Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chicken Stew cures all!

I have not had a very pleasant week. Unfortunately, sickness has finally caught me and I've been dragged down by an awful cold. It flares and falls throughout the day, but in the end always catches up with me. I've been stuffed, coughing, and weary since Sunday evening. It definitely doesn't help my pregnancy fatigue!

Today I made it through my whole school day. This is definitely saying something, since I go from 9:30am to 5:30pm. I was dying. I came home to find dinner set and ready, prepared by my wonderful husband. He has a specific speciality that always shows itself when I'm sick: his homemade chicken stew.

I have to admit. This is one thing that he makes better than me. Of course, this could possibly be because I've never made it. He makes the stew completely from scratch and always throws something new in there. Today, apparently, he used a whole chicken to give it extra flavor. He used red peppers, carrots, celery, and red potatoes as the veggies. I know nothing about the spices, though. He refuses to share his secret.

Now, normally this chicken stew is served by itself or with easy-to-make bisquick biscuits. Today, however, since there was no bisquick, Clark made biscuits from scratch! He did use a recipe, thanks to the Better Homes Cook Book, but that is far more than I've ever done with biscuits! They are something I have yet to really work on, and he beat me to the punch!

So, after an amazing meal of homemade stew and biscuits, my nose may not be clear... but I am DEFINITELY feeling better!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Humidity

I think the dry heat of our house is getting to me. It's at a point in our weather where we need some heat, but not a lot (which is why we've reverted back to using our base board heating).

Every morning I wake up with a stuffy nose and a scratchy throat. For a little while, it's hard to swallow water. Not fun. Nor, I imagine, is it healthy. The last thing I need right now is to get sick!

So, I've been looking into humidifiers. I've never been much of a fan. When I was little and my older sister and I shared a room we used to have one. I hated the noise it made, but it helped my sister at night. As we got older and eventually got our own rooms, I was thankful I didn't have to put up with the noise of the humidifier... but I guess I never realized just how much good it does.

I know absolutely nothing about humidifers, so I'm trying to do research before investing in one. I found this one on Target.com:

The Honeywell QuietCare Humidifier for $49.99. I think it's appealing to me because the name has "Quiet" in it and it promises it's relatively noiseless and can run for up to 24 hours with a clear and clean filter. Not too shabby, hmmm?

We shall see if I actually decide to invest in one. I think ultimately it will be good for my health, which I hope, in turn, means it will help my sleepy nights pass a little more smoothly!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Purple People Eater Muffins

So, after a long absence, I am back! School and life are kicking my butt, but I have every reason to keep up and catch up with this blog!

Lots of changes are happening. Clark has gotten into Brevard College, and therefore a move is approaching. We were planning on me working for the two years he was in school to support us and just looking at it as though we were taking turns. Well, God had another surprise in store for us.

WE'RE EXPECTING OUR FIRST BABY! Due September 21st!

So, now I will only be working until the baby is due, and we'll go from there. Clark is very determined to work while in school so he can finally finish school. I'm so thankful for his support and motivation. I don't know where I would be without him.

This is definitely the season for children. My older sister is due in June, so now we have an ultimate bonding experience-- to be pregnant at the same time. I only wish she was closer. She lives across the country and it would be wonderful if she only lived next door.

So, this morning my stomach was acting up in weird ways. I decided to try one of the recipes from the website What to Expect When You're Expecting. The only problem was I had to make a few adjustments due to the supplies in my kitchen. So, now my Ginger Lemon Muffins came out looking like Purple People Eater Muffins because I didn't have White Grape Juice from concentrate, I had Grape Juice from concentrate.

On top of that, I forgot to spray the muffin holders... so now they come apart in crumbs and yummy gooey-ness. Don't get me wrong. They do taste yummy... I was just in such a hurry to make them I took a few short cuts that didn't work out in my favor. If you want the recipe, check out the website. I imagine that they taste even better when you follow all the necessary steps!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pot Roast Stir Fry


This is the first recipe I can safely say is entirely of my own creation. Many others have had inspiration from somewhere else, but this was something that was just sitting in my mind waiting to come out. Yes, that sounds silly.

Supplies:

- 1lb Stew Meat
- 1 Red Onion
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 4 minced Cloves of Garlic
- 3 Tblsp Soy Sauce
- 3 Tblsp Cooking Sherry
- 2 tsp Ground Ginger
- Dash of Red Pepper

Directions:

- Chop up the red onion how you like. I cut it into large pieces, but you can chop it up finer if you want to. Sautee the chopped onion and minced garlic until the onion is really soft.*I am cooking this in the wok, but you can easily cook it in a regular pan.

- Add the meat once the onions are soft. Let it cook until all sides are brown. Then add the Soy Sauce, Cooking Sherry, Ground Ginger, and a dash of Red Pepper.


- If the meat isn't cooking through for you, cover it and check on it every five to ten minutes. It takes longer to cook in the wok. If you're cooking it in a pan this pay not be a problem. If you do have to cover it, go ahead and add the red peppers. It will help them cook a little faster as well and be softer for your stir fry!

- This is the "first draft" of this recipe. I think adding some kind of mushroom and possibly cut up zucchini would definitely add to the stir fry. More veggies are always a "yes" with stir fry!

ENJOY!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

While I am not one to follow old wives' tales or some silly traditions, I am hoping Phil the groundhog was right with his shadow prediction this year.

No shadow= SPRING!

Watch Phil's prediction at: PAcast

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February Love

(Picture courtesy of Valentine's Day Blog)

It is officially February. Do you know what that means? It means that we get to start working our way towards Valentine's Day!

Now, I know the usual protests.

"Valentine's Day isn't a real holiday. It's just something for card and candy companies to make money off of."

"Valentine's Day is depressing if you don't have anyone to share it with."

"Valentine's Day is too much pressure."

The list goes on.

However, since I was little, Valentine's Day has always been one of my absolute favorites.

When you have a family, it's always fun to make Valentine's Day about the family, It shouldn't be just about mom and dad, or daughter and boyfriend, or son and girlfriend.

Every Valentine's Day my mom used to cook something special with us girls, whether it was cupcakes or sugar cookies. Along with the baked treats, once we got a little older, dad always got us each a rose of our favorite color. We were, on top of that, spoiled with candy and a small gift each. But the gifts weren't the important thing. We all spent Valentine's Day together. That's what made it special.

Starting in high school, I made sugar cookies for all of my friends. It's important to me to let others know just how much they are a part of my life and how much I love them. While I try to do this on a daily basis, I think Valentine's Day is a wonderful time to show it even more, especially with people who may be going through rough patches or may be down because they don't have "A Valentine."

I miss the days where you had to buy or make Valentine's for the whole class and put them into each person's bag, or "mail box," or envelope... whatever way the class did it. It seemed we had it right as children. Let everyone know just how special they are to you, not just that one special person in your life.