Friday, July 26, 2013

More crockpot...

Slow Cooker Sunday: Honey Garlic Chicken

Slow Cooker Sunday:  Honey Garlic Chicken

Sometimes there just isn’t time to go to the store. We need a recipe that we can throw together in a couple of minutes with things we already have in the house. This is that kind of recipe. Likely you already have everything you need to make it at home and it takes less than 5 minutes to get into the crockpot. Easy, peasy. Once it’s done there are endless serving possibilities – serve it over rice, stuff it into a sandwich, toss is on a salad, wrap it up in some lettuce, or add it to stir-fried vegetables. Since this recipe is so versatile, consider doubling up for leftovers during the week. It makes a terrific lunch or dinner.
Sunday Slow Cooker: Honey Garlic Chicken
Servings: 6 servings
Serving Size: about 2/3 cup
Nutritional Info: 153.4 calories, 3g of fat, 29.4g of carbohydrates, 6.2g of fiber, 14.3g of protein * 5 P+
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Bag of stir fry frozen vegetables
  1. Whisk together the garlic, basil, soy sauce, ketchup, and honey.
  2. Add the chicken to the crockpot.
  3. Pour the sauce over and mix everything together.
  4. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  5. For crispy outside, spread onto a baking sheet and broil for 3-5 minutes.

Sunday Slow Cooker: French Onion Soup

Sunday Slow Cooker:  French Onion Soup
It’s funny how you forget about food you really love sometimes. It sneaks off into some far expanse of your brain and until you see it, or in this case smell it, you forget about it entirely. This is what happened to me with French Onion soup until a few days ago when I smelled it emanating from a neighbor’s apartment, and then it all came back – the deep and rich onion flavor, crunchy bread, and melty cheese. Yum. I needed some immediately. However instead of immediately, I settled for about 8 hours later with this delicious crockpot version that’s perfect for a cold night.
Crockpot French Onion Soup
Servings: 8 cups
Serving Size: 1 cup
Nutritional Info: 74.1 calories, 3.7g of fat, 7.4g of carbohydrates, 1.1g of fiber, 3.2g of protein * 2 P+

  • 4 sweet onions onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 64 ounces beef, vegetable, or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • French bread, add points
  • Low fat Swiss cheese, add points
  1. Set your crockpot to high and add the onions, butter, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook for 60 minutes until onions begin to brown and caramelize, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in the flour and let cook for 5 more minutes.
  3. Add the broth and thyme. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. To serve with bread and cheese, slice a small piece of french bread and place on top of the soup. Cover with one slice of Swiss cheese and broil for 3 minutes.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Easy Slow Cooker Recipes

I make no claims as to the tastiness of these recipes-- I just wanted to find some recipes that were TRULY "one pot" kind of dishes... none of this "brown this on the stove, bake this in the oven" etc. then add it to the crockpot type recipes. Ugh. If I wanted to do any of that, I would just cook on the stove or bake it in the oven!  So, I scoured the internet, and here are a few that I plan to try in the near future. I'll let you know if any of them are worth doing in the future.

Vegetable and Chickpea Curry

Vegetable and Chickpea Curry

Makes: 4 to 6 servings
3 cups cauliflower florets
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup loose-pack frozen cut green beans
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
2-3 teaspoons curry powder
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
Cooked brown rice (optional)
1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine cauliflower, chickpeas, green beans, carrots, and onion. Stir in broth and curry powder.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
3. Stir in coconut milk and shredded basil leaves. Spoon rice, if using, into bowls, and ladle curry over the top.
Nutrition facts per serving: 219 calories, 8g protein, 32g carbohydrate, 7g fat (4g saturated), 9g fiber

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Message from Dad

Sometimes he surprises me.... I got this message from my dad today:

Happy Birthday my precious number 1 child!  I remember the day well.  One of the happiest days of my life.  You are truly a special person.  You deserved better growing up. Despite your parents you turned out pretty darn good.  I think that you are getting close to having the life you want. [Jedi] is a great guy.  I think that he is perfect for you.  Love, respect, and treat each other well.  A good partner is hard to find.  Don't take it for granted.
You are living in a great town and have a great situation with your apartment.  You got the internship that you want.  You will have a very busy but I think fun year.  When it's over you will have even more to be proud of.  Maybe you will decide to stay in [your town].  If you continue on in school I know that you will be successful. Just be sure to define what your life goals are.  What will make you happy, take some stress off and make you fulfilled? You have special talents.  Sometimes being too smart is a curse.  

I love you very much.  I'm very proud of you and proud to be your Dad.  Thank you for your help and I look forward to times with you.  Happy Birthday.  Love, Dad

"You can't make this shit up"

I am not someone who typically delights in the misfortune of others-- however when that person is someone who has been absolutely vile, despicable, and underhanded... well, let's just say it's delightful to see the Karma Train of Sweet Sweet Justice roll into the station.

I'm just happy I'm around to see it...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Makeup addiction

Before I met Jedi I used to wear makeup every day.  I actually enjoyed wearing make up, it was fun to find new products and colors... but it did take awhile to put on-- probably 15-20min a morning.  Not terrible but.... I admit, my desire for sleep won out over my need to look pretty.

Also, the biggest factor was how often Jedi would tell me I didn't NEED make up, and how pretty he found me wearing none (not true-- there is a HUGE difference between the makeup and non-makeup me,  but hey, who am I to argue?)

So, slowly by slowly, after we got together, I started wearing less make up and then finally none at all. That snooze button was just too enticing, and also, I was at that point working in an office where I saw very few "grown ups" throughout the day --(and the students certainly didn't care what I looked like.)  So, I got lax (ok, laaazy) and gave up make up all together for a couple years.

Jedi meanwhile came to regret his previous "no-makeup" stance and would complain that I no longer dressed up. Heh. Be careful what you wish for buddy!

Well, I'm about to embark on a new phase of my career at this point, and I'm going to be working in a professional hospital setting.  I figured I should probably look back into this whole "dress to impress' thing.  However, sleep will definitely be at a premium as I'm going to be driving several hours a day, and let's be real-- I'm not so great with time and I know I'll always be in a rush.

I needed a solution-- something to brighten my face, give me a pick-me-up (get rid of those dark circles, and hopefully be an all-in-one solution to my makeup dilemma.

Enter BB creams (Beauty Balm.)  I'd been hearing about these for awhile, but didn't really know too much about them  Evidently they were formulated in Germany to help burn victims-- it's a salve that is supposed to help heal skin and correct imperfections.  They have a very light (but dense) tint, which means it can act like a foundation, it's a moisturizer, concealer, and SPF 30... All in one!

These have been used in Korea since the 80's and they are apparently all the rage there.  They have slowly been making their way to this side of the pond in the last year (though apparently you can also order them from Korean sellers online.)

Sounds too good to be true? Right?

Well, there IS one small caveat-- that is that they are definitely lacking in options for darker-skinned people. Most of the shades are very pale (probably because they were developed in Korea? I don't know...)  But that is a bummer.

Howerver, I'm a super pale-almost-redhead myself, and I usually have trouble finding shades that are pale ENOUGH for my pasty skin.

I decided to check out Clinique's BB cream (in light), and I can say that so far (2 days) I LOVE it! (I use Shade 1)

A little of this stuff goes a loooong way. Like, a pea-sized drop covers your whole face.  Which is good because it's pretty pricey (well, for my small budget anyway. $37)

It's very lightweight, makes my skin feel dewy, and gives me a nice, healthy, well-rested glow.  I like that I can also dab it on a bit thicker in places where I need extra coverage (like under eyes, zits...) to use as a concealer.  It makes a good eyelid primer too.

This is the kitchen sink of beauty products, quick application with my fingers after the shower and I'm good to go.  Then a bit of mascara, lipstick, and it almost looks like I made an effort! Awesome, right? LOVE IT. 

(I promise I was not paid or given a free sample to write this... but if anyone from clinique reading this would like to bribe me with a lifetime's supply, I'm more than happy to accept!)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Moving day!

So excited to have finally gotten the day we can move into our new apartment! April 2!  It will be so nice-- bigger, within walking distance to everything (my part-time job, and Jedi's job are literally in our backyard now.)  And... hopefully we can save a lot of money this way! We are basically rent-free, only paying a nominal amount towards utilities each month.  We really do need to save up as much as possible because when my student loans come due I will (with my current estimates) be paying $1100 a month. eeep! 

Our hope is to have Jedi's student loans paid off before mine come due, and the car payment should be done as well, which will also help.

It's somewhat scary-- going from previously having NO student loans to having one that is more than the mortgage payment on my small condo (that we now need to find a renter for.)  I have been intending to do the National Health Service Corps repayment option (which is AMAZING-- 2 years of service and they pay off $60k.)  At the same time, I can't do that until I'm licensed-- which is at least 2+ years after I graduate as I build up enough client hours to count towards certification.  As I think about it I go back and forth-- Once I start getting established with clients I think that I probably won't want to up and leave ... at the same time, being able to repay the loans in one big swoop like that is pretty enticing.   I know I shouldn't worry about it now, but I like to look ahead ... and I can't help but worry when I do that!

Right now though, I do feel like divine providence is looking down on us, and I'm very grateful for our new living situation!


I am so lucky to have Jedi in my life. He is so incredibly sweet, caring, thoughtful... I could go on and on using as many synonyms as possible, but I'm sure you get the idea.  He says things to me like, "I want to take you out, I want to show you off. I'm so proud you're my wife."

Nutty, right?  (First of all, let me assure you that I am nothing special. I'm shlumpy looking most days, and especially these days when the only other people to see me are my classmates (or my dog.)  And yet, he says this to me even when I haven't showered in 2 days because I'm working on a paper.

I think a big part of it is just that he sees me differently than the rest of the world (and I ) see me.  I keep waiting for his rose-colored glasses to come off, but no matter how many dirty dishes I leave in the sink or how many times I leave my clothes in a pile on the floor, he doesn't lose patience with me. (The only time he really does lose patience with me is when we're running late... And most of the time we're not even "running late" because we don't have an appointment, we're just "running late" because we haven't left by the time he decided in his mind that we needed to leave by.)

I got an apartment near my internship site (did I mention I got the internship at the state hospital? I'm glad I did, but it's 1h15 drive each way... long in our snowy winters.)  I got a great deal-- $200 w/all utilities included, only a few blocks from the hospital. Can't ask for anything better.  I also have a studio that I pay $30/night for near my school... But, that means I will be away from Jedi probably 3-4 days a week, which I know he doesn't like.  I don't like it either, but I'm more of an introvert than he is, and I don't really need to interact with people to be happy-- he does. It makes him nuts when I'm gone even just 1 day a week, as I am now.

I still find it mind-boggling that he misses me the way he does when I'm gone for such short periods.  I mean, I miss him-of course-- when I'm gone, but I don't feel completely bereft either.  It is nice to have someone miss me like that, I suppose, but I also worry about him.  I want him to get out and make friends, but that's not very easy to do where we live.

I still can't believe how amazing he is to me though-- every single day.  There isn't a day that goes by when he hasn't done or said something incredibly thoughtful, just to make sure I know how much he loves me.