Monday, April 4, 2016

Catch Up (Part 1)

Wow! Where did the time go??  This post and the next are going to be pretty random, but hopefully they will get us all caught up.

I have a love/hate relationship with my crockpot. I want to use it more, but many of the things that people make in crockpots are not my or my husband's favorites (pot roast, stews, etc.) On the other hand, I love it for making my salsa verde chicken for tostadas or pulled pork for enchiladas. In  a recent Cooking Light issue I found a crockpot recipe that I was super excited about and I pulled out the crockpot again.  The recipe is Slow Cooker Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.

It was a Sunday morning and I pulled together the ingredients dreaming of a delicious dinner that would magically be ready. Who doesn't love that?
I know when you read 40 clove chicken you thought "that can't be right, who is going to use that much garlic?" or more importantly "who is going to peel all that garlic?"  I had heard of an easy method for peeling garlic and decided to give it a try. You start with two metal bowls. In my case I had to improvise. Break apart the head of garlic and toss in a bowl, cover with the second bowl and shake vigorously for about a minute.
I got mixed results. About half of the cloves completely lost their skins. Most of the rest were loose enough to peel off easily. A few required a second shake. Out of the 30+ cloves I had to peel about 3 the old fashioned way.
I had to work at it a bit, but I ended up with beautifully peeled cloves with relatively minimal effort. And my hands were not permanently infused with garlic.
Crockpot filled and ready to do its thing. Honestly, at this point I was very excited and thought it looked beautiful.
Then when I got home for dinner I was super disappointed. The chicken was way overcooked and everything was swimming in way too much juice. Basically a soup lacking the flavors I anticipated. I didn't get a good picture the first day, but this is what it looked like on my lunch plate a day or so later.
And this is what it was supposed to look like...
Why did I share what I am calling a fail? Well, it might work great for someone else and sometimes things fail, but you don't let it defeat you. Take your lessons and move on. I finally tried the garlic peeling method and that I will use in the future.

Big moment - my husband changes first ever diaper. Our niece is a diaper changing pro and gave a quick Diaper 101 course - such a good student...and patient baby :)
There was card playing...we quit before their was a winner, but I just want to mention I was in the lead :)
My niece and did a little sewing. I have had this fabric (a curtain) for a year and a half. The plan was to make a couple pillows to match her room makeover. Then the project fell into the abyss. Now that my craft room is changing I have been working on some old projects to get them finished and out of the way. Pillow making turned into goofing off. We "made" this beautiful dress...the belt is a zipper...and the back is not modest in the least :)
There was some furniture shopping (on crockpot day). Our living room has been bare since we redid the floors. I am thinking a gray couch.
There were several options, but my husband wasn't with us so I didn't buy. Since then we have put the couch shopping on hold for a bit, since we have been buying several other items to get ready for the foster care adventure.
I want a chair too, but my husband nixed this green beauty (I was texting him pictures). To be fair it wasn't that comfortable anyway.
My nephew was test driving recliners...a job he could totally embrace.
We spent some time at the farm. Millie is always willing to chase sticks or branches...
She wanted to play with the BIG puppy.
The BIG puppy is a neighboring horse convalescing with my in-laws. Her owners had a barn fire on their property that brought sirens and chaos that badly spooked her. She ran through a fence and cut up her face. She is doing well, but is staying with my in-laws until her owners get things back under control and her face heals enough to wear a halter again.
While working on the craft room I found this game board we made. There might be a slight copyright infringement in the name and concept, but the places and items we used are uniquely our own personalizing it for our life. It is amazing how much things have changed since we made this game.
This sign went up near my work. I had no idea what it meant at first. It is meant to indicate a "safe zone" to meet someone to get what you purchased from them online (i.e. Craigslist). This is the parking lot of the sheriff's department. I think it is a great idea.
My office has file storage space in an old hospital. I had to go there by myself the other day. It is pretty creepy up there by myself. Our space is a room in the maternity ward. Just down the hall is a the surgery area. Scrub-in sinks in the hallway
Of course, the bathrooms are segregated. The nurses' is across the hall.
Surgery lights are still hanging in the midst of the file boxes.
I am not sure what "diet kitchen" means, but I can't say it sounds super appetizing.
I made a quick trip into the grocery store. I needed some mustard for my Easter recipe. I was hungry before I went and I made a special point to eat before I went...hoping to avoid a grocery store disaster.

I didn't buy these....
Or this wheel of deliciousness....
I bought these and only these. While in the condiment aisle I remembered we were out of ketchup. Pardon you have any Grey Poupon?
Trees are blooming everywhere....such a beautiful time of year.

We finally got this rest of this stump removed.
For safety reasons we were required to remove the stump and cover the hole in the deck. The deck will be removed soon, so it is a temporary solution. It is just one of the little things we have had to do to get prepared.
I know that was a random race through some of what has been going on. Part two coming soon....

Hope all is well in your corners of the world :)


  1. that chicken makes me sad because garlic is my favorite.

    Our local police department has a safe spot like that, too which I find awesome.

    1. I know I love garlic...maybe I will try it again, but not as a crockpot recipe.

  2. What an awesome idea about the safe zone. Bummer about the chicken. It all looked so pretty going in! I love Millie wanting to play with the "big dogs!"

    1. I think that was the biggest disappointment - the before and after of the chicken :( The horse could care less about Millie though.

  3. Youve been busy! :-) I love the safe free internet zone sign and concept!

    1. Busy enough to keep me out of trouble :)

  4. What a bummer about the disappointing recipe. Honestly though, about half of the things I've made from Pinterest are a bust:(

    Couches are so expensive. We keep talking about replacing ours, then we shut up after about 30 minutes of window shopping.

    1. I would like a couch and a couple of chairs, but each chair costs almost as much as a couch. Someday :)