Monthly Archives: June 2015

MORE BEACH & AMAZING STIR-FRIED BEEF with RICE NOODLES (serves 6-8)

Cape May

Cape May Point, New Jersey

Our week at the beach was one long party from morning to night. There is nothing quite like waking up and lying in bed thinking about what to do first……should I run, should I go to the bakery  for pastries, what time should I hit the beach…..all such trivial thoughts…..and I loved every second of it!

Stir-fried beef with rice noodles

Stir-fried beef with rice noodles (recipe below)

When the Life Guards ended their shift at 5.30pm, bottles of wine and cocktails emerged from the depths of people’s coolers (including ours) and the evening took on a whole new atmosphere.

jy

Lovely Cape May Point late afternoon

It was really fun mixing drinks on the beach and then settling in to watch the light changing.

Everyone has tried this at least once!

Everyone has tried this at least once…right??

By this point we had usually lost one or two of the kids who were exhausted from the sun and ocean and had no excuse as delicious as ours to linger on the beach.

jg

I loved watching all kinds of boats sail by our beach

 Chat was non-existent at times as we each sat in our own quiet reverie sipping our lovely drinks.

It was also really lovely watcing all kinds of sea birds hunting for food

It was also fun watching sea birds hunting for food

When we did talk it was mostly about dinner preparations and who was on what task. Nothing would be done however until after a visit to the cool and invigorating outdoor shower!

jyg

This bird blended perfectly into his surroundings

 The last evening my daughter stayed in the water until the last possible moment. The only company she had were the waves and a pod of dolphins swimming further out.

This Bird may have been eyeing up my daughter very close to my daughters head

A Bird eying up my daughter for his lunch!

Happy Hour is approaching

🍹Happy Hour is approaching🍹

We packed up on Saturday morning and left our little spot on Cape May Point for another year. It rained all the way home.

Junior Life Gaurds in training - very Baywatch!

Life Guards in training

 I made a great Asian Noodle Dish one night and here is the recipe – it was scrumptious and a big hit with everyone!

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*This is a great Blood Type A Recipe if you substitute the beef for Salmon or Tofu*

You will need:

3-4 tbs olive oil

2 lbs top sirloin beef – cut into very thin pieces (or salmon fillets without skin – two 3 oz pieces per person)

2 medium sweet onions, sliced in half and sliced thinly

4 cloves garlic – finely chopped

2 carrots – grated

4 cups chopped spinach

1 1/2 cups chopped cilantro (leaves and stems)

1 cup chopped peanuts (simple place the peanuts in a plastic bag and roll with a rolling-pin or bash with a mallet)

1 lime cut into 6-8 wedges (for serving)

1lb rice noodles (I use rice noodles from Thailand. Try to find imported rice noodles if you can. They are the same price as the brands produced in the United States but are so much better in texture and taste – anther good importer is any rice noodle from the Roland company)

Roland Pad Thai Noodle Brand

Roland Pad Thai Noodle Brand

Dipping Sauce & Marinade (I used this mixture for both as it was less hassle):

Mix together in a medium bowl with a whisk:

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup mirin (sweetened sake found in the Asian or Ethnic section of your supermarket or Specialty Store)

2 tbs soft light brown sugar

2 or 3 cloves garlic – finely minced

juice of 1 lime

1 tbs tomato ketchup (sounds odd I know but this adds another layer of acid)

Method:

kv

This is an amazing dish with tons of flavor and can be made very quickly!

*put big pot of water on to boil for the rice noodles and cook according to instructions. Drain in colander and rinse throughly with cold water to stop cooking and to rinse out the starches*

1 – Put sliced beef in a bowl or ziploc-type bag and add about a 1/4 cup of the soy mixture. Mix it all up to coat everything and leave in the fridge for at least a half hour or overnight.

OR

Place salmon fillets into a baking pan or shallow casserole and add a tbs of marinade/sauce for every 6oz of salmon and turn to coat. Place in fridge for up to 30 minutes (or several hours)

*set aside the rest of the marinade/sauce for the noodles and for the table to be passed as needed*

2 – Place a big saute pan or wok on high heat and add 2 tbs of oil. When the oil is hot, stir-fry the beef in batches for 3 to 4 minutes until all the meat is cooked. Transfer to a bowl as you go and add more oil as needed. Keep meat warm in a low oven (170*) while preparing the rest of the dish.

*If using salmon, fry in oil on high heat for 3 minutes per side and reserve and keep warn in a low oven*

3 – Turn heat down slightly and add the onions and garlic and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes before adding the carrots. Continue to cook for another 3 minutes or so.

4 – Turn the heat to medium/low heat and add the drained and rinsed rice noodles. Add about a half cup of soy sauce mixture and stir. Add the cilantro and spinach at this time. When noodles have warmed turn the heat off (or down to low if not serving straight away).

5 – Divide between shallow bowls or large plates and top with a serving of the beef, (or salmon), a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and about a tablespoon of peanuts. Use more garnishes if you love them!

At the table pass more cilantro, peanuts and some Sriracha sauce.

People addicted to Sriracha sauce end up doing this to most anything remotely asian in stlye

People addicted to Sriracha sauce end up doing this to most anything remotely Asian in flavor.

This dish can also be prepared with a fish protein or with no meat whatsoever. If using no meat, you can fry tofu (using the same method as the salmon)

kh

This can also be served with fish like salmon – since the protein is prepared separately from the noodles and veggies, it is easy to make two different proteins to satisfy all tastes and diets (instructions for using salmon are given in this recipe)

Cape May 2015

Cape May 2015

BEACH GAMES & SALMON with CAPERS & CREAM

Our dinner last night (Salmon with Capers and Cream)

Our dinner last night (Salmon with Capers and Cream)

It has been three days since we arrived at the beach and we have already settled into a nice rhythm.

I love the colorful umbrellas strew along the beach

I love the colorful hotchpotch of umbrellas strew along the beach

A few years ago the kids would have been jumping on our bed and begging us to go to the beach as soon as we opened our eyes, but now that they are older they are happy to sleep in and hang out in the cool of the house until the hazy seaside heat begins to dissipate.

Strolling on the beach in the late afternoon

Strolling on the beach in the late afternoon

This morning we strolled over to The Red Store for chocolate croissants and caramel-filled buns for breakfast before there was even a mention of the beach.

The Red Store

The Red Store, Cape May Point

We got to the beach at about 3pm. and set up our little camp. When you sit around with six other people the constant chatter and running around doesn’t really lend itself to picking up that book you were determined to read. Right when you get to that good bit someone asks you to pass them towel or begs you to play frisbee or paddleball.

Dave was determined to conquer the skim board

Dave was determined to conquer the skimboard

I noticed that the only people reading were the ones who came alone so they could actually enjoy a good book against the backdrop of the ocean, with the sound of the waves mixed with the pleasant din of touristy noises playing in the background.

Ide and Marie-Lyse were content to lounge in the ocean

Ide and Marie-Lyse were content to lounge in the ocean

The kids are older now and not content to just dig for hours in the sand. Dave brought a couple of skimboards and he and our son spent quite a bit of time trying to get the better of the thing. You throw it out in front of you when a wave is hitting the shore and jump onto it and sort of hydroplane across the water. So far neither one of them has spent more than a split second riding the board and have had quite a few spectacular falls. We’ll see.

Calder running for the little blue paddle ball!

Calder running for the little blue paddleball!

I was happy enough throwing a ball around in the water, take pictures, munch on snacks and generally laze around until we headed back to the house at 7pm for cocktails and dinner.

Nap Time

Nap Time

After dinner we all walked back down to the ocean to enjoy the cool night air and the empty beach. It was wild and windy and so different for the scorching hot afternoon.

Cape May Point lifeguards practicing boat maneuvers.

Cape May Point lifeguards practicing boat maneuvers.

We played paddleball and ran around by the water’s edge until we couldn’t see each other anymore.

Ide's after dinner beach romp

Ide’s after dinner beach romp

 Salmon with Capers & Cream (serves 4)

This dinner was so quick and easy and a great idea for any of you who want to make something scrumptious in a hurry. I made this with rigatoni pasta because we had pasta leftover form the night before. I simply reheated the noodles in the sauce right before serving.

Salmon wit Capers and Cream

Salmon with Capers and Cream

You will need:

4 skinless salmon fillets (6 ozs each and cut in two lengthways)

salt and black pepper to season fish

1 tbs unsalted butter

1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

3 tbs capers (unrinsed)

2 medium tomatoes (cored and diced)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley (more if you love it!)

1/2 lb rigatoni pasta

Method:

1 – Season the prepared salmon (see instruction in list of ingredients) with salt and pepper. Put saute pan on medium heat and let it warm up. Add the butter and the oil and when it has melted, add the salmon in a single layer. Cook until browned (about 4 minutes). Turn and add the capers. Cook for 2 minutes.

*put pasta water on to boil and cook pasta according to instructions (it will be done at the same time as your fish)*

Cook Salmon on one side, turn and add capers

Cook Salmon on one side, turn and add capers

2 – Add the tomatoes and cream and turn heat down to low. Cover and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes (depending on the thickness of your salmon).

Add tomatoes and cream.

Add tomatoes and cream.

3 – Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce and sprinkle with parsley. Serve!

The sun has set for the day

The sun has set on another glorious day

BACK AT THE BEACH and A KILLER RECIPE FOR A ROASTED CORN SUMMER SALAD – All worth writing about!

It has been quite a while since I posted something on this blog of mine and being back in Cape May for our Annual Trip with friends is the perfect opportunity to write about something and share a couple of amazing Summery Recipes (including cocktails!).

Back on the familiar beach

Back on the familiar beach

 We set off, as always, on Saturday and now that we have gotten the hang of this routine, have found that is it best to bring dinner already made for that first evening. When we get to the house all anyone wants to do is race to the beach and take in the ocean in all its Summery glory – who has time to cook!

Roasted Corn Salad: crunchy and delicius

Roasted Corn Salad: crunchy and delicious

I decided to make this amazing corn salad the focal point of the meal. I knew it was going to be hot and that the air would be sticky with humidity, so eating something refreshing and cold would be the perfect counterbalance. It was also super easy to make at home  and transport (along with some cooked chicken and fish).

Nothing like having a plate of warm cookies to nibble on after dinner.

 I even made a big batch of these cookies (toffee and chocolate chip) which are great sweet snack on the beach or warmed up for dessert.

Filling the car to the brim with a crazy amount of groceries and kitchen tools (good knives and my trusty giant All-Clad pan), as well as our clothes, paddle ball, boogie boards and all manner of digging equipment is so worth the trouble.

Cape May Point, New Jersey

Day 1: Cape May Point, New Jersey

Now the whole week will be about fun and relaxation with no worries about what’s for dinner.

Mod Sand Castle

Mod Sand Castles

Calder diving into the waves

Calder diving into the waves

Marie-Lyse

Marie-Lyse

Evening Cocktails on the Beach

Evening Cocktails on the Beach

ROASTED CORN SALAD:

5 ears of fresh corn – shucked

1 red pepper – finely diced

1 yellow pepper – finely diced

big bunch fresh cilantro – chopped (about 2 or so cups)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs mirin

juice of 1 lime

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional)

salt to taste

Method:

Dry Roast the sweet corn for 30 minutes

Dry Roast the sweet corn for 30 minutes

1 – Put a skillet on medium heat and leave it to get warm/hot for about 3 minutes (cast iron, stainless steel work best – do not use a non-stick pan). Place corn on skillet and time for about 30 minutes. Turn every 5 minutes. It will get brown and roast in spots. Turn heat down if this is happening too fast (you will know because corn might crack or pop!).

My new citrus squeezer from Orivieto, Italy

 Make dressing (fresh lime juice is key!)

2 – While corn is cooking dice the peppers, and chop the cilantro. In a small bowl whisk the oil, soy sauce, mirin and lime juice, pepper flakes (if using), and add a pinch of salt. If it needs more salt, add a pinch at a time. If you would like it to be a little sweeter, add more mirin.

3 – When corn is roasted, place on a plate or board to cool. When it is cool or cool enough to handle, take the corn from the cob using a knife and work in straight lines from top to bottom (hold the corn upright in your hand).

Mix everything together

Mix everything together

4 – Put the corn in a big bowl with the peppers and cilantro and mix in the dressing, stirring well to coat everything.

Here we had it with a lots of yummy stuff like Asian Marinated Salmon, chicken, avocado and crunchy romaine lettuce. Alway nice to add a squeeze of lime juice!

Here we had it with lots of yummy stuff like Asian Marinated Salmon, chicken, avocado and crunchy romaine lettuce. Always nice to add a squeeze of lime juice!

You can serve this in any number of ways: as part of a green salad, in a taco, on grilled fish or poultry – anything really.

Here we had it with some fried tofu in a homemade flour tortilla

Here we had it with some fried tofu in a homemade flour tortilla

See you tomorrow!

See you tomorrow!