Sunday, August 25, 2013

Since Last (2) Years LOL it's been awhile...I was contemplating making a new blog, but couldn't come up with a catchy name and I realized I already have the one that I like..even though the title is long and people might not find it...But for the 8 followers that I have, here we go.

Basically in the food department our meals over the last two years have been less than stellar. Sunday's are usually pretty good but that's about it. Today we are having "chicken in cream sauce". Personally I love the Whisk Bliss-Universal sauce from Shirley J, but in a pinch you can make your own cream sauce and it's still pretty good. Basically I pound the chicken with my awesome meat tenderizer from Pampered Chef (using the smooth side). Then coat the chicken in good old fashion Shake N Bake. Bake for about 30 min. uncovered at 350. I use my 9 x 13 stoneware baker from PChef. Meanwhile, make the cream sauce. If you don't have the Shirley J stuff, make your own with the following:

1 pint half n half (or quart and double if making two pans of chicken like I usually have to for Sunday meals).
1/4 cup butter (1/2 cup of each if using a quart-kind of like you would do for clam chowder only you want it a little thinner-clam chowder adds all the liquid from the veggies cooking to thin it down)
1/4 cup flour

Melt butter, add flour and cook until bubbles..reduce heat and cook a few more minutes stirring constantly.. Add half and half and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until thickens.
1/2 teas. salt
1/4 teas. sugar
1/4 teas. garlic salt

Mix well and Pour over chicken that has cooked 30 min. Cover and cook another 20 min or until chicken temp reaches 160. Serve the white sauce gravy over mashed potatoes. Today we are having green bean casserole and corn on the cob with it...since corn is awesome right now.

In other news on our home front, we have added a few additions to the family since my last update..Grandson Connor now has a baby sister-Addison - who is almost one. Jeff and Chelsey have a darling baby boy named Stefan (3 1/2 months old) and I finally broke down and we got a new dog. Ozzy-a boxer  (yes named after the famous rocker) who just turned a year and weighs over 50 lbs. He eats a lot of things that I think would kill another dog and I'm pretty sure his life expectancy has dropped a couple of years due to the mass amounts of Advil, potassium, chocolate and anti nausea medication he ate before we decided he had to stay in the kennel while we are at work.

Nic and I have traveled the country going to rock festivals and concerts, which could be a blog all on its's own but I'll probably just include it here...I have seven states left to hit before I turn 50 to complete my "50 States by the time I'm 50", so I know I have to take three more mini vacations. The first one will be to fly to Memphis and go to Graceland because my life will not be complete until that happens..Then we'll drive a little south to hit Mississippi, then trek west to pick up Arkansas and Oklahoma. According to the map if we head north a couple of hours I can hit the southern most corner of Indiana, then a few more hours back to Memphis and then home. Somehow in all my travels to the east coast I don't remember hitting Rhode Island so I have to go back to Boston for a red sox game and a quick trip to RI. My final trip in my quest for 50 will take place right before my 50th birthday. North and South Dakota and the black hills..Can't wait for that one.

 Last November, Glen and I took Jeff and Chelsey to Pomona to hit the drag races...There really is nothing quite like the power of those nitro fueled cars heading down the track at over 300 mph. Then two weeks later we totally blew off family tradition and went to Disneyland and Magic Mtn for the Thanksgiving weekend. We went on the tallest drop in the country...Over 400 feet of freefall off the side of the superman ride at Magic Mountain...Holy scary. Disney was so much fun. We haven't been there for such a long time.. It was spectacular...So fun in fact that when I had to choose a city to travel to for spring launch for PC, we totally chose Anaheim and went again (Nic and I).

After going to the Epicenter festival in 2011 (see earlier entry blog for details) and some local concerts, Nic and I decided to hit "rock on the range" in Columbus Oh in May of 2012. Forty bands - 3 days = awesome! Metallica put on a festival in Atlantic City in June so we hit that too. Holy cow can they still put on a show. Plus Avenged Sevenfold was there too, so it was awesome. Atlantic City was probably one of the scariest cities I've ever visited..We had to walk to Bader field (where Amelia Earhart took off to fly across the Atlantic) and it's pretty bad when the police had to line the route to make sure everyone got home safe. That's probably why they relocated for 2013 to Detroit, but we chose to skip that one this year.  In fall of 2012 we attended Epicenter in Irvine Ca, again, as well as Uproar festival at Usana. Needless to say when they announced the Rock on the Range line up for 2013, we had to go again. We had driven to Phoenix for a quick one day festival to see Chevelle, Skillet, Adelita's Way and a few others in early May, so it was a good warm up for Rock on the Range... Even though we have pinky sworn that in 2014 we are reigning it in (I'll probably have two weddings that year), we have decided that that will be the one festival we attend..We overdid it this year, as I am also trying to get all my states...I needed Wisconsin so in July we attended Rock Fest in Cadott WI (hey, I needed Wisconsin.. how was I supposed to pass that up). At first it was a little weird out there in the middle of no-where but it soon turned into one of our favorite events ever. I crossed several bands off my rock n roll bucket list. The Offspring, KISS, Motley Crew, Whitesnake plus a ton of current bands. It really was epic...4 days of concerts, VIP all meals included and all you can drink water, soft drinks and beer-afterall it is Wisconsin..The official "Home" of beer LOL. Even though we don't drink, it was pretty entertaining watching those that did.

September will pretty much be the end of the concert season for us, we are going out with a bang. Ozzy on the 1st, Uproar Festival with Alice in Chains on the 2nd, Volbeat and the Rock Allegiance tour on the 3rd..a couple of weeks after that, Melissa, Nic and I will end the concert season officially with a two day event in Sacramento..We will drive for twenty hours for twenty four hours of rock...Love weekends like that. After that, I am concentrating on my Grand babies, Pampered Chef to earn my trip and getting ready for the holidays...

On a sad note, this last week one of Ryan's baseball coaches passed away. Edo coached baseball in our hometown for over 50 years. Many great college players and even some major league players called him coach at one time. Plus the everyday lessons he taught all the players will never be forgotten. It's gonna be a lot quieter down at the ball field without him...If I close my eyes I can hear him yelling at the boys "don't swing at the high ones".

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October Madness

October brings some of our favorite things...baking...fall leaves...more baking...Fresh apples on the neighbors tree (which translates into fresh apple pie for us on the back fence). Many people may not realize this, but Glen is a pie making machine...He can whip up the best pie crust...His apple filling is delish. It is his duty each thanksgiving to make the pies. I can hardly wait. Hopefully I can find some Libby solid pack pumpkin.. I hear there is a pumpkin shortage and being that that is my favorite pie, it could be a crisis.

He has had a love for pie making ever since he was little and his mom would make pie for Sunday dinners..and we are talking almost every Sunday. He tried making his first pie right after we were married and we are happy to report, that he has perfected it in every way. I get to make the filling on all but the apple, but he gets all the credit, which is ok with me, because the crust really does make the pie. Jeffrey also makes a wicked apple pie, so apparently it has passed down to him.

Last weekend I was in Philadelphia for some PC training and a little sight seeing. Got to see the liberty bell, Independence Hall, Amish Land, Hershey (the parking lot because I was too sick to go on the tour) and I went to the top of the Rocky Balboa steps... Lots of fun and good training. Ready to get back to life and finish earning my trip for the year in PC. Plus, Ryan has his papers in for his mission, so we are in waiting...It will be a little crazy getting him ready to go, but we are so excited for him.

For dinner today there wasn't much excitement or experimenting, but it was comfort food at it's finest. We had a very simple chicken & rice casserole. It's quick and has the yummy corn flake topping which makes "funeral potatoes" the best.. I got this recipe from the cookbook that was put together from our friends and neighbors in our church. This particular recipe is a favorite from the Knierim family.

Chicken & Rice - Makes a lot.

4 chicken breasts - boiled and chopped
4 cups cooked rice
1 can evaporated milk
2/3 cups diced fresh celery
2 tbs dried onion flakes
1 1/2 cups mayo
3 cans cream of chicken soup
2 teas. lemon juice

1/2 stick of butter melted...mix in 1 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes.

Spray 9 x 13 baker with cooking spray..spread mixture evenly in pan. Top with crushed corn flakes. Cover and bake for about an hour at 350.

Last Sunday

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Better Late Than Never...

So, yes we have been living the crazy life... Over Labor Day we rented a big garbage trailer from the county and set about Laboring all weekend. Cleaned out stuff and tore down our back deck, which to be honest has needed to be replaced for about five years (by needing to be replaced I mean, actually a health hazard)...I really don't know what happened to the rest of the month, it just flew by.

On the 23rd, Nicole, Melissa and I went a little crazy and drove to California for the Epicenter festival, which is really just a reason for a lot of really weird people who love rock and roll to gather in one place. There were fifteen bands that pretty much rocked all of Irvine CA for 12 hours...It was so much fun. We loved watching all the weird people hang out..We pretty much stuck out like a sore thumb, but that's ok. Let's just say that the wacky weed is legal if you have a prescription and most everyone there had a "medical condition." I felt a little naked without any tatoos but hey, there is always next year...(just kidding)..I'm pretty sure I am going through my midlife crisis and that is why I am feeling the need to re-visit my youth by attending these concerts...I actually do like the music, which scares me even more.. After November I am taking a break from concerts for awhile (unless Nickelback or Skillet comes to town...or wait...maybe Brad Paisley or....ok, it maybe won't be too long of a break, but I'm going to try).

Our ward also changed boundaries and buildings so Glen has been super busy with church..thus the no cooking thing, because he kind of heads up the whole experimental cooking adventures...

With today, being conference (no actual church) He felt like hitting the kitchen again..Here is our latest food adventure...So, for years, Glen has hated Cafe Rio...When we go there, he never wants anything...Awhile back he was trapped there with some friends, so he ordered a side of tortilla's and some house dressing to dip them in. He loved the dressing, so this weekend we googled the recipe and gave it a whirl. I was excited too because we used the $200.00 food processor for the third time in like a year. The good news is that it's delish! Tastes just as good as the original and makes quite a bit...and it's pretty cheap to make too. We had to find the low fat tortilla's from Lynn Wilson (3 points on WW Plus) since Nic and I started Weight Watchers again last week. I would have used the light mayo from best foods, but Glen was in charge so I had to defer and count the stupid points when I ate it..I did get the low fat buttermilk...anyway, I digress.. So here is the yummy recipe...Since you can google it, I'm pretty sure it's ok if I put it on here..

Tomatillo Dressing

1 package dry ranch dressing mix (I used the cheap western family for .59 and it was just as good as the 1.79 package of hidden valley...just FYI)

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayo
2 small or 1 large tomatillo (found by the jalapeno's, kind of look like little green tomato's with skin)
1/2 clove garlic - minced
1/2 bunch cilantro - chopped
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/2 small jalapeno, seeds removed (wear gloves...lessoned learned)

Blend it all together in a food processor until smooth and not chunky. Let sit for a few hours in the refrigerator (if you can stand it...I had to try it right away)

I also experimented with the pampered chef's newest two tools...A simple slicer and the microwave chip maker...I never thought we would ever come out with that, but we did. I must say that the first time I tried it I wasn't impressed. However, now that I am on WW and pretty much have abandoned regular potato chips, I have a new outlook. One small potato (3 points) makes a lot of chips.. and once they sit for a little and finish crisping up, they are pretty tasty. You can sprinkle any kind seasoning...I like the sea salt the best, but season all isn't too bad either...lightly. Took about ten minutes to make one potato worth..

That's about it for now. I will try and post some pics from CA...They are funny.