Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spicy Chile Chicken Salad

I try to serve a salad for dinner at least once a week because it's so healthy and fast. This recipe is neither fast nor healthy, so we don't have it very often. But when we do, it's like a bit of heaven fell down from above and filled our house with the savoriest of aromas. You know it's something special when Spouse, the truest carnivore, begs for a salad.

Spicy Chile Chicken Salad

Step one: Make Balsamic Salad Dressing

3/4 C sugar
2/3 C apple cider vinegar
1 T garlic powder
1 1/2 t seasoned salt
1/4 C vegetable oil
2 T water
dash ground black pepper
1/4 t crushed red pepper

Mix in a blender and refrigerate.

Step two: Make Green Chile Chutney

19-21 oz diced green chilies
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 1/4 C sugar
1/2 t black pepper
1 t seasoned salt

Combine in sauce pan. Simmer 45 minutes on low heat. Blend until smooth.

Here is the chutney before simmering....

and after it's simmered 30 minutes

Step three: Prep work and frying in a pan

2 large white onions, thinly sliced and fry in pan with some vegetable oil
12 thin white corn tortillas, cut into thin strips, deep fry until crisp and salt while still warm
1 large red bell pepper, cut into matchstick size pieces
2 C monterey jack cheese, grated
3-5 heads of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn
4 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 lime, halved

Sear chicken in hot oil, season with seasoned salt and cook until opaque then squeeze lime juice and continue cooking until golden. Immediately add 1/4 cup of balsamic dressing, 3/4 cup of chutney. Add more dressing and chutney if you desire; keep ratio 3:1. Simmer 1 minute.

Step four: Assemble and enjoy

Make a bed of lettuce, add chicken with sauce, cheese, then red peppers and onions. Top it off with a handful of the crisped tortilla strips.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Finally, the Easter pictures!

Great Grandma Yonk's egg hunt at her farm in Petersboro. Grandma Yonk is 92.

While the other kids were frantically collecting eggs, #2 was more interested in this 4 wheeler. When we finally tore him away.....

there weren't many eggs left.

#1 didn't do much better. At the end she had 4 eggs and proclaimed that she had lost. It was all made up for the next day at her Grandma's egg hunt. She found 14 eggs.

Here is sweet Great Grandma Yonk (spouse's grandmother) with #3.

Easter Morning

Yay for matching dresses!

Sword and shield courtesy of the Easter Bunny. E.B. failed to deliver satisfaction to #1. She was very gracious but I could tell she was let down.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Would I be a sell out?

I know I promised you Easter pictures. They are on their way. But first, I have an important matter to put before you, my wise readers. Back in November I ordered a dress from Shabby Apple, had a bad customer service experience and wrote a blog post about it. It didn't take long for the owner of the company to find my blog and contact me. She took care of the original problem and even sent me a free dress for my troubles. In turn, I wrote another post, updating my readers as to the new and improved Shabby Apple customer service (and linked it to the other post). It was meant to balance out the original negativity of the first post.

The story isn't over. Tonight I received an email from the other owner, who was out on maternity leave during the original episode, informing me that my post is now the 2nd result when Shabby Apple is googled, and would I please take it down because it is losing them business.

On one hand I feel like I have no beef with S.A. I had a problem, they took care of it. I'm over it. It's old news, why shouldn't I take it down? On the other hand, I feel like I had something important to say and to take it down would be selling out.

Readers, do you want me to remove the post or do you think it's important to leave up?

*****UPDATE***** Your voices have been heard!  The pain of removing the post was lessened by Shabby Apple, stepping up once again and offering me another free dress.  Their summer line comes out May 1st.  I'll be sure to tell you about it when I get.  

Things that make me smile about Utah

Having just returned from our little Easter excursion up north, these things are fresh on my mind. Here are 9 things that make me smile (either ironically or genuinely pleased) about Utah.

1. All the counter help speaks English (understandable English)

2. My relative age goes up by about 7 years thanks to the plethora of 21 year old girls walking around with 2 kids

3. Cafe Rios and Bajio Grills on every corner

4. Overhearing words like Prophet, calling, and bishop used casually and frequently in public

5. Taking a walk around the block with my parents and still knowing 90% of the people I see

6. Everything is kid friendly - every restaurant has high chairs; even the airport has play areas

7. You can walk into anyone's house or open any car at anytime because no one locks up

8. Haircuts and trouser styles that are so out of date they actually are starting to look fashionable again

9. At 5,000 feet above sea level, an out of towner has little hope of running without her lungs burning up into tiny bits of oxygen deprived pain.

This list was supposed to reach 10, but due to my post-vacation mind numbing, I have to stop at 9. Help me finish this list and leave a comment with your favorite Utahism.

My faithful readers, never fear. There will be more posting concerning this aforementioned trip including pictures and anecdotal information. Stay tuned while I catch up on laundry.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Can I Get a Napkin Please?

I totally stole this from MormonMommyWars, but it's so funny I couldn't help it.

Power Outage

Our power went out for about 4 hours this afternoon (of course, the first thing I do when it comes back on is blog about it).  Our friendly neighbors came over to invite us to the park to fly their new kite.  While I was getting #2 and #3 ready to go, #1 stood in the doorway talking with our 5 year old neighbor, Kevin.  This is what I overheard:

#1:  Look, even the light won't go on!  That's terrible!

Kevin:  That's because the electricity is gone.  We need to pay the bill.

#1: No, you only have to pay when you don't stop at a red light.  

Without boring you with details, I recently paid a $230 traffic ticket for running a red light.  I guess it's my fault the power went out!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Glimpses from the week

Here is #2 after begrudgingly submitting to wearing underpants for a grand total of 4 minutes (in order to receive a chocolate cupcake). His mode of choice is a la nude. And for those of you who happened to see a certain picture, in a certain post last week (was it chocolate, was is mud?) please know that we are dealing with complex issues here.

Aah, so clean, so pink. My beauties, #1 and #3.

#2 transforms into a merman whenever he attempts to dress himself.

#1 was invited not to a birthday party, not a play date, but none other than a fancy shmancy princess tea party. At the last minute in a wave of doubt she asked me if Tinkerbell is considered to be a princess. Yes, she's a fairy princess.

As if a half a cup of oatmeal, an entire banana and an 8 ounce bottle weren't enough breakfast, #3 still had to top things off with a dirty sock.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fat Rolls

This weekend #3 and I were at the Clinique counter being helped by a pretty older woman. She was smiling and making baby talk at #3 when she turned to me and said,

"Don't worry about her legs. My daughter had very fat legs too and she now she is thin. She'll grow out of it, so don't worry."

As if people grow up looking anything like their former baby bodies! We would all be walking around with beach ball heads and have bum cracks that go half way up our backs.

I've never worried about my fat babies. In fact, I love fat babies. I prefer them that way. So there, lady!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Easter Bunny

Here we go again. Perpetuating the myth about Santa Claus burdened my conscience quite a bit, but there is something less tainted, more sincere about Easter.  I'm having a hard time allowing it to be taken over by another present and candy giving mythical character.  

The questions have already started.  "Does the Easter Bunny live with Santa?"  "Does the Easter Bunny know Jesus?"  #1's favorite animal is a pegasus.  I have a difficult job separating the things I definitely want her to believe in (Jesus), the things I don't mind her believing in (Santa) and the things I certainly want her to know aren't real (pegasus).

The explanation I came up with was hasty and pretty weak.  I need help!  What do you guys do to keep Easter special? How do you explain the Easter Bunny and relate it to the real meaning of Easter? 

Kid's Chance 5K

I know this picture looks exactly like the last race picture I posted. Same people in the same order, in the same pose. I'm even in the same clothes. OK! I admit it! I have two shirts I like to run in, and one pair of shorts. So chances are if I'm in a running picture, I'll be wearing the same thing.

This was a good race for me. I ran a lot faster this time trying to keep up with the two girls on the right of the picture. Since I'm older than them, I ended up placing third in my age group.

In case any of you are mistakenly thinking that I'm a fast, good runner. I'm not. Let's just say there was a time in my life when I thought running as fast as I do now was pretty much like walking. It's all good. My goals are small and attainable, not ambitious.

another shocking post about #2

For a boy who enjoys the finer things in life (like his sister's lip gloss)

it's hard to imagine why he did this:

That's not chocolate frosting.

showing my age

7:30 am Sunday morning. I'm standing in front of my mirror after a tiresome weekend, beginning my hair and make up in order to make it to our 9:o0 am church.

#1: Mom, why do your eyes look like that?

me: (honestly bewildered) Like what?

#1: Like monster eyes.

Indeed I do have saggy, puffy monster eyes.  30 is awesome.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Spark People

I am so excited about this awesome website my friend told me about.  It's called Through it's free service you can input your current physical statistics and also your desired weight (and deadline) and it will calculate exactly how many calories you can eat everyday and how much exercise you need to do. It is awesome! It is totally free and when you set up an account you can track all of your exercise (it automatically calculates the amount of calories burned) and what you eat (again, it calculates the calories).  

The premise of the website does not espouse any particular diet, but just the simple, undeniable math equation of calories in - calories out = weight gain/loss.  Of course it promotes whole grains, green leafy vegetables and limits on fats but it doesn't deny that you can eat what ever you want to eat and as long as your calories in are less than your calories out, you can still loose weight.  This is my kind of program because you know me, I need my sweets.

Oh, and when you are entering your height, age etc, it figures your BMI.  Of course, you don't even have to be trying to loose weight to use this website. The calorie calculator feature alone is pretty sweet.  

PS. I'm not trying to sell you on a pyramid scheme here.  I just thought it was cool and wished I had found it earlier.