Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Garden June 29th

So, it's been just about 1 month since I last took pictures of the garden.  Well, posted some, anyway.  I've been busy watering almost daily and stalking all my plants looking for vegetables.  I'm happy to report that things are going really well.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Marinated Flank Steak with Mexican Corn Salad and Mashed Potatoes

Tonight I made something new.  I really need to start doing it more since i keep clipping new recipes out.  My new recipe pile is huge!  Perhaps its time for another month long new recipe extravaganza.  I did this a few years back and I got a bit wiped out.  It would probably be a good blogging adventure.  The downside is that new recipes are often not good on the budget because I buy ingredients I don't typically have or buy.    Also, I end up with recipes having out in left field ingredients I'll never use for anything else (chinese five spice, BLECH!).  Well, now I've gone off on a tangent.  Back to the matter at hand!

I received the recipe in the mail a couple weeks ago from Kroger along with some coupons.  I am always excited to find new grilling recipes.  This stuff was really good.  I love finding new marinades.  A few bites into the meal Papa B realized that the corn salad on top of the steak made both even tastier and so we spent the rest of the meal trying to get both things on the fork at the same time.  Definitely something we'll make a again.

Marinated Flank Steak
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated (I used 1 tbsp ground ginger)
1 cup green onions, chopped (I used 1 tbsp onion powder)
2-2.5 lb flank steak

Mix all the ingredients together and put in a bag with the steak for 12 hours.  Drain and discard marinade.  Preheat the grill.  Grill on medium heat for 5 minutes on each side or until 145 degrees (medium rare).

Mexican Corn Salad
1 can whole corn
1/4 cup red pepper, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1/2 cup tomato, diced
1/4 cup Red onion, diced
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp lime juice
1 Tbsp Cilantro
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Upcoming Tutorial Teaser

Here are the supplies I used to make something last week.  I'm too tired tonight to type out the tutorial tonight.  My Mom is visiting and we spent the evening outside doing yard work.  Who knew an acre of land was a lot of work?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Patching a sheet (and almost anything else!)

Papa B asked me to patch our sheet and so I figured I'd make it into a tutorial since I was doing something crafty anyway.  We won't discuss how the sheet got the hole (as someone might find it embarrassing)  only how we are repairing the problem.  It's a pretty easy fix and you can use this technique to patch lots of other things, including clothes!

What you'll need:

  • Item needing repaired
  • Heat n' bond (I used lightweight sold by the yard)
  • Iron
  • Matching fabric for the patch

Here the hole in my sheet.  Still not saying how it got there ;)

First, cut out a piece of my Heat n' Bond.  My piece was 12x18 to cover the hole well and provide coverage for the area.

Iron the patching fabric

Put the piece of heat n' bond on the fabric and iron until its stuck on nice and good

Cut the fabric around the heat n' bond

Peel back the paper

lay out your sheet (or whatever) and iron it to get it warm and wrinkle free

Lay your patch down over your hole and iron it down

Here is the ironed on patch from the top

Here's the patch from underneath

Next, zig zag stich around the top of the patch along the edge keeping the edge of the patch right in the middle of your foot.

Here is the patched sheet on the bed.  Ok, now who's gonna help me make it??

I couldn't resist taking a picture of Brown Dog enjoying the breeze while I made the bed.  He did not help me, btw.

There!  Bed is all made with the newly patched sheet!   Brown dog jumped on it as I was leaving the room.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Strawberry Bread

So, today I made strawberry bread for the first time.  It went really well and the bread is delicious.  I wanted to make strawberry preserves, but found out that I don't have the right size jars.  I hope to buy the right size jars and then get more strawberries so I can make some.  

I got this recipe from a friend who found it on allrecipes.  AllRecipes really is one of my favorite sites.  It is absolutely the first site I go to whenever I'm looking for a recipe.  The downside is the comments.  The comments are full of suggestions on how to make the recipe better and sometimes its hard to decide which ones to take and which ones not to.  I don't know if the strawberry doubling is in the comments, but it's what my friend suggested I do.  So, here is the recipe as I made it:

Strawberry Bread
4 cups fresh strawberries
3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350.  Then butter and flour 2 9x5 baking pans. (I think next time I will try wiping oil on them instead as I can taste the butter on the outside of the bread and don't like it)

Then wash and hull your strawberries

Take half of the strawberries and slice them

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, bakin soda, salt and cinnamon

In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, eggs and berries

Pour the strawberry mixture into the flour mixture and mix until blended.  Pour into the baking pans

Bake at 350 for 45- 50 minutes until toothpick in center comes out clean.

Let cool for 10 minutes in the pans then turn loaves out and cool.

I've already wrapped one loaf in a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil and put in the freezer for later.  Best to do that before the first one is gone or it doesn't make it there.

Did I mention the best part of having a bunch of strawberries around is strawberry math?  What does happen if you have 5 strawberries and I eat 2?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Strawberry Picking

Today we went strawberry picking with a friend of mine.  We do lots of things with them and its great because her daughters are just a few months apart from mine.  As you can see Peanut and Munchkin had a good time playing with their friends and picking strawberries.

Stay tuned for tomorrow I am going to attempt to make strawberry preserves for the first time!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chinese Wedding Reception

So, I got to experience my very first ever Chinese wedding reception.  Boy, it was cool.  It was more likely than not a once in a lifetime event for me.  There were a ton of traditions during and leading up to the wedding and ceremony.  Some of them involved pastries, and some involved hair brushes.  I don't know the details of the pastry one but I do know a bit about the hair brush.  According to tradition, the bride has to have her hair brushed by a "lucky woman" the day before her wedding.  The lucky woman (from what I understand) must have 3 generations of her family alive, must be fertile (has children) and must have no divorce in her family.  It really is a hard person to find.

Another Chinese wedding tradition is the tea ceremony.  You can read here more about the tradition .  My Sister and her husband chose to do the ceremony at the reception and involved all of the parents.

One of the more strange, but also more fascinating traditions was the way they serve food.  It brings good luck to serve food whole.  So, we were served a whole chicken and a whole fish.  I was told that the restaurant removed the chicken heads from some of the plates so as to not freak people out.  My sister was kind enough to bring one over for us to see.  I wont ever get THAT image out of my head.

On the top is the chicken.  It is a whole chicken that was sliced, bones and all.  On the bottom is a fish (I don't know what kind) cut apart.  My Mom said that it was filleted but served on top of the bones.  I'm not a fish eater and so I don't know for sure.

The more "American" parts of the wedding was the dancing.  Munchkin started walking full time just 2 days before the wedding and so she really enjoyed running around on the dance floor.  Here she is showing off the eyelet lace dress I made her.

Here's Peanut dancing with another 3 year old at the wedding.  They met at the shower and hit it off so it was great to see them together again.  Sorry it's not the best picture, but the good ones showed their faces really well.

So, if you ever get invited to a Chinese wedding reception do everything you can to attend.  It's something really special.  Congrats to the new couple!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Busy busy!

We're back!  I was just in Boston for my Sister's wedding and didn't open my laptop at all while I was gone.  I'll be posting pictures from the wedding and then pictures of her wedding gift and a tutorial.  So much to do!  Also, the garden has grown a bunch and I can't wait to show you new pictures of that!  So, get crafting!!