How to Follow a Recipe

For dinner tonight, I made this delicious Chicken and Rice Casserole, which I was excited to try because I love the Campbell’s Chicken and Rice bakes but I never have the Cream of Anything soups because I find them visually gross and off putting.

So this was perfect!

Only, of course, what I ended up making was in no way a Chicken and Rice Casserole.

For fun, I always read the comments on recipe posts, and they are usually variations on these themes:
1. Followed the recipe exactly! I loved it!
2. Followed the recipe exactly! It was awful!
3. I changed the asparagus to peas, heated it to 450, and burnt it to a crisp – perfect!
4. I added milk instead of water, cooked it in a waffle iron, and covered it in ketchup – worst chocolate cake ever!

I usually try to stick with theme 1. Tonight? Well…

My method to make Chicken and Rice Casserole (without Cream of Soup)
Step 1: Melt butter. I hate onions, so skip those. Add twice the amount of garlic called for.

Step 2: I can’t find the much is 4 TBSPs? Maybe about 1/4 a cup? Works for me. 1/4 cup flour!

Step 3: I add dried milk because Voldemort drank the last of the fresh, a block and a half of chicken bullion because that’s all I have, and stop at 6 cups of water, because 7 just looks like it’s going to over flow the pan.

Step 4: Turn heat to high. Wait for bubbles. Swear at self after realizing the turkey is still in the freezer.

Step 5: Defrost turkey halfway. Forget about it and leave it in the microwave.

Step 6: Bubbles! Rice? No, I have Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain mix, which is DELICIOUS, so I shall be using that.

Step 7: Realize the amount of liquid in the recipe was because rice needs more water. Eyeball the harvest grains, shrug, and dump most of it in.

Step 8: Realize the timing of the boiling was for rice, which takes longer to cook. Decide to start with 10 minutes instead of 20.

Step 9: I have 2 unopened sleeves of Ritz crackers that I would rather eat as crackers. But I do have one sleeve with 4 crackers in it and half a package of stale pita chips, which is just going to have to work.

Step 10: Crush crackers. Frown when confronted with the fact that this does not add up to a sleeve of crushed Ritz. Add oat bran and wheat germ to bulk it up a little.

Step 11: Timer dings. Look for the turkey. Remember it’s still in the microwave. Chop and stir into sauce.

Step 12: Add frozen broccoli while I’m at it, because why not. We need a veggie.

Step 13: Dump whole mess into 9×13 pain. Add random cheeses because that last handful of motz needs to be used up before it gets gross. Top with crumbs of whatever.

Step 14: Bake until bubbly.

Step 15: Watch Voldemort lick spoon once and request an apple instead.

Step 16: Richly enjoy the deliciousness that is not Chicken and Rice Casserole.

I hope that this information was helpful in teaching you how to correctly follow a recipe! Remember, read all the directions and check your list of ingredients before beginning. You should listen to me – I’m a professional!

Posted in bad ideas | Tagged , | 1 Comment

February Blue

I don’t know what it is about February.

It’s such a short month, but there is something about it that makes it so much harder and longer than other months.

I’m so tired of February.

It’s the slow dark slide down into depression every year.

I’m ok. I’ll be ok. I’ll pull myself back up and make sure the kid gets to school and makes it to activities and skypes with the co-parent, and during the day, I can handle it.

But night is hard.

The kid is asleep, and the house is quiet. And I’m tired but I don’t want to go to bed, because when you go to bed, the next day comes.

And I’ve cleaned and I’ve baked and that held it back for a while, but now here it is. Hovering over me again.

I know that going to work keeps me distracted – I don’t have much time to start the twin wheels of anxiety and depression that sit in my head when I’m dealing with ridiculous teacher drama – but the very idea of going to work makes me want to hide in my bed and sleep.

It’s just depression, and depression lies.

I just have to keep going.

March will be here soon.

Posted in anxiety, depression | 1 Comment

Needed for Sandwiches: Decent Bread Dough

Lately, I have been attempting bread baking.

Partially because I keep forgetting to buy bread at the store, and partially because I really love homemade bread.

A variety of disasters have occurred, naturally.

I have over-risen dough- leaving to the yeast up, I guess. The top of the loaf looked all kinds of odd. Tasted ok, but the texture wasn’t great.

I have under-risen dough – leading to a very dense brick of something that sort of looked like bread. I ended up crumbling this loaf up and using it in tiny bits in soup.

I have done perfectly fine with the dough and then over or undercooked it.

I have spent way too long swearing at bread that stuck to my bread pan, because I CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO NOT HAVE IT STICK. Butter the pan? Sticks. Olive oil? Sticks. Pam spray? STICKS.

So, when I saw that King Arthur Flour had a bread making class up on Craftsy, I got a little excited.

King Arthur Flour Bread Essentials
King Arthur Flour – Essentials of Bread Baking

Yes, that’s an affiliate link, but to be absolutely honest, King Arthur Flour emailed me about the class before I figured out it was on Craftsy.

I’m hoping I can end up figuring out how to turn a decent loaf of bread out of my oven by taking this.

…now I just need to figure out how to stop eating all the homemade bread in the first two days.

Posted in ads, craftsy, she who bakes | 3 Comments

What I Will Do Tomorrow

I have big plans for tomorrow, to be carried out after dropping Voldemort at school.

They include!
-rummaging through the lost and found at the Dark Lordling’s school, as a jacket was lost. I don’t particularly care about the jacket as it was a back up jacket, BUT THE KID’S GLASSES ARE IN A JACKET POCKET.
-going to the post office and mailing off a plethora of things, including an amazon return and a small package for my BFF that was originally mis-addressed, as I don’t know the different between morning and evening.
-going to Costco to buy needed things. Like toilet paper and nutella. Peanut butter. The important things.
-if/when glasses are not found, picking kid up a little early to go to eye doc to replace glasses

What I will probably actually do:
-get overwhelmed by the lost and found bin
-fall in
-find self in Narnia. Maybe Wonderland.

Posted in *poke* | 2 Comments

5 Best of the Spiral – 2015

Looking back at my stats this past year has been entertaining. Especially because I have whole long stretches without posting ANYTHING where I would be lucky to get 3 views a day.

However, for some reason, wordpress/jetpack assures me that my favorite posting day is Thursday. And that my top viewed post is actually from 2009!

My “recipe” for Butterball Soup remains the top most viewed post I’ve ever made with a grand total of 64 views in 2015. Which is wildly interesting, as it was posted way before pinterest was really a thing – which is how it’s gotten so many views. I might have to revisit this and post an updated version with an actual graphic and see how that changes shares and pins and stuff.

The other four most viewed are all about alcoholism. Yay.

From the Trenches of Alcoholism – 63 views
This was deadly hard for me to write, and I am honored that it seems to have resonated with so many people.

How It Breaks and With My Mouth Closed were tied with 35 views each. Although I just now noticed that I posted something in 2014 called With My Mouth Shut which is about kidney stones and not alcoholism. Go figure. How It Breaks was another one that was really hard for me to write. I worked on it for several days, after Voldemort was in bed so I wasn’t going to have to come up with calming things about the fact I was crying. It was, however, very cathartic to write.

In the 5th most viewed places is Hope and Bravery and Beginning Again.

I feel like all of these show how much pain resonates with all of us. My readers are still here. I am still here.

Here’s to 2016. May we all have a much less shitty year.

Posted in alcoholism | Tagged , | 1 Comment