Friday, September 28, 2012

Wanna watch me on New Day Cleveland?!

Hello friends!  The lovely people of New Day Cleveland uploaded yesterday's appearance onto Youtube for all of those that missed it Live!  And you know what- this is the first time I can actually watch myself without cringing.  I just may be getting used to this Live thing.  :)  I can't chat long, I have little boys that need to run around outside and burn some energy!  But I will be back to fill you in on all the fun-ness of yesterday!  Thanks again for all your awesome support! xoxo

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Udon Noodle Salad with a Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette

3's a Charm!  Today I am making my third guest appearance on the television show New Day Cleveland!  I don't think I could ever get tired of this much fun!  This morning they asked me to share a recipe that is great for getting back into the school mode.  Right away I thought of my Udon Peanut Noodles.  It is something simple to prepare with all of the new schedules us as parents are trying to juggle, but also great for the learning minds!  This recipe is on a very regular rotation in our home.  I could probably eat this on a weekly basis, no joke!  We LOVE it!

This is a chilled pasta dish, easily working perfect packed in the lunch boxes giving a nice change up to the sandwich they normally might carry.  The sauce is made with peanut butter, which kids seem to get a kick out of!  But the recipe is also chock full of vegetables and lean protein that makes us more then happy to serve it to them!  It is a meal I can feel good about giving and also enjoy eating myself!

There is a slight spice but nothing that my own children feel is too hot.  But please feel free to adjust to your families preferences!

There is a similar recipe I have already shared with you, but this one I did some tweaking and love it even better.  I made the sauce lighter, more vibrant and better for a cold dish. I hope you all love it as much as we do!

Udon Noodle Salad with a Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette

For the Noodles:
1 Package Thick Udon Noodles, cooked according to package directions, then chilled (spaghetti or linguine would also work just fine)
The meat from one prepared rotisserie chicken, chopped
2 Cups carrots, julienned (I bought the bag in the produce aisle all prepped for me already)
2 Cups english cucumber, julienned
2 Cups cabbage, shredded (again, I used the coleslaw bag in the produce department)
4 green onions sliced, white and green parts
2 Cups Sugar Snap Peas
2 Cups bean sprouts
2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds, toasted
3/4 Cup shelled peanuts, chopped

Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
Makes 1 cup

1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
4 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated (or 1 tsp. dry ground)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Add all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a hand blender (or stand up blender), mix everything until smooth, about 30 seconds.

You may also use a hand whisk to make the vinaigrette, although the blender makes quicker work of it! If you do not own a blender, microwave peanut butter for 15 seconds, softening to make mixing easier. Add to remaining vinaigrette ingredients. Whisk everything until fully incorporated and beginning to froth. Set aside.

In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook the udon noodles for about 5-7 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse the noodles under cold running water. Set aside.

Using a DRY large frying pan, heat the sesame seeds on Medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally. Remove from pan when they begin to turn a light brown and become fragrant (about 3-5 minutes). Do not allow to burn!

Combine the cooked noodles, chicken, cucumber, sprouts, carrot, green onions, sugar snap peas, peanuts and toasted sesame seeds, reserving some of the veggies and sesame seeds and peanuts for garnish. Pour the Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette over the salad. Toss until well coated.

Serve chilled, garnished with the reserved veggies, peanuts and sesame seeds. Don't forget to have Sriracha on the side for those who like to add a little extra heat! Yum!

I will be back to share of my awesome experience and also to post a link of my clip for all of you that may have missed it!  See you soon!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Very Good News!

Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could

Somewhere in my youth
Or childhood
I must have done something...
Something good

Well here I am!  Again feeling proud and honored that the lovely people of New Day Cleveland have invited me back to cook with them for a 3rd time!  It is 10:30pm the night before going on air and while a part of me can't control the butterflies that are flying like mad in my tummy, another part of me feels as though I should be standing on the beautiful sunny hills with my arms spread open wide singing The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music!  I am so darn excited and happy!

Please cheer me on and pray that all goes smoothly, or at least that I am good at laughing at myself afterwards ;)  How does one ever get used to Live television?!!

Either way I can, without a doubt, say that these experiences are a few of My Favorite Things..... Along with brown paper packages tied up with string, cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudel!

By the way did I ever mention that I was born a Trapp?  I always hoped and dreamed that I was one of the real VonTrapp's back in the day... so I just couldn't help myself referencing The Sound of Music tonight.  One of the best movies Ever Made.  I also always hoped I could sing like Julie Andrews, but that is another post for another day..... Hahaha.

So please join me Live or set your DVR's for tomorrow, September 27, bright and early on Fox 8 at 10:00am on New Day Cleveland!  See you then!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Soup

Hot Wings.  Just thinking the word makes my juices start and there you go- Forget it.  I have a full blown taste for those delicious little guys that won't be satisfied until I have about a dozen in my belly!  They are one of my favorite foods ever!  Who doesn't love wings?  That spicy, addicting flavor is always a hit at parties.  And with Football Season upon us what a perfect time to add a new recipe to your Party Cookbook?!  It tastes exactly like Buffalo Chicken Wings only it is way less messy *grin*.  I can guarantee that this soup will be gobbled up in seconds flat, so I highly recommend making a double batch!  It is that good.  You will be the Hit of the party for sure!  If you are making it for dinner I suggest serving it alongside a garden salad topped with Blue Cheese or Ranch style salad dressing.

When making the soup, start with only a 1/4 of a cup of Franks Hot Sauce, and then go up from there.  If you aren't into spice, but love the flavor, a 1/4 of a cup will be perfect for you.  But if you like heat and spice like we do then 1/2 cup is a great amount.  You can always put the bottle on the table and people can add more to suit their own personal taste.  Don't forget, it is always easier to add more!

Buffalo Chicken Soup
recipe adapted from allrecipes

1/4 cup butter (1 stick)
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup half and half or whole milk
3 cups chicken stock
2-3 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or 2- 12.5 oz. cans of chicken)
1/4-1/2 Cup Franks Hot Sauce, depending on spice preference
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
blue cheese crumbles and fresh flat leaf parsley for garnish

Melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium-high heat and the celery and onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and allow to cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes more.

Slowly stir the half-and-half and chicken stock into the mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time allowing the mixture to thicken before adding more. Once all the liquid is added,
stir in the chicken, Franks Hot Sauce, and Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Stirring occasionally, allow the soup to simmer until the the cheese has melted completely, about 10 minutes. Add up to an additional 1 cup of water or chicken stock to reach your desired soup thickness.

Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with crumbles of blue cheese and fresh flat leaf parsley. Serve with a garden salad topped with Blue Cheese or Ranch Style dressing.


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