Monday, January 31, 2011

"and such"

For some people it's "like." For others it's "you know." For most it's "um." For me it's "and such." Apparently those are my filler words of choice. I had no idea. It was brought to my attention the other day when I was presenting a workshop. It is really nice to have people that will point things like that out to you. Except now you may find me a bit tongue tied as I try to moderate my usage of it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

ham and bean soup

Week 4's recipe I did without a recipe. I made my mom's ham and bean soup all by myself...and I only called her twice to make sure I was doing it right.
  • Left over ham bone with some meat still on it.
  • 4-6 cans of various beans drained. (Depends on much you want to make. I used 2 black, 2 pinto, 1 kidney and I have left overs for a few days. If we had white beans or garbanzo beans handy I would've used that, too.)
  • 1-2 can tomatoes
  • Sliced or diced carrot (My mom mentioned this one a little too late.)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper and other seasons to taste. (I threw in a bay leaf.)
  • 1 spoonful brown sugar (optional but I did it)
Simmer ham bone for a few hours.
Pull out the ham bone
Add the beans to the broth with onion and garlic and other seasons.
Pull meat off ham bone and add it to the beans.
Simmer and season to taste.

Friday, January 28, 2011

trying real

On Tuesday I decided to try the Real Food Diet. Not the meatless kind, that wouldn't work for me. The Real Food Diet that you basically eat more whole foods and eliminate processed food and sugar from your meals. It wasn't for the purpose of losing weight, but more for practicing healthy habits. On Wednesday I did really good. I ate lots of fruit and vegetables, eggs, and whole wheat bread. It was great. On Thursday, I started out great. More fruit for breakfast. Some almonds for a snack. After class and the MPA devotional, I had to run to work. On the way out the door I grabbed the refreshments they were serving. As I crossed the street to work I realized the hot dog I was carrying (a good one from Costco) was probably not on the recommended foods list for the Real Food Diet. Oh man. What should I do? I ate it. It was good. Maybe I'll try the diet some other time.

Monday, January 24, 2011

noodles with chicken and asparagus

Week 3's recipe was supposed to be this, noodles with chicken and asparagus. I found it on the back of the box of rice noodles I used to make Chicken Thai Soup. Alas, I couldn't find  Garlic Chili Pepper Sauce anywhere. I even checked at the World Market. I'm sure I could improvise and it would turn out just fine, Thai food is like that, but I haven't done that yet. I will soon. If you happen to find Garlic Chili Pepper Sauce you should give this a try and let me know how it turns out. 

1/2-16 oz box (8 oz) Thin Rice Noodle
2 tablespoons oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Fish Sauce or 1 teaspoon salt
1 lb boneless skinless chicken, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Garlic Chili Pepper Sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 lb (8 oz) thin* asparagus spears, cut into two-inch pieces
*If thicker asparagus is used, boil in salted water 2-3 minutes, drain and immediately cool in ice water. Drain well.
  1. Soak Rice Noodles according to directions on box for stir-fry.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry until golden. Add Fish Sauce and chicken. Stir-fry until done.
  3. Add soy sauce, Garlic Chili Pepper Sauce, and brown sugar. Mix until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add drained Rice Noodles and asparagus. Stir-fry until noodles are firm but tender. Serve and enjoy.
Serves 4

This Website has a few other savory-looking things probably worth trying. 

Friday, January 21, 2011


I went to World Market in Park City today. If you want to know what my future house is going look like...drop by.There are items and styles from all over the globe. So much fun.  

ps. I'm not saying that I want to furnish my home with everything from there. I can collect my own stuff from around the world. I'm saying that I want a World Market-ish style and feel in my house. Eclectic and a bit of everything from all over. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

where I wouldn’t go

A few weeks ago I was on a blind date (but that is not the point of this story.) And we were talking about places we’ve been and things we’ve done (usual first date conversation) and that usually leads to top places we would like to go.  (Thailand, Greece, New Zealand) Then he asked me to name five places I would never want to go. Well, I had to think about that one. I’d never been asked that. Nothing came to mind. He changed  the question to last places I would go. I still couldn’t think of anything. I honestly would go anywhere if the opportunity presented itself. Even the Middle East. (If I was guaranteed safety.) Even the dirtiest part of Africa. I would go for the opportunity to see that part of the world. To see the people. To taste the food. To experience the culture.

I do have the few places that are at the top of my list. But I’ve gone to other places that are not at the top of my list. (Peru, and soon China) If the opportunity comes I take it.  I like to try new things, and who knows I may end loving it. (I’ll probably end up loving it.) I would hate to miss out on what could be something really great because I didn’t give it a try. I wasn’t interested in South America until I was sent there a for a year and a half. Now it is one of my favorites places.

Wouldn’t it be sad to miss out on something that could be wonderful and possibly your favorite just because you didn’t give it a chance. It’s better to give things a try in all avenues of life. Travel, food, hobbies, dating...

One of my favorite mommy lines I heard my cousin Erin say to her daughter Lusci when she was protesting eating something. She said, "Try it. You might like it this time." Now to a child, and maybe some adults I know, that might seem like foolishness and a poor excuse for eating something green with funny texture. But others may see the value in it. Giving things another try, even when they haven't been your most favorite in the past, you may discover a whole new world of likes. I discovered one day that I really do like asparagus and shrimp after years of loathing and gagging at the thought of them. Clam chowder...I still can't get past the texture of clams, although I do like the potatoes in it. Maybe one day I'll like mini golf. It could happen. I'll keep giving it a try. I would rather like more things than not.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

China? you ask…

yes, China. I’m going there. I’ve decided to defer graduation a few more months and top off my educational experience with a quick study abroad in China.
I’ll be staying for 6 weeks in Xiamen at Xiamen University and visiting Guilin, Beijing, Nanjing, and Xi'an.

More details to come as I learn more.
Why China? I’ve never been there.

chicken stroganoff

Week two I tried this: Chicken Stroganoff in the slow cooker.  It was a savory meal, but a little bland for my tastes. If I were to try it again I would probably tweak it a bit with some garlic and few other spices.   

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (not breasts), trimmed of fat and cut into one-inch cubes
1 Tbsp dehydrated onion or 1/4 cup chopped onion
1 (4 oz) can mushrooms, drained
1 (13.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
2 tsp dried parsley
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the chicken, onion, mushrooms, cream of chicken soup, and tomato sauce in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours.  Add in the parsley, sour cream and salt and pepper.  Stir and turn to HIGH.  Let sit without lid for 10-15 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Monday, January 17, 2011

not the way I planned…

to spend my MLK day. In bed, working hard to make sure that enough oxygen gets to my brain through my not so clear sinuses…Really wanting to lose myself in long, uninterrupted blissful, healing sleep, but that didn’t happen due to my inability to breath, as well as the fact I am downing so much water to stifle the fire in my throat that I am forced to visit the lieu every hour on the hour, and sometimes in between. Frankly, water is the only thing that sounds good and feels good, except for tortilla soup from Café Rio. That was one good thing about today. Other than that, it has been pretty much a not so good day. (Lets just say I’ve had better.) The stack of papers I need to grade is still waiting for me. The books I need to read haven’t been cracked.   Papers I’m suppose to write, nope.

I did finish my application for the China Study abroad program. It’s due tomorrow. I pretty much decided to do it months ago, but didn’t get around to the application until today. I discovered my passport expires in March of this year. Unfortunately before China. I’ve had a lot of adventures with this passport and I’ve seen a lot of places in the last 10 years. 2001-England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Belgium. 2003-2004- Brazil.  2004- Oaxaca, Mexico. 2008- London, Egypt, Jordan, Israel. 2009- Peru. 2010- Mexico, Belize, Honduras.    I still have two pages to fill before March. Where could I go?

PS. I did find some sweet finds at DI this weekend. That is always fun. Three games that I enjoy with all their pieces intact ($3 each) and a book that I need for one of my classes ($1). Bringing the total I spent on books this semester to $1.75. Now that is a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thai Chicken Soup

My friend Natalie mentioned that one of her goals for 2011 is to try a different recipe every week. I thought, "I can do that. I've already started." 

First week recipe is chicken noodle soup Thai style, and it is yummy!
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces thin rice noodles, broken into pieces
  • 2 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro


    Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and curry paste and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk and fish sauce; cover and bring to a boil.
    Add the bell peppers and noodles and simmer, uncovered, until the noodles are al dente, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer until just cooked through, about 3 more minutes. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Add more fish sauce and lime juice, if desired.
    Per serving: Calories 561; Fat 30 g (Saturated 22 g); Cholesterol 103 mg; Sodium 821 mg; Carbohydrate 36 g; Fiber 4 g; Protein 38 g
    ACTIVE: 30 min l TOTAL: 30 min l SERVES: 4

    Found here.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011


    Today's date is just fun.

    I think I have my schedule finalized. I opted for less credits, opposed to going crazy with a lot of credits. That way I can focus on my job (internship), finding a job, and getting good grades. I made the mistake of dropping one really good class, that I was lucky to get into, because I didn't think it would work in my schedule. That was dumb. It would've. Thirty seconds later I tried to add it back in and it was too late.

    I realized something today. I've learned a lot of great things through the last two years. Skills that I can definitely use. However, with all the great stuff I've learned through the last two years I had forgotten some of the stuff I was originally passionate for. It was good to realize that and remember some of my passions.Before thoughts of finding a job were somewhat daunting. Now that I have remembered some the things I was passionate about before I started the program I can refocus my job search. However, if I don't find a job in one of my passion areas, I have other skills I have gained and enjoy that I can fall back on. There are options. Now to find that brilliant job that fits me. (Does that make sense to anyone but me?)

    PS. I love my corn bag. Every night it is hot and at my feet. I cannot sleep if my feet are cold and this glorious thing has saved me from many a sleepless nights.

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    second day...

    into the semester and it is already more stressful than I anticipated. I don't get stressed often and when I do I don't like to admit it. I know it will get better once I decide what I want to do and go with it. But until then I can't decide: Classes. Job. Time. Internship.

    Thoughts running through head, keeping me up at night until I turn on the Ipod to drown them out...
    Last semester...yay!...yikes! Am I going to be prepared for the jobs that I have been trained for the last two years. What classes should I take this semester to be more prepared. Do I know everything I need to know? What more can I learn? Do I have time to learn everything I need and look for a job and have life...ahhhh. I want to take advantage of this last semester and take all I can but I don't want to be too stressed with not having enough time. And I want to do good... Should I go to China? ...Where should I look for jobs? What if I find my dream job but I am not qualified because I decided to not take the class I should have....
    Yeah. My head hasn't shut up for three days. And I've been going to the first day of a bunch of classes to see if I should take them or not. About 15 times during each class I decide I should and then change my mind. On top of all this, in my internship I have been developing an Intro to Social Media class for the staff here and we set a date for it and the class is already full and there are requests for more. That is a little intimidating. I have three weeks to tweak it, make it good and make it valuable.

    Where should I look for jobs? Maybe I should take that class...

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    I love ease dropping on people speaking Portuguese in public place and they think no one around can understand what they are saying. =)

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    holiday highlights

    Christmas Eve dinner at Aunt Helen’s.
    P1000421  Bonus: I found the almond and won this.
    Breakfast Christmas morning
    Hintze Family Singers perform at Alta Ridge
    P1000485 Sewing
    Hanging out with these two
    P1000486 …And this one
    Everyone Together