Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dinner Thursday (Until I Think of a Better Title...)

This week I made a recipe which I found on this website.  I've found this website to be an incredible resource.  Both in terms of yummy recipes (have I ever told you about the mocha icing brownies?) as well as cooking techniques and just feeling more comfortable with "ad libing" on a recipe.  Tonight I tried out her "Chicken Spaghetti," which is actually a lot more exciting than the name suggests.  And speaking of ad libing, I made a few alterations to the recipe tonight.  I'll try to remember them all and include them below.  I'm not sure if I've already addressed this on here, but I often feel like I am cooking at a grocery store.  When I first looked at this recipe I saw "1 jar diced pimentos" and thought "Who has those?"  Then I went to the cupboard and there it was.  What a joy it is to have the privilege of cooking here!

Chicken Spaghetti

  • 2 cups, Cooked Chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts rather than a fryer chicken)
  • 3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
  • 2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • ¼ cups Finely Diced Green Pepper
  • ¼ cups Finely Diced Onion
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
  • 2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot (I pulled out some of the chicken bullion for this before cooking the spaghetti)
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoons (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper (I didn't have any Cayenne Pepper so I used chili powder instead)
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste (I actually didn't need to add any salt or pepper)
  • 1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Preparation Instructions
Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente (I used chicken bullion to cook the spaghetti in). Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.
Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

Serves 8.

And voila!  

Dinner is served.:o)

Monday, April 12, 2010

At the end of a long day...

...there are few things more incredible than getting a care package in the mail.  I'll post more about that when I'm not in the middle of three shifts in a row at work, but wanted to post a quick, "Thank you!!!" on here.  Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Traffic and Sunsets

Two weeks ago I came to the realization that I may have lived in Los Angeles too long.  I had gotten off of work at 4:30 pm (rather than my usual 7:00 pm), and found that the freeway was not moving.  Not even a little.  In fact it took me a good 30 minutes just to get to the on ramp, which is only a few blocks from the hospital.  As I took in the brake lights and smog, and simultaneously began to feel my left leg complaining from the constant in and out of the clutch, I decided I couldn't take it any more.  I simply couldn't fathom sitting on the freeway for another 90 minutes.  So, I instead made a spontaneous trip to the beach.  It's really not that far from where I work to the beach.  One hospital I work at is within walking distance (and I so enjoy walking there on my lunch break!), but even the other one is much less than 90 minutes from the ocean.  So I quickly put on my left turn indicator and eased back into the traffic which was actually moving.  As a result of my spontaneity, I had the incredible opportunity of sitting on the boardwalk and feeling the ocean breeze on my face while I read a book I've been wanting to read for a while.  And as the sun began to set over the ocean I sat there completely in awe of God and His creation, and the words to the wonderful hymn "How Great Thou Art" came to mind.

 O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made,

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, 

Thy pow'r thru-out the universe displayed!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art! 

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
 How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

So, did this:

beat this?

I think so, but maybe I've just been living in Los Angeles too long...;o)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Inspiration and Burnt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Webster defines being inspired as, "outstanding or brilliant in a way or to a degree suggestive of divine inspiration."  I define inspiration as those bursts of energy and ideas which inevitably come to me after the clock has dinged twelve times to remind me that we are officially entering the a.m. and the beginning of a new day.  In this case, I was inspired to blog.  I have been remiss in my blogging for quite a while now (as in a trip to my blog last week revealed pumpkins as the header...) so why I felt the need to finally catch up while most sane people are sleeping we may never know.  But here I am, so if you're reading this early Friday morning please know that I do plan to edit after getting some sleep.:o)

Much has happened since I last blogged in...yes, October.  Apparently the big news back then was that I was approaching midterms.  I have since survived those midterms, two quarters, and have made it into my last three quarter of nursing school.  God is so good!

As you can probably tell from the picture above the big news right now is that my sister and brother-in-law are expecting a baby and that in a few months I'll be an aunt!  Wow.  Those nine months really fly by.  Especially when I don't get around to making the announcement until she's in her 7th month.:o)  I actually can't remember if I knew about the baby by the time I last blogged, but if I did I had been sworn to secrecy.  Whenever I get into trouble with Justin now, he reminds me that he has the power to have their little girl call me Auntie Em.  Apparently if I'd seen the Wizard of Oz his threat would have more of an impact...

In case you've forgotten who I am, or at least what I look like, here is a recent picture.  Justin's brother Micah took quite a few pictures at our Easter celebration last weekend.  The picture above started out as a picture of the caramel apple pie I had made.  Then suddenly I was in the picture.  And then it was supposed to look candid or something to that effect.  And by the time everyone had contributed their assistance in setting up the picture, it appeared as if I was "removing the pie from the oven" with my bare hands.  Ah photography.:o)

What a blessing each of these sweet girls are!  Sarah and my parents were here for Easter which was such a treat.  They're now back up in Northern California, but the other two I saw today.  Kate came over to Justin and Rebecca's condo and cut our hair.  I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have a home salon where I feel 100% comfortable asking my hairdresser to make changes if I want them.  Plus, she'll work for free or Starbucks.  Even with their expensive coffee, it's hard to beat that price at a salon!:o)

Before that Becky helped me with plans for her upcoming baby shower so that I wouldn't be too overwhelmed.  I've tried explaining to her that the guest of honor is not expected to contribute in any way, but I can't deny that I've appreciated her input and creativity.  Perhaps in the next couple of years I'll get around to posting some pictures from that event.;o)  And then I in turn thanked her for her assistance using up the last of her butter in a batch of burnt chocolate chip cookies.  I really dislike burning cookies.  It's just such a waste of perfectly yummy cookie dough!

Well now you're pretty much caught up on my life, or at least as much of it as I'm feeling up to typing out at 12:30 am.  I look forward to (intermittently) sharing fun memories and how God's been working in my life as I finish up my last year of nursing school!