Monthly Archives: May 2014

Snapshot Saturday – Abstraction

May’s Snapshot Saturday posts are a series of abstract images I’ve taken so far in 2014.  This one i particularly enjoy!  Any ideas what it is, or where you can find it?

Coffee Table

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Quest to Read Them All – Truths and Roses

The next stop on my Quest to Read Them All brings me to an e-book I downloaded for free as a promo with another book I bought.  As the title of this series suggests, I have set out to read every book I own, even the ones I didn’t actually intend to purchase, and Inglath Cooper’s Truths and Roses was next on my To Be Read List.

Truths and Roses

In this case, not having actually paid for the book was a good thing.  It meant that I wasn’t nearly as annoyed as I would’ve been had I actually spent money on the book.  I just couldn’t get into the story.  I love a good romance novel as much as the next girl.  I can’t get enough of Susan Mallery and Catherine Bybee, but this book just didn’t draw me in.  I couldn’t get behind the romance between the traumatized small town librarian and the forced to retire professional football hero.  The book had all the required ups and downs of a good romance, I just wasn’t caught.  Definitely not one I would recommend or seek out the rest of this author’s stories based on.

 

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Tasty Tuesday – Shredded Buffalo Chicken

I felt like something spicy this week, so I headed off to Pinterest to find a recipe for Buffalo Chicken.  There are thousands of possibilities, and I found hundreds of options for various types of spicy food, but I’m really a creature of habit, so I went with a recipe for Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches.

After a trip to the grocery store, I gathered all of the ingredients: 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 pound of boneless chicken thighs – cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces,coarse salt, ground pepper, 1 pound boneless chicken breasts – cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces, 1 diced medium yellow onion, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 seeded and diced medium red bell pepper, 1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes, 1/4 cup hot-pepper sauce, 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons yellow mustard, 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses, hamburger buns, blue cheese crumbles (my own addition).

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken

I cleaned and cut up all of the chicken. When the thighs and breast meat were cut into 1″ pieces I browned them in the olive oil, making sure to season all of it with salt and pepper.

Brown the Chicken Thigh Pieces   Season with Salt   and fresh ground pepper

Put the Chicken in the Crock Pot

Now that your skillet is empty, it’s time to cook the veggies.  Add the seeded and diced pepper, diced onion and minced garlic to the pan and cook them stirring constantly until the onions are translucent.  When they are cooked through, add the water and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to get off all of the stuck on bits and extra flavor.  Then dump the contents of the skillet into the slow cooker.

cook the veggies  deglaze the pan

Next add the crushed tomatoes, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and molasses to the crock pot.

add the crushed tomatoes   add the hot sauce   add the Worcestershire sauce   add the mustard   add the molasses

Give a nice stir to mix it all together, then cover it and let it cook.  The recipe says 4 hours on high, but I had to work, so I let it cook for 7 on low.

set it and forget it

It smelled so good when I got home, but there was still a bit to do before we could sit down for dinner.  I used a potato masher to shred the chicken.  It sounds weird, but it totally worked.  If you don’t have a potato masher, you can use 2 forks.

Ready to Shred   Shredding the chicken   Shredded Buffalo Chicken

When it was all pulled apart, I took a nice crusty roll and added a heaping pile of chicken, then topped it with some blue cheese crumbles.  Was it ever yummy!  I love the flavor, and it reminded me so much of sitting at the 99 in Keene with my friends!

Shredded Buffalo Chicken and Bleu Cheese Sandwich

Hmmm, I wonder what flavor or smell will transport me next?  Has that ever happened to you?

 

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Snapshot Saturday – Abstraction

May’s Snapshot Saturday posts are a series of abstract images I’ve taken so far in 2014.

What do you think this one is?

I loved those jeans

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Quest to Read Them All – The Time Traveler’s Wife

OK, so I’m considerably behind the times in my To Be Read pile of books, but that’s what happens when your library ends up stored in tubs for an extended period of time…  This week my ongoing Quest To Read Them All has presented a book that I refused to watch the movie adaptation of until I had finished reading the original work.  I purchased Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife at the same time as the rest of the reading public, but I’ve only just gotten around to reading the book.

The Time Traveler's Wife

I’m not so sure I really liked the book.  I hate having to admit things like that, but if I can’t even be honest with myself about my preferences, then what’s the point in sharing my thoughts with the world at large (or at least anyone tat takes the time to read this blog).  I liked the premise of the story.  It was an interesting concept.  I enjoyed trying to keep up with the shifting nature of Henry and Claire’s relationship.  I wasn’t very fond of the almost martyr-like personality that Henry has throughout the story.  Yes he has an “affliction” but instead of making the best of this rare gift, he seems to punish himself and Claire.

I wonder if I will like the book better after I see the movie.  I’ve just added it to my Netflix instant que, so I might just try and watch it tomorrow.  Anyone have any feelings about this story?  Should I have approached it from a different perspective?  What did you guys think of Henry and Claire?  Is it weird that Kimmy was my favorite character?

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Tasty Tuesday – Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad

I’m not usually a fan of mayonnaisey salads, I’m more of a leafy green kind of girl, but this one struck a chord with me when I saw it on Pinterest.  I am a big fan of anything Chicken Bacon Ranch, so this salad was a clear must try recipe for me!

The original blog post that the recipe came from can also be found on WordPress!  I started following her blog as a result of this recipe.  I can’t wait to see what else she offers.

I was very excited to try this out, so I was very lucky to have all of the ingredients on hand!   It called for: 3 cups chicken, cooked and chopped, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (I didn’t like the way these looked, so I left them out), 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard, 1/8 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/4 cup finely diced red onion (I don’t like raw onion, so I left these out), 6-8 slices cooked and chopped bacon, shredded cheddar cheese for garnish.

chicken bacon ranch salad ingredients

Before I could assemble the salad, I had to cook the raw ingredients.  I cooked the bacon and chicken in a small skillet on the stove top.

cooking the bacon   cooking the chicken

When the chicken and bacon were cooked, I moved on to mixing the dressing for the salad.  I combined the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  I mixed everything until it had a nice creamy consistency.

mayonnaise  sour cream

onion powder  garlic powder  salt  ground black pepper dried mustard   lemon juice

Once the dressing was mixed, I added the cooked chicken and bacon.  Then I stirred everything together so that it was well coated.

add the chicken  then add the bacon and mix

When everything was mixed together, it was time to make a sandwich.  I cut a hoagie roll, scooped on some of the salad, and garnished it with shredded cheddar cheese.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad Sandwich

This is a definite repeat!  I think I’ll make a batch of it the next time we have a chance to take the dogs to the park for a picnic/play-date.

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Snapshot Saturday – Abstraction

Any ideas what this Abstract Image is?  Like I mentioned last week, I decided May’s Snapshot Saturday posts are going to be a series of abstract images I’ve taken so far in 2014.

Cranberry Filter

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