18 April 2006

apropos of nothing

I just received the best compliment - and I want to write it down so I can refer back to it in the dark days that is my work life (today's word origin of the day is "working stiff" - hah!).

An engineer stopped to tell me that mine was the best documentation he'd ever read. After going on about how it had helped him do his job (learn about the feature for which he was fixing bugs), he said "This is documentation worth reading."

Aww. Warm fuzzies all around.

17 April 2006

no immunity

Folks, my immune system is shot. Back in early March, I got a cold which went south after a week. Last week, I got another. This time, it started with a cold sore (the harbinger of sickness), then the cold, followed quickly by a sinus infection, another(!) cold sore (oh joy!) and finally, Saturday brought deep gurgly coughs producing a rainbow of colors. Lovely.

Needless to say, no exercise has been done. I wake two or three times a night to empty the sinuses, lest I drown in my own snot.
So, it's all I can do to drag myself up out of bed (at least it's better when I'm not lying down) and out to work.

So yeah.

Eating has been somewhat unhealthy, but in weensy quantities, so who knows what damage I have wrought. I've been subsisting on roasted tomato soup from Parad1se Bakery. And garlic bread. And super-thin, extra salty L@y's chips. It's all I feel like eating. I'm uninterested in water, but gulping peppermint tea by the monster mug.

I know what brought this on. The weekend before this last one, we went with some friend's 3yo twins and 6yo to OMSI, that petri dish of infectious diseases. Oh, and this weekend? My brother and 3yo niece visit. What delights await me?

12 April 2006

eat my words

Of course, the next mailing I get from The Splendid Table is for a healthy-looking Lemon-Chicken stirfry...This looks pretty good. If you try it, let me know.

Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry

Recipe from The One-Dish Chicken Cookbook by Mary Ellen Evans. © 2006 by Mary Ellen Evans.

Makes 4 servings

Lemon chicken most often appears as pieces of chicken battered, deep-fried and topped with a thick, lemony sauce. While tasty, it's tricky for the home cook to get just right, plus the dish is laden with calories.

By stir-frying strips of chicken and adding asparagus, then adding the lemon sauce toward the end of cooking, this recipe becomes a true one-pot—or one-wok—dish

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger, plus 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • Three 6- to 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in 1/4-inch strips
  • 1/2 pound thin asparagus spears, trimmed and cut in 2-inch lengths
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut in 2 x 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 small red onion, halved lengthwise and cut in 1/4-inch slices
  1. Stir the lemon juice and honey together in a small bowl to dissolve the honey; stir in the lemon zest. Mash the 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic with the salt using the back of the tines of a fork to form a paste; stir the paste into the lemon mixture along with the grated ginger. Stir the chicken broth and cornstarch together in a separate small bowl.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil in a wok over high heat; swirl to coat the sides. Add 1 teaspoon of the remaining garlic and 1 teaspoon of the minced ginger to the wok and stir quickly. Add the chicken; stir-fry until the chicken is no longer pink in the center when cut with a knife, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil to the wok; swirl to coat the sides. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon garlic and the remaining 1 teaspoon minced ginger; stir quickly. Add the asparagus, carrots, and onion; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the lemon mixture and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring often, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the reserved chicken. Stir the cornstarch mixture to blend; pour into the wok. Bring to a boil; boil until thickened and clear, about 1 minute. Serve with rice to soak up the lemon sauce.

05 April 2006

splend1d table

Every Wednesday (although I could swear it used to be Tuesday), I get the Weeknight Kitchen mailing from the Splend1d Table and every week I skim the recipe, thinking maybe I can glean some ideas for new quick dinners. And, (almost) every week, I'm disappointed. The recipes almost always have ingredients like a cup of cheese, a stick of butter or, in the case of today's recipe, a cup of heavy cream.

Do people really still eat like that on regular weekday nights?

01 April 2006

raw onions

Does anyone really like raw onions? It seem like I used to tolerate them, but I can't anymore. I picked some off a salad last week and just the smell of them in the trash haunted me for the rest of the day.