Sunday, November 16, 2014

Beef Ramen Noodle Soup

This ramen soup has that really delicious savory umami flavor that warms you through completely.  It is salty and lightly spicy and just a touch sweet with great layers of flavors and textures.  The carrots, onions, and celery are sweet and tender while the green onions are crisp and fresh.  The beef is perfectly seasoned which melts right off into the rich, smooth broth.  I personally didn't feel the egg added a lot flavor wise but it was a nice contrasting texture.  If you are a soft or even hard boiled egg person, you will definitely like having the egg, but I could go without it next time.  The soup is very filling but it is light and refreshing at the same time.  This is quickly becoming a favorite in our house, especially because it is easy to change up the protein and seasonings each time.   Sorry for the very short post this time.  Hopefully I will be feeling more inspired soon.  I made a really awesome rustic apple tart yesterday for a family dinner. So be on the look out for that coming soon!

Beef Ramen Noodle Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, divided
3 cups beef stock
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
5 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tsp sriracha
3 packages Ramen noodles, seasoning packet discarded
4 green onions, chopped
Sliced steak, recipe below
Soft boiled eggs, recipe below
Salt & Pepper, to taste

  Heat the olive oil in dutch oven or other large soup pot over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are getting soft and the onions are translucent.  Add the garlic and parsley and cook for another minute.  Add the beef stock, chicken stock, water, soy sauce, and sriracha.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Bring the soup to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer for 10-12 minutes.  Add the Ramen noodles and cook for 3 minutes.  Serve the soup in bowl and top with green onions, remaining parsley, slices of steak, and soft boiled egg.

Steak Recipe:
Season steak with a mixture of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of ginger powder.  You can really use any blend of seasoning that you like to your tastes.  We used really thin cut (approx 1/2") steaks and just seared in a skillet for a couple minutes on each side and then sliced thinly on a bias.  You could substitute the beef for chicken breast, pork loin, sausage, tofu, etc.

Soft Boiled Egg Recipe:
Bring 1/2" of water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add as many eggs as you desire, cover, and cook for 6 1/2 minutes exactly.  Run cold water over the eggs until you can handle them, then peel, and cut to serve.  

Inspired by Tasty Kitchen and America's Test Kitchen

Monday, November 3, 2014

Apple Bars

Hi guys, wow finally a few minutes to sit down and write on the blog.  Life sure has been crazy lately.  My laptop's hard drive crashed a few weeks ago so I lost quite a few pictures that I had not had the chance to backup yet, including almost all my recent cooking adventures that were waiting in the wings to be blogged.  Luckily these delicious apple bar pictures were still loaded on my camera's memory card.  So now that my computer is up and running again and I've modified my back up schedule to every time I transfer data, I can finally get back to blogging. Well, you know, as much as little K let's me anyways :-).  Teething is a wonderful.... it'sagoodthingwegothroughitwhenwearetoolittletoremember... thing.

So anyways let's talk about these apple bars. I debated about what to call these: apple cake, apple squares, apple blondies, but I finally settled on apple bars. The bars are a beautiful cross between cake and blondies so neither of those names fit just right and apple squares, which is what I have written down on the recipe card, isn't right either because what if you don't feel like squares and want to cut rectangles? That's probably just me being silly though.  Any way you cut these, they are absolutely delicious.

The bars are fluffy but chewy and moist with a thin, crisp,  sugary top. The lovely apple and cinnamon flavors make the bars the perfect autumn dessert or they would even be great for a Sunday brunch too.  This is a wonderful, easy, delicious recipe to have in your collection especially for the fall season and the upcoming holidays.  The bars do have a bit of a cooking time, but they only take about 10 minutes to put together and you most likely have everything on hand to make them already!  I hope you give these apples bars a try soon!  Before I go, here is a 6 month old picture of little K in his pumpkin costume before the local annual pumpkin festival we attended a few weeks ago.  He is the perfect little pumpkin! 

Apple Bars

3 large eggs
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cups, peeled and diced apples
1 tsp white sugar, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Beat the eggs for 2-3 minutes, with a mixer on medium speed, until they are starting to become frothy and pale yellow. Add the sugar and beat until combined.  Then mix in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.  Finally add the oil and beat until just combined.  Use a spatula to fold the apples into the batter.  Pour the batter into the baking dish and sprinkle the top with a little additional sugar.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Cool to room temperature before serving.