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Something new for supper


Today I'm posting a new recipe that I tried recently--we liked it so well that I've actually made it twice in the last few weeks. It's sort of an Americanized version of Lo Mein. I made it with some cooked chicken I had in the freezer--I've been trying to use up some of my freezer stash. The original recipe called for raw chicken breasts that you cut up and stir fry and then proceed with the recipe.

picture of Oriental Casserole

Stir Fried Chicken and Noodles

3 Tbsps. honey
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger (or 1/4 tsp. dried)
dash white pepper
2 tsps. cornstarch
1-1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken or a couple of raw chicken breasts cubed and stir fried
2 tsps. cooking oil
3-4 cups frozen oriental vegetable blend (I used a stir fry blend from Aldi)
1-1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1 heaping cup fine noodles (begin boiling these about the time you start the stir frying)

Whisk together the honey, water, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch. Heat the oil in a large skillet and stir fry the oriental vegetables for 5-6 mins. Add the cabbage and stir fry for 3-5 mins. more. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Cook about two minutes or until thickened. Add the chicken and the cooked drained noodles. Heat through and enjoy!

I had never used fresh ginger until just a few years ago. It can be stored in the freezer and then grated frozen when you need it. I just wrap mine in plastic wrap and store it on my freezer door so I can find it easily.

picture of Frozen Ginger

You don't even need to peel it. Just grate the amount you need and use it to season whatever dish you are preparing. It adds a lot of flavor to many oriental dishes.

picture of Grating Ginger

Becka

Sadness for those who sew


I was saddened a couple of weeks ago when I strolled through our local Walmart and saw that they were taking out the fabric department. We have lots of stores here in the area where you can buy drapery and home decorating fabric and several small quilting shops but now the only stores with patterns, notions, and fabric are Hobby Lobby and Hancock Fabrics.

We are fortunate to have an absolutely wonderful fabric store — Mary Jo's — about an hour and a half drive from here. Here's a picture taken just inside the door:

picture of Mary Jo's

Mary Jo's has a wide variety of fabrics including drapery, upholstery, bridal, quilting, etc. In fact, I remember being very overwhelmed the first time I went there by the vast selection. I have since learned that it's good to have some specific ideas of items that I am looking for before I go.

Here's a picture of some fabric I got the last time we were there to make a quilt for a baby girl:

picture of baby quilt fabric

Mary Jo's is located in Gastonia, NC (near Charlotte) and there are several stores nearby that husbands would find more interesting, such as Home Depot and Office Depot. So, for those who enjoy actually handling the fabric rather than ordering from a website if you are ever in the area I would definitely recommend that you plan to stop and check it out.

Becka

We’ve had a busy week


It's been a while since I have posted, but hopefully I will get my act together and be more faithful now that the school year has ended.

We have been keeping busy around here the last week or so. Last Saturday we participated in our subdivision's yard sale. Rob and I are not very good merchandisers - we never make much money from our yard sales, but we do clear out a lot of stuff that we no longer need or want. I took the leftovers out to Miracle Hill thrift store after the sale.

We also participated in some end of the school year activities and have been cleaning up and preparing the house for an upcoming visit by our DD and our grandson. Can you tell I am excited?

I had a wonderful mother's day yesterday with our local family members and I'm thankful that we could spend part of the day together. We had a nice dinner together and I received some very thoughtful gifts.

This week I made a dress for a little friend at church who will be celebrating her second birthday soon. The pattern is from a site called The Handmade Dress. You can either download the pattern or have it mailed to you. The designer has several cute patterns available and she is selling the patterns to help finance a foreign adoption. Here is a picture of the version I made:

picture of Miss Mary

I hope all of you who are mothers had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Becka

For the Birds


picture of Bird House

We've been having some bird activity around here this week. A couple of house wrens have been building a nest in our birdhouse. We read that they sing the most when they are nesting and we enjoy hearing them sing first thing in the morning and throughout the day.

Here's a picture of a house wren:

picture of House Wren

picture of Wren Nest

We have also had a very distinguished bird visitor at our feeder for the last several days; a Rose Breasted Grosbeak. He is very beautiful and we have really enjoyed seeing him.

Here's a picture of a Rose Breasted Grosbeak:

picture of Grosbeak

Last week when I stopped by Walgreens to pick up a few things I found that they had the Easter Peeps on sale for 18 cents a box. I bought a few boxes and used them to make this sunflower cake:

picture of Sunflower Cake

If you are interested in making it some time you can find the recipe here.

I don't think I will make the cake again, but I will post the recipe for the chocolate frosting that I used, as it's a good one:

Good Chocolate Frosting

1 stick margarine or butter
1/2 cup cocoa, sifted
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup milk (may not need all)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Melt the margarine and then stir in the cocoa. Pour into a mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar alternately with the milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Frost cake immediately as this hardens as the butter cools. This is enough for a layer cake or two dozen cupcakes.

Enjoy!

Clone of a Cinnabon


Do you own a bread machine? If the answer is yes, do you use yours? I kind of go through fits and spurts. My bread machine is a vertical one (the bread rises upwards), so I tend to use it for making the dough and then baking it in the oven. I do have a couple of recipes that I make in the bread machine that turn out really well. This is one of them.

picture of Cinnabon Dough

I ran across this recipe a couple of years ago, and it has become a family favorite. I don't make these very often since they are quite rich, but if you want a really good cinnamon roll try this recipe.

I pretty much follow the recipe the way it is listed on All Recipes except that I do not use bread machine yeast--I just use the rapid rise yeast and sometimes I make them a bit smaller than the recipe directs. I made some of these this week for my friend Kathy's birthday and took some pictures to document the process. I made the dough in the evening, covered it with plastic wrap, and then baked and frosted them in the morning.

Here is the dough rolled out and spread with the butter and brown sugar/cinnamon mixture:

picture of Rolled Cinnabon

Here the dough is being cut into pieces with a bench knife/scraper:

picture of Cut Cinnabon

Here they are panned up and ready to go in the oven:

picture of Panned Cinnabon

And here they are ready to eat:

picture of Baked Cinnabon

Becka