Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Magic Elixer: Garlic Chicken Soup of Doom

Starting to get the annual requests for the Magic Head'n'Chest Elixer. Remember, you don't HAVE to be sick to mix up a batch...

Garlic Chicken Soup of Doom

2 Large Cans Campbells Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup*
1 lb Boneless Chicken Breasts, cubed to ½” to ¼”
1 8 oz. Can peas
1 8 oz. Can carrots
1 8 oz. Can sliced potatoes
1 8 oz Can Kidney Beans
2½ c. Chopped Garlic
6 tbsp Oregano
6 tbsp Basil
Chili Powder
Tabasco Sauce
Olive Oil

Coat the bottom of a large fry pan with olive oil. Add 3 tbsp of chopped garlic, 2 tbsp Oregano and Basil, and sauté over low heat until garlic shows just a hint of brown, stirring occasionally. Add chopped chicken breasts, stir vigorously until intermingled thoroughly with spices, then continue to stir occasionally until the chicken is cooked white all through.

Meanwhile, drain all vegetables and place in large crock pot (slow cooker) with Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup. Add water to within 2" of top of pot. Throw in a couple of handfuls of pasta to thicken, if desired. Add remaining garlic and spices at this time, put crock pot on high setting. 

When chicken is sautéed white all through, dump entire fry pan contents into crock pot, stirring in. Simmer for at least one hour.

Returning, take test sip. Add garlic until the soup begins to taste salty. Then add another tablespoon. Now, add chili powder and Tabasco GENTLY, a bit at a time, until when you take a test sip it goes down smoothly…but you feel a distinct heated bite at the back of your throat after imbibing. (Note, if you over do, just let the soup boil down a bit, add some more water and pasta, let that boil down – repeat as needed…and all will be well).

*substitute any preferred chicken stock, and if substituting fresh vegetables rather than canned, be sure to increase cook time for proper spice saturation.

The High Point 9mm Carbine

HiPoint 9mm Carbine as tested
First, I would at absolute most describe myself as a middling experienced shooter with a whole bunch left to learn - when I'm sitting around with folks like Tam, AD, Lawdog and sundry others I have long since figured out it's my job to sit quietly and ask questions from time to time when talking about guns. I tend to learn more that way.

So, I'm not reviewing the HiPoint from the point of view of an awe-inspiring iconic expert. I'm more at the "Joe Average" level and readily acknowledge that there are finer points that I'll miss and defer to those wiser than I.

That said, despite all the bad press HiPoint has gotten over the year, the 9mm Carbine is just silly fun (and I'm left wanting to get my hands on the .45 acp version). While my supply of ammunition was limited by budget and local availability, the shooting I did was consistently accurate and the firearm dead reliable.

At $250 +/- the HiPoint 9mm carbine is a good choice for a home defense firearm for low income households, varminting out to maybe a 100 yards, and with a bit of forethought filling the pot for those same income challenged households. Beyond that, it's a dandy rifle for steel (good solid hits to the gongs) and makes for a good afternoon on the range.

It may not be entirely sensible given that my current collection, but I want one for my gun safe.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fudge Walnut Bars

Fudge Walnut Bars
1 cup Butter
1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate pieces
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups sifted flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt

3 cups quick cooking rolled oats

Cream together 1 cup of butter and sugar in bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. 

Sift together flour, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Add with oats to creamed mixture; mix well. 

Combine chocolate pieces, condensed milk, 2 tablespoons butter, and ½ teaspoon of salt in a double boiler top.  Place over hot water; stir until melted. Remove from heat. Add walnuts and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. 

Spread 2/3 of dough in buttered 15 ½ x 10 ½ x 1 jelly roll pan. Cover with fudge filling. Dot with remaining dough, swirling over filling.

Bake in 350 F oven for 25 minutes or until done. Cool in pan on rack. Cut in 2 x 1 bars, makes 72.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Corn Meal Gems (Fanny Farmer - 1896)

Flavor: Yummy, a bit on the sweet side. Using Jiffy corn bread mix as a comparison, these are both sweeter in flavor and finer grained. You might say the corn is more of a hint than a hammer, flavor-wise.

Difficulty: Follow the directions. Yet again, easy and reasonably fast.

How close did I stick to the original?: Dead-on except for using the KitchenAid mixer. The latest sifter (more on the new goodness later).  Mild re-wording of the recipe for modern/beginning cooks.

Corn Meal Gems

1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white flour
3/4 cup Milk
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 Egg
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tbsp melted butter

Mix and sift dry ingredients; add milk gradually and egg well beaten, and melted butter; bake in hot (375F) oven in buttered gem pans for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Oh, Emily, No...

Generally I like Emily Millers writing and admire her amazing work in uncovering the fundamental nature of gun control in America and as practiced in D.C. 

However, any writer will have a bad day and go off reservation for a bit. In her article condemning the advocacy of Drag Queens over Disney Princesses as role models for young girls, Miller revealed significant blind spots regarding the history and nature of drag queens while strongly implying ignorance of the difference between drag and transgendered and a distaste for both. 

My response on Facebook somehow vanished, but not before it was saved elsewhere...and is shared below.
I am not sure *either* Drag Queens or Disney Princesses are who I want my nieces imprinting on at this late date - Amelia Earhart, yourself, Annie Oakley, Condoleeza Rice, Harriet Tubbs and others impress me far more as appropriate role models."

But if I am restricted to those two choices, I will choose Drag Queens every time. Far from sexually confused, every Drag Queen I have met to date has been quite clear on what they want in that arena - but that arena is essentially irrelevant to why I would choose Drag Queens."

Drag Queens and groups thereof have been at the cutting edge of LGBT Civil rights for over 50 years, have raised millions of dollars for AIDS Charities, and in the cases of organizations like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have worked countless hours to raise money, deliver food and services, sought to alleviate bigotry and hatred, give the community an occasional laugh and more.

Drag Queens and groups thereof have been at the cutting edge of LGBT Civil rights for over 50 years, have raised millions of dollars for AIDS Charities, and in the cases of organizations like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have worked countless hours to raise money, deliver food and services, sought to alleviate bigotry and hatred and given the community an occasional laugh.

Disney princesses often perpetuate the dangerous notion that women are helpless and safe targets in need of perpetual rescuing - not the lesson I ever want taught to my nieces. The level of victimhood as a lifestyle taught in the public schools is quite bad enough on its own without that kind of help.

I would much rather young girls learn to *think*, question both themselves and society, and have the strength to not only act on their beliefs but to continue questioning those beliefs even as they act.

And if they grow up strong thinkers, leaders, and writers with powerful ethics and beliefs in small government and individual rights - I'll call it a win and not fret too terribly about their attire.