Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef

Most Chinese foods are prepared with lots of oil, especially stir fry dishes. But not this time. I promise you, if you like Chinese take-out, this is the real deal! And much healthier!

Meet Broccoli Beef via slow cooker:

Recipe adapted from Mother Thyme

2 pounds sirloin steak, sliced thin and fat trimmed
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh ginger minced (half a stalk)
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons corn starch
broccoli florets (I used one bag from Trader Joe's - and next time I'm adding half bag more)
Steamed rice

Thinly slice sirloin steak. If you pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes it will be easier to slice into thin pieces. Combine broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a bowl. Whisk until well combined. Pour over steak. Let marinate for 20 minutes. Trasnfer to slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours. During the last hour, dissolve cornstarch in the water and add to slow cooker along with the broccoli florets. Serve with rice and chopsticks. Serves 4.

This recipe is so easy. You can easily add different veggies like bell peppers and mushrooms. Just make sure to add them in the last hour so they don't become too soft.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sophia's First Jogathon

Sophia had her first of many Jogathons last Friday. The collecting of sponsors prior to Jogathon was a little confusing at first (Sophia thought she was going to keep the money), but when we explained the money she raised would help her school keep extra classes, like art, she was ready to run her little heart out!
Day before the Jogathon, sporting her tee shirt.
An upper grade student won the contest for the honors
of having his work on our tee shirts.
How cool!
A BIG THANK YOU to Dr.'s Hall & Bienstock 
for being a sponsor!

A little jumping jack warm-up
 Oh my . . .
She looks so mature!
 And they're off!
 Much needed water break
 Perfect form :)
 So determined. I think she looks like
David in this picture.

30 minutes of running = 36 laps!
First place in her class, first place out of all the kindergarten girls, 
and second overall kindergartener (there was a boy who beat her by 3 laps).

Sophia, we are so PROUD of you! Think you might have found your sport!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Scenes from April

I try to blog as current as I can. But sometimes the days and weeks roll right into each other and I fall behind. So here is a little picture storytelling (aka photo dump) of April:

The cutest Frozen party for Kalista's gal pal, Gianna.
The best tablescape ever!
 We celebrated Daddy, but forgot to take pics :(
But did manage to take a shot of this birthday pie!
Oreo crust, chocolate chip, rocky road, and salted caramel.
Easter and a rare family photo:
Post egg hunt fun with friends.
And the best photo of the month is this selfie . . . 
after I got CARDED at Trader Joe's.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TEA-cher Appreciation

Kalista and I were out the other day and I saw these cute mugs at Anthropologie:
These monogrammed beauties were the perfect discovery to help show 
our appreciation for the wonderful TEA-chers in our lives.

Starting to make sense?

So cute, right?
So don't forget . . . May 6th! 
Let the teachers in your life and/or your children's lives know how much you appreciate all they do!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday Things

We desperately need some rain, but spring has decided to trump that idea. And the last few days have actually felt like summer. I know the grass is always greener, but a dry Santa Barbara is never good.

I hate saying adieu to my cozy sweaters but looks like it's time for a switch. 
Bring on the brights!

And don't forget the flip flops. Gotta get rid of my hideous tan lines from running and tennis!

Feeling pretty lucky when this view is minutes away:

 Warm weather goodness:

Cooler evenings are still welcomed. 
I guess it's the best of both worlds!

Friday, April 4, 2014

One Year

Dear Daddy,

It still seems like yesterday. Some days are harder than others, but the hurt is always the same. I think about you every day. There are times I catch myself wondering, "Did this really happen? How is this possible? Why?" Then reality sets back in and I am left feeling empty, sad, and angry. It just isn't fair. And now is when you say, "Such is life."

Oh how I miss our talks! Even though I know somehow you are still here, there is so much I want to share. Like how I saved us a hefty bill when the plumber wanted to scope our main line. I told him all the toilets flushed and it was just the shower that was backing up. Ha! Just a simple snake of the drain. Oh and I figured out a simple car issue instead of having someone "take me for a ride." I can imagine your reactions and how proud you would have been of me for using my noggin. And then there's ANNE . . . Do you know what she did?! She flew to Ontario instead of Orange! Who's the DUMB ASS now?!(hahahaha) When stuff like this happens, you are the first person I would call. No one else would understand the meaning behind it all like you.

Although I don't deliberately think about what the 4th of every month means, or that it might be a Thursday, or the clock might read 9:22 AM - against my will, I still remember. In time my guess is these unwanted memories will fade. I won't think about how Thursdays suck or how the 4th of every month is a disappointing anniversary or 9:22 AM will just be 9:22 AM. Nonetheless, whether I remember or not, the ending will be the same.

Some would probably think I have adjusted pretty well. But that is just an illusion from the outside. I have always had 2 choices: Walk around the way I feel or do the opposite. I chose what you would have done. But there are times I really just want to feel the way I feel; without question, without regard, without anyone telling me it's not healthy, without anyone telling me to put a smile on my face, without anyone commenting that it's not fun being around an unhappy person, without . . . ANYTHING!

As time passes, your being gone doesn't get easier. I just miss you more. Quite frankly, I don't understand when people say, "Give it time. It's only been . . . ." What an odd thing to say. Maybe for some, time passed makes life easier. Or maybe it helps them to forget. So I try not to get angry and look at that person as if they just said the dumbest statement on Earth. My only conclusion is that it is different for everyone.

Time will never heal my heart, for I had THE BEST relationship a daughter could ever have with her father. Thank you for still listening to me during my morning runs. I love you always.

Your Little Girl,