Friday, January 30, 2009

The Definition of Irony

I just tracked a package. I won't say the name of the carrier, but there are big white trucks with purple and green writing on them and they played prominently in a Tom Hanks movie.

Anywhooo...the package left Fargo SD last nite but was delayed due to "freezing fog" in Memphis.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Challenge and an Award

I've issued a challenge to myself to spend only $20 this week by eating from my pantry, fridge, and freezer and utilizing my library card. I started the week with a full tank of gas and $20 and currently have $14.46. What did I buy, you may ask? A loaf of bread and a bag of cat food.

Last week I froze a lot of the white bean soup, so that has been my lunch twice this week with a salad. It has taken quite a bit of planning to come up with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for a full week but I think I'm doing okay.

Of course, my friends may not agree Saturday night when I show up with pantry fare for movie night.

I had in the freezer thin sliced chicken breasts and in the pantry some whole wheat spaghetti and a jar of Trader Joe's pesto. I dredged the chicken in a mixture of Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing mix, fresh grated parmesan, garlic powder, and Italian seasoned bread crumbs and put on to bake at 350 while the pasta was cooking. I had a mixed green salad with this and can't help but being pleased with the results. It's also my lunch today.

Breakfast has been Applesauce Cake, a recipe from the Contessa's Kitchen board that I love and can feed me for a week. And I've even been bringing my own iced tea, sweetened with Splenda, from home.


My friend Becky at Random Musings of a Decolady gave me an award, but I can't post it right now. I'll do so soon, and pass it on to some other lovely people.

Have a great Wednesday!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rosemary White Bean Soup

By Ina Garten and modified by Webbie

1 pound dried Great Northern beans
4 c sliced yellow onions
1/4 c. olive oil*
4 slices bacon diced
2 minced garlic cloves
1 large branch fresh rosemary (6 to 7 inches)
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground pepper

Cover beans with water by at least 1 inch and refrigerate hours or overnight; drain.

In a large stockpot over low to medium heat, brown the bacon to render the fat and remove the bacon. Saute the onions with the olive oil and bacon fat until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 3 more minutes. Add the beans, rosemary, chicken stock and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer for 90 minutes, until the beans are very soft. Remove the rosemary branch and the bay leaf. Puree the soup in the food processeor until coarsely pureed. Return the soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper to taste.**
Top the soup with bacon pieces for serving.

One helpful hint from the book - do not salt the beans until after they are cooked, if you salt before they are cooked through, they become tough. Hope you all enjoy this soup!!!

*when using bacon fat, reduce the amount of olive oil
**I used the immersion blender

Seriously yummy stuff! Guess what I'm having for lunch today?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Needed A Laugh

I went to visit the folks last week-end, where I spent the week-end cooking and doing laundry. My dad says he feels guilty because I walk in the door working and never stop. I quietly remind him that if I stop, I fall asleep. Better to keep moving.

I cooked a family favorite...Chicken Pot Pie. I baked it in three separate dishes so we could eat some Saturday and then froze two for later consumption. I also made Paula Deen's Symphony Brownies which are hugely popular with my family. Hmmm...gooey brownies with candy in the middle...imagine that! Mom kept asking me how to make them. I kept telling her. Strokes and short-term memory, what a combo!

Sunday I made Chicken Spaghetti--a very mild, wimpy version.

It's been a tough week at work...I come home exhausted every day. My 30 year old clock radio died and I had to get a new one. The new one sucks! I can only get the oldies station and two religious stations.

My car died. Literally. I don't think she can be resuscitated.

I'll be busy cooking tonight. It's my turn for Fat Friday snacks, so I'm making chicken salad and Rice Krispie Treats. And for myself, I'm making Ina's White Bean and Rosemary soup. I can hardly wait!

Anyway, desperately in need of a laugh, I hit Cake Wrecks and I found myself doubled over. Check out the graduation cake. Tell me it didn't make you laugh. I dare ya!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Random Musings

I was listening to the radio this morning and couldn't help but laugh at the traffic report. There was a "fender bender" at the corner of 1 Mile Road and 1/4 Mile Court. How much imagination did it take to name those two streets?

I feel so dirty! Sunday evening I watched "Confessions of a Former Teen Idol" on VH1. And, while a guilty pleasure, this is not my dirty little secret. After COAFTI, Rock of Love came on. I'd not watched the two previous seasons, so I had no idea of the content of the show or the character of the participants.

Zowie! I had to shower after watching this show. I wish I had had the strength of will to turn it off, but I am weak and it was too tantalizing. If you ever need a little boost in confidence, to feel classy and refined, or just to be a voyeur in the window of life's lowest common denominator...this will elevate and exhort!

Participants on Jerry Spring and Maury feel superior in the wake of this train wreck.

And, finally...I saw Slumdog Millionare over the weekend and one thing consistently bothers me. Who decides the previews to show before a movie? They showed previews for the biopic of Notorious B.I.G during this art house film. Hmmm.