Sunday, March 1, 2015

March Menu

1.  Schlotzsky's
2.  Baked Fish, Carrots/Thyme, Corn or Cabbage
3.  Chicken-Rice Bake
4.  Beef and Barley Soup
5.  Leftovers
6.  Out
7.  Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
8.  Schlotzsky's
9.  Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Veggie tray
10. Chicken and Veg
11. Cutlets, GMP, GB
12. Leftovers
13. Out
14. Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
15. Schlotzsky's 
16.  Shrimp Jambalaya 
17. KFC
18. Steak, GMP, GB
19. Leftovers
20. Out
21. Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
22. Schlotzsky's 
23.  Cod Chowder
24. Chicken Stew
25. Spaghetti and Meat-sauce 
26. Leftovers
27. Out
28. Bacon Sandwiches, Oven Fries
29. Schlotzsky's 
30. Fried Shrimp
31. Chinese Take Out

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Meditation

Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray, where nature heals and gives strength to body and soul alike. 

John Muir

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Worship of Nature by John Greenleaf Whittier

The harp at Nature's advent strung
   Has never ceased to play;
The song the stars of morning sung
   Has never died away. 

And prayer is made, and praise is given,
   By all things near and far,
The ocean looketh up to heaven,
   And mirrors every star. 

Its waves are kneeling on the strand,
   As kneels the human knee,
Their white locks bowing to the sand,
   The priesthood of the sea!

They pour their glittering treasures forth,
   Their gifts of pearl they bring,
And all the listening hills of earth
   Take up the song they sing.

The green earth sends its incense up
   From many a mountain shrine;
From folded leaf and dewy  cup
   She pours her sacred wine. 

The mists above the morning rills
   Rise white as wings of prayer;
The altar-curtains of the hills
   Are sunset's purple air. 

The winds of praise are loud
   Or low with sobs of pain,--
The thunder-organ of the cloud,
   The dropping tears of rain. 

With drooping heads and branches crossed
   The twilight forest grieves,
Or speaks with tongues of Pentecost
   From all its sunlit leaves. 

The blue sky is the temple's arch,
     It's transept earth and air. 
The music of its starry march 
   The chorus of a prayer. 

So Nature keeps the reverent frame
   With which her years began,
And all her signs and voices shame
   The prayer less heart of man. 

Goals for Next Week

     Daily Bible Reading

     Sit and Be Fit
     Healthy Lunch and Snack

     Block #12

     Wartime Britain by Juliette Gardiner
     Eisenhower in War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith (I am reading this with the GoodReads History Group.)
     The Emerald Planet by David Beerling
     Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

     Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
     Tuna salad
     Oven BBQ Chicken, Beans, Cole Slaw
     Applesauce Raisin Spice Cake

     Installation of irrigation system

     50th Class Reunion planning meeting
     Houston Symphony

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Slow Cooker Beef Burgundy

Slow Cooker Beef Burgundy

1 (5 pound) boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 ounces bacon (about 4 slices), minced
3 onions, minced
1 carrot, peeled and minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
2 1/2 cups Pinot Noir
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus extra as needed
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 bay leaves
2 cups frozen pearl onions
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved if small or quartered if large

1. Dry beef with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat, brown meat (half at a time) well on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. 

2. Cook bacon in skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir in onions, carrot, tomato paste, garlic, and thyme and cook until onions are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in 1 1/4 cups wine, scraping up any brown bits and smoothing out any lumps; transfer to slow cooker. 

3. Stir broth, soy sauce, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beef is tender 9 to 11 hours on low to 5 to 7 hours on high. 

4. About 20 minutes before serving, bring frozen pearl onions, water, butter, and sugar to a boil in a 12 inch skillet.  Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook until frozen onions are fully thawed and tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Uncover, bring to a boil, and cook until all liquid evaporates. Stir in mushrooms and cook until vegetables are glazed, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. 

Add remaining 1 1/4 cups wine to skillet and simmer until it is reduced by half, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Let stew settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using a large spoon. Discard bay leaves. (Adjust stew consistency with additional hot broth as needed.)  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. 

February Meditation

Suddenly, from behind the rim of the moon, in long, slow-motion moments of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate, sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth...home.

Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 Astronaut, 1971

The Rainy Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall;
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary. 

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past;
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary. 

Be still, sad heart, and stop repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall, 
Some days must be dark and dreary.