November 30

Yesterday, the girl asked me if I would take her shopping.

Who in their right mind doesn’t go shopping when their girl asks them to??

So out we went.

When I got home, the men were out on the front porch, grinning from ear to ear.

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Lookie…lookie what my guys did for me whilst we were out.

You are of course ignoring the fact that Chocolatechic has yet to figure out how to level her tri-pod in the darkness while standing in the middle of the street.

I have the best family.

What a wonderful surprise.

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Novbember 29

So, I’m sitting here eating a handful of no-name Cheetos, (isn’t that what everyone one does at 7:30am while blogging) trying to figure out how to tell you just how much I loathe chopping.

I loathe chopping so much that I try to avoid recipes that involve said chore, unless the chefboy is home and in desperate need of practicing knife skills.

Hurray for chefboys who must practice knife skills.

And when I’m finished with him in the kitchen, he looks pretty much like this, but he owes me because that is what I looked like for the first 2 years of his life.

The boy didn’t sleep through the night till he was almost a year old.

Why did I work the boy so hard?

So I could make this weeks BB recipe that Judy of Judy’s Gross Eats picked out.

It is called Mexican Chicken Soup, and it is gooooood!

This recipe calls for roasting 4 whole chicken breasts with the bone in, but as we all know, this girl is a slacker.

So, I slapped 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (’cause we all know that dark meat is more flavorful) on my pan and called it good.

It also called for blech, gag, yucky, phooie celery.

I made the wise decision to substitute green pepper for this veggie.   Green pepper screams Mexican so much more that celery, don’cha know.

So do the jalapeno peppers and fresh cilantro that I left out.

I also ground my own cumin.   I heart cumin, and nothing is better than freshly ground.

This soup goes together quickly.

We topped it with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and crushed tortilla chips.

I didn’t get a picture of it, because I had company, and we were hungry.

Make this soup.  Not only is it good, but it will warm you up on a cold day.

And score! it’s kinda healthy too.

Mexican Chicken Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on~~or you can be a slacker like me, and use boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)~~gag!  substitute green pepper
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade~~slacker girl used chicken soup base
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
  • 2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced~~can’t handle the heat in my dotage
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional~~optional…see!  It’s optional!
  • 6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas

Directions

For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.

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November 28

Happy Friday, Internet.

For those that celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, are ya still full?

I am.

I made a total glutton of myself yesterday, but when Aunt Cindy brings Schulers donuts to the party, it happens.

I am nosy today, and I just have to know…what was your favorite dish you ate yesterday for your Thanksgiving meal?

My mom made the best turkey.   I have never had turkey breast that was as juicy and tender as dark meat before.

Ever.

Do you plan on taking advantage of all the great Black Friday deals?

I’m not.

Sorry stores.   Your getting nothing from me.

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November 27

About 10 years ago, I begged asked my Grams to please write down all her special recipes for me.

It took her awhile to do so, but about 9 years ago, she presented me with a brown covered spiral notebook full of her spidery hand writing, full of her recipes, full of her love.

I treasure that book, and when she passed away earlier this year, it became even more special to me.

One thing that Grams always made for Thanksgiving and Christmas was Peppermint Pudding.

I can not remember very many Thanksgivings or Christmas’s without my Grams.

Today I am especially missing her.

So, in memory of Grams, I am bringing her Peppermint Pudding to the Parents house for Thanksgiving.

I tweaked the recipe just a smidgen.

Grams always lined her bowls with Vanilla Wafers.    I don’t like Vanilla Wafers, but I do like Stuffmarts Great Value brand shortbread cookies.

Also, I like a sweeter whipped cream, so I added about a ¼ c. of powdered sugar to the cream while I was whipping it.

Grams Peppermint Pudding(as written)

  • 1 pkg peppermint candies~~5 oz.
  • 1 pkg mini marshmallows
  • 1 box vanilla wafers~~short bread cookies

Beat whipping cream(½ pint) till peaked~~along with 1/4 c. powdered sugar

Fold in ½ package marshmallows along with crushed candies

Pour into dish lined with vanilla wafers~~or shortbread cookies

Cover with wrap

Refrigerate overnight

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Today I am thankful for many things, but I am very thankful for my Grams.   For the influence she had on my mother, for the influence she had on my father, and for the love she showered on me.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all.   Don’t forget to love your family.   Be thankful for each and every one of them.   They made you who you are today.

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November 26

I have never really cared for pumpkin pie.

There!   I said it.

I know!   I KNOW!

It is sacrilegious not to really like pumpkin pie, but there it is.

Oh, I have eaten my fair share, smothered in cool whip, because that is what you do on Thanksgiving.   And when there really isn’t any other dessert except pie, and you have a sweet tooth teeth like I do, you eat what is there.

Now my favorite pie is pecan.   I heart pecan pie, and if you add chocolate to a pecan pie, well, I tell ya… it is like I have died and gone to chocolate heaven.

Vibi from La Casserole Carrée picked today’s TWD WWD (Wednesday with Dorie).  It is called Two-fer pie and it is both pumpkin and pecan pies combined into one.

The recipe called for light corn syrup, but I have always been a huge fan of dark.  I lay that blame solely at the feet of my Grandma who would make the most fabulous pancakes EVER! She would slather them in butter and let them go swimming in a pool of dark, rich Karo syrup.

I tried to like this pie.   I really did.

I had hoped that the thick, syrupy, pecany topping would over power the pumpkin bottom, but it wasn’t to be so.

Maybe if I had smothered it in cool whip.

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November 25

SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD is a type of depression that is triggered by the seasons, specifically the winter season.

I suffer with it, and have for a good 20 years.

This year it has been extremely bad, and I am blaming it on the ridiculous time change!

Yep!   That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

Common symptoms  SAD include the following:

  • A change in appetite, especially a craving for sweet or starchy foods~~check
  • Weight gain~~nope
  • A drop in energy level~~check and check again!
  • Fatigue~~Uh huh!
  • A tendency to oversleep~~nope
  • Difficulty concentrating~~what was I saying?
  • Irritability and anxiety~~heaven help those around me
If you have any of these symptoms, get thee to thine doctor forthwith, and he will handeth you a prescription for wonderful drugs.
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Your family will thank you.
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Mine did.
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I am telling you all this because I have no TWD today.

I have no TWD because I didn’t feel like getting my lazy self into the kitchen to make it.
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Told you I was a slacker!
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It is do dreary here in Pothole, Ohio that if it were any darker at noon, it would be pitch black.
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Oh.   I kid, Internet.
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Almost.
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I will, however, be getting my lazy self in the kitchen today to make it, so there will be a Tuesdays Wednesdays with Dorie.
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So, what do I do instead of being in the kitchen where I love to be?

I sit on my couch, knit socks, catch up on my backlog of TiVo, and wish I had enough gumption to get up and make a big pan of cinnamon rolls so I could eat every. single. one.

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November 24

I took this picture of my girl Whiskey the other day.

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I don’t know why I am so in love with this cat.   She can be such a nuisance.   She spreads litter all over the just swept floor, like it is her job to make sure that the broom is permanently attached to my hand.

She runs upstairs once every week or so.   I think she likes to hear me running up the stairs, huffing and puffing and when I finally get to where she always goes~~ under the girls bed~~, she adores to hear me say “Whiskey…huff….deep breath,  you naughty girl…puff…puff, you are not allowed up here…more air, I’m dying here.

She then runs back down the stairs, where I chase her again more puffing and lock her up in kitty jail because she made me exercise.

So there!

And when she is in heat, oh. my. heavens.   She ‘loves’ on every pair of shoes on the floor,  my purse, and everyone’s feet, they get extra special attention.   She especially loves the male population.  It is very embarrassing!

I really need to get her spade.

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She also tugs at my heart strings like no other animal ever has.

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Maybe it is because she was abandoned.~~my heart always goes out to the underdog or the forgotten ones

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Maybe it is because I helped her birth her babies.~~ “Lawzy, we gots to have a doctor. I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ babies.”

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Maybe it is because she is so soft.~~I love soft things

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Maybe it is because she is so smart.~~I love a quick and intelligent mind

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Maybe it is all of the above,  I just know I love my Whiskey girl.


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