Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 03, 2009 - Slow N' Steady.

I started writing this post last night and fell asleep, waking to find the field filled with "L"s.. so be forewarned, this post is clearly Ultra Exciting!

Life -

I'm slowly working on my ankle. The swelling has gone down quite a bit and I've started a series of stretches to try and regain some mobility. We went out in the morning to run a few errands and I made it a point to wear some supportive shoes and tried to walk pretty normally rather than limping or favoring it.

Hit the library, where I managed to return one of my books a day late... can't avoid a fine there it seems. We got there around 11, and I was shocked at the number of cars in the lot. Until we got inside, naturally we came during the summer kids reading program... Found a few books that fit the genre that I'm writing and I think most are better reads than the last pile. We'll see.

Then we swung by my mom's where I tried another thing with the Hot Water Heater From Hell, but it doesn't look like it worked either. Grr.

By this point, my ankle was starting to give me problems, but we still headed to the greenhouse and bought a couple of wave petunias for our front flower garden area. They also had their veggies on sale and we hadn't bought any of ours yet this season, so we snagged a couple of different kinds of tomatoes, 2 butternut squash plants, a spaghetti squash and a pumpkin. I'm debating on whether I should post photos of my gardening, considering what a fiasco that usually is...

Speaking of gardening, here's a couple of photos of Rich and Sue mowing my lawn that Lindsay took last week. Nice boots for working in the yard, Sue!

After the greenhouse, we stopped briefly in at the used bookstore in town, Circle C Books. Its a little place, housed in a little building and has been there as long as I can remember. I like the store, apart from a couple little quirks. They obviously cater to romance readers, 3/4 of the shelf space is filled with romance novels, so the books I read are given short shrift. All of the Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror books are 'Trade Only', which means you can't buy them outright, you have to bring in enough books to get enough credit to trade for them. As someone who hangs on to virtually all of his books, this is especially annoying to me. However, the worst part about the store is the owner. She has absolutely no people skills. She gets visibly annoyed if you browse, rather than asking her for a specific title, and acts put out that you're even there. I've been to a LOT of used book stores, and to be fair, most of the owners are an eccentric bunch, but she's probably the second worst, after the owner of one in Salt Lake City that smoked around the books, stunk pretty bad and was openly hostile to customers.

Then we hit up the Taco Wagon for lunch, made a crock pot and spent the rest of the day with my foot up either reading or working on writing.

Recipes -

Here's a couple of crockery cooking recipes that we've made recently, both of which are easy, cheap and quite tasty!


GARLIC CHICKEN WITH ARTICHOKES

Ingredients:
12 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1 T olive oil
1 8 or 9 oz package frozen artichoke hearts or 1 can of hearts
1 red sweet bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 t quick cooking tapioca
2 t crushed dried rosemary
1 t black pepper
1 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken breast
4 cups cooked rice

Directions:
- Saute garlic and onion in small skillet in the hot oil.
-Combine with all but chicken and rice.
-Add chicken, spooning some of the mixture over the chicken
-Cook i9n slow cooker for 6-7 hours on low heat
-Serve over rice

Notes:
This is from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book, and they suggest a full tablespoon of tapioca and some lemon peel. We cut the tapioca back because they have a tendency to add too much, using it as a thickener, and we prefer our sauces a bit thinner. We didn't have any lemon peel so we substituted some lemon pepper and cut on the other pepper. This meal was quick and really easy, and all told cost about 4 bucks to make.

SLOW COOKED CHOWDER OF THE GODS

Ingredients:
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 T minced garlic
2 t butter
2 12oz cans of evaporated milk
2 cans of condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted
2 cans of condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 can of corn, drained
1 t creole seasoning
1/2 t garlic powder
1 3 oz package of cream cheese, cubed
2 pounds of cooked chicken, loosely cubed

Directions:
-In small skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter
-Combine onion, garlic, milk, soups, corn and seasonings in 5 qt slow cooker.
-Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
-Stir in chicken and cream cheese, cook an additional hour on low.

Notes:
We love this meal. It's pretty quick to prep, you can keep most of the ingredients on hand all the time, and it makes a lot of leftovers that re-heat well after being frozen. You can also substitute Cooked Turkey or Shrimp, and we've thought that a mushroom one, with sliced mushrooms and cream of mushroom soup instead of the cream of chicken would be good too. The Creole seasoning it vital, it adds a huge flavor and brings out some of the others.

Writing -

I Worked on revisions, doing physical editing on the first 69 pages and making notes as I went, and worked a bit on copy editing Lindsay's book as well.

Her help has been invaluable, pointing out a couple of technical issues that I'd missed and helping me guide a couple of scenes in dramatically better ways. She also pointed out that my last chapter/epilogue needed a significant expansion... not sure that I'm grateful for that note....

3 comments:

Sherry said...

It sounds like it was an overall good day! Awesome!

I hope your ankle gets better soon! I saw the picture and it looks bad. Real bad. But, I guess since you can walk on it, it isn't so bad.

Good luck on the writing! I'm sure your book will be excellent once it gets finished (probably before too, but after finishing has a conclusion-ish like part)

randymeiss said...

Nice, thanks for the recipes. I can't wait to try that Garlic Chicken. It's got most of our favorite ingredients in there.

Kristopher and Crew said...

It's especially good if you roughly shred the chicken and let it warm in the juices for another half hour afterwards before eating.