Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hello, again! aka Thai Noodles with Curried Beef Sauce

It's been a while (a long while) since I last blogged here. I was going to give this up for good, but have since decided to chronicle my attempts to steer my family onto the organic path. I know a lot of people (read: my mom's family) will say that organic doesn't matter. That if you eat organic, you think you're too good for 'regular' food. Ummm...Damn straight. I actually worry very little about pesticides (crazy, huh?). It's the GMOs that have me scared onto this path. So anyway--I've gotten a few things straightened out in my life.

 1. I had the Mirena removed. My hormonal mood swings were getting to the point where I felt almost out of body. The back of my brain was saying "why are you doing this? this is crazy!" while the rest of me steamrolled ahead into whatever loss of temper/control that I was headed towards. It started to get scary. Since the problems seemed to arise about every 2 weeks (ovulation and pms, for those of you who aren't in the know), I decided to get the Mirena removed. Best. Decision. Ever. I had stopped managing my household and was basically hanging on for the ride. While I'm still working at getting the chaos of laundry, toys, and stuff under control, I am making progress. I suddenly have interest in reading again (I didn't even realize I had lost that). I have interest in meal-planning and couponing and managing the grocery budget again! The Mirena had basically caused me to be mildly depressed ALL the time as well as emotionally unstable. FUN TIMES!

 2. I am now selling Thirty One Gifts and I couldn't be more excited! I love helping hostesses get their wish lists! It's a great part-time thing that gives me a little extra spending money without taking away too much time from my daughter and the house.

 3. I am no longer allowing anybody to dictate my emotions and responses. I love my mom, I love Pappa D, and I love my family--but that doesn't mean they get to play me. I visit when I want/have time. I don't feel (too) bad about not being able to meet up last minute when my mom is anywhere within 2 hours of me (because, you know, letting me know more than 24 hours in advance is just too much, still). I have decided that I will be my own person! And I'm loving it!

 Soooo...let's get this started out right with the first meal of the menu plan. It was freaking amazing...just...amazing. Lil' G approved, Pappa D approved, I approved. It's a keeper. I didn't take pictures (because I haven't gotten to that point yet), but let me just explain the beauty of this. I have a friend who swears that my stir fries are "too complex". I beg to differ. When I make a stir fry with sauce, I want my sauce to have sweet, sour, salty, and spice. I WANT IT ALL! And this recipe has it. If I remember, I'll get a picture of it tomorrow when I warm it up for lunch. I make no promises, though.

  Thai Noodles With Curry Ground Beef Sauce
1 bunch romaine lettuce
1 lb fresh rice noodles (these are not dried noodles, they're sold pre-cut in about 1/4-inch strips, or in sheets you can cut)
4 tablespoons black soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb ground beef
3 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 onion, chopped
3 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans chicken broth
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup water

Sauce ingredients
2 tablespoons black soy sauce*
2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 tablespoons light soy sauce*
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons rice vinegar

 Condiment
sambal oelek (recipe follows)

 Directions:

1 Clean and cut lettuce into bite size pieces. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

2 Separate noodles into strands and stir-fry in heated non-stick wok or skillet. Add 4 tbsp black soy sauce, and stir until noodles become brown and a little crispy on the bottom. Remove to a bowl, and set aside.

3 Heat oil in the same wok, and sauté garlic until aromatic. Add ground beef and stir to break up meat and brown it. Add curry powder and ground pepper. Mix well until beef is done. Add chopped onion and tomatoes. Stir well and saute about 5 minutes with the beef mixture.

4 Add chicken broth to beef mixture and add seasoning ingredients. Taste and adjust for proper balance of sweet/sour/salty.

5 Mix cornstarch and water, and make a slurry. In a slow stream, add slurry to broth in pan, stirring constantly to keep it from getting lumpy. Boil until the sauce is thickened. Lower heat and simmer a few minutes.

6 To serve, place lettuce on plates. Put noodles on the lettuce. Put a scoop of beef sauce on top of the noodles, sprinkle with ground pepper and a little bit of Sambal oelek.
 *Most soy sauces found in super markets are dark. If you cannot find light, you can substitute dark. 

Adapted from: Thai Noodles With Curried Ground Beef Sauce

Sambal Oelek
1 c. Chili garlic sauce 1 head garlic, chopped
2 stalks lemon grass (just the white part), sliced
3 Tb rice vinegar
8 oz sugar
salt to taste
zest of 1 lime
5.5 oz ginger, peeled and chopped

Directions:

1 Blend the chili garlic sauce, garlic, ginger and lemon grass in a food processor or blender

2 While processing gradually add the vinegar.

3 Place the pureed mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil.

4 Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.

5 Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

6 Add the salt and lime zest.

7 Remove from the heat, cool and bottle in sterilised jars. 

Adapted from: Sambal Oelek

 I also realized in the middle of making this that I had no curry powder, so I made my own Thai Curry Powder.  I was also out of coriander, so I used fennel instead.

 This is going in the "permanent" recipe box. If I can figure out where that is.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Britax Frontier 85 Give-away

Since lil G has almost reached her heigh limit for RF...okay...so it's a ways off...but I'm still thinking about safety in the future. And...well...I love the cow print. >_>

Go here to enter to win!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Changes abound!

Sooo...I'm so very excited right now! We may be able to start moving into our house as early as next weekend...*SQUEE*!!!!

Also, Dave will be 'interviewing' Tuesday for a daytime position that was created just for him.

Also, we already have somebody who, I think, was ready to buy the trailer sight-unseen...hopefully he maintains that interest after he sees it o.O

Three beautiful things going on...I'm so excited (and nervous)!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011






I'm just going to throw some pictures up tonight...SPRING!
!! YAY!!!

















Lil'G is about a half-step away from walking. She needs her hand ON something, but doesn't necessarily hold onto it.









I'm just amazed at how fast she figures things out. She just started trying to put bottle caps back on the bottle...and in this video, the only thing missing is twisting it on...she even has it on the right way! Sometimes I feel like I have a pre-schooler instead of an almost-toddler.
video

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's been a while

Well...it's been a while. Brief update:

1. I am still incommunicado with my Mom's family. I refuse. This has caused some tension and interesting attempts at guilt and control...but I'm the mama and I will not have my child around that crazy woman.

2. We are moving...soon! Our offer was accepted on a house...so now we just wait for all the closing stuff to be done. Whoever decided that closing a house takes this long is a jackass. I am slowly starting to pack, though...hopefully we will be mostly packed by time moving day actually arrives (whenever that is) and we can sell our trailer fairly quickly. I'm exciting to be in a real house that has enough space for the 4 of us (yes, BigB counts).

3. I am going to therapy (kind of). A few hiccups recently in scheduling mean that I missed a couple sessions, but I'm going.

4. I am branching out and meeting people. EEP! I met with a small group of mamas. Some of them even live close to where we are moving to. I have also joined a couple of mom's groups online that will hopefully lead to some good solid friendships. I love my online mamas and all other friends...but let's face it. As advanced as LilG is in the vocabulary department, she and I are kind of tired of each other. This is evidenced by today when we went to the indoor playground to meet with the mom's group and she crawled off to play with the other kids and was gone for at least 30 minutes before crying for me...and then it was only because she felt violated by the 'help' the older kids were offering.

5. I am finally making that damn quilt. I'm doing it by hand. I've decided that 99.9% of it will be done by hand. I am going to have to sew 2 pieces of fabric together to make the backing and I am pretty sure that this would be better done on a machine. The rest, though, I really would like to complete by hand.

6. I have lost 9 pounds from pre-preg weight and I want to continue losing to my goal. Hopefully I can do it.

7. I am also going to attempt a 30-day photography challenge. I want to become a better photographer, so I hope to get this done. After that I will try another challenge that helps me develop my skills further.

8. I will blog more often. I may even attempt a blog challenge, though I don't want to overwhelm myself, since I'm already packing and photographing and quilting and playing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Babylegs giveaways!

I'm a whore for free, but I also like to share the wealth. This lovely lady is giving away some babylegs!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

Sooo...this recipe is actually mine! I built on a 4-ingredient cheesecake recipe.


Brownie Crust:

I just took one of those bags of Betty Crocker Brownie Mix, made it per the directions, chose my spring form pan and lined it with parchment paper. Poured the batter in and baked at 350 till done (takes a little less time than the directions because it's thinner).

Cheesecake:

3 pkgs (8oz) cream cheese
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
Peppermint to taste
1/2 c. melted white chocolate

Cream cheese and sugar together. Add eggs. Add vanilla and peppermint extract (I used cheap stuff this time and had to put in half a bottle 8o ). Let white chocolate cool slightly and add in.

Put brownie crust in the bottom of the pan. Pour cheesecake mix into pan. Bake until set (about 1 to 1.5 hours).

Melt 1/2 c. dark chocolate with some milk until smooth.

Place some round peppermint candies on parchment paper until thin (took about 15 minutes at 250 degrees).

After cheesecake cools, pour ganache on top and spread it out. Top with melted candies.