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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Meatless Meals - Spicy Thai Noodles

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Now that Lent is here, I'm on the lookout for untried meatless meals that promise to be delicious while remaining simple to make. These noodles met that criteria. I found a photo of them on Pinterest, and they looked so luscious that I tracked the recipe back to its source, a blog called A Small Snippet. The noodles are made with pantry items and they take about 20 minutes to prepare. I think you'll agree that meal preparation doesn't get much easier than that. I made these for myself on Sunday, and I've been enjoying them for lunch everyday since then. I did want to briefly talk to you about the heat levels in this recipe. Anyone who has been to Thailand knows that Americans and Thais have different ideas about what is hot. They have a much greater tolerance for heat and that is demonstrated in this recipe. Leana's recipe called for 2 tablespoons of crushed pepper flakes. That is hot enough to take out most taste buds in a single bite and it is meant for courageous dragons who need an infusion of gasoline to fan the flames. While one tablespoon is hot, it is not unbearable, but even that may be too much for many palates. I decided to get around this by listing the quantity of pepper flakes recommended in the recipe as a range that is measured in teaspoons to make it easier to control. The Silver Fox is out of his comfort zone when I use a tablespoon of crushed pepper, so, when I am making the noodles for the two of us, I only use 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons of the pepper flakes. I suspect you already know your family's tolerance for heat, so adjust accordingly. The noodles are delicious and I do hope you will try them. Here is how they are made.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Norwegian Apple Cake

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This simple Norwegian cake is all about apples. It is a "remembered" cake from the files of Hege whose blog Repolished contains a number of Norwegian recipes that she enjoyed as a child.  I decided to add her recipe to my already large collection of apple desserts because of its peasant quality. I happen to love apple desserts. Apples are always available and they keep well. Quantity purchases are inexpensive and it is hard to find desserts that cost less than those made with apples.  I use Golden Delicious apples in almost all my apple desserts. They are sweet without being cloying and they manage to keep their shape as they cook. This is a homely dessert that I'm sure can be found in any Norwegian kitchen.  If I had done an exhaustive search, I suspect I would have found dozens more recipes for this cake, but I stopped because this one seemed very authentic and the directions were a bit old-fashioned. I liked this cake and will make it again. I think salt and a small amount of vanilla should be added to the ingredient list. I added them to the recipe below. My additions are in red. Here is the recipe.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Meatballs for a Crowd

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The Silver Fox had to bring a dish to an all-male get together this afternoon. I thought some all-male meatballs woulds be perfect for them and for me. As it happens, these meatballs, which are baked rather than fried, are easy to make and when napped with a flavorful gravy they are absolutely delicious. I sent them with sandwich rolls, but they are also great when paired with buttered noodles or creamy mashed potatoes. This is a straight foreward recipe that is quick to put together. The thing that sets this dish apart from others like it, is the wonderful onion gravy in which the meatballs are warmed. The recipe can be doubled to double or triple if you need to serve more than 12 people. I do hope you'll try this recipe. Here's how the meatballs and their gravy are made.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ina's Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I made these for myself this weekend, because, as you know, butter cookies enriched with jelly and peanuts are just what you need after being sedentary for a month. I'm sure they moved directly to my hips, but not before I enjoyed every buttery morsel. These cookies are the adult version of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and while I can't promise for sure, I think they will make you feel like a kid again. The recipe for the cookies was developed by Ina Garten and while most folks who have made them like the cookies, others have found them to be dry and crumbly. I can't speak to what their problems might have been, but I can tell you we enjoyed the cookies and I would make them again. Because the bars are expensive to make, I want to share some tips with you. The measurement of flour can be tricky because of the way we scoop it. In a perfect world, we'd all weigh our flour and results would be consistent from one kitchen to another. That's not going to happen any time soon, so, I wanted to let those of you who decide to make these know how I measured mine. I have for years been a fluff, spoon and level gal and I suspect the quantity of flour that I use is a smidge less then that used by those who fluff and scoop. That distinction can sometimes be important and probably explains why some folks ended up with dry and crumbly cookie bars. It is equally important to let these sit for at least an hour before you cut them. This is the type of cookie that improves with age, so I made mine the day before I cut and served them. Our bars were very moist and we really enjoyed them. These are not an everyday cookie but if you are looking for an occasional treat, do give this recipe a try. Here is how the cookies are made.


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