Lest you think I spend all of my time in this forum slamming the mister, let me just say right up front, this post will not contain ONE negative word about the mister. Nope, not that I'm reformed, but I just want to prove to you that I can write a post about a recipe or a quilt or every day life, without rolling my eyes, via the keyboard, about the mister. So not one negative word, here goes...I was in Utah visiting family for ten days - it was so much fun! The day after I was home, back into my routine, I was unloading the dishwasher when I noticed the dishes were not very clean - some were, but most were not. We have not had good luck when it comes to dishwashers - we've had 3 in the last 10 years! They have all died a slow death which ended with us shelling out almost a grand for a new one each time! This dishwasher is three years old so maybe it was starting the dying process? I decided to leave all the dishes in the dishwasher and rewash them - washing them on the high clean cycle to see if that helped. I put in the little soap-thingy, closed the door, turned it on and one hour later, voila! the dishes were sparkling clean!
These are the new dishwasher soaps - I'm sure you've all used them by now. They're great, you just pop them into the dishwasher. When we first started using these soaps I caught someone trying to remove the plastic covering, he didn't know you could put them in the dishwasher, cover and all. An easy mistake to make if you didn't know - because who would put plastic in the dishwasher?!? We've used several different brands, I just grab whichever brand is on sale.
This is the brand we are currently using...Finish. They are a bit different as they have a foil wrapper which HAS to be removed. As I was putting away my clean dishes, I noticed something shiny in the bottom of the dishwasher...THREE packages of dishwasher soap - still in their foil wrappers!! NO WONDER the dishes were dirty!!! Yes, plastic-wrapped soap can go into the dishwasher soap dispenser, but FOIL-wrapped soap cannot!!! DUH!! I don't know WHO could have done this, I mean, WHO would be SO dense as to put FOIL-wrapped soap into the dishwasher?!?!? The boy and the girl no longer live at home. The dog died. I live here with one other person. I know how to remove the foil from the dishwasher soap. My eyes are not rolling. They're not. Well maybe just one. One eye is rolling. I say nothing.
This is one of those summer recipes that makes eating on the deck when it's 85 degrees outside worth the trickle of sweat down your back. The veggies provide the crunch, the pasta provides the ummpfh and the sauce - well, it's why you need to make this...so dang good!
Thin spaghetti is tossed in a peanutty-sesame dressing that you could slurp with a straw - but don't - using straws cause wrinkles around the lips! Of course, so does smoking, so don't smoke either. That concludes my Public Service Announcements for the day. This is easy and quick to make and IF you have any leftovers, they are great the next day for lunch...or for a snack...or for a late-night fix!
You can add chicken or pork or fish, too, for a more substantial meal...or, if you have a wonderful neighbor who goes crabbing in Puget Sound and brings you fresh caught crabs, you can add crab!! Thanks Scott, they were amazing!
Two fresh Dungeness crabs - I cannot possibly describe how absolutely decadent they were...and they were delivered cooked and cleaned! I was going to add the crab directly into the noodles but can you blame me for wanting to eat it all at once by itself?!?
Now, if you don't have a crabber who lives across the street who brings you crabs, you need not worry, this salad can stand on it's own - it's a great summer meal and there's still plenty of summer yet to come so make this one soon!
Crunchy Noodle Salad - Adapted from Ian Garten
1 lb. thin spaghetti
1 lb. sugar snap peas or snow peas (I used snow peas)
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds (I had black sesame seeds on hand and that is what I used. FYI - You can buy white sesame seeds already toasted at Indian markets.)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
4 scallions (with white and green parts) sliced thinly
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
Make the dressing: Whisk together the vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds and peanut butter in a medium bowl.
Combine the spaghetti, sugar snap peas/snow peas, peppers, scallions and cucumber in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the spaghetti mixture. Add the parsley and toss together. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold. Serves 6.
"People who love to eat are always the best people." ~ Julia Child