Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Recipe Tuesday

I thought for a long time about what I'd make for dinner tonight. It needs to be quick and easy since my husband and I will be running out for Bible Study shortly after dinner. And it needs to be good since I don't feel like having the "yes, you will eat your dinner" discussion with my kids tonight.

I began digging through my recipe drawer and stumbled across one that made me smile with fond childhood memories. My mom used to make this particular dinner a lot and I loved it. It was always my choice for my birthday dinner. Thankfully my kids love it too!

Chicken and Rice

2 Chicken breasts cut into strips
1 Cup water
1 Chicken bouillon cube
1 Can Cream of Mushroom
1 Cup minute rice
1 Can sliced, drained water chestnuts

In an electric skillet, brown chicken using some olive oil. Add the water, bouillon and cream of mushroom. Bring to a low boil. Stir in the rice and water chestnuts. Turn off heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

The best thing about this recipe is that it can easily be altered. My kids love the rice so I always add more. The trick is to add the rice, water, cream of mushroom and bouillon in equal proportions (i.e. 2 cups water, 2 bouillon cubes, 2 cans cream of mushroom and 2 cups rice).


Monday, November 15, 2010

Short Story

My writing has been a struggle for the past two months. A struggle to find time and a struggle to get words on the page. To be perfectly honest, I have been feeling somewhat defeated in my writing endeavor. The writing blogs I've read sound very together and informed, whereas I feel completely lost and floundering. The temptation is strong to set my story aside once again and focus on all the other things in life that demand my attention.

However, I am very pleased to say that I didn't do that. Instead I deviated slightly from my original plan and wrote a short story for a writing competition. The deadline is December 1 with a maximum word count of 1500.

Today I was finally able to sit and chip away at my word count to bring my manuscript down to a very close 1493. I copied and pasted, paid my twenty bucks and hit submit. So my story, that really materialized out of nowhere, is out there somewhere, being judged alongside who knows how many others. That thought alone is a bit intimidating. Do I have a chance if there are only 100 other submissions? What if there are more like 1,000 submission? My mind refuses to even think that there could be more. Let's just say that the competition is steep.

I don't hold any lofty goals of placing first. For me, the goal was to write, finish and submit...and I did that. Now it's up to the judges, whomever they may be. As a contestant and a writer I will be sitting here with my fingers crossed, praying that my story and my writing stand out.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Super Heros

My five year old son is obsessed with Super Heros, mainly Iron Man. The Super Hero craze began when Cody was only four. Spiderman grabbed his attention and he began to shoot imaginary webs out of the palm of his hands whenever we would wrestle with him. Next came Batman, which I immediately vetoed after watching five minutes of the seven-years or older cartoon (it definitely wasn't the Batman I remember watching). And now, Iron Man is the main topic when you talk to my son. It seems so silly, but when you think about it, who doesn't love a good hero!

Cody began asking us if he could be Iron Man for Halloween in September when he saw the very cool red and gold costume at Costco. But since I had no idea who Iron Man was, I said "we'll see, I need to watch the movie first". I was really thinking "I have no desire to sit through a movie about a man in an iron suit" -- I mean, come on! That's not even remotely believable. As always, time got away from me and I never got around to seeing the movie so Cody ended up being Woody (from Toy Story).

Just two days ago, my husband and I finally sat down to watch Iron Man and I have to admit, it was a very good/entertaining movie. Even though I have relatively no concept of computer technology and weapon production, I was actually able to follow the movie and what's more, I really enjoyed it. For me it was a flash back to many years ago when old friends and I would take turns watching shoot 'em up movies and chick flicks. I was so hooked in fact that the next night, we rented Iron Man 2 (not as good, in my opinion but still fun to watch).

As a special privilege, I allowed Cody to watch five minutes of the movie. The part where he is being robotically stitched into his suit, his helmet somehow surrounds his head and the front shield dramatically shuts over his face. He does whatever he does to fly and off he goes, shooting through the night sky like a bullet. I can't even tell you how fun it was to watch his face as he watched his favorite Super Hero living up to the hype. "Whoa!" "How awesome!" "I'm gonna be Iron Man when I grow up!" Attempting to explain that Iron Man is pretend, did absolutely no good. "I know mom, but I'm still gonna be Iron Man!"

Okay, Cody, you can be a Super Hero!