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Gift Ideas For Kids & Teens With Disabilities

The holidays are such a magical time of year! Most people enjoy spending time with families, hearing the Christmas music playing in the stores and the general happiness and positive energy people are tossing around like confetti. For some parents the holidays can be a bit more of a challenge and not because of our grinch attitudes or dislike of the season. The holidays are different for some parents because the holidays are different for our kids. As a mother of three beautiful kids, a girl and two boys (both boys have disabilities) I know how unusual it can be to help your kids enjoy the season as much as others. Our oldest boy has ADHD and struggles to complete tasks or enjoy quiet, calm activities like others his age. Our youngest has Asperger’s which makes it a struggle for him to enjoy the wide range of emotions so many kids express this time of year. The holidays are not always easy for them simply because they experience things differently and don’t enjoy the same activities. Th

Tasty Asian Inspired Recipes to Make This Week


Stop! Drop that Chinese takeout menu and fire up your stove. These Asian inspired recipes are all you need to satisfy that craving and are probably healthier than what the hole-in-the-wall restaurant on the corner has to offer. You won't even notice the lower sodium content with the bold flavors you can whip up right in your own kitchen.

So roll up your sleeves, grab your ingredients and get cookin'.

1. Thai Shrimp Soup

Colder weather is just around the corner, signaling the beginning of soup season. This Thai shrimp soup is perfect for chilly evenings and has just a hint of spice to keep things interesting. The basmati rice also adds some substance to keep you feeling full and happy. Simply combine the ingredients — some of which you likely already have — and enjoy!

2. Salmon, Ginger and Soba Stir Fry

This recipe requires just 35 minutes of your time and a handful of ingredients. The instructions also help you make a delicious marinade that beats store-bought sous any day. Allow the salmon to sit in the marinade for at least 10 minutes before adding to the pan to soak up all the flavor.

3. Korean BBQ Burgers

If your hubby is craving a big, juicy burger, grill up some of these Korean BBQ burgers. This recipe makes four beef burgers as well as a spicy mayo. Serve the finished product on lightly toasted buns with lettuce, pickles and everything bagel seasoning or sesame seeds for extra flavor. 

4. Asian Glazed Drumsticks

Chicken wings and drummies are the perfect summer food. They also make excellent appetizers during football season so this recipe for Asian glazed drumsticks will serve you well in the coming months.  Soy sauce, vinegar and sriracha come together to make a sweet and spicy sauce that'll have you licking your fingers. Serve with rice and broccoli for a well-rounded dinner. 

5. Poke Bowl

Skip the sushi bar and make your own poke bowl at home. It's easier than you ever thought possible, especially with this recipe in hand. After combining the avocado, ahi tuna, veggies, rice and other various ingredients, you'll have a sort of deconstructed sushi role that's just as tasty as one you might find at a fancy sushi restaraunt. 

6. Asian Sloppy Joes

Take sloppy joe Sundays to the next level by putting an Asian spin on this old classic. You'll need a few more ingredients than buns and a can of Manwich for this one, but the end result will be more than worth it. Simply combine the ground beef or pulled pork with the other ingredients and top the sloppy mix with slaw and sesame seeds. 

7. Korean Bibim Gook Soo

Bibim Gook Soo is essentially a dish containing spicy mixed noodles. Nearly every Asian household has their own version of this meal as they substitute various ingredients to accomplish different flavors. This recipe, for instance, calls for fruits and vegetables in the sauce, putting a twist on more traditional variations. Blend the ingredients together and allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes to three days for optimal flavor. 

8. One-Pan Asian Chicken and Rice

Simplify dinnertime with this one-pan Asian chicken and rice recipe. The beauty of this dish is you'll only have to wash one pan — and the plates, of course — after dinner. Plus, you don't have to stir anything. Simply pop your skillet in the oven and cook it to perfection. Garnish with green onions or scallions and serve immediately. You can worry about cleanup later.

9. Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

If you don't have time to cook dinner in the evening try this set and forget slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe. The sesame oil, cornstarch, soy sauce and brown sugar will create a thick sauce that perfectly compliments the meatier flavors of this dish. Simply combine everything except the broccoli and set your timer for four and a half hours. Add the broccoli and allow it to cook for the last 30 minutes. Then, serve over warm rice and dig in. 

10. Ma Collins

If you and your better half have a night to yourselves, feel free to have a little fun and make an Asian inspired cocktail to complement your poke bowls or Korean burgers. All you need to make the Ma Collins is whiskey, anise-ginger syrup, yuzu juice and a few other ingredients you likely already have on your bar cart. Follow the instructions to make your own syrup and be sure to find a rip yuzu fruit to add some zest. 

Don't Forget the Classics

The above recipes certainly put a twist on many traditional Asian dishes. While they may be delicious and fun to make, there's nothing wrong with craving some fried rice, lo mein or wontons every now and again. Luckily, these meals are quite easy to make and can serve as classic additions to any of these newer recipes. 

Feel free to combine the old with the new as you see fit, but be warned. Your homemade cuisine might just be so delicious you'll never eat takeout again. 


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