Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow, Szechuan, and Sewing

It feels so good to be back in the blogging world!  My laptop was on the fritz for about a week and Carl was able to fix it after a few aggravating days.  If have to say that he's the best - unfortunately I think he knows everything about just about everything and that makes him feel a bit more pressure to fix things in a jiffy.  Sorry sweetie. {{{hugs}}}

Like everyone else in in the country (except Florida), we've had a bunch of snow this last week.  The boys were out of school for three days and I left work early one day and stayed home another.  More snow today...more snow next week....snow, snow, snow.  I promise, promise, promise that I will do my very best not to complain about the heat and humidity this summer :)  The boys were outside this afternoon building a fort and then Ryan decided to climb on the dog house.

While I was lounging around the house eating bon bons on my (snow) day off, I watched Barefoot Contessa and she made szechuan noodles with chicken and broccoli - it looked absolutely delicious!  Carl and I loved it, Ryan didn't like the peanut flavor, Kyle wanted more chicken and less noodles.  When I make this again, I will probably use less noodles or more veggies and chicken. 

Recipe courtesy of Barefoot Contessa

Good olive oil
3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets and stems discarded
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup good soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon Asian hot chili oil
2 tablespoons dark toasted sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 pound spaghetti
4 scallions, sliced diagonally (white and green parts)
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned

Directions:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan, skin side up. Rub the tops with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin and bones. Shred the chicken in large bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the broccoli florets for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately immerse in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain and set aside.

Place the garlic, ginger, vegetable oil, tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, sherry, sherry vinegar, honey, chili oil, sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and the cayenne pepper in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and puree until smooth. Set aside.

Add a splash of olive oil to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook the spaghetti according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta in a colander, place it in a large bowl, and while still warm, toss with the sauce. Add the scallions, peppers, chicken and broccoli and toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature.

When I was taking a break from the bon bons and cooking shows, I decided to finish some sewing projects.  Prudent Baby has been one of my favorite blogs lately for sewing projects and everytime I read it, I find a new reason to get the sewing machine out.  Here is  my finished fat quarter apron (pot holders will be coming soon) - click here for instructions.

I also worked on my wristlet key fobs - also from Prudent Baby - that I started for Christmas presents....lets not talk about how incredibly late they are.

Well, that was a nice, little wrap-up of the last week.  I hope you enjoyed your visit and I'll see you next time.


Anonymous said...

Girl, you make me tired with all your projects but you either have it or not. My daughter does and has 2 small children. She only blogs on their birthdays now because she's starting her own photography business from, "Shooting the kids" but she shoots any group or senior pictures. Their working on her web site now. She was also doing "picture a day for 365 days" That's almost over. she gets adorable pics. Well, I may not have energy but I'm a senior now :>( so that explains it.
Cousin Arlys in chino, CA

Love My Country Home said...

Hi Arlys, Could you send me her link to project 365? I started on and need to post to it again. Believe it or not, I'm slowing down...

Anonymous said...

Cute little projects! I'd have to agree with Ryan on the recipe...doesn't sound like my kiddos would touch it. So- did you make your friend one of those cute little pink key fobs????

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhh, I love those little key chain thingys. ~Janna

Mary Jo said...

Those are the most adorable key chains ever! Those are for next year, right? Getting an early start =)
Love the apron, I soooo want to learn how to make those!

Love My Country Home said...

Both are super simple! And maybe I should say the wristlets are for next year - good idea!

Anonymous said...

I do get one of those cute little key fobs, right? Since it is late for Christmas and I don't want to wait for this years how about one for Valentine's day. Mom/Nancy

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