February 28, 2011

angel food cake

i've always wanted to try angel food cake and since i had an opportunity to make a dessert yesterday and happened to have enough eggs, i decided to go for it. i was a little worried when i pulled it out of the oven and it didn't seem to have risen very much. but when we tasted it i couldn't have been happier. it was angel food cake with substance--light, but not airy and tasteless. and super, duper moist. yum. thanks better homes and gardens!

1-1/2 cups egg whites (10 to 12 large)
1-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 cup sifted cake flour or sifted all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
1. Place egg whites in a very large mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, sift powdered sugar and flour together 3 times. Beat egg whites, cream of tarter, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add granulated sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).

3. Sift about one-fourth of the flour mixture over beaten egg whites; fold in gently. Repeat sifting and folding in the remaining flour mixture three more times, using one-fourth of the flour mixture each time.

4. Pour into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Gently cut through batter with a knife or a narrow metal spatula.

5. Bake on the lowest rack in a 350 degree F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. (The crust of the cake will be golden and slightly cracked.) Immediately invert the cake in the pan, standing the tube pan on its legs or resting the center tube over a tall-necked bottle. Cool cake thoroughly. Loosen the sides of cake from pan; remove cake from pan. To serve, use a serrated knife to slice the cake into wedges. Makes 12 servings.

February 18, 2011

Squash Curry Soup

After surfing the net for a recipe for an extra spaghetti squash I had lying around, I ended up melding several recipes to make this tasty soup. I'm sure the kind of curry powder you use makes a big difference. I buy mine at the Indian market and find it much better than the kind at a traditional grocery store. The only sad part was that there were no leftovers.

Squash Curry Soup

Saute in butter, in a medium pot:

1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped (or 1 teaspoon celery seeds)
1 carrot, chopped very small
1 peeled potato, chopped very small

When onions are soft, stir in:

2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons bouillon or base
½ teaspoon dill
¼ teaspoon curry powder
dash ground cayenne pepper

Gradually add:

2 cups chicken broth
1-2 cups milk or cream or yogurt

Boil 4 minutes. Add:
3 cups precooked squash (acorn or spaghetti)
salt and pepper

Put in blender or use immersion blender. Top with bacon if you want.

Pre-cooking squash: After slicing my finger cutting a squash, I learned that you don't actually have to cut them before cooking. I now bake them whole (with a few punctures) at 350 degrees for about an hour. Then I scrape out the good stuff and store it for later.

February 02, 2011

chicken chow mein

i happened to see fresh soba at costco and had to try it....and i have to say this recipe nails it. just like the real thing. even better than the real thing? the recipe comes from the food network.

i adjusted accordingly with the following:
i had fresh noodles so i obviously skipped the cooking the noodles part
i had canned shittake so i skipped all that prep
i don't like water chestnuts so i used canned bamboo shoots instead
i didn't have mung bean sprouts on hand so i left them out

p.s. the recipe says to fry the noodles for 8 minutes, turning once. in my pan i cut the time in half and some were nearly burned. in short-watch them closely!


  • 3 ounces dried chuka soba noodles, or other Chinese egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, plus more for the table
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 6 ounces), cut into thin 2-inch-long strips
  • 1 teaspoon dark Asian sesame oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, white and green minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 10 dried shittake mushrooms, rehydrated, drained, and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced canned water chestnuts
  • 6 ounces fresh mung bean sprouts
  • 3 cups cooked white rice, hot


Boil the noodles according to package instructions. Drain in a colander in the sink and rinse under cold running water. Shake the colander to drain off excess water and pat the noodles dry with a towel.

Heat 1/4 cup of the peanut oil in a large seasoned or non-stick skillet over high heat. Add the noodles, spreading them out to evenly cover the skillet, and fry, turning once, until golden brown and crispy, about 8 minutes. (Break the noodles up, by stirring, near the end of the cooking). Transfer noodles to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt to taste. Set aside. Discard any excess oil and wipe out the pan.

Whisk together the chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar in a small bowl, and set aside. Season the chicken with the dark sesame oil, salt, and pepper, and set aside.

Heat the skillet over high heat. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil until very hot. Add the ginger, garlic, and scallion and stir-fry, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry, until lightly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the onion, celery, and mushrooms and stir-fry, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the water chestnuts and spread the ingredients to the outside of the pan to form a well in the center. Pour the chicken broth mixture into the well, bring to a boil, and stir to coat the chow mein mixture. Stir in the bean sprouts and remove from the heat. Season generously to taste with pepper.

Transfer chicken chow mein to a warm platter and top with the fried noodles. Serve immediately with rice. Pass more soy sauce at the table.