Chicken Marsala

chicken marsalaI strayed a long way from this recipe, from which I started. I only used one kind of mushrooms (fresh white), not three. I seasoned the chicken with Harris Ranch Lemon Garlic seasoning. (Yes, sometimes I do use a spice other than Penzeys. Not often, though. In any case you can’t season the chicken with only salt and pepper. Good heavens!) I used light butter to sauté the mushrooms.

I did follow the recipe suggestion of serving the dish with mashed potatoes, a way in which Chicken Marsala is often served.

It made for a really nice Saturday dinner.


Ocean’s 8

Ocean's 8Ocean’s Eight
starring Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett
Warner Bros., 2018

Terry had seen Ocean’s 8 in the theater. She watched it with me when I streamed it using the new Roku Redbox app.

The premise is that Sandra Bullock’s character is Danny Ocean’s estranged sister, Debbie. Danny Ocean was, of course, the ringleader from Ocean’s 11 (the original and the remake). Like Ocean’s 11, Ocean’s 8 is a movie in the heist caper genre, but with the perpetrators all being women.

The Bullock and Blanchett characters bring in a group of accomplices to carry off the theft of a diamond necklace worth $150 million. They recruit a computer hacker, a pickpocket, a diamond expert, an expert in fencing stolen goods, and others to manage the complex plot. With actors such as Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, and Rihanna, the whole thing was quite entertaining.

If you’re counting the crew you’ll come up one short until after the heist, when the full eight of Ocean’s 8 is rounded out. An interesting twist in a film that was a lot of fun.


my most popular blog entry

It has been a full year since Marcela Valladolid left The Kitchen on Food Network. I initially wrote here about her departure, saying that she would be missed. When she wrote in some detail in her blog about exiting the show and stated that she regretted not saying goodbye to her fans I wrote “why Marcela didn’t say goodbye.”

The Kitchen logoThis has been far and away my most popular blog entry. It has received over 31,000 views. That is an order of magnitude (or two or three or four) more than any of my other blog posts have received. Seems that it comes up for people doing a Google or Bing search about Marcela leaving the show.

For all those views I haven’t gotten a lot of comments. What surprises me about the comments I do get is how many people are snide and bitter about Marcela and her presence on the program. Those don’t get published. I don’t go for nastiness on my blog.

It’s nice to be read, but I wish some of my other blog entries received more attention.


Sacred Music Friday: Come Sing, O Church in Joy

This hymn tune, Darwall’s 148th, has been used for other hymns as well. In any case, the John Rutter arrangement is wonderful.


pepper-curry chicken sauté

pepper curry chicken sauteIt had been a while since I had made an Indian dish for dinner, so on a recent Saturday I pulled out this recipe for black pepper-curry chicken sauté. I didn’t follow the directions, but I did use the specified seasonings: ginger, garlic, pepper, and curry powder. I omitted the cloves. Rather than preparing the spices as per the recipe, I mixed them in a bowl and then tossed the chicken pieces in the bowl. For aesthetic reasons I used white pepper instead of freshly ground black pepper.

I cooked the chicken in a cast iron skilled and added the light coconut milk. I served the mixture on top of basmati rice.

It worked out well.


Ancient Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia coverAncient Mesopotamia: Life in the Cradle of Civilization
Amanda H. Podany, Ph.D.
The Great Courses
Audio download $34.95 when on sale
If the course is not on sale, check back– the sale price will come around again

This was a most enjoyable course.

I was familiar with some of the material, but I learned a lot. One of the things that Professor Podany made clear was that while we often think of Mesopotamia in terms of the great empires, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, for much of its history Mesopotamia was made up of multiple kingdoms and city-states.

One of the great things about this region in ancient history is the amount of written evidence that we have. The decipherment of the cuneiform script in the nineteenth century provided a wealth of information. Writing was done on clay tablets. Those clay tablets were either intentionally preserved by firing in kilns or accidentally preserved when a city was destroyed by fire.

There is a lot of boring administrative material, but also many other types of documents. We have legal documents such as court records, letters between kings, and even letters from the daughters of kings who were married off to peer or client kings.

Professor Podany’s presentation is engaging and her British accent is a delight to listen to. If the material interests you, you will love this course.


Cuban slow cooker pulled pork

Cuban pulled porkThis recipe from Valerie Bertinelli for Cuban slow cooker pulled pork is extremely simple. It calls for rubbing the pork with cumin, garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper. While I usually omit the salt, I like including kosher salt in a recipe like this. It also specifies orange juice and lime juice. I used both fresh oranges and fresh limes. While the recipe says to use pork shoulder, my go-to cut for pork slow cooker recipes is tenderloin. I cooked the pork in my slow cooker on high for six hours and shredded it.

The original recipe was about making sandwiches with the pork, but I skipped the whole sandwich part and served it as a main dish for dinner.

Very tasty.


more than just food handling

I wrote a while back about changing the food handling gloves I was using to a more expensive but much better-fitting product.

food handling glovesI really love the new gloves and use them frequently. What I’ve learned is that they’re good for more than just food handling.

When I repair something with super glue I am not the most dexterous. I tend to get the glue on my fingers which is a real annoyance and a pain to get off. Using the gloves takes care of that.

I recently opened the battery compartment of our label maker to change the batteries. I saw that one battery had leaked. I put on two gloves to clean up that mess.

They’re great to have on hand.


Sacred Music Friday: Be Thou My Vision

First-Plymouth Church Lincoln Nebraska


a disappointing season

container gardenMy blog and Facebook friend who lives on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe (I am terribly envious) recently wrote about the success she and her husband had this year with their vegetable garden. I wish that I could say the same.

Terry puts a lot of work into our container garden. She plants things like tomatoes which she doesn’t even like because she knows that I enjoy them. She has planted bell peppers, Anaheim chilies,and other vegetables as well. The results this year were disappointing. We got a few small tomatoes early in the season, the occasional bell pepper, and some Anaheim chilies recently. There is, in fact, a nice tomato coming on right now, and some bell peppers on the way. And we do have an ongoing supply of green onions, which I enjoy. But that’s really been it.

I don’t know what the secret is but we certainly didn’t find it this year.