Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011

I read in a book once that the only way to have an exciting life is to become an explorer. The word "explorer" here meaning different things to different people. In my situation, being an explorer means discovering the world that exists outside of Port Orchard.But with that in mind, the one and only vague resolution I made for this year was to get better at living an exciting life and to explore.

Here's a recap of some of the things that happened in my life in 2011.
1. I had an awesome practicum placement and felt like a teacher for the first time in my life.

2. I went to the aquarium, the science center, the Star Wars exhibit (mediocre), the Harry Potter exhibit (awesome), on an awesome road trip to Bellingham and to the pumpkin patch.

3. I saw a ton of movies in the movie theater. Some of which were awesome (GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO AND THE MUPPETS, DUH). Some of which were... less than awesome.

4. I went to a ton of great concerts including and not limited to Paul Simon, Weezer, U2, Britney Spears, Mumford and Sons, Death Cab for Cutie and Blink 182. Not to mention, Warped Tour.

5. I went to New Orleans. On an airplane. By myself. And experienced travelling and living and exploring and Bourbon Street and the glory that is ALA.

6. Then I went to New Mexico and it was glorious and snowy and magical.

Here's where I say something cheesy about what 2012 is going to be, trips to Dallas and Anaheim, graduation and so many other adventures. Hell yeah.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I have roughly 5 recipes that have been made and photographed (no lie) setting on my computer in folders just waiting for me to get my act together and post. But, because this is not a food blog and under no uncertain terms will I ever pretend that it is, I don't feel too bad.

With that being said, today we made homemade sweet and sour chicken and it was gooooodd.

I only have pictures of my portion because I left the sauce making up to my sister.

Ingredients:
4 boneless chicken breasts
salt + pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
 
 1. Preheat the oven to 325.

2. Take your chicken pieces, rinse them in cold water and then cut them into cubes. 

3. In a bowl, mix the 1 cup corn starch and salt and pepper. I put about a teaspoon of pepper and half a teaspoon of salt but really, the choice is yours.

3. In a separate bowl, scramble 2 eggs. 

4. Dip the chicken into the cornstarch mixture and THEN into the egg. Trust me, it works.




5. Pour the oil into a frying pan and cook the chicken over medium heat. You just want the chicken to brown, not cook all the way.

This is where I started getting a little weirded out. Because you dipped the chicken in the egg last, when you go to fry it, it looks like a giant omelety mess. I was concerned but this is normal and it turns out beautifully, I promise.


6. After the chicken has browned, put it into a greased baking dish (I used 9x13). Let the chicken hang out for a little bit while you make sauce.

Sauce ingredients:
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbs ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
 
7. Mix all of the ingredients together and pour over the chicken in the baking dish. Bake the chicken for 1 hour. I flipped the chicken over every 15 minutes or so to make sure it was cooking evenly (and not sticking to my dish).

We ate it with rice and it was great, a nice combination of crispy and moist. I'd make it again.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Getting over it


I have officially crossed over.  I made the jump from team holiday cheer to quickly becoming team Grinch.

I even tried extra hard to go through the motions this year. I read all the holiday books, made the kids sing all the holiday songs and I even indulged in a few showings of A Christmas Story, Elf and Home Alone and yet, I just wasn't feeling it.

I think the problem is that in my head I have a a set idea of what the holidays should look like and when my outer world doesn't match up with my inner world, I get frustrated.
I'm ready to have my own house and my own family and do holidays the right way. I want the house to be full of love and fun and take a step away from the drama. I want to wake up early and cook all day and have friends over whose families are far away.

I want the magic to come back to the holidays.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I need to blog more

I went to New Mexico. It was lovely.

I need to get back in the swing of this. I'm working on it, I promise.