Spring Flowers

It was a long winter and I also moved. Some of my plants did not make it due to neglect and late freezes, my strawberry and rose are doing fine but all of the bulbs In smaller pots did not do well at all, one bunch of daffodils bloomed and a few didn’t survive the ordeal. But now I have a balcony that actually gets sun (and hopefully less spiders) so I have gotten some new replacements to start with. An old chair from the thrift store has been fixed up and it’s a nice place to have coffee. In my Aerogarden I started some Mint, Rosemary and Mitsuba. Plus some green onions living in a glass.

 


Shoyu Ramen

Shoyu ramen is easy to make and only needs a few ingredients. I started growing scallions on my counter making this even easier for having everything necessary on hand. I buy a pack of chicken thighs then freeze them in pairs, if you are working with large thighs then only use one thigh in this recipe.

The Noodles

When it comes to ramen I am an novice and I find information about the noodles interesting.

Ramen noodles are alkaline.  They are made with kansui which is a lye water solution with a PH of about 10 so having the right noodles matters quite a bit.

If you don’t have a store that sells ramen noodle cakes you can use one of the flavor packet kind and just throw out the flavor packets. I usually use Sapporo Ichiban brand for this.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 boneless skinless chicken thighs, (one thigh if they are large thighs.)

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely chopped

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon mirin

1 tablespoon sake

4 cups  water

1 egg

4 baby portabella mushrooms, sliced into strips

2 scallions, cut into thin rounds

ramen noodles

Instruction:

In a small sauce pan heat sesame oil, add chicken thighs and braise both sides. Remove chicken, cut into slices and, set aside. With med heat add ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for a minute until fragrant. Add portabella and sautee 1-2 minutes more.

Add soy sauce, sake and mirin, bring to boil then reintroduce chicken, add 4 cups hot water then cover with lid. Simmer until chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, in another sauce pan, bring water to boil. once boiling place an egg in the water for exactly 7 minutes. Remove egg after 7 minutes and place it quickly into a bath of ice water to stop the cooking process.

When the chicken is cooked, you may need to add a little more water if some has evaporated.

Place dried ramen noodle cake into the broth. As soon as the noodles begin to soften pour into large bowl. Garnish with green onions, the 7 minute egg peeled and sliced in half and portabella strips. Serve imidiately.

Don’t forget to add extra stuff you have around any of the following pick one and try it asparagus, onions, carrots, broccoli, spinach, snap peas, cauliflour, chili flakes.

 


Dairy-Free Mudslide Cupcakes and Kahlua Hot Cocoa

We recently ended up with a bottle of Kahlua and Irish Cream, I’m not one for drinking so I enjoy cooking with alcohol. Since I can’t have dairy anymore I pretty much have to make my own junk food to get what I want so here are some things I made in the last week.

Mudslide Cupcakes

I adapted the recipe from the book Prohibition Bakery, its a chocolate espresso cake with chocolate Irish Cream filling and a Kahlua frosting.

In place of butter I used coconut oil, in place of sour cream I used almond yogurt and in place of heavy cream I used coconut cream. In place of regular Irish Cream, substitute for dairy-free Almond Bailey’s. All of my changes were in equal parts. For the espresso I used a local and very good craft coffee company that I love called Anchorhead.

It was a success except the frosting was more of a glaze. The alcohol thinned out the coconut cream more than I anticipated. I’ll have to figure out a good vegan frosting for next time.

 

 

 

Kahlua Hot Cocoa

Basic from scratch cocoa recipe with a shot of Kahlua. From scratch cocoa tastes better than any packet of cocoa mix I have ever had.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup sugar

1 pinch salt

1/3 cup boiling water

3 1/2 cups soy or almond milk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 oz kahlua

Instruction:

In a small saucepan add the cocoa, sugar and salt to 1/3 cup boiling water. Bring mixture to a slow boil and simmer for 2 minutes while stirring, be careful not to scorch it. Stir in milk and heat until very hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and add vanilla. I generally add 1 oz of the kahlua to the individual cups after they are poured.

 


Spring Hair Conditioner Recipe

I ran out of hair conditioner while moving so I made this up quick.

I went heavy on the extracts and there is almost no oil in it because I co-wash. If you use this small amount of oil, melting the BTMS-50 in a double boiler can be a bit of a struggle, make sure the Distilled Water is also hot and whisk as you mix them, I recommend checking the instructions and temperature listings on the ingredient packages so you know when to add your extracts. I scented it with Pikake flower and tart apple as my last ingredients along with the preservative.

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28.3 grams BTMS -50

5.66 grams Argan Oil

411 grams Distilled Water

5.66 grams Pantenol

28.3 grams Aloe Extract

28.3 grams Avocado Extract

28.3 grams Nettle Extract

28.3 grams Liquid Silk

5.66 grams Hydrolyzed Oats

5.66 milliliters Optiphen ND

 

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Cuban Black Beans and Fried Plantains

I am still in the process of moving, we get the keys tomorrow so all of my stuff has been boxed except essentials for about a week. I found some time to make something that’s been on my ‘to do’ list.

 


Finger Knitting: My First Scarf

I’ve been in the process of changing jobs and also getting ready to move.. so not a lot of focus on crafting and more on putting things in boxes and selecting books to donate(it’s really hard!). I have a few projects that are slowly being worked on, I need a commute hobby so I gave finger knitting a try. Here’s my first scarf. Now I’ll be that strange person knitting on the bus…

 

 


Eggplant, Toast and Egg Breakfast

 

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil

2 Breaded Eggplant Cutlets (you can make your own but cutting an eggplant into thin slices and hand breading or you can find them frozen and pre-breaded in some grocery stores. If you make your own you can freeze them for quick use later.)

1/2 tsp butter

1 piece whole wheat bread

1 tsp olive oil

2 eggs

salt and pepper to taste ( I used an Alderwood smoked salt)

fresh basil

(optional) If I had it on hand I would have added thinly sliced Avocado.

Instruction

In a skillet heat the olive oil to medium-high heat and add the breaded eggplant cutlets, cook for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove eggplant from pan and set aside. With a paper towel wipe away most of the remaining olive oil.

Add the butter to the pan and as soon as it is melted place the bread in the pan. Check the bread every 20 seconds and as soon as it starts to brown check it every 10 seconds until it is toasted to your liking, Remove the toast from the pan and plate it toasted side up, add the eggplant on top of the toast.

In the hot pan reduce heat to medium and add the olive oil. Crack the eggs gently into the pan and cook until the bottom part of the egg is opaque and firm, 1-2 minutes, add the salt and pepper to the egg carefully flip the eggs without breaking the yolks and cook on the other side until all of the egg white is firm but the yolk is runny. Remove from pan and place on top of the eggplant. Arrange with fresh basil and enjoy.