Paper Matters Blog
Books are Essential – Especially Cookbooks

In many cultures, cooking is a large part of what brings families together. I know that is especially true for mine and although it breaks my heart that I can’t have the family over for the weekend, I am comforted with the thought of cooking my favorite dish this weekend, my mom’s famous ginger chicken.  Famous may seem like an overstatement, but in my book that’s exactly what it is.

If you’re anything like, if you don’t write something down, you’ll lose it forever—including recipes.  Therefore, if you haven’t done so before, take the time while you’re in quarantine to write those recipes down. I can promise you that, a year from now, your Instagram or Facebook food-porn folders will not remind how long you cooked that chicken in YOUR oven or that new ingredient you added that changed the taste of your lasagna.

It’s been said many times before that books are essential to learning but it is especially true when it comes to keeping track of family recipes.  What’s great is that technology has made it so easy to create and print your own recipe book.  Regardless of whether you have it printed or just written down in a notebook, paper is essential to keeping records of our most important memoirs.

Here’s my mom’s ginger chicken recipe. Unfortunately, we’re not a family that uses a measuring system in our cooking, so this is all based on color and taste.

Ginger Chicken Recipe

  • Cook time: 45-60 minutes
  • Prep time: 20 minutes


  • Chicken, I prefer chicken breast (my mom will use the full chicken wing and somehow pulls out all the bones, except for one.  She’ll then wrap all the meat around that one bone. This usually takes my prep time to 2 hrs, which is why I opt in on chicken breast.)
  • Ginger (use more or less, depending on your taste for ginger). You will want to pound the ginger, don’t mince.
  • Green onions and cilantro (this is like gold in my family).  You want to chop these up in a bowl, you don’t need a lot.
  • 1/3 Onion and garlic
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper
  • Orange coloring
  • Vegetable oil


Part 1:

  • Heat up the vegetable oil for frying
  • Lightly salt and pepper your chicken
  • In a bowl, mix the cornstarch to a nice consistency (you’ll be using this as your batter so mix a lot.  The reason why cornstarch is because it gives it that crunchiness we all love.)
  • Once your oil is ready, you want to dip the chicken into the cornstarch and fry until golden ready

After you’re done frying the chicken, put it aside and let the oil drain off. 

Part 2: 

  • In a deep frying pan (or wok), you want to sautée the ginger, onions and garlic
  • Throw in the chicken
  • Mix up a small ramekin of cornstarch
  • Add a few drops of food coloring and stir
  • Add more salt and pepper to liking
  • Cook for about 5-8 minutes, slowly add your cornstarch mixture until it is a nice consistency

Serve on a platter and add the garnish, cilantro and green onions and enjoy!


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