Thursday, November 12, 2015

chicken lettuce wraps

Here is my chicken lettuce wrap recipe. It is a combination of three recipes with the best of each. We've tried it twice now and it is great.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

1 pound ground chicken
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 8oz can water chestnuts, drained and finely diced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2/3 cup mushrooms finely diced

Special sauce
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon hot mustard
1 teaspoon garlic
Optional: 1 tablespoon sriracha or chili garlic sauce

Stir Fry Sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
Pepper to taste

To serve
1 head bib or butter lettuce separated into leaves
Sliced green onions
Chopped peanuts

Make the special sauce by mixing all ingredients into a bowl.  If using honey instead of sugar, it may need to be heated to thoroughly mix. Refrigerate sauce until ready to serve.

Mix the stir fry sauce and set aside until ready to use.

Heat 1 tablespoon in a wok and cook chicken until no longer pink, crumble into very tiny pieces.

Remove chicken from wok and stir fry the bell pepper with mushrooms and water chestnuts for about 6-8 minutes. Add the ginger and then the stir fry sauce. Add the chicken back in and cook for a few more minutes. Add green onions at the very end, if desired.

Serve in lettuce wraps, add sauce to taste and chopped peanuts. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Morgan catching up - Part 2

There have been a lot of things happening with Morgan as well. This year has been going by much too fast for my liking. 

Morgan on the trax to the St Patrick's parade this year. 
It was actually very decent weather this year (for a change).

Also sporting a cute new hair cut.
I just cant get her to stay with long hair. 

Crazy hair day for school. It's blue.
She really didn't want me to take a picture.

Also at the Museum of Natural Curiosity. 
This place is insanely busy but very cool. 

A very cool picture that Morgan drew.
She is rather good.

 On the day of her school performance.
She is looking very calm now that it is over!

 On her birthday. Our very grown up 9 year old.

About to get spoiled with presents. Very happy.

 I got this cool shot in the dark, with just one candle to light the room. 
It really sets the tone to have a pitch black room for this. 

Morgan is getting ready for the next big show, coming up in a couple of weeks. She is also doing her first piano recital this week. She is incredibly strong, smart, brave, and funny. So far this year we have enjoyed a small silks recital and  a school performance that she choreographed on her own and picked the song. In her spare time she reads (and reads and reads), draws, and plays the piano. She has just discovered the joy of riding her bike to her friends' houses that are a few streets away.

Hank - catching up Part 1

God, where does the time go? Well I have a bunch of things to share. First we will start with the kids. Here are a bunch of pics of Hank I have taken in the last couple of months, starting within the month up to his birthday, and then up to current. The big change here is that he got a hair cut on the day of his birthday party, so you can see the progression from shaggy to clean cut hair. 

Here we see Hank with shaggy hair, giving a thoughtful pose.

Riding a very manly beast.

Sporting the very very cool black button up and angry birds tie. 
He likes to wear this number to kindergarten. 

The mother of all insanity: the kids birthday party at the family fun center, with a bunch of other groups all having parties at the same time. It was all worth it.
Also, just before the haircut.

Funny story: Hank specifically requested a plush Han Solo angry bird toy for his birthday. We found one such toy online for a seemingly ungodly amount of money. We decided to get it anyway (how often do you get to spoil your own kids), then waited for all of our online purchases to arrive. This one came in it's own giant box. It ended up being enormous, and totally worth the $40 or so that it cost. It's bigger than he is, and very cool.  

 At the Museum of Natural Curiosity.

At a field trip to Hee Haw Farms (yes this is a real place)

Still at Hee Haw Farms. Corn. All the corn.

Sporting a pretty serious face. 

So let's see. We've had a big #6 birthday. Hank recently earned his orange/white stripe karate belt. He has a karate tournament this weekend (our first) and is going to perform the Peaceful Warrior One for it. Also we have started soccer this past week, and thus begins our next few months of very busy all the time. There is one practice per week and at least one if not two games per week, come June. But then it will be all over at the end of June. We will see how this goes, and if we want to do it again in the fall.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Recipe Share January 2014

You mentioned recipes, so here are some of the staples I've been using:

Tali's Spice Cake

For this one, I add one more egg to the batter (4 instead of 3) and line a muffin tray with papers, then make 12 muffins out of it. You have to press the batter into the paper liners (I wet my fingers to do this). I bake it for 17 minutes at 325. The almond flour I use is from Costco, it's the Honeyville brand, and it gives everything an excellent texture.

I make the spice cupcakes 1-2 times a week. I eat them for almost every meal and snack.

Gluten Free Almond Flour Chocolate Cake

This is the chocolate cake recipe I use (you tasted it at Mom's b-day party). It is technically not SCD because of the cocoa powder, but I don't mind it. I do not put in the full cup of honey that it calls for, instead I put in maybe a heavy 1/2 cup, and I add an extra egg. I also split this into cupcake papers and bake for ~15 minutes at 325. It makes only about 9 cupcakes.

If I were to make it to be a cake, I would possibly add more honey to make it sweeter. As a casual eating, I like it less sweet.

SCD Cheddar Biscuits

This one I have made twice, and it isn't bad. I halve the recipe, because they don't have a long shelf life and I don't want to power through eating them all. I have yet to try it with lemon juice (just didn't have any on hand) and so I've thrown in a splash of cider vinegar instead.

They are great as sandwich biscuits.

Grain Free Cinnamon Rolls

I haven't made these in a while. They have more of a biscuit texture rather than a cinnamon roll, but they still hit the spot when I'm craving one. I don't usually make the icing, but will put on some creme fraiche or my homemade cream cheese.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I'm trying not to be impatient

I have just finished ordering seeds for this year's garden.

This year I am going to plant more decorative things. Last year I focused on the veggie part of the garden, and left the flower type areas to fill in as chaos allowed (wildflower seeds randomly thrown in from the year before).

I am so excited about the things I've found and ordered, so here we go:

Watermelon (Moon & Stars)
Tomatoes, Blondkopfchen
Tomato, Wapsipinicon (Peach)
Pepper, Alma Paprika
Melon, Delice de Table
Cucumber, Collier
Cucumber, Nippon Sanjaku Kiuri
Carrot, Danvers
Broccoli, Romanesco
Beet, Golden

Bells of Ireland
Globe Amaranth
Lagurus Ovatus (Bunny Tails)
Craspedia Globosa (Drumsticks)
Creeping Thyme
Sunflowers (Sungold)

Purely decorative:
Broom Corn

I also have some seeds leftover from last year that I will try to plant as well. I think I may have gone a bit overboard, but I really want to plant all the things. We could always trade plants this year if there is anything here you want. I saved some of my starter trays from last year, so I will be recycling those and then getting some extra if need be. I have a grow light, but I will probably try to stick to natural light (we do have all of those south facing windows).

Some of these plants are ones I've tried before and failed at. So far I haven't been able to get a good melon (watermelon or musk melon) and we failed at our previous attempt at broccoli (damn aphids). I am continuing to stay away from squash on account of the squash bugs. I am interested to see how celery grows, and who could help but want to grow broom corn. Didn't you attempt a corn last year? This one is actually sorghum, and I don't expect to harvest anything from it... Unless we decide to make brooms for everyone for xmas.

And if you can't tell from the many flower varieties, we are going for color! Some of these flowers will grow in part to full shade, so those will be put in front, mainly begonias - those do fantastically in part shade. A couple of the others I've never tried, foxglove, and bells of ireland say they are shade tolerant so we will see.

I've also ordered a bunch of things that are tall, for fun. I can't wait to see bunny tails, drumsticks, and sunflowers. The sunflowers we are getting are not that tall, only 2ft or so, but they look so pretty.

Now to figure out where all of these things will go, and rip out a bunch of old things from the ground.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Xmas lights

So first of all, I got this one blurry pic of the house with lights on. They weren't too fancy, but plenty nice enough. The lights are still technically on the house, but we unplugged them about a week ago. 
Why aren't there holidays that we can put up lights for year round? It's so festive.

Here is a selfie I taught your daughter to make.

Poor Hank in a face mask at the Dr office. It took him forever to get over that cough!

Hank and Morgan enjoying their minecraft collection on Xmas.

Morgan with Santa

Not much has happened in this new year. I've worked some extra days, it seems that everyone is getting the plague around me. I don't mind the extra hours = more money, though it does make it difficult to do anything but rest/recoup all the time.

I'm starting to mentally plan out Hank's b-day party (yes, already). He either wants a Wreck it Ralph party, complete with the multi-flavored cake, or a Sonic the Hedgehog party (no joke) or Pac Man. And he may or may not want to incorporate a skating/bounce house (ie Classic Skating). We'll see.

Oh, and I'm planning out my seed order and will be completing it very soon. Is there anything particular you are going to grow this year? I am contemplating attempting one of the weird broccolis (you know, the swirly one). 

A compost confession

Sigh. I have a confession to make.

I suck at composting.

I tried bokashi. I'm pretty sure I did that wrong, as it smelled bad and I ended up throwing it out. I tried just piling things in the corner of my yard - but, honestly, it's the corner that was the neighborhood kitty litter box for a while. I had a worm bin... that I put somewhere out of sight. And then slowly... forgot about them. And they died.

I know. I'm a horrible person.

So! In penance (and because I feel so badly whenever I put food stuffs in the garbage instead of a compost pile), I have purchased things! And books! And more worms!

I am going to try four methods of composting this year.

1. Worm bin. This last year, during the Amazon Lightning Deal rush, I bought this lovely Worm Factory 360 WF360G Worm Composter. Last week, I purchased 2000 red wriggler worms for the bin. They should arrive some time this week. They will be living under my kitchen counter (I hope), so that I will not neglect them.

2. Bokashi. I bought an actual kit this time, with pre-made Bokashi bran. I bought this one: SCD Probiotics K100 All Seasons Indoor Composter Kit, Tan Bucket with Bokashi 

3. Compost pile outside. Especially for the garden refuse and such.

4. Buried waste.

I bought this cool gadget: Green Cycler Manual Kitchen Compost Shredder. I'm hoping that this will make it easier to break down the food scraps into small pieces to go into the worm bin, the bokashi bucket, the compost pile, and the buried waste.

Will I be successful in finally incorporating regular composting into my life? I hope so. I don't want to toss onion or carrot tops, banana peels, or apple cores into the garbage anymore. And if I can make Bokashi work, I can also do something better with the leftovers from my kids' plates. Because that is a sure inevitability with little kids.