Friday, April 30, 2010
Kristen is my work bff :) We talk about all sorts of strange things all day long. Our cube mates comment that it is considerably quieter when one of us is gone. That's an understatement to say the least! But per her need to take a "potato dish" to a friend's house on Sunday, here's my recipe for cheesy potatoes. They all seem to vary a bit, but this is my version. My favorite part is the cornflakes.
32 oz bag of shredded hash browns, thawed
1 c sour cream
1 c milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c melted butter
1/4 c chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Mix all milk, chicken soup, sour cream, melted butter, salt, & pepper in a large bowl. Pour in hash browns, cheese, and onion. Put in 9x13 pan.
2 c crushed corn flakes
1/4 c melted margarine
Mix and put on top of potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
But here's a couple of fun tidbits:
- Lance was accepted into grad school at ISU (yay!)
- I successfully threw Lance's surprise birthday party last Fri night. In true Lance fashion, he was 45 minutes late to his own party
- I got a new Nikon 200! Now I need to figure out to how utilize all of it's gizmos
- I ate out. A lot!
Peace to all of you, I'll be back soon!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
•I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
•More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.
•Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
•Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.
•That's enough, Nickelback.
•I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
•Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know" feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?
•Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.
•There is a great need for sarcasm font.
•Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what was going on when I first saw it.
•I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.
•How are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
•I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
•I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
•The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.
•Was learning cursive really necessary?
•Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".
•I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
•Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.
•My brother's Municipal League baseball team is named the Stepdads. Seeing as none of the guys on the team are actual stepdads, I inquired about the name. He explained, "Cuz we beat you, and you hate us." Classy, bro.
•Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart.”
•How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?
•I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent an idiot from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!
•Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"
•What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?
•While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.
•MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
•Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
•I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.
•Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
•I would like to officially coin the phrase 'catching the swine flu' to be used as a way to make fun of a friend for hooking up with an overweight woman. Example: "Dave caught the swine flu last night."
•I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
•Bad decisions make funny stories.
•Whenever I'm Facebook-stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!
•Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier and sluttier every year?
•If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.
•Why is it that during an icebreaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....
•You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.
•Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.
•There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
•I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
•"Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.
•I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'
•I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dang it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?
•I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
•When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me that I have learned from some light internet stalking.
•I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.
•Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...
•As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
•Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
•It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.
•I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
•Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.
•Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey- but I'd bet everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time...
•My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How do I respond to that?
•It really ticks me off when I want to read a story on CNN.com and the link takes me to a video instead of text.
•I wonder if cops ever get ticked off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.
•I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
•The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fatty before dinner.
Okay ... props to you if you read the entire list. Which ones did you identify with? Me - Microsoft Word, Sarcasm font, and Obituaries
The author is Aaron Karo. He does stand-up and wrote a few books. He also mans a website, Ruminations.com.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
- Kiss a Girl - Keith Urban
- Love Who You Love - Rascal Flatts
- Lookin' for a Good Time - Lady Antebellum
- Runaway - Love and Theft
- Red Light - David Nail
- Wild at Heart - Gloriana
- It Happens - Sugarland
- Once in a Lifetime - Keith Urban
- Better as a Memory - Kenny Chesney
- Here - Rascal Flatts
- Trying to Stop your Leaving - Dierks Bentley
- Hicktown - Jason Aldean
- I Say God Today - George Strait
- All We'd Ever Need - Lady Antebellum
- Every Time I Hear Your Name - Keith Anderson
- If Even I Could Love - Keith Urban
- You Save Me - Kenny Chesney
- Already Gone - Sugarland
- You Won't Find This - Carrie Underwood
- Forever - Rascal Flatts
- Settle for a Slowdown - Dierks Bentley
- My Best Friend - Tim McGraw
- Everybody - Keith Urban
- A Little More You - Little Big Town
- Settlin' - Sugarland
Isn't that a fun playlist? Granted you need to be in a little bit pop-country sort of mood. Mattie - I think that you would like this playlist :)
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
K: So I've been thinking about the fact that I'd like to paint again.
L: Oh. What did you want to paint?
K: The basement, living room, bathroom and our bedroom.
K: Well, you said that I got "one redo" and I'd like to use my redo.
L: I meant that you can redo the paint in ONE ROOM. Not the entire house.
K: Silly, I don't want to repaint the "entire house." I'm planning on leaving the two smaller bedrooms and the blue wall in the living room. I want the house to feel more cohesive! You said that I got to redo!
L: You've got to be kidding me. I would never consent to repainting the entire house
K: Again, you are over exaggerating. I'm planning on leaving ...
L (cutting me off): No. No. No.
At this point the conversation ended. I thought Lance was going to explode. We'll see if my future holds any paint. Chubby hubs has a little bit of a problem adapting to change :) Kara, on the other hand, lives for change! She's a change-a-holic!
Monday, April 19, 2010
Monday: Ham & Bean soup (did you know we have 30+ lbs of ham in my freezer. That was result of miscommunication as to who was supposed to purchase the Easter ham. Sadly, I'm not a huge ham person either)
Tuesday: BLATs - Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato Sandwiches (crap I forgot to buy a tomato last Saturday)
Wednesday: Chicken Stir-fry
Thursday: Santa Fe Chicken and Rice
Friday: Burger bar + cheesy potatoes
Saturday lunch: Oriental Chicken Salads
Saturday supper: Eat out for Lance's birthday!
Sunday lunch: White Chicken Chili
Sunday supper: Homemade Pizza (or leftovers - depending on energy levels)
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste + 1 chicken bouillon cube
1 (10.75 ounce) can chicken broth
2 cups milk
2 cups diced chicken
1.Prepare rice according to package directions.
2.Melt the butter or margarine in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until almost tender.
3.Stir in the flour and salt and pepper to taste. Add the broth and milk and stir until soup thickens.
4.Add the rice and the chicken and allow to heat through, about 10 minutes.
In the original recipe it did not call for carrots or a chicken bouillon cube. However, I did read in a couple of places where if you are using straight-up wild rice and not a seasoning mix like Uncle Bens, the soup would be in need of salt - hence the chicken bouillon cube. Generally speaking, I am not a fan of chicken bouillon cubes. They are poor substitutes for real chicken broth. Anyway, don't get me started - if you wonder why your soups taste like poo, it's because you are using poo ingredients like chicken bouillon cubes - they are not a good sub for chicken broth! But in this case, they give a nice salt kick, which is the only thing you can count on chicken bouillon for. And me being me, added more vegetables. Because no one ever dies from eating too many vegetables. I think this soup would be really nice with mushrooms too.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
This is our kitty Fire. He was rescued as a tiny white kitten from the Boone County Humane Society. He is part-Siamese, part-American shorthair. Which means, he has color-points, is partially cross eyed, and very vocal. You can carry on a conversation with Fire. So he's perfect for a chatty gal like me. :)
Fire's Favorite Things
1. Clean sheet day and chasing wrinkles while "helping" make the bed
2. Tuna fish
3. Kitty treats
4. Sunshine patches
5. Fuzzy fuzzy fleece blanket
6. Eating cardboard (don't even ask, it's uber annoying)
7. Being on the deck in warm weather
8. Chirping madly at birds and squirrels
9. Crawling in between the covers of a made bed and taking a nap
10. Sweatshirt strings
I love my kitty. He's the perfect combo kitty for Lance and I - he will snuggle with me and rough-house with Lance. If you come over sometime, ask Lance to demonstrate a game he fondly refers to as "hand."
Monday, April 12, 2010
- Pride and Prejudice - Kiera Knightly version (I love the music and the scenery. I especially love the tender awkwardness of how Mr. Darcy shows Elizabeth how he loves her)
- Sleepless in Seattle - The part where Tom Hanks describes his sweet, dead wife makes me tear up every time.
- You've Got Mail - Meg Ryan is utterly adorable in this movie
- Bridget Jones - Goodness, Renee Zwellenger is such a hilarious mess. And who doesn't love Collin Firth?
- Shrek 2 - my favorite of the Shrek movies. I can't help but find Puss n' Boots comical.
- The Devil Wears Prada - I like watching Anne Hathaway's transformation. And she has some killer clothes.
So I think to summarize ... I like chick flicks. Interesting and totally predictable. How about you? What's on your list of movies you can pass up?
This is one of my favorite summer potluck salads and it appears to be a crowd pleaser, based on the small amount that was left at the end of the night. I took this a couple weeks back to small group. Now, it must be said that our small group is filled with lots of hungry people, many who will happily devour anything you put in front of them. But I'm certain that most people will like this salad!
Ramen Noodle Cabbage Salad
1 pkg cabbage slaw mix
4 green onions, chopped
1 pkg. Top Ramen noodles (chicken), crumbled
1 1/2 c. broccoli
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. white vinegar
1/2 c. canola oil
Flavor packet from the noodles
Mix all salad ingredients except the noodles and refrigerate a few hours. Top with noodles and dressing before serving.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
- green peppers
- hot peppers
- green beans
- sugar snap peas
- cherry tomatoes
- roma tomatoes
- big boy tomatoes
- butterleaf lettuce
- butternut squash
- misc herbs - cilantro, basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary
New items are onions and eggplant. I think that onions are fairly low-key, we'll see about the eggplant. Lance and I consider a successful garden one that produces tomatoes. In the last 3 summers, our tomato harvest has been very hit or miss. Last year we had an enormous amount of pear tomatoes. We had so many that I was pretty tired of picking teeny-tiny tomatoes by the end of the summer. I hope that my romas do well, I love using them in cooking. They make the best sauces. Last year was the first time we successfully grew cucumbers and zucchini. Lance learned to love cucumber sandwiches and be suspicious of things that I might have snuck shredded zucchini into by the summer's end.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Orange Chicken. I like it. But can it really be labeled as Chinese food? It seems pretty Americanized if you want my opinion. I mean, you can get it at Applebees. If you can get it at Applebees (which I have nothing against, I worked at one for 2.5 years in high school and college) it's pretty widely-accepted and standard. Anyway, unimportant tangent. It's tasty and we liked it. It was a little labor intensive because you have to deep fat fry the chicken pieces, so it would be wise to make sure you have a helper in this process. Lance is my sous chef and we make a good team. I also got to use my Christmas microplane zester, which made the zesting process a breeze.
Here's the recipe. It pretty much replicates your standard Chinese orange chicken.
Orange Chicken Recipe from BlogChef
Chicken- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-1/2” cubes)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 egg (beaten)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Oil (for frying)
1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
¼ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest (grated)
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ginger root (minced)
½ teaspoon garlic (minced) - I have no recollection of putting this in, so if you forget you'll be ok
2 tablespoons green onion (chopped)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
Step 1: Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture and shake in flour mixture to coat. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer(or use a wok) until completely cooked.
Step 2: Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil.
Step 3: Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired add red pepper flakes and garnish with green onions. Enjoy.
Monday, April 5, 2010
I love this way of making oatmeal.
Bring four cups of water (plus salt) to a boil. Add one cup of steel cut oats and stir. Bring oatmeal to a slow simmer over low heat. Stir frequently to ensure that the oatmeal doesn't scorch. Simmer for around 20 minutes. Divide prepared oatmeal into four 1 cup servings.
I usually make one pot of oatmeal on Sundays and take the divided portions during the week for breakfast. I also add some brown sugar to each serving as well as 1/4 cup (more or less to your liking) of skim milk, dried cranberries, dried apricots and sliced almonds. My oatmeal is so good and an easy thing to grab as I'm running out the door. I never seem to get up early enough to eat breakfast at the house, so my breakfasts need to be something that can be grab and go. Usually I'll heat this combo up in the microwave once I can catch my breath (most Monday mornings you can see me running through the parking lot at work in heels with my purse and coat trailing behind me).
The oatmeal keeps me full until lunch and I love the crunchiness of the almonds combined with the sweet dried fruit. The steel cut oatmeal has a little different texture, it's more nutty, less creamy. I like it.
My other breakfasts include items like Larabars, granola and yogurt, banana and peanut butter toast, Green Monster Smoothies. All things that are on the go!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
I can't take any credit for making these, my friend Sarah, made these with her two boys the other day and dropped them off at work for me. They sat out in my cubicle and were actually a very easy way to share the story of Easter and invite my coworkers to church.
These cookies might look a little odd - they are reminiscent of divinity candy that you might eat at Christmas - but they are really a basic egg white, meringue cookie. Thanks for sharing Sarah! Tomorrow I will be singing in our Easter choir at Johnston E-Free Church. Services are at 8 am, 9:30 am, and 10:45 am. Be there!
1c. whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden
spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested He
was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
Read John 19:1-3
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to
Read John 19:28-30
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His
life to give us life.
Read John 10:10-11
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush
the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by
Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1c. sugar. Explain that
the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He
wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Psalms 34:8 and John 3:16
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are
formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God' s eyes of
sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons (you don't want them too big or it
won't work, so I'm told) onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that
each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.
Read Matt. 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give
each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb
Read Matt. 27:65-66. GO TO BED!
Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.
Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read John 16:20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.
Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the
first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matt. 28:1-9
Cookies can be left on a very very low temp..like 250 degrees. and be ready
in a couple of hours...when surface of cookie looks dry and cracked....they
are ready to eat!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I've never had my picture taken with Cy. This was us at ISU vs Northern Missouri. ISU lost. Go figure. As an Iowa State fan, you get used to disappointment.
These were my gifts from Lance: an iPod touch, a coffee gift card, and a pink Wii remote with some sort of booster gizmo. We own no such games that need a gizmo, but that's the only way they sell them now. Of course this means they cost more. Which is positively ridiculous.
These are my extra-large, bulk-sized Costco cupcakes that Lance got for small group to celebrate my birthday. Now imagine 27 candles jammed into one of those cupcakes. Fire hazard.
These are Lance's beloved rooster plates. They belonged one time to his Grandma K. Sadly, several have been broken in Lance's reckless college days. He wanted me to take a picture as a keepsake.
This ends today edition of pictures on my camera that have nothing to do with food. :)