Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Serenity....

...Is knowing you are protected from those dastardly bird-food eating squirrels by your ever vigilant "Squirrel Patrol" pets.

My Stella-dog & Trey-cat
I am blessed by the two of you...well, usually


good things!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Not the Usual Stuff...

I came across the below today while cleaning out my travel backpack. Let me preface what is written by stating to anyone who might not know it already, that I am overweight - and not by just a few pounds - no illusions here. At all.

Summer 2010:

Here I am, ending my vacation in my beautiful home state of Missouri. It's been a wonderful time, and I've enjoyed every minute as always. But for the first time, coming back home in all these many years, I've noticed something I never really have before - though why I haven't is beyond me - I simply cannot believe the number of people I've seen in Missouri and now in O'Hare airport [connecting flight] that are horribly obese.
Right now I'm in a restaurant and am watching two women, a mother and daughter perhaps, based on their visual ages. The older lady is in a motorized wheel chair and on oxygen, the younger lady is mobile - and both are hugely obese. They are being served their lunches of bacon double cheeseburgers with sides of both fries and onion rings. Whether their sodas are diet or regular, I haven't a clue. They both eat every single bite of everything. And then they have dessert.
Shamed to say I had also ordered a cheeseburger - but after that jolt (on top of seeing the lady in the wheelchair giving herself an insulin shot in the middle of her lunch), I ashamedly eat only half my burger and just a few of my fries - not a normal occurrence for me.
Ironically, on the flight from St. Louis [to ORD] I'd read in a magazine that if you begin exercising at age 50+ for 3 vigorous hours a week and get down to a normal weight that in 5 years you can return to the healthful self you were before sabotaging yourself with over-indulgence, and extend your life for a bazillion years. OK, not a bazillion years, but a healthy decade or two.
Good God! We all [read I] need to wake up! When did bad food choices and being couch potatoes become the great comforter to the majority of us?
If I'm honest with myself, I will admit to the errors of my ways. I clomp, most definitely do not gracefully glide. I can't possibly jump down or even step down from a distance without it hurting or me being unsure of myself. Fear of falling? I have that.
I woud love to snow ski again. No way would I even try with the physical shape - or lack thereof - I'm in.

Guess I need to answer this:
Good years lived.
Do I want 62................or 92?


It's time to answer, abb, definitely time!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Circle Game

And the seasons they go 'round and 'round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

~Joni Mitchell


Finally! Enough snow has melted that I can see the beginnings of my beloved daffodils! About time, I'd say! And I do believe this is going to be the first February since I've lived in this home (since 1981) that there won't be a single crocus blooming. More often than not we have blooms by around the 20th. I miss their sunshiny faces! Ah well, I'm a winter-lover, but now I'm gettin' antsy for spring.



Thursday, February 17, 2011

An Obscene Little Chickie...

The Yum

(Made you look, didn't I?)

A while ago, my mom shared a recipe with me that's become my very favorite way to make roasted or any other kind of chicken. It's moist, fast, and more flavorful than any chicken I've had! There are several secrets to this, and all are important to baking the best bird you'll ever eat!
First, try to find a 2* to no more than a 3 pound bird - a task that, at least here in the Northeast, is next to impossible. (*Mother just called and told me to add that any size chicken will do, just adjust everything accordingly. Shoulda said a 2 - 2 1/2 lb. bird is my personal choice!) Second, cut the backbone out and then turn the bird over and flatten the breastbone. Third, and so very important.....

In the making: Base of the Yum an edible baking trivet! Mom's original instructions called for a trivet made of a first layer of 1/3" onion slices that were then covered with same size orange slices. (That was delicious!)
After doing that about 5 times, I decided it was time to change the trivet ingredients. Hmmm....what are two things I like better than just about anything else?? That would be potatoes and lemons. Sooo...I sliced potatoes lengthwise and then covered each with a slice of lemon. WOW! It was just over-the-top delicious!

For those intrepid souls who want to try this, here's the recipe, (and do remember I'm a Throw 'n Go cook, so none of the amounts are exact - just use whatever feels right!):

1 chicken, backbone cut out, fat and grossness removed, and breast bone flattened
potato slices, horizontally sliced 1/4" - 1/3" thick, enough to cover bottom of baking dish
lemon slices, one for each potato slice
olive oil
lemon pepper mix (I used Trader Joe's fresh grated)
plain black pepper
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425ยบ. In a baking dish to suit the size of your chicken, coat the bottom well with olive oil and then put a single layer of potatoe slices in the dish. Liberally sprinkle the potatoes with thyme, lemon pepper, plain black pepper and salt-to-taste, then place a lemon slice on each potato. Put the chicken on top of your "trivet". Sprinkle chicken with thyme, lemon pepper, black pepper and salt-to-taste.
Place chicken in oven and cook according to chicken-roasting directions. It depends on the size of your bird. Mine was 2 1/4 lbs. and took exactly 1 hour. I don't think I'd cook any bird less than 1 hour - and the potatoes need at least 1 hour to cook.
When done, remove from oven, place all on platter and serve.
We had it with peas.
We would have had a salad as well, but I was too lazy to clean the lettuce.

It was delicious!


it's good food time!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hopes of Spring...Springs Eternal...

My ragtop is stowed...
Favorite rod is baited...
Snow banks in the rear???


Spring must certainly be close at hand!


expecting sumpthin'!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pretty Birdie in the Sky

A beautiful cloud
A pretty bird but soon gone,
Just fly away NOW!


expect anything!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

On a Cold Cold Beach

Our winter season

It's one of great snowiness

And I just love it!



love that white stuff!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Sunset not on Second Street

What a difference 24 hours can make...

2/1/11 at dusk

2/2/11 at dusk

Above is my new go-to sunset spot as my Sunset on Second Street view is now completely blocked by a ginormous - and ever-growing - mound of snow and ice. Pretty sure I won't be able to use Second Street until, oh, I'd say around mid-May. Above is Sunset on Third Street - not quite the same ring, but a pretty view none-the-less.


On another note, we're having our Gourmet Group tomorrow at our home, and for something ~new and different~, Connecticut is expecting another ice and snow storm as well! O joy (she writes, with dripping sarcasm and loathing). If no one can make it here, it's a pretty solid bet GB and I won't be hungry for the next two weeks! Will we be tired of Chicken Marbella? Yup! Hungry? Nope!


wishing for no more ice!


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Bleeding Heart on a Cold Winter Day

NYC, Riverside Park, spring of '09

I have decided to ignore the fact that it is once again percipitating that wintery stuff here in the unsunny northeast. Even I, a died-in-the-wool lover of all things winter, am getting a bit tired of the whiteness. Mainly because we've had so much and there's no where to put any more of it!

Over the last two days, I've spent about two hours of each shoveling snow. I realized this was necessary after I went to get our mail and found I had to literally climb up and over the snow pile just to reach the mailbox. Didn't really think it was fair of me to expect our mailman to do that six days a week. The capper was watching our garbage man swing around our circle, take one look at the ginormous snow pile between him and our trash bins...and leave...

Have I mentioned that I am about as out-of-shape as one not-very-young-anymore gal can get? Well, I'm mentioning it now! Needless to say, Motrin is my very best friend!

Oh, and our town's school district is the only one in all of Fairfield County that is in session for the entire day. All the other schools are closed or having an early dismissal. Pooh!


But I'm happy...really...I am!