Persian Sabzi Polo (rice dish)

Just finished cooking

Type: Side Dish (rice)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen fava beans
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Kalbi Pork, Sabzi Polo and Garlic Bread

Instructions:

  1. Rinse rice under tap water.
  2. Prepare parsley and dill by chopping them finely
  3. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil (not part of the ingredients above).
  4. Once boiling, put rice into water and boil until rice rises to the surface of the water.
  5. Drain rice of water, then thoroughly stir in oil and the 1/2 cup water from above.
  6. Add parsley, dill, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
  7. Place rice back on stove, cook over medium for 4-5 minutes
  8. Cover and simmer rice on low for another 40 minutes.
  9. Eat as much rice as you can. It is optional if you want to have a meat side dish, or just enjoy the tasty tasty rice.

Per Wikipedia: Sabzi polo (Persian: سبزی پلو‎‎) is an Iranian (Persian) dish of rice and chopped herbs, usually served with fish. In Persian, sabz means green, and sabzi can refer to herbs or vegetables. Polo is a style of cooked rice, known in English as pilaf.

The herbs used in sabzi polo vary, but typically include coriander, dill, chives or scallions, fenugreek, and parsley. It can be done from both, fresh and dried herbs.

Iranians traditionally eat sabzi polo with māhi sefid (“white fish”), the Caspian kutum, for lunch on Nowruz, the Iranian new year, with their family and relatives.

Peanut Butter Bar

Peanut Butter Bar

Type: Cookies & Bars
Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  35 mins
Total time:  50 mins
Serves: 12 pieces at least
Results: The hubby really liked this recipe. The peanut butter taste isn’t overwhelming and it isn’t too sweet. We did not make the frosting, it would be pretty sweet and without it was tasty enough!

INGREDIENTS

yep, lazy with less pictures this time.

BAR

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 16 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1.5 cup peanut butter (I used both because that is what we had)
  • 1.5 cup granulated sugar
  • .5 cup golden brown sugar, packed
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 4 eggs at room tempurature
  • 2 Cups flour, sifted

BAR DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray coat the pan.
  2. Melt butter and peanut butter together then set aside to cool.
  3. Sift sugars and salt.
  4. Whisk in one egg at a time until combined.
  5. Add vanilla.
  6. Whisk in peanut butter mixture until combined.
  7. Sift in flour and mix until flour just disappears.
  8. Pour into prepared pan and bake (about 35 minutes).

Icing

  • 1 C confectioner’s sugar
  • .25 cup peanut butter, melted
  • Milk (based on your thickness preference).

Once bars have cooled, flip out onto a cooling rack fitted into a cookie sheet (to catch the icing).  Mix icing ingredients togther until of desired consistency.  Drizzle over bars.  Let icing set up and cut.

Oatmeal Pie

OATMEAL PIE 

Type: Dessert (Pie)
Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  40 mins
Total time:  55 mins
Serves: However many you want (6-8 is what seems reasonable).
Results: Pretty good, this initial recipe is a bit sweet for me but I really like it. I will attempt less sugar next time (not dark corn syrup, that is important) and update this recipe as I go.
Yep, lazy on the crust today.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3/4 stick (6 tbs) butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 1 unbaked, frozen 9-inch pie crust (I got really lazy here)
INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 325 and place unbaked, frozen pie shell on baking sheet.

2. Cream sugar and butter.

3. Mix in eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl.

4. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in oats.

5. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 325 for 45 minutes or until crust is brown and center is just a bit jiggly.

6. Enjoy fully by eating it!

Old School Oatmeal Cookies

Old School Oatmeal Cookies

oatmeal cookies
Fresh baked oatmeal cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. shortening, soft
  • 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 c. oats, uncooked

Instructions:

  • oatmealcookies2
    Perhaps a little overdone

    Combine in a mixer the sugar, eggs, vanilla water and shortening together.

  • Add the flour, soda and salt in a separate bowl and stir together.
  • Cream the flour mixture into the sugar/shortening mixture.
  • Add oats into the mix.
  • Drop by the teaspoon onto greased cookie sheets (or in my case silicon baking mat).
  • Bake on preheated oven at 350 degrees for approximately 13 minutes (give or take based on taste).
  • Let sit for at least 5 minutes to cool down.
  • Enjoy

I think these are the best oatmeal cookies I have tasted in years.

Life Changes

Be still my beating heart, I am actually posting a typed entry along with a video :).

Things are undergoing some major changes, I have mentioned some but not very clearly. Today is my last day on the job as a State Auditor (tomorrow is my last official day, but I took a furlough day to take it off). I accepted a position with the County as a Senior Accounting Analyst. Its a lot of changes, but I think overall it is for the better. I start the County on October 8th (next Monday).

The biggest pros are money and travel. Currently as a State Auditor my pay is lower mid range for my profession, and I am almost capped out. The problem being is the state already has us under a 3% paycut due to the economy and no COLA (Cost of Living Allowance, increase for inflation) for the last four years. Supposedly this year we will get the 3% paycut back (no COLA still) but the state is short by almost a billion dollars again and we all know we wont get it back and in fact it may go up to a 5% paycut. This doesn’t include the fact that in the last four years my benefits out of pocket cost as quadrupled (yes four times) and the coverage has dropped so much its almost a why bother (but not quite).

Local and federal government (at least in Washington) pays more than state. My new job will start me above the max I can make with the office, the benefits are better and and cheaper. Both of these things alone are worth it. In addition I get my own cubicle, dear god how I look forward to that. I like moving around for the fact that if something goes bad I only have to deal with it for a few weeks. However, I am tired of working out of basements, electrical closets, no bathroom within five miles. Having my own space will be great.

Another reason I took the County job specifically is I have audited them three years in a row. I am familiar with the operation and the position I will be in. I will be directly across the table in conferences from where I hae been currently (meaning I am one of the people being directly audited). The people there are pretty damn cool as well. The Controller and the lead Analyst are both ex-State Auditors. The person I am replacing was also a State Auditor so they will understand that while I know how to audit fund balances and controls, I don’t have the other side experience. They are already prepping to get me training.

Oh, and  a side note, I have the same retirement. All local/state employees in Washington (except for three cities that have their own reitrement) use the same retirement, so I maintain my same retirement with no drop in contributions.

Another huge reason for the jump is travel. Right now I put 20+ thousand miles a year on my car for my job, depending on the audit. I spend up to 1.5-2 hours each way in travel (also depending on audit, probably at the moment closer to 1.5 or slightly less). I don’t get reimbursed fully due to state cuts and my work days end up being 11-12 hours for only an 8 hour job (that is the worst side, it can go down to a 9-10 hours normally). The County building is directly on the “Swift” route of buses. The Swift is a bus line that has something like 12 stops along its entire route (which spands from Everett down past my house in Lynnwood, approximately 15 miles). I live four blocks form a Swift stop, and the County is a Swift stop. It means that I can get on a bus, and 35 minutes later I will be at the County, not driving. 35-45 minutes is the absolute minimum drive for me with my new apartment so it matches up. Plus the County reimburses for the bus pass.

Another thing I hadn’t realized I wouldn’t  miss was lugging all my equipment. A overstuffed backpack with a laptop, and then a roller suitecase with printer, router, paper, manuals, and office supplies that i lug everday to whatever audit site I am on. Now I will just get my coat on, maybe bring a lunchbox and if I want to bring something I can use my own backpack, but I can mostly just walk on the bus with no luggage.

I have a lot of spite at the moment with the Auditor’s Office. I will probably post some on it later after I start my new job. Even with the spite though, I will miss some of my coworkers, and the ability to walk away after a few weeks. However, I have had problems in the office with supervisors so its not like I can walk away from that. So I guess I am wrong, its not so easy to get away from drama.

TL;DR: I am leaving the Auditor’s Office this week, this is my last actual working day. I start at the County as a Senior Accounting Analyst (basically a Fund analyst) on Monday for better pay, better benefits and my own actual cubicle :).

 

edit: I uploaded a quick video for those of you who don’t want to read. I am trying to do both video and post at same time. Oh and I didn’t prep for the video so my appearance not the best 🙂

August 17 2012 – General Update, Health & The Batman

This is my first remote update. I kind of like the 2-4 minute update from a non-home location using my iPhone. I think I might do this, it is easy enough I could do it daily without a problem.

 

Church and Taxes short rant

I was reading about a petition to enforce federal 501(c)(3) regulations by removing the tax-exempt status from churches that engage in political activity. Basically a lot of churches support political positions or candidates from the pulpit.

I firmly think the second a priest/minister/or someone else in a church starts supporting anything on the ballot, or political driven, that church needs to lose its tax exempt status immediately, do not pass go, do not collect your $200.

It’s horrible that they claim tax exempt to begin with (actually I don’t think anything should be tax exempt, including charities, etc, you only pay taxes on profit so therefore everyone who makes a profit should be paying). It is especially horrible to be up there promoting politics of any sort without having to pay the tax man. You don’t get benefits from both sides, or you shouldn’t at least.

I am not sure if its this way now, but a few years ago the only IRS recognized church that paid its taxes voluntarily and didn’t claim “exemption” was the Church of Satan headed by Anton Lavey. It is sad when the only church with ethics is the Satanic Church.