Wednesday, February 14, 2007

How about a little ice for Valentine's Day, honey?

To some that question might give rise to expectations of diamond-encrusted gifts but when DH looked out the window this morning he was referring to the beautiful but dangerous stuff coating everything outside.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rain. No, sleet. Next comes snow? Whatever.

Can't decide if we're lucky or not. The winter storm forecast for the next few days showed up this afternoon with rain. Now it's turned to sleet -- I can hear it hitting the windows and the pavement is white, but not the grass.

There's very little traffic on our country road but that's not too unusual so I can't attribute it completely to the weather. DS is disappointed as he wanted to build another snow fort. Maybe by tomorrow we'll see a bit of snow tho the word is it's going to stay with this till tomorrow afternoon. May get an inch or so of ice accumulation by the end. Our power flipped off and on earlier this evening but other than that we're warm, dry and cozy.

I'd put a frozen pack of what I thought were skinless boneless chicken thighs in the refrigerator to thaw this morning but when I opened the vacuum seal bag I realized they were chicken breasts instead. So instead of the stuffed thighs I'd intended to make supper tonight was Leanne Ely's Garlic Lime Chicken from her book "Saving Dinner." It's quick, good and any leftovers are a treat -- need I say more?

Served alongside a brown rice and black beans combo souped up with some green onion and homemade salsa and topped off with a whole peeled carrot, the chicken went over well with DS. The whole carrot is one of our new ways to eat veggies. DS was getting bored with carrot and celery slices and tossed salad more than once a day just isn't for him as he says. So whole carrots, whole turnips, a wedge of fresh cabbage -- these are the ways we get in some of our raw vegetables. Whatever works, ya know? And, surprisingly, it's been kinda fun chomping on a carrot like Bugs Bunny. Tho DS has no idea who that is... Kids these days, huh?

Oh, here's the recipe for that Garlic Lime Chicken, too.

Garlic Lime Chicken

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 tablespoons lime juice

In a bowl, mix together first 7 ingredients. Sprinkle mixture on both sides of chicken breasts.

In a skillet heat butter and olive oil together over medium high heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Turn down the heat, remove the chicken and add the lime juice and chicken broth to the pan, whisking up the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Keep cooking until sauce has reduced slightly. Add chicken back to the pan to thoroughly coat with sauce and serve.

*Substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs for breasts.
*Cut breasts into 2 or 3 pieces each, if desired. Shortens cooking time by a minute or two on each side and helps us keep portions under better control.
*I find that I can reduce salt to 1/2 or 3/4 teaspoon without notice.
*If I don't have limes, I will substitute lemon juice. (As always, fresh squeezed is best.)

Monday, February 12, 2007

lost in a book

How odd to go along for months looking for books (fiction) that satisfy and then find a handful all at once! Chick lit doesn't cut it, romance isn't working, mysteries haven't worked for years, historical fiction -- uh, uh. But when I grabbed "The Android's Dream" by John Scalzi off the New Books shelf at the local library, I was caught up in a fun story!

Now I've finished Scalzi's "Old Man's War" and am almost through with its follow-up, "The Ghost Brigade." DH is even willing to lay aside his usual military history tome and give "Old Man's War" a shot -- yeah! First time in several years we've read the same fiction. Now if only I didn't have to wait till May to read "The Last Colony."

And when searching for a Star Wars book for DS, I stumbled across John Varley's "The Golden Globe." So now I've finished his "Mammoth," too, which was so enjoyable I ended up reading it to DS after he asked me a million times "what's happening now, mom?" Just picked up "Red Thunder" and "Red Lightning" by Varley this afternoon and hope they are as entertaining.

Oh, it's so much FUN to have new authors to explore! There's a winter storm headed our way according to the National Weather Service and I have books to read!! I couldn't ask for anything more. Last thing DH said as he went out the door this morning was "are you sure you have books to read?" He knows me well.