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Monday, May 25, 2009

Our 1st Anniversary!

Yesterday was our 1st Wedding Anniversary. In a week, we'll celebrate 6 years of being together! While we didn't do much, we did make reservations at The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant in north Grand Rapids. We got all fancied up, and went out to eat.

This is us before leaving.
The outside of the restaurant.
Just had to take a picture of the spinning door. Pretty cool!
H, sitting at the table, duh!
And myself.
The drink was called Paradise Punch. And punch it was. Holy cow was it strong.
I guess when you pay $9 for a drink, you're getting your money's worth of alcohol!
The best course, dessert!
Cookies and Cream Chocolate Fondue.
Dark Chocolate, Marshmallow Cream, and Oreo crumbles. YUM!!
The chocolate fondue options. Everything was outstanding, but when you put chocolate on it, why wouldn't it be great!
The Happy Couple after dinner!!

Chicken Fried Rice

Source: Bella's Bistro

I got this recipe from a fellow May Nestie. Some of her stuff is "out there" for H and I, but this recipe was right up our alley.

  • 4C Cold prepared rice, loosened/crumbled (used brown rice)
  • 4T Olive Oil
  • 1Lb. Chicken, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 Small White Onion
  • 2C Veggies of your Choice (used a frozen stir fry veggie medley)
  • 1t Sriracha Sauce (omitted)
  • 3-4T Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 3/4t Garlic Powder
  • 2 Eggs, beaten (used 3)
  • 3 Scallions, trimmed and chopped

  • In a hot non-stick wok, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Over medium-high heat, add onions and veggies and saute until softened.
  • Add chicken and cook until mostly done (will still be a little pink the middle). This way, you don’t overcook the chicken.
  • Add Siracha sauce to season veggies.
  • Add crumbled rice and drizzle with remaining oil and soy sauce. Add garlic powder.
  • Stir rice until even in color and all rice has soy sauce on it.
  • Stir occasionally, while allowing rice to warm up.
  • Make a well in the middle of your wok and pour in beaten eggs, scrambling the eggs while incorporating more and more rice.
  • Add chopped green onions. Continue to heat rice until egg is fully cooked.
  • Season with salt & pepper as desired.
Next Time- This turned out kinda blah. So after speaking to Bella, we agreed that it is most likely a combination of omitting the Sriracha Sauce and using brown rice. So I'm not writing this recipe off, I'll just have to stick closer to the original recipe.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cheesy Chicken Tomato Skillet

What an easy recipe to make. I actually bookmarked it twice in my google reader, so who should get the credit?? Lauren or Brooke? Oh well, it's the same thing. :) Obviously I thought it was so great that I needed to make doubly sure that I made it! This will make awesome leftovers.

  • 2 cups of pasta (used 16 oz box of rotelle pasta)
  • 3/4 lbs chicken, cut into pieces (used about a 1 lb.)
  • 1 can Healthy Request cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt (didn't use the full amount)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella (used between 1 cup and 1 1/2 cups, we like cheese!)
  • Cook the pasta as directed.
  • Heat 10 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken & cook thoroughly.
  • Reduce heat to medium; stir in soup, tomatoes, milk and seasonings.
  • Stir in cooked pasta.
  • Cook about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until bubbly & heated through.
  • Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Reduce heat, cover & let stand about 5 minutes.

Next Time- The seasonings in this were a little overpowering, especially considering that I had more pasta and chicken than the recipe called for. So I think next time I'll cut the basil, oregano, and garlic powder in half. I like seasonings, but I don't when they are the only thing I can taste.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beef Casserole

Another recipe from google reader. I didn't use the name that Lauren used, I think beef casserole is good enough.

It turned out pretty good. The hamburger layer reminded me of sloppy joes. Not that that is a bad thing, but I think I may like changing that in the future. This is a super easy recipe to put together.

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 1 can Campbell’s tomato soup (undiluted)
  • 1 can green beans (drained) (I used about a cup or so of frozen green beans)
  • Mashed potatoes (made 4 servings of instant mashed potatoes)
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (used more, but I always do!)
  • Brown the beef and onion. Drain.
  • Add the tomato soup and the green beans and stir.
  • Transfer to a three quart baking dish.
  • Top with the mashed potatoes and cheese.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly (30 minutes).

Next Time- I think this would taste good with cream of mushroom soup, instead of tomato. So I think I'll try that next time.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chinese Barbecue Pork Chops

This is a recipe from my google reader. I went with the changes that Mary Ellen made, I didn't even bother checking the original recipe. This turned out pretty awesome. Since we usually have this stuff on hand, it would be easy to whip up again.

  • 2 pork chops (used a pork loin cut into 3/4 inch slices, a total of 5)
Marinade (doubled everything)
  • 1.5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (used garlic powder instead)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Mix all ingredients and pour over pork. Marinate in the fridge for several hours.
Sauce (doubled everything)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (used garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • A few dashes Tabasco (used a dash of red pepper flakes instead)
Mix all ingredients to serve over cooked pork.
  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a saute pan over high heat
  • Remove pork chops from marinade and place in pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Cover with foil and transfer pan to a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until pork is cooked through.
  • Serve with the sauce.
Next Time- This turned out pretty darn great! Nothing needs to be changed.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Smothered Pork Chops

This is another recipe that I've made before, but not since starting this blog. H and I bought a pork tenderloin and had the meat department cut it into chops. So we have plenty of pork in the house. Another great recipe from

These are really good, and turned out better than the first time.

  • 5 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 pkt. SHAKE 'N BAKE Original Pork Seasoned Coating Mix
  • 2 large onions, thickly sliced (used 1/2 onions, it's what I had)
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 jar (12 oz. each) pork gravy

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Coat chops with coating mix as directed on package. Place in single layer in 13x9-inch baking pan.
  • Toss onions with oil; place over chops.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Pour gravy over chops; cover.
  • Bake an additional 15 minutes or until cooked through.
Next Time- This recipe is awesome as is.