Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tabi's version of crock pot orange chicken

I love Chinese food...the problem is it's too expensive and way saturated with fat. So I trialed and errorred a couple of orange chicken recipes. They were ok, but I've found the best combination out of my trial and error. Below is my version of orange a crock pot. It is sure to please and a lot healthier than going out. I also think it is more tasty. The picture below I got from online because I keep forgetting to take pictures of my food! But it looks pretty close to that.

Orange Chicken in a Crock Pot

1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts chopped into bite sized chunks
1/3 cup of flour
1tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
olive oil
4-5 oz of frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed)
2-3 TBSP of Balsamic vinegar
3 TBSP of ketchup
3-4 TBSP of brown sugar
2 tsp of ginger
3 tsp of garlic
1-2 TBSP of soy sauce
Red Pepper flakes to taste or liking

In the crock pot mix the Orange Juice, Balsamic vinegar, Ketchup, Brown sugar, Ginger, Garlic, Soy Sauce and red pepper flakes to combine all ingredients.

Place the flour into a small bowl. Sprinkle your salt and pepper on the chicken chunks, then place them into the flour and cover them. Shake off excess flour.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. When it is hot enough, place all the chicken chunks in and cook. Cook the chicken until they have a nice light golden brown color to them. (You don't need to cook them all of the way, just enough to get some color on them) Place the browned chicken into the crock pot mixture.
Cook on high for 1-2 hours or low for 3 -4 hours. I personally stick them in the crock pot for only 1 hour on high as it retains the moister of the chicken better.

**Note: you can make the sauce thinner by adding 1/2 cup of water to the mixture before adding the chicken, if you'd like.

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Discovering New Things

This new year has been all about trying new things so far. We've been trying new recipes, going to new places, and I have been trying new activities. Why not? There is so much out there that there's no point in secluding yourself to what you know...that's just boring. I want to discover it all!

Trying New Activities:
I've discovered Pinterest...and I'm obsessed. I got myself an account and have been glued to it ever since.

The shooting range. I've always been kind of fearful of fire arms. Mostly because I've never handled a gun or been close enough to touch one. Pretty much the only guns I've seen were on TV. The unknown is scary. Lucky for me I've married into a heavily armed, yet knowledgeable family. They hunt on a regular basis so fire arms are no stranger to them. To break me of my fears, my husband took me to the shooting range and taught me how to use a gun. I was quite nervous but once I shot a few times, I felt more comfortable. My weapon of usage was a 22. It was light and something I could manage. My husband also had me shoot from a 9mm. That recoil was bigger than I expected but I would definitely have to practice.

Trying new recipes:
I love going online or looking in my cookbook for something new to try. Ever since last year when I discovered polenta, my eyes have been open and my stomach eager to taste new foods. Since we don't have any children, the only taste buds we have to worry about are our own. This gives us the opportunity to explore and experiment.
I've concocted things like Honey-garlic balsamic chicken with couscous, Tuna cakes and tonight I made roasted chicken with balsamic peppers. Delicious!

I've also been having more fun with baking. I was assigned to make a birthday cake for a co-worker. German Chocolate cake. This gave me the chance to practice my cake decorating skills that I gained but never use. Everyone enjoyed the cake and were impressed were my amatuer decorating skills. Today I also decided to make white chocolate truffle cupcakes. I'm excited to take them to work tomorrow.

Trying new places:
We've gone to a couple of new restaurant joints here in the Springs. A little outside of our box. Of course we only entered those places because friends invited us. Our good friends, the Nimers, invited us out to dinner a couple weeks ago to a chinese eatery that we had never been before. Their food was quite excellent, just as good if not better than P.F. Changs...probably because it is authentic chinese.

And last night I went to a hopping restaurant called Nosh. It's upscale dining that allows you to really experience the food. They have dishes that I've never heard of before, concoctions that sound odd but it's all very fresh and exquisite. It was very enjoyable...and a little pricey. But definitely a place I want to go back.

I hope to continue this expedition of experiencing new things for the rest of this year. It's a little scary, yet exhilirating.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

1 more Year until the BIG 25/100

January 19th 1988 was the day I entered this world. And already 23 years have flown by! I turned 24 this past Thursday. That means I only have 1 more year until I'm a quarter of a century years old! A CENTURY!!! I've got to live it up this year!
I had a wonderful birthday this year. My co-workers celebrated my special day with me by taking me to lunch and having ice cream cake! I was also able to get off of work a little bit early. When I went to go pick up James he had beautiful roses, chocolates (only in the small boxes of twos so I wouldn't feel so guilty) and a wonderful heart-felt card waiting for me. Isn't he the sweetest? I certainly think so.
To finish off my celebration of birth-day he took me out to Red Lobster. We never go to a seafood joint because he is not a fan of seafood...however I LOVE it! So it was very exciting for me. I absolutely indulged in the fluffy mouth-watering cheesy garlic biscuits that are so unique to Red Lobster. The juicy and suculent snow crab and crispy coconut shrimp tickeled my tastebuds. Oh how I missed you seafood!...that's what I was thinking anyways. It was a fabulous dinner finished off with an apple crumble a-lamode desert.
We finished our evening cuddling up on the couch watching The Help. Which, by the way was a great movie. Although, it had my stomach tied up in knots because I was so angry during most of it. But it really plays on your emotions. That's what makes a good movie, I think.
What a wonderful birthday I had! And I thought that was the husband decided he wanted to celebrate my birthday on Saturday too! My tricky and darling husband decided to make me a scrumptious breakfast when I got home from my body pump class. We then proceeded to laze around the house for the morning. Ahhh...nice and relaxing. He felt, however that it was not enough, so we went mini-golfing and hit up the batting cages. It was nice enough weather to have some outdoor fun. After mini-golfing we headed up to Denver...for what, I had no idea. But I was ok with it, getting out of the Springs is always a good idea. HA HA! After doing a little shopping at the 16th Street mall we went to dinner. And this was my surprise. He had set up dinner with a bunch of my friends to surprise me.
We went to a little Mexican Denver joint called Jack n' grill. Supposedly it's the 13th best mexican joint in the Nation. I was surprised to see my good friend Missy and some friends from the Springs. It was such a nice surprise. My hubby was a little disappointed though because he had invited a few of my friends from Fort Collins to come but unfortunately were unable to attend at the last minute. I was happy enough that he had even thought of all of this for me!
So we enjoyed good conversation and pretty yummy food.
Bruce and Shafer decided to share the restaurant's famous 7 pound Burrito. They did a pretty good job eating it all but it was A LOT of food.
What a fantastic Husband I have. I'm so blessed! Thank You James for making my life so astounding!

Blog Fail: But here's the 2011 update!

So obviously I've failed horendously at blogging. I haven't posted anything since October 2011 and here we are in the middle-end of January 2012. Never a good sign. But maybe I'll be better this year! To catch you up, here are the things that have been going on:
In October and November James and I (mostly I) discovered geocaching! Basically it's a huge scavenger hunt that people all over the world participate in. You can check out for more information. It is a lot of fun. James and I decided to be adventurous and try it out. All we did was find a geocaching excursion and located it on our GPS. We had to look for various containers in these hidden locations to find the prizes inside. The prizes are just little toys or contraptions or notes that you are supposed to find. It was a lot of fun. Then we got to write our names in the sign in and head on to the next one.
I think we'll do more when it's warmer.
Thanksgiving was different for me. For the past 4 years or so I've gone to the Metz's for Thanksgiving. Now that I'm married it was time to spend it with my hubby and his family. It turned out to be a lot of fun. It was really warm out (try like 70's) so James, Mathias (his brother) and myself threw the football around outside for a bit until dinner. Dinner was fabulous! We had a deep fried incredibly delicious turkey with all of the fabulous fixings. I even contributed by making sweet yams with marshmellows. YUM! I felt so blessed to have married into such a great family.
Christmas was just as good as Thanksgiving. James and I invited my little sister and his friend Matty over for Christmas breakfast. Before breakfast James and I did our little Christmas before our guests came over. For Christmas Breakfast we had Pancakes, eggs, bacon etc for a delicious breakfast. I think everyone enjoyed it. It was nice to have people over th enjoy the holiday with. We then headed over to my in-laws and celebrated Christmas with them. I felt a lot more comfortuable with them than I did last year for Christmas! Although last year James and I had just gotten engaged and I still didn't know the fam all that well yet.
I also made sure to bake tons of cookies this year! We ate cookies every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner for about a month!
So Christmas came and! Before I knew it it was New Year's! Prior to the new year I wanted a change. I wanted to do something different with my appearance. And so....I decided to dye my hair. I was going for a nice dark chocolate brown. However, it came out a little darker than I wanted. I didn't like it at first but now I think I love it. It's definitely growing on me. It
was fun to show off my new look at our New Year's Eve get together
We decided to get out of the house for New Year's Eve and headed to the bowling alley's for some midnight bowling with some friends. It was a lot of fun, a lot better than sitting at home doing nothing. I had a blast, and it was the latest I had stayed up in a long time! (How sad!)
Here's to the New Year!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An awesome fall date

Autumn has fallen upon us, it's one of my most favorite seasons of the year. The crisp green leaves transforming in to magnificent shades of gold, red, orange and brown always catch my eye. I especially enjoy when the air becomes slightly brisk, enough to wear a light jacket, and the way the wind whirls around the fallen leaves makes me feel that there is some magic drifting in the air. This is the time where I break out my light fall jackets and my fall/halloween decorations. Decorating my house with pumpkins, leaf garland, cornstalks, scarecrow men, and candles that smell like fresh pumpkin pie and toasted almonds with cinnamon is one of my favorite traditions. I love the warm inviting feeling it brings to my home.
The only sad thing about this season is that it only lasts 1-2 months in Colorado if we're lucky. And because it is so brief, it's important to get in every fall-like activity you can! So, James and I decided to embrace the season with a little fun last weekend.
We went up to Thornton, Denver to go to a Corn Maze. The Corn maze was about 20 acres in size. It was one of the biggest corn mazes we could find within reasonable driving distance. While driving, James was talking about how he will just jump up to look over the corn stalks to see where we are going. I laughed, he's obviously never been to a corn maze before. When we got to the corn maze, he realized why I had laughed. The corn stalks are definitely over 15 feet tall. So you'd have to be pretty tall in the first place on top of excellent vertical jumping skills.

And of course we had to go to the pumpkin patch and get ourselves pumpkins to carve! There were quite a few large pumpkins. A lot of odd shaped ones as well. Example A: "The Butt" pumpkin.

And to finish off our evening we decided to stop off at Tocabe American Indian Eatery. This restaurant joint was featured on Triple D (Diners, Drive-Ins and Drives) with Guy Fieri. I highly recommend this restaurant. It was so delicious and very unique. It's like a chipotle...but American Indian style. There is stuffed fry bread which is what James got. It's fry bread stuffed with beans, chickpeas if you desire, meat, special sauces and other veggies. Or you can get the Indian Tacos which is Fry bread topped with beans, mean, sauces etc. They were both very different, but both very delicious. Next time you are in Denver, Check it out! It's off of I-70 on Lowell blvd and 44th ave.

It was so nice to have a fun date enjoying the fall season!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Let's go Halvesies

Over the past few months I've been training for the biggest run of my life. I had decided (ignorantly and arbitrarily) to sign up for a Half Marathon. My first half marathon. What was I thinking? The longest race I ran was a 10K! That's only 6 miles, I have to run twice that?
Despite the better half of my judgement, I developed a training program for myself and was determined to finish my first half marathon.
My training schedule was as followed:









Run 2 mi.

2 min. run/

1 min walk


Run 2 mi.

2 min. run/

1 min walk


Run 2 mi.

2 min. run/

1 min walk


Each week I increased each run day by a mile for the first month. I got up to mile 7 for my long run on Saturdays. The second month, the first two weeks I stayed at the amount of miles I had done at the end of the first month, but instead of a 2 min. run/1 min. walk, I increased it to a 3 min run and 1 min walk. My last month I made it a goal to get up to Mile 11 1 week before the race, without doing a walking pace the whole time.

This training schedule worked well for me because I was able to increase my running mileage, do some cross training for strengthening my other muscles while allowing my legs to rest, and was able to be consistent.

So how did I do? Well October 9th I stood at the start line in my corral. I was cold, nervous and excited. Moving around to keep myself warm, the shot gun went off and off I went. It was a really neat race. The Rock and Roll marathon in Denver was quite scenic. It took us through downtown Denver, and gave us a beautiful view of the sunrise in the beautiful city of Denver. I finished my race in 2 and 1/2 miles. This was a fantastic experience and I felt very accomplished.

I'm also very thankful for my wonderful husband who supported me through all of my training and at my race.

This experience has taught me a few things about myself: as I continue to follow the word of wisdom and eat healthy, I have no limits to my health; I can do anything I put my mind to; I know the power of mind over body; I look forward to many more races, and hopefully with my family with James; and most of all I can overcome any obstacle, I just gotta keep pushing and keep running. :-)

My goal is to run a full marathon (26.2 miles) within the next 3 years! For now, I think I'll stick with the halvesies.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ohhh Kansas?

OooooKansas, where the wind comes rushin' down the plains? Yup, that's about it. There is just the plains. Completely flat. Nothing to look at. Boring. That's exactly how I describe our drive to Kansas.
I pretty much begged James to go to Kansas so I could see my, best friends Mallory and Jon Hummer. James was nice enough to let us go to Kansas. I was so excited! I did not anticipate how boring the drive was going to be.

After 8 1/2 - 9 hours in the car, I was h

After our first night there, Mallory and Jon took us to Wichita's Botanical Gardens. It was pretty cool considering we were in Kansas, Land of Boring.
appy to finally arrive at the Hummer's home. It was so great to finally see Mallory. The last time we saw each other was our wedding, and even then it was brief because of all the craziness of the wedding.

It was neat to see all the different types of flowers and plants.

They also had these
gigantic lily pads. I've never seen them so
large! It was pretty incredible. I told Jon he should hop on what to see how much weight they would hold, but he was a sour sport and refused. :-(

And James decided to feed these gigantic cat fish. Their heads were easily the size of half of James' head. It was ridiculous. They were pretty ugly looking if you ask me.

Then we also wen to the little butterfly Pavilion. It was really neat to see all of the butterflies.

We had a lot of fun on our trip to Kansas. I really miss Mal and Jon. I miss how it was so easy for me to just walk over to their house in Fort Collins any time I wanted. Or being able to have my work out buddy and someone to go hang out with and talk to all of the time.

Sometimes change is hard. But through out all of these changes, I know I'll always still have a great relationship with the Hummers.