Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Noodle Comfort (and Noodle Torture)

Argh, I am a food addict. I've probably mentioned that, or you've probably figured it out by now. Food is my answer to just about any occasion. It's social, it's calming, and it's good for my spirit, but not my waistline or my budget.

And just when you thought I might have been showing some restraint and working on my self control, we had to up and move. I tell you, it's hard to stay motivated to keep to a diet, even one where they prepare all the main dishes for you, when your entire house (not to mention kitchen) are in complete disarray.

Shuttling boxes from one house to the next, toting paper towels and all-purpose cleaner from one room to the next -- and misplacing it and everything else every time I turn around -- it's no wonder I decided this week was the time to try that pizza place I've been checking out for over a year!

You think I'm kidding (or maybe you know me better). They deliver where we live now and I ordered Saturday night, after a lunch of burger and fries at yet another place that's is no longer far enough away for me to talk myself out of.

But I'm back on the diet today. Hopefully hitting the gym tomorrow (amazing that lugging around all of my books did not make up for that, or at least it doesn't feel like it).

And then, I got some cookbooks for review -- my first package at the new house! How freaking cool is that? I was reading off some of the recipes to my mom and she asked my why I was doing this to myself. Yeah.

But, when I do get off the diet, one of the cookbooks I received this week doesn't seem like all that bad of a way to ease back into "real" food. And with a title like Noodle Comfort, you have to admit it's pretty hard to resist. They're not kidding carbs are totally comfort, and if you're a pho fan (better than chicken noodle in my opinion) then you know, noodle dishes can be fairly low in calories, all things considered!

I haven't had a chance to test any recipes yet (obviously) but I told Mike he was under strict orders to cook and let me know what he thought. I can tell you that based on my very in depth look (and drool) over this book, I think it's a winner.

First off, it's the latest the Easy Japanese Cooking series written by Kentaro Kobayashi and published by Vertical, Inc. I really love the fact that for the most part, the ingredients are fairly easy to find, and even the ones I've never heard of have easy-to-locate alternatives -- always a plus, especially if you don't have an ethnic market in your area. The book also has a noodle guide, which I find really helpful. Even as much as I cook, I screw up noodles because I'm never quite sure what kind (Asian noodles that is) are used for what and sometimes grabbing and blindly tasting does not work in your favor, as I've learned: certain noodles are meant to be eaten cold, certain ones are supposed to be eaten crunchy... They even tell you how to make your own udon noodles -- thick wheat noodles. And the instructions are super easy to follow -- concise, to the point, and they include helpful tips.

Seeing as how I've never grown out of ramen, this book is kind of perfect for me. It's a pretend grown-up cookbook for foodies like me who still enjoy the simple things in life (laugh it up, ramen is some tasty stuff!). Add to that the fact that I practically ate the tv watching Man vs Food at that super spicy ramen place, and would have done just about anything to accompany Anthony Bourdain and Morimoto on their tour of noodle places, and it's pretty much a given that this book would make it into my cookbook collection one way or another.

Other titles in the series are: Bento Love (for making your own box lunches), Donburi Mania (rice dishes), and the upcoming Veggie Haven, and Appetizer Rex.

Vertical, Inc. started in 2003 and also releases manga, crafts, and Japanese lit titles including the Ring trilogy by Koji Suzuki. Check out their website here for more titles.


Cheryl said...

The cookbook sounds good. Sorry to hear your diet took a little detour but good job for getting back on it.

Vickie said...

When I was single and active duty Air Force, I lived on Ramen...heat it in the microwave in my handy-dandy four cup measuring bowl with a handle...add a slice of cheese to melt down when it was done....oh..my..god! Nectar of the gods I tell ya!
I'll have to see about getting that cookbook for my sister and her foodie DH.