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 was hoping to write this after the NFC Championship Game but the Saints didn’t get that memo. Oh well.

I’ve been to a lot of 49ers games at Candlestick. Actually my very first football game in my life was a 49ers game at the Stick. And I became a huge fan from there on. I took my little brother to a couple games when he visited form Florida and those are good memories for me to have of us. One of them was a game where Jerry Rice was breaking some big NFL record and the place was going nuts. It was also pouring rain and freezing cold. Ah Candlestick. That was the 1 good thing about the dry winter this year – not 1 rainy or even cloudy game this season. Frankly, it seemed really weird. Candlestick games = cold, cloudy/foggy and windy.

And I went to a lot of SF Giants games there. Went to the all of the play-off games leading up to the World Series vs the As. And yes the ’89 World Series game when the earthquake hit. I was on the escalator and it felt like we were surfing. The ground didn’t shake as much as roll. After it stopped everyone yelled and cheered because it didn’t actually seem that bad at all. Only a bit later after being in our seats, and people had their little TVs or radios on (yes…before smart phones..), did we realize how bad it actually was.

Once they called the game, it took forever to get to our cars. And then it took forever to get out. One of the joys of Candlestick is its location in the ghetto along with horrific routes in and out. So traffic is a nightmare on a good day. The police were sending us out through some side streets where all of the street lights were out and it was not a good place to be. There were bricks thrown in car windows, people standing around watching all the cars. But got home safely. All of my friends and family were freaked out because cell coverage was gone and all the news kept showing was the fire in the Marina but really saying how it was basically the city on fire. Nice.

I started going to more 49er games once we signed Jim Harbaugh. Was a fan of his at Stanford and was excited to have him! Then I finally got season tickets 2 seasons ago and it’s been a blast. Tailgated at almost every game with friends and had a super fun time each and every game. Our seatmates in our row and behind us were all super fun.

The send-off at the MNF game a couple weeks ago was great. We won – most importantly! And they had Boys II Men do their goodbye songs, many 49er greats to say hello/goodbye – Dwight Clark, Steve Young, TO, Jerry Rice, EDDIE D! It was AWESOME that the entire stadium chanted for Eddie. But no Joe. Don’t get me started. He lost some awesome points in my opinion but oh well. It’s a business.

A fantastic fireworks display set to Hello, Goodbye by the Beatles which was fitting both in song and also that they played their last concert at Candlestick (the Let it Be rooftop show was more of a jam session of a few songs.) As a huge Beatles fan, I liked that. No one left. Everyone stayed for the entire send-off and people were all singing with Boys II Men and the Beatles. You did actually want to shed a tear or 2. :)

I say Farewell Candlestick. It’s been a lot of fun. You gave me a lot of nice memories. But I would be huge liar if I said I’m not extremely excited about the new, way-more-cushier stadium :)

GO NINERS!!!!

Me and gnome at the Stick (with bubbly!)

Me and gnome at the Stick (with bubbly!)

I’m always looking for yummy recipes that will work for tailgating. Has to be easily transportable, eaten easily while hanging out and preferably little mess (at least once in the Candlestick parking lot!) Oh! And also very yummy :)

Have never done chicken before. Honestly my go-to is cheeseburgers because cheeseburgers are delicious. Two weeks ago I decided to use the advice from some food guy on Yahoo about cheeseburgers and use 80/20 meat, American cheese and squishy white bread buns (no pretzel bun, ciabatta, etc etc.) Frankly, I’ve never done that. I always buy 93/7 meat and use cheddar, blue cheese, or some such other yummy cheese. BUT, this guy’s point was make the cheeseburger the way it is meant to be made. You don’t eat them every day so when you do, make them right. He was right – DELICIOUS!!! I will make them that way for tailgating from now on.

But I digress….I wanted to try chicken this time so went on a search for a tasty chicken recipe. Found this one on the Food Network – Dirty P’s Garlic-Ginger Chicken Thighs:

Ingredients

2 pounds skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh tangerine or orange juice
Freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for the grill

NOW…I changed the recipe to this (for my tastes):

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger (used Gourmet Garden ginger paste found in the produce section)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (used Odwalla)
Freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for the grill (I used spray on grilling spray stuff…highly technical)

I hate onions (unless deep-fried into rings in which case they are OK especially when dipped in ranch!) so they had to go. And I just can’t eat chicken skin unless way deep fried KFC style. So skinless as well as boneless chicken for me…

Directions

Combine the chicken, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, juice and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal and shake to coat the chicken with the marinade. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight. (I marinated for about 5 hours before cooking.)

Preheat a grill to medium high and oil the grate. Grill the chicken skin-side down until marked, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and continue to grill until cooked through, about 5 more minutes. (here is where I changed it – since I have skinless chicken cook for 2 minutes on 1 side, flip and 2 more minutes, and then repeat. So cooking for 8 minutes total. BUT, the key was making sure the grill was HOT. In making this at home for a 2nd time my grill was heated to 500 degrees.)

When I went to Safeway to buy chicken for the tailgate, the checkout guy was probably 20 yrs old at most. There was a HUGE notice at checkout about the chicken as there was a recent Foster Farms salmonella scare. When I asked half-jokingly “what do I need to know about this chicken?” he responded “cook your chicken. simple. people don’t cook their chicken and then go around blaming other people for their own stupidity. it’s not filet mignon people. it’s chicken. not supposed to be pink.” I left that in all lower case because he said it so fast, and in such a thick country accent, that I had no response other than a heartfelt smile and a “You are completely right.” Nice to know there are some people out there that I agree with.

Anyway….I digress…..again….

Let the chicken rest 3-5 minutes before serving.

This was SO good. So, so good. Also – FULLY cooked but not dry. Pay attention people. Yummy. Both at the 49ers tailgate and tonight. Very glad I found the recipe and will use it often! And not just for tailgating :)

chicken

I have been hosting a Superbowl party for about 10+ years? I used to go to parties but then noticed that I had less and less football loving friends. What. The. Heck?

I love being a hostess even though I fly around like a crazed bird the day of getting ready. And this morning is no different…

So…what is the deal with a helium shortage?? I LOVE balloons!! Someone better get on that. Hello Mr. President? You have to chime in on a host of things you really have no business being involved in (plus pretty sure there are things you SHOULD be focusing on…but I digress…) so get on THIS!!

Anyway, I scored the LAST of the red and gold balloons at my local store. And the last of their helium. The lady said she would add Hi-Float to them to get them to stay up longer but if I didn’t take them yesterday, the helium and probably the balloons would be gone. OK. Well…this morning they are pretty much all dead :( My 49ers balloons are fine but about 20 of the red and all 24 of the gold are floating…on the floor. :( :(

Called around to all the other stores on the coast first thing this AM – no helium. At all. What the F^($@(#$&(@#$. Oh well. I’ll get creative with the red and gold that I have.

Was hoping I’d get some love from all-powerful Balloon God but no such luck. Well..he (or she) better be giving all of their God-like karma and energy to the 49ers to win today. Then it’s OK :)

Then..apparently my washing machine is leaking a little. I think it’s just a little anyway. Small puddle in laundry room after I did a load of towels last night. So I’m trying another small load this AM to see. Fingers crossed. I need the washing machine to wash Storm’s beds and towels. He is having a little incontinence issue while he sleeps. Just a little but enough to where you need to wash everything. It started yesterday. So I am very stressed although supposedly it’s not uncommon in older dogs. But this makes a husky mom very stressed. At least we have hard wood and stone floors everywhere so it’s just towels and doggie beds to wash. Storm just said “thanks for sharing that with people mom..”

Pre-heating the oven now to start the mac and cheese which I will then move to the slow cooker to keep warm for the game.

Then I need to make the sour cream and onion dip because ALL football parties requires sour cream and onion dip with Ruffles. Also, need to go buy more Ruffles as a 1/2 bag went mysteriously missing last night….damn gnomes.

Need to get ice so I can chill the bottles of bubbly and sodas. Water is in the fridge. And milk. I’ll put on coffee for you and I think I even have some tea laying around. But if people want beer then it’s BYOB. I don’t drink beer so there is no sense is trying to have me pick any out.

Then I have to prepare the shrimp and sausage for the jambalaya. I’ll make close to game time and let simmer on super low for half time enjoyment. I’ve never made jambalaya so let’s see how this goes. But it seemed right since the game is in NO :)

A friend is picking up my boneless Buffalo wings because you can’t make those at home. And I don’t like bones. And frankly, Chili’s has some of the best boneless wings EVER. And I haven’t had them in 3 years or longer. So I ordered 2 party trays of those!!! YUMYUMYUM. Apparently boneless wings are made from leftover breast meat (and not the butt meat that Bud(?) commercial told us they were years ago!)

And then right before kick-off I will add some browned pine nuts, sesame seeds and red pepper to my poke which has been marinating in the fridge all night. I was trying to think of a San Francisco food and all I could come up with was Rice A Roni (which I LOVE) but seemed silly since I had jambalaya already! So I thought fresh fish (even though a Hawaiian dish) would have to work.

Oh well..I’ll drink NorCal sparkling from Chandon or Ferrar :) (but a bottle of Dom is chilling in case we win!)

I’ve put out my Niners blanket. Moved my Montana signed football down to the living room. Bought all 49ers, red and gold tableware. Have my Niners gnome out and ready to cheer since he always went to all of the games with me :)

This is a big deal. I’ve read a lot of whining (in comments sections for news stories made by fans of LOSING teams) how this SuperBowl is soooo boring. Whatever. The 49ers are one of the premiere teams in the league who lost their mojo but came back strong last year and again this year. Get over it. I still have parties and enjoy the game when my team isn’t in it. If you are whining, then you are not really a football fan are you? Plus the Harbowl adds some fun story to it. And Ray Lewis…well…I don’t necessarily like or dislike the guy but come on dude….you do play on a TEAM. Oh well…

GO NINERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (turning on NFL Channel for ALL DAY coverage right now!)

I am rooting for the NFC in the ProBowl as usual (49ers!!) and yet rooting for the Patriots (AFC) in the Super Bowl because I just can’t root for NY Giants (NFC) after they beat my Niners last week.

Plus Tom Brady said his idol growing up was Joe Montana today at the press conference.I will cut him a teeny-tiny bit of slack for that statement. (have read that before but I understood the words comin’ from his mouth today.)

Sports loyalties are tough work. (And this doesn’t even include the fantasy football loyalties through the season. Sheesh.)

But my Super Bowl party theme next week is still “The Superbowl the 49ers should have been in!” :)

Well, it was not quite the relaxing Tahoe weekend I had hoped for…

Saturday AM I took the huskies on their morning walk (in the 24 degree weather!!) and they had a good time. Storm wanted to come back after about 30-40 minutes so I dropped him off at home and took Angelus back out. Angelus always wants to be out investigating!

About an hour later as we were walking down our drive-way back to the house, I see that I have 2 missed calls from home.  Weird. Call husband and he answers the phone saying he needs to rush Storm to the vet. WHAT?  Storm apparently got up on the kitchen counter and found his Cushing’s Disease medication. His current daily dose is 20mg and he ate the entire pack of pills equaling of 150 mg.

My husband wanted to know how could *I* be so dumb. Hmm…it was pushed back next to all of their treats (which were untouched.) If I answer you, I will yell at you. So I choose to ignore this stupid question, and your “anger” at this, and work to find a vet for Storm right now.  It was early (8ish on a Saturday) so our “normal” vet in Truckee (actually only been there once but they were great) wasn’t open yet.  But the nearest one was 40 minutes away in Reno so we just went to the regular one, who opened at 8:30am, and were there as they opened.

Got him to the vet and explained what happened. They gave Storm medicine to vomit it all up and wanted to monitor his vitals for a bit.  When we went back to pick him up, the doctor said that in addition to vomiting up his breakfast and the medicine he stole, he vomited up 3 peach pits. We had a box of peaches in the office kitchen this past Thursday and Friday so apparently Storm stole the pits out of people’s garbage cans. I’ve asked people not to throw food away in their desk trash cans because one of the symptoms of Cushing’s is the dog thinks they are completely starving to death. So Storm searches out trash cans every day. I put them on up people’s desks when I see they are gone for the day but during the day, people just forget. I might have to reconsider bringing the buds in. First the box of truffles (that was a scare) a few months ago and now this. Who knows what else he is getting or could get. Sucks though – they have been coming in to work for 9 years (Angelus) and 7.5 years (Storm) with no incident.

Anyway, the vet said it’s a good thing we got those peach pits out as they will clog up a dog’s system and then surgery is required as they are not small enough for them to “pass”.  Hopefully those 3 were all he ate :( I guess we will see over the next few days…but I saw this as the silver lining or upside on the morning as we wouldn’t have known about the peach pits.

By the time we got home, I was tired. I didn’t get to bed till late the night before and woke up early. Then throw in some upset and stress…pretty much took my energy for the day. So I bagged my plan of a hike and did a couple things around the house and watched an episode of Bones (David Boreanz can always cheer me up!) Did go out to our favorite sushi place for dinner. Was very yummy as always. And a very nice family wanted to sit at the bar so we offered to move down a seat so they could squeeze in. The father sat closest to us and was very funny to chat with. He loved his sushi :) The best part though was when we left it was snowing! I was very excited :)  Went home, took the dogs out in the snow fall for a bit, then turned the fireplace on (LOVE gas fireplaces) and read more of “The Lost Symbol” and went to bed.

Sunday morning means football!!! Got up early and took the buds out into the snow. They both had a great time! The snow left a thin cover over everything – certainly not a ton. But enough for the buds to enjoy it! Along with the 22 degree air. They were finally not “baking hot”. And Mom had 3 layers of North Face on :)

Then it was home and football time!!! I made a couple changes to my team this past week with BYEs and injuries happening. Dropped Jamal Lewis (CLE sucks – period) and picked up Glen Coffee (RB-SF). According to the fantasy “experts” this was the genius move of the week. Eh – I guess so. He got me 26 points which is OK but not great for an RB. I should have picked up Mendenhall. That was just dumb on my part not to. At the end of the day, I do not have any RBs that just break out and go crazy and rack up points. Plus as soon as the fantasy columns praised Coffee as the best thing this week, I knew he wouldn’t be. Somehow it always works that way.

But I did drop my non-performing WR Berrian and picked up the SF Defense. My PIT defense hasn’t been playing well at all this year (Troy Polamalu is out and apparently they can’t get anything done without him) and SF was at home playing STL. The fantasy “experts” ranked other available defenses higher for the week but I went with my gut here and it paid off – I got 85 points from them!! YAY! If I would have been able to pull out a win this week, it would have been due solely to these guys. I would have worn my Montana jersey to work tomorrow! But nope, no jersey-wearing. But they kicked ass :)

My gut betrayed me with my WR move though. I benched Hines Ward as he was up against the SD D (what D?) plus he hasn’t done much this year. I also had other WR’s up against more “pourous” defenses. Uhh…yeah. Hines got 38 points for my bench compared to 8 for Colston, 10 for Walter and 17 for Cotchery. I. Am. Idgit.

My top-rated QB? 20 points.  :( Sigh…oh well. I finished the night with 213 points. Not bad but not great. My FF opponent this week finished with 126 points but has his QB, a WR and DEF still to play tomorrow in MNF (writing this Sun night but will post/update after MNF.) So I am pretty much sunk this week. I would have had a 50/50 shot but the PIT Defense that I rightfully benched couldn’t stop Antonio Gates (my opponent’s TE) from scoring a trillion points (and SD STILL lost?!?! Ugh) He got 61 points from his Tight End. Ridiculous. Serves me right for barely winning with (my TE) Dallas Clark in MNF 2 weeks ago I guess.

Mostly sad in my losing because in looking at my team – they kinda suck. No one is a solid points getter. Don’t get me wrong – they are all good real life football players but fantasy-wise they are inconsistent.  So week to week – they are undependable. And now I am playing the much harder/well built FF teams in our league. So I am anticipating losing at least the next 2 weeks as well :( Brees is on a BYE next week (along with Colston) so I have to add waiver wire fill-ins. I haven’t even looked beyond that yet.

So…I was highly stressed about my Stormy, didn’t buy the purse or shoes I was going to get (was debating which), am sad about my fantasy football team BUT very happy the Niners won so handily! :) And I survived one more week in Survivor with my HOU pick (but everyone else survived too!) My weekly picks…ummm…we don’t need to talk about that…I had 10 correct picks (along with 4 other people.) But the winner had 11 so 10 just means 2nd place loser.

Oh well…on to week 5…at least the Gators will be playing (LSU!) on Saturday. I sure hope Tebow is cleared (and healthy!) to play by Saturday….