Sunday, February 27, 2011

What a Knit Kit it Was

There are few things more wonderful than a hand-knit dress and a kitchen smelling of fresh basil on a Sunday afternoon.  The day before the start of a busy week is very important, as it is the last chance for everyone to relax and spend time together as a family.  This weekend my mom had been busy knitting a dress for my baby sister, who is on the way, and due in June.  I remember wearing my mom's knitted clothes when I was younger, and surprising as it may sound, they were never of the type that were embarassing to wear in public.  (I'll post a photo of the dress once my mom is finished with it).

Inspired by my mom's creativity and patience, I decided to collaborate both of our activities and do a knitting theme today.  I made panfried noodles with shrimp, kalamata olives and basil that reminded me of yarn, and baked off several trays of sugar cookies shaped like buttons.  After all, if I'm posting once a week, so why not do something fun and creative ?  I wish you all the most colourful, exciting week ! : )

Shrimp, Olive and Basil Panfried Noodles
Serves 4

1 package rice vermicelli
1-1/2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
2 tbsp butter
20 pieces raw shrimp
10 kalamata olives, pitted
Handful basil leaves
2 tbsp sesame oil
1-1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
Salt, to taste

  1. Fill a large bowl with hot water, drop in vermicelli, and let stand for 10-15 minutes, until cooked.  Drain.
  2. Heat vegetable oil and butter in pan. Meanwhile, remove shell from shrimp (or keep it on, if you prefer it).  Add shrimp to pan and sauté until shrimp are cooked through and the sides begin to fold up.  Add vermicielli, and heat through.
  3. Splash in sesame oil and soy sauce, and add hoisin sauce, then toss vermicielli using two forks.
  4. Rip up basil leaves, halve each kalamata olive and toss in with noodles.  Season with salt, and serve immediately.

Button Sugar Cookies
Serving Size Depends on Size of Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour+extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
120 g (1/2 cup+1/2 tbsp) butter, room temperature
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 different colours of liquid, gel, or paste food colouring (I used red, yellow, and green)

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.
  2. In a mixer, beat butter on high speed until soft, then beat in sugar until mixture becomes fluffy and light.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed until incorporated.  (If the dough isn't coming together, stop the mixer and scrape off any butter stuck to the sides of the mixing bowl before continuing to beat.)
  4. While keeping the mixer running at low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until everything comes together in a somewhat stiff mass.  Remove from the mixer, shape into three disks, knead a different colour of food colouring into each disk, and refrigerate for 35 minutes to an hour.
  5. Remove one of the disks from the refrigerator and roll out onto a lightly floured sheet of wax paper.  (If the dough is too stiff to roll out, allow it to warm up before resuming).
  6. With cookie cutters or any other round, sharp cutters, cut out circles of different sizes.  Press a circle with a slightly smaller cutter into each cookie, making sure that it is properely centered.  Using a skewer, make four button holes in the centre of each button-to-be.  Reroll the scraps and repeat, working with each of the disks.  (If at any point the dough becomes too sticky or soft, refrigerate before continuing to use.)
  7. Refrigerate cookies for 15-20 minutes while you preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).  Bake on a parchment lined baking tray for 14-19 minutes, depending on how soft (or crunchy) you prefer your sugar cookies to be.  (Note that the colour of the cookies will fade or darken a tad, as the oven tends to have that effect on food coloured baked goods.)
  8. Cool on a cooling rack.


  1. Great blog darlin, what a talent you have!

  2. Those little cookies are so adorable! The colors in these photos...amazing!

    I've just started cooking more with rice noodles. I'm surprised how much my family likes them. My oldest loves shrimp so we've been getting noodles from our local Thai place every so often.

    How fun to have a new baby sis on the way. That is so exciting.

  3. :') you are so full of talent. the bestttt!

  4. lucky enough to stumble across your blog.
    holy moly it is heavenly!
    and those button cookies!!!

    i'm looking forward to keeping up with your posts for sure!