Monday, February 20, 2017

Katie's Birthday Cake

There is a certain time of year when neighbors are trying to foist their excess zucchini on friends, co-workers, family, and even enemies.  Imagine your birthday falls at that time of year.  Somehow, inexplicably, this ends up as your birthday cake year after year. 

I may have been terrible at Making Memories (TM) and Establishing Traditions for my kids, but this cake is a tradition we stumbled onto.  Because zucchini.  August.  Chocolate.  Delicious. 

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease your pan: either a bundt pan or a 13x9.

Combine in mixing bowl --
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1.5 cups sugar (maybe 1 cup or 1.25 would be sufficient)
1 tsp vanilla

In another bowl, sift together --
1.25 cups ww flour
1.25 cups white flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

Grate --
3 small zucchini (or whatever you need to yield 2 cups grated zucchini)

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the zucchini to the sugar+egg+oil mixture.
If 13x9, bake about 45 minutes.
If a bundt, bake about 60-65 minutes.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Pad Thai

I don't know if this is how Pad Thai is supposed to taste, but we enjoy this recipe and could eat it frequently.  This serves 4 of us.

Set large pot of water to boil for pasta.

Prepare vegetables:
4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1 cup julienned carrots
maybe also include:
~ sliced mushrooms
~ bean sprouts
~ thinly sliced sweet bell peppers
~ thinly sliced onion halves (particularly if the green onions called for later in the recipe are unavailable)

Sauté vegetables  in olive oil and a small amount of sesame oil for extra flavor.

Prepare sauce while veggies are cooking.  Mix:
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2.5 Tbsp lime juice 
2 Tbsp pineapple juice*
1 Tbsp chili-garlic sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp fish sauce (optional)

To cabbage and stir-fried veggies, add:
16 oz shrimp
Cook briefly until shrimp is nearly cooked (or heated, if using precooked shrimp).
4 cloves garlic, minced
and the sauce.
Simmer 4-5 minutes.

While meat and vegs simmer, cook
8 oz of vermicelli or angel hair pasta
(Break uncooked pasta into pieces about 2-3" long before cooking.)
(Also cook eggs now if you're making a larger amount.)

Drain pasta.  Add to veggies.  Toss.

Beat 3 eggs in small bowl. 
Shove pasta/veggie mix aside and cook the eggs in the skillet.
Mix eggs into the cabbage and pasta.
(Depending on the size of the pot and how much vegetables you prepared, you may wish to fry up the eggs in a small skillet, and then crumble into the pasta/veg mix.)

3 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp peanuts

Toss.  Serve.

* You can substitute orange juice for the pineapple juice if necessary.  I found that it works to drain the juice off a can of pineapple and freeze it in ice cube trays.