Tuesday, October 20, 2009

At least my kitchen cooperates with me ...

Last night, I made dinner from a recipe on Allrecipes.com, a favorite site of mine when I'm bored with my usual cookbooks. It was a tofu stir-fry with orange-chili sauce much like the orange beef dish served at many Chinese restaurants. I wanted so much to share the link on Facebook, attaching it to my status update. But alas, Facebook was and still is being very uncooperative.

The last thing I need in my life right now is ONE MORE PERSON OR THING that is uncooperative. Geesh.

Batteries that die while I'm using the mouse, two-year-olds who once used the potty independently and with ease but now simply will not, 9 month olds who still get up twice a night to nurse AND cry when I put them down, and, now, stupid social networking site that simply will not do my bidding ... all on my poop list right now.

The only place lately where the universe seems to cooperate with me is in my kitchen. When my husband comes home from work around 4, I retreat there and cook a meal that I have planned in advance and actually thought about with excitement at least once during the day. Believe it or not, unless I've gotten a shower that day, too, that is the one thing I do for myself each day.

When I put rice in a pot, cover it with water and simmer, I can be reasonably assured that 45 minutes later there will be a steaming hot pile of rice. A lightly-oiled wok will nicely stir fry some veggies and tofu. Just the right amounts of orange juice, ground chili paste, soy sauce, sugar and corn starch will make my dinner taste like it came from the Chinese restaurant down the street without having to drag my Chinese food-craving self, hubby and two small children down there. (The egg rolls are a different story ... I am still learning the "art" of deep frying. We had to open windows last night after I burned the first batch. My apologies to the neighbors ... )

Some people (and you know who you are) think I cook because I'm a control freak who wants to make sure her family eats well at all times. Not so ... I let my son eat fruit snacks with red dye in them and bribe him with candy corn on a regular basis. Hell, he's even eaten that awful Cheez Whiz. Decent, somewhat healthy meals are just a fringe benefit of my little hobby ... and my chef husband is such a gracious guinea pig. I can't tell you how many of my bombed experiments that man has eaten over the years. And he has never once criticized my cooking or given me unsolicited advice. (In fact, one of our "fights" early in our marriage was over just how long to cook the bacon in the oven. He wouldn't even give solicited advice ... and I still haven't gotten a straight answer on that one.)

So, where were we? Oh, the recipe. Here's a link. It's called Orange-Beef Style Tofu Stir Fry. It was so yummy that I just had to share it. Even my 2yo son lapped it up. That's right ... the 2yo who loves his Curious George snacks and is addicted to cheese sticks and grapes happily ate tofu. You can even use the stir-fry sauce with beef, chicken or pork. It was also so very yummy that I will probably make it five more times because that's just what hungry pregnant ladies do.

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