I went a little easy on myself tonight. It's true. Last week was so very crazy (tasty, but crazy) and this week... well, enough with the blah-dee-blah...
Sometimes you just need to cut yourself a break, right??? OK, so, now that THAT'S out of the way, I can tell you what the menu was:
Tonight's yumminess was brought to you by Kevin and Marsha (again.) Suffice it to say that I'd really like to be in their family, especially when it comes time for dinner. Their submissions to the cookbook have really been our favorites so far - although everything we've tried has been delicious (just so all you people I go to church with know...) with some dessert help from Kris. For our side, I totally cheated AGAIN. Yeah, I know! I am turning into a regular cheater, cheater, bow-beater. But I don't regret it.
Dinner: Orange Chicken Stir-Fry.
So yummy - and much easier than I was anticipating. The orange chicken you get at the Chinese restaurant is breaded and fried - this stuff is NOT breaded - though still kind of fried. Much healthier than in the restaurant and very tasty. And do you know what the most amazing part was? I did not even cry cutting apart the chicken breasts. Granted, they weren't boned, so I could visualized an orchard once again, but still.
Here's the recipe:
Orange Chicken Stir-Fry
2 C rice
3/4 C freshly squeezed orange juice (three large oranges)
3 T rice vinegar
3 T soy sauce
3 T light brown sugar
3 T cornstarch
1 lb (about) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
salt and pepper to taste
1 (10 oz) package of frozen broccoli
2 T veggie oil
Cook rice; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch. In a large skillet, heat oil over high heat until hot. Cook the chicken in the oil until done. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the broccoli and orange sauce mixture. Continue cooking this over high heat until the sauce thickens - about 3-4 minutes. Serve this over rice.
Side: Asian Salad.
Holy cow. This salad was even better this time. Unanimously agreed that it stole the show (no offense to the rest of the show). I really can't explain to you enough how good it is, and even if I tried you wouldn't believe me. So I'll just say, I got the recipe here. And THEN I'll be kind enough to give it to you HERE, because you don't want to miss it, trust me.
2 packages of ramen noodles, crushed
1 C slivered almonds
2 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 C butter
1 head of napa cabbage, shredded
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3/4 C vegetable oil
1/4 C distilled white vinegar
1/2 C sugar
2 T soy sauce
In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the ramen, almonds and sesame seeds and mix together. Cook, stirring frequently so it doesn't burn, until the mixture is golden brown. Take off heat and cool. In a small saucepan, bring the veggie oil, vinegar and sugar to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar. Boil for 1 minute. Cool. Add soy sauce. In a large bowl, combine the napa cabbage and the green onions. Add the ramen noodle mixture and mix, then add the dressing mixture and toss to coat.
Just a tip - you may want to either get TWO cabbages or reduce the dressing because both times I've made it now there is WAY too much dressing for the salad. Napa cabbages seem really big, but there's surprisingly little cabbage on that big thing. Also, I only use about half a bunch of green onions, not the whole thing and I think it's plenty.
Dessert: Peanut Butter Incredibles.
If you ask mr to pick dinner, rest assured dessert will involve peanut butter. He's an addict. I just let it be, because really, how destructive can PB be? Has anyone ever died of PB overdose? Actually, if you ate this entire dessert yourself, you might. It reminded me of THIS dessert I made (also delicious) with the BIG exception of NOT putting my hand directly in the BURNING center of the bars.
Here you go:
Peanut Butter Incredibles
1/3 Box of graham crackers, crushed
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 C peanut butter
3 C powdered sugar
12 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or maybe a bag and a half, or so... who's counting?)
Combine everything but the chocolate chips and mix well. Pat firmly into a 9x13 pan. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave and pour them over the peanut butter mixture. Chill for about 15 minutes. Don't let it cool completely BEFORE cutting it or the chocolate will break off the top.
You know what I liked the most? It's no bake.
I didn't turn the oven on ONCE tonight. Which means mr and I didn't get to have our normal monday night dinnertime discussion:
mr: Is there a reason the oven is on?
me: (chewing slowly) Um, mm-hm.
mr: BESIDES that you forgot to turn it off?
me: (thinking fast) Um... no.
So, you know, going easy on myself has a lot of benefits. I don't run around like a crazed lunatic, I don't smoosh my whole hand into the dessert, I don't forget to turn the oven off, and I'm actually still hungry when it comes time to eat. Who knew.