Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Questionnaire Revisted

As much as I try to embrace change, expand my horizons, and stretch my realm of knowledge, I also like to stay in my comfort zone.

I enjoy reveling in the things I know I like and revisit those things like old friends. They are comfortable, accessible, and provide endless pleasure.

Last year I posted the topic I’m about to post here, but my readership was much smaller and there weren’t too many comments.

As I am the same person, and I still like the topic, I thought I would revisit it for my larger readership and to satisfy my personal taste.

Back when I had more free time I would try to watch the program Inside the Actor’s Studio with James Lipton on the Bravo cable channel. It is an interesting program that has Lipton interviewing an actor for the majority of the evening and finally has the audience, students at the famed Actor’s Studio Drama School in New York City, question the subject.

In the program Lipton, before turning his guest over to the students, concludes his portion of the class with a questionnaire originated by French television personality Bernard Pivot after the Proust Questionnaire.

The Ten Questions Lipton asked are the following:

1. What is your favorite word?

2. What is your least favorite word?

3. What turns you on?

4. What turns you off?

5. What sound or noise do you love?

6. What sound or noise do you hate?

7. What is your favorite curse word?

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

9. What profession would you not like to do?

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

As I have expressed many times before, I enjoy learning about you, so please take a moment to fill out the questionnaire and leave your responses at the end of the blog.

Please join me tomorrow for a tasty Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187™Chatter.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Some weeks I wax poetic about the pure necessity of finding my Simple Joys and other weeks I rejoice in the happiness they provide.

The bottom line is, Simple Joys enrich my life, create a bridge when I am stranded on the island of frustration and stress, and help me find perspective when things seem to be spiraling out of control.

Now, without further ado, is today’s Simple Joys.

Wednesday Treat. Wednesdays are typically my busiest days that keep me out of the house for hours on end with three children who are in various stages of hunger, boredom, tiredness, and hyper-activity. We’ve been doing well with our manic schedule so I’m not complaining.

Last week, however, we had a reprieve when both my son’s den meeting was canceled and my evening commitment was, too. Having time to slow down was a pure Simple Joy.

Friendly’s. Taking advantage of our free time, I arranged for the children and me to dine at one of their favorite restaurants, Friendly’s. For those of you unfamiliar, Friendly’s sells hamburgers, sandwiches, and salads, but is best known for their outrageous ice cream concoctions.

My children all ate well, behaved well, and were thrilled with their ice cream treats. Eating alone in a restaurant with three children (severely outnumbered) can be risky and burdensome, but our experience was truly a Simple Joy!

Bedtime. Once we returned home from dinner I instructed the children to go directly upstairs to change for bed, insisting no televisions be turned on.

They ran up, started chasing one another then decided to bounce on their father and my bed.

They laughed, tickled each other, and screamed in pure bliss for nearly twenty minutes!

Hearing my three children getting along, regaled in laughter, and NOT fighting with one another was another rare and heart-warming Simple Joy.

Mending. My mother, bless her heart, is not a very good seamstress. She could sew a button, fix a hem or sew on a Girl Scout Patch (well, one time she sewed the sash and patch into her robe!), but she was not the most talented. Fortunately she did teach me those techniques, equipped me with the correct tools, and wished me well.

The last thing I did on my Wednesday night off was mend my daughter’s Princess dresses that she is very hard on, after all, she’s two! It took me a great deal of time and concentration, but to see the garments fixed and wearable yet still pretty made me feel like a Rock Star Mom! Simple Joys to the nth degree!

Girl’s Night Out. I don’t get to enjoy these often enough so when one comes up you can be darn sure I’ll post it.

Lovely ladies who are all highly intelligent, super gorgeous, and freakin’ hilarious eating sushi on a Saturday night is my idea of fun and that's exactly how I spent Saturday night!

And as wonderful as that is, snuggling with my husband when I return is even more of a Simple Joy that I relish greatly.

It doesn’t take money, Simple Joys can be created out of any moment or situation. By opening your hearts and mind to Simple Joys, they can be captured. The more you experience the more you will find!

Please join me tomorrow as I wax poetic about yet another topic on Chief 187™Chatter.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Media Blog-Favorite Reality TV

Welcome to the Monday Media Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

Reality shows have littered the airwaves for many years now. Although I cannot wrap my brain around most, they are as popular as the police dramas and family sit-coms of old.

From housewives to wannabe performers, game players to celebrities of a certain ilk still trying to capitalize on their one-time fame, reality shows have had a staying power that now seems unstoppable.

Personally, my favorite reality television is sports. This is truly funny to me as growing up I couldn’t tolerate them. Now I see sports as the only true reality television, the real-life drama that unfolds in real time.

Like them or not, addicted or casual observer, what are your favorite reality television programs. How long have you been watching the show(s) in question? Do you watch every reality show in the chosen genre (i.e. ALL of the Housewives series, all the reality game shows, all the talent programs) or do you have one favorite and think the rest aren’t as good?

If you are like me and prefer sports as your reality television fix, what sports do you watch? Are you a twelve month watcher or do you have an off-season?

Lastly, do you prefer shows like American Pickers and Pawn Stars (History Channel) for reality television?

Thanks in advance for your participation!

Please join me tomorrow for the popular Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Music Blog-Twofer Topic

Welcome to the Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

This weekend holds a bevy of fine entertainment! On the sports end of things the fifty-fourth

running of the Great American Race, the Daytona 500, will be broadcast on Fox on Sunday starting at 12 noon.

On Sunday night the 84th Annual Academy Awards will be shown on ABC starting at 7pm EST.

I typically enjoy both events tremendously, but will be missing the Oscars because I’ll be on air doing The Final Round Show (sports) on on Sunday night.

This week’s Friday Music Blog topic will be split in two.

First, list any song that makes you think about racing, NASCAR, or Florida.

Second, list your favorite songs from movies – they don’t have to be Academy Award-winning movies, just songs featured in films.

Enjoy your weekend, and, while you do, check back to this blog and the site to see what all is happening. New selections get listed on the Friday Music Blog all of the time, and weekends are a superb time to catch up on your Chief 187™Chatter posts.

Since last week the site has gathered well over a thousand pageviews and is gaining even more momentum.

If you love what you see here, please share!

Everything I offer is free, fresh, new and original.

My goal is to bring it to a wider audience and with your help I’m doing just that!

I invite you back here on Monday as I begin another week of original Chief 187™Chatter posts.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tantalizing Thursday-Daytona 500 Edition

Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday Daytona 500 Edition on Chief 187™Chatter!

Historic, fuel-injected, and the fastest ticket around, the Daytona 500 will be broadcast on Fox this Sunday, February 26th starting at 12 noon EST.

Like with any big sports event, food is usually the centerpiece of the day. Whether entertaining friends or hauled up alone in your house watching the race like a junkie takes his long-awaited hit (forgive the horrendous simile, it’s been a long off-season), food has always been a vital ingredient to a winning day.

Since the coverage begins so early, not everybody is ready to start hitting the booze. The first recipe I’m offering up is for a non-alcoholic classic that harkens to Florida’s well-known crop, oranges. It’s a great start to any Daytona 500 shindig.

Orange Julius Recipe
Recipe from

• 1 can (6 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
• 1 cup milk
• 1 cup water
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 10 to 12 ice cubes

• In a blender, combine the orange juice, milk, water, sugar and vanilla. Cover and blend until smooth. With blender running, add ice cubes, one at a time, through the opening in lid. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Yield: 4-5 servings.

A nostalgic drink that many will remember from their days as mall rats as the brand name Orange Julius used to be in every mall in America. The treat is still refreshing, sweet, and very satisfying. It’s also a very reasonable drink to serve and have on hand for those who won’t imbibe.

To accompany the sweet, citrusy drink, some spicy popcorn which is rather nutritious in its whole graininess, may be in order. Try this recipe I found online!

Chili Cheese Popcorn
Recipe found on


• 3 tablespoons butter
• 3/4 teaspoon chili powder (or more if you like)
• A dash of cumin
• 8 cups popcorn – prefer air popped or pop with oil
• 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


In a sauce pan melt butter and mix in chili powder and cumin. Pour mixture over popcorn and toss. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and coat thoroughly. Let sit a few minutes to allow cooling, the mixture will harden on popcorn.

Personally, I would use whatever microwave popcorn I had on hand. This can be made ahead before your guests arrive (or you plant yourself in your chair in front of the television for the long haul). Again, it’s a healthier version of spicy foods that go so well on race day!

The Great American Race can be a long one, and, with the pack racing back, it just may have more than its fair share of “Big Ones” and possible red flags. You’ll need sustenance.

Try sticking to a relatively healthy yet extraordinarily tasty fish sandwich. This recipe stays in line with the Florida-themed foods you’ve got going on here, it’s rather easy to prepare, and tastes sinful without blowing your good eating habits.

Grilled Grouper Sandwich with Chipotle Tartar Sauce
Recipe from


• 3/4 cup mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons diced celery
• 1 tablespoon minced onion
• 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
• 1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
• 4 (5-ounce) grouper fillets
• 4 teaspoons lemon pepper
• 4 Kaiser rolls, toasted on grill
• 1 tomato, sliced
• 1 red onion, sliced
• 4 Napa cabbage leaves


1. To make the tartar sauce, combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill 3 hours.

2. Sprinkle grouper with lemon pepper. Grill fillets, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes with a fork. Place each fillet on a Kaiser roll. Top with Chipotle Tartar Sauce, tomato, onion, and cabbage.

Coastal Living
JULY 2005

As always, add what you like, omit what you don’t, and substitute with your favorite brands and variety of products. These are simply guides and ideas to get you more creative in your own kitchen, they are not laws.

Finally, as nightfall approaches, the spicy foods have settled and you’re longing for a bit of dessert, try this. I recommend making them the night before, but make a ton as they will go fast!

Chocolate Strawberries

Recipe from


• 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 pint fresh strawberries with leaves


In a microwave-safe bowl, or in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, cook chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth. Holding berries by the stem, dip each one in molten chocolate, about three-quarters of the way to the stem. Place, stem side down, on wire rack and chill in refrigerator until hardened.

I might recommend a cookie sheet lined in wax paper to place the finished product if it fits in your refrigerator.

All of these recipes are available at the sites I gave. They are all tasty, Florida foods,

relatively figure-friendly, simple to prepare, and yield big satisfaction!

Whether you are throwing a huge Daytona 500 party or simply going it alone or with a small group, I wish you an enjoyable time.

Don’t forget to look for my Daytona 500 Race Recap following the race!

Please join me tomorrow for the week ending Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Windfall Fantasy, What Would You Do?

Winter still has a hold on my corner of the world and, even though it has been a rather mild one, I still see dormant trees, grey skies, and little in terms of vibrant natural hues.

I’m not one to dwell in the negative (well, too long) so I thought we’d play a fun game for a bit of mid-week escapism. Take your time, stretch your imaginations, and have fun with this.

Windfall! Suppose you won $5,000 with no strings attached. The only stipulations were you could not spend it on bills, college funds, or other people. You had to spend it on you (or you and a spouse) and within a 48 hour period or less!

It’s not that $5,000 is so very much, but it’s enough to make a realistic fantasy come true.

Would you go to the Daytona 500? Would you escape to a tropical paradise or a snow skiing haven? Would you buy a piece of jewelry or a new wardrobe? Perhaps you would purchase a sound system or a “beater car”.

Tell what you would do, where you would go, what you would buy if you were to be given $5,000 to spend now on something other than practical necessities or safeguards. Make it fun, frivolous, and fantastic!

I can’t wait to read what y’all come up with today!

Please join me tomorrow for scrumptious recipes ideal for the Daytona 500 on Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187™Chatter.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

My favorite part of every week is finding the Simple Joys that will appear in this weekly post. Some weeks are more difficult than others to sift through the events of the last seven days, but overall it is a simple process that unfolds easily and organically.

Challenges, setbacks, frustrations, and bad moods can befall anyone in a given week, but by staying steadfast to the notion that Simple Joys exist for each of us and are there for the experiencing, then Simple Joys can color every week.

Now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.

Heart-shaped Pizza. I insisted on taking the family to the local pizzeria for dinner on Valentine’s night because they were donating a portion of each one to the local Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

Normally we dine at the pizzeria closer to our grocery store which is located in a different town, but we wanted to be supportive of the community and the schools.

My oldest child, a fourth-grader, has often lamented that he doesn’t have many friends. I, as his mother, internalize feelings of guilt for living far away from the center of town, choosing a house with neighbors who do not have children, and for leading a life with younger children and a career and after-school activities that disallow casual playdates often.

My son, within the first moments of sitting in the booth of the crowded restaurant, was greeted by no less than five classmates/schoolmates who were genuinely thrilled to see him, were compelled to come over to our booth and talk to him, and several who stayed, sat and joined us for a lengthy visit.

I felt like we were at Al’s/Arnold’s Drive-In in Happy Days and my son was Richie Cunningham!

It was a deeply satisfying and calming Simple Joy to see my son not only was well-liked and thought of by his peers, but how easily they interacted.

I’ve already promised myself to put more effort into hanging out at the local pizzeria!

Ye Olde Y.M.C.A. – It was the annual Blue and Gold dinner and awards banquet for my son’s Cub Scout Pack over the weekend.

The boys all worked hard to earn their WEBELOS Badge and, along with the other dens that make up their Pack, celebrated their achievements, reminisced about the year gone by, and said goodbye to the boys who earned their Arrow of Light and crossed over to become Boy Scouts as well as the Cub Master who stepped down that night.

Each year the awards banquet has a theme, this year’s was American Presidents. My son’s den was to represent George Washington. My co-den leader who is so crafty centered the boys’ stage decoration around a fallen cherry tree incorporating each boys’ picture superimposed on a cherry on the tree.

The table decorations had miniature cherry trees with the same idea, only a paper “bobblehead” George Washington featuring our son’s face was incorportated!

Lastly the boys performed a goofy yet funny musical number working in pairs to create little George Washingtons as they performed “Ye Olde Y.M.C.A.”. The crowd laughed when it was explained the “real” George Washington – a scout dressed in period-style garb - (who it was rumored slept nearly everywhere in and around our state of New Jersey) needed a place to stay and the boys offered him a room at the storied “Y.M.C.A.”.

The crowd was in stitches with the elaborate stage set, creative costumes, and young men trying to perform the choreography while working in tandem with one another!

Celebrating milestones at the Blue and Gold, performing the funny skit, and sharing precious moments with my son and the other boys who make up the den/pack are Simple Joys that will stay with me for a lifetime.

Saturday Morning Off. Every Saturday morning my husband and I take our brood for swim lessons. We find this to be of utmost importance so they can swim unaided, and, in the case of our boys, swim well and quickly for the swim team they’ll be a part of this summer.

This week we received a phone call that swim lessons were canceled.

We had Saturday morning off!

Having a totally clear morning with no appointments was a peaceful Simple Joy!

Cinnamon Rolls. I rarely buy them. I know they are packed with empty calories and do nothing good for the body nutrition-wise.

But they are ooey, gooey, sinfully good and maybe, just maybe they are good for the soul!

Eating the big, sweet, warm cinnamon buns on Saturday morning in our pajamas was a rare and satisfying Simple Joy!

“I Love You”. While still at the Blue and Gold (hour six, seriously), I received a text from my husband who had left much earlier with our younger children.

It simply said “I love you”.

After twenty-five years together, that is still the most perfect Simple Joy.

It isn’t necessary to tell about the colds the family has had this last week, the tantrums my children may or may not have had, or the annoyance that feel like setbacks because the Simple Joys washed over me and colored my memories for the better.

Simple Joys exist for all if people are willing to open their hearts and minds to finding and recognizing them.

I write my Simple Joys down to savor them for a lifetime and force myself to acknowledge the good far outweighs the bad in my life.

Whether you write yours down weekly or merely think about them, incorporating Simple Joys in your life and actively reflecting on them makes the everyday so much more tolerable.

Wishing you boatloads of Simple Joys daily!

Please join me tomorrow as I wax poetic on yet another topic on Chief 187™Chatter.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Media Blog-Sports-themed Video Games

Welcome to the Monday Media Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

Arm-chair sports have long been popular with video gamers. From John Madden Football to

Wii Bowling, people have been finding their inner athlete while sitting in the comfort of their home.

What are your favorite sports-themed video games? Do you play sitting down or do you stand and get your heart-rate up in a pseudo workout?

Have you used a gaming system to actually try to lose weight like the Wii Fit? If so, how successful were you?

Are you a fantastic player on the virtual links but can’t putt in reality if your life depended on it?

Can you consistently win the Daytona 500 in your living room but are a terrible driver?

Tell about your virtual sports history, hobby, and preferences.

Please join me tomorrow for the most popular post on Chief 187™Chatter, Simple Joys.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Music Blog-Favorite Grammy Performances of All Time

Welcome to the Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

I was able to watch the Grammy Awards this week in its entirety.

It was, like most awards show, filled with speeches that were too long, ridiculous gimmicky acts that left me wondering why I wasted time, and, some amazing gems that give me the desire to watch year after year.

Among the highlights of the program for me was the opening number by Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, although I missed seeing The Big Man Clarence Clemmons.

Bruce and the band can still offer a top-notch rocking performance!

And that man looks amazing in tight jeans!

I was enamored with the brilliant performance by Bruno Mars who captivated the entire audience both in house and in millions of homes.

Bruno Mars may just be a star for the ages who will continually pump out timeless music.

And I was enormously thrilled with the Taylor Swift number that was simply sublime!

My opinion about Jennifer Hudson, who I do like and admire as a talented singer, is that her tribute could not and did not hold a candle to the Whitney Houston who recorded “I Will Always Love You” in 1992. I would have preferred she sing a different Whitney Houston song to honor her fallen idol.

On the other hand, the February 14th episode of Glee had character Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley) sing "I Will Always Love You" perfectly. It was, in my opinion, even better than Whitney Houston's best rendition - pure, not overdressed, effortless. I am not hating on either Whitney or Jennifer Hudson, it is merely my subjective opinion.

Did you watch the 2012 Grammys? What acts were your favorites?

This week’s focus is favorite Grammy performances of all time. Scour YouTube for Grammy performances, listen to your Grammy compilation albums, and simply recall your all-time favorite moments in Grammy history.

I encourage you to check back with this blog throughout the day and weekend as more and more readers leave their selections.

In addition, weekends are a fabulous time to read archived posts at Chief 187™Chatter. Read, comment, and, if you are so inclined, share!

If shopping at Amazon, please use my link located on the right hand sideboard of this page. Simply enter through the link, browse, add items to your cart, and check out in the same transaction. This is no extra cost to you but helps me immensely allowing me to continue to offer my works here for free.

And, if you are looking for Chief 187™ merchandise to wear proudly and/or to outfit your home, please see my online store at

We had another wonderful week at Chief 187™Chatter. We now have 90 total followers! Although we just missed the goal of reaching 50,000 pageviews by February 14th, the site reached it by Thursday, February 16th. That is a victory in my book!

I am thrilled, delighted, encouraged, and awed by the number that represents my readership’s loyalty, interest, and support. My sincerest thank you to each and every one of you who makes Chief 187™Chatter a part of your life.

Please join me on Monday as we begin another week of fresh, new, and original blogs on Chief 187™Chatter.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tantalizing Thursday-Baked Panko-crusted Chicken Tenders

Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187™Chatter.

I bought panko the other day. I have two boxes in the cupboard and no earthly idea what to do with it.

For those of you who don’t know, panko is Japanese breadcrumbs that are supposed to be delicious. They are light and very crunchy and hold up quite well in the oven.

So I’ve set out to find a recipe my family will like that utilizes the panko but doesn’t have me slaving in the kitchen. I hope we all like what I found.

Baked Panko-Crusted Chicken Tenders
Recipe found on


• 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or breast tenders
• 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
• 1 tsp. oregano
• 2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1 tsp. smoked paprika
• 1/2 tsp. cayenne
• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup flour

Honey-Barbecue Dipping Sauce
• 1/2 cup favorite barbecue sauce
• 3 Tbsp. honey

Honey-Mustard Sauce
• 1/3 cup mayonnaise
• 2 Tbsp. mustard
• 2 Tbsp. honey


Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with foil and lightly spraying with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl or shallow dish, season the flour with salt and black pepper, and lightly beat the eggs in another shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, combine panko breadcrumbs with oregano, garlic, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

If using chicken breasts, prepare by putting one breast in between two layers of plastic wrap. Pound to an even thickness of approximately 1/2″. Remove plastic and slice into strips.

Dredge tenders in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess flour. Dip the floured chicken tenders into the egg and then coat the chicken tenders with the breadcrumb mixture. Arrange on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strips.

Bake chicken tenders for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown, flipping once part way through the cook time.

To prepare sauce, whisk together honey and barbeque sauce in a small bowl until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Repeat with the Honey-Mustard ingredients.

Wishing you good eats!

Please join me tomorrow for the week ending and ever popular Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.