Well, I did a little experimenting, food-wise. Two recipes, one success. I am not a chocolate cake fan, so I don't know why I chose to mess with the heavenly delights of carrot cake, but I did. Maybe it was because I have this amazing dark chocolate cocoa powder. Or maybe it was because I was just excited to have found a recipe that didn't call for eggs (translation: I could make it that night and not have to wait until the next day). Either way, I gave this chocolate carrot cake recipe a go, and either way I won't be doing it again. It was a strange recipe anyway, calling for boiling water to be poured onto the carrots. I should have known that that would result in, well, chunks of cooked carrot lodged throughout the black-as-night cake, which was also kind of rubbery from (I'm assuming) the boiling water. No, the recipe didn't call for chunks of carrot, but in an effort to save some time and, well, effort, I tried using my new toy which resulted in a whole heck of a lot more work than if I had just grated them by hand. I skipped the cinnamon, as I'm even less of a fan of chocolate with cinnamon than I am of just plain chocolate cake. I topped it off with a classic cream cheese frosting which, although it helped, wasn't enough to save this experiment (but was enough to help me eat almost the whole thing). So, much like the Ryan Gosling movie mentioned here, I wouldn't recommend it.
Moving on. For today's lunch I made Orange Chicken Stir Fry. It called for bean sprouts, but I opted for broccoli instead. I used dark soy sauce since that was all we had, and aside from the (also) black-as-night coloring of it, found no ill-effect. In fact, I read that it actually has less sodium than light soy sauce which, if you ask me, is never a bad thing considering its nutritional reputation. In other substitutional news, I had to use white sugar since I had just used up the last of my brown (sent by my mom and used miserly) on the last of several batches of these. But I did use freshly squeezed orange juice and extra zest, which must have made up for it, right? I think it turned out pretty darn good, and Tomáš agreed. I was glad to have not overcooked the chicken to the point of toughness, which I usually do in fear of all things undercooked chicken. Did that make sense? It sounded good in my head. And I must say this dish was a big step up from another stir fry I'm just now reminded of that was one of our first meals together in our flat, eaten on an upturned cardboard box, which I can't believe I'm about to admit to...four words, hot dog stir fry. And it's with that mental image and taste in your mouth that I bid you all adieu.
Orange Chicken Stir Fry
1C orange juice
1T orange zest
1/4C soy sauce
3 cloves garlic
1T brown sugar
3T vegetable oil
4 chicken breasts cut into 1'' cubes
bean sprouts (or another veggie)
chow mein noodles or rice
In a small bowl combine the first six ingredients and mix well. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to bubble add the chicken. Saute until cooked through, about 7-10 minutes. I cut a large piece in half to check for pinkness just to be safe. Add sauce to the chicken and cook until the sauce begins to bubble. Add flour, a little at a time until it's thick to your liking. Spoon over rice or (as the original recipe called for) chow mein noodles.
*I don't know if we had a lot more chicken or if we just love our sauces, but I probably should have doubled it.