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Wait, what? March, already?!?

I got to thinking the other day, as much as people doubt that I'm possible of such deplorable actions, and I realized it's been a bit since I last went on a search & destroy mission via my keyboard. So, here I am again!

Let's see, what interesting things can I tell you about? We had a few cold weeks in which we (literally) burned through a bunch of pellets in the ol' pellet stove trying to keep the house warm, and even saw -1 degree on the thermometer one morning. The snow we got, both over New Years Day and later, while fun for sledding and beautiful in the Arizona sunshine, was cold and wet and made the roads a sloppy mess later, after melting away much like a dog that's been scolded and decides that the best thing it can do is remove itself from the situation.

It made me drink even more coffee, for which I am grateful, but also I had to roast more, which meant standing guard over my roaster lest the dumb thing overheat and shut down, ruining a pound of otherwise good coffee. I roast out in the garage due to the smoke levels, despite the so called "smoke suppression" system the roaster has. I think that sounds like a gangster standing over the roaster, in a pinstripe suit, just waiting for a little puff of smoke and then BAM! the roaster gets it, right in the kisser. There, suppressed that smoke for ya, boss.

Anyway, no heavy hanging out in the garage with me and my suppressed roaster. Haven't been cooking a lot, been busy with work, trying to make up for the slow down that started around November and has carried into the new year. Written lots of offers, just not much traction, for some reason. Oh well, one mustn't give up before the zombies attack, right? Otherwise, what would one do with all the time? Well, I suppose one could cook, or clean, or sort socks, or put silly putty in your hair and spend a few lonely hours taking care of that issue.

So, due to the cold and un-camping like conditions around here, no lovely descriptions of wilderness, solitude, and reflection this time. But, I do have a recipe for a soup. It's good on chilly nights, served with warm tortillas or cornbread, and fills you up nicely as well as being easy to make. Maybe I'll do a video of it. Or not. I don't like the name of the soup, something rather bland called "Mexican Tortilla Soup" or some nonsense. But it's still good, so stay with me.

Cook time, about 45 minutes, serves one big game hunter in the manner Peter Capstick, or about 5 ordinary people.

One chicken breast, butterflied and cut into small dice

4 cups chicken stock or broth

1/2 medium onion, small dice

3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup rice, white or brown, I'm not gonna say which is better

10 oz can Rotell tomatoes

8 oz can tomato sauce

cilantro

lime

grenade launcher (just checking to see if your really reading this)

olive oil

oregano

cumin

salt & pepper to taste

In 4 qt. stock pot, heat 1-2 tablespoons EVO till it begins to shimmer, then add onions to pan. Cook until almost transparent, then add 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, allowing the spices to bloom. Add minced garlic, cook about 30 seconds, then add chicken to pan. Stirring often, cook till chicken is uniformly done, but not browned. Add rice, stirring often till rice absorbs excess moisture and begins to brown slightly. Add broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, stirring to combine. Cook uncovered, stirring often, until rice is tender, about 15-20 minutes on medium low heat.

When rice is done, remove from heat, add a solid squeeze of lime, and fresh chopped cilantro to taste, and serve with warmed tortillas. Or hot cornbread slathered with butter and an unhealthy amount of honey. Hey, somebody's gotta keep those bees in business. Might as well be me, right?!?

Doesn't get much easier than this, folks. Enjoy, and I promise, I will post again sooner than 2 months from now. Unless I forget, then all bets are off, unless the bets involve donuts.

Cheers