Monday, March 29, 2010

Greek Chicken Pasta

For the last two months or so, I've been taking the time to plan out our menus for the whole week. I've really enjoyed it - it's given me the chance to try out a bunch of new recipes and get out of a cooking rut. It also eliminates extraneous trips to the grocery store. This week, I am cooking almost exclusively from back issues of Taste of Home magazine. Thanks for the subscription, Mom. This one was really good, flavorful, made a ton and was pretty inexpensive to make.

Greek Chicken Pasta

2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1/4 c. butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
3 c. cubed cooked chicken
1 jar (7 1/2 oz) marinated artichoke hearts
1 c. crumbled feta
1/2 c. chopped oil packed sun dried tomatoes
1/3 c. sliced pitted Greek olives (I omitted the olives)
2 T. minced fresh parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large ovenproof skillet, melt butter. Add onion and saute until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually add chicken broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened. Stir in chicken, artichokes, tomatoes, olives and feta.

Drain pasta; stir into the pan. Broil 3-4 in. from heat for 5-7 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

House Hunting Update

Today I met with a realtor and I really liked her. I think she is going to do a great job finding a bigger home for us. She has been in the business for 15 years and is a specialist in short sales. Her office even does property management and will be able to help us with renting our current condo.

I finished getting the pre-approval from Wells Fargo earlier this week and now I think we are ready to go. We don't have a time table on finding a place, but we'd like to be able to take advantage of the tax credit if we can. Wish us luck!

Monday, March 22, 2010

National Museum of the Marine Corps

As we were driving home from Georgia on the 14th, we once again passed this funny looking building on I-95 near Quantico. All you can see from the interstate is the spire on the top and we decided this time that we were going to make a trip back down and see what it was all about.

Saturday was a gorgeous day and I wanted to go to the IKEA anyway, so we headed back down 95 to check out the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

We were really surprised by how large the museum is. The building is designed to reference the flag raising at Iwo Jima and it situated on 135 acres. The building itself is 118,000 square feet and has several exhibit halls dedicated to Marine service in different conflicts. We looked thorough the World War II and Vietnam exhibits. They have the actual flag from Iwo Jima on display. They have a number of planes, tanks and firearms of all sizes, uniform insignia and even an Academy Award.

This is in the gift shop. It is a model of the Iwo Jima statue made out of Lego blocks. I couldn't resist.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Last Night's Commute

This is what happened on my way home from work last night. First of all, let me say that I am fine and was never really in danger.

I take the train from my office to the Pentagon and then catch a bus the rest of the way home. The entrance to the Metro station is at the top of a slope, then you can walk straight out to the upper level bus bays or go down to the lower level ones. My bus is on the lower level.

I was waiting for the bus that is supposed to come at 6:24 p.m., but which never does. It was about 6:30 when I see the bus pull up at the upper level to let passengers off. Then it is supposed to loop around to the lower level and pick us up. Well, it sits up there for a long time and I assume the driver has gotten off to go to the bathroom.

At about 6:35, I turn back around to wait for the bus. Shortly thereafter, I hear a noise and just have enough time to think to myself "That sounded like gunfire." when police cars start coming from everywhere. It takes a couple of more minutes before Metro employees start herding people down to the far end of the bus bays. About that time, our bus pulls up, we get on and leave. As we are pulling out, we are passed by an ambulance and fire truck.

When we are about halfway through the route and well away from the Pentagon, the driver gets a call that they have closed the station and that the bus cannot return at the end of the route. As of now, the Metro station and the bus bays are still closed, so I am not sure how I am getting home this evening. Hopefully they will reopen later today.