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ramblings

it all started with Vincent Price

random me October 28, 2013

 

God, I love Halloween. I love costumes, decorating, pumpkin themed stuff. More importantly than ANYTHING, I love, love, love Thriller.

Now, if you know me in the real world, you have to picture me this morning, doing the Thriller Dance in pj’s around my dogs.

It’s awesome.

Seriously though, this VIDEO used to scare the bejeezus out of me. I blame my sweet lovable Uncle Scott who made me watch it in my Grandparents basement. Or maybe, my Grandpa made me watch it. Either way, I blame the Carroll family. ┬áThese days, I feel it’s important to pass this bit of history down to the younger generations. Last week, I was babysitting two kids and we spent over an hour learning the thriller dance. Epic awesomeness.

These were the great days of MJ. When he was still black, still a observable male and more importantly, had the dance moves of a genius. How can you not want to start doing the thriller dance here and now?

The voice of Vincent Price used to spook me out, now I’m just proud that I know the entire thing.

Let’s be candid here: I’m a huge wimp. I hate, hate, hate, hate scary movies. I’ve never seen Poltergiest, Saw or anything with Freddy Krueger. I only know that 1-2 Freddy’s coming for you from one of my neighbors when I was a kid. NEVER have and never will see it. I finally saw the Exorcist last year, and I still am traumatized. Really, Thriller is about the speed in which I do scary. Barely scary with well choreographed dance moves.

In my perfect world, there would always be singing and dancing and someone doing a narration. Oh, and there would always be something baked and decorated thematically.

So, there you have it. The random musings of Michael Jackson and Halloween all before 9am on Monday morning.

Be awesome this week and don’t buy stupid candy for the trick-o-treaters. You know what I’m talking about- don’t buy the cheap ass stuff. Kids need the good stuff. They don’t need tootsie rolls or dum-dums. They need Kit-Kats and Reeses.

Or maybe I do.

Hmmmmmm

and remember…

random me October 26, 2013

no matter where you go, there you are.

TECHNICALLY, this should be attributed to Confucius.

HOWEVER, my dad used to say this ALL the time when I was a kid, and I was honestly a little suprised when I realized down the road that my dad was quoting the big C.

It’s easy to lose focus on what is truly important when your life is in chaos. It’s easy to focus on the absurd rather than the critical- i.e.- focusing on making money, paying bills and keeping healthy. Lately, I’ve been spending way too much time focusing on little things rather than the big picture. I find that when I actually focus on growing my little consulting business, clients find me. When I get distracted, it’s easy to let a few days go by without working on any actual business development.

At the end of the day, I am only able and capable of taking care of me (and my dogs). Other efforts that I contribute to are going to happen with, or without my glorious advice and worry.

It’s easy to get distracted.

I need to focus on the big picture of my life. I need to keep planning how to get from A to B to seeing my savings account grow. I’m not going anywhere, my bills aren’t going anywhere. I need to be more present and focus on my own stuff. I need to embrace the good things in my life and figure out ways to minimalize the crap and other stressors.

 

Not sure why I’ve been focused on this quote all morning, but I’m guessing I should probably pay attention.

 

nomatter

 

and this concludes the craptastical deep thought of the week.

 

Chicken Pot Pie (and roast chicken)

things that will make you fat October 24, 2013

On Tuesday, I decided to roast a chicken. You know, a basic roasted chicken.

Being me, I decided that I needed to play with it a little bit. I took the bird (bought at the Mexican Meat market for $3.00), loaded the inner cavity with lemons and garlic, gave it a healthy coat of salt, pepper and olive oil, and threw in a roaster that had been lined with sliced onions. Easy peasy. Cook at 425 for about an hour (or the juices run clear.) House smelled delicious, and it was gorgeous.

chicky

Ok, now that I have the chicken, what was I going to do with it?

 

Chicken Pot Pie was the only answer. Seriously. I’ve been craving it for weeks. Not just a frozen pot pie (although I do have a few in the freezer now, but a real home-made pot pie.

 

It starts with the crust. I like my crusts flakey (as one would say I like my men). I used a basic Pate Brisee recipe that I learned in school. Lots of cold, cold butter. Ice water. Flour. Salt. Sugar. Instructions to follow.

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The key to a good pie crust- work fast, use cold, cold ingredients and don’t putz around with it too much. The more you work the dough, the tougher it will be.

 

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes. I keep the butter chilled to the moment it goes in the processor.
  • 1 teaspoon salt (kosher, of course)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 to 8 Tbsp ice water (literally ice water, with cubes. keep it cold)

 

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. Do not over water.

Take the dough and knead it into a quick roundish mound. Split in half, form into two equal sized disks, wrap in plastic wrap and toss into the fridge for at least an hour. The dough needs to be chilled.

When ready, make sure you bring out to room temp for about 5 minutes before you start working the dough again.

Roll it out, throw in oven for 20-25 minutes, or once the top gets golden brown. You can use an egg wash, but you don’t have to. This recipe will make on total pie (top & bottom) , 2 tops or 6 mini pie tops. If you are using this recipe for a full sized pie- cover the edges in foil for the first 10-15 minutes. This will prohibit them from burning.

 

Ok- whew. That was a long diatribe on the crust without even getting to the darn pot pie.

Ingredients for pot pie (Or so I fashioned)

Chicken (cooked, cut up)- about 1.5 cups (or more)

Frozen Mixed Veggies- 1 bag

1.5 c of cut, cooked potatoes

can of peas

stick of butter (use to your health comfort)

1/2 c of flour

fresh thyme

onion

celery

2.5 C of Chicken Broth. I used boullion, but you can use the box stuff if you want.

1 C of milk

salt, pepper and garlic

 

Ok- so here we go:

 

1.) Chop onion and celery and garlic into small bite sized pieces

2.) In a dutch oven melt 2 tbl of butter and 1 quick splash of olive oil. Heat up.

3.) Toss onion/celery in oven and let cook for about 5 minutes, or until onions are soften. Pepper your mix at this point.

4.) Add in bag of frozen veggies to mix, and stir until all thawed

5.) Toss in potatoes and mix (don’t stir too hard, or your ‘taters will break.

6.) Add 3-4 more tbl of butter and let melt all the way.

7.) Add 1/2 cup of flour and stir until all mixed in.

8.) Pour in broth, then mix and let thicken (about 10 minutes)

9.) Add in chicken and peas

10.) Let simmer. Add herbs and spices to taste

11.) Turn off heat and let thicken a bit more-5-10 minutes. This will also let it cool down a bit before putting in pie tins.

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Let this cool another few minutes before putting the pie cover on. However, this is the time, for you to set the filled pie plates aside and start rolling out your tops. Reserve one mini pie plate to use as template.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Pull dough out of fridge and set on counter for five minutes. Sprinkle flour on countertop and quickly roll out. DO NOT WORK DOUGH TOO MUCH. Use the pie plate as your guide to cut. Leave an extra 1.5 inches around for the “fold over”

Fill your pies.

Cover them with dough

Take an egg and a tbl of water and create a quick egg wash. Cover tops of pies.

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Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until pie tops are golden.

Truthfully, I forgot to take a picture of the final pie. But I assure you, it was delicious.

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Enjoy.