Showing posts with label kitty cat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kitty cat. Show all posts

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Spicy Chickpea Soup with Egg Noodles

Homemade Spicy Chickpea Soup, from 'scratch'...you bet!
It's been almost a week now, since I last photographed the beautiful beach 'sunrise'. I just did not have the desire to even photograph anything I have cooked or baked. It takes time, effort, and either the proper light for food photos, you should not even waste your time. Both of my children and I have started to have dinner once or twice a week since a year ago...a new 'tradition'... (just us, and the four grandchildren, on a weeknight... it's really a special event for us. to have this time and reminisce about the past when they were little...sharing stories for my grand kids!
Unfortunately, some Nostalgic stories, and memories do 'pull my heartstrings'...seeing them as adults with their young children; watching the years passing by before our eyes. You have to keep in mind that the past no longer has a 'life force'...IT IS OVER~...it's the current situation that is in your hands. You can reminisce all you want about the past...regret the things that went wrong...it is the only part of your life that you cannot change!

 I realized that Nostalgia does not...has not make us happier...dwelling on the past Our life is like 'chapters' in a novel...a 'never ending novel' learning from that long journey we took...leaving the past behind...greeting each morning as we awaken. Learning lessons of the past...being who you are today, and not who you were 'yesterday'! Our past should not define us who we were yesterday!


I felt the need to make a soup, today... I'm so glad I had all the ingredients in pantry, fridge, freezer, and cupboard...just had to make the decision...bake, or cook something comforting...so soup is always the right choice, with a sandwich!

Homemade soup of any kind is so easy to make...just have either homemade broth, canned, or in a carton...chicken, or vegetable broth, onion, garlic, celery, parsley, carrots, tomatoes, and canned beans, or frozen vegetables of your choice.
Here's my easy method:

Saute chopped onion, 2 cloves sliced, or chopped garlic, along with chopped celery in reg. olive, or vegetable oil.(also, a few scraped and sliced carrots) Add crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, cumin powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper to taste...

 (I didn't have fresh parsley) 1 Tbsp. of paprika paste, (tomato paste works well, or 1 Tbsp. of  paprika powder) 1 bay leaf...saute until onion is translucent, add a small amount of broth (32 ozs. in total broth)..Also, you can add frozen sliced carrots, abt 12 ozs. (I added frozen crinkle sliced carrots)....let the vegetable cook for another 15 min.

Add fresh chopped tomatoes...or canned diced tomatoes...tomato sauce works well,
You can add 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce in place of the (canned, or fresh diced tomato...I used Italian POMI strained tomatoes, about 1/2 container.

 Bring it to a boil, and now, add 2 cans of chickpeas, or garbanzo (same thing)...let it boil again, and add about 1/4 pkg of a 1lb. bag of egg, (or no yolk noodles)...let the noodles cook right in the soup for about 12 min. and it will be perfectly cooked...and delicious! When soup cools down, you can save them in plastic containers...even better re-heated~

I'm sharing with some really awesome 'thrift' finds with you...which I haven't in a while. I have a friend that does not approve of  buying someone's 'used' things...but the reality of it, and the most fun of it is that the majority of these wonderful useful things are donated by people who have paid 'good money' for the stuff, and most of the items are almost...if not 'new'...or barely used.
Every item has a 'story' behind it...where it came from, and why?...it was donated!

Just look at the bottom of this adorable little saucepan...LE CREUSET...made in France~
I love, love, Le Creuset pots, and pans. I bought a lasagna pan, and a skillet in the past few years (gave it to my daughter, she loves it)
The quality of this brand is 'unmatched'...cost 'an arm and a leg'...so expensive. very heavy cast iron, coated with super heavy enamel...food just tastes better, in Le Creuset. This particular little saucepan is an 'oldie, but goodie'...cost @ Goodwill, $6.99


I posted about these whimsical waiters, carrying bottles of champagne...by artist; Guy Bulut


I have this awesome and 'conversation' print hanging on my dining room wall for at least 3yrs now. Very well mounted, and framed, even with the wire hanger on the back. ($24.99)





So, what are the chances of finding another 'Bulut' print...3yrs later?...waiters in apron...in a Paris Café...I love this matching print...so well mounted and framed....couldn't just hang it simply...had to have it drilled with 'heavy duty hanger'...what a superb find...($29.99) ...worth so much more, and in great condition.










 A close up of this amazing print...such a 'conversation peace'...makes you feel like you're sitting in that French Café...just where I would love to be someday...soon!










 
Well, enough posting for now...I'll be watching the Winter Olympics from Russia ...and all day tomorrow!
Have a wonderful weekend! xo

 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Saigon-Style Scallops...from Weight Watchers

I'm back again on making some great dishes with Weight Watchers recipes. As you know...when I started my blog a little over 3yrs ago, I successfully shed 35 lbs. on the Weight Watchers plan in about 4 months...but have gained it back in the next year, so I went back on the Weight Watcher plan on-line last year. I did not reach my goal this last time, and was only able to lose 20 lbs...and now again, I'm giving it another try before joining WW again; for the third time.
I had at least 3 amazing hard cover WW cookbooks with notebook binders...removable pages, plus another recent one that I received from a friend as a gift last year. I got rid of the 3 books...they were 'thrift finds' any way, and I re-donated them; but I did keep the one called  Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook which as awesome one-pot dishes that does not even seem like a typical WW recipes, they are mostly comfort meals which is perfect for this time of year...comfy/cozy meals. The scallops I made were made in a wok but can also be made in a large skillet!
If you like scallops, which can be so versatile; also, shrimp could be a wonderful replacement for this dish. I made very little alteration to this this...not overly concerned about the 'point system' at this time, but if you serve it over a bed of salad greens, you will stay within the ---5--- points that it has.
 

SAIGON-STYLE SCALLOPS

slight adaptation from; Weight Watchers

1TBS CANOLA OIL
1SHALLOT MINCED
1TBS MINCED PEELED FRESH GINGER
2GARLIC CLOVES MINCED
2TBS PACKED BROWN SUGAR
1TBS ASIAN FISH SAUCE
2TSP GRANULATED SUGAR
¼TSP RED PEPPER FLAKES
3TBS WATER
1POUND SEA SCALLOPS
3SCALLIONS, THINLY SLICED
6CUPS LIGHTLY PACKED BABY GREENS

Directions

HEAT OIL IN MEDIUM DUTCH OVEN OVER MEDIUM HIGH HEAT. ADD SHALLOT, GINGER, AND GARLIC, COOK, STIRRING CONSTANTLY UNTIL FRAGRANT, ABOUT 1 MINUTE.

ADD BROWN SUGAR, FISH SAUCE, GRANULATED SUGAR, AND PEPPER FLAKES, SIMMER 1 MINUTE. CONTINUE TO COOK UNTIL MIXTURE BEGINS TO THICKEN; STIR IN WATER AND COOK, STIRRING FREQUENTLY, UNTIL SAUCE IS THICKENED, ABOUT 2 MINUTES.

ADD SCALLOPS AND COOK, STIRRING FREQUENTLY UNTIL JUST OPAQUE IN CENTER, ABOUT 3 MINUTES. WITH SLOTTED SPOON, TRANSFER SCALLOPS TO MEDIUM BOWL. ADD SCALLIONS TO SAUCE AND BRING TO BOIL. BOIL UNTIL SLIGHTLY THICKENED, ABOUT 3 MINUTES, POUR OVER SCALLOPS. DIVIDE SALAD GREENS EVENLY AMONG 4 PLATES, TOP EVENLY WITH SCALLOPS AND SAUCE .
 
These are the ingredients I used. In addition to the fish sauce, I added 2 Tbsp. Teriyaki sauce and a few drops of Tabasco sauce, and mixed the ingredients in a little bowl and added them in the process called for the sauces, and spices.











Make sure you have your shallots, garlic, fresh ginger, and scallion minced up in advance, and have it ready. The cooking time is very little. You can also add a sliced chilli pepper or two for color, and flavor.









For the scallops if they are wet...dry them with paper towel, do not let them be soaking in its liquid, or any liquid; otherwise you will have a difficult time searing them. I seared the scallops first, before adding the other ingredients. (Removed them from the pan)...added them back in when I poured the sauce ingredients over them and cooked them for an additional minute or two!





I used a wok to make this easy and packed with Asian flavors dish, but you can use a large skillet if you don't have a wok.









You can serve this amazing scallop dish over Jasmine rice, or a bed of delicate Mesculin greens...either way, you will love it...if you love scallops. Shrimp and cut into cubes of boneless breast of chicken is also a good replacement. The sauce alone is so divine! xo










A little update about Mushi...she is resting comfortably; has her own little pillows, and blanket...and she has come out of her hiding from my 'printer desk', closet, and you name it; whatever little hiding spot she could find. Had a little talk with her, and she has been snoozing on my lap while I'm on the computer, or watching TV.