Sunday, December 13, 2009

On the third night of Hanukkah...

My true love gave to me...
a Sugar Plum Apron!!! Amazing right!!! (My favorite word is sugar plum for those who don't know. I call people sugas all the time...)

So today was one of those days where I'm amazed by how much I can fit into one day. I slept in kinda late and finally got moving around 11. I went out for a run and ran just over 4 miles at 8:50 pace. I went out running 7:30 pace not even realizing it then I gradually slowed down. My achilles felt a little pain and I think I really need to stick to my plan to not run two days in a row. I have PT tomorrow so we will see what he says.

After I ran, I did laundry and got to work on making spinach and turkey sausage lasagna and stuffed shells. The lasagna I'm bringing to my departments Christmakkah Party/Yankee Swap tomorrow. Stuffed Shells goes with tomorrow dinner of Portobello Mushroom Melts. I also cooked 2 pounds of chicken. Some of it was used for tonight's dinner and rest I will incorporate into lunches. I also baked some chocolate chip cookies for the party as well. So after making a lasagna, stuffed shells, chicken and cookies in under an hour and a half, I quickly got ready to go my friend Joanna's A cappella concert about 25 minutes away.

My friend Joanna is an absolutely amazing singer. She's been singing for many many years and although we've been friends for 16+ years, I've only seen her perform once before. So when she told me about the show, I was excited to go. I wasn't really sure what a capella actually meant because I've never seen a show live. Here is the definition on Wikipedia:
A cappella (Italian[1] for From the chapel/choir) music is vocal music or singing without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way.
They had this playlist and it was amazing. No instruments, just beautiful music. I was soooo impressed, although I was secretly hoping for a solo by Jo Jo. I was in luck! Although its not listed on this list, Vinyl Street had something else up there sleeve, and Joanna was the lead on Mercy by Duffy, the encore performance. She was unbelievable. I'm not lying when I tell you I had tears in my eyes listening to her sing. She's not just an amazing singer, she's a performer. As she was singing, I kept thinking back to little Joanna with curly hair and glasses, my favorite camper who sat at my mixed table during meals at camp, and my penpal from High School. She has grown up so much and I'm so proud of who she's become. Joanna, you are beautiful and amazing, and I feel so honored to have such an amazingly talented friend!
(sorry this picture blows. I was all the way in the back!)

When I got home, I got cooking. I made Chinese Chicken and Brocolli, a recipe I saw on (where else) Annie-Eats.

Chinese Chicken and Broccoli

1 tbsp. peanut oil, divided
1½ tsp. sesame oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
¼-½ tsp. red pepper flakes
4 cups broccoli florets
6 tbsp. chicken broth, divided
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
4 tbsp. soy sauce
1½ tsp. cornstarch
3 scallions, chopped
Heat about half of the peanut oil and the sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saut̩ until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and cover with foil to keep warm. Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the garlic and ginger and saut̩ until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the red pepper flakes and broccoli florets to the pan. Pour in about half of the chicken broth Рit should steam and boil quickly. Allow the broccoli to cook until crisp-tender and the broth has mostly evaporated. Add the oyster sauce and hoisin sauce to the pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and cornstarch, and add to the pan. Stir in the remaining chicken broth. Return the chicken pieces to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the scallions. Serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.
I served this with Teriyaki Rice with scallions. This was such a tasy dish. I absolutely loved it!

After dinner, we lit the candles and I got my wonderful sugar plum apron. Then I got to work finishing up the Chrismakkah cards. (Notice I still haven't taken the apron off).
On yesterdays post, I talked about my plan for the week with working out and dinners. I love this time of the year : )

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