Life goes on….. Sunday, Oct 4 2015 

This has been the year from hell and I cannot wait for it to be completed.  My mother passed away in May that sent me into a tailspin, major funk not feeling like doing anything.  We lost an uncle and my cousins stepson between May and October, as well as a few family friends.  It feels like it has been one nonstop funeral around here.  This week I seem to have pulled out of it a little bit and am trying to get back on track with things.  I have thought about writing on here a million times but just didn’t have the energy of the words to complete a post.

I have been working on a few projects, first being compiling all my mothers recipes into a book that I hope to have complete and give out to the family at Christmas.  I made 2 pairs of pajama bottoms out of Halloween material for my brother and daughter. (I keep forgetting to take a pic of them).  FInally I am in the process of making my first quilt, should be done with this this weekend.

I think i have been making myself busy to avoid life, but at least I am doing something.

This week I got the house and yard decorated for Halloween and I am excited to be back in the states able to do the kind of holidays that I want this year.

Hopefully in the days and weeks to come I will be back in the grove of things on here.  🙂

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Let’s Go Fly A Kite Saturday, Apr 4 2015 

This time of year I always have the urge to get outside and fly a kite.  No matter how old I get this is an activity that I enjoy.  Kite flying has a long history throughout the world.  The Chinese seem to be the origin of the kite dating back to 549 AD.  Since the invention of this item it has spread across the world and used for everything from locating people on search and rescue missions, to science experiments (Ben Franklin), the Wright brothers even used kites while they were researching how to fly and several countries have what they call kite fights.

South Asia is a big area where they do the kite fighting.  In Afghanistan it is a national sport.  They use kites with some kind of abrasion on the line to cut down their opponents kite or just to take down the others kite by grounding it.  This takes more skill than I possess to accomplish this I am sure.

March is typically the prime time to fly a kite here, however April it is still windy enough outside to get one up in the air.  I remember when I was little we would go to my Grandparents out in their field that was free of hazards and fly them.  It seemed that we got that kite a million miles up into the sky.  Of course the string would almost always snap and our kite would be lost.

kites

While I was overseas during the warmer months I would sit out on the roof of our flat and watch the children fly kites from their roofs.  The sky would be filled with them.  Somewhere I have a ton of photographs of the kids playing, but as of right now I cannot find any of them.  😦  I will have to keep digging for those.  Story of my life go to look for something and can’t find it.

My kids never seemed to get into the whole kite flying thing, guess that Xbox is more exciting than standing out in the yard with a kite.  I have tried several times to get them involved in this activity and it always fizzles out after a few minutes.  Maybe one day when they are older they will enjoy the nothingness involved in this activity, it is so relaxing to just stand around and think of nothing just watch the kite dance around in the wind.

 

Forsythia Bush Saturday, Apr 4 2015 

Keeping in line with my “What is spring?”, I have been racking my brain for ways to describe this to His Highness.  Yesterday gave me at least one more item to describe.  I did not think it would be this hard for me to come up with ideas, but as I was standing out on the back deck the  Forsythia Bush jumped out at me.  The forsythia always blooms at Easter and Easter is a sure sign of spring for me.  We have always had this bush planted at home since I was  a child.  They require little maintenance and (at least I think and that’s all that matters in my world) that they are very pretty.

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It amazes me how one day this brown mess of sticks can transform itself into a wild bush of yellow.

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While it is not fully in bloom it is still very pretty.

 

Anyways this is my blast of spring for y’all today.  It is now 2 am and I need to pretend at least that I am going to bed.

Spring???? Sunday, Mar 22 2015 

So His Highness has asked me to tell him what spring is like here.  I have sat around for about two weeks trying to decide how to explain this to him.  I still do not have any idea, but I figured if I didn’t start something it would have come and gone before I knew it.  The first thing I noticed this year is the squirrels, I know people have this love hate relationship with these animals and here its become the annual battle of keeping them out of the bird feeders.  From the amount of feed missing each day out of the bird feeder I think the squirrel is winning.

 

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As you can see this one is having a blast at his free buffet.  The official start of spring was 2 days ago and it snowed in some of the area so it doesn’t really feel much like spring to me.  Maybe when the plants start to bud I will feel more into this project he has asked me to do, however right now all I wanta do is curl up in a ball and read a book.

Pancake Cups Sunday, Jul 20 2014 

The other day I was bored and flipping through my facebook feed and came across a recipe for “Quick and Tasty Pancake Cups”, and yes they were all that the description implied.  You can find the original recipe at the

Rural Spin  http://ruralspin.com/2012/11/10/quick-and-tasty-pancake-cups/

 

I will also post the recipe here.  They were really simple to mix up and bake.  The only difference I found in what I made and what their recipe called for was the serving amount.  I don’t know if they had a deeper cupcake pan than I did but their recipe called for a yield of 6 cakes and mine filled up a 12 cupcake pan.

 

pancake cup

As you can see from my pic I was enjoying mine while surfing the net.  I had 12 of these delicious little cups and my husband scoffed them down in record time.

I did make some changes from the original recipe they are noted below except for my milk substitution.  I didn’t have any milk in the house so I used a 1/2 cup of yogurt instead.

There are many things that you can use to top these pancakes, the sky is the limit.  Since I made these in the middle of the night and my choices were limited to what I had in the house they weren’t all that fancy.   I took heavy cream and mixed it with sugar and used that as the topping.  I bet they would be to die for if you took berries and reduced them in sugar then pour them on top!

 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup flour

3 eggs

3 T butter, melted

pinch of salt

1 t vanilla extract

1 t lemon juice

 
INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 400 F

Take a muffin tin and butter each cup well.

Place all of your ingredients (make sure the melted butter is cooled a tad so it doesn’t cook the eggs) in a blender.  (I used the food processor)

Be sure the flour goes in last and is on top of the other ingredients; if you put the flour in first much of it will clump in the bottom of the blender.

Whiz for 30 seconds or so or until all of the lumps are gone and the batter is smooth Divide your batter by pouring into your muffin tin in equal amounts.

The batter will puff up quite a bit in the oven, then fall when cooled.
Pop into the oven for 15 minutes, or until the tops are just starting to brown. You will see these puff up quite a bit in the oven — this is good! When they are done, remove them from the oven and they will immediately start to fall. This is good, too! They will fall until cups are formed in each pancake.

Take a knife and run around the inside of each muffin cup to loosen the pancake cups. Take a fork and release them from the bottom–they may stick a tad so be careful.

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I’m back Saturday, Jul 12 2014 

After months of no internet and whining my husband finally went with a new company and all my internet whoas should finally be over. This was the first time since 1995 that I have been without internet and I felt like I was missing my right arm.

Holiday Dilemma Friday, Nov 22 2013 

I have been living outside of the United States for 8 months now.  One thing I am noticing living this far from home is that when a holiday rolls around I just am not feeling it.  As Thanksgiving approaches I am debating how I should handle this holiday.  I keep going back and forth in my head should I even bother with the traditional meal I have eaten for 35 years of my life; should I depart from that; or should I start my own traditions with my husband.  He is not American and does not have a clue what I am even talking about when I try to describe my holidays.

I am leaning towards new traditions.  I am having a hard time this year establishing any kind of traditions.  I feel like I have let myself down by not doing all those special things that I would have done if I was in America.  I know that my husbands holidays are lacking as well, partly because I have no clue what is expected for each one and mainly because food is a large part of holidays; no matter where in the world you are.  I am  seriously struggling to learn how to make the dishes he is use to eating.  It has been UGLY… really ugly!

With less than a week to go till the big event I am no closer to a decision than I was at Halloween when I started thinking about this.  The one plus is no matter what I decide I will not have the stress or feeding a crowd of people and for that I am THANKFUL.  It is nice to slim down my circle and just worry about us, I think everyone should do that once in a while.  If you are the one making dinner every year, pass it off to another relative and be able to actually enjoy the holiday.  Let the kids handle the dinner or your sibling we are not superwoman/superman and if we do not take time to enjoy life it will be gone before we realize it.

Hell maybe I will just throw in the towel and make him take me out to dinner!  I have no one to impress here, he won’t miss not having a turkey and days worth of cooking.  Then I will get to enjoy being with my family!

Chinese Food DTs….a General Tso’s fix Thursday, Nov 21 2013 

Now that I am in Jordan I have all the great Arab foods to choose from but on the flip side of this I had to leave behind some of the foods I LOVE.  Chinese food is one of them.  In the US I would eat this 2-4 times a week.  Mostly for lunch at work but also on those nights at home when I did not feel like cooking.  I get here and of course as with everywhere there are Chinese restaurants around but they are not like the Chinese food I am use to in America.  If there is a similar one here I have yet to find it.

So my search after a few disappointing meals out to eat was to fix these yummy dishes I love at home.  Sounds like a simple plan right? Well let me tell you it’s not.

Yes you can Google the recipes but as I am finding out all recipes are not created equal and it’s a crap shot whether or not you pick a good one.  My poor husband he has had to eat a lot of what I call my “science experiments”; he is a good sport about it though and lets me continue without any complaints.

One winning recipe I have found is one for General Tso’s Chicken.  Now I only have about 5 more to replace at home and I will have my Chinese buffet at home.  My poor husband;  I am not sure that he will make it.

Here is a quick pic of it on my plate last time I made this dish.

Here is a quick pic of it on my plate last time I made this dish.

General Tso’s Chicken

  • 2 lbs         Boneless Chicken Breasts

  • 1 T.          Oil

  • 1              Egg

  • 1 1/2 tsp   Salt

  • 1/4 c         Flour

  • 1/2 c         Cornstarch

  • 1/2 c         Water

The Sauce

  • 1 T.          Oil

  • 1 T.          Rice Vinegar

  • 1 tsp        Minced Garlic

  • 1 1/2 T.    Soy Sauce

  • 1 T.         Cornstarch

  • 1 1/2 T.    Water

  • 5 T.          Sugar

  1. Cut chicken into 2 inch squares; place in a large bowl

  2. Stir in Egg, Salt, Pepper, Water and 1 tablespoon of Oil; mix well

  3. In a separate bowl combine Cornstarch and Flour;  add to the Chicken; stir to coat the pieces

  4. Now you will deep fry the Chicken pieces

  5. Add the Chicken in small batches and cook until it is completely done and the pieces are golden brown

  6. Remove Chicken and drain on paper towels

  7. In another pan combine Oil, Rice Vinegar and Garlic; simmer for a few seconds until you start to smell the Garlic cooking

  8. Add into the pan Soy Sauce, Cornstarch, Water and Sugar; stir with a whisk to ensure it is mixed well

  9. Add the Chicken back to the pan;  the sauce will quickly become thick and stick to the chicken

  10. Serve with rice 🙂

Seafood…. Mmmmmmm Wednesday, Nov 20 2013 

So tonight I had shrimp and was thinking what to do with them, at home we make shrimp scampi often.  However at home I have pounds of shrimp not just a half pound.  So I plugged in shrimp scampi into the ole search engine and found a recipe that involved pasta.   Figured it would be a great way to stretch my shrimp.  It turned out ok, as he said it was weak.  Meaning it needed more garlic and butter.  Over all it was a quick easy way to make it.

 

I forgot to take my photo before we ate (I was starving)  so it’s not a pretty as it was before we attacked it.  Still looks yummy though if I do say so myself.

Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta (I used thin spaghetti)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pinch red chili pepper flakes 
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
Directions
  1. Cook pasta as per package directions.
  2. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the red chili pepper flakes and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the shrimp and saute until cooked, until they are pink.
  5. Remove the shrimp from the pan.
  6. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice and bring to a boil.
  7. Simmer the liquid until reduced by about half.
  8. Add the butter, wait for it to melt and turn off the heat.
  9. Add the shrimp, pasta and parsley and toss to coat.

Feeling the need for my Childhood Wednesday, Nov 20 2013 

Yesterday I was craving something I haven’t eaten in a long long time.  Corn Chowder!  I know of all things. I do not think I have ever made it before and if I had it was not something that stuck with me.  I surfed around the internet looking at what recipes are out there and I decided that no one had anything close to what I remember from my childhood…. so I improvised.

 

I know another great camera phone shot yeah yeah!!! At least you get an idea  what it looks like when its done.

Corn Chowder

6       ears of corn

2-4    potatoes

1       large onion

1/4 c butter

2 c    milk

1/4 c flour

salt & pepper to taste

1.  cut corn from the cob and slice onions.

2.  Boil corn and onions until the onions are almost transparent.

3.  Dice and add potatoes to the corn and onions,

Cook until potatoes are done.

4.  Mix butter, milk, and flour together and add to the pot the vegetable are in.

5.  Stir until it becomes thick.

6   Salt & pepper to taste.

7.  ENJOY!!!

It was just what I needed, now I admit it’s getting a little to warm for soup especially chowder but with all this fresh corn laying around it was just what the doctor ordered for me 🙂

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