From coconut oil popcorn to old puzzles with missing pieces, to evenings with friends drinking mulled wine from solo cups. A few things that have been happening in our world
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He – Juggling a lot, per usual; with an amazing attitude, per usual. Puppy walking. Jack-of-all-trading, snapping photos, cooking potatoes. The joke-teller, the butcher, the fire-maker
Favorite New App – Way of Life It's great for tracking habits, is simple to set up, and will even create beautiful charts and graphs. A few in my list? Minutes spent walking, yoga, weight lifting, no sugar, meditation, and “today have I treated myself the way I would a very close friend?”
Recommending to Everyone – Headspace's Take 10 Challenge. If you can make it through 10 days of meditation, you'll be hooked. It's incredible for calming a racing mind
Drinking a Lot Of – Kava tea A couple of tea bags soaked for 15 min, and you'll feel like settling into your chair. Stressed after a long day? Skip the glass of bubbly and have a cup of kava; you'll still be super relaxed
(ps: Have you ever been to a Kava Bar? Austin, it's on my wishlist the next time we visit)
Excited for – Puppy school(!) We'll start our next class this Thursday, on the path toward therapy dog certification
Reading – Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach: It's incredible if you want to learn how to stop beating yourself up, and how to stop carrying around anger and resentment.
“I knew I'd never treat a friend the way I'd treated myself .. without mercy or kindness” ~ Tara Brach
One of my favorite stories from the book? A tiger named Mohimi who was rescued from a zoo and been confined to a 10′ x 10′ cage for several years. She was finally released into a pasture, with lots of excitement and anticipation, but it was too late. The tiger immediately sought refuge in the corner of the compound, where she lived for the remainder of her life
“Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns. We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day, we listen to inner voices that keep our life small.” ~ Tara Brach
Can't Stop Looking At – The Year in Pictures via The New York Times and The Obama Years [via The Washington Post]
Inspired By – The most amazing 98-year-old yoga teacher(!) Let's all live our best lives for just as long as we possibly can
Listening To – The FoundMyFitness and The Sean Croxton Sessions Podcasts
Taped to the Bathroom Mirror? My Word for 2017 – Kindness
A fun and different recipe to start the week; one that is so much better than takeout. The chicken bakes up tender with a beautiful crust and is coated perfectly with the sweet and tangy flavors of the sauce.
As you read through the recipe, you may notice it's a little off the beaten path. The first step is an ultra-quick flash-in-the-pan in hot oil to give the chicken a crispy outer layer, although the pieces should still be raw in the center.
From there the pieces are coated in sauce and baked in the oven for an hour (it's not a typo). Certainly, you could cook them less, but you'll end up with a sauce that hasn't thickened as much as it would have if baked for a full hour.
~ Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker and the baking process adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Baked Sesame Chicken
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp brown sugar, packed
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- Sesame-Ginger Sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp chili paste
- Crisp the Chicken
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup coconut or canola oil
- Marinate the Chicken
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the chicken stock, water, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, and sesame oil. Whisk until combined
- Into a storage bag, add the chicken, along with ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp of the marinade. Seal and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
- (Reserve the remaining marinade)
- Sesame Ginger Sauce
- While the chicken is marinating, heat the 1 Tbsp sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
- Add the garlic, ginger, chili paste and sauté until fragrant (~ 2 minutes).
- Add 2 cups of the reserved marinade to the skillet and simmer, constantly whisking, until the sauce has thickened
- Remove from the heat and cover
- Crisp the Chicken Pieces
- Preheat the oven to 325° F
- Into a gallon-sized ziplock bag, add the cornstarch and marinated chicken pieces. Seal and toss to coat the chicken
- Whisk the eggs in a shallow pie plate
- In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil until it's very hot
- Dip the chicken pieces in the egg and place them carefully into the hot skillet, being careful not to over-crowd
- Cook for ~ 20-30 seconds on each side, until the crust is golden, but the chicken wasn't cooked all the way through (this is why it's really important to have a hot skillet/oil)
- With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken pieces and place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat
- Add Sauce and Bake
- Pour the Sesame-Ginger sauce over the chicken.
- Bake for one hour, turning the chicken once or twice while cooking to ensure they're evenly coated with sauce.
- Serve over hot, steamed rice.
This looks delicious. I like the flash fry in the beginning. I’ve tried to make this in the crock pot before and it’s just not the same.
Yum! This looks so delicious and I have all the ingredients. Dinner tonight! 🙂
Oh I just love this post, how you mixed the things in it, and your style is so lovely. You just got yourself a follower!
Thank-you so much Anna 🙂
Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! Will definitely be trying. Thanks for sharing!
I love sesame chicken and make a nice veggie version using quorn chicken. It looks so divine in the pictures x
this looks so yummy. I am going to try this weekend for sure.
this sounds great! I love anything Chinese food-related so making my own would be amazing! Cannot wait to try!
This looks delicious! So much healthier and wholesome than takeout!
That really looks delicious. I took my puppy to training this summer, but it was so hot in Texas that we couldn’t go to all the classes. He was only 3-4 months old and didn’t pay attention very well. We never took him back to classes, but he’s been pretty easy to teach new tricks to. Good luck!
This sounds and looks amazing! What a great healthier version, yum!
Yummy! I can’t wait to give this a try!
I love this version of Sesame chicken! It looks so delicious.
Um this look so delicious. I only know how to fry chicken, unfortunately. This seems a lot healthier. And I am pretty fond of this Sesame-Ginger sauce! I must try it
Oooh this sesame chicken looks delish! The recipe sounds so yummy, super excited to give it a try. It’s one of my fave dishes!
Oh, this dish looks exactly my kind of food! Sesame ginger sauce is definitely something I will try, probably already this weekend. I eat quite a lot of rice and like to spice up it with sauce.
Oh, my friends would be all over this dish. I’m gonna make this for an upcoming lunch date we’re having soon and I know they’ll love it. Great recipe!
This sounds like a fabulous meal! I love that these are baked! I will definitely be trying this recipe.
Mmmm, so tasty! Definitely saving to make! Thanks!
Oh wow this looks amazing, I’m definitely going to be making this at the weekend x
I will definitely be using this recipe soon. My boyfriend loves spicy food, so I’m sure he’ll love this one.
I’ve been drinking a lot of kombucha tea lately, but never heard of kava tea. This dish looks delish.
I’m interested in the book Radical Acceptance, it sounds wonderful and I will be looking to add this to my reading list. How exciting that you are training your puppy to be a therapy dog! This recipe for baked sesame chicken sounds delightful and I appreciate that it is much healthier than the takeout version. I may give this one a go.
We love Sesame chicken, one of our favorites. Although I have never tried to make it. This will be something I will try especially to take to church potluck! Looks easy enough.
Ooooft sounds so good! I’m cutting down on my meat eating, but this is something I’ll have to try before I go completely veggie!
I will definitely make this chicken for my family tonight. It looks too yummy. I was tempted to buy take out today..but decided to make this chicken instead.
I have to say that dish really does look stunning, I have to try making it!!!! Bet hubby will love it, I know I sure will 😉
I absolutely love Sesame chicken but it has always been fried! I will definitely have to try this baked sesame chicken! I bet it is so much better and of course a bit healthier! Hopefully the whole family will enjoy it!
This chicken looks delicious and definitely a great alternative to a takeaway!
Ohhh and I was wondering what to cook for the weekend! I am a total chicken lover! I think I’ll make it with egg noodles! yum!
OMG fallen in love with this, looks scrummy your recipes jus keep getting better 🙂 x
Oh wow that sounds amazing and def something we would all love.
The dish looks so enticing to eyes but I am a vegetarian, so can’t eat it. Again, your style of writing down is very good. Also, i like that cute giraffe pic a lot. 🙂
Love sesame chicken but I prepare it in a different way without some ingredients. I’ll try your recipe, looks delicious.
That’s how my mother would usually prepare chicken, frying them first but not too much. Just to give the chicken a good crust to start with. I’d love to try this recipe, I’m sure my twins will love it!
I love your word of the year. We need more of that lately. I think this recipe is beautiful and easy to recreate at home! I sure would love to make it for dinner one of these days.
OMG! This looks so delicious. I’m not much of a cook, but it looks so tasty that I may give it a try. I’ll keep you posted.
This is a perfect weekend treat. I love sweet stick sesame chicken and totally giving yours a go. Better than ordering a takeaway.
I’ve never made sesame chicken at home, but this looks so good!
Oh that’s so my kind of food. It looks and sounds delicious!
This is my favourite recipe of all, every time I don`t feel like experimenting I cook this meal and I enjoy it so much! Your recipe is a bit different than mine so I have to give it a try.
Oh Yum! What a scrummy looking recipe this is. I love oriental food, but struggle with it not tasting very authentic. This recipe looks like it would do the trick so I plan on giving it a go soon!
It looks so healthy, delicious and wholesome. Thanks for the recipes and tips. Will try soon!
That dish is exactly like something I would eat, so definitely adding it to my to-cook list!
I love sesame chicken but I’ve never made it myself at home. I’m bookmarking this and I”m definitely going to try it out!
It looks delightful! Just swap the chicken for tofu and I’m in heaven! And that giraffe picture is so dreamy! A perfect couple! ♥
This looks absolutely INCREDIBLE!! Bookmarking this recipe so that I can make it myself. YUM!!
This looks amazing! I love the colorful pictures, I’m starving now!
Absolutely looks a yummy recipe, my hubby would love this for sure I am going to try this on weekends.
I’m not usually a fan of sesame seeds, but this actually sounds and looks really tasty, so maybe I’ll give it a try! x
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