Sunday, October 24, 2010

Green Pepper Steak Stir Fry

1 lb beef (chuck or round), trim fat
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 clove garlic
1-1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
1/4 cup salad oil
1 cup green onion sliced thin
1 cup red or green peppers cut into strips, or 1" squares
2 stalks celery sliced thin
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup water
2 tomatoes cut into wedges

Cut beef across grain into thin strips, Combine soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Add beef. Toss and set aside.

In large skillet or wok: Heat oil, Add beef and toss over high heat until browned. Taste beef, if not tender, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes over low heat. Increase heat and add vegetables (except tomatoes). Toss until vegetables are tender/crisp (10 minutes). Mix cornstarch with water. Add mixture to pan. Stir and cook until thickened. Add tomatoes and heat through. Serve over rice.

Chinese Chicken Wings

1 cup sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oil
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
5 lbs chicken wings

Mix first 7 ingredients together, mix well. Place chicken wings in an airtight 2-gallon ziplock bag (or two 1-gallon ziploc bags). Pour marinade over chicken wings and seal tight. Marinate in refridgerator for 24 hours. Place wing pieces on large (or 2 small) foil covered cookie sheet. Do not cover wings in sauce. Discard remaining sauce. Bake (uncovered) at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

Keep warm in slow cooker

This recipe also works really good to marinade a whole cut up chicken, and is so easy.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

cherry blossom spring

I took some pictures of the Nanking cherry bush in our yard, and then had  fun tweaking the colors with my basic photo-editing program. 

This bush produces oodles of small, tart cherries.  I have used them to make jelly, and last year my neighbor made a batch of wine, but usually we just eat them fresh.  While we're standing in the yard.  More fun that way.

While I was snapping pictures, this bumblebee came to visit.  I am not exaggerating (too much) when I say it was the size of a small hummingbird.

OK, maybe not exactly the size of a hummingbird, but it was a big bumblebee. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Sometimes you have to ignore the housework, put away your to-do list, and just enjoy the moment.  Yesterday was one of those times for me.  It was an unseasonably warm, sunny, lightly breezy and just perfectly delectable day.  When the kids came home from school I told them we were going on a little surprise get-away.  We headed nine miles out of town to the nearest lake,  made a stop at the sub shop, and had a lovely picnic dinner on the beach. 

The water was COLD.  So cold it hurt to have your toes in for more than a few seconds.  We built a little sand castle,  watched a loon diving for his dinner, and just soaked up that warm sunshine. 

Remember this quote from "American Beauty"? 

"......there's so much beauty in the world.  Sometime's I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much.  My heart fills up like a balloon about to burst....  And then I relax, and not try to hold on to it.  And then it flows through me like rain.  And I can't  feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life..."

Better than I could say it myself.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

a very quilty birthday!

Merry says:

I have to show off the quilt that I received for my birthday.  It was made by my sweet and talented sister.  About a year ago, she upgraded her sewing machine, and she has been cranking out the quilts ever since.  (I've been hounding her to get a Flickr account, but so far she has ignored me.)

Each block is a mini crazy-quilt of vintage fabric sweetness!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Spring sprung early in Minnesota this year, so the kids will be searching for candy-filled eggs outside! The sun is shining, and I am looking forward to a day with good food and great company. Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

it's my party....favors

My sweet girl just celebrated a birthday. She had a slumber party complete with pizza, popcorn, make-your-own sundaes, and the the newest Twilight movie. I know it's been said before, but I'll say it again, "Why are they called 'slumber parties' when there is very little slumbering involved?"

I made zippy pouches for the girls as party favors, and tucked in cute little notepads and mini body butters. The girls loved them.