Monday, April 30, 2012

PSA: Flying Etiquette

I have been wanting to write about flying etiquette ever since I started this blog, and somehow I always block out my flying experiences by the time I sit down to put thoughts to paper. I realize that many people fly once or twice a year, or even less in this stellar for those of you who have forgotten the rules of flying or just need a general brush up in how to not be a moron, here are a few tips.

1) Follow the airline rules. Yeah, I know they suck. But when they say you get one personal item and a small carry-on, that means TWO items. Not three. Certainly not four. Let's use the guy directly in front of me in the security line as an example. He had a wheelie suitcase, a garment bag, and a briefcase. How many items is that? Correct, that is three. How many hands did he have? Two. This dude was like watching a train wreck, but I'll get to that in a minute. He got yelled at by the TSA and had to shove his garment bag into his suitcase because he refused to check it. I bet that shirt is going to come out on the other side looking less than stellar. All because the dude didn't want to spend an additional $20 and 10 minutes to check his bag. Ass.

2) Move. As in, your butt. At any given point, more than 100 people are trying to get through security, so this is not the time to monkey around. Again, I'll use the guy from above as an example. (This guy was really helpful in my blog inspiration today!) First, he had all of the aforementioned "items", plus he took FOUR plastic bins. I had two, and would have had one but the surprisingly friendly TSA guy asked me to put the iPad in its own case. Fair enough. So this dude takes his four bins, puts them on the table and proceeds to NOT MOVE. I mean, he is emptying his pockets, which contained an iPhone, earbuds, wallet, keys, chapstick, and no less than $6 in CHANGE. Best part - he didn't put all of that change in a small bowl, he just dumped it in the big bin. The TSA finally hollers at him to move it already, and his first bin FINALLY goes through only to immediately be rejected because it contains (yup) liquids, gels, and foams in the form of toiletries. Those get tossed after he spends awhile digging them out. That suitcase gets sent through, then his briefcase goes through and gets sent back...and a bottle of water gets pulled out and tossed. At this point, the TSA lady loses it and starts yelling at him. She was unnecessarily harsh to the guy, but he was beyond ridiculous. Did he just wake up this morning, empty some drawers into his bags and say, "I think I am going to get on a plane today"? Be considerate of others and know that if you move quickly, you are helping others move quickly and it is a much less painful experience for all involved.

3) You are not special. Nope. No one cares what you do or who you are in real life. Right now, if you are in row 6 and they are only boarding rows 15-25 - sit down. Don't start a line 30 minutes before actual boarding and create a massive bottleneck. Annoying.
P.S. I have caught two flights where I was literally the last person to board - they were shutting the door behind me, and guess what? My seat was still in the exact place it was supposed to be.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Door decs

Since the majority of the people that read this live halfway across the country, I thought I would show you what you would see if you came a knocking on our door:

A close up of the flowers I made-from scratch!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Crockpot Chicken

Last week I was researching the best way to cook a whole chicken, as I had not had a lot of luck in the past with the conventional oven method (pretty sure I had salmonella for about 10 days last July). I found an article about how to cook a chicken in the crockpot...and then how to make your own homemade stock from said chicken. Easy peasy-and the chicken was super moist and the broth about a hundred times better than store bought! Here is how I did it:

1. Buy a whole chicken (preferably free-range and organic). Put it in the crockpot for 7 hours on low. Don't add any water, but you can add s&p, paprika, or whatever other spices you like. I just did it up plain as I wanted the freedom to use the chicken however I deemed necessary for future meals.

2. After the 7 hour mark, pull the chicken out (carefully as the meat all wants to fall off the bone), let cool enough to handle. There should be about 1-2 inches of chicken juices left in the crockpot. As you debone the chicken, throw the skin and the bones back into the crockpot. (I cut or broke the smaller bones to get out as much of the good marrow into the broth as possible). Add 5 cups of water. Throw in a carrot, some celery, some onions...whatever you have laying around. Set the crockpot on low overnight (I did ten hours).

3. Wake up to a glorious smelling house. YUMMY! Strain all the veggies/bones/skins out and put the broth into your (freezer safe) containers. I used mason jars and got FIVE pints out of this batch! Let them cool completely, skim and discard fat off top-put the lids on and pop them in the freezer. Here is what my finished product looked like:

Look at the color! 

I used my first jar of chicken broth last night and it was SO GOOD-I really noticed a difference in flavor!
So, with the crockpot chicken, on the first day I made my mom's chicken pot of our faves! I froze the rest of the shredded chicken (about 3 cups). Last night I pulled out about 1 1/2 cups to make delicious Chicken and White Bean enchiladas...oh they were so good, and I found the recipe on but you can link up to it here
Looking for other ways to use crockpot chicken? Try a fellow BGHS Alum's recipe for chicken salad here.
Happy cooking!!