Sunday, July 15, 2012

Honey-Soy-Sesame Chicken

Cravings: the best crockpot chicken recipe I know

While at my sister in law's I got the chance to do some cooking! Unfortunately everything got put into tupperware and eaten up before I snapped a picture of the finished result. But trust me, it's DELICIOUS.

I made this for Charlie a few months ago and he constantly requests it.

-nonstick spray (not pictured)
-4 (or more) boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, fat trimmed
-1/2 cup of honey
-1/2 cup of soy sauce
-1 small onion, or 1/2 large onion, diced
-1/2 tbs minced garlic
-1/4 cup of ketchup
-tsp (or more) of cajun seasoning, or red pepper flakes
-1 tbs vegetable or canola oil
-2 tbs sesame seeds
*I accidentally had corn starch in this image, whoops!*

1. Spray the crock pot with non stick spray. Put your chicken in the crock pot. I am a firm, firm believer in always salting your chicken. Except for this in this recipe. There really is no need with all the soy sauce, and the fact that it will sit in this sauce for 6 hours.
2. Mix all the rest of the ingredients (excluding corn starch!), in a medium mixing bowl. Pour over chicken breast.
3. Cover and let cook on low for 5-6 hours.

That's it! It's ready. Go eat it.

It can cook for 8 hours if you want to put it on before work or before going to bed, but it's ready after 5-6. Some people say you can cook it on high for 3-4 hours, and you can, but I don't think it comes out as good. If you do not have a crock pot, put it in a dutch oven at 200 degrees for 6 hours.

Friday, July 13, 2012

4th of July and Lake Martin

Craving: A relaxing, fun, and family filled LAKE!

On July 3rd Charlie and I drove to Lake Martin, which is really close to Auburn. Charlie's grandaddy was a professor there and had a lake house that the family would go to all the time. Uncle Will and his family are now in possession of the house and very warmly invited us to come and join them for a few days. They were even more generous in inviting my mom, sister, and her boyfriend!

Unfortunately, Charlie forgot to check in with Uncle Will and didn't realize they'd be coming on the 4th. Luckily, a bunch of people from Charlie's flight were driving up per his recommendation, and staying at the Creekside Lodge (recommend this place if you are going to Lake Martin!), so we got a room. On The morning of the 4th we woke up and went over to the lake house. We tried to have our picture snapped (excuse the shiny skin, I had just sunscreened myself). Of course Charlie ruined the picture:

So I ruined one back:

The lake house was everything Charlie described it to be and I'm so glad I got to experience it with him since so many of his best memories were spent there.

Uncle Will and his family arrived (with their dog Max!), and Uncle Jim and his family came shortly after. I had such a great time interacting with my "aunts", hanging out with the teenagers, and playing with the youngest.

Here is Emily (just turned 16) swimming with Max

Hi Max! Don't shake on me!

Sideview from the dock:

The lake while everyone was at lunch (which is why you can't see everybody on floats in there!)

We needed a bit of a break from the heat so a scrabble game was started:

Of course my mom won.

Here's Aunt Jackie in the kitchen:

Uncle Will overheard Charlie on the phone with the guys in his flight and invited them to swim off of their dock.


I love this view through the trees and bushes:

A view of the dock from a chair swing: IMG_1926

View of the house from the dock:

When it was time for fireworks I ran inside. I don't like small fireworks, they terrify me. I don't like the banging sound, and don't think the small bit of visual stimulation is worth it. Professional fireworks though, count me in.

Samantha, Uncle Jim and Aunt Jill's 6 year old, stayed inside with me. I definitely shrieked at one point and ran further into the house at the sound of an unexpected firework, and Sam very happily followed me. This girl is precious. First of all, she kept jumping off the second story boat house all day! Fearless! We hung out during the fireworks and played some games with Max:


Max stayed in his bed we made for him the whole night. Definitely got a bit of nostalgia for my bubbas.

The next day Charlie stayed inside and did schoolwork and SOS work while his sunburn healed, and I read outside a bit to get a bit of a tan. Before we left, I thought it would be nice to take some pictures by the lake since it's so meaningful to Charlie. Uncle Will was a champ and after we each had a beer, we went at it! I love how these turned out, and I had a lot of fun editing them. I will have another post for the engagement pics, with some recommendations for taking good pictures!

Thank you Uncle Will for not only taking such great pictures but for giving us a great few days at the Lake - we will have those memories forever!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Peanut-Teriyaki Green Beans

Craving: A twist on regular green beans!

This recipe is yummy and can be made with fresh, frozen, or canned green beans (although I really recommend fresh or frozen).

You can add spice to it with some sriracha or your favorite heat-provider (cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, etc). I eliminated this because someone I was eating with did not eat spicy food.

Ingredients (approximations, I never measure exactly when cooking)

1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
2 tbs creamy peanut butter (low fat okay)
2 cups teriyaki sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbs sesame seeds (black or white or combination)
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp minced garlic (I forgot to photograph this)
sriracha to your taste
1 tbs sesame oil to top
peanuts to top (optional)

1. Steam or boil your green beans. (Steaming is better from a nutritional standpoint).
**Tip**: You can put them in a microwavable dish and seal with plastic wrap to "steam" the beans. This retains more nutrients than boiling.
Drain your beans and rinse with cold water to shock them.

2. Spoon peanut butter into a bowl and stir in the teriyaki sauce and water. Add the rest of the ingredients except sesame oil and peanuts. Stir together.

3. Put the beans in a pot and cover with the sauce, cook on medium-high for 10 minutes so the sauce thickens and sticks to the beans.

4. Top with sesame oil and peanuts and stir together. Serve and enjoy!

I made this recipe up and we had some extra sauce to green bean ratio when I made it, so adjusted it for this recipe. However, the extra sauce would have been really good with rice or noodles, or even to marinade chicken!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

citrus butter jam cookies

I attempted a new cookie recipe. They were good. Maybe a B- compared to the A+ OMG cookies. But I mean, most food is a b- compared to those.

After making the lemon-poppy cookies, I was excited at the idea to make another citrus cookie.

I googled it and found a few different ideas, and decided to make up my own recipe. (probably why it was a b-).

After I had my dough, I decided to make a jam cookie out of it. The dough was not sweet raw, you won't really want to lick the batter. Once cooked, it's yummy though, and the jam makes it great. I just need to find a better flour ratio and this will be much better!


I don't want to post an exact recipe just yet because they are not perfected, but here is a rough idea.

Basic butter cookie recipe (these are less sweet and "harder" than sugar cookies).
Try this recipe. Or this one.

-Omit vanilla and other liquids besides butter
-Add zest of one lime, one lemon, and one orange.

-Add juice of half lime, 1/4 lemon, 1/4 orange

Mix all together, and let sit overnight so it hardens.

Using a teaspoon, scoop dough and roll into balls using your palms. Place on an un-greased cookie sheet.

Use your thumb to make an indent in each ball:

Then scoop your jam of choice into the middle.

My "niece" Hannah helped.

These are best if you freeze for about an hour before baking.

I baked at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Pat's daughter Sandy lives in the house she grew up in, and they still have the same oven. We had to preheat - I had never actually seen this before and was excited:

The cookies came out not as structured as I wanted them to, but still yummy in your tummy:

Alabama Randoms...and a Goat! (long post warning)

Backtrack beyond those two weeks in Atlanta.

Currently craving: A time machine, to remind me of all the events I didn't blog about!

This is going to be quite random.

Since arriving in Alabama, I have found this picture of Charlie's parents:

Who do you think he looks like?

We grilled out with Charlie's flight and some spouses:



Which ended in a very college esque night of beer pong and flip cup...but with all captains in the AF and their spouses:



I met lots of family! Charlie's step mom Pat has two daughters and 7 grandkids and it has been a joy spending time with them all. Charlie's Uncle Eddy and his wife Susan came and visited as well.
Charlie with his Uncle Eddy

Some of the grandkids playing. The fenced in part is because the ducks get to play there during the day!

5 of 7 of Pat's grandkids

Here is Haley-Jo, the baby of the family:

Trying to skip rocks on the pond in Pat and Dale's backyard.

Saying hi to the duckies.

Yes, they eat live crickets. Ew.

Mary Beth, Haley-Jo, and Hannah, playing by the pond.

Thomas being caught off guard for a picture.

We picked pears for Lilly the goat (more on her later).

I mailed my dad a father's day card from Jack, Alabama. We took photo evidence that it was being sent in case the post office was no longer running, which it appeared to not be! Haha.

Dad did get the card, relief.

Me, Charlie, Uncle Eddy, and Aunt Susan, by the pond in the neighborhood before they left.

I got a manicure:

And gave one:

Haley-Jo picked the color!

We swam in the pool (no pcitures, whoops), and jumped on the trampoline: IMG_1631

And celebrated a couple birthdays:
(I can't wait to celebrate my birthday next Monday since I'll be 24 yet again!)


With Hannah and Haley-Jo

Opening presents.

Giving cousins hugs.

I invented a recipe for citrus jam cookies, which I'll post soon.

But most importantly, I met:

Lilly goat!

Pat's daughter and son in law rescued a goat and managed to keep her in their backyard. They even fought the city on it (and won!). Lilly usually lives in the backyard but comes inside when Tammy lets her!


Sometimes Lilly gets taken for walks and Tammy even said that people have approached her and asked her "what kind of dog is that" to which she replies:
"Um, it's a goat!"

Coming up next: Citrus jam cookies!