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This, IMG_1540 is my morning coffee. It’s also 11:45am. I JUST WOKE UP.

The kids went back to school today. I went back to bed.

I crawled out of bed around 6:45am to oversee the whole breakfast, lunches thing, hugged and kissed them and gently shoved them out the door in a super loving fashion to catch the bus.

I’m tired and unemployed, so I crawled back in bed around 7:15am.

Now I am drinking my coffee at noon and the kids get out of school in only 2 hours. Oops.

I LOVE SLEEP.

And….It’s my birthday week, so I really can do whatever I want. And make whatever I want for dinner.

Last night I was trying to combine 2 of my favorites to start out the week right. We only made it to the appetizers because it was BY FAR the BEST sushi I have EVER made at home.

Shrimp & Avocado Hand Rolls with Spicy Mayo

IMG_1538

So easy!

I sliced up carrots, cucumbers, avocado. Made rice, which I can never find short grain sushi rice, so I just used a long grain and tossed it with a little rice vinegar.

Mix up the most amazing Spicy Mayo ever from my very good friend Marissa’s blog. I linked her recipe for Shrimp, Melon and Cucumber Salad with Spicy Mayo and that whole salad is divine. But, in this case, I only needed the mayo!

Lay the Nori (dried seaweed) out, place rice on first, layer other items & drizzle with spicy mayo, as seen below:

IMG_1538 - Version 2

Roll her up and you got yourself a heavenly little treat.

IMG_1539

I couldn’t make them fast enough. The kids ate more than I did!

Tonight we get to enjoy what was supposed to be last nights main course. Teriyaki Chicken w/ Broccoli over rice. It will be delicious too.

Cheers!

 

 

Sweet tooth FAIL

It’s not fair to keep this story to myself.

I made that decision.

A couple days ago a IG friend (@janinenickel) posted this on Instagram:

I advised her to “Never EVER say no to carrot cake!!!”

Her response was great. And true. Especially true about carrot cake.

I triple heart carrot cake.

So, since then I have been CRAVING carrot cake with a certain intensity that shouldn’t be allowed…..

I blame it on my passion.

So, I decided enough was enough. I am always goofing off in the kitchen. It was high time I made that dang carrot cake to quench my craving.

I google carrot cake recipes, skim through a couple of them, find one that meets my requirements, in other words, I have all the ingredients for.

I whip up the batter. Notice the pre-heat temp is only 300 degrees. I was thinking that was kind of cool, but didn’t pay much attention to it.

I put the cake in the oven and took a gander at the bake time. 1 hour. Holy moly, that’s a long time for a cake.

Oh well…..

*waiting patiently*

I pull the cake out and put it on a rack to cool.

I take another gander at the recipe. Cool for 1 hour….but that wasn’t all…..

AND THEN FLIP UPSIDE DOWN AND PLACE ON RACK IN A CUPBOARD FOR 24 HOURS.

WHAT?

SHUT UP!

I want to eat this cake RIGHT NOW.

Not a day from now.

I could have ignored the rules. I could have defied them.

But, in the end, I am a rule follower.

There it is, second shelf down, just hanging out in my pantry.

*no longer patiently waiting. now I am just mad*

The next evening, after a chaotic day, I am finally able to frost the beast.

Then I refrigerate it for a bit. But since my patience has been wrung DRY, it only lasts in the fridge about 10 minutes.

OH. MY. HEAVENS.

GLORIOUS. FABULOUS. HEAVENLY. MOUTH WATERING HAPPINESS.

Worth.

The.

Wait.

*my patience totally disagrees*

Click here for the recipe for any of you who might want to try this at home.

Ya, I realize it says right at the top that the total time is 25 hours, 35 minutes…but who really reads that stuff?

 

 

New Trial: One night a week is Kid Night

I ran into a friend at the grocery store yesterday. Both of us were gathering a few items for dinner. She makes a comment about being exhausted and ready to go home and sit on the couch. She then proceeded to tell me that every week they have Family Dinner Night in which one of their children (ranging from 6th grade to 3 years old) picks WHAT they will have for dinner AND MAKES IT. The only child she has to be in the kitchen with is the 3 year old, but she did tell me that the 3 year old knows EXACTLY what ingredients go into the spaghetti and will keep her on track. She said it works so well with her three kids because they are creative. One might not be too daring in the dinner department but dessert is his specialty. She said her middle son is a fabulous baker, so he is daring and creative with the main course.

I have had my kids make their own pizza’s, meaning, I make the dough, they sprinkle their toppings on… but I have never given them the power to decide and then create the entire meal themselves. What a way to boost their knowledge in the kitchen as well as training them in sooo many ways!

I am so excited to start this tradition in my own home.

Tonight is Lexi’s night. Lexi just turned 10. She is our oldest and is in the 4th grade.

She picked Chicken Quesadilla’s served with a dollop of sour cream and for dessert she chose homemade donuts from her new donut maker with a homemade maple glaze.

SUCCESS!

Dinner and dessert was EXCELLENT. Lexi was proud.

Next week: Brayden’s night. He is so excited and can’t stop throwing his ideas around. He’s mentioned chicken, broccoli, noodles tossed with butter…but his main course….CRAB.

Oh boy….

Banana Cream Bars…cuz pie makes you fat.

I had 2 old bananas. They were turning brown and starting to glare at me. I didn’t want to chuck them, so I ran to the store and spent $24.92 to salvage those 2 bananas and make something delicious.

I didn’t want to make a pie. People judge you when you say you’ve been eating pie.

I wanted a banana cream pie, but in bar form. I wanted graham cracker crust. Well…banana cream bars already exist, but I couldn’t find one with graham cracker crust. So, I created my own.

What you need to make these:

2/3 cup butter – melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 package (3.4oz) vanilla instant pudding
1 package (3.4 oz) banana instant pudding
3 cups milk
Giant tub of cool whip – thawed
4 bananas (preferably ripe but not squishy…nobody likes squishy bananas….NOBODY)

Crust:

Mix butter and sugar. Add graham cracker crumbs until mixed. Press onto the bottom of a jelly roll pan (or any pan you want to press it onto). Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes or so, until it browns just a bit around the edges. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. (Turn your oven off, you don’t need it anymore)

Filling:
Mix instant pudding packages with milk. Slowly add about 1 1/2 cups of the cool whip.

Thinly slice the bananas and place over the crust.

Pour the filling mixture on top of the bananas (on top of the crust).

Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Add remaining cool whip layer on top of the filling.

Voila.

Enjoy.

Eat as many as you want, because its not actually pie.

I have tried for YEARS, at least 13 years, to make a good Yellow Chicken Curry.  It never turns out right.  Probably because I am not Indian or from Thailand.  Those dudes have the upper hand in some UH-MAZIN cooking! (In my humble opinion!) Love, love LOVE me some GOOOOOOOD Thai food!

A couple days ago I was craving curry….again.  So I gave it another shot.  It turned out UNBELIEVABLE!  So, due to a few requests, I am posting the recipe and directions….or I guess those go hand-in-hand….anyhooooo!

Yellow Chicken Curry

3 cups Steamed White Rice

3 medium Potatoes – chopped into 1/2 inch cubes

3 tablespoon Vegetable oil (or Canola)

1/2 medium Onion sliced on bias

2 whole Chicken breasts sliced thin

2.5 tablespoon Spicy Curry Powder or Curry Powder

2 tablespoon Minced Ginger bottled is fine (I recommend fresh Ginger Root)

3-4 cloves Garlic minced

1.5 teaspoon Salt

2 can (13.5 oz) Coconut milk

3 tablespoon FRESH Basil or 1.5 TBSP dried Basil

Red Pepper Flakes (optional – if you want extra spicy)

1 can (8 oz) Bamboo Shoots drained and rinsed (optional-which I did NOT add)

Now, the how-to’s:

Prepare the steamed rice.

Prepare potatoes: Peel the potatoes, and dice them into even, 1/2″ cubes. In a medium saucepan, bring water to rolling boil. Boil for about 4-5 minutes — do not overcook — you want them fork-firm — “al dente”, not fully cooked. Run under cold water immediately for a minute to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Wash and dry the chicken breasts. Slice them thinly.

Bring a large saucepan to medium-high heat; add vegetable oil. Saute the sliced onions for 2 minutes, until just tender (not brown), and add the chicken. Cook the chicken over medium-high heat until opaque, not brown, approximately 3-5 minutes more.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the curry, ginger, garlic & salt (about this time your spouse will enter the kitchen and ask what smells SOOOO AMAZING)! and stir it in rapidly (don’t let it scald on the pan). Add the coconut milk (aka little slice of heaven), stir to mix well, add the potatoes, and heat over medium heat.

I know it doesn’t look super appealing, but believe me, YUMMM!

Sample often while preparing other items.  Also while setting the table.  As well as while you wait for the kids to turn off the tv, wash their hands, actually come to the table….

Yellow Chicken Curry served with Shrimp Peanut Pad Thai.

(pad thai was not made from scratch, have tried, but believe it or not, they sell a boxed version that is really great, so I just use it and add medium shrimp!)

Booooya!