All snowed out

I know I already complained about this once on the blog, but I am DONE with the snow. It’s not just the fact that it’s snowed more where we live than it did the previous five years. Or the fact that it’s snowing again. No, it’s the fact that these snow storms are also managing to coincide with my travel. Because, you know, hanging out in the airport and figuring out how to get to/from conferences via plane, train and automobile is JUST how I want to spend my time. You?

So yep, as I type this, I’ve made it from NYC to Philly and I’m in the Philly airport. Right now my flight home is just delayed, not canceled yet. Yet. I’ve been here for an hour and it was so tempting to just assume the flight would be canceled and to go ahead and rent a car. I could be home in just a few hours. But I’m waiting and we’re under a 45 minute delay right now. I expect more to come. Whee!

On the other hand, I did have a fantastic trip to NYC where I was attending and presenting at the Tools of Change conference. I gave two presentations at the conference, and also got a chance to go to the Harlequin NY offices and meet with some of the editorial staff there, and talk about Carina. My favorite thing! Tools of Change is a conference that I love, because I get to meet up with and talk to people from all areas of publishing. Three days of talking about publishing and listening to how others are innovating? Fascinating and energizing.

I’m hoping to share a bit more about what I did there (including more about my presentations) when I’m more fully rested and not stuck in an airport wondering if I’ll ever get home!

Chicken bog: Dinner

I mentioned I was making chicken bog this week and Gail asked in the comments what it is. It’s something I had never heard of until I met my husband, and had it in a meal at my in-laws house. Josh likes it, and it’s a good alternate use of chicken (or leftover turkey) so I make it once or twice a year. It’s actually pretty easy. Recipe follows:

Chicken bog:

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 package Hillshire Farms beef smoked sausage (the sausage that’s one big link, in case you’re not sure! Cut the link in half lengthwise–so it’s laid open, then in half lengthwise again so you’d be cutting each “round” into quarters)
  • 3 cups leftover chicken (or turkey) or cooked chicken breast diced
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 4 tsp chicken base
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 cups minute rice
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • hot sauce (optional)

Directions:

1. Melt butter in large stockpot. While butter is melting, finely chop onions and garlic. Saute until onion is tender.

2. Add diced sausage and chicken and saute for a minute to heat through

3. Add half the water, the chicken base and the cream of mushroom soup, fresh ground pepper and simmer for 15 minutes (to allow sausage/chicken flavor to get into water)

4. Add rest of water, bring to a boil. Now take out about a cup of water and reserve this. You’ll save this for helping to moisten the bog when you reheat leftovers.

5. Add minute rice to boiling liquid, stir, remove from heat and cover with lid. Let sit until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked.

6. Serve. Each person can optionally sprinkle their bog with hot sauce.

That’s the simple version of bog. My mother-in-law makes a version that involves boiling a whole chicken, but I prefer to roast a chicken and have that for dinner one night, then use the leftovers for bog. Let me know if you have questions!

Weekly menu: February 21-27th

I have no real weekly menu this week, as I will probably only cook on Friday and I’m still working out just what that might be. You see, as you read this I’m winging my way to New York City for a conference. I’ll be meeting Jane and Sarah at the hotel and we’ll immediately start enjoying New York City (and the restaurants!) I come home Thursday and on Friday my dad and stepmom will be coming in to town. I’m cooking dinner for them on Friday (we’ll go out for seafood on Saturday) but I have NO idea what to cook on Friday. Any suggestions for a good “company” meal?

So in lieu of a weekly menu, instead I’m going to share a few of the places Jane, Sarah and I have plans to eat at.

Sunday: when we get into town it’s lunch at Sapporo. This is a small noodle restaurant that the doctor who did my lasik mentioned. I went when I was there last week and it was wonderful. The Sapporo special is a rather massive bowl of ramen noodles with some lovely vegetables and meat in it. SO good. We’re going to go enjoy the noodles and the gyoza!

Sunday night we’ll be heading to a friend’s apartment where she’s cooking us dinner (nice, no?) Sarah tells me she bought wine, including a sweet Riesling for me (little does she know that I’ll drink regular whites as long as they’re not TOO dry or oaky. Apparently my palate is…improving?)

Monday: I don’t know where Sarah and Jane are having lunch, they have plans without me (I know, shocking, right?) but I plan to have lunch at Ruby Foo’s. They have the best pineapple chicken fried rice.

Monday night: We haven’t chosen a place yet, hmmm, how did we miss that?

Tuesday lunch: No plans for lunch because this is presentation day. Sarah, Jane and I are doing a presentation together in the afternoon. I also have one in the morning and Sarah has a second in the afternoon.

Tuesday dinner: A quiet dinner with some of my favorite people at Il Gattopardo (Italian, yum!)

Tuesday tweetup: If you’re in NYC and you’re interested in publishing, why not head to the Tweetup from 8-11pm at  Hill Country NYC (live band karaoke? The mind shudders!) we’ll be heading out there after dinner. LOVE the tweetups.

Wednesday lunch: I’ll be having lunch near the Harlequin offices, though no restaurant has been chosen yet!

Wednesday dinner: Sarah and I are heading out sans Jane (she made plans with a friend) with some other friends of ours to Fig and Olive

Thursday morning I’ll be eating in the Philly airport. I know, that’s the one you’re most jealous of, right? So…what’s on your menu this week?

Are you watching?

The Olympics, I mean. I’m a self-admitted sports fan. I love watching a variety of different sports, from US football to Nascar. I’ll even watch bowling on occasion (oddly, I don’t like baseball and it’s the one thing I won’t watch). So even aside from country pride, the Olympics are right up my alley, watching the world’s talented athletes show their stuff and compete for public glory. I love it. Love it! I even turn the TV on mute during the day to watch sports like hockey and curling. And it’s not just the US athletes, I’m happy to cheer for athletes from other countries who compete well. I just love something about the excitement of the moment at the Olympics. Maybe someday I’ll get to see them in person, as some of my Canadian friends have been doing this week.

But if you’re not watching, you’ve missed some amazing moments for the US team. The men’s 1500m short track speed skating. Ohno was not going to medal, it was going to be a Korean sweep and then…two of the Korean skaters took each other out in the last turn and allowed Ohno and a US teammate to skate to silver and bronze.

Yesterday’s events were also exciting. Lindsey Vonn skied to gold on an injured leg. Shani Davis became the first man to get back to back gold medals in the 1000m. And Shaun White wowed the world with his snowboarding prowess. Seriously, if you watch nothing else from the Olympics, watch the clip here, of Shaun White’s first and second run (second run is at 3:40 on the video so you can fast forward). Even if you don’t know anything about snowboarding, you can see his talent and feel his joy as he wins. It’s a perfect representation of an Olympic moment.

For photos and videos of other “Golden Olympic Moments” you should visit the NBC Olympic site. Take a moment to celebrate for the athletes whose hard work paid off!

Chicken and Dumplings: Dinner

My brother requested I make Chicken and Dumplings. I asked him if he wanted Chicken and Biscuits or Chicken and Dumplings. He said Chicken and Dumplings. That’s what he got. Turns out he meant Chicken and Biscuits. Men. But I’d never actually made Chicken and Dumplings before and I like to try new things, so I read a bunch of recipes and then made up my own. Cuz that’s how I roll 😛 This was a quick recipe, ready in 45 minutes. If you’re using pre-cooked chicken, it would be ready in 30 minutes.

Chicken and Dumplings

Ingredients:
*4 cups water
*2 tsp chicken base (if you don’t have chicken base, substitute 2 cups chicken broth for 2 of the cups of chicken broth)
*1 can cream of celery soup
*1 can cream of chicken soup
*I medium onion finely chopped.
* 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
*1 1/2 cups chopped frozen carrots
*2 lbs cubed chicken (small pieces) (this is also a good recipe for leftover roasted chicken or turkey)
*1 can refrigerated biscuits (don’t buy the butter style, you’ll make your dish greasy). I used a can of the grands, but it doesn’t matter what size the biscuits are, really, just buy a can of biscuits.
*salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Saute the chicken in a minimal amount of oil in a large stockpan. While sauteing, season with desired amount of salt and pepper. Skip this step if you’re using leftover chicken. Or canned chicken.
2. When chicken is nearly done, add finely chopped onions and saute.
3. Once chicken and onions are cooked through, add peas and carrots and saute for a few minutes, just to take the chill off.
4. To the chicken and veggies, add the water, chicken base (or broth), both cans of soup. Bring to a boil.
5. Once the mixture is boiling and well mixed, separate the biscuits. Tear them into small pieces (1 inch pieces) and flatten slightly. I usually take one biscuit, flatten it in my hands, and then tear it into pieces. Throw the pieces into the pot as you tear them. Once all the biscuits are in (don’t worry, it might be a little crowded), mix it up a bit, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Serve. Yum!

You can adapt this recipe by adding finely minced garlic with the onions, using celery or other veggies. I thought it was good kept simple, and my family liked it, but there’s nothing wrong with experimenting!

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