Thursday, April 22, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010


Sverre made me a wrap yesterday, Green Leaf Lettuce, Grilled Chicken sprinkled with Carroll Shelby spice (Cumin, onion, garlic) I tried to get him to consider cheese and ranch dressing.

Now I am hungry for some

Homemade beef noodle soup
beef stew with carrots, onions, bean sprouts and flat rice noodles

For the Broth:

For The Bowls:


Start by sticking the whole cloves into the onion. Place onion and ginger root on grill and lightly char. We are not trying to burn here, more like grilling the pieces so don't rush this part. You can also do this over a burner or under a low broil setting in the oven. Just keep watch over them so they don't burn. When charred, set aside.

Combine the coriander seeds, star anise, and cinnamon stick in a small skillet. Toast the spices over medium heat tossing and stirring gently ever so often so they do not burn. Do this until slightly browned and fragrant. Set aside.

In a large pot (I use an 8 qt stock pot which is just barely big enough) place the bones and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil vigorously for about 4 minutes. Turn heat off and pour bones, beef shank and water into a colander and drain bones. Wash pot out completely and dry. Carefully rinse off bones and shank of any scum or impurities with cool water and place back in pot. Fill again with cool water and add the ginger, onion, yellow rock sugar, fish sauce and spices and bring back to a boil. Turn heat down immediately and simmer for an hour. Remove beef shank after one hour and submerse in a bowl of cold water (I add ice to make it really cold). This will congeal the fat and juices in the beef. Let cool for about 15 minutes and drain, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Keep simmering the rest of the broth for about 3 hours more. the actual simmer time depends on patience. There are stories told of traditional Vietnamese cooking methods that let this broth simmer for 24 hours over charcoal fires. I would do this as well, if I had a decent charcoal fire and 24 hours to watch it. When the simmering is complete, turn off your heat and using a slotted spoon, remove bones, spices, onion and garlic and discard them. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer (use cheese cloth if your strainer isn't fine enough) and after the pot has cooled a bit, place pot of strained broth into the refrigerator. The next day, you will notice some of the fat has congealed on the top of the broth. Skim the fat off with spoon and discard. Your broth is now ready to be used. It can be frozen for a later use, or used right away.

Okay, at this point you should have what amounts to a stockpot of broth that has been skimmed of it's fat. Sometimes the broth will take on the characteristic of Jello when it's chilled, which is a good thing. It means that you were able to extract all of the good stuff from the bones which directly relates to flavor.

Begin by heating the broth. Meanwhile, assemble a garnish plate of the sprouts, cilantro, basil, peppers, and limes. I use a standard size dinner plate but you can do this on smaller plates for each person if you choose. On another plate I usually squeeze off enough Sriracha and Hoisin Sauce to cover each half of a small plate for each guest. This way the can dip whatever they want without fear! You may also leave the bottles on the table for refilling. Place the sliced onion in a small shallow bowl and cover with the vinegar. Place a pinch of salt and stir gently. You can do this ahead of time by as much as an hour or so and let sit at room temp.

Cook the noodles as per the instructions. Rice noodles cook slightly different than Americanized pasta so if it's your first time, you need to pay attention to cooking times and doneness. I usually cook them by boiling water and the pouring the water over the noodles in a bowl and then letting them sit for about ten to fifteen minutes. Then I rinse them under cold water and drain keeping them close at hand for serving. If you use this method, you want to make sure you have pot of boiling water at hand to quickly re-heat the noodles prior to plating (or bowling as the case may be). You can also use this boiling water to pre-heat your bowls because no one likes a cold bowl of pho.

Before you assemble the bowls, drain the onions. Add to the bowl some of the re-heated noodles on the bottom, some of the now pickled white onions, sliced cooked beef, sliced raw beef, and some of the scallions. Add the very hot broth to the bowl. This will cook the beef giving it a slight gray appearance.

Eating pho is a personal process. Some add sauces such as fish, Sriracha, or Hoisin directly to the broth. Add a few leaves of basil and cilantro at a time. Adding to many cool things will cool the broth so use your herbs wisely.

Cuisine: Vietnamese Main Ingredient: Beef

Friday, April 16, 2010

Meat Loaf "Muffins"

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped
1/2 cup finely-chopped carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, extra lean
1 cup ketchup, divided
1 cup finely crushed fat-free saltine crackers (about 20) or fine
bread crumbs
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
Salt to taste
2 large
egg whites, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

meatloaf muffins ready to bakePreheat oven to 350°F. Spray 12 muffin cups with non-fat cooking spray.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, oregano, and garlic, and sauté 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let onion mixture cool.

In a large bowl, combine onion mixture, ground beef, 1/2 cup ketchup, crushed crackers or bread crumbs, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, salt, and eggs. NOTE: I like to use my hands for mixing meatloaf.

Spoon meat mixture into prepared muffin cups. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a
meat thermometer registers 160°F. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Sensory Processing Disorder

Good news... Your frustration and confusion about your child - who may have Sensory Processing Disorder - is almost over!

Finally!... A thorough explanation and a name for the behaviors and developmental concerns that exist - which seemed almost impossible to understand or cope with.

When parents first find out about sensory processing disorders, their reaction usually comes as: a "flash", a "light bulb moment", the "Aha!", "So that explains it!", "Oh, so now I understand!", "Why didn't someone tell me about this years ago?"

1. Hypersensitivity To Touch (Tactile Defensiveness)

__ resists friendly or affectionate touch from anyone besides parents or siblings (and sometimes them too!)

__ dislikes kisses, will "wipe off" place where kissed

__ prefers hugs

__ a raindrop, water from the shower, or wind blowing on the skin may feel like torture and produce adverse and avoidance reactions

__ may overreact to minor cuts, scrapes, and or bug bites

__ resists brushing teeth and is extremely fearful of the dentist

__ avoids touching certain textures of material (blankets, rugs, stuffed animals)

__ refuses to wear new or stiff clothes, clothes with rough textures, turtlenecks, jeans, hats, or belts, etc.

__ is a picky eater, only eating certain tastes and textures; mixed textures tend to be avoided as well as hot or cold foods; resists trying new foods

__ complains about having hair brushed; may be very picky about using a particular brush

__ excessively ticklish

__ distressed about having face washed

__ distressed about having hair, toenails, or fingernails cut

3. Poor Tactile Perception And Discrimination:

__ may be afraid of the dark

__ continues to mouth objects to explore them even after age two

1. Hypersensitivity To Movement (Over-Responsive):

__ may physically cling to an adult they trust

__ may have disliked being placed on stomach as an infant

__ bites or sucks on fingers

1. Hypersensitivity To Sounds (Auditory Defensiveness):

__ fearful of the sound of a car wash, cafeteria noise, classroom noise, car radio too loud

__ frequently asks people to be quiet; i.e., stop making noise, talking, or singing

__ runs away, cries, and/or covers ears with loud or unexpected sounds

Social, Emotional, Play, And Self-Regulation Dysfunction:


__ prefers playing by self with objects or toys rather than with people

__ does not seek out connections with familiar people


__ difficulty accepting changes in routine (to the point of tantrums)

__ gets easily frustrated

__ functions best in small group or individually

__ variable and quickly changing moods; prone to outbursts and tears

__ prefers to play on the outside, away from groups, or just be an observer

__ difficulty appropriately making needs known


__ difficulty with imitative play (over 10 months)

__ wanders aimlessly without purposeful play or exploration (over 15 months)