Friday Favorites

Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this past week:

3 Little Pigs

Last Saturday, our good friends treated us to dinner at Whiskey Cake, one of our new favorite restaurants.  All of our entrees were outstanding (especially the lamb dip sandwich, WOW), but one came with props and a story:  the “3 little pigs” sliders have an element to represent each of the pigs’ houses from the nursery rhyme — they are served on a brick, with crispy onion strings for the “straw” and oversized toothpicks holding the sliders together for the “wood.”  And of course, smoky pulled pork to represent the little pigs.  Fun presentation, delicious sandwiches and even better company.  Thanks Paula & Matt!

Pool's open

It’s officially summer at our house, now that the pool is warm enough to swim.  And by “swim,” I mean float around on rafts while sipping frosty beverages.

Fried egg = breakfast

It’s officially breakfast at our house if we put a fried egg on it.  On Saturday morning we re-heated leftover pizza and topped it with a fried egg for breakfast, and Sunday’s fare was leftover kimchi fried rice, also topped with a fried egg.  Breakfasts of champions.

Le sandwich at le concert

We celebrated 8 years of marriage this week with, what else — a picnic at the Arboretum and an outdoor concert by an Eagles tribute band.  The food was delicious (a cheese plate and our version of the best sandwich in Paris:  a good baguette spread with French butter and layered with prosciutto), the band was about what we expected, the surroundings were beautifully in bloom and the marriage is better than ever.

Eggplant parm

We celebrated the bounty of eggplant from our garden by making eggplant parmesan, using a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated’s book, “The Best Light Recipe.”  It turned out great, and we like that this lighter version calls for baking the breaded eggplant in the oven instead of frying it, before layering it with sauce and cheese and putting it back in the oven.  We’ll make this one again.  (We’ll have to if we want to post about it, since I forgot to take photos of it about halfway through the cooking process.  Oops.)


Italian Soba Noodle Salad

As everyone does, we try to make the most of our weekends — attempting to find the perfect balance between to-do lists and errands versus “lamping” (Dan and his brothers’ term for sitting around, doing nothing — as a lamp does) and having fun.  Sometimes you just don’t have enough time to hit up both Home Depot and Bed, Bath & Beyond on a Saturday.  For us, enjoying a lazy Saturday morning while still managing to feel productive usually involves planning our menu for the following week while watching HGTV or cooking shows.  (Dan occasionally sneaks in a Star Wars or superhero movie as well, especially if we’ve already seen whatever home improvement or cooking show happens to be on at the time.)   One of our favorite Saturday cooking shows is “Easy Chinese,” which features Chef Ching-He Huang touring local markets and restaurants in the Bay Area (sometimes other places too) for the best fresh ingredients and (mostly Asian) dishes, which she then makes her own by showing viewers how to easily recreate her versions at home.  This Italian soba noodle salad is one of the easiest we’ve ever seen her make. When we made it, we didn’t even consult the full recipe — we just cooked it from the notes I jotted down during the show.  We made a couple of changes, but that’s another thing that is great about the recipe — you can adapt the ingredients to suit your taste preferences.  And with its fusion of Italian (sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, olive oil and arugula) and Asian (soba noodles, sesame oil, mirin, rice vinegar, soy and shiitake mushrooms), this salad is as delicious as it is easy.

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