Thursday, April 7, 2011

Things I might have taken for granted... from the obvious to the who knew?

Okay so I hate to think that I take things for granted, I mean who wants to think that? It's kind of a shallow, naive way to live but moving to the other side of the country has made me realize that I did indeed take things for granted... some of these things are going to make you say "well of course she did" and then other things are going to make you say "hmm, I never thought of living without that"... so here we go.

The avocado. The simple, readily available, at every grocery store in California, growing on your neighbors trees, available for your sandwich at Subway (no avocados at Subway here!!) fruit of the Gods avocado. I don't even think I started liking the avocado until I was l6 or 17 years old and once I did I found that they are one of my favorite foods. Here in VA they are like gold. They are never ripe at the grocery stores... it's real sad. 
What I would give to be able to roast a couple of these bad boys up for dinner tonight...oh Mr. Artichoke how I miss you so. When I come to California I will be eating these for breakfast, lunch and dinner and maybe shipping some back to VA.
Our pool. Oh some of you are probably laughing, knowing that I don't even know how to swim (that's right people I am a non swimmer, whatever. I grew up in Southern California and had a pool for most of my adult life and never learned.... but I still loved being able to have access to it, loved floating around on that blue raft that you see in this picture. Loved being able to soak up some sun with my kids and listen to loud music while we did. Oh those were the days. Here, to go swimming you have to "join" a pool and then swim in a public pool situation which if any of my readers grew up in Downey like I did the memories of the John Riley public pool on Old River still haunt me and public pools are NOT an option.

Friendly neighbors.. this is Hank and Karyn, our neighbors in Indio. I miss those friendly faces. Those were the days where we did nice things for each other and we talked when we saw each other outside. We all had each other's phone numbers kept in our contacts in our phones and called each other when we needed something. It was something I definitely took for granted. It's been 5 months and there is not one neighbor here that even knows any of our names much less has our number. Hank and Karyn weren't our only great neighbors, we had several and I miss all of them.

 So there you have it. Some of the things that I miss that I didn't really take into consideration. Who knew how precious those things were? Not this girl. I wish I would have known. I would have taken a little more time to enjoy them. Would have had a neighborhood swim/goodbye party where I served lots of guacamole and roasted artichokes... and then when the party was over we would have gone to dinner at No Da Te and had some amazing sushi... and then the NEXT day we would have gone to the Yard House for dinner.. (those are the two restaurants I am missing the most)

So if we are friends on facebook you probably saw my post last night about the recipe I made up. It's really simple, it's not a big deal but it was a big hit and if you are like me you are always trying to add new things to your repertoire so that the kids don't come home and say things like "oh man, tacos again?"

Lets call this dish 'sour cream and onion chicken'. (If I would have had some on hand I would have added mushrooms too btw). Please be patient here with the measurements, remember I made this one up as I went along.
4 to 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
equal amount of sour cream as the soup
about half a jar of green salsa (I use Herdez)
one medium onion sliced
salt, pepper and garlic salt
In medium sauce pot heat soup and gradually add sour cream, do this at medium heat so as not to curdle the sour cream (isn't curdle the grossest word ever?) add the salsa.
While the sauce is simmering take your washed and patted dry chicken breasts and lay them at the bottom of a baking dish. Season them with the salt, pepper and garlic salt. Cover them with the sliced onions.
After the sauce has been simmering for about 10 or 15 minutes pour it over the chicken and onions.
Oops I forgot to tell you to pre-heat the oven. (sorry) You will want to turn the oven on when you start the sauce. Bake at 350 for about an hour.
I served this with baked potatoes for me and Chris and the girls had rice (I only had two potatoes and we got priority) if I would have known this is what I was going to make I would have gone to the store and bought a fresh, green vegetable like broccoli or green beans too. The sauce is creamy and a little heavy so the vegetables would have been good with it. We all loved it and I will make it again. 

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