Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paranormal Activity 2

Despite the puke fest that was Paranormal Activity I've decided to see how I manage with the sequel. Wish me luck. And you might send some luck to the Warren Theater ushers too. I'm just sayin...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pork Roast

This was my second attempt at slow-cooking a pork roast and it turned out pretty good for the most part. We'll just ignore the fact that it was still a little pink when dinner time rolled around.

I used a two pound pork roast, carrots cut in quarter inch sections, sweet onion cut in huge chunks so I could easily pick it out, red potatoes cut in medium-sized chunks with the skin and a can of hominy (juice included).

The hominy went in first, followed closely by the pork roast then rounded off with the veggies. I did this without a recipe and was informed later by Spike that the vegetables should have gone in first. Well...phooey.

The yummy, colorful mess cooked in the crock pot for about 8 hours on high. And despite the pinkness of parts of the roast, Spike went back for seconds. I tell myself it's because I'm such a good cook and not because he's a living garbage disposal. It's what gets me through the day.

And by the way, the hominy juice really did make a huge difference. Made things even tastier. By the way, Mom, if you're reading this...No, I did NOT eat the carrots. They were quickly transferred to Spike's plate when he left the room to get napkins. I'm sneaky like that.

As you've probably noticed, I actually made it through a meal without drama. However, I would like to take a moment to say goodbye to an old friend. When I was removing "Crocky"...he liked it when I called him that...from the car he quickly fell to his demise. Poor Crocky. He never stood a chance. Some day I'll remember that small hands should not carry big things one-handed.

Do you think it's too soon to mention that I want one of these now?

I'll miss you Crocky but I've just gotta move on!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

This is the first of what I know will be many blogs on comfort food. The outside temps are starting to drop, it’s football season and Fall is in the air. It’s definitely time to start thinking hibernation. Unfortunately, I’ve got the required hibernation blubber. I may have to share more of these than I consume. That’s okay, though. I have more fun in the preparation anyway. And I have no idea why we call this pie. We just always have. So…on with the show.


Chicken breast, frozen veggies, cream of chicken soup, Grand’s flaky biscuits, milk

First cut the chicken into chunks and boil it. You could also buy the pre-cooked chicken at Wal-Mart…you know, the kind in the little warming oven thingie close to the front of the store…and tear it in to tiny chunks. Either way works well.

While the chicken is boiling, heat 2 cans of cream of chicken soup and then realize that you’ve forgotten whether or not the recipe calls for milk. Call your mom and disturb her while she’s in the check-out line at the store (oops). She will tell you that it calls for equal parts soup and milk. So, heat the soup AND milk. Then, if you’re like me, step away from the stove to load the dishwasher and do other things that take your attention away from the meal. Wanna take a guess at what happens if you don’t stir your soup/milk concoction every once in a while? Oh well. They're not your dishes. Okay, maybe they are yours but in this instance...they weren't mine.

At this point Spike will walk in and gripe about how hot it is in the kitchen. (I was making this meal at Spike’s house and his kitchen is the bane of my existence. It was built for tall people and I am not tall people.) You will need to point out to him that if you were the giant he is you would have turned on the fan. Maybe you should talk him in to putting a longer chain on it. Then he’d hit it with his head every time he walked under it. But! That's his problem. He will turn the fan on, go back outside to finish mowing the lawn and all will be right with the world.

Once the chicken is cooked you’ll need to cut it in to smaller, bite-sized pieces. I like chunky chicken so these weren’t very small.

Pour the soup/milk in to a 9 X 13 dish. Add the veggies and mix well. Oh! Look at all the colors!

Next, mix in the chicken. Finally, stretch a hole in the middle of each biscuit and place on top of the soup/milk/veggie/chicken mixture.

If you get the mixture completely covered and THEN realize you haven’t torn holes in the biscuits and decide that it doesn’t need holes and you’re going to bake it as is, think again! The biscuits MUST have holes. Otherwise they won’t cook as well and you’ll end up with burnt biscuit tops and super soggy biscuit bottoms. And no one wants a soggy bottom. Bake according to the instructions on the biscuit cans. You might want it to cook a little bit longer judging on how cooked the biscuits look. You might also have a couple or 4 biscuits left in the can. You can either cook these along with the pot pie or eat them raw. I’m a big fan of the latter.

While waiting for your meal to bake, decide that you need to go ahead and document some of the witty remarks running through your head to be added to your blog. Grab your keys and run out to your car where you, for some silly reason, have a notebook or two. As you get close to your car, realize that something doesn’t look quite right with your passenger window. Calm the slight increase in your heart rate and then walk to the backyard to have a chat with Spike.

Walk back to the front yard and await Spike’s arrival. Feel really, super bad for Spike because you see how awful he feels when he deduces that his weed whacker must have kicked up a rock. And he had been so careful to make sure nothing like that happened. Drive your car around to the driveway so he can use his shop vac to clean up the mess. Grab a few things like a hammer, screwdriver and trash bag for Spike and head back in to the house to check on dinner.

It looks and smells almost done but one side of the biscuits is darker than the other. Reach in to the too high for you oven and turn the dish around. At this point, wish that you could create smells on the computer so you can share just how yummy is the aroma emitting from the oven.

Let cook a few more minutes if needed. Tell Spike that dinner is ready and go ahead and serve. Enjoy the fact that Spike went back for seconds.

P.S. Spike fixed my car window himself. And! while he was working on my car, I got to drive his truck so I used it to go pick up the bird bath I bought from my grandma when she moved in to a retirement home. Bonus! The bird bath…not the fact that grandma moved in to a Home.