New lessons from a new wife.

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Chicken Supreme

I didn’t have to work today, so I thought I would make dinner for my husband. Rarely do Justin and I get a chance to eat together because of our schedules, something I hope will change. I gave him a few options out of the recipe files (because I learned that having him go thru and look for himself was too overwhelming for him) The options included “Chicken Supreme“, “Turkey Pot Pie”, or “Gram’s Ham”. This time he wanted the “Chicken Supreme”.

I had most of the ingredients needed for the dish, but still needed some of the produce. After the grocery run, I began to make this dish. I have learned, after more than 2 years of marriage, that my husband doesn’t eat a good three meals a day. He gets, at most, two. So I told him well in advance that he would be making this dinner a priority and to be hungry when I was finished making it.

Chicken Supreme:

2 C cooked chicken

2 C chopped celery

1 C cooked rice

3 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 C chopped green pepper

1 can cream of chicken

1/2 C chopped green onion

3/4 C mayo

1 can mushrooms, drained

1/2 C crushed potato chips

Combine all ingredients except crushed potato chips. Place in baking pan and sprinkle with chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Some of the changes I made are as followed:

  • I used cream of chicken and mushroom soup and did not use a can of mushrooms because Justin and I don’t like mushrooms too much.
  • I used about 2 1/2 cups of cooked chicken and added salt and pepper during cooking (I placed the raw chicken in a large sauce pan with 1 cup of water, simmered for about 20 minutes, flipping 2-3 times.)
  • I added salt and pepper to taste.
  • I used my 2QT Pyrex  dish
My thoughts (and Justin’s) about this dish:
  • Very good taste, but too much celery. Next time I would cut the celery down to about 1/2 cup and leave the other veggies the same.
  • I wanted the potato chips to be a little crispy, so with 2 minutes left I turned the broiler on. This made the chips too crispy and appeared burnt but did not affect the taste at all.
  • I gave this dish an 85% and I would probably make it again. Justin gave it a 75% because he really doesn’t like celery.
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Cherry Cobbler

Justin asked me to make a dessert for his work Christmas party…the perfect opportunity to begin my quest of new recipe adventures. I asked him to pick one recipe out of the hundreds, but I think that might have overwhelmed him because he didn’t. So when I got off work yesterday I came home and searched until I came across the cobblers. And my heart (and stomach) went straight for the cherry cobbler.

This particular recipe came from a dear family friend, Nancy Leisinger. I’ve known her my whole life, she helped raise me in the church.

  • 1 can cherry pie filling (1 lb, 5 oz)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 C biscuit mix
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 C milk (I used whole milk)

Comine filling and almond extract in a 1-qt shallow baking dish; mix well. Dot with 1 tbsp butter or margarine.

In small bowl, combine biscuit mix, sugar and milk. Stir with fork until blended. Spoon over cherry filing by dropping spoonsful around edge of pan, about an inch apart, forming a border. Sprinkle border with 1 tbsp of sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes or until biscuit is baked through and is golden brown. Serves 4

If you notice there was no oven temperature to go by, so I guessed at 375 degrees.

My modifications included:

  • Doubling the recipe
  • Using a 2-qt baking dish
  • Baking time of 47 minutes (This could be due to a lower oven temp than needed and because I used a larger dish)

The house smells lovely, I wish I could dive in and eat some now. Justin will have to tell me how it is.

Best gift ever

When I arrived home from work today, I pulled in my driveway and I noticed two boxes sitting at my door. Usually when I see packages I know who they’re from right away, and this time was no different….Sara had sent me an early Christmas present. I eagerly opened the boxes, looking first at the cute knickknacks she had sent, then my eyes filled with tears as I searched deeper into the boxes. She had sent me not just some, or a lot, but ALL of my Grandma Robbins and Grandma Fisher’s recipes. When my grandmothers both passed away, I knew that she had taken the recipes and was going to merge them into a large collection…but that was years ago. So to my surprise she had rewritten and deciphered the handwritten all the recipes. I was in shock for a good ten minutes while I quickly looked through all the names of dishes, desserts, veggies and goodies.

For the past 6 hours (give or take some breaks) I’ve read, organized and tagged some of the recipes that I want to try first. Now, when I say ALL the recipes, I’m not exaggerating when I say hundreds of mouth-watering recipes that have stood the test of time. One of my favorite parts of looking at the recipes are the fun marks my grandmothers would write on the cards

“Good, really good”

“Made for church dinner 1947”

“Don’t use this much salt”

It’s almost like I’m reading along with my grandma and she’s telling me what I need to know about it before I start making it. My hope/prayer/thought is that these books are going to be passed through our family generation to generations and it growing with new recipes.

So the idea here (and Justin doesn’t think I’m going to stick to this) is I’m going to make a new dish every week or so (maybe a dish and dessert) and I’ll blog on my reaction, Justin’s reaction, what it was like to make and then post the recipe. I know this is just like the movie “Julie and Julia” but I’ll put my twist on it.

05/16/11

The bike ride did not happen this weekend for a few (Good) reasons. One, it was like 2 degrees below comfortable. Riding the bike in the cold and rain was not a way I wanted to get motivated to ride. Two, Justin dropped me off at my mom’s house on his way to work, taking the house keys with him, therefore, I could not get into our house all day Saturday. However, I have not lost all hope! Justin has the day off and he is going to fix the bikes up, put air in the tires and when I get off work tonight, we will ride.

So, last week I did something fun! I made laundry soap. It was cheap and will make up to 180 loads! I got the idea from Dr. Roach, he is the Dr at the hospital I work. It’s the same recipe that the Duggar’s (80 kids and counting) use. Its super easy to make! The reason I’m so excited about it is because Tide (or any other store-bought soap) cost roughly $0.10/load and the soap I made cost just under $.01/load! So every time you do a load of laundry, just put a dime in a big jar and that is all the money you could be saving with just a bit of effort! I’ll paste the recipe below. Justin and I didn’t add any essential oils to add a scent, but it smells soo good anyway. I’ve been looking for more money-saving ways around the house. So far I’ve found an all-purpose cleaner and air freshener, I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4  Cups – hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

– Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer “Super Washing Soda” – in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Meijer.com). Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent – It must be sodium carbonate!!

This was my last week of classes. It’s crazy to think this semester is already over. I feel like life is moving at top speed and I just need to slow down and enjoy it just a bit. However, I am really excited about this summer. I am thinking about riding my bike to more places and not using my car as much. My spanish teacher this semester rides his bike from Liberty to school (about 10 miles) every day. Where I work and go to school is less than 10 miles apart. I think I could do it, do you?

Gas prices are really throwing our budget for a loop, thus the thought of riding a bike more.  Last summer Justin and I rode our bikes quite a bit (Although, I’m sure he wanted to ride more). I need to pull the old bike out of the shed, dust her off, air up the tires and ride. I think tomorrow I’m going  to ride to work and to school and see how long it takes me and if its even a realistic idea. I’m sure it is. We’ll see, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Home

WE MOVED! Justin and I just moved into our new home. We moved all last week and are finally in the home stretch of being finished up packing.

We love our new home. Its small, nice and perfect for just the two of us. My favorite is the kitchen, all new appliances and perfect for baking cookies. Our back yard is nice and large, Hubble loves ruling the roost back there. I’ll let him out while I get some things done in the house, and when I come back 20 min later, he is just sitting in the grass smelling the breeze.

I must say, moving with only a month left of school WAS stressful. I have papers, tests, assignments due….don’t my teachers have any consideration? I am making it and hopefully thriving.

Justin’s parents came into town last weekend and helped us get our garden started. We planted green beans, cucumbers, lettuce and spinach. We are very excited to harvest our crops all summer and eat yummy veggies!

I was thinking the whole time we were moving in that THIS feels like Justin and I are just starting out. All of our stuff is in one place and we can start feeling at home. Its so nice to be home.

Top five reasons I love my job.

1.      Puppies. I love puppies. They are always exploring the world. Every place they go is a new place with new friends to meet. They are scared of very little, at least the first few times they come into the vet office. They will coming jumping up to you tripping on their oversized feet and give you all their love. I wish I could be more like puppies sometimes.

2.      Serving. Ok, so maybe I’ll never save a human life directly, but when a man comes into the hospital distraught because his dog of 12 years “ain’t doing right” and I can comfort him and inform him of all the possibilities we can pursue to get Alf feeling better My. Day. Is. Made.

3.      Community. Starting a new job is one of the most intimidating experiences of my life. Will we all get along? Will I be able to understand everything my boss wants me to do? Will I get in the way? The questions in my mind are never ending for the first week or two. Now that I have been at my new job for about a month, I’m starting to feel my stride with everyone. Every new job I’ve had goes like this. I am scared into my own bubble for a bit, then slowly I begin to emerge and hopefully everyone will see that I’m not the shy person I was in the beginning. Working in a hospital with so few employees (Five including me) It’s almost a make it or break it. I either will fit in or get out. I’d like to announce that I am fitting in, if there ever was any doubt I would.

4.      Learning. With my job, the learning curve is a little different. So a new employee at Starbucks may feel overwhelmed at first with the menu but after careful study, she should understand how to make everything in just a few short days. The medical field is a little different. Every situation is just a bit different. I some cases you don’t learn how to do something until you face it in an emergency situation. Last week, a woman came running into the hospital carrying her 7 month old Great Pyrenees puppy…never a good thing. Well, Tank had gotten into the tackle box in the garage and had chewed on a nice big fishhook. So with four prongs sticking in four different places in his mouth, we had to figure out what to do in order to get the fishhook out. Not something I would think to learn before that specific occasion.

5.     Confidence. Being good at my job carries over confidence in my everyday life. If you don’t have confidence, I recommend you get some. Its great!