seeding meal #4

I don’t like to enjoy my yard…  I like to work in it…  at the beginning of spring I get almost giddy… I make lists of jobs, then I go do the jobs… then I notice more jobs that need doing… I put them on the list… then I do them and cross them off the list…

if the list looks like it’s not long enough, I either buy something from Costco online or Ikea that we have to assemble just to add another job to the list…

there is something thrilling about seeing the job on the list and then doing it and then crossing it off…  addictive really… and if you know anything about me…  ‘bit of an addict’…  (I like to through ‘bit’ in there so it’s not so harsh)

the farmer will play in the yard… baseball, football, monster on the trampoline, ‘horse’ on the basketball court…  I like to pick rocks off the pavement pad and re-seed dead spots on the lawn while he does this…

deck staining was in order today… due to the fact that it was over 30 degrees out on May 4… kinda fun to set a record for the earliest I have even treated the decks… really felt like a winner…

my deck staining skills are poor to terrible…  I have followed the rules, taken advice, read the instructions and every single time my decks are sticky…  they never set…  until now…

and I am giving all the credit to this brush… life changing really… Simms 5″ brush that you put on a telescoping handle and then think to yourself ‘where have you been my whole life?’…

I don’t want to write about it anymore… words cannot begin to express my love for this brush… I bought 5 of them and plan to buy more… just in case there is a rush on them or they go out of business…

just try it…  or if you have tried it… don’t speak to me because you didn’t tell me about it and I’ll be mad at you…

the gorgeous weather and deck staining left very little time to get supper ready…  I started at 3:45 pm and had it done by 6….  so this is a good meal plan for someone who works (other than deck staining) and only has 2 hours to whip together a supper…  for 10…

I did have a plan…  Asian…  this is another weird quirk about my personality… I like to theme meals (or outfits) if at all possible…

vinaigrette in a mason jar is super easy, cheap, healthy and oh so good…

 

asian cucumber green chickpea salad

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 tbsp green onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds (or plain sesame seeds)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 2 large English cucumbers, julienned
  • 2 cups frozen green chickpeas
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 small red cabbage, thinly sliced

Directions:

  • make the dressing in a medium mason jar and shake well
  • in a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the salad
  • pour the dressing and toss well
  • salad is best cold

 

have you ever had a day where everything is working out perfectly and you start to find it a bit creepy?  spooky? like you might still be asleep?

morning run went well… kids were good getting on the bus…  I went to pressure wash the decks and I started the pressure washer first try… all three times…  (this has never happened)…

and then when I quickly went to the local store to pick up a few items… there were packages of Udon noodles… just sitting there in the cooler…  calling my name…

I bought all of them… mostly because my daughter has been craving these for awhile now and I have not seen them anywhere else…

but I was still a little weirded out by how the day was going… it was like the very few experiences I have had playing basketball when every shot went in… in fact I distinctly remember this happening twice… but when I shot I knew it was going in…

Steph Curry type of day…

Sienna and I found no instructions with the noodles… so we made our own up…  she was in charge…  she cut open the packages… massaged them under hot water… and the divided them up into the supper containers… awaiting their toppings…

she also ate enough to make herself a tad bit ill…

chicken with oyster sauce and cashews

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 6 tbsp canola oil
  • 8 chicken breasts (thawed, patted dry and cut into chunks)
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch (in 1/2 cup cold water)
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 2 cups unsalted cashews
  • 4 (454 g) packages Udon noodles (Shanghai Noodles)
  • chopped green onions

Directions:

  • in a bowl, mix soya sauce, vinegar, sugar, oyster sauce, sesame oil and canola oil
  • set this aside
  • in a large skillet or wok over high heat add chicken in two batches (once the second batch is cooked, add the first batch back in with it)
  • brown the chicken and cook thoroughly, adding a bit of water as you go if the pan gets too dry
  • add garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes
  • add green peppers and cook for a few minutes
  • add chicken broth, cook and then turn heat down to add the cornstarch in the water
  • take off the heat and add the cashews and water chestnuts to the thickened mixture
  • serve immediately over the udon noodles, which you have taken out of the packages and in a strainer ran hot water over and pulled apart
  • top with green onions if you have some

I need to include a side note here… I cut the ginger into little sticks because I thought it looks nice…  bit of a bite and unless you love ginger like that… grate it…  I picked it out of the dishes before I sent them to the field…

other note… oyster sauce is the bomb…

now… if you are waiting for dessert pictures… just scroll on back to seeding meal #2 when I made some little cream cheese things that took me 5 hours…  I had frozen them and let them thaw today and put Smucker’s caramel sauce on them… leftover dessert… perfect for on a 30 degree day…

chicken and rice noodles with peanut sauce and slaw… take that wok box…

growing up I talked to myself a lot… due to the fact that I was  a middle child, only girl, awkward socially and had a vivid imagination…

it began with Cabbage Patch dolls… then straight into Barbies… I kept my Barbies in a closet in my room, fully dedicated to them, and as soon as I would get home from school I’d go to my room, lock myself in it, open the closet door and enter my made up world that was far superior to what was going on in grade 4 at school…

beginning of grade 5 I sold every Barbie… I had over 50 of them… in a desperate attempt to make myself cooler and more involved in reality than my fantasy world…

but it is almost like an addict… where you quit some vice only to replace it with another…  and for me it was a fake boyfriend I made up…  long distance of course…  we wrote each other a lot…  I’d write him, then write to myself from him…  Brian… he was quite the catch… I eventually broke it off with him because it was just getting too weird…

grade 6 involved me setting up an ‘office’ and going there after school every day to keep my fake company going…  I would even dress up in my Aunt Linda’s old power suits to head to my ‘work’…

then along came my obsession with turning black…  yes, my skin colour… my mother had told me there were no limits when it came to prayer… so I would pray every night that my skin would turn black so I could eventually play for North Carolina in their basketball program… and I’d wake every morning and look at my hands to see if it worked…  and they were still white… borderline too white…

as teenage years came I was able to stifle the urge to imagine and create my own little worlds… although there was the time in grade 8 where I would put makeup on in the morning listening to the Green Day and talk to myself in the mirror and pretend to be a groupie…

 

this is why I can’t ever be too judgemental of my kids… because I was about as weird as it gets growing up so nothing they can do would shock or disappoint me…

now in my thirties, the imagination is not quite as vivid and the talking to myself has significantly lowered… it is reserved mostly for the dogs and cats now…  but the dogs in particular I believe understand what I’m saying…  and if the cats do they’ll never give you the satisfaction…

which brings me to a Thursday night last week…  it is the night I love to cook because it is the only night out of the entire week generally where we have no hockey…

so I cooked this ode to Wok Box meal… had Brandon my oldest come set the kitchen up like we were at a Wok Box… take orders… and then put the order sheet up for me to fill…

he asked ‘what protein do you want?’ … Ethan said ‘beef’ and Brandon wrote down chicken…  what sauce?  ‘teriyaki’ and Brandon wrote down peanut sauce…  our options were slightly limited…

 

recently, at a pilates class, I even tried to pretend like I was the instructor…  I tried to count and crunch at the same time… I have no idea how she does it…  I ran out of breath…  and this is why I always place myself at the back of the class…

  

you can cook this meal without pretending you are running a wok box… but I don’t know why you would…

 

chicken and rice noodles with peanut sauce and slaw

Ingredients:

Peanut Sauce:

  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 5 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Chicken:

  • 1 kg chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • sesame oil

Slaw:

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped diagonally
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 head purple cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced into matchsticks

Noodles:

  • 400 g rice sticks (or rice noodles), cooked to package directions

Toppings:

  • 1/2 cup chopped, unsalted peanuts
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Peanut Sauce:

  • in a small saucepan, combine ingredients and cook on medium/high heat for 10 minutes

Chicken:

  • in a large bowl, combine ingredients
  • pour sesame oil into a large saucepan or wok
  • cook on high heat in two batches

Slaw:

  • combine ingredients for slaw and set aside

Noodles:

  • follow package instructions
  • bring a large pot of water to boil and turn off heat
  • place noodles in, stirring and cook for 5-8 minutes until soft
  • strain and serve