Thai isnpired chicken

9.17.2014

I purchased an entire cut up organic, pastured chicken from a vendor at the farmers market and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. Entire chickens are a new territory to me.  I hemmed and hawed and then Monday came and it was cold and rainy and I had to be gone for a funeral from 1:30-7:30, so I made soup.

An entire chicken was a bit much for the soup, so I set some pieces aside for another night.  The following night, I decided on a modification of a recipe that I’ve had for many years. I think I got it from my uncle back when I was in college.  Its a favorite of my husband and kids and let me tell you….it was DIVINE.  Woah.  The perfect thing to make with leftover chicken (or turkey).

 

thai chicken recipe

Thai Chicken

Prepare 1.5 c. short brown rice with a few sprigs of parsley. I use the recipe from It’s All Good to make my rice and it comes out perfect every time. My family hasn’t turned their noses at brown rice since. I also think using short grain vs. long grain helps.

2 lbs. cooked, shredded chicken breast
2 medium red peppers, sliced into matchsticks
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 TB expeller pressed neutral oil

Whisk together following ingredients for the sauce:
4 TB coconut aminos
2 TB chopped cilantro (or 2tsp dried)
2 TB honey
3 tsp curry
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp arrowroot powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Heat oil in a pan. Add peppers and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add crushed garlic and white part of scallion. Stir fry until peppers are tender-crisp. Add chicken and stir thoroughly. Cook until heated through. Add sauce, stir thoroughly. Cook 1 min more. Serve over rice. Garnish with green part of scallion.

Be prepared to have all of it eaten up!

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a {very yummy} healthier chocolate chip zucchini bread

9.03.2014

This is the time of the year when many of us find ourselves with an over-abundance of zucchini and summer squash and well, what better way to use them up than to bake yummy treats with them? Especially since my kids claim not to like zucchini. But if I bake it into breads or muffins, they eat it up like no tomorrow.

When my kids came home with these “fudge brownies” and I tossed them, I decided to treat them to some yummy chocolate chip zucchini bread. I grabbed an old recipe I had on an index card and tweaked it to make it a bit more healthy and we were all pleasantly pleased with the results. Except for my husband…who prefers not to have chocolate chips in his breads. Crazy man.
chocolate chip zucchini bread
Ingredients
3/4 c. milk
2 eggs
3/4 c. coconut sugar
1/3 c. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 zucchini, shredded
2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
a lot of chocolate chips ;)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a loaf pan or a bundt pan. Whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients + chocolate chips and stir until everything is combined. Pour into pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 50-60 mins. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 min and then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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Addiction

8.07.2014


I am the sibling of an addict. And while it is not my place to tell his story, I have my own story to tell.

It is something I think about every day. Several times a day.

It is tiring, absolutely exhausting, when your sibling is an addict. You feel powerless. You ARE powerless. You can do a million things…love them, support them, preach to them…none of it makes a goddamn difference. It just plain sucks. All I can do is control how I react to him.

So many times I think back to our childhood and think, what drove him to make these choices? And not just try them, but try it all. And not stop. And all I can do to keep myself from going insane is tell myself, despite what he spews at us, it that my family did not cause this, my family cannot control this, and my family cannot cure this. *deep breath* And hope that someday, he will step up and take responsibility for himself.

If I could get through to him and he’d actually listen to what I have to say, I’d want him to know that I do support him, but that doesn’t mean I support or approve of his choices. It doesn’t mean I agree with the choices he makes. I love him. He’s my brother. But he’s killing me. And if that’s my inner turmoil, I cannot imagine how my parents feel. Not that he cares. Because addiction is a selfish disease.

He’s high maintainance. He drains my parents of their finances and their energy and it kills me that he thinks nothing of it….that he feels entitled to it. So I sit here, quietly, trying never to rock the boat and ask more of them than they can give. I try not to be bitter about it, but as my words show, its there.

And while he may have quit the terrible awful addiction (and traded it in for lesser drugs), until he repairs his relationships with us, we will forever live in this state of turmoil.

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Twinning

8.05.2014

Twin-relationships

It was May of 2003 when I found out that I was pregnant with twins. My husband and I were at the OB’s office and she did an ultrasound at 7 weeks and immediately found them. Ultrasounds are so fuzzy and you never quite know what you’re looking at early in the game. But I will always remember her saying, “there’s the baby….and there’s the other baby.” I think I stopped breathing for almost a minute. I know I started crying. I was like, “what?!” She said, “Its twins, sweetie.” and went on to explain that twin A was measuring a bit smaller than twin B and what that could mean and that we’d have to watch it and I would come back in 2 weeks for another ultrasound. My husband, he was ecstatic. He immediately said, “I’ve always wanted to be a twin!” (or something like that). Me? I was freaking the hell out. The thoughts going through my head ranged from, “holy crap!” to “I have a 13 month old at home. How the hell am I going to do twins?!?!” to “How the hell can my body carry two babies??!!” to “How can we afford daycare??” to “Please let Baby A thrive. Please. Please.” Never once, not for a second, did I ever have thoughts like these parents. Sure, there have been times that it was difficult. Or more than difficult. But I’d not change it for the world.

twin-bonds

When I was pregnant, I read all about this amazing bond that twins shared.
twins
For a short while, I joined a local twins club and I heard stories about these bonds. I heard all about the special language that twins shared, often referred to as “twinease”. But honestly, my twins, who are brother and sister, are really nothing more than siblings who happened to share my uterus at the same time (and fought over the space!). They have a love/hate relationship and it borders more on the, “you annoy the hell out of me just by breathing wrong.” Early on, I separated them in school, based on a teacher’s recommendation (a parent of twins herself) who said that she noticed that my daughter had the stronger personality and tended to speak for and mother her brother and that, in her professional opinion, would do better being apart from her. There are some times when I wonder if that hindered their relationship, but hindsight is 20/20. They live together and its good for them to have their own friends outside the house, right?

twins-special-bond

There are brief moments that they get along. And when I see that, I hope that its a glimpse into the future. A time that they’ll always have each other’s backs as teens and adults. I can only hope that someday, they share some kind of wonderful bond that I always dreamed of having with a sibling.

twins-unique-bond

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recognizing success

7.24.2014

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Recently, my husband officially became a partner at the firm he works for after 10 years of working there. And by officially, I mean that we had to take out a loan larger than our mortgage to do this, purchase our own health + dental insurance, and purchase an insurance policy so no one sues us. Funny how that works, huh? To mark the occasion, I threw him a small surprise party to celebrate his success and to thank those people that have helped get him there, those who have supported us along this journey, and those who have helped ensured my sanity these past 10 years.

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I tried to keep it as simple as possible, given that I was incredibly busy. I took a gamble and held the party at The Landing, an outdoor beer garden at our pool. I wasn’t able to reserve it, but it opened at 3pm and I had Alyson meet me there a bit after 2 to set up, so I was hoping we’d be good. And we were. And t saved me from the stress of cleaning my house. Having it there gave me built in kid-entertainment – the pool, the playground, a volleyball court, hiking trails, and live music.

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Alyson decorated my mason jars for me and we sent the kids off to pick flowers + weeds from the woods for them. To keep the food simple, from a local caterer, I ordered these bourbon BBQ meatball sliders served with carolina slaw on a pretzel roll. I supplemented with fruits, veggies that Norah and I picked out at the farmers market that morning, some cheeses and meats, and some giant pretzels from The Landing. I also picked up a few dozen macarons from the local French bakery and, per Norah’s request, a cookie cake for the kids (because macarons are small and $1 each and we had 45 people!) And of course, drinks…I provided open bar at The Landing to all our guests. Kinda nice that I didn’t have to worry about buying alcohol.

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Who knew that when these girls met years ago on a brief visit, they’d end up being besties.

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Trying to take a decent photo of us is next to impossible.

 

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The main reason for me holding the party when I did was so that I could include my in-laws from CA who were here for a visit.

 

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Proud of him. Proud of us. Thanks to everyone who came and who have supported us. And to my parents, who didn’t make it, but who have always helped out with my kids when I needed another set of hands because of Chris’s travel schedule.

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