Saturday, July 21, 2012

Easy Chicken and Vegetable Fettuccine with Garlic Bread!

Chicken and Vegetable Fettuccine With Garlic Bread

This is a very simple, and very delicious meal that can easily be edited to include any vegetable you happen to have in your kitchen, or can find at the farmer's market. But my recipe includes a delicious trifecta of fresh baby spinach, cremini mushrooms, and red bell pepper.


For Main Dish

Fettuccine (enough for four servings)
2 large chicken breasts (boneless and skinless/sliced into 1/4 in thick strips)
2 tbs Garlic Olive Oil OR Olive Oil and two minced cloves of garlic
1 large red bell pepper (cut into thin strips)
Three cups of baby spinach (it really cooks down)
4 good size cremini mushrooms (thinly sliced)

For Garlic Bread

1 large round loaf of artisan bread (soft)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1/4 cup of butter (softened)
Drizzle Garlic Olive Oil (optional)

1) Prepare the Garlic Bread by cutting the round loaf of bread in half, leaving two, large round pieces

2) Saute Minced Garlic until lightly browned

3) Combine softened butter with garlic and drizzle of garlic olive oil, spread on exposed sides of bread, set aside

4) Preheat Oven ton 450 degrees F

5) Start making the fettuccine 

6) Combine chicken strips with pepper, and lightly coat with flour

7) Put Garlic Bread in the center of the oven, it is done when the butter is all melted and the top is golden and the edges crispy brown

8) Heat Garlic Olive Oil in a large frying pan, when it is heated, add chicken. When the outside of the chicken is browned, add peppers and mushrooms

9) Remove fettuccine and drain when it is done, but do not rinse. Drizzle with olive oil until lightly coated, add cracked black pepper to taste and set aside

10) Add the baby spinach on top of the chicken and vegetables when chicken is thoroughly cooked, do not stir it in. Cover the pan and let the spinach wilt, gently. The vegetables are done when the spinach is wilted (2-3 mins)

11) Combine the chicken and vegetable mixture with the fettuccine, stir and serve with the Garlic bread.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Suggested Reading : Ready Player One

   You know, it has been a long time since I have immersed myself in an honest-to-god pager turner, but when I walked into the library yesterday afternoon and checked out Ernest Cline's debut novel Ready Player One, I had found myself just that. In just a few short hours, I finished the book, drawn ever onward by the concept, the characters, and the breadth of imagination that made this novel possible.


  The author, also the screenwriter of 2009's Fanboys, brings geekery to a whole new level, and the reader finds themselves completely drawn in to the futuristic world of Ready Player One. I saw, smelled, tasted, and felt everything experienced by the main character, a high school senior named Wade Watts, as he makes his way through the tangled plot both in the rapidly degenerating post- Energy Crisis North American Midwest of 2044, as well as through a computer-generated alternate reality far more expansive and realistic than people of today could dare to dream of. While society spends their days forgetting the turmoil and destitution of their day-to-day lives by "living" through the greatest video gaming system the world has ever seen, the ever expanding and ever evolving OASIS, the main characters learn the value of their real lives when they are suddenly faced with a race against time in which their very lives hang in the balance.

 Referencing everything 80's and everything in geek counterculture, from Billy Idol to Blade Runner, JRR Tolkien to Pac-Man, Godzilla to Monty Python, all the hidden cultural tidbits in Ready Player One are sure to delight and amuse anyone with a penchant for geekery or nostalgia from the neon decade. Although, I must add, anyone without a working knowledge of ANY of the above could still enjoy this story, and will learn a thing or two in the process.

For a synopsis of the novel, to order a copy, or learn more about the talented author, Ernest Cline, I implore you to visit the novel's website: . Or, you could just TAKE MY WORD for it, and check out a copy at the library nearest you. Trust me, it is worth the read!

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Introducing the Bunny Babies

What could be cuter than a litter of newborn baby bunnies? Perhaps only a litter of week-old baby bunnies! Since the babies were born, they have really started to come into their own personalities, and we have learned so much more than we ever knew about caring for bunny babies. 

Bumble, napping with me

Here, I am going to introduce to the world, one by one, the children of Poppy and Lancelot (Poppy the father, Lancelot the the previous blog entry for THAT story!). Be mindful that the names they are using now are nicknames subject to change once the gender is determined! We have no idea who the boys and who the girls are...but they are all cute!

#1: "Pinky"

Pinky is the bunny with the lightest colored fur, and is the one I am going to adopt. We call it Pinky for now, because when they were all born, Pinky was the only one who was pink from head to toe. Also, Pinky is the only one whose eyes still haven't opened.

Pinky, in motion

Pinky, still blind but so adorable

Pinky, in my hand

#2: "Tubby"

Tubby, christened as such by my sister, Ayla, is named for his chubby belly and big head. Tubby stands out as the largest of the kits, and is like a mini-teddy bear!


Look at those feet!

#3: Button

Button was the runt of the litter, and though he/she started out exponentially tinier than the others, Button is catching up. In fact, Button was the only kit so far to exhibit an actual hop. Granted, even button mainly crawls at this stage, but we were all so proud of the little hopper! My mom has adopted Button, and the name is permanent!

Wee Baby Button!

Look how tiny, compared to the great, big world!

#4: "Old Man Bunny"

This little bunny has the whiskers and droopy eyes of an old grandpa, and the lethargic attitude of an octogenarian. However, "Old Man Bunny" isn't the official nickname, just the placeholder name until my sister, Emma (Lancelot's mommy), comes up with one. I texted her today instructing her to do so, and once she does, Old Man Bunny's section will be edited.

All Old Man Bunny wants to do is sleep!

Fuzzy Lil Handful!

Old Man Bunny, relaxing on my hand


So Zen!

#5: "Bumble"

Bumble, the second largest, likes to roll and tumble. Clumsily adorable, this little clown stole my heart straight away!

Bumble Butt

One of THE BEST bunny portraits of the day, Bumble is looking so cuddly!

#6: "Wrinkles"

Named for the wrinkly skin around his neck, this bunny is quite the acrobat! Crawling at breakneck speed, over obstacles (his siblings, or my arm), Wrinkles is a sight to behold!

Wrinkles, mid-crawl
Wrinkles tends to droop a little :)
Resting, after allllll that exercise!
Well, I hope you all enjoyed the Bunny Debut!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Surprise Baby Bunnies

   When we were living in Hawaii, my husband and I adopted our second rabbit, Poppy. The lady who gave us the paperwork to fill out assured us that Poppy was a little girl, although, later on, we found this to be very, very wrong. Poppy was a male rabbit after all.

   This past Christmas, my sister, Emma, got a bunny. She was told that this bunny was a male as well. She named him Lancelot. And so, we felt, this past spring, as the bunnies were both boys, a play date couldn't hurt. They ran together in the chicken coop our mother's house, and everything seemed fine.

   And then, last Friday, my mother called me. "Poppy is a daddy." she told me, "And Lancelot is a girl." There were six gorgeous baby bunnies born that morning. No one had even suspected Lancelot was pregnant, apparently rabbits don't show many signs besides simply giving birth. It was like an episode of "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant", except, this situation would be better titled "I Didn't Know I Was a Woman, and BTW, I Got Pregnant".

  My mother is adopting the runt, a small dark bunny she calls Button (A safe, unisex name because we have yet to determine the genders). I am going to adopt one as well, and I am most definitely not delaying in fixing Poppy after this. Although babies are blessings. rabbits multiply like...well...rabbits, and a few can get out of control rather quickly.

  We have learned a lot about baby rabbits this past week. My mother has learned the correct amount of baby bunny formula to feed the runt so that he catches up with his siblings, but isn't overfed. We found out that mother rabbits tend to be rather aloof, and only feed the kittens once a day. And of course, we learned that determining the gender is not as clear cut as with human babies, and is of utmost importance. We have also learned, that when you Google for information on how to determine rabbit gender, you have to be prepared for your browser to be bombarded by adult materials and bizzare images.

   We learned that baby rabbits cannot open their eyes for ten days after birth, and they wiggle about in a cluster together, testing out their limbs although they are as of yet still blind. They have the sweetest little yawns, and already have little tiny teeth. Baby rabbits nurse while lying on their backs, and knead their mother's underbelly with their tiny little paws. I don't think I could manage being a proper mama bunny, these tiny creatures are too precious for me to imagine treating them with the proper amount of distance and ambiguity. Altogether, this past week has been an exciting learning experience, and I wish I could keep them all.

The babies, on their birthday

Tiny and wrinkled little beauty

Weighing. They all were born between 1 and 2 oz.

Bunny face

Babies and mama, not cuddling

Pile 'O' Bunnies

Seeet Button's Face

Growing a lttle bigger!

Feeding Button