Garfield’s Fire Strings Chicken Alfredo Sandwich Recipe

We have a restaurant/pub in the mall named Garfield’s that I’ve always loved. Well, almost always; it was briefly managed by people who changed the whole menu and restaurant layout and almost tanked the franchise. I cried when I saw the renovation; it was very distressing, but that’s an autism thing and not pertinent to the story. There are about six Garfield’s on the east coast.

My favorite menu item is the Fire Strings chicken Alfredo sandwich, which I have started making at home because hubby doesn’t really like Garfield’s (he’s weird). I don’t like the “new” Fire Strings, which are fried breaded onion strips, so I make the original Fire Strings. I don’t know why they changed it, but they did.

Anyway, I wanted to share my recipe because these sandwiches are SO good! It’s more of a guide, really, but if you like chicken, Alfredo sauce, and mushrooms, you’ll love this messy sandwich. It’s completely customizable, so add or omit whatever you want!

My Fire Strings Pita

What You Need:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (one large breast will make 2 or 3 sandwiches)
  • Alfredo sauce, 1 jar
  • Sliced pepperoni
  • Sliced mushrooms, 8 ounces (optional)
  • Green peppers, 1 (optional)
  • Small onion, 1 (optional)
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Shredded hash browns
  • Pita bread or hoagie buns

Clean the peppers and cut them into strips.
Clean and slice the mushrooms or use sliced mushrooms.
Peel and clean the onion and dice it up.
Cut the chicken breast(s) into strips.

What You Do:
Saute the green peppers, onions, and mushrooms in olive oil or butter. If you have a steamer, that works, too, but don’t add butter or olive oil to it. Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, etc. Onions and peppers take longer to get done than mushrooms, so you may want to start them first and add the mushrooms. Place the sauteed veggies on a plate or in a bowl.

Grill the chicken strips. I boil my strips to make sure they are completely cooked, then I brown them in the skillet in butter or olive oil. Sprinkle Cajun seasoning on the chicken strips and move them to a plate or bowl. Cover them to keep them warm.

Heat the oil for the shredded hash browns to 375. You can use a skillet with about an inch of oil or a deep fryer or air fryer. Allow enough time for the oil/fryer to heat up. This recipe is a balancing act to get everything ready close to the same time. However, if the Fire Strings get done before everything else, it’s okay. They don’t need to be piping hot.

Heat the Alfredo sauce in a saucepan on low heat, add the sliced pepperoni and drained peppers, mushrooms, and onions. The grease from the pepperoni will flavor the Alfredo sauce as it simmers. Stir the sauce occasionally so it doesn’t stick.

Using the chicken skillet, add more butter or oil if needed and turn it to low heat. Place the open hoagie buns face down in the skillet. This lightly toasts the insides of the buns, which adds a little crunch. Alternatively, you can lightly toast the buns in a toaster oven, but using the skillet is easier and uses less cooking ware.

When your frying oil hits 375, add a small handful of shredded hash browns to the oil and fry until they are a crispy golden brown, about 2 minutes or so. When they are done, strain them and place them on a paper towel. Sprinkle them with Cajun seasoning while they are still hot.

Grab your toasted hoagie buns or pitas and place the seasoned chicken strips in them. Spoon the sauce mixture over the chicken. Use however much you want (it’s a messy sandwich!). Add the Fire Strings on top. Enjoy!

Sex and the City

I’ve been working on my site and trying not to freak out too much over the fact that one of my contracts will be completed soon. I really, really don’t want to go back to transcription. I like it well enough (eh, not really true anymore), but doing it for over 12 years has taken its toll. My ankles and calves kill me from using a foot pedal for over a decade.

I want to continue writing! It’s much better coming up with my own words than typing what other people are saying. I could be the next Carrie Bradshaw if I lived in a city and had a lot of sex. Of course, I wouldn’t have married Mr. Big; what an arrogant douche he was! She needed to stick with Aiden, in my opinion. And that wedding dress! Ick. But I digress.

Two of my posts were finally published, which was very exciting to me! I wrote four blog posts for Alpha Surfaces and have been waiting for them to go live. It was validating, I suppose. I love doing home improvement and remodeling, even though I don’t do home improvement and remodeling. I did rip up the carpet in the spare room and buy flooring for it, but school and work keep me from getting started. It will happen eventually.

I now spend my days working and applying for jobs on LinkedIn and Indeed. I have noticed people aren’t very friendly on LinkedIn. I follow my school, SNHU, and when people post about graduating, I congratulate them. It’s just how I was raised. I’m not stalking anyone or trying to horn in on their profiles; the posts just show up in my feed because I follow SNHU.

Not one single person has acknowledged my congratulations posts. I don’t know why I keep doing it, honestly. We were taught to be polite and kind. When I graduate, I would be very appreciative if someone congratulated me, even if I didn’t know them. Heck, I’m appreciative of the likes I get for my posts. I guess being kind and polite are outdated concepts for a large amount of the population.

I Think My Mom is Picking on My Cat

Phin with his white whisker

I think Mom is driving my cat crazy! My youngest, Phineas, can’t see, and he goes around the house crying and looking at the ceiling. He keeps trying to get as close to the ceiling as possible; climbing on the couches and chairs and pawing at the wall.

I told hubby that Mom must be calling for him and he can see her. It’s been said babies and animals can see spirits, so it makes sense. However, she needs to leave him alone because he’s driving us crazy! He “runs” on the blinds and sticks his head under my tiger wall hanging and runs on the wall and cries.

Mom was very excited about the prospect of having a kitten in the house again. Sprinkles (my dearly departed tuxedo cat) was 16 and Mom’s cat was 15, so we hadn’t had kittens for a long time. Unfortunately, Mom never came home from the hospital, and we didn’t get a kitten until a month or two after she passed.

I’m sure there’s another explanation, but I can’t think of one. When Phin’s crying and walking around, I say his name and he nearly breaks his neck following my voice and starts loving my hand and face like I’ve been gone for a week. After a few minutes, he leaves and starts running on stuff and crying again. I don’t know what he wants or needs.

At first, we thought he was lost and needed us to call for him, but if that was the case, he would be happy when he found us. The Internet has not been helpful, which is a rarity. He’s my first disabled cat, but I try to accommodate him as much as possible. If only all of them could talk!

New Disability Question on Applications

I have been filling out applications and submitting resumes like a son of a gun and I’ve noticed something. I use Indeed, LinkedIn, and ProBlogger for job searching. Some of the available jobs allow you to apply on those sites, or you follow a link and apply from the employer’s site.

Anyway, several jobs I have applied for now include asking about disabilities. It lists several different ones, including diabetes and autism, which I found very odd. I believe it’s part of the EOE (equal opportunity employer), but I always feel… skeptical? Suspicious?… when checking the disabled box. Are they really using that to include disabled people or to weed out disabled people? I can’t say one way or another because I haven’t been approached or hired by any of them.

However, I don’t know their true intentions. I have type 1 diabetes and autism, among other things, so I do always check the disabilities box. Diabetes and autism do not affect my work performance, though. Well, if my sugar is too low, I am not in any state to work, but the employer(s) wouldn’t have any idea about that. These are all remote positions, so I wouldn’t be physically present anyway.

I don’t see autism as a disability, per se. It comes with a host of issues that are considered disabilities, especially socially, but since I work from home, the social aspect doesn’t come into play. I think differently than neurotypical people supposedly (it’s normal to me, I don’t know why it’s not normal to them), but that’s a difference, not a disability.

When speaking to “normal” people, I do get a lot of, “Well, I never thought of it like that,” or “Yeah, that’s one way to see it,” but I think that’s a good thing. I am not the only person who thinks differently, so there could be millions who see things the way I do.

Statistics dictate there’s a possibility others think like I do, so I see myself as an asset when it comes to writing for people or companies. Maybe that’s just me, though.

I’m a Hooker With a Heart of Gold

Phineas Nibbeus Black Helping Me Crochet

My mom used to crochet. My aunt was the arts and crafts gal, but Mom dabbled. Like any kid, I wanted to do what she was doing and, boy, did she try to teach me! Having a right-hander teach a left-hander (me) something isn’t the easiest!

First, she had the brilliant idea to have me watch her crochet in the mirror. That didn’t work. Then, she had me watch her crochet for a few minutes and told me to do what she did backwards. Nah, that didn’t work, either. So I said screw it and dug through her yarn books until I found a crochet book with a (very short) chapter on left-handed crocheting, with pictures!

My “project” was a pale yellow tie. It wasn’t meant to be a tie; it was supposed to be a scarf, but dropping and adding stitches is something I’m really good at without even trying. I quickly lost interest in crocheting. Knitting went the same way.

Now, in my 30s, I find crocheting to be very relaxing. I picked it up again after a Bob’s Burgers episode, along with knitting, but knitting takes too much of my focus and is aggravating for me. I had all kinds of ideas in mind for crocheting!

I was going to make hats, gloves, scarves, mittens, cardigans, animals, Baby Yoda, couches for the cats, and so much more! Then I looked up some patterns. Did you know knitters and crocheters have their own language?! It’s true, and it’s super confusing, especially for someone like me.

My dream was to make a too-big cardigan like the one Demi Moore’s character in Ghost made. It looks so comfy and warm! But that wasn’t happening since I couldn’t read and understand the patterns. Of course, something as menial as instructions and directions has never deterred me, so I came up with my own “pattern.”

My wonderful husband came home with 6 crochet hooks (I totally want these!) because he didn’t know what size I needed or wanted, and I set to work. I made the back of the cardigan, then most of the front using a slightly bigger hook, then bell sleeves with the biggest hook. My plan was to “sew” it together when I was done. Then I ran out of yarn with about three inches to go on the last front panel. It was very upsetting because my bell sleeves were awesome! *Sigh*

To make a very long story short, I have crocheted and unraveled about ten cardigans. As I said, crocheting is very relaxing for me, and I have anxiety, so I don’t mind all the undoing. I have about six balls of pink yarn of various sizes around the house, and a completed cardigan. Until I unravel it and start over again.

Maybe I’ll wait until winter comes and goes before undoing it. Maybe I’ll buy more yarn. Who knows? Amazon has great deals on their yarn (my favorite brand is Red Heart Super Saver, like this one in Cherry Red) and there are so many available colors. Hobii has some super cute yarn for cheap, too. I love the Space Walk and Outer Space yarn they have.


I ended up buying four skeins of Outer Space Hobii yarn. It’s gorgeous, but as thin as thread! I guess I need to pay more attention to weights and such. Now I’m stuck with yarn I can’t work with because it’s too thin. It’s ideal for knitting socks; however, I don’t know how to knit socks. It may come in handy someday. Hobii sent a piece of cherry candy with their order and it was SO good!

If I ever figure out the Magic Circle, I may even attempt to make a turtle someday, or a hot pad.

Grab some goodies from Amazon!

RED HEART Super Saver Yarn, Cherry Red (other colors available) – $3.44
14 Sizes Aluminum Crochet Hooks for Arthritic Hands – $15.99
14 Sizes Aluminum Crochet Hooks with Soft Grip Handles – $12.97 (great deal!)

I Think I’m Having a Pre-Midlife Crisis

Do women have those or are they only for men? Whatever the deal, something’s going on. I am an autistic with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which makes things really fun in my household. I have my ways and routines, but when I need a change, one must change right along with me and remember that change! My poor mom tried to keep up and would Christmas shop throughout the year, only for me to have moved to something else. She was a strong woman and a hell of a mother.

I woke up one morning in 2018 and decided I wanted to go back to school. Like any normal person, I did my research and discussed it with my husband, and made plans to speak with college recruiters and staff over the phone. No, I didn’t. I hopped out of bed and looked online for a while and enrolled in college and started classes a few weeks later.

I decided to major in psychology, which has always interested me, and I thought I could work as a therapist for telehealth. I can’t drive and am a recluse, so this seemed perfect. Then came sociology class. I don’t know about most autistics, but I know rigid thinking is a biggie and you can’t have that in sociology or psychology. Autism coupled with the adult version of oppositional defiance disorder (ODD) is not a good mix for a psychologist.

My sociology professor and I bumped heads quite a bit and I vowed to switch majors after acing that class, which KILLED me to conform and “think differently” than I think. In other words, I bullshitted my way through the class, but it caused me a great deal of stress, which my husband had to endure.

So I switched majors to criminal justice. I had recently changed careers from medical transcription to legal transcription (see? Midlife crisis!) and figured I needed to know about the judicial system to improve my work and expand my learning. In case you’re wondering, legal transcription is really boring.

In the midst of all this, my big brother dies and turns my world upside down and tears me apart. I looked up to him A LOT and could not deal with him and Mom being gone.

So, a few classes into criminal justice, what comes up for my next class after some criminal justice ones? Sociology II! Not gonna happen. I can’t take the stress and the grief and the depression…I just couldn’t do it. I had to take a leave of absence from school.

I’m working as a general transcriptionist by this time and it’s getting boring, too. With medical transcription being done in India now, those jobs are drying up, so I left the field a bit by force. Legal transcription didn’t do it for me. Now general transcription is lacking.

Now, I’m writing, which is what I’ve wanted to do my entire life. Technology has made that more attainable than it was, and it’s something I really love to do. But it’s not easy getting into the writing field. At all. There’s the whole Catch-22 thing about needing experience, but no one willing to give you that experience.

So I’m on my third major, which is marketing with a concentration in digital marketing. My financial aid ended, so I need to sort that out and hopefully start classes in October. My husband has a knack for writing as well, and I would love to work with him. He’s been disabled since getting pneumonia from one of the many times he stayed by my mom’s side when she was in the hospital battling cancer. He would stay with her for weeks at a time, and even though he was treated for pneumonia in 2014, he still can’t breathe.

I feel hopeful, but it’s a struggle. We are NOT hanging on financially and I don’t know what the future holds. I won’t stop trying, though, and no one can ever say I didn’t give my all.

What Will Calm Me Today, Brain?

Do you ever not know what will soothe or calm you on any given day? After my mom died, I watched Frozen every day for months. It had no connection to Mom because it didn’t come out while she was alive, but it soothed me.

Regina Spektor has the same effect. She has two songs in Russian that calm me most. I have several song lyrics of hers written on my wall. Right now, Bob’s Burgers and Tom MacDonald are doing it for me. I’ve been through all of BB’s seasons about five times so far. Just like my food kicks (I’m still on the popcorn, unfortunately), I never know. There’s no craving or yearning; it just happens. My life is a series of “kicks.”

My husband tries to get me, but it’s hard since I don’t get myself. If I knew, I would tell him. Maybe. I loathe being asked obvious questions, so most of the time I won’t answer. Hubs is the king of obvious questions. He will walk in and see me eating a strawberry and say, “What are you doing?” or, “What are you eating?” Seriously. It’s so annoying that I will not answer him, or tell him I’m eating steak or doing the dishes; something that I’m obviously not eating or doing. I’ve told him numerous times that I hate it, but he keeps on asking.

Oh, the Anxiety!!

Holy crackers, I think I’m going to puke. I’m in bed, trying to sleep, to no avail, and decide to check my email. I’ve been invited to interview with MacMillan Publishing as an editor and proofreader. Like, right then. Chop-chop, we’re waiting for ya!

Commence extreme anxiety. Ice courses through my vein, which feels a lot like when my blood sugar is too low. It must be a video interview because they mention Google Hangouts and Skype. I look like crap and try to tame my hair. Whoops, too tame. Now I look like Danielle Steele. Maybe I could tuck it in the bags under my eyes?

I’m freezing. Why haven’t I finished crocheting my cardigan sleeves yet? No, wait. I’m burning up. Cardigan on; cardigan off. My heart lets me know it’s working just fine, thank you very much, by pounding in my ears.

WTH have I done? Why did I apply for jobs? I’m not good at anything; mediocre at best, disabled at worst. No, I can’t think that way. I’ve been editing and proofreading since I was old enough to read and write. I’m a word nerd. I’m one of those people. It’s you’re, not your, complete stranger on the Internet.

I sign into Google Hangouts, no clue what I’m doing. I haven’t used it in years. Where do I enter the code? How do I get the damn thing started? Why are my mic and camera disabled? Where’s the hiring manager I was told to add? Why won’t my heart move back down to my chest? I’m pretty sure that’s where it belongs.

Bless Google, a quick search gets me up and running. I wait…and wait…and wait. It’s too late. They’ve moved on because I couldn’t figure out how to use stinking technology that I’ve used before. I really wanted this job. I needed this job. I can’t continue eating two Tums for dinner. Well, not sustainably, anyway.

I shoot a message to the interviewer and tell him I’m available and ready for the interview. That’s too bold! No answer. I should apologize profusely. The seconds seem like minutes. They hired someone else; I just know it. I’m wasting my time. I wouldn’t be a good fit, anyway.

No, wait. He answers! He’s ready to get started, text-to-text. No video. Woo hoo! Am I ready? You bet your bippy I am. Let’s go!

My stomach is roiling. I need to puke. You’d think my Tums diet would have prevented that. I can’t leave the computer. Why didn’t I grab my phone? Why’s my mouth so dry? Why does my husband keep waving at me from five feet away? Oh, right; he doesn’t know I’m being interviewed. No need to get his hopes up. I kept it to myself. I keep most things to myself. Fewer people to disappoint.

The interview starts, and I’m a different person. I’m an asset to this company. I always give my best to those with whom I contract. Was it too cocky? It was too cocky. No, you’re supposed to sell yourself. It’s fine. Or was it? He says okay. Okay? What the heck does that mean? It was too cocky; I knew it. The interview continues.

My responses need to be swift, pow-pow-pow, just like Taylor. Answer the questions and type “DONE” when I’m finished. I do. Ten questions, clickety, clickety, clickety. DONE. Seven more questions, clickety, clickety, clickety. Enter. Oh, shit, I forgot to type “done.” DONE.

I blew it. I screwed up by forgetting to type “DONE” and adding it as a new message. Of course. Someone else will get the job. I shouldn’t have even checked my email. The interview continues!

The nausea continues. Can he hear me? I bet he can hear me. He can hear me because I have the video call up, even though I’m the only one in there and we’re on chat. Somehow, he can hear me. My mic is off and my camera is off, but he can hear me. He’s going to tell me he can hear me. He heard me say that he didn’t type very quickly. He heard me cuss when I forgot to type “DONE.” The interview continues.

He wants to know my hourly rate. WHAT? I don’t know. Don’t they tell me that? I wouldn’t pay me anything for me to work for me. I’m not good enough. I’m not worth whatever I tell him.

I tell him. It’s low; like, really low, 60 percent less than the going rate. He knows I don’t value my work. Now he’ll know I’m a schmuck and have no idea what I’m doing. I’m a fraud. I’m playing dress-up.

He says okay. Again. What’s up with that? He likes what he has read and really wants me on his team. Say what? I must have misread. He thinks he’s talking to someone else. Crap. I should tell him.

He tells me to be on Hangouts at 9 a.m. Central for the interview results. Central? I’m Eastern. It takes me a minute. My autistic, right-is-left, left-is-right, can’t tell time on an analog clock brain can’t think of the difference. The Golden Girls is on at 9, 8 Central; the TV guy always said that. Okay, I’m an hour ahead. Should I sit here and wait until 10 a.m. (9 Central)? I haven’t slept, but that’s okay. Can’t be late. Kindly be on time, he said. I can wait. I’ll be fine.

He tells me the interview is over. I thank him for his time and kindness. No response. I should stay here until he answers. He said we were through, but it might be a test. If I leave first, I am no longer a candidate. I bet that’s it. I wait. Ten minutes, twenty minutes. I passed the test; I didn’t leave.

I go puke.

The Toxicity of the My Favorite Murder Culture

The Truth About the “Inclusive” Fans
Yeah, I was in the cult.

“You’re in a cult. Call your dad.” This popular quote by Karen Kilgariff, co-creator of the My Favorite Murder (MFM) podcast, could not be more true when speaking of the hundreds of thousands of fans that make up this now-toxic culture.

Created in 2016, My Favorite Murder is a true crime/comedy podcast with Karen and Georgia Hardstark at the helm. Almost instantly, MFM was #1 on iTunes. Soon Karen and Georgia were selling merchandise, talking to fans on Instagram and in the Facebook group (the latter, they subsequently left), doing live shows, and even writing a book together, which became #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Karen’s deadpan humor and Georgia’s sweet disposition and empathy make them entertaining. I was an avid listener, despite me abhorring the F-word, which is liberally used in each episode. I forked over the $40 to join the fan cult, which netted me the above shirt and the chance to listen to the recorded live shows on the site. I was a “murderino” and even thought about getting a “Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered” or SSDGM tattoo, which is very popular among fans.

The fan base just kept growing and growing. One Facebook group turned into dozens upon dozens of murderinos and -“erinos”-ending Facebook groups; Frienderinos, Etsy Murderinos, Rainbow Murderinos, Crafterinos, Burgerinos, Slitherinos, Caterinos, Dogerinos, Readerinos, ad nauseum. Then something shifted

Karen and Georgia started getting attacked for not being “woke” enough for some fans. Their merchandise was offensive, they said the wrong word (like “prostitute” instead of “sex worker”), they didn’t change their ways to satisfy and align with their fans’ ways. This led to them leaving the main Facebook group. That didn’t stop the attacks on Instagram.

Book Cover — Goodreads

When Macmillan Publishers accidentally announced the release of the Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered book before Karen or Georgia did, fans ascended on Twitter in a rage and cyber-bullied the publisher to the point of Karen and Georgia begging for them to stop.

Some of the nicest, sweetest, most helpful people are murderinos, so long as you don’t disagree with them. I was a member of about a dozen murderino niche groups and actively participated in them.

This “inclusive” cult became toxic and hateful over time. It’s an unspoken rule that you must be far left politically or you’re detested on principle and often kicked out of the FB groups. But they accept everyone, of course, because they are very inclusive (we really need a sarcasm font). If more than one group is moderated by the same person, you’ll be kicked out of other groups for your “unsavory” opinions you expressed in one.

I have seen many dumpster fires and deletion or archiving of groups. I have seen FB group members cyber-attacked and/or kicked out for:

  • Someone announcing her pregnancy because she didn’t include a trigger warning.
  • Someone asking for prayers after her child committed suicide. She was a Christian.
  • Someone stating she would pray for another person. Another Christian.
  • Someone not having a problem with the MFM camp shirts that featured a teepee. She was Native American.
  • A Trump supporter who joined the My Favorite Burgerinos (Bob’s Burgers fans) FB group. This person did not utter a word about politics; merely had a “Trump 2020” profile picture. One member stated that person “didn’t belong here.”
  • Someone used the term “committed suicide” instead of “completed suicide.”
  • Someone stating they do not support Luciferianism or Satanism.

The above is what I’ve seen for myself. The cult has no issue attacking Karen and Georgia and not letting up until their demands are met. Their “We made you, we can break you” mentality and ignorance of the definition of inclusion is more toxic than any straight white male they may deride or “unwoke” business they boycott en masse.


Well, still eating popcorn! Hubs is all, “I’m worried about you; you’ve had four bags of popcorn in a week and nothing else.” We’ve been together for nearly 11 years; I don’t know why he’s so shocked. Come to think of it, he didn’t/doesn’t see a lot of stuff because I was the most myself with Mom. He’s never seen me dance in the kitchen, either, but that doesn’t mean I don’t do it!

I was draining pasta in the sink one day toward myself and I kept misjudging and pouring the boiling water on the sink counter and floor. I tried 3 different times, adjusting my aim a little each time, and I kept getting water on the counter. Hubs was standing by me and said, “Babe!,” and took the pot from me. I’ve never felt more stupid in my life. I will get it eventually and I keep trying until I do (unless I get mad), but he had never witnessed me doing that. There are still things he doesn’t know about, even though we’ve been together so long.

The whole writing thing is sucking big time, and I’m trying so hard. I am on Medium now and was invited to write for a developer area, but no one wants to read what I have to say. The stats show about 33% of my articles are read all the way through. I’ve written about text expanders and grammar checkers. I use both of those products and they interest me, but not anyone else, I guess. I don’t like the stats. I will probably not look at them any more.

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