Tuesday, September 27, 2011

All Clear!

Tally has a "lick granuloma" on her leg.  She got an abrasion as she was tearing around the house yesterday morning and licked it until it was raw.  I don't know when she had the time to do this since she was up my keister all day.  We have a cortisone spray to spritz on Tally's  granuloma several times a day, much to her chagrin.  

As for my car, nothing is wrong with it.  My husband couldn't start it, nor could the AAA guy, so he towed it away.  Apparently AAA has a magic tow truck because the car started once it arrived at the dealer.  The check up came away clear and I drove it off the lot an hour ago with no charge, yay!

I'm just back from the market having topped up on nuts, salad fixings (I'm currently obsessed with baby romaine lettuce) and Honey crisp apples!  I also go some grass fed ground beef, bananas, roasted red peppers, dill pickles, hot habanero cheese, peanut butter and baby carrots.  Sounds like an odd mix, but it was a touch up shopping.  I have lots of pantry and freezer staples to work with so I just needed a few fresh items to round out meals and snacks.

We're having pork loin chops with roasted acorn squash and mixed veggies.  I may roast a pear or apple with the acorn squash.  It is finally fall, after all.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Best Laid Plans

I was so excited to come and post about our wonderful trip, and it was wonderful.  But Tally went and walloped her leg earlier tearing around the house so it's off to the vet.  Into the car we get, and ooops, my car won't start!  Waiting for Rob to come fetch Tally to the vet and I'm waiting for the AAA tow truck to come fetch my car to the dealer.

But I've managed to *not* do any stress eating so far, so it's not all bad news.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sweet Surprise

Happy Sunday!  I'm pottering around the house with much ado about laundry, cooking and packing.  Yes, PACKING!  My birthday is next week and although we go away this time every year, with our big anniversary plans for later this year, I was perfectly content with the idea of a mini-staycation this time around.  But Rob had other ideas.  He surprised me by renting a beach condo in Destin.  Although it is pet friendly, Rob made arrangements for pet/house sitter since Tally did not enjoy our last trip at all.  We leave on Wednesday morning.  I am very excited even through the weight I've put on is cramping my style a little.  But I'm taking it one day at a time and will blog more about the issues when I return.  I don't want to rain on the parade that Rob was so sweet and to have planned.

I've just finished preparing Gina's Skinny Ropa Vieja for tomorrow's supper.  I went through all the steps up until the final simmering, which I will do when I reheat it tomorrow.  I'm going to serve it with a cucumber lime avocado salad.  Tonight I'm making Martha's Braised Chicken with Potatoes, Olives and Lemon.  Instead of the chicken thighs, I bought a Rouge Poulet at Whole Foods and had the butcher cut it up in 10 pieces and because Rob doesn't care for olives, I will use some briny capers from the olive bar.  Brussels sprouts are also on the menu.  Simply roasted with salt and pepper, yum!

I've been picking up lots of day shifts to make up for all the time I missed when I hurt my back and 5:30am comes around very quickly.  I've got to get prepped for the next two days of work (which means packing breakfast, lunch and snacks to keep me on track) as well as getting ready to hit the road first thing Wednesday morning.  I hope you have a wonderful week and I'll see when when we return.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Walk for Cash

As some of you may know, last year my nephew Cash was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 3.  So when I made the goal of completing a charity walk as one of my resolutions for 2011, the JDRF walk was the easy choice.  On October 15th, Rob and I will be walking in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, Georgia chapter.  It's a 5k that sets out from Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta.

The Atlanta chapter goal is to raise $1.5 million to fund research for better treatments and a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.  I've never been comfortable with the idea of panhandling on my blog but because of what Cash goes through every single day, I’m asking you to help support my fundraising efforts with a donation. Your tax-deductible gift will help make a difference in the lives of people with type 1 diabetes. 
I know some of you have already donated and for that I am just tickled pink!  Because of you, we have made 35% of our goal.  For those of you who would like to contribute, please CLICK HERE and enter either Andra Ruscoe in the participant field of Walk for Cash in the team field.

I thank you for your support and I will keep you posted on the progress.  Thanks a million!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ode to Roast Chicken

With another chicken day coming up at the farm on Saturday, I wanted to share with you my favorite roast chicken recipe and why I think a roast chicken is one of the most versatile and stretchable meals to have in your repertoire.

Roast chicken is so simple.  I have taken Thomas Keller's Simple Roast Chicken recipe and simplified it even further. You need only a plump chicken that is patted dry, salt it inside and out, plop it in a pan and shove it in a 450 degree oven.  That's it!  A 3 pound chicken takes 1 hour.  4 pounds takes 75 minutes.  5 pounds, 90.

It comes out perfect every time.  It is foolproof, simple and goes down easy!

I carve it and serve it with whatever is in season or catches my fancy at the market.  This time it was roast potatoes and lightly steamed Brussels.  Ooooh, the drumstick is my favorite part, especially when it is hot out of the oven.  Sometimes one of them doesn't even make it to the serving platter.

Nothing is wasted when I roast a chicken.  I carve up the rest of the meat and pop the bones in the freezer for stock. I always thought stock was something difficult and chef-y but it isn't.  It's roasted bones, vegetable scraps, herbs, seasoning and water simmered all day, strained, skimmed, divided into containers and frozen.  Sure you need to watch it, but the hands on time is really very little.

This particular chicken was transformed into roasted vegetable and wild rice soup the next day.  I roasted confetti squash and carrots that I seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh thyme leaves.

Saving all my scraps for the next batch of stock, of course!

Then sauteed up a bunch of mushrooms.

And simmered some wild rice...

I used the stock from the freezer, simmered it on the stove and added the leftover roast chicken meat, the roasted veggies, mushrooms, wild rice and a dribble of cream and served up a hearty bowl of delicious soup.