Sunday, December 4, 2016

Peanut Butter Chicken

I found this...somewhere - oh wait!  I found it!  It was on Good Cheap Eats! I had it in my recipe folder for a few weeks but decided to try it and I'm glad I did!  SUPER easy to put together and it was rated a very high 9.5/10 by the family and that says a lot!!   It is a pad thai knock off that is inexpensive and quick to put together.


scant 1/3 cup rice vinegar
generous 1/3 cup vegetable oil plus 2 Tbsp.
2 Tbsp. peanut butter (can use almond or sunflower seed butter)
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp peeled grated ginger
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
16 oz. linguini or thin spaghetti pasta
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 chicken breasts, chopped
1 cup chopped green onions (you can get by with less but make them bigger chunks)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1.  Whisk together the vinegar, 1/3 cup oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, ginger and red pepper.  Set aside.

2.  In a large pot of boiling, salted water, prepare the pasta according to package instructions.

3.  While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil until very hot.  Cook the carrot for 1 minute.  Add the chicken and green onions to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until chicken is cooked

4.  Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and cilantro.  You may toss the chicken in as well, but we like to serve it atop the noodles.  Otherwise the chicken drops to the bottom and is not evenly distributed.

5.  Serve this dish hot or at room temperature.

Christmas Jam

So I just realized that I never put my jam recipe on my blog!!  I've been making this jam for a long time - at least 26 years since I started making it when I lived in our old house and I've been living in this house for 25 years now.  It's a GREAT gift to make for family and friends and it's become a very much waited for gift for everyone.  I've also gotten not-so-subtle hints for second or third jars as well.  It was so nerve wracking the first time I did it but now it's really not a big deal.  I get the kitchen nice and clean before I do it and make sure I don't have any big distractions so I can keep an eye on it.  SO, without further ado......

Christmas Jam

40 oz. frozen whole strawberries or 2 1/2 quarts of fresh strawberries
1 lb. fresh or frozen cranberries
5 lbs. sugar
2 pouches (3 oz. each) liquid fruit pectin

Grind strawberries and cranberries in a food processor or grinder; place in a large kettle.  Add sugar.  Bring to a full rolling boil; boil for one minute.  Remove from the heat; add pectin.  Cool 5 minutes, skim off foam.  Pour hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.  Wipe edges and adjust caps.  Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Cranberries go in the pot
Add strawberries

Add LOTS of sugar

Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally and bring the pot to a boil

Meanwhile, in the large canning pot, cover jars with water and bring to a boil.

Bring to a full rolling boil - a boil that will hold even when stirred.

This is as I'm skimming the foam - you can still see it around the sides and in bits in the middle. 
Filling the jars.  A funnel really helps with this step.

Wipe the jar rims to make sure they are clean.

The jars capped and ready to go into the boiling water bath.

Bring the water to a boil and then boil for 15 minutes.

Remove from canner and place on towels to cool.  You will hear the jars "pop" as they seal.  If a jar doesn't seal, store in the refrigerator, otherwise it is good for a good long while on the shelf!