Posted in recipes

Peanut chicken

When I was a kid, my favorite dinner, the one I would request for my birthday, was Peanut Chicken. It was a recipe my mom got from her best friend and it was pretty exotic fare in our home. I’ve never had a Thai inspired peanut sauce dish that beats it and this birthday, I made it with my mom so I could learn how. There are several steps but it is worth it for a nice occasion or as a Sunday prep for a week’s worth of lunches. Once the chicken is simmering, go ahead and pull the cilantro leaves off the stems (a good kid friendly kitchen task) and begin making the sauce. This recipe would serve 4-6 based on the appetites. PS, if you don’t like cilantro, don’t even try this — It’s all about the cilantro!

Peanut Chicken

Ingredients:

2 lb chicken breast (preferable bone in but boneless works too)

1 whole green onion, chopped in half

1 quarter size slice of fresh ginger, crushed with the side of the knife

1 Tbsp. Dry sherry

1/2 tsp each salt and sugar

2 cups water

1/2-3/4 head of shredded iceberg lettuce or chopped salad mix

Peanut Sauce (see recipe below)

Place chicken in a 2 qt pan with the split onion, ginger, sherry, salt, sugar and water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chicken to cool. Strain broth for soup if desired. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, discard skin and shred meat. Thinly slice the iceberg lettuce. Serve immediately or chilled, with shredded chicken over a bed of lettuce drizzled (or slathered, if you’re me) with peanut sauce. If you’re making ahead for lunches, store greens, chicken and sauce separately until you’re about to eat.

Peanut sauce ingredients:

A generous 1/3 cup of peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

1/3 cup of salad oil of choice

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup sugar

4 tsp white vinegar

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp ground red pepper

1 bunch green onions, trimmed

1 bunch of cilantro, leaves removed from stems

Using a food processor, chop cilantro finely and put aside in a bowl. Then do the same with the green onions, keeping them separate. Put all other sauce ingredients in the food processor and run until well combined in a smooth sauce. Add half the cilantro and green onion in and taste. Add as much of the remaining cilantro and green onion as you like to taste. Blend until well combined.

Posted in Uncategorized

Birthday Sunrise

Birthdays have always been a contemplative time for me. I’ve always loved a fresh start. A new year, a new journal, a new set of Tupperware, whatever. Today at 35, is the first birthday that I am realizing a significant chunk of my life is in the rearview mirror and hopefully, there’s as much or more ahead. I got to open my year at the beach, with a sunrise. It’s going to be an incredible year.

Posted in mom life

A Puddle of Pee

So there we were on a recent Friday evening, enjoying a rare, leisurely stroll through our local Trader Joe’s. Shopping there still feels like an urban adventure compared to the typical weeknight evening stop at our local Winn Dixie. It’s located in a part of town we don’t get to often (the nice part) but that evening we found ourselves in the general proximity so here we were, my two-year-old and I, cruising the aisles. We had as usual immediately hit the sample counter and now I was triying my best to simultaneously find the stuff on my list and explain for the hundredth time why we can’t have more samples (“But why, Mommy? Why?”). I found myself in an intense mental debate between the delish Mandarin Chicken and the healthier looking Chicken and Shiitake frozen meals when my son announced, “Mommy, I go pee-pee.” Normally this is not a problem because although we are well in the throes of potty training, he is usually in a diaper when I pick him up from his daycare for our long commute home. His caregiver was in a hurry though, and I forgot to double check and that’s how I ended up standing in a puddle of pee in the frozen foods aisle of Trader Joe’s. So… I’m thinking, do I A: abandon the pee puddle to look for an employee to notify and look like an asshole who takes no responsibility for her kid’s publicly spilled bodily fluids, B: stay in place and dutifully pass out packages of potstickers to other shoppers until a random grocery stocker walks by to assist, Or C: do I just start yelling, “Clean up on the frozen food aisle!” Considering it was prime evening shopping hours and all five employees working that night were manning their registers, I went with option “A” (“A” for asshole?) I said a silent prayer that no one would slip on my child’s urine and break a leg and made a bee-line for the weirdly tall TJ’s customer service counter that makes you feel like you’re approaching a judge’s bench. “Ummm…my son had an accident in front of the frozen Asian foods case.” The young man stared blankly at me and my wet-crotched child. Suddenly, the lightbulb came on and he asked, “Is this an accident that will require a mop?” I nodded, trying to look pitiful and repentant but he just flashed a smile and waved it off. I resisted the urge to forgo the last couple items on my list and just the hell out of the store as quickly as possible but I was NOT making another stop on my way home so we doubled back to produce. As we finally headed to the register, I peeked down frozen foods to see a spotless, dry floor. At almost 35, I’m at a point where it’s just not worth getting embarrassed or panicked anymore. After all, there’s no use crying over a little spilled pee.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! Our culture gives the mid-life years a bad rap, either a prison of boredom that must be escaped with a mid-life crisis or a slow youth-sucking decline from the glorious, energetic good old days. In my experience, life only gets better each year. I want to dedicate this space to the many things that bring me joy, including funny mom-life stories, yummy recipes, media recommendations, reviews, projects, etc. in hopes of brightening someone else’s day, too.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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