Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Random Pictures

Chinese Salad

Chinese Salad

My friend gave me a yummy recipe for Chinese Salad and I have kind of made into my own for the most part. J The best part about this salad is that you can add your own kind of cabbage or other veggies. Some people like red onions too! Some times I prefer the Chinese crunchy noodles and almonds instead of the ingredients below.

1 head of cabbage chopped

1 head of bok choy

Scallions sliced

2 pkgs of sliced almonds

1 cup of sesame seeds

1-2 pkgs of Ramen (no seasoning)

¼ c. of butter or ½ a stick

Break up the ramen and mix it with sesame seeds and almonds.

Melt the butter and toss it with the crunchy mixture.

Toast them until they are lightly colored.

Slice all the veggies. Add the crunchies and mix with the dressings.


1 c. of sugar

½ c. of oil

½ c. of sesame oil

½ c. of rice vinegar

2 Tblsp of soy sauce.

Mix together in a blender to emulsify.

To make this a Chinese chicken salad, marinate the chicken in a good teriyaki sauce. I really like Yoshinos. Then grill, bake, or pan fry the chicken-whatever is easiest. Add to the chicken salad.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Brooke sayings

A couple weeks ago we went out to Olive Garden for dinner. We had a great dinner and when the waiter came to give us a check she yelled out, "Gracias!" It was hilarious! At least Dora is helping her learn Spanish.

Almost 26 months!

Brooke is a lot of fun! She loves to play and has really wanted me to play with her more lately. She is into dolls, princesses, playing chase, reading, little people, playing with Bernard, and coloring. She is talking very clearly and doing great with potty training again. I ultimately had to stop using pull ups, even we go out. She knows that she can pee without consequences in a pull up. We also started giving her MM's which helped with the potty training.

This last weekend we also changed her bedroom around, giving her the opportunity to grow into her room as a toddler instead of a baby. She has done great in her big girl bed and really loves it! Her first two naps were a little shorter than her normal naps, but she is now back on track. She is very busy and I am having the hardest time getting her to smile for pictures. The only time she ask for a picture and will smile is with Bernard.


We had such a great time for Halloween this year. We don't have sidewalks in our neighborhood and live on a hill, so we went to our friends house for trick or treating. Brooke loved trick or treating with her friends and Kyle got to watch some of the Charger game. She was great about going up to the houses and saying trick or treat and then saying thank you. Afterwards she sat and counted her candy and we let her eat one. She picked M'M's of course!

A couple days before Halloween, we carved pumpkins and ate popcorn. I carved Ariel for Brooke and she was very excited. Every night we would light it and have it face the door, so she could look out and see it.

Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

The pictures aren't pretty because I forgot to take picture when it came out of the oven. This is the shepherds pie warmed up the next day for dinner.

A couple weeks ago I read a recipe that used sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes for the topping on shepherds pie. I was very intrigued and last night it sounded delicious. It was great because I could make dinner work with what I had. I only needed to get some sweet potatoes which my friend gave me. Ch-ching. Now I wish I had a recipe, but I just don't usually cook that way. I will give you approximates and all the ingredients I used.

Hope you try this, because it was so good!

I only had a half pound of ground beef, so my recipe only made enough for a 9x9 baking dish. I also didn't have any fresh carrots or celery on hand that would have been great sauteed with the onions and garlic.

1-2 T of olive oil

half of an onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic chopped

.5lb of ground beef

2 T of tomato paste

1 t of red wine vinegar

1 t of worcestershire sauce

A good amount of mixed frozen vegetables

1/2 t of coriander

1/2 t of smoked paprika

1/4 t of cumin

salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350

-heat you oil and add onions and garlic. cook until softened.
-add your ground beef and brown.
-add seasonings and stir
-add the tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar. Mix it together
-add your frozen vegetables and a little bit of water to help it all come together and allow the veggies to cook through
- Season with salt and pepper and add to your baking dish.

Sweet potato topping

2 sweet potatoes

2 T of butter

1/4-1/3 cup of goats milk feta

1/2 t of garlic salt



-peel and dice sweet potatoes
-place in a pot and boil until soften
-drain and let sit a couple minutes
-add butter, cheese, and seasoning
-mash and add milk until happy with consistency.

Place on top of ground beef mixture and baked uncovered for 25-30 minutes. I knew it was ready when it was bubbling on the sides.

Hope you enjoy my little creation.