Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Orange Chicken

The kids and I decided to try something different for dinner. They wanted anything Chinese, so I found a recipe for orange chicken on Robbie, my oldest son was a great help. He told me to tell you all that I better give him credit and that he did most of it!

Despite how the picture might look. it was great, everyone loved it. We served it with sticky rice and of course we had to use chop sticks!

Sticky Rice
coconut milk

Make your rice as directed on the bag of rice, except substitute part of the water for the coconut milk. For example, if you have 1 cup of coconut milk and your recipe calls for 2 cups of water; then you will add 1 cup of coconut milk and 1 cup of water, cook as usual. I hope that makes sense. If not, let me know.

Orange Chicken
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1.Pour 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce into a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir in the orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and cool 10 to 15 minutes.
2.Place the chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag. When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag. Reserve the remaining sauce. Seal the bag, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
3.In another resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake to coat.
4.Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken into the skillet, and brown on both sides. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels, and cover with aluminum foil.
5.Wipe out the skillet, and add the sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Today one of my kids woke up sick. He didn't have much of an appetite, but he needed to eat so I asked him what he would like and he asked for Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes. I really didn't feel like making them but how could I say no? In our house it is not unusual to have banana pancakes but, we have never had them with chocolate chips in them. I must say they turned out DELICIOUS! You don't even need syrup on them, but hey, why not. It just adds to the yummy goodness!
I managed to get a few pictures taken. However, I didn't get any pictures of the pancakes after they were cooked. The kids were gobbling them up as fast as I could make them.

I am big fan of making things "Semi Homemade", so for these pancakes I used a mix. However if you are a "From Scratch" only person I do know a great pancake recipe that I will share with you.
To make these pancakes make your batter as usual. Mash up 1-2 bananas and add it to your batter. Pour batter onto an oiled pan and sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top. Flip and you are done. See...super easy and super yummy!!!!!

Fluffy Pancakes (from

3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cooking spray
1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to "sour".
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into "soured" milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Belated Father's Day!

I am sorry I didn't post this on time, but I still would like to say Happy Father's Day! I have an amazing dad, father in law, and a husband who is a wonderful father! I love you guys!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting Ready for Hurricane season

Hurricane season is already well underway, but are you and your family ready if one strikes?

Have you ever tried to go shopping for nonperishable food and water right before a storm hits?? Shelves are empty, traffic is a mess, and people are cranky. Save yourself some stress and get prepared before the storm!

There are many ways to be prepared. You can have a 72 hour kit, evacuation plan, legal documents in a safe place, a pet plan, document household belongings, house prepared (shutters, etc) and more. If you have children remember to prepare for them, some toys and games. If someone has a medical condition make sure you have enough medication for them. Please check the links for more information.

Don’t be one of those people waiting on the Red Cross or FEMA to bring you food and water just so you and your family can survive. BE PREPARED!

If disaster doesn’t strike you, please try and help those that it did affect!

I would love for you to share your tips on being prepared.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I was a little under the weather this weekend so my Hubby decided to step in and grill dinner. He decided to make one of his specialties; his take on Outbacks Aussie Chicken.
All you need is
Marinade- he used Chipoltle and Lime
cheese- He used Munster and a little shredded cheddar

First thing he did was line a pan with foil (easier clean up) put bacon on it and put it in the oven @375 degrees for approx. 25 minutes.

Next he basted the chicken and the grilled it. After the chicken and bacon were cooked he put some baocn on the chiken and then topped it off with cheese.
Last he closed the grill for a few minutes until the cheese had melted to perfection!

Bacon and cheese on anything is good right?! Our family loves it!
We choose the Chipoltle marinade and Munster cheese, because that's what we had on hand. You can use what ever you want! However,Munster is a great melting cheese.

By the way, on June 10th, my Hubby and I celebrated 18 years of marrige.

I love you! You are an amazing hubby!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The winner is..

The winner is...

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 22
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Thank you for all the posts and comments.
#14 you should be receiving an email soon.

Sorry I couldn't get the thing to show up correctly. My computer skills suck, but I promise I am working on them!!!
Maybe I can get one of my kids to help me out. ;-)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Blue Heron

This is Harry

The boys just gave him a fish


We recently had the opportunity to spend sometime at the beach with some family. While we were there the boys had to get some fishing in. They didn't catch any whoppers but the did have fun fishing for a "friend" whom I like to call Harry the heron. Yes, it's a generic name but, it's easy to remember.

Shorty after the boys started fishing Harry arrived. We noticed that we would get pretty close as the boys would catch a fish. It didn't take long for us to realize that Harry was used to being tossed a fish here and there. They boys had blast tossing fish and shrimp to him. An interesting thing we noticed, every time Harry swallowed a fish he would make sure it went down head first. He was an amazing creature to watch up close!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Free Bed Bath & Beyond Gift Card

My blog has been slow going so I thought I would start offering a monthly give away.

This month I am offering a $10 gift Card to Bed Bath & Beyond

It's simple to win, just "follow" me and leave a comment below about gardening or cooking and on June 10th a random winner will be chosen. Give away is only for U.S. residents.

See I said it would be easy.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A glimpse into my garden

Unknown Daylily

African Foxgloves

Perennial Morning Glory

unknown daylily

Perennial Morning Glory buds
a small garden patch

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Homemade Salsa

I am a little late making salsa this year, but better late than never, right?
The down side to waiting so late in the year is that the tomatoes are a bit smaller. But that's OK they still make fantastic salsa!
The salsa recipe I use was given to me by my friend Andrea. My family LOVES this salsa!!! I did make a few changes to please my family . We like a little kick to our salsa, so instead of 2 jalapenos, I use 4 jalapenos. This makes it more of a medium spice. The original recipe is mild, but still yummy. My hubby likes it even hotter so I try to make at least 1 batch with 6-8 jalapenos. I also add cilantro to my salsa whenever I remember to buy it. I love cilantro!

Can you guess how many jars of salsa I made last year?
4o, and it wasn't enough. It only last us about 6 months. We gave away MANY jars of salsa to family and friends. Of course my family might have eaten a FEW jars ;-) It think this year I will have to make more, or maybe I just won't share....just kidding.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as my family does! Let me know how it turns out.
I know some of you out there bought alot of tomatoes from my boys with the intent of making salsa. So if you need any help, PLEASE let me know I would LOVE to help!!!

8 quarts (32 cups) tomatoes
5 onions
5 green peppers
10 Anaheim peppers (you can also use cubanelle peppers)
2 jalapeno peppers (I use more)
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp pepper
8 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
6 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp oregano leaves
2 Tbsp cumin
2 ½ Tbsp salt
6 Tbsp olive oil

Chop all ingredients. Combine and bring to a boil and then simmer5 for 2 hours. Bottle and seal in jars, processing pint jars for 25 minutes and quart jars for 35 minutes. Makes 20 pint or 9 quarts.

Tips- I use a food processor for all my peppers and my onions. . But be careful not to puree the veggies, you want pieces, not pulp. I also strain all my veggies after I cut them or put them in the food processor, that way my salsa is not runny. This is not a necessary step, I just prefer it this way.

Good Luck!!

Tomato Fundraiser

We just finished up our 2nd annual Rodriguez Boy's Tomato Fundraiser. It was a great success. Thank you to everyone who supported my boys. This will help them pay for Scout Camp.
You Rock!