Sunday, October 28, 2007

No news is good news, right????

Well, that's about all we've got on my uncle is the assumption that no news is good news. My dad last talked to his older nephew on Thursday and it sounded like things had taken a slight turn for the better for my uncle. Evidently the strokes hit the part of his brain that control his breathing, so he was completely unable to breath on his own, but his medical wishes were to not receive life-support. So the quandry was to keep him on the ventilator and prolong his life, or take him off and see him die quickly of suffication. (Well, honestly, it could be death by starvation, which would take a lot longer and be probably considerably more dreadful.) Evidently, they went ahead & unhooked the ventilator only to discover that there was some breathing ability and his brain's activity had resumed enough to promote SOME breathing capabilities, so they hooked him back up to the ventilator, at least for the time being. That's all the more my dad's passed on to me, and seemingly all the more he's learned from my cousin (who, according to my dad, is rather hit-or-miss about the information he passes on).

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I haven't been online as much lately. I just really don't feel like being on very much right now. Not that I'm taking a hiatus (obviously) but I've been more inclined to curl up with a book or a crochet project lately, than to jump on the computer in my spare moments. I'm missing y'all, but I feel like right now maybe it's my mind & body saying that I'm spending too much time on here and I need to even it out with some off-line activities. So if you don't see me around & commenting on your blogs every day, it's not because I'm peeved with anybody. I'm just active around the house here (and, of course, with work & my friday volunteering).

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Here are the couple of recipes I promised last time around, and one I didn't promise but I think will be well appreciated anyway. *grin*

Creamy White Chili (at Taste of Home recipe)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1-1/2 tsp garlic powder (I used 4 good sized cloves of garlic, crushed into the pot.)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 (15-1/2 oz) cans great northern beans, rinsed & drained
1 (14-1/2 oz) can chicken broth
2 (4 oz) cans chopped green chilies
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream (lite may be used)
1/2 c whipping cream (evap. skim milk may be substituted)

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion, and garlic in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Serve immediately. Yield: 7 servings.

Chicken Club Ring (derived from a Pampered Chef recipe)

3 to 4 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
4 slices bacon, crisped & crumbled
1 cup mayonaisse
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp finely minced onion (I usually use minced, dried onion.)
2 Tbsp parsley
1 c shredded cheese (a blend of cheddar, mozzarella and swiss is best, but use whatever you've got on hand)
2 rolls of refridgerator crescent rolls

Mix all ingredients except crescent rolls. Situate a round pizza tin or baking stone on a pedestal of some sort (to ease turning it) and cover with foil (leave foil ends loose so they may be folded up later, if needed). (I usually use my pizza tin & a oatmeal cannister as a pedestal.) Arrange crescent triangles with short ends overlapping around the edge of the pizza pan, and long tips dangling off the side. You only want about 1 inch of each crescent-dough-piece on the pan at the outter edge. Spoon about 2 Tbsp of chicken mixture onto each section of crescent and roll the long tips up over filling & tuck under the inside of the ring. Pull foil up around the outter edges to protect outter edges from cooking too quickly and place in 350 deg. F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Foil may be unfolded & tucked under pan for the last few minutes to allow outter edges of the chicken ring to brown slightly. Allow to cool a couple of minutes before serving.

These are actually better the next day, after the flavors have had a chance to blend. I always like the left-overs better than I do fresh out of the oven.

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

For crust:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (REAL butter, none of the fake stuff!)
1 box yellow cake mix
1 eggs

For filling:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (again, use the real stuff!)
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
2 eggs
1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Lightly grease a 9x13x2" baking pan. Melt butter. Empty cake mix into bowl. Stir melted butter and egg into the cake mix. Press mixture into pan. In a large bowl, mix softened cream cheese & other stick of butter (also soft). Then blend in eggs, extract, and finally the powdered sugar. Spread over top of crust in the same pan. Bake at 350 for 35 to 50 minutes or until golden brown on top. (The baking time is rather dependent on the humidity and such. I've had it actually take anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour. Sorry I cannot be more specific than this.) Allow cake to cool. Dust top with onfectioners sugar. (Cake should be still gooey on top when removed from the oven, do not overbake! This requires keeping a close eye on it after about the first 30 minutes in the oven.)

This is also very yummy using a spice cake mix for the crust and adding a 15 oz can of pumpkin and an extra egg to the filling mixture. You could, of course, also add some pumpkin pie spice. If you use pumpkin, though, be sure and leave out the almond extract!

Paula Deen also has a lot of variations she recommends (the pumpkin variation being the only other one I've tried).

Pinapple Gooey: 20 oz can of drained crushed pineapple and extra egg to the filling.

Lemon Gooey: lemon cake mix. 1/4 c lemon juice & zest of 2 lemons to the filling.

Carrot Cake Gooey: spice cake mix. 1 c chopped nuts and 1-1/2 c finely grated carrots to the filling.

Peanut butter Gooey: chocolate cake mix. 1 cup creamy peanut butter and extra egg to filling. Sprinkle top of batter with 1 cup chopped peanuts if desired.

Chocolate Chip Gooey: yellow or chocolate cake mix. Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped nuts on top of filling.

Banana Gooey: yellow cake mix. Add 2 mashed ripe bananas & 1 extra egg to filling.

Nutty Gooey: yellow cake mix. 1 cup chopped nuts to crust before pressing into pan. Filling as normal.

Chippy Gooey: 1 c chocolate chips, peanut butter chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, toffee bits or what-have-you to filling.

There you are. Some yummy recipes to enjoy.

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I got a suprise phone call from my youngest sister (K.) last night. She and her hubby (B.) have both found jobs. B. was offered a mechanicing position at the Uhaul place where he went to drop off the trailer. He's already grumpy about it because it doesn't pay more than $8/hour and he's "just" a mechanic. Nevermind that he doesn't have any kind of education past HS and they asked him if he wanted a job when he walked in the door. Completely unsolicited. *shaking head* Of course, it's just not good enough for him. *rolling eyes*

K. (my sis) has just obtained a position at Macy's department store (or whatever it is) and she starts with training on Tuesday. She'll be making $8.15 starting. (This fact also makes her husband grumpy because she's a simple sales-girl and she's making more than he is, as a mechanic, which he thinks should be bringing him more money.)

They still don't have an apartment lined up. Nor a day-care for the niece (little K.). And yet, guess what?!?!? They went and got a cat yesterday! *shaking head* She's staying in a pay-by-the-week hotel and she got a cat! *sigh* I guess my other sis (Shelli) gave K. hell for getting a pet before she's even got a home, much less a home that allows pets. I didn't see the point in chewing K. out when I know it'll make NO difference what-so-ever and will only make her more obstinate.

Of course, K. doesn't want Shelli and I to tell Dad because she's afraid Dad'll chew her out. Well..... DUH! Actually, Dad probably won't chew her out because he's scared half to death that if he pisses K. off she'll never contact him again and he'll miss up on little K. (the niece) growing up altogether. *shaking head* I hope K. herself grows up!!!!! As it is, I don't know who's a the biggest child in that family: B., K. or little K. (who at least has an EXCUSE for being immature!).

And, as for the fact that they still don't know who's going to watch little K. while they're both at work starting on Tuesday..... Shelli (the middle sis) is worried that they might leave K. alone in the hotel room all day long. I would sincerely hope that K. and B. are both smarter than that, but I'm not holding out too much hope at this point.

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Ya know, watching K. and B. struggle to half-assedly get a new life set up for themselves in a new place away from any friends or family, without jobs already lined up, no apartment (much less a house) or daycare waiting for them..... Reiterates in my mind the reasons WHY so many people didn't get out of New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. Despite the fact that they had a good idea they were probably going to be hit hard (and even those without pets to worry about), where were they going to go???? With what money???? What about jobs when they got there???? And daycare for their kids???? How about an already strained housing market (whether you're buying or renting)????? At least in NO, they had jobs, they had apartments, they had their kids in schools or daycares, they had friends & family around them........ Granted K. and B. moved voluntarily and placed themselves & little K. in this position by choice, but the issues K. and B. are dealing with new are probably precisely the issues that kept many people living in a town that had the major environmental-disasterish hazard of being below sea level. It's near impossible to just pick up and go, esp. when one is barely making enough to afford the gas $$ to leave, if one can even afford the vehical itself.

In the days after Katrina my dad made some stupid comments about how it was all their own fault for staying in this poorly designed city in the first place, those who were caught in NO by Katrina. I want to point out to him now that a lot of those people were likely hoping to weather the storm without much damage so they could at least continue their lives in a place they knew well with the support systems they already had in place (meager as they might have been). I think, given the choice between the two options, I would probably have stayed as well. Kinda taking "the devil you know over the devil you don't." (To use a phrase from one of my past history teachers.)

I know saying such a thing to my dad wouldn't make any impact, though. It'd be like pointing out to the anti-abortionist the hypocrisy of their past actions as they bring their own daughter in for an abortion for relief from an unwanted pregnancy. The only answer you get from such close-minded folks is "well MY situation is different!" And that's what (or along the lines of) my Dad would say if I pointed out that K. and B. are now in the same position he was suggesting folks from NO should have placed themselves in by leaving before Katrina hit.

Anyway...... Just a little something making me kinda grumbly, is all.

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I think that just about covers it for now.

Have a Blessed Day!

4 comments:

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I hope you feel better soon. Take some time for yourself and don't worry about us. We'll still be here when you get back online.

Tori_Z said...

I hope it really is a case of "no news is good news" with your uncle. Will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers either way.

Robin said...

Keeping you and yours in my thoughts. Good for you in getting off the computer for a while. Whim's right. We'll be here when you return!

Robin said...

Hey Kati, would you mind visiting my site and reading the 'Step It Up' post? I'd appreciate it. I haven't read your last post, but I'll be back!

Thanks!