Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Another interesting thing to watch is our whole building's costume contest. People will wear some pretty crazy stuff for a $500 gift certifcate. There is also an individual skit contest where people do dance routines and stuff. Last year, someone did an interpretive dance and I couldn't believe my eyes.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Elly's Pork Chops Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Spinach Recipe.
I love goat cheese.
I love spinach.
Seemed like an No-S****er as John Taylor would say.
2 boneless pork chops (I don't read directions so did it with the bone and they were great)
1.5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped or torn
salt and pepper
1-2 oz. goat cheese
Preheat oven to 350.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add .5 Tbsp olive oil. Cook onion until translucent. Stir in garlic until fragrant, and then add spinach to wilt. Take off heat.
Stir in goat cheese, salt and pepper and Italian seasoning to taste.
Pound chops slightly and slit a pocket in the side of each chop. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stuff with equal parts of the spinach mixture.
Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet. When hot, brown the pork chops for about 2 minutes per side.
Move skillet to oven and finish cooking, until internal temperature is about 150, around 15 minutes.
I served this with Daddy's Potatoes... my dad used to make these new potatoes for us on Sundays. My dad wasn't a huge cook, but he did three things well... 1) marinades 2)grilled cheese sandwiches and 3)daddy's potatoes. I am pretty sure these potatoes came out of my parents' favorite 80's Cookbook, the Frugal Gourmet.
1 bag new red potatoes peeled (I am lazy and don't peel mine)
1/2 stick butter
1T olive oil
lots of salt
Heat a frying pan with 1/2 stick of butter and 1T olive oil at medium high heat for about 2 minutes. When the oily pan starts to bubble, add the potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until they get a golden brown color. Add about 1/8th of salt to the top, reduce heat and cover. Cook for 15 more minutes, every 3-4 minutes shaking the pan so as to turn the potatoes inside. You know they are done when soft and golden.... these potatoes really don't need any fixings. They taste good on their own!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
But, I digress, without further ado...
Mrs. Chiz's Chicken (feeds 4 with leftovers)
4 chicken breasts, sliced into thin cutlets
3/4 of a block of monterey jack or mozzerella cheese
salt and pepper
1 T parmesan cheese
1/2 a stick of margarine/butter
splash of white wine
splash of olive oil
1 cup of italian bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 325
Pour self glass of white wine
Slice your chicken vertically so that it's less than an inch thick and no more than 2.5 inches wide. Think long strips of chicken....
Slice your cheese into rectangular cubes about 1" wide and 2" long
Melt margarine in an 8x8 glass baking pan, add splash each of wine and olive oil
Mix an egg with parmesan and salt and pepper to taste in a shallow mixing bowl
Fill another shallow mixing bowl with bread crumbs
Wrap one chicken cutlet around one stick of cheese
Dip in egg mixture
Dip in bread crumbs so as to be totally coated
Put in your glass pan filled with buttery mixture
Repeat until all chicken is wrapped and dipped. Sing a dipping song if you like. Then be sure to wash your hands as dipping is kinda messy.
Take some of the wine/butter from the pan and drizzle over the top of the chicken.
Bake at 325 for about 35 minutes or until no more pink appears. Serve with rice and veggies. And wine, sweet sweet wine!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Emmy's baptism was great, although the longest ceremony of its type I have ever attended. The deacon didn't understand that you were supposed to choose one verse out of each section of the book, but rather read each and every line... It took an hour and considering our family has 6 kids under the age of 5, I really wish it would have been shorter, but it was nice. Welcome to the church, Emmy!
A cold front came through yesterday and suddenly instead of 80s and 90s, the high was only in the 60s yesterday. It was 45 freakin degrees when I woke up this morning. Mike even turned on the gas logs on the fireplace. I know that I was brought up in the Midwest, but living in the south for 8 years has thinned my skin significantly. A high of 60 is like an artic breeze to me and others.... I even saw people in peacoats and turtlenecks yesterday. It feels nice to have fall, but my nose is going to be sniffly for sure.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
We went to the State Fair on Saturday. I'm a big fan of the state fair concept, from looking at quilts and jam contest winners, to free samples of salsa and ice cream in the Food and Fiber building, to dog shows and the bird show where the hawk flies from a cage at the top of the ferris wheel, to the best part, the eating. Mike and I both consumed two corny dogs and the most delicious tornado taters, some lemonade and shared a chocolate nut ice cream bar. We passed on the fried latte, fried cheesecake and the fried peach cobbler. The state fair is so campy, it's wonderful. We always had such a blast at the Iowa State Fair when I was growing up. I am glad Texas has a good one, too.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
My goal during the Neneh Cherry days was to get a "date" to Campfire and that particular week I had succeeded. I can't exactly recall how the courting took place, but somehow word got to Mark Bliss that I thought he was cute and pretty soon he was inviting me to the campfire. The anticipation leading up to this event was far more important than the actual outcome. I remember getting out my peach colored Caboodles full of makeup and applying the lavender and teal shades that only a 6th grader in the 80s would wear and spraying my high bangs and hair with that fruit-scented hair spray and walking down to be greeted by the ski-jump nosed Bliss leading up to an altogether pretty anticlimatic Campfire. There were scary stories and we probably sang the "Watermelon" song, but it was definitely a G-rated night.
There is a very special spot in my heart for CYC. God was definitely present when I was there and I know he is still with the campers there big time. CYC was my favorite place on earth growing up. Better than Disney World. When I became a teenager, it was better than drinking or any other fun high school activity. In all, the experience of being there was better than anything, really. It was this tiny utopia in northwest Iowa where everyone got along and church was fun. Where the highlight of your day could be anything from spending your $20 to rot your teeth as best you could at the cantine, to playing sand volleyball, to making your CYC name button, to carnival night, to saying goodbye and all the tears cried over bidding farewell to your new friends when they played Michael W. Smith's "Friends are Friends Forever." From camper, I became a counselor and then went on some very life-changing retreats there, especially TEC. If I ever get my hands on some extra money, I would like to donate a large sum knowing that other kids today are being shaped the same way I was. CYC made faith fun and tangible to me in a way my home parish in Marion, IA didn't do.
My other song is a Samples one... I'll get into that some other time...
Monday, October 08, 2007
I am feeling pretty uninspired and slothlike overall. I go through fits of productivity and then blah. It seems to be a trend. Though it was pretty great to make a huge bonfire with Mike this weekend and lay on our backs and look at the stars. We even took the hound out on the boat. She liked it! I think the fact that Mike allowed our furry animal who is afraid of getting in the water onto the boat is a testament to how much he loves me.