Tuesday Night Dinner with Poppy, No. 1


Some nights you just need to cook! Not that it had been a bad day at all, but we had take-out last night and I was in the mood to cook. In the spirit of full disclosure, Mrs. Poppy was out having dinner with some friends. It was just me and daughter #1. Okay, let’s be honest, maybe the gauntlet has been thrown down. I wanted to create a meal on a limited budget from Ferguson’s Shop N’ Save that was equal to the upscale dinner Mrs. Poppy was enjoying. (Somehow I feel much better now.)

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli from the refrigerated section ($4.29), Asparagus ($4.23), Sweet Potato ($.99). The block of Parmesan cheese I had on hand, along with the Marinara sauce. {sidebar- If you’re buying prepared pasta sauces, look for the ones with the fewest ingredients, the one I used contained only tomatoes, EVOO, Onion, Garlic, and Basil}.


Sometimes it’s the Beatles, Dave Brubeck, Jimi Hendricks, Doc Watson or Jack Johnson. Tonight was a Dylan night. I guess it’s possible to cook without music and an adult beverage, I just haven’t tested that theory.

Roasting the sweet potatoes was the most time-consuming part of this dinner. I preheated the oven to 400°, and commenced to peeling the potatoes, cutting them into 3/4″ thick pieces then quartering. Tossed them in EVOO and started roasting on a foil-lined baking sheet. After 20 minutes, I flipped them over and sprinkled on a bit of Cajun seasoning.


The asparagus was very thin, ruling out roasting. I decided to just grill it on a grooved cast iron pan. Before tossing it into the pan, I coated it with EVOO in the same bowl I used for the sweet potatoes. I prepared a simple sauce for the asparagus, using just a couple of tablespoons of butter along with a couple cloves of garlic, pushed through a garlic press. That mixture was heated in the microwave until the butter melted and the garlic got to know each other.


From there it was just a matter of assembly, the ravioli only took a few minutes to cook.

If for some reason you’re under the impression that Poppy is some sort of sophisticate, let me put you at ease. The parmesan cheese was grated into a plastic Mickey Mouse themed bowl, courtesy of my grandkids.



Divided We Stand!


Pro-life Democrats, Republicans who support gun control, and Dodo birds. At one time they all walked the planet on two feet. They are all now extinct.

Politics have become our religion and no one is allowed to stand in the middle. Once you don the cloak of political religiosity, every action and attitude, no matter how extreme, illogical or even cruel is justified because God is on your side. This includes bludgeoning flightless birds and moderate politicians. Those who do not accept their party’s platform in its entirety are no longer viewed as individuals with a different opinion, but as heretics. As with any religion, it is perfectly permissible to destroy heretics. In the post-modern world we burn them  at the stake of public opinion and shun them in the town square of social media. In the world of Dodo bird politics, civility and discourse are weaknesses to be eliminated, ridicule has replaced reason, and humility has lost its once held status as a virtue.

Our community is no longer defined by the houses, neighbors, shops, churches and schools within a certain geographical radius, but has become the news-feeds, sites, and sources that we can trust to support our world view and reflect back to us, in the warm glow of our computer screens, opinions that mirror our own. Critical thinking is viewed with suspicion and distrust, and let’s be honest, critical is such a negative word.

Blue-collar caucasian men, voting in the proper manner, are the backbone of our country. Strong of back and stern of jaw, they are the working class, the salt of the earth, honored and revered. Until they offer a differing opinion, then they instantly become just “uneducated white males”, the lowest of the low, suitable for sacrifice on the altar of disdain. There are so many of them, who would miss a few?

Our new prophets descend from Mount Hollywood and the white marble temples of D.C. to deliver their meme’s and wisdom a daily basis, engraved not on tablets of stone but on tablets and phones. Entire Gospels are delivered in 144 characters or less. Continue reading “Divided We Stand!”

Poppy’s Go-To Sandwich


I was going to title this post: “Poppy’s Go-To Garlic-Herb Chicken Breast with Sliced Avocado, Tomato, Provolone Cheese and Spicy Mayo on Sweet Onion Bun Sandwich”, but it wouldn’t fit.

Listing the ingredients at this point seems a little like the Department of Redundancy Department, but here goes.

Ingredients (per sandwich): 

  • Sweet Onion Bun
  • Deli Garlic-Herb Chicken Breast (Poppy likes a hearty sandwich, so I use about .2 lb to .25 lb per sandwich)
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Sliced Tomato
  • Slice of provolone cheese
  • Spicy mayo (I either use commercially prepared chipotle mayo or more commonly, make my own with a couple tablespoons of real mayo and a few dashes of Frank’s hot sauce)

Slice the buns in half then pop them in the toaster on a very low setting. I assemble all the stacks of chicken breast I need for the sandwiches on a large china plate, then top with a slice of cheese, before popping them into the microwave, just long enough to soften the cheese and warm the meat.

Then it’s just a matter of assembly, slide the stack of warm chicken breast and cheese on the bottom bun, top with the avocado and tomato, spread the mayo … enjoy!

Shown with roasted Yukon Gold and sweet potatoes, zucchini and sweet onion chunks.