Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cashew Chicken

Here is a great new recipe which we had for dinner tonight. It was very good!

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1-1/4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large green pepper, julienned
4 green onions (I cut them with my kitchen shears about 1/2-1 inch long)
1/12 teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic
1 can (8 ounces)sliced water chestnuts, drained
3/4 cup salted cashews
Hot cooked rice

in a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, brown sugar, broth and soy sauce until smooth; set aside. In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry chicken in 2 tablespoons oil until no longer pink. Remove chicken and keep warm. (For a lower fat version, instead of using oil, I sprayed my pan with Pam. Then when the chicken was done, I removed it and used the remainder of the chicken broth to stir-fry my vegetables.)

In the same skillet, stir-fry the mushrooms, green pepper, onions and ginger in remaining oil until green pepper is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, water chestnuts, garlic and cashews; heat through.

Stir broth mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with rice. Yield 4-6 servings.

Here is Mother with her beautiful quilt, "My Grandmother's Dream" made for Jeff and Tammy Johnson. Each complete block is made with eight different fabrics going from light to dark or dark to light so there is a positive and a negative block in each color.

Here I am with my quilt. Mine is a stack n whack. I think it is awesome! It is made by stacking four pieces of fabric so that pattern in each piece in the stack is cut identical, then the parts of each block are turned one-quarter so there is a twist in it. Each block is completely unique!

Clean Cup, Move Down!

Also the address for this blog, "Clean cup, Move Down!" seems to fit my life right now. If you recall in "Alice in Wonderland" during the Mad Hatter's tea party, Alice barely gets started on her tea, when the Mad Hatter or the March Hare exclaim, "Clean cup, move down!" Alice gets more and more frustrated. I can kind of relate. I do manage to get things finished, but unfortunately, lots of pressure gets put on my family in the process!

Quilts have been a tradition in my family. I have several quilts that my mother and grandmothers have made for me. I've tried my hand at quilting and have learned things along the way. (Mostly through trial and error and reading books. I have learned a lot.) A few months ago my Aunt Betty phoned my mother and challenged her to make a quilt. Aunt Betty was working on one called "My Grandmother's Dream." She was very excited about it. She sent Mom the instructions, and she began with the intent of making quilts for Jeff and Matt because they "are of marriageable age. " Shortly after, Jeff announced his engagement. Mother was well on her way to getting Jeff's quilt made, but I needed to make one too.

We only have one sewing machine here, which is actually my Mother's machine. My machine was in St. George, Utah at her home there. We obviously needed two machines if we were both going to be making quilts (and other sewing projects). My cousin, Lynette, who lives in Moapa, Nevada goes to St. George regularly and she was willing to get my machine, take it to UPS, have them package it and sent here to Oregon. She insured it for $1,000. We were excited to have two machines working on these big projects! A few days later the machine arrived, I unpacked it, and after close examination, it was obvious that the machine hadn't been packed carefully enough and it had been thrashed in shipping. The local Viking dealer informed me that it would be impossible to fix. One thing led to another and I ended up with a brand new Bernina! It is great! I haven't had a chance to take the classes to learn how to use the machine yet. I have figured out how to use what I needed on my own. It does some AWESOME things, including automatic needle-threading, which I haven't figured out yet?! CLEAN CUP, MOVE DOWN! The classes are coming up in February! The quilts got finished and they turned out great!