Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ow, that hurt but you should see the other guy.

Last night I attended a women's self defense seminar at my families dojo (aka- karate school).  It was two hours of butt kicking, man flipping fun.  Mike was kind enough to volunteer to be a 'bad guy' to room full of women.  It was nice to see him get beat on by girls, especially since I got to beat on him for a bit too.
As some of you know, I take private self defense lessons a couple times a month and really love them.  While Mike and Gryffin are dedicated to karate and earning belts, I'm more interested in being able to win a bar fight, just kidding.  But it does give me confidence and a great workout.
Last night I learned so much!  I just have to pass some of it on.
Things that make you an easy target:
  • Slouching, it gives the impression that you are weak 
  • Looking at the ground when you walk, you can't be aware of your surroundings when your looking in only one direction
  • Talking on a cell phone.  We all know that talking on the phone and driving is bad because it distracts you, but walking and talking is just as bad for the same reason.
  • Do not go to your car if there is a large vehicle with no or dark tinted windows next to yours.  It could be your coffin on wheels.
  • Never approach your car if someone is around it. 

Of course, I also learned more fun things like getting out of a bear-hug style grab, always use your palm to hit because if your going to break knuckles- make it your attackers, a kick in the coconuts can even take down a fifth degree black belt- I got some experience in this one, and distract them with a stomp on their foot so you can punch them in the neck.  Now I know you all want to learn these awesome party tricks, huh?

If you do, leave a comment and I will send you info on taking the 8 week course with me next month!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dim sum good vittles

Ok, this one is really good and really easy.  We had it tonight for dinner and I could have eaten a lot more than I did.

Bourbon Chicken  (don't ask me why because unfortunately there isn't any bourbon it)

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces 
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 large broccoli crown, cut into bite-size pieces, stems removed 
  • 1 -2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, or red wine or rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 T corn starch
  • 1/4 cup cold water

In oil, cook chicken until lightly browned and remove. Add remaining ingredients except for broccoli and carrots, heat over medium heat until well mixed and dissolved. Add chicken, broccoli and carrots and bring to a hard boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Dissolve corn starch in cold water and add, cook until desired consistency.  Serve over rice.



Tuesday, March 08, 2011

I remember when a gallon of gas cost less than a car payment.

With gas at $3.49 a gallon, my $10 didn't go very far.  Its a good thing I no longer work outside the home, in fact this is one of the reasons why.  Yes, I drive a big gas guzzling SUV and no, I won't get something more fuel efficient.  Wanna know why?  Because my Jeep is reliable, paid for and well over a decade old.  It is still in excellent shape and doesn't even have 80,000 miles on it, yet the trade in value wouldn't even pay for the tax and license on a new car.  Besides, even if I spend $200 a month on gas I wouldn't be able to buy a car 1/2 as nice as the one I've got for that much in car payments. 
I don't plan on spending $200 a month on gas though.  At least, not anymore.  We are lucky that Gryffin's school is only a mile away and I take one day to do all the errands.  Instead of going to all the different grocery stores to get the best deal on individual items I hit the one with the best cumulative deals.  It is not worth saving 50 cents on that jar of tomato sauce if you have to drive across town to get it. 
I've stopped running to Target when I need just one or two things.  Those things can wait until errand day and most of the time they aren't even missed.  This helps in another way too since I don't know of a single person who can go to Target and not drop at least $50. 
It is a really good thing that I love my home as much as I do because I'm going to be spending a lot of time here.  There are plenty of things to keep me busy though, I've a vegetable garden to plant, a basement and garage that are for some reason always in need of cleaning, a guest room that I have to find a way to make into a guest/exercise/sewing/craft room and using said sewing/craft part to make new product for Peridot.  Heck, I may even reopen my Etsy shop and sell the handmade goodness there again. 

Monday, March 07, 2011

From a loaf to a ball...

My meatloaf and meat ball recipe is exactly the same.  Why?  Because I'm lazy.  Because I make them in very large batches using similar ingredients.  Here is my recipe for both:

Meatloaf/Meatball Recipe
1 lb ground pork
3 lb lean ground beef
1 cup frozen tri-color pepper strips, chopped and thawed.  (Buying them this way is much cheaper than buying fresh peppers)
1 large onion, diced
1 cup quick oats
1 large egg
1 - 2 Tablespoons steak seasoning (I use McCormack's Montreal Steak)
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350.  In a VERY large bowl mix everything together.  If mixture is too wet add more oats.  If too dry, add another egg.  This should be able to hold its shape without falling apart or being too sticky.

Divide this into two.  Take one half and divide into two loaves.  Place a cookie rack in a large baking pan or use a broiler pan and place the two loaves onto this, be sure to spray whatever you use with non-stick spray.  Combine 2 Tablespoons mustard, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 Tablespoon chili powder and a pinch of cayenne.  Pour this on top of the loaves during the last 15 minutes of cooking time.  Bake until internal temperature is 165, about and hour.
With the remaining mixture, form into 1/4 cup balls.  I use a 1/4 cup cookie scoop because I'm lazy.  Place the balls into a mini muffin pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake for 30 minutes.  I usually do this when we are eating one of the meatloaves that have just come out.  When its time to use just toss them in your favorite spaghetti sauce.
Allow the extra meatloaf and the meatballs to cool completely then freeze.  Just let them thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat.
In the time it takes to make one meatloaf, you can make 2 meatloaves and 2 dozen meatballs.  This is enough for us to get two meatloaf dinners, along with leftovers for lunches for two days and meatballs enough for 3 to 4 spaghetti and meatball dinners or up to 8 meatball sandwiches.
This technique also works well when making lasagna.  I never make just one at a time because I'm lazy.

Monday, Monday...

Overcast and cold= Monday where I need to make more coffee and try to get my arse out from under a dog and a blanket.  Oh, did I mention that there is no school today? 

But all of this is quite fine with me since my weekend was so nice.  Friday I took the train into St Louis because Mike took the afternoon off.  We stopped in to see the lovely Mia at Peridot, then we headed to All-Star Tattoos where I got a pretty little diamond injected into the side of my nose.  I really expected a little pain but just like with my other piercing there wasn't even any blood and plucking my eyebrows was more painful.  We then headed to Sake for lunch.  Can you say sushi?  Oh dear heaven- yum.  Then a little shopping for a Pickle. 

Gryffin has been begging for almost a year now for a bed he saw at a local furniture store.  It is a platform bed with stairs, a built in dresser and a hiding spot for his 'Werewolf Club' to meet.  Since Mike actually got a bonus this year, which was completely unexpected but much deserved, he decided to use it make his son happy.  Damn if he ain't a great Dad!  The bed will be delivered and assembled Wednesday while Gryffin is in school. 

Saturday Mike took us to see a movie and out to lunch and Sunday was a lazy day. 

My life is good, huh?

Heck, I even made out a menu for this week AND went to the grocery store.  Just in case you were curious or would rather have someone else decide what you should make this week, here it is:

Sunday - Chicken Tetrazzini with peas
Monday - Spaghetti with Meatballs and salad
Tuesday - Jambalaya and cornbread (after all, it is Fat Tuesday)
Wednesday - Chinese Bourbon Chicken with broccoli and rice
Thursday - Home made pizza and salad
Friday - Broiled Parmesan Tilapia with carrots and roast potatoes
Saturday - Leftovers

I will try to post the recipes this week sometime, but if you want them NOW just leave a comment and I will get them to you.