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Archive for September, 2014

Apple Coleslaw While searching for the perfect coleslaw recipe to go with some pulled pork that I made, I thought about a classic pairing: together apples and pork are a gastronomical match made in heaven. I wanted a coleslaw that combined the clean fruity flavors of crisp apples with the crunch of fresh cabbage. Colorful and perfectly balanced between sweet and tangy and crunchy and crispy, this coleslaw complemented the pulled pork wonderfully. Whether you eat it on the side or put it directly inside your pulled pork sandwich, you will want more!

Apple Coleslaw
Wolfgang Puck

INGREDIENTS
Poppy Seed Honey Dressing:
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salad Components:
1 medium cabbage, cored, finely shredded
2 large carrots, peeled, julienne
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely minced parsley leaves, optional
4 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, julienne

DIRECTIONS
1. Prepare the Poppy Seed Dressing. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients together until well blended. Set aside.

2. Prepare the salad. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, scallions, parsley, and apples.

3. Pour in the reserved dressing and toss until well blended. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving, mixing the salad at least once to evenly distribute the dressing.

Yields 6 to 8 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. To make this coleslaw more visually appealing, I substituted red cabbage for some of the green. I used 1 head of green cabbage and 1/2 head of red cabbage.

2. I doubled the entire recipe, but did not add in all the salad dressing when tossing. The coleslaw would have been too wet if I had. I also did not double the amount of salt in the dressing. Four teaspoons of salt just seemed like too much!

3. I grated the carrots with a coarse grater instead of cutting them into julienne strips. Even easier would be to buy a bag of shredded carrots at the grocery store.

4. While preparing the apple slices, make sure to toss any that have been cut into some of the salad dressing to prevent browning.

5. Try putting the slaw directly in a pulled pork sandwich. Delicious!

Enjoy!

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Jap Chae: Korean Glass Noodles “You will become addicted,” one of my Korean friends said while warning me about watching Korean soap operas. Addiction is an understatement. As a result of these soap operas, I find myself immersing in Korean culture to the point where I listen to Korean music (the lyrics of which I don’t completely understand), recognize aspects of Korean culture, and experiment with flavors and textures of Korean cuisine. One of my family’s favorite Korean noodle dishes is Jap Chae; it’s made from gluten-free sweet potato noodles and fresh vegetables. It’s delicious or, as they say in Korea, Mah Sit Sso Yo!

Jap Chae: Korean Glass Noodles
Steamy Kitchen

INGREDIENTS
1/2 pound dried Korean sweet potato noodles
2½ teaspoons sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon cooking oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 stalks green onions, cut into 1″ lengths
1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced (shitake or wood ear)
1/2 lb spinach, washed well and drained
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS
1. Fill a large pot with water and boil. When water is boiling, add the noodles and cook for 5 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again and toss with only 1 tsp of the sesame oil. Use kitchen shears to cut noodles into shorter pieces, about 8 inches in length. Set aside.

2. In bowl, mix soy sauce and sugar together. Set aside.

3. Add the cooking oil in a wok or large saute pan on high heat and swirl to coat. When the cooking oil is hot, but not smoking, fry onions and carrots, until just softened, about 1 minute.

4. Add the garlic, green onions and mushrooms, fry 30 seconds. Then add the spinach, soy sauce, sugar and the noodles. Fry 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked through. Turn off heat, toss with sesame seeds and the remaining 1½ tsp of sesame oil.

Serves 4

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Sweet potato vermicelli (dang myun), dried shitake mushrooms, and dried wood ears can be found in most Asian markets or can be ordered online.

2. If you are using dried shitake mushrooms or dried wood ears instead of fresh, they will need to be soaked in warm water for about 15 minutes to rehydrate them prior to using.

3. Sometimes when I feel lazy, I buy a bag of shredded carrots and a bag of prewashed baby spinach leaves at my local grocery store.

4. If you would like to add some beef to this dish, thin strips of beef can be partially stir fried in step 3 before adding the onions and carrots.

5. Thin slices of red bell peppers can also be added in step 4.

6. This noodle dish can be served at room temperature.

7. Because my family likes this dish, I always double the recipe.

Enjoy!

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Dog Dreams Sleeping next to her leash, my son’s dog Ruca dreams of going for a walk. There is much we can learn from dogs. One thing my dog taught me about life is that if you set your mind on something and work relentlessly at it, you might just achieve your goal. For my dog Romeo, it was chewing through metal containers of Altoids to get to the mints inside or deftly pulling all the files out of my husband’s briefcase, without messing up a single paper, to get to one pack of gum. Granted, dogs have very basic wants and needs. Humans have loftier and more complicated goals. We need to be like dogs and persevere at whatever dream we dream or goal we set for ourselves: finishing school, finding a job, kicking a habit, losing weight, etc. These all take dogged determination, but if dogs can make their dreams come true, why can’t we?

#1 – Never Give Up Charlie Brown
Charles Schulz and Perseverance No one knew more about persevering in life than the Peanuts cartoon character Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown reflected the thoughts and life of cartoonist Charles Schulz. He said of Peanuts, “If you read the strip, you would know me. Everything I am goes into the strip—all of my fears, my anxieties and my joys.” Despite all of the failures and rejections in his life, Charles Schulz never gave up. Read Charles Schulz and Perseverance for an insight into his life and where he got his inspiration from.

#2 – Life Hacks
41 Creative DIY Hacks to Improve Your Home I dream of simplifying my life, so whenever I see clever life hacks, I make note of them. 41 Creative DIY Hacks to Improve Your Home offers many ideas that I’ve not seen before. Having just inherited half a dozen magazine holders from my son, I will be transforming them into sandal and flip flop holders this weekend. Check out the ideas and see which ones will make your life better.

#3 – Aerial Photography and Designer Clothing
Aerial Photography and Designer Clothing In a series of photos, photographer Joseph Ford juxtaposes his aerial landscapes with designer clothing for interesting effect. Appreciate his use of the artistic elements of line, shape, form, space, color, texture and value in his work.

#4 – Head Up, Heart Strong
Cancer does not discriminate. We all know that. I sew blankets for an organization that supports children with cancer. Yet, when I learned several months ago that my cousin’s 17-year-old daughter had cancer, I was filled with disbelief. As Katherine or “Moi,” as most family and friends call her, began her senior year in high school this month, she reflected back on her recent battle with cancer. Declaring her mantra while going through treatment as “Head Up, Heart Strong,” she shared her thoughts in a touching and inspirational speech to her high school classmates. We can learn so much from her experience.

#5 – Lesson From Defeat
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
Maya Angelou

Now go and spread joy!

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Rosemary-Roasted Potato Salad Some of the best food in the world combine the simplest ingredients. Take this salad for example. Small new potatoes are roasted in oil and herbs until crisp and then tossed with fresh lemon juice and parsley. Sometimes I serve these potatoes as a breakfast side dish and sometimes I pair them up with a bowl of ranch dip and serve them as an appetizer. So savory. So versatile. So simple.

Rosemary-Roasted Potato Salad
Dinner Party by Jane Freiman

INGREDIENTS
3 medium shallots, peeled
1½ teaspoons fresh minced rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme leaves
Salt and ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper
1/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
3 pounds small new potatoes, rinsed and well-scrubbed
Juice of 1/2 medium lemon
1/4 cup minced parsley

DIRECTIONS
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Mince the shallots and put them in a small bowl with the rosemary, thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and the olive oil; stir well.

3. Quarter the potatoes and pat dry, and put them on a 13 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Pour the oil mixture over the potatoes and turn to coat potatoes completely. Roast the potatoes until they are browned and soft when pierced with a knife, turning them several times with a pancake spatula, about 35 to 40 minutes.

4. Cool potatoes to room temperature. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt pepper. Squeeze lemon juice over potatoes, sprinkle with parsley, and toss to mix thoroughly. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 6 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I like to use Italian parsley in this recipe.

2. The potatoes in the photograph were small, so I halved them instead of quartering them.

3. The cookbook author states, “The salad is most delicious at the point when the potatoes have just cooled to room temperature and some of the edges are still oven-crisp.”

Enjoy!

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Sewing Projects That Help Others Making dresses for Dress A Girl Around the World, fleece blankets for Keaton Raphael Memorial (supporting children with cancer), and wheelchair/walker bags for residents living in senior care facilities, leaves me feeling “sew” good. These sewing projects bring me joy and relieve my stress. Even though I was a so-so student in my junior high school home economics class, I think my teacher Miss Kister would be proud of my work now. My only regret is I wish I had paid more attention in class.

#1 – Sewing for Charities
Sewing for Charities If you currently enjoy sewing or want to dust off your sewing skills and sew for charities, do a Google search for projects or check out this Sewing Charity List from Cyberseams. Whether it’s making receiving blankets for babies, chemotherapy turbans for cancer patients, or toiletry kits for shelters, there’s bound to be a project that tugs at your heartstrings. And if you don’t know how to sew, don’t let that limit your ability to help.

#2- Happiness
Happiness: 10 Fascinating New Psychology Studies I often write about joy and happiness, because I think in our busy lives we undervalue those states of being. PsyBlog shares highlights from recent psychology studies on happiness in Happiness:10 Fascinating New Psychology Studies Everyone Should Know. An easy read with interesting information – now that makes me happy.

#3 – Nifty Fifty
50 Milkshake Recipes Seeing Food Network’s recipes for 50 Milkshakes reminded me of a tiny burger place in a nearby town. This little place has a milkshake menu almost as large as the restaurant itself. If a Lemon Meringue or a Toasted Marshmallow milkshake sound tempting to you, check out the recipes.

#4 – Scotland
15 Reasons  Why Scotland Must Be On Your Bucket List Although the descriptions are persuasive, the photos in 15 Reasons Why Scotland Must Be On Your Bucket List will get you packing your bags. Need someone to carry your bags? I might be available!

#5 – The Consequences of Your Actions
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there will be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Now go and spread joy!

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Lemon Mascarpone Gelato Looking at the bowl of ice cream sitting before you, you might think, “Plain old vanilla.” After first taste, however, you jump for joy at the bright lemon flavor that swims through your mouth. Together, fresh lemon and creamy mascarpone cheese form a delicious flavor combination reminiscent of cheesecake. Simply delightful!

Lemon Mascarpone Gelato
Max Falkowitz, Editor of Serious Eats:New York

INGREDIENTS
2 cups mascarpone cheese, chilled
1½ cups whole milk, chilled
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon fresh juice from 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

DIRECTIONS
1. In a large bowl, slowly whisk together all ingredients until well combined. If cheese and milk are not already chilled, chill mixture in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.

2. Transfer mixture to ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately as soft serve or chill in freezer for 4 hours for a firmer texture.

Yields: About 1 quart

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Mix the cheese and milk mixture together well, so that small lumps of mascarpone cheese don’t remain.

2. Because I have a large ice cream maker, I doubled the recipe.

Enjoy!

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September 5, 2014 Edition Stealthily, I tiptoe outside with a weapon in my hand. I spot my unsuspecting nemesis, take aim, and rush towards him. I’m armed with a fully loaded Super Soaker that my husband purchased on clearance. My target is a squirrel, one of many who are breaking the branches off of my delicate Japanese maple tree. Once back inside, I think to myself, “Really? It’s come to this, has it? I’m a grandmother shooting squirrels with a water gun.” Am I crazy?

#1 – Get Some Sleep!
12 Simple Ways to Improve Your Sleep Maybe if I got more sleep, I wouldn’t be so crazy. And it’s not just me, several of my female friends also have sleeping issues. Of course, I’m not saying they’re crazy, too. If you have issues falling asleep and staying asleep you might want to read 12 Simple Ways to Improve Your Sleep from Pick the Brain. It’s a good reminder on how to develop better sleeping practices.

#2 – Saving Space
17 Space-Saving Designs Storing two apartments’ worth of stuff in my home for my adult kids is driving me crazy. Stuff is everywhere. Knowing that my space situation is temporary, I still appreciate the clever designs in 17 Ingeniously Designed Products That Will Solve Your Space Problem.

#3 – What Matters?
Knowing what Matters the Most to You Life is crazy, but do you let the business of life dominate the meaning of life? It’s easy to get caught up in the details of the day and lose sight of the big picture, your life. The four tips from the article Knowing What Matters to You Instead of Living by Default will help you focus on what matters to you the most.

#4 – Generated Paper
Generate Your Own Specialized Papers When you need a specialty type of paper, like graph paper, children’s writing paper, or music paper, don’t go out to the store to buy them. Just print them up on your home computer. That’s the concept behind the website generatedpaper.com, where you can download templates for free. I haven’t tried to print any paper yet, so let me know what you think of this site.

#5 – Be Crazy
“Sometimes, the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy.”
Matt Nguyen

Now go and spread joy!

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