Friday, March 27, 2015

{Baby David}

I had the honor of taking family and newborn photos for a dear sweet friend who is basically family to us as well.  They welcomed David into their home and lives earlier this month. :)  They have such a beautiful family and I had so much fun capturing their smiles.  I had taken their oldest son, James' photos when he was born and now he's a big brother!  Look at those eyes and curls! 
Welcome to this world David Robert!  Congrats Aaron & Alison!



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Cleaning {with OXO}

I've always loved getting mail.  Who doesn't, right?  Well, good mail that is.  And boy oh boy, did I get some good mail the other day. 

OXO delivered again with an awesome opportunity to review some of their cleaning products as part of their  #OXOSpringCleaning campaign.  It's time to sweep up those dust bunnies and air out the house for spring!  

Check out this pile of packages on my doorstep!  It was like Christmas! :) 

Inside these lovely packages from OXO: 

While I may be a fan of good mail, I'm definitely not a fan of cleaning - but OXO helps make it easier.  Case in point - the Any Angle Broom.  It makes sweeping those hard to reach, awkward angle locations a breeze.  

The space between the counter & the fridge
The handle can swivel and lock into place for any angle (pay no attention to my hubby's PJ pants...this is how we do Saturdays. :) He really deserves a lot of credit for helping with cleaning around the house!) 

Up next...I will reveal to you a drawer in my house I would never want a guest to open...

My "throw everything in there and never keep it organized bathroom drawer" 

  Ta-da!  Organized with OXO's handy-dandy Expandable Drawer Organizers

 I no longer dread dusting now that I have this Microfiber Delicate Duster!  Microfiber picks up dust and makes it cling to it - and the removable head is machine washable.  Easy peasy.

My favorite feature of the Large Sweep Set with Expandable Broom is the dustpan - you can "comb" the dust bunnies out of your broom instead of trying to do it with your fingers.  Because no one likes to do that.  EW.  

It's not pictured, but the compact dustpan is perfect for a messy girl like me - I seriously spill or drop pieces of food, etc. all the time.  It's nice to have a tiny handheld broom & dustpan nearby in my kitchen when I'm chopping carrots and pieces are inevitably flying to the floor.

Thank you OXO for sending me all these goodies to help make my life easier and home cleaner! :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fried Rice with Yum Yum Sauce

I have always loved hibachi style food.  It is the ultimate treat for me.  There is nothing better than fresh fried rice cooked right in front of you, perfectly seasoned grilled shrimp and honey chicken that has just the right amount of crisp on the outside and tenderness on the inside.  Don't even get me started on the filet mignon that is practically like eating a stick of a good way.  A really good way. 

 Even though I can't completely recreate the atmosphere and flavors of true hibachi, this comes pretty close to the fried rice and yum yum sauce they make at a hibachi restaurant.  So if you're a fan of the food, but want to save your pennies, or avoid the chance of sitting next to someone you don't know while you eat in front of a flaming tower of onions - try this.  

Yum Yum Sauce

1 ¼ cup Mayonnaise
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon melted butter
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon paprika
Dash of cayenne pepper

Whisk all ingredients together thoroughly until well mix and the sauce is smooth.  Refrigerate overnight to blend the flavors.  Serve at room temperature with fried rice. 

Fried Rice

3 Tbsp. butter, divided
2 eggs, whisked
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 small white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
4 cups cooked and chilled rice
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3-4 Tbsp. soy sauce, or more to taste
1 tsp. fish sauce (optional)
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add egg, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove egg, and transfer to a separate plate.

Add an additional 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and heat until melted. Add carrots, onion, and garlic, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion and carrots are soft. Increase heat to high, add in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, and stir until melted. Immediately add the rice, green onions, soy sauce and fish sauce (if using), and stir until combined. 

Continue stirring for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice. Then add in the eggs and stir to combine. Add the sesame oil, stir to combine, and remove from heat.

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Friday, March 06, 2015

Coconut Milk Breakfast Quinoa

Here is a quick & easy breakfast idea that can be made the night before and lasts for a few days if you are eating it in individual servings each morning.  I warmed it up just like oatmeal in the morning and then topped it with fruit, nuts, and maple syrup.  Plus it's super filling and packed with protein - so hopefully it will tie you over until lunch! Feel free to adjust with different types of fruit and nuts - make it your own! :)

Coconut Milk Breakfast Quinoa

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk + more for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + more for sprinkling
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 banana, chopped (or any berry or fruit of choice)
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped (or almonds or nut of choice)
  • Maple syrup, for drizzling

Combine quinoa, coconut milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes until quinoa can be fluffed with a fork.

Divide quinoa into individual servings, then cover with bananas, pecans, and a few extra drizzles of coconut milk and maple syrup.  

You could also substitute almond milk for drizzling or boiling the quinoa in, but you may need to adjust the amount and it will definitely change the flavor. 

 Recipe adapted from How Sweet Eats