Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cottage Cheese Pancakes Recipe

You won't get cottage cheese thighs with these pancakes. Higher in protein and lower in fat than traditional pancakes these flapjacks are dense and satisfying (two medium sized cakes will fill you up). John and I love them!
Ingredients (Makes about 6 pancakes)
  • 1 cup(s) flour, whole-wheat pastry
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup(s) cottage cheese, low-fat, low sodium
  • 2/3 cup(s) milk, lowfat (1%)
  • 2 large egg(s)
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions
In a large bowl, stir together flour and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and honey. Then mix in cottage cheese. Stir dry ingredients into wet ones.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium. Working in batches, drop pancake mixture by 1/2 cupfuls into pan. Cook until bottoms are set and tops have small bubbles, about 1 minute. Turn pancakes and cook until just firm in the center, 1 to 3 minutes more. Repeat.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our Father's Day Weekend

One day a year is not enough to honor our Dads for all they do--words cannot to describe how much we love them and how much they mean to us. So we spent the weekend with John's dad, watching the movie, The Hangover Part II (which was absolutely hilarious) and had dinner in Boulder City after a day by the pool.
We also called my dad in Washington state and had a long conversation with him about his recent trip with my mom to Laos. My parents are doing well and hope to visit us sometime this year. On that particular day, they were getting ready to travel to Spokane to see their grand kids and help my sister with yard work. Dad's never truly get a day of rest--not even on Father's Day, do they? ;-)
John is also a Dad to Havi and Elgy. To name a few of the many things he does, he takes care of their litter boxes and picks up after them when they throw up. He does so much for them (and for me) each day; there is nothing he won't do not to mention the dishes after I cook, bike maintenance, errands, and house chores (I won't go on and on). So we spent the weekend doing the things that John enjoys: cycling, food, pool time, and spending time with the people he loves.

Saturday morning we rode our bikes from home to Lake Las Vegas and had breakfast at a cafe inside The Village, then laid by the DayDream pool at the M Casino, and grabbed a quick bite at Rachel's Kitchen (the Curry Chicken Salad sandwich and 14-Carrot smoothie is delicious!) at the Green Valley District before meeting John and Maggie at the theatre to watch a movie.
Sunday morning we rode to breakfast at New Day Cafe near our house and spent the afternoon by the pool at John's parents' home. Maggie made a tasty dinner (as usual) and we ate way too much (as always) but can't help ourselves because it was SO GOOD!!
Even though Father's Day is recognized one day a year, I think we made the most of it. Besides, who says we have to stop celebrating our Dads the rest of the year?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Broiled Tofu and Snow Peas

If you have grilled tofu before, I'd like your advice on how to get a firmer texture more like...a deflated steak-cut french fry (?) rather than pudding when making this Broiled Tofu and Snow Peas dish from Everyday Food. I read that I can put the block on a colander or sieve and weigh it down for 20 minutes per side to get the excess water out so I will try that next time. I know John is not hot on the texture but he did like the flavor of the vegetables and tofu.
Broiled Tofu and Snow Peas
Ingredients (Serves 1)
  • 5 ounces firm tofu, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 ounces snow peas, trimmed (2/3 cup)
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • Red-pepper flakes
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked white or brown rice, for serving


Directions
  1. Heat broiler, with rack in top position. Cut tofu crosswise into thirds. In a small bowl, stir together ginger, soy sauce, honey, and 1/2 teaspoon oil. In another small bowl, toss together snow peas, scallion, pinch of red-pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon oil; season with salt and pepper.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange tofu in a single layer; drizzle with half the sauce. Broil tofu 2 minutes, then add vegetables and broil 1 minute more. Serve tofu and vegetables on rice and drizzle with remaining sauce.
I must admit I cheated by using Trader Ming's Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette as a shortcut to making the sauce for the tofu. There's another brand I cannot think of at the moment that (is the best and) would work better because the sauce is a little thicker and has more teriyaki flavor.

After the tofu was under the broiler for 10 times longer than in the directions, it was still not as crispy as I would have liked so instead of broiling the vegetables, I sauteed them instead which I was happy with.

This is an easy, simple dish and I plan to make it again...but first there are tons more recipes to try!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tarragon Chicken Salad

Ask me if I like creamy or vinegary dressings and I will almost always choose the latter. So when I saw this recipe from Dannon yogurt I hesitated to try it. Then I decided to modify it and make my own version -- which John LOVES so this is something I will definitely make again.
Tarragon Chicken Salad

The original recipe called for plain yogurt (Greek yogurt has more protein), no sugar, and the chicken salad would be served over mixed greens (without the cucumber and vinaigrette dressing) -- which you may prefer but, for me, the greens would be too plain and the salad too creamy so it was a good excuse to sprinkle vinegar to balance the richness!

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

1 cup fat free Greek yogurt (or plain yogurt)
1 tsp dry tarragon
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 cups cooked diced chicken
2/3 cup minced celery
2/3 cup minced scallions
1 1/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
salt, pepper, and sugar to taste (about 1/8 tsp each)
1/2 cup sliced English cucumber
6 cups shredded romaine lettuce (or mixed greens)

Vinaigrette Dressing
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp rice vinegar (preferably seasoned, in which case you may want to cut down the salt in chicken salad)
couple splashes of red wine vinegar, or squeeze of lemon juice (for bite)

Directions
1. In a bowl combine yogurt, tarragon, and mustard. Let stand for 10 minutes.
2. To the yogurt mixture, add chicken, celery, scallions, tomatoes, and seasoning to taste. Let stand for 15-20 minutes.
3. Whisk the olive oil with vinegars. Toss with cucumber and greens.
4. Serve the chicken salad over the mixed greens.

Tomorrow this chicken salad will become a wrap for lunch!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wallpaper Clock for your Desktop

The next time you change up your desktop's wallpaper, why not also have a handy tool for telling the day and time with Dexclock that is also pleasing to eye? The Windows application is free to download and the installation comes with four wallpapers (but you can get more. Many neat ones are free and there are others you can download with a membership).

Friends

For fun, interactive and functional wallpapers check out Okozo -- but it's compatible only with Windows 7 or Vista.
Google Data Center

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chipotle Chicken Coins in Adobo Sauce with Coleslaw

I made these garlic-chipotle chicken patties and some shredded broccoli slaw. Then John had the idea to put them on sweet rolls. Recipe below.

Garlic-Chipotle Chicken
  • 1 lb. ground chicken (ground beef would also work well)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ground pepper, to taste

Combine everything together in a large bowl and mix well until combined.
Make in to patties and grill.

Shredded Broccoli Slaw Dressing
  • 1/2 cup of seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (mayonnaise will also work) 
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • fresh ground black pepper

I made the recipe up and it's not exact so adjust more or less depending on your taste. Even if you omit or substitute an ingredient I'm sure you'll be fine. Anyway, toss dressing with a bag of shredded broccoli mix, chill in the fridge before enjoying.

Finding Food at Fiesta Filipina Cuisine in Henderson

There's a restaurant called Fiesta Filipina Cuisine near St. Rose and Eastern that we have been wanting to try and we ended up going there for dinner for dinner on Friday night. Although there are places to sit, you first order the food from the buffet-style counter and then seat yourself. John and I have never eaten Filipino food before so we each picked a plate combo to try a variety of dishes. I cannot recall what we ordered but we enjoyed all of it! The ticket came to $17 for two plates, sodas, and an extra item off the menu -- not bad.

Yum-yum dinner ... and tamarind candy!

Thank You

One more week to go until our Bike MS ride! I just want to thank each and every one of you again for your support. Your generous donation to the National MS Society is much appreciated!

William Lloyd
Trish Suske
Susan Kopacz
Stacy Shiroma
Corrin Foster
Wendy Lin
Magdalena Schultheis
Maggie Costanza
PC Churchville
RC Miller
Kari Coburn
Olga Catania

Your encouragements and contributions mean so much to me. Thank you again for your time and generosity -- especially during a period when the economy is not so great and so many needs competing for your help.

I know the rest of our friends and family have not had a chance to contribute yet, most likely due to their crazy schedules. We have one week left to go so there is still time to help us reach our fundraising goal!! For others who cannot give this go-around, I certainly understand. We will volunteer for a charity again next year.

If you know of anyone who would like to support the cause, they can follow this link to donate towards my goal: http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/UTUBikeEvents?px=9238852&pg=personal&fr_id=15231.

They can also follow this link to donate towards John's goal: http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/UTUBikeEvents?px=7771982&pg=personal&fr_id=15231. He is also very appreciate towards friends, family, and co-workers who have made contributions on his personal fundraising page. THANK YOU ALL!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our Weekend

The weekends seem to go by so fast before I get a chance to post anything to keep our friends and family updated. I remember riding towards Jean Saturday morning. There was a good breeze pushing against me yet I was dripping sweat across my eyeglasses. You would think the wind would blow dry the sweat away but it didn't. Finally I got to a safe point for turning around and once I did, the wind was at my back so I flew back towards home on Las Vegas Boulevard topping 40 m.p.h. It was a strange feeling to be going so fast on a pretty flat road as opposed to going downhill. I felt like I was floating!

When evening came John and I met his parents at the Southpoint Casino for dinner inside the cafe. Then we sat down in the arena to watch a concert featuring the Fixx, Warr, and 3 Dog Night. The first two opening acts were ... hard to sit through so I don't blame John and Maggie for leaving. It was getting late, even for us. We stayed to watch several songs performed by the Fixx (the lead singer has a great voice) before we went home. I've posted a video of one of their popular songs (you'll want to turn off the music player to the right in sidebar).

Sunday John and took took a leisurely ride on our bikes down the street to eat breakfast at the New Day Cafe (last weekend we rode to Panera Bread which was also nice.) If you have never been to the location on Silverado Ranch and Maryland Parkway, it is a cute place. The staff is nice, menu reasonably priced, and serving of food is just right (not too much).

The weather was beautiful for once instead of the incessant wind we've had for months so we went to the M Casino to meet John's friend. Once inside the pool for adults (Daydream) we ran into friends that John knew who invited us to lounge in their cabana so we hung out together all day. Finally we can start to sun out the tan lines which had formed on our arms and legs!
Daydream @ M Casino (photo taken by Hilary Crowley)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Strange but Familiar

I walk in to the room and take a seat. Besides one other person, the space was unoccupied. Soon others trickle in behind me and sit down a few chairs away. I have been here before but it never seems to get easier. There is no reason for me to be afraid yet the fear is there in my chest. Soon the introductions began as I spoke to the group. I can hear myself but I'm not sure if they can hear me. It doesn't matter now, in a few hours this will soon be over. Then I will be back here again the next evening, and again the following week for four more weeks. I find comfort knowing it's just a class, and the other people are just grad students like myself. We are here to learn and collaborate--better yet about a topic we are all interested in: Technologies in Improving Human Performance.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bike Lanes in New York

The guy has many good points...and the ending is hilarious!

(You'll want to turn off the music player in the right-hand sidebar.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I Would Ride 175 miles

...to increase awareness for multiple sclerosis and raise funds to find a cure. 175 miles is the least I can do for others who are not able to do so, much less pick up their child.

Why We Ride
Having multiple sclerosis means that you may suddenly have blurry vision. Or that your memory will fail you for no apparent reason. Or that you may not always be able to walk, let alone ride a bike. The symptoms of MS are different, for everyone, and may change from day to day - the only certainty is that it will affect yet another person every hour of every day.

Why John and I Ride
John and I have registered for the Bike MS: Harmons Best Dam Bike Ride because we want to do something for the people who have been diagnosed - and because we want to do everything to prevent more people from experiencing what it means to live with the disease. Today, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, and with diagnosis occurring most frequently between the ages of 20 and 50, many individuals face a lifetime filled with unpredictability.

Surprise birthday cake for Pamela (Christmas 2003)
We are also riding in honor a family member, Pamela Fleming who passed away a few years ago to due complications from MS.

Why You Should Sponsor Us
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society will use funds collected from the Bike MS: Harmons Best Dam Bike Ride to not only support research for a cure tomorrow, but also to provide programs which address the needs of people living with MS today. Because we can fight this disease by simply riding a bike, because we have chosen to help thousands of people through a contribution to the Bike MS: Harmons Best Dam Bike Ride, we are now getting closer to the hour when no one will have to hear the words, "You have MS."

Please help us reach our individual fundraising goals of $250 each by visiting the links below. Any amount will make a difference!! Will you please donate your cup of coffee...lunch? A tank of gas?

Follow this link to donate to Daly: http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/UTUBikeEvents?px=9238852&pg=personal&fr_id=15231. I increased my goal to $350 because I HAVE FAITH THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF GOOD PEOPLE OUT THERE!!

Follow this link to donate to John: http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/UTUBikeEvents?px=7771982&pg=personal&fr_id=15231 . For every $25 dollar you donate, you will gain one entry in a drawing to win a Retul 3D motion capture bicycle fit by Logical Fit ($250.00 value).

The Bike MS event and mileage be a new milestone for me which I am excited and nervous about. Wish me luck!