Somehow between all the viruses, bumps and bruises, worry over things I don't control and a general malaize, my mind and body have just gotten totally out of control. Instead of the Old Biddy Loose on the Town, I've been more Old Biddy Slouched in a Chair. And what kind of fun was that? None!
The ADMC has allowed me to stretch in other directions, much the same way that Single Volunteers did during it's lifetime. Getting out of a fixed routine, meeting new people and finding new interests is what keeps us moving forward. I've gotten more interested in my new camera and going out taking photos. I've taken on a new love of bread baking by experimenting with whole grains. I've learned to ask questions about the food I eat and in the meanwhile have learned a lot about where it comes from, how it's processed and how it reaches my kitchen. I've learned a lot about writing and telling a story. All of which has been fun and, frankly, just the beginning steps to learning even more.
This year I've challenged myself to learn to cook at home in a more healthy manner and to try to stop eating all of the junk I tend to eat when I'm out to a restaurant. Loosing some of the weight I gained last year is a big priority as is getting more exercise. However, I'm tempering that with a need to continue to hone my bread baking skills. Look out friends and family - there will be bread coming your way this year! AND, let's not forget my lonely pizza oven sitting in the back yard awaiting it's destiny. Mmmmm....pizza! Hopefully whole grained and less calorie-laden versions.
Of course, there is the typical Old Biddy stuff to look forward to. Theater, concerts, out with the other biddies, etc. We're already contemplating the summer series at Porthouse and a few shows at the newly relocated Actor's Summit at Greystone. Still a performace to see at Kent State Theater and then the University of Akron Jazz concerts begining in March. Also, let's hope that the City reprizes the Blues at Lockbottom this summer, it got off to a terrific start last year.
So, it should be a busy year full of fun new things and a lot of familiar events. Let's get rolling!
CHICKEN IN A POT
|Simple ingredients come together sweetly|
This is simple, slightly sweet and easy. I used a bone-in chicken breast (skinless) because these are generally tastier but I suppose you could go boneless. The entire meal (including peas) weighs in around 550 calories, is low in total fat and has an abundance of Vitamin A.
MAPLE AND BROWN SUGAR SWEET POTATO AND CHICKEN IN A SLOW COOKER
|Add potato, syrup, sugar and thyme in cooker|
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/3 cup chicken broth
Put the sweet potato, maple syrup, brown sugar and leaves from 1 thyme sprig in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the chicken breast on top, season with salt and pepper and remaining thyme. Pour in the chicken broth, cover the cooker and cook on low for 8-9 hours.
|Add the chicken to the pot|
Put a small skillet on high heat and strain the juice from the slow cooker into the skillet. Boil on high to reduce by half. Add a pat of butter to the sauce to finish. Spoon over the chicken and potato on the plate.
This was a really good meal, but certainly didn't need to cook the 10 hours I ended up leaving it. But even though I was late coming home, that is part of the charm of the slow cooker, it doesn't overcook too quickly.