Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

This is the first year I can remember when Trick or Treating did not involve serious rain gear. In fact, it is the perfect night for such festivities. The moon is out and it is actually a tad balmy. (Yes, balmy) Not too shabby for the end of Ocotober.
Ben will be on Trick or Treat duty with Sam this year. He and his buddies, who also have younger sibs, volunteered for the job. Too bad Ben is 6 feet tall so I doubt he will get much candy unless our friends take pity on him.

As for the Trick or Treating front on our end it has been pretty dead (pun intended) We don't get a lot of trick or treaters. So far I've answered the door 5 times. My friend Candy lives in a development up the road and that is THE place to go. The development gets really into Halloween and it is the only place that is flat around here to that makes it a win win for most folks. Last year Candy said she ran out of candy. Who knew 50 pounds would not be enough. Needless to say that is where Ben and Sam are headed.
I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween with lots more treets than tricks.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

She's Ready for Her Closeup

Halloween is seeming to last forever this year.
Friday night we had Street of Screams.
Saturday Girl Scout Halloween Party.
Tonight is Trunk or Treat.
Tomorrow, actual tick or treating.

While we enjoy Halloween, the costumes always seem to fall on me. Sam told me she wanted to be "Goth" for Halloween. When I asked her if she even knew what that meant she said it was someone who wears black. Okay...

So in a panic I headed to the local thrift shop on a search for a "goth" costume. Little did Sam know I planned on returning with Witch fixings and she would just have to go with that. However since it was the Friday before Halloween, pickings were slim. I ended up with a black cocktail dress and I pitched the idea of a glam girl as an alternative. Since wearing lipstick was her major criteria she agreed. For something that was thrown together last minute and only cost us 6 bucks for the dress, I'm thinking she looks pretty good.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings

Today was a GORGEOUS Autumn day here in the Pacific Northwest. It was also the perfect day for a little comfort food.
I made Chicken and Dumplings.
This was something that we never ate growing up, but when I saw Rachel Ray whip it on 30 meals I thought "how hard can it be?" Super easy is the answer and now it makes it way into the rotation every now and then.
If you watch Rachel Ray you know most of her start off with onion, celery and carrots. This is no exception.

Chop and drop your veggies in a little EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)and saute' until soft. Add a little salt, pepper and maybe some poultry seasoning if you have it on hand.

Deglaze the pot with some chicken stock (I used a box and half which I think is about a quart) and add chicken breasts. Simmer for about 20 minutes, shred meat and return to pot.

In another small bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt and milk. When I have it, I chop up parsley and throw that in too. It adds a nice flavor and some much needed color. Once it is all mixed, dip your spoon in the broth before scooping the batter. This will help it slide right off. When all the batter is in the broth close the lid, set the timer for 10 and don't peek. I mean it, DO NOT peek!! You need the steam to cook the dumplings. If I can resist the urge to peek so can you.

After the timer goes off, remove lid and admire fluffy goodness. Scoop into your favorite bow and voila dinner is served.

Chicken and Dumplings
2 Carrots, 2 ribs celery, 1 med onion all diced
Season to taste ~ salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, whatever you like
1 Qt or so of Chicken Stock
2-4 Chicken breasts depending on how big they are or how much you like chicken
1 C four
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 milk
small handful of parsley fresh or dried

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Clutter Question

Last night Ben was looking for a pencil sharpener. I told him there was one in the junk drawer.

He said there wasn't. We went back and forth before he gave up and searched elsewhere. This morning I opened the junk drawer to prove I was right. Yup, I couldn't find it either.
I started thinking about clutter and holy grail of "clutter free". I've read about it. I've seen pictures of it, but my question is how is it actually achieved?? More specifically, do clutter free folks just throw all the little randomness away??
All the rubberbands, pens, plastic forks...all the "overflow" that starts to take over.
So for those of you who read this little blog, PLEASE answer this question...
Are you a clutter tosser?
I need to know.
Okay, I'm off to deal with the junk drawer
Happy Sunday