Braised Chicken with Onions and Mushrooms in the Nesco

Braised Chicken with Onions and Mushrooms in the Nesco

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I have a friend who has a chicken, who I have named Coq Au Vin. She’s a big orange chicken, and she is going to live a nice long life in my friend’s yard, with plenty of food, water and melon treats. Coq Au Vin even recognizes me when I go and visit with her. Why did I name her that? Well, when she is quite old, and not laying eggs anymore, then she will have the glory of becoming a real Coq Au Vin. It will be a good day for her to die because she will know that she is going to make a wonderful dinner.

Well, until that time, I’m not waiting to eat chicken. I bought a chicken, some nice boiling onions, and large mushrooms, most of which became Bacon Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms. I buy most of my produce at the local Armenian store, and they don’t usually have the kind of wine I would need to make Coq Au Vin, but I did have some Marsala in the pantry. I also had some dried leeks in my pantry, which also went into my dish.

Whole vs Precut Chicken

A word about whole chickens vs precut chicken. You know, you pay more for the meat-packing company to cut the chicken, and you don’t even know if it’s all coming from the same bird. When you purchase a whole chicken, you know everything is from the same bird, and you save money by cutting it up yourself. It takes about a minute, and you can find plenty of videos on Youtube showing exactly how to do it. Here’s my chicken, all ready to go.

cut up whole chicken

Cut up whole chicken


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Bacon and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Bacon and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

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Whilst at the local grocery store this morning trying to figure out what I was going to make with the defrosted chicken in my refrigerator, I came across some lovely large mushrooms, perfect for stuffing. I don’t know about you, but I love mushrooms, and stuffed ones even more.

The Braised Chicken with Onions and Mushrooms that I am making for dinner also calls for bacon, so it was just a matter of cooking off a bit more to add to my stuffing. You will love the way these taste, I had fun eating the little bit of stuffing that was left in the bowl!

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No Bake Mocha Fudge Pie for Halloween

Recipes in this PostNo Bake Mocha Fudge Pie

A few weeks ago, I got a few boxes of chocolate on sale at the local supermarket. I discovered that Spane and his friend, Noelle, had gotten into the chocolate one night when she spent the night. Apparently, neither one of them liked the unsweetened chocolate, but it was perfect for my Mocha Fudge Pie I made as a treat for my friend, Joanna Alexander of Strawberry Creek Crochet.

This has got to be one of simplest pies I have ever made, and it didn’t require any baking because I used a chocolate crumb crust I had in my pantry. It was just a matter of melting the fudge. I folded in whipped cream to make the pie silky, otherwise, it would have just been fudge.

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Jeweled Vampire Pumpkin for Halloween

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I got inspiration from my friend Shem Walker, of Kobelin By Shem, who does amazing things with Swarovski crystals. Talk about Bling, and you talk about Shem. If only I were as talented as she is. I was also inspired by pictures I saw of decorated pumpkins in Pinterest, including on black one with lots of jewels. But, I wanted my pumpkin to be different.

When I was a teenager, my friends and I went to see the live production of The Rocky Horror Show at the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood. I even dressed up as Frankenfurter in my senior year in high school. A red lipped vampire pumpkin was the only way to go.

Spane’s school has a pumpkin contest every year, for those students who want to pay the school money to be in the contest. It’s not real money, it’s the school’s money that they print with a picture of the school’s name sake on it. But even so, Spane is just too frugal to spend his hard-earned money on contests, he prefers useful things like pencils, pencil sharpeners, notebooks, etc. It’s a good thing, too, because with all the other stuff I have had to get done, the pumpkin sat unadorned until tonight. The pumpkin found itself in the pictures of our Halloween costumes, Spane’s Tarantula costume, and my Well Dressed Black Cat costume. I wanted to serve my Mocha Fudge Pie with a completed pumpkin.

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Cat Costume – the Well Dressed Black Cat

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I believe that accessories are everything when wanting to look well dressed. Accessories should coordinate by color, and sometimes texture. There is no point getting overdressed, and just a few things can make a simple dress look fantastic.

When I was young and svelte, I dressed up as a cat for Halloween. I looked good. It was an easy costume because I always had a leotard top and bottom, and I only had to add ears and a tail. I was a lot of different things, but this year, 2013, came back as The Well Dressed Black Cat.

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Tarantula Costume for Halloween

Tarantula Costume

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  • Tarantula Costume
  • Spane decided that he wanted to be a tarantula for Halloween. His school has a policy of no violent costumes, and no masks. Well, that’s okay, I made his spider as realistic as I can, and used makeup on his face. He was scary!

    Some of you may have noticed that things have been a little slow around here. It’s not that we haven’t been eating, it’s just that I have been extremely busy getting client’s web sites up and running. Last night, I was so tired I didn’t know what to do with myself, and the Monster Mash at the school was today, and I didn’t have Spane’s costume ready. I also thought I needed more stuff, but after a few hours sleep, I thought about it and realized I already had everything I needed to make his costume.

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