End of Summer Thai Slaw

Well my friends… it’s about that time.  As far as I’m concerned, as of last night, Summer 2013 is over!

I hope you all had a fabulous summer!  Dave and I spent our final summer weekend at the shore house with the fam.  It was such a great way to end this crazy summer we’ve had.

A cute photo from our date night in Atlantic City :)

A cute photo from our date night in Atlantic City 🙂

I wanted to make one last summery side dish before my mind starts wandering off in pumpkin land!  The recipe for this slaw was from the Food Network’s 50 Slaw Recipe booklet.  The Thai version stood out to me since I was able to use my brand new SPICY peanut butter from Peanut Butter Co!  I love the Food Network’s 50 recipe booklets, they always inspire me… I want to make so many more too!

Thai Slaw w/ Spicy Peanut Butter

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Peanut Butter

1/3 cup Rice Vinegar

Juice from 2 Limes

1 Tablespoon Grated Ginger

1 Tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1/4 head of Napa or Green Cabbage

1/2 cup Shredded  Carrots

1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped

2 Green Onions, chopped

1/4 cup Dry Roasted Peanuts, chopped

Directions:

1.  Stir or puree the peanut butter, rice vinegar, lime juice, ginger, and low sodium soy sauce.  

2.  In a separate bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, herbs, and peanuts.  Mix the dressing into the slaw and toss when ready to serve.

Recipe from:  Food Network Magazine

Ready for the dressin'!

Ready for the dressin’!

The star of the show!

The star of the show!

MMM!

MMM!

Thai Slaw

I love love loved this slaw!  I’m not a huge cole slaw fan because of the mayo that’s normally in it, so I really enjoyed this variation!  And I do have to tell you how delicious the spicy peanut butter made it.  There was nothing else spicy in the slaw and boy did it have heat!  It’s amazing how much flavor the spicy peanut butter brought to the table.  I might have to buy myself another jar already!

Well here’s my goodbye to you Summer 2013!  Excited to see what the fall will bring us 🙂

My 15 Minutes of Fame

Here I think I am… writing about a meal I had at a food truck because I’m so busy with moving that I have no time to cook.  Little did I know that this little post about the fabulous Thai-Mexican Mashup Food Truck, Cucina Zapata… would lead to my 15 minutes of fame.  That is- as long as it makes it to the final cut.

cucinazapata

Today I got to be interviewed along with my new blogging friend Amanda (Amanda’s Blog ) for a show on Food Network & Cooking Channel called Eat St.  We got to order some tacos, curry, and their famous Captain Crunch Crusted Tilapia Burrito and talk about it!  I even got to bring my fellow blogging bff Allie (you should know her by now but… Allie’s Blog)!  We had a lot of fun chatting with fellow C.Z. lovers, hoping we will get to be on the episode.  Keep your fingers crossed!  

In honor of this amazing food truck and special opportunity, here is my post about Cucina Zapata!  

 

It’s about time.  I finally live in the city… and I finally got to eat at a food truck!

The only problem is- I think I’m hooked!  If only I worked in Philly too… hmmmmm…

Anyway, the Food Truck I decided to try was Cucina Zapata in University City.  Cucina Zapata serves the most unbelievable tacos- Thai style.  Just look at their Twitter account profile… “Remember when you were like, Damn, I could go for some Thai food…..in a taco. Well, here it is. You’re welcome.”  That really explains what they’re all about!

photo 3 (67)

photo 2 (82)

I decided to try the daily Curry, which was Veggie Red Curry at the time.  I also wanted to try a taco, so I went with the Short Rib… really how could I pass that up?

Like, OMG this stuff is spectacular.  Check it out!

photo 4 (47)

photo 5 (39)

I could NOT believe how much food it was too.  The curry was so hearty and spicy and was served with a whole bunch of Jasmine Rice.  The taco was just pure heaven.  Stuffed with tender meat, fresh veggies like tomatoes, cabbage, and avocado… even just one would be enough for my entire lunch!  YUM!

I absolutely cannot wait to go back… I may have to drive all the way out to University City to try more Thai Tacos!

Follow them on Twitter to see what kind of specials they have everyday!  @Cucina_Zapata

Cucina Zapata

It’s about time.  I finally live in the city… and I finally got to eat at a food truck!

The only problem is- I think I’m hooked!  If only I worked in Philly too… hmmmmm…

Anyway, the Food Truck I decided to try was Cucina Zapata in University City.  Cucina Zapata serves the most unbelievable tacos- Thai style.  Just look at their Twitter account profile… “Remember when you were like, Damn, I could go for some Thai food…..in a taco. Well, here it is. You’re welcome.”  That really explains what they’re all about!

photo 3 (67)

photo 2 (82)

I decided to try the daily Curry, which was Veggie Red Curry at the time.  I also wanted to try a taco, so I went with the Short Rib… really how could I pass that up?

Like, OMG this stuff is spectacular.  Check it out!

photo 4 (47)

photo 5 (39)

I could NOT believe how much food it was too.  The curry was so hearty and spicy and was served with a whole bunch of Jasmine Rice.  The taco was just pure heaven.  Stuffed with tender meat, fresh veggies like tomatoes, cabbage, and avocado… even just one would be enough for my entire lunch!  YUM!

I absolutely cannot wait to go back… I may have to drive all the way out to University City to try more Thai Tacos!

Follow them on Twitter to see what kind of specials they have everyday!  @Cucina_Zapata

Thai Chicken & Green Bean Saute

It’s time I let you in on my little secret obsession:  my “Cookbooks”.

Besides cooking up a storm, taking pictures of everything anyone eats, and blogging about it all… I have spent over a year collecting recipes of all kinds and saving them into my “cookbooks”.  Instead of having boxes of old index cards or pages of crinkled up magazine clippings everywhere, I have made up my own system:

1.  Copy/Paste or type recipe (if it’s online) into a Word Doc

2.  Format to my liking, using columns for the ingredients to save space

3.  Print

4.  Cut and Paste (literally) recipes from the word docs and magazine clippings  into categories to fit as many on a page as possible, then stuff into a plastic page protector.

5.  They all go, into labeled categories in (what has now become 3) a 3-ring binder.

What’s so great about my system is that I can save magazine recipes, recipes from friends, FoodNetwork.com, My Recipes (my favorite being COOKING LIGHT! Obsessed…), and really ANYTHING all together in the same place.  They are organized and kept safe from spills, tears, and rips by the plastic.  I can also easily remove one page from the binder and take it to the kitchen with me when I want to try it out!  I love it.

I have saved so many recipes over the past year from blogs and magazines and tv shows that I am constantly overwhelmed… I never know what to try!  This week, being our second week in our new apartment seemed like the best time to go all in and try out some of my saved recipes in my cookbook.

This recipe is one that I’ve wanted to try for a while from a 2007 Cooking Light Magazine.  I made some changes, doubled the sauce to make it more like the style of a curry dish (but made with Sriracha… love) , and added a ton of veggies.  Dave and I both really enjoyed it and I have some for lunch today too!  YUMMY!

Thai Chicken & Green Bean Saute

Recipe inspired by:  Cooking Light

Ingredients:

4 Servings Rice (I used TJ’s Organic Brown Basmati)

1lb Chicken Breast, sliced into 1-inch strips

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce (or Low Sodium Soy if you don’t have)

2 Tablespoons Grapeseed Oil (or other), divided

2 teaspoons Minced Garlic

1/2 Sweet Onion, thinly sliced

1 Bag Fresh Green Beans

Other Veggies (I used 1/2 Bell Pepper, Celery, & Grape Tomatoes)

1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, minced

1 Can Light Coconut Milk

3 Tablespoons Sriracha 

1.5 Tablespoons Sugar

1.5 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice

A few Sprigs of Fresh Cilantro

Directions:

1.  Start to prepare your rice.  Mine would be done in 15 minutes so I made sure all of my chicken and veggies were chopped up first.  

2.  Combine the cornstarch with 1 Tablespoon of Fish Sauce (instead of the typical water you’d normally use).  Mix the cut up chicken with the cornstarch mix in a bowl.  Heat the first Tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan or wok and when it’s hot, throw the chicken in.  Cook for about 5-6 minutes.

3.  Remove chicken from the pan.  Heat the remaining Tablespoon of oil in the same pan.  Add your onion, garlic, ginger and saute for one minute.  Add green beans and other veggies if you’d like and saute while stirring for a few minutes.  

4.  Stir in the coconut milk, Sriracha, sugar, and lime juice.  Cook for about five minutes to heat through.  

5.  Serve mixture over rice and sprinkle with some fresh Cilantro.  Use a ladle, you definitely want to get all that sauce in there!

I used our Wok that had been in storage all year... I missed it!

I used our Wok that had been in storage all year… I missed it!

The rice soaked up all of the yummy sauce... mmm!

The rice soaked up all of the yummy sauce… mmm!

photo 2 (4) (1)

 

How do YOU keep all of your recipes?  

Erawan Thai

This week, I’ll share THREE different Thai Restaurants with you.

Thai is def one of my favorite foods, I could pretty much eat it every night!

Erawan Thai is in West Center City, just past the bridge on Chestnut.  Ricki (who introduces me to the best restaurants every time we go out) brought me here a few months ago, and I just had to take my boyfriend Dave back.

We don’t live too far from this side of town, so it was the perfect start to a great date night in the city.  I splurged and ordered a Thai Iced Tea to begin, and we popped open a bottle of Riesling… yes it’s BYOB!

Thai Iced Tea isn’t too good for you because of the sweetened milk, but it’s SOOOO YUMMY!

Granted, it was a Friday night and the place was packed… it still took a pretty long time for our food to come out of the kitchen.  Good thing we decided to bring the wine!

Dave ordered the Mussels for appetizer, and I went with what I always have to order:  the Papaya Salad.  Dave loved the mussels- they were huge!.. and a good Papaya salad will always make me soooo happy… YUM!

These mussels were served over ice which was a new thing to us, but they were really good, and Dave really liked the sauce.

Papaya Salad is so yummy.

Mussels: Steamed mussels in a jumbo hot pot mixed with Thai aromatic herbs and basil leaves served with lime chili sauce
Papaya Salad: Freshly shredded green papaya, carrot, tomato, green beans, and roasted peanut together with a zesty Thai sauce served with grilled shrimp on skewer

For our main dishes, we split an “extra spicy” Drunken Noodle and something new to us, the Pad Prik King (also extra spicy… duh).  While Drunken Noodle is one of our favorite Thai dishes, this one in particular from Erawan was awesome!  They did listen to us and made it super spicy, which was fun.  The serving size is also pretty big, without being too pricey.  I like!  The Pad Prik King was really good too, it was really saucy and delicious, and you can even see the pepper seeds in the sauce- so hot!

Drunken Noodles, MMM!

Our Chicken Pad Prik King

Closeup of the Pad Prik King

Drunken Noodle: Flat rice noodle stir fried with fresh garlic, Thai chili, basil leaves, bell peppers, onion simmered in house sauce
Pad Prik King: This peppery wok dish is infused with sautéed string beans & kaffir lime leaves, bell pepper in Prik king chili sauce

Erawan’s prices are pretty much just a tad below average for Thai in the city, but they do have Lunch and Dinner specials.  Also, you’re definitely always saving money when you go to a BYOB.  We also totally appreciate a place that actually makes your dishes spicy when you ask for it.  I loved Erawan and after having two great meals there, it’s on my list!

Silk Cuisine, Pad See Ew

This may be hard to believe, but when I was little, i HATED Chinese food!  I hated Sunday nights at our family friends’ house when we ordered it.  I wouldn’t try anything, not even plain old white rice.  Gross.  It was like this for a long time, until something happened:  Thai Food.  

My Dad, the accountant, was hired by a small family-run Thai Restaurant not too far from home.  My Dad wanted us to try it out.  Reluctant, I made him warn Peter (the owner and chef) about my hatred towards Chinese food.  Peter insisted on making me something that wasn’t even on their dinner menu, promising my Dad that I’d like it.  Thankfully, Peter was right!  In what could be considered a “life-changing foodie-event”, I tried Pad See Ew for the first time.  For the next six or seven years, any time we’d go to the restaurant, Silk Cuisine (or “Peter’s” as we call it), I would order this dish, and so would ALL of us kids in our group of family friends.  It actually wasn’t until a few years ago that I would let myself branch out and try other things there, having fallen so deeply in food-love with Pad See Ew.  

This past week, in celebration of the end of his tax-season, my Dad picked us up some Pad See Ew & Yellowgrass Soup for dinner.  

Shrimp Lemongrass Soup

Delicious Pad See Ew (not "ew" at all!!!)


What is Pad See Ew anyway?  As I used to call it, “chicken, broccoli, and wide-noodles”.  It has a base of a dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, a touch of sugar and garlic, broad rice noodles, egg, and chicken.  It sounds very simple, which it is… but it is so amazing.  It’s a great change of pace from my normal spicy asian dinners now.  My indecisive ordering demon in my head almost always loses out to this fantastic dish, I have to pick it everytime.  It’s just my favorite!  

Restaurant Nan

Every year, my family gets treated to a wonderful meal at Restaurant Nan inUniversity City,Philadelphia.  Restaurant Nan is a romantic little French-Thai BYO.  Another free meal?  I know… right?  This annual special meal is thanks to my Dad, who is the restaurant’s accountant.  So, thank you Dad for all your hard work!

This year, we were able to all go together, my parents, sister Melissa, and Dave (my boyfriend).

The fam... not at Restaurant Nan of course... but tailgating at the Temple v PSU game a few years ago. 🙂

We all are to the point where we have our favorites picked out here.  We each selected our own entrees and we shared appetizers and dessert.  The entire meal was fabulous as always.  Check it out!

Escargot... the sauce is to die for.

Escargot... with lots of mushrooms. YUM!

Thai Noodles... crunchy spicy and sweet

Goat Cheese Arugula & Beet Salad

Thai Cabbage Salad

My sister's favorite Crostini with Roasted Reds & Goat Cheese

Squid & Eggplant Salad... sweet and almost sour dressing, and the s&e is warm. So good!

Chicken Red Curry, extra spicy for Dave

Crabcakes... in alllllll that sauce. MMM!

Spaghettini w/ Lump Crab Meat

Pad Thai, one of the best Thai meals ever!

Creme Brulee, you could even see vanilla beans in there!

We were told that they made FRESH Coconut Ice Cream tonight and had to try it out! It was ridiculously creamy... so good.