Spicy Stir-Fried Cucumbers and Chicken

This recipe was super super super spicy with the original ingredients. I have toned it down a bunch from that recipe. You can always add more spice, but taking it away is a bit difficult. K and I tag-teamed this dish, using his awesome stir-frying skills with great effect.

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He is much more careful with cutting things than I am, too. I just don’t have patience for certain things!

The cucumbers are almost pickly in this, which is fun.

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Thai Style Stir-fried Beef and Peppers

For Christmas I asked for food magazine subscriptions, and my family obliged. Sometimes I use the recipe as it states, but often I use it for inspiration. There was a recipe for something similar to this in the Food Network magazine, but it included ingredients we either did not have, or do not like (I’m looking at you, fish oil!). So, I took the idea of doing beef with peppers (and some basil and mint), and ran with it. This recipe was really good. And, like some other recipes I like, it does not require marinating the beef! Yay!

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Variations on Oat Cookies and Spicy Spaghetti with Hazelnuts

Often, I will make a recipe and then think about what else I could do with it. Sometimes I already change recipes, but sometimes I hold out and make it as is first, then mix it up later. Most of these iterations I try to mention in my posts on here (partly so I remember weeks/months/years later), but sometimes I wait and make the variations later. Take the two recipes in the title. I made those recipes weeks before making them again recently. The oat cookies only appear recent because I saved recipes up from before we moved so that I would still have posts here (we definitely ate out a bit during the move and transition, and then there was a visit back home). When we came back from our brief vacation, I ended up wanting to make something simple, so the cookie dough had a couple twists (but nothing to warrant a new post). Then we were having a guest over for dinner (first time in the new place!) and I wanted to jazz up the meal I had planned (the spicy spaghetti). After making both, I was so pleased with them that I wanted to share them with you. Hopefully you will enjoy them as much as I did!

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Spicy Spaghetti with Hazelnuts and Cauliflower

Thanks to my Aunt V who clipped an article for me from the Washington Post (a while ago), I found a version of this recipe which inspired me. I had cauliflower, but that was about it. Most of the rest of the ingredients were random things that I wanted to change. So, here is an easy weeknight all-in-one meal which still manages to be healthy. (More so if you use whole wheat pasta.)

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Even though I used cauliflower, I could see using broccoli instead. You could probably even use other veggies, but that would be the easiest swap. Likewise, you could use a different nut instead of hazelnuts. But, my hazelnuts were (technically) expired–I had been using whole ones and forgot about these chopped ones. They were still fine, and this way I got to use them and not waste them.

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