February 9, 2012

House Update and Honey Chicken

Things have finally progressed on the house.  The appraisal was completed this week and it passed the FHA inspection.  I am still waiting to hear if it appraises for what I am buying it for.  That would be horrible if at the last minute it fell through because of that. FHA requires the house to appraise for the price you are paying for it.  I think it's a great policy in place but I know the seller would freak out if we asked him to come down on the price anymore.  He barely came down on the price to begin with.

The closing date is set for February 28th and Matt and I will do a final walk-through beforehand to make sure the requested repairs are completed.  Another time when we could be very surprised but I'm hoping that's not the case.  I will still have my apartment for three for weeks after that, so we will slowly move in.  Anyone that wants to help us move, raise you hand!!  We're hoping to move the BIG stuff the weekend of March 10th.

Onto a recipe for today, I found this recipe from Pinterest.  I tweaked it a lot, so I'm going to write what I actually cooked.  If I make it again (which Matt really insists I do), I would reduce the soy sauce and/or add more water.  I also doubled the sauce because I like it saucy!!

Honey Chicken in the Crock Pot

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (breasts could be subbed in)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (I used Bragg's Liquid Aminos)
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 TB cornstarch

Season the chicken on both sides with pepper and place in a crock pot.  In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients except the cornstarch.  You don't have to use four cloves of garlic but I LOVE fresh garlic so I always add three times more than a recipe calls for.  I like to thank being in FIJI for that.  I would make curry with the whole bulb of garlic in the recipe.  YUM.  Pour the mixture over the chicken.  Cook on low for 3 hours or on high for 1 1/2 hours.  After the time has passed, the chicken should be tender enough to shred.  Shred into bite -size pieces with two forks.

At this point, my sauce was still very runny and I wanted it to be thick so I added the cornstarch.  It's not imperative for the dish but I think it's better.  I served this with brown rice and steamed carrots and snap peas.  It was a hit!

February 3, 2012

Cooking with Azi: Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps

 I joined the Big Brother Big Sister Program in October last year and it has been a pleasure meeting with my Little. Tonight hits my three month mark with Aziona.  She is 12 years old and has been such a sweet and appreciative person.  We have done so many fun outings; we meet once a week for about an hour or so.  Her favorite activity is going to the library and scrap booking. But we have also gone to the movies, out to eat, and to play Laser Tag.   We take pictures each week and then make a page to describe our activity.  At the three month mark, I can bring my Little to my place of residence and she's been asking to see my apartment since the second month.  She loves to cook and wants to be a chef one day, so I decided to have her help me prepare my dish for the Super Bowl party at work.  When she walked into my apartment she said it was her "dream home".

Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps

  • 12 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 1 package coleslaw mix
  • 8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 TB cilantro
  • 1/3 cup Asian sweet chili sauce
  • 1 TB lime juice
  • 8 large leaves green leaf lettuce

Drain tofu; press out excess liquid with paper towels. 

I place the tofu between towels and then place something heavy on top
In a food processor, combine about half of each of the following ingredients: tofu, coleslaw mix, water chestnuts, green onions, and cilantro.  Cover and process with several on/off pulses until finely chopped. 

Transfer to a large skillet. Repeat with the remaining tofu, coleslaw mix, water chestnuts, green onions, and cilantro. Stir chili sauce and lime juice into mixture in skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through.

If present, cut the center veins from lettuce leaves. Divide tofu mixture among lettuce leaves; fold or roll up. Secure with picks. 
Makes 8 servings.

In the end, the lettuce was not holding up well when I tried to put the tofu in and roll it up.  It was disappointing.  I decided to just spread the tofu mixture on whole wheat tortillas with lettuce and then cut them into individual pieces for the party.  If I ever make this recipe again, I would either saute or bake the tofu in cubes and then toss that with the other ingredients.  I wasn't too happy with the texture of the tofu and cabbage, it was not what I was expecting.

February 2, 2012

House hunting ventures

Kappa Alpha Psi Founder's Day banquet

It is quite ridiculous that I haven’t posted on my blog in 3 months.  I apologize because it’s exactly what I didn’t intend but on the other hand, I wasn’t making much of an effort to keep it going.  I have been cooking regardless but nothing too fun to write about.  What has been keeping me busy is I’ve been going through the process of purchasing a house. That not only takes up my time after work when I would love to write my blog but it takes up most of my brain cells from the stress.  Ohhhhh stress, how I have not missed you.

Matt and I both decided that after my lease was up in my apartment in March that we would get a place together and as the time crept up on us we started to think that purchasing a home instead of renting might be the best idea.  That got my wheels going and I started to talk to my friends that owned homes and I went to the library to borrow “Home Buying for Dummies”.  I contacted several mortage lenders to see if I qualified for a loan.  (Yes I did, YAY!) and then started searching in Lexington for my dream starter home.  I found a Realtor that seemed to be nice enough and I ran with it.  Matt and I spend several weekends looking at houses that I found in our price range with our requirements: Three bedrooms and 2 full baths.  I had to have room for future babies…  Lexington is on the expensive side of houses in Kentucky unfortunately but I was happy with most of what we found.

We found a house that we loved.  You can googlemap it is you like: 3405 Woodspring Dr, Lexington, KY 40515.  I told the Realtor I was ready to put an offer in after looking at it twice and that’s where the fun began.  Did I say fun?  I meant not-fun.  Between the seller, the loan people, the realtor, it was a long January.  The seller is trying to get the most for his money, I’m trying to get the most for my money and it’s hard to meet in the middle.  We’re getting there, I think.  I am flabbergasted over some things that have happened such as my realtor giving me wrong information and not knowing information that I ask that I thought a realtor that’s been in the business for 10 years would know.  But, it’s been a great learning experience and if everything goes as planned, I will be closing at the end of February.  If this falls through, I know I will be upset and it will probably take me a few weeks to get motivated again, but let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

Do you have any fun house stories you'd like to share?  Anything that would be good to know before I close?

Until then!