"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ginger-Garlic-Soy Sauce Baked Chicken with Baby Cauliflower

"The hardest job is the best job."  This is a quote from a television commercial I saw tonight during the Olympics Trials. The commercial was about a mom working hard day in and day out working, taking care of her home, and shuttling her daughter from gymnastics practices and cheering her on.  At the end of that quote, the words "Thanks, Mom" flashed on the screen. That commercial resonated with me.

As moms (and contextually dads), most of us work tirelessly to make sure that our children are taken care of, are fed, are introduced to different extracurricular activities, are cheered on when they excel, and feel supported when they need to try a little harder.  For me, the words that I love to hear most from my kids (besides "I love you" - I get a lot of those from my peanuts) are "Thank you, Mom."  With my picky eaters, when I hear "Thank you, Mom" at the end of a meal, I can't tell you how happy it makes me feel.  Someone once asked me "why do you love cooking so much." I responded: "I don't just love cooking, I enjoy sharing a meal with my family (and friends)." Tonight, I had the pleasure of sharing a meal with my family that was simple, but delicious, as my family told me. The meal also reminded me of how blessed I am for every meal I am able to share with my family.

Today, I am embarking on a new journey.  As with most journeys, you always hope to reach the end feeling satisfied that you've accomplished the goals you've set for yourself.  But, you can never be certain of what lies ahead. You can only hope and pray that you are prepared mentally (and sometimes physically) for the challenges ahead.  For some journeys, knowing that you have loved ones on the sidelines and at the finish line to cheer you on, is all you need. I learned this when I ran the Nike Women's Marathon in 2010 in honor of my friend Evelyn, who is battling Leukemia, wearing an ice pack starting at mile 18 for 4 out of the 26.2 miles because of a knee injury. I never gave up because I knew that my family and friends (including Evelyn) were right there with me cheering me on.

So, going back to the meal.  For dinner tonight, I made some baked chicken pieces, marinated in an ultra aromatic and flavorful home-made marinade that consists of the following ingredients: chopped fresh ginger, garlic, cilantro, and green onions; soy sauce; lemon juice; honey; brown sugar; and extra virgin olive oil.  I had picked up a whole organic chicken from Berkeley Bowl last weekend. I had the Butcher cut it up into pieces for me.  After rinsing the chicken under cold water, I patted the pieces dry, and seasoned them with salt and pepper. Then, I poured the marinade over the chicken pieces. I mixed them up so the marinade can get in all the pieces. Then, I placed the marinaded chicken in a Ziploc bag and placed the bag in the refrigerator this morning. This evening, we just placed the chicken pieces on a lightly greased metal rack over an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and baked the chicken for about 40 minutes at 375 degrees.  We served the chicken with some steamed rice.

As a side vegetable, I also baked these beautiful baby Cauliflower that my daughter spotted at Berkeley Bowl last weekend, and wanted me to try them. She picked most of the colorful ones - as you can see (we only have one white one). These baby Cauliflowers are a little milder than regular Cauliflower. I like them better because they don't have the strong Cauliflower taste. They stay really firm even after baking in the oven for about 20 minutes. To cook them, I simply took the leaves off, add about a Tablespoon on extra virgin olive oil, some salt and pepper to taste.

Then, the piece de resistance: The DESSERT! Simple and delectable baked sliced pineapple pieces with vanilla ice cream. We had a pineapple that was a little more ripe than I like them. And, the kids love pineapple. So, I decided it would be a perfect summer dessert to just slice them, sprinkle some brown sugar and cinnamon on top, and then bake them at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.  They were perfect! [If you like them a little more brown/charred, you can always put them under broiler for about 3-4 minutes, but watch them closely so they don't burn.]

Everyone enjoyed their food. My 6-year-old, who usually asks to have a taco with his meat whenever he senses that I have made something that doesn't look familiar or that has "green stuff" (like fresh herbs) in them, actually said he liked the chicken.  And, at the end of his meal, he said in a smiling voice, "Thanks, Mommy for making us dinner!"

As challenging as our every day lives may be with work, chores, and various activities, I hope you continue to cherish those rare moments when you are able to sit down at the dinner table and share a meal with your family.  Your family, especially your children, are the reason why life's many journeys are worth traveling.

Until next time . . . Cheers!


No comments:

Post a Comment