Sunday, February 28, 2010


I would say that I was a pretty lazy blogger this month. I was lazy in a lot of things. I didn't read any books, I didn't finish any quilt tops (I did finish binding two or three though!) and I didn't try to follow the list of 10 pictures for the month. Oh well.

I did try a few new recipes. Some were good, others, not so much. In January we actually tried four new recipes. I only blogged two. (vanilla cupcakes and almond chicken)

This is a picture of a Cashew Chicken recipe I got in an email that I also tried in Jan. It was suppose to be "healthified" but I didn't make it with their healthy suggestions like low sodium soy sauce etc. so it is just Cashew Chicken to us.

2teaspoons canola oil
1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1teaspoon finely chopped gingerroot
2cups fresh broccoli florets
1cup reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used regular)
1/8teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2cups frozen sugar snap peas (from 24-oz bag)
3tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2teaspoons rice vinegar (I used flavored rice wine vinegar because that is what I had)
1tablespoon cornstarch
1teaspoon sugar
2medium green onions, sliced (2 tablespoons)
3cups hot cooked brown rice
cup cashew pieces

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In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and gingerroot; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until chicken begins to brown.

Add broccoli, 1/2 cup of the broth and the pepper flakes. Cover; cook over medium heat minutes, stirring once. Add peas; cook 2 to 4 minutes longer, stirring once, until vegetables are crisp-tender.

In small bowl, mix remaining 1/2 cup broth, the soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch and sugar; stir into chicken mixture. Add onions; cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Serve over rice; sprinkle with cashews.

We all liked this. It was very mild and easy to make. I have made it twice now. I would like to add celery and maybe some carrots next time.

Emma asked why I never let them choose what to try. I said "Please! If there is something you want to try tell me and I will make it." Both kids dove right into my cookbook collection. She picked a black bean and potato soup with ham. I need a barfing smilie. ;) The next day I went and got everything I needed from the store and made her soup. There as nothing wrong with it but it just wasn't good. It wasn't hearty enough. It was like beans, potatoes and meat floating in broth. I am not even going to post the recipe but here is a picture.
In February I made Cake Balls for the first time. You make a cake following the directions on the box. Once it is cooled you crumble it up and add a tub of frosting. Mix until combined. I used my Kitchen Aide. Roll the mix into balls, freeze and then dip in a candy coating. I used Almond Bark. They tasted like mooshy cake. Emma loved them. Andrew ate them. Paul and I didn't care for them, but, they were adorable!
Tonight I tried another recipe. I had fresh spinach on hand so when I saw this on a blog I knew I had to try it. I got the recipe here and she got it from here. (the here's are clickable)

Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach

6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this doesn't add spiciness - just the right amount of flavor)
6 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound penne pasta
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried
6 tablespoons juice from 2 lemons (measure this!)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Meanwhile, combine garlic, pepper flakes and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until garlic is golden and fragrant, about 1 minute.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels and cut into bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the garlic/red pepper oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat until oil is rippling. Add chicken and cook until well browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.

Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to boiling water and cook until tender but still slightly firm (al dente). Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and return to the pot. Stir in chicken, spinach, basil, lemon juice, Parmesan, and remaining garlic mixture, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

I think this has potential but today ours was *way* too sour. I just used two lemons and didn't measure the juice. I had the sour jaw tingle going all through dinner. Paul didn't mind it but the kids turned their noses up and revolted. I was amazed that the spinach didn't bother me. I would like to try it again. I think it is worth it. We will have to do it when the kids are gone or wait a long time. I think they would cry if they saw it on the table again anytime soon.


Hiedi said...

You know, I make cake balls and I finally started blending the cake up when it's hot. It made the insides more truffle like than when I cooled it first.

That soup looks yummy! I love brothy soups...

Kameo said...

Yummy, I want to try them all! Can you please make them again?