shrimp and noodles

ingredients (serves 4-6):
12 oz. cellophane (bean thread) noodles
1 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup peanut oil
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 head garlic, chopped
2 to 4 Thai chilies, seeded and sliced (or equivalent sriracha sauce)
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup fish sauce or soy sauce, plus more, to taste
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice, plus more, to taste
1/4 cup fresh Thai or sweet basil leaves


Place the noodles in a large bowl, add hot water to cover generously and let stand until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain the noodles and set aside.

Fill a saucepan three-fourths full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and boil just until they turn pink and curl, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and place under cold running water until cool. Set aside.

In a wok or large nonstick fry pan over high heat, warm the oil. Add the shallots and stir-fry for about 30 seconds to soften slightly. Add the garlic and the chilies (or sriracha) and continue to stir-fry until the shallots begin to color, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and stir-fry for 1 minute. Push the contents of the pan to one side, add the 1/4 cup fish sauce to the other side, let it bubble up for a second and then add the noodles. Quickly stir and toss to combine the noodles and fish sauce. Add the shrimp, toss to combine and sprinkle with the 2 Tbs. lime juice.

Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings with more fish sauce and/or lime juice. The dish should have a nice balance of salty, sour and hot. Add the basil and toss to mix well.

Transfer the noodle mixture to a platter or individual bowls and serve hot or at room temperature.

adapted from williams-sonoma recipe.


quinoa with black beans

ingredients (serves 2-4):
1 Tbs olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped and peeled
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 Tbs lime juice

In a medium pot, heat olive oil and brown garlic. Add quinoa and toast for 30 seconds, stirring. Add broth and spices, bringing everything to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and cover for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and add beans, parsley and lime juice.

adapted from this recipe.


spring (easter) nests

ingredients (makes 12):
1/4 cup butter
6 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups fried chow mein noodles
cadbury mini eggs (or jelly beans or peanut m&ms) --- for the "eggs"

melt butter and marshmallows over low heat in large pan. when smooth and bubbly, remove from heat. fold in noodles, shape by dropping by tablespoonfuls on to wax paper that has been sprayed with cooking spray. immediately press 3 "eggs" on to top of each mound, making it look like a bird's nest.

recipe from ben's mom.


mini frittatas

ingredients (makes 12):
2/3 Cup Asparagus thinly sliced on the diagonal
2/3 Cup Mixed Fresh Wild Mushrooms sliced to same thickness as the Asparagus
12 Eggs
1 Tbsp Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup shredded Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
6-10 Slices of Prosciutto halved lengthwise
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375˚ F. Over medium heat saute asparagus and mushroom in about 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper until water from mushrooms has evaporated but the vegetables are still al dente. Remove from heat.
Place one slice of prosciutto at the bottom of each muffin well. Wrap muffin wells with the halved prosciutto until the sides are covered.
Beat 12 eggs with 1 Tbsp of heavy cream with a fork. Gently fold in vegetables and cheese.
Pour egg mixture into muffin cups being careful not to let the prosciutto fall into the middle.
Cook for about 20 minutes or until eggs are set.
Serve immediately.

inspired by this recipe.