Monday, June 10, 2019

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Hasselback Chicken in the Kitchen

Jamie e-mailed a recipe (and noted he's a guy in his e-mail) for Spinach and Artichoke Dip Hasselback Chicken.:


for 4 servings
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 5 cups fresh spinach (200 g)
  • ¾ cup artichoke heart, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped (100 g)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup cream cheese (55 g)
  • ⅓ cup grated mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Slice into the chicken several times, about ½ cm (¼ inch) apart, but only cut about 85% of the way through, leaving the bottom intact.
  3. Cook the spinach on a medium heat until it is slightly wilted, then add the artichoke.
  4. Stir in the garlic powder and cream cheese, and cook for a minute or two.
  5. Sprinkle over the mozzarella and stir until melted.
  6. Allow to cool to the touch and then fill each segment of the chicken breast with about 1 teaspoon of the mixture.
  7. Bake in the centre of the oven for 18-22 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.
  8. Enjoy!

I really liked that recipe and thank you to Jamie for pointing out he's a guy.  I think we highlighted a recipe that a male reader had about two weeks ago.  But I do have male readers -- and that includes male readers who just drop by for the recipes.  I am the mother of four sons and four daughters.  All of my sons learned to cook.  Three of my daughters learned.  The youngest daughter didn't want to.  Then she moved out on her own and did.  She's now an expert with the Instapot recipes.  I think everyone should know how to cook so that they have the option. 

Jamie has the kids on Friday nights, he explains, and they all go in the kitchen and cook together with Dad.  That's a great thing to do.  Though, if I were his wife, Elizabeth, I would probably want to trade.  For me, when the kids were all here, I could cook on Friday with no problem -- still on my second wind from work -- but come Saturday dinner, I was always asking my husband if he could grill or could we get something?  Saturday was a day of recuperation. 

Three immigrants died in US custody in the three days between Saturday, June 1, and Monday June 3.
There is far more involved in these and many other deaths of immigrants than tragic oversights by individual agents or mismanagement by particular detention centers. It is US government policy that innocent people—men, women and children—should suffer and die in order to discourage others fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries from seeking refuge in the United States. The risks are calibrated to outweigh any “pull factors” that attract workers to make the harrowing and often deadly trek through Central America and across the Mexican desert into the US.
Johana Medina Leon, a 25-year-old transgender asylum seeker from El Salvador, died Saturday at the Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, after being held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody for nearly two months. Medina Leon had been held at the Otero County Processing Center in New Mexico, a detention facility half an hour north of El Paso operated on behalf of the federal government by the for-profit Management and Training Corporation (MTC). The Otero facility is notorious for reports of assault, sexual harassment and medical neglect.
According to the Nation, Medina Leon had spent months in Juarez on the Mexican side of the border waiting for her asylum claim to be heard. She was forced to remain in limbo in Mexico due to new restrictions implemented by the Trump administration before she was finally admitted to the US on April 11 by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and transferred to ICE custody several days later.
Despite repeated complaints of ill health, Medina Leon did not receive medical attention until she complained of chest pains and requested an HIV test on May 28. She tested positive for the disease and was transferred to the hospital. ICE quickly processed her case and approved her for release on parole. Four days later she was dead.

I don't care where you stand on immigrant rights, I think even if you feel they should all be deported, you would have to agree that while they're in US custody, they need to be protected.  I hope we all can agree on that.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Monday:

Monday, June 10, 2019.  We look at Kamala Harris' campaign 'strategy' and New Zealand announces it will be pulling its troops out of Iraq.

And then there were 23.  A little over 17 months until the general election and already the Democratic Party appears to have an elimination in the candidates seeking the presidential nomination.  She has not formally declared it -- and might not even be aware what she herself has done -- but barring a historical reversal of trends and norms, she's effectively dropped out of the race.

Yes, it's a she.  One of the six candidates running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, Senator Kamala Harris, has surrendered Iowa.

It's rare that someone can do poorly in Iowa -- "poorly" being come in after 5th place -- and go on to garner the nomination.  1992 would be the closest to someone actually surrendering Iowa.

But that was a race with Tom Harkin in it, the son of Iowa.  Harkin would go on to garner over 76% of the support in Iowa.  Bill's strategy -- abandoning Iowa -- depended upon the results in New Hampshire (coming in at least third) and on the upcoming Super Tuesday with the southern states.

Kamala is a senator from California.  She's also a former prosecutor.  Bill had support among African-Americans.  Does Kamala?  Not only is she a former prosecutor, she's also someone who has not connected with southern African-American voters and that was true before Joe Biden jumped into the race.  She can look at Barack who also struggled with African-American voters in the south early on.  What changed that for Barack?

Winning Iowa.  With Kamala losing potential endorsements over the weekend from that state due to her scaling back her campaign in Iowa to the bare bones, she really can't count on an Iowa victory.

Another thing that helped Barack?  African-Americans in the south could relate to him.  He had a father who was Black, from Africa, and he had a mother who was White from the US.  Black and White couplings are not uncommon.  Kamala has a Black father (who has been publicly critical of her and her run in the last year) and a mother who came to the US from India.  That's not a coupling that is as common in the south.

If Kamala ever prosecuted (successfully) some White, fat cat, now would be the time to heavily advertise it because being a prosecutor in 2019 means having the default setting of having torn apart minority communities.

Kamala also lacks Bill's charisma -- one of the reasons so many of her races for office have been so close.  Charisma really can't be developed.

The primaries are months away and anything can happen.  But, right now today, Kamala's decision to weaken her Iowa campaign was a foolish one.  Iowa prides itself on being first and being a king maker.  No offense, but what else does it have.  It's non-reflective of the US, it's Anglo White by over 90%.  It's its only little world with a different base and even a different system (caucus) than most have.  They are notoriously touchy in Iowa and Kamala's sleight will not be easy to overcome.

If a prosecutor had a good shot in any state in the US, it would have been in the Majority And Then Some Anglo White Iowa.  And if you're not getting what a negative Kamala being a prosecutor is, both THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE WASHINGTON POST ran stories yesterday on Kamala -- on her "defend"ing her past as a prosecutor.  Kamala was in South Carolina.  Chelsea Janes (WASHINGTON POST) reports:

Before a largely African American audience, Sen. Kamala D. Harris on Saturday defended her legacy as a prosecutor, a major element of the California Democrat’s rise to the U.S. Senate but one that has complicated her presidential candidacy.
Harris said she tried to combat injustice and racial bias. But she dodged some of the more controversial parts of her record. She cited her pioneering reentry initiative for convicts, talked about mothers of gun-violence victims arriving at her office asking only for “Kamala,” and briefly spoke about her controversial policy to address truancy.

She did not talk about the criminal prosecutions of parents that resulted from her truancy policy, nor did she take on the death penalty and other matters on which she has been criticized.

What emerges from THE TIMES and THE POST is a campaign that thinks it can win on the personal if they can only avoid the candidates actual record -- and prosecuting parents whose children skip school is going to be hard sell anywhere.

She can't get too personal though, even when selling her personal narrative.  There's the matter of Doug Emhoff, after all.  It's one thing to be a bi-racial woman who slept with Willie Brown as you appeal to Black voters and try to say, "I really am one of you."  It's another when you're married to  Doug Emhoff.  Despite hailing from Brooklyn, internal surveys find him seen as a White Bubba -- which may have more to do with his girth than any other attribute (he doesn't speak like a southern male).  The campaign put him on the stage over the weekend because, honestly, what else do they have?  But even before the events of this past weekend, polling had demonstrated that Doug hurts Kamala's appeal.

The stunt in San Francisco might have played better if it weren't known to be staged by the campaign.  They put someone on the stage to have Doug 'defend' Kamala.  It was supposed to show Doug as loving and caring -- a campaign's really in trouble when the candidate's relationship with his/her spouse is in question.  One staffer's been whispering to the press that it actually hurt Kamala since she's the candidate and she required Doug to rescue her.  The others who are whispering to the press insist it was a "golden" moment.  They kid themselves.

Happy to my friend, .

And David also Tweeted about his interview with former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Sec. Gates, who clashed with on Afghanistan: "I stand by the statement that I thought that he'd been wrong about most foreign policy issues for 40 years." on

And Joe was wrong about Iraq.  Last night came news that New Zealand would be announcing that their troops would be leaving Iraq in 2020.  But it ended up being more than just New Zealand.


Link to headline article

In other news, the Kurdistan Regional Government got a new president this month and he made an announcement today.

Nechirvan Barzani hints at "new roadmap" for Erbil-Baghdad relations in first speech as

Whether it will lead to normalization or not remains to be seen.

But what is normal in the Iraqi government?

Apparently, corruption and, apparently, corruption so great that you try to bleed other countries for money.  While France has stood by and done nothing to protect their citizens from the sham trials in Iraq, the Iraqi government has another option they're offering.  KURDISTAN 24 reported last night that the Iraqi government is offering to hand over the French citizens convicted and sentenced to the death penalty provided the French government ponies up some big money ("millions of euros").  Is there a government in Baghdad or just an extortion racket?

We'll wind down by noting this.

is building a dam over 12,000 year old so that Turkey can further erase Kurdish history and culture, while using the dam to impose resource wars on the Kurds in Syria and Iraq.

The building of Ilisu Dam is an act of terror and violence.