Saturday, January 30, 2010
Recently, I signed up to receive daily emails from SavingDinner.com. Every once in a while, Leanne Ely includes a recipe. The following recipe for braised chicken thighs looked like a perfect Sunday dinner, so I tried it last week. The meal was such a hit that a leftover repeat on Monday night was welcomed. (And we don't normally do leftovers!) Even my picky 4 year-old loved the chicken and potatoes. If you try the recipe, let me know what you think!
Herb Braised Chicken Thighs
Source: Saving Dinner
3 tablespoons flour
3 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups (2-inch-thick) sliced carrots
2 large onions, cut into wedges
2 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 1/4 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
1. Combine first 6 ingredients (flour through pepper) in a large zip-top plastic bag.
2. Add chicken; seal bag, shaking to coat.
3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.
4. Add chicken and remaining flour mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
5. Add carrot and onion; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
6. Add broth, wine and potatoes; bring to a boil.
7. Reduce heat and simmer for 35 minutes or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.
Per Serving: 390 calories, 7g Fat, 35g Protein, 43g Carbohydrate, 5g Dietary Fiber, 107mg Cholesterol, 866mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch, 4 Lean Meat, 1 1/2 Vegetable, 1/2 Fat.
Friday, January 29, 2010
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
Simon & Schuster (Jan. 2006)
Borders Synopsis: The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant and charismatic father captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family.
The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.
My thoughts: Never have I enjoyed a book so much, but wanted it to be over so quickly. I was awed by the Walls children, I experienced hate and a lack of understanding for their parents and I cringed so frequently because the book was not a very creative story, but it was real. The strength that Jeannette and her siblings showed was heroic and I was so very happy to reach the end, to know that the children turned out for the better, despite all of the many ways that the cards had been stacked against them. The Glass Castle was everything that the reviews suggested that it would be.
Your turn: Have you read The Glass Castle yet? Did it spark any emotions for you?
The Blue Handbag by Fiona Robyn
My thoughts: I truly enjoyed The Blue Handbag. Robyn's depiction of Leonard's life after his wife's death was so lifelike, his memories so raw. There was one page that had me completely engrossed, on the verge of tears, and I was brought back to reality by two words: Spaghetti Bolognese. I laughed in surprise - there was such an immediate and wonderful transition from such a beautifully convincing past, to a ordinary present. Thankfully, I did not anticipate how the story would unfold, and I was very pleased by the ending. The story made me wish for a local pub, dream about a beautiful garden, and hug my husband a little tighter.
Monday, January 25, 2010
My thoughts: I think that I may have found a new author to love. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I purchased the Book Lust Journal, whose author Nancy Pearl recommended Murdoch. I was not disappointed. The writing was superb and I became engrossed by the characters Michael and Dora. Michael, whose character you may dislike on moral grounds, still sparked compassion from me. And Dora, poor Dora, I longed for her to be strong and make the right decisions.
Two quotes which stood out to me:
The talk of lovers who have just declared their love is one of life's most
sweet delights. Each vies with the other in humility, in amazement at being so
This quote brought me back to the early days of dating my husband. Nothing feels better than knowing that you are loved. Although that love still continues on, sometimes I long for a few hours of that 'young love' once again.
One must perform the lower act which one can manage and sustain; not the higher act which one bungles.
I struggle with this concept - how are we to learn and do new things, if we don't try that higher act, which we might just bungle? But I have to admit, it is often easier to maintain the status quo.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Tian Tan Budda in Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Hong Kong. This site had to be one of the most peaceful and breathtaking places I have ever been in my life. Regardless of your faith, or your name for God, you can't help but feel connected here.