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(Ok, almost – it’s nearly soccer season and weekly soup again. But it’s also been cold, and I like soup when it’s cold.)

So if you’ve been following along at home, you’ll know that I like to stretch the weekly chicken into as many meals as I can. If I’m really on top of things, I can make it through two an a half, the half being chicken stock that I’ll use for a meal at the end of the week.* I use Michael Ruhlman’s slow method to make the stock¬† over the course of a slow day when it can sit on the stove the full eight or nine hours,** and then if not using immediately (immediately being relative – I like it to sit in the fridge a day so I can separate the fat off the top), I freeze it.

So I’ve managed to make a variety of soups with the stock, including a lemon basil chicken and rice rice soup that rocks, some gumbo that I riffed into creation (the original recipe called for turkey stock, so I had to play around to get the flavors right) and a couple of Martha’s¬† variations of chicken soup. There’s also this really delicious artichoke and sausage soup that someone gave me the recipe for, and I wanted to do that the other night, but as it turned out, I didn’t have a bunch of the stuff that goes in it. But after rifling through the cabinets, I found some other stuff, and then this happened, and at least five people were really satisfied with the results \o/

Sausage And Okra Stewfeeds six, maybe more

2qt chicken stock
1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes
1 1/2 Tbs basil
1Tbs oregano
1 Tbs hot pepper flakes
1 tsp onion powder
1 large onion, diced
3 Tbs garlic, minced
2 14-oz cans okra, drained
2 c parboiled rice
1# italian sausage, hot or medium
salt to taste
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Ok, so turns out I really don’t care much for beef. I know, right? When did that happen? I think it actually happened about three years ago, but I haven’t really been keeping terribly good track, so there it is, I’m going to say that I put two and two together sometime fairly recently.* And so, therefore, our family dinner go-tos are generally Something Made With Chicken.** Which almost always means a roast chicken, followed the next day by chicken croquettes made with the leftover meat, and then a soup a few days later based on chicken stock from boiling the bones down.***

And then there’s ground chicken. It’s on sale at the grocery pretty regularly, with a lot of buy-one-get-one, and it’s not beef (which leaves me nonplussed), and it’s not turkey (which I really don’t like in very much – I think I just don’t like the smell of it cooking), so I’ve learned to do delicious things with it.**** This week I figured out how to make some amazing asian meatballs. Here’s the scoop:

Asian Chicken Meatballsserves four (three if one is a hungry teenager)

1 1# package of ground chicken (not ground chicken breast- that stuff’s too dry for meatballs)
4 large scallions, cut into thin rounds
4 finely diced cloves of garlic
3 Tbsp finely diced ginger
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 sprinkle of salt

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Yoga marches on, and we’ve made it to the second week of the Yoga Journal 21-Day Challenge. This a super nice change-up from the dvds that we’ve been using to practice with the last few months – new poses, and new instructors, and so far, I’m liking it really well.

There have been a few sessions so far with Jason Crandell as the instructor (here’s a rather good one), and I’ve already decided that were he based anywhere near where we live, that I would go out of my way to attend his classes. It’s not just that his offered practices include a lot of poses that I really like (I do love me some triangle pose), but the manner in which the practice is presented is pretty great –

Listen: I’m always a little worried about injuring myself. See, I’m a bit of a klutz. Not like bobbling, face-planting, walk into trees kind of klutz, but the kind who can be imprecise of movement when not paying attention. Also, I multi-task. This is to say, I generally have at least one mystery bruise, and practicing yoga really calls on all my concentration. So, being asked to stretch and grow and push is nice, but I have to be super careful every time not to try to push too far, or lose concentration while stretching and growing – otherwise my lower back goes and makes that sick wet popping sound, and then by morning I’m hunched (again*).

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Ok, so the following commercial just about sums up what I fear about spiders every time I have to deal with one.

I once drove a car that had spiders living in the vents. Every time I turned on the defrost, they absailed out onto the dash. When I moved out of Florida three seasons later and the cold of Ohio took care of that problem, I was never more relieved.

That is all.

You may or may not be asking where the heck this blog went*. So what up, Apple Moskowitz, where have you been? We’ve seen nothing but a kiwi video since freaking Hanukkah, Ms. Maam. For reals, what the hey?

Well! It’s been a bit of a Thing around here at Chez Moskowitz, what with all the holiday stuff.** If you’ve been following along, you know that the family comes in from far flung parts of the States for Thanksgiving, and then things really don’t slow down until about now. I really like now – there’s way less stress, and I can discover cool stuff like if you add a can of mushrooms, a little paprika and a the juice of half a lime to some leftover buttered rice and then warm it in a skillet, it’s a pretty osm side dish for dinner. It’s the little things, friends. It’s the little things.

Also, I’ve taken over handling the Poets Asylum blog – whee! Go check it out – mostly it’s stuff that relates to the Sunday night reading here in Worcester, MA, but there’s also some fun stuff about poultry poetry events out and around the region, info on deadlines and opportunities for poets, breaking poetry news,*** and the occasional cartoon. Good Tiems.

Also I’ve been doing yoga with Dearest Will. Ikr? As my brother said when I told him, “Wow… I guess the floor did feel a little bit colder…” But in seriousness, it’s been really lovely to have a partner for yoga, and to get bendy and bondy at the same time. Speaking of bendy, did you know that Yoga Journal just started another 21 Day Challenge? I kinda loved it last year – they put up different little videos every day so you can try things out.

This year they have two levels of videos – stuff for newbies and then an intermediate level set. This? Is absolutely wonderful on a number of levels. First and foremost, because due to some chronic pain issues (mean old sciatica. Mean old S/I joint), in spite of daily practice, I’m sort of always at the beginner level. Also, Will is just beginning, and hopping in at the deep end really sucks. This year they also have a tracking thing, where you can tick off what you’ve done, and see it laid out for you. I love me some ticky boxes, I do.

Speaking of ticky boxes… Other stuff I adore right now includes It’s a website where you sign up and write every day, and it counts you off to 750 words (see what they did there?) It’s totally private, which means that you can write any little thing at all without fear of broadcast (or accidental broadcast). Also, and this is my favorite bit, you earn badges for your writing – there’s a badge for starting (it’s an egg), there’s a badge for writing 30 days in a row, there’s a badge for writing without distractions (a hamster on a wheel – adorbz), a badge for your typing speed, a badge for participating in their monthly challenge to write every day… You get the picture. Totally fun.

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January 2012