Posted in College, Food, Life + Living, Uncategorized

Hodgepodge (an update about Canada and the Christmas Season)

I’ve bot Bassnectar Freestyle Music pumping through my headphones at the moment.  Wearing my (awesome) pajamas (pac-man t-shirt and some bad hair day cartoon black pants) and just trying to figure out what to put in this blog.

I’ve been doing a lot of *reading* of blogs lately because they’re delivered straight to my inbox and I’m usually able to scrape a few minutes together to read them on my phone.  I haven’t felt inspired to WRITE lately, though.  There’s not been much that’s interesting going on and anything that IS interesting is so far gone that it feels irrelevant.

Over the week of Thanksgiving last month, Jeff and I went to see his parents, family, and friends.  We were there for the WHOLE week and it was good for the soul to reconnect with the people that we care about and who care about us from afar.  We connected to see our friends Anne, Errol and their son, Landon.  We got to see Jeff’s Aunt Janet and Uncle Greg. I finally got to meet Jeff’s friend Jackie (and play Mario on her SNES ❤ hehe).  PLUS he finally got to see his brother, niece and nephew for the first time since last Christmas.  Like I said, good for the soul.

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465510_10151332141677112_1968038866_oDriving around the city up there really brought in the Christmas spirit, too!  Thanksgiving in Canada was back in October (on the 8th, I believe) and so they were full swing into the holiday season with lights, and snow, and music on the radio.  It was really nice and I felt like I was indulging to just take it all in and be okay with it without having to defend Thanksgiving’s ‘honor’.

705261_10151316087967025_612073457_oOnce I got home, I started decking our home out with Christmas splendor, too.  I feel like time has been flying, though, and there’s never enough of it.  It took me nearly a week to get our tree done because I could only worked on it for a few minutes here and there.  I finished it last night and I’m really happy with it.  For a wonder, I actually used the ‘nice’ camera to take pictures this year, but I forgot that I don’t have an SD card reader on my PC, so it’s going to be a while before I can post those pictures.. le sigh.

We also had the Big Baking Weekend at my Grandma’s house a couple weeks ago, which was lovely.  My sister, her daughter, our mom, and her cousin all descended on my Grandma’s house for eight hours of baking and tom foolery.  Reconnecting with my sister was great.  We haven’t talked much because we’re both in school and life has been busy, but she filled me in on her own wedding plans and even some family planning for the future.  I might have a new little niece or nephew in the next few years if they’re serious about family planning.  I’m excited for her.  She deserves happiness and I think she might have found it.

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Of course, being with my Grandma was great, too.  We found some really really old recipes in the archive and I got to hear the stories about having made them in the past and whose favorites they were.  Date cookies, apparently, were my Great Grandpa Ray’s very favorite.

Once I can figure out how to get the pictures off of the good camera, I also have some HILAROUS video of when my 8 year old niece got bored and stole away with the camcorder function of my camera.  I think I’ll work on that today if I can find some time between studying and celebrating my brother’s graduation 🙂

Posted in Food, Life + Living, Recipe

Winter Kabobs

So, I realized something today.

I frequently start my sentences with the word “So.”  Also, I like to begin secondary sentences with the word “also.”  Hopefully this pattern is not nearly as annoying as the “like” phenomena of the 90’s or uptalk.

Moving on!  Saturday was fabulous and I need to shout out to Runa for inviting me, and to Kris and Meredith for really making me feel welcome at the Potluck on Saturday.  Fun-fact:  if the people I met on Saturday really become good friends, they will be the only friends I would have currently that did not originate on the internet. HA! Related item: 3/4 of my bride’s maids are internet-friends-turned-real-life-friends–and the 1 who is not? Is my sister.♥

The Weight Watcher’s meeting on Saturday kind of sucked.  I don’t feel like anything was accomplished.  Sure! “Members of the congregation” accomplished something–66 pounds down for the week for our group–but all we did for the whole meeting was clap for other people’s accomplishments.  I received no external motivation to make good choices this week.  Guess it’s up to me to find some boots with straps so I can pull myself up by them.

Oh! That reminds me… Be right back.

[intermission]

Ahem.  Now that I’m back from sending some love over to krisgetshealthy.com and doing some things to get signed up with the group, it’s back to business around here!

As a student/bride on a budget, I came to a realization today.  Split Chicken Breasts with Ribs cost less than a dollar per pound.  Boneless skinless chicken breasts cost over $3/lb.  for savings like that, I think I can remove the skin and bone myself thank-you-very-much.  It actually wasn’t hard at all.  I using a paring knife to separate the skin and remove the chicken from the bone.  The “finished” product was better than I buy at the grocery store because I had 2 huge breasts cuts of meat and some smaller bits of rib-meat to work with.

All this meat for just $2.40.  If I were to buy the boneless/skinless breasts that we usually get, the same amount would have come to $8.73.  Lesson learned?

Spend the time, save the money.

It’s about this time of year that I usually get a little stir-crazy and convince myself that winter is going to end very very soon and that summer is just around the corner.  That must be what influenced tonight’s meal: Winter Kabobs.

Winter Kabobs

  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (may also use other types of meat such as pork or beef if preferred)
  • Bell Pepper (get a variety of colors, if possible)
  • Onion (I prefer the sweet yellow variety)
  • 1-2 pinches Paula Deen’s “house blend” seasoning [1 cup salt, 1/2 cup pepper, 1/2 cup garlic powder]
  • Cast Iron grilling skillet over medium-high heat, coated with a thin layer of canola oil cooking spray.

Start by chopping up your favorite veggies into 1″ sq pieces.

Funny story: there was supposed to be a green bell pepper included, but I lost it somewhere between the grocery store and my kitchen.  Whoops! 

Next, prep your chicken and cut that into 1″ cubes.

Now, I’m not sure about your skillet, but mine is too small for skewers and so for Winter Kabobs, I just alternated the ingredients as if they were on skewers, making sure that each piece of chicken was flanked by a pepper and onion.  I sprinkled a little bit of the seasonings around the pan and just let them grill up for a while.

Tip: If you are using a cast iron skillet as I am here, be sure to use your exhaust fan and/or crack a window.

While I let these start to cook up, I took the opportunity to unload the dish-washer.  By the time I was done, they were ready to be flipped.  It should only take about 15-20 minutes, but be careful to make sure your meat is cooked through.

Serve hot with a side-salad topped with blueberries and pretend it isn’t freezing outside 🙂