Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gai Tua Chicken in Peanut Sauce

Based off of Jennifer Brennan's "The Original Thai Cookbook"

Start Jasmine rice in the rice cooker.

1 inch ginger root peeled and chopped
3 or so cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed/chopped a bit
1 teaspoon of curry paste - this stuff can be hot - adjust as needed. When putting in two whallops, dilute with the rest of the coconut milk
1/4 cup of the cream top of a can of coconut milk

Swirl in the food processor to make a nice marinade

Cut chicken breast in to bit size chunks.  4 or 5 depending on size

Marinate chicken at least 30 minutes.

1/2 red onion minced cooked in about 2 tablespoons of peanut oil until browning
Add chicken (if you have had to dilute the marinade with alot of coconut milk then do not add all the marinade.
Brown up the chicken.

3 tablespoons of chunky peanut butter
shy tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon ish of fish sauce
rest of the can of coconut milk if you didn't use it in the marinade. If you did, you may need to use about 3/4 of another can.

Steam broccoli or spinach

Green onions or spring onions thrown on the finished steamed veggies to wilt just a bit.

Serve with Jasmine rice.

Pantry/Grocery list:
red onion
green onion or spring onion
broccoli or spinach
jasmine rice
ginger root
2 cans of coconut milk
crunchy peanut butter
fish sauce
thai curry paste

Overall time about 1 hour +.  30 minutes minimum for marinading chicken. Rice cooking time. Once woking or stir frying about 20 minutes.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Smithsonian Institution Libraries Intellectual Framework 2011

Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Intellectual Framework
July 2011

“The Smithsonian Institution Libraries will build, sustain, protect and share world class collections, making decisions about acquisitions and preservation of print and digital collections informed by an understanding of user’s current and future needs.” 
– Smithsonian Institution Libraries 2009 Strategic Plan

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL) collections and its staff are a critical component of the intellectual core of the Smithsonian Institution. We are a robust and in-depth foundation for research, scholarship, and museum initiatives for public outreach, education, and exhibitions.  SIL collaborates with users to collect and create resources that benefit present and future generations and inform, sustain, and interpret the intellectual scope of the Smithsonian Institution.   SIL staff and collections are a tool for researchers to engage with preserving our heritage and discovering new knowledge.  We provide authoritative information and offer innovative services and programs for the Institution and the general public. The Smithsonian Libraries strategic plan A Focus on Service is a dynamic springboard for future directions and actions that will inspire continual learning and improvement; individually and collectively.  (

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries:

  • Regards our audiences in the broadest terms, including Institution researchers and staff, scholars, interns and fellows, students, volunteers, the general public, international visitors, and virtual visitors through Web portals and electronic tours; 
  • Collaborates with constituents to shape SIL collections that are versatile in their utility to our users;  
  • Selects, acquires, and maintains collections in print, digital, and other formats preemptively and in response to the information needs and focus of the Institution, its museums, and units;   
  • Maximizes the utility of collections to research and educational clients as reflected in visitation, loans, web visits, or the published literature;   
  • Supplies information resources that are critical to Institutional work while bolstering interdisciplinary efforts; 
  • Collects materials mindful that innovations within the field of library and information science necessitate taking advantage of various formats and insures authoritative data is shared to all stakeholders;  
  • Constructs core databases and expands electronic access to a wide range of users through informatics, imaging, and other technologies;   
  • Increases information content of the collections via more precise and authoritative identification and documentation of provenance, context, and scholarship; 
  • Develops and meets the highest professional standards of library collections care (storage, conservation, and access); 

 And in doing so, SIL collects specifically to develop and maintain specific subject collections that include:

  • Fundamental materials that are essential for the current and future research areas of the Institution;
  • Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology collection of rare books and manuscripts;
  • Joseph F. Cullman the 3rd Library of Natural History collection of rare books in anthropology and the natural sciences;
  • Trade literature collection for the history of American business, technology, marketing, consumption, and design;
  • DeWitt Clinton Ramsey Room collection documenting the early history of aeronautics;
  • Thomas A. Bradley Rare Book Room collection of early sample and trade catalogs, decorative arts,  and other design; and
  • World’s Fair collections.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Shrimp 'n Grits (Lactose Free Substitutions)

·                        4 1/4 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth (or substitute some of broth with "shrimp shell" stock)
·                       3/4 cup lactose free whole milk
·                          6 tablespoons earth balance buttery flavor vegan spread
·                          1 garlic clove, minced
·                          1 cup corn grits  (either white or yellow)

·                         1/4 cup earth balance buttery flavor vegan spread
·                         1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
·                           1 large garlic clove, minced
·                          2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined (use shells to make stock for grits)
·                       1/2 cup dry white wine
·                           1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, drained, juice reserved
·                          4 ounces prosciutto, cut into thin strips (about 1 cup)
·                       1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
·                       1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

                           For those who want - can - grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top. 

                            For grits:
                 Take shells from shrimp and water to cover and boil. Reduce to simmer and reduce liquid (a ways) to make strong stock. 

                 Bring chicken stock and shrimp stock, milk, fake butter and garlic to boil in heavy large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. 
                 Return to boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered until grits thicken, 
                                        whisking often, about 15 minutes.  (whisking makes for less lumps than just plain ole stirring)

                 Leave on stove top off as you cook the shrimp. They will continue to thicken.
                          For shrimp:
                 Melt 1/4 cup butter substitute in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until tender, 

                                                about 4 minutes.
                 Add shrimp and sauté 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to large bowl. 
                 Add white wine to skillet and boil until reduced to glaze, about 5 minutes. 
                 Add drained diced tomatoes and half of prosciutto and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. 
                 Add parsley, chives and sautéed shrimp and simmer until shrimp are warmed through, about 2 minutes. 
                 Thin sauce with some of reserved tomato juices, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

                         Spoon corn grits into shallow bowls. Top each serving with shrimp-prosciutto-tomato mixture, dividing equally. 
                         Garnish with remaining prosciutto strips and serve immediately. 


                      Adapted from  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

1-2-3 Cheese Cake

Very easy to make. Hardest part is letting it sit for 24 hours after making. Then not eating it all in one sitting (boy, you'd get sick!)

350 Degree Oven
9 to 10 inch spring form pan
I have also used this recipe and made a few small cheesecakes. I got some little spring forms. Sooo cute. People could have their own individual cake)
Cookie tray will go under the pan to catch any spills and helps be get the thing in and out and in and out (the cake goes in and out and in and out)

1. Crust
Graham crackers (honey and / or chocolate)
3/4 cup all crushed up. I use maybe two or three of the packages inside a box

Ground walnuts (if you want)
3/4 cup

Melted unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons or so. Not too much - but enough to stick the crumbs together.

Pat down the graham cracker nut crumbs at the bottom of the pan. Pour melted butter. Try to get it kinda smooth. Have it kinda form a barrier at the edge/seam of the pan all around the sides. Lick fingers.

2. Base
4 packages of 8 ozs of cream cheese blocks (I mix and match Philadelphia Brand and generic or whatever I find)
4 eggs (I think, by default, these are usually large - which is what I normally buy. Not mediums and not extra large)
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice (the standard amount - but if you don't want it too lemony use less. if you want it more lemony an extra splash. I have experimented with adding orange extract splash. Couldn't tell at all.)
2  sloppy teaspoons of vanilla (that sloppy spill just adds that much more yumminess)

Cut the cream cheese into chunks that won't jam your Cuisinart. Using the setting that lets you go on and off in "pumps" - start creaming that cream cheese.  After adding the last of the cream cheese let the machine run to get it really broken up and heading towards smooth - it will want to start balling up so you add one egg at a time to get it going toward liquid.  Then add the sugar and let it whirl to get nice and smooth. As it is mixing pour in the lemon and the vanilla and let it continue to get all mixed up.  

I stop the machine and take the whole top off from time to time to scrap down the sides.  After I add the lemon and vanilla, I check to see what got splattered on the inside top and scrap and swirl a bit more.

I pour the base into the spring form (or divide it up into the littler spring forms) and put it in the oven for 50 to 55 minutes.  If I keep checking it, usually 55 minutes - if I am patient, 50 minutes is usually good enough. It will still be a bit jiggley but not too jiggley. I guess error on the side of less jiggley for the first time until you can tell - because, you know, you will be making this over and over again.

While the cake is in the oven - mix together
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

After the 50 to 55 minutes, take the cake out and let it just sit there for about 15 minutes.  It will settle down a bit and probably crack. But who cares?! You will be covering the top with the sourcreaminessgoodnessyummy.

Spread the sour cream mix on the top. Start in the middle and go close to but not exactly touching the edges of the pan.  It is n't the end of the world to get it to the edge - it just looks prettier when you take the sides off the spring form if the sour creamy yumminess hasn't gotten stuck.

Put the whole cake back into the oven for 5 minutes.

Let it cool down.
Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Top with cut up fruit  - I've done strawberries cut different ways. Blueberries and strawberries. I've done thin sliced lemons. I've done nuthin'.

I've topped with fruit and then took the edges of the pan off.
I've taken the edges off and then topped with fruit.

I don't know if it really matters.

The whole cake is pretty dang heavy.
And it gets even better on day 3 if you have any left.

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies (With Suzanne's alternations)

3/4 cup margarine  (Earth Balance Butter Flavored)
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (Dark Brown Sugar)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup soy milk (Almond Milk)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp cloves (Barely any at all – just a hint)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (Barely any at all – just a hint)
3 cups quick cooking or rolled oatmeal (2 cups quick and 1 cup rolled – about)
1 cup dried cranberries (Skipped)

Cream together the margarine and sugars until smooth. Add vanilla and soy milk and mix well.
Add flour, baking soda and spices until well mixed, then stir in oats and cranberries.

Spoon 1 1/2 inch balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet  (Sprinkle the top with just a smidge of Kosher Salt – I was accidentally too heavy handed on some!)
and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until done.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Marilyn's Carrot Cake

Cake Ingredients

1 ¼ cups corn oil

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

4 eggs

4 cups grated carrots (about 1-lb bag)

I cup chopped pecans (optional)

1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Use either a 10” tube cake pan or two regular sized baking pans so that you already have two layers. Whisk together corn oil and sugar. Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift half the dry ingredients into the sugar-oil mixture and blend. Alternately sift in the rest of the dry ingredients while adding the eggs, one at a time. Combine well. Add the carrots, raisins, and pecans. Pour into the prepared pan (or pans) and bake for 70 minutes.

Cream cheese frosting

If you are making layers, use this in between.


8 oz soft unsalted butter

8 oz soft cream cheese

1 1-pound box of powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter well. Add the cream cheese and beat until blended. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. If too soft to spread, chill a bit. Refrigerate if not using immediately, but bring to a spreadable temp before using.