Friday, January 23, 2009

Sara Voortmeyer's laptop bleeped it's last bleep early Monday morning and quietly passed on. It was surrounded by computer geeks and an inconsolable Mrs. Voortmeyer. The dear little laptop began it's fight for life early in November. It lived a good life but in the end could give no more. Fortunately the geeks were able to harvest it's hard drive before all was lost. Services were held on site, and the laptop was laid to rest peacefully in the recycle bin. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Mrs. Voortmeyer so that she can adopt a beautiful new Mac from Steve Jobs. (Just kidding, don't send me money...just your condolences.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot........


Hello Friends....it has been so long...I apologize. My computer is still in the shop due to some cockamamie excuse regurgitated by teckie after teckie....I'd like to see one of them live for a month without their hard drives! So although I have a few recipes to share with you, alas...no pictures! But soon...I promise soon.
I hope that you all are enjoying a happy New Year. As always, the New Year brings us all to the realization that we could be a bit healthier..and as always I try really hard to cut back on the fatties and sugars. And What better way than with some fun new Asian recipes to help us celebrate the Chinese New Year that will soon be upon us?
We will start with sugar snap peas, I think pretty much all of us are familiar with these sweet little green treats. This is a simple way to stir fry them up-healthy-mostly because they have absolutely no need for any sauce or butter.

SNAP PEAS WITH SESAME

1 pound snap peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
salt and pepper

In a wok, bring your olive oil to med high heat. Be careful not to get it too got or it will give the oil a nasty taste. Next, toss in the snap peas and cook constantly tossing for about two minutes. Remove from heat and lightly coat with sesame oil, then add the last few ingredients. Serve immediately or chill and serve over greens.

Next, is one of my family favorites...Lettuce Wraps. Now, I do not claim them to taste like the famous PF Changs (for some reason everyone asks if they do)- No, they taste just like S Voortmeyer's, but they are a fun substitution for Monday Night Meatloaf! Make sure you make the sauce, it's not quite as yummy without it.

LETTUCE WRAPS

½ cup mushrooms, chopped
2 Tablespoons ginger, minced
4 green onions, chopped
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
2 pounds chicken breast
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons hoisin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons oyster sauce
sesame oil
salt and pepper
1 head bib or iceberg lettuce
cellophane noodles (found in the Asian section of the grocery store, follow the directions on the package-this is the crunchy white noodles that you put on top)
pepper flakes
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped.


wash the lettuce carefully and place on a plate in the fridge. In a food processor chop the chicken coarsely with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch and a bit of water. Stir fry in just enough oil to coat the pan. Remove from pan and set aside. Stir fry the vegetables. In a bowl mix together the cornstarch, hoisin, soy sauce, oyster sauce and 2 tablespoons of water. Add chicken to the vegetables and add the sauce. Drizzle with just a bit of sesame oil and cook just until sauce bubbles clear. Top with cellophane noodles. Peanuts are optional.


½ cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon Chinese hot mustard
1 teaspoon chili garlic paste (Sambal Oelek-found int he Asian foods section of the grocery store-it's red sauce with a green lid)
drizzle of sesame oil

Mix all ingredients together and serve with lettuce wraps.

And Lastly, and easy fresh salad.

MANDARIN SALAD

1 bag mixed greens
1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
½ cup bok choy
1 can mandarin oranges
½ cup strawberries
½ cup edamame
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup finely sliced red pepper
1/4 cup red onion or green onion

1 tablespoon light oil
1 teaspoons sesame oil
reserved mandarin orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
½ teaspoon fresh ginger
2 teaspoons finely shredded carrot
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
pinch of salt

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl.
In a blender combine all the ingredients and pulse. Toss salad with the dressing just before serving.


Hurry up and make this stuff. Take pictures and e-mail them to me at voortmeyersr@yahoo.com- I will be posting a reader brag spot weekly from now on...if you want to brag about a great recipe you have found, make it, take a pic, and brag about it so we all can enjoy!