Friday, September 26, 2014

Foodie Friday- Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie (Country Living)
Serves: 8
Oven Temp: 425
1 cup(s) apple butter
1 cup(s) (solid-pack) pumpkin
1/2 cup(s) brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
3/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon(s) ground ginger
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup(s) evaporated milk
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
1 egg white, beaten
(optional) whipped cream, for garnish
Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Combine apple butter, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt and spices in a bowl. Stir in eggs. Gradually add milk and mix well, using electric mixer. Brush pie shell with egg white, coating lightly; discard remaining egg white.
Pierce holes in bottom of crust with a fork. Pour apple-butter mixture into prepared pie shell; bake 15 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350ºF. Bake 35 minutes more until center is slightly puffed and jiggles a little bit when pan is tapped.
Cool until still slightly warm on wire rack. Serve with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon, if desired.

Monday, September 22, 2014

10 Random Questions Answered

Gail Carriger, one of my blogging/writing idols, posted these on her blog last week. Here are my answers!

1. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Well, I'm not sure I've grown up yet, but I went from actress, to writer, to morning show DJ, to wrestler (actually did that one, briefly), to anything but what I am now...LOL. I'm not sure what I want to be anymore. Except a princess. I'll always want to be a princess!

2. What is your favorite food-related memory?
So many good memories in my life center around food! Here are two, one for each of my parents:
1. Daddy used to work for a chain called Jack's Steak House that had really good chocolate cake. I was in 2nd/3rd grade then. If I had been good, he would bring home a piece of cake when he came in for the night (He'd get home between 1030-1100) and I was allowed to get up and watch Odd Couple re-runs with him while I ate my cake.
2. Mom & I went to England for my 32nd birthday. On the actual day, we took a day-trip to Bath & Stonehenge. We had our first official British tea in a little tea-house in Bath. (not Sally Lunn's- couldn't get near it, but the little place we wound up in was charming!) I discovered the joys of clotted cream that day!

3. Summer or winter?
Winter. I just can't deal with summer heat, despite the fact that I was born & raised in the American South and it's pretty much a year round thing. Actually, I prefer moderate spring/fall weather to just about anything.

4. Proudest five-minutes-of-fame moment?
I won a best lips contest at a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. We'll go with that.

5. What is your most irrational fear?
Not really irrational- I'm terrified of blindness & suffocation.

6. Favorite holiday destination?

7. What singer / band did you see at your first concert?
Eeep. I'm not entirely sure anymore. Does going to see my friend Peter's band in high school count? If not, I'll go with Garth Brooks in the early 90's. Not sure it's right, but it's one of my most vivid concert memories! (as talked about here)

8. What’s the worst lie you ever told?
"I've just got the flu."

9. Which teacher had the biggest impact on you?
My 8th grade English/Social Studies teacher taught me not to try to answer questions in her class. She asked us what amendment freed the slaves. Nobody in my class knew. I had read the chapter we were supposed to, but couldn't remember for sure if it was the 13th or 14th. (it's the 13th, BTW. I will NEVER forget that for the rest of my life) Anyway, I was brave enough to guess and got treated to a thirty minute diatribe about how disgraceful it was that I didn't know the amendment that set my people free. And another 5 minutes about being a smart ass when she paused for breath & I told her it only set half of them free, thank you very much.

My 10th grade Spanish teacher was a better influence. She was a big lady, and saw how uncomfortable I was in my own skin. She tried to teach me to appreciate myself as I was, and got me involved in the school student council. I'll never forget her for that. Sadly she died of cancer a few years ago. I regret that I never went back and told her how much she meant to me.

10. If you won a million bucks, what would you spend it on?
My parents get a house wherever they want it and then I'm taking the rest and going straight to England.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Foodie Friday: Coffee Nutella Swirl Ice Cream

Another no churn ice cream recipe! Yay! Found here

Coffee Nutella Swirl Ice Cream

1 packet instant coffee (I use Starbucks Via) or about 1/2 tablespoon from a jar
1/4 cup hot water
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (I use fat-free)
12 ounces (about 1 1/2 tubs) Cool Whip (I use fat-free)*
1/2 cup Nutella

Mix instant coffee into 1/4 cup hot water. Stir and let sit to cool for 10 minutes.
Stir coffee mixture and sweetened condensed milk in a large bowl. (I like using a large Tupperware bowl, so it can be frozen in the same bowl.) Fold in Cool Whip.
Place Nutella in a small bowl and microwave for 20 seconds to thin it out. Pour slowly into ice cream mixture while folding. You don’t want to completely mix it in, you just want rivers of it flowing through the ice cream.
Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight until it becomes ice cream consistency.

*You can substitute freshly whipped cream for the Cool Whip. Whip 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form, and use all of it in place of the Cool Whip.

Mickey's note: I don't do fat-free ANYTHING. It's rich, but it's GOOD!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

This sums up my job

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Monday, September 15, 2014

It's Monday again...

I'm so very tired. I'm working 7 straight days this week, which means I get paid double time for day 7, but it makes for an even more exhausted than normal me.

Dad is getting better again. At least until the hospital does something else stupid to him. He was feeling feisty enough today to argue with the doctors about when he could go home, so we're feeling hopeful.

The weather is getting cooler again- hallelujah! I actually settled down on the couch with my kitty, blanky, and the space heater this morning. It was lovely.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Foodie Friday: Slow Cooker Creamy Italian Chicken

Originally found here

Slow Cooker Creamy Italian Chicken

Nutrition Info
Calories: 385.4
Fat: 12.5g
Carbohydrates: 24.1g
Protein: 41.0g

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 packet Italian dressing mix
1/2 cup water
1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese
1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
3 cups cooked long grain rice (white or brown)

*1. Place chicken in crock pot
*2. Mix together Italian dressing mix and water. Pour over chicken.
*3. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours OR low for 8 hours.
*4. Mix together cream cheese and soup in separate bowl.
*5. Carefully remove chicken from crock pot to plate.
*6. Pour cream cheese/soup mixture into crock pot and mix together with dressing in bottom.
*7. Return chicken to crock pot and mix gently to shred the chicken.
*8. Cook on LOW until heated through.
*Serve with rice or noodles.

**You may add skim or low fat milk in very small quantities to thin the sauce a little. It does not significantly affect the nutritional value if you use up to 2 tablespoons**

Makes 6 servings. Approximately 2/3 cup mixture with 1/2 cup rice.

This recipe can be made with FAT FREE cream cheese and it saves about 6 grams of fat. However, I feel that the dish benefits from the flavor of the low fat over the fat free.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


So, 5 days before he was supposed to go home, Daddy was re-diagnosed with pneumonia and sent back to ICU. Due to the usual incompetence issues with the staff, we've been spending nights there to INSURE he's being treated properly. 2 of my sisters came up to help out with this.

He's been doing well, so we left him alone for about 4 hours this morning. Angie was at her hotel, I was at home, and Mom left him at about 3:30 a.m. At 7 we all got called and told he was having seizures & "coding" and we should come ASAP.

We got there, damn near kicked in the ICU door, and rushed into Daddy's room only to find him snoozing peacefully and thoroughly startled when we all started crying and hugging him.

Turns out there was a bit of a mistake. The patient in room 548 was the one coding/seizing. Dad is in room 584. Guess which family was mistakenly notified?

The idiot who called us is not having a good day. I raised hell, Angie (the most peaceful, calm, non-violent one of my sisters) raised hell, the correct patient's family raised hell, and the nursing supervisor raised hell after we all got through chewing on her.

Daddy? After the ruckus died down a bit, all he wanted was some breakfast and a nap. And then the doctor told us they might move him out of ICU today. We're still waiting for that to happen.

I dare these morons to send us anything resembling a bill for "services rendered." So far, all they've done is further endanger my father's health, stress the entire family out, and PISS ME OFF...

Friday, September 5, 2014

Foodie Friday: Pork Medallions in a Marsala and Mushroom Sauce

Another one where I forgot to note the source- I think it was from the food section of one of the British papers. I tend to collect recipes from the Daily Mail & The Guardian.

Pork Medallions in a Marsala and Mushroom Sauce
Serves 4

2tbsp olive oil
500g (1lb 2oz) pork tenderloin, cut into 8 thick slices
200g (7oz) chestnut mushrooms, halved
100ml (3½fl oz) Marsala wine
100ml (3½fl oz) hot chicken stock
150ml (5fl oz) double cream
3tbsp chopped tarragon leaves
40g (1½oz) salted butter
Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the potatoes
500g (1lb 2oz) baby new potatoes
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
Small bunch of chives, finely chopped

Put the new potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with some boiling water from the kettle, add 2tsp of salt and cook for 10 minutes. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the medallions of pork for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the meat to a plate, cover with foil and set aside.
Add the chestnut mushrooms to the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Put the pork back into the frying pan with the mushrooms and pour in the Marsala. Allow to bubble for about 2 minutes then add the stock and cream. Stir in the chopped tarragon and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the potatoes and return to the same pan, stir in the butter, lemon zest and chopped chives. Season with salt and pepper. Put 2 pork medallions each in the centre of 4 serving plates, pour over the Marsala and mushroom sauce and serve immediately with the potatoes.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day & New Monthly Goals

So last month's goals were set relatively low in the hopes of actually getting them accomplished. They're here if you need a reminder of what they were.

*hangs head in shame*

I only managed to get one thing done. We went to the tea parlor on my birthday. The rest of it? Zip, zilch, nada. I got some trash taken out and made piles of junk in the living room, but didn't actually get any cleaning done...or the DVD's watched. How bad do you have to suck to not manage to watch a freaking DVD?!?

I'm blaming the stress of dealing with family and Daddy's surgery. And getting sick again.

So this month's goals- hah hah hah- are:

1. Watch Thor:Dark World, Only Lovers Left Alive, and the Nut Job if it kills me. (You'd think a Hiddleston binge would be a no-brainer, but this is me we're talking about here)

2. Get 3 baskets of laundry put away.

3. Work on the Halloween & Christmas cross-stitch ornaments for the exchanges I've signed up for. (in a moment of lunacy blind optimism)

4. Cuddle Nightshade every chance I get. (I miss my cuddlebug Malkin)

5. Cook a real meal at least once a week.

Let's see if I can't manage to get something right!