New Achievement Unlocked: Putting the Labor in Labor Day

Well, it’s Labor Day weekend. Everyone I know is having cook outs or hanging out at the waterfront somewhere.

Me? Nah, of course not.

This long weekend has been loooooooong and I’m exhausted.

It’s partially a good thing: I’ve been keeping busy and getting stuff done. Every single article of clothing in this house is clean, folded and put away (an achievement unto itself for me!), I’ve been cooking up a storm, cleaning, and my office area is completely organized (however short of a time that will last).

Go, me!

Mostly, I’ve just got this bee in my bonnet. It happens every now and again, where I don’t feel like I’m efficient enough, or that I’m really being the type of person I want to be. I sit down and make all kinds of lists, plans and outlines and it keeps me preoccupied for at least a couple of months.

What I’ve been up to:

1) We at the Geek household have eaten a LOT of chicken lately. Why? Because it’s so easy to make a billion chicken dishes at once!

Its something my Grandma used to do (though I think she mostly froze meals rather than eating chicken for a week straight…)! In a large stock pot, I boiled 2 medium-sized whole chickens until they’re, you know, cooked. Then you let it cool down because those chickens will melt the skin from your fingers! After that, you can separate all of the meat from the bones. You wind up with a huge bowl of shredded chicken. Bwahahahaha.

Don’t throw out the stock, instead throw in some sliced carrots, onion and celery and boil them off until they’re soft, then add egg noodles and some of the shredded chicken (I prefer to use the dark meat for this). You get a really flavorful, really hearty chicken noodle soup! I…got a little carried away and made way, way too much. But good news: It freezes well!

That’s meal number 1. I also made chicken fajitas, a double batch of creamy chicken enchiladas, chicken pot pie and some chicken salad. From those two chickens.

This week I’ve also made GM’s favorite open-faced sandwiches (Garlic bread + Roasted red peppers + turkey + spinach + provolone cheese), potato soup, and omelets with red bell peppers (from my very own plant! /proud!), spinach and asiago cheese.

All-in-all, a pretty successful culinary week. I have the next two weeks mapped out, too. I’ll try to take pictures and do the recipes for y’all. Next time I do the chicken thing, I’ll try to do pictures too.

2) I tried out a couple of things from Pinterest!

Keeping Up With The Joneses have a recipe for Banana Oatmeal muffins. The recipe looked so simple and so healthy that I just had to give it a try.

Well…with modifications. Some intentional, some not. The recipe calls for Old-Fashioned Oats, not quick oats, and in my “Lalalalala” approach to life, I did not bother to read the label before grinding up my oatmeal. Hey, at least I didn’t use those little packets, right? Anyway, I also wound up putting a bit more of the Greek yogurt than it called for, because it looked a little…off. Now, my super intentional modifications came in the form of making the batter.

I don’t know about any of you, but I’m a big fan of Alton Brown. He’s the science geek-god of cooking shows. Anyway, he teaches something on Good Eats called the Muffin Method. That’s what I did. I mushed up the bananas with the sugar (sugar is a wet ingredient, weirdly, and it helped the mushing.), added the egg and then mixed it with the ground-up oats and baking soda/powder.

They smelled delicious while they were baking, and they were awesome once they were done. The texture is really great, very hearty. Since I added that second banana and that extra yogurt, I had 12 big muffins and then 8 mini muffins (for Geekling snacking pleasure).

I know how freakishly excited I am about these muffins, but really, they are perfect for my family. Two of Geekling’s favorite foods are bananas and oatmeal, so it works out really well for him when he’s being picky. They’re a very good on-the-go food.  I also dig how healthy they are. They have whole grain, calcium, potassium, protein, the whole package.

I’m very much looking forward to playing around with the recipe. I know I’m going to try blueberries, maybe some dried fruit (like strawberries), some walnuts, chocolate chips. I especially think I’ll try using brown sugar instead of white sugar for a different flavor. Or maybe I’ll see how much mushed-up lemon is cup-wise and try this with pumpkin instead! The possibilities here are endless. And I’m a nerd, because I just typed about muffins for a ridiculous amount of time. Anyway, try the muffins!
The other thing I tried from Pinterest was one of those nifty little tips that you always run across. This one said that if you clean your dry erase board with Fabreeze, it will take the set-in marker off the board…you know, that faint red writing that stubbornly refuses to erase, just to irritate you? Yeah. That. So, I tried it. Pinterest lied! Not only did it NOT completely erase my dry erase board, it made it filmy and gross and I had to clean it before I could use it again. Lame!

3) Writing fanfiction.

Yep. I’m that lame. But, I am a firm believer that writing fanfiction can help you a whole bunch if you are interested in writing your own original fiction. It gives you practice at writing scenes, dialogue, plots, characterization. The whole deal. And it’s basically an instant feedback loop, because people are able to review it.

I’ve got two fanfictions going on currently: One that was meant to be a one-shot, but I kept getting comments about how I “just couldn’t leave it that way” so I am continuing it. It’ll be 9 chapters (very short ones, only about 400-500 words apiece) and is 1/3 of the way finished–but completely outlined. The other, however, I consider to be my main project. Its going to be one of those suuuuuuuper long fics. It’s only outlined through chapter 26, but 11 1500-2000+ word chapters are already posted.

They’re Harry Potter fanfiction (with Severus Snape and Hermione Granger, my OTP).

4) Homework. It refuses to do itself.

5) Hanging out with Mr. Geekling, who has been both completely adorable and completely horrible in turns. We’re in this terrible-twos hitting phase that will eventually be the death of me. x.x

6) Starting Doctor Who.

I have a fondness for British TV these days. It started with Sherlock, which may be the best TV show in history. Then I got into Merlin, but I’ve watched all that Netflix has to offer. Damn them. So, now I’m scouring the internet for Series 4 of Merlin (Thank you, Youtube!) and I’ve started watching Doctor Who. I asked around about a good place to start and the unanimous answer has been the 9th Doctor, which *is* on Netflix, so maybe I won’t damn them so hard.

So far, I really like it.

Until next time,

-AW

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