 red onion, quartered
1/2 red onion, chopped
fish sauce, to taste
1.5 lbs catfish fillet, cleaned and de-boned

spice paste:
3 lemongrass stems, finely sliced, white part only
2-4 red chilis, to taste
1/2 red onion, rough chopped
4 garlic cloves , diced
1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled & sliced
1/2 cup grape seed oil
2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp sweet paprika

make the broth: place the fish head in a large pot with the lemongrass, garlic, red onion quarters and turmeric. pour in enough cold water to cover the head and bring to a boil. skim off any muck, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. strain the broth and put back in pot. keep the heat at low, and gently lower the fish fillets into the broth and cook for about 15-20 minutes. remove the fillets and with forks, flake them into chunky pieces. set aside. keep the broth pot on low though.

while the broth is simmering, make the paste: in a mortar & pestle, pound the lemongrass, chillies, chopped onions, garlic and ginger into a smooth paste. you can use a food processor for ease.

in a saucepan, heat up the grape seed oil. add in the paste and saute for 20 minutes. you’re gonna question if the amount of oil is correct, and i’ll just say, i asked the same question and it worked out fine. stir in the shrimp paste, tumeric and paprika. add in the flaked fish, be gentle with mixing, cook on low for an additional 5 minutes.

returning to the pot of broth, add the fish mixture to it. next, throw in the mashed chickpeas and chopped red onions. season with fish sauce to taste. stir to combine, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

to serve:
cook vermicelli noodles according to package instructions. divvy into soup bowls.

ladle soup over noodles, being sure to add in chunks of flaked fish.

top with half hard boiled egg and generous smattering of chopped cilantro.
spritz with lime juice.

BAM!

Mohinga - Burmese Fish Noodle Soup

3 years ago: coffee chocolate chip ice cream
2 years ago: carne rustida de navidad
1 year ago: spiced mexican cookies

meringue roulade with shaved chocolate and salty-sweet peanuts

Meringue Roulade + Chocolate Shavings + Salty Sweet Peanuts

dear sweet dw:
today we celebrate 1,095 days of married life.
we don’t count days to boast,
but to be held accountable for
the Love Story we are writing together.
you know i was a shitty student
unless something was captivating to me,
and you, kind sir, are a being
i am most interested in.
i want to learn everything about you,
as you grow and evolve.
i remain ever curious about you,
and in our life together.
i commit to being your bestest student.
you are the gift that i never expected,
and i accept you with all my heart.

happy anniversary, sweet love,
let’s always have cake.

photo courtesy of luke eshleman & used with permission
photo courtesy of luke eshleman & used with permission

meringue roulade with shaved chocolate and salty-sweet peanuts
inspired and loosely adapted from yotam ottolenghi, also found in plenty more
serves 8, or in our case, just the two of us

*note: it was a dreary/wet day when this dessert was made, which made the meringue sticky. still very delicious.
humidity  cannot be fought.

Meringue:
4 large egg whites, at room temp
1 coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp distilled vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch

Toppings/Filling:
1 cup chocolate bar, whatever your preference, shaved
1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 TBL coconut sugar
So Delicious’ Coco Whip (alternative if you can’t get this product, skim the fat off of 3 cans of FULL FAT coconut milk and whip with 2 TBL powdered sugar until fluffy)

preheat oven to 325F. prepare a 13X9 rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper.

in a stand mixer & whisk attachment, add your egg whites and whisk until frothy. add the sugar by the tablespoon-ful. you’re aiming for stiff, glossy peaks. add in the vanilla extract, vinegar and cornstarch and whisk until blended.

spread mixture on the parchment paper and with an off-set spatula spread it out until level.

bake for 30 minutes, a crust will form, but the meringue will be cooked. remove from oven and let cool in pan.

flip the meringue onto a fresh piece of parchment paper, and gently peel the lining paper.

spread however much of the coco whip you want on the meringue, it’s your party, you do what you want. i would say i used about a cup, and leave a small border around the edge. sprinkle with the shaved chocolate and salty-sweet peanuts.

from the long edge, and using the parchment paper to help, roll the meringue into a log. transfer to serving plate. chill in fridge for 30 minutes.

top the meringue roulade with even more coco whip and sprinkle with yes, even MORE chocolate shavings and salty-sweet peanuts. slice and serve.

BAM!

Meringue Roulade + Chocolate Shavings + Salty Sweet Peanuts

3 years ago: diy wedding envelopes
2 years ago: chocolate tahini cake + rosemary infused buttercream
1 year ago: 6″ chocolate cake

where the wild things are smash cake

Where the Wild Things Are Cake

following in the same thread
as last post’s boxed confection,
i recently created a small cake
for a small bae
with a wild streak.
a smash cake was reqested
and since i figured it was going to be,
well, smashed to smithereens,
i went boxed, again.
but since it’s for a most beloved child,
we did go organic.
i still have standards y’all.

the theme was
Where the Wild Things Are,
a book i vaguely remember.
i doubt NT will recall this occasion,
though there were plenty of pictures that captured it.
in any case,
it was so easy to put together,
though you’da thunk i slaved over it
by the reactions of everyone in attendance of the party.
that’s winning at adulting,
if there were such a thing.

Where the Wild Things Are Cake

Where the Wild Things Are Smash Cake
makes 1 2 layered 6″ cake

1 box of cake mix, i used Immaculate Yellow Cake Mix
1 can of frosting, i used Wholesome Chocolate frosting
half bag of chocolate chips, a brand i like is enjoy life
1 tube of pre-made pie crust, i used immaculate ready to bake pie crust

bake the cake as per box instructions. for 6″ i baked for 35 minutes. it did dome a smidge, so it had to be leveled.

for the crown: on a lightly floured counter top, lay out the crust layer. with the mind set of an heir and a spare, i made 2 crowns. i measured out 2 10″ wide rectangles. i’m bad at math and space, so one of the crowns was taller, while the other was stubby. just make a chevron/jagged crown. using either the upside of a muffin or popover tin, wrap the crown around the base. for shininess and some color, do an egg wash. bake for 12 minutes, until gold brown. hopefully 1 of the 2 will come out. in my case, the heir died and i had to use the stubby spare. set aside, be careful, try not to break it.

for the textured bark: you can either melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler style. when the chocolate is fully melted, spread it into a rectangle on parchment paper, you want it as thin as possible, so use an off-set spatula. carefully fold the parchment paper into a roll and fridge it until set.

to assemble: lay the first cake layer on a plate or whatever you’re gonna serve the cake on. pipe in a layer of frosting, spread and then top with 2nd layer of cake. crumb coat it. it does not need to be perfect. you do want to make the top be as smooth as possible though, the sides can be bare minimum though. when ready, take the role of schmeared chocolate out and crack it. unroll the paper, you should have varied sized shards of chocolate. adhere them to the sides of the cake, you may need to dab on some frosting to get it to stick. again, it does not need to be perfect, just think of what a tree stump looks like. when the sides are sufficiently covered, re-melt the remaining chocolate shards and with a pastry brush, dab on the chocolate to the the cracks and fill in blank spots. you’re aiming for something rustic.

fridge it. take out about 30 minutes prior to smashing. top with the crown.

BAM!

Where the Wild Things Are Cake

3 years ago: tofu gyoza – vegan
2 years ago: peach ginger scones – vegan
1 year ago: summer salsa – vegan

nile + smash cake

Raspberry-Coconut Chia Pudding

Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding

somehow we find ourselves
smack dab in the middle of june
ridiculously tangled up with
the Whole30 diet.
it seemed like the right time:
our csa started
nuria moved back to ca
it’s the month before our beach vacation

i’m not going to paint a pretty –
or ugly – picture.
it’s not painful,
we just don’t like being limited
and we miss the rice and bread and pasta acutely
but the guidelines are pretty in line with
our lifestyle already.
except for the coffee + sugar + creamer
and cereal
and sweets
ok. fine. whatever,
this isn’t the funnest.
but it’s not dire either.

since we’re not kick starting summer
with the usual smoothies
i needed to come up with something
equally delightful & cooling.
enter the chia pudding phenom.
it’s everywhere, chia seeds is the new kale.
and like, kale,
i really like chia seeds.

Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding>

raspberry-coconut chia pudding
makes enough for 2

*note: chia seed is technically compliant to Whole30 but it should be consumed judiciously so i’ve only made this twice, i’ll likely make it a few more times before the diet is over, and will definitely make it often this summer, using whichever berries and fruits are in season.
**note: made it recently with strawberries + lemon juice and it was ridiculously delightful.

1 very generous cup raspberries, fresh or thawed
3 TBL chia seeds
juice of half grapefruit
3-4 each raw almonds and cashews, rough chopped
3-4 TBL unsweetened dried coconut flakes
few sprigs of mint, chiffonade or torn

in a bowl place the raspberries in and with a fork smash them. they don’t have to be all smashed, texture is good. add in the juice of half grapefruit and the chia seeds. mix through so that chia seeds don’t clump. set aside for 30 minutes in the fridge, or overnight.

when ready to eat, divvy up in two dishes/cups/glasses/jars and top with the chopped nuts, coconut flakes and mint.

BAM!

Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding

3 years ago: crunchy celery salad
2 years ago: intense strawberry coconut ice cream & almond waffle bowls
1 year ago: cayenne chocolate ice cream

chia tea

Chia Tea Cooler

it’s been quiet around this parts
behind the scenes though
it’s anything but.
nuria is in her final weeks with us,
and with that comes
happy hours
dinners —
all around busyness.
on top of that
dw and i have been slowly,
but steadily,
doing home projects.
things that could be shared
but likely won’t be
because
who the hell wants to hear
about my thought process when picking
paint colors
or curtains?

in the meantime,
the weather continues to confuzzle.
it looks like it’ll go from mild winter
to mild summer,
with lots of rain and grey in between.
i could cry,
but that would just add to
the dreariness.
inspired by the few
pockets of sunshine we have had
i make this tea
to sip on while at my desk,
or sitting on the couch.
it keeps me keeping.

Chia Tea Cooler

chia tea cooler
makes 4-5 servings

this isn’t so much a recipe, but what i throw together based on what is available in the pantry

4 TBL of tea of choice (i’ve used hibiscus or in this case, a cucumber-melon green tea) or 2 bags of flavored tea of choice
4-5 cups of hot water
maple syrup, amount to taste (or honey, agave or simple syrup)
juice of one lemon
4 TBL chia seeds

brew the tea: what i do is boil the water in a pot (because even though i’m a grown up, i don’t have a kettle) and add in the loose tea or dunk the tea bags in. turn off heat, and allow to steep for 5-6 minutes. remove bags or strain the loose tea out. cool to room temp.

doctor up the tea to taste, with the maple syrup and lemon juice.

with whisk in hand, add the chia seed, one tablespoon at a time, stirring all the while. this is an important step, or else the seeds will clump and it’s gross and you’ve failed.

portion out into bottles or glasses. allow to chill in fridge.

the chia seeds will bloom and add a nice texture to the drink.

BAM!

swirl gif

3 years ago: portuguese chicken curry with chorizo and olives
2 years ago: spiced coconut pecan ice cream – dairy free
1 year ago: grass jelly with chia seeds