Category Archives: Recipe Challenge

2013 Recipe 2: Garlic Soba Noodles

Last night we didn’t have the little dudes, so I was free to make whatever I wanted, aka, weird foods I know they won’t eat. This tortures me, y’all. I wish they were interested in eating the weird foods I like to cook. I even wish they were interested in trying weird foods and then having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner. For that matter I wish they were interested in JELLY. What kind of kid doesn’t like jam or jelly? It is SO HARD to figure out what these dudes will eat!

Sans children, last night I made Garlic Soba Noodles.


So super good, y’all!

This recipe probably took about 30 min. start to finish, but I say probably because there was a bunch of puttering and interim dishes washing. Also I didn’t have bread crumbs, so I substituted smashed saltine crackers, and I didn’t have fresh greens, so I substituted frozen curly kale from my winter CSA. Also no green onions, so I diced half of an onion that was languishing on the counter and cooked it up before throwing in the frozen kale. We will probably cook tofu like this a lot in the future – it was really super good.

Also, I don’t usually use much (any) salt in the cooking so last night I took a chance and followed the recipe and it had a LOT of salt in it (like, a couple of teaspoons, probably – all pinches and dashes) and darn it if it wasn’t delicious. There is, you know, a strong folk tradition of tales admonishing people to put salt in their food. It involves princesses, and sometimes kings full of needles, and sometimes pomegranates full of diamonds. I think they’re on to something.

This is a #35in36 post, and I’m already a day behind. Darn it! two posts today it is!

2013 Recipe 1: Beef Stew

A sweet friend suggested that she was going to try one new recipe every week this year. What a brilliant resolution! I have got an evernote account FULL of recipes I’ve snipped out over the years, and really would like to cook more at home. I’ll give it a go too.

So: Recipe 1: BEEF STEW.



I worked at home yesterday so had a chance to make this Beef Stew, from Real Simple. It goes in a slow cooker but it is not at all like the slow cooker stews I made when I was a kid – those involved chucking everything in and turning it on, this one requires browning and deglasing. It IS delicious. The boys loved it (though Thirteen carefully ate around all of the diced onions, and really seemed to enjoy most of all the latitude to put as much bread in his body as he could).

Note for the recipe – I wouldn’t recommend following the proportions. I used 1/2 the meat, and it was entirely satisfactory. Any more and it wouldn’t have fit in my 4-Qt slow-cooker. I don’t usually have baby carrots in the house but we did from our recent car trip to Ohio and back, and I was happy to chuck those monstrosities into dinner as well.

And here is my beef (oh geez, entirely unintentional!) with slow cookers – they are really no good if you work away from the home. I want something I can chuck food into and cook and when I come home it’s all set – but almost all recipes seem to say “6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.” I work an eight hour (at least!) day and it takes me another hour or so to get to and from work. I can’t just leave that cooking all day long. Therefore, slow cooker use is restricted to those times I’m at home and can start it up at my leisure, letting it work hard behind the scenes while I’m nearby and ready to shut it off before dinner time.