Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fun in H-town

Peter entering the room to his surprise party.

Somehow we arrived in Houston not only on time, but with time to spare, truly a miracle if you know Kyle and me. The purpose of our Houston trip: Surprise Peter on his birthday with a super secret surprise birthday party lovingly planed by his wife Leslie. Peter knew we were coming in to town, but he had been told that it was for visa stuff, so our coming wasn’t a surprise, but Josh and Joanna, another close couple who drove up from San Antonio was a surprise along with all the other Houstonian friends who had gathered at the Turkish restaurant. Dinner was awesome, and it was great fun meeting many of their Houston friends. We didn’t get to play with Leslie and Peter as much as we would have liked since they both had to work at different times, but we fit in a great game of Redneck Life, which we bought for them as Peter’s b-day present. It is this great game which should be played if one needs to laugh. The goal of the game is to be the one at the end with the most teeth. Next time you are in a game store, check it out, it is tons of fun! On our last evening together, the four of us went for a 3 mile run, on a very crowded yet pleasant track around Rice University. We came home, took showers and cooked dinner. Cooking dinner as it usually is when we all get together was a very interesting adventure. Their printer stopped working, my solution was to quickly write out the recipe in short hand, however, I made a little blunder (shocker I know!) I wrote 1/4 cup crushed red pepper rather than 1/4 teaspoon. After we realized the mistake, we desperatly tried to remove as many of those little hot suckers as possible, since in great numbers they are equal to liquid fire. The dinner was not a total disaster, a little on the fiery dragon, and breathing flames side, but tasty just the same. And, I was very excited to finally drink the wine that Karen and Justin Benavidez gave us as a wedding present two years ago. It was a delightful cherry wine, that went wonderfully with our chicken-peanut chow mein. We always enjoy our time with our wonderful friends Leslie and Peter and can't wait to see them again! Hopefully next time we are in Houston, we will actually be doing visa stuff!

Redneck Life. They are ecstatic! :) Can't you see it in their faces!?

Josh and Joanna who came up from San Antonio just for the surprise!

Leslie on her way to work. Isn't she a cute nurse.

Here is the receipe if you are so inclined, but remember 1/4 tsp, NOT a cup. :)

Chicken-Peanut Chow Mein

Chicken-Peanut Chow Mein from Cooking Light
Lee Harrelson

Chow mein noodles are often labeled chuka soba. If you can't find them in the Asian section of the supermarket, substitute spaghetti or linguine. Chop and measure ingredients while you wait for water to boil.


4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups noodle mixture, 1/4 cup onions, and 1 1/2 teaspoons peanuts)


  • 1 cup precut matchstick-cut carrot
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed
  • 2 (6-ounce) packages chow mein noodles
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup presliced mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons bottled fresh ground ginger (such as Spice World)
  • 1 cup (1-inch) sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped


Cook carrots, snow peas, and noodles in boiling water 3 minutes; drain.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cut chicken crosswise into thin strips. Add chicken and 1 tablespoon soy sauce to pan; stir-fry 3 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

Combine remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, broth, oyster sauce, sugar, and pepper, stirring well. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and ginger to pan; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add broth mixture, and cook for 1 minute. Add noodle mixture and chicken to pan; cook 1 minute, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with onions and peanuts.


Karen said...

Yay, you drank the wine! I remember buying that bottle for you on my honeymoon. :) I'm glad you liked it!

Mariah Eva Hofstetter-King said...


Vanessa Rogers said...

We did like it! I want some more! I guess you need to go on another honeymoon :)