Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spicy Minty Beef Wraps

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My new favorite semi-original recipe. I modified the “Beef and Galangal Salad” recipe from this book, and used a full banana pepper instead of a teaspoon of ground chili to give it a much zestier kick. The banana pepper pairs very nicely with the mint. Perfect with summer cocktails!

1 lb ground beef
5 thin slices of gingerroot (diced)
1 chopped shallot
1 medium size banana pepper, diced and ground (with mortar)
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Splash of soy sauce
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
6 mint sprig leaves chopped
Cabbage (or lettuce) leaves

Cook the ground beef over low heat for 10-15 minutes until meat is cooked and liquid has been absorbed.
Transfer the beef to a bowl, stir in the remaining ingredients (except cabbage) and mix well.
Use the cabbage leaves to scoop and eat the meat.

Serve with a mint julep.

[Major substitutions: a full banana pepper instead of 1 teaspoon ground chili (MUCH spicier, MUCH zestier). No fish sauce (rice wine vinegar and soy sauce instead). Cabbage leaves instead of lettuce. No rice.]

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Side Angle Smile

Mick is always giving me big smiles and then when I try to quickly capture them, and he gives me the "why are you sticking that big black box in my face?" look.

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So I have to be sneaky and get him from the side angle:

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Haha, gotcha little man.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spicier!*

*a la the South Park J. Lo character.

For whatever reason, I've been craving SPICY. The HOT-HOT Pad Thai at Basil mostly satisfies me. A bottle of Sriracha is my new best friend.

I've been stuck in a cooking rut. I don't even mind cooking anymore, but the trouble is what to cook? Everything healthy (protein and veggies) that is relatively quick and easy to prepare is so BORING.

Then I discovered Thai cooking. I checked out every Thai cookbook from the library (so far this is my favorite).

It satisfies my desire for SPICY and healthy and many of the recipes are QUICK and EASY. 10-15 minutes. Seriously. Dicing some veggies and then stir frying.

Here is Ground Chicken with Basil.

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5 small fresh green chilies (or 2 jalapenos)
2 garlic cloves
2 tbls veg oil
4 oz ground chicken
1 shallot chopped
¼ cup bamboo shoots
2 tbls red bell pepper
1.5 tbl diced carrot
1 teaspoon light brown sugar (or palm sugar)
3 tablespoons fish sauce (or rice wine vinegar – use less)
3 tablespoons chicken stock
¼ cup finely chopped basil leaves

Put chilies and garlic into mortar and pound together until well broken down
Heat the oil in a skillet and stir fry the chilies and garlic over moderate heat for 30 sec
Add the remaining ingredients and stir-fry for 4 min
Increase heat to high and stir for 30 sec more

--Feeds Mike & I

Sunday, May 22, 2011

And the winner is…Talkible



Last weekend Mike participated in "Startup Weekend" here in Charlotte - "an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend."

Mike arrived Friday night with a solid business idea to pitch. Of the 26 pitches presented, Mike's was one of the five that survived voting and then formed a team (pictured above). And at the end of the weekend, Mike's team presented Talkible and won! It was fun and exciting that his team won, but now the real fun is starting. We are week one into forming a start-up and are quickly learning all that that entails.

I am officially the project manager/Mike's assistant/organizational and change management consultant/sexy secretary/proofreader/user experience opinion-giver and tester. We're both pretty busy right now, and I hope the Walker Danger Duo blog won't be too neglected.

Mike would like to thank his son, Mick, for the business idea. He was up burping Mick at 5am about 3 days before StartUp Weekend when the idea came to him. I truly do believe in Chaos Theory, so I have no doubt that we can give Mick credit here. (Killian, you get the credit for us moving to Uptown. Thanks boys.)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cormac at 2 Months

Look who's smiling!
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When he was around a month old, we started to see some of those much anticipated smiles. Now at two months, he's a little social butterfly. It was at 8 weeks when we noticed a transformation; he seemed to change from a newborn to a "baby." He started to really want to engage in conversation with us. Sometimes it almost seems like he's trying to mimic the "oooohhh" and "ahhhh" sounds he hears from us. His demeanor has gotten a little more predictable too. He is more easygoing now and less bothered by overstimulation. Now he seems to fuss more often when he's bored. "Come talk to me Mom! I've got something to say!" In fact, he's sitting next to me right now giving me some feedback on this blog post.

One of our favorite shots soon after his one-month birthday. I think you can see the twinkle in his eye.

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He still loves being outdoors, and he is starting to like his bassinet. We are working on getting him to like it so much he'll want to sleep in it for more than 4 hours in a row. That would be nice. Here he is waking up from a morning nap.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Killian at 23 Months

23rd Month Birthday Haiku by Dad:

Killian smiling
Grinning some kind of weird grin
What are you up to?

Happy 23 months, little Killian. You make us laugh and smile.

The theme of this past month has been Independence. From insisting on walking everywhere we go to taking showers by himself, Killian is enjoying his new grown-up skills.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mr. Domestic

We're starting our own "Practical Life" program here at home.

Killian is actually steam cleaning the floor.

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Killian discovers cleaning is more fun if you incorporate a squirt gun.



Making a shake.



Doing dishes is his new favorite activity.



Killian likes to sit next to me and do his work as I do mine. "Type type type type..." is what he says. Once we were at a cafe and he saw a guy bent over his laptop (looking at Facebook actually). Killian looks at him, knowingly nods, and says, "work." Sometimes he says "code" because that's what Dad does when he works.

Wordless Wednesday: Fish Fountains







Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mike Walker #Dad #Awesome #Inspiration

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The shirt says it all. Mike went away for the weekend to a conference for technical/startup folks and he came home inspired. He also came home to a wife who is super appreciative of all he does on a daily basis because he was very sorely missed over the weekend. Mike was so inspired that while eating breakfast Monday and Tuesday morning (I kid you not), he wrote and implemented a Twitter application, Twicord, that lets you save notes and bookmarks via your Twitter account. Pretty nifty, I say.

Wordless Wednesday: Here's Looking at You (II)

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Part 1

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Simple Calm

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"And did you stop and think that maybe infants need darkness? That maybe darkness is part of their natural environment? "


Lately I have been reminded of this quote from the movie Donnie Darko. Two students describe a concept they came up with: Infant Memory Glasses, designed to be worn by an infant when they sleep so the infant is not exposed to darkness and is instead exposed to beautiful pictures, thus creating more beautiful memories. The professor responds back with this question to the students, reminding them that Mother Natures knows best; minimal interference is sometimes best. (These days I also see a number of disturbing prenatal education" and "educational baby" products on the market that bring to mind this quote too.)


At certain times, Cormac requires calm. Sometimes at the end of the day, it seems like there is nothing else he would rather do than to be in a quiet, peaceful environment and just be allowed to stare off into space...


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as he slowly drifts off to sleep.


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Resemblance?

Resemblance Part IV

Little Mary & Baby Mikey (1987)
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Little Julie & Baby Mick (2011)
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Passing Out in Random Places (Continued)

It has been documented that Killian is a carrier of the passing out in random places gene.

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E.T. Lives On

I was born in 1982, a few months after the movie E.T. was released. The little girl living next door said I looked like the little extra terrestrial (the long neck maybe?). My mom had the cute idea to take a picture of me surrounded by stuffed animals just like the scene in the movie when E.T. hid in a closet full of stuffed animals.

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It became a tradition. Here is my little brother Mikey in 1987:
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I remember doing this with the other kids too but filming it as my mom would say "Where is the baby?" as the camera scanned a sofa full of stuffed animals with a baby placed somewhere in the middle. The clip was included in the VHS we submitted to America's Funniest Home Videos with a collection of other staged silliness.

And somehow the little red polyester(?!) jumpsuit has survived all these years. Aunt Pat brought it out of storage this past weekend and the tradition lives on with Baby Mick.

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Killian crashed the photo shoot:
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Love this photo of Killian looking at his brother. Also I get a kick out of how Cormac makes Killian look so pale!
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Cormac had a wardrobe change mid-shoot. I knew that Care Bear onesie would come in handy!

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Thank you so much for the pictures Aunt Pat!