Monday, June 4, 2012

Can This Manuscript Be Saved?

I'm over at the Grand Rapids Region Writers Group blog today, asking the all-important question, "Can this manuscript be saved?" Come see what the prognosis is. :D

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What's for Dinner?

This morning I decided to relocate my shelf of cookbooks from the pantry to the empty bookshelf in the family room because I've started shopping at Sam's Club to try to save some money by buying in bulk, which meant I needed to make some room in my pantry. As I pulled down books and magazines and loose leaf paper, I sorted into three piles - keep, toss, donate. It was surprisingly easy to lessen the total volume by giving away the cookbooks that I haven't opened in years, or that I never opened.

When I finished the sort, I realized that the remaining books wouldn't take up nearly as much space on the pantry shelf. I greatly prefer to keep them near the food supplies, which makes it so much easier to determine if I have the required ingredients when I'm flipping through them. So they went back up on the shelf. Then I looked at the other shelves to see what else I could toss or donate. After about 40 minutes of reorganizing the remaining items on my shelves, I now have plenty of space to stock my Sam's Club shopping. And it's much easier to find my favorite recipes.

Here's a family favorite from The Stocked Kitchen cookbook, written by two authors in my community.

Cheesy Chicken Chili
Serves 6

1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken
2 Tbl olive oil
4 15 oz cans beans, white or cannellini
1 15 oz can or 2 cups chicken broth
2 cups salsa
1 tsp cumin
2 cups cheddar cheese

1. Cut chicken into 1" cubes. In stock pot over medium heat, cook chicken in olive oil until no longer pink inside.
2. Stir in beans, chicken broth, salsa and cumin.
3. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add cheddar cheese and stir until cheese is completely melted.
5. If desired, top with cheddar cheese and sour cream, and serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Ugly Truth

This movie was much more than I was expecting. It had me laughing out loud at its crude, adult humor. The chemistry between Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler was hot. Katherine played a great role as a strong working woman clueless about men and dating. Gerard was an egocentric macho man with a soft underside.

Two big thumbs up!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chicken Salad

What's for lunch?

When I'm home working all day, I usually look in the fridge for leftovers. When there are none, I'm often stumped for a tasty, easy lunch idea. Today I remembered this easy and fast version of Chicken Salad.

Easy Chicken Salad for One
1 frozen chicken breast cooked in microwave on high until done
1 spoonful of sour cream
1 knifeful of mayo
2 dashes of tarragon
1 dash of salt and pepper to taste

This was all I had time for today before I had to leave for an appointment. I used two chicken breasts today, so tomorrow I will add some chopped celery, apple and walnuts to the uneaten portion for my lunch.

This can be served on a lettuce leaf for a low carb lunch or on toast or stuffed in a pita pocket.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Soup's On! (Again)

In the winter I love soup for lunch and dinner. And amazingly, my boys have decided they like my soup this year. And my hubby loves it, too. It is so nice to find a dinner that everyone appreciates, and they tell me!

When I make soup, it never tastes the same twice because I always play around with the quantity of the ingredients. I like the freedom to throw in more or less of whatever I have on hand.

So here is an approximation of what I do to make Chicken Noodle Soup.

Chicken Noodle Soup
1 lb chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1 onion, chopped
Splash of olive oil
5 thick carrots, chopped (or 10 skinny ones)
3 celery stalks, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups dry egg noodles

Saute onion in olive oil until browned. Add carrots, celery, chicken broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add chicken and dry noodles. Boil 14 minutes or until noodles are cooked.

It makes enough for my family of 5 to have dinner, and I get at least 2 lunches out of it.

So, go ahead and play with the ingredients and make as much or as little as you like! Enjoy!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Robyn Carr's Virgin River Series

You must read this series of books if you like strong women, stronger men and a small community that pulls together to help those that need it most.

Robyn Carr has an incredible ability to create characters with depth and warmth and humor. I lose myself in her books every time.

Here is the current list of books in print in the series. And she has plans to add more!!!
March 2010 - Moonlight Road
February 2010 - Angel's Peak
January 2010 - Forbidden Falls
Book 8 - "Under the Christmas Tree" (novella)
Book 7 - Paradise Valley
Book 6 - Temptation Ridge
Book 5 - Second Chance Pass
Book 4 - A Virgin River Christmas
Book 3 - Whispering Rock
Book 2 - Shelter Mountain
Book 1 - Virgin River

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Winter NaNo Challenge Update

I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. Yes, I can!

This Winter NaNo Challenge has been a great way to keep me writing regularly. There have been a few days that I added 0 words to my total, but I knew I could make them up the next day or the next. It's kept me writing and moving forward in my story when I probably would have let it slide for a week or more without adding anything.

What I've learned about my writing through this challenge is amazing. I write much better detail and characterization and really take my time in each scene by writing without an outline. I'm not rushing to get from point A to point B to point C, because I have no idea where those points are! I don't know what my characters will do next, so I am taking my time with exploring what they are doing right now.