keeping the faith…{Chinese chicken & broccoli lo mein}

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I know every Christmas song, or at least the first line and entire chorus of every Christmas song.
Don’t ask me how…
I can only assume it is my, talent by osmosis, kicking in.
Having lived thus far, through 39 years of non-stop-holiday-music copiously piped into my cerebrum while shopping (for anything) during the months of November and December, it is understandable, my sometimes vicarious caroling.
But what do I do when my very astute 4 year old declares loudly, in the middle of target’s holiday themed candy and cookie aisle…
“Mommy I am going to be very very hungry on Christmas, what am I going to eat?!”
Now clever little Miss Tunie B. knows how to manipulate a situation to her advantage, you and I both can clearly see that!
But at that moment, after a quick chuckle from me and the other people in the aisle, I realized….
this very Jewish mother has got some explaining to do.
So I did, simply…in terms she could understand, making sure proper respect was given to other people’s beliefs without compromising my own.
Why am I writing about this? I am not sure really…
This last year with all the craziness that I have had to deal with, concerning my Jewish divorce (I still don’t have) and now the added Herculean efforts needed trying to get my kid in school…my concept of faith has sort of been dwindling and its been nagging me.
Don’t misunderstand, my belief in Hashem (god), is absolute.
(even though after 120 he & I are going to have a real Q & A about some things…) :)
It is my faith, in some of the people of my religion, that I am having a very hard time with lately…
My dealings with them, warps all.
Leaving me drained emotionally….and ultimately spiritually.
Even as I write this, I know the backlash is probably not worth the much needed frustrated release this exercise in blogging affords me, yet I can not help myself.
Surrounded daily by the trappings of another religion, never more than during these last few weeks of December am I more keenly aware, of my Yiddishkeit,
and the need to keep the faith….

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Now after this post..you might wonder how I can just jump back into giving out recipes? Simple, because that’s what I do and my time in the kitchen, elbows deep in whatever recipe I am tackling, is my favorite time…my most at peace time. It is when I let all my thoughts gather and marinate, reflecting on it all. Cooking and baking…that is my therapy. So here is one of my favorite recipes for home take-in “Chinese” food, my answer to Tunie B. on what she will be eating.

For those of you who recognize this recipe.. Yes, it is a twist on my The At-Home Gourmet cookbook’s Mommy’s Asian Chicken & Spaghetti recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do in my house!!

Chinese Chicken & Broccoli Lo mein

Ingredients:

1 box Spaghetti, cooked

1 lb. skinless chicken cutlets cut into bite size strips

For the marinade:
1 tbsp. tapioca starch or cornstarch
2 tbsp. orange juice or water

For the sauce:
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

½ cup soy sauce

3 Tbsp. sugar

Pinch of ground ginger

2 cups of frozen broccoli florets that have been microwaved for 1 minute.

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together the ingredients for your marinade. Add the chicken to the marinade and mix. Let the chicken rest in the marinade for at least 10 minutes.

In a large skillet on med-high flame, heat the olive oil and garlic. Remove chicken from marinade with slotted spoon, and add the chicken strips to the hot skillet and cook for about 1 minute. When the chicken starts turning white, add the soy sauce, sugar and ginger. Add the broccoli. Coat all the chicken & broccoli pieces well with the sauce and cover pan for about 4 minutes. Uncover pan occasionally and stir making sure the chicken is not sticking to pan and the soy sauce is not burning.

When chicken has been fully cooked, turn flame to low and add the spaghetti to the chicken and soy sauce mixture. Using tongs fully coat the spaghetti with the soy and chicken mixture. If it seems to dry add more soy sauce to the spaghetti mixture and mix well. Serve hot.