Cook's Corner — Pizza Lady

Jena Smith shows off her Orange Cashew Chicken recently. She loves to cook anything and everything and enjoys baking as well.

When Gena Smith got married 32 years ago, she could not cook at all.

“We had Domino’s on speed dial,” she said. “I would try to cook something and no matter how I tried, I just could not cook. After a while, I was tired of pizza, so I decided I needed to learn how to cook. And I did. I don’t usually follow a recipe, I just put a little of this and a little of that until it tastes good.”

Smith can cook Chinese, Korean, Italian, Spanish and any cuisine that she puts her mind to.

“I have three children and three grandchildren and I am proud to say that my grandkids can cook a full meal by themselves, with a little supervision,” Smith said. “My grands are 6, 7, and 8 years old. They love to be in the kitchen.

“I also like to bake and one of my specialties is Italian Wedding Cake. My husband’s favorite is cookies. Anytime you walk into my house, there is always something baked. Hope y’all like this recipe. It’s one of our favorites.”

Orange Cashew Chicken with Rice Noodles

1 T. olive oil

1 T. butter

2 1/4 lbs. of chicken tenders, not breaded.

3 garlic cloves, minced.

1 t. ground ginger

2 chicken bouillon cubes, dissolved in 2 C. water.

1/2 C. diced onion

1 C. orange juice

1 T. plus 1 t. honey

2 T. soy sauce

2 t. corn starch

3 T. flour.

1 box of stir fry vegetables, thawed.

1 C. cashews

Cut tenders into bite-sized chunks and mix with the corn starch and flour mixture.

Heat wok or large frying pan with olive oil and butter. Over medium heat, fry the chicken until done and remove cover to keep warm.

Cook onion until tender and add garlic, ginger and chicken bouillon mix. Remove wok from heat.

Prepare rice noodles as directed on package.

In bowl, mix orange juice, honey, soy sauce and cornstarch. Add to wok and mix in defrosted veggie mix. Return to stove until warm.

Add rice noodles to absorb. Top with cashews and toss. Top with chicken and serve warm.

If anyone would like to contribute to Cook’s Corner, please contact Grace Leonhart at:, or call 585-5137.

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