Saturday, July 14, 2012

Herbed Chicken Over Rice

Today, I was a lazy lump. My husband wasn't feeling well and I took that excuse to lay around myself. I didn't even want to go to the grocery store for dinner ingredients, so I made dinner with what I had on hand.

Before I got started, I set up my garbage station. I got the idea from Rachael Ray, who always has a garbage bowl on her counter when she cooks. All trash goes into the bowl, saving trips to the trash can. I modified it by lining the bowl with a plastic grocery bag for easy clean-up. When meal prep is done, just pull up the handles on the bag and throw the whole thing away!

Now on to dinner. First, I diced onion, carrots, and celery.

I sprinkled them with salt, then sautéed the veggies over medium heat in some olive oil, until soft.

Meanwhile, I started some Jasmine rice. (I only made Jasmine rice because I was out of Uncle Ben's 5-minute rice.)

Once the onion, carrot and celery were soft (about 5 minutes), I added some chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces, and sprinkled with salt.

I turned the heat up to medium-high, and sautéed the chicken until no longer pink. It was't quite cooked all the way through. I sprinkled a heaping tablespoon of flour over the chicken and veggies, then stirred it in and cooked for a couple of minutes. 

I added a cup of chicken broth. (Actually I added a teaspoon of chicken base dissolved in a cup of hot water since I didn't have chicken broth). I also added some chopped fresh herbs: parsley, basil, thyme, oregano and basil. I grow all but the parsley in pots on my deck. 

I stirred it well, covered it, and turned the heat to low. I let it simmer a few minutes until the chicken was cooked through, and the sauce had thickened.

While the rice and chicken cooked, I cut up some plums. I added blueberries and had a great fruit salad. (I tend to be a purist about fruit. I generally prefer it uncooked, and without sauce or dressing.)

Once the rice was finished, I fluffed it with a fork. I added a little parsley for color. And because I had chopped too much for the chicken dish. I hate wasted effort!

To serve, I put the rice in a shallow pasta bowl and spooned the chicken mixture over the top.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Prayer For You

Our summer Bible study has been in the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah prayed before he did anything of importance. He waited for the Lord to tell him what to do and where to go.

All the talk about prayer has reminded me of something that I've been thinking about for a while now. I think about my prayers and the prayers of those around me. I think about what we ask God for.  

I've realized that I most often pray small prayers. I ask God for small things. I don't mean things like, "please help me find a parking space," (although I've certainly prayed that one). I mean things that really don't matter much in light of eternity. They seem really big at the time and in my own little world, but will be forgotten by this time next year.

I'm inspired by Paul's prayers. 

I pray...

….that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. Ephesians 1:17-19

….that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.  Philippians 1:9-11

….that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience.... Colossians 1:9b-11

….that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
….that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. Philemon 1:6
Isn't that good stuff?! If all followers of Christ sought the things in these verses, wouldn't our churches be healthier? We would be focused on the right things, with the right attitudes. We wouldn't have time (or the stomach) for petty games, finger-pointing, criticism, selfishness, and self-righteousness.
These are the prayers I want to pray for you, and want you to pray for me. If we spend our days with enlightened eyes, with abounding love, growing in knowledge and wisdom, fulfilling our calling, won't everything else just fall into its proper place? 
Hey believers, it's time for us to get our act together, to truly reflect Christ to a hopeless, deceived, and dying world. They are watching!
Lord, let me walk in a manner worthy of You, pleasing you in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of You; strengthened with all power, according to Your glorious might, to attain steadfastness and patience.
Let's pray these prayers for ourselves and others. Today and every day.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lady Peas!

We had a great, long weekend at the lake with family and friends. I wasn't really interested in creating a complicated dinner tonight when we got home.

Because my mom loves me, she brought me some lady peas when she came to the lake. I love lady peas!

Of course, I think I like all fresh peas. Except English peas. As far as I'm concerned, the only acceptable English peas come in a little silver can.

To jazz up the peas, and in honor of my Grandma Dees and Aunt Shirley, I cooked them with a little bacon for flavor.

I used a trick I learned from Melissa D'Arabian on the Food Network. I only use bacon occasionally in cooking, so I keep it in the freezer. When I need the equivalent of a slice or two, I cut a sliver off the end of the pack and return the rest to the freezer.

I also had a couple of yellow squash which had been languishing in the vegetable drawer since the beginning of the week. I sliced them, added chopped onions, and sautéed them with salt and lots of pepper. (The sliced onions were left from when we had hamburgers at the lake. Thanks again, Mom!)  When I cook squash this way, they vary between lightly sautéed and stewed, depending on my mood and attention span.

We also had Silver Queen corn, a contribution from our family friend, Harry, who presented the corn shucked and free of silks. Now, that is a true friend! (I'm sparing you yet another picture of corn on the cob. Seriously, we don't have corn at every meal. Evidently we just have it at every meal on this blog....)

Since the other dishes were all starch, I added a sliced tomato for some nutritional value. Starches/carbs are still my favorite food group, though!  I'm just glad I didn't figure out a way to repurpose the leftover baked potatoes I brought home.

Add the last of the pulled pork leftovers, and we had dinner. 

Starch special, anyone?