Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My new little baby!

I am posting pictures as promised:
Here she is! Meet Bella
Glamour Shots ; 0

Also, I thought I would post an awesome recipe that I recently made. I found it on a copycat recipe website, and it's for the lettuce wrap appetizer at P.F. chang's. It is SO close to the restaurant version, and I would highly recommend giving it a try. I've made it twice now, and the first time, it took me a little while, but I was much faster at making it tonight. Also, the recipe calls for chicken, but I've recently stopped eating meat, so I made it with extra-firm tofu tonight, and it was excellent!

Oh, and here are some more pictures:
1) Me enjoying ; )

2) My lettuce wraps:

3) The recipe: Enjoy!

P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps

• 3 tablespoons oil
• 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1/2 pound of extra-firm tofu
• 1 cup water chestnut
• 2/3 cup mushroom
• 3 tablespoons chopped onions
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 4-5 leaves iceberg lettuce

Special Sauce Ingredients
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (I used regular vinegar)
• 2 tablespoons ketchup
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
• 1 tablespoon hot mustard
• 2 teaspoons hot water
• 1-2 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste (I just used chili powder because it chili paste was hard to find)

Stir Fry Sauce
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1. Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl.
2. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.
3. Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you're ready to serve.
4. Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well.
5. Eventually add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.
6. Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
7. Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done.
8. Remove chicken from the pan and cool.
9. Keep oil in the pan, keep hot.
10. As chicken cools mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.
11. Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.
12. When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are.
13. With the pan still on high heat, add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.
14. Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan.
15. Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce"cups".
16. Top with"Special Sauce".

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Break!

I'm two days into my spring break, and so far it has been WONDERFUL! I've been able to sleep in the last couple of days until about 9:30 or 10, and I've been so productive. Right now, our business is moving into a new office in downtown Indy, and we're busy doing construction inside of the room to make it perfect. We're putting up a couple of walls, two doors, and a reception window. I can't wait to see it all done for a couple of reasons: 1) I'm excited to see our design to make the office custom to our needs, and 2) It's a lot of work!

Besides all the work I've gotten done with the business, I got to spend some time with a good friend of mine from high school. (You know who you are!) I visited her and her cute little dogs at her beautiful home--that she owns! That seems so crazy to me that I have friends that are the same age who are married, some are expecting children or have already had children, and own their own homes. Kudos to those brave people, because I am absolutely positive that I could not handle that responsibility. I should also add that she's got great taste in decorating ; )

Aaron and I have also been enjoying time outdoors because it has been so beautiful! We could not ask for nicer weather in Indiana. Now I guess I don't feel so bad that I'm not laying on a beach in some exotic location for spring break. haha. We've enjoyed taking Bella out on walks with the beautiful weather, and tomorrow, I'm going to make breakfast for us so that we can have a picnic on my back porch.

I forgot to take pictures of the new little furball in my life, but I promise they'll be up soon. I'm such a proud doggy mommy! Be on the lookout soon also for pictures of our brand-spanking-new office!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I've got some exciting news!

Geez, I've been pretty inconsistent with my posting. I'll have to change that!

Anyway, on to my good news... If you've been reading this blog, you know how passionately I feel about the welfare of animals, and when I had this idea to involve my parents' neighborhood in Indianapolis in on my helping animals, I got to work.

In order to successfully execute this plan, I needed to get permission from the neighborhood association first, so I emailed the president and was invited to go to the meeting last night. I was really nervous to go because I didn't want them to shoot my idea down after I had just driven 45 minutes from Bloomington for the sole purpose of meeting with them.

My idea was not only accepted--they loved it! And I left that meeting in a pure state of euphoria. It felt great, and I felt motivated to take on the challenge.

So the idea? Well, there is a "Mutt Strutt" for Indianapolis in which dogs and their owners will pay a registration fee and go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to walk around the track to raise money for the Humane Society. I thought this was a great idea, so I scaled it down to size. I'll be hosting the same event in my neighborhood, and the registration fee will be $5 per person (free for dogs!), and we'll be walking/running a little over a mile for the event. Absolutely all of the money will be going to a local rescue.

Prior to the event, I'll be opening up a contest for the people in the neighborhood to send pictures of their dogs and cats to enter their furry friend into the cutest dog and cat contest. While registration is going on, there will be containers with pictures of the adorable pooches and kitties in which participants can "vote" on their favorites with spare change. While the walkers and runners are out on the course, the money will be counted up and winners of the contests will be announced. The dog and cat that raise the most money will be given a prize.

The neighborhood leaders loved the idea because it was unlike anything they had ever done, it spanned across all ages, and was easy to do.

Oh and by the way, they agreed to pay for the event! Can't get any better than that!

The other piece of great news is that Aaron and I adopted a beautiful new dog! She's chihuahua, and her name is Bella. She's five, well behaved, and up for anything that Aaron and I want to do. She's been so fun to have, especially because this is my first dog. I'll post something longer a bit later with pictures, but I thought I would share the news!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Yowza! It's been a long time since I've posted!

Hello friends! I'm back. I took a short hiatus from blogging because I've been so darn busy with school, hapkido, stuff for the business, and stuff to help out my animal friends!

It's all good and worthy of my attention, but sometimes all of it just piles up at once, you know?

Last night, I spent most of it awake studying for a midterm that I had today. I thought it went pretty well, however, I was talking to some friends about questions that I changed my answers to because I was unsure of them, and I'm pretty positive that I had the correct answers prior to changing them.... Gr....Oh well!

After the exam, a friend of mine invited me to go to Chipotle with her and a friend that I didn't know, and we had a blast! Chipotle's delicious, and we laughed a ton. It was a great way to relieve some of the stress from the exam.

I've just got one more class of the day-statistics-which I'm not thrilled about, but immediately following class, I am volunteering with the campus animal welfare group to get the message out about the puppy mill legislation that is in the works for Indiana. I'm sooo excited. Doing this kind of work makes me feel so fulfilled and wonderful. I just want to tell everyone about it!

In case you're from Indiana reading this blog and would like to know more about the legislation, here's some information about it and how you can help abused dogs in Indiana. And by the way, if you know of anyone who might be interested in participating to help stop the worst abuses of dogs in Indiana, feel free to copy, paste, and spread like wildfire!

Right now, there is legislation in the Indiana Senate to make dog breeders more responsible and end suffering in puppy mills around Indiana. The bill in a nutshell makes breeders give the dogs food, water, veterinary care, and little bit of exercise. So, really basic stuff. It also limits the number of dogs that breeders can have so that dogs are not neglected due to huge numbers. Even if you're an IU student from out of state, you are still considered a constituent for Indiana Senators!

If you'd like to call, it takes about 2 minutes and these three steps:

Step 1: Go to this website http://www.in.gov/apps/sos/legislator/search/
Step 2: Choose Indiana Senate as the elected office and enter your zip code to find out your senators names
Step 3: Call this number: 800-382-9467 and ask to leave a message for the senators that come up in your search

You can use this sample script if you like: Hello, my name is (name), and I am calling to leave a message for (senator’s name) regarding House Bill 1468. I wanted to let (senator’s name) know that I support this bill to end suffering in puppy mills and that I oppose any changes that weaken it. Thank you.

1) They should ask for your information (name, address, etc.) to make sure that you are a constituent. If they don’t ask, the message is not being passed along.
2) Also, there is an indefinite time period to call about this because the date for voting has not been set yet
3) Pass this on to all animal lovers!