sweet+spicy sesame noodles

i love this dish. as a person who loves bread and cheese and pastas with cream sauces and who perks up at the sight of anything fried in panko, it can be hard to get the veggies in and be excited about it. but this – this is a pretty exciting bowlful of flavors and textures.

the dressing is key here, but it is one of the simplest you could possibly shake up. if you don’t have them there already, the main ingredients are very pantry-friendly: just a bottle each of honey, soy sauce, and sesame oil, plus a little jar of red pepper flakes. keep those on hand and you’re all set for a quick and yummy meal any day of the week.

it is an amazing weeknight dish, when i don’t have much time to stand in front of the stove but still crave a bowl of something fresh and delicious. for nights like that it’s handy to prepare the dressing and toppings ahead of time; that way all you’d need to do is cook your desired portion of noodles, give the dressing another good shake, then toss-top-eat.

it’s recipes like this one that make me feel like i just might have a handle on adulthood. work hard, eat well; life is good.

Sweet & Spicy Sesame Noodles
adapted from A Small Snippet
Makes 4 servings

¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sesame oil
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper
6 Tbsp. honey
6 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced
12-14 oz. rice noodles
1-2 lb. chicken breast, poached then roughly chopped
About 2 cups shredded carrots
½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
¾ cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
Toasted sesame seeds, for sprinkling

  1. Heat both oils and crushed red pepper in a small pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Strain out pepper and reserve oil.
  2. In a mason jar or other shakable container, combine oil with honey and soy sauce. Add green onions. Shake until combined.
  3. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain.
  4. Pour honey-soy dressing over hot noodles and toss. Top each individual serving with chicken, carrots, cilantro, peanuts, and toasted sesame seeds. 

saturday pancakes

a proper saturday morning is a treasure when it comes. clear morning light, just the hint of a breeze coming in through the window, and nowhere to be but in your slippers and pj’s.

i’ll keep it short and sweet here today, because there’s a glorious weekend ahead of me and i plan to do it up right while i have it. these pancakes are perfect for such a weekend. just a quick gathering of some fridge-and-pantry staples, and then the little flapjacks get fried up in hot butter in the time it takes to brew some coffee.

soft, fluffy pillows with some browned-butter crispness around the edges: it’s nice when the day’s most urgent task is just to eat these fast, hot off the griddle.

adapted from Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook
Makes nine 4-in. pancakes

1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup milk
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt

  1. Beat egg in medium bowl with hand beater or whisk vigorously until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients except butter just until smooth. For thinner pancakes, stir in additional 1 to 3 Tbsp. milk.
  2. Heat skillet over medium heat. (It’s hot enough when a drop of water sizzles on the surface.) Grease with a small pat of butter.
  3. For each pancake, pour slightly less than ¼ cup batter from a cup or pitcher onto hot skillet (I like to use the same glass measuring cup that I use to measure out the milk). Cook pancake until puffed and dry around edges. Bubbles will have started to form in batter. Turn and cook other side until golden brown.
  4. Repeat in batches with remaining batter, greasing skillet as needed.

breaks my heart

in the best way.

if you’ve seen the movie, you know the ending ain’t pretty – but this is damn beautiful. the beginning always is.

(turn it up.)

(you can listen to the whole song here.)