Category Archives: Travel

Visit to Oregon and Almond Plantain Bread

plantain bread 2

I’m still obsessed with plantain bread and playing with different flavors.  I tried adding some sweetener as well as almond extract, and I love how it cut the tanginess of the plantains.  The almonds on top added crunch.  I brought some of this Plantain Almond Bread on a visit out west to dad’s farm in Oregon last week. My brother (who traveled from Illinois and met me at Portland Airport) and I ended up eating it all on the shuttle on the way to Corvalis….! I did make a couple of mini loaves during our visit though to make up for it. 🙂 dad and sherry's farm My dad and his wife, Sherry, live on a beautiful mountain in between Corvalis and the coast. They have a farm with alpacas, sheep, chickens, and Guinea Fowl.

Ruben, one of the alpacas

Ruben, one of the alpacas

My dad made this chicken tractor out of light weight materials.  There are wheels on it, so you can move it around from place to place for fresh grass.

My dad made this chicken tractor (a mobile chicken coop) out of light weight materials. There are wheels on it, so you can move it around from place to place for fresh grass.

My dad has a great workshop in a big barn. He is an amazing builder, craftsman, and artisan.

In his barn/workshop looking down from the loft.

In his barn/workshop looking down from the loft.

An owl lives in the barn as you can see from these owl pellets!

An owl lives in the barn as you can see from these owl pellets!

In addition to various structures he’s built around the farm and inside the log cabin, he makes all kinds of cool decorative things. These gorgeous sonorous Japanese gongs are made from recycled oxygen tanks. dad's gong His newest pursuit is sculpting figures which Sherry dresses and which can also serve as more pleasing looking scarecrows.

This yoga lady lives in the vegetable garden.

This yoga lady lives in the vegetable garden.

Looking at these gorgeous chard plants shows that she is doing her job well!

Looking at these gorgeous chard plants tells us that she is doing her job well!

It is so peaceful and quiet there…

This is where I did morning stretching -- on the cabin porch overlooking the field.

This is where I did morning stretching — on the cabin porch overlooking the field.

We had a wonderful time catching up and visiting.

On our walk with our walking sticks.

Sherry, Dad, and my brother on our walk with our walking sticks.

Apple picking bounty from their apple trees

Apple picking bounty from their apple trees

We even made little trips to the surrounding area.

Me and Sherry in Newport, OR

Me and Sherry in Newport, OR

Sea lions napping near the pier

Sea lions napping near the pier

We also had the opportunity to visit their neighbors’ farm and workshop up the road.They make beautiful candles out of beeswax, like this dragon candle I brought back for Jamie and one shaped like a knot. dragon candle They smell fragrantly of honey. But we don’t want to burn these, as they are beautiful pieces of art!

To see more of their unique and beautiful products, visit their site here. We also tasted some  of their fresh honeycomb filled with sweet Oregon honey. honey comb All in all, our trip to Oregon was an inspiring, memorable, and awesome!

Sherry took this of us right before we said our good-byes at the shuttle stop in Corvalis.

Sherry took this of us right before we said our good-byes at the shuttle stop in Corvalis.

Thank you for such a wonderful visit, Dad and Sherry! I can’t wait to see you again soon, next time with Denis and Jamie!

Slice of bread with a bit of Bertie and Marshall's honey.

Slice of bread with a bit of Oregon honey.

Almond Plantain Bread

Non-stick spray 1 ripe plantain, cut into slices

2 eggs 2 teaspoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon sliced almonds

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a mini loaf pan with parchment paper on the bottom.  Spray with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

2.  Blend plantain, eggs, sugar, and almond extract in a blender until smooth (you could also use a food processor, but process plantains until smooth first).

3.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.  Sprinkle top with sliced almonds.

4.  Bake in oven for about 35-45 minutes (checking at the 30 minute mark).  When a tooth pick or skewer comes out clean and the inside of the loaf looks like it is completely dry it is done.  Cool on rack for a few minutes.  Then run a knife around the edge, and remove loaf to rack to cool completely.

Top of loaf -- so yummy!

Top of loaf — so yummy!

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Filed under Desserts, Eggs, Snack, Travel, Vegetarian

Princeton Children’s Book Festival and Chocolate Protein Mini Muffins

Denis and I signed Hush Little Monster together

Denis and I signed Hush Little Monster together

This past Saturday we participated in the Princeton Children’s Book Festival.  It was a  beautiful day for celebrating children’s books!

We met a lot of interesting authors and illustrators and wonderfully supportive parents buying books.  It was also great to see old friends.

With Anne Rockwell, author of Truck Stop, and her daughter and illustrator, Lizzy Rockwell,

With Anne Rockwell, author of Truck Stop, and her daughter and illustrator, Lizzy Rockwell

With Denise Dowling-Mortensen, author of Good Night Engines and Wake Up Engines--we met in 2004, the year Jamie was born and when Good Night Engines was released. :)

With Denise Dowling-Mortensen, author of Good Night Engines and Wake Up Engines–we met in 2004, the year Jamie was born and when Good Night Engines was released. 🙂

I made mini donuts to hand out — they looked like these and the recipe is here:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of them — I was too distraught over finding my cake stand had broken en route! The good news was that the pile of donuts quickly disappeared within the first couple of hours.

Jamie was a trooper and didn’t mind having to be with us at the festival all day long with no playmates.  He wandered about the four tents of 20 authors and illustrators and looked at books, sampled treats, and had his program signed by all 80 of them!

Table seating of each tent

Table seating of each tent

He also scored  cute drawings from Dave Roman (author/illustrator of the Astronaut Academy series) and Alexis Fredrick Frost (of Adventures in Cartooning fame):

dave roman sketches

By Alexis Fredrick Frost

By Alexis Fredrick Frost

Thank you so much for being so kind to my son!

Jamie also got to choose a couple books for himself and a friend which he had signed by Dave Roman and Fiona Robertson.  It’s so special when you can give and receive an autographed copy!

By Dave Roman

By Dave Roman

By Eva Ibbotson, Illustrated by Fiona Robertson

By Eva Ibbotson, Illustrated by Fiona Robertson

I knew it would be a long day of meeting people and signing books, as well as traveling to and from the event.  It’s the kind of situation where you never know if you’ll get really hungry in a place where there might not be healthy, portable options available.  In preparation, I made a dozen Shelly’s Chocolate Protein Mini Muffins to bring with us.

Chocolate Protein Mini Muffins

Chocolate Protein Mini Muffins

This recipe is from The World According to Eggface — a fantastic blog with lots of great recipes.  These muffins came in handy when we were stranded on the platform after just missing our train back to the city!  It was dinner time and we had to wait for the next train–in the end we were kind of glad we did, because we got to ride with more of our festival compatriots who arrived at the train station later.  Plus, we weren’t hungry anymore!

This coming weekend, I have more book events.  If you are in the NYC area, please come join me.  I will be at Greenlight Bookstore (686 Fulton Street at South Portland, Brooklyn, NY)  on Saturday, September 28 from 11- 12, reading Truck Stop and the board book version of B is for Bulldozer, which was just released this month!  On Sunday, September 29, I will be on a panel with Anne Rockwell and several other authors at Books of Wonder (18 West 18th street between 5th and 6th Avenues) from 1-3 pm.

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Filed under Art Related, Books, Breakfast, Children, Snack, Travel, Vegetarian

Guest Post: Tips for a Healthy Vacation and High Fiber Orange Spice Mini Muffins

High Fiber Orange Spice Mini Muffins

High Fiber Orange Spice Mini Muffins (recipe below)

Hope everyone had a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

I have a guest post today from Cole Millen on Tips for a Healthy Vacation.  Check out his blog, Cole’s Mill – Unique Thoughts and Healthy Perspectives about Health and Travel where there are many articles on eating well, health and travel tips!

Tips For a Healthy Vacation

Going on vacation can be a great way to get away from the stresses of everyday life and take some time off. However, many times, when we go on vacation, we also take a vacation from living healthy. Just because you’re on a trip, that doesn’t mean that you have to live unhealthy. Here are a few tips on how to have a healthier vacation that what you might ordinarily have.


ColeBeing Healthy on Travel Day

If you are flying to your vacation destination, it might be difficult to eat healthy along the way. You have limited choices at the airport, and you might be tempted to grab some fast food. Eat a large healthy meal at home before you head to the airport. This way, you won’t be hungry for a while and you might be able to make it to your destination without needing to eat again. If you need to eat, see if you can find a salad or a fruit cup at the airport.

At the airport, consider taking the stairs with your luggage instead of riding the elevator or escalator. You might also want to pack some of your own healthy snacks to eat while you’re at the airport instead of buying something unhealthy. Snacks such as dried fruits, vegetables, and nuts are great alternatives that will keep your body nourished and feed your craving.

At the Hotel

When you’re at the hotel, it may be difficult to live healthy because of you might not have a kitchen to cook in. It is probably in your best interest to not even get the key for that mini bar in your room. This way, you can avoid any urges to eat junk food. Get healthy snacks like fruit and nuts from a local store instead. You can cook soup or oatmeal in the microwave in your room, if you have one. At the Continental breakfast, try to stay away from the high sugar items such as cereals and muffins. Instead, have foods that are full of healthy nutrients that will help you through the day such as eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, fruits, and whole-wheat toast.

Eating Out

While on vacation, you will probably have to eat out quite a bit. Before going out, look online for a local restaurant that has healthy options. Look at the menu online so that you know exactly what they offer. Also, reading reviews from travelers that have been to the same area can greatly help in finding healthy restaurants. Customer reviews provide honest feedback and can help you locate a healthy restaurant. On a recent trip out to Sin City, I found a great site that listed reviews for hotels in Las Vegas regarding both the hotel and the restaurants in the area. This made it extremely easy to find a great hotel as well as to plan out the great and healthy restaurants to visit. Look for foods that aren’t fried, don’t have a lot of carbohydrates, and involve minimal preparation. Try to avoid all you can eat restaurants, as they usually lead to unhealthy choices.

Going on vacation doesn’t mean that you have to gain weight and be unhealthy. With a little bit of work on your part, you should be able to make it work.

-Cole Millen

**********************************************************************

better spice muffin

Thanks, Cole, for sharing these tips!  I also try to have healthy snacks on hand while we travel, so we are not stuck buying junk food while in transit.  These high fiber mini muffins are great for travel. They are perfect for breakfast on the go or a healthy snack.  We ate some on the train during our travels over the weekend. 🙂

High Fiber Orange Spice Mini Muffins

(Note:  If you prefer to make regular sized muffins, this recipe should make 1 dozen, but you have to bake for 25-30 minutes probably! Check with a toothpick or skewer after 25 minutes.)


1 large navel orange

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup flour

3/4 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 egg

1/2 cup chopped prunes (if you don’t have these, raisins might work)

Optional Cinnamon Sugar Topping:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

4 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line mini muffin tins with liners. Set aside.

2.  Grate half of orange until you have about 1 teaspoon of orange zest.  Set aside.  Then section the orange segments (I remove the membrane) and chop into little pieces. Pour juice that gathers on cutting board back into a bowl with the orange pieces.  Set aside.

3.  Melt butter and honey together (I used a microwave at 15 second intervals).  Stir together until incorporated.

4.  In a large bowl, whisk together flours, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cardamom.  Set aside.

5.  Whisk together buttermilk and egg.  Then stir in butter and honey mixture.

6.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients in bowl and pour the buttermilk mixture in.  Mix together until everything is incorporated.
7.  Spoon batter into muffin lined tins.  Bake for about 15 minutes.  Check centers with a toothpick or skewer.  If it comes out clean, they are done.

8.  Remove mini muffins to cool on a wire rack.  If you want the cinnamon topping, make it now!

9.  For cinnamon topping, stir together sugar and cinnamon.  Melt butter.  Brush tops of muffins with butter and dip tops into cinnamon sugar mixture.

Cool completely before storing.

Makes 36 mini muffins.

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Filed under Breakfast, Snack, Travel, Vegetarian

Pea Soup Andersen’s Inspired Slow Cooker Pea Soup


It’s getting colder each day here in New York — you know what that means:  Perfect soup weather!  It’s our favorite thing to eat this time of year.

Jamie’s favorite soup – vegetable soup with alphabet pasta – inspired me to write and illustrate Soup Day.

The recipe is at the end of the story.

Other tasty soups to warm you in cold weather:

French Onion Soup

Roasted Tomato Soup

Creamy Green Soup

Butternut Squash Harvest Soup

Last week I was going through our pantry to collect food to donate to areas in our neighborhood which had been had been hit hard by the hurricane.  Among the things I came across was a half filled container of dried peas. I had no idea which presidential administration they were from– perhaps the Clinton era?  I decided to risk it and try to make some pea soup in my slow cooker.
A lot of recipes I came across called for a ham hock thrown in, but I was too busy to go on a hunt for one, so I used 1/2 cup chopped apple smoked cured nitrite free bacon from Trader Joe’s.  It was about 4 slices, and I trimmed off the excess fat.

I based my recipe on this one, because it mentioned Pea Soup Andersen’s – a beloved roadside restaurant in the Central Coast of California where I am from.

Jamie and I posing as Happea and Pea-wee in the parking lot.

It didn’t call for ham hock or bacon, but I decided to throw in some bacon just the same.  I also used 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water instead of all water, and I decided to cook it in my slow cooker instead of on the stove.

The resulting soup was smoky, flavorful, and creamy — just as good as its inspiration!  The amount of dried peas I used cost about $.75, so the whole batch cost about $3.25!  It made about ten generous portions, half of which I have stored in our freezer for future winter days.

If you are ever on the Central Coast, though, tootling along the 101, do stop by and check out Pea Soup Andersen’s.  It’s not just the soup and sharp cheddar sold there that are  great — the whole atmosphere of the restaurant and gift shop is unique.  Just a few miles away is Solvang, a town filled with restaurants, toy stores, bakeries, and gift shops built in the traditional Danish style of architecture.  It is kind of like walking into part of an amusement park–kitschy but cute.  (I think it is the reason why I never had a phobia of dentists — my childhood dentist had a practice there and I loved visiting all the gift stores and eating Ebleskevers afterwards!)  🙂


Pea Soup Andersen’s Inspired Slow Cooker Pea Soup

4 slices smoked bacon trimmed of fat and chopped up, about ½ cup

2 cups dried peas, rinsed and cleared of debris

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

1 celery rib, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

¼  teaspoon dried thyme

salt

pepper to taste

  1. Pour everything into slow cooker.  Cook on low for about 8-10 hours or high for about 6-8 hours.  Check to see how soft the peas are.  I cooked mine for low on 2 hours, but they didn’t seem to be getting soft and I knew they were really old!  So I cooked them on high for the next 4 hours.
  2. Remove bay leaf.  Puree soup in batches in blender until smooth (only fill blender half-way and leave an open vent at the top, either covering with a towel or using a lid with a vent – alternatively, use an immersion blender instead!).  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Reheat and serve.

Makes at least 10 generous servings.
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Filed under Soup, Soup, Travel

Amaretto Cream Crepe Cake

About 20 layers of crepes in here…



 

We visited Jamie’s grandparents again for Labor Day weekend.

On the way to the beach during my daily three mile walk on the island.

The weather was beautiful, and we had such a wonderful time with them!

We love having dinner together on the porch and playing word games while we eat, like I Spy, Pass Around (everyone takes turns making up and continuing a story), and Rhyme Around (we tell part of a story and give the next person a hint of the rhyme — OK, this one is tricky!)

This time I got to make a couple of meals during our visit.  They requested the Roasted Veggie and Brie Frittata again, which is so easy and wonderful to make with fresh local produce.  For dessert, I made an Amaretto Cream Crepe Cake.

Crepe cakes look impressive, but they really aren’t difficult to make — they just take a bit of preparation.  Basically you make a boatload of crepes, layer them with ganache, preserves, whipped cream, or whatever you can dream up, then frost with your choice of toppings.

I’ve made this beautiful one in the past which is covered in ganache, layered with ganache and raspberry jam,  and decorated with truffles from the leftover chocolate.  My husband loved it, but I thought it was too dense and rich.  So I decided to make a whipped cream covered one.  I opted to spike the cream with almond extract and Amaretto because my mother-in-law loves Amaretto, and they happened to have a huge bottle of it in the pantry! 🙂  I decorated the whole thing with roasted, sliced almonds.

The finished cake with toasted almonds.

When I told my father-in-law I might post the recipe on this blog, he said I should call it “What to Make Your In-laws When You Visit”.  🙂

Thank you, Didi and Mimette for another lovely time!

Amaretto Cream Crepe Cake

Crepes:

6 large eggs

1 ½ cups milk

½ teaspoon almond extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

¼ cup confectioner’s sugar

Melted butter for skillet

Amaretto Cream:

2 cups heavy whipping cream

3 ½ tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur

½ cup toasted, sliced almonds

  1. Blend crepe ingredients except butter in a blender.  Brush a large skillet with melted butter and place over medium heat.  Pour scant ¼ cup batter into skillet and swirl to evenly coat the bottom.  When the top of the crepe is no longer shiny, after about 1 minute, carefuly flip and cook other side for about 40 seconds.
  2. Make many more crepes in this manner, stacking them on a plate until all the batter is gone.  Cool crepes to room temperature. You can also store them in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
  3. Make Amaretto Cream.  Whip cream and sugar together until thickened.  Add almond extract and amaretto gradually.  Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.  You can also store the cream in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the cake.
  4. Assemble Crepe Cake.  Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper on the bottom.  Reserve about ½ of the amaretto cream, set aside.  With the remaining cream, build cake in the following manner:  Spread a dollop of amaretto cream on a crepe and place into cake pan.  Continue to spread crepe with cream and layer in pan in this manner.  When you get to the last crepe, place on top of layers in pan without spreading cream on top (because you are going to flip it and it will be on the bottom of the cake).   Press gently on top of the layers to smooth out (you will probably have a dome shaped cake).  Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.  You could probably even make the cake up to here the day before serving.  Note:  I’ve seen other methods where you just stack the crepes on a plate and call it a day, so it’s your choice.  I think you get a better shape with the cake pan though. 
  5. Remove cake from the pan by cutting around perimeter to loosen.  Then place a large plate on top and flip cake out of pan onto plate.  Frost with remaining amaretto cream and decorate with sliced almonds.

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Filed under Desserts, Travel

Legoland California and Sweet and Sour Chicken

Apologies for the hiatus.  We were in Times Square this time last week:

Lego Times Square

Also here:

I had planned to post while in California, but I got hit with a *major* (sweat) deadline right before leaving, so all my “free time” was spent working on that. With the job, plus an amazing book event in my hometown, seeing old friends, meeting new ones, visiting Legoland, and all the requisite driving in between — I barely had time to sleep!

As soon as we landed, we rented a car and buzzed up the California coast to my home town, Lompoc.

Truck stop off the 101. Didn't get to see friends in Los Angeles and San Diego -- hopefully next time! Took pictures here for research for next book project...TBA!

The next day I had an amazing book event at The Bookstore.  So many old friends I grew up with, and friends and teachers from elementary and high school showed up!  (Did I mention that my mom is my best publicist?)

My friend, Joy, from high school, picked up a copy

The highlight was seeing my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Jackson, whom I haven’t see since.. um… 1977.

I had an amazing year in his class learning all about Latin America from which he has a passion.  He taught me my first Spanish words (we learned a new one every day), and I still remember to this day things about Central and South America that I learned then — a testament to his great teaching.

Mr. Taniguchi, my awesome Biology teacher

I also saw a guy from my Kindergarten class and met his family (he didn’t remember me– lol), my Biology teacher from high school (he looks exactly the same), my graphics arts teacher, a 3rd grade teacher, and my Blue Birds troop leader and babysitter.  Our dear family friends I’ve known all my life and their children and grandchildren also showed up.  I feel really blessed have all their support.  Thank you, everyone!!

That evening we had another “Hawaiian Potluck” — only it was a dessert one due to time constraints!

Mrs. V's bread pudding (recipe is top secret!)

Amanda's Valentine cupcakes

Mrs. W's bundt cake -thank you for organizing the potluck!

The main reason we went to California this time of year (other than to get out of dreary NYC winter days) is because Jamie had a winter break and this past summer I won 4 all day passes to Legoland for two days that we had to use before they expired!  Thank you, Santa Barbara News Press for sponsoring the sweepstakes! We spent the latter part of the week there with my mom and met up with friends who have a son Jamie’s age.

Anubis Jamie near Pharaoh's Revenge

Legoland in California was the only one in the US until last year when Legoland Florida opened.  Legoland is divided into different sections based on different Lego themes.  Jamie rode his first real roller coaster, The Dragon, in Castle Hill and he got his first “driving license”.

Jamie driving on the wrong side of the road -- good thing those pedestrians aren't real!

This is how I felt after two days of Legoland.

We were lucky it was sunny and warm while we were at Legoland.  Can you believe it rained half the time we were in California?  I had to drive 55 mph on the 405 going down to Carlsbad because of pouring rain– a rare event on both counts!

Fortunately, we were able to stop and rest half way there in Irvine where we got to meet a blogger friend, Judy and her adorable daughter, Bebe E!!

playing peek a boo!

It was so great to meet her in person.  I found her via her her blog, Bebe Love Okazu and fell in love with her wonderful recipes and writing.  I especially love her Japanese recipes passed down from her mom.  The gyoza is one of my favorites.  This one too! It’s corny, but it felt like she was an old friend that I was visiting — not someone I met on the internet!  We didn’t even talk about cooking, there was so much to chat about.  And as it turned out, we discovered we actually have friends in common in Los Angeles.  Such a small world!

Bonding over technology.

She baked us yummy cookies for the rest of our trip.  Thanks, Judy!

With fantastic memories of our California visit fresh on our minds, we’re back in Brooklyn now. My only regret is that I didn’t get a photo of Jamie and my mom playing their new ukeleles she bought on a recent trip to Hawaii!  One night when I was working really late on the laptop while Denis and Jamie were sleeping, my mom kept me company and practiced her ukelele and serenaded me with Hawaiian songs and “Silent Night”.   🙂

I’m SOOO happy to be car-less again, and living in a walking city.   It’s also a relief to be eating at home again and cooking!  I confess we indulged in our In-n-Out burger fixation, eating there three times while on the road.  Also diner food.  Mexican food… Denny’s.  It got bad.

I thought I’d conclude here with a recipe I recently made up that is decidedly non-take out, but tastes like it could be and is much healthier!  I took various recipes I found on line — from the most decadent to the least, and made a hybrid version.  Lots of prep work is required, but it comes together fast at the end.  I used vegetables my boys would eat, but it would be easy to swap these out for other ones.   The chicken is tender and flavorful and it’s not as oily as a restaurant version.  Also the batter is thinner (which my son prefers — he picks off thick crunchy batter!) and lighter.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Marinade:

2 tablespoons  soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

½ teaspoon cornstarch

1 lb. chicken tenders, cut into ½ inch pieces

Vegetables and pineapple

1 ½ cups canned pineapple pieces, drained reserving juice

¼ large onion, cut into bite sized wedges

1 carrot, sliced

½ medium or 1 small zucchini, sliced

½ can baby corn

1 green onion, sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon minced ginger

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

¼ cup reserved pineapple juice

1/3 cup rice vinegar

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup ketchup

½ teaspoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

Batter:

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 egg whites

oil for frying

kosher salt to taste

1 tablespoon dry sherry, Chinese wine, or sake

  1. Whisk 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, and ½ teaspoon cornstarch in a bowl.  Place chicken tenders in bowl and coat with marinade.  Refrigerate, covered for 30-60 minutes.
  2. Prep veggies while chicken is marinating.  Place vegetables and pineapple in dishes for ease of stir frying later.
  3. Prepare sauce.  Whisk together ¼ cup of reserved pineapple juice, 1/3 cup rice vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce in a sauce pan. Add cornstarch and water mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then simmer on low until thickened.  Set aside and keep warm.
  4. Heat about 2 teaspoons oil in wok or large skillet.  Saute onions, carrots.  Then add softer vegetables, like zucchini, baby corn, and green onions.  Add garlic and ginger and pinch of salt.  Saute.  Add pineapple and sauté.  Add sherry, about 2 tablespoons water, and kosher salt to taste.  Then cover and let steam cook until vegetables are soft.  Transfer to a dish and keep warm.
  5. Mix flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and pinch of salt together in a shallow bowl.  Whisk egg whites in another bowl.
  6. Remove chicken from marinade, dredge in flour mixture, then egg whites, then flour mixture again.  Set on plate.  Repeat with rest of chicken.
  7. Clean wok or skillet and heat a tablespoon or two of oil.  Saute chicken pieces in oil until cooked through.  Drain on plate lined with paper towel.  Repeat with rest of chicken.
  8. To serve, combine chicken and vegetables and coat with sweet and sour sauce.  Serve immediately.


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Filed under chicken, Dinner, Travel