Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall Day Menu

Chris & I had our "1st Hurst Fall Day" this weekend, capped on Sat night with the most delish dinner ever. We had punkin soup, feta-stuffed chicken breasts, and streusel apple pie (plus a Hurst Hot Toddy).

Click here for Chris' blog with pictures.  Following are the recipes I used:

Punkin Soup:
1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
1-1.5 cans low-sodium chicken broth (depending upon how creamy you want it)
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp salt
pinch nutmeg
pinch black pepper
1 c heavy whipping cream
1 c sauted chopped onion (optional)
pinch pumpkin pie spices (optional)

Combine broth, pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, butter; stir well.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 mins, stirring occasionally.  Stir in whipping cream and heat throughout, but DO NOT BOIL.  Serve immediately.

*We don't like onions, so I didn't use that.  Not sure how it would change the taste.  If you use onions, you would first combine 1/2 the broth, butter, and onion.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 mins.  Then, use mixer to mix it until smooth.  Follow rest of recipe.

Feta-stuffed Chicken Breasts:
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 c crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp cream cheese
some shakes of parsley
some shakes of black pepper
olive oil to cook in

Using a sharp knife, butterfly (or cut a pocket horizontally from one side of the chicken to another without coming through on the other side) chicken.  In separate bowl, mix feta cheese, cream cheese, parsley, pepper; mix well with a spoon.  Spoon mixture into each breast.  Secure openings with 2-3 wooden toothpicks (optional).  Cook in non-stick skillet with hot olive oil over low-medium heat for 12-14 mins.  Flip halfway through.  If browning too quickly, reduce heat.  Chicken should be tender and not pink.

Streusel Apple Pie:
1 nine-inch pie shell
1 egg white, beaten
5 c apples (~3 lbs), cored, peeled, sliced; Golden Delicious or preference
2/3 c white sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp butter
3/4 c flour
1/2 c packed brown sugar
3/4 c oats
1/2 c butter

Brush beaten egg over unbaked pie crust.  Bake @ 425 for 5 minutes.  Place apples in large bowl.  In separate bowl, mix 2 tbsp flour, white sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg.  Mix well then toss until apples are evenly coated.  Place apple mixture into pie shell and dot with 2 tbsp chopped butter.  Lightly cover with sheet of aluminum foil but do not enclose.  Bake @ 425 for 10 minutes.  While baking, in separate bowl, mix 3/4 c flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, brown sugar, and oats.  Mix thoroughly then cut in 1/2 c butter until mixture is crumbly.  Remove filling from oven and cover with topping.  Return to oven, reduce heat to 375 and bake 30-35 mins (or until browned), loosely covered with aluminum foil.

Hurst Hot Toddy:
1 oz spiced rum
5 oz apple cider
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

warm all ingredients over stove.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

9 19 23 39 41

Found this list of observations via facebook.  Interesting...what are your top 5?  

1-I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

2-Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3-Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

4-I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

5-Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know" feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?

6-Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

7-There is a great need for a sarcasm font.

8-Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what was going on when I first saw it.

9-I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

10-How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

11- I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

12- A recent study has shown that playing drinking games contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.

13- Was learning cursive really necessary?

14- Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

15- I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

16- My brother's Municipal League baseball team is named the Stepdads. Seeing as none of the guys on the team are actual stepdads, I inquired about the name. He explained, "Cuz we beat you, and you hate us." Classy, bro.

17- Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

18- How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

19- I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a idiot from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

20-What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

21- While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

22- MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

23- Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

24- I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

25-Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

26- I would like to officially coin the phrase 'catching the swine flu' to be used as a way to make fun of a friend for hooking up with an ugly woman. Example: "Dave caught the swine flu last night."

27-I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

28- Bad decisions make good stories

29-Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

30-You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

31-There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

32- "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

33-I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

34-Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles.. .

35- As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

36-Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

37-It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

38-I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

39-Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

40-Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time...

41-I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

42-I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

43-I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

44-The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself.

Monday, September 21, 2009

my Word

Instead of the usual pleasantries of "I was busy" and "wow it's been forever," I am going to jump into what has been rolling around in my noggin as of late.  Thinking about it too much might make the urge to blog go away...

As I lay reading "Eat, Pray, Love" this afternoon, I came across a notion explained ingeniously by Elizabeth Gilbert (the author).  She explains that every city has its own word, a word that if you were to peek into the minds of its citizens, would be on the minds of most.  She lists SEX as Rome's word, POWER as the Vatican's, and SUCCEED as LA's.

Invariably, the conversation shifts from the words of cities to the words of people.  She wonders aloud about her journey and restlessly decides upon SEEK as her word.

Of course, this got me to thinking about my own word.  It couldn't be TEACH anymore, it couldn't be CHILDREN (lordy be, not yet), it couldn't even be SPORT.  My word is:


So much of my life is consumed by a thirst for knowledge.

I want to LEARN how to be a wife.
I want to LEARN how to live out-of-state for the first time.
I want to LEARN how to cook for two.
I want to LEARN what the Holocaust was about, what denotes a republic, and about the background of Jerry Jones (all of my Wikipedia searches from today).
I want to LEARN about my surroundings.
I want to LEARN why soldiers always nod at civilians.
I want to LEARN about educational philosophy and technology.
I want to LEARN about myself as a communicator.

I want to LEARN.
I must LEARN to go forward.

What is your word?