Recipe — Garlic Chicken with Peanut Sauce

First, a quote from Yesterday’s Body

What’s for din­ner?” I asked.
“There’s half a bar­be­qued chick­en left,” Mel said. “I planned to heat it up.”
“Right,” I said and start­ed open­ing cup­board doors. “You real­ly want dried out left­overs?”
“I’m test­ing your skills,” he said. “You haven’t dis­ap­point­ed me yet.”
“You’re tak­ing advan­tage of my good nature.” Of course he wasn’t, and he knew it. In my
cus­tom­ary life I was an inno­v­a­tive but often hap­haz­ard cook, how­ev­er, Mel was such an
appre­cia­tive audi­ence. And face it, I did need a break from out­door research now and then.

# # # #

I found a pack­age of ramen noo­dles, a few nuts, a can of mush­rooms, and a half jar of peanut
but­ter. I lined up his spices, decid­ed which bits of veg­gies from the crisper in the bot­tom of the
refrig­er­a­tor were usable, and did my mag­ic.

* * * * *

But before I wrote those words, I exper­i­ment­ed with the food in my refrig­er­a­tor. And, ta da, I came up with this recipe!

Garlic Chicken with Peanut Sauce, Noodles, and Vegetables

Ingre­di­ents
Left­over rotis­serie (bar­be­cue) chick­en
Noo­dles (rice noo­dles, egg noo­dles, ramen noo­dles or any pas­ta of your choice)
Veg­gies (broc­coli flo­rets, onion chunks, car­rots sliced thin, mush­rooms, cel­ery, or any oth­ers of
your choice) Note: You won’t find any pep­pers in Jo’s recipes because she doesn’t like them — but
feel free to use them as well.
Gar­lic — 1 clove minced, or 1/2 tsp of canned chopped or minced (or more if you pre­fer).
Peanut Sauce — see recipe below
Peanuts — unsalt­ed dry-roast­ed — may be chopped

Direc­tions
1. Whisk peanut sauce ingre­di­ents togeth­er.
2. Cut bite-size chunks from left-over bar­be­cue chick­en.
3. Pre­pare veg­gies. (Peel &/or chop. If nec­es­sary, zap in microwave until done to ten­der­ness you
pre­fer.) Note: many veg­gies, espe­cial­ly frozen peas and mush­rooms, may not need extra cook­ing.
4. Break noo­dles into 2 to 4 inch lengths then cook accord­ing to box instruc­tions (rice noo­dles,
egg noo­dles, ramen noo­dles, etc.)
5. Sauté gar­lic in the peanut sauce for 2 or 3 min­utes. Add chick­en and heat for anoth­er 2 or 3
min­utes. Add cooked noo­dles and veg­gies. (Or add veg­gies ear­li­er.) Stir and heat through.
6. Stir peanuts in before serv­ing, or sprin­kle a hand­ful of peanuts on the top after serv­ing.

Peanut Sauce
For 2 peo­ple (use mul­ti­ples for more peo­ple — all mea­sure­ments are approx­i­mate)
Whisk togeth­er
1 TB creamy peanut but­ter
1 tsp hazel­nut oil (or any oil)
1 tsp Worces­ter­shire sauce
3 shakes ground red pep­per
6 twists of pep­per mill
3 shakes onion pow­der
3 shakes ground gin­ger

* * * * *

Yesterday’s Body was first pub­lished by a small e-press and is an EPIC mys­tery final­ist and part of the Jo Durbin Mys­tery Series.

Lois Winston-Guest with A Stitch To Die For

7-27 a_stitch_to_die_forI’m hap­py to intro­duce my guest, Lois Win­ston. Her new book is A Stitch To Die For. (I absolute­ly love the cover—and the excerpt.) She answered a few of my ques­tions.

I know you write in more than one cat­e­go­ry. Do you have a pref­er­ence of one over the oth­ers?

I start­ed out writ­ing roman­tic sus­pense, but I real­ly found my voice when I switched over to writ­ing humor­ous first-per­son novels—initially in chick lit, then in ama­teur sleuth mys­ter­ies. I’m not a fun­ny per­son by nature. I either for­get or mess up the punch line of any joke I’ve ever tried to tell, but I dis­cov­ered I have a tal­ent for writ­ing fun­ny. Of course, humor is very sub­jec­tive, so not every­one “gets” my sense of humor, but that’s true of most things in life, isn’t it? Some peo­ple “get” you; oth­ers don’t.

What inspired you to begin your writ­ing career?

As cliché as it sounds, it was a dream. I usu­al­ly don’t remem­ber my dreams, but one night I expe­ri­enced a very vivid one that stayed with me. Every night for over a week the dream con­tin­ued, unfold­ing like the chap­ters of a book. I final­ly decid­ed I need­ed to write down the sto­ry, most­ly to get it out of my sys­tem. When I had fin­ished, I real­ized I want­ed to keep writ­ing. By the way, that ini­tial sto­ry, after years of revi­sions, became Love, Lies and a Dou­ble Shot of Decep­tion, the sec­ond book I sold.

Char­ac­ters and plots—are any of yours based on real peo­ple or real sit­u­a­tions? Does real­i­ty ever spark a cre­ative leap?

Most of my plots are born from actu­al events I’ve read about in the news­pa­per or watched on the news. I’m a total news junkie. A Stitch to Die For, my lat­est Anas­ta­sia Pol­lack Craft­ing Mys­tery, incor­po­rates sev­er­al news sto­ries that have appeared over the past year—swatting inci­dents that are occur­ring across the coun­try and a cou­ple of court cas­es where chil­dren died from salt poi­son­ing.

In addi­tion, some of my char­ac­ters have been based on peo­ple I’ve known. Lucille, Anastasia’s com­mu­nist moth­er-in-law, is based on my own com­mu­nist moth­er-in-law. The woman put me through years of hell. I’m now get­ting even. Lucille has become the char­ac­ter read­ers love to hate.

Now let’s talk about your new book, A Stitch To Die For. I love the cov­er for your new Anas­ta­sia Pol­lack mys­tery. Will you reveal a bit of a teas­er? Or more?

Thanks! I’m real­ly thrilled with the cov­er, too!

The adven­tures of reluc­tant ama­teur sleuth Anas­ta­sia Pol­lack con­tin­ue in A Stitch to Die For, the 5th book in the Anas­ta­sia Pol­lack Craft­ing Mys­tery series.

Ever since her hus­band died and left her in debt equal to the gross nation­al prod­uct of Uzbek­istan, mag­a­zine crafts edi­tor and reluc­tant ama­teur sleuth Anas­ta­sia Pol­lack has stum­bled across one dead body after another—but always in work-relat­ed set­tings. When a killer tar­gets the elder­ly nasty neigh­bor who lives across the street from her, mur­der strikes too close to home. Cou­ple that with a series of unset­tling events days before Hal­loween, and Anas­ta­sia begins to won­der if some­one is send­ing her a dead­ly mes­sage.

Excerpt:

Two weeks ago my moth­er, Flo­ra Sud­ber­ry Peri­win­kle Ramirez Scoffield Gold­berg O’Keefe, took her sixth trip down the aisle to become Flo­ra Sud­ber­ry Peri­win­kle Ramirez Scoffield Gold­berg O’Keefe Tut­tnauer. The groom’s daugh­ter was a no-show. At the time of the cer­e­mo­ny her body was being fished out of the Delaware and Rar­i­tan Canal in Lam­bertville, New Jer­sey.

Ira Pol­lack, my step­broth­er-in-law and the groom’s son-in-law, had just fin­ished a toast to Mama and Lawrence Tut­tnauer when two men in dark suits entered the back­yard cater­ing tent and head­ed straight toward him. Giv­en all my deal­ings with the police over the last few months, I eas­i­ly made them for detec­tives, a sus­pi­cion con­firmed when I spot­ted them flash­ing their badges. Ira nod­ded and fol­lowed them out of the tent.

I fol­lowed Ira.

He and the two men made their way to the patio at the back of his house. I stopped at the entrance to the tent. The men stood with their backs to me, Ira fac­ing me. From my van­tage point I couldn’t hear their words over the con­ver­sa­tions and music going on behind me, but I saw the col­or drain from Ira’s face. He shook his head vio­lent­ly and yelled, “No!” loud enough for me to hear.

I raced across the lawn as fast as I could in three-inch heels. Once at the patio, I placed my hand on Ira’s arm. In a voice that trem­bled as much as his body, he said, “Cyn­thia. They found her float­ing in the canal.”

I gasped, then led Ira over to one of the patio lounge chairs. He col­lapsed onto the cush­ion and buried his head in his hands as he choked out huge sobs.

I turned to the detec­tives, wait­ing for more of an expla­na­tion, but both ignored Ira’s grief to fix­ate on the par­ty across the lawn. “What’s going on here?” one of them asked.

A wed­ding,” I said.

Whose?”

Ira’s father-in-law mar­ried my moth­er.”

Both detec­tives knit their brows togeth­er and glared at Ira. “Your wife doesn’t show for her father’s wed­ding, and you’re not wor­ried?” asked the old­er and taller of the two men.

Ira tried speak­ing between sobs. His mouth opened and closed sev­er­al times, but no words came out. I answered for him. “Cyn­thia didn’t approve of her father mar­ry­ing my moth­er.”

And you are?” asked the sec­ond detec­tive, whip­ping out a notepad and pen­cil.

Anas­ta­sia Pol­lack. I’m also Ira’s step­sis­ter-in-law.”

Both detec­tives repeat­ed the twin eye­brow knit, but nei­ther said any­thing. Also, up to this point I had no idea how Cyn­thia had died, so I asked, “What hap­pened to Cyn­thia?”

The med­ical exam­in­er will have to deter­mine cause of death,” said the old­er detec­tive. “We’re wait­ing on an autop­sy.”

Do you sus­pect foul play?”

Why would you sug­gest that?” he asked.

I shrugged. “I can’t imag­ine how Cyn­thia would land in the canal on her own. She isn’t…wasn’t the canal-strolling type.” Dirt and extreme­ly expen­sive design­er duds don’t mix.

What type was she?” asked the younger detec­tive.

Cyn­thia the Tro­phy Wife was more the spend-all-day-spending-Ira’s-money type. I thought for a moment, not want­i­ng to say any­thing that might be mis­con­strued. If Cyn­thia hadn’t died of nat­ur­al caus­es, Ira would wind up at the top of the sus­pect list. “I only met her once,” I said, “but I’d describe her as some­one more inter­est­ed in indoor activ­i­ties than com­muning with nature.”

The spouse is always the prime sus­pect, but Ira was no killer. The man didn’t even have the back­bone to dis­ci­pline his brat­ty kids. If Cyn­thia had met with foul play, my mon­ey was on the pool boy she’d run off with weeks ear­li­er. “Ira, you have to tell the detec­tives what hap­pened with Cyn­thia.”

Buy Links  Paper­back     Kin­dle     Nook     iTunes     Kobo     Google Play

(Oth­er books in the series include Assault With a Dead­ly Glue Gun, Death by Killer Mop Doll, Revenge of the Crafty Corpse, Decoupage Can Be Dead­ly, and three mini-mys­ter­ies: Crewel Inten­tions, Mosa­ic May­hem, and Patch­work Per­il.)

7-27 lois-winstonBio: USA Today best­selling and award-win­ning author Lois Win­ston writes mys­tery, romance, roman­tic sus­pense, chick lit, women’s fic­tion, children’s chap­ter books, and non-fic­tion under her own name and her Emma Car­lyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her crit­i­cal­ly acclaimed Anas­ta­sia Pol­lack Craft­ing Mys­tery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addi­tion, Lois is an award-win­ning craft and needle­work design­er who often draws much of her source mate­r­i­al for both her char­ac­ters and plots from her expe­ri­ences in the crafts indus­try. Vis­it Lois/Emma at her web­site and Anas­ta­sia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog. Fol­low every­one on Tsu, on Pin­ter­est, and on Twit­ter @anasleuth. Sign up for her newslet­ter here.