Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pinned It, Tried It, And...

I've been craving soups lately, so I decided to try Thai Chicken Noodle Soup.  I made it during my weekend snowed in, and it made a deliciously huge pot of soup!  I'm still eating the leftovers.

As usual, I made some chef's changes on a few things, and it worked out wonderfully.I added red bell peppers, along carrots and a lot of extra cabbage.

I always recommend measuring everything out before you start the cooking.  Once you get started, it gets stressful to read and do everything on time!

Here is my altered version of the recipe:

       Thai Chicken Noodle
 tablespoon sesame oil
 cloves garlic, minced
 teaspoons minced ginger
 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
cup better than peanut butter (from Trader Joe's)
cup fire roasted tomatoes
 cups vegetable broth (Better Than Bouillon)
 tablespoon fish sauce (I would probably cut back on this next time)
 ounces rice noodles
            2 1/2 
cups shredded green cabbage
            1 red bell pepper
            1 cup shredded carrots

- In three separate containers, mix vegetable broth, tomatoes and peanut butter, and ginger and garlic.  Cut up bell peppers and shred carrots
- In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chicken. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink on the outside.
- Add tomato/peanut butter mixture to the soup pot along with the vegetable broth and fish sauce and bring to a boil.
- Add the noodles; reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the cabbage, carrots and bell pepper and cook another 5 minutes.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pinned it, Tried it, And...

In honor of snow-magedon coming our way, I stocked up at the the store and got ready for round two of Pinned it, Tried it, And...  I originally sent Adam to the store for a lot of the Asian things, but they can be difficult to find, and some things needed substitutions.  The first recipe I tried out was Coconut Chicken Curry.  As I said, I made some changes, so I can't say whether the exact recipe was fantastic or not.

I had a head of cauliflower, so I used that instead of broccoli, and my store was out of red curry paste, so I mixed a Thai sauce with tomato paste.

Not the clearest picture, but this is the chicken coated in the curry powder.

My altered recipe:
  • 2 (about 1 pound) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken up
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (I use the small jar)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 2 ½ tablespoons Thai Sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
1.     Heat peanut oil in a medium sauce pan, then add chicken pieces and curry powder.  Cook fully, about 5-8 minutes.  Set aside.
2.     Add a little more peanut oil to pan, and add cauliflower, garlic and ginger.  Mix for a few minutes, then add coconut milk and simmer for 5-8 minutes.  Then add Thai sauce, tomato paste, and salt, mixing it all with the coconut paste.  
3.     Add the chicken, bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes.  Finally, mix in the cornstarch mix and cook for a few more minutes to thicken the curry.  

Serve with some brown or white rice and enjoy!  

Adam and I added a lot of sriracha (we're spice fiends) and some parmesan (because we're weird).  It was tasty!  Adam said that he might have preferred it with the broccoli, because the cauliflower was a little bland, and I would say that adding the salt is necessary.  Next time I'll probably add more variety of vegetables (maybe some bell pepper and carrots) and a bit more curry paste mix.  And if you like spicy, I would put sriracha in when you add the curry mix.  Otherwise, it's a winner!  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My New Desk

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

The Desk that Adam Built!

In my winter issue of Living Magazine (I don't know why, but I love Martha), I found a how-to for this wonderful desk:

(photo from Martha Stewart)

As luck would have it, I was moving into Adam's house (now our house) over winter break, and I needed a new desk!  So I diligently waited until they put the instructions online, and immediately put Adam to work.  Or Adam immediately put himself to work, because he likes making things :)

It took a lot of work and time because of the repeated sandings and stainings (did you know you have to wait 24 hours for each coat?), but it turned out fantastic.  It so satisfying to work at a desk that was made for you.  It looks very simple, and it was made with plumbing piping and plywood.  I love it.

My brother and sister-in-law got me this comic book for Christmas :)  Happy building!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Surprise Night Out

Don't you just love surprise nights out?  Corey and I had a girl's night on Friday, and it was just supposed to be a wine tasting and dinner, but it turned into so much more!

We started out at Wine Styles for their weekly wine tasting, and enjoyed a variety of reds and whites.  If you've never been there, you should definitely go.  Bob is so friendly and he will help you select the perfect wine for you, and gifts for any wine lover out there. 

Thanks Bob!

After dinner, we went up to Benson for a quick drink at Burke's.  Corey got this look on her face, and said, "I know that hair!"

Ran into these two Kimmy, and proceeded to hop around Benson for the evening!

We played some pinball up at Beercade before heading up the Sydney.

I made Dan's friend Colin call him to lure him out :)

Then Jimmy and I had a photo shoot with the PBR light

Kim didn't want me taking her picture, but it turned out cool :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pinned it, Tried it, And...

With last weekend being Super Bowl Sunday, I of course had to cook a couple things up.  Adam and I went over to my brother and his wife's house, and I was craving the usual: wings, cheese dip, etc.  I decided to try a couple recipes I had pinned, and they were both fantastic.  So, without further ado, I introduce what I hope will be a regular blog series: Pinned it, Tried it, And...

First recipe I tried was Skinny Taste's Queso Dip.  I thought I had gotten all the ingredients at the store, but it turns out I forgot a few, so there were some modifications.  Plus my brother and his wife really don't like cilantro, so I left that out, and Adam hates onion, so I left that out.  I rarely get to use onion because of this, so I don't really know what I'm missing.

I made quite a few changes:  I used rice milk instead of skim milk and vegetable bouillon instead of chicken broth.  I took out the onions, added more garlic.  Also, as you can see above, I thought it called for chipotle peppers instead of poblano peppers, so I just put in more bell pepper.  No cilantro, extra cumin and added liquid smoke.  Oh, and I put in the whole bag of cheese (because why not?) and added soy chorizo.  It was extremely tasty and a great hit at the party!

The second recipe I tried was Homemade Ranch.  This was the easiest thing I've ever made, and it was so good!  It's even good for your (or at least not bad for you).

The recipe is really straightforward and simple.  I thought it was really tasty, and I put it in little containers to take with me for a snack with bell pepper sticks.

I've also started making zucchini pasta every week.  The first time I made it, I pressed the zucchini for an hour, and no water came out.  The second time, I didn't press it and it tasted the exact same.  So I don't really think it was necessary.

I doctored up a jar of spaghetti sauce with bell pepper, shaved carrots and soy chorizo, and it tastes exactly like spaghetti!!  It was so fantastic, and I could eat as much as I wanted without going into a food coma!  How could you ask for more?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Benson First Friday: February Edition

Benson First Friday was this weekend (because it was the first Friday of the month, of course), and it definitely did not disappoint.  The Instagrammies were held at the Sydney, so we all got to vote for hashtagged photos from different categories.  There was wonderful music everywhere for the ears, and fantastic artwork for the eyes.  

Our first stop was the Omaha Bicycle Co. down the street from Dan's house.  Unbeknownst to us, there was this hilarious band playing called the Polka Police.  They played covers, my favorite of which was there own version of Gangnam Style called "Nacho Vegan Style."

I got artsy (or tried)

The car dealership seemed to be trying their hand at art, but it was just creepy

Then we wandered down to the PS Collective where our talented friend Josh Audiss was showing his work.  I bought a beautiful painting of an owl who I promptly named Hubert :)

I liked his new stamp :)

Artist's Portrait!

Lovely ladies enjoying themselves (I apologize for the blurriness)

I'm a child and I thought this was funny.  Someone erased the "S."

Tara pulled a cow phone out of her purse, and countless cow puns ensued.  It was udderly ridiculous.


The bartender had a new tattoo of a Nebraska Pinup Girl, corncobs and all!  I was jealous :)

This picture doesn't really do the scene justice, but the Sweatshop Gallery had a Club No Quiet art auction and a band playing.  The place was so packed!

Some of the artwork up for auction.

A few of the Sweatshop Guys :)

And the night wouldn't have been complete without a little Bad Country at the Barley Street Tavern!  By far one of my favorite local bands.  They definitely get your feet moving!

Artsy again

Nothing like a little High Life to spice up the night!

Dancing the night away with a smile on her face :)

Tried to get a full band shot

Can't get enough of the High Life!

Chuck strumming away

Probably one of my favorite pictures from the night

We made our way down to the Sydney for the awards ceremony, but it was so dang packed I don't even know who won anything!

Sitting outside on a not-so-chilly night

Isn't she lovely?

For some reason, Dan had a gold phone (maybe to match his wife's cow phone?)

Place was packed!

I spent most of my night hanging out with this bow-tied clown, and we of course had a great time!  Can't wait for March!