Conquering the “Stuff”

junk pile

I know.  I’m ashamed of it.  But it’s mostly gone now.  This was on my dresser.  Then it became “on my bed,” which was fortuitous because it forced me to go through it, lest I relegate myself (and the husband.  and the cat) onto the couch for the night.  This huge pile birthed two trash bags full of Goodwill donations, one of actual trash, and one of clothes to keep.  I may have also located three grocery bags worth of yarn (with many half-completed projects).  I wish I could show you a clean dresser, but we’re not quite there yet.  Maybe tomorrow.  We’ll see.

I had two things that I wanted to accomplish yesterday, and I managed both of them.  The first, pictured above, and the second was to make soup.  Joey ended up taking my instruction and making the soup himself while I sat on my bed and alternated between crying and tearing my hair out by the roots.  The soup, alas, was a fail; it’s a passable broccoli cheese soup, but desperately needs some meat and something else that I haven’t figured out yet.  It also looks a little like baby vomit, so I’ll spare you a photo.

Tonight, however, was an incredible dinner win!  I found this recipe for Carne Asada on Pinterest a few days ago, and skirt steak was on sale at Aldi Sunday, so we went ahead and grabbed the rest of the ingredients and set up the crock pot this morning.

flank steak

It’s beautiful, right?  The paste on top is a mix of garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro.  In retrospect, I would’ve added the juice and zest of one lime; it needed a little tang.  Either way, it will definitely be joining the Weaver dinner rotation.  The finished product:

cooked asada

We added some steamed broccoli and ate it off my super-fancy Corelle dishes which made me feel a tiny bit like I may be succeeding at being a functional adult.

I get overwhelmed easily these days, so I’m trying to break this de-cluttering process into very small, manageable chunks. And to be entirely honest, I thought the dresser would only take one night, so I was disappointed in myself when I came to the realization after three hours that, even though the big items were handled, I’ve got tons of “little things” to still go through: cds, ear buds, lip gloss, jewelry, a thousand hair clips, pens, buttons; you know, the usual little things that most people eventually throw away.  Except I didn’t.  For, like, three years.  I used to see a therapist, and I told her many times that I just wanted to conquer the dresser.

I’m not done yet, but yesterday, I conquered the dresser.

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Thai Peanut Sauce

I’ve gotten a few requests for the recipe for those spring rolls we made a couple of days ago, and to be honest, I didn’t really use a proper recipe. I will, however, give you some basic guidelines…the rest is up to you.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

* 2 cups, cooked protein of choice (we shredded some leftover pork roast that we made using this recipe)
* 2 cups thin rice noodles, prepared via package instructions
* 1 baby bok choy, julienned
* 3 scallions, thinly diced
* 2 carrots, peeled and grated
* 12 sheets rice paper spring roll wrappers
* one large, shallow-bottomed baking dish (9×13 will work)
* warm water (in said dish)
*plates and wet paper towels (to keep the prepared rolls moist)

1. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix first five ingredients. Run a knife through the mixture a few times to break the noodles into small pieces.
2. Fill baking dish with 1-2 inches of warm water. You may want to go ahead and set up an assembly line this point. Start with the stack of rice papers and the pan of water. Have a clean work space next and the bowl of filling, followed by a plate covered with wet paper towels.
3. Take one rice paper and gently lay into the water, fully submerging for ten seconds. Carefully remove the paper and lay on a clean work surface. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling about one third of the way down the paper. Fold down the top, keeping the filling together. Fold in the sides and roll until filling is completely sealed.
4. Place on plate and cover with wet paper towel until ready to serve.

This made twelve rolls. Keep in mind that these are served cold, so there’s no need to heat anything.

Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce

* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
* 1/4 cup soy sauce (tamari to be gluten free)
* 2 tsp molasses

Heat peanut butter in microwave. When easy to stir, add other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Let cool and serve alongside spring rolls.

Most of these ingredients are pretty easy to find; I did have to go the local Asian market to procure the rice papers.

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Enjoy!