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The Truth Is, I Love To Cook

For me, I like having fewer belongings and not having to clean up a bunch of stuff. My mother is just beginning to explore minimalism.

My mother spent her career working as nurse. She was a pretty busy lady who didn't have much time to cook. Now that my mother is retired, she is trying to simplify her life and hopes to downsize. Or at least get a handle on her belongings.

Through this process of trying to downsize, my mom keeps offering me her belongings. Sometimes this feels more like a threat, she says, "I am going to send you my Great Books of the Western World!"

My fear is coming home to a moving van ready to deliver The Great Books and a bunch of furniture that would take six hunky men to move. (Mom, if you are reading this - I don't want The Great Books -the men can stay! John, if you are reading this I am just joking!). Mom, please send the "The Great Books", A.K.A “The Great Conversation”, A.K.A. “A Bunch of Books” to Ethan!

Ethan is my college-…

Laurie's Quick and Easy Spicy Stir-Fry Udon Noodles

My dear friend Laurie shared her stir-fry recipe for thick, chewy, satisfying and slurp-worthy Spicy Stir-Fry Udon Noodles. This is a versatile recipe that can be made for busy weeknights. The sauce is so easy to make, and you can use a variety of vegetables or meat in this stir-fry.



Where to buy Udon Noodles?
Most Asian specialty stores and health food stores sell Udon noodles.  If you live in an area that does not have as many options, you can purchase dried Udon noodles from Amazon.

We are lucky to live in the Seattle area, where we have many Asian and health food grocery stores to choose from.  The largest Asian grocery store in the Pacific Northwest, Uwajimaya, is a landmark here.

Uwajimaya opened in the Seattle area in 1928.  This store is a place for all things Asian and their mission is to educate customers on all aspects of Asian culture.  If you are visiting Seattle, this is a must go to place. Simply put: Uwajimaya is amazing.

There are oodles of noodle choices available at Uwajimaya.

Most of the ingredients were already in my pantry.  I use low sodium soy sauce and pre-chopped up garlic.  You can find Sambal Oelek in most Asian specialty stores.  It is a popular Indonesian sauce that was incorporated into many Dutch recipes, after the Dutch colonized Indonesia.


Soaking frozen udon noodles is a nice trick to keep them from sticking together.

If you are in a hurry, you could buy pre-chopped up vegetables.  I just quickly chopped my own.


Peanut oil has a high smoke point, which means it is less likely to burn while the temperature is turned up high.  It also adds a slight nutty taste.


Just stir-fry all your ingredients in a wok or a pan that you have.

This is such a great meal to be able to make.  Thank you Laurie for sharing.  Udon did it! Here is her recipes and let me know if you like it.



Yield: 4 Servings

Laurie's Quick and Easy Spicy Stir-Fry Udon Noodles

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 30 mins
This versatile recipe for thick, chewy, satisfying and slurp-worthy spicy udon noodles is a great weeknight choice that you can make with a variety of vegetables or proteins.

ingredients:

Stir-Fry
  • 1 Tbsp olive, peanut or vegetable oil
  • 4 chicken thighs, cubed (meat optional) or ¾ lb of ground pork
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced (match-sticked)
  • cup green onion
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 packages of fresh or frozen udon noodles. Note: If you are using frozen noodles, bring water to a boil and cook the noodle while you stir fry meat and veggies.
Sauce
  • 1-2 tsp Sambal Oelek (or Asian Chili Garlic Sauce or Sriracha)
  • tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  •  2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
Garnish
  • Sesame seeds 
  • Additional sliced green onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro

instructions:


  1. Prepare your vegetables and set aside. Mix up the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. If you like, you can fill a large bowl with hot tap water and add udon noodles to the bowl to soak, so they can be separated before adding to the wok. This isn't necessary though, as you can add fresh udon noodles directly from the package to the wok, if you prefer to skip this step.
  2. In a large frying pan or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Cook the meat and then set aside while you cook veggies.  Add carrots and cook, stirring for a minute or so. Add onions and cook, stirring, until onions are soft and carrots are tender. Add green onion and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or so.
  3. If soaking udon noodles, gently stir to loosen udon noodles and separate, then drain. Add drained noodles (or unsoaked fresh noodle to the wok and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or so. Add sauce and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring to combine well. Scatter baby spinach over the top and cook, stirring constantly, until the spinach is wilted.
  4. Move stir fry to a bowl or plate and garnish with sesame seeds, additional sliced green onion and parsley or cilantro.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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The Truth Is, I Love To Cook

For me, I like having fewer belongings and not having to clean up a bunch of stuff. My mother is just beginning to explore minimalism.

My mother spent her career working as nurse. She was a pretty busy lady who didn't have much time to cook. Now that my mother is retired, she is trying to simplify her life and hopes to downsize. Or at least get a handle on her belongings.

Through this process of trying to downsize, my mom keeps offering me her belongings. Sometimes this feels more like a threat, she says, "I am going to send you my Great Books of the Western World!"

My fear is coming home to a moving van ready to deliver The Great Books and a bunch of furniture that would take six hunky men to move. (Mom, if you are reading this - I don't want The Great Books -the men can stay! John, if you are reading this I am just joking!). Mom, please send the "The Great Books", A.K.A “The Great Conversation”, A.K.A. “A Bunch of Books” to Ethan!

Ethan is my college-…

Bullet Journaling for Lefties: Achieve Smudge-Free Lists in the New Year!

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