Weekend Updates 2009-08-31

I took Thursday and Friday of last week off and created for myself a four day weekend. That was fun. I got some organizing projects done around the house, and played around a bit with a photography project. The end result of the photography project wasn’t great – but I know what I need to do to fix it, so I just need to reshoot, and I had a lot of fun playing with it, so I’m happy about what I learned.

The household organizing – I’m pretty happy about that too. It was mainly little stuff, but stuff that makes a difference. We had seven or eight redundant flower vases that we purged, keeping our favorites. I rearranged appliances in the kitchen, and threw out some liquor that has been hanging around my kitchen since I was a renter and not a home owner – one bottle that I know a friend brought to a party I threw in February of 1999. (Yikes!) Not big drinkers we. You can look into the site https://certifiedfixed.com/service-areas/sarasota-appliance-repair-fl/ – if you are looking for quality and affordable appliances repair services.

I bought some better storage containers for winter apparel and cleaned out the dining room closet so we can get at our winter stuff more easily. The cats are now fascinated by the free space in the closet. They keep wandering in there to see I’m not sure what. Maybe they’re just astonished that we have a space in the house that’s actually organized. I know I am.

I also wrangled Drusilla and Huckleberry to the vet on separate days for long overdue checkups and shots. Everyone is apparently healthy, if a bit grumpy about the wrangling process.

For a friend’s birthday, we went to see Julie & Julia, which I loved. Don’t go to that movie hungry – you’ll be ravenous when you leave the theater. And possibly a bit in love with Julia Child, or at least Meryl Streep. I particularly enjoyed the segments about blogger Julie Powell, the parts of the movie that were critically panned by apparently everyone. But then, I’ve been blogging since the 90s, so I thought her story was hilarious, where others thought she was self-involved.

The eye candy of mid-century modern furniture in both Julia and Julie’s abodes is worth going, and I’m strongly considering wearing my strand of faux pearls from now on. At least I’ll know by people’s reactions who actually still reads my blog.

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Grilled Lemony Chicken with Asparagus

Source: Cookstr

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, about 7 ounces each
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence or ¼ teaspoon each dried thyme, basil, rosemary, and sage

PREP: Crush garlic under a knife and peel. Lightly pound chicken breasts to even thickness with meat pounder or heel of your hand. Snap off woody ends of asparagus.
1. Mix lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, mustard, herbes de Provence, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper in 1-quart zipper-seal plastic bag. Add chicken, close bag, and refrigerate while preparing barbecue grill, but no longer than 30 minutes or so. In another plastic bag, toss asparagus with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.
2. Build a hot fire in a barbecue grill (or preheat gas grill on high). Spread coals in a bank, with a double thickness of coals on one side of grill and a single thickness on the other. (On a gas grill, keep one burner on high and the other on low.) Lightly oil grill grate. Grill chicken over the hot, thick bank of coals (high burner), until the underside is seared with brown grid marks, about 2 minutes. Turn and repeat on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Move chicken to the cooler, thin bank of coals (low burner). Grill until chicken feels firm when pressed in the center, about 10 minutes.
3. After chicken has grilled for 5 minutes, arrange asparagus over hot coals (high burner), with spears perpendicular to grid so they don’t fall through. Grill, rolling asparagus occasionally on grid to turn and cook evenly on all sides, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes depending on thickness of asparagus. Use a metal spatula to transfer asparagus to platter. Season asparagus with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Transfer chicken to platter and serve.
Simple Tip for Grilled Lemony Chicken with Asparagus
Marinating is a good flavor booster, but too much of a good thing can be bad. A marinade will only penetrate 1/8 inch or less into food, no matter how long you let the food soak. When protein foods like meat, poultry, or seafood come into contact with the acidic ingredient in a marinade (be it lemon juice, wine, or vinegar), the protein softens, giving the food a mushy texture. Most foods need only a short soak–a half hour usually is plenty.

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