Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Home is: Cooking with Leftovers

Today I'm linking up with my sweet friend Sandy at Reluctant Entertainer on her weekly Home Is... Today she's featuring cooking with leftovers. Head on over to get other yummy leftover tips.

We don't usually eat leftovers for dinner throughout the week, because my husband always packs leftovers for lunch.

But occasionally, I'm found with a bit of extra chicken, seafood (shrimp, scallops), pork or beef (skirt steak, roast or steak) that isn't enough to pack for a full lunch, or even more rarely, more meat than my husband can pack for lunch. Also, whenever I'm serving rice as a side dish, I will usually make extra rice so we can make this yummy, quick and cheap, cheap meal.

My husband came up with a wonderful way to use up the meat: "Throw It In the Pot Stir-Fried Rice." I know everyone knows how to make this, but sometimes I think it is an easily forgotten "go-to" leftover meal.

This isn't a "recipe" like you are used to seeing, with measurements ... it is mostly "toss this in" or "add a splash of that..." but there are some basics that are the back bone of this easy dish that you can toss together.

Here's the "food" part we usually put in it:

Rice (white or brown, or Jasmine)
Leftover meat
Egg -- scrambled
Finely diced carrots
Chopped onion (any kind: white, yellow, red, spring, etc)
Frozen peas
Any veggies in the refrigerator like mushrooms, broccoli, etc.
Leftover cooked vegetables (add these last)
Garlic, diced
Ginger (sometimes)

Sauces/Condiments we add:

Soy Sauce
Teriyaki Sauce
Hoisin Sauce
Sesame Oil
Fish Sauce
Oyster Sauce

We usually use two or three kinds of sauces. Always soy sauce, and then one or two of whatever else we have in the refrigerator. Don't go crazy with the sauce -- just a few tablespoons.

Basic Instructions:

Place a little oil in a large frying pan or wok. Cook or heat each ingredient separately, placing it all into the same bowl or plate when done.

In order to keep the rice from getting starchy or sticky (in a bad way), you need to cook it on a high heat. When you add the rice, let the rice sit without stirring it. When the rice is heated thoroughly, flip it over with a spatula so it doesn't break down and get sticky.

Add all your ingredients back into the large pan or wok and add your sauces, drizzling them over the rice and flipping the rice over until coated.

And that's one of the ways the Sunshine household eats leftovers!

Friday, April 02, 2010


I have been off the internet for what seems like an eternity... How could I possibly have kept my winter blog dress on for so long? It's SPRING! It's sunny! It's garden time!

Time for a new dress.

Happy Spring y'all!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Hunter: Mom, I love that song. It's my FAVORITE.
Me: What song?
Hunter: You know, the one I love! Because its so awesome.
Me: Ummmm... can you sing it for me?
Hunter: Yeah... "We are, We are, ROCKET!"
Me: You mean, "We will, We will, Rock You!"
Hunter: Yeah, "ROCKET!" Can I go to a dark place where people are yelling and sing it? And can I jump all over the place?"
Me: Ummmm... I need to talk to Dad about that.
Hunter: "We will, We will Rocket! We will, we will Rocket! We will, we will Rocket!"

Me: (in my head, of course) Ugh!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Resting in God's Care

These past few months have been stressful, to say the least. Despite the fact that I "KNOW" God is in control and knows where we're at, stress and depression still have a way of sneaking in and robbing me of joy, peace, and a sense of security.

I've been having constant headaches/migraines, pains in my neck and shoulders, dizziness... and depression. As in -- "not wanting to get out of bed" depression. I haven't wanted to do anything that required any thought whatsoever (writing my book, blogging, facebook, church stuff, family stuff, etc.).

Yesterday, I experienced an emotion that I haven't experienced since I got laid off in December. I broke down and cried. I was talking to a sweet friend, and the stress just exploded and bubbled out of me. Fortunately for me, I was on the phone with a friend I trust implicitly, and I'm so grateful that she had the presence of mind to pray for me and my family and to pray for PEACE... which I thought I had ... and maybe I did ... but like I said earlier, stress and depression have robbed me of that without my realizing it. God used my friend in a mighty way yesterday! I'm so thankful that God puts the right people in our paths when we need them for comfort and strength!

Today, I was reading Psalm 46, and I was reminded of some important things in a time of stress, trial and difficulties:

1. God is a safe place to hide, helping me when we need him. I'm telling you, I needed that.

2. It doesn't matter what's going on around me... I don't have to fear! He is BIGGER than everything going on around me, and he takes care of me!

3. I just need to stop struggling and fighting against life's current, and remember that HE is God. No one else is. He is the authority and power around me, and no matter what happens, he's completely in charge. HE IS, and I am WITH HIM.

Even though life may be full of confusion and stress, when we are in God's presence there is peace. There is rest.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What is it about boys and socks?

Does this picture (below) bother anyone else but me?

I mean... what is it about little boys and their socks? Why can't they keep them on? And... why don't they care if they are missing one? It's almost like they don't notice it! Actually, it's EXACTLY like they don't notice it. It's so annoying to a type-A personality... it really, REALLY is!

I guess my son doesn't have a type-A personality, because he could care less.

I, on the other hand, have a new nervous tick I have to deal with.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Being snowed in...

It has a lot of disadvantages... like one four year old in particular, who just loves the movie Up, and has watched it no less than 15 gazillion times. In a row. The entire week we've been cooped in this house because of the snow. Ugh. Actually, it is a pretty good movie with a good theme and ending. But after the gazillionth time, it just wore on us old foggie adults!

The other day, out of the blue, Hunter quoted a line from the movie Up... almost flawlessly. So I thought I'd quiz him...

Me: Hunter, what does Kevin say? (Kevin is the beautiful bird that "finds" them.)

Hunter: Kaw!

Me: Very good! What does Russel say? (the little boy)

Hunter: With my [Wilderness Explorer] GPS, we'll never be lost! (then Hunter imitates Russell throwing his hand sideways and the GPS flying out window) Oops!!!

Me: That was awesome, Hunter! What does Mr. Fredrickson say all the time? (grouchy old man that just lost his beloved wife, Ellie)

Hunter: All the time he says "Baah!"

Me: (laughing) What does Doug the dog say? (a dog who wears a translator collar)

Hunter: My master is very intelligent. My master is good and smart. I have just met you and I love you! SQUIRREL!!

Me: Wow! You remember all that in a scary kind of way! Does Kevin say anything else?

Hunter: Yes, KAW!

He's so much like his daddy. He'll remember at least one quote from any movie he's ever seen. I think we have a prodigy on our hands, because Hunter remembers WAY MORE than ONE line! And he's only four!

We're ever so proud!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just a little bit of snow!

So we've been just a little bit busy these past few days. Well, since last Friday, really. Can you say... "Snow, snow, snow"???????

This first picture was a "little" snow from last week... they were predicting one inch. We got seven. What a surprise.

The second picture was this past Friday and Saturday ... when we got 29 inches of snow. YES. TWENTY NINE. I measured it with a yard stick.

Then we helped all our neighbors, including digging out the sheriff's car. The last picture is today... in which we are under blizzard conditions and are set to accumulate another 20 inches of snow. It's been snowing since last night, but the wind is howling so hard that it was blowing snow in our front door through the cracks. Lovely.

So as we hunker down and stay warm, we are finding that Wii can be boring after 4 hours straight... there isn't much on TV during the day, and I'm getting pretty tired of the food we have on hand.

And you can bet we're not going out until the wind stops blowing and howling.

Why is it that children LOVE SNOW SO MUCH? I mean... I do love snow ... but I DONT like being wet and cold. Kids DO! Weird.

Can anyone say... Pina Colada???

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The life and days of a temporary stay-at-home mom...

Here's a few things I'm enjoying about being a temporary stay-at-home mom...

1. Having the time to cook dinner without rushing like a crazy woman.
2. Cooking dinner for my family instead of my husband always cooking.
3. Having a "laundry DAY" -- yes indeed - today was laundry day and ALL my laundry is washed, dried, folded and put away (with the exception of the load in the dryer right now). That's a WONDERFUL feeling!
4. Saving money by not eating out for breakfast and lunch every day like I did at work.
5. Having a straightened family room every single day... just about.
6. Having CLEAN bathrooms!

And last but not least... feeling like a good mom. Being there for my boys, and loving each minute.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti

If you're looking for a charity that you can trust and can make a much needed and welcomed donation to, would you consider: World Vision. They are reputable and honorable.

In previous years when I co-pastored the youth ministry at our church, we would lead the kids in World Vision's "Thirty Hour Famine" where we all fasted for thirty hours. It gave us all a small taste of a child's life (a very hungry life) in a third world country and to raise money for those less fortunate. It really left an impact on the kids lives.

World Vision is already in Haiti, and they also just sent 18 metric tons of lifesaving goods including food, clean water, blankets, and tents to Haiti -- the airplane just left at 5:30 this afternoon, and will arrive tomorrow morning in Haiti. They have more than 370 staff that were there when the earthquake hit, because they have been working with them for many years.

I can't believe that nearly 80 percent of the Haitian population lived on less than $2 per day before the earthquake! Can you imagine??? The article on their website is excellent and informative... click on over to World Vision for more information.

Please keep the victims of this earthquake, and the relief workers in your prayers!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Head Scratcher, Eh?

I have recently been on a bread-recipe hunt to find and perfect the best yeast roll dough recipe possible for the bread machine. Mmmm, I love me some good buttery yeast rolls like the ones you'd find in Bob Evans, or typical steak houses.

So, I came across THIS RECIPE. They look really good... but after I read through the recipe, I had two reactions... first I scratched my head. Then... I researched it. Then I laughed my head off, because I had never heard of such a thing!
So here's the term I read that caused such a reaction in me...

"4 cups white flour (more as needed, U.S. residents use bread flour, Canadian residents can use all-purpose flour"

Did you notice that?? "U.S. residents use bread flour, Canadian residents can use all-purpose flour" ... I thought they were kidding... haha ... real funny, right? I mean, really -- what happens if you aren't a legal resident of either Canada or US - does that mean you can't make this bread? Just kidding...

So anyway... I googled Canadian flour and American flour. Who thought there would be a difference... but... there is!!!

Mystery solved. How do you like that, eh?

P.S. -- I made THIS recipe today and they turned out like GOLF BALLS. ICK. Failure, failure, failure!!!

(Photo By: Breezytoo from Recipezaar)

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Restful, relaxing... yeah.

So this past week, I've spent each day at home working on "projects."

So far, I have removed ALL the toys from my family room, moved them down to the rec room, and made a play area for Hunter. I organized, cleaned and made the play area super kid friendly, but left room on the shelving for growth.

Then, I cleaned the family room, dining room, kitchen, steam-mopped my floors, caught up on all my laundry, folded everything and put it away, cleaned half of my bedroom and VACUUMED (GLORY BE), pulled everything out of my husband's armoire, purged old shirts, re-folded them and organized the armoire, organized my linen closet, and last, but NOT least, I cleaned the master bathroom. The one everyone uses. The one that looked like a truck-stop's bathroom. Trust me. I know. It is now shining clean! Can you hear the angels singing???

Next on my list: Clean my living room, my closet, the rest of my bedroom, and the spare bedrooms, and my PANTRY (what a mess). That should take up the better part of next week!

The biggest project? Clean up the storage rooms. I am SO NOT looking forward to that and I'm saving it for LAST. Yes, indeed.

It's very nice to be home so that I can get my home in order, and take care of my boys.

So what did I do today? I slept until 10, lounged around, read a book, had lunch, took a nap, fixed dinner, planned next week's menu and grocery list, planned my daily schedule for when I'm caught up on all the hard core cleaning, read some more, relaxed, rested, and did nothing but enjoy my boys as they wrestle each other on the floor in front of a warm and cozy fire. That's exactly what I did.

And I don't feel one bit guilty either.

Amen, and amen.