Seasonal Cooking – Bring on the Kitchen Mojo!

You and I probably have different interpretations of seasonal cooking.

I don’t mean locally sourced fruits and vegetables, I mean that I typically only cook at certain times of the year.

Yes, every morning I fix breakfast for at least my dad and myself. I don’t trust him in the kitchen (he has dementia) and it’s a ten minute job to whip something up that fits within the parameters of a diabetic-friendly diet.

Big kiddo can fend for herself, although lately she has been quite happy with a scrambled egg and toast, my husband usually eats cereal, and the little one has breakfast at daycare.

What I’m talking about is dinner.

In around late spring, I come to a full stop and hand the cooking reins over to my husband. There is little warning. One day there’s food on the stove and the next I look at him and say, “So, what are you fixing us for dinner?”

Part of it is the heat. We don’t have central air and I’m miserable, sweaty and oh so grouchy. The other component is that I’m the one in charge of weeding. I’d say that I handle about 80-90% of the weeding that gets done on our properties and it is a LOT of work. So my husband handles the cooking from late spring until late summer.

He’s in San Francisco for a mini-vacation and without him here, well, let’s just say that my kitchen mojo rose to the occasion and has been tossing ideas my way for the past few days in a rather intense fashion.

It started with boozy cocktails, proceeded to incorporate some new recipes, and is now steaming ahead with meal planning and baked yummy goodness. Here’s what’s on tap ’round The Deadly Nightshade’s kitchen…

Boozy Shakes

Recently I pulled out this fun book, Boozy Shakes, out of a stack on the drink station and started paging through it. I drink alcohol about once in a blue moon, ask my hubs, he’ll back me up on that. That said, I was shocked to realize I hadn’t tried any of the drinks listed.

Time to change that!

I ran across the recipe for Marzipan Milk and just had to try it. I already had the Amaretto liqueur required for it.

I tapped my fingers impatiently as I waited for the vanilla ice cream to set up in the ice cream maker. It was still rather soft, but I figured that would make it easier to mix with the Amaretto liqueur, milk and almond extract.

I mixed it thoroughly and had a sip. Delightful!

And then I made the mistake of bringing my concoction to this man…

He threatened to drink it all! I ended up making two of them. Very, very tasty.

Last night, I dabbled with a Chocolate Orange Shake. Yum. Not as amazing as the Marzipan Milk, but still good.

I even tried a combination of the two and used the chocolate ice cream, mixed with the Amaretto, to make a Chocolate Marzipan Milk. Soooo good!

Orange Chicken With Three Ingredient Sauce

I was paging through Pinterest. Don’t judge me! It’s like crack, but still, I love getting ideas from that place. It’s way too handy for overloading my days with craft projects and recipes. And don’t get me started on the photos of abandoned mansions or picturesque gardens.

In any case, I found a recipe for “Three Ingredient Orange Chicken Sauce” and just had to try it.

I added a little to the recipe, some tweaks along the way, and here is what I came up with:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup of barbecue sauce (we use Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • 1 cup of orange marmalade
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Combine the barbecue sauce, marmalade, soy sauce, ginger and garlic powder in a saucepan on the stove and place it over medium-low heat to heat.
  2. Begin heating a thin layer of vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat.
  3. Place the cubed chicken in batches in the egg and then roll them in the cornstarch and flour mixture and place them on a plate.
  4. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until well-browned on each side, about 3-5 minutes each. Place them on a plate covered with paper towels to absorb the extra oil.
  5. Combine the sauce and the cooked chicken and serve over rice.

So tasty!

More kitchen adventures will follow. Meanwhile, sign up for my newsletter and get access to short stories and more. Thanks for reading, I’ll post again soon!

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