cashewchicken

I’ve always been a fan of stir-fries. Crisp veggies, tender strips of various proteins, savory sauces, rice – the perfect one dish meal. I came across this recipe when browsing old issues of Cook’s Country Magazine. I love their recipes because they are usually very easy. Wonderful on those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking!

I’ve always got a cache of boneless skinless chicken breasts, and we adore snow peas in this house…so I knew this one would be a winner.

On another note – can anyone believe it’s November already? This year has just flown by. I’ve signed up for a cooking class at the local community college. I have to wear a chefs jacket and hat – it’s so much fun! It is an International Cuisine course. This semester is mainly focusing on Asian and Caribbean cuisine. I have another 3 weeks of class, and I’m looking forward to signing up for another in the spring. Hoping to make a few “foodie” friends in the area. Not many of my friends really enjoy cooking, so I’d certainly like to find some who do!

Anywho, enjoy the cashew chicken. Really was a great dinner!

minestrone

We’ve had a slight chill in the air this week. As you might be able to tell from my last post, I’m thinking about fall. I’ve really been trying to go through my collection of cookbooks, as I have collected such a wonderful assortment over the years. This one is no exception. It’s written by Henry Hill, the notorious mobster that the film “Goodfellas” is based off of. Now, let me just say what a great “food movie” Goodfellas is. The razor thin garlic? The cannoli incident? So many good scenes. But, I digress. You get me talking about any classic mafia movie, and I could go on for days!

There are so many great recipes in this book, I diddn’t even know where to begin. After much deliberation, I decided on this wonderful minestrone. It was delicious, and a relatively easy. It wasn’t super quick as far as cooking time goes – at 2 hours. But, for me, as a general rule of thumb – a good soup can’t come together quickly. Just the way it is folks!

I like to pre-cook my pasta first. I find that it doesn’t get quite as overcooked in the leftovers that way. I used elbow macaroni in this batch – but feel free to use whatever you like or have handy. This is really a “clean your fridge” out kind of meal. Lots of room for additions and substitutions. I kind of felt like maybe it would benefit for corn? Or some canelli beans perhaps? I was out of Parmesan cheese (I know! I know!), but I’d definitely top the soup with some before serving. Or, if you happen to have a rind laying around in the refrigerator or freezer, feel free to toss that into the mix as well. Just make sure you remove it before dishing it up!

Serve with a nice green salad and some crusty bread. Perfect for the cool fall evenings we have ahead of us!

lomein

Whenever we order Chinese carry-out, I usually end up getting lo mein. When I saw this post on Annie’s site, it looked so delicious, I couldn’t wait to try it. Very glad I did! It was a delicious dinner that came together in a matter of minutes. Not to mention, it’s pretty figure friendly! Any vegetables would be wonderful in this. I kind of used what I had on hand. Also, I cannot wait to try it with Chinese roasted pork (you know – the red tinted stuff?). I’ve seen it at my local grocer, have wanted to try it, but just wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. Now I know!

I sort of had a hard time finding the lo mein noodles. Chances are you will find them in the International or Asian aisle of your supermarket. It seems to be hit or miss! You could use spaghetti noodles, but semolina pasta doesn’t absorb the sauce as well. I was shocked how much soy sauce goodness that these babies absorbed. It really was delicious!

This was plenty for myself and my husband, with a small portion leftover for leftovers. If you’ve got more than 2 folks to feed, I’d double the recipe.

turkeypanini

I came across these panini sandwiches while I was expecting our son Andrew. It was an instant hit with both myself, and the husband. I couldn’t believe how flavorful this sandwich was, or how easy it was to throw together. In fact, in the last week before Andrew was born, Jon took over all cooking duties for me. It might sound simple enough, but it’s actually quite a feat for him.

He cooked the usual things that men (well, most of them!) are capable of cooking…spaghetti, hot dogs, tacos. In other words, processed/ground meat central. But, he also decided to go out on a limb for himself and made these paninis. I did assist him a little in the chopping of the jalapenos. I would have been waiting all night for him to chop up 2 of them – bless his heart. My point is they are wonderfully easy. Takes 20 minutes to throw together…tops!