Thursday, March 3, 2011

Random Crap

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I just made a major "camera dump" on my 'puter, so I'm warning you now, there are several random, and quite frankly, stupid, posts coming. Thanks to dear 8lb 6oz, newborn infant Jesus, we have a three-day weekend this weekend. Monday is Casimir Pulaski Day here in Chitown. So, that means I'll have lots of time to ramble on and on about crap you really don't care about. Aren't you excited!?

I guess I'll ramble in reverse order. Tuesday night, my Aunt Lu (my mom's one remaining sister) was rushed to the hospital. Long story short, she had another heart attack. They did an angioplasty yesterday afternoon. She'll need to go back in 2 weeks to have several more stents put in, but for now, she'll be released tomorrow. If you're the praying kind, please send one her way.

My aunt had her first major heart attack 22 years ago. She hadn't been feeling well, so her doctor scheduled a stress test. About 10 seconds into it, she collapsed and coded. She literally dropped dead on the treadmill. Thankfully, she was already in the hospital, and they were able to instantly shock her back to life. She ended up having a triple by-pass that night. She's had a few stents put in since then, as well. I really wish she would take better care of herself. But, I don't want to digress into a rant about the subject, so I'm moving on...

Monday, after school, Stud and I made a Sam's Club run. I really went because I needed, ok, wanted, to get a new TV for my kitchen. I'll tell you about that later. What I wanted to tell you about right now is the BIG find I made. As I was strolling down the appliance aisle, trying to figure out where I could put a THIRD kitchen in my house so I could fill it with several of the beautiful items I was looking at, I came upon the crockpot section. Last week I looked at crockpots at Walmart, but they were out of the one I wanted. It's not like I NEED another crockpot, so I figured I check again on my next trip. Well, here they were at Sam's, calling my name. As I was looking at the really pretty, new model on the shelf, I spied this little cutie:
It was just sitting there, all by it's lonesome, the only one of it's kind. It's actually the one I wanted at Walmart! The 'new' model has a rectangular base, and actually has a smaller pot. (6 qt vs. 6 1/2 qt)

Anyway, when I went to take a closer look, I saw this:Ok, big deal, the box is ripped a little. I can deal with that. What I was actually thinking was, "Score! It must be marked down!" It didn't have a price tag on it, so I figured I'd just take it to the register and have them scan it.

Well, I gotta tell ya, I nearly wet myself when the cashier scanned this little puppy! You ready? It was.........................................$7.01!!! Oh, hell YEAH it was! SEVEN DOLLARS?! Hell, I could use it once and throw it away! Ok, I would never do that, but you know what I mean. The whole time I was shopping, I was telling myself all the reasons I did NOT need another crockpot. The main reason being - I already have 7 of them!!!

No, that's NOT a typo. I have my 'main' crockpot that I use all the time. It's almost exactly like this one, except the base matches the decor of my kitchen (basically a Tuscan/olive theme), and the crock is green. However, because I use it so much, the pot has developed hairline cracks all over the place. So far, it hasn't really been an issue, and it doesn't leak or anything, but I figure it's only a matter of time before I can't use it anymore, right?

I have two VERY old crockpot. One was my mom's, and one my ex-brother-in-law gave me when I got married. It had been his from his first marriage. The two are exactly the same. Like I said, they're old. They have non-removable pots, that are tall and narrow, instead of the newer, oval-shaped, wide, squat removable, dishwasher-safe pots.

Pots 4 & 5 are probably technically one item, as they're in my double crockpot. Pot 6 is a Little Dipper, which is more for dips, but still. Crockpot #7 is a small 2 qt. pot that I acquired around the holidays, for $7.99 at Aldi. (another deal I could NOT pass up!)

So, now I've made it abundantly clear that I'm a big, crockpot-addicted loser, huh? Oh well, I don't care. I seriously use all 7 of them, so nah-nee nah-nee, boo boo! I can't wait to use my new one! Oh, and the best part is, it matches all my other 'new toys' in my kitchen that are black and stainless. tee hee!

This yumminess is what I made for dinner tonight. Ok, the photo doesn't look all that yummy, does it? Trust me, it was the bomb!It was a little something I came up with during my Sam's trip. I love their tri-colored 3-cheese tortellini. The real inspiration for this dish was the package of freshly-shelled English peas I picked up. I immediately wanted to put the two of them together, in a delicious, creamy sauce. I was NOT disappointed!

I sauteed some finely diced onions in butter until they were soft and translucent. I seasoned them well with salt and pepper. I added about a cup of half-and-half (I really wanted to use heavy cream, but I was trying to keep the fat down a bit) and an 8oz brick of lite cream cheese that I diced up. I whisked that until the cheese melted. I added a little of the boiling pasta water to thin things out a bit, and stirred in about 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. I turned it down to a low simmer while the tortellini was cooking. During the last 3 minutes of cooking time on the pasta, I tossed the peas into the water. I used a slotted spoon to remove the pasta and peas from the water, and put them into the saucepan. I added a bit more black pepper (the more the better, as far as I'm concerned!) and another sprinkling of Parmesan, and mixed everything together. I ended up adding about another cup of the hot pasta water, about 1/4 cup at a time, to the saucepan because it was a bit too thick.

I realize this is far from gourmet cooking, but oh my hell, it was good!! I'm already thinking about what I'm going to add/change the next time I make it. Luckily, both the peas and the pasta are sold in 2-packs. Woo hoo! I think I'm going to fry up a little diced bacon or pancetta with the onions next time. I also thought about throwing in some sliced mushrooms. Anyone wanna come over next week for dinner?


karen gerstenberger said...

I canNOT believe you're not married, with your talent for cooking, writing, bargain-hunting, humor and teaching, among other things! That meal looks fabulous!
Prayers for your aunt, and hugs for you.

Change for Good said...

Your dinner looke AWESOME!!! :)

We donated for Stud today.

I hope you have a great Friday.

That one girl said...

Shut up, that crock pot was SEVEN dollars?!?! Not SEVENTY? I'm going to tear up every box of items that I want next time I head out! Shhh...

Busy Bee Suz said...

For seven bucks I would have bought it too...although MOST normal people are ok with ONLY one crock pot. I'm just sayin....
I do love Sams and Costco, I am always inspired to do something when I leave there; either eat or drink.
Prayers for your Auntie! said...

awww, sorry about your aunt, i will be praying for your aunt. thanks for your prays for me too, your the best.

i love a good bargain. i cant believe you got that pot for 7 bucks. and your meal looked so good, i wanted to just jump through the screen and dip into it. love it!!!

KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN 2 LUV said...

Oh, ChiTown, I'm sorry to hear about your Auntie! :-( My prayers and well wishes are definitely going to out to her. Let us know how she progresses.

I have tons of stuff from Costco that have come up at super clearance after they are the very last item on the shelf or something. I got a huge set of Pyrex for my sister for $9!!!! I.LOVE.COSTCO.

Have you ever made something in each of our Crock pots at the same time???? What a party!