Crab Artichoke Dip
1 8oz pkg. Cream Cheese
½ cup Mayonnaise
2 cloves Garlic, minced (or ¼ tsp. garlic powder)
¾ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated or shredded
1 14oz can Artichoke Hearts or bottoms, drained & chopped
1 cup Jack Cheese, grated
1 can Crabmeat, drained
1 T. Lemon Juice
1 T. butter, melted
1 sml. Onion, chopped
Paprika and parsley
Baguette (sour or French) slices &/or crackers
Mix all ingredients. Spread into an 8 inch baking dish or pie pan, sprinkle with paprika and bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with sliced baguette and crackers.
(You can use light or low fat versions of some ingredients, but why?! If you heat it too long or reheat it, it can separate a little and get a pool of butter on the top, it just needs to be melted and hot. You might be able to put it in one of those small crock pots instead baking, haven’t tried that.)
1. Cook rice (about 4 cups for a large batch) according to directions on package or in a rice cooker and set aside to cool or use the next day (great way to use left over rice but you need to make a lot more than usual in order to have enough left to work with).
2. Dice bacon (for the 4 cups raw rice, I used one pkg. OM center cut bacon) and cook slowly over med heat in a large skillet or wok, rendering as much fat as possible without letting it smoke or burn) When all the fat is rendered and bacon is brown, remove wok from heat and remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.
3. Meanwhile, dice white or yellow onion (1 large) and saute in the bacon fat over med. heat until soft and translucent.
4. Add cooked, cooled rice and turn up heat to med/high. Stirring frequently until all rice is warmed and begining to brown. Remove to a large bowl or push to sides of pan (if you have room). (At this point you can add diced cooked chicken, pork or beef – cook and stir until warmed through)
5. Turn down to med heat and add slightly beaten raw eggs (3-4 if you started with 4 cups of raw rice). Cook just until set, don’t over cook.
6. Add the rice and onion back to skillet and turn the heat back up to med/high, stirring frequently, add soy sauce to get desired taste and color.
7. Add the cooked bacon and stir to heat, then serve.
8. You can add frozen peas (they thaw without overcooking) at this point or diced green onion for color. Serve with extra soy sauce.
Hash Brown Casserole
1 (2lb) pkg. Frozen Southern Style Hash Browns (cubed)
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 (16oz) ctn. Sour Cream
1/4 – 1/3 cup Dry Onion Flakes
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
20-30 Ritz Crackers, crushed
1 stick Butter or Margarine, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Empty Hash Brown potatoes into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan (glass pyrex works well). In a med. size mixing bowl, combine soup, sour cream and onion flakes and pour over potatoes. Sprinkle with shredded cheese then crushed crackers, then drizzle with butter or margarine. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Serves 12
Endings are hard. My girlfriends from Texas have been here for a week or so and it’s coming to an end. One left early Thursday morning the other is leaving Sunday, but if I’m not careful I will start grieving the seperation before they even leave. ‘Stay in the moment, breath, relax, enjoy, and start letting go.’ That is very similar to birthing class instructions. ‘See the pain as constructive effort instead of a symptom of death’. Hmmm, I’m seeing more parallels here. Being a woman who has given birth, raised and now releasing two children is such a vivid picture of life in relationship. I began nurturing and caring for the child before I could even feel or see him/her. But I also had to start ‘letting go’ right away too. Birth is letting go. There is more safety and control while they are inside of me.
I’m starting to feel that graspy thing well up inside me. Rush to have one more deep conversation, one more delicious meal, one more song or movie to share, one more walk or drive along the coast, one more view of green hills and bright yellow wildflowers,…..just one more.
I am fighting a battle that is very familiar. I have friends coming to visit for about a week. I have less than a week to prepare with other real life responsibilities in between. And I desperately want to plant flowers in my back yard. It’s the end of winter, a nice sunny but very cool day and the empty spots are crying out to have colorful flowers added to them. Of course there are a few off season plants that need to be cut back but it’s the dirt in between that calls to me.
I could work all day and throw my back out doing that because the end result (even the process) will be beautiful.
Organizing and removing clutter also ‘adds’ beauty by taking out the ugly to show the decorating that has been done. Rearranging furniture helps too. But truthfully, cleaning doesn’t have enough impact to keep me going.
Ok, the more I think about it the more I want to get it done. But I think the issue is we expect the house to be neat, clean and uncluttered. It’s a negative if it isn’t done but it’s not that big of a positive if it is done unless you saw the ‘before’ picture.
With gardening, planting annual flowers (specifically) there is greater impact. You notice the beauty, it stands out against the back drop of ordinary. I long for it in such a strange way. I imagine the enjoyment and sense of accomplishment it brings. I see myself sitting at my patio table and the ‘ahhh’. There is a ‘rest’ that I can experience (even with the imperfection of some parts of the garden still needing attention).
Well, for me, the frustration of not having the house function weighs heavier than the glimpses of beauty so off I go to de-clutter, organize and clean. If I didn’t procrastinate or could manage my time better I could have done both, maybe if I push myself I can. Off I go….