Saturday, March 28, 2009

Orange Chicken as promised!


Orange chicken recipe as promised! My one tweak on this is lighten up on the red pepper flakes. It was a bit much.
Orange Chicken Recipe
Ingredients:
  • 1 pounds uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 2-inch strip
  • 2 cup cooked white rice, kept hot (I used brown for more nutritional value)
  • Rind of a small orange sliced into thin strips
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup canned chicken broth, reduced-sodium
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 medium scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or 1 dried chili pepper, minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
Directions:
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, broth, sugar, cornstarch, ginger, and vinegar, then set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat peanut oil on medium-high heat. Add orange rinds, scallions, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 2 minutes. Add in the chicken and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown.
  3. Now mix in the sauce and let simmer until the chicken is cooked all the way through and the sauce starts to get thick, this should take approximately 3-4 minutes.
  4. On a plate, serve chicken and sauce over rice and garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Again for those who care: a serving size is 1 cup of chicken and 1/2 cup of rice and is 6 points.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shrimpylicious

I bought the Hungry Girl book awhile back and have been slowly making meals from it. The thing that I really like about this book is that everything is given to you in directions for one serving. Which is great when you just want to make lunch for yourself. And everything has been really good too.

I had a hankering for Chinese food and decided we needed to venture out and make some of our own. On the menu, Orange Chicken (recipe coming tomorrow!) and Hungry Girl's Shrimpylicous Egg Rolls. Good stuff my friends. Both recipes need a few minor tweaks but all in all really good.

Shrimpylicious Egg Rolls

Ingredients:
  • 6 large square egg roll wrappers (found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, usually by the tofu)
  • 4 cups dry coleslaw mix
  • 1 6-oz. can tiny shrimp, drained
  • 1/2 cup canned water chestnuts, drained and sliced into strips
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced width wise
  • 2 tsbp. light or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • dash pepper
Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place slaw mix in a microwave-safe bowl and 2 tbsp. of water, cover and microwave for 2 minutes. Drain any excess water, and transfer slaw mix to a large bowl.
  3. Add all other ingredients except the wrappers, mix well and set aside. (For more intense flavor, allow mixture to marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes)
  4. Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying it lightly with nonstick spray.
  5. Place two egg roll wrappers on a clean, dry surface. Evenly distribute about 1/2 cup of the mixture onto each wrapper, in a row a little below the center. Moisten all four edges of each wrapper by dabbing your fingers in the water and going over the edges smoothly.
  6. Fold the sides of each wrapper about 2/4-inch towards the middle, to keep the mixture from falling out of the sides. Then roll the bottom of each wrapper up around the mixture, and continue rolling until you reach the top. Seal the outside edge with another dab of water.
  7. Carefully transfer egg rolls to the baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining wrappers and filling, making sure you have a clean, dry surface each time.
  8. Spray the tops of the egg rolls with nonstick spray. Baking in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly and serve with sweet & sour sauce.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dream House

My uncle started a charity a few years back to help kids called 1st Due. He is a loving, giving man and really just wants to help kids that have little to no support at home or are foster kids. Currently he is looking into purchasing some property or a home to be able to entertain and sometimes house these kids. It's a big vision and he is just the guy for it.


While I was in San Jose recently visiting family we were able to see one piece of property that he is looking at. Let me just tell you, this house is AWESOME. It's old and beat-up but it's strong and classic and can you imagine if the walls could talk? When I grow up I want to own a house just like this. I am in love with this house. Every little thing about it. The details are amazing and I just want to bring it back to it's former self.


As we walked through the house each room brought a different treasure. Complete with the stained glass windows. So much of the old house was still there. Beat up but surviving.

If I was independently wealthy, and my uncle didn't want to buy it , I would snatch this place up. I would take all the years necessary to bring it back to it's former glory. I think it's beautiful all beaten up, imagine what it would look like with a spit-shine and a some paint. I mean for heaven's sake it has a claw tub!

She's a beautiful old girl and I hope she finds someone to love her real soon. Someone that can see beyond the dust and muck to what she once was and what she can be again.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fish & Chips

I have been craving fish and chips. Specifically the one's I had in Ireland many, many, MANY years ago. They were SO good. Crispy and a little sour with the vinegar. And ever so fattening. So I decided to get what I wanted with a little less fat.
So I did a little search, found a recipe and tried it out. And it was goooooooood. And super easy. Make them for your kiddies and serve them with tater tots! My hubby isn't much of a fish eater but even he was a fan of these! I scrounged this recipe up from Weight Watchers, and for those of you who care it is supposed to serve 4 for 5 points each.

Fish & Chips

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 8 wedges each
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup seasoned dried bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 20 oz uncooked cod, four 5 oz fillets
  • red wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Place potato wedges on one baking sheet and lightly coat with cooking spray; season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes.
  3. Whisk milk and mustard together in a shallow dish. Place bread crumbs in another shallow dish and put flour in a third shallow dish. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper.
  4. Place fish in the flour and turn to coat. Then place fish into milk mixture and turn to coat. Finally place fish in the bread crumbs and turn to coat.
  5. Place fish on the second baking sheet and lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Serve fish and potatoes with the red wine vinegar on the side.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cute baby

I went to a baby shower last weekend and I just wanted to share with you the onsies I made. These were SO easy and I thought they turned out cute! I like to take something a little different to showers when I go and this fits the bill. They were fun to make too.

I liked this one because it felt a little rock'n'roll. It was supposed to be this dark purple but the colors didn't translate very well.
This one is my FAVORITE. Peace, love and cupcakes.
I'm new. :-)
Aw, sweet pea.
Of course we were not without our mishaps. And would you believe that this is the LAST one I made? Not the first? It's supposed to say "I'll have a bottle of the house white." Get it? House white? Well, I thought it was funny.

All in all they turned out pretty well. I have a few more friends expecting so I'm going to keep playing and see what I can come up with. What did you think?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Catalyst

Sorry kids, but this is sober post #2. I'm in a mood.

I hate my job. H-A-T-E. GRATEFUL for the income. And obviously now, in this world, this economy, this is no time to get picky and high and mighty, stomp my feet and quit. I wouldn't anyway. I'm not the sort. Even if I hate a job I stick it out for at least a year so it doesn't look quit so bad on the resume and I don't look like a job hopper. That's just me.

So here I am. Hating the day to day. Which WEARS on you. My boss was gone for 2 weeks and it was the most blissful two weeks of the entire time at this job. And now that he is back the fireworks have begun again. I'm a pretty smart person. Not a genius, but I catch on pretty quick with a little guidance. And I'm a darn good sales person. This I know. I like people, I like helping them, I like making the connection. But what I don't like is feeling like I'm being set up. And that's what it feels like. I feel like I'm being set up for failure. With rules and expectations and the general lack of guidance it just feels like they are sitting on the sidelines waiting for me to fail. This does not sit well with me. Now they got my ego involved.

I've had a few people tell me, "Oh you shouldn't take it so personal." But doesn't that just mean it's not personal TO YOU? It's very personal to me. This is ME. Trust me I DO get that businesses have to make money and they have to look out for number one. I get that. But at the expense of those they supposedly hire because they can't do the job without them? I have worked very hard to get where I am. Every job has been a step up. Every movement a promotion. Every decision analyzed to figure out what is best for my career. Honestly it wasn't until I met Hubs that I even cared too much about anything but furthering my career. I went to school. I dedicated myself. I graduated with high marks. I have proved myself over and over again. So yes, I take it personal when I feel that I'm being set up to fail.

Here's the other thing. For all my love of my career? Honestly, I'm over it. There has been a shift in me since my Hubby came into my life. A shift from always looking out for number one to caring more about my family than the next big promotion. So dealing with all this crap just isn't worth it to me anymore. I'm worn. Seriously tired. And I just don't see how it is worth it anymore.

HOWEVER, this time of discontent has presented me with some very interesting opportunities. I feel like I'm really defining what I want to do. I have a hard time imagining myself as someone who will have babies and stay home. I admire those that do. I'm grateful everyday for my momma being able to do that. But it's not in my nature. I NEED something to do. Something that stretches me and challenges me. So as I go through this time of yuck I'm really starting to see a clearer and clearer path of what it is that I'm meant to do.

So I guess I'm grateful? And tired. And over it. But GRATEFUL. Because for everything there is a season. And this is mine. This is my stretching time. My defining moment. Well, this year's defining moment anyway. So head down, blocking out the negativity and I'm marching ahead. Because there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Right? And I'm headed towards that dream.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Am I weird?

I feel weird. I feel different. I feel like no other woman before. Of course I realize that it is probably all in my head but that doesn't change the feeling.

I have quite a few friends that are pregnant or just had a baby right now. And so it's put baby on the brain. And for whatever reason I have convinced myself that I am the expection to the rule. Our bodies are a wonderous and glorious thing. We've been giving birth since Eve. For some of us it is easier and for others of us it is nothing but trouble.

So why is it before it's even my problem I'm obsessed with the possibility. I fear that for me I will be the one it is not a "slam-bam-thank-you-ma'am". My sister easily got pregnant both times. She is fertile-myrtle. But I worry that it will take me a lifetime. So why am I worried about something that is not even a problem yet? Am I the only person that feels this way? And why as women do we hide away our fears? Why can't we express them to each other?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Memory Journalists: Ann-Marie & Mark

I had the privilege of working with The Memory Journalists again on Friday. We shot an e-session for Ann-Marie & Mark and may I just say, what a cool couple! Ann-Marie has this awesome bright pink hair, retro style and some really cool ink. And it was one of those perfect almost-spring days where the sun is shining and trying to stay awake as long as possible. All in all really great shoot.
Ann-Marie has this REALLY cute polka-dot dress she changed into. Very retro. I'm going to have to see if I can hunt down one for myself. And Mark was just one cool cat. And SO in love with Ann-Marie. The boy is GONE. (P.S. I shot the series below! Aren't you proud of me? It gives me a little thrill!)
I LOVE this picture. Look at her face! She is pretty gone too! They are just such a cute couple.
Okay, so this last one has a back story. Jen had gone on and on about how she had found this one lone tree and she really wanted to take pictures using it and so on and so forth. When we got there is was a really small tree. I think Anne and I had in mind a HUGE oak and this was a baby tree. So we laughed and made fun, but who's laughing now? Those pictures turned out awesome! I take it all back Jen!
Thanks for letting us shoot you Ann-Marie & Mark! Your wedding is going to so cool! Click the above image to go to the Memory Journalists post and slideshow!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jump on the Bandwagon - Baby Hazels

It's been FOREVER since I've done a "Jump on the Bandwagon"! And this is the perfect way to start it off again. Let me introduce you to Baby Hazels.

Mathilda
Baby Hazels is the jewelry line by my gal pal Lori over at Girly Muse. She had posted on her blog about her jewelry and when I saw the pieces I immediately loved them! I asked her to make me a few and send them on over. I love that they look a little old, a little new, a little vintage, a little modern.
My Muse

I just got them in the mail yesterday and they are so pretty! They are light and airy and I really love the chains she set them on. I also really like the versatility of the longer chains. The way Lori makes them you can either wear them long or short.

Flower

So if you are looking for a little funk in your life and you love homemade jewelry, send a not on over to Lori! I'm sure she's got just what you are looking for!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy 30th Baby Girl

Today is my baby sister's 30th birthday. I can't believe she is 30! Heck, I can't believe I'm 32!
We celebrated her birthday over the weekend. We planned a surprise getaway with my mom and me and our cousins and aunts. We had such a fabulous time and great memories were made. There was a recurring theme throughout the weekend about my sister. We all just wanted her to take care of herself.
My sister is the best mom I know. Seriously. She is that mom that has games in the middle of the day at home just because it's fun. She bakes cookies with the girls takes care of her husband. She is the first one up and the last one to go to bed. And that's just her immediate family. When it comes to the rest of us, it's the same story. If you need something, call Nicole. If you need someone, call Nicole. She is always there. And along the way she wears herself out and we take her for granted.
So this past weekend we heaped love upon her. It was our turn to shower her with attention and affection. It was her turn to take a break and rest and revel in the love. I hope she took it all in and stored it away in her heart for when she needs it.

Happy birthday Coley. You are the best mom, most loving wife, kindest daughter, loyal sister, and best friend a girl could have. I hope I can be just like you when I grow up. Love you.

This is a video of our weekend. It's long so I won't be offended if you don't make it all the way through. :-)