Sunday, January 25, 2009

Christmas Time and Beyond

It's about time we updated everyone on our Christmas season, and what we've been up to since coming home. We did actually get a Christmas tree this year, even though I knew our time to enjoy it would be short lived, I just couldn't pass it up. We went to Hunter's Honey Farm in Martinsville to cut our own. Unfortunately, all of the trees were pretty much dead, but we decided to cut one down anyway since we'd driven all that way. In the midst of our trying to find the most perfectly dead Christmas tree of all, Jonah kept pointing and blabbing.

I thought, "This kid really has an opinion on what Christmas tree we should get."
Come to find out, Jonah had spotted a tractor and was trying to get our attention.

Daddy let Jonah ride on the tractor and our little boy could not have been happier about finally getting his way.

Our Christmas break started on December 15 when we flew out to Utah. We spent a few days there with my family before coming to California to celebrate Christmas. Now, we've gotten snow in Indiana...

Here's a picture of Jonah with his very first snowball in Indiana. He learned to say "snow" but it comes out more like "mow" (so cute).
And, here is Jonah playing with Daddy and Uncle Nathan in Utah in "real" snow.

After spending time in Utah, we flew to California for Christmas. It was so fun to see all of Mike's family and to see Jonah experiencing some time with his cousins.
Here's Jonah on Christmas Day.

While in California, we also made a trip down to Monterey to go to the aquarium. Jonah loved all of the cool sea creatures that he got to touch. He also discovered how to make a "fishy face" while watching the fish swim.

After two weeks with the Lowes, we headed back to Utah for another week with the Blacks. We played in the snow some more. Michael built two pretty awesome snow caves/igloos.

We had our annual "Bake Your Buns Off Bake Off" in which my mom starred as the honored judge. Here's a picture of all of the delicious desserts and almost all those that participated.

After a stiff competition, Marissa won with her absolutely amazing chocolate raspberry cake.
We had such an incredible time over Christmas break and seriously could never get enough of our family. It's always sad to come home.
Mike and I had another trip ahead of us to look forward to in January. For my birthday/Christmas present, Mike bought me tickets to Wicked in Chicago. These weren't just ANY tickets though. These were front and center, Elphaba singing, "defying gravity" in your face tickets. We saw the show this past Thursday at the Ford Oriental Theatre.

It is a beautifully ornate theatre.

The show was MAGICAL. SUPERB. FABULOUS. Pretty much every superlative you can think of. Thanks to my good friend Katie Quinn Anderson and her family for letting us stay with them and for watching our cranky baby. :)

It was fun to catch up and see Katie's new baby boy Mark. What a cutie!!
Oh, I also ordered a pair of rain boots from Target for my birthday and I just can't pass up posting this picture of Jonah. When I told him to "Smile" this was the goofy face he made.

Whew! And, I think that's it. Our blog is officially caught up, and I'm blog-guilt free.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Love Thai Chicken Pizza!!

I realize that I have yet to post an update about our amazing month-long Christmas break (Hip-Hip-Hooray for being an MBA student), but I just have to post my new favorite recipe. I got this Thai Chicken Pizza recipe from my friend Megan Whiting about a month ago, and tonight was our second time making it.

Mike's friend from school, Dian, came over with her daughter Kaylia,and I taught them how to make pizza. She is going to teach me how to make the Indonesian version of chicken noodle soup sometime soon, so we're sort of doing a hands-on recipe swap. We made a pesto pizza with tomato, goat cheese, and chicken (which is also fabulous) and this pizza.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Thai Chicken Pizza
Peanut Sauce:
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
2 T. Hoisin sauce (I did not include this when we made it because I haven't been able to find it)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 T. granulated sugar
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. water
2 tsp. sesame oil (or canola oil)
2 T. soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. minced onion
1 tsp. minced ginger-root

Mix above ingredients in microwave safe bowl. Pour this mixture into blender and blend for 15 seconds or until mostly smooth. Pour back into bowl and microwave for 1 minute. The peanut sauce should be darker now. At this point, you can add more sesame oil to achieve desired consistency.

1 cup cooked, chopped chicken
1 1/2 c. grated mozzarella
1-2 green onions, sliced (you could also try using thinly sliced red onion instead)
1/4 c. grated carrot
2 tsp. minced cilantro
1 T. chopped peanuts

Spread peanut sauce onto prepared pizza crust. Sprinkle 1 c. mozzarella, onion, chicken, carrots, cilantro, nut, and then the rest of the mozzarella. Bake pizza for 10-15 minutes at 425 degrees, or until edges of crust turn golden brown.

Here's the pizza crust recipe I use (thanks to Mike's mom) just in case you don't have one you like:

Pizza Crust
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 pkg. yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
2 tsp. salt
3 T. Oil
31/2 - 4 C. flour, enough to make a stiff dough

Dissolve yeast in water. Add other ingredients and knead for 8 minutes. I actually don't let the dough rise at all, so pizza night is actually pretty time friendly. I just plop the dough on a cookie sheet on which I've drizzled olive oil and sprinkled corn meal and use my hands to roll it out. Then put your toppings on and bake it up.