New Recipe Sunday: Chicken and Shitake Marsala (Plus the Greatness of “The Art of Charm”)

Chicken and Shitake Marsala
Chicken and Shitake Marsala

So I figured it was time for New Recipe Sunday to take a break from soups for a while thanks to the majority of the last several months being recipes for something one would devour out of a bowl (plus, I made a tasty taco chicken soup yesterday, so it seemed silly to make another soup today), and that led to my finding this recipe for Chicken and Shitake Marsala.

The recipe is extremely easy, and the majority of the few ingredients the recipe calls for I had on hand, which made my financial budget quite happy. Chicken breast tenderloins were substituted for the chicken breast. Plus, it seemed like a good idea to throw in some shallots (and it was although the green onions alone would have been fine). Furthermore, after reading the comments, I did double the material for the sauce (but stayed clear of using a whole stick of butter as one person recommended. Although tasty I am sure, a whole stick of butter seems like overkill). Truth be told, it was nice to eat something using a fork and a knife rather than a spoon too.

In Other Areas of My Life

2015 is already flying by, and last week disappeared quickly thanks to work and some community meetings keeping it extremely busy. The latest set of New Year’s Resolutions were worked into my schedule where I could find a bit of time here and there. This week promises to be a bit easier going, so that should be nice.

While busy, this last week also offered quite a bit of time for reflection and also validation on last year’s and this year’s New Year’s Resolutions. For starters, Wednesday night around 10:00 PM, I realized my furnace was not working. The temperature had dropped already to 60 degrees, and the outside temperatures that night were frightfully cold. Last year, something similar had happened, and it had turned out the drainage pipe had frozen over with then the water backing up into the machine.

Throwing on my robe and grabbing my battery-operated lantern, I went to investigate to see if something similar had happened. Sure enough, thanks to the leaves I had told myself time and again to take care of last fall but never did, ice surrounded the pipe. The thought of waking up in an even colder house did not seem too enticing, so after draining the furnace (whenever anyone comes to fix or do something in/on my house, I tend to stick around and chat with them. While doing so, they show me a few tricks of their trade. This has led to my learning all sorts of things from quick fixes like this with my furnace, plumbing tips, how to put up siding (I joined the crew for a day), and some electrical work (still going to call my electrician on that one though)), I started the defrosting process first with a large measuring cup of hot water before pulling a MacGyver with a plastic container and an old Camelbak hose to take care of the six or so inches of ice inside the pipe.

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My Nifty Helper

Although the problem was solved in a little under an hour, I kept thinking, “If I would not have procrastinated on picking up the leaves, I would never have been outside in the cold, looking silly with my pouring hot water into a plastic container, which then drained through a hose strategically placed in the pipe” (Okay, I was a bit proud of myself for figuring out a way to avoid calling my great furnace guy to come to the rescue).  On a side note, the leaves around the drainage pipe are taken care of now, and they will be from here on out.

During another part of the week, I ran across something that has already changed my life for the better. While looking for something to listen to while working out and cleaning the house, I came across The Art of Charm podcast. Simply said, it’s great, and I would definitely recommend. They interview these experts on extremely helpful topics on how to improve one’s life in all sorts of ways. It started back in 2007, so there are quite a few episodes (364 is the total episode count as of today), which has led to my jumping through the years and listening to ones that caught my immediate attention.

Several of them I have listened to these last few days have been about the problems of being a nice guy, and yep, last year’s New Year’s Resolution about being a good guy rather than a nice guy was definitely a great one for me to take on. The episodes have led to my thinking about all sorts of memories and how different the outcomes would have been if my perspective on my actions would be how it is now. However, one cannot change the past, and the past did make me who I am today, but one can easily change tracks to avoid repeating the past, and thanks to this podcast, that is definitely what is going to happen because not only has it given validation towards these resolutions but it has also given me some great tools to help achieve them.

Needless to say, if you are looking for a great podcast, definitely give The Art of Charm a try.

Know of other great podcasts you would recommend? If so, please let me know.

Back to getting ready for the week I should go. May your week be amazing, and I hope your 2015 is off to a great start!


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