Thursday, February 18, 2010


I love bloggers! I was new to the world of blogging (and to cooking) just a few months ago. I went from hamburgers and hot dogs once a month to a 3 meal a day, 7 days a week cook. I needed help, and I found it. I am always thrilled to find new blogs. Without bloggers who provide insight you do not get from books, I would not be as brave as I am in the kitchen. A couple weeks ago I was introduced to a wonderful opportunity. TASTE & CREATE is a cultural exchange program for bloggers. Click on the logo to the left, but the premise is simple...

Once you sign up, monthly, you are paired with another blogger. Hopefully, someone you have never seen before. You take a look at their blog, hunt down a recipe that you find appealing and cook and post the results. You are introduced to a new recipe, and at the same time, because you dig a little deeper into a new blog, you find bits of personal information that gets you a new blogger buddy!

I was paired with Marthe, from CULINARY DELIGHTS. Marthe is Dutch, native born and living in the Netherlands. But, she does write in English, with no hint that it is her second language (humbling for US, isn't it). She just turned 30 (traumatic for the young and amusing for those of us that are nearly twice that age). She blogs a lot of desserts, cupcakes and cookies, as well as participates in Tuesdays with Dorrie and Craving Ellie in my Belly. She is a delight to read, and I was very excited to find her recipe for Chinese GARLIC NOODLES. In fact, when I explained what I had planned, and what recipes caught my attention, my wife asked me to make these for her for our Valentine's Day celebration.

Here's what Marthe says to do...

Garlic Noodles
Adapted from: The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch

7 ounces dry Chinese noodles or spaghetti
1 large red onion, minced

2 tablespoons salted butter
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

Boil a large pot of water and cook the noodles according to package instructions.
Drain the noodles and wipe the pot clean. Place the noodles back in the pot and set aside. In fry pan bring butter to a sizzle and add shallots and garlic. Stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic. In a small mixing bowl add the brown sugar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce and stir well to mix. Add to the garlic and onions and mix well. Add the noodles and toss well evenly distribute the sauce on the noodles.

And Here's what I did...

As always, Mise en Place (assemble the ingredients).

I was a little afraid of the oyster sauce, but... In for a penny, in for a new jar of stuff in my refrigerator. I selected the thin rice noodles for this experiment

I followed her directions to the letter. I think I minced my onions a little too small. In her photos on her site, the onions are clearly large enough to be a visually appealing aspect of the recipe.

But, the taste was WONDERFUL! The oyster sauce is sweet, combine that with the Brown Sugar, and the noodles were very sweet. I plated this with Jackie's other choice for a main dish, Paul Prudhomme's recipe for a four cheese stuffed BLACKENED Pork Chop (a post for another day). Because the chop was blackened, there were lots of highly spiced tastes in it. It made a wonderful contrast to have the sweet noodles and the blackened Cajun spices.

This recipe met and exceeded every expectations. I will be making this again, and I could not be more thrilled with my first experience with Marthe from
CULINARY DELIGHTS, and with TASTE & CREATE. Head over to the site and sign up for next month. A bit of a challenge, and great fun to get to know someone new!

And a couple of PS's...

Actually, I made a variation of this last night. Last night was Ash Wednesday. While I personally only respect the idea, my wife celebrates the sacraments, and chooses to not eat meat on that day. I had plenty of noodles left, so I combined a bag of frozen snow peas to make a wonderful vegetarian dish for her.

Again... just as good as I could possibly describe...

But wait... I have another PS to my experiences with Marthe's blog...

Today is my day to post my weekly column on OUR KRAZY KITCHEN! I did a post about what I call "Faux Grilling", with another of Marthe's recipes... Skewered Salmon with a Maple syrup mustard glaze! While Jackie was eating vegetarian, I ate some of the salmon (don't worry, she had hers for lunch today at her inconvenient day job)

Again, another terrific recipe. Click on the photo of the salmon to get to the OUR KRAZY KITCHEN post.

It was so much fun to participate. I can't wait for next month to see who I get to meet! Click on the logo to the left if you would like to participate next month.

Thanks Marthe!


  1. I love garlic noodles. Those look awesome! I'll definitely check out taste & create too, sounds like fun.

  2. Yummy, garlic noodles! And the salmon looks great too!

  3. These garlic noodles look great! LOL about the inconvenience of having a day job. :P

  4. I love garlic noodles. There's a Vietnamese place here in SF that makes the best garlic noodles--you eat them with fresh crab. I'm craving that. Your salmon looks yummy too.

  5. So glad you enjoyed yourself, and the noodles (and salmon) look amazing! I'll have to track down some of that oyster sauce!

    It's nice to have you at T&C too, Nicole will be happy you're drumming up new participants! =)

  6. You have so many great blogger friends! Isn't wonderful to learn, embrace and in turn enrich your life with what you learn from others? This garlic noodle looks fab!

  7. I think you are working harder in retirement than you did as a worker bee. The noodles sound wonderful, Dave. Have a great day. Mary

  8. What a fun thing! I want to be paired with someone now!

    I wasn't sure at first about the brown sugar, but I bet with the other ingredients it wasn't too overpowering. It sound absolutely wonderful.

    Great job on Marthe's recipe!

  9. Well that sounds kinda fun! I wonder if I can be paired with a blogger from someplace that uses ingredients completely foreign to me. I love a challenge almost as much as I love trying new things :)

  10. That recipe is making me veeeeeeery hungry - can't wait to try it! I think the Taste & Create concept is such a cool idea. You get to make new friends and are exposed to cuisine from different parts of the world. I think I might just have to give it a whirl! Thanks for spreading the word!

  11. Taste and create sounds so much fun! If I weren't already completely inundated with blog events I would totally love to do this.

    You definitely made Marthe proud with these noodles. They sound delicious! I love sweet asian-esque sauces...definitely need to try this!

  12. I love noodles in any way, shape, or form. I can't believe I've never made garlic noodles!

  13. That is a neat blog project, I might just have to throw myself into it to see what happens.

    You're going to love the oyster sauce. It is great with stir fry dishes.

  14. The garlic noodles look fantastic! Such an interesting blend of flavors with the oyster and soy sauce. And that salmon looks great, too! Taste and Create sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing, cher!

  15. ooooh, how i loooooove garlic!!but id have to leave out the oyster sauce :(

  16. Garlic noodles - yum! And the salmon looks wonderful too.

  17. Dave,I was just telling my Ole Sweetie-Pi the other day how much I have seen you grown as a cook and baker. You've undertaken and excelled at cooking projects I would never think or DARE to undertake.

    Love the garlic noodles. Not big on oyster sauce, but if it has garlic and soy sauce, well, I'd happily slurp up a sample. Thanks for sharing this. Certainly sounds like it's worth a try.

  18. Your noodles look delicious! I absolutely loved these the last time I made them, must make them again soon!!

    Got my post up yesterday, but noticed just now that all the words have disappeared... :(

    Going to have to type everything all over again, apparently I didn't save before publishing...

    I made one tiny change on the flowered apple pie: used lemon zest instead of orange and I accidentally added the regular sugar to the filling, but it was still an amazingly yummy pie!!

  19. Forgot to tell you: I wasn't sure about the oyster sauce either as I'm not a fan of oysters at all!! I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't have the strong flavour I expected!