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Archive for January, 2012

Pan-Seared Garlic Salmon and Butter Garlic Spinach & Mushroom

Pan-seared Salmon

Ingredients:  2 lbs salmon (defrosted, cut into 4 pcs).  10 cloves garlic, crushed.  1/2 stick butter.  8 oz sliced white mushrooms.  10 oz ready to eat spinach.  1 lemon.  1 tsp salt.  1 tsp basil.  1 tsp parsley.  1 tsp olive oil.

With the stove on medium, drizzle olive oil in your frying pan and place the salmon with the skin face down.  Squeeze the entire lemon, then sprinkle the salt and basil on all pieces,  cover for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, place a 2 qt sauce pan on the stove set on high.  Drizzle some olive oil and half of the crushed garlic, saute for 2 minutes then place the mushrooms and mix enough to coat most of the mushrooms with oil and garlic.  Cover for 2 minutes, then mix again and add 2-3 pinches of salt for flavor.  Now add the spinach (stuff it all in there) and cover for 2-3 minutes.

Back to the frying pan, sprinkle the remaining crushed garlic on all salmon pieces then flip it so now the skin is facing up.  Set the stove on high, cover for 1-2 minutes.  Flip the fish again and press down on pan, leave uncovered for 2 minutes.

Back to the sauce pan.  Take the cover off, place over the sink and drain the liquid created by the mushrooms and spinach.  Create a hole in the center and place the butter until it melts.  Mix and add a couple more pinches of salt.  Now serve by placing the salmon on a bed of spinach and mushrooms.  Drizzle the parsley over the food…. Enjoy!

Keep in mind that stove heat may vary.  If the time I used to cook is not enough to cook your food, adjust accordingly.

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Authentic Shrimp Pad Thai

Christine Sternfels:

Thank you http://www.michaelbeyer.me for allowing me to repost this.

Originally posted on Oishii!:

Shrimp Pad Thai 005

Authentic Shrimp Pad Thai (recipe adapted from Kasma Loha-unchit)

My notes: Despite our love of Thai food here in the U.S. there is a curious lack of information about its ingredients and preparation. I think that this in part stems from our fear of the unknown. Indeed, shopping in an Asian grocery store can feel like being in a foreign country. However, if you locate a friendly grocery store and ask for some help in finding the ingredients, you’ll be well on your way.

I’ve been waiting for some time now to “come across” an authentic pad thai recipe. I think I have finally found my definitive source in Kasma Loha-unchit, a Thai native and cooking teacher. Despite a laundry list of unfamiliar ingredients, pad thai isn’t as daunting to make as it appears. After all, it’s a simple stir-fried noodle dish that is common “street food” in Thailand.

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The disappearing trick

There’s nothing like watching your child lick what’s left of a batter of brownies off a bowl.  What goes through my mind while this happens?  “I want to grab that thing from her and have it all to myself, no I’m not sharing either!”  Snap back to reality and before you know it… any evidence that there was batter to begin with is all gone. 

 


Materialism

When they were new, someone couldn’t wait to have them… until something shinier came along.  
~ Christine Sternfels

Location: Seattle Underground Tour


Empanadas

The Philippines has such a variety of foods, but the ones I favor most are those influenced by Spanish cuisine.  This is one of them.  I remember watching my mom make these when I was my daughter’s age.  While CJ and I were making them yesterday, memories came rushing back and it felt good.  I felt like a child again, but this time I was the mom cooking with my daughter.

An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries of Latin America and the south of Europe. The name comes from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Empanada is made by folding a dough or bread patty around the stuffing. The stuffing can consist of a variety of meats, cheese, huitlacoche, vegetables or fruits among others.  CLICK HERE to read more from Wikipedia.

I normally sauté  ground pork with raisins or olives for the filling.  This recipe is the “American Empanada”.  I used pre cooked Tyson chicken breast patties.  I cut each in half, placed it on the rolled dough, folded, sealed and cooked.  It’s like having your fried chicken and roll all in one.  The dough was pretty easy to make.

Ingredients:  3 cups all-purpose flour.  1 teaspoon salt.  1/4 cup lard, cut into small pieces.  1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces.  2 eggs, lightly beaten with 1/2 cup water.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Work in the lard and butter, using your fingers. Work the egg mixture into the dough and knead until smooth. Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

While waiting, grab your yoga mat and do 100 sit ups and push ups.  If you’re too tired or lazy, grab a drink and the remote control and channel surf or watch Oprah.  Ok… now we’re ready to cook!

Take the pre-cooked chicken patties and cut in half.  Take the dough and roll into 1 1/2 inch balls, then place it on a floured surface and roll in 6 inch rounds.  Place the half patty on one side of each round (with the straight side facing the center – see picture),  fold it in half, and press the edges together. Crimp the edges of the pastry with a fork to seal.

In a deep-fryer or large skillet, heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Fry in batches until golden brown (About 4-5 minutes in the deep fryer). Drain on paper towels before serving.  Serve these chicken empanadas with dipping sauce like Bbq sauce, catsup or honey mustard.  Or you can eat it commando (naked – the empanada, not you).

Making honey mustard is so easy. The ingredients are 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice (Optional). Mix and refrigerate. You can play with the measurements as we all have different preference, some like more honey, some don’t add the lemon juice.

Before serving, you can cut it in half so you don’t get yelled at for double dipping!  So take a piece, dip, open mouth and take a big bite of crunchy, juicy goodness.  Then run five miles so you can have more.  Enjoy!


Stay still…

Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best. ~ Anonymous


Sunset Race

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~ Mark Twain

Location: Everett Marina


Have your cake and eat it too!

 

Can you have your cake and eat it too?  We all know the metaphor’s message.  “You can’t have it all”.  I personally disagree.  You can have it all, just not all at the same time for complex needs.  But for those with simple needs, I believe it can happen.  What do you think?


Faith

You block your dreams when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.
~ Mary Manin Morrissey


In the woods…

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
~ Anonymous


Purple Scarf


Frozen Gaze

There’s color to be found even in the dead of winter.


Mini Philly

What happens when you’re stuck at home, snowed in, starving and there’s nothing in the fridge because you’ve been procrastinating going to the grocery?  You check out the freezer!

So what happens if all you have is a bag of Brown & Serve French Bread Sticks, a pound of beef chuck and a bag of shredded four cheese blend that you forgot about?  You make Mini Phillies!  Thank goodness I stock up on those grill mate marinade spices, now I shall create some yummyness.

I boiled the pound of beef chuck just enough to be able to cut it up in thin slices, added half the packet of spices (Peppercorn & Garlic) in the pot with just enough water to make sure your meat is under water.  After a few minutes I took the meat out, cut it in half and put it back in for another three to five minutes before I sliced it thinly and set it to the side.  Turn the broiler on.

Get a skillet or frying pan out, set stove on high heat.  Add enough olive oil to sauté thinly sliced onions ( about 1/2 of a medium-sized yellow onion) and beef.  Add the onions when the oil is super hot, then once it’s golden brown, add the beef.  Sauté for a minute, add the rest of the grill mates packet and mix to coat all the meat with it.  Add a tsp. of balsamic vinegar, mix all of it around for a minute or two and set aside.

Place the bread sticks open-faced on a cookie sheet.  Put some beef on the bread and top it with cheese.  Broil it till the cheese melts and that’s it… fold the bread and chow down after letting it cool down a bit so you don’t burn yourself.

I don’t know how many servings this makes because it all depends on how much beef and cheese you put on your bread.  I was able to use the whole bag of bread (8 pcs).  It’s a pretty friendly recipe, just have fun with it.  To serve for appetizers, cut in half diagonally, sprinkle freshly chopped parsley before serving.  Enjoy!


Hello Friend

Dear Friend… it sure is nice to see you this morning.  I don’t know why I thought I could live without you.  You cheer me up, energize me and get me going.  I don’t know why you get such a bad rap from some people.  I guess like with everything else, we have to hang out in moderation and I will no longer go cold turkey on you… that just gave me headaches and I think I was depressed too!  Anyway, welcome back – sooooo glad you’re here and thank you for being you.  Muwah!


The Path

Early one morning I tried to chase the sunrise without paying much attention to which way I was running through the woods.  Thank goodness a path was there that led me back to my cabin.


Good morning winter…

When snow falls, nature listens.  ~Antoinette van Kleeff


What red velvet cupcake?

It is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth.  ~Oscar Wilde


Winter Morning Blues…


Fathers & Daughters

A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart. ~ Anonymous

It’s snowing today.  I grabbed my camera to take pictures of winter scenes and on my way out the door I stumbled upon this.  What a perfect picture of my daughter’s and husband’s boots.  They were playing in the snow earlier today…


The Sun

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.  ~Maori Proverb


Little Girls

No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told
they’re pretty, even if they aren’t.  ~ Marilyn Monroe


Water

WATER - Copyright Christine Sternfels

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.  ~Thomas Fuller


Joy

While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about. ~Angela Schwindt

When was the last time you expressed your joy this way?  No… there is no shame in it.  The shame is we choose to “act” like adults and decided to ditch our childish ways.  No wonder our kids eventually turn into grumps like us.  Growing old may be mandatory, but growing up is optional.  Stay young my friends!


Companionship

We weren’t meant to be alone… ~ Christine Sternfels


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