Tag Archives: made at home

Bean gets a room all her own

Well with a third on the way we were not going to be cramming all three kids into one room just so we could maintain a craft and guest room. Especially since we use the guest room for guests about five times a year at the max.

So we got rid of the queen bed in there (given to some friends about to become newly weds) moved in a full size futon we got from Stephen’s sister to become Bean’s new bed and room.

My friends came Thursday to pick up the bed and they moved the futon up there too. Bean had to take a nap in there that afternoon as soon as it was in place. She was so excited about her new big bed!

We did some rearranging that night when Stephen got home, he was pretty inspired and ready to get going at this point. The bulk of the purging, reorganizing and rearranging was done yesterday.

I also made up some art for Bean’s room based on some that I saw at Target. Only this uses scrap fabric from her quilt and so coordinates perfectly with her bedding. The sheets we got also came in a little matching fabric bag so I was able to cut that up and incorporate it into the art too.

I cut fabric into shapes to make up larger objects like the owls and trees and I also cut out flowers and birds from the quilt fabrics to use in the art.

I covered some canvasses I already was using as decor in that room with quilt batting (so the old design wouldn’t show thru) and then the fabric. I’ve always thought of hot gluing things as kind of half assed (sorry for the language, but that really is the best way to put it), but I think in the case of something like this where in a few years she will out grow it and something that isn’t going to get a lot of wear and tear being up out of reach on the wall, it is fine for. Plus I just wanted to get it done and really couldn’t think of a better way.


I printed up a page of inspiration images including old blog logos and screen captures of the art that Target had.


This is about midway thru the project. Bean and I worked on this one together after her nap one day. In the upper left corner you can see what the old canvasses looked like.


So excited about her new room.


The owls which are pretty much a rip off of the Target piece. I even traced the owls from her Target Pillow to do them.


I made this one last night while Bean was asleep. This morning she came out of her room and said, “There’s a tree with apples in my new room!” The apples are from apple fabric I used in her quilt, the birds are also from her quilt fabric, and the flowers too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Orange Chicken

Prior to Finding out about Bean’s food allergies and also changing our diets to have drastically less processed food, TJs orange chicken or orange chicken from a favorite Chinese restaurant was a staple in our diet. We love orange chicken, even if it isn’t “real” Chinese food.

Problem is that most recipes have wheat and egg in them for the crispy battered pieces. I have been craving this dish and decided I would attempt a version our whole family could enjoy.

I was successful. Sort of. Bean is in a really picky phase again so she didn’t eat much. Boo! Everyone else loved it though.

I will note that my orange chicken is very orange flavored. I think the TJs version has a different ratio of soy sauce to orange. So if you make this and think my version is too orange, reduce the orange and up the soy.

This is the second recipe I have mentioned gluten free flour mix. I am not using a specific brand. I just recently decided to combine all my gluten free flours because I was tired if pulling a little from each bag. If you typically use a mix like Pamela’s, I am sure that would work fine.

I looked at a few different recipes yesterday before experimenting with this one last night. Most recipes called for dipping the chicken in egg before coating it in a mixture of flour and spices. If you can have wheat and eggs, you might try that. Another trick I used to use when making fried chicken was the self rising flour which I believe has baking powder and baking soda in it. The combination of eggs and this will probably produce a more crispy chicken if that is what you are going for.

Ingredients:
• 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
• 3 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
• zest of one orange
• 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
• crushed red pepper flakes
• Chinese five spice powder
• 1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
• 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
• 1 cup gluten free flour mix
• salt and pepper
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• 1/4 tsp sesame oil
• oil for frying
• rice and green beans to serve with

So first thing I did last night was throw my rice with the amount of water the package said in the rice cooker. Then I trimmed up my green beans and put them in the steam pan that goes on top.

Then I made the sauce. I opened up the orange juice concentrate and scooped approximately three tablespoons into a small saucepan. Then I added the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger, a couple dashes of red pepper flakes, lemon juice, a couple dashes of Chinese Five Spice powder (that’s a Jamie Oliver trick right there) and about a teaspoon of the orange zest (reserve the rest). Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally.

Note to mom: we all know how you feel about spicy food, and since you were one of the people that specifically asked for this recipe, to reduce the spice in this dish, skip or reduce the ginger, the red pepper, and the Chinese Five Spice powder. Note to everyone else: if you like your orange chicken on the spicy side, increase all those things.

While that was simmering, I cut up my two chicken breasts into bite sized cubes. Then in a ziplock bag I combined the flour, remaining orange zest, a few dashes of Chinese Five Spice powder, and a few cracks from my salt and pepper grinders.

The sauce was looking pretty good at this point so I turned off the heat and set the pan aside to cool and thicken.

I tossed the chicken in the zip lock bag, sealed it and then shook it up to coat in the flour mixture.

Then I got out my wok and put about a half inch of vegetable oil (which if you look at the label is just soy bean oil, probably not the best stuff for you) and then I also added about a quarter teaspoon of Sesame oil. I turned my heat up to medium high and when it got fragrant I added in the chicken in small batches turning each piece once until they were gold and crispy on the outside and firm. I did not cut them open to see if they were no longer still pink. I just knew, but if you are paranoid about that sort of thing or don’t just know, you may want to employ that test. You can drain the chicken on paper towels or flour sack cloths if you want.

I put all the cooked chicken in a bowl. Then I added in the green onions and the sauce. I stirred it all up until it was evenly coated.

At this point the rice and green beans were done. In another bowl I dressed the green beans with some olive oil and salt.

Then I plated everything together in one big pile. It was super yum.

This made enough for all four of us, but Stephen and I had large portions and the kids did not.

2 Comments

Filed under Gourmet Lisa