Saturday, June 25, 2011

Abby likes Spicy Chicken

George Costanza, anyone?

Anyway, Abby doesn't like chicken normally. She has had some problems with eating what we give her for a while now. It is our one frustration with her. She likes to toss her food over the side of the high chair. Not because she is done eating, or because she full. For funsies. She will eat a few bites, then toss, or just toss without tasting, and {maybe} 2 minutes later eat the same food I've retrieved from the floor back on to her high chair. She loves toast and loves strawberries, but sometimes she'll toss even those foods too. Again, just for funsies.

Despite the seeming lack of reason behind throwing her food other than to play the gravity game, she has never tried chicken. She seems to have decided months ago that she would have nothing to do with it and she would be the minority in America and not love it.

 So. On to the chicken that she would eat.

Has anyone had the lemon pepper chicken at Pei Wei? They took it off their menu several months ago, but that stuff was good. They had a similar dish at their sister store PF Changs, lemon pepper shrimp.


They both taste very similar, but we like the chicken variety a little better. Spencer has made it for us twice now, and it is really yummy.

She loved it.


She ate a whole bunch of it. We had previously discovered that she likes lemons, but I think it was the sauce that she liked the best. That girl loves her sauces.

 Want to make it too?

P.F. Chang's Lemon Pepper Shrimp

Sauce
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 Teaspoon minced ginger
1/3 Cup soy sauce
3/4 Cup water
2 Teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 Cup dark brown sugar
2 Teaspoons lemon juice
2 Teaspoons coarse grind black pepper
1 Pound medium raw shrimp (31/40 count), shelled and deveined
1/2 Cup cornstarch
1 Cup vegetable oil
4 thin lemon slices, each cut into quarters

Garnish
1 Teaspoon vegetable oil
2 Large green onions
1 Cup bean sprouts
.
Sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large saucepan over medium heat.
Sauté garlic and ginger in the hot oil for about 15 seconds being careful
not to burn the garlic. Add the soy sauce, then dissolve cornstarch in the
water and add the mixture to the pan. Add brown sugar, lemon juice and black
pepper and bring mixture to a boil. Simmer for two minutes then remove it
from the heat.

Shrimp: Coat all the shrimp generously with cornstarch. Let the shrimp sit
for about five minutes so that the cornstarch will adhere better. Heat a cup
of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp to the pan
and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until the shrimp starts to turn light brown.
Strain the shrimp out of the oil with a slotted spoon or spider and dump
oil. Replace shrimp back in the wok the lemon slices, sauté for a minute,
then add the sauce to the pan. Toss everything around to coat the shrimp
thoroughly. Cook for another minute or so until the sauce thickens on the
shrimp.

As the shrimp cooks, heat up 1 teaspoon of oil in a separate medium
saucepan. Cut the green part of the green onions into 3" lengths. Add green
onion slices and bean sprouts to hot oil along with a dash of salt and
pepper. Sauté for a couple minutes until green onions begin to soften.

Assemble Dish: Pour the green onions and sprouts onto a serving plate. Place
shrimp over the vegetables and serve.

Servings: 2

We've cut out the bean sprouts, and used light brown sugar because that is what we had on hand. Again, we used chicken and it was very tasty.
Trust me. Yums.

Friday, June 24, 2011

7 years of marital satisfaction!


Spencer and I were married 7 years ago today- happy wedding anniversary to us!
I posted about our other anniversary a little while ago, but this is the one we actually celebrate.

7 years ago I woke up in my uncle Brent's house (where I spent the night for one last time with my whole family, slumber-party style on the couches with my siblings), showered and did my own makeup in his unfinished basement bathroom and went to get my hair done.
We got married in the Salt Lake LDS temple and it was awesome.
(Strangely, I can't recall what I did between the wedding luncheon and the reception that night. Spencer and I went our separate ways, and all I remember is that I was brought to the reception center by my mom's friend because my mom had to do something else before she got there. Can my family members remember what we did?)
Lots of family and friends were there. It was awesome to have a day for celebrating us. There is a lot I could say about that day, but I'll just end with the fact that it was long, it was hot, and I was starving by the time we got to our hotel in Park City that night. (Sweet little fact nugget: the very same awesome hotel room that Britney Spears once stayed in, procured for us by my brother in law Dave. Back in the days before she turned psycho-crazy-shave-her-head-turned-rehabilitated, and was just a famous singer, if not ho bag. No offense to all the fans out there- I still totally sing along to  "Sometimes I Run" whenever I hear it.) 
We have been through a lot in seven years
  • 10 jobs between the two of us (including summer internships)
  • 3 apartments in 2 states (only one with no air conditioning or dishwasher)
  • 2 cross-country moves
  • 1 law school graduation
  • 1 driver's license and 2 small car accidents (all mine- I'm super awesome)
  • 4 stays in Vegas (we go there a lot, but in our defense, it's close to UT without being in UT-and you can drive there), 1 trip to Boston, 1 trip to Kwajalein (and therefore, 2 trips to Hawaii), several trips to California, 1 stay in the Outer Banks, 2 trips to Arizona, 1 trip to Florida, countless trips to DC, and several other places that I can't even recall wherever else we've been together. We're definitely not as cool as Robbie and Hannah, who've been to a dozen other countries- you guys win.
  • 5 nieces/nephews
  • 1 baby
  • Lots of dinners out. Hundreds and possibly thousands of dinners out. All we ever want out of life is a good dinner at a restaurant.
  • Countless dates, movies, activities, amusement parks, small little experiences that I can't even begin to think of because frankly, it makes me tired to do so.
We've had a good run. I told Spencer this morning that maybe we can stay married for another 7 years. And he said, "Yeah, at least." So here's to more years together. At least 7, probably.
I love you, Spencer!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to make a skirt

Look, I made a skirt! With pockets!



It was actually really easy (except that I messed up a few times- I was feeling fat and made it too big.)
Do you want to know how to make one, too?
{You all probably already know how to do this, it's not that difficult, but I've not made something like this since high school home ec. so I did it and now I'm showing you. No big deal, but kinda it is. Just go with it.}
I followed this tutorial, from Freshly Picked. Her instructions are a lot better than mine, but whatevs, I'll pretend like I know what I'm doing and tell you anyway!

Need about 1.5-2 yards of fabric
Elastic, I used 2 inch wide
Coordinating fabric for the pockets (you need enough for 4 of these)
Measuring tape/straight pins/sewing machines help too

Measure yourself- your natural waist, and your length where you want the skirt to hit. I wanted mine right at my knees (I over-compensated and it ended up a little below my knees, I may re-hem this later, I'm not sure.)

Cut your elastic about a half an inch more than your waist measurement.

You want your skirt width to be at least 1.5 to 2 times the size of your waist measurement (i.e. the elastic) so I cut 2 pieces twice my waist measurement. (Next time I only plan to do 1.5 times my waist, not 2. Twice the size makes it a very full skirt, which is fun for little girls, not necessarily bigger girls with big thighs.)

 
Start with your two pieces of skirt fabric. Find the top of your skirt.

Cut out 4 pockets out of the coordinating fabric. Make sure you do two on one side, and two on the other, so when the right sides touch they work on both sides of the skirt. (I have no picture for this part, but you can print out a pattern for the pocket from the link above, from the Freshly Picked tutorial, or you could just wing it.)

Pin your 4 pocket pieces on both edges of both pieces of your skirt, right sides together. Pin them on the edge 3 inches from the top.


Sew the pocket pieces using approx. a 1/4 inch seam (or whatever you want.)

Press your pocket pieces back. (You should now have two pieces of skirt with 4 pocket flaps- one on each side!)

Place your two skirt pieces together, right sides together.


Sew using a 1/2 inch seam along the side of the skirt and around the pocket. Do this for both sides.

Now turn your skirt out and press the seams. Now look at your pretty little pockets!

Sew your elastic together using a 1/4 inch stitch. If it is too loose, make another stitch a little tighter, about 1/2 inch. With right sides together, section off your skirt and pin it to the elastic. Try to align your stitch on the elastic with your hem on the skirt, cause it looks nicer with both seams together.

It was at this point that I tried to wrestle away my measuring tape from Abs. No such luck. She was having a grand time with my excess fabric, too.



Anyway. When you start to sew your elastic to your skirt, make sure you stretch the elastic as you sew. This gives your skirt the give it needs. I put my needle in the fabric:

And sewed one stitch (I was afraid that stretching it right off the bat would break my needle, so I stitched the one stitch to anchor it a little.) Stretch your elastic so it matches your material and it lays flat.

I took this picture after the fact so you could see that once you stretch out the elastic it takes out all of the pleats and is easy to sew- just hold back the end of your fabric with your left hand and feed the needle with your right hand. I got a pretty even stitch, but I still got a little pucker here and there, can you see it?

The tutorial above advises to zig-zag stitch over your straight one at this point, to secure it and make sure it doesn't fray. This step could be skipped if you have a serger and serge the seam before you attach it to the elastic. I don't have a serger. I did a zig-zag though, and I feel like if you don't care if it frays in the wash, you could skip it. Even if it does fray a little, it'll be on the inside.

I finished my hem. I ironed the bottom of the skirt 1/4 inch and then folded another 1/2 inch and pressed again. Then I stitched two straight lines, because I thought it looked more store-bought that way (even if the rest of the skirt looks totally homemade!)


Ta da! You're done! You've made a skirt!





You should probably ignore my bad posture and cheap mirror.

I made a mini-me version for Abby, too.

For hers I used one long piece of fabric instead of two, and created a casing for elastic and sewed it up rather than have it exposed like mine. It fits her, but she doesn't have anything that matches it.

 Actually, either do I. What would you wear with this material? Black, yellow? Plain white? How should I wear it?
There you go peeps. A silly little skirt tutorial. Are you still my friends?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Oldies

I was called "ma'am" twice this week. I also got one "lady," as in (patient at work speaking on her cell phone while I am patiently waiting for her to finish) "...I gotta go, I need to give this lady some information."
Awesome. 
I totally feel like I am getting old.


But at least I'm not as old as Carrie. I'd hate to be that old. Man, she is really freaking old.
Carrie and I. Taken outside of our old house in California probably about 1986 or 1987, before we moved to the island. I'm rocking my (growing out) Princess Diana haircut, and Robbie is evidently promoting GMAC. I like how he ended up being framed between us. What's up, Robbie? What'choo lookin at?

You know who else is really old? My dad.
Why do we care how old they are?

Because it is their birthday! That's right, Carrie was born 30 years ago today, on my dad's birthday. So head over to her bliggity blog, tell her to update it, and then wish her a happy birthday! It's a big one!
And then get on Facebook and tell my dad happy birthday, too. Because he's old, and it would make him feel good.

Happy birthday Dad and Carrie! I hope you both have a wonderful day!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Just taking a walk

So this video was taken a few weeks ago, but it does show this little girl's enthusiasm for walking around.  She doesn't seem to be interested in walking alone yet, but I know that isn't far off.

It's pretty long, about 4 minutes, so if you don't care, just skip over!

video


P.S. Abby fell off the couch the other day while she was sitting with me-- she was reaching for something either on the floor or on the coffee table, I'm not sure which-- and she hit her head and her cheek against the side of the coffee table. She got a little bump on her head that has since gone down, and has a sad little bruise on her cheek that is a nice reminder to me of what a fantastic parent I am.

That's not all I had to say, but that's all for now.