27 September 2015

Thai Steak Noodle Salad

My humble plating.

R+D Kitchen's version.

Ran across ingredient list from a wonderful salad we had earlier this year in Napa at R+D Kitchen in Yountville. Needed an appropriate vinaigrette recipe, and finally settled on one from Sara Foster's Fresh Every Day cookbook. I made a few adjustments, but have included the original measurements in parentheses. You could easily halve the recipe, as it made closer to 1-1/2 cups. Sara Foster's Spicy Pad Thai Salad (on the same page) sounds great, too.

Pad Thai Vinaigrette
Makes Approximately 1-1/2 cups

2 T. Rice wine vinegar
2 T. Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 T. Tamarind paste
2 T. Light soy sauce or Tamari
3 (2) T. Extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. Ketchup
1-1/2 T. (1 T.) Sugar
1 T. Fresh ginger, grated
2 Garlic cloves, minced
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. (1 tsp.) Chili paste

Whisk together. Can be refrigerated in sealed container for one week.

Thai Steak (or Chicken) Noodle Salad
4 servings

1/2 cup Pad Thai Vinaigrette
2 12-oz. Steaks (New York Strip), grilled to medium rare
2 cups Vermicelli noodles, cooked; slightly al dente
1/3 cup Fresh cilantro, julienned
1/3 cup Fresh basil, julienned
1/3 cup Green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup Grape tomatoes, halved
1-2 Avocados, rough cut
3/4 cup Fresh mango
2 med. Carrots, julienned
1 head Romaine, finely chopped
2 Limes, halved
3/4+ cup Peanuts

1. Prepare vinaigrette. Set aside.
2. Grill steaks (seasoned with salt + pepper) to medium rare. Let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice. Set aside. While steaks are grilling, cook Vermicelli to al dente in salted water. Rinse thoroughly in cold water. Drain well and dry with paper towels.
3. Chop Romaine, julienne carrots, halve grape tomatoes, thinly slice green onions (white part and equal amount of green). Toss together in large bowl. Dry thoroughly with paper towels.
4. Top salad with avocado, mango, and peanuts. Gently toss together using hands.
5. In a large bowl--add vinaigrette to cold noodles. Toss thoroughly. Pour salad mixture on top. Gently toss using hands. Add more vinaigrette.
6. Plate salads. Squeeze lime juice on top.
7. Sprinkle on my peanuts, if desired.
8. Distribute steak pieces evenly between 4 servings.

24 September 2015


The tree on the right stays. 


Emerald Ash Bore. We are losing two trees. Again.

One year after we moved in 14 years ago, two massive Oak trees were felled from our front yard. Construction damage due to Oak's shallow root system. We were sick. Our HOA landscape committee furnished two new small trees.

We wish now we'd been more involved, as the Committee took the cheap route and replaced the Oaks with Ash trees. Now those trees have to be removed. This time, we plan to have input--offering to pay for quality trees, if needs be.

One down, one to go. Then they grind-out the stump and replant.

19 September 2015


All 6 siblings gathered for my dad's 94th birthday on September 16th, and conversations led to the unearthing of this tribute my dad prepared for the occasion of his parents 50th wedding anniversary. My grandparents both died just a short time after that celebration, so this is a cherished bit of genealogy that might certainly have been lost.

16 September 2015

Dad's 94th Birthday

In birth order: Judy, Gloria, Nancy, Marilyn, Patty; youngest, Paul, in front with the birthday boy.