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Showing posts from 2012

Happy Halloween!

Paleo Spinach Salad

Dessert Time with Smores

My daughter loves Smores so she made them in the microwave. They were just as delicious!

Stir Fry with Spam with Easy Adjustments

It actually tastes delicious. There is 1 can spam, 1 potato, 1 onion,1 red and green pepper, 4 cloves garlic minced, a little bit of water and  some curry powder and soy sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. It was done in about 15 minutes and a hit with the family. I served it with rice and fried eggs and made 5 servings. I also like to add hot chili pepper sauce.

EASY ADJUSTMENTS (some of us are in pain)

If you have trouble cutting vegetables, boil the potato in water ahead of time in its skin. Then drain the water and rinse the potato in cool water. The skin should just peel right off. Put the potato in the pan and break it up with a spatchula.( It also works with carrots.) You can buy onions and peppers already cut up in the frozen aisle in the grocery store and spam should be east to cut up. Garlic can already be bought minced in the fresh food section of the grocery store. So, boil a potato, and prepare to get ready for the pan. Add sliced spam , then pour out the frozen peppers and…

Fried Vermicelli

The recipe is simple. 1 pound ground beer, 1/2 box vermicelli, 1 potato cut up, 1 can of tomatoes (I prefer Hunt's) 1 red pepper cut up, some chili pepper, salt and pepper, 4 cloves of garlic.

The kids loved the recipe. The Hunt's tomatoes made it even better. Their tomatoes actually taste like fresh garden tomatoes. To make this recipe simpler just throw in some frozen onion and pepper stir fry and 2 tablespoons of minced garlic from the jar.  SERVES 6

Tyson's Variety Pack and Independent Children

$3.99 at the Commissary! Kids love it to eat it after school.

Ok, I totally screwed up  my pictures. I can't always trust my phone! Well, this is the Tyson's Variety Pack that I found at the Commissary for only $3.99 (or was it $2.99? I can't quite remember but I remember being so excited about the low price I bought two!) My kids love a good after school snack especially since they are active. They love to microwave chicken nuggets.

 I know some may think I am a bad mother for making them cook their own snacks but I see that they love to make their own snacks. I am raising future adults and they will have to learn how to cook at some point. I don't want them to be dependent. Some cultures teach this cycle of dependency. I have learned that you can't be truly happy without being independent. When you are independent you can grow and become a better person. Plus being independent helps you to make good choices and making good choices brings joy into your life. That…

Easy Fries

My kids favorite snack

They are so crazy they stand on their head!! I got some of these after Jon microwaved regular french fries for 8 minutes and almost started a fire. It took a few days for the smoke smell to go away. The next week we discovered Easy Fries by Ore Ida. They only cost about 50 cents depending on where you buy them so they are cheaper than french fries at McDonald's. I am not sure how they taste but my kids love them and microwaved french fries should be healthier than deep fried. I know baked are the best and I do sometime make baked fries but the microwave fries are great as an after school snack while I am fighting with one of the kids to do their homework or one is crying because I hid the X Box or something.

El Pollo Rico

Twice over the weekend I had a craving for El Pollo Rico only a ten minute drive from my house. El Pollo Rico serves Peruvian style chicken. The service is faster than your basic fast food restaurant and the food is superior. Their menu is simple: chicken is various cuts, fried potatoes or yucca, rice, cole slaw and of course some quick desserts. The chicken is cooked rotisserie style with a Peruvian spice rub. It is very tasty and superior to Guapos another Northern Virginia favorite. The best part are the sauces. Both mild and spicy are delicious and I love to dip my fried potatoes into the yellow mild sauce. Even though I had the chicken twice I already want some more!

El Pollo Rico is popular with workers on lunch break because of their fast service. If you end up using your fingers because it is that good, they have wet wipes for a quick clean up. Their rice has butter, garlic, and salt in it. Everything is delicious! Next time you come to the DC area check out El Pollo Rico (134…

From the Ambar Laboratory: Gluten Free Egg Free Cake

This is what I did and here are my notes- This is my own recipe!!

Dry Ingredients
3/4 cup of oat flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup of milled or ground flax seed
1/2 scoop of protein shake powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients
1/4 cup of Chia Seeds in 1 cup of hot water (note: put seeds in blender for 1 minute and sift them through a sifter and then add them to the water. Then the cake won't be too crunchy)
1/4 c of honey
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup of berries
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds (maybe only a couple of tablespoons, it really was too crunchy)

The only change would be to put in a tad bit more salt and no berries on top. The cake held together well where there were no berries on top. It tastes more like a health bar than cake and I liked it so next time I would put more nuts and less fruit. I guess if you are more of a sweet person than salty you could add more fruit or even some chocolate chips. Again, this is my first time experimenting with…

Busy Japanese Curry

When I was 18, I babysat for this Japanese family on the weekends. The parents owned a sushi bar and the husband loved it when his wife was there at the restaurant. Unfortunately, there was no daycare on the weekends so I would babysit for her. I loved those kids! We would sit together and watch Japanese cartoons together. I got to love Sailor Moon and Japanese Thomas the Train. I learned most of my Japanese while babysitting the kids.

What is funny about the above picture is that it accurately recreates my memory of the Watanabe home. This is what their kitchen looked like and the mom had bangs like that. Her hair was permed but her daughter looked similar to this little girl and she loved to help her mom cook.

The mom was a professional cook but sometimes she was in a hurry and would put together a quick meal. This was her quickest and most popular with the kids. 
Ingredients:  2 cups Short Grained Rice cooked 3.5 oz Box of Japanese Curry Sauce Mix (Golden Curry or Vermont) Half a p…

Make Meals Ahead

Here are some of my freezer meals

Phyllo Dough Chicken Pot Pie

This was a hit with a family and only took 30 minutes to prepare. I used phyllo dough instead of making the dough homemade. My husband said that it tasted like a chicken samsa.

Daily Double vs. Monopoly Game

It's Monopoly Time at McDonald's, the only fast food game I play. The Monopoly game is the only game I win anything in. I never win money but I usually win a sandwich or something. For example, I will buy a medium Coke and win a free breakfast sandwich. So I actually earned a profit. It makes it worth it to buy McDonald's.

That is where I come to some difficulty. You only get Monopoly game pieces if you order the Big Mac and not the Daily Double. I like the Daily Double. It is the first sandwich that McDonald's has offered in a long time that I like. It is not too high in calories and is cheap. It is a new improved Big Mac and not as messy.

So, I just take my chances with the medium drink. At least I get more of a profit out of it, sometimes.


One of these days I will beat that Monopoly game!!!!!!!

September Finally Ended

September was a crazy month for our household! See, we do not adjust well to change in my family.

First- My kids started school, gymnastics, strings, choir, cub scouts, activity girls.

Then- My husband started back to work after a six month deployment.

Then- We bought a house!!!

Then- My mom came to visit so I was busy hanging out with her.

Then- I became obsessed with what happened on 9/11 in Libya and was active on Twitter.

I am also having a contest with my kids to see who can read the most books. I am reading Young Adult books so that I can give them ideas on some good books to read. I have been reading Doctor Who books which are a lot of fun to read. I also have been reading Scott Westerfeld's book Leviathan. It is a biopunk England versus a Steampunk Germany during World War I.

I also have been chasing my little toddler around which is harder to do at 35 than it was to do at 25. It is still a lot of fun. I love 15 months!

My husband and I are also trying to launch a new …

Steak Dinner and Kale Salad

I was attempting to make an Uzbek salad that requires only tomato and and onion but I decided it needed some green so I created a new salad. This is what I did:

Half an onion sliced into VERY thin rings, as thin as you can slice them.
Half a tomato also thinly sliced into circles. Garden tomatoes are preferred but unfortunately this is not this season for tomatoes, in the fall maybe just skip the tomatoes.
A handful of cut up kale leaves
Fresh dill and parsley to taste
Tablespoon of red wine vinegar
dash of salt, pepper, cayenne pepper
Teaspoon of sour cream on top

Sorry that I don't have pictures of the completed salad. Maybe the next time I make it I will add a picture. We were having a late dinner. The commissary had marinated steaks for only 2 for $6 so my husband and I had steak with this salad and slices of orange. It was a perfect dinner for the two of us. The kids had pizza before gymnastics with mozzarella cheese sticks that made my toddler sick. Apparently my baby has t…

Eat Fresh as a Family

Yesterday after going to Georgetown Cupcakes, we decided to get some lunch. My 6 year old was throwing a fit and complaining that he was hot. His behavior was embarrassing! I wouldn't be surprised to find him throwing a fit on a You Tube video somewhere.


Anyways, so we decided to find a cool quick place to eat lunch. Our only option was Subway. I told the kids we were going to Subway. My sweet six year old yells out "I DON'T WANT TO EAT FRESH!!!"

Like I said he talks like a delinquent. So, we ordered our sandwiches and surprisingly my very picky eight year old who hates bread ordered a Subway sandwich and he loved it. He told me that he loves bread now! So though one kid acted horrible, one grew up a little yesterday!

Now we can Eat Fresh together as a family instead of always having to go to McDonald's!

What I Found on Pinterest: Paleo Edition

My husband is a certified Crossfit Trainer which means he is interested in the Paleo Diet. We decided we can't be completely Paleo but we think we can be Almost Paleo. We do need to cut down on sugars and I am lactose intolerant so we can almost follow the diet but have some whole wheat breads here and there.

Pictures of Paleo food looks nasty to me so I was happy to find this recipe. I love sweet potato and avacado and I want to try this. Since I now eat lunch alone because my kids are in school now I can without hearing any complaints!

Source: via Cari on Pinterest


BIC Mechanical Pencils With Colorful Barrels - Mechanical Pencils (Google Affiliate Ad)

The Best Kids' Meal for Toddlers

Children naturally want the sweetest, saltiest food. It is a technique of survival. Even breast milk is sweeter than cow's milk. (so I have heard, not interested in tasting it for myself) Parents want their kids to eat healthy. We don't want our youngsters have heart problems and type 2 diabetes before they get into high school. (this does not describe those with problems not caused by diet of course!) For parents on the go finding the right meal is more difficult. The fatter and unhealthy food is just easier and cheaper. I was happy to find an exception at Chick-fil-A!

Chick-fil-A offers grilled chicken nuggets and offers them as part of their kids meal. I was able to get a kid's meal with grilled nuggets, apple sauce, and apple juice. A better choice for the drink would be milk, but I still can't get my 14 month old to drink cow's milk. Chick-fil-A also offers a fruit cup and you can have an ice cream to go with the meal instead of a book. Grilled nuggets are eas…

Papa John's Pizza Party

Every year I meet a friend and her kids at the pool for one last chance to swim at the pool before it closes down. We usually order pizza. The first year we met at a playground for some reason. Last year we went to the pool and so we did that again this year.

We ordered Papa John's pizza and ordered sausage, cheese, and pepperoni. The pizzas went fast even though we had Doritos and fruit. Next time I want to order Dominos because they have a better deal on their large pizzas. For some reason I thought it was Papa John's that had the deal on large pizzas. I will say that after a lifetime of loving Pizza Hut I have finally switched to Papa John's. Papa John's is easier on my stomach. I am too old for Pizza Hut which tends to be greasy.

Dominos also has Artisan pizzas and $7.99 large pizzas. Sometimes they have $5 deals. I think the best deal for a large group is Little Caesars.

Well, I got two pieces of Papa Johns at least! I sneaked two pieces before the children charge…

Georgetown Cupcakes

I still have a sugar high from trying the best cupcakes in the world, Georgetown Cupcakes. There was a line going out the door to their shop and after eating them I see why.

My 10 year old daughter is a fan of baking shows. She loves Cake Boss and DC Cupcakes. Any picture you have seen of me making a cake is due to my daughter's influence. In fact, she does most of baking. I just guide her. After watching DC Cupcakes, I decided to surprise her by taking her to Georgetown and try them herself.

It was a 40 minute drive and we spent about 10 minutes in line, but it was worth it. We weren't able to eat the cupcakes in Georgetown because my 6 year old threw a fit. By the time we got back to suburbia, the frosting was melted. Still, we devoured our cupcakes in less than 5 minutes.

The list of flavors we got today:

                               2 Red Velvet (their most famous cupcake)
                               Caramel Apple
                               Toffee Crunch

Pancit and Bul Gogi

I mixed


It was super easy and delicious and I just didn't feel like making rice.

Taco Salad

Source: via Amber on Pinterest

In my taco salad I put chips on the bottom of a bowl, then taco meat, then black beans and corn cooked in taco sauce, then a layer of cheese salsa and sour cream, then lettuce and carrots topped with thousand island dressing. Super delicious and took me less than 10 minutes to prepare.

Pancit for Lagman

Lagman is an Uzbek noodle soup. I could spend an hour making lagman at home or I can buy pancit, Philippine noodles. My Uzbek husband declared my Pancit/Lagman "a hit!"

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cake the prequel

I melted 3oz of Ghirardelli's semi sweet chocolate in a pan and then mixed in Betty Crocker Buttercream frosting because I was short on supplies to make any other kind of frosting homemade.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cake

Peanut Butter Birthday Cake Part 1

Super secret recipe! (That you can find if you Google joythebaker on Google Books!)I am a fan of!

Texas Sheet Cake part 2 PMS Cure

I made this cake before with awesome results. Here is a picture of one of the secret ingredients needed to make this delicious. Only Ghirardelli works! It just melts in your mouth. I have renamed it the PMS cure because it just makes that horrible time of the month better!

Aron's Birthday Celebration; A Good Day

I decided this year not to do a party. One of my friends had coupons that she had collected over the summer and we decided to use them. We had breakfast at IHOP. We got a free kid's meal with an adult meal. My kids are no fun so they just ordered chicken strips and mac and cheese. At least they had it with a side of fruit. I had a sausage, hash brown, onions, and green pepper with cheddar cheese omelet. You won't find it on the menu because I made it up. I just realized that I never got my pancakes.

Then we went to Novaks gym in Dumfries, VA. The kids had a lot of fun. Aron did a front tuck on the trampoline all by himself! He did several front tucks in a row landing on his feet everytime! Jon almost had his kip! The kip is the ultimate goal of level 5 boy's gymnastics. I thought we would be kicked out of the gym because it was supposed to be preschool playtime, but the coach was cool and even spotted Jon Jon!

This is a kip-

Then we went to Laser Quest. I am now a fan o…

What Looks Good and Gluten Free on Pinterest?

Gluten Free Strawberry Pie!!!

Source: via joythebaker on Pinterest

Click here to see the recipe from Miss Joy the Baker! I have a sister-in-law who cannot eat gluten so I am always on the look out for gluten free recipes.

Doctor Who by James: Dalek Cake Photos

Cheesy Cheddarburger

When my brother wants to Wendy's he just says "Cheddah Cheez". The Cheesy Cheddarburger is one of the best selections from Wendy's value menu. It is a cheeseburger that has an added layer of cheddar cheese sauce that really gets your umami buds jumping for joy. Already, Wendy's has the best hamburger patty as it is juicy, doesn't taste of fake smoke flavor and tastes like a fresher higher quality beef. The buns are plain and aren't the quality of Chick-fil-A but somehow fit the taste of the Wendy's hamburger patty. I have long loved Wendy's cheeseburgers and usually crave them when pregnant. The cheese just melts so perfectly on the Wendy's patty. Wendy's also has delicious cheddar cheese sauce. It doesn't taste like the cheap cheese sauce you buy at the store. It actually tastes like cheddar cheese and not salty rubber. Some genius at Wendy's decided to put this sauce that they use on their chili cheese fries on a Wendy's che…

Canadian Chip Flavors

I only tried the All Dressed flavor. It is like barbecue but with a vinegar kick to it. We loved them so much we bought several bags before crossing the border. Yes, they are legal to take across the border! I just tried Dill Pickle and loved it but my kids didn't. The Dill pickle flavor kettle chips were tangy and delicious. I couldn't get the courage to try Ketchup. I do remember those flavors being popular in London as well. 

Canadian Things/ My Canadian Overload Attack

Hockey Sticks at Costco                                           Washrooms not Restrooms

                                          Maple Flags everywhere

                                          Cool Buildings

                                          Cool old buildings
                                           Impressionnants Bâtiments Anciens
                                                 Bluejays/ Les Bluejays!!
                                             Bilingual Signs and French on Everything!!
                                             Panneaux bilingues et Française sur tout!

                                          Beavers/ Castor

                                          Black Squirrels/ Des écureuils Noirs

                                                  Weird Chips! Croustilles Bizarres!!