Friday, January 29, 2010

Fried Food Fiesta!

I went out earlier today and got everything I needed for Cashew Chicken. It would be the third new recipe this week. (I still need to blog the second one, but it sucked so I'm not in a hurry to share.) 

As the day wore on my motivation left. I did not feel like cooking anymore. I'll take it a step further. After my Thai wrap this afternoon I didn't feel like homemade Chinese. Honestly I didn't want to hear the kids exclaim in horror that there's nuts on their chicken either. See? It just wasn't in the cards. 

It was the perfect Friday for a fried food fiesta. 
This is one of my favorite meals to serve the family. It's fast, it's yummy, no one complains and the edamame makes it a healthy meal. Right? 

I pulled out all the stops. Notice the fine china? The table is fancy, no?

Everyone gets a meal that is customized just for them.

Look how happy they are? 
I followed the meal with a gourmet dessert. Who can resist boiled cookies?
Not me! I don't even wait for them to cool. I just eat the warm goo straight out of a bowl with a spoon. 

No, I don't have PMS.

It's Official

We cancelled our room reservation in Moab last night. We will not be going to Four Corners, the Anasazi Ruins or Arches this year for President's weekend. It is the first time in 3 years that we won't be flying south for the winter. They have been hit so hard with snow and cold weather. As you can see we have been there when there is a little snow on the ground and it makes hiking hard and dangerous. I can't imagine what it would be like this year. 

I won't lie, I'm disappointed, but I know it could have been really messy and we probably wouldn't have had as much fun as we have had in the past. It's for the best.

Instead I am going to beg my mom to keep the kids Friday night so I can take Paul to see Valentine's Day (Can you believe there is a movie I actually want to see?) and then we will get dinner. Maybe Thai. Yum! I live for date nights.

Saturday I plan to celebrate Valentine's Day. I will get everything ready while the kids are with my parents. When they get home the table will be set all cute and festive for them. I've convinced myself it would be too hard to do it on Sunday with church and them there watching, and heaven forbid wanting to help. LOL! 

Sunday after church we will just veg. out and pretend it isn't a holiday. 

That leaves Monday. What can we do? If you have any suggestions on fun, budget friendly things to do in Utah for the day please let me know. Seriously I'm stumped. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Daddy Daughter Ski Date

Paul took Emma out of school today to go skiing. They had a good time and made it home safely. With all the avalanches that they have been having coming home safe was a pretty big deal. (Yes I worry a lot)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

30 Minute Almond Chicken from Kraft

Tonight we tried a new recipe. It appealed to me because it was fast, it's a one dish meal and I had a lot of the basic ingredients.

I got everything ready so I could get it started right when Paul was on his way home. Everything went together smoothly. The main change I made was the Italian Dressing. I didn't use bottled I used some that we had made with the packet and flavored rice wine vinegar instead of regular white vinegar. It is so much tastier than bottled dressing.

Here is the end result. I served it with some parmesan breadsticks that I had made and fresh pineapple. We all enjoyed it, except Emma. She has decided that she doesn't like chicken, rice or beans. Also she didn't like the idea of nuts with the chicken. Whatever!

It was very mild, almost blah for me, but not bad enough it that I didn't eat it. We all had the same complaint. The beans weren't done enough. They either need to be steamed prior or sautéed or something. We all felt like we had a basketball game going on in our mouth. Squeaky beans are not good. I would love to make this with a rice other than minute rice for health reasons. It would be worth working on in the future.

Here is the recipe.


 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (I used breasts and cut them into pretty small pieces)
1/4 cup  KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing (Like I said above, I used my own dressing)
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups  fresh green beans, trimmed, halved
1 cup instant white rice, uncooked
1/4 cup Sliced Almonds (I thought for sure I had some but apparently I was out so I used slivered and they were great)


COOK chicken in dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 4 min. on each side or until evenly browned.
ADD broth; bring to boil. Cover; simmer 5 min. Add beans; cook 5 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF). Remove chicken; cover to keep warm.
STIR rice and nuts into beans. Remove from heat; cover. Let stand 5 min.; fluff rice. Serve with chicken.    

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This is the list I referenced

I think it's a pretty awesome list. For me it is a happy medium between just taking pictures here and there and doing the Project 365. Enjoy! (click)

sNoW FuN !!!

Out of the 10 Can't Miss Photos suggested for January, four were snow related. It's funny, we hadn't gotten hardly any snow (I'm not complaining) so I started improvising with pictures of the inversion, deer, kids playing with Christmas toys etc.

In the last two nights we've probably gotten 6-8 inches of snow in our backyard so today was declared picture day LOL!

Here is Andrew jumping off the swing-set into the snow.
Then Emma took a turn.
Then it was time for a snowball fight.

Glamour Shots LOL!

Jumping again.
Emma made a snow-womanIsn't she cute?
We gave her a boob-job. Now she is a Californian snow-woman.
Gorgeous, clear, blue sky.

Time to warm up with cocoa.
We all had fun playing outside for a while.

Look what you can do with leftovers

My red, white and green Christmas quilt was made with a Glace layer cake. I had so much of the cake left I knew I had to do something with it. In the back of my brain I remembered a Stacked Coins Quilt that Amanda Jean had done for Moda Bake Shop. (Click Here) I checked it out and knew that's what I wanted to do. I wanted it a little bigger though so I added an extra row and extended them all.
I had also bought two yards of one of the greens to add an extra border to make it even bigger but decided I didn't like it on there. Here is a better look at some of the fabrics.
The binding will be out of this brown.
I got back my four quilts from the quilter. The good news, the price wasn't as high as I had estimated. The bad news, there were some weird things that happened. (On one it looks like she unpicked almost the whole thing and started over leaving behind and quilting over all the little thread scraps. I am going to have to spend tons of time picking them out. The ones I have tried to get out were a little tricky. I can't even tell what happened for her to have to start over but there are tons of little holes in a quilt pattern all over my quilt. Weird.)

I think they will all be okay in the end but I am hesitant to get more done at that location. There is a lady in Orem that I think I am going to take this one to. She is an artist and I have been wanting to try her but her prices are higher. At this point I don't care. I spend too much time on the tops to let someone jack them up.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ballroom Dance Competition

Today was the day that Emma had been working toward for months. It was the elementary ballroom competition. She was on the level one pink daisies team. Her school had 3 teams that were level one (Pink daisies, yellow roses and aqua daisies) and two teams that were level two (purple daisies and red roses). This will be important later.

Here she is getting ready before the competition. This is her coach putting her flower in her hair.
Since Emma was the first one that would be dancing from her school she got to hold the sign while all the schools paraded in.
They did the judges introductions, went over the rules then she was up to dance the Merengue.
It was so cute.
They were called back out to do the Cha Cha. This was a surprise for all of us, including Emma.

This is where it got confusing for us.

They started giving out the awards. Emma's pink team won a gold ribbon. We were thrilled beyond belief.

Then they announced first place, the best overall team, out of everyone, and they called out Grovecrest level 1. Holy cow, no freaking way!!! We went running down to begin the celebration
and then found out it was only the level 1 yellow roses that had won, not all the level 1's. So while these next two pictures were being taken we still weren't clear with what had happened. All the level 1's still thought they were winners. (I still think they are!) But only yellows got medals and bags.
No matter what it's an awesome win for the school. It will be so fun having this trophy to represent the kids and their hard work.
Emma is still thrilled that her little pink team got the gold. She also thinks that it's enough to take them to the next level. I am leery but we will find out soon enough.
I'm such a proud mama right now!!!

Mother Nature was Busy Last Night

We went from no snow to this. Wowza. I am so thankful that if didn't arrive until after I was done driving the kids home from ballroom and done running errands.

It's time to go shovel the driveway.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How we spent our holiday

Monday was Martin Luther King Day and the kids were out of school. We knew that we wanted to go ice skating again. We also knew we were going to meet up with my parents to celebrate my dad's birthday sooo, we decided to try ice skating at the Olympic Oval in Kearns. (My new place to try for January) We chose to go there since it would be less driving for my parents and less zigging and zagging for us.
It's a pretty cool looking place.
Olympic skaters we are not. The ice was so slick and hard that we all struggled. None of us were having a great time and my confidence was waning. We were doing the best we could to make the best of a not-so-great situation. The public skate went for two hours. My parents were going to come for the last little bit to watch us but we were already tired. We decided to kill time by watching how the pros did it.

These guys & gals were phenomenal. They were so fast it was mesmerizing.
Once my parents arrived it had gotten pretty crowded on the public skating rink. The ice was munched up pretty good and this point so we were able to skate with a little more confidence. I don't think that we will be going back to that rink but we all enjoyed watching the athletes so we are glad we gave it a go.
After ice-skating we were all really hungry so we headed to Texas Roadhouse for an early dinner. Yum! TR was pretty much right across the street from Leatherby's so we did what had to be done. We got ice cream.

Emma's ice cream came out first. It was amazing how it matched her shirt perfectly! Then Andrew's came out and his root-beer float matched his outfit!!
Then Paul and I got our sundae's and they matched us!!!
I didn't want to let any of my friends down so I made to sure to get a picture my caramel shot.
Happy Birthday Daddy (If we look cold we are!)
We're a ruckus bunch aren't we?