When On Spring Break… Recipe: Coconut Curry Stir-Fry

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Spring break makes me want to dance and sing and play games…and cook!  Yes, I still cook for my family every night, but with busy schedules, sometimes those meals are just thrown together. I do not always necessarily enjoy or appreciate the art of cooking.

We are on spring break this week, though, and we convinced Sean to take off work so that he could join in on our family fun.

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We have had games days,

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a plant the garden day,

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and a zoo day (more on that later) so far.

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It has been my definition of family bliss.  Sometimes staycations are the best.

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Another thing that happens during spring break is my desire to start eating more fruits and vegetables, while cooking more healthy meals for the family.  This week, I am on a mission to make granola (recipe later), chop and freeze fruit for smoothies, chop and freeze vegetables for stir-fry, make granola bars, and prepare peanut butter and chocolate covered pretzels for the littles.

As I looked into my refrigerator on Monday, I decided to make a stir-fry, but I was not sure exactly what kind I wanted to make.  I remembered how Gabriel likes Brenda’s Coconut Curry Soup so much that he requested it for his birthday, and I decided that I could turn it into stir-fry form.  It was so delicious that I looked at the leftovers after dinner and told Sean that it made me want to blog about it.  As we all know, I am not a food stylist, but I did my best to put together a pretty plate of it so that I capture the memories…and remember how to make it the next time my family requests it.

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Coconut Curry Stir-Fry

Coconut Curry Stir-Fry

Ingredients

2-3 chicken breasts, cubed

1 portobello mushroom, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 small sweet onion, diced

1/3 cup chopped carrots

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 can coconut milk

1 tablespoon red curry paste

1-2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

12 ounces linguini, cooked according to package directions

Instructions

  1. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to stir-fry pan.
  2. Heat pan over medium high heat.
  3. Add chicken breasts and cook for 4-5 minutes, until barely pink.
  4. Toss in portobello mushroom, onion, bell pepper, and carrots.
  5. Reduce heat to medium.
  6. Season with salt, and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes. Vegetables will still be slightly crisp, and the chicken will be juicy but cooked through.
  7. Mix together the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, red curry paste, and corn starch. Pour the mixture into the stir-fry pan. Stir until the sauce thickens, which should only take 1-2 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Serve immediately over the linguine noodles.
http://cookingformykids.com/2013/03/14/when-on-spring-break-recipe-coconut-curry-stir-fry/

Enjoy your weekend!

Summer Loving – Recipe: Portobello Mango Salad with Jalapeño Cilantro Ranch Dressing

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I love the easy-going, slow pace of summer days.

While I am slightly Type A when it comes to get organized, filing away everything from last year and preparing for a new year, I still definitely enjoy just sitting back and enjoying the moment.

Yesterday I realized that I should have put, “Be spontaneous.” on the Summer Fun List.  But, I definitely know that we do not need a list to dictate our schedule every day.  So, be spontaneous was the order of the day.

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Gabriel said that he would like to just go see a movie, and Summer and Ethan enthusiastically agreed.  I decided that we had just enough time for lunch and a movie in between speech therapy and dental appointments.

The littles had a great time, and I was so happy that I decided to just be present in the moment, to be spontaneous and just enjoy the day.

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Obviously, the day was all about whatever the littles wanted, so when they requested their favorite take-out chicken strips and French fries for dinner, I agreed.  And, it was the perfect opportunity for me to create a salad for myself since Sean was working late.  I opened the refrigerator, and the portobello and mango were just begging to be put into a delicious salad. I happily agreed.  Wow…being spontaneous is so much fun!

Portobello Mango Salad with Jalapeño Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Portobello Mango Salad with Jalapeño Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

Portobello

Portobello, cubed

1 tablespoon red wine

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Salad Dressing

1 cup mayonaise

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeño, sliced

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salad

Lettuce

Mango, diced

Corn, fresh or frozen, cooked or grilled

Cherry tomatoes, optional

Cheese, your choice

Croutons

Cucumbers, sliced or diced

Instructions

    Preparing the Mushrooms
  1. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add the portobellos and seasoned salt, and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the red wine and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Preparing the Salad Dressing
  6. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, and milk to a blender. Blend until smooth.
  7. Pour in the olive oil and lime juice, and mix together.
  8. Sprinkle in the cilantro, salt, pepper, and jalapeños, and continue to blend until smooth. It will be thick but should still be thin enough to pour.
  9. Putting It All Together
  10. Place the chopped lettuce in a bowl.
  11. Top it with the corn, cucumbers, portobellos, and mangoes.
  12. Add the cheese and croutons, and place the tomatoes around the sides (or slice and put on the top).
  13. Pour on the dressing.
  14. Enjoy!
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/07/18/summer-loving-recipe-portobello-mango-salad-with-jalapeno-cilantro-dressing/

If you have enjoyed the other Ice Age movies, you will enjoy Ice Age: Continental Drift, too.  I love that there are still sweet, innocent movies with life lessons in them for my littles.  This one had family values and friendship intertwined in it, and we all really enjoyed it.

Everthing I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten – Recipe: Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

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Today was a big day, a joyful day.

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I took a giant leap of faith and registered my youngest little for Kindergarten.

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She has been going through those doors with me since she was 16 months old.  It is almost a second home to her.

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Everyone kept asking me if I was okay.  And, I could honestly answer that I was doing fine.

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My sister took it harder than me…which did almost bring me to tears.

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For us, this is the youngest of 5 children who will have attended school at our elementary school.  It is a special place.

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It has just been the two of us at home for the past 2 years, and the two before that it was just us for half the days because Ethan was in a 1/2 day preschool program.  So, yes, it will be a huge adjustment.

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But, as a mom, I finally understood today how people can see their children grow up without it just breaking their hearts.  It is what we do.  We love them, we nurture them, we try our best to prepare them for what lies ahead….and we let them know that they are always with us, they are a part of us, and we will always, always be here for them.

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Trust me, I will need a pep talk from my husband, my sister, my mom, the whole village come August.  Yes, it will be hard to hold her hand down the hall and walk her through that classroom door on the first day of school.  Actually, typing those words has me in tears.  But, today…today I choose joy.  I am happy for my girl who has been such an amazingly awesome little person to share my days with for the past almost five years.

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As proof that she is slowly becoming ready for this giant step, my youngest little has decided to start eating more of the foods that we eat.  She has started with chicken.  So, when Sean made these delicious Chicken and Veggie K’Bobs the other night, he made a plain chicken one for Summer.  She ate every bite of chicken with her pineapple and rice. So, yes, it might be true that everything that you need to know, you learn in Kindergarten.  But, I think that I have done my part to teach her a few things along the way, too.  And, while I might be questioning all of that in August, today I definitely choose joy.

Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

Ingredients

Bell Pepper, cut into thick slices

Onion, cut into thick slices

Squash, cut into large chunks

Zucchini, cut into large chunks

Mushrooms, whole

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks

Iron Chef Sesame Garlic Sauce

Instructions

  1. Place the cut up chicken into a bowl, and pour the sesame garlic sauce over it to marinade for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Place the vegetables into a bowl, and pour the sesame garlic sauce over it to marinade for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Place the vegetables and chicken onto skewers. We took requests so that everyone could have what they wanted on their skewer.
  4. Grill.
  5. Serve with rice and fresh fruit.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/03/22/everthing-i-ever-needed-to-know-i-learned-in-kindergarten-recipe-chicken-and-veggie-kbobs/