Thoughtful Thursday: Consideration of Others

Thoughtful Thursday

And the lesson for today in the Pinteresting Blogosphere:  Consideration of Others.  Sadly, recent events have proven that many people either 1) don’t see consideration as a polite necessity or 2) go out of their way to be inconsiderate.

Yes, this is a ranting blog post.  I’m warning you in advance.

Recently, Muffin and I went to the $1 movie day.  It was a Tuesday (because that’s the day of the half price popcorn), and we were really looking forward to it.

Now, one of my (the only, in fact) only issues with the $1 movie is that several day cares and day camps bring their hordes of minions to the movie, clogging the theaters for families that are visiting.

On this particular day, the day we went to see Iron Giant, a local church-based day care was there.  Now, traditionally, people buy there tickets and then go to the concessions.  As there were five adults, one stood in line (behind all of us who purposefully arrived half an hour early to avoid the day care rush), and the other four went to the concession line!

They held up the line for 45 minutes (having basically cut us in line who had arrived before them), ordering 32 kids packs of popcorn, fruit snacks, and a drink.  They then turned around and ordered their own personal orders.

Finally, a parent in line in front of me (as it neared 10 o’clock and the movie was due to begin…and we were going to miss it because of the inconsiderate-ness of the church-based day care workers), shouted (she was angry, too), asking if one of the concessions workers was the manager.

When the manager replied in the affirmative, the mother expressed how it wasn’t fair or right for those of us who arrived early to have to miss the movie while those who arrived after us and cut in line were allowed to enjoy the full movie.

The manager agreed and showed consideration to all of us, holding the movies by 30 minutes so we could get our concession orders taken care of.

What bothers me most about this situation is that these INCONSIDERATE adults were teaching little kids to be inconsiderate, thus perpetuating the decline in good manners.

Yes, I realize that sounds melodramatic, but they certainly weren’t teaching the reverse!

Sound off!  What is your biggest pet peeve with modern behavior?

We Plan Wednesday: When the Best Laid Plans…

We Plan Wednesday

Well, normally at this time of year, I would be in a tizzy gathering the needed components for the dual-fests at our house of Canada Day and the Fourth of July, only three days apart.

Then, Josh received his work schedule for July.

Starting Monday (if you remember the Meal Plan Monday post), he is on call through next Monday (in other words, the Fourth of July).  He works both days.

So…that is why Friday (Canada Day), Muffin and I will be dining on something I chickened out of trying last week:  the slow cooker pizza.  I figure if it fails there’s always delivery or Rotolo’s or Little Caesar’s.

On Monday, we are going to my parents’ (Muffin and I) to enjoy the hot dog bar traditional to Canada Day, baked beans (made my way), a veggie tray, and a fruit tray for dessert.

We are all looking forward to it.  A nice lazy Fourth (and then a return to home to watch the neighbor’s fireworks outside.

What’s on your agenda this holiday weekend?

 

Tip Tuesday: Sometimes You Must Break the Rules…

Tip Tuesday

I’m a believer in following the rules.  I think I was a hall monitor in a former life.  Personal responsibility is a BIG thing with me.  Once I learned how to color within the lines, I tried never coloring outside of them.

For those of you who have read my (nearly countless) posts of how I altered recipes, therefore NOT following the rules, you are (justifiably) howling maniacally.

But my need to bend recipes to my will aside, sometimes there are times you need to BREAK THE RULES!

Even though I haven’t written an updated post (yah, yah) for the Please Don’t Heat Up the Kitchen New Recipe Challenge, I am trying to make sure that I don’t heat up the kitchen this summer of insane heat.

Repeat after me:  In.  Sane.

So, why would I make a recipe that not only heats up the stove coils for an extended period of time but also runs the oven for close to half an hour (plus pre-heat time)?

Because it is totally worth it.

Because it makes you think you are literally tasting summer.

The fresh and crisp and clean summer, not the insane (see above) summer.

The recipe comes from Debbiedoo’s (I just love that name), the blog that gave Muffin his favorite pork chop dish (Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Pork Chops).  I figured that any recipe from that website would be totally Muffin Approved (and it was)!

What dish, to me, epitomizes summer?  Drumroll….Wait for it….

Quick and Easy Chicken Piccata.  Lemony.  With a crisp note of white wine.  And the one ingredient that makes me love chicken piccata:  capers!  Of course I forgot to add them until after the chicken was in the oven for a bit, but half a jar still went in there.

We served it with broccoli that was “stir fried” in the pan that had browned the chicken and made the sauce, cantaloupe, blackberries, and strawberries.  Eating the rainbow again.  My one regret is that I didn’t serve it with pasta.  It totally needed pasta.

And, as I was saying, with the exception of the capers (oh, well, more for me), Muffin LOVED it!!!  Of course this was a Muffin Approved meal all the way around:  two of his favorite fruits and one of his favorite veg.  For some reason, Muffin wasn’t that fond of the blackberries.  I loved them!

Anyway, here’s what I did:

Quick and Easy Chicken Piccata

(Followed almost exactly from Debbiedoo’s–see the hyperlink above)

IMG_3125

3 large chicken breasts (the thin end cut off as one piece then the thicker in divided into two pieces–halved horizontally–you will have 9 smallish pieces)

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup (ish) all-purpose flour

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (You are going to buy a fresh lemon anyway to slice and boil in the sauce, so 1/4 cup of juice isn’t that much of a hardship.  P.S. If you have a Muffin, he or she loves doing this part of the work.)

1 fresh lemon, sliced

1/2 jar nonpareil capers (the tiny bits of goodness)

2 tablespoons butter (The recipe calls for four tablespoons, but I was trying to finish off a stick of butter before it went rancid.)

vegetable oil

2 cups of white wine (I used Flip Flop Pinot Grigio.  No, I don’t get compensated by their parent company, but I wanted to let you know so you could produce consistent results.  And, I chose this one because I’m not fond of pinot grigio, and this one had a screw top–so that it could be easily saved for another cooking use.)

*Debbiedoo’s also uses parsley, but I didn’t use any.  If you want to find out how, check out the link above.

I started out by preparing the sauce ingredients (to avoid cross-contamination with the chicken):  sliced the lemon, juiced the lemons, measured out the wine, plopped in the butter, and forgot the capers.  Then, I prepped the chicken, dividing each into three pieces (see above) and mixing the flour with salt and pepper.  While prepping the chicken, I coated the bottom of a large pan in oil and started warming it on medium.

I then cooked the chicken (3-4 minutes each side) in two batches, evacuating the chicken to a 13×9 glass pan as it finished.  Once I started cooking the chicken, I preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Once the chicken was browned, I poured in the sauce ingredients, starting with the wine, which deglazed the pan close to immediately.  I stirred them together and brought them to a “bubble,” then reduced the heat and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes.

I poured the sauce over the chicken and plopped the 13×9 in the oven.  Sprinkle capers over the top (if you forgot to add them to the sauce as I did).  Bake 25-35 minutes.  I baked mine 25 minutes and it was perfection, very tender and flavorful.

Muffin Approved

What is your favorite dish that reminds you of summer?

Meal Plan Monday: After a Busy Weekend

Meal Plan Monday

This weekend was SUPER busy.  Muffin attended two birthday parties Saturday (a morning party of one of his best school friends and then, in the afternoon, the birthday party of one of this blog’s longtime readers as well as his visiting grandsons who are also friends of Muffin).  He had the best time at both and was EXHAUSTED when we arrived home.  Sunday was busily spent cleaning (Josh and Muffin) and meal-planning and shopping for the week.

This week presents a wrinkle in the plans.  Josh is working on-call for the next several days, so I am packing him lunch and supper every day through the Fourth.

(Note:  I apologize for the picture snafu in Thursday’s and Friday’s posts.  I am slowly learning how to finesse Google Photos–now that Picasa is all but defunct.  If you haven’t had a chance to see Friday’s entry in all its Muffin-glory, please check out below!)

Today, I hearken back to a previous entry, by-the-numbers my most popular post…the one that dealt with theme nights.  If you haven’t checked it out, you might like it.

So, what’s the plan?  Away we go!

Saturday:  party eats

Sunday:  grilled pork chops, grilled corn, golden honeydew (Josh made two suppers from the leftovers)

Monday:  (Mediterranean Monday) Quick and Easy Chicken Piccata (Debbiedoo’s), steamed broccoli, and fruit (probably cantaloupe and strawberries and blueberries)

Tuesday:  (Taco Tuesday) Beef Nacho Pie (Taste of Home), fruit

Wednesday:  (Waffle Wednesday meaning breakfast) Ham and Cheese Hashbrown Casserole (Mom on Timeout), fruit

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs (tradition)

Friday:  (Pizza Friday) Slow Cooker Pizza (Crockin Girls), corn

Saturday:  (Shezuan Saturday Asian Eats) Crock Pot Cashew Chicken (Favorite Family Recipes), rice, veg and fruit tray

Sunday:  (Sunday dinner) 20-40 Clove Slow Cooker Chicken (A Year of Slow Cooking), stuffing, peas

What’s on your plan this week?

Thoughtful Thursday: Not a Rant, I Promise!

Thoughtful Thursday

Truly…I promise.

Today’s Thoughtful Thursday post deals with another way to create a East coast favorite:  the Philly Cheesesteak.  I have eaten a cheesesteak in Philadelphia several years ago.  I’m going to upset some people (I’m sure) when I say I was…not impressed.

It was an okay sandwich.  But I’ve definitely tasted better.

And, in terms of making them, have you priced Steak-umms in the South?

Uh, that isn’t going to happen.

So, that’s why I was so jazzed when I was going through the recipes on Six Sisters’ Stuff and found the Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes.  Ground beef can be obtained much more cheaply (or even ground from a roast purchased for $2/pound) than the traditional meat.

And ground beef is easier to chew than meat that could be tough.

Prior to trying this recipe, cheesesteaks were one of those food items that I wished I liked.  I mean, they had one of my favorite ingredients of all times:  Worcestershire sauce.  I may have daydreamed about guzzling a bottle or two once during my childhood.

Yes, I know that saltlick would not have been a great idea, but I was like five, people!  I also swallowed (and instantly repented and regretted) the salt at the bottom of a bag of pretzels.

This recipe is a keeper and it is totally Muffin Approved.  But, then, he loves all things sloppy joe related.

Here’s what I did:

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Adapted from Six Sisters’ Stuff

1 pound ground beef (I’m pretty sure we used beef ground in the meat grinder attachment)

1 T Worcestershire sauce plus enough low sodium beef broth to make a cup

1 onion and 1 green pepper, both chopped

1/4 cup steak sauce

8 ounces mushrooms, diced

sliced provolone cheese

salt and pepper, as needed

rolls

Brown meat over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes.  Drain.  Add vegetation and cook 3-4 more minutes or until tender.  Stir in remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, and let perk away happily for 2 minutes.

Place a slice of cheese on the bottom half of each roll.  Top with a scoop of meat.  Wrap in foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

What’s your favorite type of sloppy joe?

We Plan Wednesday: A Possible Summer Holiday Dessert?

We Plan Wednesday

Yes, those summer holidays are right around the corner.  For those celebrating both Canada Day (July 1) and Independence Day (July 4), the time to plan is upon us.

This year, because of Josh’s wonky work schedule, we will be celebrating in between the two.  Last year, if memory serves me, we had a homemade Strawn’s strawberry pie as our dessert.  Yes, it is red and white (symbolic of both Canada and the United States–well, with blue), but we are gobbling up strawberries so quickly that there is no way we will be able to spare the two pounds for a pie.

Another option is a recipe I made (but did not blog) for Cinco de Mayo.  It’s greenish, so it would also work for St. Patrick’s Day.  But, what I really like about it for the two summer holidays, is that you don’t heat up the kitchen (other than the ten minutes for the crust) in all of the craziness.

What recipe am I talking about?  Kraft Recipe’s Margarita Cheesecake Pie.

Here’s what I did:

34 Ritz crackers, crushed (a great job for Muffin! or a mama with a need to whack and crush things!)

6 tablespoons butter, melted

2 large limes, divided

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (Resist the urge to eat this can with a spoon.  You might want to change the amount to 2 cans so you can have a can to enjoy with a spoon.  Cooks perogative!)

1/4 cup FRESH lemon juice (not Real Lemon–resist the urge)

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine cracker crumbs and butter; press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate.  Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, zest 1 lime and set zest aside.  Cut zested lime in half.  Squeeze juice from lime halves.  Beat cream cheese and milk with mixer until blended.  Add lime and lemon juice; mix well.

Spoon cream cheese mixture into crust.  Smooth top.  Cut remaining lime into four lengthwise quarters, then cut each quarter crosswise into thin slices.  Arrange around edge of pie.  Sprinkle with zest.

Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

What is your dessert plan for these summer holidays?