Lots of things to be thankful for this Easter season.
After a very rainy weekend the sun finally came out Sunday afternoon. We decided to check out a couple breweries nearby. Austin Beerworks has a new and expanded tasting room and patio area that opened recently — kid and dog friendly. My Pearl Snap was great!
In honor of the 2017 Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rooster, I whipped up a little chicken stir fry. Delicious.
Chicken Stir-fry (makes 4 servings)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1lb), sliced thinly
- 1 T corn starch
- 1/4 c soy sauce
- 1/2 c chicken broth
- 2 T grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 t red pepper flakes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 can water chestnuts
- 1 head of cut broccoli florets
- 4-6 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 2-3 T oil with high smoke-point (e.g., peanut or sesame)
- 3-4 cups cooked rice
Combine corn starch, soy sauce and chicken broth in large bowl, and stir until smooth. Add ginger, garlic and pepper flakes to liquid and stir. Marinate sliced chicken in this mixture for at least 30 mins. Stir occassionally.
Place wok or saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 T oil and saute onions, mushrooms, broccoli and water chestnuts, stirring, until tender (5-7 minutes). Empty these cooked veggies into a clean bowl and set aside.
Add 1 T oil to wok/saucepan and add chicken slices, reserving liquid marinade until a bit later. Brown chicken 2-3 minutes per side.
Add remaining liquid marinade and veggies back to wok/saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occassionally, to allow sauce to thicken.
Serve over cooked rice.
Add more/different veggies, cashews, or other favorite ingredients, to taste.
I had a marathon baking session yesterday. 🙂
I used a recipe from Southern Living‘s “Christmas at Home” 2009 special issue that I’ve had for years.
Sparkling Sugar Cookies (made 4-5 dozen medium sized cookies when I made them)
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating well. Add egg and vanilla, beating well.
Combine flour and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Divide dough in half. Cover; chill 1 hour.
Roll each portion of dough to 1⁄8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut with desired cookie cutters. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes ( 14 worked perfect in my oven) or until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on baking sheets, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Add glaze (recipe below) and sprinkles (while glaze is still wet). Leave flat until completely dry (this took quite a while for me).
Simple Glaze (makes about 1 cup)
Stir together powdered sugar and hot water until smooth. If desired, divide mixture, and tint with food coloring. Spread on cookies with spatula or dip, whatever works best for you.
We went to a party at Julie’s house last weekend. Her roommate’s parents were in town and made one awesome pan of paella. Very pretty to look at, and delicious as well. Lucky us!
I met some girlfriends downtown last night to listen to a band at The Elephant Room – Kris Kimura’s Wasabi Grande Big, big band. Now, that’s a big band!
Low-light shot of the back of the room.
Garbage-pail pasta is a quick dinner dish that I throw together using whatever is in the fridge. Last night’s version featured:
- leftover chicken breast meat from the day before – diced (8-10 ounces)
- 1 onion – diced
- 2 garlic cloves – minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp each of kosher salt & ground black pepper
- 2 cups of mushrooms – sliced
- 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces of dry bowtie pasta, cooked before it is added to sauce
- 1 cup of half & half
- 2 cups of baby spinach – coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces of grated parmesan cheese
Pre-cook pasta in salted water. Save the pasta water to use it to thin the cream sauce later, if needed.
I use a 4-5 quart saute pan/pot to make the sauce, so that it is big enough to hold both the sauce and the cooked pasta when it is added later.
Saute onion, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil over medium heat, until soft. Add in the pre-cooked chicken, salt & pepper, and stir for another few minutes til chicken is warm. Add flour and stir, to coat meat and veggies (this will help thicken the cream sauce later).
Add half & half and stir until sauce begins to thicken. Add small amounts of pasta water if sauce gets too thick. Stir in parmesan and spinach, for a minute or two. Then turn off heat under sauce. Add drained, cooked pasta to the sauce and stir.
Not bad. This dish would easily serve 4. Next time, I’d add more mushrooms.
During our visit to Seattle, my niece made ice cream sandwiches for dessert. They were delicious, so I had to try making them when we returned home.
If you like lemon, and you like ice cream, you must try these.
Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches (makes 4)
4 or 5 scoops of vanilla ice cream – we used Bluebell Homemade Vanilla, of course
1 Tbsp Dickinson’s lemon curd – or more, to taste
8 belgian butter cookies
Put all ice cream scoops together in a single bowl. Add lemon curd and stir well. I used a stiff spatula to blend. Do this relatively quickly, before ice cream gets too soft. Place 4 cookies on flat baking sheet. Spread a scoop of the blended ice cream onto each cookie. Lightly place another cookie on top of each. Place in freezer for several hours.
Every August 4th I celebrate Champagne Day, because I once read on the interwebz that it was on this date in 1693 that French monk Dom Pérignon created the very first batch of the stuff. Many thanks, Dom!
And, so, it is only fitting that we picked Champagne Day to see the new AbFab movie.
Cheers, Eddie & Pats!
We stopped at the University of Washington rowing center. The rowing 8 shell that won the gold medal in the 1936 Olympics, the Husky Clipper, is on display there. A book was written about it, called The Boys in the Boat.
Then on to Pike Place Market for the obligatory walk-through.