Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Archer Farms stuffed chicken breast

Tonight my daughter and I went to see an elementary school production of 101 Dalmations. The afternoon was delightful. The performance made me laugh and cry, especially as it brought back memories of my days as a beat reporter in Phillipsburg. 

Last night in Target, I found bacon wrapped Archer Farms chicken breasts stuffed with cream cheese and jalapeƱo on clearance for $3 off the regular price of $8.31 for two breasts. With my employee and RedCard discounts that brought the price to about $4.50. 

Now, I'm cheap so I sliced those breasts after cooking them and split them three ways.

Since we had the play, we tossed brown rice in the steamer and cooked that and some peas in homemade chicken stock (from my freezer).

We served with Les Abeilles white wine.

I was very pleased.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Watermelon cupcakes

My daughter did my blog post today:

We made cupcakes in our free time before I went to school.we used two eggs and a single serving cup of apple sauce instead of three eggs .they took 15 cook the tray to cool and a half hour to cool out of the tray .they tasted wonderful !

Monday, February 17, 2014

Maybe cassoulet

I was a vegetarian for close to a decade before my daughter was born. I really didn't fully venture back into the world of meat eaters until a bout with severe anemia left me craving bacon cheeseburgers.

I still resist cooking meat. Of all the meats to prepare, sausage is my dreaded least favorite. Gooey and gross.

But I work tonight and thought I'd fire up the crockpot again with something that resembles a hearty French cassoulet.

On the bottom of the crock pot:
- 1 large clove garlic, sliced
- 1 can petit diced tomatoes 
- 1 tiny can tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (all I had)
- 1 approximately 3/4 chunk cube of homemade chicken stock from my freezer

Next I browned a pack of sausage links. 

Being cheap, I put three in the fridge for later and sliced the other two, putting that and the dribbles of grease from the frying pan into the crock pot.

Finally I added:
- 1 can white/ Great Northern beans (bean slime rinsed off)
- 1 can whole potatoes 
- about 3 tablespoons parsley 
- about 1/2 cup frozen sliced mushrooms

Or maybe I dumped more parsley than that...

I plan to cook for seven hours on high. Adding water if liquid is needed. 

Even at first stir it looks great:

I did not add water, but after the first two or three hours I turned the heat down to low.

This was what my small bowl looked like:

My family enjoyed it. Daughter announced it was only a tiny bit less amazing than Saturday night's Kedjenou. I expected it to be more tomato soup-like but I'm happy to report that it's more of a savory stew. (I don't like tomato soup.) Success.

I wish I'd made a bigger batch.

Juice box punch

My daughter now refuses to take juice boxes to school. I gave her a pitcher and a pair of kitchen scissors and told her to recycle the juice boxes into fruit punch.

She loved that idea.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pinwheel FAIL

I had this idea to make pinwheel style items for dinner. Turns out we totally didn't have the right kind of ingredients.

So I rolled up some cheddar cheese, corn salsa, regular salsa, black olives and ranch dressing in a tortilla shell. These were my daughter's favorite.

I cooked fresh broccoli and added it to ranch dressing and tomato in a second one and that became too thick to roll so it became a quesadilla. This was my favorite.

The final one was broccoli, cheddar and American cheese. Again, too thick too roll. Became a quesadilla. This was husband's favorite.

Baked at 350 for ten minutes.

The broccoli tomato blend is in the foreground. 

Yummy but not pinwheels. If only I had a soft cheese...

Saturday, February 15, 2014


can get adventurous in my cuisine. I recently added a character who is French of Ivory Coast origins to my fictional universe and thought to give Ivory Coast cuisine a try.

Kedjenou is a chicken vegetable stew.

I found many recipes, all similar, like this one:

But of course, following a recipe is not my way so this is what I did based on what I had in hand:

In my crockpot, on high
- two cloves garlic thinly sliced
- a dollop of extra virgin olive oil
- generous amounts of paprika (2 tablespoons?)
- about 2 teaspoons ginger 
- 3 small tomatoes diced
- about 1/2 cup sliced jalapeƱos
- about 3/4 cup black olives

Stir that nicely so it blends and gets aromatic.

To that base I added my vegetables
- about 8 ounces carrots
- one crown broccoli chopped into bite size florets

Stir to coat.

Plop 2 frozen chicken thighs on top of that. 

Sprinkle with more paprika and ginger. I covered and plan to cook on high for seven hours. I don't intend to stir or disturb it so the chicken juices infuse into the vegetables and make a stew.

It looks and smells good. Hubby says he added about six hours of water...

Individual plates with rice:

The verdict:

I think it's nicely seasoned and just spicy enough. The child isn't complaining that it's too spicy. Very yummy and comforting for a winter night.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Broccoli olive pasta

Nothing more soothing than hot pasta after shoveling a blizzard...

My husband made this whole wheat rotini with red sauce, black olives, green olives, ground beef and broccoli. Topped with shredded Parmesan. All kinds of yum.

Egg taco

In the middle of the blizzard of 2014, I'm still eating taco leftovers (and loving it!). 

Today I made a soft taco of scrambled egg, taco meat, extra hot salsa, corn salsa, iceberg lettuce, extra sharp cheddar and tomato.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Brussel sprout taco

I've been on a taco salad kick the last few days because my mother in law brought taco fixings and I find this far more fun than hard shells. Iceberg lettuce, extra hot salsa, cheese, Goddess dressing (I don't have ranch, blue cheese or even sour cream), taco meat and the best part-- my home canned sweet and spicy corn salsa.

Tonight after work, I had the munchies and thought I'd have these leftover Brussel sprouts in a wrap with salsa and cheese. It hit the spot, though my husband thinks I'm nuts.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sweet potato chicken

The recent snow and ice storms have meant lots of hours for me in my retail life and paid snow days for my husband.

I am not a big eater but my husband and daughter are ravenous carnivores. So i made these chicken thighs in the crockpot based on this:

I threw about 1/2 to 3/4 cup homemade chicken stock (a frozen disk) in the bottom of my crockpot adding garlic powder and parsley (about 2 tablespoons each). Crockpot to high.

I put two frozen chicken thighs (with bones and skin) on a plate and sprinkled with:
- about one teaspoon paprika
- about one teaspoon curry
- about 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

I then poured a big old can of Taylor yams in the crockpot, heavy syrup and all. 

Then I placed the chicken on top, seasoning side up. Final additions:
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- a few splashes low sodium soy sauce

Cook about six hours. I'm off to work 5 hours in-- house smells delicious.

Will report later.

The family said this was a keeper and my plate had just enough flavor to prevent boredom but not so much it covered up the natural tastes. Good stuff.