Chicken Fried Rice and Wonton Night

I've decided to give chicken fried rice and wontons a go! These are two favorites of my partner and I when we go out to chinese restaurants. We ALWAYS order it but we have never tried to cook it. I'm going to try to today. I want it to taste authentic and make him think that I ordered take out ( That's when you know you did good..) .....lol We will see how this goes.

I have searched all other the net for different recipes to see what key ingredients are needed for the rice. The wonton recipes I found seem to be simple enough I'm not as worried about them ( with my luck they will be the ones I bugger up) ... So I'm going to head off to the grocery store soon and get the ingredients and begin cook so that it's ready before he gets home.

I feel so domestic lately. My life has changed so much. Last year I was sitting in my dorm in Mississippi eating fast food at the start of sophomore year now I'm at my apartment  in Australia planning dinner for my fiance.


Stuff happens...



http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/16593/chicken+fried+rice


Thats the link to the main recipe that has inspired me for dinner tonight!

If anyone has tried this dish and has any helpful tips/advice it would be much appreciated :)

The foodies start a herb garden.



Recently my partner and I have decided to take up gardening. We live in a two story town house with a very small backyard but we figured that perhaps it was enough room to start a herb garden. Armed with a few tips, seeds, and our herb bible yesterday we set off preparing the gardening and planting seeds. To start with we choose: Coriander, basil, chives, and parsley. When we questioned the nice old lady at Bunnings as to whether or not these were good choices she said that they were easy enough to grow excluding coriander which can be a bit of a stubborn one. Here's some photos of what we are working with...

 


Not the best situation to work with but we are going to give it a go! First we are trying in soil if that doesn't work we will switch to pots. Has anyone got a herb garden going and got any tips for someone with limited space and gardening knowledge lol ? 

We are thinking of adding some more herbs. Any recommendations of easy herbs to grow? We could use the help. 


D&C 's loaded burgers, mozzarella bites, and fudge sundaes!

We had a very big dinner the other night and it was amazing! Nothing beats making your own burger and loading it up with things like egg, mushroom, and bacon. That's exactly what we did. We served mozzarella bites for an appetizer although they didn't turn out too pretty they were still really yummy as well with a side of tomato and basil sauce. For desert we enjoyed some fudge sundaes :) Burgers are really simple to make and you can throw on them whatever you like! Here is our recipe for the perfect burger.

D&C's best burger recipe


Ingredients:
1. Beef mince
2. mushrooms
3. Bacon
4. Eggs
5. Mayo
6.Ranch
7. Breadcrumbs
8. Salt&Pepper for seasoning
9. Mixed lettuce
10. Tomato
11. Onion
12. Hamburger rolls
13. Butter
14. Cheddar cheese


First prepare your beef patties. In a bowl place mince, an egg, and breadcrumbs ( you can add whatever extra seasonings you would like to your patty I just stick with salt and pepper). Mix and create circular patties. Place patties on a plate and sit aside.



Now take out your rolls and cut them in half. Put a light layer of butter on the inside of each half. Heat your frying pan and place the buns insides down on the frying pan. Allow to toast for a few minutes. Take your buns out and sit them aside. Now lightly grease your frying pan.


 Place your patties in the pan and cook (flipping and pressing frequently)  until mince is cooked thoroughly and the sides of the patty are slightly singed. At this point you may season them a bit more.









Take your buns and place slices of cheddar cheese on the bottom halves. Microwave the bottoms halves only for 30 seconds or until the cheese starts to melt. Next load your burger up (egg, mushrooms, onion, tomato, lettuce...) ! I usually put on all other ingredients ( excluding the patty) first. This way the patty itself helps to hold the other ingredients in place. ( lettuce below the patty) I usually place only the bacon on top of the patty. Add whatever sauce you like- I add a bit of mayo and ranch. Then enjoy!




Here are some pics of the finished product!






 And for dessert ...... chocolate fudge sundaes I continued to keep it simple for this lol





So the  mozzarella bites kind of fell apart so we just scarfed it down.... lol I would recommend trying it though regardless of how they looked they were yummy. Here is the recipe I followed:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/fried-mozzarella-bites-recipe/index.html

Let me know what you think! What stuff do you like/recommend on a homemade burger!

Steak and potatoes: dinner

Last night my partner and I had steak and potatoes for dinner it was a nice dinner. We had cooked some pumpkin and broccoli as well but while the potatoes were cooking we smashed them lol


Heres what we did!

First wrap your potatoes in foil and place in oven (if you use a frying pan keep the lid on) cooking time will usually be 45 min to an hour give or take. Next take out your steak while the potatoes are cooking. Spread rock salt evenly over you steak and allow to sit until room temperature or until potatoes are softened and moisture on the steaks starts to rise. Salting your steaks before cooking them helps improve the tenderness.

When your potatoes are soft (you can test this by slipping a knife down the middle) peel back the foil and slice them in half (just the potato don't cut the foil) place a slice of cheese in the center of eachpotato and close and reward to allow cheese to melt. Wash the rock salt off and season your steak as desired and cook to your liking. In a previous post I made herb butter that would also go nicely with this meal! Check it out!

I sautéed some mushroom and onion as well to go in top. :).

Tonight I'm trying to think of ideas with mince? Any suggestions.

Nasty gal: Classy in Black and White

One of my favorite online shopping sites to wander through and wish somehow that I could afford to purchase something from is Nasty Gal. You can find some really unique eye catching pieces on that site. Some amazing shoes too!!

I think adding a little black and white to your closet is essential. Black and white combos are a staple in evening time wear. You will be noticed in the sea of color around you when you step out in a classic black and white number. Make sure it's stark white (not off white) and jet black (not blue-black..). Gotta love that contrast!

I think Nasty Gals is a fan of black and white number because the number of outfits, shoes, and accessories you can find in these colors are limitless. If you don't have any black and white in your wardrobe head over to nasty gal and check it out. Here are a few mashup's I made on nasty gal...


Classy in Black and White





Red lips also go nicely to add a splash of colors to black and white numbers. How would you add a little color? What hints do you have?

And for those reading how do you like to rock black and white?

Let me know what you think, would love to hear from you! :)




I really do appreciate a nice black and white outfit... Now I'm off to find more fashion blogs to follow!

- C.






Thai, anzac day, and healthy living






Ordered Thai tonight, trying out a different restaurant with mixed reviews so we will see how this plays out. Starving! My partner is on his way home so its time for me to get off my but and tidy up around the place. I'm glad tomorrow is anzac day. He will have work off so I will have some entertainment around the house again.

The lineup tonight looks like thai food, beer, and blockbuster rentals. A perfect night in! :) Tomorrow we will catch the Anzac day parade in Brisbane. I will be out all day tomorrow. So unfortunately no posts! I hope everyone has a great Anzac day however you celebrate it!


Happy early Anzac day! Here's some poppies to celebrate :)



Lunch ideas for the Hubby on the go!

Lately, I've been doing a lot of searching through recipes and food blogs trying to find some easy lunch ideas for my Hubbs. He has to commute about an hour and 30 minutes ( give or take) to work each day so his lunch needs to survive not being refrigerated that long. The other catch is that his work place, for safety reasons, doesn't allow any hot/warm food. That means no microwaves or anything to reheat things once he gets there.

This had presented a challenge because all the ideas I had come up with before he started work again were reheats! So now I have basically no idea what I will make him from lunch day to day. So I've been winging it. The first to days I just got salmon in a can and divided it into two separate containers on the first day he took one container, an egg salad, crackers, chocolate, and little munchies snacks. The second day he took basically the same thing just a salad with no egg ( He tried to boil it on his own and it didn't work out...)

So while I was at home yesterday I found another good idea that I thought would last the journey and still taste pretty good when he got to work. That idea was a chicken/bacon/ranch sandwich- much like the one you can get at subway - however, if I do say so myself, mine looked much more gourmet :)





I wrapped it up like a burger in some foil. Prepared him another salad with egg and this time bacon bits ( from the leftover bacon I had from the sandwich) And also I steamed some broccoli  which he covered in ranch and took along as well.

Oh! He also took another container of salmon as well lol So today he has a big lunch and will be pretty satisfied I think when he sits down to eat. I will post an update and let you know how the food went.



Today for my lunch Ill be having sort of the same. Chicken in a roll and maybe a little salad as well.

Does anyone else have any easy lunch ideas I could make my partner for work?? Let me know! :)

Gumtree finds: Shoes for $10 or less!!!

For the price of one pair of shoes you can find a closet full on gumtree. If you know how to work the site you can end up with shoes for a week for 10 or less! Here are some amazing finds I've come across today.




All the shoes pictured are 10 or less. The set of shoes in the upper right hand corner is 10 for the lot!!! Some shoes have hardly been worn or were gifts that didn't fit. Whatever the reason these shoes are in excellent condition. Why pay 50 when you can snag them for under 10!


Check out these lovely shoes on the Clothing&Jewelry section of Gumtree. All you need to do is program your price bracket to up to 10.00!





http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-women-s-shoes/brisbane/page-6/c18572l3005721?price=__10.00


Facebooking

Going through old facebook photos at the moment. Deleting embarrassing ones that I must have thought were cute freshmen year.....

Even though they were stupid and embarrassing I couldn't bring myself to delete most of them because I've gotten a new laptop and had new cameras since those were taken so those are the only copies of those pictures I have left... I still deleted them from facebook thought.....

But I saved them on my desktop for filing :) lol

Here is an old photo of me from high school. I talk like it was so long ago...but I'm only a 19 yr old sophomore in college.


Gumtree Garb #4: Little black skirt





Here's an outfit that simple but with the right pair of heels and accessories can be one hot number. Everyone should have a nice black skirt. Whether it be for work or play a black skirt is essential to any wardrobe. I've paired it with this lovely top which has a vintage flair about it. I couldn't decided on the shoes but I guess it really depends on the look you're going for. The red heels would make a statement but the black look sleek and sophisticated. Also found a heap of accessories for really cheap on gumtree that you could pair with this outfit. Depending on what shoes you take this outfit could only run you close to 40 bucks!

H&M recommendation: Very sleek, smooth loose curls and a red lip is a must.











Top: 20.00
Black Skirt: 2.00
Heels (black): 15.90 negotiable
Heels (red): 15.00
Accessories: 5 for the lot!


These items are currently on sale via Gumtree right now!











Skirt: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/eagleby/dresses-skirts/supre-black-skirt-size-8/1018059681

Top: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/browns-plains/tops-blouses/never-worn-cute-top-size-10/1018196126

Black heels: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/brisbane-city/women-s-shoes/black-high-heel-pu-leather-rear-zip-shoe-boots-pumps-sz-4-5-6/1017888795

Red heels: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/acacia-ridge/women-s-shoes/wild-fire-size-9-womens-shoes-red-hot-/1014465461

Accessories: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/mount-gravatt/women-s-jewellery/jewellery-/1018098059



Birthplace of Ray Charles

Here are some photos from our trip to Georgia at the birthplace of Ray Charles:



Twitter

Just created a twitter to go along with my new blog!! Yay :)


If you are reading this...we should connect! Twitter: @AmeriAus 




Gumtree Garb: Outfit for less #3

This is one I wish I had on this warm day today!



All together this outfit totals around $80 but if you haggle you can do much better than that. Always remember you can start lower than you actually can afford to pay. Depend on how long the items been listed sometimes the seller will take anything for it! This outfit would be perfect for a night out with your mates. My favorite items are really a toss up with this one. I'm debating between the shoes and the shirt.....

Bag: 10
Shoes: 20 Negotiable ( You could walk away with these for only 10 or 15!)
Shorts: 20 ( I'd offer 15)
Top: 20 ( I'd offer 10)
Entire ring collection: 10 ! ( This is a pretty good deal!)

Hair and makeup recommendation:

A lose high pony, with some soft curls. Very soft makeup, but spice it up with red lips!


You can find these items on gumtree right now!


Bag: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/wynnum-west/bags/vinatge-small-handbag/1014547101

Rings: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/mitchelton/women-s-jewellery/assorted-rings/1018164523

Heels: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/strathpine/women-s-shoes/red-velvet-platform-high-heels/1017624560

Top: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/everton-park/tops-blouses/indigo-sunset-cropped-top/1018177447

Shorts: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/loganlea/pants-jeans/hight-waist-denim-shorts-/1018181516



Gumtree Garb: Outfits for less #2



My partner is away at work so instead of starting that paper I'm checking out the Clothing&Jewelry section on Gumtree. This is another outfit I've put together. All these items are currently on sale at Gumtree right now. Without negotiation this would run you around $80 but everything in gumtree is NEGOTIABLE :) I think 30 is a bit much for the dress I would offer 15. The jacket again I would ask 10 for. I would even offer 3 for the leather wristband. That would make the total around 51 which isn't bad for a complete outfit!

For hair and makeup I would go for a messy wavy hairstyle and neutral makeup. If you wanted to mix it up a little you could add a hit of turquoise on your eyelid.



Dress: $30
Leather wristband: $5
Turquoise wristband: $3
Boots: $10
Jacket: $20 negotiable
Purse: 10



Links to the items listed below:


Leather wristband: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/red-hill/women-s-jewellery/cool-genuine-leather-wrist-band/1018012926

Turquoise wristband: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/red-hill/women-s-jewellery/cool-leather-band/1018013353

Dress: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/brisbane-region/dresses-skirts/white-shareen-dress/1018167345

Jacket: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/calamvale/jackets-coats/jacket-top/1017699521

Boots: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/griffin/women-s-shoes/-10-size-8-brown-country-style-boots-pick-up-only-/1016118616

Purse: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/wynnum-west/bags/vinatge-small-handbag/1014547101


Gumtree garb: Outfits for less

The good thing about gumtree is that unlike clothing shops you can negotiate with the sellers. I've put together an outfit from various ads on gumtree thats already a pretty reasonable price but I think you could do better and get it for half.  Here's the garb:





   




                           
Sunnies: ( $5 ea. or $25 for the lot !)      
Dress: $25
Earrings: $10 ( Second option earring $4 for the lot)
Purple and Black heels: $10
Jean jacket: $20 negotiable


All up (without negotiation) this outfit could run you about around 70. I'd offer 15 for the dress 5 for the earrings (unless you do the 2nd option) and 10 for the jacket. This would end up running you only 45! Maybe you can do better than that! Price tends to be more negotiable if its been listed for a long time.

Ask for hair and makeup I recommend a light smoky eye and a messy bun ( Or whatever up do you would like -- up-do because you want to show off these beautiful earrings !)

Happy hunting!




All of these items can be found on Gumtree with the links below:







Earring collection: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/carindale/women-s-jewellery/collection-ladies-pierced-earrings-costume-jewellery-retro-funky/1017833052

Sunglasses: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/loganlea/accessories/sunglasses/1016734974

Jean jacket: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/calamvale/jackets-coats/jacket-top/1017699521

Dress: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/brisbane-region/dresses-skirts/love-hi-lo-hem-chiffon-dress-size-s-/1018214384

Heels: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/coorparoo/women-s-shoes/purple-and-black-heels-from-betts-never-worn-us10-eu41/1017890272

Earrings: http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/carindale/women-s-jewellery/unique-hand-made-enamel-zirconia-earrings-green-purple-black/1017111846


How to navigate in the world of Gumtree: My top 3 tips




After spending a year on vacation my partner and I's saving account was on it's death bed. It was time to stop blowing our money away at museums, festivals, and concerts and create a budget. So we did. He mapped out a budget on our computer taking out our necessary expenses ( such as an apartment something we are still getting use to after a year of traveling and hotel hopping) and see what "free money" we had left at the end of each week. Needless to say with no income at that moment in time it wasn't much. But we needed a few things for our apartment like a bed, fridge, microwave.... you know good stuff like that but buying all that at retail price would be the final blow for our savings. Then we came across our new friend Gumtree.com.au and we've been together ever since.

If you know how to navigate gumtree ( something we had no clue how to do in the beginning) you can get some amazing deals. You can't be lazy and impatient sometimes you may not find a great deal on a particular day so you have to keep checking for a week. It's easy to grab a bargain on gumtree if you remember these tips.  My top tips for navigating the world of Gumtree are these:


Tip One: The free section is a gift from God. ( Literally.... if you are a young couple like us and just getting together your first apartment -- or even dorm-- you will love the free section on gumtree. On any given day you can find practically anything on this section. Yes there is some garbage on their but their is also some really nice things in excellent condition people just don't need or have space for anymore. You can find beds, sofas, fridges, toasters, kitchen supplies, printers, and a host of other things on the free section. If you aren't to fussy and are in need of some of these basic things hit up the free section on Gumtree! You have to be quick with the good stuff though their are people ( like me and partner...) who stalk it everyday lol

Tip Two: Use the settings. This just means if you know you only have 30 dollars to spend then use the settings on the side of your page and set your price range. Once you have your price range set then search the thing you want. Don't torture yourself looking through pages and pages of things you can't afford.

Last Tip: Be patient. If someone got to it before you did today their will another one just like it tomorrow ( or even in the next hour). So many people use gumtree to sell their secondhand items. The site is constantly replenished. You will find what you are looking for.



Playing Housewife

Today was my love's first day of work at his new job. He was a bit weird going back after our extended vacation but it was time. We've spend 24/7 with one another for the past year and its been crazy at time but we are really closer then I could have ever imagined because of it. We you spend that much time with someone you get to know every little micro detail about them and if it you aren't entirely repulsed and put off then you are probably in love.


We will begin planning our wedding soon and I don't even know where to start with that....so I haven't begun.

Today I have to watch " Thank you for smoking" and write a paper on it for a final assignment in my persuasion class. Not looking forward to having to take notes while I watch a comedy but it must be done. We rented it from Block buster the other day so instead of wasting 3 dollars on just the one movie we did the 7 for 9.95 deal and got a couple horror flicks and a drama. Last night we watched Nightmare on Elm Street and surprisingly I managed to sleep like a baby that night.

After I finish that paper I will begin on my interview transcript. Last week I conducted two interviews with PR professionals for another uni assignment. The major thing I took from it was that I prefer marketing over P.R. so thats good. I'm finally starting to get a bit of direction. While doing our usual rounds on gumtree we came across a beautiful chess set. We both enjoy playing chess occasionally but even more than that we appreciate a finely crafted chess set. So we picked it up and we love it! It even goes with our tribal-ish themed apartment. It cost: $20




My partner better appreciate how much I love him this morning I got up at 5am to make breakfast, coffee ( and a to go cup), and make sure his lunch was in order for today. I felt like a mother preparing for her kids first day of school....

Chicken Parm Recipe

Chicken Parm is one of our favorite dishes to order when we are out on the town. We had never tried it before and I found myself thinking....why???.... so we did and it was delicious. We even made our own  breadcrumbs! Here is the recipe:


Chicken Parm

Ingredients: 
1. Cheddar or Mozzarella cheese
2. Parmesan 
3. Bread 
4. Tomato and Basil sauce 
5. 1 egg
6. Oil
7. Parsley

Prepare your breadcrumbs first. Take 4 slices of bread and place them in a blender. Blend until bread slices are throughly shredded. Grease a pan lightly with oil or butter and fry the breadcrumbs until they are a nice caramel color. Mix in some chopped parsley and fry as well. Take breadcrumbs out and place in a large bowl. 






Take another bowl and crack one egg into it and stir until the yolk is properly mixed. Dip your chicken breasts into the egg, giving it a nice coating all over. Then place the chicken into the breadcrumbs turning it so that it is fully covered in the crumbs. Place the crumb chicken into a frying pan with a light layer of oil and fry. Flip once one side has been browned nicely. After both sides are golden brown spoon your sauce over the top of the chicken ( only enough so that the top half of the chicken is completely covered but not overflowing with sauce) Then sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese over the top of the sauce and then shred the cheddar ( or Mozz) over the top of that until it is covered. Place the lid on your frying pan and allow to cook until chicken is fully done and cheese has melted. Serve with potatoes and a light salad.































We tried it with drumsticks as well but its a little harder to eat that way.....

Tastes good though... :)

Thanks for reading!