Category: Food

Hot and Sour Soup with Noodles

Photography By Ryan Szulc
Photography By Ryan Szulc

My simplified version of Michael Smith’s “Hot-and-Sour Broth 
with Asian Noodles” (Michael Smith) comes from his “Back To Basics” cook book, but you can also find it on-line here.

This recipe makes 4 servings and can be successfully doubled for 8 servings.

The original recipe calls for shiitake mushrooms, but I’m not crazy about mushrooms in soup (or edamame), so I added bamboo shoots instead.

The cornstarch/vinegar mixture is also not essential (I’ve made it with and without).


225 g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 can if bamboo shoots (thinly sliced)
2 carrots, grated
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
4 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp 
sambal oelek or your favourite 
chili-garlic sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch*
2 tbsp rice vinegar*
340 g udon noodles
1 2-inch piece frozen ginger, grated
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Back To Basics
Back To Basics


In a large soup pot combine the mushrooms, carrot, edamame, chicken broth, soy sauce and sambal. Bring the works to a simmer over medium high heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch and rice vinegar in a small bowl. When the soup is simmering, gently 
stir in the cornstarch mixture; continue to simmer, stirring, until it thickens 
the soup, just a minute or two.*

Add the udon noodles (I’ve used other rice noodles as well) and continue cooking and stirring until they’re soft and tender.

To finish the soup, stir in the grated 
ginger, green onions, and sesame oil.

Add thinly sliced beef or pork to the hot broth, just before serving! Yum!

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Simple Bran Muffin Recipe

As you can see, a well used and easy to follow bran muffin recipe.

Simple bran muffins
A well used bran muffin recipe with thanks to Grace Best.

You’ll need a large mixing bowl, a blender and a muffin tray. Then…

  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses

Cream all in a large bowl with a mixer.

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of natural bran
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 3/4 cups of flower

Add all to the mixture in the bowl.

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 tsp baking soda

Add soda to milk in a separate container.
Add the milk and soda mixture to the bowl (mix).

  • 2 eggs

Fold in eggs while mixing.


  • Raisins
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Blueberries

 Add optional ingredients (mix)

Add mixture to muffin trays (each cup should be 3/4 full).  Be sure to grease or “Pam” the muffin trays!

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Test if they’re done by stabbing muffins with a very sharp knife, if the knife comes out clean the muffins are done.



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Check the math, #Bacon makes everything taste better

Something I have suspected for a long time, but it’s nice to have some scientific back-up now. Mathematically speaking adding bacon to your dish is the best way to improve your odds of winning a taste test.

(Photo : raebrune/Flickr)

After analyzing 50,000 recipes and 906,539 comments on them, researchers at Wired Magazine and The Food Network say the majority of dishes get a boost in ratings when bacon was added.

Check out the article here…


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Simple Black Bean Soup

The original recipe from Whitewater Cooks with Friends is called “sopa de black bean with salsa crema”.

My version is slightly less spicy and I go with croutons as a topping, so I dropped the “with salsa crema“…


  • 2 cups dried black beans (soak them overnight)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 med onions
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 28 oz can tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce (any good bbq sauce)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 cup cilantro (a little less is okay too)


  • Sauté onions in the oil in a soup pot
  • Add peppers and spices
  • Add stock, bbq sauce & tomatoes
  • Drain beans, add beans to pot
  • Bring to boil, then simmer for 2 hours (until the beans are soft) or maybe even 3 hours
  • Let it cool a bit, then puree with a hand blender – immersion blender
  • Add juice, cilantro… Salt and pepper.


  • Top with a few croutons (or sour cream and salsa)
  • It freezes really well
  • This soup serves 8 to 10
  • Black beans are turtle beans (same thing)
  • More about Black Beans here and here


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Northern Lights Estate Winery – Morning Show visit

Doug and Pat from Northern Lights Estate Winery in Prince George
Doug and Pat from Northern Lights Estate Winery in Prince George

Thank you to Doug and Pat Bell from Northern Lights Estate Winery for stopping by 101.3 The River this morning!  Ashley and I really enjoyed our little Friday morning wine tasting! Loved the Black Current!

Northern Lights Estate Winery is Canada’s most northern winery on the banks of the Nechako River, it’s a fruit winery that will include a restaurant and an outdoor natural amphitheater. Opening summer 2015!

By: Mike Benny
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