Thursday, April 30, 2009
They turned out really well, so I thought I'd share the recipe here. Since we got cable and have been watching cooking shows more, I find myself being a little more adventurous with the cooking. They always talk about how some dishes need "texture" and "brightness" - texture I certainly understand, though I don't exactly know how food can be "bright." But I do notice that everyone always add some lemon juice for "brightness," hence its addition here.
Chicken Pot Pie
For the Filling:
1 whole chicken
1 large bag frozen peas
8 oz. mushrooms
2-3 stalks of celery
squash, zucchini, or whatever other veggies are hanging out in the fridge
2 cloves garlic
1.5 sticks butter
3-4 T. flour
1.5 c. milk
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
a handful of fresh sage
2 T. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Put the chicken in a stock and cover with water. Add a carrot, 1 onion, halved, 1 sprig rosemary, 3-4 leaves of sage, salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for several hours, until chicken is cooked. I made a huge pot of chicken stock, then I put it into the fridge when it was done, so I could cool it and scrape off the accumulated fat.
Skin, bone, and shred chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Now, chop up the second onion, the rest of the carrots, celery, mushrooms, zucchini, and other veggies into small pieces. Saute in a little olive oil, until they are all cooked. I added celery at the end, both because I had to pick it up after I started, and because I wanted it to stay a little crunchy. (More texture.) In a large pot, melt the butter and let it brown just a bit. Chop the sage and rosemary and add it to butter, and simmer for a few minutes. This really brings out the flavor of the herbs. Next, add the flour and stir well, making a roux. Let this brown just a bit, then slowly add in milk. Stir until smooth. Now, taking the chicken stock you made earlier, add 2-3 c.
Add all the cooked veggies back into this mixture, along with the chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Also add lemon juice for "brightness." Depending on how thick you like your pot pie filling, you can add more chicken stock or milk to make it a little more liquid-y, or add a little more flour to make it thicker. This made enough filling for 4 medium-sized pot pies. (Two I put into large pie dishes, and two I put into bigger casserole-type dishes.)
I'm not sure where I read this, but in looking at some recipes, someone mentioned adding cornmeal to the crust to give it more crunch - i.e. "texture." This sounded like a great idea, and certainly tasted nice. Here is the crust I made, modified from the recipe in my Southern Living cookbook.
2 sticks butter.
2.5 c. flour, plus a little for dusting
1/2 c. cornmeal
6 T. ice water.
1 tsp salt
Put butter (while still cold) into food processor, and add flour and cornmeal. Slowly add water until dough is firm but sticky. You may need a little more or less water depending on the humidity. Roll out on floured surface. The two that I gave away I just did a top crust for, and used some store-bought pie dough I had in the freezer. For the other two, I made up this recipe, but I had one store-bought crust. I rolled this recipe into three pieces - it was more than enough.
Pie crust has always seemed a little intimidating, but using the food processor makes it super easy. It really isn't any harder than opening a box and unrolling the store-made dough.
To assemble pot pies, press dough into bottom of dish, fill with filling, then cover with second dish. You can brush on some egg wash to give it a little more sheen. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until crust looks golden brown. The remaining chicken stock you can put in the freezer and use for a different dish.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
So I went to the race, mostly just wanting to put in a decent time (i.e. less that 30 minutes). I actually ended up running the best time for a 5K I've ever run (25:50) and was pretty happy. This was not a huge race - just a little local thing to support our free medical clinic.
Still, imagine my surprise when they were calling out the age group winners and for the female 25-29 they called out... ABNEY TELL! Apparently I need to write my name more neatly. But unlike last time I "won" my age group, this time I was really racing as me! I am now the proud owner of a beautiful blue first place ribbon (think elementary school field day awards) and.... a koozie! [photos to follow]
Overall, it was one of the funnest and most productive post-call Saturday mornings I've had.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
1. I love irises. Especially when they bloom in my front yard. I also love my macro lens, which lets me get very close and still take great photos. (Thank you, Mom and Dad!)
3. I love this kid. Since all my nephews and my niece live far away, she helps me use my aunt quotient.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I can make a mean fondue, if I do say so myself. My chocolate fondue is delicious, but the cheese fondue I made last week was also really good. Fondue is a lot of fun, especially for a party, and could be a great way to get kids to eat veggies. Anything is more fun when you can dip it in cheese. So here are my fondue recipes. Enjoy!
1 clove garlic
2 c. white wine (this past week I used hard apple cider, but you could also use a mixture of broth and milk or apple juice if you wanted to leave out any alcohol.)
4 c. cheese, shredded (swiss, provolone, or cheddar work well. I used baby swiss.)
1 T. flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Rub garlic around inside of fondue pot. Warm wine or cider on stove or in fondue pot. Toss cheese with flour to coat. Add cheese slowly, in several batches to liquid, stirring well between each addition. Add 1 tsp. lemon juice to cheese. Sprinkle nutmeg on top.
Serve with bread cubes, apple, carrot, broccoli, or any vegetable of choice.
And now for my favorite....chocolate!
1 bag milk chocolate chips
1/2-1c. milk, half-n-half, or heavy whipping cream
Bailey's Irish cream (Kahlua or would also work well)
Melt chocolate slowly with milk, slowly adding more milk until the mixture is thin enough to be able to dip fruit into it well. Add 1 T Bailey's Irish Cream to chocolate just before serving. (I definitely think it's a little better with Bailey's, but plain is still great.)
Serve with strawberry, banana, marshmallow, graham crackers, pineapple chunks, pound cake (frozen Sara Lee pound cake holds up well during the dipping), and anything else you think would be good dipped in chocolate.
For other ideas, go here.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Its the kind of machine where you put your cup under the spout and push the button. At first it just looks like water coming out, but then after a second it turns dark, and you hold the button down until it is 2/3 full, the let off, and the hot sugary goodness keeps coming out for a few more seconds.
Whether or not there is actual "coffee" in this drink is somewhat of a mystery. But it tastes good, and costs 80 cents! 80 cents! An equivalent drink at Starbucks would cost four bucks. (if the 'bux could make anything that could be considered this drinks "equivalent") So now I'm sitting in the corner of the library with my crappucino, my Hebrew bible, and Pandora radio. These are a few of my favorite things.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I've decided there is almost no amount of money that makes me want to wake from a dead sleep and leave my wonderful bed to do an admission in the middle of the night.
Friday, April 17, 2009
2. Yesterday, I booked our flights to California!! We'll be gone for almost 2 whole weeks, exploring much of the state and, most importantly, be away from the hospital. I can't wait.
3. Irises that we planted in our yard last year have sprouted and bloomed. Seeing those purple flowers around our mailbox gives my heart a little encouragement every time I drive away or come home.
4. I love, love, love putting together shutterfly books. I've been working on one recently, and for those of us who are scrapbook-challenged, it's a great way to collect and have hard copies of your digital photos. The website is easy to use, there are lots of great backgrounds available, and the finished product looks great! To save money when purchasing books, I will look on ebay, and often there are coupon codes for either a discount or a free book - so you can spend a little money, and end up getting a book for much cheaper.
5. We are starting to do a little looking into where we might go after graduation. It's scary that a)I'll be a "real" doctor in a little over a year, and that b) I'm going to have to find a "real" job (as opposed to the "fake" job I have now that keeps me at work sometimes up to 60 hours/week.) Right now, we are fairly wide open as to where we might go. Jeff is beginning to look at graduate programs, so we'll see. It should be interesting.
6. I really want to make these chocolate chip cookies. For months, I've been seeing pictures of them on the web, and they always make my mouth water. I have been trying to eat better, (read - no sweets) though, and am mostly succeeding, so I guess I should wait for some kind of special occasion. Anyone else heard of/made these?
7. I cannot think of a (good) 7th quick take. I'm sitting in our pediatrics clinic, in between patients, and waiting for a lab to come back, and that is all I can think about. That, plus the fact that I'm on call tonight for our hospitalist service. I'm hoping for a quiet night.
For more of Seven Quick Takes, visit Jen.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I was put in charge of dessert, and wanted to try to make something at least moderately authentic - i.e. no added flour or other leavening agents. Using my favorite new online recipe search engine, (it searches food blogs for recipes so you find some really interesting and creative dishes) I stumbled onto this recipe.
This cake was delicious - rich, soft, very chocolately with a nice orange flavor. And it has no flour or added fat. (It is made with ground nuts instead of flour, so the fat in it comes only from the eggs and the nuts.)
Flourless Chocolate-Orange Almond Cake
1 1/4 cups whole almonds (6 to 7 ounces) (I actually used hazelnut instead - it was delicious.)
1 cup sugar, divided
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
6 large eggs, separated
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (Extract works just as well.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush bottom of 10-inch-diameter springform pan generously with margarine. Blend almonds and 1/4 cup sugar in processor until almonds are finely ground. Add chocolate; blend until chocolate is finely ground, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occasionally.
Whisk cocoa, orange juice, and orange peel in small bowl until smooth. Combine egg yolks and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Using electric mixer, beat until yolk mixture is very thick, about 4 minutes. (I actually beat my egg whites first so that I didn't have to wash the beaters in the middle of cooking.) Beat in cocoa mixture. Fold in ground-almond mixture. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and salt in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until whites are stiff but not dry. Fold whites into chocolate batter in 3 additions. Transfer to prepared pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with foil; store at room temperature.)
I served it with a homemade chocolate sauce and whipped cream, and it was delicious.
Good recipes (and good recipe search engines) definitely work for me.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
A great night! But now I've got a bit of a tummy ache. Since the words "fondue" and "self control" cannot exist in the same universe.
decorations. Jeff hung the streamers.
Our vet could not find anything specifically wrong. And, much like Jeff and I, she had a difficult time deciding which foot she was limping on. (It really is a lot harder that it seems.) She did think that maybe she had a bruise on her foot pad, possibly the result of a little too much running. I apparently had overworked the poor dog, seeing as we did put in 17 miles in 5 days. So she mandated a little training break, and gave us some medicine to make sure her foot didn't get infected.
We also discovered that we have been bad dog parents, and allowed our pooch to get chubby. She had gained 5 lbs since her last check up, which is 10% of her body weight. We got a little lecture about not over-feeding and decided that maybe she'd had one too many table scraps.
As for her foot, she seems to be doing better. I even took her on a little jog (1.3 miles) this morning and she didn't seem to have any problems. Hopefully she'll be back to full runs soon. And it seems that shedding a few pounds may make the running a little easier.
I know it is for me.
Friday, April 10, 2009
From Hebrews 12, starting in verse 4:
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled...."
I certainly think that weariness has characterized a lot of what I have been feeling lately. Even before the miscarriage, with our struggles with infertility and Jeff's issues with licensure, I was just feeling tired. Tired of the disappointment. Tired of the frustration. Tired of feeling like nothing was going right. And for what purpose? That was the question I was asking myself inside. This week I've been reminded, especially in light of the cross, that there is a purpose in all of it. And a beautiful one at that. We do not suffer for nothing. I'm not really sure how non-believers do it. How can they continue through all the pain and sadness, knowing that at the end they can look forward to... more pain? more frustration? more....nothing?
And now, in the midst of it all, what do I have to look forward to?
Lame joints healed. The peaceful fruit of righteousness. Being a new creation.
Now that has the power to lift my drooping hands and strengthen my weak knees.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
And to be honest, it is quite helpful having a doctor in the house. I myself, do not often know the answers to various medical questions, and having a live-in doc is quite the convenience.
But yesterday the shoe was on the other paw. The left paw. Aubrey took Lucy on her afternoon run, as is her custom. But Lucy had to bail out halfway through because of a limp. And woe was we. Without a live-in veterinarian in the house, we were on the phone with our vet (who lives down the street, and is a friend from church). We didn't know what to do. Should we take Lucy to the vet? Or was this the hangnail of the veterinary world, not worthy of a vet visit? My vote was hangnail, but I'm leaving in about an hour for our vet appointment. So if Dr. Sally writes about us and our overprotectiveness on her blog tonight we'll know why.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
First of all, I make a homemade salsa with fruit. This time it was mango and pineapple, along with the usual tomatoes, peppers, onions, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, and fresh cilantro (out of our garden). I used maybe 3 tomatoes, 1 pepper, 1 onion, and 1 jalapeno.
For the fish, I use these frozen tilapia filets, (which thaw really fast) put them in a baking dish with some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and more fresh cilantro. I bake it at 400F for about 10-15 mins.
I also like to make guacamole to have with it. (Of course this time, Jeff made the guacamole, because he's good like that.) I mash 2 avocados, 2 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, a pinch of chili powder, a tablespoon of lime juice, and of course, a little more fresh cilantro.
For a sauce, I take light ranch dressing, and some chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. Depending on the amount I want to make, I chop 1/2 to a whole pepper in small pieces, and mix this into the dressing, along with some of the adobo sauce. You definitely should taste this because those are hot little boogers and you may need to add more dressing if it's too spicy. (Incidentally, this makes an excellent salad dressing if you want a little more bite in your salad.)
To assemble, I like to smear the guacamole on the tortilla, add the fish, then top with cabbage, the salsa, and finally a drizzle of the dressing. I usually use spinach because that is what I almost always have lying around the house, but I happened to have some cabbage this time. I must admit that the cabbage provides a very nice crunch and makes for a more interesting texture, so I'll probably keep making it this way.
What I love about this dish is that it's super healthy, (especially when you serve it with my favorite tortillas), super tasty, and very fast. The longest step is chopping the veggies and fruit for the salsa , but that maybe takes 10-15 minutes, which is about how long it takes to cook the fish.
Tasty, healthy, and quick?? That definitely works for me.
Here are some good reasons to come:
1. You are in a car wreck, and have collapsed your lung and cannot breathe.
2. You have excruciating, crushing, left-sided chest pain that is associated with nausea and shortness of breath.
3. You fall and think you heard a cracking sound emanating from your left ankle.
4.Your 6 month child is breathing fast and looks like he is working extra hard to take a breath.
We in the ER can help fix these problems, and if you do not come in, there might be serious consequences.
Here are some bad reasons to come:
1. You are in a small fender-bender, but are not actually hurting anywhere, nor do you have any signs of injury.
2. You worked all day in the garden yesterday and have aching muscles, and some mild pain in your chest, worse when you move or lift your arms.
3.You have had a scratchy throat and runny nose for 2 days.
4. Your child has had a scratchy throat and runny nose for 2 days.
We in the ER will happily see you for these problems, but you will likely wait for several hours prior to seeing anyone, be told by the doctor that you are fine, possibly have expensive tests that you may not need, and get a huge bill several weeks after you are here, when you could have gotten same information for much cheaper by waiting to see your regular doctor.
I am firmly convinced that the problem in this country is not that we do not spend enough on health care, but that we spend our money foolishly. The emergency room is a wonderful and useful adjunct as part of a health care system, but if more people utilized it correctly, we would be in a much better place financially.
Please save the emergency room for actual emergencies.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
We really, really appreciate all the prayers going out for us. We certainly feel like God has been near, comforting us, encouraging us, and keeping us from sadness. I especially feel like all this could have been much worse. I'd say that I thought I was dealing with it well, except I do not ever deal well with trials, and so my only explanation for not dissolving every day into a pool of tears is that God is here with me, taking away all the sadness. I can rest knowing that God will use all of it to bring glory to his name.
Overall, I'd say in some ways we were actually encouraged last month, just to know that it is possible for me to get pregnant. And that maybe we won't have to pay a lot of money to have a baby.
I've been hearing this hymn play in my head a lot recently. I (sadly) don't spend lots of time these days memorizing scripture (though I really should) but songs have a way of creeping into my brain and sticking there, which I guess is the next best thing.
1. I do not ask to see the way
My feet will have to tread;
But only that my soul may feed
Upon the living Bread.
'Tis better far that I should walk
By faith close to His side;
I may not know the way I go, But oh, I know my Guide.
His love can never fail, His love can never fail,
My soul is satisfied to know His love can never fail.
My soul is satisfied to know His love can never fail.
2. And if my feet would go astray,
They cannot, for I know
That Jesus guides my falt'ring steps,
As joyfully I go.
And tho' I may not see His face,
My faith is strong and clear,
That in each hour of sore distress
My Savior will be near.
3. I will not fear, tho' darkness come
Abroad o'er all the land,
If I may only feel the touch
Of His own loving hand.
And tho' I tremble when I think
How weak I am, and frail,
My soul is satisfied to know
His love can never fail.