Monday, January 24, 2011

Church Candy

When I was growing up my Aunt Reba was the Church Candy Queen.  I always wanted to sit somewhere near here because her purse was unfailingly supplied with sugar.  By today's standards the candy she kept on hand wouldn't fly with newer generations.  I don't recall ever seeing a modern day child sucking on a butterscotch disc, but back then it was as good as a Snickers.  

Fast forward 25 years to this past Sunday.  Jim is basically a 41 year old child and still requires candy to sit quietly through church.  We stopped at the gas station on the way and he went in by himself.  Then he came out with a box of Good & Plenty, the loudest and stinkiest candy available for purchase.  Black licorice is evil stinkiness and has no place in church.  And since the box of candy was louder than a baby rattle, I had to beg him to take them out of the box and put them into his pocket for quiet consumption.

Then I went to the grocery store in the afternoon and bought some Smarties and Tootsie Rolls - perfect Church Candy.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Special Valentine's Day Treat

I saw this idea from No Fuss Fabulous last year and I knew I had to bloglift it.  It slipped my mind until our dear friend Laurie (Hey Laurie!) recently commented on making her hubby some healthy Rice Krispie treats by using Smart Balance margarine and adding flaxseed.  Isn't that smart?

I love cute little ideas like this that take something kind of ordinary and make it extra special!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Springfield Style Cashew Chicken

For anyone who has lived in the Springfield, MO area you are very familiar with this.  It is a staple for the entire 417 area code, but if you're like me and can't stop at one of the 8,000 chinese restaurants there for lunch, this is a spot-on likeness.

Ingredients for sauce:
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp chicken bouillon (or 1 cube)
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp soy sauce

Other ingredients:
chicken breasts, cubed into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
chopped cashews
coarsley chopped green onions
hot rice (use instant if you must, but traditional rice is much, much better!)

Mix the cornstarch, flour, salt and pepper.  Coat the chicken pieces and set aside.  (Note: you could use a traditional fried chicken crust, but cornstarch crust holds up better and stays crispy in the sauce).

Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together, cold.  Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until it comes to a boil then reduce heat.

Add the chicken to hot oil (use anything but olive oil since it won't get hot enough without burning) and cook until golden brown.

Serve chicken over hot rice, top with sauce and sprinkle on a good dose of green onions and cashews.  Nothing to it!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Tale of Two Angies

A couple years ago I wrote this post about the oddities of living separate lives.  It struck me again last week how strange my different "roles" in life are.  

I gave a training session at a meeting in front of about 50 people.  I was a little nervous since it was my first presentation in front of my new bosses but it was one I had done before and I really enjoy doing it.  During the session one of my colleagues took this picture.

This is me.  Work Angie.  How weird!  I wonder what it would be like if Work Angie had to give a presentation in front of Jim or my parents, or my brothers.  That would be horrible!  I don't know if I could do it.  Not just because Jeff and Bub would stick their tongues out at me (and they would), but because that part of me isn't who they see.

And then there's this Me, and let's face it..  I wouldn't want the people I work with to see this side of me. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Introducing Walter

My absolute favorite Christmas present this year was this little fella. 

This is Walter. 

 I have been wanting a kitten forever, and have been leaving not so subtle hints whenever possible for the last several years.  Jim checked out the kittens at a local pet store a week before Christmas and fell in love with him.  He has been a perfect little kitty.  He is very much a people-cat.  He loves being close to us at all times.

And he even helped me work today.

We are smitten with him. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Life on January 2, 2011

Outside my window...  16 degrees and tons of snow left behind from last week's storm.

I am thankful for... making it home New Year's Eve.  It was a close call!

I am wearing....  a brown turtleneck sweater dress, plaid tights and these boots:

I am creating...  a ton of potholders in various vintage themes.  Super fun!

I am reading... crochet books and other people's plans for 2011.

I am thinking…  about my busy work day tomorrow.  Lots to do.

I am hoping...  I don't blow my presentation in front of my new bosses this week.
I am hearing...  The Twilight Zone.

From the kitchen... chili simmering on the stove.

One of my favorite things... I am pretty addicted to this product - it works better than anything else for dry lips.

The rest of the week... I leave Tuesday to go to Denver for meetings all week.

Pondering these words...  Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page.  Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past.  
- Henry Ward Beecher

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 List.... Almost

Last year I was super excited to make and work on completing my List.  Although I didn't get to cross off every item, I am still pretty happy with what I did do.  Some things from 2010's list are things I still really, really want to do so they are repeated for 2011, and some things I would like to do, but I'm not going to sweat it if it doesn't happen so they didn't make the new list.

I have 23 items so far but I'm pretty sure I'll be adding to that sometime down the road.  Here's what's made the 2011 list so far....

1.  Buy a vintage record player
2.  Ride down a zip line or go repelling
3.  Go through a corn maze
4.  Get my fried chicken eating self back into the one-teens
5.  Sign up for 2 craft classes
6.  Open an Etsy store just for fun
7.  Meet my new great nephew (and not be disturbed about being a "great aunt")
8.  Buy a vintage dress and modify it into something awesome
9.  Read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
10.  Make a quilt
11.  Go on a fruit picking expedition
12.  2434  (I'll  explain this at a later date)
13.  Make 7 craft videos
14.  Try video blogging at least once
15.  Ride on a train
16.  Leave a $50 tip
17.  Bike the Centennial Trail
18.  Take a yoga class
19.  Go snow skiing locally
20.  Post 30 lists (this counts as #1)
21.  Call my family more
22.  Stay glued to the TV the entire day of the Royal wedding
23.  Make macarons

More to come!