corn coconut-curry ramen


Note: This post was previously published here as a part of my freelance work, and was written by my darling boyfriend, Adam. 
No, no—we're not talking about the instant noodle packets you bought by the case during your most frugal college days. Rather, this recipe pays homage to the Japanese culinary phenomenon that's gaining serious momentum here in Philly and other cities across the country. Though there are regional variations, the main theme always center around a delectable broth, dense chewy noodles and an array of tasty toppings. Ramen represents everything we love about good food: it's deceptively simple, addictingly delicious and takes great talent to master.

Lacking rather substantially in the latter, we used store-bought fresh ramen noodles (found at your local asian supermarket) and focused our efforts instead on the broth.  We took a departure from the traditional pork and miso flavored broth and went with a Thai curry profile. We based it on this week’s garlic from SIW Farm in Chadd’s Ford, long hots from Linvilla Orchard in Media and corn from Sunny Harvest.

The foundation of this broth uses corn stock, which we make every time Greensgrow grants us corn in the CSA share. After you chomped the kernels from the cob, or cut them away for use in salsas or salads, save those cobs! There's so much flavor left in them. All you have to do is simmer them in water for an hour or so. Strain them out and freeze the for later use. Once you've experienced the sweet, corny virtues of a good corn stock you'll mourn all the flavor you’ve ever tossed in the compost heap.
Cook time: 1 hour
Prep time: 35 minutes
Serves 5

2 large onions
4 cloves of garlic
4 ears of corn, kernels removed from cob 
2 long hots
2 inches ginger
2 quarts of corn stock
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
2 limes, juiced and zested
1 bunch of chopped cilantro
2 Tbl muchi curry powder
1 Tbl turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala 
¼ cup (approx.) sesame oil
5 eggs
1 package (16 oz) tofu
1 package fresh ramen noodles

Chop the onions, garlic, ginger and long hots. Then, in a 5-quart stock pot, saute the vegetables in a generous amount of sesame oil over medium heat.
Season the vegetables with curry powder, tumeric, garam masala and a pinch of salt. After about 5 minutes, add the corn stock and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. 
Meanwhile, place the eggs in a small pot and cover with cold water. Place the pot on high heat and bring to a boil. Keep a close eye on the eggs. Allow them to boil for 1 minute then transfer to a bowl of ice water to shock them. Peel the shells and set aside.
Refill the pot with new water and bring to a boil, preparing to cook the noodles.
Cut the tofu into small triangular pieces and pan fry in sesame oil until they brown on both side. Transfer them to a paper towel lined plate to sop up any extra oil.
Now, back to the broth. After it's been simmering for 20 minutes or so, add the corn kernels and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove from heat and finish with the fresh cilantro, lime zest and lime juice.
Now that the both is finished begin cooking the noodles. Drop them in boiling water one bundle at a time, stirring them constantly to keep them from sticking. They only require about 3 minutes to cook. Using a small mesh strainer, pull the cooked noodles from the water and place in soup bowl. Ladle the broth over the noodles and garnish with a soft-boiled egg, tofu and extra cilantro.

4 tips to actively slow life down


Note: This post was previously published here as a part of my freelance work.
You’re in the thick of it, summer. The season when life is like a semi-truck, barreling down a hill at 90 miles an hour. The speed is all good and great, it’s thrilling in fact, but problems arise when there’s a deer crossing at the bottom of the hill and you have no way to avoid a crash. Not to mention, you’re going so fast that you miss the road signs telling when you need to turn or watch out for traffic ahead.

That speed, aka summer, can easily create a life that is out of balance — a life that pushes you forward with such immense force that you need to actively remember how to slow down. It’s up to you to pump the breaks, and it’s important to do so. Slowing down to school-zone speeds will enable you to get more enjoyment out of the highway joy rides. It teaches you to find control and to know when you’re exiting the fun zone and entering into dangerous territory.

Here are tips for actively slowing down, and taking time out. Now, more than ever, it’s important to teach yourself how to do so.

1. Walk, Bike, or Take Public Trans: I recently got rid of my car, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done for my piece of mind. Not only did it take away the extra stress of money, but it created space in my life. I find that I’m walking more, riding my bike more, and taking public transportation. The empty time to think, read, and listen to music does wonders for my brain. It clears my head like a meditation, and allows me to unwind from my day (or settle in before my day starts). It’s also forced me to do less and to prioritize. Because I can’t zip here and there, I have to think about what I really want to get done. I do less running around like a crazy person, and more intentional activity. If you’re in need of a slow down, I urge to go even one day without using the car. Every little bit counts.

2. Cook: Making time at the end of the day to cook a meal and share it with the ones you love, is a great way to take time. The beautiful thing about food, is that it can’t be rushed. Watch it cook, smell the aromas, and taste test it along the way. Evenings spent unwinding in the kitchen are a great way to clear your mind, and to get you back to a well-grounded place in life.  

3. Wake Up 20 Minutes Earlier: Rushed mornings are sure to make you feel out of control. It’s not a good way to start the day. Do yourself a favor, and wake up just twenty minutes earlier than you usually do. Take the extra time to read in bed, sip coffee, or simply stare off into space. The slow start to your day will make getting to work that much easier. You’ll find you feel more ready to take on whatever comes your way. Craziness or not, you have the balanced mindset to tackle anything.

4. Treat Yourself: Once in a while, you need to drop it all, and focus on you. Book a massage, stop in for a pedicure — or if you can’t spend the money — create an at home treatment. Whatever you do, it’s important to give back to your body and thank it for all of the brutal stress that you put it through. If you want it to perform when the going gets tough, you have to give it the TLC it deserves. 
And there you have it, four tips to actively slow down. I hope you’ve found some tools that help you feel more balanced and in control. Life is really beautiful, we need the fast moments and the slow ones, it’s just important to remember how to create a bit of both. 
What tips do you have for slowing down?