Sunday, August 28, 2011

Recipe: Shoyu Chicken

I combined a couple recipes I was given by my neighbor for shoyu chicken! This what was the result...

5 lbs skinless chicken thighs (on bone)
2 TBS Oil
1 cup shoyu
1 cup brown sugar
2 anise (whole)
6 cloves of garlic (sliced in half)
6 slices of fresh ginger

1. In a pot, heat oil on high heat and brown chicken thighs.
2. Add shoyu and brown sugar.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients.
4. Boil for 40 minutes on medium heat uncovered (1 hour if not placing in crockpot).
Crock pot option: since I was making this for a party, I placed it in the crock pot at that point for 1 hour on low, and then turned it to keep warm.

It was so tender and the flavor was amazing!! The meat fell right off the bones! SUPER EASY to make!!!

For those of you who don't know what anise is... it is a spice that has a very similar flavor as licorice. It adds a beautiful blend of flavors to the shoyu chicken!
This can be found in your oriental stores (not sure if regular grocery stores carry it too).

This recipe was a hit at the potluck!

Recipe: Ranch Pretzels

I find regular pretzels so boring that I wanted to kick it up! I found a Ranch Pretzel recipe on and compared it to the one my co-worker gave me... they were very similar but the proportions were a bit different.
I modified it because I didn't have 20 oz of pretzels...


  • 1 pound of pretzels
  • 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoons dill weed
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder


  • Break pretzels into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over pretzels. Stir to coat.
  • Pour into an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 200° for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Yield: 12 cups.

This was soooo easy and these pretzels came out delicious! This would be a great party appetizer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: Thunder Dog

I received the book Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory for review from Thomas Nelson Publishing. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the book! Michael Hingson and his dog Roselle survived the 9-11 terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center Towers. They were on the 78th floor. This story is even more extraordinary due to the fact that Michael Hingson is completely blind since he was an infant! They had to walk down 78 flights of stairs!!!

Even though their survival of the bombing was a miracle... the real miracle is Michael Hingson himself. This book will open your eyes to the world of a man who never let his blindness hold him back. You will laugh and cry as you read about his struggles and his successes of living blind in a sight based world. I am extra impressed not only is he able to do everything I do (ride a bike... drive a car... yes really...) but he does things I probably will NEVER even get a chance to do... like fly a plane (true story) or get a Master's in PHYSICS!!!!!

I highly recommend this book for EVERYONE... but especially those who are blind or have family members who are blind. This will give you encouragement you need to support your loved one. To give you the courage to let them try and go so far above their dreams!! Michael Hingson does a great job educating you about all the technology available to assist the blind as well. I also love the insight this book provides on the relationship between Michael and his dog Roselle. If I could rate this book 10 stars out of 5, I would!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Book Review: Plugged-In Parenting

I received the book Plugged-In Parenty: How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids with Love, Not War by Bob Waliszewski from Tyndale Publishing for review. This is a great book for parents who are wondering what went wrong with their teenagers that are acting up. If you don't believe that media has an influence on little ones, then you need to read this book.

This book talks about the many ways that the media influences us and our children. It really made me think about my current choices as an adult on the types of movies I watch, music I listen to, and television I watch. If these sources can influence adults, what more of an influence do they have on young children!? Not only is the content staggering, but the amount of hours that is spent texting, tv, movies, games, etc is staggering!

This book will sober you with the reality of media's influence, and how parents can fight against it by setting family standard on all media. Even if parents don't apply every suggestion to their family, this is still a great read to understand what you are fighting. Highly recommended for all parents.