Saturday, June 30, 2007

Weekly Recipe: Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Prep: 35 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Chinese noodles, available in the Asian section of most supermarkets, are a delicious accompaniment. You can also serve the stir-fry over white or brown rice.

Serves 4
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons apple juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cloves garlic , minced
Ground pepper
1 1/4 pounds flank steak, cut diagonally across the grain into 1/2-inch-by-3-inch strips
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 broccoli, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch rounds, florets separated into bite-size pieces
Coarse salt

1. In a large, shallow bowl, mix soy sauce, apple juice, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add meat; toss to coat. Let marinate 15 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate; reserve marinade.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. In two batches, cook meat until lightly browned, turning once, about 2 minutes per batch. Remove meat. Add 1/2 cup water to pan; stir up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Pour into marinade; whisk in cornstarch.
3. In same skillet, fry broccoli in remaining teaspoon oil over high heat until bright green and crisp, tossing often, 2 minutes. Add 1 cup water; cook until broccoli is tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
4. Stir marinade, add to pan, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until thickened, 30 seconds. Return meat to pan; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Late Night Game of Spades!

This was so amazing! It was the perfect temperature out for a game of spades. Our neighbors, Dylan and Sara won but, that's not the point. Some good laughs, good food, and summer made it perfect. (not to mention some good bug replant and candles!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Weekly Recipe: Lemon Garlic Pasta Salad

Lemon Garlic Dressing
(THE BEST EVER! We always have some in the fridge. We use it on just about anything!)

Juice from 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup oil
1 tsp. salt

Use what oil you prefer. I use half olive oil and half vegetable oil. Blend in blender and chill.

1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta (or your favorite pasta)
1 cucumber, chopped
2 (2 ounce) cans sliced black olives
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup chopped baby carrots
1 green bell pepper, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

In large bowl, add only a Tablespoon of dressing, pasta, cucumber, olives, tomato, carrots, and bell pepper; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate until serving. (add more dressing as you like)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Just Dreaming a bit!

I suffer from year round allergies!!! I have a bag less vacuum right now which doesn't help me! Every time I go to empty it out I get a nice hefty whiff of dust and other fun stuff. Just dreaming about one day owning this amazing beast!

Electrolux Intensity™ Upright Vacuum With a 12-amp motor and 3" air path, Intensity™ vacuum delivers maximum suction even to edges. Thanks to its intuitiveness, vacuum is easy-to-use with performance indicator lights, automatic height adjustment and HEPA filtration. The fingertip controls and adjustable telescopic handle make it even easier to use. Vacuum has a fold-down handle and retractable cord for portability and storage. 1400 watts. Two-year warranty.

I think I'll start saving now!! I do have a birthday coming up. Who knows.... I just love taking photos.

Finally, I'm dreaming of the fourth of July. I am so excited for the family reunion in McCall, Idaho in the cozy family cabin! Lauryn's going to love swimming in the lake and eating the sand! Not to mention the good food! Thanks Grandma and Mom! Can't wait!

Waterfalls, Magazines, Corn, Friends and BED!

Bryan has recently been working on a little waterfall in our backyard. He had me design a mosaic for the collection pool. I can't wait to see what it will look like finished, with water flowing!

I love magazines! I just didn't feel like I ever had the time to sit and read them! So, I decided to put up a cork board some where I could look at it a lot. Above the kitchen sink! YES! I love this! I love seeing all the beautiful photos and reading the articles! Multitasking is my friend!

I think she would eat corn on the cob for every meal! She loves this stuff!

Yesterday she put all her little friends on her table to eat with her. Sooooo cute! I love her little sweet personality!

Bed time! I love this photo! There's nothing like a warm bath, dad, her dog, and a great book!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Four Simple Chef Secrets for Cooking Up Success

A Toast for Flavor
Chefs know that gently toasting nuts and spices gives them a rich, complex flavor. Try toasting pine nuts before blending into pesto to intensify the flavor; when making whipped cream, toast 2 tablespoons of cinnamon until just fragrant and add it to the cream before whipping for a lovely jolt of flavor.

Give it a Rest
Give meat and poultry a chance to develop their flavors by giving it a rest after cooking. A good rule of thumb is to let the meat sit, loosely tented with foil, for 1/2 to 3/4 of the time it took to cook. This will give the juices time to absorb back into the meat and give you superior taste.

A Perfect Serve
It's easy to dress up boring plates and platters. I like to use a pastry brush to add a fun design -- just dip the brush into mustard or another cold sauce and draw a wide stripe across the plate. Another way to add a wow to your presentation is by rolling out a bunch of chives into a single layer on the plate -- it looks like a fresh, inviting grass mat.

Breaking Point
Many people know that the easiest way to remove the tough, woody base of asparagus is to snap the stalk in half with your hands. But did you know that rather than tossing them out, you can put those discarded ends to use in a rich, flavorful vegetable stock? Just simmer them with carrots, celery, onions, and a bay leaf for a light and fresh alternative to chicken stock.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Summer Summer!

My neighbor Sara and I are painting again! I love the top left photo but, it's a little challenging for me right now. I'm going with the top right one! We'll see how it turns out!
I love summer and I love being pregnant! I'm officially 26 weeks along! I have felt especially good this pregnancy and I have found a new love for cooking and entertaining! I don't have a lot of people over for dinner but, entertaining my family is good enough for me! Every week I try a new recipe and It's my goal to share it! So, this weeks pick was the amazing chicken Parmesan.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Chicken Parmesan! Soooo, good!

This weeks new recipe is Chicken Parmesan. Just searching around online I found this amazing recipe! We had it with a red sauce. I added fresh sauteed mushrooms. I think I would be really good with a white sauce maybe, Alfredo!

1 clove garlic, minced

1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup or 1/4 pound), melted

1 cup dried bread crumbs

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or 2/3 cup if you are using a Microplane zester)

2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

A large pinch of Italian seasoning (herb mix)

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 lbs of skinless, boneless, chicken meat, cut into pieces no larger than 2x2 inches

1 Preheat oven to 450°F.
2 In a bowl, combine the minced garlic with the melted butter. In another bowl mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, salt, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Dip chicken pieces into garlic butter, then into crumb mixture to coat.
3 Place coated chicken pieces on to a 9x13 baking dish. Try to leave a little room between each piece. Drizzle with remaining garlic butter and bake uncovered 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Note that the chicken will get much more browned on the bottom side than on the top.
Serves 4-6.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A Fresh Month! JUNE I love ya!

We've been in Utah for over 2 weeks! We are so happy to be home! Here's one of my flower beds!

Bryan and I planted creeping jenny and some moss around our brick steps.

While in Utah we went to Ikea twice! Here's some stuff we found! Cheap and amazingly cozy bedding!

Lauyrn and her new little table and chairs.

Lauryn and Brooklyn's new table and chairs. Love the green wall! Bryan painted one wall for me for mother's day! I love it!
Coffie table!
Rearranged dinning area.
Kitchen! I love my kitchen!
Bryan's new office.