Oh how I meant this Post on Asian Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups to be more instructional, perhaps with an interesting recipe story, but the weekend was the college graduation of my youngest daughter, Alex the Athlete, with the final athletic banquet happening early- on last week. Yes, two trips to DC in one week, much like the fall field hockey season of the past four years and our twice weekly travels and food preparation for the after match Team Family Tailgates.
Oh and how I am a proud mama. Really, I had been worried about being an emotional wreck but in fact, everything balanced out well. Mostly it was all about counting the blessings. At American University, wonderful professors to encourage the learning environment, and then, when playing a Division 1 sport, there is so much to be grateful for too, our amazing Coach, Steve Jennings, assistant Coach, Sarah Thorn Krombolz, athletic department, our team players, our families, and the bonds of friendships we have forged over these four years, including those from around the world.
Katie Couric was the Commencement Speaker for the School of Communications. Presented with a Doctor of Humane Letters by our also fantastic, University President, Neil Kerwin, Couric offered a really solid good speech providing a balanced dose of inspiration and encouragement, along with pragmatism and insight.
Wahoo! The final collegiate moment of accomplishment! Congratulations, my baby, Alex!
Our beautiful senior girls, lead the team in their final field hockey season, leaving the program as they arrived, clinching the Patriot League Championship, and with the highest Division 1 field hockey team GPA in the nation. And now, the senior team moms left to texting each other inquiring after the disciplined fifteen years of evening practices, weekends, holidays, summers, travel games and tailgating, what now are we going to do with our time after this lifetime of commitment to our daughters in sports? My response, I don’t know, maybe be like regular people and finally get out to a Farmer’s Market on a Saturday, attend an apple festival or something.
Every week I read many, many blogs, including some of young women at the similar place in life as my Alex. I so enjoy hearing the lives of others, and their journeys, and being touched by their experiences, I suppose when it comes to some of the young women, I can even feel a bit of depth of what their mothers might be feeling at this pivotal time too. Nevertheless, Spiced Peach is a food blog, so an acknowledgement on this Post to any former Managing Editors of a past regional newspaper I worked at for some years, many years ago, is in order. Should they by chance be reading this, I fully realize I am off topic, with way too many superlatives and this is not acceptable. Still, I do believe that there is somewhat of a leeway for such things in a blog, on occasion, and hope this will meet agreement.
Graduation Day on Saturday was followed by Mother’s Day on Sunday. Beginning the day taking time to offer prayers of appreciation of thanks and gratitude at mass at the National Cathedral, a tour of the monuments was next in order with Alex and her big sis, Sooky, enjoying some selfies together en route.
And a hot dog stop off for the J-Dude in between.
A little like a red hot chili pepper, the beautiful depth of color, good seeds embedded, pow! And for some Moms, like this blogger, a bit of spice, similar to the senior team moms now contemplating their own next part of the journey.
Thin strips of noodles, all tied together in some way, for some purpose, each serving as part of a base combined with other ingredients enhancing the whole.
And the noodle package above was part of my original theme, though now, similar to stages in life, how confusing it can be figuring out what to choose from among many unfamiliar products lining the shelves in the international market.
But like a butter leaf blossomed, filled with many unique combinations, its really all quite beautiful, even in the sentimental journey there is always love, and promise, and strength within, just part of the recipe of experience and memories, many to always continue at the heart of the shared table of life…
And new beginnings too. Alex and me are off to Miami on Thursday. Congratulations Graduates 2014!!!
Sooky, Alex, and the J-Dude love the Asian Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups, hope you enjoy the dish at the celebration of your shared table too!
- For the Asian Chicken Salad
- 3 cooked chicken breasts (baked, poached, or sauteed)
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 4 tablespoons oil, grape seed, canola, or vegetable (except olive oil)
- 3-4 very thin scallions, sliced very thinly lengthwise, then quartered
- 1 small hot red pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, plus extra cilantro leaves for topping filled lettuce cups
- 1-2 pinches of sesame salt (found at Asian markets) or, a pinch of kosher salt
- 6 ounce (half of the 12 ounce package) Korean style cellophane noodles, cooked for five minutes in boiling water drained and rinsed three times, then cut into smaller pieces using kitchen shears
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots, blanched for three minutes then refreshed in cold water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1-2 pinches sesame salt (found at Asian markets) or, a pinch of kosher salt
- pinch of cracked black pepper
- 1-2 heads bibb lettuce, separated into individual pieces for using as cups for chicken and noodles (leftover lettuce may be torn into pieces and used in green salad)
- For the Asian Chicken Salad
- Cut the cooked, cooled chicken breasts into very small cubes. Pour in the soy sauce, oil, and rice wine vinegar. Stir through the diced hot red pepper, scallion pieces, and chopped cilantro then sprinkle in one or two pinches of sesame salt.
- For the Cellophane Noodles
- Add the soy sauce and sesame oil to the cut cellophane noodles, stir well. Add in the blanched, shredded carrots, and sesame salt, or salt if using, and a pinch of cracked black pepper and blend all together well.
- Separate leaves of Bibb lettuce and lay onto a large serving tray. Just before serving, depending on individual leaf size, spoon a tablespoon or more of the seasoned cellophane noodles into each leaf cup. Top the noodles with a tablespoon or more of the Asian chicken salad evenly sharing the small strips of scallions and diced hot red pepper. Sprinkle each cup with a fresh cilantro leaf and serve filled lettuce cups immediately.