Thursday, October 23, 2014

Turning a dinner disaster into an edible meal the next night

I don't often write about cooking because my sister is a personal chef and my food sucks by comparison.
Everything in my sister's fridge, especially the leftovers, are delicious. Not so in my house.
For some inexplicable reason, my crockpot meal Sunday night was really bad.
I made a whole chicken with lemon, thyme and white wine. The chicken was OK. But the potatoes, carrots, celery and onions on the bottom of the pot were uncooked, even after seven hours on low.
Before I discovered my disaster, my husband talked me out of making broccoli, because we had these other vegetables. Well, there's nothing worse than partially cooked potatoes. They are just inedible even after I put them in the microwave for 10 minutes.
At this point everyone in my home is staving so we made do and had lots of leftovers.
The next night, I turned the chicken into a chicken and wild rice chowder from the Better Homes and Garden Crockpot Recipe Book.
Unfortunately they don't publish their recipes online so I can't link to them but it took cooking carrots, celery, mushrooms and onion in butter. Add flour so that it's a chowder and not a soup, four cups of chicken broth, three-quarters of a cup of cooked rice, one and a half cups of half and half, a little extra thyme and seasoning and voila. Chicken rice chowder.
I've made this before with a rotisserie chicken and it was great.
That how I rescued a four-pound chicken dinner. We've eaten the chowder twice now and I think I'll have it for lunch and we'll be done. At least the chicken provided us with three dinners and a lunch.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Ebola hysteria

I watched congressional hearings yesterday where it seemed lawmakers, especially Republicans, only wanted to blame President Barak Obama for Ebola than discuss a thoughtful way to deal with the outbreak in the U.S.
Wait. I mispoke. Is it an outbreak when only 2 people have been infected? I think not. While I sympathize with the two nurses who contracted Ebola, let's be thoughtful for a minute.
No one seems to remember that patient zero, Thomas Eric Duncan, had raging symptoms of Ebola as late as Sept. 28. With Ebola's incubation period, why has no one mentioned that the 50 people who had contact with Mr. Duncan before and after he got sick and have not contracted the illness or shown symptoms in the 21 day incubation period?
This is a good news story.
Tomorrow will be 21 days since Mr. Duncan was transported to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
I'll tell you why no one has mentioned all those people being safe because it doesn't serve the anti-Obama rhetoric that politicians are spouting.
There's an election in a few weeks and the only truth the public is being told are the lies that will get these baboons elected.
Be aware. Get informed. Be a real citizen and not a puppet.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Walking Dead revived

Wow. Wow. Wow.
I made my husband watch the season 5 premiere of AMC's Walking Dead with me tonight. He said he's going to have nightmares and he wasn't even watching the show.
It was freaking scary.... drama, drama, drama of the good kind.

I don't want to give too much away for anyone who hasn't seen it, but this was the big reunion episode since they were driven off from the prison. One can be forgiven for forgetting that at the end of season 4 Rick was still separated from Judith and Beth was still missing.
Tonight, the only person still in mystery land is Beth.
I guess I'm not being fair if I say that season 4 wasn't dramatic. The season finale with the rape, almost rape, of Carl was pretty dramatic. But I felt that season 4 as a whole had more low than high points.
There were so many scenes in this year's season opener that had me on the edge of my seat, gripping a pillow and sitting super close to my husband because I was so scared. The butchering scene was just horrific.

Watch first four minutes of the season premiere:

 I haven't read the comics but I know from reading forums about the show that there were cannibals in the comics.
I'm glad that the cannibals seem to have made a brief appearance because I don't think I could have stomached episode after episode of fearing being eaten by other humans.

Again there were gratuitous gory scenes. I especially liked the close up of the zombie chomping on someone's face. Nice.

Overall, I can see why my friends thought the episode was fabulous. I did not cry unlike others, but I did feel a little softness in my heart when Carol and Daryl were reunited.
I have to comment on Carol. She has fast become my most favorite character along with Daryl. It was was awesome to see a woman be the hero for a change. But it's not just that. I loved her kick-ass nature in this episode, but more importantly, she has fast become the most complex character on the show. She does what needs to be done, more so than Rick or any of the other characters. I found one of the most powerful moments last year was when she had to kill one of the young girls because she'd become psycho. That was tough to watch.  This week she got on her inner zombie (a move I feel they haven't done since season 1 when Rick and Glen covered themselves in zombie guts to get a car) and was like a clever female MacGyver. 

Just a quick note: Was I the only one who noticed the gratuitous missing chest buttons of Maggie's top? Really?Was that necessary? That was just too darn obvious.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New website

A couple of announcements before I detail my lunch experiments.
I officially launched my freelance writing/editing/website content/newsletter/grant writing website at
Check it out and see if you have any freelance work you need done.

Second, I'll update some TV viewing shortly. The new TV season just started and I've watched some shows. Can I say, shocking start to The Good Wife, one of my favorite shows. Look back soon for a piece on CBS's Person of Interest.

Next, I've made lunches now for a month and think I've figured out a routine. As unexciting as that sounds, lunch is a routine. I try and give my daughter a different lunch every day, but inevitably there is a repeat day. Usually she gets the cheese stick and crackers more than once a week, but I mix it up with different fruit, yogurt or a treat.

I was giving her my homemade breakfast bar almost daily but I ran out and have to make more. They are pricey to make and fairly high calorie, but full of natural goodness with nuts, seeds, dried fruit and coconut. See Nigella Lawson for recipe details.

Waffle sandwiches with cream cheese filling have been a hit. I use one frozen waffle, toast it, cut it in half and spread fruit flavored cream cheese in the filling.

It's not worth it to give too much of one thing. When I give my daughter a full sandwich instead of a half, she leaves half of it uneaten.

I started giving my daughter a treat once a week when I noticed, I've been to three lunches at the school, that most of the kids get a treat every day. Oreos are the popular treat of choice and I give my daughter two once a week.

My daughter has bought lunch twice so far. One day was Domino's pizza, the other was today when she got mini pancakes. She asked to buy lunch again, but the menu looked like crap. I told her she can only buy her lunch once a week.

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