Thai Peanut Chicken


Hey all– Did you grow up on a regimen of lunchtime peanut butter sandwiches? They were pretty standard around our busy house for us 4 little kids.  (thanks Mom) I think that must be why I pretty much love an recipe involving peanuts, peanut butter, peanut sauce…  So when I saw a version of this recipe, I knew I wanted to give it a try.  And I wasn’t disappointed–so rich and peanutty with a just little spice!

2 chicken breasts (no bones,no skin)
3 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 tab. Thai sweet chili sauce*
2 tab. soy sauce
2 tab. peanut butter
1 tsp. ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup peanuts
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped fine

Cut the chicken breasts horizontally the flat way, to produce 4 chicken fillets.  Heat the oil in skillet and then add in the chicken breasts.  Salt and pepper them a bit and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side until they are nicely browned and cooked through. Remove them from the pan.

Into that same skillet, mix in the Thai sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, peanut butter, ginger and garlic.  Stir it together on low heat.  Add in the water and bring it to a low simmer.  Stir in the peanuts and cilantro.  Then add the chicken back to the skillet to warm it and coat it with sauce.

Serve the chicken on a platter with brown rice (that’s what I did tonight), white rice, any whole grain or rice noodles…
We added a quick spinach, peach & pecan salad on the side.  Dinner!

*The recipe I worked from called for about five times that much Thai sweet chili sauce, so adjust it to your own heat preferences!!


Ginger Peanut Broccoli Slaw


Hi there– I am an avid cole slaw fan.  I’m always up for a new version, especially with summer right around the corner.  Lately I’ve been buying this bagged Broccoli Slaw at our market.  So much crunch and more veggie flavor than the cabbage I usually chop up.  And it’s easy!  Just open that bag and pour it into the sauce.  5 minutes.  Done.  And delicious!

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup peanuts
1 lime, juice (about 2 tab.)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tab. canola oil
1 tab. rice wine vinegar
2 tab. sugar
1 tsp. ginger, peeled and minced fine
1 bag “Broccoli Slaw”*

In a mixing bowl whisk together the cilantro, peanuts, lime juice, salt, oil, vinegar, sugar and vinegar until it’s all well blended.  Then mix in the bag of broccoli slaw and set it on the table!  What could be easier than that?!

*If you life in So. California, Broccoli Slaw is available at Stater Brothers.


Pork & Sweet Potato Thai Curry



Hello all– Last weekend we got a Friday afternoon call from Micah, Jodi and the girls saying they were coming down for the weekend.  Love that.  It was a pretty tranquil visit.  No big outings or even trips to the yogurt shop.  We just stayed around the house and played and talked.

The grand-girls and I made a birthday cake since it had been Jodi’s birthday that week.  And I had gotten a new little table and chairs from Ikea for our backyard and you know what that means!!–construction!  So Micah and Jodi pulled out all the pieces and put them together, while I cooked up lunch.  (thanks you two!!)  And this is what we ate, out in the sunshine on the new table. I thought it was rather delicious.

2 cups brown or white rice
2 tab. olive oil
1 pound pork tenderloin chops, cut to smallish chunks
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut to small chunks
3 tablespoons curry powder
14 oz. can coconut milk
1 cup water
4 cups baby spinach, cut to shreds

to garnish:
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro chopped

Put the rice on to cook according to the package directions.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil.  Then drop in the pork and stir to brown all on all sides– about 5 or 6 minutes.  Remove it from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan cook the onion just until it starts to brown and then all in the sweet potatoes and curry powder.  Stir it up until the sweet potatoes and coated with oil and curry.  Then pour in the coconut milk and water.  Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Then return the pork to the pan, as well as the spinach.  Let it simmer a couple minutes and the sauce will thicken.

Layer the curry with white rice and sprinkle on the chopped peanuts and cilantro and serve it nice and hot.  Enjoy!


P.S. Here’s a couple obligatory grand-girl pics.  Charlotte putting candles on the cake and Maryann creating a ball gown on her sister Jobay from from discarded Ikea packaging and scotch tape– Jobay was pretty patient while Mary colored marker hearts all over the dress!
IMG_4161     IMG_4165


Peanut Sweet Potato Chicken Stew

Hello all-  I have a new favorite soup.  Love this savory bowl of stew– right up there with steamy pozole or a spicy cup of chili.  It has some of my favorite flavors all simmered up together– sweet potato, curry powder and surprisingly peanut butter!  –with just enough red pepper to give is a little bit.

The recipe I worked from said it was a stew from west Africa.  It’s just different and so delicious.  I’m imaging a tableful of friends over to try it out on a chilly evening soon.

1 medium sweet potato
4 cups chopped cooked chicken (1 roasted chicken)*
1 cup peanut butter
2 14oz. cans petit cut tomatoes with garlic
1 tab. curry powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper**
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
chopped cilantro for garnish

Cut the sweet potato into large chunks, and cook them in the microwave 8 to 10 minutes, until they are tender, but firm.

Then in a soup pot, mix the chicken, peanut butter, tomatoes, curry powder, red pepper and chicken broth.  Bring it to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

When you are ready to eat, shake the cornstarch along with 1/2 cup water in a container with a tight fitting lid until it’s thoroughly blended.  Stir it into the simmering soup and stir about 3 or4 minutes until it thickens.

Serve it up hot garnished with peanuts and cilantro.

*You can cook up your own chicken, but I am happy to pick up one all cooked for me at the market.
**I thought this was plenty of spice, you can add more to taste if you like a real kick.



Apple Peanut Cole Slaw

IMG_1350Hi friends– I don’t know if you love cole slaw as much as I do.  It just always tastes so crisp and fresh and cold.  And summery.  I got this version from our intrepid P.E. teacher at school, Janie .  An amazing woman, who taught right on through rounds of chemotherapy– and has an wonderful, joyful faith.  I like her a lot.  And her apple cole slaw too.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tab. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
ground pepper to taste
1 small head of cabbage, cut to little bits*
2 green apples (I used tart Granny Smiths)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (or more if you love nuts as much as I do)
1/2 red bell pepper, cut finely

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper until it is emulsified.  Then chop up that cabbage, cut the apples to small bits, chop the peanuts and pepper.  Then throw it all in with the dressing and mix it up.  That’s it!  Serve it up with bar-b-qued anything for good eating…

*You can cut up the cabbage in the food processor if you like it fine.  I just use a good old butcher knife and whack away so the chunks are a little larger.

Chicken and Peanut Curry

IMG_8825Hey there-  I found a new favorite quick-cook dinner!  It’s fast, pretty and who* doesn’t love any dish with peanut butter as an ingredient?!  I think you’d really like it.

2 tab. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large boneless chicken breast, cut in polite chunks
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 shake red pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1  14oz. can petit cut tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup green onion, the green part chopped
1 cup rice (cooked according to directions on package)

IMG_8821Start the rice cooking.  Heat the oil in a large pan.  Throw in the onion and garlic into the pan and cook until the onions get soft.  Then add in the chicken chunks and cook about 5-7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and brown around the edges.  Stir in the peanut butter.  Then add the curry powder, salt, red pepper, black pepper and tomatoes.  Stir to meld the flavors and let it simmer 3 or 4 minutes.

Spread the cooked rice on a platter and top with the chicken curry.  Garnish with the chopped peanuts and green onion.  Pretty, hot and spicy– yummm.

*Sorry Brian.

Thai Chicken and Noodles

IMG_8015Hi all– Love this spicy, flavorful dish because it’s so bright and colorful!  And it has some of my favorite flavors– garlic, cilantro, peanuts…  It goes together quickly.  Just add a bright salad and it’s dinner.

2 tab. canola oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into bits
salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine
zest of one lime
2 tab. rice vinegar

Combine the oil, dashes of salt and pepper, garlic, cilantro, lime zest and vinegar.  Put the cut up chicken into the mixture and coat it thoroughly.  Let it marinate 20 to 30 minutes.
Then saute the chicken in a nonstick pan until pretty and browned.

8 oz. chinese noodles or thin spaghetti noodles
dash oil
2 tab. canola oil
1 tab. fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
a small pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken broth
1 tab. Thai sweet chili sauce*
1 tab. rice vinegar
2 green onions, green and white parts sliced thinly
salt & pepper to taste
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Cook the noodles with the dash of oil and salt, according to package directions.  Heat canola oil in a pan.  Add in the ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes.  Cook 2 minutes.  Then mix in the broth, chili sauce, vinegar, green onions.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Next add in the cooked, drained noodles.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Finally, mix in the carrot, peanuts and cilantro into the noodles and top it all with the cooked chicken.

*I use 1 tab. Thai chili sauce because I’m a wimp.  If you like spicy, add another!

Crunchy Ginger Peanut Pasta Salad

Hi there– after a couple weeks away, eating our way across China, we’re ready for some simple, light suppers.  Here’s a fine end of the summer meal that you can make ahead and serve with a crunchy baguette and a simple grilled piece of salmon.

8 oz. of your favorite pasta
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tab. rice vinegar
2 tab. sugar
2 tab. soy sauce
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
1 cup snow peas, trimmed and halved
2 carrots, cut in match stick shapes
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
6 radishes, cut into small strips
1/2 cup sliced green onion
4 tab. chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Cook up the pasta and drain it in a strainer.  In a container with a tight lid, shake together the dressing–oil, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, ginger and chili sauce.  Prepare all the veggies and then mix them into the pasta with the dressing and refrigerate for a couple hours.  Mix in the peanuts just before you set it on the table.  Enjoy!