Dana’s Senegalese Chicken Stew



OK, I have never been to Senegal and I have no idea why I named this recipe this, but somewhere in some travels I ate once in a Senegalese restaurant and discovered this flavor palate of coconut milk and peanut butter mixed with curry. I liked it and adopted it for American ingredients. Feel liberated when making this and add any vegetables you have on hand.


5 Boneless Skinless chicken thighs- chopped into small ½ inch pieces

2 T. lemongrass paste – in a tube in the veggie section

1-inch finger of fresh ginger- grated

5 cloves of garlic – grated

2 large sweet onions- chopped

5 carrots- peeled and chopped

3 cups of chopped butternut squash

1 red pepper – seeded and chopped

1 small can of tomato paste

1 14.5 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes

2 T. cumin

2 T. curry powder

1 T. coriander

2 14 oz. cans of chicken stock

1 pound of fresh green beans cut in thirds

1 16 oz. can of light coconut milk

½ cup peanut butter

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and Pepper


In a fry pan sprayed with Pam, brown the butternut squash on medium heat for five minutes flipping it so all sides get a little color.


In a big stock pot sprayed with Pam, put the chicken with salt and pepper on medium high heat and cook, stirring every so often for five minutes. Add the onions and the garlic and continue cooking for three more minutes. Add the Carrots and the red pepper, lemon grass and ginger and cook another two minutes.


Add the tomato paste and all the spices and cook for three more minutes. Add the stewed tomatoes, and the chicken stock and the butternut squash and the green beans. Cover and cook for five minutes. Add the coconut milk and peanut butter and cook another two minutes. Add the lime juice and taste for salt and pepper. If you like more spice you can add some siracha at the table.

Using Up Halloween Chocolate Candy Peanut Butter Pie



I rarely post anything so fattening on this blog, but I was bound and determined to use up this Halloween candy.  I made it into a peanut butter pie with a pretzel crust that I will freeze and give away.


1 ½ Cups of crushed pretzels

¼ cup of brown sugar

4T. of melted butter


Mix together and press into a pie pan.  Bake in 350-degree oven for ten minutes and remove from oven and let cool.


10 mini or fun size chocolate candy bars chopped up- I used snickers, heath bars, twix, Rollo and kit kats.  Sprinkle on the crust.


1 pkg of cream cheese

¼ cup of sour cream

½ cup of peanut butter

1 egg


Beat all these ingredients together and spoon over the candy.  Bake in 325-degree oven for 35 minutes.  Chill and cover the pie with whipped cream when you serve it.


Cut pieces for everyone else and run out of the house before taking one bite your self.

School Lunch Ain’t Like it Used to Be



Retailers are probably the group who are most excited about back to school.  Every ad on TV is for new clothes, or stuff to decorate your locker, like a mini chandelier, or food for lunch.  The Target ads with the background music of middle school band songs are my favorite.


When I was a kid one of my favorite days was going to Boyd’s stationary store in the village center to buy my new cloth covered blue notebook and all the supplies that went into my pencil bag. That one notebook served all my subjects so the divider tabs read, English, History, Science, Math and French.  French was my worst subject.  I wish that someone had clued me in that Spanish was easier and so much more useful here in America, but no, French was the language of diplomats.  Somebody should have figured out I was never going to be cut out for diplomacy.  Now Carter has to have a different notebook for every subject.


Today I ran into the Harris Teeter to get some cheese for a cheese soufflé.  OK, I cook French, but don’t speak more than menu French now.  While I was perusing the cheese rhombus, I did well in math; I noticed a lot more individual “lunch box ready” cheese options.  First, I must say I was looking at the ‘gourmet” cheese case, not the processed, presliced, shredded or string cheese case.  In the fancy cheese home there were the omnipresent Baby Bells, which now come in about six varieties, then some small Allouté cups of garlic cheese spread, not so fancy or gourmet, but still a step up from the Velveeta or American Cheese slices of my child hood.


Then I saw a small plastic bag with six individual cups of, wait for it, Brie!  Lunch box ready Brie — Have you ever?  Now I would have loved brie in my lunch as a kid and I know my daughter would like it now, but liking it and being given Brie for school lunch are two different things.  When I was a kid we made our own lunches. We were lucky if we got a peanut butter sandwich made with the heels from two different sized loaves of bread so that when you put it together the peanut butter on one side stuck to the baggie.


If a cheese producer has done all the research to know there is a big enough market for individual Brie’s in a cup I’m sure they will sell.  I looked around near the Brie and could not find mini baguettes, small individual bottles of sparkling grape juice or mini cream brulee.  What was the Harris Teeter thinking?  When you go up market you might as well go the whole way.  I expect that the cost of a gourmet, but quick to throw in a designer neoprene lunch box is going up, but kids now a days must not be settling for peanut butter sandwiches anymore.