Back from vacation

Just haven't really found the time to post anything lately. Apologies.

To make up for it, here is a slightly out-of-focus photo of Mr. W looking suspicious among the wheat stalks:


The Cat Whisperer

I've managed to convince Gina to help me in my keeping-the-cat-alive goal while I'm on vacation.

To be honest, I'm a little nervous.

All the people I've had feed Thursday before (Mr. W, Sue, Kari) have actually been allergic to cats. (How nice of them to brave runny noses and itchy eyes to help me!)

Gina's the first cat owner to take on the task. And she's not just a cat owner. She is a cat person. She loves her cats. When I first took Thursday in, Gina's the one I called asking for vet advice. I kind of see her as the cat expert.

So I'm really a little nervous that she'll come by, take a look around, and decide I suck as a cat owner. What if I'm not buying the right toys? What if there aren't enough scratchable surfaces? What if Thursday hates the food I buy her, but I never knew because I've never owed a cat before this one and to me, kitty hatred looks just like every other kitty emotion?

Gina will know these things. She's the Cat Whisperer.

(Actually, the Cat Whisperer has been sick the past two days. Maybe I should start looking for a backup.)


Recipe Corner: Stir-fry sauce

When I was growing up, my mom had a pretty standard rotation of Midwestern recipes: mushroom-soup-and-rice casserole, chicken from the Crock-Pot, pork chops, make-your-own tacos.

There was one Chinese dish in this lineup. To this day, nothing I've eaten in a Chinese restaurant can compare with my mom's chicken almond. It's the reason I own a wok. (Well, that and Target was having a sale.) But since I don't always have raw almonds on hand, lately I've been trying out the sauce with different stir-frys. It's a really basic "chow mein" sort of sauce, so it works well with chicken and tofu. I haven't tried it with beef yet, but I bet it would hold up.

Here's the recipe:
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 3 tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. water
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch

I recommend that the wine be at room temperature so the honey will mix in a bit easier.

To use the sauce, start by stir-frying your meat/tofu in a bit of oil. Once it's cooked, add the sauce and cook until it's thickened. Then, add vegetables/nuts and stir-fry the whole mess until it's as done as you want it to be.

Oh, and in case you're wondering about the chicken almond recipe, it uses 1 1/2 lb chicken (cut into chunks, obvy), 12 oz snow pea pods, 1 c sliced water chestnuts, and 1 c raw almonds. Delish!