Asian Noodle Pork with Bok Choy

Normally when I go to the grocery store I stick to my shopping list; the one exception being loss leader items (sale items we use often). During a shopping trip I found the bok choy too tempting to pass by. These mini green lettuce type vegetables looked so beautiful I just had to alter the week’s menu to accomodate them.

I never gave bok choy a second look until I met a friend of mine, approved Daravahn, who is from Loas. She used them all the time in stir-fry and soup. Bok Choy is a type of cabbage often used in Chinese cooking. It is believed to be one of the oldest vegetables in the Chinese diet.

To prepare the bok choy for cooking, start by trimming the end of the stem off. Separate and wash. Cut the green leaf parts from the cream colored stem. Because the stem takes longer to cook always cook the stems first.

4 pork chops
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 baby bok choy
6 cups chicken stock, or equal parts vegetable and chicken stocks
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch Cayenne pepper
1 pound noodles

Season 4 chops with salt and pepper. Cut into strips.

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Cook pork chops 3-5 minutes (depending on how thick they are) each side. Remove.

Add onions. Cook 3 minutes or until tender.
Add baby bok choy stems; cooking until tender. Add leaves, cook until wilted. Remove bok choy.

Add 6 cups broth, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp ginger ground, pinch cyanne pepper, and 1 tsp seseame oil to hot pan. Bring to a boil, add 1 pound noodles. When tender return pork and bok choy to pan. Serve with green onions.

Shanghainese Wonton Soup

Whenever I am in the mood to cook Italian I always turn to my favorite Napa Valley Chef, more about Micheal Chiarello. His recipes are always clean and full of flavor. This recipe for Potato Gnocchi does not disappoint. Gnocchi [pronounced ‘Nyoke-ee’] is a type of dumpling made from semolina or wheat flours or starchy potatoes or sweet potatoes. It is not uncommon to find recipes that mix part potato with squash or spinach. Gnocchi are to the Italians what french fries are to the Americans. Everyone loves them. The dough is so light and fluffy it is like biting into a cloud; they practically melt in your mouth. Gnocchi was first introduced by Roman Legions during the expansion into Europe. It was a quick cheap side dish favored mostly in Northern Italy but now is enjoyed throughout the Middle East and South America.

Now, view for the important part: the tips of trade for making perfect gnocchi. Michael prefers to bake the potatoes. It is perfectly fine to boil the potatoes however you must follow these important guidelines.

1. When boiling the potatoes for potato gnocchi you want to cook the potatoes WHOLE with SKINS ON. If you peel and cut the potatoes before boiling they will absorb too much water resulting in mush.

2. Do not over cook the potatoes. Test the potatoes by piercing one with a fork or knife. If it is hard then it needs to cook longer. A fork should be able to insert easily and the potato slowly slip off. (About 30-45 minutes) Lay the potatoes on a board or towel to cool slightly before peeling.

3. Use a potato ricer or push the cooked potato through a strainer. Mashing the potatoes creates mashed potatoes. Gnocchi begins as a light dough. Pushing the potatoes through a strainer or ricer is what gives the gnocchi the airy texture.

The dough should be gently handled similar to when making biscuits or pie crusts or even meatballs. Everything is folded in mixing until just blended. This is not a pasta or bread dough so avoid kneading the dough too much. Add the flour a little bit at a time until the dough holds together. Do not add too much flour. Once the dough is ready you can either cut the dough then cook or shape the cut pieces using the tines of a fork. The indentations created by rolling the dough on the fork is key to holding the sauce. The end result? Absolute heaven. There are many ways to serve gnocchi. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the recipe for delicious ideas. Click here for a step by step tutorial from making the dough to rolling them.

Source: Michael Chiarello
Kosher salt
1 pound russet potatoes
3 to 4 large egg yolks,
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon gray salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting board and dough

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Spread a layer of kosher salt on a baking sheet and arrange the potatoes on top (see Cook’s Note). Bake until a bit overcooked, about 45 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle, cut in half, and scoop out the flesh. Reserve the potato skins, if desired, for another use. Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or grate them on the large holes of a box grater. You should have about 2 cups.

Make a mound of potatoes on the counter or in a bowl with a well in the middle, add 3 of the egg yolks, the cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix in the potatoes and mix well with hands. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour over the potatoes and, using your knuckles, press it into the potatoes. Fold the mass over on itself and press down again. Sprinkle on more flour, little by little, folding and pressing the dough until it just holds together, (try not to knead it.) Work any dough clinging to your fingers back into the dough.

If the mixture is too dry, add another egg yolk or a little water. The dough should give under slight pressure. It will feel firm but yielding. To test if the dough is the correct consistency, take a piece and roll it with your hands on a well-floured board into a rope 1/2-inch in diameter. If the dough holds together, it is ready. If not, add more flour, fold and press the dough several more times, and test again.

Keeping your work surface and the dough lightly floured, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut into 1/2-inch-long pieces. Lightly flour the gnocchi as you cut them.

To shape use a gnocchi board or the tines of a  fork turned upside down. Rest the bottom edge of the gnocchi board (or the back of a fork) on the work surface, then tilt it at about a 45 degree angle. Take each piece and squish it lightly with your thumb against the board while simultaneously pushing it away from you. As you shape the gnocchi, dust them lightly with flour.

When ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a light boil and add salt. Drop in the gnocchi and cook for about 30 seconds from the time they rise to the surface. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a skimmer, shake off the excess water, and serve as desired.

Cook’s Note:
Baking potatoes on a layer of salt allows heat to circulate 360 degrees. Scrape the salt into a jar and reuse it again and again. If you do not have time to shape the gnocchi, you can freeze the dough, defrost it in the refrigerator, and then shape it. To freeze shaped gnocchi, line baking sheets with waxed paper and dust with flour. Spread the gnocchi on the prepared sheets and freeze until hard. Remove to individual-portion-size freezer bags. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. To cook, drop the frozen gnocchi into boiling salted water. Cook for about 2 minutes after they rise to the surface.

Dazzledish Variations:
– Baked Gnocchi: Prepare gnocchi as directed above. Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over low heat. When melted stir in 2 tablespoons flour until smooth. Slowly add 1 cup milk whisking until smooth. Continue to heat sauce until slightly thickened about 5 minutes. Then add 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Place cooked gnocchi in a casserole dish. Pour sauce over gnocchi. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
– Sprinkle gnocchi with 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese then drizzle with 1/2 cup heavy cream. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
– Simmer gnocchi in chicken stock with chopped celery and carrots to make dumpling soup. Garnish with chopped scallions.
– Heat 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat until slightly browned. Toss with gnocchi.
– Serve Gnocchi with marinara sauce.
– Use in the place of pasta.

Whenever I am in the mood to cook Italian I always turn to my favorite Napa Valley Chef, more about Micheal Chiarello. His recipes are always clean and full of flavor. This recipe for Potato Gnocchi does not disappoint. Gnocchi [pronounced ‘Nyoke-ee’] is a type of dumpling made from semolina or wheat flours or starchy potatoes or sweet potatoes. It is not uncommon to find recipes that mix part potato with squash or spinach. Gnocchi are to the Italians what french fries are to the Americans. Everyone loves them. The dough is so light and fluffy it is like biting into a cloud; they practically melt in your mouth. Gnocchi was first introduced by Roman Legions during the expansion into Europe. It was a quick cheap side dish favored mostly in Northern Italy but now is enjoyed throughout the Middle East and South America.

Now, view for the important part: the tips of trade for making perfect gnocchi. Michael prefers to bake the potatoes. It is perfectly fine to boil the potatoes however you must follow these important guidelines.

1. When boiling the potatoes for potato gnocchi you want to cook the potatoes WHOLE with SKINS ON. If you peel and cut the potatoes before boiling they will absorb too much water resulting in mush.

2. Do not over cook the potatoes. Test the potatoes by piercing one with a fork or knife. If it is hard then it needs to cook longer. A fork should be able to insert easily and the potato slowly slip off. (About 30-45 minutes) Lay the potatoes on a board or towel to cool slightly before peeling.

3. Use a potato ricer or push the cooked potato through a strainer. Mashing the potatoes creates mashed potatoes. Gnocchi begins as a light dough. Pushing the potatoes through a strainer or ricer is what gives the gnocchi the airy texture.

The dough should be gently handled similar to when making biscuits or pie crusts or even meatballs. Everything is folded in mixing until just blended. This is not a pasta or bread dough so avoid kneading the dough too much. Add the flour a little bit at a time until the dough holds together. Do not add too much flour. Once the dough is ready you can either cut the dough then cook or shape the cut pieces using the tines of a fork. The indentations created by rolling the dough on the fork is key to holding the sauce. The end result? Absolute heaven. There are many ways to serve gnocchi. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the recipe for delicious ideas. Click here for a step by step tutorial from making the dough to rolling them.

Source: Michael Chiarello
Kosher salt
1 pound russet potatoes
3 to 4 large egg yolks,
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon gray salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting board and dough

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Spread a layer of kosher salt on a baking sheet and arrange the potatoes on top (see Cook’s Note). Bake until a bit overcooked, about 45 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle, cut in half, and scoop out the flesh. Reserve the potato skins, if desired, for another use. Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or grate them on the large holes of a box grater. You should have about 2 cups.

Make a mound of potatoes on the counter or in a bowl with a well in the middle, add 3 of the egg yolks, the cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix in the potatoes and mix well with hands. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour over the potatoes and, using your knuckles, press it into the potatoes. Fold the mass over on itself and press down again. Sprinkle on more flour, little by little, folding and pressing the dough until it just holds together, (try not to knead it.) Work any dough clinging to your fingers back into the dough.

If the mixture is too dry, add another egg yolk or a little water. The dough should give under slight pressure. It will feel firm but yielding. To test if the dough is the correct consistency, take a piece and roll it with your hands on a well-floured board into a rope 1/2-inch in diameter. If the dough holds together, it is ready. If not, add more flour, fold and press the dough several more times, and test again.

Keeping your work surface and the dough lightly floured, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut into 1/2-inch-long pieces. Lightly flour the gnocchi as you cut them.

To shape use a gnocchi board or the tines of a  fork turned upside down. Rest the bottom edge of the gnocchi board (or the back of a fork) on the work surface, then tilt it at about a 45 degree angle. Take each piece and squish it lightly with your thumb against the board while simultaneously pushing it away from you. As you shape the gnocchi, dust them lightly with flour.

When ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a light boil and add salt. Drop in the gnocchi and cook for about 30 seconds from the time they rise to the surface. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a skimmer, shake off the excess water, and serve as desired.

Cook’s Note:
Baking potatoes on a layer of salt allows heat to circulate 360 degrees. Scrape the salt into a jar and reuse it again and again. If you do not have time to shape the gnocchi, you can freeze the dough, defrost it in the refrigerator, and then shape it. To freeze shaped gnocchi, line baking sheets with waxed paper and dust with flour. Spread the gnocchi on the prepared sheets and freeze until hard. Remove to individual-portion-size freezer bags. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. To cook, drop the frozen gnocchi into boiling salted water. Cook for about 2 minutes after they rise to the surface.

Dazzledish Variations:
– Baked Gnocchi: Prepare gnocchi as directed above. Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over low heat. When melted stir in 2 tablespoons flour until smooth. Slowly add 1 cup milk whisking until smooth. Continue to heat sauce until slightly thickened about 5 minutes. Then add 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Place cooked gnocchi in a casserole dish. Pour sauce over gnocchi. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
– Sprinkle gnocchi with 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese then drizzle with 1/2 cup heavy cream. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
– Simmer gnocchi in chicken stock with chopped celery and carrots to make dumpling soup. Garnish with chopped scallions.
– Heat 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat until slightly browned. Toss with gnocchi.
– Serve Gnocchi with marinara sauce.
– Use in the place of pasta.

It seems uncanny the things of memory that bring light to our eyes. My summers as a kid were fantastic. It was not all about getting away from the confines of school; although, prostate I am sure that was a great source of my happiness. I was glad to have the wind in my hair and the grass between my toes. The majority of each summer was spent alternating between my Aunt Sandra’s house and my Aunt Ruth’s. Both lived in rural areas of Florida. My Aunt Sandra lived north of Tampa in the small town of Brooksville. Her house was nestled on a spacious piece of land on the outskirts of town. When we were younger my cousin Jean boarded a horse on part of the land. It was a real treat to feed the horse sugar cubes and carrots. The horse was old; still Jean would let us climb on for a short jaunt around the yard.

During the week when my Aunt had to work the house served as a base station for our mini day trips. The days we stayed in were spent lounging around watching movie rentals, cure playing games, or listening to music. At night after dinner we would take a walk around “the loop”. The exercise helped to loosen our belt after stuffing our bellies. It also served as an outlet for our wiggles. With flash lights in hand we half jogged and half walked the mile long loop. Of the many memories I have while visiting my Aunt’s house walking the loop is one of my favorites.

The years preceding having children up until five years ago we always enjoyed a walk in the evening. It was a way to unwind from the day. Schedules changed and other aspects of life got in the way. Or rather we allowed them to get in the way. So, we stopped walking. Months ago I was reminded of how much we used to look forward to our nightly walk together. A friend of mine had mentioned she and her husband had stopped by while on their nightly walk to say hi. Letting go of that time together is an activity we miss greatly. So in recent months we have tried to institute the tradition of nightly walks again.

Even though walking is a form of exercise it is a relaxing way to improve energy levels and boost your mood. Walking in the evening helps to unwind the body relieving the stress of the day.

soothing activity that can help you unwind and clear away any negative or stressful thoughts
Whenever I am in the mood to cook Italian I always turn to my favorite Napa Valley Chef, more about Micheal Chiarello. His recipes are always clean and full of flavor. This recipe for Potato Gnocchi does not disappoint. Gnocchi [pronounced ‘Nyoke-ee’] is a type of dumpling made from semolina or wheat flours or starchy potatoes or sweet potatoes. It is not uncommon to find recipes that mix part potato with squash or spinach. Gnocchi are to the Italians what french fries are to the Americans. Everyone loves them. The dough is so light and fluffy it is like biting into a cloud; they practically melt in your mouth. Gnocchi was first introduced by Roman Legions during the expansion into Europe. It was a quick cheap side dish favored mostly in Northern Italy but now is enjoyed throughout the Middle East and South America.

Now, view for the important part: the tips of trade for making perfect gnocchi. Michael prefers to bake the potatoes. It is perfectly fine to boil the potatoes however you must follow these important guidelines.

1. When boiling the potatoes for potato gnocchi you want to cook the potatoes WHOLE with SKINS ON. If you peel and cut the potatoes before boiling they will absorb too much water resulting in mush.

2. Do not over cook the potatoes. Test the potatoes by piercing one with a fork or knife. If it is hard then it needs to cook longer. A fork should be able to insert easily and the potato slowly slip off. (About 30-45 minutes) Lay the potatoes on a board or towel to cool slightly before peeling.

3. Use a potato ricer or push the cooked potato through a strainer. Mashing the potatoes creates mashed potatoes. Gnocchi begins as a light dough. Pushing the potatoes through a strainer or ricer is what gives the gnocchi the airy texture.

The dough should be gently handled similar to when making biscuits or pie crusts or even meatballs. Everything is folded in mixing until just blended. This is not a pasta or bread dough so avoid kneading the dough too much. Add the flour a little bit at a time until the dough holds together. Do not add too much flour. Once the dough is ready you can either cut the dough then cook or shape the cut pieces using the tines of a fork. The indentations created by rolling the dough on the fork is key to holding the sauce. The end result? Absolute heaven. There are many ways to serve gnocchi. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the recipe for delicious ideas. Click here for a step by step tutorial from making the dough to rolling them.

Source: Michael Chiarello
Kosher salt
1 pound russet potatoes
3 to 4 large egg yolks,
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon gray salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting board and dough

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Spread a layer of kosher salt on a baking sheet and arrange the potatoes on top (see Cook’s Note). Bake until a bit overcooked, about 45 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle, cut in half, and scoop out the flesh. Reserve the potato skins, if desired, for another use. Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or grate them on the large holes of a box grater. You should have about 2 cups.

Make a mound of potatoes on the counter or in a bowl with a well in the middle, add 3 of the egg yolks, the cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix in the potatoes and mix well with hands. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour over the potatoes and, using your knuckles, press it into the potatoes. Fold the mass over on itself and press down again. Sprinkle on more flour, little by little, folding and pressing the dough until it just holds together, (try not to knead it.) Work any dough clinging to your fingers back into the dough.

If the mixture is too dry, add another egg yolk or a little water. The dough should give under slight pressure. It will feel firm but yielding. To test if the dough is the correct consistency, take a piece and roll it with your hands on a well-floured board into a rope 1/2-inch in diameter. If the dough holds together, it is ready. If not, add more flour, fold and press the dough several more times, and test again.

Keeping your work surface and the dough lightly floured, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut into 1/2-inch-long pieces. Lightly flour the gnocchi as you cut them.

To shape use a gnocchi board or the tines of a  fork turned upside down. Rest the bottom edge of the gnocchi board (or the back of a fork) on the work surface, then tilt it at about a 45 degree angle. Take each piece and squish it lightly with your thumb against the board while simultaneously pushing it away from you. As you shape the gnocchi, dust them lightly with flour.

When ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a light boil and add salt. Drop in the gnocchi and cook for about 30 seconds from the time they rise to the surface. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a skimmer, shake off the excess water, and serve as desired.

Cook’s Note:
Baking potatoes on a layer of salt allows heat to circulate 360 degrees. Scrape the salt into a jar and reuse it again and again. If you do not have time to shape the gnocchi, you can freeze the dough, defrost it in the refrigerator, and then shape it. To freeze shaped gnocchi, line baking sheets with waxed paper and dust with flour. Spread the gnocchi on the prepared sheets and freeze until hard. Remove to individual-portion-size freezer bags. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. To cook, drop the frozen gnocchi into boiling salted water. Cook for about 2 minutes after they rise to the surface.

Dazzledish Variations:
– Baked Gnocchi: Prepare gnocchi as directed above. Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over low heat. When melted stir in 2 tablespoons flour until smooth. Slowly add 1 cup milk whisking until smooth. Continue to heat sauce until slightly thickened about 5 minutes. Then add 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Place cooked gnocchi in a casserole dish. Pour sauce over gnocchi. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
– Sprinkle gnocchi with 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese then drizzle with 1/2 cup heavy cream. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
– Simmer gnocchi in chicken stock with chopped celery and carrots to make dumpling soup. Garnish with chopped scallions.
– Heat 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat until slightly browned. Toss with gnocchi.
– Serve Gnocchi with marinara sauce.
– Use in the place of pasta.

It seems uncanny the things of memory that bring light to our eyes. My summers as a kid were fantastic. It was not all about getting away from the confines of school; although, prostate I am sure that was a great source of my happiness. I was glad to have the wind in my hair and the grass between my toes. The majority of each summer was spent alternating between my Aunt Sandra’s house and my Aunt Ruth’s. Both lived in rural areas of Florida. My Aunt Sandra lived north of Tampa in the small town of Brooksville. Her house was nestled on a spacious piece of land on the outskirts of town. When we were younger my cousin Jean boarded a horse on part of the land. It was a real treat to feed the horse sugar cubes and carrots. The horse was old; still Jean would let us climb on for a short jaunt around the yard.

During the week when my Aunt had to work the house served as a base station for our mini day trips. The days we stayed in were spent lounging around watching movie rentals, cure playing games, or listening to music. At night after dinner we would take a walk around “the loop”. The exercise helped to loosen our belt after stuffing our bellies. It also served as an outlet for our wiggles. With flash lights in hand we half jogged and half walked the mile long loop. Of the many memories I have while visiting my Aunt’s house walking the loop is one of my favorites.

The years preceding having children up until five years ago we always enjoyed a walk in the evening. It was a way to unwind from the day. Schedules changed and other aspects of life got in the way. Or rather we allowed them to get in the way. So, we stopped walking. Months ago I was reminded of how much we used to look forward to our nightly walk together. A friend of mine had mentioned she and her husband had stopped by while on their nightly walk to say hi. Letting go of that time together is an activity we miss greatly. So in recent months we have tried to institute the tradition of nightly walks again.

Even though walking is a form of exercise it is a relaxing way to improve energy levels and boost your mood. Walking in the evening helps to unwind the body relieving the stress of the day.

soothing activity that can help you unwind and clear away any negative or stressful thoughts

Wonton soup is always on the menu for Chinese New Year mostly because it is my favorite. The simple broth with a small wrapped up surprise is delicious and comforting on a cold winters day.

Dinner time topic? What would you wish for if you could have one wish?

Source: Joylicious

Makes 48-55 wontons

7 oz shrimp, website shelled
14 oz ground pork
1 package wonton wrappers
1/2 egg white
1 tablespoon corn strach
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
——-

6 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
cilantro and green onion, chopped for garnish
1 teaspoon salt

Wash the shrimp, squeeze out the excess moisture and chop coarsely. Mix together with the ground pork, egg white, cornstarch, sesame oil, salt, sugar, rice wine and ginger. Take your wonton wrappers and wrap them in a moist towel, this keeps the wrappers from drying out. Wrap one teaspoon filling in each wonton wrapper. You can fold them as the way I’ve shown or just gather and twist the edges together to form a little purse.

Bring the chicken stock and salt and white pepper to a boil and pour into a soup bowl. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and drop in the wontons. Cook until the wontons rise to the top, about 5 minutes. Remove the wontons from the water and place in the prepared chicken broth. Top with scallions, cilantro and drizzle with sesame oil. Serve immediately.

***** A trick my mom would always use to adjust the flavorings for the filling is she would make a wonton and cook and taste it first. That way you’re able to adjust the flavorings according to your taste (i.e. add more salt to the filling or more sugar or more wine).

***** My mom use to steam the wontons and then place them in the broth. This keeps the wontons from falling apart and becoming over cooked. If you choose to steam the wontons you can use a bamboo steamer (as pictured) and steam for 10 minutes on high heat. You can also eat the wontons plain without the broth and serve them alongside a dipping sauce.

Chicken Chili

Photo: Property of Mels Kitchen Cafe and source of this recipe

Naan is a type of yeasted flat bread common in Northern India and the southern regions of Asia. For best results when making naan, medical use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury all-purpose flour. A higher protein flour will result in a dense bread that tastes ok and is a bit chewy.

In India, hospital naan is made in a clay tandoori oven. I have had the best success using my panini press or a pizza stone in the oven. If using a panini press remove the naan from the press then brush on the butter. If baking in the oven brush with garlic butter before placing on a hot pizza stone in the oven.

Stand mixers are great for kneading doughs like naan and tortillas because it eliminates the mistake of adding too much flour. This dough should feel soft and smooth when kneaded.

Serve with grilled salmon or pork. Also goes great with a Moroccan stew.

Source: adapted from Andrea’s Recipes
2 3/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 egg
1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1/2 cup milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl by hand), stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and yeast. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, yogurt, and milk. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir for about 1 minute, until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the wet ingredients.

Increase machine speed to 2 (or by hand) and knead the dough until it is smooth and shiny. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until the dough doubles in size, about an hour.

Put a baking stone or heavy baking sheet on the lowest rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.

Divide the dough into eight pieces and form into teardrop shapes with your hands, about 6 to 8 inches across.

Cook two or three pieces at a time. Drop the dough onto the hot stone and shut the oven door, watching until they are just starting to turn brown in places, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the naan and brush with garlic butter. Serve warm.

Garlic Butter:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine garlic and butter until creamy and smooth.

Photo: Property of Mels Kitchen Cafe and source of this recipe

Naan is a type of yeasted flat bread common in Northern India and the southern regions of Asia. For best results when making naan, medical use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury all-purpose flour. A higher protein flour will result in a dense bread that tastes ok and is a bit chewy.

In India, hospital naan is made in a clay tandoori oven. I have had the best success using my panini press or a pizza stone in the oven. If using a panini press remove the naan from the press then brush on the butter. If baking in the oven brush with garlic butter before placing on a hot pizza stone in the oven.

Stand mixers are great for kneading doughs like naan and tortillas because it eliminates the mistake of adding too much flour. This dough should feel soft and smooth when kneaded.

Serve with grilled salmon or pork. Also goes great with a Moroccan stew.

Source: adapted from Andrea’s Recipes
2 3/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 egg
1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1/2 cup milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl by hand), stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and yeast. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, yogurt, and milk. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir for about 1 minute, until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the wet ingredients.

Increase machine speed to 2 (or by hand) and knead the dough until it is smooth and shiny. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until the dough doubles in size, about an hour.

Put a baking stone or heavy baking sheet on the lowest rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.

Divide the dough into eight pieces and form into teardrop shapes with your hands, about 6 to 8 inches across.

Cook two or three pieces at a time. Drop the dough onto the hot stone and shut the oven door, watching until they are just starting to turn brown in places, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the naan and brush with garlic butter. Serve warm.

Garlic Butter:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine garlic and butter until creamy and smooth.

Photo: Property of Mels Kitchen Cafe and my source for this recipe

Naan is a type of yeasted flat bread common in Northern India and the southern regions of Asia. For best results when making naan, visit use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury all-purpose flour. A higher protein flour will result in a dense bread that tastes ok and is a bit chewy.

In India, cheapest naan is made in a clay tandoori oven. I have had the best success using my panini press or a pizza stone in the oven. If using a panini press remove the naan from the press then brush on the butter. If baking in the oven brush with garlic butter before placing on a hot pizza stone in the oven.

Stand mixers are great for kneading doughs like naan and tortillas because it eliminates the mistake of adding too much flour. This dough should feel soft and smooth when kneaded.

Serve with grilled salmon or pork. Also goes great with a Moroccan stew.

Source: adapted from Andrea’s Recipes
2 3/4 cups flour, capsule plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 egg
1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1/2 cup milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl by hand), stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and yeast. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, yogurt, and milk. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir for about 1 minute, until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the wet ingredients.

Increase machine speed to 2 (or by hand) and knead the dough until it is smooth and shiny. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until the dough doubles in size, about an hour.

Put a baking stone or heavy baking sheet on the lowest rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.

Divide the dough into eight pieces and form into teardrop shapes with your hands, about 6 to 8 inches across.

Cook two or three pieces at a time. Drop the dough onto the hot stone and shut the oven door, watching until they are just starting to turn brown in places, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the naan and brush with garlic butter. Serve warm.

Garlic Butter:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine garlic and butter until creamy and smooth.

Photo: Property of Mels Kitchen Cafe and source of this recipe

Naan is a type of yeasted flat bread common in Northern India and the southern regions of Asia. For best results when making naan, medical use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury all-purpose flour. A higher protein flour will result in a dense bread that tastes ok and is a bit chewy.

In India, hospital naan is made in a clay tandoori oven. I have had the best success using my panini press or a pizza stone in the oven. If using a panini press remove the naan from the press then brush on the butter. If baking in the oven brush with garlic butter before placing on a hot pizza stone in the oven.

Stand mixers are great for kneading doughs like naan and tortillas because it eliminates the mistake of adding too much flour. This dough should feel soft and smooth when kneaded.

Serve with grilled salmon or pork. Also goes great with a Moroccan stew.

Source: adapted from Andrea’s Recipes
2 3/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 egg
1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1/2 cup milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl by hand), stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and yeast. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, yogurt, and milk. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir for about 1 minute, until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the wet ingredients.

Increase machine speed to 2 (or by hand) and knead the dough until it is smooth and shiny. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until the dough doubles in size, about an hour.

Put a baking stone or heavy baking sheet on the lowest rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.

Divide the dough into eight pieces and form into teardrop shapes with your hands, about 6 to 8 inches across.

Cook two or three pieces at a time. Drop the dough onto the hot stone and shut the oven door, watching until they are just starting to turn brown in places, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the naan and brush with garlic butter. Serve warm.

Garlic Butter:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine garlic and butter until creamy and smooth.

Photo: Property of Mels Kitchen Cafe and my source for this recipe

Naan is a type of yeasted flat bread common in Northern India and the southern regions of Asia. For best results when making naan, visit use a low protein flour such as Pillsbury all-purpose flour. A higher protein flour will result in a dense bread that tastes ok and is a bit chewy.

In India, cheapest naan is made in a clay tandoori oven. I have had the best success using my panini press or a pizza stone in the oven. If using a panini press remove the naan from the press then brush on the butter. If baking in the oven brush with garlic butter before placing on a hot pizza stone in the oven.

Stand mixers are great for kneading doughs like naan and tortillas because it eliminates the mistake of adding too much flour. This dough should feel soft and smooth when kneaded.

Serve with grilled salmon or pork. Also goes great with a Moroccan stew.

Source: adapted from Andrea’s Recipes
2 3/4 cups flour, capsule plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 egg
1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1/2 cup milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl by hand), stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and yeast. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, yogurt, and milk. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir for about 1 minute, until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the wet ingredients.

Increase machine speed to 2 (or by hand) and knead the dough until it is smooth and shiny. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until the dough doubles in size, about an hour.

Put a baking stone or heavy baking sheet on the lowest rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.

Divide the dough into eight pieces and form into teardrop shapes with your hands, about 6 to 8 inches across.

Cook two or three pieces at a time. Drop the dough onto the hot stone and shut the oven door, watching until they are just starting to turn brown in places, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the naan and brush with garlic butter. Serve warm.

Garlic Butter:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine garlic and butter until creamy and smooth.
Green beans are a true staple of the Americas. They may be eaten raw, see steamed, thumb blanched, thumb baked, or sautéed. The peak season for growing green beans is in the Spring and Fall, but they do well most of the year, depending on the area.

There are a variety of terms used for green beans but technically they are all the same.
– Pole beans require a support structure. The early Americans utilized the corn stalk by planting green beans along rows of corn. Allowing the bean vine to climb the stalk.
– Bush beans are identical to pole beans except that they grow on a bush.
– The snap bean refers to the snapping sound the beans make when broken.
– Earlier varieties of beans had a rough string of fiber along the side that had to be removed during preparation for cooking. Thus the name string bean.

Green beans grow in a variety of colors including yellow, purple and green. Combine the three for a beautiful presentation. Serve with baked pork chops or grilled salmon .

Source: Adapted from a recipe by Heather Murphy
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon brown sugar
4 slices bacon, cut into ½ in pieces
1/4 of a large red onion, thinly sliced

Blanch the green beans, by placing them in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes. They should remain crisp but not tough. Remove the beans from the water. Immediately set them in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and set aside.

Cook bacon in a large saute pan on medium heat until done. Add onion and sauté until tender. Add the butter and sugar. Melt the butter. Saute the butter and brown sugar until it begins to thicken slightly. Add the green beans tossing to coat, warm through. Salt to taste.

Variations:
– use maple syrup instead of the brown sugar.
– 1 (16 ounce) bag of frozen green beans
– Add 1/4 cup broken walnut pieces. Saute with onions.

Photo: Property of “Not Without Salt

Chicken chili is what you get when chicken cacciatori is on the menu, prescription pharmacy but the masses demand chili. My children tend to shy away from soups with excessive amounts of broth. They would much prefer a heartier stew or chili.

As with most chili recipes this one also has some kick to it. It is just perfect for my milder taste buds. However, approved if you think it is not hot enough increase the red pepper flakes to 1/2 – 1 teaspoons.

Source: Not Without Salt
2 large yellow onions, medium dice
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans
1/4 cup minced cilantro stems
3 cups chicken cooked, shredded

Cook the onions in the butter over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes and their juice to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add cooked chicken, black beans and cilantro stems to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the cilantro and sour cream.

Variations:
– Add 2 diced celery sticks
– Replace the black beans with white beans and kidney beans.
– Omit the bell peppers substituting 3 stalks celery finely chopped.
– This recipe works great with leftover turkey from the holiday.
– For a vegetarian version omit the chicken and add 1/2 cup lentils.

Spinach Cobb Salad

Chicken chili is what you get when chicken cacciatori is on the menu, help cost but the masses demand chili. My children tend to shy away from soups with excessive amounts of broth. They would much prefer a heartier stew or chili.

As with most chili recipes this one also has some kick to it. It is just perfect for my milder taste buds. However, side effects medications if you think it is not hot enough increase the red pepper flakes to 1/2 – 1 teaspoons.

Source: Not Without Salt

2 large yellow onions, pilule medium dice
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans
1/4 cup minced cilantro stems
3 cups chicken cooked, shredded

Cook the onions in the butter over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes and their juice to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add cooked chicken, black beans and cilantro stems to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the cilantro and sour cream.

Variations:
– Add 2 diced celery sticks
– Replace the black beans with white beans and kidney beans.
– Omit the bell peppers substituting 3 stalks celery finely chopped

– This recipe works great with leftover turkey from the holiday.

– For a vegetarian version omit the chicken and add 1/2 cup lentils.
Chicken chili is what you get when chicken cacciatori is on the menu, help cost but the masses demand chili. My children tend to shy away from soups with excessive amounts of broth. They would much prefer a heartier stew or chili.

As with most chili recipes this one also has some kick to it. It is just perfect for my milder taste buds. However, side effects medications if you think it is not hot enough increase the red pepper flakes to 1/2 – 1 teaspoons.

Source: Not Without Salt

2 large yellow onions, pilule medium dice
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans
1/4 cup minced cilantro stems
3 cups chicken cooked, shredded

Cook the onions in the butter over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes and their juice to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add cooked chicken, black beans and cilantro stems to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the cilantro and sour cream.

Variations:
– Add 2 diced celery sticks
– Replace the black beans with white beans and kidney beans.
– Omit the bell peppers substituting 3 stalks celery finely chopped

– This recipe works great with leftover turkey from the holiday.

– For a vegetarian version omit the chicken and add 1/2 cup lentils.

Cobb salads have always been my favorite. The egg, visit this bacon, side effects lettuce and dressing taste so satisfying and filling. We were in the rut of serving lettuce with carrots and celery for so long salads became really boring. I have since tried to remember that a salad is just another way of eating a sandwich. Anything you would put on a sandwich could be combined to make a salad.

Cobb salads traditionally consist of boiled egg, meats and cheeses. I love a sprinkle of blue cheese and a couple slices of beets.

Spinach
Egg, sliced
Red Onion, sliced
Bacon, chopped
Ham, chopped
Mushrooms, sliced
Pine nuts
Salt and pepper
Vinegar
Oil

Place spinach in a large bowl. Top with egg slices, onion rings, ham, bacon, mushrooms, and nuts. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little vinegar and oil.

December Website Review: Dianne Craft

Season 4 chops with salt and pepper. Cut into strips.

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Cook 3-5 minutes. Remove. Add onions. cook 3 minutes. Add baby bok choy. Cook until wilted. Remove bok choy.

Add 6 cups broth.

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp ginger ground

pinch
Season 4 chops with salt and pepper. Cut into strips.

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Cook 3-5 minutes. Remove. Add onions. cook 3 minutes. Add baby bok choy. Cook until wilted. Remove bok choy.

Add 6 cups broth.

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp ginger ground

pinch

Clipart Source: Unavailable

Dianne Craft was the key note speaker at a local two day conference for educators back in July. Many had not heard of her before. Surprisingly after the first 15 minutes she had everyone mesmerized and enthusiastic, shop so much so that attendance had doubled the next day.

Dianne (with two N’s) holds a Master’s Degree in special education and is a Certified Natural Health Professional. She has 35 years of experience working with children of all strengths; many of whom are labeled Autistic, ask Asberger, view ADHD, ADD, OCD, behavior problems and those with sensory dysfunctions. Rather than mask the problems these children experienced with medication or excuses, she looks for viable methods of treatment to help them succeed.

Dianne discovered there was more going on in the little brains of each child she worked with. Slowly she started to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Children who hate to write or read. Children who seem lazy or too tired, who refuse to sit up in their chair to do their work, those labeled difficult or lazy, and those deemed a problem child. Dianne realized that these children through no fault of their own, or their parents, lacked the normal sensory input/output that enables us to function in normal everyday routines.

When we go to tie our shoe the action is automatic. The act of tying ones shoe is a struggle and usually takes longer for someone with a sensory deficiency issue. Many times a child who appears to have great difficulty with focusing and attending to a task is really struggling with a sensory processing problem. Examples of errant signals due to sensory dysfunction would be a bothersome tag on a shirt, the line at the toe of a sock, bright sunlight, covers ears to block out noises, the inability to focus, hates to read or write, and transitions. Dianne notes that instead of learning to compensate for the before mentioned struggles we can all learn to make sensible corrections that will inadvertently open up a that particular “learning gate” thus reducing the stress.

The Four Learning Gates:
A. Visual Processing
B. Visual/Motor (Writing)
C. Auditory Processing
D. Attention/Behavior

Dianne works with children all over the country teaching them how to correct these glitches, rather than focusing on methods of compensating. Dianne refers to a compensation as, “making learning a task easier while the correction reduces the stress in the child’s learning system so that learning can flow.” Dianne calls this “opening up the child’s learning gate.”

A child who hates to write has more going on inside his brain than we realize. While we may see defiance, Ms. Craft believes the child’s mixed eye/hand dominance inhibits their “ability to easily think and write at the same time.” The writing process is not automatic, therefore the child is forced to think about letter formation rather than the subject matter he or she is writing about. A child who struggles with writing is taught to compensate by using a keyboard, oral dictation or limiting the amount of required writing. A correction exercise would include perceptual motor skills that strengthen the essential muscles along the spine and shoulders, in addition to a daily writing exercise, as seen below in the picture. Neural-pathway exercises teach the brain how to write the letters requiring less energy.

Dianne’s Daily Exercise: Use a large sized crayon, paper removed, to trace the figure-8 three times. Place three fingers on the bottom center space marked with the picture, lining the center line up with the midline of your body. This allows the hand to cross the body’s midline. Motion must be slow enough to stay within the 1/4 inch space between the circle line and the arrow. Beginning at the dot in the center line move the crayon up and to the left, around and up to the right around and back to the dot. Repeat three times for one set. After each figure-8 set practice writing a letter following the samples given on the top and bottom of the page. Write the letter three times then move back to the figure-8 three times. Play calm classical music during the exercise. Duration- 15 minutes.

The Dianne Craft website has available to purchase nutritional supplements (also found in local stores in most cities) and books that address sensory dysfunctions. If sensory issues and blocked learning gates are a concern begin with the book on Brain Integration Therapy. It is a step by step guide to get the those neuro-pathways running like a super highway rather than a country road with potholes. There are several edited videos to view on her website and youtube. Lesson plans with exercises in the areas of reading, math, and writing are also available.

Other children thought to have ADHD or Spectrum Disorders faired well with a change of diet. The CD “The Biology of Behavior” focuses on overcoming glitches through nutrition. The book outlines recommended changes to diet to combat the residual effects from illnesses, antibiotics and a sensitive digestive system. Research is discovering that the lack of good gut flora contributes to behavior issues and sensitivities to foods. Dianne recommends cleansing the body of yeast with a daily regiment of vitamins, omega fish oil pills, primadophilus 3 times a day, and Grapeseed extract by Nutri-biotics for the yeast and fungus. To achieve the most success Dianne’s diet can be combined with the Feingold plan and must be followed exactly.

Helping these children feel more comfortable in their skin makes home life all the more enjoyable. If you know of someone with sensory, behavioral, or spectrum disorders pass it on.