Girl + Fire = Food



Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy National De-Lurking Day!

It's National De-Lurking Day! The one day a year where passive readers (aka "lurkers") come out of hiding, see their shadows, and leave a message to say...something.

"Hi, I like your blog."

"Hi, I really like your blog."

"Hi, your blog is neat."

"Hi, um...hi."

It doesn't have to be anything poetic, or even deep. I mean, I'd prefer if it was nice and low in profanity, but fans are fans. They come in all shapes and colors. Just say hello. Or buenos dias. Or γειά σου.

If you want to say more than hello, that's okay too. What's your favorite G+F moment? What do you want to see more of? Less of? Do you like celery and can you convince me to eat it—not in a cocktail? Speaking of alcohol at 10 am, do you like whiskey? (I do.) Gin? (Yup, that too.) Martinis with vodka (the horror!)? Do you want to make me a drink? (Yes, please. What? It's happy hour somewhere...)

If you come offering scotch, I might fall in love with you. Consider it a warning. Especially if it's the 18 year old single malt variety. *shivers*

For more info on today's internet celebration (or meme? What's the correct term?), check out BlogHer.

So, hi!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Five Spice Chicken

On occasion I lounge on the couch and make myself hungry by watching cooking shows. This is undoubtedly a form of masochism. I'm selective, though. I love Paula Deen, her cookware, and her adorable southern gentlemen sons, but I can't live on butter. I can, however, live on stir fried chicken.

Enter Chinese Food Made Easy, with Ching-He Huang. She's an adorable teeny thing with a British accent and just a hint of snark. I love Chinese food. So when the episode of her massaging chicken before making chow mein came on, and she made it look so easy, I had to try it.

The very first time I made it, I cheated. I didn't make the whole noodle part of the dish. I didn't have them in the house, but I did have all the fixins for the chicken. And I really wanted to massage the spices into it like Ching did.

It really is ridiculously easy to make this dish. I've since made it about three times (once with actual noodlesbut it's the chicken that's the real star of the meal) Take some chicken strips, add the spices, heat up the oil, and you're eating in 5 minutes. Add some veggies because they're good for you, and you have a complete meal.

The original recipe lists the chile sauce as optional. Man up and throw some in, even if it's just a quarter-teaspoon. You'll appreciate the tiny kick of heat and additional depth of flavor.

Five Spice Chicken
adapted from Ching-He Huang's Chicken Chow Mein
yields 1 serving

1 skinless chicken breast, sliced into strips
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon chile sauce
1 tablepoon sesame oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely sliced

1. In a small bowl, combine the chicken with the soy sauce, five spice powder, and chile sauce. Using your hands, ensure the chicken is completely coated. (Give the poor chicken a good massage. It's stressed.)

2. Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large skillet. Once it begins to smoke, add the chicken strips and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes, until cooked through.

3. Add the bell peppers and cook for another minute. Serve immediately.

Ching's recipe also called for bean sprouts. I like adding in some enoki mushrooms. They taste better than bean sprouts (where better = not like dirt). You do whatever you need to get more veggies in your diet.

Monday, January 3, 2011


This is the unfortunate sight I came home to after several weeks away. Dead herbs. I had been working on location and neglected my poor little patio garden, so it had withered and died. Actually, it had been raining so hard that it might have actually drowned.

Poor herbs.

The tail end of 2010 swung into high gear in a way I had not anticipated. Work, life, holidays all came into play at the exact same time. It was like a perfect storm. A good storm, yet absolutely crazy.

But one does not turn good fortune down, lest a gift horse kick you in the mouth. That's the cliché, right? Well another standard saying is to start the New Year off right.

So here's a shot of some basil, trying mightily to grow. And that's exactly what G+F will be doing this year, reaching beyond the comfort zone and growing the writing, photography, and cooking skills that fuel this little corner of the internets.

Thanks for being a fan in 2010. Here's to a fabulous 2011!

Happy New Year!