Monday, December 29, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
It's been a crazy week here in the Hays house. We got several small storms last week that kept me shoveling snow most days, we had Grandma Ange & the boys over for dinner and gingerbread house decorating on Thursday and Friday we finally closed on the new house YAY! We're just waiting now to get keys because it doesn't fund until Christmas Eve. A great Christmas gift, yes- but we were hoping to celebrate Christmas in our new home and it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Saturday we had Jason's Schlumberger christmas party. We had a great dinner and they raffled off some really good prizes like a gun safe, touch IPods and a big screen tv... we didn't win any of it.
Saturday morning we decided to take advantage of the great snow and took the kids out to the golf course and the Honda Hills to go sledding. It was cold.. 8 degrees to be exact.. but we had so much fun. We're planning a new tradition to go sledding the weekend before Christmas every year.
Sledding at the "Honda Hills"
Gracie was NOT happy
Jake & Madi getting ready for a run in the big sled
Jason and I both finished up the last of our Christmas shopping this week and now we're just waiting on those wayward items we ordered online that are supposed to be here by Christmas Eve.
On the menu this last week was this amazing Jamaican Chicken & Rice recipe. It was a little spicy so cut the chipotle if you don't like spice, other than that we loved it. I substituted Chicken Breast for the chicken thighs & added a can of black beans to the rice in addition to the red beans. Quick & Easy dinner:
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
4 pounds skinless chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce with 1 teaspoon sauce from can
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, for garnish
Arrange onion, celery and carrots in bottom of slow cooker. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and arrange over vegetables.
In a medium bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, lime juice, chipotle chiles with sauce, and garlic. Pour mixture over chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. Serve half of the thighs with this meal (topped with diced avocado and cilantro and garnished with lime wedges) and reserve remaining thighs for another meal.
2 cups instant white rice
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can red beans, drained
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/4 cup chopped scallions
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, water, beans, thyme, and lime zest. Set pan over high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 5 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Fold in scallions and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
That's what Jason wanted to give the four guys on his crew for christmas. "Just a little something to let them know I appreciate all the work they do". I thought that was sweet of my husband, but you know that I couldn't just let it go at that. So yesterday I made a list, and I got to work. After a two hour trip to Wal-Mart and close to 6 hours in the kitchen I had 4 beautiful gift bags full of goodies to give the guys... Homemade Sugar Cookies with royal icing, Softie Gingerbread Men, Hand dipped Almond Joys, Fantasy Fudge, Chocolate shortbread and Peppermint chocolate spoons. With those I added a cute holiday mug and a box of hot chocolate (what else are you gonna put the spoons in?) Jason loved them and off to work they went with him today.
Easy Chocolate Shortbread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, and cocoa powder. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Work mixture with your hands until it clings together (dough will be very dry to start). Shape into a smooth ball.
2. On an ungreased cookie sheet, pat or roll into an 8x8-inch square (if rolling, lightly flour the rolling pin to prevent sticking). Score by gently pressing with a knife into 32, 2x1-inch rectangles (do not separate). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cookie is just firm in the center. Cut square along score lines into rectangles again while still warm. Cool on a wire rack.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/3 cup softened cream cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for surface
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine sugar cookie mix, melted butter, egg, cream cheese, and flour; mix together to form dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill one hour.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
My first installment- Last night's dinner. Homemade Lumpia & Fried Rice
Why does my fried rice look like ground beef in the top picture? (top: fried rice -- bottom: lumpia with sweet & sour sauce)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup minced bean sprouts
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
40 lumpia wrappers
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
Place a wok or large skillet over high heat, and pour in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Cook pork and ground beef, stirring frequently, until no pink is showing. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Drain grease from pan, leaving a thin coating. Cook garlic and onion in the same pan for 2 minutes. Stir in the cooked pork, carrots and bean sprouts. Season with pepper, salt, garlic powder, and soy sauce. Remove from heat, and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Place 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of the filling diagonally near one corner of each wrapper, leaving a 1 1/2 inch space at both ends. Fold the side along the length of the filling over the filling, tuck in both ends, and roll neatly. Keep the roll tight as you assemble. Moisten the other side of the wrapper with water to seal the edge. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap to retain moisture.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat, add oil to 1/2 inch depth, and heat for 5 minutes. Slide 3 or 4 lumpia into the oil. Fry the rolls for 1 to 2 minutes, until all sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.
Makes 40 lumpia rolls
Pork Fried Rice
2 cups jasmine rice
1 cup cubed ham pieces (you can find these in the lunchmeat section usually)
1 16oz bag frozen peas & carrots
1/4 c. chopped yellow onion
1/2 c. chopped green onions
2 eggs beaten
4 tablespoons soy sauce (you can adjust this to taste)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cook Jasmine rice according to package directions. Let cool slightly. Heat oil in wok or large skillet and stir fry rice until slightly golden brown. Add ham, peas, carrots & yellow onion stirring until just heated through. Make a well in the center of your rice and add eggs cooking until set. Stir eggs into rice mixture. (if you're unsure of this you can scramble your eggs in a seperate pan then add to rice mixture) Add soy sauce, salt & pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and continue cooking until again heated. Remove from heat and sprinkle green onions on top.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I hadn't been feeling so great for a couple of days and by the time we got home from the baptism I was shaking and freezing and my throat was killing me. Jason finally convinced me to go to the dr. (not that I really had an option, I was too weak to fight my 6'4" 300lb husband lol). One phone call to Grandma Ang, she's such a blessing to have in our lives, had the kids taken care of and we were on our way to the E.R. A half hour later I had a 102 degree fever, a sinus infection, strep throat and a prescription for Amoxicillin. Needless to say I was pretty much worthless for the rest of the day and most of today. But I've found a few minutes where I feel well enough to sit up in bed and blog about our joyous experience.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Chillaxin at the fountain at the Paris Hotel, Las Vegas
Brandi at the Arc D'Triumph, Paris Hotel
Looking Down 500 feet to the strip below from the top of the Eiffel Tower
On Tuesday we headed off to Anaheim and spent the next three days like two kids in a candy store at Disneyland. We rode every ride, saw the Parade of Dreams, caught the fireworks show over the castle, saw Fantasmic and fell in love with the "Soarin' Over California" ride at California Adventure. Jason even convinced me to ride the California Screamer roller coaster the goes upside down and the appropriately named "Tower of Terror" ride. I was scared to death, but it was so much fun.
Awww Pluto! (See what's in my hand? Authentic Disneyland Churros.. the closest thing to heaven on earth besides my husband)
We headed back to Las Vegas on Thursday night and I was reminded why I no longer live in California- THE TRAFFIC! It took us 2.5 hours to go 30 miles. So what should've been a 4 hour drive, took us more than 6. We had opportunity to catch the "Tournament of Kings" show at Excalibur (it's like Medieval Times), the "Sirens of TI" show and the dancing fountains at Bellagio. We crammed a lot of activities into 8 short days but we were glad to get the chance to spend some time with Just Us 'cuz you never know if we'll be able to do it again, at least not until the kids are grown and gone. We had an amazing time and will have many many years of memories, laughs and souvenirs to remember it by.
Showgirls at the Tropicana. I asked them if I could take Jason's picture with them LOL
The Dancing Fountains at Bellagio
Sunday, November 23, 2008
At least that's what the napkins at the reception said. It's finally over... months of planning, stress and freaking out and it lasted all of a couple hours. But it really was a dream wedding because I married the man of my dreams. Check out the pics of the big day below and for a more complete album I've uploaded everything to photobucket in 2 albums because they wouldn't all fit in one:
My handsome groom... take a look 'cuz chances are good you'll never see him in a tux again
The bride at Millenial Falls
Daddy & Daughter- just a few minutes before I walked down the aisle
speaking of the aisle...