Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Avoiding the Inevitable...

Life is about moving forward. We occasionally stumble and take a step back but the idea is to keep going and that means change. I graduate in three weeks (wahoo!) and reality just hit-- I'm growing up. I thought I grew up when I could finally wear mascara in the 6th grade or when I drove away for the first time by myself (probably way too fast w/ the radio way too loud). I grew up when I realized there was something much bigger than myself: a Savior who died for me, just me. I grew up when I left for college, married the perfect guy, and definitely grew when we added the Lil' Munchkin to our family.

We've made amazing friends here at BYU. They're the kind of friends who you take annual trips with (minus the kids of course). The ones who laugh at your quirks but love you all the more for 'em. The ones you secretly hope that one day your kids will marry their kids;) Some friends have already taken that leap and moved away, but most are still here. Sadly, graduation means the inevitable will happen. The inevitable is that everyone will go their separate ways. We'll all move off eventually. But for now, I'm okay with limbo. I'm okay with simply avoiding. 

Graduating means closing a chapter of our lives that we've absolutely loved and moving on to something new. Instead of debating on what TV episode we should watch or what Thai restaurant we should try, we're discussing our future. We're talking about careers, where we want to permanently live, raise our family, and when to buy a house. These are big decisions I'll know we'll need to make soon. But for now, I'm not sure I'm ready to grow up.

For now, I want to avoid the inevitable.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chinese Orange Chicken


I have tried making Orange Chicken in the past with little success. This recipe has just the right amount of a citrus taste along with an authentic Chinese flavor. I hope you enjoy the recipe and thank you to Heidi, who showed us how to tweak this recipe to our taste!

Orange Chicken:

2lbs of skinless, boneless chicken breast (thaw, tenderize & cut into bite-sized pieces)

Flour Mixture: (covers 4-6 chicken breasts)
1 1/2 c. of flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
            Dip chicken bites in egg (1 egg), & then bread chicken with flour mixture
            Allow breaded chicken to rest in fridge 20-30 min before frying

Frying Chicken:
Peanut Oil
-fry in small batches to avoid lowering the temperature
-remove to a cooling rack over a baking sheet to catch drips, dab with paper towels
            Fry at 350° until golden brown (on my stove that's just above medium heat)

Sauce: (covers ~4 chicken breasts)
1 whole ripe orange, zest & squeeze the juice out (4-5 Tbsp. fresh orange juice)  
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice (you can buy it or squeeze it yourself)
1/3 c. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce (can be low sodium)
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. fresh minced ginger
1/2 tsp. fresh minced garlic (smaller chopped next time)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. sriracha (add more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
            Combine ingredients above to make sauce, heat on stove until thickened 
            (stir constantly to avoid scorching the bottom layer of sauce)

Serve over white rice cooked with minced garlic
2 T fresh chopped green onion (garnish)

Team Tolman        

Monday, March 5, 2012

Grammie's Visit

We absolutely love having Mom come to visit!
I always realize how much I miss having her around when she comes. She's fun to talk to, she gets me, is crafty & creative, spoils us, and of course-- adores her Grandbaby!
Annabelle calls her "Mam-EE!"

The Fun List:
     -Playing at the park
     -Designing a beautiful spring wreath
     -Storytelling/Music at the library
     -Feeding the Ducks
     -Kneaders & Cafe Rio (always a request)
     -Sams Club
     -Quilted Bear
     -Movie: This Means War

Love those blue eyes

She loves the animals at the library

Feeding the BYU ducks

Spring Wreath (post here)

Grammie time! Reading books is one of their favorite things:)

Skyping with Grandad

She's still playing in her birthday doghouse! 

Sam's Club is always fun.
I still remember when Mom would take all four-kids to Sam's and it seemed our goal was to cause as much trouble as possible! We would have shopping cart races down the aisles, play hide-and-go-seek, eat every food sample, and beg annoyingly for our favorite sugar cereal! Good memories;)

Annabelle trying to JUMP!

We love you Mom!                  
Team Tolman       

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Spring Wreath

Mom is visiting and inspired me to retire the Christmas wreath (I'll admit it's probably time). 
So, it's being replaced with a beautiful, colorful, spring wreath.
When Momma's in-town, the girls' get crafty!

Welcome Spring:)