*Quick* and Easy Lemongrass Chicken with Wild Rice

Depending on the chicken you bring home, this might be a *quick* recipe or maybe not. Since I usually buy whole chicken, this tends to take a little bit longer. It still takes me at least 15 minutes to skin and debone a chicken…so if you’re in a hurry you should get deskinned and deboned chicken from the market. I just find it a lot less expensive to do the skinning/deboning at home. I also like dark/white meat combination (you get the best of both worlds) so I ended up combining both white/dark meet in the final product by “chunking” them both into the rice mixture.

Most of these dishes that I have posted can go directly into vacuum-sealed pounches for lucnh, and/or would be great for hiking and camping.

Ingredients:

1  whole chicken, deboned, deskinned, quartered (or 8 pieces store-bought chicken)
2 stalks lemongrass, ground in a spice grinder
1 T soy sauce
2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1-1/2 cup of uncooked white/wild rice combination

Marinate chiken pieces with a tablespoon of olive oil, soy sauce and all the ground lemongrass for a couple of hours — longer if you have the time. In a large non-stick skillet, add 1 T olive oil and brown the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes or so over medium heat. Add in marinated chicken pieces until browned on both sides (another 10 minutes or so). Add in the rice/wild rice combination and brown for another 5 minutes. Then add 3 cups of water and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.

I usually serve this with some quick/easy steamed green beans.

Dear Stupid Dogs,

Auntie Peggy (yes, your Auntie Peggy, precious Little G!) sent ME a cute little thing to post. I find it most endearing. Perhaps you can learn a lesson or two…..

I have excluded all of the meaningless pictures. Afterall, they have nothing to do with ME. 
 
The Story of Adam & Eve’s Pets

Adam and Eve said, ‘Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us.’ 

And GOD said, I will create a companion for you that will be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves.’ 

And GOD created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve. 

And it was a good animal and GOD was pleased. 
 
And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.

And Adam said, ‘Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.’ 

And GOD said, ‘I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG.’

And DOG lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them. 

And they were comforted. 

And GOD was pleased. 

And DOG was content and wagged his tail. 

After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, ‘Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. DOG has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well.’ 

And GOD said, I will create for them a companion who will be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration.’ 

And GOD created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve. 

And CAT would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into CAT’s eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings. 

And Adam and Eve learned humility.  <My favorite part of the story!>

And they were greatly improved. 

And GOD was pleased.. 

And DOG was happy. 

And CAT . . .

…didn’t give a shit one way or the other.

Dear Diary,

I ate a green high-lighter yesterday. Beatrice knocked it off the table for me and told me to eat it. It tasted like what I thought bright green would taste like. But the little plastic pieces were upsetting my stomach a little, so I threw up in front of Mama L. when she came home from work. You should have seen the look on her face! At first she was trying to figure out what the green pieces were, and then she started getting really worried because they were hard and sharp pieces. She didn’t yell at me, but she didn’t need to. I felt really bad that she was all worried. I wish I could speak Humanese! I would have told her I was alright. She found some more pieces on the couch, along with all the white stuffing that Madeleine ripped out of the pillows. Then she kept muttering something about crates and how she wouldn’t have to worry about us so much if we were in the crates during the day. If a crate is anything like what I remember from a very long time ago when I was still really really young, that would be just awful! I wouldn’t be able to do anything but sleep all day. And what would I chew on?

The worst part was that it wasn’t even my fault. Beatrice is usually pushing things off the table and counters and telling us to eat them. Like Mama’s earphones. Well, the first set of Mama’s earphones. The second set was because Big Sis pulled them out of her bag.

The Mamas have been a little sad lately. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the outside world that’s making them sad. Mama M. said the whole planet is angry. We have had earthquakes and tsunamis and flooding and dead birds and dead fish and lots of weird stuff going on ever since this year started. We’ve also had a lot of human conflicts in places I’ve never heard of before…places like Egypt and Syria and Libya and Bahrain and Yemen. Mama L. said it’s the Middle East which has always been troublesome, and it’s a good thing we’re not over there. I think that’s one of them places where they eat dogs. Or maybe it’s Asia. I’ve never been there either, but I wouldn’t want to go anywhere where nobody loves dogs.

So we try our best to make the Mamas happy so that they keep us safe and warm and full. Madeleine and I both twirl for treats and wag our tails really hard and look cute. And I know the Mamas love us! The day before yesterday, when there was a little break in this boring weather, Mama M. came home early, and they both took us to the cemetary where there is a really big area of grass and we raced around and chased each other until we ran out of breath. It was great fun! We love the Mamas so much!

Oh! I almost forgot! Grandpaw Dwight came down for a visit and we got to see him over the weekend. We hadn’t seen Grandpaw D. in a really long time, so it was really good to see him. I was scared at first, but I didn’t pee!! The Mamas played Domino Smackdown with Grandpaw, I mean, Baron Rousemuncher, until the wee hours of the night. I was soo doggone tired trying to focus on the game, coz those pieces look like bones! That, and the Baron kept saying something about a “boneyard”.  After a while I gave up, and Madeleine and I put ourselves to bed coz we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer. Last we heard, Mama M. won the game. Which is a good thing, too, coz she’s lost all the other games they’ve played for a while.

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free

A couple of weeks ago, we decided to try some of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free stuff. I have always been really fond of bread, and even though I don’t suffer from wheat allergies, I can’t help but equate gluten to wheat. When it comes to bread, if I eat it once, I’m goingt to want it again. This is completely non-scientific, of course, but my reasoning is that it’s one of those vicious cycles where you can’t feed your cravings enough. Kind of like sugar. Except I love bread like a hundred times more than sugar.

I’m not much of a baker. My desire to bake pretty much died at the tender young age of 13 when I made my first cherry pie. It was so bad that, get this, Tammy the dog would not even eat it. Anyway, I decided to give it a go — after all, how bad can it be if it’s already pre-mixed. Plus, there are all those 4/5 stars with all the glowing reviews. I decided to make the bread first. I didn’t have any milk handy, but I did have some half-and-half. And almost exactly half of the amount of what the recipe called for. So, I diluted the half-and-half by half, and added water to make up the difference. Only much later did I find out that adding water to the half-and-half doesn’t exactly equal milk (something about the milk fat content.)

 

I took this picture before I pulled the bread out of the oven, as Michelle exclaimed “It’s not a soufflé, you know.”  Indeed, that loaf retained its full shape and size the whole week after. It was huge — twice as much bread as I was after.  It was a dense loaf — something I would have expected of a darker mix, like rye or pumpernickel. But it had a really nice flavor and a sweet aroma. While it was good, it was not great. I suppose that for a sandwich or toasts, it would have been ok. However, I was looking forward to that crusty sour-doughy french bread. Oh well.  I would probably make this again, if I could figure out how to cut it in half. (And now that I’ve purchased some active dry yeast, maybe we can try it again next weekend.)

We had much better luck with the pizza. Again, the crust was not really crusty as much as it was “noodly”, but it tasted really good! And with the right toppings, the pizza would be downright acceptable. Again, it was twice the amount that we needed, so we made two pizzas, two nights in a row! The first one was a combination (pictured below) and had sweet italian sausage that I rolled up into little balls, Louisiana hot links instead of pepperoni, chopped basil, shredded fresh mozzarella cheese. The second pizza was a caramelized onion, mushrooms (shitake, crimini, white, beech), goat cheese combo. Both were instant hits. On a scale of 1 to 10, we would rate this as an 8.5 and would definitely use Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust mix again. The best thing about the mixes (both bread and pizza) is that you don’t have to knead, punch, roll, or any of that — just mix and go.

Over the weekend, I bought a french loaf pan from Williams Sonoma. They carry a line of Goldtouch Nonstick bakeware that I really like a lot. It’s heavy duty, and as the name suggests, nonstick. Anyway, I’m going to look up recipes for GF French bread and see if I can make some. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it…we also picked up a copy of Tartine, the famous cookbook from the famous bakery in San Francisco, whose 3,000 loaves of bread sell out within an hour when the doors open in the afternoon. We’ll just have to see…..the book even has a recipe for Vietnamese sandwich bread, bánh mì. Hmmmm…maybe I can concoct a GF version of this.

Dear Journal,

Oh My Dog! What a boring weekend! It rained and drizzled and rained some more. All I wanted to do is sleep! I couldn’t even muster up the strength to play! I just wanted to lay around — I didn’t even want to go to the cemetary to run around like wild banshees!

Mama L. went to some place called Williams Sonoma today and brought home a couple of things that are completely useless to us. Only because we didn’t get any. She made some stuff that smelled so wonderful that it made us salivate! Apparently the Mamas are going to see Doctor Ross tomorrow so Mama L. busted out her new cookie sheet and made something called chocolate chip cookies. They smell so good! I wanted some really bad, but she wouldn’t give us any. Something about chocolate being toxic to dogs. Humph! Doctor Ross is pretty lucky!

Earlier today, Mama M. let the cat out of the bag and told the whole world that I have a little crush on Malbec, the Siberian Husky down the street. He is just the sweetest dog I have ever met. And so gentle too! Everytime he sees me, he lets out a little “wooooo wooooo woooooh”. Then I would climb the steps to give him a lick on the nose. His human, Maria, is pretty sweet too. She always gives me the best rubs behind my ears. I guess the Mamas were right when they say “like humans, like dogs”.

Speaking of cats, I must ask Beatrice The Cat what that really means, to “let the cat out of the bag”. I just want to know if she’s ever been in a bag. And, if being out of the bag is such a bad thing, why do I see so many cats out of them? Do all humans walk around with bags for cats? When will I ever get to see a cat in a bag? Is that the same thing as being on a leash?

The humans have some strange sayings. They compare working to being in a rat race. When was the last time a human has ever talked to a rat? I’ve never seen a rat in a race. Another one of those sayings I found completely revolting is “dog eat dog”. I would NEVER eat another dog! I mean, ewwww, that’s really gross. I like dogs; why would I ever want to eat them? Humans are really weird.

Well, I suppose the Mamas are ok when it comes to us. They try pretty hard to make sure we’re happy. So, to make sure that the Mamas are always kept on their toes, we throw them a few curve balls every now and then. For the most part, we really love them anyway.

Tonight I asked Mama L. to look up a few famous dogs songs. She found some that I really like. Apparently, there are tons of dog songs out there. Not that I had expected any less. Here are a few of my favorites:

Who Lets the Dogs Out:

Bow wow wow yippee yo yippee yay:

I want to meet Boo!!

And this is my favorite song for little Sis: You Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog!