This is a blog to keep our family and friends up to date on our lives even though we all live so far away from each other!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Seventy One

We are on vacation! It's been so nice to not have to wake up early to get going....usually I can steal some extra sleep but Joshua never can so I know it's been nice for him. We have been home in Austin since Thursday and we are leaving today to head to DC for a week of educational fun ;) I'm so excited to see one of my best friends and get to just relax for a few more days. We've got lots of things to see in DC as well as the Army Birthday Ball that we're going to! I've got my hair appt, my dress, and my shoes so now all I need is to find a cute clutch and we'll be set! So exciting. Once I get some pictures, I'll have to update! That's all for now! Xoxo, Hannah

Friday, June 1, 2012

Orange-Sesame Chicken

This is one of our favorite asian food recipes that uses stuff that's in your house...I don't have to buy a ton of bottles of crazy asian sauces to make this. It's great. I usually double the sauce recipe so that we have some sauce with our rice. I also usually stir fry some veggies (either a bag of frozen or some fresh) to go with it.

Orange Sesame Chicken

Found on blogchef.net
Verdict: Really good. It's not spicy in the slightest so might want to add some kind of chili flakes if that's how you like your food.

1.5lb Chicken Breast Tenderloin Strips (cut into cubes)
Batter for chicken:
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg beaten

2/3 cup water (or as much as you need to make batter smooth)

3 TBSP Cornstarch

2 sticks of Crisco baking grease (used to to fry the chicken in a skillet)
Sauce (amounts are already doubled):
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup honey
4 tsp sugar
3.5 TBSP white vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 cup water
juice of 1 orange
tsp garlic powder
sesame seeds (to sprinkle on finished product)

In a large bowl, combine batter ingredients and mix well. The batter should be thick enough to cover the chicken but thin enough for your chicken to flow easily in the bowl. 
Dump cut chicken pieces into large bowl of batter and mix chicken around making sure each piece is covered.
Deep fry chicken in heated Crisco oil for about 4-5 minutes or until cooked all the way through and golden brown.
In a medium sized pot, mix together sauce ingredients. Cook over low-medium heat until sauce is thick and bubbly. Mix in chicken pieces and top with sesame seeds.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Homemade Cookout Potato Salad

I'm not a mayonnaise person.. Let me say that again, I am NOT a mayonnaise person. At all. In fact, the thought of it is revolting. BUT- this recipe is really good. I love it and most everyone else seems to love it, too!

Homemade Cookout Potato Salad

3.5 lbs red potatoes cut into 1in pieces
8oz sour cream
1/2 cup mayo
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Boil the potato pieces for 10 minutes or until a fork can easily slip into the pieces.
Drain and lay them out onto a cookie sheet to cool while you get the sour cream mixture prep'd.
Mix mayo, sour cream, onion powder, garlic powder, sprinkle of salt and a pinch of pepper in a bowl. Mix in green onions.
Crumble and smoosh 1/3 of the potato bites and then hand mix them into a large bowl with the rest of the potato pieces. Toss in the large bowl with the mayo mixture. Allow to set in refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.

Verdict: I really like this potato salad. My mother always had mustard in hers and had the potatoes all mashed but I really like the chunky potato pieces and (dare I say it?!) the fact that there isn't any mustard!

Gooey Caramel Brownies

I found a recipe for these on Pinterest....and decided to change it up a bit.

Gooey Caramel Brownies

1- 18.25oz box brownie mix
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (more if you are a choco-holic)
1-14oz bag of caramel candies (I used half a bag of these from Hammond's Candy Factory. Except I used just regular caramel instead of the Mitchell Sweets.)
2/3 cup evaporated milk separated
3/4 cup butter melted

 Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, stir together the brownie mix, melted butter and 1/3 cup evaporated milk. Pour and press (depending on how wet your mix is) half the batter into a greased 9x13in pan reserving the rest of the batter. Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven.
Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, combine caramels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth and set aside.
Remove first half of the brownie mix from the oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. pour caramel mixture evenly over the chips and Crumble (or pour) the remaining dough over the caramel layer and return to the oven to bake for an additional 15-18 minutes.
Cool in refrigerator to set the caramel before cutting into bars.

Verdict: These were super tasty and even got the thumbs up from a friend of mine's little boy. THAT means it's good! The taste of these was amazing. The only problem I had was the altitude. It messes with everything I bake and this was no exception. It didn't make it quite as fluffy and brownie-like. Instead, it was sticky but I'm not complaining...it was so good!


We have a sweet new addition in our family. He's been with us since Dec 23rd, but I haven't gotten a chance to introduce him here...properly :)
His name is Sirius. Sirius Black!
He's 8 months old and black except for a couple little stray white hairs. He's spoiled rotten and is my little partner-in-crime. He sleeps above my head at night and usually likes to wake me up early to be pet and loved on even though I'm exhausted and just want to sleep! He's a minx, but I adore him.

We are moved and almost completely settled in our house on post. There are a few more things we'd like to get taken care of, but as of right now, I'm fully content with this! Joshua really likes his job here in Colorado and I'm really liking the way things are going for now so it's a good thing. In March, I got a chance to visit one of my best friends who lives in DC. It was a super awesome trip and I am dying to go back. When I got home from said March trip, I showed Joshua all my pictures and he was hooked....completely! We are going back in June! I can't wait. 
Here's a couple from my trip in March. It was such a good time and I got to experience things that I never thought I would!
 The cherry blossoms
 The National Cathedral
 The view from the top of the cathedral
 Ashley and I at the top after the 30 story Tower Climb
 Sprinkles cupcakes
Arlington National Cemetery
 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Lincoln Monument

 The Library of Congress. Aka- the largest Library in the United States and second largest in the world!
Our Capitol! Was amazing to see in person...but then I remembered that the Texas capitol is bigger and it made me a little happy ;)

Whew. That was a lot of fun! There was so much more that I did, but don't want to bore you with all the nonsense!

I have a couple NEW recipes to share! I can't wait!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sixty-Nine: Panko Fish Sticks

Panko Fish Sticks
Rating: Delicious

1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup all-purpose or whole-wheat flour
4 egg whites, lightly beaten (I have used less egg whites and was fine)
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 lb grouper or cod, cut into 1 1/4-inch (3 cm) slices
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 400 ˚F (200 ˚C).

In shallow dish, combine panko, paprika and walnuts. In another small dish, place flour. Whisk together egg whites and canola oil in third dish.
Season fish with salt and pepper and brush with Dijon mustard. Dip fish in flour, then egg and oil, and dredge in panko mixture, pressing firmly to coat. Place fish on lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes evenly when tested with fork.

Review: These are delicious and one of our favorite dinner treats. It's the classic meal that takes you back to your childhood but definitely has an adult twist. The pecans just make it even better. The recipe originally called for walnuts, but I'm a pecan girl, not a walnut girl so I switched it up.

Sixty-Eight: Meatball Sub Casserole

Meatball Sub Casserole
Rating: Good
Online Location: http://www.brendascanadiankitchen.com/2011/05/meatball-sub-casserole.html

1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound ground beef
1 loaf (1 pound) Italian bread, cut into 1.5-inch slices
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar (28 ounce) spaghetti or marinara sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced

In a bowl, combine onions, bread crumbs & parmesan cheese. Mix in 1LB beef. Shape into 1-inch balls; place on a greased rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes until no longer pink.

Arrange bread in a single layer in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish (all of the bread might not be used). Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, Italian seasoning and pepper. Spread over the bread. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella.

Combine the spaghetti sauce & garlic; add meatballs. Pour over cheese mixture; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Review: Tasted good. I made the mistake of using french bread and it didn't turn out as well as it would have had I used the Italian bread. Was really good and moist. Joshua and I both agreed that we'd make it again. Leftovers were gone in the next day.