fireside supper #2 {life}

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When I lit all those candles, I told you we were having a dark and stormy day. It was lovely. Callum's cross country season is over, but he's moved on to twice a week off-season baseball conditioning, so I'm picking him up late and we're driving home in twilight (not my fave, I'll admit). On Tuesday it was dark and blustery by the time we got home. We each went our separate ways, me to make dinner, Cal to finish his homework and Neel to light a fire. Someday I'll have a home where my fireplace is part of my kitchen/living space, but for now my cozy living room will do. This cozy dish is well-suited for a fireside supper. Warm brown rice, spicy cashew chicken, all cooled off with a cabbage salad chilled with rice vinegar and ramen.

We love this recipe, which is from Martha Stewart Living's Everyday Food: Great Food Fast cookbook and has recently made its way back into our rotation. I'll be the first to admit, however, more than a little frustration with Martha Stewart Living over the demise of Everyday Food. WTF? The other WTF? My friend Megan, who buys us a subscription for Christmas each year just got a bill for next year. For a magazine that won't exist. Way to stay classy, Martha. How's that raise working out? Oh well. Love her, hate her. Can't deny how wonderful this dinner (among other things) is.

Cashew Chicken adapted from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast

1.5 lbs chicken breast, cubed

1 T cornstarch

coarse salt and pepper

2 T vegetable oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

8 scallions, cut into one inch pieces (which we didn't have, obviously)

2 T rice vinegar

3 T hoisin sauce

3/4 cup cashews

rice, for serving

In a bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch until coated and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken (in batches, if necessary, adding remaining vegetable oil). Turn often, until browned. Add garlic near the end, along with the white parts of the scallions, tossing often. Add the vinegar and cook until evaporated.

Once vinegar has evaporated, add hoisin sauce and 1/4 cup water, tossing until the chicken is coated and throughly cooked through. Remove from heat and toss with cashews and green parts of scallions (if you have 'em!).

For the Ramen Cabbage Salad, check here. I'm trusting you can handle the rice on your own.