Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sawaddee Bee Mai!

Happy Thai New Year!

(photo credits to Farang Network)

Let the water throwing begin! I have not been out of the house yet but Christopher and his friends went out with their water guns and water balloons and came back soaked!
Offerings to Buddha to bring prosperity and good luck in the new year.
I should have included the two photos below in my post on Thursday but I forgot about them until this morning. While we were at the brand new, state-of-the-art, fancy-schmancy hospital yesterday, I went into the ladies' room and saw this improvised soap dispenser. While I will give them credit for creativity and being a good citizen of Mother Earth (re-use, recycle, reduce), it  made me wonder. I mean, really, how much can a soap dispenser cost?!? 
I cooked three nights this week! Tuesday night, I made the French Onion Soup Gratinee. Thursday night, I made Sweet and Sour Chicken using this recipe as a guide. If I do say so myself, it was awesome and Caitlynne said that it was even better than PeePorn's. Since I love the vegetables, pineapple and sweet and sour sauce, I doubled the quantities called for in the recipe (I kept the quantity of chicken the same though). I also added 6 seeded tomatoes and two sweet onions. 
I don't know why I used canned pineapple when fresh pineapple is in abundance here but I did. Duh.
Browning the chicken.

Stir frying the veggies and pineapple.
Adding the chicken.
All finished! I served it over white rice which, I am embarrassed to admit, I asked PeePorn to make because I have no idea how to use our rice cooker. She probably wondered how on earth I was going to cook dinner if I couldn't even make rice.
I promised Caitlynne earlier in the week that I would make spaghetti and meatballs for dinner last night. For the spaghetti sauce, I sauteed lots of fresh, chopped garlic in olive oil until browned and added a combination of canned crushed tomatoes (3) and canned tomato sauce (1), a healthy splash of red wine and about 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning. I brought the sauce to a boil and then reduced the heat and let it simmer for awhile. My meatballs are pretty standard - I use only ground beef (the quality of which is always hit or miss here), eggs, Italian seasoning and bread crumbs. I don't measure anything - just dump it in the bowl and mix. After I shaped the meatballs, I placed them on a 9 x 13 baking tray and baked  at 375 degrees until they are nicely browned and cooked through (about 45 minutes). I find that it is so much easier (and much less messy!) to bake the meatballs rather than cooking them on top of the stove. If I am making a large quantity of bacon, I bake it in the oven as well. 

Since Caitlynne was babysitting for two of our neighbors' children, she brought them over for dinner. Out of the mouths of babes...after the kids were settled at the table, I offered them spaghetti with sauce, spaghetti without sauce, spaghetti with butter, meatballs in sauce and meatballs without sauce. Both of the kids told me that, "our mom told us to eat whatever you give us!". Too funny. 

Caitlynne is finding that getting around on crutches is not easy nor fun. Fortunately, she was able to use a wheelchair again at school yesterday and has friends who are very kind and willing to push her to and from her classes, lunch, etc. At home, she is able to scoot on her butt up and down the stairs - a great upper body workout! I feel bad for her because there really is nothing that she can do but sit with her foot up and read, work on the computer or watch a movie. I don't want her going out today or tomorrow because she is sure to get water thrown on her and her cast cannot get wet. 

Have a great Saturday!

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