Zaru Somen (Japanese chilled noodles & dipping sauce)

zaru somen recipe with tsuyu

When it’s hot outside you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen putting a meal on the table. You want to sit back, relax and eat. Enter zaru somen (Literally: basket noodles.) Chilled Japanese noodles, a delightfully light and mild sauce to dip them in, and some refreshing, crisp green onions make this the perfect dish for a hot afternoon or evening.… Read the rest

Mentsuyu (Japanese Noodle Soup Base and so much more)

Mentsuyu (Japanese Noodle Soup Base)

Mentsuyu is a Japanese soup base used most often for soba and udon noodle dishes. (The name literally means noodle sauce) It’s name is a little misleading, though. Mentsuyu is a base sauce and like any base, it’s used for just about anything in Japanese cooking. With just a few additions here and there. I actually used it as glaze for a chicken earlier today, and it was crazy good.… Read the rest

Quick & Easy Cheesy Potato Soup with Ham & Broccoli

cheesy potato soup with ham and broccoli

This post brought to you by Sargento. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Cooking by the seat of our pants.

When it’s cold outside, the best solution is to have something warm, satisfying and a bit decadent inside. There’s no better way to fight the chill of winter and forget about the snow shovel for a few minutes than to sit down to a piping hot bowl of thick, rich creamy soup.… Read the rest

Rich and Hearty Curried Pumpkin Soup Recipe – and a look at Carton Smart


This post brought to you by Carton Smart. All opinions are 100% mine.

Winter is deep upon us, and whether you’re looking for decadent holiday meals or healthy, yet satisfying New Years dishes, you’re going to want something that warms your heart and helps to ward off the cold. This recipe for Rich and Hearty Pumpkin Soup fits the bill on all fronts.… Read the rest

Quick Chicken Curry Recipe

Quick Chicken Curry Recipe

From the archives. Quick Chicken Curry is remarkably fast and satisfying dish that’s perfect for a school-night dinner or as a quick meal on hectic days between soccer practice, football or whatever else your busy schedule throws at you. (Hint: Make the curry ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to three days. Just reheat and serve over rice.) Oh.… Read the rest

Crockpot Ham and Beans – A Southern comfort food staple


Ham and beans is a Southern staple. It’s simple, soul-satisfying comfort food at its very best. You’ll find this dish being made in almost every Southern household whenever a ham bone is available. It’s the best way I know of to use up leftover ham from Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas. (Or even as an excuse to make a ham!) Ham and beans is invariably served with freshly baked cornbread to sop up all the wonderful juices.… Read the rest

Egg Drop Soup: Incredibly Simple Comfort Food


Egg Drop Soup (Also called Egg Flower Soup) is quite possibly the simplest comfort food meal in history.  At its core, it has just two ingredients, chicken stock and eggs. Anything else added to the soup is just a bonus.  It’s faster and easier to make than a package of ramen, with twice the flavor. What could be better?

If you often order this soup in restaurants and thought there was some magic trick to getting it right, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the ease of making it.… Read the rest

Dublin Coddle (Irish Sausage and Bacon Stew)


Fall shouts out for slow cooked (or coddled) dishes. The kind that warm the heart on a long, rainy day or a chill evening. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you love stews, this dish will not only warm your heart, but it will warm your soul as well.  Don’t let the simple looks fool you, what this stew lacks in looks it more than makes up for in deep and complex flavors, all while retaining a lovely rustic, homey charm.… Read the rest

Cottage Pie Recipe


From the archives: It was just brought to my attention that any mince pie may be called either Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie and, that the two names were interchangeable until recently. Thanks much to Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes for pointing out this article.

Winter is finally rearing it’s chilly head here in Northern California.  With temperatures finally dipping into the 30’s in the early mornings and the need for a jacket even in the afternoons the thought of a warm and comforting meal in the evening becomes less of a fond memory and more of an urgent desire.… Read the rest

Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Soup


I’d like to introduce all of you to the wonderful, lovely and talented Jessica Russell. (Otherwise known as the other half of this blog, creative director, taskmaster, supporter and many other things.)  

It also happens that she is a very talented author of sizzling romance novels, which makes this spicy recipe the perfect introduction. This post and the recipe are all hers, so take it away, honey!… Read the rest

Jamaican Curried Kid (Goat Curry)


Are you looking for a way to take your taste buds on a trip to the Caribbean? If so, we’ve got the perfect dish for you. This curry is full of deep, rich flavors and complex notes that will make you think someone slaved for hours to get it just right. (You don’t have to tell anyone that it’s super-simple to make.)

This was an insane hit here at the cbsop kitchens.… Read the rest

Ramen Noodles with Poached Eggs and Parsley


My wife and I aren’t really in to “normal” breakfast foods.  It’s rare that you’ll find scrambled eggs and toast featured as a breakfast item. (It’s a perfect late night dinner though.) We’re also not likely to start the day with anything sweet.  Pastry and doughnuts are the very last thing I want to see first thing in the morning, if ever.  … Read the rest

Cowboy Irish Stew


Who doesn’t love a good, hot stew on a blustery cold day?  I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t be thrilled to find a meal like this waiting for them when they got home from a hard day’s work.  If those people also happened to be working all day on a cattle drive I’ll bet they were in absolute heaven.

This is one of several dishes I’m going to be cooking up for National Irish American Heritage Month, not only because I happen to be a very proud Irish/Native American, but because Irish food is absolutely fabulous and should be experienced.… Read the rest

15 Bean Soup with Smoked Ham Hocks Recipe


Very few things can bring joy to the heart of a Southern cook, even one who happens to live in Alaska, like the words “Smoked Ham Hocks.” When making a braised dish or a stew, even bacon and butter can’t hold a candle to a good hock. While both of the latter give a lot of flavor to a dish (just ask the French about butter), the smoky, salty, purely porcine assault of flavors from a good smoked ham hock is absolutely beyond compare.… Read the rest

Spicy Sausage Soup Recipe


It seems that fall has fallen in most of the country.  At least that’s the impression I’ve gotten from the seemingly countless number of cool weather recipes I’m seeing around the food community. I hear stories of chill mornings and rain.  Tales of clouds and worries of frost.

We haven’t been so lucky yet.  In my neck of the woods, temperatures are still in the 80’s and will probably be that way for the next week or so. … Read the rest

Braised Smoked Ham Shank with Beans and Rice Recipe


I’ve said it before and I will most definitely say it again.  Simple foods are the best foods.  Some of the most sought after dishes in the world are inspired by what were once food for the poor only. Meals that were originally intended to stretch a few meager ingredients until they couldn’t be stretched any farther have become the rage at swanky restaurants all over the world.… Read the rest

Lamb and Yogurt Soup – Finding the soul of Turkish cooking


One of the ways I cope with my wife being in Turkey for her grueling 15 month tour of duty is to try my hand at Turkish recipes from time-to-time.  It helps the family feel somehow connected to her through food, knowing that she can probably purchase many of these recipes in the shops right off base.

It doesn’t hurt that most of the recipes I’ve tried are fabulous.… Read the rest

Chili Stuffed Cornbread


For my family cornbread was a staple food.  It was served with beans and potatoes, with fish, for holidays, at parties and often just as a snack.  It was always served with a bowl of chili.  There was no question that chili and cornbread were meant to go together.  If anyone had suggested to me as a kid that you could just bake the chili right in to the cornbread, I would have called them crazy.… Read the rest

The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup


Is there any other food as comforting as chicken noodle soup? It seems to me that you would be hard pressed to find one.  It’s a staple of mothers for sick children, adults who are feeling homesick and the perfect choice for a gloomy drizzly day at any time.

Most people my age probably grew up on the version in the little red and white can, but there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be making this from scratch. … Read the rest

Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie


I know I made a big stink in my cottage pie post about the fact that a pie like this cannot be called a shepherd’s pie unless it is made from minced lamb. Honestly though, I figure if a bunch of shepherd’s could get their hands on a wild turkey or other foul while out in the pasture, they probably would, so I’ll just rationalize it that way.… Read the rest