When dinner needs to be exciting, I vote for Chinese food. The ingredients, colors, flavors and sizzling stir-frys are stimulating.
What excites me even more about Chinese stir-frying, but I don't find fun, is the hurly-burly feeling that creeps into the kitchen when I'm trying to get everything chopped and ready for the wok. The vegetables, the sauce, the meat and the aromatics like garlic and ginger need to be finely minced for flavoring the oil. Then these itsy-bits must be fished from the wok before the bigger and blander ingredients hit the hot oil.
Pretty Asian Bottles
What this means is that dinner hasn't been so exciting at my house as often as it has been exciting in China. Things may change. Looking for pretty bottles to give herbed olive oils in, I came across some with an Asian look I liked and decided to put the olive oil in the pantry and the garlic and rosemary on a chicken. Instead I filled these more exciting-looking bottles with something more spicy.
What developed was Three-Spice Wok Oil. Ginger, garlic and dried hot chilies simmer in peanut oil to release their invigorating flavors, then the oil is cooled, strained and bottled--in lovely Asian bottles. For more fun, you can drop a pretty red pepper into the bottle to remind you of the adventure contained within.