Thursday, January 28, 2010

Project365 {week4}

{22Jan10} Cookies and Bourbon....what a combination!{23Jan10} I spent an entire Saturday reading Pioneer Woman's love story

{24Jan10} Nothing better than watching football while I work out (love the new individual TVs at the gym!){25Jan10} Proof I went to the gym today
{26Jan10} My new favorite meal...recipe to come soon =)
{27Jan10} Dinner
{28Jan10} I heart Gobstoppers!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Flavor of the Week {Sweet & Sour Chicken}

I love this meal! If you like S&S Chicken, you have to try this one! The S&S sauce from scratch couldn't be easier and all the yummy veggies are so delish!

Sweet & Sour Chicken adapted from

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” cubes)
4 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 firm tomatoes (cut into 1 inch chunks)
2 onions (cut into 1 inch chunks)
1 green pepper (cut into 1 inch chunks)
1 can pineapple chunks (reserve juice for sauce)

Sweet and Sour Sauce-
½ cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup pineapple juice
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Step 1: Mix egg yolks and soy sauce with a bit of water. Roll the chicken in flour, egg, and then flour again. Deep fry the chicken in batches for 2-3 minutes, and drain on paper towels.

(Sometimes I skip step 1 and just stir fry the raw chicken in EVOO and a little soy sauce instead of frying it. It's healthier and I don't care for fried food much, but this time, I wanted to make it the way the hubby likes it)

Step 2: Stir fry pepper and onions in a wok or large skillet for about 2-3 minutes so they are still crisp and colored. Remove from pan and set aside.

Step 3: Make sweet and sour sauce by mixing vinegar, sugar, salt, orange juice, pineapple juice, and ketchup. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch in 1/8 cup of pineapple juice and stir into the sauce to thicken. (WARNING: it smells AWFUL while it's cooking...the vinegar burns my nose, but stick it out, it's worth it when it's finished!)

Step 4: Add tomato and pineapple chunks to the sauce and heat thoroughly. Pour mixture gently over chicken.
Pour your peppers and onions on, mix and serve.

Best served while chicken bits are crispy and vegetables are crunchy still and we like it over steamed white rice! Let me know how you like it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

HUGE've been warned

I don't normally use this blog to vent but if I don't get this off my chest I seriously might hit something!

I'm normally a big supporter of the commissary (the grocery store on post where we don't have to pay tax and the prices are generally lower than at other stores) but lately they've been irritating me. Today I went in for 10 things and they didn't have 1/2 of them. So I get to the check out and I was originally just going to do the easy self check out but I saw a lot of baggers standing around not doing anything and there wasn't a line to use the regular checkout so I figured I could spare the $1 to tip the bagger and give them something to do (the baggers work strictly for tips. As for me, if it's just one bag, a few things, a dollar is what they get (esp if they don't even carry it to my car). Now if I'm doing a big shopping trip and have 4, 5, 6 bags and they help me out to my car I'll give them more). Anyways, I get in line with my 3 peppers, bunch of bananas, 2 bags of baby carrots, 2 packs of lunch meat, loaf of bread, and eggs and hand the guy my LARGE reusable bag and I shit you not, the guy asks if I want everything in one bag! SERIOUSLY?!?!??! I replied "um...yes", handed him my dollar and carried my barely 1/2 full bag out to the car. I get home and start unloading my groceries and notice the kid had put my eggs on the VERY BOTTOM and the bread just above that?!?!??!? AYKM?!?!? Seriously dude, it's not f'ing rocket science, don't put fragile/smushable stuff under heavy stuff!

finding my bread like this did not make me happy!

THEN, I call Verizon, which I should have known better than to do when I'm already a little irritated! A little back story. Nov 22 we drove the 1.5hours to Springfield to upgrade our cell phones. My husband insisted on getting a Samsung Rogue which I knew he wouldn't like. Well sure enough, a week later he decided he hated it. So I called VZ to ask them if we had to drive back to return it for the BB Storm 2 and she said "Oh, no. Don't drive all the way out there, we'll mail you the new phone (which should have been free since they had a BOGO and I had just bought mine) and when you get it just mail back the Rogue and we'll refund the price of the phone." Sweet, I can handle that! Well it's been a headache ever since! They charged us over $300 for the phone and I've been fighting with them ever since to refund the money. I to talked someone last week and I finally thought all had been resolved. Well I check my bill yesterday and the b!+(h had only refunded 1/2 of it! So I had to call back today. I told the guy from the very beginning that it was complicated and I just wanted to speak to a mgr. He insisted I tell him 1st so I did and after arguing with me for almost 30 min and telling me I didn't know what I was talking about, he finally saw the charge I was talking about and said "oh, you'll need to speak to a supervisor"...AYKM?!?!? Why in the world didn't you listen to me 1/2 hour ago when I told you that....GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Hopefully some cooking will help me clear my head and regain some composure!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Project365 {week3}

{15Jan10} MyHero YouRock!

{16Jan10} Preparing to watch Taking Chance...tissues weren't necessary

{17Jan10} Crazy night out in town

{18Jan10} Taking down Christmas lights

{19Jan10} Happy 2nd anniversary...from my MOM!

{20Jan10} FAIL

{21Jan10}This girl is stealing my heart

Monday, January 18, 2010

Military Spouses & Active Duty Military

A fellow blogger over at Household6Diva, along with Borders Bookstore, is giving away a FREE SONY TOUCH READER! The only requirement is that you be active duty military or the spouse of active duty military! This would come in super handy on the long road trips we take, or when PCSing over seas to help keep you under weight restrictions! Head on over to her page and enter to win!!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Flavor of the Week {copy cats}

I LOVE Food Network Magazine! I get so excited when it comes in the mail! The 1st thing I do when I get it is flip to the "copy cat" recipe (usually before I even walk away from the mailbox!). Each issue they publish a recipe that replicates popular chain restaurant specialties, and living in a small town where our dining out options are limited, I live for this recipe each issue! The day I saw Olive Garden's salad dressing and bread sticks, I screamed and RAN to my kitchen to start cooking! Turns out it's a pretty darn close imitation and I make it semi-regularly since all the ingredients are things I keep in the house at all times and the nearest OG is almost 2 hours from us! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

And to go with the salad tonight, we had another "copy cat" recipe for Red Lobster's biscuits! These were also very similar to the real thing, and I will be making these as often as I can go to the gym and run them off ;-) Again with this one, aside from the Crisco, it's all things I keep (and I think most people keep) in the pantry.

Olive Garden "copy cat" salad dressing:
1/4 cup EVOO
2 TBSP white wine vinegar
3 TBSP Miracle Whip
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1-2 TBSP water (start with one and add another if you want is thinner)

Mix all the ingredients in a blender and TA DA! You have a super yummy homemade dressing to pour over your favorite salad!

Red Lobster "copy cat" cheddar biscuits:
For the biscuits:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 TBSP + 2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 TBSP vegetable shortening at room temperature
4 TBSP col unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8 oz  grated yellow cheddar cheese
3/4 cups milk

(next time I will add some garlic powder to the dough so it has more flavor, plus we really like garlic in my house!)

For the garlic butter:
6 TBSP unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley

Step 1:
place rack in top 1/3 of your oven and preheat to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2:
Pulse the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add the shortening and pulse until combined. Add the butter; pulse until the butter is in pea size pieces. Add the cheese and pulse to combine. Pour in the milk and pulse just until the mixture is moistened and forms a shaggy dough. (I'm not really sure what shaggy dough is, so I just pulsed until it combined) Turn out onto a clean surface and gently knead until the dough comes together. Do not overwork or the biscuits will be tough.

Step 3:
Scoop 1/4 cup portions onto the cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake about 15-20 minutes, until golden.

Step 4:
While the biscuits are baking, make the garlic butter by melting the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat then add the garlic; cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Brush the biscuits with the garlic butter and serve warm. (I actually did 2 "coats" for more flavor!)

Making all this stuff from scratch was a bit much to tackle in one night, next time, I think I'll stick to one from scratch recipe at a time! However, the whole meal was absolutely DELICIOUS! ENJOY!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Project365 {week2}

{08Jan10} great minds think alike
{09Jan10} brrrrrrrr
{10Jan10} yummy snack
{11Jan10} Buster
{12Jan10} this little girl is becoming one of my favorite people to hang out with
{13Jan10} organizing the garage on a warm winter day
{14Jan10} Our good friend Jasmin singing solo on stage for the 1st time

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Flavor of the Week {Turkey Chili}

I try new recipes at least 3 times a week and I figure at least 1 of the 3 will turn out well enough for me to share with you, so I'm going to start sharing my "flavor of the week" with you. I hope you find some new great recipes to add to your collection!

It has been COLD here this past week, like it hasn't gotten above 20 degrees cold! When it gets cold outside, nothing makes me happier than a hot bowl of chili, and this is my favorite. This is the closest thing I have to an original recipe, meaning I didn't get it from a cookbook or a website. It's a little bit how my mom used to make it and a lot of adding things that I like to it. It's super easy to make and tastes even better the next day =)

Turkey Chili
Feeds 5

1&1/2 lbs cooked turkey (or chicken) (I like to use the rotisserie chicken you can buy already cooked at the commissary, or left over turkey from Thanksgiving which is what I actually used this time) (or you could use any ground meet that you like)
1 each green pepper, red pepper and onion, cut into bite size pieces
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup frozen corn
2 large cans diced tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp basil
2 tbsp chili powder
salt&pepper to taste
EVOO for cooking
Sometimes I add a can of beans. And I don't like spicy but if you do, feel free to toss in some jalapeƱos, my husband always adds some to his own bowl.

Cook the peppers and the onion in 1tbsp EVOO in at least a 5 quart pot until tender.

Add the garlic and cook for about 3 more minutes. Chop/tear the turkey into bite size pieces and add it to the pot. Also add the canned tomatoes/sauce and corn (and anything else you wish at this time) and stir to combine. Add the spices and let cook for about 15 minutes then TASTE! You have to taste this while it's cooking and adjust your seasonings to your liking! I normally have to add more chili powder and let it cook for at least another 30 minutes

I like to serve it with corn bread! ENJOY!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Project365 {week1}

So I'm going to try to take a photo every day of 2010 and HOPEFULLY see some major improvements by the end of the year. It's only been one week and I've already had to resort to yummy food pics I've snapped with my cell phone because I didn't get out the real camera that day. I promise to try harder for next week, even if it means I have 7 photos of Buster =) My goal is to update once a week...we'll see how that goes!

PS, this isn't an original idea...Project365

{01Jan10} yummy Japanese dumplings for the Sugar Bowl

{02Jan10} we discovered that if you leave your baking stones in the oven while you turn the self clean on, they also self clean! These things used to be a perfectly seasoned dark brown color!

{03Jan10} we were able to meet up with one of my 1st "army wife" friends for some dinner in KC!!!

{04Jan10} fun colors at the Harley factory

{05Jan10} we tried out the local Japanese restaurant...Jason was more adventurous than I was, I ordered teryaki chicken and he ordered a bunch of raw fish!

{06Jan10} broke out the new fryer and made wings and fries for dinner...not healthy, but made with love

{07Jan10} our 1st big snow and Buster's made a ribbon. I'm glad it's not a yellow ribbon!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

leave of absence...

So life has been absolutely crazy busy the past month and a half. While I was gone, I...

had a house full of high school/college boys for Thanksgiving

cooked my 1st turkey (and it was DELICIOUS!)

got our wedding photos in the mail (photo courtesy of Christina of CJ Photography)

Hosted a baby shower (I miss you Erica!!!!!!!!!!!!!)(my husbands insisted I wrap her gifts in a beer box as a joke!)

attended a 4 year old's Transformer birthday party

Found out were moving to JAPAN in October! (Photo courtesy of google!)

Watched my husband put up Christmas lights

Helped my husband put up and decorate our 1st Christmas tree

Attended my husbands graduation ceremony from ECCC

Went back to Cincinnati for Christmas

Saw Josh Hoge, one of my favorite singer/songwriters, perform (check him out on ITunes)

met up with one of my BFF's who lives thousands of miles away

had neighbors living with us for a few days (MISS YOU ALREADY!!!)

and celebrated the new year with some of my favorite people and a good game of Settlers of Catan!