Thursday, April 21, 2011

My precious...

I'm having a total Gollum moment here. I'm so in love. Isn't she beautiful?

I've been wanting one of these for years. And now I finally have one! And the best part? It was completely FREE. I didn't pay a single dime for it! 14 months ago, I started using Swagbucks with the sole intent of saving up for a stand mixer. After many, many searches, codes, referral points and videos, I redeemed my Swagbucks for 53 $5 Amazon Gift Cards and bought this beauty. (Interested in getting stuff for free? Sign up for Swagbucks here - thanks in advance for the referral points, ha).

Tonight I'm going to break this thing in with some cupcakes!! I'm so happy to finally have one of these.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Homemade Mongolian Beef

We heart PF Changs. A lot. But given that it's downtown and not exactly cheap, we can't eat there all the time (I wish).Then I came across this awesome Take-out Fake-out recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride. Worth a shot, right?

It doesn't look like much. I think both Hans and I were a little skeptical. Then we tasted it. So. Good. Seriously? So. Good. Make it now. Did I mention it's super easy, too?

1 lb. flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil + 2 Tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup of low-sodium soy sauce (make sure it's low-sodium, or it'll be too salty)
1/4 cup brown sugar (measured, not packed)
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 large green onion, sliced thinly

Slice the steak against the grain, thinly. With paper towels, dry off the meat.
 Put the cornstarch in a shallow bowl and add the meat to coat. Use enough cornstarch to evenly coat each piece, but shake or brush off any excess.

Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil to a large skillet over high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add the soy sauce, brown and red pepper and cook on high for about two minutes. Remove to another bowl.

Add the remaining 2 T. to the skillet. Add in the coated meat and cook until well-browned. Add back in the sauce. Stir frequently, or the meat WILL stick to the bottom!
Cook on high until sauce thickens and the meat gets crunchy. Add the green onions right before the end.
Serve with rice.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Many new photos

For those of you friends with AJ on facebook, I just added 70 new photos! I'm not going to repost them all here, so head over to to check them out. Here's a few of my favs:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What happens when you work with all women

There aren't a lot of men in the non-profit world.

Which is why when you're the one guy working at an all-female office, you get a bachelorette party when you get married, instead of a bachelor party.

Ah, so much pink.

But at least he got a relatively non-girly cake!

And do yourself a favor - make this cake. It was amazing.
Recipe from I Am Baker. I subbed hot chocolate for the coffee and it was taaasty.
Icing also from I am Baker (scroll down past the cake). Add a teaspoon of almond extract. Seriously. You won't regret it. Doooo it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Oh, so manly

Our garage is a mess. Seriously. We can only fit one car in it. With five people living in our house now (yes, we're up to five), storage space is at a premium. Into the garage, everything goes.

Hans (and sometimes Edgar, Parker, or Paul) has been steadily chipping away at the mess the past few weeks. He's added this peg board to hang all his tools. He built this awesome work bench with materials from Amazon and Home Depot.

He also built some shelves and we bought some from Target to help contain the mess. We're a big fan of the plastic storage bins at this point.

Some day, we may be able fit in the other car.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chicken with artichokes and mushrooms

I was SO excited to try this recipe from Annie's Eats. It looked delicious. It was pretty easy to make and tasted.. fine. It was good. Solid. But didn't blow me away. But it's a quick way to make a "fancy" looking dish.

½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. herbes de provence (or a combination of other dried herbs such as basil, parsley, oregano, thyme)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (2 chicken breasts total)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 (14 oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chicken broth
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Minced fresh parsley, for serving

In a shallow dish, combine flour, herbs, salt and pepper. Reserve 1 tablespoon for sauce later. Dredge chicken breasts in the flour mixture to coat.

Heat EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate; cover and keep warm.

Add the butter to the pan. Add the mushrooms and artichokes and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Combine the white wine, chicken broth, and reserved tablespoon of flour. Add the mixture to the skillet, cooking until it is warm and slightly thickened. Return the chicken to the pan to warm through and cover with sauce.

We eat ours with yummy garlic rice pilaf.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Delicious, healthy and sneaky

I can't believe I've never blogged this recipe. A couple weeks ago, I brought some leftover Chicken and Biscuits to work and my co-worker asked for the recipe because it smells A-mazing. That's because it is! And it has some sneaky ingredients that make it fairly healthy.

It's (ever so slightly) adapted from Jessica Seinfield's Double Delicious.

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat up EVOO in a Dutch Oven over high heat. While that's warming, cut the chicken into cubes. Add to the oven, sprinkle with pepper, and cook until browned. Add in soup, milk and carrot puree.
Here's where I cheat. Jessica wants you to prepare lots of veggie purees in advance and have them on hand in the freezer. Ha! So what do I use instead?
That's right. Baby food. I stood in the baby aisle and looked at labels. I was that girl. I made sure the one I got had no ingredients other than carrots and water. Stir until well combined and simmer.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, mix together the beaten egg, honey, cream of tartar and buttermilk.

Using a fork (or your fingers!), work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a coarse meal.

Add the wet ingredients all at once and stir just until incorporated. It should be very lumpy.

Spoon in great blogs on top of the soup mixture. Bake uncovered in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the biscuits are golden. It may not look like much, but it tastes amazing!

Shopping List

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 chicken breasts, cubed
Pepper, to taste
1 can Cream of Celery soup
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup carrot puree (I've done pumpkin before, too, and that's great!)

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1/2 cup butter (though margarine would be healthier) - soften
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup buttermilk, shaken

Friday, April 1, 2011

Oh, come on!

I'm amazed at how many of you (relatives included!) thought I'd blog about a pregnancy before telling you myself. Shame on you. April Fools.

It's finally ok to tell you.....

That's right, prepare for a little Sweeting! As of today, I have officially entered my second trimester and therefore feel like I can finally tell you that we're expecting. (I'm one of those people who has *always* felt it was a good idea to wait until the second trimester before announcing - sue me). But let me tell you, holding that in for this long has been killing me!

As you can see from last Monday's sonogram, Baby S. already takes after Daddy - going to be a big one (can't wait for that...)

We're due the first week of October and so excited to meet our little one. Right now, we're feeling like we don't want to find out whether it's a boy or a girl, but who knows! That could change. Either way, if it's a boy, no woman will ever be good enough for him and if it's a girl, Hans will buy a good shotgun.