Jul

7

By Blossom

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Categories: Poems

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Heat Wave

Inspired by the prompt “wave” at

heat wave overwhelms
air thick with humidity
ice cubes in my hat

Apr

5

By Blossom

3 Comments

Categories: Poems

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Chosen One

Inspired by the prompt “one” at

volition denied
chosen one of prophecy
destiny fulfilled

Mar

29

By Blossom

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Categories: Cooking

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Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

I putzed around today, spring cleaning and such. Looked at Pinterest for dinner inspiration and found this.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

    Ingredients

      1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
      1/2 cup chicken broth
      1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
      3 cloves garlic, minced
      4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
      1 teaspoon dried basil
      1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
      1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
      1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
      1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
      2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

    Directions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, brown sugar and garlic; set aside.
  • Season chicken breasts with basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place chicken breasts into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in balsamic vinegar mixture. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

I reorganized the spice cabinet during my puttering today, but still no rosemary. So I replaced all the herbs with 3 teaspoons of Italian Seasoning. I stirred in a cup of minute rice 20 minutes before the end. It turned out AMAZING.

Mar

28

By Blossom

2 Comments

Categories: Poems

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The Cat Who Went to Heaven

Inspired by the prompt “cat” at

lucky calico
peace found before the Buddha
Nirvana at last

The Cat Who Went to Heaven

Mar

14

By Blossom

1 Comment

Categories: Cooking

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Pi Day

Happy Pi Day!
We celebrated pi day yesterday to coincide with (the weekend and) a friend’s birthday. My contribution to the pie buffet was an experimental, hodgepodge, cobbled-together meat pie. I used crescent roll dough for the crusts. Half I made with and half without an upper crust. My inspiration came from Pinterest, here and here, and I was quite pleased with the result. Other offerings on the table included quiche, pizza, pigs in a blanket, Boston cream pie/cake, cheesecake, various fruit pies.

    Ingredients

      diced green bell pepper
      diced celery, onion, carrot
      2 cloves garlic
      2 lbs cooked ground beef
      1 cup beef broth
      1 teaspoon curry
      1 teaspoon nutmeg
      3 tablespoons HP sauce
      homemade bbq sauce (1 T brown sugar, 1 T balsamic ketchup, ground mustard, paprika, salt, pepper)
      1 tablespoon flour
    Directions

  • sauté bell pepper, celery, onion, carrot, and garlic
  • add in beef
  • mix in curry, nutmeg, HP sauce, and bbq sauce
  • mix in broth, simmer for 5 minutes
  • mix in flour, simmer about 15 minutes more
  • arrange crescent roll dough in muffin tins
  • fill with meat mixture, cover with upper crust, if desired
  • bake at 350 F for about 12 minutes

Mar

13

By Blossom

5 Comments

Categories: Uncategorized

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Mind

Inspired by the prompt “mind” at


never mind, she said,
as hopes and dreams slipped away,
doesn’t matter now

Mar

9

By Blossom

1 Comment

Categories: Poems

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In defiance of extinction

Inspired by the prompt “safe” at

as well as the news story of the wild sea otter birth outside of Monterey Bay Aquarium this weekend.

seeking safe harbor
wild sea otter climbs ashore
giving birth on rocks

giving birth on rocks
sheltered by the Great Tide Pool
seen by guests and staff

seen by guests and staff
beside the aquarium
miracle of life

miracle of life
baby cradled by mother
seeking safe harbor

 

Mar

8

By Blossom

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Categories: Cooking

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Crockpot Apples and Porkchops

I made this dish a couple of weeks ago during a cooking spree and threw it straight into the freezer. Thawed it out and had some for dinner last night. I served it with rice cooked in apple juice, yummy!

    Ingredients

      5-6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cubed
      4-6 boneless porkchops
      2 Tbsp butter
      ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
      2 tsp cinnamon
      1 tsp nutmeg
    Directions

  • Heat skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add butter and once melted add porkchops.
  • Cook each side 5-6 minutes until golden brown.
  • While cooking porkchops, peel apples and cube them.
  • Put the apples in a large bowl and toss with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Pour coated apples into crockpot.
  • Place pork chops on top.
  • Put lid on crockpot and cook on low 6-7 hours.

Feb

24

By Blossom

1 Comment

Categories: Cooking

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Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole

I cooked without the crockpot! And was unhappy with the result. This casserole came out very salty to my palate. I’m not sure if I didn’t like the sour cream in it, or if I just need to switch out the garlic salt for garlic powder. I love my beef and wild rice casserole, so had high hopes for this.

chicken and wild rice casserole

    Ingredients

      1 lb chicken, cooked and shredded
      6 oz pkg wild rice with seasonings
      1/2 c. sour cream
      10 3/4 oz can cream of chicken soup
      1 tsp dried onion flakes
      1/2 tsp garlic salt
      1/2 tsp pepper
    Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare wild rice according to package directions.
  • In a large mixing bowl mix together sour cream, cream of chicken soup. onion flakes, garlic salt and pepper. Stir in chicken and wild rice. Put in an 8 in x 8 in baking dish.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Feb

23

By Blossom

2 Comments

Categories: Poems

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Spider

Inspired by the prompt “spider” at

 
useful companion
decorating the corner
spider feasts on bugs

 
zoo spider web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

photo by otterblossom

 
glittering with dew
nature’s delicate artwork
strung up as a snare

Feb

22

By Blossom

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Categories: Cooking

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Crockpot Lemon Garlic Chicken & Potatoes

After I invited two friends over for dinner, I realized that in the several years in the Holt, I had never actually had company over for a sit down dinner. I’d hosted game nights with something in the crockpot that folks could munch as they played, but never an actual set the table like a grownup dinner. So to top off the nerves of that, I cooked an experiment in the crockpot for dinner. Dinner was delicious, we had a good time, and I even thought to serve in the bowls the one had given me for Christmas several years ago.

lemon garlic chicken

    Ingredients

      1 teaspoon oregano
      1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
      1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
      4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
      2/3 cup chicken broth
      4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
      4 garlic cloves, minced
      4 small potatoes, quartered
  • Place quartered potatoes in bottom of Crock-Pot*.
  • Top potatoes with chicken breasts. Rub oregano, seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic into chicken.
  • Pour broth and lemon juice over chicken and potatoes.
  • Cook on low 6 hours or on high 3 hours.

Feb

21

By Blossom

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Categories: Cooking

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Chili Pasta Salad

For our mid-winter, off-season zoo party, I made a chili pasta salad for the potluck. To accommodate allergies and dietary preferences, I omitted the onions and the ground beef. I also made my own chili seasoning and used diced tomatoes instead of stewed. The salad went over well at the party and at the other job the next day.

chili pasta salad

    Ingredients

      4 cups uncooked bowtie pasta
      1 tbsp cooking oil
      1 lb ground beef
      1 onion, chopped
      1 green pepper, chopped
      1 540 ml can stewed tomatoes
      1 540 ml can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
      3 cloves garlic, minced
      ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
      1/8 cup lime juice
      1 package chili seasoning (If you don’t have the chili seasoning mix, use 2 tbsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp oregano instead.)
    Directions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and put in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Add in ground beef, onions and green pepper. Cook until beef is browned and vegetables are softened.
  • Stir in package of chili seasoning mix. Add in stewed tomatoes and kidney beans and stir together. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice and garlic. Add the mixture to the bowtie pasta and stir to combine. Add the chili into the pasta mixture and stir together. Serve warm or chilled.

Feb

17

By Blossom

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Categories: Cooking

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Beef Stew with a Kick

I made a batch of beef stew over the weekend. The recipe warned “with a kick.” It is at the very top of my (admittedly low) spice tolerance range. I’ve eaten a lot of bread with dinner the last few nights.

beef stew

    Ingredients

      3-4 lbs chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
      6-7 carrots, peeled and sliced
      4-5 potatoes, peeled and quartered
      2 stalks celery, sliced
      1 lg onion, chopped
      3 cloves garlic, chopped
      3 Tbsp Season Salt
      3 Tbsp Garlic Salt
      Salt and Pepper
      2 10 oz cans Rotel
      1 14 oz can beef broth
      3 Tbsp olive oil
      1 cup corn
      1 cup peas
      1 cup green beans
      1 cup flour (might need more)
      1 Tbsp Corn Starch
      1 Tbsp water
    Directions

  • In a large dutch oven pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add flour to a large resealable bag, then add some stew meat to bag. Shake well until meat is well coated, then add meat to pan. Repeat until all the meat has been covered in flour and added to pan.
  • Add seasonings to meat.
  • Brown meat on all four sides.
  • Turn crock pot on high.
  • Peel carrots and potatoes, slice carrots and cube potatoes to desired size. Add to crock pot.
  • Slice celery, cut up onion and garlic, and add to crock pot.
  • After meat is browned, add to crock pot on top of the veggies.
  • Pour both cans of Rotel on top of meat.
  • Pour beef broth on top of meat.
  • Cover and cook until meat is tender and potatoes and carrots are done. In the last hour of cooking, add in corn, peas, and green beans and stir.
  • Right before stew is done, mix 1 tbsp of corn starch with 1 tbsp water in a small bowl and add it to the stew and stir. This will thicken it a bit.
  • Serve with some homemade biscuits, bread sticks, or corn bread muffins.

I made a few adjustments. I did not have a bag of mixed vegetables, so I just added a can of corn. I cooked on low for 10+ hours. My cornstarch was being funky, so I skipped that step. Threw away the cornstarch, and the stew was plenty thick. I cobbled together my own seasoned salt mix from various recipes I found online. I probably will use one tablespoon of it instead of three next time I make the stew.

Seasoned Salt

    Ingredients

      1 T salt
      1 T pepper
      1 T onion powder
      1 T garlic powder
      1/2 T chili powder
      1/2 T paprika
      1/2 T parsley
      1/2 T cumin
      1/2 T turmeric