Saturday, April 23, 2011

For the Lovers of Chicken Osaka

I was emailing back and forth with one of my friends and some how we got on the subject of the Chicken Osaka at The Mustard Seed/Noodle Express, she's pregnant so maybe she brought it up.  :) Anyways,  I told her I was now craving it and she promptly emailed me a recipe for it that she had.   She hadn't tried it yet so wasn't able to give me her opinion of the recipe, but I thought I'd give it a whirl anyways.  WOWZA!!! It's some tasty stuff.  Don't let all the ingredients and steps scare you away. It's really easy and so worth it!

Chicken Osaka

Step 1: Make Ginger Dressing

1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 tablespoons ginger root, minced and peeled
1/2 rib celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ketchup
Pinch white pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar

Using a blender, combine all ingredients except the soy sauce and vinegar. Blend for 30 seconds. Then add the soy sauce and vinegar and blend for 30 more seconds. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Step 2: Cook the chicken

1 1/2 pounds chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 to 3 slices fresh ginger, minced
½ lemon, juiced and zested

Chop up your chicken into bite sized pieces. Heat up your wok or if you do not have a wok use a deep pan. Add your 3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil. When the oil just starts to smoke add chicken, lemon juice, zest and ginger. Get the chicken slightly browned then add the Ginger Dressing just enough to coat. Heat through. *You can add more ginger dressing if you like, just don't overheat or sauce will break*

Step 3: Make the mustard dipping sauce

3 tablespoons Kikkoman soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Coleman’s Mustard (Its a powder, I used regular mustard powder)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil

To make the dipping sauce, blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour sauce into small bowl and serve with chicken, steamed rice ( this is great with brown rice), and veggie slaw.   Dip or pour over meal.

Step 4: Asian Veggie Slaw

1 Cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thin
4 Cups of shredded green cabbage
1 carrot shredded (or use a cabbage mix with carrot)
4 Celery stalks thinly sliced 

Mix together in bowl and add 1/4-1/2 cup of ginger dressing to taste to coat slaw.   Add to bowl with rice and chicken. ( I LOVE to put TONS of slaw on mine for crunch!)

Sesame Street Came to Town

Today we went to Ft Wainwright and watched a little Sesame Street show put on by the USO.  There was lots of fun music, high action, and a cute little message about being a kid and moving around in the military.

The show was held in the gym of the fitness center on Ft. Wainwright.  The place was packed with wiggly kids!  Such a fun energy!

The show was about 30 minutes long and Tanner was able to pay attention for about 15-20 minutes of it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Anchorage/Wasilla Trip

We took a trip to Anchorage Sunday and came back Monday.  We found a Tahoe on Cragslist that we fell in love with and had to go check it out.  We boarded the plane at 7:30am.  Tanner was a wiggle worm for the 45 minutes in the air.  Brandon is now dreading our next plane ride home to MT.

We rented a car and drove up to Wasilla where the Tahoe was and also happens to be where Brandon's cousin Christy lives with her husband and 3 daughters.  Tanner had fun playing with the girls and it was great seeing everyone. 

We did buy the Tahoe and then had the chore of bringing the rental car back.  We got a rock chip in the windshield.  The car attendant told us we'd have to pay to replace it and that'd it be $600.00!  We're still talking with insurance and the Dollar rental managers about it!

I told Brandon that we were meant to get this vehicle because not only was it a Chevy (I'm a Chevy girl) it had these turtle decals. Since our trip to Mexico, turtles have been special for Brandon and I.
We  put the rental car problems out of mind for the rest of our trip. We enjoyed a fun dinner at Benihana.  The presentation of it was great, along with the food.  Tanner loved it!

We went to a few parks and played.  Anchorage had no snow on the ground!!!  I can't wait until all of our snow melts!

 Tanner and Brandon watched movies and slept a lot of the way back home to Fairbanks.  It's great having the option to watch movies, in the back seats, while driving down the road!

 The drive and scenery were beautiful as usual.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Last Few Weeks

It's been a few weeks since I've posted.  I was getting too caught up in creating the "perfect" blog.  I read so many inspiring blogs and I was trying to emulate their formatting. (Nothing wrong with finding inspiration in others)  Then I got hung up on when I should and shouldn't post, what I should write about and take pictures of... and it was making me not want to blog at all! Funny how that works.  I'm back to good now though.  I'm only going to do this as long as it's giving me satisfaction, not stress.  I don't have to write my life story or what's on my mind if I don't feel like it. It's OK, to just post pictures.  Or not post pictures and just write a story. It's ALL good!

Vacuum comes out! Tanner's lawn mower comes out! TEAMWORK!

I made some Oobleck (cornstarch, water) for Tanner.  I made it extra thick at first and then added more water so that it was more pliable. It kept him busy for close to an hour.  It was super easy to clean up.  I just swept it up, there were a few spots that needed to be wiped up with a rag, no biggie though.

I don't know that Tanner had ever taken a bath in the sink.  He wouldn't sit down.  He wanted to crouch the whole time.  He wanted the water turned on the entire time.

 Another craft project.  Shaving cream with food dye.  Not that great of an idea for this age.  He was fascinated at first then just wanted to bite the bag.  It turned into a very frustrating time for the both of us.

It's warming up and our snow is melting!  I love it! Tanner loves it more!


Well I did it. I made my family yogurt.  I had been searching through tons of recipes on the net, trying to find one that wasn't too labor intensive. I found one that worked perfectly for me,  it that uses the crockpot! It was so easy.

  • 8 cups of whole milk
  • 2.5 hours on low in the crockpot
  • Unplug and let rest for 3 hours
  • Take 2 cups of the milk, mix with 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, return and mix with rest of milk
  • Cover crockpot with heavy towel and let rest 8-12 hours. 

I started my yogurt last night and I woke up to creamy yogurt that has a great flavor.  I soaked up some of the liquid on top by placing a paper towel on top of the yogurt and then a kitchen towel on top of that.  I may try using cheesecloth and letting it drain that way next time to give it more of the Greek yogurt texture.  I don't have a problem using whole fat milk for my yogurt, but may eventually try using skim milk just to see how it turns out.  For now the whole fat yogurt will be the way we go, it's better for Tanner. 

Though I found ways to flavor the yogurt with fruit or vanilla, I like plain yogurt.  Tanner and I love to mix homemade granola into it, YUM!  Honey is also delicious on plain yogurt. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

IT'S A...

My friend Liz and I met working at Air Logistics of Alaska as receptionists.  She's the friend I've had the longest here in Alaska and I'd venture to say the closest girl-friend I have here.  She's a sweet woman with a loving, open heart and a devoted mother and wife.

Liz and her husband Dan are expecting their 3rd child mid-August. They decided to get their friends and family involved and excited about the baby, not that we needed much prompting, and planned a gender-revealing party. When they went for their ultra-sound this week they told the technician to not tell them the sex of the baby but to take the ultrasound "money-shot", print it, and put it in an envelope.

 They took the envelope with the ultrasound to a baker and told her to make a cake with the inside color being blue or pink, depending on the gender of the baby!

With all of their friends and family gathered they cut into the cake not only revealing the sex to us but to themselves as well! It was quite exciting.   

And drum roll please...rat.a.tat.tat... PINK!!!

I can't wait to welcome the new baby girl Boschert into the world. The baby might be born on my birthday, August 11th, and they'll be naming her a name beginning with "B" to follow Bailey and Brody.  I think the world could use another Brandi. ;)