Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Double Stuffed Chicken

I had not made a "double-stuffed chicken" in a while.  That's my own name for one of my favorite ways to get as much stuffing into a bird as possible. You stuff the cavity and you cut under the skin to stuff as much as you can under the breast.

When I roast my bird, it starts at 500 degrees for twenty minutes and then I turn it way down.  That is done to keep it juicy and also because I can never be sure when TBG will be home.

Stuffing this week had bread cubes (stuffing mix), pumpkin and sunflower seeds, walnuts, apple, raisins, dried currants and onions along with chicken stock.  It was good!
I baked the green beans in foil once I turned the oven temp down for the bird. When TBG got home, we started a fire outside and I put the oven up enough to finish the bird in a half an hour.  Each plate got a thigh and the stuffing over the breast with the skin.  I just cut down the middle of the skin and around the edge and scope out the stuffing under it.  Then I have a skinless breast to carve off of the bird.

There is extra stuffing that will be fine on sandwiches tomorrow.  I'll use the remaining meat for dinner tomorrow, probably over pasta.  Of course I will make stock!

I have two phone interviews tomorrow.  On is with an HR person for the bank I'm contracting with now.   That's a job I applied for on-line and isn't one of the positions others have directly contacted me about.  I think I have a very good chance for that.  A local company called me too.  I turned another recruiter away today because it was for a contract -- for just three months!  There is one longer term contract I might interview for but am not so hot for another contract job if I can find something full time.

I am not worried about my job search this time around as the climate seems to be more favorable.  It was nice to have a more flavorful chicken too!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

People Suck but Pancakes are Good!

We went to Denny's for dinner and I had a healthy entree  but ruined that intent by having regular eggs in stead of just whites, beef instead of turkey bacon, and butter and syrup on top.  I'm all about flavor.  Dinner was excellent but two things about it relate to people who suck.  

There was a big table of adults and kids that were loud and obnoxious.  Out of a $140 tab, they left a ten dollar tip.  That poor waitress busted her butt to take care of them and they stiffed her a good portion of the tip she deserved.  As for the booth in back of us, they were stingy too -- and they stole the salt and pepper shaker.  And all of them had loud kids!

We ate at Denny's because we were busy after work helping a young lady in my office move.  She is a management trainee recruit that the bank bought here from another part of the country.  She is tiny -- I think she is only four and a half feet tall.  She knows hardly anyone.  Unknowingly, she moved to an apartment in a bad section of the city.  Then her landlord started letting himself into her apartment and tried to accost her.  If you ask me, he is a molesting son-of-a-you-know-what.  The police  have not been helpful when she called 911 -- it took an hour and a half to arrive and the landlord intercepted them so they would not follow up on her complaint.

She met another couple who are letting her stay with them just so she can get out.  A colleague and I heard about it and went over to her place tonight and helped her move.  I bought TBG and my friend bought her son.  It was rough because it was pouring and she'd had no time to pack -- just fled her apartment and was afraid to come back by herself to pack up boxes.

We helped all we could but Tommy had his hernia surgery in July and has an appointment with a knee surgeon tomorrow -- and she lived in an upper.  I wish we could have been more help.  I'll have to keep tabs on this young lady.  She has no family and has only been in the US for five years.

I believe that it's important to have happy experiences like pecan pancakes after you see people do pissy things like what I described.   But in the same time, it's nice to know that there are folks like the couple who are taking her in.  They helped her move and they are older and less fit than TBG and me.  Their son showed up too.

There is a current ad campaign going on these days where celebrities speak out against sexual assault and how we all have to not let it happen and take responsibility by doing what we can to prevent or report it.  I know that anyone who reads this would have done what we did -- and I hope everyone can find a way to make sure more women aren't cornered or put in desperate situations because they aren't able to get the police or people in positions of power to help.  Too many women are vulnerable and we all have to do whatever we can to help.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bacon and Black Olive Pizza

This is a pizza from the dough I made yesterday.  I whizzed up a jar of San Marzano tomatoes and mixed in ground sage and ground oregano.   I tossed on bacon pieces, cheese (Parmesan and Mozarella) and topped with black olives.  It's an awesome combo.  TBG made the salad based on my directions.  He did a good job!

Not much else going on at Chez Petite.  I managed to swim tonight  but didn't get a good night's sleep last night.  It's that female over fifty night sweat thing that wakes me up and causes all sorts of disruptions in my sleep cycle.  I have yet to experience a hot flash so I should consider myself lucky.  I am still plagued by the "friend" that no girl likes to have show up... not on a regular basis, but it still happens.  Now how did I get on that topic after posting about pizza?

Now I'm off to attend to my overwhelmingly attacked in-box.  Someone at work forwarded my resume on to a VP today that has a few openings.  If they are not contract (I am ineligible for more contract time), I think I'll probably get noticed.  Other than that, the  job is slow so I've been doing my best to help out others when and where I can.  Hopefully that will help me too!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Linguine

Blog-wise, this is all I have to show for the day!  Two loads of laundry and cleaned downstairs, then went for a bike ride.  Dinner is fresh bread (home-made, of course) and linguine with chicken, spinach and feta. I marinate the chicken in fresh lime, dill and garlic.  It worked out quite well and I have enough dough for pizza tomorrow night.

The event we went to last night was not torturous.  The site was the Pierce Arrow Museum -- which was very interesting.  We enjoyed open bar and "heavy hors-doeuvrs."  TBG has an assistant that he could not live with out.  He is the "ying" to Tommy's "yang."  It was so nice to finally meet his wife -- and we hit it off too!  While his job can be frustrating, there are a couple of good guys there I really like.

The Oktoberfest thing did not pan out. We stopped to buy a bottle of bubbly to drink but when we got there, it seemed that just neighborhood people were there and no one from work. I thought I spotted the VP but wasn't sure because I 'd never seen him in shorts with a beer in his hand.  Well, I've seen him with a beer, but this time it was dark. I think I would have been the only person from work.  So we snuck back down the block.  Once at home, we had drinks around our fire and were content to leave it at that.

If I was a betting woman, I'd put money on this week being my last one at the contract job. I'm getting an extra assignment but don't think they're going to keep me around just as an opportunity for me to try to find more work at the bank.  I have only seen two open positions that interest me and am not going to take something just because it is open.  If it lasts to the end of the month, that will be great because it will be three more paychecks.  And if one of the openings I expressed interest in come through, that will be a pleasant surprise.  But the contracting thing has grown tired for me and I've had many false hopes so I think it's time to forge my own destiny and just be happy for the stuff I learned.  If there is one thing I've learned over the years, it's that promises made are often cancelled out if a management change  occurs.  There's nothing malicious about it and it is nothing to be bitter over.   It's just what happens.

As for tomorrow.... pizza is on the horizon.  Woooo hoooo! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Clinging to Summer

I was so happy to have a warm sunny day even though summer is officially over.  Two loads of laundry hung out to dry.  Between working and starting a new job search and a few long weekends away, I have fallen behind on domestic tasks.  It isn't too likely I'll find a permanent post to land in -- but it's not impossible.  For that reason, I'm starting to look again outside the bank.  We are seriously considering me taking a part-time lower wage position just to have some income but then have more time for household matters, healthier cooking and more exercise time for us both.  Two careers mean the pounds have piled back on!

And speaking of summer, I managed to swim with Teddy -- it was probably our last joint swim of the season.  At first I thought it was too cold to go in but then a wave hit me and it was a moot point after that.  We swam for about a half an hour and she got a shampoo.  She's gotten porky this year too.  I used to have time to get her out a lot more and we walked a few miles every day on top of us both swimming (separately in the cold weather!).  The mailman got to see her today too.  They have a special friendship and it's always nice to hear him talk to her through the gate when I'm in the house and he's on his rounds.

Tonight we are going to a cocktail party for hubby's job -- the company is celebrating 150 years.  He's in a stable field.  My division head is having a party and invited staff.  It's a block-club/Oktoberfest sorta thing that we can drop by on  our way home.  We'd rather do neither but sometimes you gotta schmooze.

Sorry I've missed posting. Now I am off for booze and appetizers!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What Won't I Cook on Parchment?

Tonight it was an Asian inspired dinner.  Rather than stir frying the beef and green peppers, I marinated it in a flavorful BBQ-based sauce and coated with panko, buts and sesame seeds.  I baked it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment because, well, that's what I do!
The noodles came from the Asian market and have mushrooms, garlic, ginger, a cabbage/kale mix and chopped romaine.

It wasn't any easy night to get motivated to cook because I had to be out with the pup in the gorgeous sunshine and also knew that I had to do some job-search stuff after dinner.  I had to update my "Talent Pool" information on the website for my current employer.  You'd think they'd know who I am because I contract for them, but nope.  That took an hour!

Tomorrow is supposed to be warm and sunny too so I made a swim-date with our buddy "Swim Jim" and told TBG that we were river-bound after work.  Woo hoo!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pre-Menopause Stretchability

I have to accept that now that I am in my 50's stretchy clothes are my friend.  It's too bad that I'm not as stretchy myself.  When I was younger, Lycra and other stretch material enabled me to be flexible -- I lived much of my college years in leotards and tights and logged plenty of miles in athletic wear.  Now that I'm not as flexible or athletic, I need the give in synthetic fibers in order to have clothes properly fit my body. Nothing fits me like it used to!

Before I go feeling too sorry for myself, I also realize that back in the career days when I had a strict "all natural fiber" rule, I did not have as many "fun" wardrobe options.  The ensemble I'm planning for work tomorrow is they type of wardrobe choice that makes me happy because it's fun and it's comfortable.  I might not be petite, but I refuse to wear a tent.  And since it's not a gym day, I plan to wear a combination of fake and real sparkling gems -- crystals, cubic zirconia, diamonds, white topaz and all sorts of glittery pieces.  One way to have a happy day is to dress happy.  I hope everyone tries that tomorrow!