Tag Archives: chili

Pizza, Pots du Chocolats, and Peat Pot Pests…

It’s been a while since I’ve  had a food post…

I finally had a chance to try out the new pizza stone Kaylee and Scott gave me for Mother’s Day last week.  I made homemade spinach/feta/mozzarella pizza and barbecue chicken/mozzarella pizza.  I also realized what I was doing wrong all this time: Better Homes and Gardens cookbook says to cook the crust before putting the toppings on, and then cook it again.  That’s why my crust used to be so hard!  The secret is just to put the toppings on the raw dough and cook it once!  For the spinach one, I used thawed chopped spinach (I squeezed as much water out as possible) and crumbled feta cheese.  Here are my latest results:

Spinach/Feta/Mozzarella Pizza on the pizza stone...yes...it was as yummy as it looks!

Barbecue Chicken/Mozzarella Pizza on regular pizza pan...

Saturday morning, I got up early and made a batch of chili and some homemade spaghetti sauce.  I used some of our frozen garden tomatoes for both.  We had the chili for supper on Saturday night (Hope was at a friend’s house and isn’t a big chili fan), but even with only six of us, we polished off most of the pot (four cans of assorted beans)!

When I got up (at the crack of 10:30) on Sunday morning, I went out to water the garden.  I was surprised to see a car pulling a trailer come into our driveway and a man unload a rowboat onto one of the lots that are for sale (owned by our landlord).  He then proceeded to pull his boat down to the water by hand.  I momentarily considered how much fun it might be to have his car towed, since I had no idea who he was, and that he was trespassing as far as I was concerned.  I didn’t, and he soon came back to his car and drove away.  I still don’t know if it was somebody my landlord knows or not…

I used the spaghetti sauce I made Saturday to make a lasagna-like thing with elbow macaroni (we were out of lasagna)…we’ll have that for supper tonight.  I also cooked some barbecue chicken thighs to have on Tuesday night: we’ll be rushing out the door for the Saint John Men’s Chorus Spring Concert.  While I was cooking, I reorganized our main pantry cupboard…I found fruit cups from 2008…chucked those out in a hurry!  We won’t run short of barbecue sauce any time soon…there were about eight bottles of various brands in there!  If only we’d get a sunny day to barbecue now…

We went over to Kaylee and Scott’s for supper yesterday, and Kaylee made pizza for us too (check the comments below for her pizza crust recipe).  She put green peppers on her Barbecue Chicken pizza, which I picked off and gave to Jim.  Devin picked off the mushrooms on his, but didn’t give them to anybody!  Elise had “deconstructed” pizza (pieces of chicken, mozzarella, green pepper, and mushrooms), which Kaylee took away once Elise started chucking pieces on the floor.  Released from her high chair, Elise then repossessed what was left of her mother’s pizza on the plate on the coffee table, and started eating that.  She threw it on the floor a couple more times, but it landed topping side up each time…five-second rule applies in that case!  After supper, Hope and I sang the “If You’re Happy and You Know It” song along with Barney on TV, much to Elise’s delight…I pretended not to know what to do when Barney said to “Do all three.”  What I didn’t know was that Anna was taking a video of us acting the fool with her phone…there’s a video I hope will never see the light of day!

We checked out a garden center near Kaylee’s after supper…I was in the market for a magnolia bush.  The ones at the garden center in our area cost more than $200, which is way out of my price range!  Anna didn’t want to get out of the van, even though Hope told her that cute boys were working there!  We didn’t buy anything…they had mostly flowers.  It was a nice drive, but it made me realize how much I love where we live!

When we got home, Anna and I made lava cakes (this recipe is from Food Network’s Chuck Hughes)…note to self: when buying ramekins, check the size!  The recipe called for 4 oz. ramekins…the ones we got were about 7.5 oz.!  The lava cakes were delicious though, and very easy!

Our lava cakes...we doubled the recipe to make eight, and didn't have any ice cream to top them with...

Once the lava cakes were done, I went out to check on my garden.  To my great disgust, something, probably the baby groundhog I saw the other day, had started digging up my transplanted peat pots and chewing on them.  He had no interest in the plants, just the biodegradable pots I’d gotten at the dollar store!

Dug-up peat pot with lone leek seedling sticking out...

Something is also nibbling the occasional bean plant and some of the sunflowers too…most of the seeds I planted last week are up, with the exception of the lima beans.  I don’t know if my transplants are going to make it or not…they got very dry sitting out in the sun.  I’ll probably have to replace all of the cruciferous vegetables, and most of the peppers and tomatoes.

Jim and Devin went out last night and trimmed some trees…one of the largest trees in the back yard suffered some damage due to the big snowfalls during the winter.  There was a big branch hanging down over my garden, which was providing unwanted shade and a hazard for me!  They got rid of that one!  Jim also made a path for me to the hose (the outdoor faucet has a large pine tree in front of it, and I was scratching my arms every time I tried to water my plants).  I appreciated the new nozzle Jim had picked up for me earlier in the week…the old one hadn’t survived the winter well, and was giving me more water than the plants!

It’s raining today…weeding will be my next task in the garden once the rain stops!

*Note to my blogging buddies: I am running about a week behind with my reading…I’m not ignoring you…I will be visiting soon!  WM

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Post #200…What Do You Mean “There’s No Party”?

This is my 200th post…do I have anything earth-shattering to report?  No.  A profile of an extremely interesting person?  No.  Great news?  Not really.  What I’ve got is another collection of random things:

1. Dread of Deer.  About three weeks ago, we looked out the window into the back yard, and discovered with dismay that the deer have learned that they are capable of jumping the fence!  Unless I can think of a plan to keep them out, gardening this year is going to be a dangerous thing…I’ve been so obsessed that I actually dreamed that we had three baby deer in our living room (I let them out the back door)…

"Are you lookin' at me? Because I'll totally snort at you if you come any closer! It's way more fun on this side of the fence!" (photo by Anna)

2. Discriminating Darlin’.  My granddaughter, Elise, is almost 19 months old, and has recently learned how to count to 10…sort of.  She starts at “3” because she feels that “1” and “2” are too trivial to bother with!  

 3. Doh!  Every morning as we’re on our way into town to the bookstore, we listen to the CBC News World Report at 7 p.m., which is usually hosted by Peter Armstrong.  When talking about the ongoing issues in Ivory Coast, the illustrious anchorman reported that the militants were “fighting definitely”.  Um…I think “defiantly” is what your copywriter meant, Peter.  While we’re at it, can we talk about your improper pronunciation of potash (“pott-ish”), Afghanistan (“aff-gan-i-stun“), and Pakistan (“pack-i-stun“)?  Wrong, wrong, wrong!

4. Decisions and Debates.  Speaking of CBC, they’ve been promoting a nifty new “tool” on their website which is supposed to help decide which tool party leader to vote for in our upcoming federal election on May 2nd.  I used the Vote Compass, and was not at all surprised that I lean left on both economic and social issues.  I still don’t know who I’m going to support…all the candidates have not been announced in our riding yet.  The lone female, Green Party candidate, Elizabeth May, is fighting for the right to be included in the leaders’ debate…I hope she succeeds!

The Candidates..."Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe, and Curly" (photo from workliveplaycafe.com)

5. Dunce.  Yesterday afternoon, I received this e-mail from my daughter’s high school, I have copied it verbatim, except to remove the principal’s name and change his initial, to protect the  idiot innocent:

Good afternoon all,
This is Mr. B. calling to inform you that the school recieved a threatening phone call today. Although it turned out to be a crank call, we took it very serious placed the school into a lockdown. The police were called and very quickly resolved the problem.
I also want to tell you that this is the week of our musical and the tickets are going fast. If you are thinking of attending, you better pick up your tickets at the office or get them at the door.
Thats it for now,

Mr. B.

Hmmm…97 words…three grammatical/spelling errors that I can spot immediately.  My daughter tells me the students refer to the author as “Slow Marvin” (not his real name), and that he doesn’t actually teach any classes (what a relief!).  I’m so glad that the school took the threat “serious”…I wish they were as serious about grammar.  “Now Mr. B…please don this dunce cap and go sit in the corner!”

This isn't "Slow Marvin"...(photo from businessinsider.com)

6. Deliciousness.  A random Herding Cats post wouldn’t be complete without food!  Feast your eyes on these photos of Jim’s banana bread (we have to hide the banana bread bananas from my dad, or he’ll eat them!), and my cornbread-topped chili!

Jim's banana bread: regular, flax, and chocolate chip

 

Chili topped with cornbread...yummy!

You can do this chili yourself:  Make your regular chili, and then put it into a casserole.  Mix up some cornbread batter and pour it over the top of the chili.  Bake it in the oven until the cornbread is done.  Instant deliciousness!

Thanks for coming over to celebrate my 200th post…I sincerely hope that none of the stuff you’ve learned here keeps you awake this evening…

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Mercury is Messin’ This Mother Up…

I found out on Friday that Mercury was in retrograde, according to my friend at Hippie Cahier.  Apparently, this is a bad thing.  I’ve decided to blame everything that’s happened to me this week on that messed-up planet…

1. “Goodbye, Red Meat…I loved you well.”  Kaylee, Scott and Elise came over for supper on Sunday night.  I served a beef and barley stew (with rutabaga and carrots from the garden).  Everybody loved it…I would have thrown in a few more vegetables and a bit more barley if I’d known how much they would love it!  Monday morning, the beef caught up with me…I gave up pork several years ago due to difficulty digesting it (I don’t have a problem with cured meat like ham and bacon, thank goodness!), and have lately started having trouble with beef.  I did not go to the bookstore on Monday.

2. Computer/Internet Issues.   Those started on Tuesday when I got back to the bookstore.  Every time I’d try to leave a comment on somebody’s blog, I’d have to do it two or three times because I would get booted off the Internet…it’s been like that all week!  I’ve had trouble with Hotmail too.

3. Modelling Clay Emergency.  We got home late on Tuesday night, due to Anna having cheerleading, Devin having an orthodontist appointment, and Hope’s cheerleading practice being changed from Wednesday to Tuesday.  Thankfully, Jim’s parents picked up Devin and Hope for us since it was impossible for us to get there in time!  After supper, Hope announced that she had to have modelling clay for a project at school…too exhausted to go out again, I suggested we make it.  She also told me she had a couple of other homework assignments…aargh!  Hope printed a modelling clay recipe from the Internet, and I got out the flour, salt and water.  She wanted four colours of clay…I spent the next hour trying to incorporate food colouring into the rather stiff dough (I really want to thank whichever child lost the lid for the blue food colouring…my hands were blue for three days!).  The colours came out very muddy-looking.  Meanwhile, Hope was busy in the dining room.  After a while, she came out and chucked the clay in the garbage: “I can’t get it to stick!” she said.  “I told you we should have bought it!”  I wrote a note to the teacher to explain why the homework didn’t get done…sigh…

4. Modelling Clay…Take #2.  We brought home massive amounts of dollar store modelling clay for Hope’s project on Wednesday night.  We also got Christmas cards, wrapping paper, and candy canes (for hot chocolate, of course – one of Anna’s “emergencies”).  Hope got right to work with the “good clay” and constructed her cheerleading stunt group.  She told me that the legs kept falling off, so she decided to leave them off.  There is also no “front” in the stunt group (the “back” is hidden behind the “flyer”):

Hope's Cheerleading Stunt Group

5.  Revenge of the Orca Beans.  Jim made supper, but I didn’t eat much because I wasn’t feeling very well.  I had made chili on the weekend with orca and romano beans from our garden, and had put some in my lunch on Wednesday.  Some of the family had eaten it Monday night, but I was still recovering from my “red meat episode” so had opted for cereal instead.  Jim had mentioned a bit of stomach distress after having it for his lunch on Tuesday, but I blamed that on the massive amount of chili powder he’d added to it.  By 6:30 Wednesday night, I was in agony…I spent the next 4 hours in close proximity to the commode and eating the Costco version of Imodium like M & M’s.  In the midst of my misery, I remembered that I had sent some of the killer chili home with Kaylee (Scott won’t eat beans, so she doesn’t make chili), and decided I’d better give her a heads-up.  I dialled her number.  “Hi…you know that chili I gave you?  Did you eat it yet?”  Kaylee told me that she’d planned on having it for lunch the next day.  “Throw it out!” I told her.  “I’m dying here…”

6.  “Expedited” apparently means “Whenever you feel like it.”  I felt like a dishrag on Thursday when I woke up…I opted to skip work again (lucky I can do that!).  Jim didn’t feel well either, so we stayed home together.  Dad phoned me from the store to let me know we had gotten an e-mail about a book I’d ordered for a friend on November 25th.  I had requested “expedited shipping”…according to the e-mail, it was sent on the 29th…it took them four days to get it out of the building!  They also stated that it would take up to 14 business days to arrive!  If time wasn’t of the essence, I wouldn’t have bothered paying the extra for shipping!

7.  Farewell to a dear friend.  Friday was a sad day…members of our book club gathered at a local restaurant for dinner to send a good friend, S., on her way out of the province.  She is moving 2000 miles away with her new man, who we met, and approve of…very nice fellow!  Dad and I gave S. a book about Emily Carr, an artist we knew she liked…S. was moved by the Celtic blessing I wrote in the front.  I had a glass of wine, and a beautiful spinach salad before bidding S. “Adieu”…I know we’ll see her again…she is a Maritimer, and they always come home!

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