Thursday, April 26, 2012

General Tso Chicken

It's been a while since I posted a recipe.  Here's one I have been working on perfecting to my family's taste.  My first attempt got scraped into the trash, tonight J went back for 3rds.  It's come a long way.  

I make my rice first- 1c rice, 2c water.

Then I got my sauce ready.
chop: 4 green onions, about a tbs of fresh ginger, 2 cloves of garlic. saute with a shake or two of red pepper flakes in 1tbs of sesame oil for about a minute.

Mix in a bowl (I do this part before I cook my fresh stuff, to have it ready to go into the skillet):
1/2c chicken stock, 2tbs sugar, 2tbs vinegar, 1tbs sesame oil, 1/2tbs corn starch, 2tbs Hoisin sauce, 1tbs honey.

Add this to the sauteed mix. slowly bring it to a boil, then cut down the heat and let it simmer and thicken. You can add more chicken stock if it gets too thick or more honey if it's too peppery.

For the meat, you need about a pound to a pound and half of cubed up chicken breast. Mix an egg into the chicken. roll each piece in plain flour.  fry them up in a skillet of hot oil til golden.

Now, most recipes say to add all your cooked chicken to the sauce at this point. We like to serve them separately because the chicken stays crisp, and I like to control how much sauce I put on mine, and R doesn't like any sauce at all.  

I served it with cold watermelon as a side dish, which ended up being the perfect compliment to the heat of the sauce.  No pictures this time because we snarffled it down and licked our plates!  

Beautiful B turns One

B had her birthday Sunday.  I got all teary reading her birth story.  It's so hard to believe she's already a year old.  I think she had a nice time opening presents and she definitely likes her new toys.  I did something I would have never done for R.  I bought a noisy, light up, battery operated toy by V-tech.  And she fucking LOVES that thing.  It's a book that plays music and has lights and buttons.  Fortunately it also has volume control.  She was really unimpressed with her cake.  I sorta was too.  My butter cream was too stiff and didn't spread well.  And I like chocolate cake a whole lot better than white cake.  Her brother about gave me a damn nervous breakdown while I was making it.  Oh well.  She was cute playing in it.

When I finished the rainbow toddler dress, I made an elf hat to match it.  I'm hoping to sell it as a set.  Now I'm working on a very different style toddler sundress.  It's going to be brown with pink trim along the bottom, the waist, and the top (100% cotton).  I'm thinking the shoulder straps will brown, with pink buttons.  This one is worked from the bottom up.  I started it yesterday, but don't know how much work I will get done on it today. I've got to put together the May WACO newsletter to go out by Monday.  

I've got my nose all bent out of shape with the USAF again.  They keep jerking J around and denying all his leave.  He's gotten to take leave once in the last year.  We haven't traveled anywhere together as a family in the same vehicle since Christmas of '10.  When we moved down here we still traveled separately.  We really wanted to all go to my sister's high school graduation next month, but it's looking unlikely.  There is a very small chance we can leave the night before, after he gets off work, IF he can take the next week off.  They've denied his leave for the week before (it's on a Saturday) because there is an exercise scheduled.  The kids don't travel well at night, and I hate driving at night.  Chances are it won't happen anyway.  I'll end up going alone with the kids or not at all.  

I'm still trying to work in preschool stuff with R.  He's sorta struggling along with learning his letters and numbers.  It's making me second guess myself and our decision to keep him home.  I wonder if he'd be more cooperative with someone else.  Or if I'm not structured enough.  Or if I'm not using the best method of trying to teach him.  Or if it's really even a big deal that he's 3.5 and doesn't know all his ABC's.  He can recite them.  He can write a few of them.  He can recognize some of them.  Like if I show him 3 letters and ask him to point out the B, he can.  But if I show him just a B and ask him what letter it is, he just randomly guesses.  He also isn't putting letters together with the sound the make.  He can't read any numbers.  My mom doesn't think this is a big deal at all.  It just seems like the kids his age that I hear about are way ahead of him because they have been in daycare and preschool.  I  have a lot of trouble not comparing.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

nap? please??

I've been very out of it this week.  B's not been sleeping very much or very well at night for the last two weeks straight.  We had one really good month of sleeping all night in her own bed, and then she regressed on us.  She's up 3 or 4 times a night in our bed.  R's been high maintenance, lots of begging and whining and tantrums.  I'm so exhausted.  My house looks like, well, a toddler and preschooler live here.  In a word, it's awful.  Sunday is B's birthday.  I guess I'm done with my shopping for her.  I still want to get a splash pool for the backyard, but that's not necessarily for her birthday.  I'm trying to be excited about it, but today I'm just too tired.  I guess I'm making a cake tomorrow.  I thought about cupcakes, and may still go that route, I can't decide for sure yet.  I just want to crawl into my bed and be left alone for a while.

We discovered recently that B is allergic to grass, it causes her to break out in an itchy red rash.  All winter, she had these rough itchy spots on her ankles, and I thought it was dry skin from the heat being on so much inside.  But now that she's been playing outside in shorts and skirts, it's all over her legs, thighs and arms.  J says it made him break out the same way when he was a kid, but that he outgrew it.  It means she'll have to wear long pants and closed shoes with socks anytime she plays outside.  Really she needs long sleeves too, because her arms also break out, but she'll roast.  Maybe if I could find some long sleeves cotton gauze shirts... I don't know if they make those for babies.  I'm going to talk to her pediatrician at her well baby check and see if they have any suggestions.  I feel bad for her, it's so disgustingly hot in the summer.  Of course, it would only be while we were out in the yard.  Its hard to even find long sleeved shirts this time of year that aren't sweaters on clearance.

I made homemade chalk yesterday, I'll try to do a post about that in a day or two.  I took some pictures, I just dont have them uploaded yet.  It turned out well, and R has been enjoying it so far.  I think B might like it too, but I am worried about her putting it in her mouth.

Friday, April 6, 2012

More chicken blather

We have a broody hen! Which means in a few weeks we'll be hatching out chicks for the first time! I'm totally excited about this! One of the black copper marans went broody a few days ago. We've been slipping eggs from the red hen under her too, so hopefully she'll hatch out some of each. I'm still sort of struggling to get a good egg business up and running. There seems to be a lot of demand, but then folks find out how far we are (14miles) from the base and don't want to drive out here. understandable I guess. But that leaves me trying to coordinate meet ups and drop offs which doesn't always work out, and makes it less profitable in the long run. The cost of their feed has gone up a bit recently, in addition to the expense of building them a more permanent enclosure and a new house.