Monday, September 22, 2014

Inspiration from Email

I have to say, in all modesty I'm a pretty good cook.  I prefer using a recipe, but I can manage on my own.  The Donners have nothing on me. Now, this is not to say that the C.I.A. (Culinary, not spy) is going to offer me a full scholarship, but I can hold my own against the fellow PTA moms.  So I have to admit when I get emails from processed food companies I am apt to delete them without even reading them. 

However, this weekend Pillsbury sent me an email with the following recipe link:http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/make-ahead-chicken-bacon-ranch-pasta/80d39497-ff60-49fa-92f1-3b1248b3139b

                                    Photo: From Pillsbury.com

Anytime I see the words bacon, ranch and chicken you've got me. And to find out it was pretty much a dump recipe (dump everything into one pot) well...that's a home run. So let's review the ingredient list and see how this is a candidate for Good, Better, Best life.

The recipe calls for:

1 lb. pasta, rotini specifically
3 cups shredded or pulled deli rotisserie chicken
1 bottle (16 oz) ranch dressing
1 cup crisply cooked and crumbled bacon 
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend

Dump in a bowl, mix and serve warm.  It tastes fine cold too just for the record. Considering it's not rocket science everyone was pretty happy with it.  And they all had suggestions for variations. Mike even added a little hot sauce to liven his up so it became a buffalo chicken bacon ranch pasta.

Pasta, in this case, is pass.  The chicken could have been home roasted, grilled, leftover, deli meat...whatever you have. In that way this is a great leftover killer. I bought a rotisserie chicken at the store and picked it clean, but to each his own. A whole bottle of dressing...that's right...a whole bottle.  Seemed like overkill to me, but I used a heck of a lot.  And I'm sure there are some people who might need a whole bottle, but it is to personal taste.  Who doesn't love bacon?  Now, I'm sure some people might use bacon bits here, but I don't like them. And when Mike or one of the boys makes bacon in the morning I just have them make extra and voila....bacon bits.  I cheated here and used bagged cheese, but there's no reason why you couldn't grate yourself some different Italian cheeses and make it from "scratch". But I figured workers in a cheese factory need jobs too so I went with the bagged stuff. This would be another great way to use up those leftover cheese bits should you choose to.

Dump said goodies in a bowl and stir. Yummmy.  Or at least that's what my family said. This is one of those versatile recipes that is good whether you buy the chicken already cooked or decide to make everything, even the ranch dressing, from scratch. I've gotten to the point that when I look at a recipe, no matter the source, I see it for what it could be to me and mine versus what they handed me. So whether it's from Pillsbury or Bon Appetit...don't delete the recipe so quickly next time.

Have a Magical day!

~Mojjo

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tuesday at Ten - Choice

Choice...just the word can be overwhelming.  It seems that we are given so many choices all day every day it's almost too much. Literally everything is a choice. Even the decision not to make a choice is one. And yet we are always ready to fight when someone takes our choices away from us. And I'm not talking hotbed political ones. We get upset when a favorite meal is taken of a menu or a shirt no longer comes in a specific color and don't even get me started about them ceasing to make my favorite sneaker. 

As a quilter I should love choice.  Just walk into any fabric store and the choices abound. And it's great because it leads to all this creativity and new projects. A quilt can be moved in a completely different direction just by choosing one fabric over another. 

But as a mom...all I ever seem to worry about is if I am making the right choice for my children. The right school, the right meals, the right trips, everything. Should I be having them do more math than reading, more volunteering, more spending time with grandparents. It's amazing how moving me from a quilt store to my own living room can change the meaning and gravity of a word. And then I wonder if I'm the only person who frets over whether they've done right by their kids. I know I'm not but you do start to feel like you're the only neurotic one out there.

I've also, recently, made the choice to explore the spiritual side of my nature. Talk about another world of doubt and confusion. And yet I think part of the reason I've decided to explore it is that I want to have a sense of "rightness" about the choices I'm making or at least the thought processes I'm going through to make them. And on that level it's been a huge success. That's once choice I don't regret and which has done wonders for us as a family and for me as a woman.

Hmmmm...all from one little word.

Have a Magical Day

~Mojjo

Friday, September 12, 2014

October Challenge

October Challenge

Five Minute Friday - READY

Ready...Set....Go!  Okay, I have to admit that's the first thought that came to my head. But then I started thinking about what "READY" means...like really m-e-a-n-s.  And I've realized that I hardly ever feel ready, or prepared. I may be ready to go out but that doesn't mean I'm ready to handle everything that is going on out in the big bad world. So maybe it's really more about being ready to be unprepared. Oh...zen moment. And maybe that's more than ready to be disappointed, because who is ever ready for that.  But it's more along the lines of ready to be amazed, or confused, or surprised, or delighted, or awed, or educated or any number of things. Maybe life is about being ready to expect the unexpected. If that's the case I'm probably the most ready individual on the planet, or at least in my neighborhood. 

Also, "ready" brings to mind me waiting for others to be ready. I find that I am usually the one waiting for others, be it professional or personal. And I've gotten really good at using that time efficiently. After all, it would be a double waste to waste the time others were wasting of mine. Wow...not sure that made any sense. But it seems that we could be a little more considerate in our attempts to get ready when we know that others are waiting for us or expect something of us. If they are ready we should be too.  Off the soapbox.

Have a Magical weekend.

~Mojjo

Friday, September 5, 2014

Five Minute Friday - WHISPER

Here's take two with the new blog link

http://katemotaung.com


This week's word was :Whisper

Hmmm...careless? After all I was pretty decent WHAM fan when I was younger.  Although I never really thought George Michael was really that cute.

Then there was that game where we whispered something in someone's ear and so on through a line to see how messed up the sentence would be from the beginning to the end.  And with a permanent hearing loss I always sucked at that game. I wonder if I'm just not a big fan of the word. Maybe because when people don't speak loud and clear there's a chance of miscommunication and that leads to more issues than just about any other word I can think about. I mean, when someone doesn't understand what you are saying or what you mean you spend more time cleaning up the mess then you ever would have spent on just being clear to begin with. Hmmm...actually I feel pretty passionately about this. Who knew? Amazing how one word can mean so much to someone when they hardly ever thought of the word before.

Whisper in the dark?

Whisper soft?  What does that even mean and where did it come from.

Whisper sweet nothings?  What is a sweet nothing anyway? I know it has romantic connotations, but again, it implies secret and who wants a secret romance? Isn't half the fun being out and about.

Okay, times up.

Until next time.

~Mojjo