Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pad Thai Recipe

The Pad Thai recipe has a few ingredients that I had never seen before. I've included some links so you can see what they look like. You might be able to find substitutes on google, but I really recommend trying to find these if you can at an Asian market or online. This was the yummiest pad thai I've ever had and I made it myself! 

1 chicken breast sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 egg
½ carrot shredded
½ bunch chives
bean sprouts
1 handful fresh rice noodles
4 tsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp chili sauce
lime for garnish
1 tsp margarine
2 tbsp oil

Heat margarine and oil over medium heat. Add the garlic. When it starts to turn yellow add the chicken. When chicken is half cooked add the egg. After that is cooked through add the salted radish and the noodles.

 If you have fresh noodles there is no need to soak them before adding them to the wok. Just through them in and add about a half cup of water to cook the noodles. This is where I learned it is easier to flip the noodles in the pan with one hand rather than stirring them around with a spoon. Taste noodles and if they aren’t quite cooked all the way add a bit more water at a time til they are done.

Turn the heat to low. Add 2 Tbsp of the tamarind paste/water mixture, the sugar, fish sauce and chili sauce to the wok. Stir it around and taste the sauce to make sure you like it. If it is too sour (from the tamarind) add a bit more sugar, if its too sweet add a little more of the tamarind mixture.

Add the carrot, chives, and bean sprouts and cook for 30 seconds then remove from the heat.  Serve with lime on the side.

Makes 1 serving 

If anyone tries these recipes let me know how they turn out. I am going on a quest to find some of the ingredients next week since I am having some serious Thai food withdrawals!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Chicken w/ Cashew Nut Recipe

Here is the first recipe from my Thai Cooking Class the other day...

1 chicken breast sliced thin
2 cloves garlic minced
½ med onion diced
½ red bell pepper diced
½ yellow bell pepper diced
½ carrot sliced
3 spring onions
cashews (as many as you want)

1 tsp margarine
1 Tbsp oil (soybean)
1 ½ Tbsp oyster sauce
½ tsp light soy sauce
½ tsp seasoning sauce
1 Tbsp white wine or rice wine
1 tsp sugar

Heat oil and margarine over medium heat in a wok. Add garlic and onion to wok. Cook until onion starts to become translucent. Turn the heat up to high and add the chicken. When chicken is half way cooked add the peppers and carrots. Turn the heat to low and add oyster sauce, soy sauce, seasoning sauce, wine and sugar. Toss to cover chicken and vegetables with sauce. Taste the sauce. If it is too salty add a bit more sugar, if too sweet add a little more soy til it tastes good to you. Add spring onion and cashews. Cook for 30 seconds then remove from heat. Serve over rice.

Makes 1 serving. 

I will work on getting the Pad Thai recipe up when I get home from work tonight. Enjoy! If you want to make this and have any questions about ingredients or anything else let me know. I will do my best to explain.

Odds and Ends of Thailand

Here's the last few Thailand pictures that didn't really fit in anywhere else.  We had such a fun week and got lots of needed rest. It was probably our last big adventure without baby! That's weird to think about...

A typical Thai dinner for us.

At the cute restaurant across the street from our hotel

We finally got some pina coladas!

Watching the sunset off the southernmost tip of the island.

I could get used to this.

The Big Buddha

Where they filmed the movie "The Beach"

Feeding monkeys on our Phi Phi Island tour

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thai Cooking Class

While driving around town looking for scuba shops to buy some snorkel gear for our friends we ran across a Thai cooking school. There was only one opening left during the time we were there and we signed up quick. The class was only 1.5 hour and we got to learn 2 dishes from a list. We chose Chicken with Cashew Nuts (we ate this everyday...so good!) and Pad Thai.

We started off learning about all the different sauces that are used in Thai cooking and when we should use each one. My stir fry is going to be a lot better after that little lesson. Then we moved to the table to chop everything up so it would be ready to throw in the wok. I learned a much better way to cut chicken for stir fry so it doesn't fall apart. There were a few new ingredients we worked with (one called tamarind) but for the most part everything was pretty familiar to us. They use a lot of carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes and spring onions in their dishes.

After everything was chopped up we got to move to the kitchen. We made the chicken with cashew nuts first, which is basically a stir fry and then the pad thai. It was fun to learn how they cook with fresh noodles. They didn't have to be boiled in water first like I expected. I just threw them straight into the wok and they turned out so good! I will try to get the recipes typed up and posted soon if anyone is interested.

Cooking class was overall a great experience. Thai food is so delicious! I miss it already and we've been home less than 24 hours. I think baby might have grown 3 inches in a week we were eating so good!

Cute puppy at the school. Made me miss CoCo

Lots of prep work in Thai cooking

In the kitchen with our teacher

Chicken with Cashew Nuts

Learning how to flip noodles like a professional

Enjoying lunch after all our hard work

Friday, January 27, 2012

More Elephants

We enjoyed our first adventure with the elephants in Thailand so much that we went to a second elephant camp later in the afternoon. We payed our 100 baht for some sugar cane to feed them and then were treated to some tricks.

First we all got elephant kisses! It was not as gross as I expected. Her trunk was pretty dry and not very slimy. She sucked onto our faces and even made a kissing sound. She also played the harmonica and could hula hoop. It was pretty amazing! Enjoy the pictures and videos!

Elephant Kisses!

After showing us all her tricks, the trainer informed us that this elephant is 20 months pregnant! After taking a closer look I think I even saw some kicking going on inside her. Poor thing! I can't imagine how uncomfortable she must have been after 20 months. He said she will probably have the baby next month. Wikipedia taught me that a baby elephant can weigh up to 250 pounds and will be over 2.5 feet tall! I sure am glad I'm not an elephant right now...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Interesting "Pedicure"

When we first planned our trip to Thailand, I didn't really do too much research ahead of time. I had heard great things from friends who had visited, and was so busy with the holidays that I just left all the planning up to Nick. I saw a fish spa out the car window our first afternoon there and decided I would have to try it. A few days later we were shopping for souvenirs at night and came across this travel agency that had a fish spa out front. We paid 100 Baht each ($3.25) for 10 minutes.

I didn't know what to expect. My friend Brandi went first and I knew from her face it was going to feel weird. I'm not really ticklish on my feet, but when the fish first started biting/sucking on them it felt like little jolts of electricity running up my legs. I got used to it after about 30 seconds and was able to relax more. Nick was skeptical to try it, but I convinced him since it was so cheap. I think our faces were hilarious.

My feet felt softer when I pulled them out, but it definitely didn't work as well as a good foot scrub at the local market behind my apartment here in China. It was a fun experience though. We had so many people staring as they walked by. One funny Russian man who was missing a hand even joked with Nick that those fish were how he had lost his hand.

I am glad I got to check this off my list of things to do in Thailand. 

Brandi was brave enough to go first

My initial reaction

Close up

Nick's initial reaction

Nick's feet

Sunday, January 22, 2012


We rode us some elephants today.  Awesome.  Just like the jungle book!

We arrived at the Kok Chang elephant place...here is dana and brandi...they are inspecting the elephants.  They kept saying things like "ohhh cute, look at the those elephant babies!"  our elephant was 37 years old.

 This is me and Shane, this is my face after they told me i could actually ride the freaking elephant.
 We rode around for a while with a guide, then they let us drive.  We learned to yell "BAI!" which means move!
 We got to ride through alot of rough and steep jungle terrain....pretty tough.  Our Elephant's name was Moanna, which means Lemon in Thai apparently. 

 Me driving.  You are supposed to put your knees behind its ears. 

Friday, January 20, 2012


I crashed so early last night that I woke up early enough to enjoy this beautiful view. I am falling in love with Thailand. If I didn't feel so bad for my puppy locked up in Beijing I might never go back!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Nick's new blog

I have always been a sleep talker/occasional walker. Apparently pregnancy has only exacerbated the condition. Nick started a blog to document some of the funny things I have said and done. I have no recollection of any of this...and he has yet to offer proof (he keeps threatening to tape me at night). If anyone is interested in the crazy things I say, here is the link:


I will add it to our sidebar so as he updates it you can see it there.

Drumroll please!

The wait is over! I feel like we have been waiting forever to find out if baby is a boy or a girl. People keep asking me, and it has been hard to be patient and wait for this appointment... especially when I know so many people due after me that already know! Anyway, without further ado here are the pictures of baby they gave us from the ultrasound today...

The first is baby sucking HIS thumb! The next is a profile shot with a good view of his spine.

I think if Nick ever has a mid-life crisis he is going to have to become an ultrasound tech. He was so excited watching the screen today. He could pick out quite a few things from the scan before the girl pointed them out to us. It was cute to watch him get so excited. Our little boy looked good, he had all his fingers and toes and is growing like crazy! The ultrasound measured him at 22cm today. I can't imagine where he is in there since I'm not that big yet, but he is kicking up a storm and we are happy that he is healthy.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Playtime with CoCo

We have been trying lately to teach CoCo to catch things out of the air. He is getting pretty good with socks and soft things like that. This morning we decided to try with his frisbee. It is a little heavier and more awkwardly shaped for his little mouth. After many attempts, he finally started trying to catch it with his paws! It was so funny. He did it really well a few times, but of course I didn't have the camera out and then when I tried to get a video he kept missing the frisbee. We finally got a good video of him though. He is such a fun little guy to have around. We are definitely going to keep practicing this trick!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year


This is a video of the only song that is played on the radio here for New Year's. They literally play it over and over. If you can't handle watching the whole thing just skip to 1:15-1:20 on the video, it's our favorite part. 

For New Year's we got all dressed up and went out for a nice dinner with our friends Shane and Brandi and another couple. In one of the nicer restaurants we've been to in Beijing, this song was on a playlist of about 4 songs (another one being the alphabet song) that was repeated all throughout dinner. We had a great time and finished the night back at our apartment with desserts and punch. I barely managed to stay awake til midnight, but I did it with the help of the 2 pounds of sugar I ate in the form of peanut butter balls and no-bake cookies.

We couldn't watch the ball drop on tv since we are about 12 hours ahead, so we watched the local Chinese program. Which was mostly a big musical production with people all dressed up in costumes singing and dancing.

We had a great and eventful 2011 here in China and are looking forward to 2012! Our number one resolution is to have a happy, healthy baby here this year!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I haven't really had any cravings so far. I've become a little more opinionated about where we eat...Chinese food doesn't sound good to me that often. Overall though, the way we eat hasn't really changed that much. We still frequent our favorite pizza (Gungho) and BBQ restaurants and I cook the same things I did before.

Last night though I woke up with an intense craving for some Del Taco $1 nachos. I could not go back to sleep because I couldn't stop thinking about them. It was so random. I used to eat at Del Taco a few times a week during college (don't judge me...it's delicious!). Here in Beijing though it's not an option, so McDonald's chicken nuggets have become my go to snack food (they even get delivered to my door 24 hours a day!) Last night though nothing would satisfy me but those nachos. Even now thinking about them  makes me hungry and I just finished dinner. I only have to wait 6 or 7 more months to get some cheap nachos....sigh.