Best For Last, indeed.

I'm a music addict. If I were denied a life filled with music I think I would shrivel up like a dying worm and kick the bucket. Slightly dramatic, but fairly close to the truth.

Like the rest of the world I have my favorites. And I imagine that unlike the rest of the world, my favorites are stumbled upon and unexpected. My latest obsession I discovered flipping through the pages of an old magazine.

When you disconnect from the rest of the world little things slip by you, like the latest blockbuster movie starring someone you've never heard of or the marriage of yet another self absorbed Hollywood couple. But the downside is that I missed the boat when it came to hearing Adele as early as possible.

I was listening to 19, Adele's debut cd, the other day when I first heard Best For Last. That song shocked me into a stunned stillness. This chick has some pipes.

But now I've been inspired. I will share my musical obsessions if you'll share yours. Deal?


Mushrooms are my friend

Here's another recipe that I've tried that I really enjoyed. If it has a good mushroom in it...I'm there.

Fusilli with Oyster Mushrooms and Artichokes
Serves 2

You'll need:
7 oz fusilli pasta (or any other "chunky" pasta) | 1 tsp olive oil | 1 garlic clove, crushed | 4 oz oyster mushrooms (torn if large) | 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and sliced (quartered works great too) | salt and pepper to taste | 6 sprigs basil, torn | sliced or shaved parmesan cheese to top

Cook your pasta. Neat idea for a pasta dish, right? The recipe calls for al dente, but I thought that al dente was a bit too...not done. I'd go one minute over what the cooking instructions recommend for al dente. While you're pasta is cooking...

...heat the oil in a skillet and fry up the garlic for a few seconds. Toss in the mushrooms and cook until tender (4-5 minutes). Add the artichokes, season with salt and pepper. I took half of the basil and tore it up and added it here and let it cook a bit longer--maybe four minutes or so on a low flame.

Once the pasta is done to your preference...drain and toss with the cooked mixture. Tear up and add the remaining basil leaves. Top with shaved or sliced parmesan and enjoy!

I should have taken a picture of this lovely little dish. It was yummy! I found this and the Shiitake mushroom recipe from Vegetarian Express. Great recipe book!


"Shiitake" is the word for the day

Nora had asked me to share my favorite recipes that I came across. Truth be told I've only tried two recipes out of the two cookbooks that I borrowed but I do have a LOT of recipes tagged to try.

Here's the first recipe that I tried and it was an amazing success. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

Crispy noodle cakes with shiitake mushrooms, bok choy and chili pepper!
(Serves 2)

You'll need: (for the cakes)
4 oz thin egg noodles | 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce | salt | 1-2 tbsp sesame seed oil

For the veggies: 4 oz shiitake mushrooms | 10 oz bok choy | 4 tsp sesame seed oil
1 garlic clove, finely sliced | 1 tsp corn starch | 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp red chili pepper sauce | 1/2 tsp water

Here's how to throw it all together:
Put the noodles into a sauce pan full of boiling water, cook for 3 minutes (or until al dente). Drain, add the soy sauce. Heat your sesame oil in a large skillet. Add half the noodles to the skillet, form them into a flat, oval cake slightly less than 1/2 inch thick. Scoot the cake on over (carefully!) to make room for another noodle cake (or just be a smart cookie and place the noodles on one side of the skillet unlike some *cough* people). Cook both cakes 4 mins or so on either side to crisp them up.

Meanwhile....stir fry your veggies. Knock of any dirt from your shiitakes and cut the stems down a bit. Wash the bok choy and trim off the bottom stalks. Slice diagonally and don't leave out any of the greens! Heat your other bits of oil in a wok or another skillet; add the garlic (I used pre-chopped garlic from a jar. I know, cheater cheater pumpkin eater). Cook garlic for 30 seconds then add the mushrooms. Stir fry over medium-high heat for 3 mins or until the mushrooms start to soften. Add the boy choy and stir fry for another 3 mins until the bok choy leaves are starting to wilt but still are crisp. Separately, mix the cornstarch with the low sodium soy sauce and add this concoction to the veggies. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Taste and add salt as needed (though soy sauce is already loaded with sodium I doubt you'll need more...unless you are a certifiable salt freak).

Lastly, mix the chili pepper sauce and water. Arrange your cooked noodle cake and half the veggies on each plate. Drizzle your chili pepper sauce around your noodle cake...and then dig in!

Some thoughts on this recipe... I LOVED THIS! I also noted that this itty bitty bit of the chili pepper sauce was not enough. I would suggest making more to have on the side and add it to taste as you like.

My husband remarked to me..."If this is eating vegetarian you can count me in!" I'm not trying to change anyone else's eating habits (aside from eating healthier in the general sense) but I was tickled that he loved this dinner. He wants me to make this again tonight. Shiitake shiitake shiitake!