If the Thanksgiving post was tardy, then this post is so beyond belated. I want to wrap up as many 2014 recipes IN 2014 as I can, before the new year full of new recipes arrives. This last week of December will essentially be a race to the finish, to see if I can share what we were up to, in the appropriate year! That being said, we’ll be traveling so much in the next two weeks, that we may not have any recipes to post in the new year, if I meet my goal. HAH who am I kidding? Of course we’ll be cooking along the way, especially considering we’re celebrating two Christmas’ before 2015 arrives.

 

On that note, I would like to present the food we made with our dear friend Courtney, who lives in Boston. Back in August (I know, the shame of how long this took me), we took a long weekend to visit her and had a blast seeing where she works, eating our way through Boston and cooking together in her not-super-tiny kitchen. We ate a ton of good food that weekend, ranging from Jewish breakfast to a Ramen restaurant to a specialty spiked tea bar, so when we wanted something a little lighter in our own kitchen, we pulled out this favorite recipe to work with. The only problem was Courtney doesn’t like kale, but we managed to work around that thanks to our good friend, Whole Foods.

And one thing you may not know about Courtney, despite her multiple guest posts, baking is really her deal. Knowing this, we left dessert entirely up to her because well, why not? Will managed dinner, Courtney managed dessert and I managed pouring the wine – we all have our strengths. The pictures show how soaked everything was in amaretto and I regret not getting pre-amaretto pouring pictures. Know that while everything is soaked in amaretto and looks kind of funny, it really was good!

 

 

Cooking Notes: This is derived off of our own recipe, though we swapped out spinach for kale and reduced the amount used.

Avocado & Miso Noodles with Tofu (serves 4)
1 cup spinach, rinsed and sliced into ribbons
1 8-oz. package buckwheat soba noodles
1 ripe medium avocado
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp white miso
1/2 tbsp lime juice
8 oz. medium tofu
4 tbsp cornstarch

Prepare tofu by rinsing and draining, then cutting into domino-sized pieces and placing between paper towels to blot excess liquid. While draining tofu, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add noodles and cook for 8-10 minutes. As the noodles cook, you can prepare the tofu. Place cornstarch in a bowl and coat the tofu pieces with cornstarch, then heat oil in a skillet and fry tofu until golden on both sides. Remove from skillet and set aside until the rest of the food is prepared.

In a food processor, combine avocado, garlic, miso, olive oil, lime juice and 1/2 cup water. In your skillet, begin to heat another drizzle of olive oil. Once noodles are done, drain and rinse with hot water. Toss spinach in the skillet with the warm oil and cook for 1-2 minutes until wilted. Put noodles in a bowl, then spinach, then dressing and stir together.Place tofu on top and enjoy!

 

Baking Notes: Courtney used a custard from Food.com, then of her own volition, chose to soak Nilla wafers in amaretto and top the dessert with them. Yum!

Vanilla Custard with Amaretto (adapted from Food.com; serves 4)
2 cups milk
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla


Begin by beating the eggs in a small bowl, setting aside to be prepared when needed. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk, sugar and cornstarch. Allow the milk to scald (heat to the point when tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan), but make sure to whisk occasionally to prevent the cornstarch from clumping to the pan. Once scalded, remove milk from heat but leave stovetop on (remove it to an “off” burner). Mix about 2 tbsp of scalded milk mixture into the eggs using your whisk, then introduce your eggs into your milk pan in a slow stream, whisking constantly.

Immediately return the pan to heat and whisk gently until the custard thickens, another 2-3 minutes. Do not allow it to boil. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla. While custard cools, soak your Nilla wafers in a small bowl of Amaretto. Once the custard has cooled, place in a Ramekin and top with Amaretto-soaked Nilla wafers, topping with more Amaretto if you desire. Enjoy!

Recipe: Food.com: Basic Vanilla Custard

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