The beauty of food and entertaining is that they both bring people together.
And good wine (or cocktails). A must.
Being back in Seattle, I’ve been able to connect with old high school, college, and even work friends. I’ve loved every minute being back, even when it down pours and my hair goes all crazy on me. Sure, ask me next Fall/Winter, we’ll see what I say then.
When we first moved home, I reconnected with a good friend from college, who just had a baby a few months back. What’s really sweet is they had their little boy on my birthday. Our boys are just 3 months apart.
We had them over for dinner a few weeks back. Long overdue. I don’t know what it is about seeing little babies, but I have a hard time remembering mace being that small. I worry we might have more kids than we can afford just because I go crazy seeing those teeny tiny babies.
But then reality smacks me right across the face. Not going to happen. Two yes. Three if we’re not careful.
Anyways. I made this dish out of my new favorite cookbook, Weeknight Gluten-Free. (a must if you’re gluten-free, or not). I had doubled the batch since my husband counts for 2, plus it’s always good to plan for leftovers.
I realized I couldn’t fit it all in one pan, so we divided and conquered. My girlfriend took one pan and I took the other. I’d pour half the ingredients in mine and the other hand into hers and did this until everything was completed and cooked. We managed to do everything while drinking our wine. Multitasking mamas.
Meanwhile, her husband is standing there bouncing our kid to keep me AWAKE and my husband is “shhhushing” and bouncing their baby to go to SLEEP. It was quite the scene.
We all sat around the coffee table, just like we do for family dinner and enjoyed this amazing meal together. It was all so perfect. The company, the conversations, the food and even the fussy babies.
The next day, we threw some of the leftovers in a pan, added a few eggs and it was the best breakfast, ever. I’m not kidding you, this is so good, you’ll want this at every meal. We did.
Sesame-Ginger Noodles with Chicken & Vegetables
Recipe slightly adapted from Weeknight Gluten Free
- 1 pound Skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into slices, 1/4-1/3 inch thick
- 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free Tamari
- 3 teaspoons asian sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, plus 1 teaspoon
- sea salt and ground pepper
- 8-10 ounces of Pad Thai (or rice) noodles
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3-4 cup napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 5 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Tip: Prepare (chop, mince, etc.) all the ingredients ahead of time – that will make it easier to stir fry.
In a bowl, mix the chicken, 1 tablespoon of ginger, 2 teaspoons of tamari, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar. Sprinkle lightly with salt + pepper. Let stand/marinate while preparing the noodles.
Boil the noodles in a large pot of salted water, stirring frequently, until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the noodles, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Place in a bowl and add the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil and toss.
In a large wok or nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon ginger, the shallot, and red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and stir until it’s cooked on the outside, about 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and mushrooms and stir until the chicken is cooked through and the cabbage is wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the noodles, chicken broth, green onions, remaining 1 tablespoon tamari, and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Using the tongs, toss until the noodles are heated through and ingredients are well blended, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt + pepper.
Before you plate, sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.