Posted in Life + Living

Paint me a sunrise and I shall be content

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The sunrise was beautiful this morning. I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of it when I woke up this morning.  I’ve been laying on the couch, facing the window as pictured above, and watching the colors quietly shift and change.

When I first started watching, there was a bit of dark blue at the far corner of the window.  The blue has since retreated and been replaced with a lovely lavender color, pale and peaceful.  Though the foliage breaks up the scene, I can see that an orange the color of a summertime Push-pop or orange sorbet is starting to take center stage.

As I study the colors, and marvel at their beauty, the painter in me wonders how the purple and the orange can be right next to each other, but there’s no muddying of the colors.  There’s no hard line that says “this side is orange/this side is purple.” Then, as if to add to the illusion, a breeze stirs the leaves of the tree and they dance like glitter thrown across this masterpiece.

la vie est belle

Posted in Food, Menu Planning, Recipe

And, I’m back…

Breakfast wrap - 2 eggs, 1 slice sharp cheddar, tortilla; oranges, sweet peppers

Is it just me, or is WordPress being weird? I usually include photos in my posts and this one *STARTED* fine, but then I went back to edit the draft of this post and the photo exploded.  The preview looks fine, but, I dunno…I’m typing right now and all I can see is the orange and it’s super zoomed in and… let’s just say it doesn’t look like an orange at the moment @_@;

Ahem.

I’ve been away a lot lately because, well, life happens–I needed to be there for family and so I was.  This involved going back to Canada for a funeral service just a week and a half after we had come home from Canada, but it was well worth the journey, just to gain some closure, healing, and time with family.

 

I’m at a point, where I want to get back to what I originally intended with this blog–cooking, working out, getting healthy.

Today, I’m spring cleaning around the apartment and I’ll be cooking up a few things for this week’s dinners.  I’ve got my grocery list planned out and the meal plans, too.  Now it’s just a matter of executing on the plan:

Monday: Chorizo Chicken Jambalaya

Tuesday: Taco Chicken Bowls

Wednesday: Wild Rice Soup – made from a mix, I’ll be adding fresh mushrooms and serving with a salad and a crusty bread.

Thursday: Spaghetti – nothing fancy, just browned beef, pasta, and sauce

Friday: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

Saturday: Skillet Gnocchi w/ Chard and White Beans – we’ve tried this one before, and it was terrible.  Mostly, Jeff says, because “melted spatula” wasn’t supposed to be part of the recipe.

Posted in Life + Living

Happy Monday!!

I meant to write more over the weekend, but the days just got away from me.

So much so, in fact, that I woke up this morning thinking (hoping?) That today was Sunday.

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For Valentine’s, not to beat a dead horse, but, I was one if those people in line at the last minute picking out a card. I know it’s contrived, but I like celebrating love. We don’t make a big   fuss, but just a little something.

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I ended up buying him a saucy birthday card, abd crossing out “biryhday” and writing “Valentine’s” hehe. I also snagged him a new mug since his favorite one recently shattered.

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What’s cute, is that he actually does give up his coffee for me some days. And he’s the one to be a pot 90% of the time.

Love is not something I’ve ever been without, because my mom is a total sweet heart. I got her the same mug as Jeff, and she bought us chocolates and a sweet-as-honey card.

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Anyway.. that brings us to today: Snow Drama, Monday edition.

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I woke up to big fat snow flakes falling heavily this morning, blanketing the road like thick butter cream icing.  My commute was really good, considering the conditions. I know the plows were out, but they couldn’t keep up with the snow. My car was pulled to the side every time my wheels came again the resistance of packed snow that didn’t go in the direction I was going (think intersections, merging on the highway, changing lanes..).  What doubles the frustration is that I was supposed to have the day off.

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The good news is that the bosses sprung for breakfast and lunch, AND, it was healthy. Thank goodness!  What’s even better, is these same bosses cleared off everyone’s cars when the snow stopped so that when we went home, we wouldn’t have to.

I should mention, I don’t work for a small company. There were a lot of cats to clear! It was their way of saying “thank you” and they did it with a smile:

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After work, I was able to get the grocery shopping done. I keep seeing it all over the place, so I actually picked up some Brussels sprouts to roast tonight. I also nabbed some fruit that week be quick and easy for grab-n-go snacking this week.  Plus: it’s a super nice splash of color in an otherwise blah landscape. Can winter be done now? ╮(╯▽╰)╭

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Posted in Food, Menu Planning, New Food, Recipe, Weight Watchers

Orange Chicken

Yeeeaaaahhh… My version of orange chicken turned out almost nothing like the picture that I pinned on my pinterest foodies board.  When I was at the grocery store, a friend in need called and I missed out on a couple of ingredients such as the  sesame seeds, red pepper flakes and scallions.  We made due with what we had, though, and it turned out pretty wicked (in a good way).

After going through this process, I would say that there are some things to be desired in the recipe, as far as instructions go.  Here is how the recipe was published on laaloosh:

Orange Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:
1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch strips
2 cup cooked white rice, kept hot
Rind of a small orange sliced into thin strips
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup canned chicken broth, reduced-sodium
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 medium scallions, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or 1 dried chili pepper, minced
1 tbsp sesame seeds

**For added nutritional value, substitute the white rice with brown rice

Directions:
In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, broth, sugar, cornstarch, ginger, and vinegar, then set aside.
In a large skillet, heat peanut oil on medium-high heat. Add orange rinds, scallions, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 2 minutes. Add in the chicken and cook for approximately 6 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown.
Now mix in the sauce and let simmer until the chicken is cooked all the way through and the sauce starts to get thick, this should take approximately 3-4 minutes. On a plate, serve chicken and sauce over rice and garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds

Serving size = 1 cup of chicken and 1/2 cup of rice

Here is what I learned by doing:

– Cook the rice according to package directions.  Then strain the rice because there’s still too much liquid when it’s done.

– Use an itty bit more oil.  It was pretty well gone before the chicken even got there.

– Dice the orange rind if you intend to eat it.

– On that note, add a little bit more sugar to the sauce recipe so that it caramelizes a little more.

– Dried chives are not the same as fresh scallions.

– Rice vinegar, though, is a good substitute for white wine vinegar.

– Use the pulp from the orange that you chopped up in a fresh house salad to serve alongside your chicken:

All in all, this recipe has got lots of potential, but we just need to refine the way that we cooked it a little and actually use all of the ingredients called for 🙂 We will probably make this again.  1 serving has 6 points on a popular weight loss program.

Posted in Life + Living, Self-Reflection

What I’m Digging Wednesday

Fidget toy - mini slinky

Navel Oranges - feels like summer

Water

Motorcycle Weather

And one thing I’m not digging:

Spider

I was startled to look up and see this spider on my wall last night.  I found out by searching the interwebz (namely, bugguide.net) that this ‘beaut is apparently a “Parson’s Spider.”  Once I read a little bit more about it, it was less er.. scary? Repulsive?  Apparently this little guy hunts by crawling on the ground and overpowering its prey.  What’s more is that its prey is usually other spiders.  The best part is that they do not spin webs to catch their food–so no messy cob webs to deal with. 🙂  I’m glad I didn’t squash him!  Now if only he’ll stay out of sight, out of mind…