Monthly Archives: February 2018
Monthly Archives: February 2018
I love to make Thai food and knew I could make it faster in my pressure cooker, so I gave it a shot. Of course, it turned out great, and my whole family enjoyed it! So I had to share it with you as well! This recipe you can eat by itself, with rice or lo mein noodles. This Pressure Cooker Thai Chicken Recipe is a simple two-step process.
I was sitting with my son last week. He is a very thoughtful child full of more questions than I can answer. He has these long eyelashes and eyes the make you want to melt. His questions are well thought out and come at you faster than rain in a storm. They wet you and sometimes chill you to the bone and other times refresh your spirit. They are occasionally light and kiss your soul, and sometimes they have the world driving each word. Today was one of those days where I had to stop everything and answer his question. This question was so big it filled the room, and I had to give it the attention it deserves, so I did.
He asked, “Why, do people want to serve in the military.” I sat down. I asked him for a minute so I could give this question the attention it deserves. I closed my eyes. I opened my heart, and my words began to flow. I asked him if he liked being able to talk. He said, “Most of the time except when my teacher tells me to stop.” I asked, him if he likes to pray. He said, “Yes, I do it all the time, but you told me to stop praying for toys and instead pray for peace and wisdom which I think I can find in toys.” Then I said, “Do you love being an American?” He said, “Yes, we have fireworks.” Then I asked him if he feels safe outside. “Yes, mama. Why wouldn’t I?”
This post was sponsored by Ling Ling, all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Last February 16 we celebrated Chinese New Year or also called Lunar New Year. It’s the start of the Year of the Dog, and we celebrated it with Chinese New Year traditions and great food.
Just like the Western New Year celebrations, Chinese New Year celebration starts on the New Year’s Eve. It is the time for family reunions and feasts that continues until the start of the New Year. It’s a holiday filled with customs and traditions that Chinese families adhere to every year, a combination of thanksgiving for the past year and doing customs and traditions that would bring good luck and fortune for the coming new year.
Here are some Chinese New Year Traditions that we do in our family:
1. Offerings for ancestors – One of the most important Chinese New Year traditions is to offer food and prayers to our ancestors who passed away.
2. Praying at the temple – Incense and prayers are offered at the temple for blessings for the New Year.
3. Wearing red clothes – Red is the symbol of good fortune and luck that’s why most Chinese follows this tradition of welcoming the New Year in red.
4. New Year’s Eve Family Dinner – The most important dinner of the family. Although a lot of families now celebrates in restaurants, most would still prepare a feast at home which includes traditional Chinese New Year food that would bring good luck such as fish for prosperity, noodles for long life, dumplings for wealth, mandarins for good health and some sticky sweets for families to always bond together.
5. Dragon Dance and Fireworks – A symbol of good luck and to drive away bad energies, the traditional Dragon dance is always performed during Chinese New Year. Dancers who manipulate a dragon will perform, and they will reach for red envelopes placed by families. Fireworks are also lighted to drive away bad spirits.
6. Red Envelope – It is a tradition for Chinese families to give red envelopes with money during special occasions especially from older family members to younger ones.
Chinese New Year may be over, but you can still celebrate at home with delicious Chinese food that’s easy to prepare. Ling Ling Asian Entrées doesn’t disappoint, and our family loves the Ling Ling Chicken & Vegetable Potstickers.
Ling Ling Potstickers are made with chicken or pork, and tender vegetables combined in a mouthwatering dumpling wrapper. It even comes with Ling Ling signature dipping sauce. I can’t believe how easy it is to cook at home and in just a few minutes we can enjoy delicious Chinese Potstickers.
Ling Ling Asian Entrées are available in Noodles, Fried Rice, or Potstickers. I highly recommend that you try them now and make sure to grab this Ling Ling coupon offer to get $2 off any Ling Ling Entree or Appetizer. You can check their store locator to find the nearest store where you can get their products
I made dinner a couple of months ago. It was fantastic. The look of joy on my husband’s face as he ate was priceless. I thought everything was okay. That was until later that night.
I watched my husband have a hard time sleeping. He tossed and turned. Then he began coughing. I told him that he needed to go to the doctor, this girl needs her beauty sleep. It seemed like he had been coughing or full of mucus all the time. It had been going on for so long I didn’t notice it. What happened next was shocking me it would change our lives forever.
I was making dinner again. It seems that my family likes dinner every night. I am sure it is true of most families, but mine expect me to have it ready the second they feel hungry. My husband came home from work. He put his phone on the counter, slipped off his coat, and said, “We need to talk, and you aren’t going to like what I have to say.”
My eyes got as big as saucers and my breathing sounding like 50 soldiers doing marching drill. “What is the matter?” I, asked. He said,”I went to the doctor.” Yes, I said and what happened. He said, “sit down.”
Then he said, “I am allergic to dairy.” I was glad it was only that. I saw all the cheese, ice cream, butter disappear before my very eyes. What stood before me was the man I loved.
I could easily replace the dairy in our lives with plant-based alternatives, but I sure couldn’t replace him. It took about a week for me to notice a dramatic difference in my husband. With no dairy products in his diet, he was sleeping better, and he could breathe better. He wasn’t doing that annoying cough. He stopped spitting. The transformation didn’t end there.
When he went dairy free, the whole family went dairy free at dinner time. I researched for no dairy dinner recipes. We fell in love with the flavors of food again. I had more energy for the things we loved, and I wasn’t the only one so did the kids. It was a win-win.
“This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.”
It happened. The things we had been waiting for. I was secretly hoping it didn’t happen. That she didn’t want to go through with it. I may have said, a small prayer. It wasn’t that I didn’t want my daughter to achieve her dreams. I just didn’t like what it did to me.
Isn’t it hard when you have to make choices that would benefit your children but deplete your bank account? How can you say no to “Mom, I want to try gymnastics.” You start to say, “Yes, by all means you may be the next Simone Biles but my wallet isn’t ready.”
I had gone to the website because all of her friends are doing it and now she wants in. And, she knows. It is too late to hide another activity. But, what it will cost? What will I give up to make it happen? Can I make it happen? These thoughts are running through my head like a train without sufficient tracks.
I type in the URL to the gym. I may have said a prayer to the frugal gods. It comes up $68 a month and $25 to register. I calculate the damage. $816 for the year plus $25 registration then there are the uniforms. Do not forget the gas to get to the location and the time spent away from my job. I breathe.
I take one of those long breathes that fills your lungs. I try to take in every bit of that oxygen as I exhale. I remember something that left my mind in that moment of panic. My husband and I have planned for this. We didn’t exactly plan for this sport, but we have put aside money for her activities. I have three kids so the question isn’t if they wanted to do sports it is when and how many? It is also how am I going to fit this into our tight budget? We know that having a child or children that play any kind of sports is expensive. You have fees and equipment to buy. Then you have travel expenses. It can be overwhelming if you do not have a plan. So we used the SunTrust budget worksheet on onUp.com to figure it out. Youth activities can cost more than $2,500 per year, and almost 40% of us spend more than $1,000 a year according to a recent SunTrust survey. We actually budget for $1,000 for each child. I know that sounds like a lot, but we often go over. They get sports instead of gifts.
I am not saying it isn’t worth it. I spend every weekend at some sporting event for my children, and I couldn’t be prouder. I know investing in sports teaches my children so many valuable lessons. It also teaches them the lesson of how to budget our money so we can afford to say yes, to cross country, gymnastics, travel soccer, and basketball. We can say yes to them pursuing of their dream without giving up our dreams of living debt free and having a bountiful retirement account.
This same SunTrust survey shares that, parents make tradeoffs to help children’s dreams come true. They sacrifice dining out (42%), shopping (35%), vacations (29%), retirement savings (21%), other savings (25%), paying off debt (27%) and upgrading their car (23%). I want to make sure that we don’t have to make too many sacrifices – I want to be able to save and take family vacations. That means using budget planning tools, like the one from SunTrust, and sticking to it.
SunTrust launched the onUp Movement to inspire many of Americans to take a step toward financial confidence. The onUp Movement is about having the confidence to move forward—one smart step at a time. I was able to say yes to every sport this year since we saved $275 of each paycheck. There is nothing better than watching your child shoot a free throw and run across the court forgetting that he has another one to shoot or watching your daughter score the winning goal. It is incredible to cheer your child on as they beat the last best time on the track, every second counts. You can reduce your stress and savor the moment by planning ahead!
Learn more on how you can save and afford sports for kids, visit SunTrust’s OnUp Movement.
This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.
I will not lie I have a kitchen product addiction. I can’t help it. I really wish I could. I vowed this year to get rid of as many appliances as possible. I decided I can get rid of my bread machine if I could find an Easy Bread in the Pressure Cooker Recipe. I knew I could make one but I would have to give up the crunchy crust. I decided I would make the adjustments to free up space in my small kitchen. I also need to be able to whip up a dairy-free version which is what is below. If you are wondering if a pressure cooker is worth it, you can read my review.
I look up on the internet for help and honestly it wasn’t that helpful so I decided to try to figure it out on my own. I made sure I had my fire extinguisher close just in case. Do not worry I didn’t need it but I spend too much time watching This is Us so now I am a fire safety queen.
Well back to the Pressure cooker bread recipe.
I used the package of yeast’s directions and I just modified them to my taste.
6 cups of all-purpose flour
3 TBS of Sugar
2 Tsp of Salt
2 Packets of Fast Rising Yeast
2 Cups of water for the recipe
1 1/2 cups of water for the Pressure cooker
1/2 cup of rice milk or milk (I used rice milk )
I made a rosemary, garlic, olive oil bread so you can add these to the basic pressure cooker bread recipe above.
4 sprigs of rosemary
3 TBS of Garlic
Spring Foam pan (1 lb Coffee can works) or you can buy a beaker and use that
Olive oil to drizzle on the top of the bread