Tandoori chicken kebabs

Tandoori Chicken KebabsI’m always happy to have a new recipe for my NuWave oven, and I love Indian food. I’m not sure where I came across this recipe for Lean Tandoori Chicken Kebabs, but I had added it to my database at some point. It nicely covered both categories, so I decided to make it on a recent Saturday.

The first thing I did was to make the marinade the evening before in order to give it a full 24 hours. That was the right thing to do.  The chicken came out very flavorful. I followed the recipe for cooking times plus a couple of minutes, and I think it was a bit too long. The chicken was a tad dry. But I put both a lemon and a lime on our plates, and drizzling on the citrus made up for any dryness and added a little zing.

The basmati rice on the side worked well.

It made for a great Saturday dinner.

Sacred Music Friday: Prayer

Prayer by Rene Clausen. Plymouth Choir of First Plymouth Church, Lincoln Nebraska. Tom Trenney, conductor.

it turned out after all

I follow the posts from the kitchn in my news reader each day so I see all of their new content. They publish some interesting recipes, and when I saw their recipe for One-Skillet Cheesy Beef and Macaroni it caught my attention. I saved it and added it to my database.

grillers crumblesWhen I was ready to make it I decided that Terry and I had gone rather heavy on meat that week. So instead of using ground beef I used a 12 ounce bag of Morningstar Grillers (soy) Crumbles. The recipe also made way more than we needed (it was written to serve 10 to 12), so I cut back on the quantities. I pretty much followed the recipe with respect to the veggies, canned tomatoes, seasonings, and pasta. I didn’t add the soy crumbles until near the end, however, and I seasoned them with Cajun seasoning. I was beginning to think I had a disaster on my hands, and so I held my breath as I mixed in the shredded cheddar cheese.

I put the dish on plates and brought them to the table. Terry really liked it, and I thought it was pretty good as well.


texting and the English language

I just finished my second time through the Great Courses lecture series Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage1 by John McWhorter. It’s an enjoyable and fascinating set of lectures about how language is used. Given that McWhorter is a linguist, he is as interested in how language is actually used as he is in how it “should be” used. (Yes, I do seem to have a fondness for linguists.)

cover: myths lies and half truthsIn his lecture on texting he suggests that the practice is not as harmful to the language as some people might want to think. He points out that the same questions arose when the use of email first became common. He also suggests that the abbreviations used in texting do not carry over into everyday speech and formal writing. He uses the examples OMG, LOL, BFF, and WTF.

It seems to me, however, that sometimes people do say “o-m-g.” It’s a nice alternative, perhaps, in polite company to using the complete phrase it replaces. Someone might also say “b-f-f” I suppose. But people certainly don’t go around saying “lol” in everyday speech. In fact “w-t-f” might be a useful euphemism to introduce into casual conversation, but I’ve never heard anyone say it.

In any case, I think that McWhorter is correct: texting has not had an adverse effect on other forms of communication. He sees four boxes, as he calls them:

  • Being a good conversationalist
  • Having great formal writing skills
  • Making a compelling and effective speech
  • Crafting oneself as a “maximally clever e-mailer and as an aggressively clever texter.”

McWhorter tells us, “Cultivate your four boxes.”

That makes sense to me.

1If the course is not on sale, check back – the sale price will come around again


fajitasI always enjoy making (and eating) fajitas, so a recipe for Slow Cooker Steak Fajitas caught my attention. I planned on using this method of fixing the fajitas, until I thought through a couple of things. First, the recipe called for two pounds of beef, enough to serve six. I only needed to serve two, so I bought a half pound of flap meat. Second, the liquid that was necessary to cook the meat in the slow cooker was salsa. I enjoy salsa, absolutely, but not as a central ingredient in my fajitas.

What I ended up doing was cooking the meat and bell pepptortillaser in my cast iron skillet, but I used the homemade fajita seasoning specified in this recipe. The result was delicious, so I have to give Shannon at FitSlowCookerQueen full credit for that.

I served the fajitas with tortillas that were a combination of corn and wheat, something that I pick up at Sprouts. They are quite tasty, and they are less inclined to fall apart than the normal supermarket corn tortillas. They are also larger than the normal corn tortilla.

It made for a really good dinner.

staying away from Facebook

I’m staying away from Facebook these days.

I still post my blog to Facebook and I check in for notifications, but that’s really it. Every time I start to scroll in my news feed I get nauseous and regret it.

No matter what I do, I can’t avoid posts about that guy with the orange hair. Posts about Congress are often inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date, or just plain wrong.  And people I like and respect are reposting this stuff. I’ve thought about doing a thorough scrubbing of my news feed, but it just doesn’t seem like it is worth the effort, or would even be successful.

I need to try to stay sane, as best as possible.  Right now that means staying away from Facebook.

I would, however, be happy to have you join me on Instagram, where I keep it non-political and follow people who keep their photos non-political.

Sacred Poetry Friday: On the Pulse of Morning

Over the weekend I stumbled on and caught most of a PBS special about Maya Angelou. I knew she was an amazing woman, but I didn’t realize how amazing. Here is the poem she wrote for Bill Clinton’s first inauguration. Words of hope in unsettling days.