Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bibliophile Survey

1) What author do you own the most books by?
James Patterson

2) What book do you own the most copies of?
I don't do multiples

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
not really

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Agent Pendergast

5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?
Where the Red Fern Grows -- Wilson Rawls

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass -- Lewis Carroll
7) What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
He's Just not that into you -- Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo

8) What is the best book you've read in the past year?
Angels & Demons -- Dan Brown

9) If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be?
Still Life With Crows -- Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Scavenger -- David Morrell

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Goodnight Nobody -- Jennifer Weiner

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
i dont remember dreams

14) What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
Twilight Series - Stephenie Meyer

15) What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
House of Leaves -- Mark Z. Danielewski

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
Ive only Seen Romeo Juliet

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

18) Roth or Updike?

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?

21) Austen or Eliot?

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
CS Lewis

23) What is your favorite novel?
Till We Have Faces

24) Play?
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

25) Poem?
Paradise Lost - Milton

26) Essay?
Unearthing Herstory -- Annette Kolodony

27) Short story?
1408 -- Stephen King

28) Work of nonfiction?
Bird By Bird Some Instructions On Writing and Life -- Anne Lamott

29) Who is your favorite writer?
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Nora Roberts

31) What is your desert island book?
Nightmares and Dreamscapes -- Stephen King

32) Who is your favorite critic or scholar?

33) Who is your favorite philosopher?

34) Who is your favorite public intellectual?

35) And... what are you reading right now?
The Eight - Katherine Neville

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cheesy Pasta Bake

Inspiration : Kraft Kitchens

2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1 package frozen chopped spinach
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1 can (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic, basil, and oregano
3 oz block of cream cheese cubed
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup cheddar Cheese
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees
  • cook pasta as directed adding thawed spinach at last min.
  • Cook and stir chicken in lightly oiled skillet with basil, add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  • heat to a boil and add cream cheese
  • drain pasta/spinach mixture and return to pan. Stir in 1/2 the combined cheeses
  • spoon in to casserole dish and stir
  • top with remaining cheese
  • bake 20 min sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until melted

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spinach & Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken

4 cups lightly packed baby spinach
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts, pounded out thin
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Mrs Dash original

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
in a sauce pan cook spinach, garlic, oregano, in olive oil until wilted
Place Chicken in gallon sized Ziploc bag and pound until thin (1/2 to 1/4)
Take Spinach and mix in cream cheese
Spoon 1/2 the mixture down the center of each breast
Roll up and secure with toothpicks.
Sprinkle with Mrs Dash
Place in shallow baking dish
Bake about 40 mins or until chicken is cooked through.

I found this recipe on this blog, and it was good. I discovered that i do not care for Mrs. Dash. So next time i will use different seasonings, and probably rub the seasonings on both sides of the chicken breast before stuffing.

a confession

i have writers block. There I said it. That's why i started this blog in the first place I looked at it as a series of short assignments to motivate me, but no luck, no words, no nothing. Well a lot of cooking a lot more than I am used to or DH for that matter who i think may be enjoying my writers block. I've had it for a year. 365 days that by work has sat unfinished in a folder on my laptop, untouched, unopened, uninspired. There may be no real help for me at all. Any tips for a writer with no words?

[photo credit: Mayr]

Friday, April 17, 2009

Toddler Chicken Strips

I found this on Here.

thinly sliced strips of chicken breasts
yogurt plain
crushed cheerios

roll strips in yogurt then coat with cheerios

bake on lightly greased baking sheet at 400 degrees for 20 mins.

i served with applesauce and bbq dipping sauce (DD didn't care for dipping)

Cheddar Bacon Potato Soup

4 potatoes peeled, washed and cubed.
32 oz Chicken broth
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder
1 heaping tsp parsley
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
cubed cheddar cheese
1 package bacon

  • Cook bacon, (i baked this for 20 min. until crispy) cut into small pieces and set aside.
  • In a crockpot place cut up potatoes conbine stock, seasonings and butter.
  • cook on low for 6 hours
  • 30 min before serving add evap milk and cook for 1/2 hr.
  • Ladle into blender or food processor, pulse, (its better chunky)
  • mix in 1 package cubed cheddar cheese
  • serve
this made quite a bit so i froze half and took some for lunch the next day!

Slow Cooker Lasagna

2 lbs bulk Italian sausage
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp oregano
1 can (26oz) four cheese spaghetti sauce
2 150z cans tomato sauce
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes w/ basil, oregano, and parsley
2 tsp parsley
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 30 oz container part skim ricotta cheese
2 cups grated Parmesan/Romano cheese
1 box uncooked lasagna noodles

cook sausage in a 10 inch skillet over medium heat 6 to 10 min, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink, drain. stir spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. basil, oregano,parsley.

mix 2 cup of mozzarella cheese, and the the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, (refrigerate remaining mozzarella cheese while lasagna cooks.)

Spoon one-fourth of the sausage mixture into 6 quart slow top with 5 noodles, broken into pieces to fit. Spread with half of the cheeses mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. repeat.

Cover and cook on low heat setting 4 to 6 hours or until noodles are tender

sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining 1 cup of cheese cover and let stand about 10 min. or until cheese melted. cut into pieces.

Top with sprinkled parm/Romano cheese
Dear DD,

"Holy Fuck... I'm Pregnant." Yep that was me. That was my not so graceful reaction to you. Not what you were looking for huh? Well it's the truth. The Moment that strip turned pink all I could do was stare at it in disbelief. Yes you were not planned, you were something that happened, does that make me a bad mother? I don't think so. Twenty Months later I can't remember why i was not trying to have such a beautiful little baby.

Once word got out that i was pregnant all I heard from everyone was, "Are you ready for this?" It's a little late for oh my god i'm not ready. Like everything else in my life it was an idea that simply took getting used to, after that it was happy go lucky all the way.

We were not rich when we brought you into our lives, but we kept clothes on you body, food in your belly, and diapers on your butt. I loved you from the moment i felt you kick. I loved you before that i just did not now it yet.

Here i sit just days before your first birthday and i can't stop telling you how much I love you, how much you've grown, and that you are the very best part of this family. The initial reaction seems so long ago, like a distant memory. Now all i can say is where did my sweet little baby girl go? Who replaced her with this independent beautiful toddler?

You may not have been planned but I cannot imagine my life with out you. The best part of my day is when you smile.

Your Mommy

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chicken Marsala

I originally Found this recipe on Betty Crocker's Website However i did not think it was very good so i am going to do what i do best and tinker with it. Any Suggestions for the next time around?

4 boneless skinless Chicken Breasts
1/2 c. All Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic finely chopped
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1/2 c. dry marsala wine or chicken broth
Hot Cooked Pasta

  • Flatten each chicken breast into 1/4 in. In shallow baking dish mix flour, salt, and pepper. Coat chicken in mixture. Shake off excess.
  • In 10 inch skillet heat oil to med heat, cook garlic, mushrooms, and parsley in oil for five min. stirring frequently.
  • Add Chicken to skillet cook about 8 min turning once until brown. Add wine and cook 8 to 10 min or until no longer pink
  • serve over hot pasta

Monday, April 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday -- April 13

last week was a giant fail, i unexpected went out of town for the entire week, and it resulted in my cooking easter dinner, sorry no time for photos but it was indeed good. So lets try this again shall we...

Monday -- Potato Soup with Bread Sticks
Tuesday-- 3 Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta
Wednesday-- Left Overs
Thursday -- Smothered Round Steak with Egg Noodles
Friday -- Slow Cooker Chicken Parm
Saturday -- Left Overs
Sunday -- Munchkin's Birthday!

I better go get that soup started!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Name Is Alice And I have a Problem...

I don’t think that there is a weekly meeting for the problem that I have. I am a book addict, and this is my enabler, they make so many books so affordable and I never have to leave home to find one. I need help I admit that. If I so much as hear about a book that I may want to read I automatically hit up and see if they have it.

Taking Charge of your Fertility? Check.

Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety? Check.

The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man? Check.

And now after reading about a book on another blog: Bird to Bird Some Instructions on Life, I have indeed ordered it, about ten minuets ago as a matter of fact.

Any advice? Anyone?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

When I started working on April's Menu Plans, Which took about a day, if you count all the breaks and running after the munchkin. I wanted to utilize my shiny new crock pot as much as possible. So this may be a slow cooked month. Plus I am starting to plan whole months out instead of weeks, to take advantage of sales on meats, and various other items. It's actually quite addicting to plan everything out in advance, and it seems to make things a little easier in my kitchen.

Week of April 6th - April 12th
Monday --Cheesey Chicken (crock pot)
Tuesday -- Smothered steak w/Mashed Potatoes (crock pot)
Wednesday -- Leftovers
Thursday -- Scalloped Potatoes w/ Turkey (Crock pot)
Friday -- Chicken Marsala (Family Fun Night)
Saturday -- Leftovers
Sunday -- Easter Dinner (No Cooking For Me)

This is just the plan for the first week, recipies and hopefully photos will follow.