Chicken Fried Rice

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This is a basic recipe for fried rice with chicken. I sometimes change the vegetables or eliminate the chick/en. Turns out great every time.

Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken Fried Rice

Ingredients:

2 cups white rice

3-4 cups water

4 scallions, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 1/2 cups frozen peas

2 eggs

Vegetable oil

1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

Salt

Pepper

 

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the uncooked rice and fry, stirring frequently until it starts to brown. 

2. Add 3-4 cups of water, depending how soft you like your rice. I usually add only 3 because I like it on the firmer side. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer. If your lid does not have a steam hole, leave the lid tilted so some steam can escape. Stir occasionally.

3. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat in a separate skillet while the rice is coming. 

4. Heat a little oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the vegetables and saute.

5. When all the water is absorbed into the rice, transfer it to the wok and mix with the vegetables. Scramble the eggs and push the rice aside to make a little hole for them to cook. 

6. Add the chicken to the rice and mix. 

It’s ready to eat!

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Easy Strawberry Jam Breakfast Rollups

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Some mornings cereal just won’t do. Unfortunately those mornings are usually the same mornings you don’t have many groceries to work with. Yesterday I needed a delicious and easy breakfast. The strawberry jam was nearly the only thing left in the fridge so naturally I grab it. Who doesn’t love strawberry jam?

I see a block of cream cheese. I peer over at a loaf of bread on the counter. That’s when it hits me. Strawberry Jam Rollups. I’d recently pinned a strawberry jam blini recipe on Pinterest and of course I couldn’t find it on my boards so I improvised. What I ended up with was warm, strawberry, cinnamonny goodness. So good and so so easy.

Strawberry Jam Rollups

Strawberry Jam Rollups

Ingredients:

White bread

Strawberry jam

Cream cheese

Butter

Sugar

Cinnamon

 

Directions:

Melt some butter in a small saucepan. Mix together some cinnamon and sugar in a wide bowl or plate with an edge. Cut the crusts off of your white bread and roll them flat with a rolling pin. Spread strawberry jam and cream cheese on the bread and roll it up. Dip all sides in melted butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar. Bake on ungreased sheet at 350 for 20 minutes. 

 

The Learned Art of Breastfeeding

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When I was pregnant with my first baby, I decided that I would breastfeed for the first year. I just decided and that was that. I didn’t do any reading or research. I didn’t talk to any breastfeeding mothers or lactation consultants. I thought that breastfeeding was a natural thing and that mothers had been breastfeeding their children since the beginning of mankind. Women all over the world nurse their babies everyday. I thought you put the baby to your breast and they nurse, end of story. So I tried. And I failed.

What I failed to realize was that women all over the world since the beginning of mankind have watched their mothers, aunts, sisters, and friends breastfeed their babies. They have sat with them through countless feedings as part of normal every day life. They have learned the art of breastfeeding through watching, listening to, and learning from other women. Breastfeeding does not exactly come naturally. It is indeed a learned art. Unfortunately for me, like many women in modern Western culture, I had never even seen another woman breastfeed a baby. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

By expecting breastfeeding to come instinctively, I set myself up for failure. When my son was born, breastfeeding did not happen as I envisioned it. What was supposed to be a bonding experience turned into a source of disconnect and disappointment. I grew increasingly frustrated because I lacked knowledge that I did not know I lacked. I thought that I was unable to perform a basic human task that every other woman could perform. I thought I was failing as a mother.

I did not know how to properly latch a baby to my breast so we could not get a proper latch and never did learn to nurse without a nipple shield.

I did not know that newborn breastfed babies cluster feed and I tried to feed my baby according to a schedule.

I did not know that breastfeeding is a supply and demand process so I supplemented with formula when my baby hit growth spurts.

I did not know that dieting too soon would inhibit milk production so I cut calories to lose weight.

I did not know that I needed much more water as a breastfeeding mother so I drank too little.

By one month of age, I was using formula to supplement. By three months of age, I was feeding exclusively with formula, not by choice but because my milk production decreased until I completely dried up. My dream of breastfeeding through the first year was shattered. Breastfeeding is a bonding experience with your baby and to have it go so wrong was heartbreaking for me. If I knew then what I know now, I could have succeeded at breastfeeding through the first year. But I didn’t know.

I felt very alone in this disappointment and it wasn’t until my second pregnancy years later that I discovered how many women struggle with breastfeeding. So many women give up on breastfeeding or are forced out by low milk production because they just don’t know how to overcome the challenges. I read book after book, blog after blog, article after article, trying to prepare once again to breastfeed for the long haul with my second baby. I learned so much and realized that I was not a failure as mom for not succeeding at breastfeeding the first time around. I was not a woman lacking in some basic skill. I realized that breastfeeding is not instinctual but a learned skill. So I kept learning and preparing. And you know what? This second time around I am still going strong after 17 months 🙂

Breastfeeding is challenging. It is hard at first. It’s frustrating. But it’s rewarding. It will take many women and many conversations and a lot of time to bring the learned art of breastfeeding back into common knowledge but I hope we as women can make that happen.

Black beans and rice with fried plantains and queso fresco

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I made this meal for dinner last night and I foresee it becoming a staple of my newly vegetarian diet. It’s so simple, delicious, and very cheap. It’s also very quick to make, which is always a definite plus for me.

black beans and plantains 

Ingredients:

2 ripe plantains

2 cups uncooked rice

4 cups water

tsp of salt

1 can of black beans, drained

queso fresco

vegetable or coconut oil

 

Directions:

1. Cook rice, water, black beans and salt in a rice maker or in a covered pot on the stove. I use a rice maker so it automatically shuts off when done.

2. Slice plantains and fry over medium-high heat in vegetable or coconut oil. They should start to slightly brown.

Serve the rice and beans in a bowl with the fried plantains and slices of queso fresco on top.