Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Favorite Curry Chicken from Japan

One of the most popular dinners at our
house. All the kids manage to be home for curry!
Many of you know that my husband is retired military. We spent 4 years in Japan and 4 years in Germany as part of our travels, a few other places as well. I found one of my favorite ways to learn about a countries culture was to explore craft stores and grocery stores. In Japan the craft stores were much harder, not only do you have a language barrier but alphabet as well. I took a few classes at the base and in the community. I learned to make washi eggs and a few other Japanese crafts. Then there is the foods. I love Japanese food and there is a lot more than just sushi! One of my families favorites is curry chicken. it is really simple to make and I hope your family will love it too.

I use the golden curry mix is one of our favorites. I used mild today, I often mix mild and medium. My girls don't like the spicier flavor, that is why I mix them.

For this dinner I used:
1lb chicken breast cubed
2 cups chopped potato
2 cups chopped carrots
2 packages golden curry mix (we also like the Vermont Curry brand)

I chop the 1 lb of chicken breast meat and potatoes and carrots. I use about 2 cups of each. Then the chicken is browned in a large soup pot. Then I add the vegetables and 5 cups of water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Finally break up the curry bars and stir in until the curry is dissolved and the sauce is thickened. Serve over rice. Yumm
It is almost ready just a bit more of a stir and simmer.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hello Discovery, Good-bye Enterprise

Today we are going to head to Udvar Hazy Center  We want to say good-bye to Enterprise and hello to Discovery. They are removing the space shuttle Enterprise(the only shuttle to never go into space and named for Star Trek) and replacing it with Discovery.  Enterprise will be heading off to New York City to take its place on the Intrepid. One of the things I love about living in the D.C. Metro area is the advantage of taking my children to explore history and the opportunity to allow them to live history.

I grew up in the 'burbs of Dayton Ohio, so aviation is was a way of life for us. Kitty Hawk may have the first flight, but the Wright brothers are Daytonians and we have the first plane and many other aviation firsts. So I guess aviation is bred in our genes, or highly encouraged by our society. Ohio does have a lot of aviation firsts- Wright brothers: first flight, John Glenn: first to orbit the earth: Neil Armstrong: first to walk on the moon and a total of 24 Astronauts are from the Buckeye State.  Of course we have the "Best Dam Band in the Land" as well! O-H-I-O go Buckeyes!

Enterprise and Discovery -nose to nose.

So we will be at the Udvar Hazy center watching the final step, in the retirement of the space shuttle. As sad as it makes me, I am glad to have a chance to live this moment in History, and remembering the high price of space exploration made by many families. Thank you for your sacrifices.
Discovery enters the hanger!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Space Shuttle Discovery arrives at Dulles

Here she is! We spent most of the morning waiting and watching the sky. I wasn't very productive in the shop, but I couldn't miss a moment in history. My grandson and I waited outside on the deck from 10:00 until close to 11:00 when we were finally rewarded with this shot.

I was  very excited to get the shot. I almost missed it.  I had stepped inside to start feeding E. I had held him off as long as I could. The deck is right off the kitchen so I figured if it came by I could step out and get the shot.  To be honest I had just about given up and decided it was landing from the south instead of the north, and it did. On the last go around it flew over our house.  Most of the planes going into Dulles land from the north and fly over our home. It was just my luck that today the shuttle might not. I would like to thank the pilots for taking that one last loop. It made the plane noise we live with everyday so worth it.

I am glad I got to watch the final approach, even if it was such a quick glance. I am even happier that I got to watch it with my sweet boy. Even if he will never remember.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Humorous Bath Towel

I just created a new listing in my shop. I was so excited I wanted to share it with you now. The Heads & Tails towel fits my quirky sense of humour just right. I hope you all love it as much as I do. I created it when my friends daughter came home for Thanksgiving break with all of her laundry. Apparently she had not done any laundry since arriving at school in the fall. My friend was telling me this over a cup of coffee and the conversation grew until I had created the concept for this towel.

In case you are wondering.  Yes, I did send one to my friends daughter with note of thanks for the inspiration. lol

I have been honored with the Liebster Award

What is the Liebster Award and who Awards it?

After a little research this it what I have found.

" I had never heard of it before yesterday. And after doing a tiny little bit of research it seems that the origin of the award is very unclear. This is what I found":
'Liebster' means 'favorite' or 'dearest' in German. This award, which originated in Germany, recognizes up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.

In accepting the award, the recipient agrees to:
Thank the person that gave the award and link back to their blog.

Copy and paste the award to your blog
Reveal the 5 blogs you have chosen to award and let them know by commenting on their blog.

Hope they pay it forward by accepting and awarding it to bloggers they would like to honor.

I found this information on ToppyToppyKnits blog

Lulu Divine who I have met through The Handmade Circle on Etsy is the one that honored me with the award. Here is a link to her blog and you should be sure to check out her Etsy shop she has a lot of wonderful creations.

Of course coming up with 5 blogs to give the award to has been really hard. Much harder than I thought it would be. There are so many great blogger's. I decided that I would honor Etsy Blogger's, especially the blogger's from the Handmade Circle. They have given me so much support and encouragement since I found them. It is only fair that I pay it forward and back at the same time.

So without further a do the features are:
  1. Go Green with Red she has a great blog about the going ons in her life and shop. I love checking out her blog for inspiration and lust of her bags. Check her page out and I am sure you won't be disappointed.
  2. Shelby's Enchanted Bowtique she is new to blogging and like myself suffers from a auto-immune disease. I find it encouraging to see that others are balancing illness, family and starting a small business. It is a challenge to balance one auto-immune disease and she manages two. I am so impressed and awed at her success it makes me believe I can do it too.
  3. Angela's Artistic Designs I have enjoyed many of her writings and especially enjoyed the blog about shop envy. I have been there and done that. Shop envy is something we have all had. We just need to know that we are doing what is right for us. Comparing ourselves to others is never good. We must have confidence in our story and path. Their path is not ours. Thank you for reminding me of this.
  4. Constantly Unfolding What a great way to show the many dimensions of our lives and promote the goings on in our shop. It is about laundry and the origami that makes up life. It is just a small part.
  5. Flowertown Originals I love the way she opens the door and lets us see the magic of her shop. Our dining room tables look similar, actually I think hers is more organized. I also love the craziness of this endeavor. It is allows me to be home with my Grandson and enjoy his company.
Thanks for listening to me gush on about all the wonderful blogs and etsians.  Remember to always pay it forward and back. Thanks for the Liebster ToppyToppyKnits I agree this is a great way to connect us all in more ways. We are a community and it is great to get a chance to act like one.

Have a great day in your shop. Don't forget to enjoy the people in the room around you as well as those on-line friendships.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring cleaning equals yard sales

I had a great time this morning going to all of our wonderful community yard sales. Our community has two days a year set aside for a yard sales through out the community. It has become as much of a tradition for myself and my daughter as going out on black Friday. I know you think we are crazy, but we love it.

It used to be a greater necessity than it is now. My husband is retired military and many in our society don't realize the cost of serving our country is also reflected in our pay checks. As a family and as a whole we enjoyed the experience of serving our wonderful country. Yes of the entire family serves.

I digress- we had a wonderful time and got some really good deals, so what did we get?

We got one of these for E and only spent $10.00.

I bought this for at my house for $5.00.
I also bought one these for $4.00.

I also found a really cool chess set for my son. I spent $10.00 for this lovely set.

I hope everyone gets out and gets to know their neighbors this summer. Visiting neighborhood yard sales is a great way to stretch your budget and get to know your neighbors.  It is also a great place to find vintage buys for your Etsy shop.

Have a wonderful week-end.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Under Pressure- Pressure Smoker review

I enjoy cooking. Being that I am a busy Mom I have to find balance. I use my slow cooker a lot. I love that it doesn't heat up the house during the summer. I can come home from work and have dinner ready with out the insanity of trying to get it all done and still have time for homework, etc.

I have also discovered the joy of a pressure cooker. The Hubs and I received a special pressure smoker for Christmas. I had my doubts at first, but I have come to love it. The Hubs is a die hard charcoal cooker, that makes grilling during the winter a real challenge her in Mid Atlantic region. I really like the smoker. I can't say as though I would have purchased it for ourselves but since it was a gift I had to try it out. Our friend know I love kitchen gadgets and he loves to grill so it should be perfect right? Well it was. So far I have used it to smoke salmon, turkey breast, game hens and pork tenderloins(notice the plural) more than once. I would say the pork tenderloin is my favorite, 4lbs smoked in 40 minutes. What isn't to love. I also used it to pressure cook without smoke the corned beef for St. Patrick's day. One of the things that impressed me with that was after smoking it maintains a bit of a smoky odor, but I did not notice a smoke flavor in the corned beef. I cooked the corned beef released the pressure, pulled it out to stand. Then I added the vegetables into the cooker, replaced the lid and cooked the veggies for 10 minutes under pressure. Not only were they soft and tender, but flavored as if they had been slow cooked with the meat. Yummy!

It says you can use it to brown foods before cooking and as a steamer. I have not tried these features yet.

This is our sweet little baby:
disclaimer I received no gifts or payment from the manufacturer or the hamacher in exchange for this review.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Kiki Closet will Donate to Autism Care

April is Autism Awareness Month. The numbers of diagnosed cases of Autism have reached alarming numbers for this generation of children. To support the families facing dealing with this condition, I will be donating 10% of all sales in for the month of April to Brighter Day Care a local non-profit day care providing after school care to special needs children.

Slow Cooker Mosticolli

I have said before I love my slow cooker, it makes life much more manageable. To save time when I come in from the grocery I brown the ground beef that will be used to make recipes that require browned ground beef. I drain it and let it cool, then package 2 cups of crumbles(about 1lb) in a quart sized freezer bag and freeze flat.  It saves me one more step when it comes time for meal prep. I hope you find this time saving plan useful.

So on to the recipe:

Slow Cooker Mosticolli:

mosticolli or penne pasta 1lb uncooked
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 can seasoned diced tomatoes undrained
1/2 can water
1lb of ground beef (if you are using the crumbles
1/2 cup of chopped onion (to save time and energy I use frozen)
1/2 cup of bell pepper (again I use frozen)
one clove garlic (or 1tsp crushed garlic from the jar)
I also highly recomend the slow cooker liners for this recipe for easy clean up! I have fallen in love with them as well and think they have contributed to my love of the slowcooker. They make clean up so much easier.

If you are using the pre cooked beef crumbles I take them out the night before and thaw in the fridge.
In the morning I saute the frozen or fresh onion, bell pepper and garlic in olive oil. If your beef isn't pre cooked brown it all at the same time.
In the lined slow cooker, add 1/2 the cheese and all other ingredients give a nice stir to mix everything.  Spread the remaining cheese on top cover and cook on low for 6 hrs. 

When I come in from work I make a loaf of garlic bread and a bag salad and dinner is on the table in 10 minutes.

I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as my family does.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mount Washmore

Wow- Spring break is almost over and I have almost conquered Mount Washmore! I always swear I am not going to let it get backed again, but sometime life happens.  I also swear I am going to make the teens do their own, but I don't want to waste the resources.

It has also been a busy week in the shop. I have been doing a lot of promoting and it has payed of with two orders this week-end. So Happy Dance. My only frustration is I don't think I can manage all the promoting during a typical week. So I will just keep plugging along. I really enjoy the people I have met through Etsy and the Handmade Circle especially. So it is worth the work, even if it doesn't pay much. At least it supports my sewing habit. I can make a few things for E, my grandson, and buy the girls a few of the things they love on Etsy with what I make. 

Speaking of I am donating 10% of my sales this month to April is autism awareness month, and many of the students at BDC are autistic or on the spectrum.  I love working there, the kids are a blast, the parents are wonderful and I love the people I work with. They are all awesome.

Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling post and have a wonderful rest of Spring Break.