Saturday, August 21, 2010

Kung Pao Shrimp

I love spicy food. And even more than that, I love the combination of sweet and spicy. Which has led me to a love affair with Asian food. However, I have found there are only a few places I like to order from...which leaves me making most of my Asian dishes at home. I also like healthy, so making it at home allows me to see what's going in it...

This is a recipe I tore from the pages of a magazine and altered to suit my taste. It was really yummy, and healthy enough to be served on my table...

Kung Pao Shrimp

1 T. Chinese Rice Wine
1 t. cornstarch
1/2 t. salt
1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp (I like the large shrimp)

1 T. sugar
2 T. water
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. low sodium soy sauce
3/4 t. cornstarch
1/2 t. dark sesame oil

Remaining Ingredients:
2 T. canola oil
1 1/3 C. thinly sliced red bell pepper strips
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. minced peeled fresh ginger
1 t. crushed red pepper (or to taste depending on your heat tolerance)
1/4 C. chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
3 C. hot, cooked brown Jasmine rice

1. To prepare shrimp, combine first 4 ingredients; cover and chill 10 minutes
2. To prepare sauce, combine sugar and next 5 ingredients (through sesame oil).
3. Heat a med to large wok over high heat. Add canola oil to wok, swirling to coat. Add bell pepper, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper to wok; stir-fry 2-3 minutes. Add shrimp mixture to wok; stir-fry 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Stir sauce; add sauce to wok. Stir-fry 30 seconds or until sauce thickens. Serve over rice. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

Mmmm...I'm hungry,

Friday, August 6, 2010

Is That an After? Wait...what? Two Afters?

So, I'm not always great at finishing my projects. I start a lot of them....and then get distracted with new ones. This annoys my Type A husband. But I can't help it.

However, in the last few weeks I have wrapped two of these projects. I won't lie, the extra kick in the pants came from us putting the house on the market...but whatever. They're done.

The first was this kitchen I bought for Heidi Sage for her birthday back in March. There were a number of things that kinds of halted progress....a vacation, a major back surgery for Rodney, and then all of a sudden Clinton was out of school. And then it was hot outside. Ugh.

Anyhow....this is what I started with...

Then I took it apart, sanded it down, and primed it.

Then I repainted and reassembled it.
I still have a few details left to finish out, but that won't happen until the kids start school in the fall. For now, it is what it is....and we love playing with it just as it is.

And I was also able to finish up another laundry room! The builders had finished it out with a cream colored paint and put in a wire shelf for "storage". After years of hating, I finally came up with a plan. I wanted real storage, I wanted a desirable color, and I wanted a curtain that could close it all off. My laundry room is a pass thru to the garage, and sometimes I don't like people coming through to see my now I can close it off.

My neighbor had a left over gallon of paint that was just the color I was looking for....Sparkling Sage. Rodney and I dropped the kids off at his sister's one day while we painted....together. My parents put up the cabinets while we were in Vail...big thanks to them! I recently painted the unfinished cabinets to match the trim. And Mother made the curtains for me out of some table cloths I found on clearance at Target, with a strip of some fabric I found at one of my favorite fabric stores. I love the way it turned out...

Two down, twenty seven to go,