30 April 2010

Rosemary Focaccia

I found this recipe at http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/The-Best-Rosemary-Focaccia-Bread-63530
the only think i changed was to mash the salt and rosemary together, and i think next time i would mix the rosemary into the bread.. but aside from that, it is a very tasty recipe.
a lot of people said they needed to add more water, but i didn't and it worked out well for me.


  1. 1
    Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water, and let sit 10 minutes until bubbly.
  2. 2
    In a large bowl, combine the flour, Ts. of salt, yeast mixture and remaining water.
  3. 3
    Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon and then your hands.
  4. 4
    Transfer to a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few minutes or until smooth.
  5. 5
    Place in a well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. 6
    Punch down and place on an oiled baking sheet, forming into an oval or circle.
  7. 7
    Dimple the top surface with your finger tips, and then drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and rosemary.
  8. 8
    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden.

26 April 2010

Challah bread

I admit it, I´m a no-bread-machine purist. I love making bread, kneading it and feeling it get more elastic, and the whole sense of connection to the bread that you get, and I like that it makes me slow down, waiting for it to rise so I can punch it down and form it. (And I love punching it down - I admit I can´t wait for that moment!)

I missed doing that all last year, with the two bad ovens I couldn´t trust, but this year I have an electric oven with temperature controls, so I´m getting back into baking.

I decided to start with Challah bread, since it´s one of the easiest and least fragile types. I used this recipe, and it turned out perfectly enough that my roommate, Ludette, and I destroyed the first load within an hour.

5 1/2 – 6 c. flour
1 T dry yeast
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/4 t salt
6 T vegetable oil
1 1/2 c water plus 2 t
1 egg

1. In a small bowl (#1), put yeast, 1 T sugar, 1/4 c water. Mix and let it stand for 10 minutes or until it bubbles.

2. In bowl #2 put all dry ingredients: flour, salt, sugar; mix them well.

3. In bowl #3 put all wet ingredients: water, oil, egg, and the yeast mixture after it’s bubbled; mix them well.

4. Mix everything together to make the dough. If the dough is too sticky, add a little flour until you can handle it. Use your hands to mix and press the mixture until it forms a ball of dough.*

5. Cover with a towel, and let the dough stand in a warm place for an hour or an hour and a half until it doubles in size.

6. Punch the dough to let out the air bubbles (this is the fun part!).

7. Let stand for 10 minutes.

8. For traditional-style challah, separate dough into six even pieces, roll each piece into a snake either between your hands or on the table, and make two braids. Turn the ends under so they look pretty. You may need to keep a little flour out to keep them from getting too sticky. Or, weave them into any design you like. Place them on greased and floured cookie sheets.

9. Beat one egg in a small bowl. Brush both braids with egg. Let them stand half an hour, and then brush with egg again. If you like, sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds after the second egg wash.

10. Let rise for an hour or an hour and a half until the loaves double in size. Be patient!

11. Heat oven to 375F. Bake for 22-26 minutes or until the tops turn golden.

My editions to the recipe: it took more than one egg to coat the loaves, so make sure you have more at hand, so you don´t have to run out at the last minute, during the biggest futbol game of the year, when all the stores are closed, just to get some!

Also, Challah should be sweet. Letting bread rise slowly (not in a warm room/oven as often directed) makes bread more chewy, sweet, and rise better. It´s cold here now, and we are without central heat, so it turned out amazing.

¨Press¨ is really unclear. I kneaded for about three minutes, on a floured surface. It doesn´t ask you to knead, but it seems like the thing to do here, and if I had kneaded more, it probably wouldn´t have taken so long to rise, cold kitchen or not.

Decadent Raspberry Brownies (aka the best thing I have ever made)

based off of this recipe (generally I don't like/trust recipes from companies touting their brands but ohmygosh this is so good)

It was my boss's birthday and I had a vague recollection that he liked "fruity things." I wanted to make some sort of fruity brownies. I did a bunch of searches and finally decided that this was what I really wanted to make. It's a dense brownie, covered in a thin layer of raspberry preserves, covered in a layer of ganache. I also added some fresh raspberries to the top of the ganache.

I almost had some serious problems. First I used a pan that was too big because I am dumb and the batter was way too thin and I had to transfer it (aluminum foil and all) to a smaller pan. Then, when I was making the ganache, I accidentally bought bittersweet chocolate instead of semi sweet and so I added some sugar but it basically ruined the ganache completely and I had to start all over. My roommate was watching while I was struggling and said "See, this is how the rest of us feel when we try to bake things!" But they came out perfect anyway.

And I do mean perfect. I have never gotten so many emphatic compliments about something I've made before. I say with little humility that I am pretty good at this baking thing by now and I'm used to compliments. I actually made these two days in a row (for my boss one day, and then the next day for an engagement party I went to) and people I didn't know were seeking me out to compliment me and some of my friends are STILL talking about these brownies, a week later!

They are not difficult to make if you don't make my dumb mistakes, but they do take quite a bit of time because you have to let the brownies cool before adding anything else, and you have to let the ganache cool before cutting them. If you can, I think it's best to make these the night before. Also, even if the ganache is totally cooled, cutting these is a little sticky so you'll have to wipe your knife in between cuts.

4 (1 ounce) squares Bakers UNSWEETENED baking chocolate
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
6 (1 ounce) squares Baker's SEMI SWEET sweet baking chocolate
3/4 cup heavy cream

fresh raspberries for garnish (I used 24 cut in half, but you'll need extras for the ones you cut poorly/accidentally drop in your mouth)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving some on the ends so you can eventually pull the brownies out with the foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray (use the kind that has flour in it if you have it!) 
2. Heat the unsweetened chocolate and butter over medium low heat and stir constantly until butter and chocolate are completely melted. Remove from heat.
3. Stir sugar into chocolate mixture and mix well. Mix in eggs and vanilla, then flour. Stir in flour until everything is totally mixed in. 
4. Pour evenly into the pan, it will be fairly thin, don't worry!
5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes (use the toothpick test!) and be careful to not overbake. It's much better to underbake than to overbake!

6. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan, at least an hour, more if you have time. Now would be a good time to slice some raspberries if you are into that.
7. Once the brownies are cool, evenly spread the jam on the brownies. Resist the urge to use more jam, even though it seems like a good idea! Reviews of the recipe say if you use too much jam, then the ganache will slide off!
8. Heat the semi sweet chocolate and cream over a double boiler and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. I don't think you need to add any flavorings to the ganache (I usually do), just let the intense chocolate flavor stand on its own!anache evenly o
9. Spread ganache evenly over the jam.
10. While the ganache is still liquid, press half raspberries into it in whatever pattern you'd like. I did 6 x 8 raspberries, so a total of 48 halves.
11. Allow the ganache to set at room temperature, at least 3 hours but overnight is better. I'd recommend against putting them in the fridge until set unless you are in a time crunch. Doing this causes condensation on the ganache, but it's not a big deal.
12. Carefully remove brownies from the pan by pulling out the aluminum foil and place on a cutting board. Wet a very sharp and thin knife and cut into bars (I cut mine so each had 2 half raspberries) and wipe off chocolate/wet the knife between cuts so it doesn't gunk up.

14 April 2010

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Coffee Ganache

based off of this recipe who got the idea from this recipe

I am like the birthday cake fairy or something. Anyway, I asked my friend's boyfriend if I should make her a chocolate cake, a rum cake, an espresso cake or a stout cake for her birthday. And he said, and I quote, "How about a chocolate stout cake! Combine two of her true loves (I think I come in third)." So chocolate stout it is! The Bon Appetit recipe seems to be the base recipe for all of the chocolate stout cake recipes on the internet... But I like the Smitten Kitchen version... mostly because it used a better frosting, but also because she HALVED the recipe (and I still ended up with 28 cupcakes).

This cake is super rich and has a really intense flavor. It doesn't taste like stout, but it sort of has the essence of stout. Basically, it's awesome. I am always worried when I try new recipes for people's birthdays since it's kind of important that it tastes good, but this was definitely a winner. I think the coffee ganache goes really well with the cake. Like I said, the cake has such a strong flavor, and I don't think you'd want to have too much frosting to take away from that. Although, I kind of want to make an Irish Cream frosting/ganache in the future...!

1 cup stout (like Guinness)
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream (the recipe called for 2/3 cup but I am bad at measuring!)

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp instant coffee
splash Kahula
splash vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake tray (or trays if you have more than one!) with paper or butter and grease the tray if you don't have cupcake liners.
2. In a medium saucepan, simmer the stout and butter together over medium heat, whisking slowly until butter is totally melted.
3. Whisk the cocoa into the butter/stout. This is going to taste really bitter, so if you are like me and taste everything, don't be surprised/disappointed. I mean, obviously... it's bitter beer and cocoa, what I did I expect it to taste like?
4. Turn the heat off on the burner and allow the mixture to cool a little while you're doing the next steps.
5. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
6. Beat eggs, sour cream and vanilla in a large bowl. You can do this by hand, but if you are using a mixer, do this at a low speed and keep it on low for everything.
7. Mix stout mixture into egg mixture and beat until just combined. You don't want to mix out all of the carbonation (or nitrogen-ation or whatever it would be if you're using Guiness).
8. Add flour mixture and beat until not quite combined.
9. Fold batter together with a rubber spatula until completely combined.
10. Pour into prepared cupcake pan, fill each cupcake about 2/3 full of batter. Bake for ~25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
11. Cool completely before frosting.
12. To make the ganache, melt the chocolate chips, cream, instant coffee, vanilla and Kahula over a double boiler and stir until smooth and shiny. Allow to rest for a few minutes before dipping the cupcakes into the ganache. This made juuuust enough to frost 28 cupcakes (and I made the cupcakes kind of larger than they should have been, so if you have more than this many cupcakes, you might want to add a little more chocolate/cream).

12 April 2010

Scallop, Leek and Mushroom Chowder

Rainy weather is soup weather. Even though it's supposed to be wonderful weather in Santa Barbara, apparently it rains on Sunday nights. So, time for soup!

I'd picked up some oyster mushrooms at the farmer's market because I am a big fan of wild mushrooms, but I'm too afraid for my safety to go mushroom hunting myself. I think the oyster mushrooms gave the soup a really good flavor that went well with the scallops, but I'm sure you can use any mushroom variety. My friend really wanted to have leeks in the soup. We are an indecisive bunch and it took a while for me to figure out that we should just make a creamy chowder. I think this soup came out really well, and it was all devoured so I think everyone else thought so, too!

I wanted to make it thick, so I started with a roux. It didn't really get very thick though. I didn't use too much flour because I didn't want it to be tooooo thick like a gravy or anything. I have a feeling if this soup had rested it might have thickened up but we ate it all immediately, so who knows. If you want it thicker, then you should use more flour/butter than I suggested in this recipe, but if you don't, then who cares!

The scallops were kind of an afterthought but I think they were really important to the flavor. You could of course vegetarianize this by not adding scallops, but I think if you did this, you'd want to add another vegetable (maybe carrots or something sort of sweet?) and/or a few more spices.

1 large potato, peeled, cut into 1/2" cubes
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 leeks, sliced into thin (~1/8 inch) rounds
1 shallot, minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups mushrooms (I used 1/2 oyster and 1/2 crimini), diced into small pieces
1 tsp thyme
1/2 cup sherry (keep the bottle around, you may want to add more)
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
3 cups vegetable stock
3 cups milk (I suggest using at least 2%)
1 tsp ginger
1 lb bay scallops (the small ones), cut into small bite size pieces if you prefer
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste

1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, about 5 minutes.
2. In a large pan or skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and shallot and cook, stirring, until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add mushrooms and thyme and stir until the mushrooms are soft but not browned. (At any point in this step, if the pan is looking too dry, add a little oil or water to make sure things don't stick!) Add sherry and stir until the sherry is reduced to about half.
3. In a large soup pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until it is fully mixed in and becomes a paste. My soup wasn't as thick as I'd wanted it to be, so you might want to start with more flour/butter, but I suggest using equal amounts of both.
4. Slowly add the stock to the roux. You want to make sure it mixes in fully and doesn't get lumpy.
5. Then add the milk and stir to mix fully.
6. Add the mushroom/leek mixture, making sure to scrape out all of the sherry glaze on the pan.
7. Add ginger, salt and pepper to taste. Keep it undersalted a little bit for now. You can add a little more sherry if you want at this point. This will give a rich, sweet taste. You want to add sherry before the next step (boiling) so the alcohol has time to cook off.
8. Bring the soup to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the scallops and boil for 3 minutes. The scallops shouldn't need more time than that, but test one to make sure it's done before serving!
9. Stir in the potatoes and add more salt, pepper and cayenne pepper as desired. I think creamy soups taste great with a strong bite of cayenne.
10. Serve! Garnish with more cayenne if you'd like. This soup goes well with Heather's family recipe bread.

08 April 2010

Sweet Potato Brownies

based off of this recipe

The original recipe calls these yam brownies. I still don't know the difference between yams and sweet potatoes. I don't really care. I am sure the difference is subtle and it doesn't really matter which you use in the recipe! But I would suggest using whatever is labeled a sweetest! These are more of a fall food I guess, but it was my friend's birthday the other day and she requested these brownies! I've made them a few times before and they are always a big hit. The brownies are super moist thanks to the sweet potato. You need to let them cool completely (several hours) before trying to cut them. If you try to cut them while warm, they will just smush together and cut like they are undercooked. The first time I made them, I tried to cut them a few minutes out of the oven, thought they weren't cooked and kept putting them back in the oven to cook more (a total of about 30 minutes more!!) until I just gave up. I think adding the spices is really important for the flavor, but you could adjust them if you prefer.

1 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger powder
2 cups peeled and finely shredded sweet potatoes (or yams!), about 1 large or 2 small potatoes

2 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1. Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 inch pan.
2. Cream the butter and sugars in a large bowl.
3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
4. Beat in vanilla.
5. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and spices.
6. Mix flour mixture into creamed mixture.
7. Fold sweet potatoes into batter and mix fully.
8. Spread batter into greased pan.
9. Bake for 30 minutes. The toothpick test doesn't really work. The brownies are done when the middle only gives a little when pressed with your finger. Don't worry too much about being 5 minutes under or overcooked.
10. While the brownies are making, mix the last 5 ingredients together.
11. As soon as you take the brownies out of the oven, pour the glaze on and spread with a brush (or spoon).
12. Cool completely and then cut. Serve warm with ice cream if you want to be indulgent!

07 April 2010

Chipotle Chicken sandwich

This is really a simple recipe but it came together so well; i decided to post it

1 Chicken breast
1/2 an onion thinly sliced
1 clove garlic minced (or pressed with garlic press)
olive oil
chipotle powder

Optional: prosciutto, fancy bread, chipotle mayo, creamy spicy cheese

Step 1: caramelize the onions and garlic with some olive oil in the pan you plan on cooking chicken in (i added garlic when the onions looked cooked but not yet brown) (medium heat and moving them around once in a while seemed to work for me)
2 butterfly the chicken breast (cut lengthwise so it is half as thick as it was before, tricky but cooks faster/ better)
3 sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, and about a teaspoon of paprika, and maybe half a teaspoon of chipotle powder on each side of each piece.
4 when then onions are done, remove from pan, add a bit of olive oil. Make sure oil is hot then put in chicken pieces.
5 i'm sure you know how to cook chicken, but mine were done when they were nicely brown on both sides, using medium heat. i let them sit in the pan on the first side until i saw the edges cooked all the way through, and repeated for about the same time on the second side. I cut the pieces in half to fit on my bread

Now that the chicken is done, you can use the caramelized onions, chicken, prosciutto or pepper jack to make the sandwich (i put the prosciutto next to the bread, so it didn't get soggy.)
If you want it even spicier you can mix some chipotle powder with mayo for a dressing. (canned chipotle peppers also work for that.. but careful, they are ridiculously hot)

Lazy Chicken Curry

I'm calling this lazy curry because all the curry recipes I found online took hours and hours of work, a lot more pots and saucepans than I have on hand, and a lot more than I was willing to put in. So I took the ingredients typically called for and made my own recipe. This can easily be made vegetarian by subtracting the chicken steps.


Two large onions
Four tomatoes
Five medium-sized potatoes
Four carrots
One large chicken breast
Two and a half cups garbanzos, soaked overnight then boiled until soft, then drained
Three cups yogurt, plain
Curry powder (I used about 3/4 cup, but I think it's stronger here.)
Three cloves garlic
Olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
Salt and pepper
Pinch aji (like paprika, only more spicy. I've always called it aji, but I don't know then English.)
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch safron

Chop the onions, tomatoes, potatoes, chicken, and carrots. Cut the garlic cloves up tiny.

Saute the onions and garlic on low in olive oil (1-2 tablespoons, no more) until the onions are cooked but not carmelized.

Add the potatoes, carrots, and spices to the onions and garlic, and add just enough water to cover. Let boil until the potatoes and carrots are soft.

While these are boiling, lightly saute the chicken pieces in vegetable oil, curry, and a bit of salt. Saute only until cooked, not until browned, so they are still tender.

Add the chicken and tomatoes to the potatoes-onions mix, and let cook for about five minutes to soften the chicken and tomatoes and let the spices set in. If it's not spicy enough for you, here's the point to add more curry/spices.

Before all the garbanzoes are in:

Add the garbanzoes. It's best if there's not enough water to cover it all at this point.

Add the yogurt. Let simmer about three minutes.

Serve over white rice. I found these instructions to work perfectly for sticky-white rice.

Enjoy with white or red wine and friends!

Barley and oatmeal

I love breakfast foods; they're among my favorites. Enough that when I had to leave the house at 6:00 AM to get to high school on time, I still got up in time to make myself a pot of oatmeal.

Recently, I've been incorporating a lot of barley into my diet - it's cheap (80 cents a pound) and delicious, with a nutty-chewy-starchy feel.

So here's something I've come up with, mixing two of my favorite breakfast staples.

The first step is technically optional, but saves about half an hour of boiling the next day: put about 2/3 cup of barley into a mug, and pour boiling water over it. Cover, (I use a saucer), and let sit overnight.

In the morning, put the water the barley has been soaking in, the barley, and a cup of water into a small pot, and boil, covered. Boil until it is soft, usually about four minutes. It should be chewy but not al dente, and should appear a less-bright golden color, and almost translucent around the edges.

Add about 2/3 cup oatmeal. To taste, you can add cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Stir until the oatmeal is soft, and until the water has been absorbed/evaporated to the texture you usually like your oatmeal at.

Invert into a bowl and enjoy!

Barley itself is almost sweet, and I typically eat this plain, but on days when I'm craving a sweet breakfast, brown sugar or honey do the trick best. It's shown here with brown sugar. (I bet maple syrup would be fantastic, but that doesn't exist in the southern hemisphere, somebody try it and report back!)

05 April 2010

Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

based off of this recipe

I absolutely love Drunken Noodles (spicy basil Thai noodles). When I go out for Thai, this is the only thing I ever order. I know a lot of people don't like Thai food because they don't like either lemongrass or cilantro (these people are clearly crazy), but this recipe has neither! I went looking for a recipe and surprisingly, I couldn't find many and quite a few of the ones I found had really bad comments. This recipe looked pretty good. Annnnnd it WAS. It was exactly what I wanted it to taste like, exactly what it tastes like in restaurants!

Pad Kee Mao translated means literally "shit drunk stir-fry." I couldn't find a real explanation for the name but the general consensus on the internet is that it's really spicy so you have to drink a lot to cool your mouth! I put a lot of chilis in the recipe because I like my food hot. Whenever I order food, I always ask for it "very spicy" but servers see my pasty face and give me "hot for white people, mild for Asians." Making it myself, I got to make it so spicy! The recipe called for 1 Tbsp smashed chilis. I didn't really know what that would equal, but I used 12 small red Thai chilis, with seeds (these chilis are super small and wouldn't be worth seeding even if you wanted to). You could absolutely use less, or even more. The spice level was perfect for what I wanted, though I did drink almost 2 liters of water with one bowl of noodles... Cooking the chilis released a lot of capsaisin (or something) into the air and my roommates and I coughed a lot. So make sure to open the windows! And turn the hood on if you have one (we don't).

Some notes about the ingredients... A few of the recipes called for "Golden Mountain" sauce. This is apparently a flavored soy sauce and there is no substitute for it. I went to the Asian market and had to ask an employee to find it for me, but they had it! A lot of the recipes called for "black" soy sauce. I think this is technically different than regular old Japanese soy sauce (what you probably think of when someone says "soy sauce") but I didn't feel like buying it, so I used regular soy sauce. And, sorry vegetarians, this really needs oyster and fish sauces. I think there are vegetarian versions of those sauces, but I am a mere pescatarian so I used the real thing. I can't speak for veg versions. (Also, if you order this dish at a Thai restaurant, I would be willing to bet they used oyster and/or fish sauces even if you order it without pieces of meat in the dish! Ask if you aren't sure!) Finally, most recipes called specifically for Thai basil. But I didn't feel like looking for it, and I had a ton of Italian basil. This tasted perfectly fine to me! I suppose a more discerning palate might know the difference, but I wouldn't worry too much if you can't find Thai basil.

This took me an hour to prep and cook, from beginning to end. The actual cooking only takes about 15 minutes, but you want to have everything ready to go, measured, chopped, ready to be dumped in.

vegetable oil
8 oz. dry wide rice noodles
1 lb. tofu (or chicken or shrimp or pork or any combination), cut into 1/2" x 2" blocks
8 cloves garlic
thai chilis, the recipe called for 1 Tbsp, I used 12 chilis and this was HOT, judge quantity based on your spice preference
vegetables (I used 1 tomato, 2 stalks of celery, 1 cup of broccoli and 1 head of baby bok choy, but you can use whatever! I think you should have a total of 3-4 cups of veggies)
1.5 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1.5 tsp Golden Mountain sauce
2 Tbsp white sugar (possibly +/- 1 Tbsp)
1 large handful (~1/2 cup) basil (Thai or Italian), chopped into thin slices but not minced
splash rice vinegar
fresh ground pepper

1. Cook the rice noodles. The proper way is to soak them in cool water for an hour (or more) until they become soft and opaque. But I am lazy and boiled them instead. It's hard to overcook rice noodles. Make sure to rinse in cold water or they will get sticky.
2. Cook the tofu (or meat). You can dry fry if you'd like! I fried it in oil, which is basically exactly the same method as the dry fry, but I used olive oil. Make sure to drain out most of the water in the tofu before cooking!
3. Mince the garlic and chili peppers in a blender/food processor or by hand. You want the pieces to be just a few millimeters, but it shouldn't be paste.
4. Measure out the soy, Golden Mountain, fish, and oyster sauces into a small bowl.
5. Chop your veggies to desired size. I cut the tomato in quarters and then made wedges, cut the celery into 1/2 inch slices, cut the broccoli into 2 inch pieces, and left most of the bok choy leaves whole but cut the largest ones in half lengthwise. Put these in bowls according to how long they should cook. I put the celery and broccoli in one bowl and the bok choy and tomatoes in another.
6. Measure the sugar in a small bowl. Keep some extra ready in case you want it!
7. Chop the basil and put that in a bowl.
8. Have the rice vinegar and pepper on hand and fill a small bowl with water so you can add it to the wok as needed.

1. Heat 2-3 Tbsp oil in the largest skillet or wok you have.
2. Once it is hot and thin, put in the chopped garlic and chili. Stir constantly until garlic starts to turn brown. Remember, the air is going to get spicy!! Turn on the hood and open some windows and keep a glass of water on hand. Try not to cough into your food.
3. Stir in the veggies. Add ones that take more time to cook first, cook for a minute or two, then add the others. If the pan is getting dry, pour in water, a small bit at a time. You don't want things to get mushy, but you don't want them to burn either!
4. Stir in the tofu.
5. Stir in the noodles. Again, you might need to add some water to make things not stick, but use sparingly!
6. Cook 1-2 minutes or until everything is evenly coated.
7. Stir in the sauces. Add the sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time and taste. I prefer this dish sweeter, so I added about 2 Tbsp. The original recipe only called for 2 tsp. Also, the hotter it is, I would imagine the more sugar you will need for that flavor to come through.
8. Once everything is coated, add the basil, a splash of rice vinegar and a few grinds of pepper.
9. Cook, stirring, until the basil is wilted.
10. Serve and enjoy! Garnish with mungbean sprouts if you so desire.

no photos, sorry! my kitchen is TINY and I had too much going on to try and take a photo!