Friday, March 30, 2012

recipe of the week: greek chicken pasta

we love greek food
we love pasta
so when  i found this recipe for greek chicken pasta, i decided to try it.
upon reading the recipe, however, i decided to take what i liked about it (the artichoke hearts and feta cheese, namely) and create a new recipe based loosely on it.

here's what happened
greek chicken pasta

2 tbsp olive oil
salt, freshly ground pepper, greek seasoning, oregano
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound of chicken, cut into cubes (i used boneless skinless breasts)
1/2 cup white wine (this is how much was left in the bottle in my use more or less depending on your preference)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes with oregano, basil and garlic
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1 container feta cheese with mediterranean herbs (or reserve a bit for sprinkling on top)
penne or bow-tie pasta, cooked according to package directions

begin by heating your olive oil and spices
 toss in the onions and garlic, saute for 5 minutes
 add the cubed chicken and a second round of spices (including a whole lot of greek seasoning)
 add the white wine, and cook down for about 3 minutes
add the chicken broth, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and feta

 simmer sauce together for at least 15 minutes (enough time for the pasta to cook)

 it smells and looks amazing after that time...
 serve up over your warm & freshly cooked penne, sprinkle with reserved feta

 (assuming 6 servings, pasta included)

*in the future i will likely marinate the chicken first, perhaps in lime juice and greek seasonings. i dislike chicken that is bland, and it just didn't have the great flavor of the sauce to me. however, leftovers were a little better in that regard, so i'll be playing around with this a bit!

(click this button and find more yummy recipes!!)
feed my family friday


Sunday, March 25, 2012

it's a great day to put up my saturday post a day late!

so, we celebrated my birthday and anthony's awesome new job at the pub friday night with friends & family
slept in on saturday morning, then went to see one of the youth group kids in a play
and then anthony told me that he wanted to take me shopping for my birthday
he knew what he wanted to buy me, but knew that i would want input.

he wanted to buy me a north face jacket (which i've wanted for YEARS but haven't justified the money spent)
so we went to a couple of stores, and ended up finding a triclimate jacket on *clearance* for a hundred dollars off normal price...and a light hoodie on clearance as well.
i ended up walking out of the store with two jackets -- and a pair of reef flip flops that ALSO happened to be on clearance, all for well under the amount he had budgeted and set aside for the original jacket.  
i'm spoiled, blessed and happy :-)  

today is church, lawn mowing, and once upon a time/gcb with natasha.
i'm kind of not wanting this weekend to end!

happy sunday, all!


Friday, March 23, 2012

recipe of the week: (slow cooker) thai red curry beef

i'm having quite the blossoming relationship lately with my slow cooker.
wednesdays are SLAMMED for both my husband and me, so wednesday has become "crock pot night" at our place
sometimes that's tossing everything together wednesday morning, but more often than not i prepare it tuesday night and plug it in as i head out the door.

i made this recipe for the second time this week.  the first time, i followed it nearly exactly (from the williams-sonoma website).  but i felt that while the sauce had great flavor, the meat itself just tasted like lumps of beef.  well, they were after all!

so i've revamped the recipe a bit, and we had it for dinner again this week.  this time was a little more to my liking, so here's my adaptation of the recipe!

thai red curry beef

marinade for the meat:
2 - 3 tbsp red curry paste
salt & pepper
garlic powder
juice of 1/2 lime
mint flakes

2.5 pounds lean stew meat
olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup (or more to taste) red curry paste
2 cans coconut milk
salt, pepper, cumin, a smidge of cayenne, crushed coriander seeds, mint leaves (to taste) - i use a mortar & pestle to combine
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 can bamboo shoots
fresh mint and cilantro

begin by combining the stew meat with the marinade ingredients.  mix well, and then refrigerate for at least an hour.

heat 2 tbsp (ish) of olive oil in a large pot.  in batches if necessary, brown the meat a bit on all sides.  you're not cooking through, just getting a little color on the meat.

transfer the meat to the crockpot.

add the onion and garlic to the pan, as well as the spice combo.

cook for five minutes, and then add the red curry paste.

stir the paste into the onion/garlic mixture and cook through for another minute or so.
pour in the coconut milk and stir well, scraping any reside off the pan while you're doing so.  add the fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar.

bring mixture to a boil, then transfer to the crockpot as well.

cook on low for 6-8 hours, and 5 minutes before serving stir in the bamboo and a second round of that spice combo.  i also added another tablespoon or two of the red curry paste.
serve over rice and garnish with the mint and cilantro.
this is not a low-fat recipe.  after all, it has two cans of coconut milk in it.  however, fat (especially good fat) is not the problem, at least not for me.  i try to stay low-sugar, and this recipe fits the bill.  here's the screenshot from myfitnesspal of the breakdown (including rice...we use brown basatmi).

(lots of fun recipes linked up if you click on this button!  yummy!)
feed my family friday

Thursday, March 22, 2012

thursday's ten or so: the swagbucks edition

since i'll be posting some of the great deals and promotions that swagbucks offers, i thought i'd do a quick post about why and how i actually use swagbucks.

first of all, what do i do to earn?

i utilize swagbucks tv.  for every 10 (short) videos you watch, you earn 3 swagbucks.  that doesn't sound or seem like a lot until you actually do it.  i'll often keep the computer handy while cooking or doing other things and click a new video every minute or two.

i click through the no obligations special offers daily.  i have never actually filled out info or submitted an offer, but i always earn sb for just clicking through for a minute.

i search -- and usually have 3 - 4 searches a day that yield swagbucks.  sometimes 6, other times as many as 25.

i answer the daily poll.  one swagbuck per day. easy.

i utilize swagcodes.  there's usually one a day or so, but some days there are multiples.  they're usually worth anything from 3 to 10 bucks apiece.  usually i follow to get the latest codes (they have a twitter and facebook).  they aren't affiliated with swagbucks as far as i know, but they are the best i've found at getting them out quickly!

i occasionally will do a special offer.  they usually require a purchase, but if it's something i'm already buying why not?  they can be worth hundreds of swagbucks.  only if i'm going to buy something already will i bother, but if you buy any local deals (like groupon, living social or eversave) check to see if they're in the special offers.  currently it seems to be only eversave, but i think they cycle.

ok, but what do all these "bucks" buy?

tons of stuff.  however, i stick to one category: gift cards.

you can "buy" up to two rewards a day.  you can repeat the same reward up to 5 times in a month.  this year i'm focusing mainly on amazon gift cards.  the $5 ones are the best deals.  i buy 5 a month...that's $25 to spend on amazon per month.  do the math -- there's $300 for free.  considering the size of our combined families, i'm planning to buy most people's christmas gifts off amazon on black friday this year...and $300 will go a LONG way (if not all the way!)

there are gift cards for starbucks, paypal, maggiano's and a ton of other places i shop at often.  if i start earning enough swagbucks i definitely plan to buy a few of those as well!

the last few months i've maintained an earning average of at least 50 swagbucks a day.  in the future i'm planning to get at least 75 a day.  an $5 amazon gift card will cost you 450 swagbucks, so at the rate of 50/day i'll get a new amazon card in 9 days or so.

if you haven't joined swagbucks please consider clicking the link (it's my referral link) and trying it out!  i'll be happy to help you get started, and you get an automatic 30 bucks just for joining! :-)


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

hey, it's ok... (tuesday) 3.20

hey, it's ok be glad that winter is officially over even though we didn't have much of one here elect not to go into the office after the majority of the day has been spent dealing with car troubles (turns out that was a REALLY good move on my part considering drama stuff that happened yesterday after i didn't go in) return home at 2.30 pm after dropping the car off at the dealership only to don a pair of pajama pants, and do a bit of laundry have giggled a bit when after describing the issues the car has been having the dealership servicemen said "yeah, i think we may have to call the VW priest in on this one to perform an exorcism..." really (really REALLY) hope that this is a "cheap" fix be (truly) excited that tonight you get to mow your lawn for the first time (i haven't mowed since high school because i haven't had a yard to do so in and i'm THRILLED). be a little bit addicted to draw something.

please visit amber and link up your own list of things to be ok with!


Monday, March 19, 2012

more about that swagbucks thing...march swagness!

i've signed up to be a blogger at swagbucks.  don't worry, this doesn't mean that i'm going to post something every day (and probably not even every week) about the site, and you can certainly ignore these posts if you want to.  but sometime this week i'll be posting how i'm using swagbucks this year, and why you may want to as well :-)  if you're interested, click one of the links above.  i'll get a referral for your click if you sign up, and you'll get to start earning things like free amazon gift cards, starbucks, or other cool things.  more about that on thursday!

for now, i'm going to let you in on a sneak peek -- this is directly copied from an email i received this morning about something cool that starts tomorrow!

March Swagness has come to Swagbucks - it's all about you earning bonus Swag Bucks while doing all of the things you’re already doing on Swagbucks. Every day they’ll give you an earning goal, which you’ll find on their homepage. As you earn Swag Bucks throughout the day, that meter will fill up and when it’s full, you’ll have earned your bonus for the day. The bonus will always be 10% of that day’s goal. 

Be sure to check in everyday, as the earning goal for any given day could be higher or lower than the day before. Your total bonus amount will continue to accumulate each day, and your bonus amount will be applied at by April 5th – this special promotion runs through April 2nd. If you hit the earning goal every single day of March Swagness, your bonus amount will be doubled!

EVERYTHING you earn on Swagbucks counts towards March Swagness – including (but not limited to) Search,SurveysTasks, Swag Codes, Special OffersReferral Bucks, Winning TTPTP, Hashtag and Comment hookups – if you earn it from us, it counts towards the day it was earned!

Get your March Swagness on starting tomorrow, when the goal will be 50 Swag Bucks


Saturday, March 17, 2012

it's a great day for a st. patrick's day party!

not much to say today, as i'm in prep mode for our party!  
we are irish, scotch and german in our home, so an open house to celebrate the gaelic side is only fitting :-)

i hope you all have a wonderful St Patrick's day!
previous year's posts:
irish blessings (2011)

this year since it's all-consuming for me, i'll just post today's menu. some of the recipes can be found on my recipes tab, but if you want my recipe for something not listed just let me know and i'll email it to you!


géarú goile
corned beef bites
irish cheddar potatoes
the orange and the green veggies w/spinach dip

shepherd’s pie (with lamb)
corned beef and cabbage

sugar cookies
bailey’s brownies *alcoholic*
mint oreo truffles

the orange and the green punch
shamrock shakes

irish coffee
irish car bomb jello shots
bubbly irish nut
woodchuck hard cider
bailey’s irish cream
jameson irish whiskey


Friday, March 16, 2012

recipe of the week: thai chicken pizza

i'm into easy food.
don't get me wrong.  i'm also into cook for hours but it's totally worth every moment food.
but this particular recipe falls into the first category.  easy.  cheap.  quick.

thai chicken pizza

1 pound of chicken breasts, cooked through and shredded
1 jar of peanut satay sauce (you'll find it in the asian section of most groceries. i got mine at trader joe's.)
1 ball of pizza dough
mozzarella cheese (i use about a cup)
1 carrot, shredded
3 or so green onions, chopped (green part only)
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
however much cilantro you want
thai basil if it's in season (it wasn't here :-( )

begin by combining your shredded chicken and satay sauce

 then roll out your dough on a floured surface.
 (this is a good time to play with the dough if you dare)
then roll the dough into a shape. i chose the rectangle this particular evening because it's waaaay easier than a circle for me.
 top with the chicken satay mixture
  and the cheese
 and veggies (i didn't have red onion this night...oops!)
  bake at 375 for about 12 minutes (depending on your oven of course)

 and enjoy!  

i cut 12 pieces of this pizza.  assuming a serving size of 2 pieces (which is what i usually have) here's what you're looking at according to

feed my family friday