Corn and Tomato Dip

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Another Martha Stewart dip, and I loooooooove this one. The way I made it is totally unhealthy but that’s kind of the point and it’s amazing. I can totally see myself just sitting down on a late summer afternoon with a bag of tortilla chips and just eating the whole thing for a meal. And then having to roll myself away from the table. Or dying. But what a good way to go. I doubled the amounts I found in the original recipe to fit the food I had and used cream cheese instead of silken tofu because silken tofu is gross and hard to find around here. You can use whatever you prefer.

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Start with some ears of fresh corn. I used five here, bought from the grocery store as our corn season has only just begun in Ontario. Use a knife or a special corn-kernel-scraping tool (whatever they’re called) to get all the kernels off the corn and into a pot.

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Pour in 1 cup 2% milk and heat over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until the corn is nice and tender. Let that cool for a bit.

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Meanwhile, grab a giant bunch of basil (any colour) out of your garden and start slicing that up.

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Grab as well some cherry tomatoes, about 16, and quarter those.

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Plop those in a bowl until you’re ready for them.

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In the bowl of a food processor, plop 1 250g package plain cream cheese, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, a few pinches of salt, some pepper, and about 2/3 of your corn-milk mix. Buzz that until it’s mostly smooth and uniform.

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Transfer the contents of the food processor to a bowl and mix in the rest of the milk-corn stuff, together with the sliced basil and quartered tomatoes. Serve with chips and enjoy!

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Hot and Sour Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

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This comes from The Foodess and it might be THE BEST THING EVER.  I love hot and sour soup, as does Atlas, so I made this with her in mind and everyone who ate it LOVED it.

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Start with with a giant pot and chuck in 2 litres of chicken broth. I like the low-salt stuff. Add 2 cups water to that.

Now slice some stuff up. Take some ginger, a 2″ knob.

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Peel that and slice it up.

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Grab 2 stalks lemongrass, and peel off the outer bits.

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Slice it into 2″ lengths. I also cut mine in half lengthwise, to increase the lemongrass flavour’s exposure to the broth.

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Grab a handful of kaffir lime leaves (about 8-10). You can freeze the other ones for later.

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So you’ve got all this stuff.

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Chuck all that in the pot with the broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, stuff the lid on and leave it for 30 minutes.

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In the meantime, grab yourself some mushrooms. The recipe called for 2 cups whole button mushrooms but I had shiitake on hand, so I cut off the woody stems and sliced them into strips instead.

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Slice up a cup of cherry tomatoes as well.

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Grab 2 oz dried noodles, any kind. I liked the look of this ditali stuff.

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You’re also going to need a cold roasted chicken, like the kind you get at the grocery store. I used to be leery of the fact that they sat out for so long, but then I talked to someone who worked at a grocery store and he said they sold so fast they were always making new ones. And they’re such a time-saver!

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Anyway, take that sucker and pick it apart, shredding the meat with your fingers. You’re going to need 2 cups shredded chicken, so I just did the whole bird and got a little more than that.

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Juice 3 limes and set that aside for a minute.

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Gather together as well a giant bunch of baby spinach leaves, and chop them coarsely. It’s harder than it looks.

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Chop up as well a giant handful of cilantro. I had a brainfart in the grocery store and bought Italian parsley by mistake and had to go back. But they are very similar in appearance. So I chucked in some Italian parsley too.

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While you’re gathering your stuff together, grab some fish sauce and sriracha, and some sea salt.

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Use a slotted spoon to remove the ginger, lemongrass, and lime leaves from the broth. You can chuck those bits in the compost now.

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Add in the mushrooms, tomatoes, and noodles. Bring those puppies back to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes, until the noodles are tender.

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Stir in the chicken, 4-6 tablespoons sriracha (I used 2 tablespoons because of the nursing mum, and it was spicy enough), the lime juice, and a few teaspoons fish sauce. Add some salt to taste.

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Add in your spinach and cilantro and cook that for a minute or so until everything is bright green. Serve hot, with additional cilantro on top, if desired. Fantastic the next day.

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Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

There is no reason that those among us with a gluten intolerance can’t enjoy a good summery pasta salad.  This one was cool and civilized with fresh herbs and a nice new mozzarella.

First, cook your noodles (gluten-free or otherwise) according to the package instructions.  For the gluten-free variety, I find it’s actually better to cook them for a little bit less (like 15 minutes as opposed to 20) because then you avoid the mushy stage.  What they don’t tell you is the amount of sludgy starch that comes off the noodles when you drain them, nor how sticky the noodles are when they are ready. These are brown rice noodles, just FYI.

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

So I added a drizzle of olive oil to the noodles to keep them separated while they cooled.

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Then I halved a few handfuls cherry tomatoes (I find the ones from Costco are actually the best and last the longest) and chucked those in.

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Then I chopped up some green onions, fresh chives, and fresh parsley and added that as well.

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

I cubed up two large hunks of soft fresh mozzarella (I was looking for the little balls, but couldn’t find them) and added those in before tossing the salad. Make sure the noodles are cool before you do this or the cheese will melt.

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Pour a dollop of olive oil, another of rice vinegar, and another of lemon juice into a small sealable container and add some salt and pepper to liven it up a little bit.  You can add garlic, too, if you wish.  Give that a shake before pouring it over the salad and tossing all the noodles to coat.

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

You can store it in an airtight container until you’re ready to eat it, but I would recommend eating it all the same day, as the noodles will become stiff and stick together after a while.

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad