birthday dinners

so i turned 28 yesterday (cue the balloons and confetti yayi’msooldugh). in honor of the momentous occasion erik ate a stir fry and didn’t complain about it! best birthday present ever, seriously. i think i’ve mentioned before that I picked up this book and have since then dog eared almost all the pages (sorry local library ::sheepish look::). it has SO. MANY. ASIAN. RECIPES. i died and went to stir fry heaven reading it … when i think of birthday dinners though, i remember things like pizza or eating at some restaurant because i was young then and didn’t realize that cooking one’s own birthday dinner could be a really great time if you’re making your favorite thing. stir fry never entered into the equation. but i think from here on out, they’re going to, because if i’m going to continue inching my way into old lady-ville, i’m going to make the occasion a happy one for my stomach, dammit.

Ginger Chicken
recipe adapted from Mark Bittman’s The Best Recipes in the World (the recipe amounts are in parentheses. bear in mind the amounts given feed about 4 people. i don’t measure but if i had to guess, i cut it in half)

You Need:

boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into smallish cubes (1 pound)
2 Tablespoons oil
garlic cloves, minced (2 Tablespoons worth)
red chili pepper flakes (amount depends on how spicy you like things. a shake or two usually does it)
ginger, peeled and grated or minced (one 3-inch piece of ginger)
shallot or onion, chopped (3 shallots or 1 medium onion)
mushrooms, sliced (3)
scallions, chopped (2)
soy sauce (2 Tablespoons)
nam pla (2 Tablespoons – this can be optional, i think. i’ve made many a stir fry recipe that called for this and not had it on hand so i omitted it and it tasted just fine)
1 teaspoon sugar (or just a pinch, really, is all i used)
lime juice
black pepper

heat a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. add the oil and stir in the shallots or onion. cook until softened. add the garlic, some of the ginger, and the chili pepper flakes. add the chicken breast and raise the heat to high. cook, stirring occasionally, until it cooks through. add the mushrooms and scallions and cook for a couple of minutes. stir in the soy sauce, nam pla and sugar. cook a couple minutes more. squeeze in the lime juice and pepper. check your seasonings and garnish with the rest of the ginger. serve over rice or softened maifun noodles.

post dinner, we had birthday cake. it was an awesome monkey shaped rainbow cake that my wonderful, talented husband made for me.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “birthday dinners

  1. Sarah

    Yay happy birthday! And what a gorgeous monkey rainbow cake.

  2. Joy

    That cake is awesome! Way to go Erik! I’m glad you had a great birthday dear!

  3. rebekah

    thanks, guys. 🙂 i was very very happy with that cake. it was too cute.

  4. I always have fun cooking. Thanks for this writing.

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