Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Slightly Orange Chicken

My kitchen is somewhat lacking. Think one place setting of dishes lacking. Thankfully, J's aunt and uncle had an entire place setting of my lovely Butler's Pantry dishes mailed to the Vegas apartment, so we have use of one supper plate, one salad plate, one cup and saucer, one bread and butter plate, one soup bowl, and one cereal bowl. We have got a lot of use out of these few pieces this past week.

J's company Romotive feeds their employees (and wives!) but they are currently between chefs, so the cooking was not happening consistently. I was recently inspired by this healthy version of chinese food from a hilarious cooking blog (seriously check it out),  but before I could cook, I needed to acquire food.  I had to work with what was available to me within walking distance (i.e. Romotive kitchen) because Vegas is definitely not a walking city and my car is still in Florida. Also I do not like beef, so we opted for chicken instead. J made hot and sour soup, but it was pretty terrible. I am not quite sure what went wrong. He used to be very good at making it, but it seems he gets worse with each attempt. I won't share his recipe with you because no one should have to eat that stuff. By the way, my recipe is very adaptable so use what you have on hand and avoid grocery shopping!

Slightly Orange Chicken
Serves 2
2 pieces of boneless skinless chicken (I used thighs because it was available)
1 onion, sliced
1-2 handfuls of broccoli, depending on how much you like it
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 cup uncooked brown rice (I used white rice, but brown rice is better)

Juice from 1 orange, or 2 small orange colored citrus (again, whatever is on hand)
1/2-1 cup white vinegar
1/2-1 cup apple cider vinegar
Tobasco (or your favorite hot sauce)
Soy sauce
Chicken broth if you are not a vinegar person

1. Start cooking rice according to package
2. Cut off excess fat from chicken and slice into thin strips
3. Place chicken strips and marinade ingredients into a bowl so that the chicken is submerged. Adjust vinegar, hot sauce and soy sauce according to your personal tastes. Let chicken soak until you are ready to cook it.
4. Steam broccoli until slightly tender
5. Cook onion in a relatively large pan (helps if it is shallow, like a saute pan) until it begins to soften and turn translucent, then add steamed broccoli. You can also use a wok if your husband did not previously scratch the non-stick surface.
6. Remove broccoli and onion from pan once it has cooked almost sufficiently (I like slightly crunchy vegetables, J prefers them more cooked). Add in chicken (save marinade), cook until its pretty much done. Pour in marinade, broccoli, onion and garlic and cook on medium high until you see little bubbles. Make sure to stir occasionally so things don't burn.
7. Salt and pepper to taste, serve over brown rice and don't let your husband make hot and sour soup.

Pictured; Delicious "chinese" food and failed hot and sour soup
Also, my lovely dishes

As you can see in these pictures, I managed to use almost every Butler's Pantry dish I have in Vegas, along with my pretty chopsticks J picked up in China. He also brought me a set of black ones with gold tips that match my formal dishes. Isn't he sweet? You may also be admiring our beautiful table and the one chair in the apartment. I actually do own a real dining table, but it is currently chairless, so we have been using a small coffee table. I don't mind eating on the floor, but J feels the need to sit in his desk chair and lean over. Also, I'm sure you are also admiring the giant neon sign right outside our window. It is actually pretty fun - very Vegas to have a hotel casino next door. The apartment glows orange at night if the blinds are up.

Husband approved

Monday, December 17, 2012

Life After "But I'm the Bride!" is no Longer a Valid Reason

And I'm back :)

J and I had a great honeymoon at the Ritz in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The weather was lovely almost every day, so I spent my time alternating between laying by the pool and laying on the beach, both of which required a giant umbrella and lots of sunscreen. By lots of sunscreen, I personally used almost an entire tube of Neutragena SPF 45 in a week.

coqui chocolate
The Ritz Carleton was quite lovely and I have no complaints at all. However, I did notice a few things that led me to believe that the San Juan Ritz is not as nice as the one in Buckhead (lodgings of many childhood December trips and my bachelorette party weekend). For example, the turn down service people forgot to leave the chocolates more than once (gasp!) and sometimes a bath towel (still damp) would be left over after housekeeping came through. The chocolates were super cute, though! The wrappers (on the right) had a picture of a coqui, the same Puerto Rican frog that is very noisy in a pleasant, tropical way all night long.

life is so hard tanning while helpful people set up lounge
 chairs and umbrellas while serving you food on the beach

Now I spend my time "organizing" and "keeping house" - the apartment is a bit of a disaster, or as much of one as it can be given that hardly any of my stuff or wedding gifts are here yet and that there is very little furniture. I've learned a few important lessons: 
1 - drying towels on low takes forever. 
2 - drying a huge wad of sheets and then forgetting about them for a while will result in very wrinkled sheets. 
3 - ironing sucks, avoid it at all costs (learned this one as a direct result of #2). 

Now that I have imparted valuable and, I'm sure, quite unknown advice, I will follow this post up with a recipe I made the other night for supper. It was quite delicious (J's hot and sour soup was not) and I was able to use my new Staub grill pan! Also, since I will not be decorating for Christmas, please accept my new sister-in-law's Christmas decor blog post instead.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Changing Your Name

The time has finally come for me to make it official with the law and change my name.  Although we got married in July, I had so many travel reservations and plane tickets in my maiden name that I didn't want to change it until after I finished all of my 2012 travels (no reason to give those creepers at TSA a reason for a full body search).

Now I'm trying to decide what to change my name to...do I keep my middle name or my maiden name?  I think my middle name is quite pretty, but I feel like keeping my maiden name is 1) something women do to support women's lib and 2) might make things easier in the transition over to married lady (i.e. using old checks or documents with my maiden name still on them would be easier to use if my driver's license and social security card at least still have my maiden name in it).

There's also the unfortunate problem with my new acronymn.  MCW vs. MAW.......

What do you think?  Any opinions?  It's pretty much a one shot deal, so I need advice!  Leave your comments!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sale Review: J.Crew Warehouse

On the way back from Thanksgiving in NC, Mr. 3 asked if I wanted to stop by the J.Crew warehouse in Lynchburg, VA to do a little shopping.  After gasping with surprise, I promptly put the address in the GPS (which much to Mr. 3's surprise, I knew by heart).  I had been to one of their retail store locations in the past, but not the location that is inside the actual warehouse. When we arrived, we saw 2 cops regulating traffic and people carrying trash bags across the parking lot.  My heart beat a little faster....we had accidentally come on a warehouse sale weekend! 

We went into the warehouse and were handed a price list and a trash bag.  The warehouse had been roped off around the conveyor belts and staff had set up long tables filled with boxes and racks of clothing.  I think Mr. 3 almost stroked out at the sight....bless his heart, I bet he regretted the offer at that moment.

To put it lightly, the organization of the sale was a hot mess.  It literally involved combing through boxes upon boxes of clothing for your size.  But the deals were TOTALLY worth it.  Here's a brief breakdown (going off my memory):

Flats - $20
Heels - $30
Short boots - $50
Tall boots - $70

Swimsuits - $5
Shorts - $8
Pants - $10
Trench Coats/Jackets - $25
Winter Coats - $70
Shirts - $15
Dresses - $20
Cashmere - $25!!!!!!
Bridesmaids dresses - $35!!!!!
Wedding dresses - $50!!!!!!

I wound up with 1 dress, 1 cashmere sweater, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of shorts, and 2 pairs of men's swim trunks for Mr. 3...which wound up being about $70.  Mr. 3 also bought me a puffer coat from the side store attached to the warehouse (they had my size hanging on the rack and it was easier to find than digging through all the boxes) for Christmas.

J.Crew is having another similar sale this weekend and you all should really check it out if you live within driving distance of Lynchburg, VA!  Totally worth the trip.

J.Crew Email Ad

Let us know if you have ever been and what you think about it!  If you know of any other similar warehouses around the country, let us know!  We love to travel...especially for a deal.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Briana is Married!

Just wanted to update our readers!  Briana is married and off to her honeymoon in Puerto Rico.  I was super busy with maid duties and visitin' with family members (i.e. running my mouth), so I didn't take any pictures at Briana's wedding and I had to rely upon the Facebook community for its posts (which is the reason for the delay).
The wedding was beautiful, Briana and J looked so happy...all of which caused me to cry pretty much the entire ceremony.  Briana will post more pictures later, but here is a sneak peak from the backyard of her house where the reception was held.
Best wishes to Briana and J!
Family Member Photo