21 April 2015

A Little Trisha's Table

I'm a big Trisha Yearwood fan. I have all her albums as CDs and ripped to my iPod (except the compilations they've made over the years mixing up the songs in different ways). I also own all three of her cookbooks. The latest, Trisha's Table: My Feel-Good Favorites for a Balanced Life, came out this month, and I've tried three recipes so far. One winner, one huge loser and one maybe-try-again.

The best one we've tried was the "Neat Sloppy Joes" -- made with ground turkey, beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, onions and peppers. The sauce uses tomato paste, vinegar and a touch of brown sugar that made it super tasty -- and it was a big recipe so we ate on it for a supper and two lunches!

The major flop was "Broccoli Slaw Chicken," which is a recipe without a picture in the book. That's probably a clue that it's not a true winner/maybe is just filler in the book. (Also the recipe is not on Food Network's website, another indicator it's a dud all around.) In any case the picante sauce mixed with broccoli slaw (broccoli, carrots and cabbage, which I bought pre-shredded) and cooked made for a disgusting bite. We barely ate the chicken the first night, and the leftovers sat in the fridge until I finally gave myself the grace to toss them out.

The maybe-try-again is "Raspberry Chicken." We didn't like it very much, although the sauce was OK. I would want to try again because I didn't have the mushrooms the recipe calls for. I bought them, but when I started making the chicken the mushrooms had gone bad in the fridge (my Winn Dixie's produce department is terrible and I should really get my act together and shop at the weekly farmer's market ... but that's another issue). It was edible, and I think we ate the leftovers too. Definitely not a favorite, make-every-week kind of recipe.

Related: I'm way late to the party, but I've just found Cook's Country and America's Test Kitchen on Amazon Prime/PBS and have gone down a wormhole watching those (with a notebook in hand to write down recipes and techniques as they show them). I'm going to be trying a few new things I think. Meal planning and cooking has become SUCH a chore for me. I hope this will infuse some new spark and make it more fun again...

Do you have any new recipes you can recommend?

Amazon affiliate links to cookbooks used. (Recipe links go to Food Network's website.) 

19 April 2015


Today marks the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. I remember the lives lost, those who survived and those who are forever changed.

I was an eighth grader and in first period math class when the superintendent of our little school came in with the news. I think a TV was wheeled in and we were able to watch some coverage. My town is about two hours away from Oklahoma City.

A few weeks later our government (civics?) class took a field trip to the site, and we saw the building before it was completely demolished. I was caught up in my middle-school boyfriend/girlfriend drama (I vaguely remember that the boy I liked played a breakup song to signal we were through on this trip, but I could be mixing memories). But I do remember the awe of the devastation and all the stuffed animals and notes tucked along the chain link fence. Somewhere I have some prints of photos I took that day.

The memorial was completed before I left the state, but for some reason I have never been through it. I'm rarely in Oklahoma City proper, although I should make the time to visit it next time I go home.

13 April 2015

Welcome Church Friends

I donated six hats to my church's silent auction, and I included a silvermari crochet business card with each hat. I don't think they all sold, but I know at least Grumpy Cat did. So, if you're checking out my site and are fellow member of St. John's UMC, welcome!

If you want to know more about my crochet, check out the crochet section. Otherwise this is just a site where I write periodically about things I'm thinking about, reading or watching. Hopefully I'm not too grumpy and there isn't too much that's completely embarrassing (to me, Shawn or Jane). It's a fine line to walk when you write about yourself on the Internet.

Let me know if you're reading!

07 April 2015

A Painting Hangs

In time for Gran's birthday today we finally got the painting from her living room hung up in ours.

I love everything about it, but I would happily trade it to see it in her house again covered with family photos and her sitting next to it. (Painting by Great Uncle Dale McKinney)

01 April 2015

A Stranger in the South

I'm not from the South. So I don't understand the value of making our kids say "yes, ma'am" and "no, sir" in every interaction with an adult. That's the style at Jane's school though. She doesn't bring it home or call me that, although she does tell me her teacher tells her to say it. Will she be in big trouble if I don't drill her in that social nicety? I do find myself falling prey to the "Ms./Mr. First Name" with people at church. That seems expected, although still weird to me.

We had her Easter party at school this week, and I got to observe the other moms of kids in the 2-year-old classes. Most knew each other, and knew each other well. Basically I got the impression that the typical mom fits the cliche "good Christian woman." It was the same recipe -- blown out hair, cute matching ensembles and multiple children in their arms also dressed up in smocked outfits and giant hair bows for the girls. And they all speak so sweetly, even though I could feel the undercurrent of "bless your heart" pulsing in that sweet talk. I didn't feel totally out of place, since Jane was there and she fits in great despite her decidedly un-smocked wardrobe and lack of giant hair bows, but it is very obvious that I am different. That may always be so...

23 March 2015

Some Things of Late (or My Lack of Luck)

Driving to pick up Shawn in New Orleans after a week of him being gone, a big SUV speeds up behind me as I'm passing another car. It's going so fast - 90+ - that I don't notice it until I am signaling to get over after my pass. I shake my fist at the driver who then pumps his brakes, acting like he will swerve into my lane and run me off the road. I also had a thought he would shoot me if I did catch up with him, so I slowed down. Then he sped up and was off again. I didn't actually see the driver, but what a dick move. And scary. Moral: don't shake your fist at drivers.

On this same trip there is a marsh fire near/on the Bonnet Carre Spillway and there is backedup traffic for 5+ miles in both directions. There is no obstruction on the actual roadway -- completely rubbernecking. So frustrating and added an extra hour to our travel time.

Jane has been sick since Wednesday evening. Her very first tummy bug that has lasted more than a few hours. Fever, vomiting, extreme fatigue, the whole nine yards. She is finally better, but it really put a cramp in our style. We were basically trapped at home for two full days while Shawn was out of town, and then she had to power through while we picked him up. She wouldn't eat so she is all kinds of skinny now, and not in a good way. She started eating almost normally today so I'm sure she'll bounce back. She never stopped drinking water so I didn't fear dehydration. We missed a day of school (so a few hours of Mama time for me), Art in the Park, church, soccer practice, a special family church service with a play, and today's library story time. I've got to find some babysitter I can call for something like that so I could go out and get supplies. Madness!

I am a web servant at church, meaning I work on the website content, social media, sermon videos, weekly email blasts, etc. One thing I do is remind our pastor to write every week, although sometimes there's no inspiration so no letter. I can think of all kinds of topics for HIM to write about, but clearly I can't come up with much for myself, given I haven't written here in more than a month.

A slight positive in my world - the azaleas are blooming and Baton Rouge looks beautiful. My favorites are the light pinks (I'm assuming those are azaleas too). There are flowers everywhere and it's gorgeous. My eyes have been hurting so maybe I have seasonal allergies (which would fit with my luck these days).

Wishing you better luck now and always. (And a little luck for me in the coming weeks too...)