Saturday, September 29, 2012

recipe of the week: mongolian beef (crock pot or not)

once upon a time, i decided that i wanted to make mongolian beef.
and none of the recipes i found seemed perfect, so naturally i decided to make my own :-)

here's what you need:

1 pound (or a bit more) flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, grated
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
5 green onions, sliced into 1/2 or 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup water

begin by slicing the flank steak against the grain into very thin strips


place your corstarch in a mixing bowl

toss the steak strips in it until they are well coated

in a large skillet heat garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes in olive oil for 3-5 minutes
add coated beef strips and fully cook
grab your green onions
add them to the mix (perfectly ok to do this while the meat is browning, of course)
add the brown sugar
once the meat is fully cooked, mix the hoisin and soy sauces

pour into the mix and add the water

this is the point where it can go one of two ways. either simmer it on the stove until you are ready to serve it

OR pour into a crock pot and use the lowest setting (i just kept it on "warm") to continue simmering it throughout the day.

serve over brown rice. so, so yummy.


swagbucks...extra reward alert!!

i promised not to fill your reader/feed/whatever with lots of information about swagbucks, unless it was really important!  however, this particular promotion is GREAT if you like free music and the like :-)

i've told you that i am stocking up on amazon gift cards with my swagbucks earnings.  well, this month only there is a special promotion going on when you snag an amazon gift card.  here's the blurb straight from them.

When you snag an Gift Card from Swagbucks during the month of September, you will be rewarded with a $1 promotional credit for Amazon MP3. With over 20 million songs, they're sure to have that new song you're dying to hear again or an oldie you don't already have in your collection. Start earning reward points today and snag your Gift Card and $1 Amazon MP3 promotional credit before Sept. 30th.

you only have TODAY and TOMORROW to get this.

and if you haven't signed up for swagbucks yet, please use any of the links in this post to start earning! you may not be able to take advantage of this promotion unless you're super dedicated, but you'll get cool stuff and i'll get referral bucks :-)


Saturday, September 8, 2012

it's a great day to get more fingernail polish

today's agenda: cook, clean, go to target and buy a new shade of nail polish (because why not), play games/watch movies with anthony and his sisters (they're hanging out today and tomorrow with us), babysit for a family i used to nanny for (i haven't seen the kids for awhile so i'm really looking forward to that!) and just...chill.  i'm good with that plan.

how about you? anything crazy happening over your weekend?


Friday, September 7, 2012

recipe of the week: spinach tortellini soup (slow cooker!)

spinach tortellini soup (in the crockpot!)

2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
6 oz raw mushrooms, washed and sliced (i use the wild mushroom blend from whole foods)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne peper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cheese tortellini
4 cups fresh spinach leaves, torn
1 cup skim milk
1 cup whipping cream
fresh parmesan cheese to top

begin by stirring together in a crock pot the vegetable broth, butter, water, flour, mushroom, onion, garlic and spices.

 cover and cook on low from 6-8 hours
 add torn spinach leaves
 and tortellini.  stir together and cook for another 30 minutes or so
 add milk and whipping cream
 cook on low for another 20-30 minutes
 and enjoy!
 top with parmesan cheese if you wish. (we wish :-)

*adapted to eliminate pre-packaged mixes and to fit our tastes from this recipe


Thursday, September 6, 2012

thursday's ten or so: currently (9.6.12)

currently listening to: mostly pandora, bryan and katie torwalt, Jesus culture, etc

currently reading: um, a little behind in that. a book i need to review on here and the hunger games.

currently looking forward to: football, fall clothes and foods, making pumpkin scones with natasha and (crazy!) our first anniversary

currently craving: pumpkin foods, butternut squash soup, and other fall things. unfortunately heat and humidity will keep me from making some of these for awhile!

currently thankful for: amazing husband, wonderful friends, a great job, former nanny families who still call me first for babysitting, and all the other blessings in my life!

currently discovering: all the great new local coffee shops! natasha and i went to the well last night and barista parlor is another new favorite!!

currently organizing: just finished the kitchen (again...really i love doing it so it's ongoing). now working on my closet and getting ready to start guest bedroom 1/office...that will take awhile.

currently watching: america's got talent, switched at birth and jane by design. and more than ready for my main shows to come back.

currently wearing: lots of head scarves, belts, and dresses with leggings. and toms.

currently wishing for: more toms, a great blender, a tv stand for the living room, and bookcases.

what about you? anything currently going on that you want to share? :-)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

hey, it's ok (tuesday) 9.4.12

hey, it's ok be a bit disturbed by the fact that a commercial for a drain cleaner feels the need to be sexy. um. what? wish all my iphone apps had a "quiet time" feature like one i found the other day -- it won't notify you between specific hours if you prefer to set it up that way. be kind of obsessed with shows on abc family. i'll leave it at that ;-) (i feel twelve...) spend an entire saturday in loungey clothes and not leave the house not feel bad about doing the right thing, even if it's unpopular. blog, pinterest and tweet while hanging out in a classroom of sleeping children just to stay awake. {yawn} crank up pandora while by yourself at work. mainly because otherwise you find yourself humming the naptime music while driving or in the shower and that is most definitely NOT ok. be itching to decorate the guest rooms. it's about time they started looking a bit more "us". think that it might be a good idea to get a wedding photo or two up in the house. digital is ok, but canvas would be great :-)

please visit amber's blog to link up and read other things you can be ok with!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

recipe of the week: ny deli mac & cheese

adapted slightly, but pretty much rachael ray's recipe (found here)

ny deli mac & cheese

1 pound pasta (i typically use elbow macaroni)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon or so of italian seasoning
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup skim milk
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz mild cheddar cheese
1/4 cup spicy deli or german mustard
1/2 pound pastrami, chopped roughly
6 slices rye bread

cook pasta according to package directions. 

meanwhile, heat a large skillet or saucepan and add the butter and italian seasoning.  when butter is melted, whisk in flour and cook for a minute before adding the chicken stock, milk and mustard.
 toast up the rye bread slices
 then pulse them in a food processor

 remove and set aside in bowl, then also chop the pastrami in the food processor
 shred cheese and mix well

 once liquids on stove have heated through, stir cheese* in a figure eight motion until melted and smooth
*but reserve just a bit of the cheese 

 add pastrami

 place cooked pasta in baking dish
 pour cheese mixture over noodles
 top with toasted rye crumbs

 add reserved cheese

 bake at 400゜ until browned and bubbling
and watch your husband enjoy :-)