Saturday, August 29, 2015

Doing A Lily

And hiding out where it's cool and comfy... but far away from the light, please.

No going out with Mom today, had to call and cancel. Arthritis and migraine came calling instead... one of those truly lovely migraine trysts. You know the kind; it makes your stomach roil and boil and makes (not so) pretty auras around the lights. Kind of like what you see when it's snowing in the evening.

Just the smell of the dry dog food made me run for the porcelain goddess... they aren't starving so their dinner may be a little later than usual. I was going to take a picture, show you what the hairdresser did to me on Wednesday, but that's going to wait as well.

Pity me, for I am pitiful right now. Ah well, I'll be back to my usual cheeky self once I've slept the megrim off. Until then, have a flower...

By The Skin Of My Teeth

Or, getting some baking and roasting done before the temperatures soar into the upper 80's and lower 90's (F) again! Definitely don't want to use the oven when it's that hot. For supper tonight we had roasted veggies... a head of cauliflower, two 'Graffiti' eggplant, and some creminis. The photo I took of the eggplant was too blurred from shaking to be posted, so instead I found this:

Yes, they really are just that pretty, and the skin isn't bitter so no peeling required! So this is what we ended up with, dressed with a bit of vinaigrette and bleu cheese:

Very tasty, and surprisingly filling... next time, however, I'll add a quartered onion, maybe some parsnips as well. Also baked a loaf of banana bread, reduced fat, that is probably the moistest I've ever made. My sweetheart loved it, and that's good enough for me! (Psst, substituting apple sauce for half - or in this case, three quarters, - of the fats called for really does work.)

Really good colour (I think) as well; no, it's not overdone. Slathered with our favourite butter/olive oil blend, it's a little bit of banana bread heaven. 

Tomorrow Mom is coming over and the two of us will be going out and about, I actually haven't spent a huge amount of time by myself this week... the kidling has come by just about every evening. I'll be taking my camera along tomorrow, just in case any photo ops come along! Hope everyone has an utterly lovely weekend! 

Why this song? Because it always shocks the Great Scot when I play it... let alone dance to it, lol. (Music Link Here)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Words For Wednesday... Words With Reason, Unrhymed

It's time to play with the words posted on Wednesday, you can find them Here. Don't forget that Susan F., at the most -- of every moment, will provide our prompts for the month of September!

                                                                        image source

The prompt words are underlined.

The Beauty?

Subtly formidable...

We shuddered, you and I;

Inexplicably, yet irremediably, touched.

A gleaming wisdom,

A nimbus of pride and joy,

track of tears.

The Beast? The Villain of the Piece?

How abruptly you switch, from charming to cad

With naught but a prissy twist of lip,

A sneering glance and mocking titter.

You, who were once fancied so scandalous,

Yet warm, a regal bonfire with a velvet voice,

Now the velvet has become mere velveteen

And the glass slippers are naught but cheap plastic.

Words are wondrous things: tools, weapons, inspiration, and playthings. Hope you've had happy wording this month, I certainly have. (Music link --> Here)

An important addition... Big Coal is at it again, this time in Montana, click Here to *Go West* and visit the Feral Woman's blog to find out what's going on.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Another Day, Another Dinner + a recipe

And with the cooler weather it's once again soup time! This time it's a lemony chicken and orzo; light enough to feel just right for cooler, but not too cool, end of summer days. The last few days have been in the mid to upper 70's (F) and the nights have been in the 50's, or lower. Absolutely perfect weather as far as I'm concerned.

So here is what my Late Summer Soup looks like:

The recipe makes 6 servings, so let's break it down: At $1.10 and 168.5 calories per serving, this is a real winner in my book and it's super simple to make. I have a confession to make however, had I not been a trifle lazy this would have been less expensive to put together... by 32 cents per serving! Normally I would make my own broth/stock but didn't have any on hand so opted for the easy way out and purchased pre-made broth. Since broth and stock are made from things one would normally toss out - and water - I consider it 'free'.

Let's get to it, shall we?

1 8 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cubed
32 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth
4 oz. orzo pasta, cooked, with cooking liquid
4 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced or diced
1 c. kale, stems removed and cut in short ribbons
1/4 of a large onion, cut into thin slices
juice of 1/2 a lemon (or to taste)
2 Tbsp. Each: olive or avocado oil and white cooking wine
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 bay leaf
                parsley and thyme, to taste - use more if using fresh
salt and pepper to taste

In medium saucepan, cook orzo according to package directions... remove from heat just as orzo starts to become tender; do not drain!

Add cooking oil and white wine to soup pot or large saucepan, on medium high heat, add chicken and vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is turning opaque. Reduce heat to medium and add orzo - with liquid - chicken broth, and bay leaf. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.

Add seasonings and juice of half a lemon and simmer 5 minutes longer. (I like my soup really lemony, it may be too intense for some... start with less and increase as needed.) Remove bay leaf before serving. See, it's really easy peasy!

*Next time I make this I'll be adding some carrot or sweet red pepper for colour and added nutrition. For a vegetarian option you could add more mushrooms and/or cubed tofu, and vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. 

Oh yeah, and have some nice crunchy whole grain toast on the side... you can afford it!

Good thing for the day: You! Your responses to yesterday's post were funny, thoughtful, and often deeply touching. You're the best part of blogging.

Today's question: My sweetheart showed me some incredibly cute 'She Sheds' several days ago... apparently they are the feminine answer to 'Man Caves'. So my question to you is: Would you want a Man Cave, a She Shed... or would you prefer something like a, say, 'Shared Shelter'?

My answer: If I've created a space I love, why on earth am I going to keep the person I love out of it? Gimme (shared) Shelter! And on that note...(click here)

What's Cookin' Angel? (And Other Random Stuff)

I recently discovered a fascinating new cookbook, and it's creator's website... the cookbook is the creation of the lovely, creative, and compassionate Leanne Brown and is filled with hints, tips, and recipes for those on an extremely tight budget. Good, healthy recipes full of fruits and veggies, things too often lacking in a 'poverty' diet -- like those living on a fixed income, students... senior citizens... those on disability or SNAP/food stamps have to adhere to. (The $4 a day isn't an arbitrary number, that is approximately how much food benefits work out to, per person/per day.)

As you can see from the title, we're talking extremely limited food budgets. Along with recipes, shopping and pantry tips, etc... Ms. Brown has gone a step further. She initially created a website, which you can find Here, and has the entire cookbook available as a printable pdf file which can be downloaded, by anyone, for free. She didn't stop there, however... Leanne decided, after her pdf was downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, to begin a Kickstarter campaign to finance printing her cookbook -- it raised an amazing amount of money and has enabled her to donate a cookbook to someone who needs it, for every cookbook sold. (Yup, I've bought... and thus donated... one.) She also sells the cookbooks to organisations which help the hungry at a huge discount, for distribution to the people who need them. I'd call her an angel.

Last night we had baked pork tenderloin chops and brown/wild rice pilaf with mushrooms and zucchini.

At $2.97 per serving and 480 calories, it's not going to break the bank or your healthy eating habits, but it sure tastes like it will!

Good thing for the day: People reaching out to help one another.

Today's question: What is your favourite 'splurge' meal?
My answer: If it's seafood, I'm there! Especially crab legs, yum. A simple salad and jacket (baked) potato on the side. And cheesecake, must have cheesecake.

Just for fun --> (link: here)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Words For Wednesday, And The Next Provider

Welcome back to Words For Wednesday!

But first: An unexpected visitor over the weekend...

Originally begun by Delores, who is gradually retiring from the blog world, it was then taken over by first Elephant's Child, then River at Drifting through life, myself, and is now being taken over by Susan F. at her blog, the most -- of every moment. Thanks Susan, can't wait to see where you take us!

The aim of Words For Wednesday is to encourage us to write.

Each week we are given a choice of prompts, which can be words, phrases, music, or an image. What you do with those prompts is completely your choice - write a short story or a song, prose or a poem. You can even ignore them if you like. 

Some folks put their creations in the comments section of the post, others post them on their own blog. If you post on your blog, please leave a message in the comments so that I, and other participants, can enjoy and applaud your creation!

This week I'm giving you a choice between two very different sets of words. You can use either, or incorporate both sets in the same creation. Enjoy!

First Set:

1. Subtly
2. Formidable
3. Shuddered
4. Track
5. Wisdom
6. Gleaming

Second Set:

1. Scandalous
2. Prissy
3. Slippers
4. Fancied
5. Velveteen
6. Cad

Good thing for the day: After weeks of just not being into it at all, I finally have my cooking 'mojo' back and will be trying new things, as well as re-visiting old favourites.

Today's question is a two-parter: Have you ever met someone and immediately thought: 'I want to know them better'? If so, what was the result... if any?

My answer: I have, several times, the most spectacular of which involved my sweetheart, the Great Scot. That feeling has never let me down, although once it was a bit slow-going...

According to some silly Facebook thing, this should be the song of my life:

Friday, August 21, 2015

Words For Wednesday On Friday: Happy Birthday Mom!

Today just happens to be my Mom's 29th birthday, and because she enjoys reading about Scotland and vampires, this tale is for her... although I hope you enjoy it as well!

The prompts, you may recall, are as follows:

1. dewy

2. whirled

3. vegetarian

4. peas

5. elves

6. hippy

With this photo:

In her 28 years of living just outside Pitlochry, Scotland, Jane had never felt so cold and tired. Awake just before dawn, wrapped in her blanket and holding a rapidly cooling cup of tea in a decidedly fragile hand, she waited for sunrise; her mind whirled as she remembered her brother Stephan, gone 10 years today. Not dead, not so far as she knew, just... gone.

Handsome, intelligent, and a bit of a practical joker was Stephan, and when he hadn't returned after his graduation party no one worried at first, thinking he was just having them on. Who, after all, would walk away after making it through medical school? But as the days turned into weeks, months and years, Jane and her hippy mother had to admit to themselves that he wouldn't be coming back. Mom, who had re-married three years ago and moved to the States.

Shaking her head irritably, she fastened her attention on the sunlight flooding her beloved garden, highlighting the dewy peas, bees already busily buzzing about. Stepping down, preparing to immerse herself in in the day, she felt the already familiar dizziness overtake her as she sank to her knees and into darkness. Sight dimming, Jane only vaguely registered three distinctly feminine shapes leaving the shadows beneath the nearby trees, and stepping toward her. 'Elves?' she thought...

"You're going to have to forgive me, Janie girl" a distinctive baritone whispered in her ear, before pain ripped into her neck and she fell into darkness again.

Hands going to her throat, Jane woke abruptly, shaking with fear. "No need for that, Janie girl, it's all healed up now." "Stephan?" She quavered... "where the hell have you been?" " Oh, hither and yon" was the breezy reply "you're looking a bit less green now." "Well you're looking peelie-wally as hell" she shot back, and it was true, beneath the glaur that was liberally smeared over her older brother, Jane couldn't help but note the waxen paleness of his skin. "You've looked a bit better yourself wee Jane, but you'll be fit as a fiddle in a few days... headache all gone now?"

How had he known about the headaches she wondered, rubbing absently at her forehead; startling as she realised that not only was the constant aching of her head gone, there was no pain at all. None. Not even in her chest, where it had originally begun. Ironic when you think about it, she who had  been a vegetarian for years, and never smoked in her life, dying of lung cancer which had moved on to her brain and bones. 

"What have you done?" she whispered.

Stephan stood, flashing her an exceptionally toothy grin. "Well, I couldn't imagine a world without you in it Janie girl, so I made certain it would never come to that... sorry you won't be able to lay about in the sun anymore!" And with that he sprinted off, almost more quickly than her eyes could follow. Almost. 

"I'm going to kill you for this!" She screamed after him. "Have to catch me first Janie Wanie... ollie, ollie, oxenfree!" Laughing, glancing behind her only once, she whirled after him, leaving the problem of being a vegetarian vampire for later...

For my beautiful blue-eyed, brunette - nonhippy - Mom.