The best Pad Thai. (V, GF)

padthai
Wherever I am with my mom, she always insists on trying every Thai restaurant in the area. Even when we’re in Thailand. (Go figure, right?) So what’s the first thing she’ll order? Pad Thai. If the Pad Thai isn’t good, don’t expect a return visit. Ever. Sorry cooks, she’s got high standards. ;)

Of course, it is no surprise then that the Pad Thai she makes is the absolute best. Twenty years of me being alive, and I had never learned her secrets! So when she came to visit me, it was time to teach me her skills.  She then also thought it was a great idea to teach all her friends individually, on consecutive days, how to make her Pad Thai… I had Pad Thai for 2 weeks straight… A little too much, but thanks mom…

My mom knows this recipe by heart, but she was willing to nicely type it up for me to share.

Pad Thai Sauce Ingredients:

  • 11/2 cups tamarind juice (tamarind soaked in hot water for about 20 min)
  • Two pieces of palm sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of ketchup
Directions:
  1. Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1/2 hour.
Pad Thai Ingredients
  • Pad Thai sauce
  • 1/2 pack of rice noodles (preferrably from Chantaburi, Thailand) soaked in luke warm water for an hour or until softened
  • 2 cups of bean sprouts
  • 2 cups of Chinese chives (chopped to 1/2 inch)
  • organic tofu 1/2 piece
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped salted radish
  • 2 Tablespoons of finely chopped shallots and garlic
  • dried shrimps or fresh prawns (shelled, optional)
  • sliced tofu (the other half) or thinly sliced chicken or pork (optional)
  • 1 egg (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cube the tofu and deep fry in oil. Set aside.
  2. Brown the mixture of chopped shallots and garlic in oil.
  3. Add chopped salted radish, dried shrimps, and deep fried tofu (if you use fresh prawns, you must put it at the end of the process so that your prawns won’t be overcooked.
  4. Add fresh sliced tofu or meat, then and noodles.
  5. Put sauce in little by little (too much it will be too soggy, too little it will be too stiff)
  6. Add egg if desired.
  7. Add chives and keep on stir-frying.
  8. Add  fresh prawns. (if you use dried shrimps, no need for this step)
  9. Add bean sprouts and stir-fry until the bean sprouts are soft.
Serve with wedged lime, crushed peanuts, chili powder, fresh bean sprouts and fresh Chinese chives.

Four-Ingredient Nutella Brownie Cakes

This post is way overdue, and I am so sorry for that, but I did promise a successful recipe last time, and this is definitely it! 

As it was my boyfriend’s birthday a while ago and he goes a liiittle crazy over Nutella, I wanted it to be the main ingredient in the cupcakes I wanted to make for one of his gifts. However, they turned out to have so much Nutella in them that the texture is more brownie-like, so I fittingly named them Brownie Cakes. As you can see from the title, they also only require four ingredients! And that’s including the frosting. How great is that? Seeing as I used an entire big jar of Nutella though, I would definitely not call these healthy. But let’s be real… guys don’t care about that. Am I right? (Yeah, I’m right.)

This recipe was originally found here. It says it yields about 28 mini cupcakes, but I got 35.

browniecakes1I also finally bought new measuring cups and spoons, and I was so excited about them that I had to include them in this picture. (yes, I get excited about new kitchenware.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups Nutella
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 oz cream cheese

browniecakes2Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and place cupcake liners in mini cupcake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cups of Nutella to bowl, and mix until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the flour and stir mixture well.
  5. Pour batter into cupcake liners.
  6. Bake for 13-15 minutes.

browniecakes3For the frosting, combine remaining 1 cup of Nutella and cream cheese in a bowl and mix well. Make sure the Brownie Cakes are cooled well before piping the frosting on top!browniecakes4 browniecakes5I added chocolate sprinkles because if you’re gonna bake yummy Nutella cupcakes and have Nutella frosting, why not top it off with more chocolatey goodness?!browniecakes6Tip: Make your own cute flags! I cut up Post-it notes, glued them on toothpicks and wrote the letters on them.browniecakes7And lastly, some extra hearts for cuteness. ;)

I have so many ideas and good recipes planned and will start posting more regularly now, so get ready!

PB & melted banana oatmeal (V, GF)

For the past 6 months, I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast on an almost daily basis. Not those instant oatmeal packets filled with sugar and artificial flavoring, but good old fashioned rolled oats. Why, you may ask? Don’t worry, I got you. ;) Here’s a list for you:

  • Oatmeal is packed with soluble fiber. Meaning: it will keep you full for a long time.
  • There are so many possibilities! Add whatever toppings to make your bowl more exciting.
  • It’s fast. It can be made in 2 minutes or less. (no excuses for skipping breakfast!)
  • It’s CHEAP. Like, really cheap. Approximately $0.15 per serving!
  • Oats are a kitchen staple. They can be used in so many other great recipes.

Basically, oatmeal is like a savior for anyone, especially college students or any busy person.

One of my favorite blogs I have been (silently) following since last summer is www.theoatmealartist.com She has hundreds (literally, hundreds!) of oatmeal variations. She is clearly an expert at making and eating oatmeal, so definitely check her blog out. (:

So here is my favorite way to make oatmeal! Peanut butter and melted banana oatmeal. It can look pretty messy compared to these pictures, but it tastes amazing and I love all the different textures. Also because bananas can be found year-round for cheap (or free if you steal them from your dining hall…), and I also steal peanut butter on the regular (shh, I’ll talk about that later) this is my go-to breakfast. And yes, I know it’s a little ridiculous the number of pictures I took for such a simple recipe.

pbbananaoatmeal1 ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • dash of cinnamon
  • splash of almond milk

directions:

  1. Add oats to bowl.
  2. Slice banana into bite-size pieces and add to bowl.
  3. Add peanut butter.
  4. Add dash of cinnamon.
  5. Pour as much milk as you like, but enough to at least cover the oats.
  6. Stir and microwave for 2 minutes.
  7. Add toppings if you like.

pbbananaoatmeal2I usually just divide the banana pieces by hand because it’s faster, but for presentation reasons, I nicely and evenly cut them for you. You’re welcome. pbbananaoatmeal3Add a big glob of peanut butter. Mmm, peanut butter.pbbananaoatmeal4As you can see, I like a lot of cinnamon.. I also love using the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice interchangeably.pbbananaoatmeal5Add whatever liquid you like, but I prefer unsweetened almond milk. The almond milk gives it a delicious creamy taste. pbbananaoatmeal6Stir, pop in the microwave, and eat! I added a spoonful of chia seeds, blueberries and granola as toppings after for decoration.pbbananaoatmeal9

BAM! oatmeal. yum.