Last Thursday 6/13/2019 grandson Julian and his team the Mountville (PA) White Sox began their championship tournament. I was there for the first 3 games. Ultimately, they played 6 games and came in 2nd place. Go Sox! Here are a few pics of the first 3 games. Click on the first one to embiggen, then click to the right to run through them.
Kelsey asked for a couple recipes of the food that she was able to choke down when she lived here. First one is the Tuscan Chicken Soup. It’s pretty good, if I do say so myself. Oddly enough, I think it’s an old Weight Watchers recipe. I got it from a friend at work. He said he often makes it for guests and that they always like it. In fact, I just made it a couple days ago, and there’s a bowl or 2 left over in the fridge right now. Yum.
Tuscan Chicken Soup
- olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 Cup chopped onion
- 1 pound ground chicken
- about 3 14.5oz cans of chicken broth
- 1/2 Cup uncooked orzo
- 1 – 14.5oz can of stewed tomatoes (chop up the tomatoes, but keep the liquid and add to soup)
- 1 – 16oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (fresh ground is best)
- 1 – 6oz package of fresh baby spinach
- shredded Parmesan cheese
- Cook garlic and onion in oil about 5 mins until tender. I ususally cook the onion for a couple minutes, then throw in the garlic Add chicken and cook about 5 more minutes and crumble the chicken as it cooks
- Add the broth and the next 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer about 20 minutes until orzo is done.
- Stir in the bag o’ spinach until the spinach wilts, about 2-3 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls, and top with cheese. Eat the soup.
Chili is one of those “make it up as you go along” kind of recipes. The basic recipe is a chopped onion and a few minced cloves of garlic cooked in oil until they start to soften. You can also add some chopped green pepper and/or jalapenos if you like that kind of thing.
Add about 2 pounds of ground beef and cook until it’s no longer red, breaking it up as it cooks. You can also use ground turkey, or rough chopped chuck for chili, or a combination if you want.
Then add a large 29oz can of crushed tomatoes, and four 14.5 oz cans of small red beans or kidney beans or whatever beans you like. I usually dump in a 12 oz can of V8 juice and/or a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes because it usually needs more liquid and I like tomatoes.
You need to put in about 3 tablespoons of chili powder to start, and some cumin is nice, about a tablespoon. Add some pepper, maybe a teaspoon or so. Be careful with salt. It’s easy to over-salt. I’d put in just a little, maybe a teaspoon or so, then add small amounts as it cooks if you think it needs more. Remember, you can always add a little salt, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there. Taste it as it cooks and add chili powder or whatever you think it needs more of or what would be good. It will need more chili powder. Worcestershire sauce is good in chili, as is some liquid smoke, if you like liquid smoke.
Let it simmer over low heat until the beans are the correct degree of softness and it thickens up a bit. Put in bowls and if you want, add cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, cornbread or crackers on the side, whatever. Eat the chili.
Julian and Olivia and their parents stopped by yesterday to wish Amanda a happy birthday, and to kick off St. Patrick’s Day. Amanda made some St. Patrick’s Day cookies for them, and put together goodie bags full of St. Patrick’s Day enchantment. Then we all went out to dinner in the Mosaic District. I was great seeing these guys. We’ll have to do it again soon!
Click on the first picture below to embiggen, and then click on the right to run through them.
Grandson Nick was recently selected to play on an elite travel soccer team, so Brenda and I went down to Richmond to watch Nick play one of his last YMCA soccer games before he he moves up to the big leagues. Today, his team dominated. After the game, we went over to nearby a restaurant called “Fest,” a German Beer Garden with many wonderful draft German beers, sausages, pretzels and other great German fare; perfect for 9 year olds and their parents. Dane took command of the community chalk board at the restaurant and a splendid time was had by all.
Both the Richmond, Va. and the Lancaster Pa. Sussmans helped Brenda celebrate her birthday this weekend. Happily, the weather played along and was beautiful both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, after a little front-yard football, we all went bowling, natch’. Then today we all went to Lake Accotink Park and watched spring move in, finally. Click the first pic below to embiggen, then click the right side of the picture to move through them.
So, it’s Christmas Day, and Maggie, one of our new cats, decided to climb about 50 feet up a neighbor’s hickory tree. Then, of course, she can’t get down. The temperature was supposed to drop to the low 20s tonight, so we can’t just leave her up there, or so I’m told. We called Adam from Out on a Limb Tree Service and he came out on Christmas Day, climbed the tree and grabbed the cat. It’s a Christmas miracle! Thanks Adam! Here’s video Amanda made of Maggie being saved. Click a picture to embiggen and then click on the right side of the picture to run through them.
UPDATE: Maggie has a very large 2-3″ gash on her belly. Looks like she may have been attacked by a hawk or some of our local Northern Virginia fauna. Brenda and Amanda took her to the 24 emergency vet. I’m taking bets on how many thousands of dollars emergency vet services on Christmas will cost. Does anyone know how to set up a Go Fund Me Page?
It’s a beautiful winter day here in Northern Virginia. When I woke up this morning, there was about an inch of snow covering everything, but when I finally got around to walking Amanda’s dog Artemis, most of the snow had melted. I took a few pictures with my Panasonic Lumix point-and-shoot camera with it’s Leica (branded) lens. I often forget how beautiful NoVa can be. Here are a few pics. Click the first one to embiggen, then click on the right side of the picture to run through them.
We brought 2 month-old Frannie, a Border Collie-Australian Shepard mix, home on February 2nd, 2002. And for the next 15+ years that she’s been with us, she’s always been a sweet, loving dog. And faster than hell; in her prime, she could outrun any dog I’ve ever had. Sadly, she passed away today. We’ll all miss her. As Susan and Erin said, she’s probably running on the beach with her sister Zoey right now.
Olivia stopped by yesterday. She’s been having a great time visiting her old friends, Charlotte, Cam, and Abbygale, as well as Aunt Amanda, cousin Kelsey, and her “Bee” and “Papa.” When the other kids left, Olivia helped Brenda and me walk Arty and Frannie through the woods and the park. We were worried that she wouldn’t be able to walk all that way (about a mile), but turns out not only could she easily walk it, she ran almost the entire way! Then off to Costco, followed by a fine evening of bubble bath and bedtime stories. I’m sure today will be even more fun, and will add more pictures if Brenda takes any. Click on a pic to embiggen, and then click to go through them.
To display your local weather, click on the 3 short lines at the top right of the widget. Delete “Washington D.C.,” and start typing the name of your nearest fairly large city. When the correct city appears in the drop down list, select it. Wait for the Page to reload, and there’s your weather. The page should remember your city.