mole chicken tacos

I was watching a recent episode of Pati’s Mexican Table in which Pati Jinich explained that mole is the Mexican equivalent to Indian curry. That is, it is a range of flavors and seasonings, not one specific flavor as we often assume. Certainly the recipes she showed on that episode reflected that.

moleWe hadn’t had a mole dish for a while, but we had half a jar of mole concentrate in the fridge.  I decided it was time for a mole meal, so I chopped half a pound boneless chicken breast into pieces and cooked it up in a cast iron skillet. As per the 3 to 1 instructions, I mixed a third cup of mole concentrate with a cup of water. I mixed it with a wire whisk and put it in the microwave for two minutes. I added it to the chicken. Turned out it was twice what I needed.

I served it with tortillas heated over the gas burner, along with chopped onion, chopped green chilis, olives, and guacamole. It made for a great evening meal.

forever in corduroy?

I have long been a “forever in blue jeans” kind of guy. I haven’t always worn blue jeans, but somewhere along the line I started wearing them and have done so for many decades.

corduroy pantsI did not wear blue jeans during my Claremont cockroach days. I certainly did not have a lot of money for new clothes then. I did not have a lot of money, period. But one of my Claremont friends turned me on to a hole-in-the-wall clothing outlet store where I found a pair of corduroys at a really good price. They were my favorite pair of non-work, casual trousers until I wore them absolutely threadbare.

That was in the mid-1970’s. I haven’t owned a pair of corduroys since. Until now. I reinstated my Lands End account online to order a pair of slacks for church, since the pair I had been wearing were seriously falling apart. I got an email from them that offered fifty percent off a regularly priced item. And they tantalizingly featured cords in that same email.

I ordered one pair half off full price and another heavily discounted, apparently on close out. So now I have two new pair of corduroy.  Terry loves them and I am really enjoying my soft, comfortable corduroys for the first time since 1975 or so.

chili lime chicken

Chili Lime ChickenI pulled up the recipe for chili lime chicken in my database because I was looking for a pressure cooker meal. It was a recipe I had gotten from my Yahoo pressure cooker recipes group. But as I looked at the recipe I asked myself if there was enough liquid to bring the pressure cooker up to pressure. I decided to convert it into a slow cooker dish.

I cut a boneless skinless chicken breast in half and seasoned it with chili powder, cumin, onion powder, freshly ground black pepper, and granulated garlic. I put the pieces in my crock pot and added vegetable broth to cover half the chicken. I squeezed in the juice of two whole limes. I set the slow cooker to high for three-and-a-half hours, and on low for another two-and-a-half.

The chicken was moist and tender and delicious.

lost in the stars

I’ve noticed myself really missing Fr. Rob. I miss him a great deal more than I missed Pastor Kathleen. I was impressed with his leadership and I loved his high church respect for the liturgy.

Right now at Good Shepherd we are without a rector and we don’t even have an interim. There is nothing on the immediate horizon that suggests that the role will be filled soon. I rather feel that we’re lost in the stars. I know that is not true. I know God is with us. But sometimes it feels that way.

And besides, this gives me a great excuse for sharing this marvelous rendition of that song by Wesla Whitfield.

Sacred Music Friday: We Are an Offering

We Are An Offering, Sunday Worship on October 18, 2015, Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines. With some sacred dance! We are singing this instead of the Doxology at Good Shepherd during our stewardship campaign.

easy vegetarian chili

I recently shared with you my recipe for easy (beef) chili, but I do a vegetarian version as well. The ingredients and seasonings vary, but here’s what I did most recently.

Vegetarian ChiliI used a can of black beans, a can of diced tomatoes, and a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce. I added a bag of Morningstar (soy) Griller’s Crumbles. For seasoning I used ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, granulated onion, granulated garlic, and freshly ground black pepper.Grillers Crumbles

In the title I wrote “easy.” I didn’t write “quick.” You really need to let it simmer for an hour.

Terry said that it was as good as always, and there was enough left over for another supper.

Great stuff, that.

iPod strangeness

iPodFor many years now I have listened to lectures from The Great Courses on my iPod when taking my walk while I tracked my progress using the fitness app on my iPhone. However, the last time I transferred a new course from iTunes on my computer to my ancient iPod the audio was full of chirps and scratches, even though the sound on my computer was clean. I tried a number of different methods to get clean sound, but without success.

As an alternative I downloaded the Great Course app to my iPhone. With our new and improved data plan, there were no concerns about my streaming the course as did my walks. It has worked out well. I only need to take one device on my walks and the sound quality is great.

Meanwhile I downloaded a music .mp3 file, imported it into iTunes, and transferred it to my iPod. The sound was perfectly clean.

I don’t understand.

our local dining scene

Several months ago the last restaurant here in Hemet to serve a range of American cuisine in a pleasant sit-down environment closed. That was The Anchor. It is now the Mexican restaurant El Patron, which rose from the ashes, you might say, their previous location having burned to the ground. While many in the community are delighted about the opening, I am also sad about the loss. I remember the Anchor growing up.

The Anchor restaurant signI have thought a lot recently about how the dining scene here in Hemet has changed from when I was growing up. Today we have a nice Thai restaurant for dinner, as well as a very nice Italian place. But we no longer have a go-out-for-a-nice-dinner restaurant that serves American cuisine.

It was very different when I was growing up. In addition to the Anchor, there was G’s Steak House (where I worked as a dishwasher for about two evenings), The Quarter Horse, The Stables (yes, two horse motifs), Reimer’s, and finally the estimable Embers restaurant.

It was a much smaller town with a wider range of choices. I know the demographics are very different today than they were in the 1960’s, but the fact that we don’t have such a restaurant today makes me scratch my head a bit. And makes me a little sad.


sandwich with aioli sauceI had aioli on my mind. I’m not sure why, but I did. It partly had to do with Terry stocking up on deli meats and cheese at Sprouts and my desire to make a deli-style sandwich at lunch rather than throwing a frozen entrée in the microwave. I found this recipe on Epicurious and decided to try it. I scaled it back and made just enough for one sandwich, omitting the egg yolk and vegetable oil, but using the olive oil.

I made a sandwich with chipotle chicken, cheese, tomato, onion, and sprouts. I put the aioli on the bottom slice of bread.aioli jar

Very, very tasty.

I thought, however, that I don’t need to make everything from scratch. And it is a bit of work to mix your own aioli when you’re putting together a sandwich as well. I looked for aioli locally and just couldn’t find it, even at Sprouts. So what did I do? I went to Amazon of course. I bought a jar of basil pesto aioli. It turned out to be a good choice. It worked well on a sandwich.

I like the idea of varying the flavors in my sandwiches.

Sacred Music Friday: Beati Quorum Via

Here’s another marvelous piece by VOCES8: Beati Quorum Via by Charles Villiers Stanford.