Thursday, September 10, 2015

Love the smells on a bike at night

I just came home from having dinner with Jaime. Usually I come down Woodmen when riding across town at night, which is a major road here in the Springs. Tonight I came across Dublin, which is a smaller more residential street. Because it's been getting cooler at night, I've been experiencing the pockets of really cold air, and really warm air. I like that. Wondering why the air is cool or hot in a particular area, maybe the sprinklers are on, it's by a small body of water, whatever.

Tonight though, because I can through a residential area, not only did I have those pockets of air, but I also hit pockets of smells. Hmm... I think they had spaghetti for dinner, yum, a rich tomatoe/Italian aroma. Lots of, hmm... Steaks or burgers on the grill. But also a slightly fruity and spicy smell. Not sure what that was, but it was good.

It's just one of the things I like about being on a bike vs a car. You experience the things around you!

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Crockpot Chicken ala King - II

I already had a previous post on Chicken ala King, but lately I've been making it a bit different, so figured I'd post an update here. Plus, Frankie was asking for the recipe and the original one was different enough that I figured I'd post this.
  • 2 or 3 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced about 1 inch, cut slice in 1/2 if too wide
  • 1/2 an onion, diced in 1 inch sections
  • about 8 mushrooms, probably quartered
  • small package of frozen green peas - save these till the end
  • A large and a small can of Cream of Chicken soup
  • optional: one carrot, 1/2 inch slices
  • savory salt (Lawry's Season Salt)
  • pepper
 There are two approaches:
  • fast - but maybe not as much flavor
  • about 30 minutes of prep, more flavor
If you are going for fast, skip the next section on prepping stuff and just go to the "put it into the crock pot" section.

I like to saute all the vegetables. Basically put some butter or olive oil in a saute pan and then saute the mushrooms first. Yeah, the cook the fastest, but better to give them some room and cook some moisture out of them, letting them caramelize a bit. Once that happens, you can take them out (if you don't have much room in the pan) or leave them in. Add the onions and saute them until they start to become a bit translucent, then add the celery and cook it till it picks up some color as well. You can add the carrots too, but they won't soften much (you don't want to cook it that long).

Add everything (except the peas) to the crock pot. Put a layer of vegetables on the bottom. I used to put the chicken on the bottom, but then the chicken would tend to stick some. Then put the chicken, season it with some savory salt and pepper, then the rest of the vegetables. Then cover this with the soup. Pour the soup on top and spread it out with a spatula or spoon. The idea is to kind of seal in everything else. The liquid that comes out of the vegetables will sink to the bottom and the soup will either make a seal or might start to drip down there and mix in. Either works.

Cool this on low for the day. When you are close to getting ready to eat, make noodles, rice, maybe some mashed potatoes.... whatever you want to put this on or serve it with. At that time microwave the peas for a few minutes so they aren't frozen, then pour them on top of stuff in the crock pot and stir it all up. Cover it and let it sit for 5 minutes or so till the peas are hot. This mixes everything up, and also makes sure the peas are fresh tasting. (I'm not a fan of all day cooked can/grey peas!)

That's basically it. As always, experiment according to your taste. You could add canned potatoes, green beans, maybe even some corn at the end. Adjust based on what kind of veggies you like!

Hey Friend

It's been four weeks since my dear friend, Christie Marble, when home to be with Jesus. I did a number of posts on FB in the few weeks after that, but I feel like FB posts kind of disappear over time. Maybe not, but they just aren't as organized as a blog is. Even though I don't post here much anymore, mostly posting on FB instead, I felt it would be good to put some stuff here occasionally. Maybe even move a few FB posts out here.

In general, I don't have anything super inspiring happening day to day... but I'll just be in some situation and I'll think of her. Usually tearing up a bit, and mostly making me a better person. To me, Christie was just awesome Christie. Someone I couldn't wait to see on Sunday morning, hear her say "Hi Friend!" and give me that big grin and awesome hug. I never really thought of the impact she had on me, until her memorial service. Wow... everyone thought of her how I did. Our awesome friend who you just wanted to be around. A ton of people talking about how she made everyone feel loved, how she was trying to mirror Jesus to people here on earth; and how much she wanted them to know Him. And after she was gone, plenty of posts on FB of "I was having situation and was and then thought "How would Christie handle this?" or "This isn't how Christie would feel." So I'm not alone in that... but missing her, and seeing what other folks are going through, I go through the same thing too. And it makes me a better person. When I'm at work and something frustrates me and I'm about to snap... I feel the Holy Spirit and think about her and the stories about her. And, while she might react in love and I won't say that I go that far, I am more chill about it; more handling of the situation, more kind.

So thanks Friend. I love you and I thank you for that!

And now just a quick up date on the everyday... 'Cuz sometimes things happen and I think you would have enjoyed them.

Pastor Austin preached on Sunday. It was very cool and very "youth pastory". I think you know what I mean. As you well know, some folks get that, and some folks do not. It just made me think about back in the day, when we were all at NCF and PM would be so youth pastory in his sermons. I loved it! I still do. Anyway, sometimes he would say something and you would get that look on your face. Sometimes "Oh Mark" or sometimes a big grin. It all came back watch Pastor Austin preach, and seeing Miss Mandy sitting there, grinning and stuff. You'd be proud of the "babies" and what a good job they are doing.

Well... gotta go. I just wanted to stop by and say "Hi". Yeah, maybe a bit weird, maybe a public social blog is not the place for this... but maybe it is. Anyway, I'll probably stop back and say Hi on other days. Love ya.