Mar 122014
 

Over the weekend Bella had her first at home bath! Last time she had a bath I took her to a groomer. Mostly because I had no idea how to wash a dog and also, I was lazy. But paying for that on a regular basis was going to add up fast. I bought some nice dog shampoo (with green tea and tea tree oil because she has some dry skin issues) and then Michael and I debated on how to bathe her.

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We tried luring her into the tub with treats and she was having none of that. In the end I just picked her up and put her in the tub. Michael held her collar and leash and I used the detachable shower head to get her wet. She did so well! She didn’t freak out at all! Not like her first time at the groomer. I shampooed her (super quickly) and she actually seemed to enjoy the little mini massage she was getting. I rinsed off the soap and we were done!

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She did a fantastic job sitting still while we dried her off. Her collar got wet so we took it off to dry. She ran around the house looking naked with the collar — Michael commented that it was like a little toddler running around the house naked after a bath. It was so weird to see Bella without it. 

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She smelled so good! Like a clean puppy. :) While she was overdo for a bath, there was an other reason for it. Her foster mom Jen was coming over for a visit. She hadn’t seen Bella since we adopted her and I was more than happy to have her come and play with Bella. I knew both her and Bella would be ecstatic.

Bella barked at her once when she first arrived and then realized “OH MY GOSH it’s my other mom!!!!” She was SO FREAKING EXCITED. Words cannot describe just how spazzy Bella was for the first hour or so that Jen was there. It was so cute. Jen also brought a little gift baggy of dog treats, poo bags, and a new squeaky toy.

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It was so good to see Jen! And Bella was so happy to see her, too. It was a nice way to spend a Sunday.

I also decided to make a crockpot dinner just in case Jen wanted to stay for dinner, then we’d have tons of food, but she had to go so oh well–more leftovers! I’ve been stockpiling some crockpot recipes and just haven’t gotten around to actually doing them. This one has been on the top of that list for awhile now. I love chicken teriyaki. It’s a fantastic dish but often times it’s way too sugary. This recipe looked good on paper. Unlike many recipes I saw, it didn’t call for a cup of sugar or 1/2 a cup of honey. That’s just too much!

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I added some frozen vegetable blend to the recipe because I like my chicken teriyaki with veggies. I thought onion and pepper mixture would go nicely. Adding that changed the calorie count for the recipe to 420 calories a serving. That’s still an awesome number for dinner. Here is the recipe:

Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 314

From: http://damndelicious.net/2013/10/11/slow-cooker-chicken-teriyaki/

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced for garnish
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together teriyaki sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil.
  2. Place chicken breasts into a slow cooker. Add teriyaki mixture and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken breasts from the slow cooker and shred the chicken before returning to the pot with the juices. Cover and keep warm for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
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I didn’t add the frozen veggies until later. I let the chicken cook for about 2.5 hours, then checked on it and flipped the chicken breasts over and let it cook for another 30 minutes before adding the frozen vegetables (they had thawed out for awhile). The chicken didn’t take quite as long as the recipe said it would. Around the 3 hour mark it was looking pretty cooked. I took the chicken breasts out and shredded them then returned it to the crockpot.  So 3 hours or so is the sweet spot for the recipe. I turned the rice cooker on and let the shredded chicken soak up the sauce.

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I was glad I added the veggies to the dish. It made a difference. The chicken was tender and flavorful. It didn’t really taste like teriyaki though, mostly soy sauce. I think next time I’d experimenting with using less soy sauce to see if there was a difference.

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Despite that, dinner was delicious. I loved it and so did Michael. Will definitely make this recipe again!

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Jul 042010
 

Yesterday was brutal. Hard, labor-intensive, back-breaking work that lasted like 12 hours! But I’m not complaining because we are half way done with the kitchen floor! A little background: Michael bought his house a few years before I met him. He bought it with the plan to update and modernize it and then eventually sell it. Before we met he installed the hardwood floors in the rest of the house all by himself. They are gorgeous! Not long after we started dating, I helped him destroy the old retro-heinous-70′s kitchen all the way down to the sub-flooring.

We have a working kitchen now, with the new cabinets installed. We just don’t have a floor. We also have the old retro-heinous-70′s baby blue counter-top still. :) For various reasons we didn’t work on the kitchen very much in last two years. Well, we finally have tile installed on half of the kitchen floor! It took all day yesterday and I’m sore and tired today but HAPPY!

Yesterday Before:

Before

Yesterday after 12 hours of work:

After

There’s still a LOT to do. It’s a huge space. The dining room and kitchen are all one room but divided by the counter space. We still need to do the kitchen section, the pantry and then we’ll have to rent a wet saw to cut the tiles to fit around the edge of the room.

We worked hard yesterday. There was a lot of prep work, measuring, double-checking. Michael did the mixing of the adhesive:

He spread the adhesive on the sub-flooring (it’s the picture above that looks like sheet rock on the floor) and I laid the tiles and made sure they lined up and the spacers fit, etc. It was a lot of stretching, standing, bending, twisting….OUCH!

After all the tiles are glued in, we’ll do the grout and sealant. Then we’ll have a real floor!!!! YIPPEE!!!

Since we were working on the kitchen, we had to get “fast” food. For lunch we went to Burgerville. It’s really cool that they post the calories on their receipts:

Very cool! Although my complaint is that they should probably post the calories somewhere in the restaurant BEFORE people order….I usually base my order on calories. I got the Classic Burger without cheese and it was about 500 calories.

After lunch we headed back to the house and continued the flooring.  When we stopped working late Saturday night, I picked up a deLite Pizza from Papa Murphy’s and cooked that for a quick dinner.

And we toasted our hard work with a little drink:

I took a hot bath with Lavender Epsom Salts before bed. It was lovely!

This morning I made pancakes! I’ve never successfully made pancakes in the past….either they were too burned or raw! Bummer. But this morning was a success!

I also made some tea–my favorite, Jasmine Pearl tea.

I am off to the pool for a swim and a VERY long soak in the hot tub!

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