Chicken… again?!?

Last week, I found a large package of chicken breasts on sale for under $10. There’s two meals down. Then, I found a couple whole young chickens for $3.50 each. How could I pass up these great deals?

As a result, we are eating quite a bit of chicken this week. I’m trying to mix it up as best as I can. Monday, we had chicken pot pie. It was satisfying and delicious and completely gone by Wednesday.

On Wednesday, we had chicken again. I roasted the birds, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green beans, and potato rolls. It was a feast. We had a friend over that night.

Tonight, the chicken has rolled around again. This time, I’m using my slow cooker. I’m trying out a few tips to reduce the amount of retained liquid. Here’s what I did:

I sprayed the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. I sliced a couple small onions and dredged the slices in flour. I placed them as the base for my dish. Then, I took my breasts and halved them. I dredged those in flour and placed them on top of the onions. I sprinkled those with a half cup of Parmesan/Romano/Asiago grated cheese. Then, I poured an entire bottle of Olive Garden Italian Dressing on that. I lay a towel across the top of my slow cooker and then placed the lid. I set it to low. I will remove the towel and lid about an hour before serving to encourage more reduction in the liquid.

Fingers crossed that it works. I dread watered down slow cooker sauces.

#chickenagain

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Keeping the cats out of the plants

So, the cats are bound and determined to eat all the plants. They killed two more seedlings who'd barely had a chance at life before it was cruelly ripped away from them. I have another seedling growing, now. To keep it safe, I crocheted a quick hanging planter bag for it.

It is currently hanging in my kitchen window beneath a fluorescent light and will hopefully be safe there from those mean kitty cats. I plan to crochet a hanging planter bag for my aloe plants and hang them here in my living room.

As for the rest of the plants, my husband built me a cage for them out of chicken wire. Hopefully it will do the job.

The aloe is hiding behind my cacti. The two pots on the left are currently empty because the cats ate those seedlings. Once I've gotten the aloe plant out of there, I'm going to be adding a mini herb garden my husband bought for me this weekend.

It contains sweet basil, parsley, cilantro/coriander, common chives, & oregano. Basil, parsley, & oregano are probably my most commonly used herbs.

We didn't forget about the kitties, either. I picked up a tray and some cat grass seed for them. I've been doing some research, and supposedly if you trim it regularly then it doesn't die after just a few short weeks. Wish me luck. I'll be starting those seeds tomorrow.

Kittens… oh kittens

We love them. Some days we want to kill them. Like this morning when we woke up to find that they had dug up all of our potted plants except my cacti. 😳

My husband made an emergency run to the store and picked up new potting soil, and I did my best to save our green babies. They are now replanted in fresh nutrient rich soil (except the missing new guy that had barely begun to grow). Only time will tell if it is enough to save them.

After much research, I have treated the area with my orange peel infused vinegar. This is supposed to deter them from the area.

To make the day even more fun, my husband found 2 guilty parties hiding beneath the dishwasher. He had to pull out both the stove and the dishwasher to get them out. The appliances in the house are all now kitty proofed to the best of my husband's abilities.

I had forgotten what it was like to have babies in the house. No matter the species, it's exhausting.

The boys have earned their names

I was telling y'all the other day about our new family members. We added 3 kittens (almost a year old) to our family dynamic.
When I wrote the other day, they were still hiding from us. We decided not to name them until we've had a chance to get to know them.
The boys have proven to be much more adventurous than their sister. She is still getting around only if she can hide under furniture or other large items. She is shy and sweet and I can't wait to get to know her and give her a proper name. Here is a picture of her.

Scout is proving to be the adventurous one of the group. He has found his way from one end of the house to the other. He has snuck up behind Bear B to investigate him, and has slapped him a few times when his face got too close. He is sweet and affectionate and I think he will probably be the one who loves me most. Here's a picture of him.

Finally, there's Loki. He's not quite as adventurous as his brother but he does venture out from time to time. He's a mischief maker, and he watches everything so intensely. He can be sweet when he wants to be, but also acts totally aloof. He seems to be bonding with my husband the most. Hubby is the one who named him. Here is his picture. (he is perched inside one of our chairs)

The new babies are slowly settling in and finding their place in the family. Hopefully, she'll have a name soon.

For more great family pictures follow me on Instagram or check out #adventuresofbearb

*update: she is now called Freyja.

Smokey passed away

Sadly, Smokey passed away sometime Monday before we woke up. She has been sick since we got her back from my in laws. We've been preparing for the loss and spent as much time as we could loving and caring for her.
Her last night with us was full of pampering. She had a bath and brushing. She lay in my lap and purred after. Here is the collection of photos we took during those last hours.

We also have THREE new family members to introduce you to. A friend of mine had kittens she has been trying to find a home for. They are siblings, almost a year old. They bonded, so they came as a package deal. It's two brothers and a sister.
We brought them home last night. They're scared and hiding, though one of the brothers has wandered out a few times during the last hour or so.
We haven't had a chance to get to know them and name them, yet. We also haven't gotten many good pictures. Here is what I've got. These were taken last night as soon as they came out of the carrier.

One of the boys found our triple beam scale and decided to become a part of it. The other boy climbed up into a table behind the video games. Their sister was stationed beneath the brother in the video games, but she ultimately climbed up and joined him.

Today, they are all three hiding inside one of our living room chairs. I will post good pics and their names as soon as we have them.