Sunday, July 17, 2005

Hug a Little Tighter and Music That Soothes the Soul.

Cancer stinks. It takes away those we love. My online friend, Brenda and her 3 young children know this all too well. On Saturday, their Daddy and husband Mark lost his battle with colorectal cancer and went home to be with the Lord. I'm so sad for Brenda and her children. They have such a long road ahead of them without him. He wasn't even 40 years old. Having lost my Dad to lung cancer just 5 months ago, I immediately took it upon myself to honor him and be in charge of monetary donations for Brenda. Anyone that says you can't have real friends via the computer is wrong. The message board where I met Brenda has proven that for the last two weeks. I have collected over $1000 for her family from the wonderful women who post there. Amazing. What a blessing it will be for them. They are not a rich family and have barely been getting by some months, so the best gift we could give them is peace of mind about basic necessities. Times like this make me hug my family a little tighter and remind me of all that I have right in front of me. It could all be gone tomorrow. Thank you, God, for my precious husband and son and for friends who give selflessly and from the heart.

Speaking of my precious husband, he came home yesterday and handed me a brand new IPOD shuffle! I had been wanting one for a while and am SO excited to have it! Of course I've been sitting at the computer transferring my favorite CDs and downloading some favorite songs. What a very cool thing to have. It holds 240 songs. I am going to a scrapbooking retreat in September, so you KNOW I'll have at least one earpod in at all times. ;) (can't be completely rude and ignore everyone) I'm still amazed by technology. This thing is so tiny! (picture above) No wonder it came with a lanyard..haha. I am an American Idol fanatic. I just love it. So when it was on this season I would download all of my favorite songs from each week onto my computer. (had a great website where they were available for free) Now I get to carry those songs around with me in my purse. Woohoo! We are going to the American Idol concert tour in August. I can't WAIT. :)

A few of the song choices on my IPOD:
Third Day "These Thousand Hills"
Harry Connick, Jr. "Only You" CD
Nickel Creek - "This Side" CD
The Knack - "My Sharona"
Madness - "Our House"
Tony Bennett - "Until I Met You"
Constantine Maroulis - "My Funny Valentine"
U2 - "Vertigo"
Norah Jones - "Don't Know Why"
The Beach Boys - "The Warmth of the Sun"
Bonnie Raitt - "I Can't Make You Love Me"
David Cassidy - "I Think I Love You"
Heart - "Alone"
Jamiroquai - "Virtual Insanity"
Ralph Stanley - "Calling You"
Weezer - "Buddy Holly"
Casting Crowns - "Who Am I?"

Is that eclectic enough for you? :) This is just a small sampling. Do you have a song suggestion? Let me hear it! (pun intended)

Today's recipe that I'll share is for King Ranch Chicken. This is one of my favorite things to make for dinner. David LOVES it. I usually serve it with corn and chips and guacamole. I've made this enough times from other recipes that I made my own recipe. I've realized that for a recipe to be good, every ingredient that you put in must be good. So this definitely qualifies!

Jennifer’s King Ranch Chicken

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 med. Chopped onion
1 small chopped green pepper
1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
1 Tbsp. oil
8-10 corn tortillas
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 to 1 c. milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and chiles (drain 1/2 of the liquid off)
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add the oil to a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and saute’ until onions are soft.

Add the chicken breasts to the pan with the onions and garlic and saute’ about 7 minutes on each side or until well-browned. Sprinkle each side of the chicken with salt, pepper and a little chili powder as you turn them over. Remove chicken from the pan, shred the meat on a cutting board, and put the meat into a bowl; set aside. KEEP the other contents of the pan set aside, also. Add a little bit more oil to the pan and saute' the tortillas in oil, just about 10 seconds on each side. Drain on a paper towel. (You just want them SOFT, not greasy. )

In a rectangular baking dish sprayed with cooking spray, layer the tortillas to cover the bottom of the pan. Add chicken on top of the tortillas. Blend remaining ingredients (except cheese) in a large bowl with the onions and garlic, stirring well. Pour over the chicken in the baking dish. Top with cheese and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. Serves 6-8.

Tell your family that you love them today. :)
- Jennifer

"Don't ask the Lord to guide your footsteps unless you are willing to move your feet."
- Anonymous


Heather said...

Sorry to hear about Brenda's dh. I think she must be from the board I know you from? Vaguely sounds familiar, but I don't think I know her. . . send me detail, though, ok? Sure does make you want to hug a little tighter.

IPod. . I'm totally clueless about those things. . .don't even know enough to know if I want one! ROFL Do you have to have a Mac? Don't you have to pay for all the downloads? ROFL . . .can't you tell I'm ignorant!?!?!? Congrats on yours though. AWESEOME hubby!

doris said...

you're right. online friends can be awesome. and you're proof of that. so glad you're there for her. :D

Cindy Lee said...

So sorry to hear of your friend's loss and what a wonderful thing for you to do to help the family!

Congrats on your Ipod, sounds like a fun thing to have!

KING RANCH CHICKEN - LOL!!! I have my own version that is my hubby's absolute favorite meal, lol! Small world, huh??? Have you ever been to the King Ranch??? It's a really neat place!

Have a great day!

Diana M. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Diana said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I have made many long term friends online. I may never meet them face to face but I count them as true friends. She is lucky to have you.

For my "42" birthday this year I got a Dell Jukebox(IPOD type thing) that holds 30,000 songs. Yes you read that right. DH figured might as go for the gold. I have to date only loaded 270 songs. Like you I am very Diverse in my music. THe only thing I need to learn is that others can hear you sing... LOL

Where do you get your free downloads?? I tried napster and was not happy with them or their fees.

I was on wendispeciale last night talking with ANgie also. It was great. Probably the best chat I have been too.