Food finds, broken laptops, and just hanging in there

I found a great deal on Cinnamon Life cereal today at the commissary, $1 per box. I don't normally buy kiddie cereals. I'm a big fan of Kashi Go Lean Crunch but when I offer Coryn cereal, I don't do anything fancier than plain Cheerios. Hence her preference for Kashi Go Lean Crunch because it is sweeter than plain Cheerios (though sometimes I allow a sprinkle of sugar on those and restrict her to cinnamon on other cereals). I was pleasantly surprised when the price on the Life cereal drew me to read the nutrition info. I only really look at two places when I read labels, the sugar content and the first few ingredients. The first ingredient was whole grain oat flour and the sugar content was lower than I expect for cereals aimed at kids. When she was watching Dora that afternoon she asked me if she could have a bowl of cereal and she devoured it and asked for another.

That said, the biggest news, and the main reason I haven't been posting much, is that my laptop has died. I am hardly tech deprived. I have a desktop, but it is sequestered in a computer room in the back of our apartment. I keep telling Matt we need to set up a table in this room specifically for Coryn so she can color or do puzzles in here while we are computing, but so far that idea is just an idea, and usually if I am in here, she is unsupervised in the living room which is inadvisable for long periods. I had known my work horse of a laptop which my husband bought me right after Coryn was born (so it was nearly four-years-old) was dying. There were just little quirky things in the way it was running, unexpected crashes, driver-failure messages. Sometimes it wouldn't play dvd's. Sometimes it would lose its internet connection for no particular reason. Just generally, it has become a little bit slower and a lot quirkier than it had been in its youth. Still, I had wanted to put off buying a new machine until I was back in the states, which will be probably April 2012, tantalizingly close. Right now I don't think I'm going to survive that wait, though, and Matt has already agreed to start looking into buying me a new laptop.

I am spending less time on the computer, but I'm also a little less productive. As I mentioned, there has been no blogging since it broke (when Matt asked me to list the things I do on a computer in order to narrow down the type of machine I should get, he pretended not to know what blogging meant and rolled his eyes at me for it). I also currently can't upload photos to Facebook or Winkflash (where I order photo prints) because I don't have an SD card port on my desktop and am not sure where I hid the connection-cord-things for my camera. Because of this my memory card is getting a little backed up. I also like to watch TV while I cook (on my laptop) and use a lot of recipes which I search for at my kitchen table and then reference directly from the internet. Now I have to copy them down on paper if I want to try them out. My laptop also was the only computer in the house hooked up to a printer (which I could fix by downloading the drives onto here, but so far I've just decided not to print anything); I use it to change my Facebook status on a whim. . .now it has to be worth going into the back of the house and alienating Coryn to do. . .maybe that one factor is a good thing, though. I guess my Facebook friends can live without the latest Psych quote that made me LoL.

Anyway, tonight I made myself a special treat dinner because Matt is gone. Matt works nights every other week and so for that week I don't have to cook him dinner. . .but he still eats a ton while at work, so I'm cooking a lot today anyway. I'm marinating chicken which tomorrow he will grill so he can take it to work. I'm trying out a taco rice recipe (found here) which hopefully he will like and also take to work. He's big on protein and I guess rice+beans=a whole protein, whatever that means. I figured since I'd be cooking anyway, I'd make myself something "real" for dinner instead of having leftovers/breakfast cereal/popcorn/something frozen and defrosted/usual-I'm-cooking-for-myself-and-a-toddler-who-would-rather-just-have-candy-fare. So I bought some top round steaks for $3.00 (cheap cuts but good for what I intended) marinated them quickly in the following recipe, pan cooked them, and served them over salad with some sesame Asian dressing. I love doing that. I almost ate two whole steaks by myself, but I stopped myself from doing so and wrapped up the left overs for later. Here is the marinade I used:

1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
2 Tbs Rice Vinegar
1/2 tsp ground ginger (who am I kidding, I didn't measure this at all, so this should read "however much fell out of the ginger bottle when I gave it one good shake)
4 tsp sugar
4 tsp cornstarch

I guess to cook a top round steak (according to the interwebs) you heat oil over medium then put in the steak four minutes a side or until the blood starts to bubble up through it. I did four minutes for the first side and then about 2 1/2 for the second because I like a little pink in the center, even when over salad. I also included some of the marinade in the pan while cooking. So good.

And that's what's going on today.