Toilet Paper: the right way

Toilet Paper. Not usually something you talk about with others, and yet if it ever comes up in conversation it happens to center around whether the toilet paper roll has been put on the right way. Yet, is there a right way? Does it go over or under? There are definitely two camps: over the roll and under the roll. Actually maybe there are three camps. I fall in the third camp which equates to: “I do not care.” Chris falls in the over camp, and since I do not care, the toilet paper in our house goes over. I am used to it, but at the end of the day, I just want to use the toilet paper and go on with my day. It does not change my world one way or the other which direction it comes off the roll. All I want is a clean toilet, bathroom, and toilet paper. There is nothing worse than a gross bathroom, a filthy toilet, and no toilet paper.

Over the years I have become picky about the quality of toilet paper. At some public restrooms all you get is the thinnest of tissue paper. How can they even call it toilet paper? You need ten times the amount just to make sure it does not soak through. It should not be too thin or too harsh. It should be soft and absorbent. Think about it. They put lotion in Kleenex, which tells us that you should be soft and gentle with your nose. Why would you not treat your bum in a similar way? No one wants chafing, just like everyone hates a raw nose after a cold or the flu.

This Huffington Post article shares that a 1891 patent shows that Chris is definitely in the right camp, toilet paper goes over. Who knew!

So while I could care less about the over or under battle, I would pay more for the “Bounty” of toilet papers. It makes a difference. So — are you an over or under addict?

Random recipe: Chicken Taco Chili (Crock Pot)

It has been a full week. Heck, it has been a full month + year. Yesterday when I came home from work and walked into the house it smelled wonderful. Chris had made a new recipe: Chicken Taco Chili. It was a struggle to actually get dressed and go for my run. I even dabbled a bit and had a few bites with some lime chips before my run — I just could not resist.

In terms of the additional toppings the recipe lists below. We added the cilantro, shredded cheese, and sour cream on top. It was delicious. Although as I ate a bowl after my run (scooping up bites with my favorite — lime chips) I thought this is basically nachos. I laughed because I recently read Jim Gaffigan’s book “Food: A Love Story” and he mentions how mexican food is all the same ingredients served in different ways. Quesadillas are tacos, grilled in a pan, which are the same as enchiladas and nachos. You get the point. In any case — enjoy!

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili (The Comfort of Cooking)

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients:

① 1 16 oz. can black beans, drained
② 1 16 oz. can kidney beans, drained
③ 2 garlic cloves, minced
④ 1 medium onion, chopped
⑤ 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
⑥ 1 green bell pepper, chopped
⑦ 10 oz. package (1 1/4 cups) frozen corn kernels
⑧ 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
⑨ 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
⑩ 1 tbsp. cumin
⑪ 1 tbsp. chili powder
⑫ 1 tsp. dried oregano
⑬ 1 tsp. kosher salt
⑭ 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, uncooked
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Optional toppings:
Additional cilantro, shredded cheese, chopped scallions, red onion, sour cream, etc.

Directions:
Combine ingredients 1 through 14 in a slow cooker*. Stir until combined. Place uncooked chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Thirty minutes before serving, pull chicken breasts apart with two forks. Stir and continue cooking. Top with fresh cilantro or any other desired toppings.

* Tip: If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can also use an oven safe, 5 1/2 quart or larger pot. Simmer at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours.

Wake you up

I had a great conversation with a friend yesterday over lunch. She was lit up. Yes, shining bright. Our conversation ebbed and flowed over what was happening in our worlds. Eventually my friend shared that she had been smacked into reality by a mentor, someone who she had not spoken to in a while and at the right moment in time the words she shared with my friend were just the ones she needed to hear. The right words at the right moment. It resonated with me.

I am a blunt person. I tell friends what I think. I hope sharing from my experience or intuition could potentially help them. I do not mean that in a cocky way, I mean it in a genuine way. If I feel that I have something to share, I will. Especially if the friend has asked for my opinion. Having said all that, there are times when I know I hold back. Maybe at that moment in time it did not feeI right to be so blunt. Or, maybe I felt that this was a situation that they had to wade through on their own. While I might be by their side, they had to make these decisions from their own heart.

Even knowing that, our conversation yesterday made me think about how many times I have not been blunt and maybe should have. My friend sharing her conversation reminded me of how much we sometimes need another to open our eyes. How often we might need someone to pull us from our fog and wake us up and remind us of who we are and who we have always been. I want another to do that for me, but am I doing that for someone else? Do we get so caught up in our own little worlds that we forget how to pull someone out of their own potential deep water?

It is always harder to truly be in someone else’s shoes. It is hard to know what another individual needs. But — we usually know when someone is off… when they are not themselves. Those are the times when we must walk out to the edge of the diving board and bring them back to safety. We do it because we care. We do it because we love them. We do it because it is at the core of who we are.

Be sure you are present to wake others up.

Random recipe: Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

One of our favorite restaurants in Portland, Ox, has the most amazing Spaghetti Squash. I had never had spaghetti squash until a few years ago at my first visit to Ox. Their version is: Coal-Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Toasted Garlic, Lemon, Aged Goat Cheese. You had me at goat cheese. I am a fan of almost anything with goat cheese. Last week, Chris, tried a new recipe we found for spaghetti squash. It was good, very good. Do not be deterred by how much description is below. It is actually much easier than it looks.

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Cheesy Spaghetti Squash
Creamy spaghetti squash with cheese and herbs, topped with crunchy panko. Serves 4.
Found: Megan (I Eat Therefore I Cook)

Ingredients
  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese,
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 TSP Fresh Thyme, Chopped
  • 1 TSP Fresh Oregano, Chopped
  • 1/2 TSP Pepper
  • 1 TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TSP Onion Powder
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Panko
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce squash with knife a couple of times. Place on baking sheet and place in oven for about 1 hour, or until the squash is easily pierced with a knife.
  2. Turn up oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Let cool and slice in half. Remove seeds from squash with spoon. Scoop out squash insides into a large bowl. Add olive oil, mozzarella cheese, thyme, oregano, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Mix together until evenly distributed.
  4. In a 8 by 8 glass baking dish, place squash mixture in pan. Spread evenly. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top evenly. Sprinkle panko on top evenly. Place in oven and cook until panko becomes golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy.
  5. Note: We skipped step 1, and cut the squash in half, placed face side up with wax paper on top, and put in the microwave for 20 minutes, then went right to step 3.

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Let me know if you try to make it, and if you do what you think!