Dead to Me

Nutshell: MUST WATCH, 30 minute episodes, Dark Comedy, good for everyone aka not just for the ladies

I am almost positive that loving Christina Applegate is something that all children of the 90’s were programmed for.  It goes hand in hand with our affection for boy bands and the secret Lisa Frank school supplies we have stashed in a box somewhere in our home.

Naturally while browsing Netflix, upon seeing a show starring the first Kelly we ever really cared about (sorry not sorry Kapowski and Taylor), I clicked on it immediately.  Before I knew it I was 4 episodes in and had to force myself to shut it off because it was 2 AM on a Friday and I haven’t been up that late since Carson Daly was on MTV.  Safe to say I finished this series before the weekend was over.

Dead to Me, is a dark comedy centered around Jen (Applegate) who just lost her husband suddenly in a hit and run, and ends up meeting Judy (Linda Cardellini of Freaks and Geeks fame) at a grief group.  The season unfolds around Jen trying to figure out who was behind her husband’s death, as her and Judy learn to deal with their own personal losses and new life.

This is an absolute must watch show.  It may just be my favorite show since I discovered The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  I realize these are strong words, and you think it may not live up to the hype but trust me friend, it does.  The show is produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay (the people responsible for Anchorman, The Other Guys, and more).

There are so many layers to this show.  The acting is incredible, and this is the perfect time to mention James Marsden (sigh) also has a starring role.  It’s dark but also hilarious, deep but also crude in moments.  The finale left me wanting more.  I am pacing waiting to hear when the next season is announced.

Trailer: Check it out HERE

Aired: May 3, 2019

Netflix

Starting: Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini, James Marsden

Created By: Liz Feldman (2 Broke Girls)

Nothing A Little Chicken Soup Can’t Fix

I had the worst cold of my adult life last week.  All I could do was sleep and blow my nose. One of those days where you imagine getting hit by a truck would feel better than you do in your bed under the covers.  

When I was younger, if I even sneezed in my Abuela Yaya’s presence, I could expect a full pot of chicken soup almost immediately.  Food was a huge part of how she showed her love to all of us. She fed us. Her chicken soup was actually the last thing she made for me before she passed.  Even through her cancer treatment, she did what she could to comfort us. I remember showing up early, and she finally let me in on her favorite Tomato sauce that she swears was the secret to her soup.  You should know she was a dirty liar who won’t give you the entire recipe to anything. Maybe she just wanted us to keep coming back for the real thing. However, the next time I made the soup, shortly after she passed, I put in some of the sauce like she told me to and it was the best one I ever made.

It’s been almost 10 years since she left us.  This soup is my secret weapon to any and all colds and viruses.  I now make it any time someone in my house sneezes in my presence because, thanks to Yaya, I know how loved and taken care of it feels to get a warm pot of chicken soup when you aren’t feeling your best. I made it for myself last week once I got the feeling in my legs back.  

I now make it in my instant pot, because that machine is magic.  However I made it in a pot for so long, that I am also giving instructions for the good old fashion way.  Also, feel free to sub in whatever veggies you have, or like to use. I mix it up depending my mood, and what is available. This is just a guide you can add in or take away vegetables or seasoning depending on your taste. Hope you enjoy

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lb skinless boneless chicken breast or cutlets also work
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • Tomato Sauce (I use Pomi Strained Tomatoes)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Bijol
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Dill
  • Noodles – I like thin noodles but it’s your preference

Veggies:

  • Potato
  • Malanga
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Spinach
  • Plantain
  • Garlic

Directions

Instant Pot

Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Pour three cups of chicken broth and add your chicken to the pot.  Add all your cut up vegetables (except spinach if using) and spices (except dill).  Add more broth if you think it needs it but do not pass the Max line. Pour in ¼ cup of tomato puree, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  

Close the top.  Make sure the pressure release valve is in place on Seal.  Press the Soup/Broth Button. Let the magic happen.

Once the pot is done cooking the soup, release the pressure by switching the valve to release. BE CAREFUL DO NOT OPEN THE VALVE WHEN YOUR HAND IS OVER IT. Open the lid.  Throw in any egg noodles, the spinach if using and a little dill.  Mix it all in and cover for 5-8 minutes. Enjoy.

Stove Top

Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. Pour 4 cups of broth into pot on medium high heat.  Add the chicken, and all your cut up vegetables (except spinach if using). Add in the spices to taste (except dill). Pour in ¼ cup of tomato puree, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  Mix it all together and bring to a boil. Let it boil strong for 2-3 minutes then cover and lower heat to medium-low. Let it cook mixing ever so often for 45 minutes to one hour. Add in the spinach (if using) noodles and the pinch of dill.  Mix in. Cover. Let stand for 5-8 minutes. Enjoy.

Let’s Just Say NO!

Over the weekend we celebrated my daughter, Dylan’s, 7th birthday with a big gymnastics party!   

I made the controversial decision this year to refrain from handing out goody bags to the kids.  Obviously, this did not make me very popular with the children.  I was the anti-Santa. I had so many adorable little 7 year olds coming up at me.  Each one would hug their mommy’s legs, eyes full of hope, voices timid as they said “um hi, Dylan’s mommy, thank you for the party, can I have my goody bag?”  I would gently come down to eye level with each one of their gorgeous little 7 year faces, and with a warm smile say “Nope!”

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I enjoyed saying no.  I’m not a monster. Did I feel guilty about it? Sure didn’t.  Not even a tiny bit. It was a relief.  I had just nailed this party {Yes- I did!}.  I brought in Mickey and Minnie.  I even had Mal from the Descendants pop in as a special surprise.  There was pizza, popcorn chicken, cupcakes, cookies, and all the pirate’s booty you could ever want.  I drew a line in the sand- no goody bags.  

Goody bags? Why do we do this to ourselves?  Do we not have enough going on as parents?! Why are we adding this absurd “to-do” to our lists that are already endless.  We, as parents, should get a goody bags {I mean vodka} for throwing our awesome little assholes parties in the first place.  We are already coordinating and managing all their school schedules, projects, homework, and the like. Plus their after school activities including but not limited to making sure they do not overlap, driving them, carpooling, buying all the required equipment, and coaching fees.  We plan and get dinner on the table. We monitor whether their shoes fit for crying out loud. We have jobs. We have relationships. Agreeing to take on a party is a bold task in the midst of all of this.

If we so lovingly and generously throw them a party, why do we also have to give goody bags full of cheap little garbage to all the kids who attend? Who started that trend?

Am I cheap? Yes! But that is not the point here.  Let’s do the math:

  • I dedicate  $5 p/kid (which is a lot) for the goody bag.  
  • At 40 kids that’s $200 just in goody bags.  This is a lot of money.

What am I getting for $5 to put in each bag-  It’s going to be either a bundle of cheap little plastic toys in line with the theme of the day, or slime or a lego set that you will inevitably step on because it was too small for them to assemble and they got bored.

The only thing worse than paying and assembling the goody bags, is knowing that inevitably you are going to have a few left over and now what are you supposed to do with all of it? Throwing away always seems wasteful, so out of guilt and obligation you keep it.  This, Marie Kondo, is how we end up with a house full of things that spark no joy!

I not only refuse to hand out goody bags to my guests going forward BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY I request that you do not give my kids goody bags at your party.  

Am I ungrateful? I guess the argument can be made.  However you want to know the dirty truth- when you give my child a goody bag it has the lifespan of however long it remains in my child’s field of vision.  The second I can throw that away without them noticing- it’s gone. Gone! You read that correctly.

Is it because I am extremely eco-friendly? No! But since I had to give up my plastic straw in my iced coffee, I decided to have a zero tolerance policy for plastic crap in our home. 

What are goody bags? Essentially a cheap bundle of  plastic uselessness, all of which manage to spread into all the random areas of my home, and ending with the inevitable stamp to my couch.  You know what I am talking about those cheap stamps that are impossible to remove from a child’s skin without a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  Don’t get me started on the stickers, mazes, straws, and candy.  I’m throwing it all away. No matter how nice you think it is. Stop being upset with me, you also want to throw out goody bags. Maybe not as quickly as I do, but you throw it all away as soon as you can.

I want us to stand together and agree we can take this off the list for future parties.  Save your money. Save the to-do. When you throw a party you’re not only entertaining my children for a significant amount of time but you are also feeding them.  They’re having a blast! That is the gift to them. It’s a win-win.  We should stand together as parents. No more goody bags. Say it with me NO MORE GOODY BAGS!