So I promised an update on the house organizing, right? Drumroll please...
Our closet, 3 weeks later! Everything put away, in its rightful spot. And those organized people are right - it's way easier to clean up and put away when everything has its own space.
And our closet isn't the only area with a clean slate - bathroom and kitchen cabinets are square away, and the guest room is nearly done, although we have to make a few bigger decisions on that now that it will be Chris's daytime resting place. Huh, sounds like he's a vampire, but no, he's just starting third shift for 6 months. Which is not nearly as cool as the vamp thing, in my book.
And...you'll notice there's no picture of my sink posted. I could have taken a picture last night and pretended like that's what it looks like every night, scrubbed spotless and shiny. But that's not what it looks like tonight - give me a break, we made from-scratch V-day cupcakes today, lots of extra dishes. I am, however, up to about 50 percent of the time with an empty sink at bedtime. That is a huge improvement over zero, so I'm patting myself on the back even though I haven't reached the end goal yet.
Aside from not doing all the dishes, I've also been keeping busy working on my One Small Change sewing project for family cloth, which I finished today. Here's a pic of my repurposed PJs - please take note of the sloppy sewing and highly professional sharpie & 4x6-photo-as-pattern:
This was super easy, once my machine was fixed (just need oiling, yay!), and was super helpful in getting me confident with all the switches, etc. I even tinkered with the stitch tension to get it to look like my manual says it should. I used the zigzag stitch because i don't have a serger, and although I have no idea really what I'm doing, I read somewhere that it's an acceptable substitute for serging to keep the cloth from unraveling. Of course, I think it's supposed to be way closer to the edges, but this was, like, my third time using a sewing machine since making that pillow in 7th-grade HomeEc. I'd say they look bee-yootiful, and festive, too;) I proceeded to accidentally drop one in the toilet later in the afternoon, but that really says more about me than it does the concept, right?
So...on to the food!
I've been reading this really funny book a friend lent me about this guy and his adventures in feeding his toddler called Hungry Monkey. I finished it tonight, but all the way through I've been wanting to make at least every other recipe he describes (they're located at the end of the appropriate chapters). We tried pad Thai yesterday - we loved it, Anna did not - although it didn't taste anything like the pad Thai I've had in restaurants before, and tonight was the potstickers. Again, we loved them, Anna did not. She had a cupcake for dinner. She had worked very hard spilling half the confectioner's sugar on the counter while spooning it into the mixer for the icing, so she deserved it.
Here's the setup I learned from my mom for rolling egg rolls - overlap the wrappers so you can just brush once and roll the whole lot pretty quickly. I won't even pretend that I can show you the end product, seeing as I forgot to use the non-stick pan for the first batch. What a mess!
I realized about a third of the way in that I also should have been using round wrappers to make anything actually resembling a potsticker, but I had the wontons, so that's what we used and they were SO delicious. I also made up my own filling, but I stole an idea from Hungry Monkey to add veggies to the mix. In this case I had tatsoi. Yum!
Here's my filling mix:
1 lb ground pork
1 bunch tatsoi, chopped small
2 scallions, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
salt & pepper
Fry for a few minutes in a smidge of peanut oil, add water, cover and steam for about 10 minutes. Voila. And my dipping sauce: 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2-3 Tbsp. rice vinegar (unseasoned!), 1/2 tsp. sesame oil, 1/2 tsp. finely grated ginger.
Good thing I froze half the batch...I'm getting hungry again already! Maybe the second time will be the charm for Anna. Or maybe she'll have another cupcake. WIth any luck, it will be both!