Saturday, May 26, 2012

Asian Food Night

It was a food festival of mammoth proportions. Or maybe that was just the Sumo wrestler cutout I had everyone pose with. We came, we ate, we left feeling as fat as Sumo wrestlers! It was wonderful. The table is set with items from Amanda's husband Robert's mission in Korea.

Table setting with Korean masks, drums, and shot glasses

Sumo Wrestler Bonnie S

Sumo Wrestler Madelynne

Sumo Wrestler Janna - now that is an intimidating glare

Sumo Wrestler Amanda

Sumo Wrestler Lyra

Sumo Wrestler Linda - love the crazy eyes!

Our plates were overflowing with Asian goodness

Egg rolls & sauce by Madelynne

Thai Egg Rolls / Poa Pee

* 3 black mushrooms (these come dried at the Asian food store. I really like the flavor these have, so I use about 6 instead of 3.)
*3 1/2 ounces (1/2 package) rice noodles of cellophane wrapped noodles
*1 egg
*1/2 pound ground pork
*1/2 pound ground beef
*1 cup peeled and shredded carrots
*1 cup bean sprouts of 1 cup shredded Napa cabbage ( I do 1/2 C of each)
*1/2 medium onion, chopped (This is on recipe that I don't just throw the rest of the onion in. It is a little overhwelming.)
*1 Tablespoon fish sauce
*1/4 tablespoon pepper
*1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
*1 teaspoon sugar
*1 1-lb package lumpia(large), fresh or thawed (about 25 wrappers),
*vegetable oil

In a small bowl, soak black mushrooms in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain well in a colander and shred, discarding stems. Soak noodles in hot water according to package directions. (I usually put mine in the microwave about 5 minutes.) When soft, drain and cut into 2-inch lengths with scissors.
There are 2 ways to make this. I precook the pork and beef, sauting in a pan and breaking it up into small pieces with my spatula. That allows for the shorter cooking time of the egg rolls. If you decide not to precook your meat, you will need to cook each roll about 10 minutes per side.
In a large bowl, beat egg well. Add black mushrooms, noodles, pork, beef, carrots, bean sprouts, onion, fish sauce, pepper, garlic and sugar. Mix well.
Place one wrapper on a flat surface. Keep remaining wrappers covered so they don't dry out. Place about 1/4 cup of filling mixture just below center. Fold in 2 opposite edges. Fold bottom edge over filling and roll up like a burrito. Use a small amount of water to seal the end. Repeat until filling is gone.
In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium heat. Carefully place rolls in oil, leaving enough room so that they don't touch each other and fry slowly for about 8 minutes or until golden brown. Turn and fry other side about 4 minutes. Keep fried rolls warm in a 200°F oven. Cut each roll into 4 pieces and serve warm with Nam Pla Prig.

Nam Pla Prig

* 2 cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice or 4 tablespoons white vinegar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons water

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar. Serve at room temperature in individual bowls.

Beef Bulgogi made by Amanda Thorn
**This is one of my husband's favorite dishes from Korea. If you go to an Asian food store you can buy ready made Bulgogi sauce. However, the homemade is delicious and not that difficult to make. I suggest asking your butcher to slice the meat for you. That will help you save some time.


  • 1 1/2 pounds beef top sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons white grape juice
  • 1 cup pear juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, halved (optional)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (optional)


  1. Place the beef in a bowl, and pour in the cooking wine, pear juice, and black pepper. Stir to combine, and allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, green onion, and sesame seeds, and marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.
  3. Remove the beef from the marinade, and discard the marinade. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the heated grill, and lay the beef slices separately on the foil. Place the mushrooms and onion on another part of the foil. Cook the beef slices until they are evenly brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with cooked mushrooms and onion.

Korean Cucumber Salad by Amanda Thorn


  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienne
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together vinegar, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in sesame seeds, and reduce heat to medium. Cook until seeds are brown, about 5 minutes. Remove seeds with a slotted spoon, and stir into vinegar mixture. Mix in cucumber, green onions, and carrot. Cover, and refrigerate at least 5 minutes.
Pho (Vietnamese beef soup) by Bonnie Elton

Napa Cabbage Slaw by Bonnie Stewart

Seven Vegetable Coconut Curry by Linda Prince

This recipe was created by Miriam Barton for her cookbook Meatless Meals for Meat Eaters, which my company published. I added about 1-pound cubed cooked chicken to the vegetables before simmering.

1 yam, peeled and cut into chunks
½ bell pepper (any color), diced
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cups shredded cabbage
¼ onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons sesame or olive oil
1½ cups coconut milk*
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon red curry powder

In a small pot, boil the yam chunks in water until they are soft but not mushy.

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the vegetables in the oil for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, then cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*If you are using canned coconut milk, my favorite brands are Thai Kitchen and Whole Foods 365.

Makes 5 to 6 servings.

Lemon chicken by Lyra Hollinger

Bonnie Fairbanks (now Elton) Bridal Shower

Our cooking club hosted a bridal shower for our member Bonnie Fairbanks. This was quite a while ago and Bonnie Fairbanks Elton now has a beautiful baby boy.

I don't have all the recipes for this post but please enjoy the beautiful pictures. We are definitely some good cooks!! Check out the beautiful menu below that Madelynne Brown created. I've tried to post the pictures in the same order as they are on the menu.

Lady Marmalade Chicken w/Puff Pastry Hearts by Amanda Thorn
(For the puff pastry, just roll out puff pastry and then cut with a heart shape cookie cutter. Then bake in the oven, following the instructions on the puff pastry package.


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 green apple, diced
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt, mixed well
  • 1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds or cumin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons roasted salted cashews, chopped
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Put the chicken breasts on the foil and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub until coated. Pop the chicken in the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 150 degrees F, 15 to 20 minutes.

Switch the oven to the broiler setting. Brush 1 tablespoon marmalade on each chicken breast. Broil, brushing occasionally with the pan drippings, until the chicken is cooked through and golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, build the salad: Toss the shallot, apple, grapes, lime juice, yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon marmalade in a large bowl.

Heat the canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the mustard seeds and garlic; cook until the seeds stop popping (cover if they're popping out of the pan). Quickly add the curry powder; cook, stirring, 30 seconds, then pour the spiced oil over the yogurt mixture. Stir until combined.

Once the chicken breasts are cool, thinly slice them. Fold into the salad and adjust the salt and pepper. Top with the cashews and cilantro.

Greek Salad Kabobs

Fruit Salad Kabobs

Mimi’s Cafe Carrot Raisin Nut Bread by Amanda Thorn

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup diced canned pineapple, drained (I just diced up some canned tidbits)
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup finely shredded carrots Sift first five ingredients into a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar and eggs. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour; mix well. Add the next four ingredients; stir again. Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan or four mini-loaf pans (I did the 9 inch sq pan). Fill the pans 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. Mini-loaves take about 20 minutes.

Potato & Spinach Turnovers

Asian Noodle Kabobs by Janna Mathews
Crostini with Proscuitto by Lyra Hollinger

Strawberry Panna Cotta by Madelynne Brown

White Chocolate & Raspberry Brownies

Mini Coconut Cupcakes
Lemon Burst Tartlets by Janna Mathews


  • 2 packages (1.9 ounces each) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
  • 1 jar (10 ounces) lemon curd or lemon pie filling
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed or real whipping cream
  • 5 to 6 drops yellow food coloring, optional
  • 2/3 cup raspberry cake and pastry filling
  • 30 fresh raspberries


  • Bake shells according to package directions; cool completely on a wire rack.
  • In a large bowl, combine the lemon curd, whipped topping and food coloring if desired until smooth. Spoon 1 teaspoon raspberry filling into each tart shell. Pipe or spoon lemon mixture over filling. Garnish each with a raspberry. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 30 servings.

Soup's On!

This cooking club was devoted to soups. It was a perfect day for it as it was very cold and snowy. The hot soup was just the thing to make us feel warm and cozy.

Amanda Thorn's Wedge Salad w/Herbed Lemon Buttermilk Dressing

Take a wedge of lettuce and cut into four portions. Pour buttermilk dressing over wedge then top with your favorite toppings. For this recipe I used red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, toasted pecans, and cheddar cheese.

Dressing Recipe:
  • 3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise $
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion $
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


  1. Combine all ingredients, stirring with a whisk until dressing is well blended.
  2. Note: Refrigerate dressing in an airtight container for up to five days; stir well before using.

Madelynne Brown's Fabulous Focaccia & Dip

Total Time:1 hr 50 min
1 hr 30 min
20 min
Yield:1 loaf


  • 2 teaspoons rapid-rising dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Cornmeal, for dusting


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary


In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn't form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise over a gas pilot light on the stovetop or other warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/2-inch thick. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, coat a small saute pan with olive oil, add the onion, and cook over low heat for 15 minutes until the onions caramelize. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Uncover the dough and dimple with your fingertips. Brush the surface with more olive oil and then add caramelized onions, garlic, olives, cheese, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Bake on the bottom rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Bread Dip
·       12 dry sun-dried tomatoes
·       1/2 chopped onion
·       2 cups extra virgin olive oil
·       1 cup balsamic vinegar
·       1 clove crushed garlic
·       2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
·       1 medium diced hot pepper
Blanch the sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from water and chop. In a saucepan simmer the onions, (blanched) sun-dried tomatoes, garlic in 1 cup of olive oil for 30 minutes. Pour into a blender with the hot pepper and basil blend for 7 seconds. Add balsamic vinegar and remaining oil. Refrigerate for 6 hours. Place into a sealed container. This bread dip will last for 2 weeks in the fridge.

Janna Mathew's Zuppa Toscana

Makes enough for 4 for appetizers, or 2 for full course of soup  I doubled the recipe for what I brought

2 3/3 c. Chicken broth
1/4 c. cream
1 medium russet potato
2 cups kale - chopped
1/2 lb sausage
1/4 t. Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 t. Salt

1. Place broth and cream into pot, turn on medium heat
2. Cut potato in fourths lengthwise, and then chop into 1/4" sections, stir into broth
3. cook sausage until throughly cooked
4. Stir kale into pot
5. Add  in Sausage
6. Stir in spices
7. bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 hour

 Lyra Hollinger's Chicken Tortilla Soup

Linda Prince's Coconut Banana Bread w/Lime Glaze

2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1½ cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
¼ cup plain lowfat yogurt
3 tablespoons dark rum
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup flaked sweetened coconut (I use a little more)
cooking spray
1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut
½ cup powdered sugar
1½ tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely on wire rack.

Bonnie Stewart's Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake