Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Turkey-onion-apple pot pie w/ cream cheese pastry

So I made a comment on Rock Chef's blog about a random savory pie I made ages ago (but it was really good) and next thing I know I'm getting an email requesting the because I have nothing to post --here you go...enjoy, I think I'll make it this week...maybe even post a picture? (oh and FYI, Rock Chef is having a contest, so it's worth visiting his blog to see if you can win)

Cream Cheese Pastry:
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 Cup butter, cut into chunks
1 3 oz package of cream cheese

when coarse crumbs form add
1 large egg yolk

stir until well formed, pat into flat disk about 8 inches wide and wrap and refrigerate it.

2 onions
2 golden delicious apples
1 yam (or sweet potato)
1 tbsp of butter
1 1/2 lbs of ground turkey breast
2 tsp dried sage
1 1/2 tsp caraway seed
1 1/3 c fat-skimmed chicken broth
2/3 c dry sherry
3 tbs cornstarch
salt and pepper

1 beaten egg

Peel (and core) apple, onion and yams and slice all, thinly.
Melt butter over high heat and brown turkey
Add onions, apples, yams spices and cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
Uncover, turn heat to high, stirring often until liquid is evaporated and onions are starting to brown (5 min)
In small bowl mix broth, sherry and cornstarch, add to turkey and stir until it boils and thickens, remove from heat, add salt and pepper and let cool fro about 30 minutes...stirring occasionally. Spook mixture into shallow round 2 quart casserole dish or 10" pie pan that holds at least 6 cups

On lightly floured board roll pastry into round about 2 inches wider then the dish you are using, center pastry over filling, trip edges, overhanging 1 inch, fold overhang under pastry flush w/ rim. Flute pastry firmly against dish and slash top or cut decorative shapes into top (I use a small maple leaf cookie cutter and add the cut outs to the rim of the pie.

Set pie on a foil lined baking sheet, brush w/ egg

Bake at 375F until pastry is well browned and filling is bubbling 35-45 minutes, can cover rims w/ foil to prevent them from browning more then the rest of pie.

This recipe originally came from Sunset Magazine
Thankfully I got tagged in a MeMe by the witty writer of Say Anything So I'll have something to write about later this week. I'm in one bit of a dry spell.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My interview from Chief Rock Chef

My first day of class went well...well the lecture went well, but I failed my math test (a test you need 100% on to pass) so I retook it today and passed...woo hoo. Anyhow, I'm thinking this semester is going to be my favorite yet. I finally feel like I have a rhythm to my studying, I know the teachers and I only have two's the home stretch and I'm stoked! Soooo, Chief Rock Chef sent me some interview questions and I thought I would share them with you....for those who requested interview questions, I'm in the process of getting them out and those who haven't yet, please do! It's fun to think up questions and no worries, I'll be very polite, no weird stuff!

Here you go.....

1.- Soon after we "met" you sent me a prize (an amazingly well chosen prize at that) and I remember you commenting that you like trying to buy good presents for people. Have you ever bought something that has fallen totally flat, turned out to be absolutely the wrong thing?

I'm very glad you liked your prize. It was very fun trying to pick something out. But, you were actually very easy to buy for. I never seem to find the right thing for my sister-in-law. She would never ever say otherwise, she's too polite, but sometimes you just know. I once bought her a heather gray sweater and leggings only because I thought she would look fantastic in that color. I hadn't realized at the time that she never wore much color, she stayed with some pretty basic whites and blacks and sometimes never occurred to me that this color would be out of her comfort zone, but it was. Most of the time I buy her gift certificates, she has most of what she needs and wants.

2 - You have committed yourself to the wonderful, stressful, often thankless world of nursing. If you were suddenly able to switch to a new career (no training, studying, etc needed) what would it be?

If I could be anything....I'd be an interior decorator. I love color, furniture, paintings etc and like to see how to put them all together to make a comfortable livable room. My favorite channel on television is HGTV . I would also like to be an artist, preferably a sculptor.

3 - Looking at old posts, you seem to get a lot of bad weather where you are - Colorado I seem to recall? Do you enjoy this or would you prefer to live somewhere with a kinder climate? Where would you go?

Colorado is a pretty awesome state. Even though we do have snow (not much lately, it was 70 degrees F today, we had the windows open and the kids were wearing shorts) we also have more sunny days then California. The snow rarely stays on the ground for more then a couple of days. We have the beautiful Rocky Mountains just a few minutes away. I love having all four seasons too.....BUT, I would actually love to live in the Pacific North West, a place with actually worse weather then ours because of the amount of rain they have...but I love rain and I love green. They also have mountains but in combo with the ocean.

4 - Long ago I had did a post about a TV show that I wanted to do - a cooking show called Rock Chef which would feature a different rock star guest each week. Have you ever thought of yourself doing a TV show? If so, what sort would it be? Who would be on it with you?

Whatever show I'd do, it would probably end up a comedy....I'm not really comfortable being the center of attention like that so I think most likely I would produce rather then host a show. I think it would be fun to do something Martha Stewart like but with REAL people and ideas for REAL life. Seriously if I spent hours creating marzipan turkeys for Thanksgiving I'd have a fit if someone ate one....Martha Stewart is just nuts.

5 - If you are having a bad day, what thing is most likely to cheer you up, or are you doomed once a day turns bad?

Sadly, I often turn to food, but it doesn't cheer me up, it makes me feel worse....but a lot of times my husband can joke around or poke fun at what I'm doing and I can usually cheer up. I'm rarely doomed....but the days that I am, I usually leave the family and crawl into bed so that they don't have to witness it.....
Thanks John for the interview questions they were fun to answer. And for the rest of you...check out the directions in my post below should you wish to be interviewed (and I so hope you do!).

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Interview from Ali

OH MY GAWD, SCHOOL STARTS TODAY....TODAY...AND IT STARTS WITH A MATH TEST! so instead of freaking out (okay, who am I kidding, I'm freaking out) I'll leave you with my answers to Ali's interview questions:

Ali, at Idiosyncrasies of a Gemini Mind (Isn't that a great name for a blog....oh wait as a Gemini myself, maybe I'm biased) sent me some interview questions (and in case you're wondering, so did Chief Rock Chef...I'll get to his on Wednesday) here are the answers, and should the whole 5 people who read my blog wish to be interviewed by ME....just see below what to do....

1. Once school is over and you're "officially" Nursey McHealthypants, what are you going to do to celebrate?
Well, I think I'll start off with sleeping for a week....I'd like to take a family vacation, not sure where --it'll most likely depend on our finances, so it could be a week away in our lovely mountains or a cruise in the Caribbean.

2. What's one of the funniest situations you can remember being in with your hubby - where you both laughed yourself silly?
Jason and I have known each other a long time, but the one thing that strikes me as one of our funniest moments, is also quite embarrassing to me.....but what the heck, I'll share it anyway. Jason and I went to an improvisational thing one night and someone on stage was revving up the audience. He would yell things out like "what high school did you go to" and everyone would yell out an answer. I was very caught up in the moment and when he yelled out "who did you lose your virginity to" I yelled out "JASON"....but no one else said a peep, so it was my lone voice in the crowd yelling an answer-- then a roaring burst of hysterical laughter on the announcer and audience parts....color me beet red...but, no, it didn't stop there. Later the announcer came around in the audience asking questions and he came to me and asked who was sitting next to me and in a shy, contrite voice I had to say, "Jason" which made the audience and the announcer laugh that much harder.

3. Do you ever wish you weren't such an unpredictable/feels everything Gemini? I only ask this because obviously I am one myself, and sometimes it's exhausting.

Oh my goodness yes...and the quickness a mood can change for me is sometimes confusing and irritating...but the good news on that front is that I can come out of a funk pretty easily (especially if humor is being used). What is most aggravating though, is the whole fence sitting thing...I'm really good at seeing both sides and often agree with both sides of almost any issue. I really admire those who can take a stand for something because they can move forward where as I am still debating in my head which is the right thing to do...
Jason does joke with me about which personality is coming out to play, or he'll ask if I'll consult all the people in my head before making a decision....he's a funny guy.
4. Your favourite thing about being a mom to your two little boys? And do you think they're easier than girls?
The hugs....I love those spontaneous hugs and "I love yous" from them. I know that they are going to get less and less in the coming years so I eat them up now. I love smelling them when I hug and cuddle them, almost like I can breath in their essence.
Not having had girls, I'm not sure what would be easier. I've heard that girls a more mellow at this younger age, but harder in the teen years? Boys at 9 and 6 are certainly exhausting! I think I'll still have the worries about teen peer pressure with smoking, drugs, alcohol and sex that a mom of girls would have in the later years, so I'm not sure I'll have it easier then then a mom with girls?

5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? And what would your superhero name be?
It would be 'super fix-it woman' and I would get my house remodeled....I would love to channel Carter Osterhouse (or whatever his name is..the real cute carpenter guy on HGTV) and have my house actually completed within the next year...seriously we are now over a year on our master bath remodel.....grrrrr
Not very creative or romantic, but there you have it!

Thanks Ali for your fun questions! And if any of you would like me to interview you, let me know and see rules below.

The only rules are that you have to link back to the original post and you have to put these rules in your post:"Want to be part of it? Follow these instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Finally some good financial news...well for us at least

Had to pay my tuition...that was hard, BUT it's the last semester I have to do that...WOO HOO (ok, until I go back for my BSN and MSN)...anyhoo, the good news is that in this disaster of a year, our ARM, the very first and only one we've EVER done and only did because we owned two houses at the time, is coming up at a time when interest rates are going down so our rate is also going to go down and locked into that reduction for a year so we don't have to scramble to refinance and hope our house held at least some of its value so we can stay in the 80% range and not pay PMI....YAY! Now if only the stock in J's company would go up (could you all go buy some stock in Perficient and help that along please, I'd really like a new kitchen).

Again, I have nothing to really write about...if someone (Chief Rock Chef) would email me some really interesting interview questions...I'd so have something to write...sigh....(how's that for a guilt trip, CRC)as it is, I'm having a block...or maybe I'm just living that uninteresting of a life.....hmmm, something to ponder, but later I'm off to attend a seminar on how to read for nursing school...this might have been more helpful in the beginning of the program, but maybe I'll pick up some good tips... (thanks, Martha, for your sage advice on Facebook).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Recipe for Cuban Black Beans (well my version at least)

Since I have nothing to about I thought I'd just post my recipe for Cuban Black beans. Not as good as my mom's (according to the rest of the family) but she won't give me her recipe because she says she doesn't know how she does it, she just does it....So my recipe is a combo of cook books and the few times I've observed you go and hope you enjoy, if you decide to try it....

2-3 pieces of bacon
1-2 chorizos, thinly sliced (I use La Abuelita Spanish Style Chorizo --not so much the Mexican version which tends to disintegrate)
1 yellow sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1 small jar of pimientos
3-4 cloves of garlic
4 cans of black beans drained
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups of beef broth
2 tbs ground cumin
2 bay leaves
2 tbs of oregano
2 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tbs sugar
salt and pepper to taste

(if you want a healthier version, forget the bacon and chorizo and saute the onions, green peppers, garlic and pimientos in olive oil and serve with brown rice)

Cook bacon and chorizo, push to side of pan and saute the onions, green peppers, pimientos and garlic in oil of bacon. Add everything else, mix. cover and cook over low heat for an hour or two. Serve over white rice (I like the short grain-- sushi rice is good for this recipe).

Friday, January 09, 2009

My Husband Makes Me Laugh

So I finally made dinner last night, we've had a week of eating out and ordering in (bad mommy). Jason enjoyed the meal (grilled thinly pounded seasoned steaks, Cuban black beans and rice and a tossed salad) so I laughingly and sarcastically said, "So, it's okay if I make home cooked meals more often?"
To which he replied:
"Yeah, and I'll even throw in that you can do the dishes after"
Me: Seriously (said with glee), oh that would make me so know there are households that if one person cooks the other does the dishes.
Him: I think that's an urban legend.
Him again: Anyhow, those households don't get to see this (he sweeps his hand up in down in front of himself) naked
Me: (can't talk because I'm laughing so hard)
Him: Well you didn't have to laugh quite that hard.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I got CARDED--woo hoo

I'm at the grocery store buying stuff for a dinner I was having for three other couples (I did a potato bar, it was awesome, I mean when you're having a vegetarian, someone on Atkins and a couple who is pseudo-kosher it's really difficult to figure out what to serve -- Atkins friend, ate the fixin's w/out the potato, vegetarian friend ate the potato without the meat fixin's, pseudo kosher couple were more pseudo then kosher so did have some of the ham)....Now to the important part of my post....

I was at the grocery store, buying stuff for dinner and threw in a six pack of Coronas. I was checking out and the clerk asked for my ID. I gave him a blank stare and asked, "why". He answered because I was buying beer. I exclaimed, in SHOCK, "you're CARDING me?"

and he says....get this...
"We card anyone under thirty"

So I tell him I'm forty. He got all flustered...
Unfortunately I didn't actually have my ID....
so he proceeded to lecture me about driving without my license, apparently he was going to the police academy and was very concerned about my breaking the law....

No beer (no worries, we did have wine), a lecture...but no problem because SOMEONE THOUGHT I WAS UNDER THIRTY.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

I wondered what I should do about this post, should I reflect or should I look forward....hmmm, well in Gemini fashion, I've decided to do a little bit of both.

This last year is such a hazy blur, I've been trying so desperately to succeed in the nursing program. Torn between being a wife, mother, homemaker and student and trying to do well at all. Sadly, I've not done exceptionally well at any, but passable at all (well not so much homemaking, really sometimes washing the cabinets can be mind numbingly DULL).

My husband? Well he has outdone himself in picking up the slack (well, not so much about the homemaking, mostly because I think he might agree about housework being mind numblingly dull -- picking up the toilet brush is not quite as exciting as programming--uh, well for him at least). But he's been fantastic at watching the kiddos when I couldn't, playing with them, working out his very busy schedule to give me the time to study and go to school. He's been very patient with my moods, even those moods that overwhelm me around test time. He's an amazingly supportive, wonderful man!

My kids...well they're great, I can't help it, sometimes when I look at them my heart just hurts with love. I feel overwhelmed by happiness and I feel like I could burst right open. (Hmmm, why is love often times explained in aspects of pain....a different post perhaps) In January 2008, they resolved to not eat fast food for an entire year, and THEY DID IT. Both Jason and I are so proud of their being able to stick to something like that. They are healthy, smart, active boys who keep me on my toes but have taught me about love in only the way that having children in your life can.

What's in store for next year? Well, thankfully I'll finish my nursing program in May and I'll be an RN. It's terrifying and wonderful to think about. I can't wait AND I hope it never comes. It's hard to explain --to want something so much yet be terrified by it also. It was that way for me when I got pregnant, I wanted the baby to hold so much but also was so scared I walked out of the L&D department, while telling Jason I changed my mind. I feel the same way about nursing.

This year I'm resolving to take care of myself. I'm not going to diet. I'm not going to beat myself up. I'm going to be as forgiving of myself as I am to others. I'm going to go get that massage, pedicure, facial, whatever. I'm going to say yes to fruits and vegetables and cake and say no to artificial sweeteners. I'm going to take leisurely walks with the dog and kiddos and not see it as a chore, or a way to lose weight but a way to enjoy nature and play with the kids. I'm going to live my life like I think my life would be lived if I were already thin.

This year I will most likely be saying good-bye to my mother. Seeing her slowly die will be very difficult, especially knowing that the cumulation of choices she has made in her life has brought her to this end. I am thankful that this last year will be spent here in Colorado, where I can spend time with her and get to know her. I haven't lived in the same state with her since I was nine, so this is an opportunity to get to know her better before she leaves us and for the kids to have memories of her, even if brief. I'm going to look at this as a gift, not a loss. I'm going to concentrate on the gifts more then the losses in my life, life seems more full that way.

These are the things that are on my mind on the first day of 2009. I'm happy with them, the good, the scary, the sad. These are the messy things that make up life, a life I'm happy to be living.

To all of you, I wish you all happiness, prosperity, love and a little bit of mess for your lives this coming year.