Cold Thai Peanut Noodles

Cold Thai Peanut Noodles

It’s been a little warm here in the East Bay these last couple of weeks.

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That kind of warm where you just don’t want to move, don’t want to do anything that may cause more heat, and that includes eating something warm.

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Cat had the genius idea for some cold Thai inspired noodles, and boy did it deliver.


These noodles not only filled our belly in a cool and refreshing way, they were also really delicious!



(and as you’ll see, really easy to make)

Cold Thai Peanut Noodles
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Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 box Angel Hair Pasta
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced onion, or chopped scallions
  • ⅔ cup chopped green cabbage
  • Sauce:
  • ½ cup chunky peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoons ginger
  • ¼ teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Chopped peanuts to garnish
  1. Boil the pasta per packaging directions.
  2. Strain and run cold water over to cool the pasta.
  3. While the pasta is boiling, whisk together all the sauce ingredients.
  4. Once the pasta is cooled, toss together with the sauce, onion, and cabbage in a large bowl until the mixed and the pasta is covered in sauce.
  5. Serve with some additional chopped peanuts on top.


Nuna and Toodles Casserole

Nuna and Toodles Casserole

As proven time and again with classics like Meatloaf, the old standards are still worth returning to.

I don’t know about you, but one of the staples of my child-hood dinners, at least in the capacity of what my dad could make us when we had weekends with him, was a Tuna and Noodles Casserole. Or as we playfully called it, “Nuna and Toodles”.

tuna and noodles caserole 1

It was of course a pretty different dish than what I made with supplies on hand, but I was still able to evoke the memory of dinner with daddy and that taste of home.

tuna and noodles caserole 2

Nuna and Toodles Casserole
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Serves: 6 servings
  • 8 ounces egg noodles, boiled per packaging direction
  • 2 cans tuna
  • 1 medium onion, diced, lightly sauteed
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped, cook (recommend frozen)
  • 8 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons cayenne powder
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl combine melted butter and breadcrumbs with a fork.
  3. In the pot you cooked the noodles in, a large bowl, or even in your baking dish, combine all the remaining ingredients until fully mixed.
  4. Spread evenly into a large glass baking dish and place in oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove and spread the breadcrumb crumble evenly on top and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes until golden on top.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy!




Summer Squash Garlic and Chicken Pasta

Summer Squash Garlic and Chicken Pasta

This Sunday I got the most excellent call from my brother-in-law to let me know that he had a few summer squash from his garden for me.

They were big and beautiful and ready for eating. I grated up one to put in a zucchini raisin bread, and the rest I diced up with some sauteed chicken and a 40 clove garlic sauce from Trader Joe’s to pour over some multicolored bow-tie pasta.

summe squash garlic chicken pasta 1

The flavor was so light and fresh and just screamed “summer”.

Summer Squash Garlic and Chicken Pasta
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Serves: 6 servings
  1. Boil the pasta as the package directs.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, saute the chicken in the olive oil over medium high heat for until mostly cooked through.
  3. Add squash to the pan and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften.
  4. Add the garlic simmer sauce and simmer over medium low for five minutes.
  5. Spoon the garlic chicken squash mixture over a bowl of pasta.
  6. Enjoy!
Instead of the Trader Joe's sauce, you can simply butter and season the pasta and mix with non-sauced chicken and veggies.



Butternut Squash Lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Ever since this last autumn Adam and Brandie have been saving the butternut squashes that they’ve received in their veggie box deliveries with the intent that we would make something together with them.

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It wasn’t until this Friday though, when we were faced with having to use SIX butternut squash, that we did anything at all.

I had been desperately craving butternut squash ravioli, but really didn’t want to make the pasta, so Cat suggested a lasagna.

butternut squash lasagna1

It was genius!

And with our amazingly delicious lasagna Adam and Brandie made a butternut squash risotto, and I made a butternut squash soup.

butternut squash lasagna

It was perfection, and at the end of the day, there were no more squash.

Butternut Squash Lasagna
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Serves: 8 servings
  • 2 large butternut squash (about 3lbs) peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup water
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 18 ounces of oven ready lasagna noodles
  1. Dice your shallots of garlic and place in a large pan over medium high head with the butter and diced butternut squash to saute for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the water to the pan, cover, and turn the heat up to high, stirring occasionally.
  3. Steam for about another 10 minutes until the water is soaked up and the squash are cooked through and tender.
  4. Turn off the heat and either using an immersion blending or a hand blender or even a potato masher, puree the squash mixture.
  5. Stir in the ricotta and spices.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9x13 glass baking dish.
  7. Take a quarter cup of the squash mixture and spread it evenly over the bottom of the glass dish and then layer pieces of the lasagna noodles evenly until the bottom is covered.
  8. Spread about ¾ cup of squash mixture over the noodles then evenly distribute half a cup of mozzarella and a tablespoon of Parmesan. Place another even layer of noodles to cover the cheese.
  9. Repeat with squash, mozzarella, Parmesan and noodles, until you're out of ingredients or out of room.
  10. End your last layer with cheese (using just a little extra if you have it).
  11. Cover the dish tightly with tin foil whose underside has been greased, and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
  12. Remove the tin foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the cheese is golden brown on top.
  13. Once removed from the oven, let sit for 15 minutes then cut into squares and serve.


Cheeseburger Soup

Cheeseburger Soup

Somewhere from the aether, the idea of a cheeseburger soup got into my head.

Something creamy and beefy and really filling.


This soup did NOT disappoint.

Cheeseburger Soup
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Serves: 8 servings
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 ounces pasta (macaroni, ziti, bowties)
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 10 ounces Velveeta
  • ¼ cup potato flakes
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  1. Dice the bacon and saute in the bottom of a large pot until cooked but not crispy.
  2. Dice the onion and add to the pot to cook in the bacon fat until transparent.
  3. Add the ground beef and saute until cooked through.
  4. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the ketchup and combine.
  5. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  6. To the pot add the beef broth, the water, and the pasta.
  7. Cook covered on high heat until the pasta is nearly done done to your liking. This should be about 10 minutes.
  8. Return the ground beef mixture to the pot along with the milk and the potato flakes. Cook for a few minutes on medium heat until warm (if the milk brought down the temperature).
  9. Cube the Velveeta and add that to the pot with all of the seasonings and stir until the cheese is completely melted.
  10. Season additionally to taste. Serve warm.


Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup


Apparently it’s soup weather here in the Bay Area, seeing as Brie just posted this delish beef stew recipe on Monday. It rained a ton last week (everything is so lovely and green!) and even more rain is predicted for Thursday/Friday. So – hearty soups, comfort food, and hot chocolate are in the forecast in this Qwerty household for the next few weeks at least.

I’m also so thrilled to announce that I’m full time freelancing again. After a short stint with a great group of people at Jelly Belly Candy Company, I am back working from home (it’s a good thing). This means more time and emotional energy to make food and publish recipes for you lovely folks. Also – puppy snuggles. 🙂

I missed her like mad while I was away. I mean, just look at this face.


I call that picture, “our lady of noms.”

Anyhoo, I finally had it in me to do some recipe exploring AND real cooking, so allow me to present to you this slow cooker chicken noodle soup.


It’s thick and lovely, subtle and comforting.

Here’s how you make it…

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
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Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • Large yellow onion, chopped
  • Frozen bag of mixed veggies
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 5 lb. whole chicken
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ⅓ cup corn starch
  • 3 cups cooked egg noodles
  1. Prep your crockpot with a liner and fill it with 8 cups of water.
  2. Add in the chopped onion, bag of mixed veggies, chopped celery, and bay leaf.
  3. Mix your salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley flakes in a small bowl.
  4. Now prepare to spend some quality time with the chicken - pat it dry, rub it all over with oil, then pat the mixed spices all over it.
  5. Place a sprig of thyme on top of the chicken, and place the rest inside the chest cavity.
  6. Lay that chicken down on the bed of veggies and water, set your crockpot to high, and cook for 5½-6 hours.
  7. Carefully pull the chicken out and place on a large pan. Allow to cool enough to pick off the chicken meat (separate it from cartilage, skin, and bone), and put the shredded meat back into the crockpot.
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk together ⅓ cup corn starch and 1½ cups of broth grabbed from the crockpot until thickened. Pour back into the crock pot.
  9. Add in the egg noodles and stir.
  10. Now salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!





Mac and Chili Cheese Tater Tot Casserole

Mac and Chili Cheese Tater Tot Casserole

I threw this quick dinner together a few nights ago without realizing just how delicious it was going to turn out.

mac and chili chesse tater tot casserole

This casserole was incredibly tasty, very filling, cheap, and above all, super easy.

I highly recommend trying this any night of the week.

Mac and Chili Cheese Tater Tot Casserole
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Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 box Macaroni and Cheese
  • 1 can chili
  • Frozen tater tots, enough to cover the casserole
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Prepare the macaroni and cheese according to the boxes direction and mix in the can of chili.
  3. Spread the mac and chili cheese mixture into a large glass baking dish on top of which arrange the frozen tater tots in rows.
  4. Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove and sprinkle the top evenly with cheese, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm