Saturday, December 05, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I prepared the sauce and it smell outrageously good. Then I added the rice, covered it and baked it. Unfortunately the rice was a bit soggy and mushy when it came out of the oven. Maybe I overcooked it, however the taste of the rest of it was spectacular and the prep work was not too intense. Actually it was downright easy, so I am glad I prepared a double batch (the rice is not frozen with the sauce, it is added before baking) and froze one for later.
As I said, the actual taste of the jambalaya was great, the mushy rice was not, so next time I will prepare the rice separately from the sauce, simmer the sauce in the crockpot and then add the cooked rice right before I serve it to keep the rice from getting mushy or pour the heated sauce over the cooked rice in bowls. Normally I shy away from recipes that don't turn out the first time, but I was please with the taste of the sauce, so I am going to try it again with minor changes. Prepared this way, the sauce can simmer all day in a crockpot on low and be ladled over the rice that is prepared right before serving.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
But one evening as I was pulling a prepackaged commercially prepared Lasagna out of the freezer, I thought "DUH! What am I doing paying $10 for a meal I could have made and frozen myself for a lot less. "
Not to mention I would be avoiding preservatives and other stuff common in frozen foods. I had attended a workshop session many years ago in Tulsa by the authors of "30 Day Gourmet" and even went as far as to purchase their book. To give you an idea, I have a copy of the first and second edition, they are currently on the 10th or 11th edition. I have to admit that I haven't tried any recipes out of it, however the worksheets and the instructions are worth their weight in gold if you haven't done this kind of mass food prep before. I started collecting a couple other books like this with the intention of cooking from them.
Recently I dusted them all off and decided to try recipes from these books.
I decided I will take 2 books and work through them for a period of 3-4 months. This month I will be working through the Once A Month Cooking Manual by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg and More Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer by Sue Martinez, Vanda Howell and Bonnie Garcia. Both of these books are easily available through Amazon.com.
Tonight I made the 12 Boy Curry From the Once a Month Cooking Manual.
The prep work was pretty darn easy. Sauteing the chicken in butter, removing then sauteing the chopped onion celery and garlic in additional butter. Combining the dry ingredients, adding to the cooking veggies, adding the liquids and then the cooked chicken. Since our family is not big on celery, I was tempted to leave it out, but decided to go ahead and do the recipe as printed this time. I'm glad I did. The celery is not noticeable by itself, but is definitely a key player in the fabulous flavor of this dish. My only departure from the recipe is that I used the beef soup base I have in the cabinet instead of the canned beef broth, but that is splitting hairs since it is all the same stuff. I just used what I had on hand. I did add a little hot curry powder (1/2 tsp) since our family likes things pretty spicy, but I would advise caution on that. I ALMOST overdid that. Nobody in my family will get cold tonight! LOL!
The prep work on this dish was pretty minimal, it went together fast and tastes unbelievable! If I didn't know I had prepared it, I would say it competes head to head with my favorite Indian eatery.
This one is a definite keeper! When spooned over Jasmine (That was all I had on hand) or Basmati rice, which would have been the most appropriate rice, it is unbelievable.
Since it is night and the light from the overhead light would give the picture a weird orange/yellow glow, I will wait to post pictures of the dish until next time I make it. AND I WILL BE MAKING IT AGAIN SOON! It is fabulous.
I am looking forward to trying other dishes from this book.
Friday, October 09, 2009
Actually, I think it was more like divine intervention. Not sure husband agrees, but that's the story I'm sticking to.
I had originally gone into Atwoods looking for an apple peeler to peel a large amount of apples to make an apple crisp. While they didn't have the kind of apple peeler that will work for me, I wandered into the feed section and found the Fall chicks. I knew they had chicks and other animals for sale in the Spring, but never thought about them selling in the Fall. I guess that makes sense. By the time Spring rolls around, it will be time for them to start laying eggs. I am looking forward to just having to go to my own back yard for fresh eggs! We only have a couple, which will be fine for our sized family and the size lot we have. It is also easier for me to keep a couple chickens clean. They are all pullets (females) since roosters aren't allowed in our city for obvious reasons.
The girls are currently housed in a large cage in our guest bedroom until the coop is in place and they are old enough to go outside. The kids and I love to watch the girls' antics. They are so funny to watch and I can tell they have interesting personalities already.
The reasons for keeping chickens becomes glaringly obvious the first time you have a fresh egg. Not the kind you buy at the grocery store, but a real egg from chickens that are fed real food and allowed room to move around. When we homeschooled the boys many years ago, we went to the home of another homeschooler that had chickens. She sent everyone home with a dozen fresh eggs. The boys and I were amazed at how orange the yolks were and how high the yolks set in the whites. It was amazing! And the taste was incomparable! Ever since then, we have thought about getting chickens. While the cost of keeping chickens does not make it cheaper than store bought when you figure in the cost of food and other things, the benefits are obvious.
And now we have chickens...
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
OK, so my hand was not completely still. Sorry! But I did get a picture of the owner, Dani, on the left and my friend Robin on the right. All the bottles are the makings for soap. The class was FANTASTIC. Robin and I made the same kind of soap (Cocoa/vanilla) with all kinds of wonderful oils and goats milk. It really got my creative juices flowing. I've made cold process soap in the past, but put it aside because the kids were so small. Now that I have brushed up on the basics again, I really want to start making soap again.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
50 THINGS YOU WOULD LOVE TO SAY OUT LOUD AT WORK
1. I can see your point, but I still think you're full of shit.
2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.
3. How about never? Is never good for you?
4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
5. I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.
6. Who lit the fuse on your tampon?
7. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
8. I don't work here. I'm a consultant.
9. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a word you're saying.
10. Ahhhh. I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again.
11. I like you. You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.
12 You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
13. I have plenty of talent and vision; I just don't give a shit.
14. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.
16. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
17. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.
18. Any resemblance between your reality and mine are purely coincidental.
19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks?!
20. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.
21. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.
22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
23. And your cry-baby whiny-assed opinion would be?
24. Do I look like a people person to you?
25. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.
26. I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left.
27. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
28. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
29. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed..
30. Whatever kind of look you were aiming for, you missed.
31. Oh I get it. Like humor, but different.........
32. An office is just a mental institute without the padded walls.
33. Can I swap this job for what's behind door..........Number 1?
34. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
35. Nice perfume (or aftershave). Must you marinate in it?
36. Chaos, panic, and disorder. My work here is done.
37. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
38. I thought I wanted a career; it turns out I just needed the money.
39. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being more intelligent.
40. Wait a minute - I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.
41. Aren't you a black hole of need?
42. I'd like to help you out, which way did you come in?
43. Did you eat an extra bowl of stupid this morning?
44. Why don't you slip into something more comfortable? Like a coma.
45. If you have something to say raise your hand... then place it over your mouth.
46. I'm too busy, can I ignore you some other time?
47. Don't let your mind wander, it's too small to be let out on its own.
48. Have a nice day, somewhere else.
49. You're not yourself today, I noticed the improvement straight away.
50. Do you hear that? That's the sound of no-one caring.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
These are gorgeous! This is about as muted and pale as I go...However, we'll see. I might have a gaggle of pales in a special planting this Spring because there were some really pretty tulips and other plants at the public gardens in Amsterdam.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
I loved the canals! The homes along the canals were so pretty. I would love to have a home like this. However, I'm told real estate in city central is pretty pricey. Look at all the tiny cars. They are all over Holland, but I did see some Ford vans and a couple American style (large) cars while there. However, they are not common. With gas prices at almost $3 a LITER (WOW!!), driving a gas guzzler is really not practical. On the first day we were there, my friend had a business meeting so the company sent a driver to pick us up at the airport and to drive us home after the meeting and lunch. The driver on the way back to the hotel was very friendly and we talked quite a bit about the differences in America and Amsterdam. At lunch I got quite a bit more insight into life in Amsterdam. Everyone pays a large percentage of taxes, but most don't complain since these taxes go into services like medical and housing. I ask one of the men how they felt about such high taxes and he said in Amsterdam, people look out for the common good , which is different than America where we tend to be more independent and think everyone needs to attend to themselves.
More of the intersecting canals. This is during Queens Day, which explains the packed boat. This canal was less crowded than the most of the other canals, which were packed with boats of celebrants. See all the boats tied up along the canal? I could soooo get used to living here! I loved being on the boats that we took around the city.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
All the orange hats were part of the Queen's Day celebration. Everyone got one as they entered the city.
Most of the streets intersect with canals. Just look at the ornate footings on the bridge. Works of art!!!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
So Cute Man is going to get a portable SD card reader so I can get my pictures on this blog.
That said, I was really inspired by the gardens that I saw in Amsterdam and have decided that I am going to do more container gardening this summer. I'm sure I'll have to be a little more careful about the plants I pick since the weather here is much hotter than there, but there are plenty of flowers that take the heat well, so I am going to take a trip to the garden center today to start planning. I want to paint the pots in colorful designs, so that is what I will be doing this afternoon. I figure the pots will take about a week to completely dry, so I'll spend the rest of the week planning. I did buy some plastic pots for the deck though. I want to grow herbs right outside my kitchen so I will plant those this week. I am hoping little man (my grand nephew) cooperates and goes through the greenhouses with me on Monday. I am looking for peppermint to plant in my garden and around the yard where the soil is having problems washing away. Peppermint can be invasive, which is what I want in these areas. I considered bamboo, but that is REALLY invasive, which is what I don't want. Once you plant bamboo, you can't eradicate it. It's the cockroach of the plant world. Plus let's face it--putting bamboo in the grasps of males in inviting trouble. Can't you just imagine the fun they'll have cutting stalks off to cane each other....just the little things you have to consider when anything with testosterone resides in your home...LOL.
We have had my 2 1/2 year old nephew here for the past week, so not a lot has gotten done around the house. There is a possibility that he'll be with us for the summer, so I'm going to have to figure out how to work my schedule. Unfortunately it has meant that I've been unable to get to the yarn shops that I love so much--Twist in Wichita and The Newton Beadery in Newton--but I'm going to be figuring out how to work that out. Both are places that allow me to decompress and relieve stress.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
While we were walking the streets, I kept seeing little partitioned structures on street corners with little basins on them. Not seeing anyone near at first, I reasoned that they must be some sort of hand washing structure. Thankfully I did not try that out since a couple minutes later a guy sauntered up, unzipped and relieved himself.
It was a very public urinal right there on the street corner.
Since I was a wee bit shocked, I missed taking pictures of these structures -- nothing spotlights you as a tourist more than taking a picture of a public whiz spot. But the concept of whizzing in public was thankfully limited to men. Women had to go hunt down the very limited bathrooms---if you were lucky, the cafe let you use their bathrooms as in the case of the Esprit cafe near Spui. They were very gracious about it since I was probably sounding like a really desperate American.
As I said, I didn't get pictures, but this blog has a great example of one. See? IT IS NOT ENCLOSED!!
However, I guess it is better to have these since I'm sure that the men who have the gumption to whiz at these would just as easily relieve themselves in the canals, on buildings etc.... much like college bars on a Friday night in America, come to think of it.
When my husband was in college, he lived in a little apartment near the alley of a very popular bar. We were forever looking out the bathroom window and seeing some guy relieving himself on our wall. Ever so often I would chuck a pitcher of ice water out that window to defend the wall's honor. I'm sure some of those guys were so snockered they thought the wall whizzed back at them.
1. Went to Amsterdam. LOVED IT! Can't wait to go back next year, but I think I'll plan it either before or after Queen's Day, not during. While it was interesting to see the huge crowds of people celebrating, the streets were so packed that in several areas, my friend and I felt like we were being squashed in the crowds. We did get to do quite a bit of walking, ride the canal taxi,visit the Van Gogh museum and the public tulip gardens, so the trip was really awe inspiring.
I'll post pictures tomorrow with a longer explanation.
2. Learned to knit lace. I have taken 3 lace knitting classes in the past couple weeks and am currently working on a triangular lace shawl for the last class in the series. Lace 1 was a very basic class that introduced us to the concepts by having the class work a scarf in the feather and fan pattern and a scarf in the horseshoe lace pattern. I am actually still working on the horseshoe lace scarf because I made it quite a bit longer than the class sample. The second class expanded on the concepts and taught us how to read the chart and knit the "Branching Out" scarf. I've started that one, but it is currently waiting it's turn in line. That said, I am working on the triangular lace shawl from lace 3 and will hopefully be able to get it completed by next month. It requires quite a bit of concentration, so needless to say I only knit it when the house is quiet. That is going to be a challenge very soon since.....
3. My grand nephew is coming to spend either part or all of the summer with us. He is a 2 1/2 year old bundle of pure energy. Yep, this is going to be an interesting summer to say the least.
As I said, this is just a brief catch up post--I'll take each category and beef up the details over the next couple days to catch up.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Usually we head over to Half Price Books afterwards, but to tell you the truth, I was pretty darn tired. Since we had to travel to Stillwater the next day for Easter and we opted to just head home. It was a really good day though.
I'm not abandoning knitting, just learning a new fiber addiction!
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Exactly how do you get to be the guy who goes in to see if it's REALLY a bomb? Do they draw straws or is it decided by who makes the boss mad that day?
Notice the cop following him in, craning his neck...AND THEN HE'S GONE. Like totally nowhere in sight... Yeah, thanks for the backup there buddy..
I love the "too cool to run" walk they're doing in this video. Don't know about you, but if I see the bomb squad rollin' in, my happy arse is SOOO OUT OF THERE! None of this cool "Miami Strut" like in the video. I'd be running like...well, let's just say I'd be running and leave it at that, shall we?!
So, on days when things just suck at the office and your boss is really making you mad, remember: A day that sucks is still good, but a day in "the pretty suit" could really blow.
Another thing: Is it just me, or does that suit look like a costume mix from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Like a mix of Shredder's face gear and a Turtle's body sans the shell.
Yep, one of us definitely has spent too much time watching cartoons with kids.
OK. I'm done.
I'll get back in my box now.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Apparently he thought he was THE BIG MAN sitting there in THE MINI VAN.
Mark And I looked at each other and grinned.
Mark said "Yo,Yo, Dog-- don't make me hit you with my extra cupholders" with such a straight face that I busted out laughing. Then he said "Don't make me shank you with my soda can".
Both of us were laughing so hard at this point that people were looking at us. To which Mark adds "Yo, I'd fight ya, but I have to pick kids up from soccer practice"--again with a straight face. By the time Jeremy got to the car, I was laughing so hard that I couldn't drive.
So--word up to all you wanna be "GANGSTAS": Ya just can't be a pimp daddy in your mama's ride.