Monthly Archives: May 2010

Pineapple Salsa Chicken

This is a recipe adventure that didn’t go very well.  I am sad by how many of them don’t go very well.  I don’t know if I’m picky or if we pick bad recipes, but even though there are some good components, there are some BAD components to so many of these dishes.

Here’s the breakdown:

Marinade:
1-2 pounds of chicken
1/3 cup lime juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Combine in a ziploc bag overnight.  Turn in the morning.  We cooked it on the George Foreman grill because we don’t have a real grill.  It was lime-y tasting, but fine.

Pineapple salsa:
2 cans crushed pineapple
1 small can green chiles
1 red bell pepper (diced)
1/2 red onion
1 mango (diced)
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

All of this gets sauteed in a skillet.  Then

1/2 cup lime juice
1/3 cup honey

are added at the end once it is off the heat.

Good things: It was probably pretty healthy.  The chicken was moist.  The flavor was mostly good.

Bad things: We had a metric ton of salsa.  It was not worth eating alone.  There was just SO MUCH OF IT.  On top of that, the salsa was wet and stayed really wet despite our best efforts.  Also, Pineapple chunks should have been bigger.

It was just not particularly good.  It wasn’t bad, just not good.  It makes me sad that so many of our recipe adventures fail.  Maybe we need to look into cooking classes.

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New Neighbors

This picture is important for two reasons.  The first reason is that I loved the Berenstain Bears growing up.  For a long time, my parents had every single Berenstain Bears book there was.  We could read about the new baby, about why it is important to have friends and that bullies should be stood up to and punished by the proper authorities.  It doesn’t even matter in the Berenstain Bears that everyone has an awkward bear haircut (bearcut) and they all wear hats indoors.  The Berenstain Bear universe is a kinder gentler one that will share its platitudes for generations to come.

The other reason this is important is because we have new neighbors.  (Don’t worry, we weren’t looking at them like Papa Bear.  He’s judging the new neighbors, which we didn’t do.)  We live in an apartment complex that seems to have quite high turnover.  This means we have lots of new folks coming and going all the time.   H and I don’t tend to engage with our neighbors very often, but then something special and magical occurred.

On Friday, shortly after my family arrived, we were going to go on a little walk with my sister.  She was feeling cramped from being in the car all day, so we went for a little walk.  We were walking out and our new neighbors had locked themselves out of their apartment with their screen door.  I explained how we fixed our screen door to no avail.  New neighbor man even broke the handle on the screen door trying to open it.  Don’t worry, it’s been replaced.  We then asked them if they wanted to come into our apartment to use our internet to call the proper authorities to get them into their apartment.  This is the part where  I became enamoured of them.

They came into the apartment.  She complimented the setup of our living room and kitchen.  He popped over to H’s bookshelf to peer at the books and asked H about his favorite author.  If my sister hadn’t been with us, I would have probably asked to make sweet neighborly love to them by inviting them over to hang out with us or something.  My sister was at our apartment though, so we lost that opportunity.  Now we don’t know how to proceed with making our new neighbor best friends.

We’ve thought of a few things.  Option A: Go bring them new neighbor cookies.  This means I have to bake, which is difficult in our tiny oven.  Option B: Write them a note telling them we’d like to have them over.  H thinks this one is creepy.  I just don’t know what to do about the whole situation!  I want them to be our new neighbor best friends forever, but how can we do that if we never talk to them?  Le sigh.

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Christmas in May

I will begin by saying that I love Christmas.  There is something about
Christmas and the entire holiday season that brings out the very best in lots of people.  I don’t know if it is the emotional warmth that can only happen in the winter, but Christmas is something that I love year round.  While the gift giving is nice, it is more of a situation where I am not in classes and I get to spend time with the people I love most.

I watch Rankin/Bass Christmas movies on occasion, all year round.  There is something about stop motion Christmas themed puppetry that really gets me going.  The Snow Miser, Santa, and Frosty all have the ability to warm up the subcockles of my heart and just make me happy. Even though they were filmed in the 70s, I love them as a child of the late 80s.  I have gone to the time and effort to collect them over the last few years because I love them so dearly.  I don’t necessarily like the “classics” the best, but I certainly love them.  There is something about a Burl Ives Santa that demands my love, which I supply copiously.

This post is all prompted by our kitchy touristing this weekend.  The tourist trap had a great many different shops and places where people can spend their money. Well, one of the stores was a Christmas store.  It had Christmas music, Christmas ornaments, fake snow made out of cotton balls, and even plastic icicles that were about 3 feet long.  I was in heaven.  I wandered around listening to the Christmas music and really dorkily enjoying the whole thing.  Some of it was incredibly ugly, but it made me feel really nostalgic for Christmas.

Sane people are ready for summer in May.  They want baseball, golf, short shorts, and tans.  Apparently, while I think those things are nice, I am not of the same ilk as most people because I just really wanted to break out my 2.5 foot Christmas tree and decorate the crap out of it.  My dad gets these beautiful brass ornaments every year from Baldwin.  We have a hydrangea ornament and a snowflake from them.  The hydrangea was a wedding gift.  I am excited to go out and buy another ornament for our first Christmas as married people and celebrate that time with our families now that we’re completely permanent, even though we have been together for years.

Tonight may be a night for Frosty the Snowman and the sequel when he gets married to a snow woman named Crystal.

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A visit from the fam

My parents and sister came to visit this weekend.  It was completely delightful.  They haven’t been here since October when they graciously offered to help me move from a one bedroom apartment to our current two bedroom (it’s still small, though).  We went to the outlet mall and shopped, followed by a tourist trappy place about 20 minutes from my town.  This morning we had brunch as a group.  Then H and I saw them off on their way home.

I think I am definitely a family oriented person, more and more as I get older.  There are those phases in life where family is nothing but a chore, which for me was about 18, but once I had wrestled out from under my teenage angst, I have really come to appreciate my parents and my sister.

I would truly consider my sister one of my best friends.  We can talk about important things like life decisions, significant events, and also little nothing things like Sex and the City and how David Boreanaz (Angel from the shows Buffy and Angel and Booth from Bones) has too many mistresses, which makes us sad.  My mom and dad are also great people.  They are accepting of our 620 square foot apartment and the husband that I have recently furnished it with.  They are flexible and kind at home and when they are guests.  My dad even opted out of going golfing so that he could hang out with us.  Overall, the visit could not have gone better.

Someday, we’ll have a bigger apartment/house/condo/whatever that will be more accommodating to more people.  My sister crashed on the futon in our living room, but my parents got a hotel room.  We could have all fit in the apartment, but probably not all that comfortably.  It will probably be one of our next big life changes to have a home that can actually fit extra people into it.

Now I’m off to go clean up the detritus that has been left behind by their visit to put our teeny tiny apartment back together.

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Chicken Crock Pot Casserole Stuff

This recipe is courtesy of H.  He found it online.  The recipe was not looking good about 6:00 pm, but we soldiered on.  We added onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper (as reflected in the recipe) so it tasted like something.  I even made an emergency frozen pizza that we ended up eating last night.  After the fact we decided it was fine, but it was definitely touch and go for most of the cooking process.  It was called a mac and cheese, but it is not mac and cheesy at all.  It is crock pot casserole with a mushroom soup/cheese soup sauce.  I don’t know when we’ll make it again because there was SO MUCH of it, but someday we will probably make it again.

1 can cream of mushroom soup (low fat preferred)
1 can cheese soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pound of chicken breasts
8oz sour cream (low fat is preferred)
1/2 pound any pasta shape
1 package frozen broccoli
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper

In a crockpot mix the soups together. place chicken in soup mixture, making sure it is well covered.  Cook it in crockpot for 6-8 hours.  The chicken will be easy to shred with a fork when it is done.  Once the chicken is done cooking, mix sour cream into the sauce.  Turn the heat off to let it thicken.

Then cook pasta according to the package directions.  Add frozen veggies into the pasta water to cook them at same time.  Once they are finished drain the pasta and veggies (make sure your colander is big enough.)  Place the pasta and veggie mixture into a large bowl.  Add the chicken and sauce mixture.   Stir.

Serving size: 6

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The Ants Come Marching

We had done away with the ants.  I was a good thing all around.  I was feeling accomplished for having done away with them.  We even started to feel secure in our antlessness.  As a result I took our little poison cards and threw them away.  “If we don’t have ants, why do we need poison cards?” I thought to myself foolishly.  We were care free and ant free.  How could anything possibly go wrong?  There were a few weeks of uneventfulness where I felt secure.  There were no sightings.  There were no ant related events in our household.  I was content to rush about in a finals induced frenzy without worry.

Then H saw one.  Then I saw one.  Then one crawled onto my desk.  I hate ants on my desk from way deep down in my ant hating place.

I got out the bottle of poison and cut up a coke can box and redistributed the poison.  The ants swarmed onto the poison, although in much fewer numbers than the first attack.  The most ants I ever saw at one time were limited to a group of seven.  It was not like the great ant influx, thank goodness.

They are now gone again, but I know better than to be lulled into a false sense of security.  They will come.  They will always come.  When they decide to show their little anty heads again, I will be ready with some Terro ant poison and some cardboard, ready to take them on.

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Sex and the City 2!

I love Sex and the City.  When I didn’t have cable during undergrad, I bought the fuzzy pink set of all six seasons.  My roommate and I would watch them on a loop.  We wouldn’t watch the pilot episodes very often because they were not as substantial or wonderful as the rest of the series.  We would go through phases.  She loved Aidan and would watch the Aidan arc over and over.  I have always loved Mr. Big, so I would watch the parts of the story where Carrie and Big were together.  Then we would converge together in wonder, sadness, and delight to watch the portions of the series where Carrie, Aidan, and Big all overlapped into a horrible and wonderful set of circumstances. It was our pastime when we weren’t studying and it was good in every way.

My love for Sex and the City held out for the first movie.  They were a little older, a little less wise, and still delightful.  I even whisper-yelled at someone during the movie.  I was very into it.  I was taking part in the story because these were my stories and my history, too.  There was a gap of two chairs and then a man sitting next to me.  This man had a cell phone that he kept pulling out and looking at, which then lit up as he fussed with it for about 30 seconds.  I shot him the evil eye the first time he did it.  I gave his x-ray red devil death eyes the second time he did it.  The third time, I whisper yelled at him to put his cell phone away, which he did quite promptly. After the movie, he tried to defend himself saying he was on call.  I told him he could put his phone on vibrate and excuse himself from the theatre if that were the case.  I don’t think he was really on call.  I think he was trying to justify his poor movie behavior.

I wish that movies still had ushers.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  They would be there to tell people to put their cell phones away or to escort them out of the theatre if they were being so obnoxious that people felt like whisper-yelling at them.  A world where movie theatres had ushers would be a better world than the movie world I live in now.

All the previous experiences aside, the second Sex and the City movie is coming out at the end of the month.  The joy!  The rapture!  Just as I dragged H (who wasn’t yet H, he was still just boyfriend) to the first movie, I will drag him to the second movie.  He will sit with me as I probably cry because I’m so overwhelmed by something that happens.  I cried during the first movie.  I cried for Miranda and Steve mostly.

I’m overinvested.

I sincerely hope that Carrie is not an idiot in this movie.  If she leaves Big to be with Aidan because they have a romantic tryst in Abu Dhabi I think I will pop a blood vessel in my brain and fall over dead right then and there.  I don’t think I can handle the men hopping anymore, especially not after she and Big end up together and happy.  I can’t do it again.  I can’t.

I’m so excited and anticipatory!

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