Korean BBQ Pork with Crunchy Wontons

Are you shocked? I’m actually posting a recipe! I figured that since I actually cooked last night AND remembered to snap a few photographs I would share with you all.  I can’t take all the credit though – Brian actually prepped all of the veggies for me.

This is a Pampered Chef recipe featured in the Fall/Winter 2012 Season’s Best Recipe Collection.   It’s also one of our favorites. It’s easy to make, packed full of veggies and it’s easy to change up if needed.

The recipe does call for a Pampered Chef BBQ sauce (Korean BBQ Sauce) but I have actually never used that sauce when I’ve made it – so maybe I should just call it BBQ Pork with Crunchy Won tons? It’s up to you.

INGREDIENTS:

16 Square won ton wrappers (3 in/7.5 cm)

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded

2 medium carrots, peeled (I use 3-4 to bump up the veggie content)

1 large red bell pepper

1 medium onion

1 pork tenderloin – about 1 pound, trimmed

3 garlic cloves

1 1/2 TBSP canola oil, divided (I used olive oil)

1 cup Snow Peas, trimmed (I don’t trim them, I throw them in the pan just as they are)

3 Green Onions (I use 4-6)

1/2 cup Korean BBQ Sauce (I use whatever I have on hand, Masterpiece, Sweet Baby Rays, homemade – use whatever you want! and I usually use closer to a cup of sauce)

1/4 cup Apple Jelly (I like the jelly that has actual chunks of apple in it – I think it’s a Smuckers brand)

Additional sliced green onion for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Stack won tons and cut them into 1/4 inch strips. Separate strips and place in Small Ridged Baker (honestly I think any piece of stoneware will work – but I did use my small ridged baker)  Lightly Spray with canola oil and toss to coat – don’t skip tossing them!

2. Microwave strips, uncovered, on High for 3-5 minutes or until they begin to brown, stirring at the end of ever minute (don’t skip! they will burn!) Spread strips over parchment paper to cool.

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3. Coarsely chop jalapeno using a food chopper (I actually chop them pretty fine). Cut carrots lengthwise into quarters then crosswise into thirds (basically cut into thinner strips)

4. Cut off top of bell pepper and scoop out seeds. Cut into bite size pieces.  Wedge onion into 5 chunks, then slice in half.

5. Slice pork lengthwise into four strips. Cut strips crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces (basically bite size) Mix pork and pressed garlic in a bowl until meat is covered with garlic. You could do this step earlier in the day for a stronger garlic taste if wanted.

6. Heat 1 TBSP oil in large skillet over medium-high heat for 1-3 minutes or until shimmering.

7. Cook pork without stirring for 3-5 minutes or until browned. Stir pork and cook 1-2 minutes; remove from skillet.

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8. Add remaining 1/2 TBSP oil to skillet. Add all vegetables, cook and  and stir 2-4 minutes or until crisp-tender (don’t over cook!)  I love all the bright colors in the pan – isn’t it pretty?

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9. Stir in pork, BBQ sauce and jelly. Cook 1-3 minutes or until heated through.

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10. Divide won ton strips among serving plates and top with pork mixture.  Garnish with additional sliced green onion if desired. I like to actually serve this over rice – it makes it go farther, and it’s filling. When I serve over rice, the won ton wrappers go on top (pictured below)

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To change it up:

Instead of carrots use parsnips.  Instead of peas, use green beans.  Instead of pork use boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips.

This recipe costs around $2 per serving and is heart healthy.  It serves 6 people (without the rice)

Please let me know how you enjoy this recipe!

Make it a GRATE day!

Love,

Christy

Our Baby Journey…….Part 7

Ok, I realize that it’s been umm….several weeks since I wrote part 6, and yes, I realize that I am the worst blogger ever. For that I apologize.  But you want to hear part 7 right? Ok here goes!

 

May 31, 2013

This was the day I was going to go into the Doctors office and find out if I was pregnant.  The few days leading up to this day were the longest in my life.  The very few friends that knew what was going on told me I should just take a test at home and see if I was pregnant – but those tests don’t always show a pregnancy less than 14 days after ovulation, and I really didn’t want to get my hopes up.  AND I didn’t want to waste a $10 test – CHEAP I know!  But that morning I woke up around 4 a.m. having to use the toilet so badly that I had a decision to make.  I could take a home pregnancy test and find out knowing it could be wrong, and knowing that I wouldn’t go back to sleep that day if it were positive. Or I could use the toilet and go back to bed and wait for my appointment that morning.  I took the test.  Of course it took FOREVER to show the results. And then I saw it. I was in shock, in awe and was praying it was true.

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I started crying and thanking God all in the same moment.  I couldn’t believe it.

I then had another decision to make. Do I wake Brian up right then and there and tell him, or do I wait another hour – hour and a half and tell him when he got up for work?  I decided to let him sleep, but to leave the test on the bathroom counter so he would find it when he got up.

I went back to bed KNOWING I wasn’t going to sleep anymore, but felt like I should at least try.  Brian rolled over and asked me if I was ok. I said yes, but if he was awake he should go look at the bathroom counter.  He did and came back to bed and we hugged it out and cried some more.

This was real.

I think we were both in shock.

This actually worked.

God had blessed us with a pregnancy that we had wanted and waited for, for 4+ years.  It was nothing short of a miracle.

Later that I day I went into my Doctors office and I saw Nurse Kim (she was AMAZING by the way – just as good as the Doctor!)  and she asked me if I had “cheated” – I told her I had and that the test was positive. She was excited for me, but gently reminded me that they were looking for an HSG level of at least 50 that day, and then they wanted it to double over the weekend.  She drew blood and sent it off to the lab and told me she would call me by 2 p.m. that afternoon with the results.

2 p.m. would not come that day – it seemed like it took FOREVER.

Finally she called. She said not to worry, but today’s HSG level was only a 47.  She scheduled me to come in on Monday for the same test. I knew that my numbers needed to be over 100. So we prayed all weekend.  And then left it in God’s hands.

June 3, 2013

Monday – same routine, draw blood, send it to the lab and She would call me by 2 p.m.  She called me before 2 (Thank God!) and said that my HSG level was a 102.   I was so so so happy!!

She scheduled us for a 6 week appointment, and an 8 week appointment.  After the 8th week we would be released from the fertility doctors care and we would have to choose a birth provider at that point.

This is the first picture of our tiny baby – not much to look at yet, but it’s the most beautiful little blob I’ve ever seen 🙂

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So now you know where I’ve been, and why there hasn’t been much action on this blog – I haven’t been cooking much! Being in the kitchen with a hot stove is just not a good thing right now.  But hopefully soon I will be back cooking and baking up a storm – I miss it!!

I am now 16 weeks pregnant (well tomorrow) and it still doesn’t seem “real.” I feel like I’m living in a daze most days. We are just so thankful and we are super excited to start this next part of our journey.  The question that I get asked the most is “how are you feeling” well to tell you the truth, I’m tired of throwing up.  Yes, even at 16 weeks I’m still dealing with it. But I do use it as a reminder that my baby is still growing, and throwing up is a GOOD thing…..although when I’m kneeling at the toilet it’s hard to remember that!

I do want to mention that this isn’t the case for every couple going through infertility.  Some couples go through multiple rounds of IUI and IVF and they still have empty arms.  I don’t know WHY it worked for us, other than it was all God’s timing.   My heart still hurts knowing that we have several friends still on their journey to having children.  I wish I could wave a magical wand and fill their arms with a child, but I am not God, and I sadly have no control over blessing someone with a pregnancy/baby.  I do know that God makes no mistakes, and his timing is always perfect.

Make it a GRATE day!

Love,

Christy

Our Baby Journey……Part 6

Here you can read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and part 5.2

Warning! If you get grossed out reading about girly goo and other bodily functions quit reading now and pick up on another post!

I left you on a “high” in part 5, we finally had good news.  So now we had to wait until my next cycle started so that we could start the new fertility drugs.  February comes around and I had some dark brown spotting, but never a full-on period. March comes around and does the same thing. Strange enough they were during the time that my normal period SHOULD have shown up (not that I was in anyway “regular” but it was about the time I should have expected it.)  So after the second time I called the fertility doctor and she had me come in to review what was going on and see what our next step was.

I headed to the clinic and she told me that those dark spotting’s WERE my period, but I wasn’t having a full blown period because of doing too many cycles of clomid the year before.  My body was completely screwed up and had no clue what to do.  So doctors orders were to do a month on a birth control pill to “make” my body have a period.  I was really un-easy about this, and really struggled with being ok taking a birth control pill when we were trying so hard to get pregnant.   But after talking with some girlfriends and understanding that my body needed to build up the estrogen lining so that it COULD shed, I started the birth control on April 9th.

During the time of taking the birth control I had a few people say some pretty negative things about Christians using fertility drugs to get pregnant – that I wasn’t trusting God to give us a baby.  Now I know that yes, God did create a woman’s body to make babies, and when our bodies work the way God intended we don’t need to use fertility drugs. BUT we live in a world full of sin, sickness, chemicals and things God never intended for our bodies to “live in” when He created us.  So I didn’t really believe these people when they said I wasn’t trusting God to give us a baby – I know that even with fertility drugs He still is the giver of life, and only HE can create a baby in a woman’s uterus.  But the whole fertility drug thing well, I was questioning.  I was struggling.  So I started praying…..hard.

If you know the story of Gideon in the Bible he really needed to be sure of what God was telling him to do, so he laid out a fleece and asked God to let the ground be wet and the fleece be dry if this was really God’s will.  The next morning it was so.  So Gideon prayed again and asked that the ground be dry and the fleece be wet the next morning – the next morning it was so.  Now I don’t always pray this way, but I needed something tangible this time.  So I prayed for something so impossible,  I knew that if it happened that it could ONLY be God, there is no way that any person could have made this happen.  I also set a deadline – because I needed to be able to cancel the drugs that we ordered so we didn’t spend a bunch of money on them.

The deadline came and went, and this thing I prayed for didn’t happen. I immediately felt a peace about continuing with the treatments. It was so weird – like a light switch almost.

So on May 8th we started Fermara (another drug like clomid, but it doesn’t stay in the system for as long as Clomid does) and on May 12th we started the injections of Gonal-f.  Brian had to give me these shots because the thought of sticking myself with a needle gives me the hee-bee-jee-bees!  He did great, and it didn’t hurt hardly as much as I worked myself up that it would.

Here comes the fun part. Brian  had a work trip (of course!) starting right about the time that I would be ovulating (these things always happen to us! oh well!) So we planned ahead and had a sperm sample frozen just in case Brian was gone when I ovulated.  If he was still here we wouldn’t use it, if he wasn’t here I would use it – clear as mud?

May 17th rolls around and I go into the clinic and the Doctor does an ultrasound on my ovaries to see if they are ready to ovulate. She saw follicles in BOTH ovaries and they were both large enough to ovulate.  So the nurse gave me a shot of Ovedrell – which is a drug that will MAKE me ovulate – my body has no choice BUT to ovulate.

May 18th – I took an ovulation test around 3 p.m. and I had my first positive ovulation test. The smiley face was pretty amazing. Yep, I cried my eyes out over it!

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We were told to try and have sex as many times as we could over the next 2 days (the 18th and 19th) but of course Brian was leaving REALLY early on the morning of the 19th for his work trip AND we had tickets to see the Detroit Tigers play the Texas Rangers that night (the 18th) So we had to get “busy” in a fairly short time period. So we did!

Now the wait begins…..

 

Look for Part 7 coming soon!

Make it a GRATE day!

Love,

Christy

Our Baby Journey…..part 5.2

Here you can read Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four and Part Five

So I feel like I need to backtrack just a little to tell you about our Foster Care journey as well – because it all fits into our story.

When Brian and I met and later married we talked about adoption and while I have always been open to the idea of adoption, Brian was a closed book, he wanted nothing to do with it. He wanted his own children or none at all. (please don’t take that as a bad thing, adoption isn’t for everyone!)

Fast forward a few years, we are living in Iowa, and some friends of ours become licensed Foster Parents.   We watched them go through the ups and downs that is Foster Care, and then end up with the sweetest two children that you would ever meet. (They actually got to adopt these children this year, but that is their story to tell, not mine)  Brian’s heart was softened by these friends and especially by these sweet kiddos. We really felt God leading us into Foster Care and possibly even adoption through the Foster Care system.  At that time we knew there was a HUGE possibility that we would be moving for Brian’s job again, so we decided to wait until we got moved to get into Foster Care classes.  During the wait I found a Christian Foster Care Agency in the Dallas area that I just fell in love with. The people I talked to on the phone and through e-mail were fantastic and you could tell that they really loved their job, and it was more than a job to them, it was a calling.  So we signed up for classes starting in January 2013. Told them a little about our background (read: Infertility Treatments), and why we really desired to become Foster Parents.

Fast forward: we get moved, holidays are done and over so we start getting a room set up for this new child/ren that will be joining our family hopefully by Spring/Summer. We found a crib, car seat, high-chair, bouncer, play mat and more.   I had washed all the children’s clothing that I had and got them hung up in the closet according to size. We were ready.  During this transition time I turned down 3-4 Nanny positions because we planned for me to stay at home with this little child.

The Foster Care application was very adamant about us being ACTIVE in a local church (which we LOVED!) so we decided to be quick about finding a church to be a part of (it usually took us an average of 9 months to find a church in the past.) We were going to 4 different churches a weekend some times, really praying and seeking God to where He would have us serve.  We ended up at the best church, under the best teaching, in a fantastic Sunday School class, and in a fantastic Small Group – yes it was a whirlwind decision, but we KNEW without a shadow of a doubt that this is where God wanted us.

IT’S TIME TO START CLASSES!  We were so excited.  We decided to meet at the training center in Dallas since it would have been a waste of time for Brian to come home to get me – it ended up being the WORST driving trip that I have had here in Texas to this day.  It rained BUCKETS and BUCKETS and I wasn’t used to the traffic or the Texas drivers yet – I was a mess. Then I got stuck in traffic, my GPS had me ending in an empty field, no building in site. I pulled into the next parking lot that I could and called Brian SOBBING because I was so stressed out. He’s talking me through the directions and then I realize that I’m in a strip club parking lot and a VERY sketchy figure is headed my way!! SCARY! Thankfully I just had to get back on the road and go the opposite way my GPS said to go. I only ended up being 1/2 hour late to the first class (it took me almost 3 hours to get to the training center – it should have taken me 45 minutes!)  So we get into the class and everyone went around the room and introduced themselves. We were shocked at quite a few older people (60 yrs +) were in the class (not talking grandparents here), and the couples who both had full time jobs. The class ends, we turn in all the paperwork that we had completed before the class (some 20+ pages of information) and then we head home – another traumatic drive!

The next day the director calls me and wanted to ask a few questions about our paperwork. 1. My ear surgery. I explained it to him, and that was all good. 2. Infertility.  I told him that we were still pursuing treatments, but would really love to do Foster Care along side of the treatments.  He then told me that as long as we are pursing treatments, and for 1 year after our last treatment we wouldn’t be accepted into their program.  He also told me that this was not a Texas “law” just a “rule” that they followed.  So I got off the phone – bawled, and started looking for another agency.  Every agency I talked to said the same thing, they all followed these rules.  I quickly texted our friend and asked her if Iowa was the same, she assured me they were not.  It just felt like a HUGE door being slammed in our face.

I cried A LOT those next few days – and closed the nursery door – I just couldn’t even look at it.  One more “punishment” for being “infertile”

A few weeks later I asked Brian to take the crib down while I was gone one night, he did so, ever so graciously.  We sold it along with almost everything else we had purchased – I just couldn’t look at it.  We moved the guest bed out of the office and made the nursery into the official guest room.

The door was closed on becoming Foster Parents as long as we were pursuing fertility treatments, and we weren’t ready to give up quite yet.

Fast Forward to where we are now:

I am almost glad to have gone through that experience.  While it hurt like heck, and no I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, and yes Foster Care is still something we may pursue down the line, we learned from it. AND most importantly it got us into a FANTASTIC church, small group and we have friends faster than any move before.  We have a fantastic support system filled with people who love and care about us.

It’s amazing to me sometimes how God has a bigger plan for us that we could ever imagine.  I’m so glad to trust HIM with my future and not myself!

Watch for part 6 coming soon!

Make it a GRATE Day!

Love,

Christy

Writers Workshop 1

Today I am linking up with Mama Kat and her amazing Writers Workshop. This is my first one, so be nice!

I choose writers prompt #2 “6 Random Facts about Myself”

1. When I was younger I was seriously a crazy cat lady. NO KIDDING.  I had numerous pictures of cats on my walls, a cat bedspread, cat figurines, a “I ❤ CATS” sign and wooden cat “shadows”  I tried to find some pictures to prove my point. 2 Hours later this is all I came up with, so you’ll just have to trust me!

Notice the cat calendar, the stuffed animal holder – filled with cats, the candy cane picture you can’t quite see – yep, a cat.

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Yes, aren’t my two little brothers adorable? Well look close – they are laying on my “Cat Comforter” and of course there are 2 real cats on the bed as well.

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I didn’t just love cats – I loved our cocker spaniel “Kelly” too! She was the sweetest dog!  Well by this time I was in high-school and had calmed down on my crazy cat loving by then – but you can still see the creepy cat pillow behind the dog, the curtains that matched my bedspread, and the stuffed kitty in the pink swing – ok so I was TRYING to recover from being the crazy cat lady! scan0009

Don’t I look grand? This was for my senior “Valentine Banquet” at our church – but I want you to notice the cat “shadows” above my closet….yeah….told you!

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2. I used to raise and milk goats growing up. I didn’t mind it most days, except when they would kick the bucket over while milking! I loved when the babies were born. They were so sweet!

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3. In 7th or 8th grade my mom had my older sister and I make our own Easter Dress. (I’m the one in the pink and white in the back row)  What you don’t see is that along the waistline I put black lace.  That dress was SO itchy and SO uncomfortable. But I loved my headpiece. I thought I looked amazing.  Confession: I was trying to mimic my aunts wedding veil from the 80’s.

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4. When I was little I was supposed to be getting into the bath tub, but the glitter nail polish was sitting on the sink!!  I thought anything that looked THAT pretty on your nails MUST look that pretty on my lips!  Boys and girls – don’t try this at home!! IT HURTS! There is a reason that we don’t put nail polish on our lips!  I ran out of the bathroom (half naked) and my mom had to clean my lips off with polish remover, I think that hurt even worse!

5. I was more “mature” during my high school years than I was during my “college” years due to the crazy homeschooling cult we were raised in.  I actually “rebelled” by heading off to Bible College!  I’m just a little sinner aren’t I!

6. My husband proposed to me by the pond in his backyard. I attacked him with a hug and didn’t even look at the ring. He was scared the ring was going to go flying into the pond.

Well there you have it! 6 things I’m sure you didn’t know about me!

Make it a GRATE Day!

Love,

Christy

Our Baby Journey….Part 2

(This post may have TMI – if you get offended easily – please stop reading now)

Click here to read Part One.

Life went back to normal….but in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think “What if I really did have a miscarriage?”  So finally in March of 2009 I decided to talk to Brian about it. My heart was heavy and knowing that I would probably have issues getting pregnant I suggested maybe we just start “officially” trying now. He was on board.  Now I have no clue WHY I remember this exact date, but I do. It was March 15, 2009.

We also had the discussion at the same time that we wouldn’t tell anyone that we were trying. We really didn’t want people asking us all the time “you guys pregnant yet?” “When are you going to start trying?” “Don’t you know how that works?”  I’ve never understood why people think they have the right to ask those kind of questions – it’s not like I go up to them and ask them how their sex life is.  During the 3 1/2 years of NOT telling many people I’ve always had to shrug that question off…when inside I really wanted to answer something along the lines of ‘Well, maybe we’re not having sex the right way, do you want to come and show us how it’s done?”  But I don’t, because it’s rude! oh well…. Back to the story….

So we start trying to get pregnant. We both start taking really good vitamins, eating healthier etc…  And then Brian loses his job right before our 1 year anniversary. Thankfully he ended up getting a new job but it was in Missouri (At this time we were still living in Michigan) So that caused a little bit of a problem. But I faithfully traveled from Michigan to Missouri every 2 weeks to see him, and hopefully get pregnant. But it didn’t happen.  9 months later I moved to Missouri with my husband (YAY!)  and we continued to try.  (This was March 2010 – so we’ve “officially” been trying for one year, but it was a little “hit and miss” for a few months)

September 2010 – I found a FANTASTIC Doctor and she FINALLY diagnosed me with PCOS – something that I had thought I had for quite a while, but I couldn’t get a doctor to diagnose me with it.  She started me on metformin, and wanted to see what me being on that for a few months would do.  Her plan was to start me on Clomid in January of 2011.

In December of 2010 I traveled to see a friend who had recently had a miscarriage.  She was explaining in detail what happened when she passed the baby, and it was like she was telling me my story. It was weird. I will never know 100% sure if the doctors were right or wrong, and let me tell you – that drives me NUTS, so all I can do is wonder.  Maybe it was a cyst? Maybe it was a Miscarriage….only God knows for sure.

Then in January of 2011 we moved to Iowa for Brian’s job – so that meant new doctors, and well, to say the least, finding a good one was VERY difficult in Iowa.

*Look for Part 3 coming soon!*

Make it a GRATE Day!

Love,

Christy

Your Family Tree

Musical Monday…

This is actually an older blog post from last year – but this song blessed me yet again, so I thought I would re-blog this.

“Last night I had the opportunity to see a bunch of different Christian artists in concert. They were all fantastic. I loved hearing some new singers/bands for the first time – new music is always great!!  But the one song that really jumped out at me was “Family Tree” by Matthew West.  He told the story of the girl that this song was written about. I could relate a lot to her.

While not my entire family tree is messed up – there are a few branches that are. People have done things that are un-forgivable; things that I am ashamed to even admit has happened in my family. Things that have turned people away from being MY friend – yet I had nothing to do with them.

I am SO thankful that I serve a God who is MUCH MUCH bigger than all these “things” or “actions” He CAN and WILL forgive everything – even when I find it hard to do so.  God CAN and WILL breathe new life into your (my) family tree – the actions of others DOES NOT have to be your (my) legacy!! Praise God!!

I hope this song blesses you like it did me!

Blueberry Pie Bars

Pie is my husbands favorite dessert. Sadly, I don’t know that I’ve ever made him one….bad wife confession!  I have purchased him pies, does that redeem me at all?   Well I saw this recipe and thought that it would be pretty easy, AND I had a great cause to make it – our weekly small group!   Needless to say these bars went over VERY well, and we didn’t come home with too many leftovers.  Brian very much liked them.  YAY!

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Blueberry Pie Bars

Crust & Topping:

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 tsp salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled.

Filling:

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup greek yogurt

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp almond extract

16 oz fresh blueberries

Directions:

1.Heat oven to 350′. Grease an 8×8 – inch pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

2. For the crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch pieces and add to flour mixture. Process until the butter is evenly distributed but the mixture is still crumbly.

3. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mixture for the topping; set aside. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

4. For the filling: whisk eggs in a large bowl, then add the sugar, yogurt, flour and almond extract.  Gently fold in blueberries.  Spoon the filling over the crust and sprinkle the reserved topping mixture evenly over the filling.

5. Bake 45-55 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.  Cool 1 hour before cutting and serving, or serve out of pan cobbler style.

Yield: 16 bars

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This recipe was adapted from Life’s Simple Measures .

Hope you enjoy!

Make it s GRATE day!

Love,

Christy