Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Sea Hag Cookies

So I caught a cold at work this week. Everyone in the office got it, it seems, except for me. I thought I had a superhuman immune system, but after a couple of days of overtime work and lack of sleep it finally got to me. Today, I took a sick day and stayed at home to rest. I was feeling cold and I lonely and I wished someone was there to take care of me and make me a nice bowl of home made chicken noodle soup. In fact, I knew a girl who made the best chicken noodle soup ever. Actually. she is a hell of a cook in general. She could make a complete thanksgiving turkey dinner all by herself and it was the best turkey I ever had. She also spent a lot of time making canned goods. She made pickled green beans and pickled cherries and canned peaches, canned spiced apples, but the best was her jams. I miss her and I miss her food a lot too!

So I feel like shit and I feel depressed. I need a little pick me up. Well as it turns out, this lady friend of mine also had a blog where she wrote all sorts of random stuff, but talked mostly about candy. She was a very good writer and had a great sense of humour. Her pen name was Sea Hag. I've been peeking at it from time to time. Her blog is actually what inspired me to start my own. A while back I remember one of her posts talking about a recipe for some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies she once made for her colleagues at work. I've been meaning to try it to see if they were good. Tonight could be the night. I was too high on cold medicine anyway to get any sleep (that decongesting cough syrup is like Red Bull on steroids) and I thought some good warm cookies with a glass of milk would cheer me right up anyway. So I made the cookies. And now I'm totally going to rip off Sea Hag's blog and post her recipe on here and claim it as my own, mwahahahaha!

Seriously though. Here's the link to her recipe. I think she deserves credit for the awesome cookies.

Here's what I did:


This will make a batch of two dozen cookies. You can roll up any excess dough in wax paper and keep it in the freezer for later like Pilsbury cookie dough and cut up a few slices when you want some cookies.
  • 1 cup softened butter (two sticks)
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups of plain oatmeal (The quick cooking one minute kind)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 handfulls of crushed walnuts (yeah, handfulls, whatever)

The first thing to do is to fire up your oven and set it to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If your butter was in the freezer, nuke it in the microwave for about 12-15 seconds to soften it up. (Start with 12 and put it back in whatever time you need, as long as you don't melt it.) Then, in a large bowl put the butter, brown sugar and white sugar and mix it together with a mixer until you get a smooth even texture. No clumps.

Buttah. One hundred percent pure phat!

Mix in the eggs one at a time. Basically make sure the first egg is mixed in well before adding the second. And then mix in the vanilla extract.

Then add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix it some more with the mixer until it is all well blended.

Then add the oats, chocolate chips and walnuts and mix one last time. You may want to start with a spatula and then follow with the mixer to blend it well and break down the oats and nuts a little.

Yeah, about three handfulls of crushed wallnuts.
That's about one cup.

You should end up with a pretty smooth mixture, considering the fact that we have clumps of nuts and chocolate chips in there.

Put a sheet of aluminum paper over a baking sheet and grease it up with either butter, margarine or baking spray. Then with a table spoon, scoop up the dough and shape it into a flat ball and place it on the cookie sheet. Put about an inch of space between the clumps so they don't bake all stuck together.

That's about a spoonfull for each ball.

Finally, pop it in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. (I know her recipe says 12 minutes, but I needed twice the time before mine were ready.) When they are done, take out the cookie sheet and let them cool for about two minute before transferring them to a wire rack to let them cool down completely.

After a few minutes you may enjoy them with a nice glass of milk. I warn you though, they are delicious but they are quite filling! So, don't eat too many! This recipe will make about two dozen cookies.

Aaaahh! That cheered me right up!

Now, who else wants some of my cookies? I still have a lot left!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Mom's Chinese Macaroni

When I was a kid, my mom sometimes had to cook dinner in a pinch. She had a recipe for a "Chinese" macaroni. It's not really a Chinese recipe per se, but has many ingredients and sauces you find in that cuisine. It's fairly easy to prepare. You just chop up vegetables and cut chicken breasts into cubes, cook it all, make some pasta, mix it all together with Hoisin sauce, soy sauce and some pepper and you got yourself a meal. It's such an easy recipe even my dad used to make it for the family when my mom worked late. Then again, he would screw it up sometimes, but whatever. I don't know anyone who can cook any kind of meat on the barbecue better than my dad. So the steaks, hamburgers and BBQ roasted chicken made up for it. And I can't complain about that. He was also the king when it came to baking home made brownies and cake before my sister grew up and became the best baker the family has ever known. Yep, I'm mama's boy, cooking breakfasts, lunches and dinners while she's daddy's little girl with the cakes, cupcakes, brownies and cookies.

This week I was tired and needed a good meal for my lunches. I felt like making this recipe because I was sort of craving the taste of Hoisin sauce for some reason. So I went to the groceries after work on Monday, got the ingredients and made it. It's good, easy to make, but it takes a while to prepare because you just have to chop everything. Anyway here's how to make it:


  • 2 chicken breasts cut in half inch cubes
  • 2 stalks of celeri chopped finely
  • 1 stalk of green onions chopped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 red pepper chopped finely (Or you can use zucchini as an alternative.)
  • sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger (I bought a small jar of it for practicality)
  • 2 cups of elbow macaroni
  • olive or grape seed oil
  • soy sauce
  • Hoisin sauce
  • sesame oil
  • chinese 5 spices

First of all, boil some water and cook 2 cups of elbow macaroni. While it's cookin', get choppin'! Start with the vegetables and chop everything up as fine as you can. Except for the red pepper, you want to have small cubes. And only slice the mushrooms, they will shrink when you cook them. When the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse under cold water to stop it from cooking any further and put aside.

Then cut your chicken into small cubes. Put some oil in a very large skillet or deep pan and heat it up on medium heat. Then add your cubes of chicken and cook until the meat is white all the way through.

Once the chicken is cooked, drain and put aside. Use the same pan and put some oil again and fry your vegetables. Start by adding the onion and garlic, the celery and the pepper. Cook these vegetables until they change colour. The onions should become a little darker and the pepper and celery should become tender. At this point, add the mushrooms and green onions and cook until mushrooms have shrunk and changed colours.

When the mushrooms are cooked, add the chicken and the pasta and mix well.

The last step is the seasoning. Add 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, 6 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce, 6 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1/2 tsp of Chinese five spices and some pepper to taste. Then mix it all in until the pasta and chicken become brown. Taste it and add Hoisin sauce, soy sauce and pepper to taste. Just be careful with the soy sauce because it's very salty and if you put too much you can ruin the taste. When everything is mixed thoroughly, let it heat up for a while so it's nice and warm when you serve it in a place.


The Chinese five spices weren't part of my mom's original recipe. But, I felt like it was a bit bland. Those spices are super strong, but not in a hot spicy sense though. They smell very strong and give this sweet pungent smell and amazing flavour to the dish. I added a few pinches to the whole thing, about half a teaspoon, and it was plenty! 

I'm so glad I made this because it reminds me of a more simpler time when I would come home after school and have my mom's macaroni and just chillax all evening afterwards doing my homework in front of the TV. A time where the only cares I had in the world was to get good grades in school and play with my friends. Also, it's only after I left home and learned how too cook for myself that I realized how much effort my parents put into feeding my sister and I. I am so grateful for having such loving and supporting parents. It's thanks to them and their support through all my hardships in life that I am where I am today. I wish everyone had parents like mine.

I love you mom and dad.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Deluxe Instant Ramen

During my last post I found a website with an article about hacking instant ramen into a real complete meal. Let's face it. Noodles and chicken flavoured broth may be fine for a teenager or a starving student, but it ain't enough to feed a real man. A real man needs protein. That brain muscle won't develop itself. So I had to take it up a notch.

I was checking out Youtube for other ideas on how to hack instant ramen and I came across a nice old dad who was demonstrating how to make one if his son's favourite meals: instant ramen egg drop soup. That gave me an idea. I know that in some ramen recipes they put vegetables like peas, beans, mushrooms or corn. Topping the soup with green onions and sesame seeds is also very common. So I put together an idea of a Japanese-style ramen egg-drop soup recipe in my head which will contain the protein and vegetables I need.

At home I had eggs and sesame seeds and of course packs of Sapporo Ichiban instant ramen (the best one in my honest opinion), but I needed other ingredients. Off to the supermarket I went and I bought some scallions, a pack of sliced mushrooms and a can of whole kernel corn for under 5$ and this will last me for many a ramen meal.

I ended up not using the powdered ginger after all.
But, I'm sure it would've tasted good.

Here are the proportions to make a single soup meal:


  • 1-2 tablespoons of whole kernel corn.
  • 1 stick of scallions, chopped in little scallion rings.
  • A handful of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pack of instant ramen with flavouring
  • a dash of sesame seeds

The first thing you want to do is rinse and chop your scallions like so:


Set them aside for later as a topping.

Fill a pot with 2 cups of water. 2 cups is the magic amount for cooking a pack of instant ramen. And set the heat to high.

While you wait for it to start boiling, break 2 eggs into a bowl (don't beat them, the ramen gods do not tolerate violence), open up your pack of ramen, your pack of sliced mushrooms and your can of corn. Drain the corn if there's a lot of water. You will need to add the ingredients quickly while the ramen is cooking.

When the water starts to boil, set the timer to 3 minutes. 3 minutes is the magic timer number. Add your ramen noodles and start the time. After a minute stir the noodles to break them apart and mix them up.

When the noodles are broken apart, add the flavoured powder and mix.

So far it's pretty easy, eh? Here's the fun part. Just EXACTLY when you have one minute left, just gently drop in the eggs into the soup. One yolk on one side of the pot and the second on the other.

Then add a couple of tablespoons of corn, a handful of mushrooms and mix really gently so as to mot pop the yolk as much as possible.

When the timer ends, turn off the heat. Take a big enough bowl and pour the soup in. Then sprinkle some sesame seeds and top with the scallions. Your delux ramen dinner is now ready! Enjoy!

Would you look at that?

Who would've thought it would look so god damn beautiful!

It doesn't even look like an instant soup!
I could've fooled myself!

Aaaaahhh! Man, that was delicious!

That was so good! And so filling! I don't think I'll ever make instant ramen the same way ever again! Next time, I think I'll do it with some pork chops just for the hell of it!

Just as a reference, I found this blog called The Ramen Rater. They apparently have been rating instant ramen for over ten years! They are also chock full of instant ramen recipes for adding vegetables and proteins to instant ramen and make them amazing. Check them out!

The lazy geek's dinner.

Ok, so I was lazy this week. I spent the whole weekend procrastinating to clean up my apartment and I finally did it late Sunday night. But, I cleaned up my place real good. I still have to mop the floors though. Wait a sec. What is this? A house cleaning blog?

Ok, so last week I made myself some more of my funky fresh Asian fried chicken wrap, but I still had a few pieces left and I had to eat them before they went bad. I didn't make anything else because I really didn't have time to cook. So, I just bought deli meats to make sandwiches for my lunches to get a break because I have too much going on. For some reason everybody wanted to see me at the same time. And it all happened in the one weekend. I wish I had time alone for cleaning the place and laundry and play video games.

Anyway, tonight I was hungry. I finished work late and I didn't have anything prepared except for the few pieces of chicken I had. So, I decided to geek the fuck out and indulge myself into the ultimate meal of champions: Instant. Fucking. Ramen. Oh, and watch some anime with that too! Yeah, that's right. Because, I'm not always lazy, but when I am, I make instant ready made shit and watch cartoons. I'm an adult now! I can do whatever the hell I want!

Also, the famous (or infamous depending on who you are) website The Oatmeal recently created this article about hot Sriracha sauce, otherwise referred to as the "hot cock" sauce. (I totally bought those boxers btw!!!) If you've ever been to any Asian restaurant, you know what I'm talking about. That tall clear plastic bottle filled with red hot sauce and a green squeeze cap at the tip that's so tiny you can make precise drawings on your food when you pour it! That is if you're man enough to pour that much on your food to draw anything at all.

I don't know why but it just woke something in me and I suddenly had to HUGE hankering for Sriracha sauce! And also Pho soup, because that's what I prefer to have it with anyway. So I ran to the nearest grocery store and got myself a bottle and then ran home to do this and finally quell my craving. By the way, how addicted are you to Sriracha sauce?

After running around with my groceries, it was time for me to fix myself dinner. Leftover Asian chicken tenders accompanied by spicy chilli instant ramen and of course, the Sauce. All of which were accompanied with a side of tasty anime as the final geek touch. Tonight's cartoon: Trigun episode 16 - where Vash the Stampede blows a crater in one of the planet's moons with his weird mutant gun-arm. (Pffft! That pussy ain't got nothing on super saiyan Goku whose power level well exceeds nine thousand.)

No, the chicken is not burnt! It's LIGHTLY ROASTED DAMMIT!

Sapporo Ichiban make the best instant ramen in my opinion. Their flavourings are the absolute best. I don't know what they put in there (nobody knows anyway) but they're really delicious. They just don't come with any dried up vegetables, but they assume you will add your own to the soup. (Yeah right, vegetables are for suckers.) The chicken fingers with the hot sauce was perfect. It was a good quick meal and that gave me time to chill and go out and walk, as always.

So, my apologies if there are no recipes this week. But, if you want to know, here's hot to make instant ramen:

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add dried noodles and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the powdered flavour packet (and dried vegetables if any) and mix well.
  4. Cook for an additional minute until noodles are soft.
  5. Eat!
Or you can go all out crazy deluxe gourmet and check out this blog post on on how to HACK ramen! One of which involves a Sriracha-based sauce! I just found that thing while writing this and I am so excited!

Shredded cheese?!?!? AW HELL NO! THAT'S BLASPHEMY!

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Cheater's Spaghetti Sauce

Ok, so I'm a lazy bastard. Sometimes I just want a good plate of pasta without busting my ass over the stove. Is that so bad? So this is not a home made spaghetti sauce recipe from scratch. Sorry to disappoint you if that's what you were hoping for. Still, this recipe makes a pretty bad ass spaghetti sauce.

So the way I make it is I basically buy a jar of Classico, add tomatoes, tomato juice, vegetables, herbs and spices and a crap load of meat.

Here's what I got for ingredients:

  • 1 jar of Tomato Basil Classico spaghetti sauce.
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 pack of mushrooms (preferably sliced)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 can 540ml of diced tomatoes (I had a couple of leftover tomatoes handy too)
  • 1 small shot can of V8
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • Italian herbs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
And here's how to make the sauce. One thing I learned from the many Italian cooks from the interwebs is that you should mince and soak your garlic in the olive oil before you do anything. So do that first.

  • Pour some olive oil in a large pot enough to cover the bottom.
  • Mince the clove of garlic and dump it in the pot with the oil to let it soak.
  • Chop up your vegetables into small pieces.

  • Start heating the pot on medium heat.
  • Throw in the onions and cook then until they are transparent.
I slightly toasted (burned) my garlic by accident. It still tasted good god damnit!
  • Add the ground beef and cook until browned.

  • Once the meat is cooked add the jar of Classico sauce and stir well.
  • Add the can of tomatoes and all the other vegetables.

  • Add the shot of V8.
  • Throw in a stick of cinnamon.
  • Add the Italian herbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Then let it all cook and stir occasionally until the carrots are tender. This recipe does 4-5 full servings so it should last you a week. You can also store it in small plastic containers and freeze it. Then, when you're not feeling like cooking you just take it out one day ahead and let it thaw in the refrigerator and you'll have a meal all ready, except for the pasta but, that's pretty damn easy to make. If you don't know how to cook pasta, leave me a comment and I will insult your intelligence in the best way possible.

Add some Parmesan and you're all set.