Tuesday, September 29, 2009

There's a post in me somewhere

I have things I need to write about, like how life has been with Rufus lately and some super cute pictures of the punk ass.

I could also recap Julie's shower last weekend. At least I got the pictures up on Flickr (cue Julie's mom to my Flickr page)

Have I told ya'll I'm playing Fantasy Football? The first two weeks I totally kicked ass and was number 1 in my league. Last week though....no bueno. I fell to #3 and for the first time John beat me (we compete against each other even though we're in different leagues). One of my players had a bad game and the other big scorer was injured in the beginning of his game. Boo. I'll come back though!

Hmmm.....lots of planning for Julie's upcoming bachelorette party. Been busy making shirt designs and having awkward conversations about love swings....

I also advise two collegiate chapters of my business fraternity. It's their recruitment time so it's been a little busier than usual for me during the week.

I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting last Saturday. I think it was the best meeting I've ever been to! The leader was awesome, the group was awesome. People laughed, people cried. It was just great.

Work has also been super busy lately which is good. I like to stay busy and sometimes that doesn't always happen. When I'm busy I can forget for just one second how bad work can suck at times.

This weekend I'm officiating a ceremony for a cute couple. They found me through a wedding planner that I know. I work on referral only because I don't do crazy brides. I joke that I only do quick and dirty ceremonies - Do you? Do you? Ring. Ring. Kiss. Bar's that way folks!

I'm also officiating a ceremony next weekend in South Padre. Yay mini-vacation! My mom has been planning this wedding and is also doing the flowers. It's one of her coworkers (again, referral only, no crazies). I'm excited that my mom is getting this opportunity. She's always been awesome at flowers and in the past year or so finally started taking formal classes. Go mom! The couple also want something short and sweet and they also want their dogs incorporated. This will be my second wedding with dogs involved! (ok, so maybe a tad bit of crazy is allowed?)

The garden is kicking ass (obviously ass is the word of the day in this blog post) right now. The weather cooled off for all of a week or so and the plants went crazy. They're all blooming right now. Hopefully they'll keep this up through October or so and I can finally get a ton of veggies.

I need to get on the planning train for John's big 30th birthday. He still doesn't like my idea - bouncy house, college type drinking games, dress up area with a Polaroid, we all wear black and white to mourn the loss of his "youth." Sounds like fun right? Please pass the fun message along to my husband.

Ok...I'm off to bed. I'm freaking exhausted all the time because the punk ass known as Rufus still likes to wake up at 3 am EVERY MORNING.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Composting

I've been wanting to start a compost pile for awhile. When I first mentioned it to John his main thought was, "I don't want a big, smelly pile of trash in the backyard." So after months of procrastination and a bit of research I decided to container compost. I figure, I've already done the container garden, why not move on to composting.

I started with a big trash can I bought at the Wal-Marts for 10 bucks. I drilled holes throughout to allow lots of air flow.

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I threw in a little soil, some leaves from the front yard and kitchen scraps. A bit of water to keep it moist and we were good to go!

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It's not much right now, but I'll add more as we go along. We're sort of in fall at the moment, as in it finally cooled off to the 80's and we had a couple of days of rain, so I might get some leaves to throw in soon. I wouldn't be surprised if we were up in the 90's again very soon though. Typical Texas for you!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Need a laugh?

A friend sent this site to me today and I have been sitting at my desk laughing to the point that tears falling. I almost peed my pants with some of it's hilarity. I'm posting a few that totally cracked me up, and whether you agree or disagree with the protesters you have to admit, at times there is a level of absurdity that occurs on both sides that equal absolute hilariousness.











This one I think was the funniest (aside from the horrible grammar). I don't know what all of these are, but Emo's? Sport's Fanatics? Environmentalists? Seriously?

John and the Dogs

The dogs LOVE John. Love him. Reese, if given the opportunity would like his face right off. In fact this is a usual sight in our house.

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Another dog always tries to get in on the action

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Rufus is still learning the game obviously

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Julie's First Shower

Julie's wedding events have started! We've got 3 showers (2 more to go), the bachelorette party and then the wedding! Mixed in there I also have 2 more weddings to go to (I'm officiating both) John's 30th birthday and Halloween! Let the craziness begin! I don't think I have a free weekend until oh.....January maybe? So here's a recap of Julie's first shower:

The lovely spread:

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It took us a bit, but we figured out that the design on the little cakes were taken from the cool napkins.

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Then came the presents!

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Towels for every season

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"And this is from my bridesmaid Faith"

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Cracking up at the gift I got her

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and now telling the story of how her mom insisted she have everything booked 16 months out or else she was going to end up with "canned coke and Twinkies in the backyard!"

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Cracking up at another gift. You know how when you register the guys always feel like NOTHING is for them? Well Julie's fiance Karl REALLY wanted a popcorn maker. I have to agree with her on this one: why does anyone need a popcorn maker? Hasn't everyone moved on to the microwaveable bags? If I REALLY felt like making some old school popcorn I'd just do it how I did when I was a kid. A tiny bit of oil in a big pot with some kernels of corn. Cover and turn on the heat! Easy peasy! No special appliance needed!

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Well Julie was nice and allowed Karl to register for the $10 popcorn maker and not the $100 one. I got a phone call when the item came off the registry, because Julie COULD NOT believe that someone actually bought the popcorn maker. At the shower Stephanie, another bridesmaid, said, "I got her a popcorn maker." I died! Of course it came from a bridesmaid! I hope Karl enjoys his new toy!

My camera died not to long after this, but it was more of the usual shower stuff. Although I think the bridesmaids are going to find a way to make off with the shiny new KitchenAid Stand Mixer that she got... :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Meatball Subs

I had the WORST craving for meatball subs last week. Have I ever had a meatball sub in my entire life? No. That's not the point though. I wanted one. I had to have one! So I made them from an entirely made up recipe and they were absolutely delicious!

Ingredients:
1 lb light ground sausage
1/2 lean ground beef
some breadcrumbs
1 egg
a little bit of milk 1/4 cup maybe
Italian Seasoning
Minced Onion
Couple of dashes Worcestershire Sauce
Jar of spaghetti sauce
French Bread Hoagies

I throw my breadcrumbs in with the milk and egg to make them sticky and to keep a little extra moisture in the meat.

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Mix this with your ground sausage, beef, Italian seasoning, onion and worcestershire sauce.

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Roll into meatballs - you don't want them to be tiny, but you don't want them to be huge. Brown these in a pan or in the oven. I chose pan, next time I might do oven instead.

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Put a layer of sauce in the bottom of the crockpot and throw meatballs on top. Pour remaining sauce over meatballs until they're almost covered. I cooked on low for about 5 hours and they were cooked through. The house also smelled amazing!

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Put meatballs and sauce on french bread hoagie rolls and top with mozzarella cheese. I bet provolone would have also been great. Yeah, there are no pictures of this because I was too busy shoving one of these babies in my mouth. So so good.

Best part - you can have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner another night!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In Honor of My Two Year Anniversary

I should probably do some loving tribute to dear old John, but that's just not my style. I will say, I do love you babe and have enjoyed the last two years of being married! Looking forward to the many more to come!

Moving on, my lovely sister in law is the queen of email forwards. They're always funny (and sometimes workplace inappropriate) so I don't really mind. We'd have a problem if she sent me "scroll down and make a wish and now forward this to 50 of your closest friends or you'll have 10 years bad sex. Oh and Bill Gates will also be sending you a check real soon as will the UK lottery. The African Prince also thanks you for allowing him to transfer over his millions into your bank account.

She sent me this today (a supposed Washington Post contest, but you never know with some of these email forwards. I'll have to go and double check the fact or fiction of it on Snopes later) and I thought it was especially funny since it's also my anniversary. I'm now sharing these gems with all of you, well, unless you've already received this email forward. Then you can stop reading.

A Washington Post competition asked for a two line rhyme with the most romantic first line, but the least romantic second line.

My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife,
Marrying you screwed up my life.

I see your face when I am dreaming.
That's why I always wake up screaming.

Kind, intelligent, loving and hot;
This describes everything you are not.

I thought that I could love no other --
that is until I met your brother.

Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you.
But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead, the sugar bowl's empty and so is your head.

I want to feel your sweet embrace;
But don't take that paper bag off your face.

I love your smile, your face, and your eyes --
Damn, I'm good at telling lies!

My love, you take my breath away.
What have you stepped in to smell this way?

My feelings for you no words can tell,
Except for maybe 'Go to hell.'

What inspired this amorous rhyme?
Two parts tequila, one part lime

Monday, September 14, 2009

Conversations with John

Rufus running back and forth between the kitchen and the living room using the rug as a launch pad between the tile and hardwood floors. He slams into my legs when he stops.

Me: *Holding Rufus' face in my hands* Rufus. You are so cute! What am I going to do with you? You're just too cute!

*Rufus peels out on the tile and launches himself into the living room where John is*

John: I think I figured out what breed he is: Terror-ier.

*Rufus launches himself off the rug into the kitchen sliding into me*

Me: He's probably a mix of Terror-ier and punk ass.

*Rufus peels out on the tile towards the living room*

Back on the Wagon

Dear Hips, Thighs, Gut and Ass,

We've had a good run. We've enjoyed a lot of great meals, a lot of good beer, a lot of warm, comfy fat pants around the house, but those good times have to come to an end. You know when I shrunk you all down to size 2 1/2 years ago? Remember all the work we did to lose that 25 pounds? Yeah, well those 25 pounds have come back and they brought some friends with them. It's totally not cool that those friends refuse to leave. Re-fuse! Despite getting my ass (yeah, and I'm not talking to just you ass because all parts have gotten a beating) kicked at the gym on a regular basis, those friends just downright refuse to leave! They have totally overstayed their welcome! In fact all 35 pounds that I've gained have overstayed their welcome. What's that saying, "fish and house guests both stink after 3 days?" That's exactly how I feel about you 35 extra pounds.

Now I know we're a bit older than we were 3 years ago when I first started. Plus I've got the crazy gigantic nodule covered thyroid working against me. I know it's not going to be as easy as it was once before, but we're going to do it! We're going back to Weight Watchers, we're going to the gym at least three times a week, and we're taking the dogs (especially big fattie Reese) on long walks the other days. We're going to do this, because frankly, I've only got 3 or 4 pairs of work pants that fit without giving me a muffin top the size of a Starbucks blueberry muffin. A muffin top like that does not need to be subjected to anyone. No sir. Plus people are going to start thinking I'm pregnant if I keep wearing the flowy shirts. "Oh hi! Nope, no baby, it's just the 2 1/4 pounds of cheeseburger I had last night." It's also not cool when you get a "flat stomach" because your fat rolls have finally filled themselves out. Well, maybe a little cool since it's the first flat stomach you've had since high school.

So long hips, thighs, gut and ass. I'd say it was nice to know you, but not really. I can't say I'm going to miss you that much either. I will miss all the yummy, delicious fat covered in fat covered in ranch dressing dipped in chocolate goodness that we ate to get you here, but that's about it. I'll miss some of my laziness that also contributed to your long stay as well. The fat pants though? I'm keeping those. They're just too wonderful to get rid of.

Your host body,

Faith

Friday, September 11, 2009

Canning Pears

As I mentioned over the weekend I decided to can the 25lbs of pears I had from our pear tree. It didn't go well in the beginning, but did get better.

I got back from the store and by then John had also returned home from his coworker's retirement lunch. He was excited about using the peeler thingy and went to town peeling pears. After that he wanted to do the coring and slicing so all I had to do was chop after that. It made things so much easier!

Two sites that were SO HELPFUL with this whole process were Fresh Preserving and PickYourOwn.org. I found the recipes for both at Pick Your Own.

I put the chopped pears in with a cup of water and a 1/4 cup of lemon juice to keep the brown away.

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My new immersion blender was great help with the pearsauce.

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You can also use a food processor and transfer it over to the pot to keep it hot. The only thing I added to the pureed pears was cinnamon. If you're curious about what it tastes like, it's like applesauce but with pears. It's a little more grainy than applesauce, but that's how pears are, a bit grainy.

For the diced pears I made a light syrup out of sugar and water and threw them into the hot syrup one batch at a time to heat them up.

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First batch into the canner.

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The actual canning part is the worst. You do 800 hours of prep and think you're almost there. All you have to do is stick it into a jar and throw it into boiling water right? Well that giant pot of water can take 20-30 minutes to get to a rolling boil. Then you have to process the jars for 20-25 minutes depending on the jar size and where you live. So that's almost an hour. When the processing time is up you have to let them sit in the water for 5 minutes. Well this cools down your water. So when you want to do your next batch you're going to have to wait another 20-30 minutes for the water to get to a boil again. It's exhausting! I don't think I'd be able to stand to do a ton of jars! Maybe if I had a 2nd canner, but where would I keep two giant pots? Plus my ghetto old ass stove only has one big burner so I'd have no place to put it.

My first batch came out with some awesome white residue. Gotta love San Antonio water!

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All finished!

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I ended up with 3 quarts of pearsauce, 1 quart and 6 pints of diced pears. John's response to this was, "that's all we got?" Yeah babe, 6 hours later and that's all we got. It's a labor of love, that's what canning is. Well, more of a love/hate relationship really.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Like a ray of sunshine at 5 in the morning

That is how I would describe Rufus. And we're not morning people. My other dogs? They're not morning people either. I have to practically crawl under the bed and pull Riley out in the mornings so he can go do his business before we go to work. I hate Reese and Riley for getting up before 8 am on the weekends. Rufus though? It's 5am and he is ready to roll. He's had an entire pot of espresso and wants to start his day! Don't you know is a bright sunshining day outside? Huh? Huh? He's ready to jump and play and roll (thankfully still not barking) and the four of us are all, "DUDE! Do you know what time it is?" Riley's like, "What the f*ck man. I haven't met my minimum 16 hours of sleep just yet so chill the f*ck out before a pop a cap in your ass." (He really does talk like that. Dog's got a dirty mouth) So John and I wake up with a bouncing Jack Russell trying to attack us, Riley's barking from his under the bed "I'm goig to take over the world" lair, and Reese is laying in her bed growling and wondering, "what the hell is the little white furball doing on the bed? Doesn't he know he's not supposed to get on the bed? I don't even get on the bed."

So yeah. It's been really interesting in our house the past few mornings. He is sleeping in his crate at night, but last night we left it open, the night before he figured out how to get out (damn smart ass dog) and the night before that whined and scratched until we let him out. This morning he eventually went back to sleep after we threw him off the bed and kept ignoring him. Or I just fell asleep and don't remember anything else..

Other updates on the little guy: He still hasn't quite learned his name. I think he gets that Rufus is something, he's just not sure what.

He can be a total punk ass with training. He often won't look at you (he just tries to crawl into your lap when you're sitting or stick his head between your legs when standing) or he turns his back to you and just sits there. He also has total JR ADD so it's hard to get him to pay attention. He's usually easiest to train after a long walk and he's had time to burn off that Jack Russell energy. He reminds me a lot of John with his crazy energy and his ability to be sitting quitely one second, to pouncing on a toy the next, the running up and down the hall chasing said toy. Yes, I've just adopted the dog form of my husband. At least I'll be more prepared when the kids come along.

He's still freaks the hell out around other people. Last night I walked all three dogs around the neighborhood and these two little kids were playing down the street. The little girl notices the dogs and the little boy runs over to pet them. Rufus turns into a total nutjob and of course the kid is all, "Look at that dog. He's totally freaking the hell out!" Despite me trying to tell the kid, "He's really scared of people and you need to go away now." After that he was terrified of the people getting into the car across the street and the guy sitting on his porch. He basically just shuts down and doesn't let anyone near him and tries to pull away from you. One of my coworkers lives a block away from me and we passed by her house on our walk. Her husband sees me and comes out to chat and of course the whole family comes out to play with the dogs. Rufus? Totally didn't care. He just sat there and ignored everyone. He did eventually let one of the little boys pet him and went over and sniffed my coworker, so there is hope for the guy.

Still no accidents that we know of, but we finally had our first casuality. Riley has a stuffed dog that looks a lot like Reese. I found it this morning and it's eyes were ripped out. Poor little stuffed puppy. He also helped himself to a bag of treats last night. John tends to get real relaxed with him (like leaving him out of his crate when he left the house yesterday to run errands - more on that later) and he always feels guilty for leaving him crated. So there's a lot of training with the hubs too.

We'll get there with the little guy.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Recipe Catch Up Part 5

I really liked this soup, John not so much. In fact, this is the first dish I've made in 6 years that John just wouldn't eat. He tried it, but just gave up. Oh well. I had a good run!

Avocado Cream Soup

4 ripe Haas avocados, peeled, seeded and cut in 1-inch cubes (I used 6 since mine were small and I wanted the soup a bit thicker)
1/2 cup firmly packed cilantro leaves and tender top stems
3 serrano chiles, seeds and veins removed, roughly chopped (3 is pretty spicy)
1 quart chicken stock, divided use
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
Sour cream, for garnish
Tortilla strips, for garnish
Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish

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Combine avocado, cilantro, serrano chiles and 1 1/2 cups of the chicken stock in blender. Process until mixture is very smooth.

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Transfer to medium-size bowl and whisk in remaining chicken stock, whipping cream and lime juice.

Add salt to taste and whisk to blend well.

Taste for seasoning, adding additional salt if the soup tastes "flat" and boring. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled before serving.

To serve, ladle a portion of the soup into each soup plate, then top with a dollop of sour cream, tortilla strips and cilantro.

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(I forgot the tortilla strips in the picture, but added them later)

Makes 8-10 servings, each (based on 10) 370 calories (63.5 percent calories from fat), 27 g fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 400 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 6 g protein.

The part of the meal John did eat/drink? Margaritas!

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Meet Rufus!

So John and I headed to the Kendall County Fair on Saturday. We expected to see some random fair type items, eat some horrible fried food and catch the rodeo. Instead we got sidetracked and came home with this little guy.

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Meet Eddie, now Rufus! He's a year and a half old Jack Russell. He was rescued from the San Antonio Animal Control back in February. The Hill Country Pet Rescue picked him up on the day he was scheduled to be euthanized. Lucky little guy! He's real shy and was probably abused. He's a little scared of men more than women, but he's warmed up to John in just a day and loves all over him now.

Reese and Riley are doing well with him too. Reese and he have become buddies; Riley, he doesn't quite know what to think. He kind of ignores him and hides from him sometimes. They all played a bit tonight and we've caught him a Riley laying next to eachother taking naps, so I think they'll do just fine.

He's a little skittish, but otherwise his behavior has been really great. We haven't caught him chewing on anything, we haven't had a single accident in the house (knock on wood), he walks really well on the leash, and he really loves his crate. He also did great with his first bath (I think we've got a water dog on our hands finally).

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The worst thing he does is that in the morning he takes a giant bound out of the crate and straight onto the bed and a still sleeping John (I think it's hilarious). He gets right off the bed or anything else when you tell him get down. I think he's just testing his limits to see where's he's allowed.

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So that's our new addition!

Friday, September 04, 2009

What am I doing on my 4 day weekend

Canning. That's right. I'm canning 25 pounds of homegrown pears. I started the process about an hour ago. I'm currently halfway through peeling, coring and slicing the pears and am ready to give up.

John got me an apple peeler, corer, slicer last year for my birthday. I practically had to beg him to buy me one because he was terrified that I would later go crazy because "how dare he buy me a kitchen item for my birthday!" Well it doesn't core or slice pears, especially, holy crap that's an ACTUAL pear tree in my front yard, pears. So it's great for peeling only. Then I take them and I use the little round apple corer slicer thingy. Well my little apple corer slicer thingy just broke. One of the pears was just too much for it and it turned into the mangled wreck of pear, metal and plastic. Ugh.

Of course this isn't the worst part of it. The worst part was that I nicked my finger chopping pears. Nothing big. It was one of those oh crap! I almost cut my finger there type moments. And then I reached into the bowl filled with lemon juice and water for a pear. Yeah. Let me tell you how fun it is to pull a pear from the lemon juice, slice up the lemon juice covered pear and then throw the pieces back into the lemon juice and make sure they're nice and covered in lemon juice. It's FREAKING AWESOME! Everyone should totally get a teeny tiny cut that can't even be compared to a paper cut it's so insignificant and then play around in lemon juice for an afternoon. Best day off from work ever!!!!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Conversations with John

Me: Hey Babe. Is it cool if we put a stripper pole up in our living room?

John: *Blink. Blink* *stares at wife like she's crazy*

Me: Really. Do you think it would work right here if we moved these chairs? *Glance over at still shocked and unspeaking husband* If they're moved that should leave enough room for someone to swing around right?

John: Ok. Just wait one second. A stripper pole?

Me: Yeah. A stripper pole.

John: How exactly is this going to be mounted?

Me: I dunno. I was told that I'd have to know where the beams are though.

John: Is this going to leave a hole in the ceiling?

Me: I dunno.

John: I mean, if it's something I can spackle, it's not a big deal, but if I'm going to have a 4 inch hole in my ceiling, I just don't know.

Leave it to my husband to worry about structural damage. Most guys would be all, "Hell yeah! We can TOTALLY put a stripper pole in the living room. That is AWESOME!"

More on the stripper pole in the coming month....

Recipe Catch Up Part 4

I suck at making any kind of stir fry. It's the one thing I can't make. While only one in the 20 or so that I've made has turned out bad none of them have ever been very good. I don't give up though! That's why I have made 20 ok stir fries!

So the other night I had a bag of random frozen veggies in the freezer. I bought them for something else only to realize they had noodles so I didn't use them. I also had some beef that needed to be used before freezer burn set in - so stir fry here we come!

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This one was actually good! Hooray! It took 21 attempts, but I finally made a good stir fry! John and I both went back for seconds so there were no leftovers. John said it was so good that it needed a name - Faith Special Number 9.

Recipe:

One bag of random frozen stir fry veggies (with or without noodles)
1 lb (maybe?) chicken or beef, your choice
Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
Soy Sauce

I pretty much coated the pan with dressing and heated it up, threw in the veggies and then the beef (if you use chicken, I'd go chicken then veggies) and then added some soy sauce.
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