Splashing Into Friday

We’re literally splashing into Friday here in Michigan,  a much-needed rain started yesterday morning and rained up until a very short time ago.  Although it’s not raining at this moment, they skies look like they could open up at any time.

The first and only real break occurred yesterday afternoon.  I noticed that the rain had stopped so I decided it was a good time to head out to the grocery store, imagine my relief when the rain didn’t start back up again until I returned home and pulled the car into the garage.  How lucky was I?

I’m sure that a few readers shaking their heads saying “What??”  “Grandma Nancy hates the rain!!”  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Many, many years ago I was having difficulty falling asleep.  My physician at the time recommended that I get into a regular routine and find something that would sooth me, he suggested a relaxation tape.  After doing a little research and thinking about it for a while I decided to use a recording of rain. I have always thought of the rain as calming, relaxing.  I have even been known to enjoy a summer thunderstorm.

After a few weeks, the tapes started to help, the apartment was quiet, I would concentrate on the soothing sound of the rain, at first barely able to hear the rain but as the tape progressed it became a little louder, steady, a soft rythm, relaxing, calming; shortly afterward I would be out like a light.

It worked well…really, really well.  Let me tell you how well the rain tape worked.  I lived in an apartment at the time, the whole living room and dining room wall was, in fact, all window and doorway, floor to ceiling and it led out onto a little patio.  The rooms were bright and filled with sunlight.

Walt and I had been dating about a month, maybe a little more.  We were at my apartment watching a movie on a Sunday afternoon; Walt was laying on the couch while I took over the love-seat.  It was summer so I had the door-wall open.  It started to drizzle, steady, rhythmic.  It was relaxing……..so relaxing in fact, I fell asleep.  Yes, yes I did.  When I woke up, startled, embarrassed, horrified, Walt looked at me laughing and said “Have a nice little snooze over there?”  I tried to explain about the tape but Walt just couldn’t help himself he had to tease me.  I could not believe I had fallen asleep for about an hour!!

As Walt and I spent more and more time together Walt realized that gently falling rain was indeed and issue for me and that little snooze on my love-seat wouldn’t be the only time I would fall asleep while in the middle of a movie or while we were hanging out when it rained.

The sound of rain, gentle or storming, can put me to sleep in minutes.  Unless I keep busy while it’s raining I can’t stay awake, it’s like a sedative.  Today I had a lot of things to do so I was moving all morning and afternoon so I wasn’t concentrating on the sound or the rhythm of the rain.

Around 5:00 p.m.  things changed, I was trying to watch the news, sitting on the couch and my eyes were fighting to stay open.  I could feel my body going limp.  I must have started to doze off a few times because I was startled when my head fell forward.  I really wanted to take a nap but was afraid if I gave in and took a nap I’d never fall asleep when it was time for bed.

Walt called to check in, he always does on shopping day, he says it’s to see how things went, I know he’s just checking to make sure I got back home safely and that everything is ok.  He also calls to find out what’s for dinner.  This was our call today:

Walt:  Hey, how did shopping go?  Everything ok?

Me:  Yea, it’s all good.  I was really lucky it stopped raining so I left for shopping and it didn’t start again till I got home.

Walt: What else is going on?

Me:  Nothing….I just can’t believe how tired I am.  I could lay down right now and take a nap.

Walt:  Laughing uncontrollably………You’re joking right?

Me:  No, I’m not joking, why would you say that?

Walt:  Cause it’s raining, you always fall asleep when it rains.   (still laughing)

Me:  I have to go.

Walt:  Wait, wait, what’s for dinner?  (laughing) ……….Oh damn, I gotta go, I’ve got a call.

After all these years Walt still thinks it’s funny and I think I should have picked a different relaxation tape, maybe the ocean and waves since we don’t live close to the water at all.

So you see, I really don’t hate the rain, I only dislike it when it interferes with my ability to hang out in the sunshine.  And I didn’t take a nap, I kept busy to stay awake.

On the bright side, the rain and cooler temps today made it possible for me to try a new recipe.  This year we added a jalapeno plant our garden and they are starting to really come in, I had six on the counter so I wanted to make use of some of them in our dinner tonight.

I found this recipe on Pinterest….these are Walt’s words in the exact order he said them; “Magnificent, fantastic, delicious, I’ll eat this any time.”

These were delicious, when you bit into them you really did get a sense that you were eating a jalapeno popper!  I think the best part of this recipe was the fresh jalapeno’s from our garden, they were fantastic!

Ok, this is me, remember?  I made a few changes.

  • I couldn’t find chicken breasts that I liked at the market so I bought 4 thin chicken fillets.
  • I used Mexi Blend cheese instead of cheddar cheese.
  • I doubled the jalapeno, cream cheese and cheese mixture
  • I spread the cheese mixture on the chicken fillets and then folded them over

Also, don’t be leary of browning the Planko.  I was really afraid I was going to burn it but that was not the case at all.  I watched it closely and kept stirring it watching it turn from white, to beige, to brown to golden.  It was so easy!!

I repined this from Elly Says Opa; http://ellysaysopa.com/2012/07/24/jalapeno-popper-chicken/  This is the recipe exactly as it appears on Elly Says Opa.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Jalapeno Popper Chicken
Photo’s By N. Rezich

Jalapeño Popper Chicken

Serves 2 Highly adapted from Allrecipes, via Sunny Side Up in San Diego

1/2 cup panko

2 tsp. canola oil

1.5 – 2 tsp. taco seasoning or mixture in notes*

1 egg 2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (we used 2%)

1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced

2 chicken breasts

Pre-heat the oven to 375 and place a ovenproof rack onto a rimmed baking dish. Spray with cooking oil.

In a small skillet over medium heat, combine the panko with the canola oil. Cook, stirring often, until the panko is golden and crispy.

Planko

Brown Planko
Photo By: N. Rezich

Place in a shallow bowl or dish. To the panko, add the taco seasoning* and stir to combine.

Planko

Transfer browned planko to a shallow dish
Add taco seasoning mix
Mix together thoroughly
Photo By: N. Rezich

In another shallow bowl or dish, lightly beat an egg.

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and jalapeños.

Cream Cheese, Jalapenos and Mexi Cheese

Mix cream cheese, jalapeno and Mexi Cheese together
Photo By: N. Rezich

Using a small utility knife, cut a pocket into the side of each chicken breast, or horizontally slice the chicken through the center, until it is almost butterflied. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper, and then divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between each chicken breast’s pocket. Use toothpicks to secure, if necessary.