Cooking, Personally Speaking

Lunch to Supper

I love to cook, but I don’t want to spend a life time in the kitchen which is why I love to make meals that the family loves but does not take a long time for me to get on the table. For my lunch I like a simple little dish which I have talked about before but it is easy to make it work just the same for supper, you just need to make some changes that make it feel like it bigger than it really is. Since this is a little bit bigger I use a wok but only because I have one. You can use whatever pan will hold everything if you don’t. Thawed chicken, cut into bite sized pieces. Amount of everything will depend on how much chicken – I usually do three breasts a package of frozen broccoli, and I use something like 2 tsp for that. You should have enough to coat your pan, so the chicken doesn’t stick. Cook it on medium heat. You want enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan in a thin shimmery layer and you’d want to cook the chicken over high heat. I find chicken tough to cut up evenly before cooking it. If you’re having trouble with it, it’s easier when it’s partially frozen – it holds its shape more, so you can see what you’re doing. When you throw in the broccoli, you can add the sauces too and stir it up and let it all steam together. I throw it in frozen, you can thaw it if you want, it’ll cook faster that way. Turn the heat down to medium low after you add the broccoli/cover to steam. Stir it every few minutes so that the stuff on the bottom doesn’t get overcooked. I’d turn it down when you throw it on, just to give yourself some more wiggle room. The chicken will have some residual heat to help the broccoli along. For the sauces, I’d guess it’s about 1 tsp of each per chicken breast, although you can add more sriracha if you like it hotter. If you want to change it up, you can also do thinly sliced carrots, mushrooms, peppers, snow peas, or you can get the bags of frozen “stir fry” veggies if you don’t feel like assembling/prepping your own stuff. This recipe works pretty well for beef, too, but beef is easier to overcook imo.
London, OH

Hiking, Camping, and Ohio Parks

We left the kids with granma and went to Wildcat Hollow in Wayne National Forest and thought it was great. Didn’t see another human being the entire time. It was nice and very easy though we moved sites a lot. I have no problem with backpacking and taking everything with me from campsite to campsite, but I would also like options where I can set up a camp, hike out and then return to the site in the evening I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to drink the water but it was so clear and cool that it looked like you amost could. The friend of my husband that had suggested it said that the mining had made it bad. Mining can leave toxic heavy metals in the water table that cannot be treated with backpacking equipment. We cached some water about halfway and didn’t have a problem. The northern section of the backpacking loop was a bit over grown and I got a couple of ticks. But we saw nobody for over 9 hours. Got pretty close to a deer on the trail. I’m talking about the portion that is not around the lake but up by the remnants of the fire tower.
London, OH

What Puts Ohio on the Map

I bet you didn’t realize it but we are actually pretty central to many peoples’ lives. Here are some cool facts:
  • Ohio is the largest producer of Swiss cheese in the US
  • 2nd largest egg producer
  • 3rd in tomatoes
  • Has the largest ketchup production plant in the US located in Fremont and if you like French fried Heinz is a big deal….
And when we have the news on or I read a paper, any time I hear a story about someone stabbing their mother over a cheeseburger, I know it’s from Toledo. That’s Ohio in a buckeye shell.
Personally Speaking

How I Lunch

This is a quick one. But I just thought I would share what a typical lunch looks like for me. I make the other women at the office jealous. I cook chicken in sesame oil, add broccoli, put a lid on it and let it steam. Add a tablespoon of oyster flavored sauce, a squirt of soy sauce and a squirt of sriracha. Eat over plain rice. I have those nice little disposable containers and I mix the rice and veggies when I am ready to eat. Coconut oil is tasty too, if you’re not watching sat fats (which I am).
Personally Speaking

We Are A Swinging State

Have you ever wondered why we are your perfect example of a swing state? The reason is simple. We are the US. At least we are the US on a small scale. We have 3 major cities that go hardcore blue, a handful of less known cities that also go blue, and alot of farm land that can magically vote Republican. Out in the country the GOP is strong. Throw in an atrocious amount of gerrymandering and you get Ohio. And while Ohio may be on the northern side of the country you’ll only find democrats near the cities.
Personally Speaking

Alcohol State Park

Are alcoholic beverages allowed in state parks?

Alcohol is prohibited in public areas in every state park. The only exceptions are resort lodge restaurants and lounges, which provide complete beverage service. In addition, the golf course pro shops at Deer Creek, Hueston Woods, Maumee Bay, Punderson, and Salt Fork offer limited beverage service. The State of Ohio legal age for possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is 21 years of age.

If you're discreet and responsible, you can drink at your campsite.

Technically still against the rules, but I've had rangers walk past me when I waved with a beer in my hand because he was on his way to toss out some rowdy kids who weren't discreet or responsible.



Wildwood was my favorite as a kid. I remember it got shut down years ago. I think it was near bankruptcy. Today I looked it up to see what happened to it. It looks like time has made it a quiet neighborhood. Another good one was Dover Lake.

They closed in 2006 for undisclosed reasons.

Brandywine ski resort purchased it and it looks like everything is still there, at least according to this overhead photo from bing, whenever that was taken.

Holiday Cheer

A Dash of Eggnog

My family eggnog recipe includes Myers Dark, a Spicy Bourbon, and a brandy floater. Eggnog is the best if you make it yourself.

Here is our recipe:

1 750ml bottle of Bourbon (We prefer bourbons with a nice strong nose of alcohol)
1 375ml of a dark spiced rum (Myers is the only way to really go here)
grate up some nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice (think Pumpkin Pie seasonings)
Mix it up and stick it in a sealed container in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

Make sure you chill the glasses ahead of time and serve it with a nice thick layer of brandy on top.

Personally Speaking

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The park is a nice spot for some mellow day hikes. Mostly the trails are through an established hardwood forest that was carved up in interesting ways by the glaciers that used to frequent the area. Think of it as a shady woods, with mossy sandstone cliffs and rocks, with some streams and waterfalls. If you were just walking the trails leisurely, most trail heads can be explored in under 3 hours, giving you the chance to then drive to another part of the park and explore some more. It has some fantastic hikes, wonderful waterfalls, and contains part of one heck of a bike trail. Just keep in mind that the park is designed around visitors taking a quick day trip from one of the surrounding cities. Most everything is a short walk from a parking area, with a heavy focus on picnic spots for families. The bike trails are flat. Road biking between trail heads/destinations is possible, but keep in mind the roads are two lane with a minimal shoulder and folks tend to drive a bit fast. There is a great farmers market there and some of the most dedicated volunteers. The area around Cuyahoga Valley National Park offers additional opportunities that those other areas do not offer. It is also bordered by several Cuyahoga and Summit county metroparks that are also great. It’s a great place to visit, but I’d definitely rank it in the bottom third of U.S. national parks, though that’s not necessarily an insult. It’d be like ranking in the bottom third of your class in Harvard. You still graduated Harvard.
London, OH

That Ohio Accent

I took a class with a girl from Dayton and she said I sounded like I was from the deepest South! I’m from a small town a little north of Columbus and having listened to recordings of my voice, there is a little bit of a drawl there, but I doubt if this girl had met actual Southerners. My father was a professor in Cleveland for many years but he grew up in the rural south. His accent lessened over the years and he always tried to enunciate. I usually don’t have much trouble with regional accents and have been exposed to a lot of various foreign visitors that speak limited English and understood them pretty well. There’s a historical basis to the accent you’re hearing in Dayton. From the 1920s to 1940s there was a massive migration from Eastern Kentucky to Southwest Ohio. If you’ve ever spent time in East Dayton, you’ll definitely hear the influence of Appalachia on the local accent. This is mentioned in the book Hillbilly Elegy bye the way. What you’re hearing is an Appalachian accent. It’s extremely common in our part of Ohio, especially in working class white neighborhoods.