Saturday, September 22, 2007

Party outcome, and dinner....

Well, so DH decided to get over to the FIL's early so that he could be back here in time for me to go to the party. And I did. Without DD. And suprisingly the niece wasn't a total pain in the neck this year. I was a bit boggled by the sheer number of gifts the kiddo got from her mommy & new daddy this year. There were several, at least. And I think I was the cheapest gift-giver there. *wry smile* Though, this time my niece actually said THANKS for the gift card. Evidently her mommy's taught her well that gift-cards are as good as money, and money is better than a well-thought-out gift any day. *rolling eyes* Ah well. She's not my child. She's not my child. She's not my child........ LOL (This is what I repeat to myself when she starts annoying me greatly. Keeps me sane, knowing that I don't have to take her home. Also keeps me from turning her over my knee for a good butt-swatting.)

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Some other little tidbits to update on.....

I'm still working Friday mornings at DD's school, in the library. That's going ok, though I wonder if I'm actually going to get to learn anything new. So far the librarian has me shelf-reading & straightening, and checking in books. I was checking books out & doing a little bit of "assistant" type work, in telling the kids whether they have books out currently and what may be overdue, but the librarian decided she prefers to do that job herself as it allows her to brush up on the kid's names. I can understand that, but at the same time I'm again relegated to doing typical page-type duties. That's not going to help me with future job opportunities.

As for work, another lib. assistant job will be opening up in Tech. here in the next couple of weeks. (In fact, I'd be suprised if it's not posted on the bullitin board on Monday when I go in.) One of the ladies there is retiring and this coming Thursday is her last day with us. Unfortunately, I suspect it will require "office experience" just as the acquisitions position did this summer. Which, I don't have. A couple of my coworkers were able to use the work computers to brush up their Word processor & Excel skills, though, and I've already told the hubby I'm going to do the same. I just need to actually go in early to do so. (Then, of course, I've got to compete with others who may be on the same computer, as there's only one available for my "extracurricular" use.)

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DH has DD out & about right now trying to find something she wants (and we approve of). In fact, he just called & it sounds like they're settling on a small MP3 player costing us $99. *shaking head* Fortunately the kiddo evidently doesn't like ear-buds in her ears, so that concern of mine is not a problem. She has some regular head-phones here at home she's going to use. He's also trying to find her a new winter coat & boots as she's grown so much since last winter that she no longer fits her older gear.

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DH also got the second car-port for his truck put up yesterday, and today got the yard mowed for likely the last time before we get snow. I was really thinking we'd get snow by tonight or tomorrow, but it's really clear right now. *shrug* Maybe I'll be wrong. But, I won't likely be more than a couple of days "off" with my prediction.

I've also come up with a couple of things I'd like to do in the back-yard next summer that I've already run past DH once. One of which is to put a small 2-stepped terraced planting bed on the south side of that shed I showed a couple of weeks back. The terraced planting bed would be between my lilac & the side of the shed. It'd get great sun during the day. On the other side of the shed, between shed & car-ports, I'd like to put a small 2-bin composting bin. Now that I've got the FIL persuaded to give it a try, DH is not so adamant against it. But it's also too late to start one this year.

Yesterday I did get out & get my chives cut down again, and got about another 2 cups of dried chives put away for the winter. I also got another pint-baggy full of rhubarb stocked into the freezer for winter goodies.

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As for dinner tonight, we were gifted with a couple dozen more duck-breasts by DH's boss. The hubby took half of them over to the FIL's and FIL smoked them. They taste a lot like smoked salmon. (Probably because the FIL used the same overpowering seasoning on the duck that he does on his salmon.) But, at least the duck doesn't have bones like the salmon does. *grin*

The other 10 or 12 breasts will be done up in a recipe I found on Allrecipes.com. It's "Bacon Wrapped Duck Breasts". Before I've even tried the recipe as intended, though, I'm changing it up a bit. *grin*

Bacon Wrapped Duck Breasts

"A simple way to prepare duck breasts without the "Gamey" taste. Serve with wild rice and fresh bread for a special meal."

1/4 c salt (the comments on this recipe directed to use a LOT less salt as it's way too salty otherwise)
8 c water (I only did 2 changes of water, instead of 3, as we don't mind slightly gamey meat.)
12 duck breast halves
12 slices bacon (instead of regular bacon, I'm using maple-smoked)
1 (16 oz) bottle Italian-style salad dressing (I'm using a Spiced Cranberry-Orange dressing instead.)

Mix together salt & water. Set aside 2/3 of the salt-water and pour the rest into a glass baking dish. Soak the duck in the salt water overnight to remove the gamey-taste. Change the salt-water twice, or until mostly clear.

The next morning, discard the salt water & pour salad dressing over the duck breasts and marinate for at least 8 hour (mine are going to be in for only a couple of hours, unfortunately, as I forgot about this step earlier in the day).

Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F. (175 deg. C). Wrap each breast half in one strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place the breasts in a 13x9x2" baking dish.

Bake for about 1 hour, or until bacon is crisp and duck is cooked through. (Another one of the comments on this recipe recommended turning each breast over about half-way through to thoroughly crisp up the bacon. It also said that if you place the breasts with the bacon-seam-side down, then you don't need toothpicks.)

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Again, lest anybody think that I'm actually a gourmet cook.... I'm not. My sister put a disclaimer on her blog like this a couple of weeks back, in response to some really yummy recipes she was posting, and I figure I'd better do the same. I didn't go to cooking school, just watched my parents cook & bake, and did a lot of learning on my own when I got married. I love to eat, but don't have the money to eat out, and enjoy cooking. So it's only reasonable that I learned to cook well. And, we don't eat this well all the time. Often (too often) we'll have boxed mac & cheese & hotdogs, or hamburger helper, or grilled cheese sandwich & soup from a can. But, when I have the time I like cooking nice dinners. It's one of my homey little pleasures on the weekends when I don't have to work. It also helps when we can afford good food. It's no fun to cook when one is making only mac & cheese & hotdogs. (Though I DO get kind of creative with the Hamburger Helper.) And there are times where I just don't feel any inclination to cook. Making (and sticking to) a weekly menu has helped greatly, and because I'm thinking in advance, I'm buying yummy food while it's on sale, so we're eatting pretty well and can reasonably afford to.

I just want y'all to know that there are definitely nights where I stand in front of the fridge & freezer and mentally stomp my foot & pout about not wanting hamburger helper again. *smile*

Have a Blessed Day!

2 comments:

Nick said...

Kati,

sounds like you have a full life! Even though I have no idea who those initials belong to!

LOL

Kids are great right? Except I have two nephews whom I adore, but who drive me bonkers every time one of them has a birthday...

They've become "civilized" now, and giving them money seems to be the best option, as they can buy more games for their x-bots...

*Rolls eyes*

Yeah I know, I know...When I was a kid, if I even got a cake I was lucky!

*Snicker*

And I would have come for dinner, except I detest duck...sorry!

LOL

See, I'm a veterinarian for one thing, and I know how ducks live!

Secondly, your hubby and I would have monopolized the entire evening talking "guy" stuff", so eventually you would have tossed us both out anyway!

LOL

Hope it went well though!

Take care and be well,

Nick

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

My but you have been busy!

And I don't care what you say, compared to me you're a gourmet cook.