Apr 29, 2010

of general tso chicken & other things

today was farmer's market weather. & holding babies weather. & being with friends weather.

so thats what i did :) & it was lovely. all of the delicious tomatoes there made me excited for my little tomato friends to bloom & grow. *hurryhurryhurry*

i've never grown tomatoes before - on my own. i've puttered around in my moms garden a very little bit. & i figured tomatoes are resilient & fairly easy to grow. so this is my first step towards becoming a little green thumb. i've spent the past few minutes looking up how to prune them. because i didn't know that, either. they look nicer than the pictures already. it scared me snipping off their little branches. i felt like i was doing something really horrible. hope it was worth it…

this is a tiny view of our apartment -- just for fun.

and THIS is general tso chicken that is JUST LIKE the yummy restaurant kind. i made a TON of it. for daniel & i, my perries, garrett & grandparents also. it was an all around hit. & super filling. those bites of chicken are deceptively large…

tonight, i am trying something new…here is the link. our little home is in dire need of tidying. if i have time later i will type it all out. the only thing i changed in the recipe was i used red wine instead of cooking sherry, & no dried red chili peppers. i added about 1/8 tsp of crushed red pepper instead - if you like a little kick at ALL though, i would recommend the chili peppers. or more red pepper. Ours was more on the sweet end of the scale.

they also say cornstarch…i used it this time, because i'd never used this recipe before - next time i'm trying flour, though. I don't really see how it would make much of a difference.

Enjoy your fridays. & weekend. etc.

Apr 28, 2010

lately, i haven't been posting. for no reason really. things are just getting busy.
spring is [kind of] here. & my tomato plants are poppin! our little patio is going to be a jungle soon with all of these plants growing around us :)

lately i've been thinking - if there were a possible way to keep chickens here, i totally would. fresh eggs have been sounding so wonderful lately. and i mean, thats the way pets are supposed to be i think - the kind you can get food from? [although i wouldn't be opposed to a dog someday]

aaanyways, i found the cage that we are going to let our chickens live in. it is fantastic. from chicken cribs. they also cost more than 200 dozen eggs. sooo…i think maybe we could make one. thats why i have a Lowe's boy, after all :)

it was…interesting. i was hooked. i wont get into talking about all the things i didn't agree with [global warming] - but i liked it. i was most inspired to start composting our trash - probably about the same time as we get our chickens. or at least a yard. i'm not sure i really want to do that indoors. the guy in the movie had tons and tons of flys infiltrate his indoor compost bin and plant little baby flys in it. ewwwwwww. besides, daniel won't let me store trash in our apartment. or worms.

tomorrow i have a yummy general tso chicken recipe to share. it was delish. & i am stuffed. hope all of my cyber-pals are doing well :)

Apr 15, 2010

What to Doooooo...

okay guys.
umm…probably MOSTLY ladies, though. just because i would assume mostly ladies are reading this.

i think i should post about something other than food every once in awhile.
so today isn't about food after all. like i said. i am all fooded out. (this happens when there is a sink full of dirty dishes in your kitchen)

sooo, you all should help me.
what should i blog about? AND i checked my comment box settings and everything because i know some people have mentioned that they have an awful trouble trying to comment *ahemmom*

so far i have… fun date ideas. lizzy had mentioned this awhile ago. daniel & i have had some fun ones. i think at least :)

our little home has been bustling with business lately, BUUUT that is totally fine because there is an end in sight to the whole full time working & full time school dealio & we are celebrating by going on a CRUUUUISE!!!

I've never been. I am getting one of those patch things. & maybe even wearing seabands. i would err on the tend-to-get-motion-sickness side. that will not happen this time though.

this does mean that i need good book suggestions. or else i will be re-reading all of my harry potters & they are heavy. hmm…ipad you are sounding so good right now.
any ideas?

this picture of daniel is just because. i found it on my computer today. please dont mind us and our funny little ways :)

Apr 14, 2010

Poppy Seed Dressing

today dear friends you are going to learn how to make the best, most widely used salad dressing in the world


we use it 90% of the time. & ran out a few days ago : /
so I made a brand new batch. its perfect for summer. & pretty to look at, too.

& yes.  i know its not thursday yet. im jumping the gun (not that anyone really is keeping track)
i have many more things i want to share with you. so im posting again tomorrow.

you will need:
1/3 cup of white vinegar
3/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of ground mustard (umm…or just regular mustard if you're like me)
1 teaspoon of grated onion
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of poppyseeds

no. 1
ladies, get your aprons on. you may need it. depending on how awesome your blender is. mine is a splatterhead & drenched me in oil the first time. you will be happy to know that i made it though this jar completely unscathed. i used a towel to cover the opening in the blender. oh, but im getting ahead of myself.

no. 2
combine first four ingredients [vinegar, sugar, mustard & onion] in a blender, and well…blend. well.

no. 3
sooo this is the messy part. you're going to want to turn your blender back on and slowly pour in your vegetable oil. if you are one of those lucky people (like my mom) that has a teeny tiny hole in the top of your blender for such things, you'll be in good hands. if not…just keep a towel with you for this part and use it to cover the hand that is pouring into the blender. does that make sense? just do whatever keeps the splatter away.

no. 4
pour in a pretty jar and add your poppyseeds

Apr 8, 2010

sweet potato & chicken curry-in-a-hurry :)

Several awesome things have happened lately:

-celebrating seven months with my husband this past monday
-starting a little 'garden' out on our patio. our neighbors would love me so much if they only knew i was thinking about putting one of those obnoxiously green Topsy Turvy's on our overhang...i have pots instead. much more subtle. and also prettier for me to look at - grape tomatoes, bigger tomatoes (i can't stand calling them beef tomatoes. or...meat tomatoes. whatever it is) and rosemary. with little basil buds sitting next to my computer :)
-spring cleaning is officially, completely done. EXCEPT for a goodwill box in our closet. But our apartment is now completely arranged and organized perfectly. after seven months.
-discovered another awesome curry dish. this is getting to be the only way i eat chicken anymore. smothered in spicy sauces.

This recipe i almost don't want to admit is from a rachel ray cookbook we got for our wedding. it was really unpleasant for me to try and read at first because, there are NO PICTURES!

Come on, Rachel. Seriously...

But i have actually come across quite a few of them that have turned out really scrumptious. Including a tomato and basil soup that i must post sometime...

This week is:

Sweet Potato & Chicken Curry [in a hurry]
(meaning that it is very quick to make)

This may be a good...i guess this is probably more of a Thai food than indian, but if you're not used to eating ethnic food - this is a good one. Its not too spicy. The sweet potato actually gives it just a bit of a sweetness to it. Its yum in my tum :)

You will need:
-2 tablespoons of olive oil
-1 medium sweet potato
-1 tablespoon of curry paste OR 2 tablespoons of curry powder
-2 or so pounds of chicken? I honestly have no idea how much i used. probably more like a pound and a half.
-1 yellow onion
-1 bell pepper (i like red and orange the best, but you can use whatever. or omit them, if you're a pepper-hater)
-1 tablespoon of flour
-1 1/2 to 2 cups of chicken broth just kind of eyeball it. i dont like this kind of stuff to get too soupy, so i start with less and add more if i need later
-1/2 cup of heavy cream OR coconut milk if you have it. i would recommend it over cream any day, but i was out...
-10 ounces of peas
-a bit of cilantro if you have it on hand. i don't think i ended up using any

no. 1
FOOD PREP! peel your sweet potato, cut in half length-wise and slice into thin 'half moon' like shapes. also cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces. & your onion and bell pepper into slices. might as well...it makes everything flow better later on...

heat your skillet to medium-high & add olive oil & sweet potatoes. season with a bit of salt, pepper & your curry. stir often for 3 minutes or so - until they're tender.

*agghh, this is distracting. daniel is listening to bluegrass versions of all of these songs. right now: linkin park - numb. its bad. some of them have been cool. but anyway*

no. 3
scooty over your potatoes, and add your little chickens. again, cook for about 3-4 minutes

no. 4
mix in onion, bell pepper, peas & flour. cook for another minute

no. 5
add chicken broth, your cream (or coconut milk) and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until your sweet potatoes & chicken are all cooked & tender - & your sauce has thickened. Serve with rice. & enjoy :)

Serves, well, supposedly 4. Buuuuut, we ate it all? somehow...

Apr 1, 2010

first major fail. but sunny weather makes all better :)

i adore springtime. you may think im mad - but i love carolina summers too. the humid, muggy weather that is still FAR cooler than phoenix summertimes. anything to be in sundresses again when it comes right down to it...

So, yesterday I was talking about these granola bars I was going to make...

Guys... they turned out AWFUL! I tried working around some of the bitter taste this morning by eating it with yogurt -- daniel liked it pretty well, but it was hardly bearable. i loath oatmeal anyways (agghh. im sorry. i know. im trryyying to change) and it tasted like oatmeal. bitter oatmeal. eww. i think i am going to take this recipe and another recipe and maybe combine them AND i am adding honey to it next time. i improvised with my lack of ingredients yesterday, so i'm sure that didn't help either (i.e. soy instead of skim, not NEAR enough fruits...or almonds)  but i mean, seriously, who would have thought it could ever be bad from the picture below?! 

So...first major fail in almost seven months. There are worse things.

Since that is down the toilet - i cannot possibly let you all make that. In honor of springtime:

Make yourself  a yummy salad.

This almost feels like a stupid thing to post - but maybe not everyone makes salads like this. We had it last night. The red potatoes make it more filling, too.

Umm, yeah. Lettuce or green leaves of some kind are always good
Goat Cheese. (yuuuuuum)
Caramelized Onions (i fried them in olive oil and a little brown sugar - especially if your using yellow onions - it sweetens them up a bit)
2 or so Red Potatoes cubed
Salt Pepper

All I really need to tell you to do is:

no. 1
Cut your onions in slices - and toss in a pan with a tablespoon or two of brown sugar and olive oil on medium/low until they're cooked - and if you're me, maybe just a liiittle burnt.

Cube your potatoes and add about 1 tsp each of curry and paprika. 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper. And olive oil. mix and place on a baking sheet in the oven  at 400 degrees until tender - probably 20-25 minutes?

no. 3
Combine all & enjoy :)
With your choice of dressing, of course.

she + him

if i tried for the rest of my life - i think this is about the level of awesome dancing i could attain...
but i can hula hoop like no ones business.
and i love this video. and this song. perfect for lovely spring mornings :)

be back later to post some kind of a recipe.
the granola was a MAJOR bust after all of my bragging. so it definitey wont be that. ick.