Advice

August 30, 2009

I’m having some problems in the bedroom.

I need new bedding and I just can NOT decide which of these to go with. I have dark wood furniture and white walls. Which of these do you like?

bluegreen

gray

green

What? You thought I had other bedroom problems? 🙂

What I’m Making V6

August 27, 2009

Since I recently posted the orange chicken recipe I LOVE, I thought I would also share with you my super-easy chicken and broccoli recipe.  I swear it won’t be all chicken all the time around here from now on. LOL

Chicken and Broccoli

Ingredients
3-4 chicken breasts
1 head broccoli
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. grated ginger
olive oil
Directions

Cut chicken into strips, put olive oil and a little water in a pan. Cook chicken on medium until done. Drain. Whisk together brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce & ginger. Add sauce and broccoli to chicken and stir until broccoli is tender.

Serve with rice.

What I’m Making v5

August 23, 2009

Kindra from Meal Planning 101 recently asked me to share my orange chicken recipe and, as this is one of my FAVORITE things to make, I was more than happy to oblige! (Definitely check out her link….she has one of the best food /meal plan blogs out there in my opinion! Real food for real people and budgets and minimal packaged/preservatives. Definitely my kind of cooking!)

Orange Chicken

Chicken;

2 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces

3 tablespoons cornstarch

salt & pepper to taste

olive oil

Sauce:

1 1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup rice vinegar

2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons chopped green onion

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

cornstarch to thicken if desired

*I like a LOT of extra sauce so this makes quite a bit. You may need to play with the proportions/add more chicken for your own taste.

*I use fresh orange and lemon juice. It really adds to the fresh flavor I think.

– Throw chicken pieces, cornstarch, salt and pepper into a large ziplock bag and shake, shake, shake until coated.

– Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a deep skillet over medium heat and cook chicken until done.

– Remove chicken from skillet and wipe out (or use saucepan if your skillet isn’t deep enough). Add ingredients for sauce except for the cornstarch and bring to a slight boil. Add cornstarch to thicken if you like a thicker sauce (I always do this…it makes it feel more decadent and restaurant-like to me). Add chicken pieces into sauce and heat through, about 5 minutes.

– Serve over rice and garnish with green onion if desired.

I rarely voice my political opinion on my blog, mostly because I believe in a variety of viewpoints and in accepting the opinions and perspective of others, both political and otherwise. However, the current health care debacle has me digging in the closet and dragging out my soapbox.

I agree that this country is in need of a health care brainstorm session. Changes should be made to the current arrangement so health care coverage can be both accessible and affordable for everyone and there should be a illustrious debate in this country with a variety of sides and viewpoints so we can find the best reform. What is right now being called “the health care debate” is neither productive, informative or even what I would call a debate.

I am outraged that the Town Hall meetings that members of Congress have tried to do have turned into at best, theatrics, at worst fulmination. People have showed up to the meetings (sometimes even armed) not to become informed or to inform or engage, but to fear, harass and intentionally mis-inform. The media is fueling this fire and politicians on both sides are failing at explaining their stances by using dramatics and antics instead of facts and data.

I acknowledge there are legitimate anti-reform talking points, but the antagonizers attending these meetings aren’t using these valid points to sway opinion. They are using intimidating fallacies to sway public opinion and increase their anti-reform following. Current proposals do NOT call for “death panels” or encouraged euthanasia and are not, as Rachel Maddow of MSNBC puts it “a government plot to kill old people”. It simply calls for Medicare to provide reimbursement for consultations with your doctor regarding your end of life care. You do not have to have such a consultation if you do not want to. The proposal is simply paying for the appointment if you chose to have it. For those few rallying against government-run insurance programs, but who say they love their current Medicare/Medicaid plan, just an FYI – Medicare and Medicaid ARE governmental-run health insurance programs. Also, the proposals are not advocating a 100% switch to governmental health insurance plans, they are simply providing another option for you than your status quo health care plan. It does appear that there is a chance that some people may lose the option they currently have with their employer because some companies may end up choosing to drop their current offerings and I do think that is something that should be looked into further if you fear this may be the case for you. For those looking to fear monger the Veterans, rest assured, despite the sound bites, Veterans benefits are NOT diminishing in the new proposals. Also, sex changes are NOT mandatory in the new proposals (my personal favorite health care reform fallacy).

I’ve nearly given up hope that any kind of debate on this is going to be informative. I urge everyone to do their own research, form your own opinions and find respectful and productive ways to get them to your representatives if this is an issue you feel strongly about. Health care is undoubtedly a complex issue and one that affects everyone. I myself am not sure I find comfort in the fact that I can pretty much do what I want to my body and either my employer or the government will have my back.

Soapbox going back in the closet, but maybe not pushed quite as far back as before.

What I’m Making v4

August 10, 2009

Tried some new recipes this weekend. I made my famous granola that is always a hit at work, but made it with almonds, coconut and M&Ms this time, which worked out fabulously.

Tonight I tried out a new cashew chicken recipe, which was another success. I’ve totally ruined take-out Chinese food for myself now. My orange chicken, fried rice and now cashew chicken are just SO much better.

I love new recipes, so if you have any favs, please share them!