Chicken Teriyaki Noodles V2.0

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: Entrees

Previous incarnations of this were made with Kikkoman’s prefab teriyaki sauce. This one is made from a homemade sauce.


1 cup shoyu or tamari soy sauce
4 or 5 cloves of garlic (or 2 Tbsp garlic paste)
2 tbsp. ginger or ginger paste
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. Mirin (rice wine) or dry sherry
drained syrup from a can of mandarin oranges
1 Tbsp oil

Mix well and add 2 lbs chopped chicken breasts, and marinate for approximately an hour.

In the last 15 minutes or so, reconstitute 1.5 to 2 cups of dried shiitake mushrooms by putting them in 1.5 cups boiling water. (you can also used sliced button mushrooms)

Drain and reserve marinade from chicken pieces and saute in a large skillet with 2 Tbsp oil until cooked. Drain the liquid from the mushrooms and add to the marinade. Add the mushrooms to the chicken. While you’re doing this, cook a pound of noodles (farfalle or rotini work well, although any noodle will do).

When the chicken is done, remove from the pan, leaving remaining liquid behind. Add reserved marinade and bring to a boil – reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Mix:

1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 c water

and add it to the mixture, stirring until thick. Once thickened, set aside the sauce and add some more oil to the pan, and toss in the cooked chicken and diced bell peppers (preferably of mixed colors). Saute until the chicken starts to brown (about 5 minutes). Add the noodles and toss until well mixed, and then add the sauce, toss, and serve. Makes great leftovers and is tasty with Sriracha “rooster” sauce.

Perfect Margarita

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: drinks

This came about as the result of some kitchen chemistry experimentation after my lovely wife had a particularly frazzling day at the hands of our two toddlers. In her words, it “goes down way too easily”.

By popular request, here it is:

1 part tequila
1 part lime juice
1 part triple sec
1 part orange juice (this was my wife’s contribution, it added that last little bit that it needed – you could substitute any number of tropical juices for a little variety)
1 part water
1/2 part sugar (It’s best if you can make the water lukewarm and dissolve the sugar in it first)

In this particular case, each part was 1oz (2 tablespoons). One average-sized lime is about 1 oz of juice.

shake with ice and serve.

Beware, however – if serving this to large groups of margarita addicts, it’s probably best to make this a frozen margarita (1 part liquid, 2 parts ice), because otherwise they’ll be on the floor and wondering why they’re having trouble getting up again. The liquid part is roughly 13% ABV, and it goes down smooth enough that you don’t realize you’ve just had two threesix of them.

Marriage Proposal Cheesecake

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: dessert

This is a rich chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate shortbread crust and is a favourite of mine (and all my friends) that is a frequent request both for the recipe and the end product.

It has, in fact, garnered me a few marriage proposals (and at least one parental blessing – as well as a few retroactive ones). It has also received a seal of approval from several pregnant women (including my lovely wife – hi, honey!) It is also substantially cheaper and more enjoyable (and possibly more effective) than Prozac. Also makes a good peace offering.

Recently, my grandmother stopped by to get some photos, and I offered her some, having made yet another one…

She had this look of utter bliss on her face once she took a bite. Said something about her two favourite things rolled into one, and it had never occurred to her to combine the two. (the chocoholic part of my genes runs DEEP) She asked me if I was willing to share the recipe. Asked me where I found it, and was visibly proud when I said it was my own creation, a distillation of several recipes. She also mentioned something about this going over really well at church suppers.

Most people rave about their grandmother’s recipes… I’ve got a grandmother who will happily rave about her grandson’s recipes…


Soften 1/2 cup butter to room temperature

Preheat oven to 350°F

Cream the butter until it’s soft and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup icing sugar.

Stir in a pinch of salt, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and 3/4 cup flour and mix well. If the dough is too soft, chill in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes. Line a springform pan with the dough, bake for 10 minutes and set it aside while you make the filling.


Soften 3 bricks (24 oz) of cream cheese. Combine with 1.5 cups sugar and 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract. Mix (at medium speed if using an electric mixer) until it’s smooth and creamy. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.

stir 1 cup cocoa powder and blend until smooth and uniform.

Pour the filling into crust (be sure to leave enough in the bowl for licking!) and bake it for about 40 minutes above a 9″x13″ pan with 1/2″ water (this helps prevents cracking). When done (cheesecake should be reasonably firm), open the oven door and let the cheesecake cool down slowly with the oven. When the cake has cooled, chill in the refrigerator.

Serve with a tall glass of milk or several 🙂

Stewed Tomato Salmon

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: Entrees

This one’s from the archives…

This is yummy on a cold night… My 3-year-old daughter ate an adult portion.

3 T Olive oil
2 t chopped garlic
2 pounds salmon fillets
2 T chopped onion
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/4 C dry sherry
1 T dried parsley (or 2T chopped fresh)
1/2 T dried basil (or 1T chopped fresh)
1 t salt

Heat oil and sauté garlic, and then fry salmon fillets for a minute on each side. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.

Pesto primavera noodles

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: Entrees

This is a recipe with good whipuptitude. The object of the game was to use up as many ingredients as I could from the fridge.

Boil a pot of noodles. I used egg noodles, but any noodle will do, and penne would probably be ideal.

While the noodles are cooking, sauté the rest of the ingredients in a pan with some olive oil. Tonight’s ingredients were:

From the CSA:
Sliced zucchini and summer squash
Sliced onions
Julienned carrots

From the fridge:
Chopped garlic
Cooked chicken breast

From the garden:

Salt to taste and toss with the noodles along with the cup of pesto left over from the other night.

Other things that would be good in this:
Sun-dried tomatoes (or toss in some fresh ones without cooking them)

Total prep and cook time was around 15 minutes.

Thai Basil Chicken

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: Entrees

I’ve always been a fan of this dish, and have spent a long time trying to find a recipe that I like that lives up to what I frequently order in Thai restaurants. I think I’ve found one that comes pretty close. This one comes to us courtesy of Kasma Loha-unchit. I’ve listed the ingredients here, follow the link for the full instructions.

  • 2-3 Tbs. peanut oil for stir-frying
  • 10-12 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2-3 shallots, thinly sliced (or substitute with 1/2 cup sliced onion) – optional
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken thighs, coarsely chopped, or cut into small bite-size pieces
  • 12-20 Thai chillies (prik kee noo), cut into very thin rounds; or substitute 4-6 serrano, jalapeño or fresno peppers, cut into large slivers with seeds
  • 2 small kaffir lime leaves (bai ma-gkrood), very finely slivered (optional)
  • 2-3 tsp. black soy sauce (the semi-sweet kind), or to taste
  • 2 Tbs. fish sauce (nam bplah), or to taste
  • 1 cup fresh Thai holy basil (bai gka-prow), or Thai sweet basil (bai horapa) leaves and flower buds; or use 1/4 cup dried holy basil, soaked to soften plus 1/2 to 1 cup fresh Thai sweet basil (bai horapa)
  • Dash of ground white pepper

Any recipe that calls for garlic and basil in those kinds of quantities is my kind of food. Even at that, I think the recipe was still weak on the garlic. Sadly, since my wife and children aren’t as gung-ho for spicy Thai food as I am, I made this with some canned mild green chillies for the pepper flavour, and then added Sriracha (“Rooster Sauce”) to mine after serving. It’s not the same as adding Thai peppers to the original fry, but it’ll have to do.

Cedar-grilled pesto salmon

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: Entrees

This summer has seen a new arrival at my house – a garden! We ended up with way more dirt than we’d planned on, so we took some extra retaining wall stones and created a garden. Since it was a rather hasty thing, I didn’t go through the extra trouble of building the wall properly, and we essentially took them and made a 2-course wall around a pile of dirt. From above, it looks like a footprint without toes!

We took a trip out to my dad’s place to get some vegetable plants and whatnot to populate our new patch of dirt. I almost forgot to get the herbs, but I’m thankful that I remembered at the last minute. When we returned from a brief family trip to Denver last weekend, I found that the basil plants had gone NUTS (those are the ones in the foreground, behind the marigolds). About the only thing you can do with basil in those kinds of quantities is pesto, unless you happen to be my four-year-old daughter who will just walk up to a basil plant, pluck a leaf, and start munching. That apple sure didn’t fall far from the tree!

I have a few different varieties of basil in our garden patch. The two that have gone crazy are the “Sweet Dani” lemon basil, as well what one normally thinks of as a basil plant, of the “Nufar” variety. To harvest basil, my dad tells me, cut it right above the leaves and discard the flowers. Every place you cut will sprout two new stalks. If you make sure to cut off the flower stalks regularly, your basil plant will become quite large. After trying this on my lemon basil plant (which could have easily hidden a basketball), I just decided to lop it off near the base and let it start over. After I got the leaves plucked off it, I was left with several woody stalks and a large bowl of basil.

Now, those who are familiar with my kitchen antics will be the first to tell you that I consider recipes to be a rather loose guideline and openly subject to interpretation. Working off a recipe I found from Diana’s Kitchen, I started stuffing my large bowl full of basil leaves into my small food processor. After making the whole thing with considerably more (about 10x) garlic than the recipe calls for, I decided that using it with just lemon basil wasn’t “pesto-y” enough, and added a handful of the regular sweet basil leaves. Perfection was achieved after adding a little salt.

That was the hard part. The next phase involved taking a cedar grilling plank (I get mine from Costco, ($10 for a deck of six). Using a grilling plank involves soaking the plank for about half an hour before use (both to moisten the grilling heat and to keep the plank from being totally incinerated). Since I was using frozen salmon fillets in this case (also from Costco), it was convenient to fill the sink with cool water and dunk the salmon packages in the water along with the plank – by the time the plank is ready, the salmon is thawed enough to cook.

I then took the soaked plank (the package says you can also soak the plank in beer or wine or any number of tasty things), I put a generous dollop of pesto underneath each fillet, lightly salted the top of the fish, and put another dollop of pesto on top. If you’re using a whole fillet, you can make a strip of pesto instead of dollops. Once the internal temperature of the grill reached around 450F, I put the plank in for about 15 minutes, until the salmon was what one would consider “medium well”. When grilling with cedar planks, it’s best not to open the grill unless absolutely necessary, to keep the moisture and smoke in the chamber. The neighbourhood was smelling lovely with the combined aroma of the cedar smoke and the roasting pesto.

Dinner was served with some mixed greens salad from our local CSA and a cucumber from the aforementioned garden.

(Oh, did I mention Costco? They have pine nuts, too!)