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And he can cook!

May 14, 2009

If it weren’t for Mr. MaidenShade I’d eat nothing but cold cereal and never leave my office/studio except for that absolutely necessary potty break now and then. And I’d always be in my PJ’s with my hair pulled straight back into a knot at the back of my head. Not a pretty picture, but I’m only being honest.

Now I know I am not alone here – I’ve read your blogs. You get glued to your chair, hour after hour too. How can you help but do that? We’ve got blogs to visit, comments to make, pictures to link to and post, store website maintenance – and then there’s the actual authoring of our posts and the general blog upkeep.

If you’re like me, which many of you are (again, I’ve been watching you!) you also have products to create, produce, purchase materials for, take pictures of, market, list – sell, package, ship – I mean, it’s no wonder we don’t leave our workrooms! Cook and clean? Yeah, right. For me at least, this is reserved for brief and manic super-sets of tearing through the house doing what absolutely needs to be done so I can say, “see, I really DO, do other stuff” to convince myself and my husband I’m keeping up my end of the homemaking bargain around here.

Because of all of these apparently essential and necessary things to be done by only myself, Mr. M. ( like your companion of choice I’m sure,) puts up with me spending hour after hour, day after day here on the computer.

After working in commercial lending all day, he comes home to find me still at my desk and sometimes asks in awe, “have you been sitting there since I left this morning?” He’s not mad at me, he just cannot believe I can physically or mentally do it. But hey, no prob – I’m focused and driven!  (No I am NOT obsessive and a type A personality,  just be quiet!) 

He casually passes by occasionally in the evening on his way to the loo and looks in (I hear him moving on stealthy feet, I think he learned that from our cats) to see if I’m about ready to move my hinder-binder off of the chair so he can go on eBay to look at golf clubs and such.  But I’m never finished, I could sit here forever it seems. Even when Idol, Lie to Me, Supernatural, or The Mentalist come on at 8 or 9 p.m., I am sometimes nooot quiiite done. So I listen with one ear turned in the direction of the TV down the hall, and keep typing.  (Don’t worry, he gets the computer from 10-12 after our shows when I’m zonked out.) 

A veritable almost-saint, I adore this man; we’ve been married for over 14 years. He lets me have lots of cats, supports me since losing my job with starting my business, MaidenShade; he does every art show with me from setting up to sitting there being the cashier and keeps me company, gives me opinions on my stuff, does the books – and he feeds me. Often. 

Here he is, it always helps to put a face to a name – His name is David.  


Here’s my favorite image of him, with his true, sweet nature so transparently evident in every line of his gentle form:  


I think that’s the most precious picture.  But, back to the feeding – he cooks fabulous things for me, isn’t that the best? I mean, I’ll cook too when called upon by overwhelming guilt and shame, and I’m a darn good cook, but I’m busy right now… ahem. I have to serve this delightful blog to you fresh daily, like I promised, right? Right.

Below I’m going to share with you what he’s cooked for me the last 2 nights. You’ll be so impressed when you read these!  This is no lie, I’m not making it up, he really did. These were absolutely delicious. They’ll be posted in my Recipe section of this blog, under Main Courses too (feel free to add recipes please). If you want me to email them to you, it would be my pleasure. Enjoy!

Mustard-Tarragon Roast Chicken With Egg Noodles 


  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh tarragon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut into pieces (I use 4-6 thighs) remove skin
  • 1 12-ounce package egg noodles
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine


Heat oven to 400° F.

In a large bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the oil, the garlic, tarragon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat, place in fridge and let marinade for 1/2 hour. Place the chicken in a roasting pan (putting some of the garlic and tarragon bits on top), and roast until cooked through, about 45 minutes..

During the last 15 minutes of roasting, cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Add a bit of the sauce, the extra oil and toss to coat. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Place the pan containing the drippings over medium-high heat. Add the wine and cook, stirring and scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine reduces slightly, about 5 minutes. Serve by spooning the sauce over the top of the noodles and chicken on individual plates.

TIP 1: We like dark meat. We do not like breasts as they are dry and not as rich, cutting up a whole chicken is a PITA so we buy a package of skinless thighs and use that. Sometimes its 4 huge ones, might be 6 or so smaller ones – use whatever equals about 4 pounds of whatever parts YOU like.

TIP 2: I have Sjogren’s and therefore have no spit. So I need sauce. Lots of sauce. We double our sauces, so make double of the marinade stuff, and extend the wine with some chicken broth to make more sauce – you’ll be sorry if you don’t as it’s delicious.

Lamb Curry 


  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 apple, pared and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 cups cubed cooked lamb
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice
  • Optional: 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, hard cooked eggs, or chutney (we used none of these)


Melt butter in large saucepan. Add onion, green pepper, celery and apple slices; cook and stir gently until onion is tender. Stir in curry powder, salt and flour. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is hot. Remove from heat.

Stir in broth gradually. Replace the pan to cooking surface, heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in meat; heat through, stirring occasionally, about 1 minutes. Serve over rice. Pass peanuts, eggs, and/or chutney to sprinkle on top. 4 to 6 servings

TIP 1: David precooked the lamb steaks he used in the oven covered at 350 for 45 minutes. He poured the resulting juice in a 4 cup measuring cup, added the cold chicken broth and the fat rose to the top so he could take it off easily.

TIP 2: David didn’t have green peppers so he substituted green beans, honest, he really did! He said, “they were green” ROFL!!! But it was delicious.

Freezes well for 4 months.


 David & Jennifer

 Happy Birthday Molly!



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16 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily permalink
    May 14, 2009 9:27 am

    OK getting as bad as my daughter, been on your blog all morning, thanks for the recipes. Love

  2. Pamela permalink
    May 14, 2009 9:50 am

    Hi Jennifer, I love reading these, I find myself smiling at the whimsical way you write. I’ll try to read as often as I can while trying to be a competent County employee! Hope you and David have a wonderful Memorial weekend. Talk soon, be safe and God’s blessings!

    Pamelalala (this name came from Linda Kirchoff!) 🙂

  3. May 14, 2009 10:25 am

    Dear Emily – TY, your daughter; ) Pamelalala (LOVE IT) you’re a doll! xJ

  4. Jodi permalink
    May 14, 2009 10:40 am

    …and YOU taught me to cook! Love you Jennifer xoxo 🙂

  5. May 14, 2009 10:49 am

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who sits at the ‘puter all day! I do cook though hubby interfers sometimes ’cause he can’t help himself!
    Have a happy weekend.

  6. May 14, 2009 12:25 pm

    Yummy! Great article Jenny! I see David tasting that deer in the photo above and it makes me think we’ll have venison for dinner 🙂

    FYI, Mary’s company, has a product called MacGourment Deluxe – great for categorizing recipes, calculate calories, helping with the shopping list all from your Mac or iPhone. Cool!

  7. May 14, 2009 1:16 pm

    Dear Gentle Readers,
    No fear, he is NOT tasting the deer!

    (LOL M!)

  8. May 14, 2009 2:35 pm

    SWEET photo with the deer!

  9. May 14, 2009 2:39 pm

    He cooks and he’s cute, too! ;p

    Well, I do have blogs and try to list things as much as I can but my days of sitting endlessly at the computer are over. Dear Bebe just won’t have it. I’ll have to teach her how to type…

  10. May 14, 2009 2:54 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. Yes, I have been in the chair almost non-stop for about 11 years and 4 months, and 25 pounds. (Hey, I still wear a size 10, so don’t go too overboard with that mental picture.) And, yes, even Idol is not really as interesting as my online stuff.

    Going to New Orleans in a few days. Up for a road trip and lunch? Are you on the west coast? I was thinking so.

    How how how do I sign in here once and then not have to again?

    (Oh, geesh, just looked it up. See west coast to me is Tampa. You are way down from there.)

  11. May 14, 2009 4:22 pm

    Hi Nancy – I have it set up so you shouldn’t have to sign in when you leave a comment on MaidenShade Matters, so I don’t know what’s going on? I went and checked and everything is set up so people do NOT have to sign in, so I just am flummoxed. There isn’t anything I can find in their “help” about it either…

    But let me tell you what happens when I leave comments. For every person who has a blogspot blog, after I make my comments I have to choose an identity, tick a box for wordpress, type in “MaidenShade” which is my wordpress identity, click “publish your comment” and wait to see if it posts or not. Then the next step is that on some I have to fill out a scrambled bunch of text to make sure I’m human, click another “publish” bar and wait to make sure it has posted. Very, very time consuming. For people who have that other kind – typepad I think? It is almost as much of a hassle. I guess they are trying to minimize spam, but it makes commenting very inconvenient when you’re trying to do many a day. Right? Right.

    Kind Regards, Sorry for the Inconvenience; (

  12. May 14, 2009 7:46 pm

    Look at what I was sent, LOL:

    Offender : You!
    Date: Today
    Time: 3:00 a.m.

    Offence # : in front of the computer TOO LONG!
    Details of Offence : During our routine sweep of the Internet we, the Internet Police, have discovered that you have been on your chair in front of the computer TOO LONG!

    You are HEREBY ORDERED to clean up that pile of cups, cans, wrappers and papers on your desk (yes, we can see you – sit up straight!) and after you have logged into the real world for a minimum of ten minutes you may log back on to the Internet. Failure to comply may result in loss of reality, carpal tunnel syndrome, and the requirement of a larger chair.
    The timer starts NOW! Get off your butt – you’ll thank us for it later.

    LoL looks like you needed the internet police today
    Thanks for dropping bye
    Please visit again

  13. May 14, 2009 8:02 pm

    Hi MaidenShade,

    This is I just wanted to let you know that for the past 2 days I have been trying to add you to my sidebar under favorites and am unable to do so? I don’t know why but Blogger won’t let me add you. Do you have any suggestions? I didn’t want you to think that I forgot about you.

    Please let me know if you can figure out why?


  14. May 14, 2009 9:46 pm

    I’m sending you an email – ty for letting me know!

  15. May 17, 2009 1:20 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves sitting in front of computer. There are always stuff to do, you’re right! Good thing that hubby just bought a new laptop so I can have this one for myself 🙂 No more fighthing.

    And the recipe sounds delicious. I should try it once I move to Toronto. Wish you have a picture of it but yet, I think it will just make me drool even more, so good thinking for not having it posted.

    Enjoy your Sunday!

  16. Molly permalink
    May 18, 2009 9:38 pm

    Hi Jenny,

    I don’t know if this will work so late. I’m sorry it took me so long to get to this. I don’t ever ignore you, it just gets so late by the time I get to my computer! I’m the exact opposite of you bloggers: I can hardly bring myself to sit on the computer. Anyhoo, I love your writing, always have. The recipes sound wonderful! I can attest to the cooking abilities of both of you. Mmmmm. I loved the card you sent for my birthday. What a perfect picture! I will try to figure out how to get to this blog and check in once a week or so.

    Love you!

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