Thursday, May 28, 2009

Photo Update

It's the end of the year...we're tired...but so excited for summer! On our horizon we have a trip to NYC in June and a trip to my beloved Saint George Island in July. We are SO excited for summer and vacation, but we are going to miss our kiddos!!

Here's what we've been up to lately.



Justin got his cap, gown, and hood...and we had NO idea how they worked!! In fact, the day of his graduation, we stood in the parking lot arguing about the dang hood. He was telling me to fix it like the picture...and I had NO idea what the "right" way was based on the picture they gave him! This was his best guess.
Proud of my little Masters husband. Isn't he cute? And he's pretty smart.
It IS a hood, right?! He's throwing up the big Cy-Woods sign for his kiddos.
We got to go to an Astros game Memorial Day weekend...and we lost...of course. But I still love baseball. There's something about watching it that is comforting. I love love love the relaxed atmosphere and the conversation that the sport allows!And this is why my decision to leave Cy-Fair was SOOO hard. My 5th period planned a party for me complete with these balloons, a "We'll Miss You" cookie cake, brownies, and the sweetest card ever. They are ridiculously awesome. They have DEFINITELY boosted my self-esteem. You have no idea how it feels to have kids say that they will move to my new school just so that they can come see me. Seriously...when I told my kids, they said exactly what I would have wanted them to say. Things like "no, you're too awesome!!" and "you can't leave, Mrs. Nichols, you're the best teacher I've ever had." Seriously kids...A+ for those comments! I am going to miss them more than I could ever express. If I type any more...I may start to cry...so I'll stop.

More updates once summer hits...4 days and counting!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Straight from the Nichols Kitchen

We had the best Asian dinner tonight! I thought I would share the recipe with you. I marinated the steak in teriyaki ginger marinade, only used 2 cloves of garlic instead of 4, and used half an onion instead of a whole one. It was delicious!!!

I'm changing the way I grocery shop by making a monthly menu. I sat down on Saturday and collected fun new recipes and used some of our staples to fill up this month. I never cook on Fridays because that is date night (or at least "go out to eat" night) and we have that in our budget, so I skipped that on our monthly menu. Saturday night is always a light meal because we go to church that evening, so I have built in during the week times when I'll brown extra ground turkey or cook up extra chicken breasts to make a new creation quickly on those nights. It revolutionized my trip to Walmart today and I'm super excited to see what it does for us budget wise! If you do that and have good tips, let me know. I love some good frugal tips for the kitchen!

Anyways, here's the recipe. Let me know if you use it and change it! It's definitely going to be a regular on our monthly menu here at the Nichols house!

INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon chili paste with garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups cooked egg noodles or whole wheat spaghetti (about 8 ounces uncooked)
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups frozen broccoli florets
1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 flank steak (1 pound), trimmed and cut across the grain into long, thin strips
Thinly sliced green onions, to garnish
Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, oyster sauce, chili paste and crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Combine pasta and sesame oil, tossing well to coat.
  3. While pasta cooks, heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, broccoli and onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the steak and sauté for 5 minutes or until done. Add pasta mixture and soy sauce mixture and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.
  4. Serve garnished with thinly sliced green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

And yes...I know that there were grammar mistakes in this...I just refuse to say the Nicholses or the Nichols's...it looks dumb! :)

-L