Sunday, July 15, 2012

        Who doesn’t love peanuts!? Okay, okay, I retract. It is unfortunate the severity peanut allergies cause, because they are delicious! The saltyness, and creaminess of the nuts makes for an excellent treat. And have you ever noticed how versatile it can be, found anywhere from trail mix to pasta sauces to Reeses, served either warm or cold, any time of day, with any meal or snack. It’s hard to turn them down.
So back from my rant. Yesterday I traveled with my friend’s family up to visiting day to see her at camp. It is her first summer as a counselor there, and I wanted to see how everything was going.
After visiting day concluded, I went with her mom and aunt to the outlets. The walking seemed endless, but it was all worthwhile. The shopping trip proved successful as I walked away with a Vera Bradley laptop case for almost half the price.
Next stop was Palisades Mall. Wow! Never have I seen a mall of this magnitude. Four floors with one dedicated to eating. All different restaurants were offered, even Tony Romas, which I haven’t seen in almost a decade.
It’s a tradition in their family to eat at Stir Crazy after visiting day. (Her brother has been going to camp for 9 years now). Since the wait was supposedly forty minutes, we sat ourselves at the bar and enjoyed a cocktail.
My friends aunt and I ordered Pineapple mojitos, while my friends mom opted for the mango one. I was a bit disappointed, as the mango seemed bright and vibrant, while ours was pretty much clear and the pineapple flavor was obsolete. This could also be because pineapple wasn’t on the menu, so we specially ordered it.
Once we sat down we were ready to feast in. We started off with two appetizers, wings and chicken satay. The wings couldn’t fall off the bone any easier, and the sweet, salty sauce, made a nice glaze for the chicken. Topped with sesame seeds, it was definitely was a treat for the palate.
The tenderness of the chicken made the satay all the more flavorful. I dipped the poultry in the peanut sauce, which had a crunchy consistency, bursts of cilantro with each bite. I knew peanuts were the direction I was heading for the night.
For the main course, we all ordered stir fry. We were handed a bowl, and a mini size bowl for the sauce. We went to the back, and picked our vegetables that we wanted in the dish.
After that, there was a display of sauces to choose from. While choosing from the vegetables, I had an inkling that peanut sauce was going to be offered.. Once I finished filling the bowl with broccoli, cauliflower, water chestnuts, scallions, spinach, zucchini, snap peas, and of course peanuts, I found my match. I filled the cup with the peanut sauce, unsure of what measurement I should do.
After woking the beef, vegetables, my rice noodles, and mixing in the sauce, my dish was ready. I sat down and delved right in.
The saltiness and creaminess from the peanuts made for a fantastic flavor mixed with the vegetables and pasta. I find vegetables to be bland sometimes, but when cooked with sauce, the flavor infuses onto the vegetables. The noodles were flat and thick, so they held a good amount of peanut flavor. There was an extra crunch to my dish with the water chestnuts, and peanuts. Since the noodles are soft, they made an excellent pairing.
Before we went to pick our vegetables, my friend’s mom was telling me that the first time there she “saw a lady fill her bowl up so much we stared.” I had to stop myself while filling my bowl or else I would have received that same attention.

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