Monday, December 29, 2008

Peanut Gallery

It was back to work after an extraordinarily light previous week, so I did it in style and put in 12 hours and three meals. Surprisingly easy, probably because I was so rested and, quite frankly, ready to return to my sometimes maddening but always entertaining residents and staff. Immediately following my shift, I donned my workout gear and headed to a vinyasa yoga class that I've been frequenting. Luckily, my yoga high didn't get me lost this time, and I came home afterward to a quiet, albeit crumby house (the kids apparently heated up last night's waffles for breakfast). (Is it exhausting how I can always make a short story long?)

I poked around the kitchen a bit, not particularly hungry, but always game for an inspired snack or salad, then gave up, lit a few candles and sat in my Chair of Fabulosity with a cookbook. This evening's cookbook was one I'd used for the first time just a few nights ago. Not without hesitation, I prepared a Spiced Peanut and Sweet Potato Soup for myself and the kids. Usually when I venture into less commonplace fare, I can win over one, maybe two of them. But this was a huge hit with all three. (I'm holding back the recipe for just a few days. I'll explain later.) I wanted to see what other secrets this magnificent manual might hold, so I began flipping through it, but was unable to get the peanut soup out of my mind.

So I did what any girl would do. I ran a bath. Quiet, cool night. No errands, no children. And shortly after I started the water, I looked in the fridge at the peanut butter. Inspiration was tickling my tastebuds. It was time to create. I checked the pantry and was elated to see a can of coconut milk. I knew I was onto something. And while the tub filled, I created a delightful peanut sauce for my broccoli. Sure, it could go on any number of foods, but I was craving something green and at hand.
Ginger's Peanut Sauce
1 c. lite coconut milk
1/3 c. natural peanut butter
1 t. Sriracha chile sauce
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 T. lime juice
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. grated ginger
1/2 t. salt

Combine over low heat. Continue heating, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

The only problem was that my bath was ruined. I soaked, impatiently waiting for the opportunity to devour my beautiful broccoli, lightly tossed in the nutty, spicy sauce. I'd hate to know the carbon footprint of my gallons of hot water and its impact on the environment since I didn't even enjoy it.

A couple of important details. . .I didn't measure anything -- as usual. Just giving you fair warning. I'm likely pretty close, but if you find it to be disgusting, please let me know and I'll tweak my measurements. Also, unless you have a use for the other half of your can of coconut milk, I'd go ahead and double this baby. As I was experimenting, I was somewhat conservative in my quantities. I'll probably whip up the rest of this tomorrow. Hey, maybe I'll even measure!

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