Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Middle-aged Mutant Ninja Chicken

I have crappy knees.  I'm not sure when this happened exactly or when I came to this revelation, but I'm not happy about it.  It's bad enough that I turned 40 (which reminds me, I should probably update my little "About Me" section), anyhoo... It's bad enough that I turned 40, but to have to admit that I have ARTHRITIS in my freakin' knees too?!  What a load!  I went to the Ortho doc who sent me to physical therapy and it helped a lot, but still the creaking and crunching and popping in my right knee were about to drive me nutso, so I sucked it up and went in today for an injection of SynVisc.  SynVisc is a fluid made from the combs of roosters (I'm crappin' you negative here) that supposedly will help supplement the synovial fluid in my knee joint, basically allowing my knee to move freely without rubbing and scraping against stuff.

The needle stick wasn't too bad, the gelatinous fluid going into my knee joint, yea, I could have lived without that.  It was a slow process to get almost 10cc of fluid in there.  And about half way through I heard AND felt this audible crunchy POP!  I almost fainted.  It didn't hurt, but the sensation was thoroughly foreign and henceforth a little overwhelming.  I managed not to pass out, but I was definitely a little ooky and nauseous for awhile.  I was able to leave on my own and drive home, but ICK.

Since I've been home, things have gotten a little strange.  I'm beginning to wonder if something went wrong.  I felt the need to pile things up on the couch and sit right in the middle and wait.

 And wait. 

And wait.

 Then I jumped up and ran outside and started to scratch madly at the ground.  And when I saw that beetle, I just couldn't help myself!  It was disgusting, really crunchy and bitter, but what could I do?  I seem to have perpetual "goose bumps" and my skin is feeling really scaly and dry!  And if that weren't bad enough, I have more than once felt a strong urge to peck my kids in the head.  HARD.  And let me just say, if you know what's good for you, you won't be eyeballin' me today!  But, you'll have to excuse me, I see a big fat caterpillar climbing up the window outside and that sucker is MINE!  Pa-CAAAAAWWWW!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What's on the Menu? Mulligatawny Soup

I seem to be on a food kick lately!  Eh, who am I kidding, I'm ALWAYS on a food kick!  I can't help it, I love to cook and I love to EAT!  Last week, I was under the weather, some stupid cold or something.  Anyway, I was looking for a soup.  Something hearty and tasty and nothing brothy and thin, I wanted stick to your bones, nourishing soup.  So I started digging through my recipes.  Lo and behold, I came across an old recipe, from my Portland days.  Honestly, I haven't made this soup in eight years!  An anesthesiologist I had the pleasure of working with in Oregon gave me this recipe after we had a soup-themed potluck one day.  It was so tasty and amazing and I was raving about it and trying to figure out what the starch was in the recipe as I knew for sure it wasn't potato.  I thought maybe it was turnip or parsnip or something along those lines, boy was I ever surprised to find out it was little green apples!  Had someone informed me of that at the beginning, this little country girl would have never put that soup in her mouth!  Apples in soup, CRAZY!  But nobody told me until later and I am thankful for it!  So don't be squeamish!  Chop up those little apples and TRUST me, you won't regret it!

Mulligatawny Soup--courtesy of K. Lalwani

Before you begin, cook some rice!  You'll need about a cup of cooked rice at the end of the recipe.

Saute the following:
1/4 c olive oil
1 chicken breast cubed
1/2 c onion
1 large carrot, sliced
2 stalks celery, diced

Add 1-1/2 tbsp. flour and 2 tsps. curry powder, cook for about 3 minutes.  Pour in 32 oz. chicken broth and simmer for about 30 min.

Add and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes:
1 medium tart apple, diced
Between 1/2-1 c. cooked rice (I use closer to a full cup)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. thyme

Immediately before serving, stir in 1/2 c. heavy cream. 
All I can say, is this is one of those recipes that got lost in the little box of recipes.  I can guarantee, I won't make that mistake again!  Enjoy!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Big Chill-2011

We have SNOW.  In Central Texas.  Really.
The whole city is shut down.  And I'm not kidding.  Over this much snow...

I mean it is so pathetic that the Monkey Man rolled his eyes and said, "Whatever.  We can't even make a snowball with that!  Can I just play Wii?"  I had to practically force him to put on his coat and go outside so I could at least get one picture of him in this monumental meteorological event!

The Piggy was a smidge more excited.  She was, however, pretty bummed to find out that this, like the Ruidoso snow, was NOT snowman snow.  She was able to make little snowballs to pelt at me, but they fell apart mid-air so it was more of a snow shower!  As it turns out, trampolines are fun in the snow!
And although this measly bit of snow was fun for my daughter, it almost made me cry.  For those of you who weren't in Texas, you might not know that this particular storm was preceded by about 2 days of well-below-freezing temps with lots of wind and wind chill.  I did my very best to cover the garden and shield it from the nastiness but when I peeled the frost barriers off this morning to shake off the snow and let the garden get some much needed sun, I found utter desolation.  :(
I'm thinkin' those peas ain't coming back!  The onions, chives and cilantro MIGHT make it, but I'm not holding my breath.  The collards and turnips didn't fare much better.
Some of the lettuce might pull through but anything around the edges looked like this...
So sad.  But what is worst of all, is I was left with a whole bed of "dead beets".  (Pah-dum-pump--PSHHH!)
See, I'm so distraught I'm making tasteless jokes!  So I'm glad everyone got their snow and their day off but I personally think the "Great Blizzard of 2011" can bite my ass!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What's on the Menu? Corn Chowder for a cold evening!

OK, it's cold outside and my pantry is severely depleted since I was out of town all weekend.  The last thing I wanted to do was go to the store in 17*F with wind to boot!  Obviously I wanted to feed my family something warm and stick to your ribs, but what to make?!?  I opened the freezer and saw that bag of frozen corn and I knew exactly what I was going to fix!  Creamy Corn Chowder!  Nothing hits the spot like a good soup!

This is a Betty Crocker recipe that I tweaked a bit to suit my taste!  You gotta love Betty!

4 slices of bacon (I use turkey bacon, more meat, less fat, just as yummy)
1/4 c butter
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 small carrot, shredded
2 gloves of garlic, minced
(I added chopped red bell pepper, about a 1/2 of a big one.)
3 tbsp. flour
3 c. chicken broth
3 c. frozen corn
2 medium potatoes, cubed small
3 c. half & half (I only used 2 cuz that's all I had!)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook bacon in a large soup pan or Dutch oven until crispy, remove and crumble.  Add butter, onion, celery, carrots, bell pepper and garlic to the pot and saute until tender.  Add flour, stir well, cook about 2 minutes.  Slowly add broth.  Stir in corn, potatoes, half & half, herbs and seasonings.  Heat to simmer.  Cook about 15 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Add in the bacon crumbs.  Serve and enjoy!

I served the chowder with fresh popovers!  It was awesome!  I'm thinking Tabasco might have been a tasty addition, but we were out, so I don't know for sure!