Sunday, February 15, 2009

I have been cooking... really!

So, I've been a little distracted the last couple of weeks while looking for a new job. The goods news is... I found one! (And, I start tomorrow!) It's part-time, but I'll be working for a nonprofit, which is exactly what I want to be doing. And, I'll still have time to work on some freelance editing and writing projects I've taken on.
But, I have been cooking. (I just haven't had a chance to upload.) I'm cooking a lot today, so I figured while I wait for some things to cook, I better get some of this updated or I'd have too much to update when I finally got to it.
I made this amazing recipe last week. This is my mom's cashew chicken with a vegetable stir-fry and white rice. This cashew chicken was my favorite food (besides spaghetti) when I was a kid, but my mom very rarely made it. After making it, I can see why. It's a mess! But, the end result is so delicious, it's completely worth it. Basically, instead of stir-frying chicken, adding some cashews, and then some vegetables, you coat the chicken in crushed cashews and fry that up instead. It's like heaven. And, if you're a Costco shopper, you can get a huge vat of cashews for under $12, so it's not obscenely expensive.
And, even better, for once I made a really good veggie stir-fry. I took the vegetables I had in the house, chopped them up, and marinaded them in some soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and some garlic chili paste. Then, I stir-fried them in a little bit of peanut oil, and voila! Delicious vegetable stir-fry. I repeated the veggie stir-fry later in the week with bite-size pieces of chicken I seasoned with the same marinade and then stir-fried on their own to make a little more crispy, and it also got rave reviews. (Thanks, Sahal!) Plus, it took me only about 30 minutes to create the second stir-fry, so the boys got to enjoy the final product while watching Family Guy.
Next up... flank steak, creamed corn, sesame green beans, baked potatoes, crescent rolls, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. (That's dinner today... we're celebrating!) And, I'm making a couple of others things for lunches for the week that I might post... sweet potato and butternut squash soup and my healthy version of twice-baked potatoes (complete with skim milk and broccoli.)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

While I don't really care about either team this year (poor Bears), we're still going to a Super Bowl party this afternoon, and I made a trio of dips. Hummus (which you've already read about since I make it a lot), Roasted Red Pepper Dip, and Roasted Eggplant Dip. (And, of course, the pita chips, which you can find the recipe for in a previous post.)
These dips taste good, are really filling, and are wonderful if you're looking for an appetizer that is vegetarian and/or healthy. If I cannot remember how many vegetarians are going to be at a party, I tend to make this kind of an appetizer because it tastes good, but doesn't take a lot of time (especially thanks to my Cuisinart 14-cup Food Processor, which makes everything easier.)
For the roasted red pepper dip, roast 4 peppers. Add them to the cuisinart with ground, toasted walnuts, toasted cumin, salt, pepper, 2 slices of white bread (yes, really), red pepper, olive oil, and vinegar (I use red wine vinegar.) Blend together, and that's it. (It's really that easy.)
For the eggplant dip, roast 2 eggplants (which you have pierced throughout with a knife and stuffed with 2 cloves of garlic thinner sliced). Scoop out the insides and put in your food processor. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, parsley, and fresh mint. Blend, and, again, that's all there is to it.
(That's why this is such a great thing to bring.) If you didn't have to roast everything and wash out the food processor after each dip, all three dips would take under 10 minutes to make in total.)
What did everyone else make for their Super Bowl festivities? I'd love to hear your recipes. Feel free to post them in the comments!