Sunday, August 31, 2008

GO WVU (and UTAH)!

We are so happy it's FINALLY football season and that our Mountaineers won their opening game against Villanova - congrats to Coach Stew (2-0)!

We are also still a little bitter, so the icing on the cake yesterday was to see Coach Rod (0-1) and his Wolverines go down! Utah played a great game and was able to hold on when Michigan was trying to make their come back! Go Utes!




Walking!

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Aunt Michele got AJ the best toy ever (her and cousin Taylor are ALWAYS thinking of AJ when they are out and about)! I opened it up and put it together as AJ watched and almost immediately when I was finished she was up and on the move! She uses it day and night and is getting SO daring using one hand at times and even letting go for a split seccond - any day now folks she'll be on the move - watch out!

Walk on baby!!!



Sunday's walking update-

The walking continues - she was loving cousin Chris's fire truck at the family picnic and even took about 2 steps alone!!!!
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Broccoli Cheddar Soup and BLT's




So simple and SOOOOO delishious!

Soup-
1 small onion diced
4 tbls butter
3 tbls all-purpose flour
sal & pepper to taste
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 cup broccoli chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese shredded

In a saucepan, saute the onion in 1 tbls butter until tender.
Push onion to side and add the rest of the butter.
Wisk in flour, salt and pepper; cook and stir until smooth and bubbly.
Add broth and milk slowly; cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens.
Add broccoli.
Simmer, stirring constantly, until heated through.
Remove from the heat and puree the mixture.
Return to heat and slowly add the cheese untill melted and heated through.

Serve with BLT's made with home grown jersey tomatoes and avacado on a soft onion roll! SOOOO GOOD!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday at the Park!

We went to the park down the street from our house today and AJ LOVED the slides - she is getting to be such a big girl!

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Monday, August 18, 2008

New Playroom!

Alex and I finally have our living room back to normal and AJ has a place all of her own filled with all her toys! Needless to say she LOVES playing in it! Thanks for all the help mom!




Peeping Tom (AJ)


AJ has discovered that she can peek out the mail slot and watch all the construction going on across the street - what a smarty pants!

Johnny Rocket's

AJ LOVED her first time (well second actually - her first was at 5 months over looking the Mediterranean Sea on our cruise through Europe but she was way to young to enjoy it) at Johnny Rocket's! She loved the fries in chili sauce and the onion rings and got such a kick out of the dance the waiters and waitresses do to the loud music - thank goodness it is so loud in there, she screamed with excitement the whole time!




PS - As you can see daddy LOVED it too (well he loved it till we got home and he had MAJOR indigestion the rest of the evening - CAN YOU SAY GETTING OLD)!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Chicken & Broccoli (Just like Chinese takeout for real!)




This recipe is a little time consuming since you have to velvet the chicken breast first and then combined with broccoli in an oyster-flavored sauce but it is SO WORTH THE TROUBLE! Alex brought the leftovers to work the next day and said it was even better then!

3/4 - 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

To Velvet Chicken:
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Sauce:
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon water

To Cook Broccoli:
1 pound broccoli
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, or to taste

Other:
1 small package of mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons peanut oil, for frying


Preparation:
1. Cut the chicken into 3/4 to 1-inch cubes. In a bowl, mix together the egg white, cornstarch and salt. Add the egg white mixture to the chicken cubes, tossing or using your fingers to coat the chicken in the mixture. Marinate the velveted chicken in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 30 - 60 minutes.
2. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the sauce and vegetables: for the sauce, mix together the oyster sauce, light soy, dark soy, and water in a small bowl and set aside. In another small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water thickener and set aside. Wash and drain the broccoli. Cut the into flowerets. Crush the garlic and mince.
3. Preheat a wok. Heat 2 cups oil in the wok until it reaches 275 degrees Fahrenheit. (Test the heat by placing a piece of chicken in the wok - it should float). Add the chicken cubes, and let cook until they just turn white (about 30 seconds), using a wooden spoon or chopsticks to gently separate them. Quickly remove the chicken cubes from the wok as soon as they turn white, and drain in a colander or on paper towels.
4. Drain the oil out of the wok or preheat a second wok on medium high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the crushed garlic and stir fry for 10 seconds.
5. Add the broccoli then sprinkle the salt and sugar over and stir fry briefly, turning down the heat if necessary to make sure it doesn't burn. Add the 1/2 cup water, and cook the broccoli, covered, for 4 - 5 minutes, until it turns a bright green and is tender but still crisp. Remove from the wok and drain.
6. Clean out the wok and heat 2 more tablespoons oil. Add the broccoli, mushrooms and the velveted chicken, stirring and tossing to cook the chicken through. Add the sauce and cornstarch mixture in the middle of the wok and stir quickly to thicken. Mix everything together and serve hot over steamed rice.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin w/ Chimichurri Sauce!



SO GOOD!!! A special thanks to Michele for the great recipe books that I have photo copied 100 recipes out of!

Chimichurri Suace-
2 cups fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water

Put all in food processor and process till blended.

Cut pork tenderloin into 2 inch thick filets
Wrap bacon strip around and secure with skewer
(I only have wooden skewers so I cut them in thirds to secure each one)
Brush with Chimichurri sauce
Grill 4 minutes each side (including the bacon sides) for a total of 16 minutes

I served this with home made bacon, cheddar mashed potatoes and and tomato, onion and basil salad with a lemon and evoo dressing (the tomatoes and basil were both from my own garden - SO GOOD)!

DINNER WAS SOOOOOOOOOOO YUMMY YUMMY IN MY (and Alex's) TUMMY!

Being Silly!




AJ is already quite the comedian - she loves doing anything she can to make you laugh and will make this fake smile squinty eye face when you tell her to "make a funny face". The other day she came into the kitchen with her stuffed dog and was laying it down and rolling all over it trying her hardest to get me to laugh and pay attention to her (I was trying to cook dinner) - well she was being so great and cute and funny that I just had to "time out", yell for Alex to bring the camera and LAUGH! She is the best - the whole family is always smiling with AJ around!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thankful Thursday!

Today I am thankful for-

God blessing me with the most precious, beautiful daughter.

AJ's hysterical sense of humor that keeps me laughing all day long.

The most wonderful husband who works long hours so I can stay at home with my little girl.

Email that keeps me in touch with people I live far away from.

Michele for lending me a bunch of new cooking magazines with tons of recipes I can't wait to try out.

Taylor for always thinking of AJ when she is out shopping!

AJ for not trying to swallow the HUGE acorn she had in her mouth today.

A loving very close knit family and some really great friends.

The most loving and caring mother in the world.

My in laws for checking in on me to see how I am feeling.

A house to live in complete with the most loyal and loving guard dog.

WVU football and Brett Favre deciding not to retire.

Friday, August 1, 2008