Mahalek Central

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Location: Nebraska, United States

I am a stay-at-home mom to 2 children, Ryan and Alexa. My husband and I are high school sweethearts who have been through college, medical school, residency, and fellowship together. He just started his practice in orthopaedic spine surgery in our home town.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

PF Chang's- Yummy!

I recently had a HUGE craving for PF Chang's chicken lettuce wraps. I googled it and came up with many different entries. I finally settled on one that I thought sounded the best and didn't sound too difficult. I made it last night for dinner and it was wonderful! Jim had never had them before and he liked them alot. It definatly satisfied my craving and I even have a little left over for lunch today. I have included the recipe at the end of this post. If anyone tries it, let me know what you think. Happy eating!!

P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps

3 tablespoons oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup water chestnuts
2/3 cup mushrooms
3 tablespoons chopped onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
5-6 leaves iceberg lettuce

Special Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon hot mustard (found in the oriental food part of store)
2 teaspoons hot water
1-2 teaspoons (or more) garlic and red chile paste (oriental foods section)

Stir Fry Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1. Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in the water in a small bowl.

2. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.

3. Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you're ready to serve.

4. Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set aside as well.

5. When you're ready to serve, add your desired amount of mustard and chile sauce to the special sauce and pour over the wraps.

6. Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.

7. Saute chicken breast for 4-5 minutes per side or until done.

8. Remove chicken from the pan and cool.

9. Keep oil in the pan; keep hot.

10. As chicken cools, mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.

11. Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.

12. When chicken is cool, mince it like the water chestnuts and mushrooms are.

13. With the pan still on high heat, add another tablespoon of oil.

14. Add minced chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts, and mushrooms to the pan.

15. Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple minutes until warm.

16. Add mixture to the lettuce leaves, top with special sauce, and roll.

It sounds a little long, but it is very easy and delicious!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

1st Day of School

Today was Ryan's first day of preschool for the 2006-2007 school year. Since he is a September birthday, this is his 3rd year of preschool, but he doesn't care. The kid has been in 3 different preschools as well (one in San Antonio and now 2 in Kearney), but it doesn't bother him. He won't know what to do when he stays in one school all of elementary school. He had a great morning, but I think he was most excited when he got to go to Burgur King after school with 2 of his friends. Alex was a little sad about him leaving, but was okay after she got to take her backpack with her. I'm sure this will be another great year for him!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Party Time!

Yesterday we had Alex's 2nd birthday party. She had so much fun being the center of attention. My parents, Jim's dad and stepmom, his brother and fiance, and the Hirschfeld's all came over for dinner and cake and ice cream. We had a really nice time. I still can't believe she is 2. Enjoy the pictures!

A Friendly Visit

This last Friday and Saturday, the kids and I went to Omaha to help my sister and her husband move into their new home. They are in their early 20's, both with good jobs and no kids yet. They were able to get a great house in a nice quiet neighborhood in the Milliard school district. I didn't take any pictures because I didn't think anyone would want to see us all sweaty. It was so hot and humid on Friday. That night I got to go visit my friend Jill and her husband and 2 kids. They were residents with us in San Antonio. I have not seen them in over a year. Jill and Dan had a new baby boy, Ian, almost 3 months ago. He is soooo cute! They also have a 4 year old, Abby. She is such a sweet little girl. Without having to go into too many details, Abby has had many health problems in her short 4 years. She will be going to Ohio on Monday to have surgery on Thursday. So whoever reads this, please sent up your prayers for the doctors, Abby, and her family. Good luck Abby!!! We love you!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Happy 2nd Birthday Alex!

I can't believe our sweet little baby is 2 years old today! She brings such joy and love to our home. We can't imagine life without her!
Some of the many things we love about our Alexa Sue
*says "me me" (excuse me) whenever she burps or toots
*her long, curly hair
*says "thank you" for everything and will continue to say it until you say "you're welcome"
*loves her big brother "Ry Ry" (Ryan)
*her obsession with Blue's Clues and Elmo
*her big, beautiful eyes and long eyelashes
*how much she looks like my sister Erin
*how sweet she looks when she sucks her thumb while sleeping
*loves her "gee gee" (name for her blankie)
*her love of shoes (gets that from her Aunt Erin as well)
*how she knows at least 15 animals and the sound each of them make
*she is a joy to put to bed and hardly ever wakes at night
*she is a great sleeper (2-3 hour naps everyday and 12 hours at night)
*her tan lines
*the kisses she gives through the slats of her crib when she is being put to bed
*her hair in pig tails
*her sweet little voice

Happy Birthday our darling little girl! We hope you have a special day! We love you!!!!


I have NO idea why there are 3 pictures of the same thing. I have tried to go back and delete 2 of them, but can't. I guess it will really show what I mess I have.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I'm a little behind

Usually I'm a fairly organized person. My house stays relatively clean, my laundry and ironing gets done, and I pay my bills on time. But lately, I cannon keep up with receipts, stubs from bills, and bank statements. I write the checks for the bills but then end up throwing all of the stubs in a drawer. It is overflowing. Also, I have a box in my basement with old statements from things in San Antonio. I decided today it was time to tackle that mess. I sure I will be shredding until next year. Hopefully I will be done by next tax time.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Shady Grove

We finally arrived at Shady Grove Resort in Rush Lake in Minnesota. It was a nice little community. They had everything that you might need from boats to grills to a gameroom. The kids had a great time playing in the lake, fishing, swimming with their cousins, and making s'mores. I thing the s'mores were my favorite. I don't know when the last time was that I made them. They were fabulous!!
We left Sunday late afternoon for home, going half way to Vermillion again. Alex had a bacterial infection in both of her eyes the entire trip but she was such a trouper, as were both kids. The were such GREAT travelers! My husband was so wonderful because he drove the entire trip. Thanks gang!! I love you all!

Fishing in Fergus Falls

Once we finally made it to FF, we found Jerry's sister's house. They live on a beautiful lake at the edge of town. The lake is so pretty, surrounded by huge evergreen trees. Ryan wanted to fish, so we put Alex down for a nap and went out to the dock. It was really hot out (100 degrees) and absolutly no wind. But the fish were biting. The weren't big fish, just pan fish, but we had so much fun. As soon as you would bate your line and put it in, the fish would bite. It was great! It was so neat watching the kids with their great grandpa and grandma. They don't get to see them too often, but it didn't take them long to warm up. We fished for a couple of hours, ate some dinner, and then went back to the hotel. Saturday afternoon, after more fishing, we left for the lake resort of Sandy Grove, about 45 minutes away from FF, where we will be staying until Sunday night when we leave for home.

Journey to Minnesota

I am finally sitting down to blog about our trip to Minnesota. It always seems like there is sooo much to do when you get home from a trip, reguardless of how long you are gone. We left last Thursday afternoon after the kids woke up from their naps. My kids don't sleep well in the van, so we wanted to make sure they were well rested. We only drove part way the first day, which was Vermillion, SD. It ended up taking us almost 6 hrs., but that was with stops to see my grandma in Columbus and eat dinner in Norfolk. Jim's mom and stepdad were driving as well (from Austin, Texas!) and decided to stop in Vermillion as well, so the kids got a nice surprise and got to see Grandma and Papa a day early. We left the next morning to drive to Fergus Falls, MN where Jerry's mom and dad and sister live. We only made one big stop that day and that was the most inportant one according to my husband and son. We stopped in Watertown, SD, home of Lew's fireworks. They were like kids in a candy store, which to them it was. We finally got back on the road and made it to Fergus Falls. More on that to come.