New (to Me) Blogger on the Block Thursdays

by Cate on December 30, 2005

Before I get to this week’s nod for New (to Me) Blogger on the Block Thursdays, first a dinner report.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m adding a new, regular segment to my Thursday posts, Rediscovering My Library. Tonight, I broke out Food & Wine’s FAST: Over 150 Quick, Delicious Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less. I bought this one over the summer and haven’t used it yet. From it, tonight I made Quick Thai Beef Salad and served it with Miss Leslie’s Ham Salad with Biscuits, which I’ve made before. I first made the Ham Salad about a year-and-a-half ago for one of our Supper Club gatherings, and then last month, for the Summer in December theme, one of the Supper Club members resurrected it. It’s originally a Rachael Ray recipe … delicious and simple to make.

The Quick Thai Beef Salad was good. With it having fish sauce in it, it is probably going to be an acquired taste for some, as that tends to be a very strong flavor, but again, very simple to make. Dinner was on the table in about 20 minutes and full of veggies: cucumbers, celery, and tomatoes. Not bad, and not even ARF/5-a-Day yet! One caveat for those trying this recipe. It ended up having a LOT of extra sauce, so I’d halve those ingredients next go ’round. I made some modifications to the recipe, as I’m wont to do, and the recipe below includes those changes.

Quick Thai Beef Salad

Ham Salad on Biscuits

After dinner, Nicholas and I made a quick treat to bring into the office tomorrow, Pear Custard Bars. Another new recipe, they certainly look and smell good. We’ll have to wait for a taste test until tomorrow as they have to be in the fridge for 2 hours.

My Little Helper

Pear Custard Bars

This week’s nod for New (to Me) Blogger on the Block Thursdays goes to Just Braise, a blogger I “discovered” last week. I think, so far, she is the closest (geographically speaking) blogger for my regular Thursday feature — always nice to “meet” a local. :) I was drawn into her site immediately by her banner: warm, inviting and captivating all at the same time. Check out her Gourmand Cheeseburger, loaded with goat cheese, garlic and wine, it sounds like a great combination and we love our goat cheese here. She waxes rhapsodic about tuna fish sandwiches, allowing you a peek into her childhood, and I know Clare will appreciate the kitty picture in that post — love the little white feet propped up! Hopefully Stacey will start participating in Weekend Cat Blogging over on Clare’s site. I haven’t seen a mention of a dog yet, but if there’s one over there, we’ll have to drag her into Weekend Dog Blogging. I also just printed her recipe for White Bean Bruschetta (scroll down on that post for the recipe) and think it might make an appearance either for New Years’ Eve pre-dinner munchies or for our next Supper Club event. I love the stories she tells … enough about my favorite posts of hers — go off and find your own. ;)

All for tonight. Tune in to find out what hits the table for the kids’ Friday Night Date Night and what’s on tap for the weekend and New Years’ festivities. Until then…

P.S. And in the “hey, at least she’s trying category,” The Neighbor calls me tonight and wants to know what The Husband (since he’s a volunteer firefighter) thinks about using a microwave after a small fire. Is it safe? And, oh yeah, there’s a bit of peeling paint inside it now… is that ok? OK, in her defense, at least she’s TRYING to cook. She usually uses her microwave and stove for storage (yes, you read right) and apparently when she emptied it out to use it, she missed something in the back, went to nuke something, and the microwave promptly caught fire. Sigh. Good News: No one was hurt in the dinner making effort, ‘cept, of course, the microwave. Bad News: We might have scared The Neighbor from ever cooking again. Better News: We’re just a stone’s throw away, and there’s always plenty of good eats here. Kudos to her for trying though. Gotta give her some props for that.

Quick Thai Beef Salad
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 pound thinly sliced rare roast beef
5 small scallions, diced
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
5 plum tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced

In large bowl, mix the lime juice, Asian fish sauce, and sugar; stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the beef, scallions, shallots, tomato, cucumber and celery leaves; toss gently and serve.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

ann December 30, 2005 at 4:35 am

you know, that’s a great idea. i’ve been spending a lot of time thinking i have nothing to make, when in reality i have a ton of cookbooks old and new that need revisiting. once a week sound like a good idea to me. ann


Stephanie December 30, 2005 at 4:41 am

Nicholas looks adorable in that picture!!!


Alicat December 30, 2005 at 5:33 am

Rediscovering my library sounds a lot like the weekend cookbook challenge. ;) got to give props to sara from i like to cook – it has generated a ton of spin offs for people to get cooking from resources they already have. :o)


robwonton December 30, 2005 at 6:16 am

Thai Beef Salad is one of my favorite Thai dishes. Will have to try yuor recipe this weekend.


Cate December 30, 2005 at 1:33 pm

Ann- thanks, hope you’ll join in the fun!

Rob – I loved how easy it was to throw together. Let me know how you like it.

Thanks, Stephanie! :)

Alicat – didn’t even make the connection. It’s something I try to do on my own, just not as much as I’d like too. I figured if I made it a weekly event, I’d have no choice. ;)


Alicat December 30, 2005 at 2:59 pm

i think its great — use what we have already to be creative! :)


Nic December 30, 2005 at 3:38 pm

Those pear bars look simply delicious!


WhiteTrashBBQ December 31, 2005 at 1:16 am

Does the neighbor ever read this blog?


Anonymous December 31, 2005 at 2:27 am

Yes I read the blog. Every morning with my coffee. It’s no secret,I don’t enjoy cooking. BUT sweetnicks has gotten me to try some recipes. Some have even been a success.

The Neighbor


Cate December 31, 2005 at 4:08 am

Nic – there WERE delicious; hope you try them!

WhiteTrashBBQ – every morning! ;) She’s now a pro at making my Cranberry Conserve. Now if only we can get her to stop using her oven as storage… We gave The Neighbors a Panini Maker for Christmas; maybe that will give them some inspiration. ;)


Cyndi December 31, 2005 at 5:40 am

You’ve inspired me to start my own blog. I’ve loved reading yours, and hope you’ll enjoy mine. I love the photos–eventually I’ll get that skilled.
I would like to try the Thai Beef Salad, but really can’t stand the thought (or taste) of fish sauce. Do you think there could be a suitable substitute (beef broth?) that wouldn’t destroy the dish?


Cate December 31, 2005 at 1:25 pm

Cyndi – Beef broth wouldn’t do it, but you might try a little bit of soy sauce. I’d start with a tablespoon and go from there. Fish sauce is a very salty ingredient, so you’d get nearly the same flavor from soy or tamari. Let me know how it turns out. Glad to hear you’re starting your own blog – can’t wait to read it!


Clare Eats January 6, 2006 at 1:52 pm

I think the dresssing for the thai beef salad needs more sugar, preferably palm sugar or dark brown sugar? That might be why the fish sauce taste was abit strong? It shouldn’t taste salty or fishy or acidic just perfec :) the flavours should all be in perfect balance, sounds hard but I promise it’s not!plus the brand of fish sauce makes a HUGE difference to the taste. Squid brand is a reasonble brand and the 3 crab vietnamese brand is pretty good too. I like some finely chopped garlic and chilli in my nam pla too :)


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