Weekend Shenanigans & Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken

Hello, hello!

How is your weekend going? 🙂

We’re having a pretty decent weekend.

Kicked it off by hanging out with my sailor and some of his buddies on Friday after work.


Um, nope, not water in the glass but I do have water as a chaser. 🙂 And I may or may not have eaten a ridiculous amount of sausage pizza.

On Saturday, we were supposed to go to a Navy car wash but rain kept us away. We ended up going to lunch and watched the rain. I had an AMAZING turkey and cranberry chutney sandwich. Seriously, this was major happiness in my mouth!


After lunch, we hit up our local “we sell everything under the sun” hardware store where I snagged an awesome new cast iron skillet!


This thing is HUGE! It’s 17 inches and I can’t wait to use it! It’s a little too big to fit into my cabinet so it’s “put away” spot is going to be right there on the stove. Haha!

I met up with some friends later for a Blue Wahoos baseball game. Yes, the Blue Wahoos. No, I don’t get it either.


Hugest. Picture. Ever.

It would have been so much better if they had won. They were leading 6-1 and they gave up 5 runs in the top of the 9th. *sigh*  We left during the top of the 12th because it didn’t look like the game was ever going to end. I checked after I got home and the game went through 16 (!) innings and they ended up losing 8-6.  They were so close! Oh well.

Today’s been pretty relaxing – laundry, grocery shopping, got Christine’s oil changed and I’ve been watching pre-season football and the Track and Field World Championships. I LOVE days like this.  🙂

Oh, and this happened, too.

Om nom nom!

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken
makes 8 servings
(recipe from the coolest lady on the planet, Ms. Betty Crocker)

1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks in juice
1 cup baby-cut carrots, cut in half
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped gingerroot
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
Hot cooked rice or chow mein noodles, if desired

1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Place pineapple chunks in small bowl; cover and refrigerate.

2. Place carrots, onion, garlic and gingerroot in 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Top with chicken. Mix soy sauce, brown sugar and reserved pineapple juice; pour over chicken.

3. Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 9 hours or until juice of chicken is no longer pink.

4. During last 30 minutes, add pineapple and bell peppers. Increase to high heat setting. Mix cornstarch and water; stir into chicken mixture during last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve with rice.

5. Om nom nom!


1. What did you do this weekend?

2. Baseball – FUN! or No Way, Jose?

– jennifer

Too many emotions. Thank goodness for Chili-Mango Chicken!

Hi there! Happy Thursday!

Well, hopefully for you it’s a happy Thursday. For me, it’s more of a frustrated Thursday. :/ Between CrossFit on Tuesday night and then again on Wednesday morning and PT on Wednesday afternoon, I am pretty wiped out so I didn’t get up and ride the spin bike this morning. Additionally, I am dealing with the knowledge (and stress) that I have likely wasted 11 of 15 physical therapy visits because I’ve been misdiagnosed. I’m the type of person who wants to do the best for myself and my running so I’ve been doing more research on what could be causing my pain. You see, while I feel a whole lot better than I did, I still have pain and cannot run and cannot box jump, etc. And, some days, it just aches. You would think after 3 1/2 weeks of physical therapy, I’d be much closer to 100% if it was just a muscle strain.

I finally got the PT to really listen to me yesterday (honestly, I’m not sure what took so long – maybe I just repeated myself enough?) and he did some different flexibility tests. Turns out my hip flexors are WICKED tight. Like, so tight they could audition for the Wicked Witch of the West and easily snag the part. I have really worked over the past few years to make sure that I stretch after a run and I’ve never had any problems with my hips before but, clearly, I’m not stretching enough. And, prior to my discussion with the PT, I was researching hip flexor strains/injuries and I came across information regarding femoral neck stress fractures vs. hip flexor strains. It is entirely possible that I have a stress fracture based on my symptoms and, while I’ve been healing because I’ve not been running, I have been using that leg and some of the exercises I’ve been doing may be slowing down the healing process. Femoral neck stress fractures are very not good. If only my doctor had sent me in for the MRI 4 1/2 weeks ago like I asked. But no, he just sent me straight to PT where I wasn’t fully evaluated. Great. Pardon me while I go cry in my Cheerios.

sad face

So, the PT is going to reevaluate my program and I need to get back in with my doctor to ask AGAIN for an MRI. I don’t even know what I’m going to do if it IS a stress fracture. Obviously, a BQ is out of the question in Tupelo. Hell, I don’t even know if I’ll be able to even RUN Tupelo.

Okay, that’s enough “woe is me” stuff. Thanks for listening. 🙂 Please keep your fingers crossed for me. I need good vibes!

Now on to the happy part – FOOD!

I made the BEST stir-fry dish last night. Like, AMAZE-BALLS! If you like Asian food – especially the spicy sweet kind like General Tso’s chicken – you will LOVE this. And the best part is it’s not going to cost you 3 days worth of calories to enjoy it!! WIN! Plus, it takes less than 30 minutes! Double win! The hardest part about making this dish, besides waiting to eat it, is cutting the mango. Here’s a great video on how to cut a mango in different ways:

See? Super easy! Now go to the store and buy a mango so you can make this for dinner. Go on. Go. What are you waiting for? Seriously. GO! 🙂


Chili-Mango Chicken
makes 4 servings

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (preferably sambal olek)
Black pepper to taste

1. Combine the chicken, cornstarch, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a mixing bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

2. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the sugar snaps and stir-fry for 1 minute, using a metal spatula to keep the vegetables in near-constant motion. (Hence the term: stir-fry!) Add the chicken along with its marinade, and stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until the meat begins to brown on the outside. Add the mango, chili sauce, and black pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute longer, until the chicken is cooked through and the mango has softened into a near sauce-like consistency. (If your family hasn’t already come to the kitchen to check out what’s making all that noise on the stove, they will come RUNNING when the chili sauce hits the pan. O.M.G. Now THAT’S an amazing smell!) Serve over brown rice. Or, eat straight from the pan. Whichever. Just don’t burn yourself.


Per serving:
Calories 240; Fat 8g (saturated 1g); Sodium 410mg

Has anyone ever had a femoral neck stress fracture before? How long was your recovery time? Advice? Have you ever tried acupuncture for a hip flexor injury?

– jennifer

General Tso’s Chicken

I don’t know about your house but we love Chinese food in my house.  Whenever we move, we’re always on the hunt for the good place – because you know there are some NOT good places out there masquerading as good and just waiting to cripple your stomach with an excess of sodium or oil or just plain grossness.  Well, we have a great place where we are now but, as a health conscious runner and mom, I generally put a limit on what we can order.  Our normal is beef and broccoli and maybe some garlic chicken or curry chicken.  Those dishes are usually sauteed instead of deep, fat fried and much better for our waistlines.  Now, that doesn’t mean that we don’t wish we were eating General Tso’s Chicken or Orange Chicken – and we do get an order every now and then – but sometimes a craving absolutely must be fed.  So, when I found this recipe marked “healthy and fast” on the Food and Wine Web site, I was hooked!

This recipe cuts a great deal of the fat by soaking the chicken in a cornstarch mixture rather than a full batter and then pan-frying in a small amount of oil rather than deep-fat frying.  The result?  Healthy homemade General Tso’s Chicken – slightly sweet and a little spicy and amazingly delicious and on your table in about 30 minutes!  Paired with some sticky white rice and some steamed broccoli, you’ve got a dish to rival anything you might get from your favorite take-out joint.  Eight thumbs up in this house!


General Tso’s Chicken

1-1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1 large egg white

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce (I use low sodium)

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2 in pieces

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon Chinese chile-garlic sauce

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying

2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh ginger

2 large garlic cloves, minced

4 scallions, thinly sliced

Steamed broccoli and white rice for serving

1. In a medium bowl, combine the toasted sesame oil with the egg white, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Add the chicken, stirring to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the chicken broth with the chile-garlic sauce, sugar, the remaining 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1 tablespoon cornstarch.

3. In a large saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir the broth mixture, add it to the pan and cook until thickened and glossy, about 3 minutes. Keep the sauce warm over low heat.

4. In a large deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil until shimmering. Carefully add the chicken, one piece at a time, and fry over high heat, turning once or twice, until very browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain the chicken on paper towels and immediately add to the sauce with the scallions.  Cook until just coated, about 30 seconds. Serve right away with steamed broccoli and rice.