Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Confucius says...

"Respect yourself and others will respect you." This definitely applies to motherhood. I had big plans to make a succulent stuffed chicken breast tonight with a yummy salad. Then the Christmas Spirit grabbed a tight hold of me this afternoon and I started merrily wrapping presents and writing cards. Before I knew it, four o'clock had rolled around and it was time to pick the boy up from school. The old me would have made that chicken dinner no matter how much work it was or how frantic it made me. Over the years I've realized, if Mom isn't happy then no one is. One thing I have gotten better at is knowing my limits. In life, things often don't turn out the way you want or expect but you can't beat yourself up over it. If you respect yourself and know your limits, then your family will most likely follow your lead. Dinner doesn't have to be fancy or difficult to be good. I know it all seems a little over-dramatic since I was just talking about chicken and somehow worked it into philosophy. But all the little things add up to a lot of stress if you aren't careful.

One of my son's teachers had mentioned that a boy at school always brought the best lunches. He came with shrimp fried rice one day. What a great idea! Sometimes I really don't think of the obvious. My son would LOVE that in his lunchbox. Tonight I was going to test out my skills on the family. When I returned home from the school, I started the rice and quickly defrosted the shrimp and peas by running cold water on them in a bowl in the sink. I was able to hang with the kids while the rice was steaming. The rest the work took about ten minutes once the rice was cooked. Dinner was done.

Shrimp Fried Rice

2 cups of uncooked white or brown rice
10 shrimp (21-25 per lb. size), each cut into about 4 pieces, season lightly with salt and pepper
1 cup of frozen peas, defrosted and brought to room temp.
2 stalks of green onion, sliced thin
2 large eggs, lightly scrambled with a pinch of salt
Vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

Steam your rice how you normally would. Make sure it is not mushy. When your rice is done set it aside.
Heat a couple teaspoons of oil in a large non-stick everyday pan. Saute the shrimp for a couple minutes until just done. Set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter into the pan, then all the rice. With a large plastic or wooden spoon move your rice around, mixing it in with oil and butter. Next add your eggs. Quickly breaking them up and folding them into the rice. Do this for about 2 minutes. Add the green onions, peas, shrimp and another tablespoon of butter and keep folding it all together for a minute more. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Or use soy sauce instead of salt.

Stay tuned for the stuffed chicken breasts!

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