Peanut Butter Chicken

This is a very interesting recipe. Especially with my substitutions.

The recipe called for:
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 inch cubes
* 1 medium onion, sliced
* 7 fresh mushrooms, sliced
* 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
* 3/4 cup chicken stock
* 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
* salt and pepper to taste

I had no onion, so I just did without. I substituted canned mushrooms for fresh. I substituted chunky salsa (medium) for diced tomatoes. I substituted chunky PB for smooth.

I could tell that the salsa added some heat to the dish that was probably never intended, and the person who created this would probably smack me or something if they saw how I massacred their original recipe. Still, it was pretty good. I’ll have to get the real ingredients and try it again sometime to share with Aaron. (I don’t like to inflict my cooking attempts on him the first time I ever make a given dish.)

Does anybody know if peanut oil (particularly Chinese peanut oil) is expensive? I’d like to try cooking the chicken in peanut oil next time, to get the peanut flavor going on even more.

Yep… I think I like it.

New Traditions

It appears that, in addition to keeping alive the Christmas tradition of sausage cake, I have inadvertently begun a new tradition.

Both this year and last year, I had to run out and purchase an ingredient last-minute. Both years, it was a vital ingredient for the brown-sugar glaze (although it hasn’t been the same ingredient I was missing). Both years, I attempted to buy the ingredient at the Quik Mart just down the street, but was foiled and had to drive seven minutes to Kroger instead — for one singular ingredient.

Hopefully, I can maintain the tradition of the sausage cake not sucking.

Oh, and in case you aren’t privy to the joys of baking with meat, it’s apparently a Welsh recipe handed down through the Cook family. As far as our family recipe goes, I’m sworn to secrecy, but this one will give you an idea of what it’s all about. It tastes kind of like a heavy spice cake. With a thick glaze / candy coating of brown sugar, reminiscent of maple candies. Except made with brown sugar instead of maple syrup.

OMG, so good. Sausage cake IS Christmas to me.

Homemade Adult Beverage

Take this recipe, substitute Splenda for white sugar and Splenda Brown Sugar Blend for brown sugar, and you’ve got a seriously kickass homemade amaretto with a fraction of the sugar.

Note to self: Next time I make this, I must remember to use less Splenda Brown Sugar Blend. It really is twice as sweet as regular brown sugar; they’re not kidding around. Also, reading the ingredients correctly and adding 2 TEASPOONS of vanilla would make things better, as well. *facepalm*

Still, though, I *heart* my new Homemade Amaretto And Caffeine-Free Diet Coke. 🙂

Massive Update on Stuff In General

I took my final half-day off of work today so I could go to lunch with two women I used to work with. We caught up on each other’s lives (mainly work-related), reminisced about the Bad Old Days…

24 September 2002: Just Another Day…

Hey, for once I worked an 8-hour day! Yeah, we were doing so well that we actually took a one-hour lunch and everything. Just for reference, yesterday I worked a 14-hour day. Seriously. My co-worker and almost-supervisor, Loni, worked an hour and a half more than me, since she came in at 6am. Damn, that sucked. Makes the normal 8-hour day seem like a luxury instead of a burden.

…and ate some yummy Mexican food. And despite my lack of a lunchtime walk, I still got my podcast-listening time in, since a.) our lunch meeting was a half hour south of where I work, and b.) I bought a Kensington FM transmitter for the iPod(s).

When I got home, I had intended to work on the LSM site, as it needs some stuff added and updated (like audition info). Instead, I ended up finishing off the cosplay skirt. Yes, indeed, the skirt is complete! Well, except for possibly adding some velcro for good measure, and the final ironing before we leave for Youmacon in two weeks.

Don’t worry, I’ll definitely post pictures of me and Aaron in costume. 🙂

What else…? Oh, yeah, tonight’s dinner. I know, blogging about what I made for dinner is certifiably lame, but this was really good. Ten-Minute Szechuan Chicken. It’s really easy (even I can do it), and really good… but, now that I think about it, I think I’m going to put the recipe on my next Low Carb Lifestyle podcast, so I’m not going to publish it here yet. If you download this old-school DOS recipe filing program, though, I could be convinced to e-mail you the database file that this fantastic recipe came from. (Thanks, Uncle Pete!)

Yesterday, I told the Acting Executive Director of LSM that I’ve decided not to march next year. He was understandably disappointed, but he completely understood, which is cool.

I’m sure there’s other stuff I should write about, but that’s the overall rundown of everything I wanted to mention. Now I’m going to go work on the LSM page. Yay for contact info and audition info and pictures? w00t.

Spicy Catfish Nuggets

I just created something yummy. Forgive the lack of measurements — I’m my Memaw’s grandbaby, and tend not to measure when I can get away with it. 🙂

Catfish nuggets, unfrozen
2 Tbsp butter
Cayenne pepper
Lemon pepper
Ground ginger
Salt & pepper

Preheat over to 350°F. Melt butter in a medium-sized bowl. Combine spices in a second bowl or dish. Dip catfish nuggets one by one in melted butter, then in spices, then place each in a glass baking dish. Bake at 350&deg for about 30 minutes, or until flaky.

For dipping: in lieu of tartar sauce, I combined mayonnaise with lemon juice and the drippings from the nuggets after they were done. They’re flavorful enough that they really don’t need any sort of sauce, though.

I ended up putting in more cayenne than I really needed, so my nuggets were super-spicy. I also think I may have left them a tad underdone (I was really hungry and growing impatient). Apart from that, though, I think I’m onto something here.

Potential Culinary Disaster

Since my department is having a potluck tomorrow, I went to Meijer over my lunch today to get ingredients for the banana pudding I was planning to bring. Our second car is on the fritz, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to hit Kroger after Aaron left for work, like I usually do on Potluck Eve.

I just went upstairs to unload the ingredients from the shopping bag… and realized that I bought not vanilla pudding, like the recipe calls for, but white chocolate.

I’m going to make the banana pudding anyway, with white-chocolate-flavored pudding as a base.

I hope this doesn’t suck.

Butternut Squash Pie

I just finished baking a pie. It’s my first attempt at pie-baking from scratch (OK, the crust was store-bought), so I’m not exactly sure how it’s going to turn out… but it sure smells good. Since I have such faith in my wifely kitchen abilities (note sarcasm), this pie is NOT going to Westlake for Thanksgiving.

However, the three pies Aaron plans on baking later this week will be.

We got volunteered to bring dessert for about 15 people or so. *rolls eyes* Aaron had been hoping we’d get asked to do rolls or green bean casserole or something. No such luck. 😉 And, get this: Uncle Pete (who’s hosting Thanksgiving this year) is apparently going to call ME about the pies later.

Riiiiight. Let’s wait until we see whether the butternut test pie comes out OK, then we’ll talk.

…If this pie ends up being pretty good, would you like me to post the recipe?

Edit, 10:30pm: The pie is quite yummy. More along the lines of sweet potato than pumpkin, and distinctly squashy, but still quite yummy. I’m content.

You Might Think I’m Crazy…

I’ve just discovered the most wonderfully unexpected treat.

You know the pickled ginger that comes sliced in a jar? The stuff that’s been sitting in our fridge for months now because we can no longer eat maki, but we don’t want to pitch a full jar of expensive sushi ginger? Yeah, that’s the stuff.

Take a slice out of the jar and suck on it.

It’s the greatest thing… first, it’s all sweet and delicious—that would be from the 3 grams of sugar per ounce of ginger. OK, so I’m a (slightly) bad monkey. Anyway, after you get used to the sweetness, the pickling finishes dissolving or melting away and you’re left with the hot spice of the ginger to chew on. It’s like two treats in one!

…See, I told you that you’d think I was crazy.