a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

It’s cold & snowing outside and my 49ers just lost and got booted out of play-off contention so comfort food is needed. Stat.

First. Put this on.

:)

Then….

Slice up spicy Italian sausage (I used 5)
Slice up some mushrooms (I used a package of mushrooms – 10 oz)

Brown them in some olive oil

Meanwhile, boil some water

Make some pasta – I used a box of Gluten-free, non-GMO Quinoa rotini (yeah…we’ll see…)

Once both are done, mix in a baking dish, pour in a jar of sauce (or gravy if you prefer Corleones) and a few handfuls (big giant football player handfuls) of mozzarella. Make sure mixed well and bake at 350 (oh yeah…preheat your oven) for 25 minutes or so. FYI – I used “Rao’s Homemade Arrabbiata” sauce to keep with the spicy theme.

Then sprinkle Parmesan on it and bake a few more minutes.

Mmmmmmm

Eat.

Simple.

And if your team lost and you are out of play-off contention, pour a glass of red too :)

I have been digging through my box of old recipes for cold weather. I’m pretty sure this one came from Rachel Ray’s magazine a few years back that I changed a bit for me…

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
2 cups rotisserie shredded chicken
Parmesan cheese (shredded)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat until just melted. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened/browned (about 5 minutes). Sprinkle the flour on top and stir in for 1 minute. Stir in the Marsala and cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups water, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

In a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole, spread the rice in an even layer; top with the chicken. Carefully pour the mushroom mix on top. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes.

Discard the foil, sprinkle the Parmesan over top and bake for 5 minutes more or until melted/lightly browned.

Yum! Good quick meal for a cold, winter weekday night :)

It’s unofficially winter so I thought it was time to break out 1 of my big Staub pans and make something winterey! Decided on soup for this weekend since it has been snowing and raining all week…literally all week…today was the first day it stopped raining for more than a few minutes. #notcomplainingthough #drought #wouldprefersnow

Dug through my box of recipes as I knew I had a good one (well, sounded good on paper) for chicken and rice soup. Found it!

INGREDIENTS:

6 cups of chicken stock
2 cups of shredded chicken breats (I actually used both light and dark)
1/4 c up Vermouth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots – peeled and chopped
2-3 garlic cloves – minced
2 cups white rice, cooked
1 cup wild rice, uncooked
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
4-5 basil leaves, minced
Several dashes of celery seed (since I didn’t use celery)
handful of fresh parsley, minced
salt and pepper
(original recipe also had 4-5 green onions and 3 celery stalks – blech)

Prepare white rice according to the package directions and set aside

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot add 2 tbsp olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add garlic, carrots (and celery and green onion if using) and saute for about 5 minutes.

Add 6 cups of chicken stock, uncooked wild rice, cooked white rice, chicken and herbs and simmer for at least 20-30 minutes.

In a small bowl mix the flour in the 1 cup of chicken broth making sure the flour is thoroughly blended with no lumps. Slowly add the flour/broth mixture to the soup. Simmer until soup thickens (about 15 mins or so.) If it does not thicken enough, take a little broth out of the pot and mix in another tbsp of flour and slowly add back to soup. Keep simmering until soup reaches desired consistency.

Add the heavy cream and vermouth. Season with salt (I used Himalayan pink salt because duh…pink!) and pepper and add minced parsley. Simmer 10 minutes and serve!!

Mmmmmmm….

Creamy Chicken Rice soup

p.s. I tasted the Vermouth….GAH! Don’t think I could channel Robin channeling Mork channeling Julia with that….

p.p.s I paired my soup with a glass of Piper Sonoma Rose Brut – Delicious! (obvs)

A tip: If you have distribution deals with Costco and Safeway (or other large grocery chains) you know we can access your product at a discounted price. You’ve given up exclusivity for mass appeal and sales.

So then do not send me OHMYGOD CAN I BELIEVE THE DEAL emails that discount your wines by a few measly percent (at best, some have no discount) plus charge me shipping when I can just pick it up literally for 30-50% less than your full price at Costco or Safeway. It’s actually insulting. Offer me free shipping, or buy 5 and get 6th free or **something**. Without naming names since I like these places and don’t want to diss them, but if I can buy something from you for $22 plus shipping or I can pick it now up at SFY for $15, which do you think will happen? Hmmm…let me think….

I’m sure I am not the only person deluged with Black Friday, Extended Black Weekend, Cyber Monday and Cyber week e-mails. But come on man. I think 100 emails every morning followed by repeated ones through the day – sometimes 3 or 4 from the same store/site is RIDICULOUS. And honestly I just delete them all and don’t even look. It’s too much. Good grief Charlie Brown. I had to turn off the volume on my laptop because of the constant alert dinging from new email coming in.

The only 1 that caught my eye had a picture of Chewbacca slippers (Hammacher). So naturally, I saved that one. But still haven’t clicked on it.

And do NOT get me started on the snail mail catalog situation which I think keeps USPS afloat (well…afloat in USPS terms anyway…)

I love Christmas. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I am also a huge capitalist who loves to shop. And loves to give gifts! But the marketing departments really need to think about their campaigns and not not just think the solution is MOAR EMAIL MOAR CATALOGS MOAR JUNK.

Sigh…I know…not likely.

I finally listened to the entire new album (1989 in case you live under a rock) by Taylor Swift. I like it. I think my favorite song (at least after my first 2 run-thrus) is “How You Get the Girl”.

But honestly, I miss this Taylor…

She was never super duper country, but I think she did what she did well. And I can only listen to pure pop for a short time before I can’t take it. Maybe 1989 will change that? #doubtit

It snowed! It’s winter! OK….not really winter (it will be 60 and sunny this week and melting my snow) but I’m excited for even a hint of it! Decided to make some cold weather food to celebrate!

Saw pics from a twitter/Instagram friend who made a zucchini lasagna. Mmmmm. Looked SO good! And I LOVE Italian food. But love it in the way of I-rarely-make-it-at-home-because-I-will-eat-it-all-in-1-sitting kind of way. BUT….zucchini instead of carby-carby-carberson noodles? OK! I can give that a try.

So I used the recipe my twitter friend used and changed it a bit to suit my tastes (my notes in italics):

INGREDIENTS:
4 large zucchini, sliced about 1/4 inch thick (I used 5)
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced (I DID NOT USE AS I HATE ONIONS)
1 green pepper, diced
8 oz of sliced mushrooms (I ADDED THIS TO THE RECIPE)
Shot of red wine (I ADDED THIS TO THE RECIPE)
1 pound extra lean ground turkey
1 – 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 – 14 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used diced)
2 teaspoon dried oregano
handful of basil, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
handful of parsley, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
red pepper flakes, if desired (VERY MUCH DESIRED)
salt and pepper, to taste
15 oz part skim ricotta
1 egg white
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (maybe a touch more :) )
12 oz reduced fat or part skim shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place sliced zucchini on large non-stick baking sheet (or 1 coated with non stick cooking spray.) Sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes to help dry out the zucchini a bit. This is a critical step. I did 20 minutes and it was perfect.

While the zucchini noodles are roasting, you can make the sauce. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, mushrooms and peppers and cook a few minutes until veggies start softening and garlic is fragrant; stir occasionally so that you don’t burn it. Add in ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add in tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, parsley, and a few dashes of red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until sauce REALLY thickens up! Season with salt & pepper to taste. Remove from heat to cool. While it was simmering, I also added a splash of red wine (more like a shot-of-sherry-Mork-does-Julia-Child style!)

Zuchini lasagna 1

In a medium bowl, combine egg white, ricotta, and Parmesan. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Add in 1/2 cup of the slightly cooled meat sauce and stir to combine.

To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the meat sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 inch nonstick baking pan (or coat regular pan with nonstick cooking spray.) Place zucchini slices evenly over meat sauce, spread on 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, then sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella on. Repeat layers again starting with the meat sauce, zucchini slices and ricotta mixture and finishing with mozzarella.

Ready for the oven!

Cover with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove foil and bake for 15 (I did 20 actually) minutes longer uncovered.

Baked!

It is SOOOOOOO good! So good!!!! Totally making this again!!

This is the original link for this recipe (which itself is based off another): http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2014/08/healthy-low-carb-zucchini-lasagna-spicy-turkey-meat-sauce/

And hat tip to @kerotab on twitter and Instagram who enticed me with this recipe and sent me the link!

So….”feminists” and the media bloated in political correctness flamed Marvel all over the internet with this VARIANT cover drawn by an artist for this Spider-Woman comic:

EVIL AND BAD!

EVIL AND BAD!

But J Lo just tweeted out this tonight:

PRO WOMEN!

PRO WOMEN!

Ummm?

#stupid and #ridiculous

Finally hung my new Mike Kungl piece today!! I bought this at his show at the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego during SDCC. Going in, I told myself I had no wall space so you are just going to meet Mike, say hi to everyone and leave. Yeah…so…#fail

He did a Marvin piece. I love Marvin (also my very first tattoo!) Plus I am huge fan of the color combo of purples and greens. *please see my love of Maleficent. It is a 1 of a kind. He did a few of these but each in a different color scheme. So this purple and green one = all mine :) #mineminemineminemine #saidlikekDaffy

Kungl Marvin

I also got to meet Mike in person. We spoke a couple times on the phone while he was doing my commissioned piece but I missed him at the last SDCC. And I got to meet his wife. Both were so kind and it was great to hear how they loved doing the husky piece (both are big dog lovers which is also great!) It will always be very, very special to me and I’m glad others feel that way too.

Kungl show

Kungl show 2

And seeing everyone at the gallery again was fun! The staff there was excited about the husky piece. Was a fun night for sure and I look forward to the next one!

This makes 3 Kungl pieces I have: the Leia artist proof, Marvin and my Chewie/Angelus/Storm original commission. This is becoming an expensive habit! I am still coveting a TinkTini original…but again #nowallspaceleft http://www.mkungl.com/2/d.php?contentID=195

These shoes were $525 in 2008. They are $965 now. Do NOT tell me there is no inflation. #governmentlies

Manolos

First draft of fantasy football season is done! Seems decent to me even if several players I wanted were drafted right out from under me!!! I already have a Drew Brees jersey from a few years ago when he was my QB (I buy the jersey of my main fantasy QB each year) so I’m set! And obviously I have a Kap jersey.

The STL D was a tough one. But the 4 highest rated defenses were all NFC West so there you go. And since SF and SEA were drafted before I took a D, I went with my division. At least I got 1 49er player – even if a kicker. Although he better be faking this pre-season BS or I’ll drop faster than SEA bandwagon fans jump on.

Runnies Huskies Draft

….and may the odds be ever in my favor. :)