Saturday, January 31, 2009
Moroccan Soup or Stew
Serves 6 as a main course
1 T. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
2/3 c. cilantro
6-7 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry lentils
1 can black beans
1 can garbanzo beans
2 T. indian curry powder
1 t. tumeric
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. cinnamon or nutmeg (optional- I don't add either , but they do make the soup more Moroccan)
Brown chopped onion in olive oil. Chop carrots, tomatoes and cilantro into bite size pieces and combine all ingredients in a large pot or crock pot. If cooking on the stove in a pot, bring all ingredients to a boil and then simmer for at least one hour. If cooking in the crockpot, cook until lentils and vegetables are tender.
If you prefer a thicker stew type meal that you eat over rice, quinoa or couscous or with tortillas (Alex likes it that way), puree at least half of the cooked soup in a blender and then add it in again to the remaining soup.
The only fat in this dish is from the olive oil. Beans and lentils are a great source of protein, fiber and are high in vitamin B, folic acid and thiamin. Combined with the vegetables and maybe brown rice or whole wheat couscous this is a very healthy meal. So eat up!
Calypso Lime Chicken
5 T fresh lime juice, divided
2 T olive oil
6 5-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 T grated lime zest
3 T peeled fresh ginger, finely minced (optional- I don't add it, because I don't like ginger)
1 t salt, divided
1/2 t freshly ground pepper, divided
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
3 T shredded coconut, toasted for about 3-5 minutes in a dry skillet over low heat, stirring
1) Preheat broiler, or prepare grill.
2) In a large bowl, wisk together 3 T of the lime juice and the olive oil. Add the chicken pieces and toss them to coat. Let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3) In a medium saucepan, whisk 2 T of the lime juice with the coconut milk, cream, lime zest and ginger, 1/2 t of the salt and 1/4 t of the pepper. Heat until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan; set aside.
4) Remove the chicken from the marinade; sprinkle with the remaining salt & pepper. Broil or grill until cooked through (8-10 minutes). Transfer to plates or a platter; cover to keep warm.
5) Over low heat, warm the sauce. Spoon it over the chicken, then sprinkle each serving with the cilantro and toasted coconut. Serve immediately.
6) Eat over brown rice, whole wheat couscous or quinoa.
The Best Salsa Ever
2 large cans diced tomatoes
1 medium size yellow onion
bottled/canned jalapeno peppers (to your liking)
1 small bunch cilantro
juice of 1 Lime
1 tsp. Pepper
healthy dash garlic powder
healthy dash onion salt
1-2 T. sugar
salt to taste
Finely chop onions, cilantro add to diced tomatoes in blender. Add all other ingredients. Zap it a couple of times. DON’T OVER MIX IT! Be sure to refrigerate immediately, to let ingredients blend. This is important, because it's much better if you let it sit for awhile before you eat it. The onions are too strong otherwise. Hint: You can add fresh tomatoes if you want more of a “pico de gallo”. Test out the ratio of jalapenos to sugar you prefer. This is delicious with tortilla chips (of course) or with quesadillas, burritos, tacos or anything Mexican.
Breena’s Mango Salsa
3 large ripe mangoes
1 sweet walla-walla onion
1 small bunch of cilantro
4 serano chiles (finely minced)
2 cloves of fresh garlic (finely minced)
Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, cover and chill for at least 1 hour for spices to blend. (Is great on top of grilled mahi mahi). Warning- it is spicy!
Friday, January 30, 2009
Since Colin works in one municipality but lives in another you might think that we would only have to pay for on or the other but no, we have to pay for the town we live in AND the town we work in! It is just outrageous!!! What gets me is we don't even have to pay federal or state taxes, thank you exemptions and credits. Do they not realize how hard Colin works? They just want to take it and then take some more.
All I can say is,
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Despite what you might think this isn't me doing an impression of David Copperfield.
Believe it or not this is a sample of the 1/4" sheet of ice off the top of Crystal's car. It's finally a winter wonderland (or something like that). This is the reason Crystal and I felt it would be unsafe for me to drive to work tonight. If that much ice is on her car imagine trying to drive on it. Missing a day's pay isn't good but if I wreck my car then I'm pretty sure we'd be worse off than one day's pay.
It's been a little while since I posted anything (OK it's been pretty much forever). Sad to say life is pretty boring around here. I continue to look for a different job that doesn't involve the American Sweatshop where I work now.
Today when I got home from work Crystal showed me this TV show called Bromance on MTV. To make a long explanation short; it's a show about a guy named Brody Jenner who is the son of Bruce Jenner (the 1976 Olympic Gold medalist in the decathlon). The show is like Candid Camera meets a frat party. Anyway in this particular episode he convinces these four guys he's introducing a new line of fashionable "mens'" jeans of the rock star genre.
They're mens' lowrise butt-clevage jeans with bedazzled decorations. Oh by the way did I mention they were skin tight? Then to add insult to injury they get all the guys to wear these hideous pink tanktops. Finally they make them walk a catwalk while modeling these jeans that are the cutting edge of fashion. After all this humiliation he reveals to these four stooges that this fashion revolution was a hoax and they were the four suckers who were put on.
Anyway after the show was over Crystal got the brilliant idea that she might have some clothes that look similar to those in this show. To make another long story short see the photo below:
What can I say, I like to make my wife laugh and make Valerie roll her eyes.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
just a note to let you know how things are going with grandpa. he has 3 doctors appointment in the next few weeks. First one is on the 26th for another bone scan, then on the 3rd he goes in for a lower lumbar xray and on the 10th he goes in to get the results from the doctor. I am going with him as he some times underplays what the dr. said. our weather is wonderous and we loved having debby here for a few days. The football game was exciting beyond belief...i still haven't quite come down to earth. It was the last wish in my bucket list, so i have to add someother wonderous things to my bucket. Scott bought the tickets, Debby drove the car and I had a most wonderful day.
i'll keep you posted on grandpa.
I love all of you,
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
this was on the way to the redwoods. we are headed for another adventure.
i am home for about another 15 minutes. you can always reach me on my cell. i am headed for slc tonight to stay at scott and teresa's, then on to yuma sat. wednesday i go to san antonio for a couple of days, then dad and i are going to visit monterrey. les has wanted us to come down since they got married. then back to san antonio for a couple of days, then we come home on the 27th. email us at yahoo. i love all of your emails. i am even going to get to visit genny and spencer merrill in chandler, when grandma sees the game of a lifetime. i love all of you. xoxoxo mom/debby
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I LOVE ALL OF YOU AND I AM REALLY, REALLY EXCITED ABOUT GOING. (CAN YOU TELL?)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Her feet are huge!!
This is my midwife, Sara, she is awesome!!
Naomi Sage was born Friday January 9, 2009 at 6:52 pm. She weighed 9 lbs 1 oz and was 20.5 inches long. The induction went fine, but in the past when I have been induced they have broken my water and started the pitocin at the same time. This time they started my pitocin and didn't break my water until my midwife came back on her lunch hour, at about 1:30. The pitocin on it's own didn't do much of anything except give me some mild contractions. Once my water was broken they got much stronger. I got my epidural at around 4:30 pm and she was born a few hours later!! The labor was totally fine, I pushed through 3 contractions and she was here. It was really cool because my midwife had me reach down right as she was coming out and let me lift her up and lay her on my chest. That was really cool. It kindof freaked me out, though, because she was really blue, the cord was wrapped around her neck. Luckily she wasn't in the birth canal long and she turned pink the minute she started crying. Her face looks a little beat up- it is hard being born!! When she was born her blood sugar was really low- it was 34 and they told me if they test her a second time and she is under 40 she would've had to go to the NICU. So they put a tube down her throat and gave her some sugar water. It only went up to 41, so they put a little tube in her mouth when she was nursing and gave her 1/2 and ounce of formula. It went up to 58 after that so she was good. She is such a good nurser, she latched right on and hasn't had any problems. My milk finally came in yesterday afternoon, so she is happy. She is a little jaundiced, like all my kids have been, but it isn't too bad, and is getting better now that she is getting milk. She sleeps a lot during the days, but last night she cried from about 10:30-2:30. I hope this is just temporary. She hasn't pooped since Saturday night, so I think her tummy is a little upset. But we shall see, we may have another Grace on our hands!! But she is such a sweet little baby. We love her so much, and the kids love her so much. Grace is such a little mommy to her. Whenever she is holding her and she starts to cry Grace says, "It's okay Naomi, your sissy has you". It is really sweet. Maggie is fascinated with her, she always screams "baby!" when she sees her and she is always trying to grab her. Elliot loves to hold her, but isn't as interested as the girls.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I’ve been told that I should tell everyone a thing or two about logistical nightmare that is the upcoming Inauguration, from a local point of view. Am I going? The jury is still out. Here are some of the things I’ve heard…
First of all, let’s talk about traffic. Sometimes when I drive to school it takes me 45 minutes to go 12.5 miles, with sort of bad traffic and decent weather conditions in regular rush hour, with all bridges and roads open and the typical amount of people coming in and out of the District. On a good day with optimal conditions it takes me a half hour.
Now let’s fast-forward to January 20. They’re closing ALL bridges going into DC from Virginia to all traffic except buses and public transportation. Lots of taxi drivers aren’t even going to bother working that day, and I don’t blame ‘em. They estimate that if you line up all the incoming tour buses end-to-end, they would be able to circle the Beltway, and then go on to Baltimore. That’s 109 miles. Where will they put all those? The biggest parking lot in DC, the Nats Stadium, fits 6,000 buses. They’re planning on 10,000.
Okay, so what about the metro? If you get to the metro by 6:00am, you probably won’t make it to the 12:00 Inauguration. It’s suggested that you try 4:00 or 5:00. Typically, metro cars hold 140 people, or 160 with relative discomfort. For this day, they’ll probably be cramming in 300. This is in the DC winter, where everyone will be bundled up and may have umbrellas and all the extras. It brings images of Japanese trains to mind. I hope no one is claustrophobic. Can you imagine if someone passed out? Would anyone even notice?
There are estimated to be four million people coming. The most we’ve ever fit onto the National Mall before is one million on July 4, 1976. There was a six-hour gridlock when everyone left. And that’s in the summer, with no bad weather conditions! (Granted, at that time, the metro was about 4 months old.) Now multiply the worst case by four, and put it in the dead of winter. What if there’s black ice all over the roads? I’ve done a more “regular” July 4 when there were closer to 300,000 people. They know what they’re doing to get everyone out – they implement an emergency exit traffic pattern that is really quite ingenious. All roads turn into one-way roads that take you straight out of town. Still takes awhile.
Speaking of the weather. Remember, it’s January, and this takes place outside. Average temperature for this day is 37° F at noon, but everyone will be standing around long before that time. And after. This is not dry Idaho temperature, it’s humid DC temperature, which feels like a lot less than 37°. What if it snows? Or, the more likely result in 37° weather, what if it sleets? If you are watching from the ticket holder section, you can’t even bring an umbrella into the security area. And by the way, the only restrooms are porta-potties (for four million people), and there are definitely no refreshment stands. So bring your own food…just make sure it’s not in a backpack or big bag. They’re not allowed. Oh, and leave the kids at home if they can’t walk, because the stroller’s got to stay behind, too.
They’re bringing in police forces from DC, VA, MD, and PA for traffic and crowd control. And you know the security’s got to be higher on this one than it has ever been before. How is this all getting paid for? They’ve appropriated $15 million for this thing. Four years ago, with a crowd of 300,000, it was $17.5 million. Huh.
A masochistic part of me wants to be there, just to see the mayhem. If I've got nothing to do that day (and it's not raining) I think I might walk over...I mean, I live only 9 miles from the epicenter, and it is a pretty significant historical event. Shouldn't I take advantage?
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Well, it seems that knowing how addicted I am to work, especially wood work, and having heard the stories of my childhood, they decided to give me a momento of both. As I open the jewelry box, expecting a watch or something, I find a buch of bent nails.
Accompanying the nails was a note, inscribed with the directive,
"Merry Christmas! Make your dad proud."
You may have heard the story of my youth that inspired this unique gift. Being Frank Frugal, a product of the depression, my dad would always scavenge used lumber for his building projects. We would pull the old nails out so he could cut the wood, and then he would assign me to straighten the nails -- hundreds and hundreds of them. You might think he gave me that job to teach me patience, or perseverance, or maybe just dexterity, but while it did have all those effects, I think they were only part of my dad's motive. Mainly, he wanted to reuse the nails. Like I said, he was Peter Provident - nothing went to waste. Actually, that fact made my menial efforts seem expedient -- It wasn't just busy work. There was a purpose, I was contributing. Remember that when teaching your kids - no busy work.
The fact that Jason had so many bent nails available from his remodel project indicates two things: 1. His aim is not very good; and 2. He's figured out the other lesson I learned from that childhood labor -- I swore I would never straighten nails nor fuss with used lumber again, because my time is worth more than that. That aside, I am still grateful for the other lessons learned, lessons I still apply, almost every day.
Actually, a little aside here, reclaimed lumber is all the rage these days, and is more expensive than new hardwood. You know, it gives the structure more... "character," more "ambiance." Hey, I wonder if we could convince people of the same value of straightened nails. With my valuable skill, we could get rich.
Anyway, if any of you think straightening nails would be easy, I invite you to give it a try. Here's a little technique instruction:
Bowed side up/hit the nail directly on the peak - continue until straight. Watch your fingers. For twisted nails, you're on your own.
PS: Jason, I'll have the straightened nails back to you this week, but you have to reuse them.