MMMMMMMMMMMMMM… chicken!

April 22, 2013 at 9:12 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , )

Well, it’s been a while!  I can’t believe I’ve been away so long, but I think I needed a break.  I was managing three blogs, a full time job, making jewelry, planning a move…  it all became just too much!

So, anyway, I’m still here.  And I’m still cooking!  All moved in to the new house, almost settled in, still have boxes to unpack, but need to get some new bookcases, couple odds and ends here and there, start painting walls, all that fun stuff!  Friend of mine said I need to have a painting party…  Hmmmm…

Just a little family news before I get on to the food!  William got straight A’s on his latest report card!  WOO HOO!  Mike is still at the VA, and MOST days he likes it.  James is getting promoted to a shift supervisor at Wendy’s, still kind of hoping he figures out what he really wants to do with his life, but maybe this really is “it” for him??  And MOST days I still like my job, too.  There are bumps in the road from time to time, but all in all, things are good!

So, tonight’s meal was another crock pot meal, I know, who would have guessed, right?  But it was a REALLY good one!!  So here we go…

Part 1

2 or 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts placed in the pot, frozen seems to work best

Sprinkle with about 1/8 cup of taco seasoning

Pour over one medium can of enchilada sauce – I used Old El Paso because I had a coupon

Set pot to low, cover, and leave it alone for 8-9 hours

Part 2

Remove the chicken from the pot, place in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, shred with a fork (it really should just sort of fall apart if you just press on it after all that cooking)

Pour over the sauce from the crock pot

Cover with about 1 cup shredded cheese

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes

Side Dish

2 cups leftover plain rice

1 can tomato paste

1 can drained and rinsed kidney beans

About 1 cup peas (about half a can, or leftovers)

About 1 cup corn (about half a can, or leftovers)

Mix all this in a microwave safe dish, heat on high about 7 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Top with about 1 cup shredded cheese, cover and microwave another 5 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Serve about 1 cup of the rice and veggies with cheese alongside about 1 cup of the cheesey chicken, and you have quite the meal!!

Hope you enjoy!!  Until next time, eat well, love well, live well!!  🙂

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February 3, 2013

February 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm (Food) (, , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  Wow, I’ve been a bad girl, been away for a while.  Sorry!!!  Hope you didn’t miss me too much…

So, let’s see, what’s been going on around here?  Well, William and I went on a field trip this past week to the Dali Museum and the Titanic Exhibit at the Mahaffey theater in downtown Tampa.  I decided it was high time I went on a field trip with one of my kids, since I missed them ALL with James, I guess William got the pleasure of having mom along.  I don’t know that he really even noticed I was there most of the time, he was hanging out with his friends, and I was busy chasing the other kids in my group.  I did get a few photos of the trip there, but we weren’t allowed to take photos inside either museum, and we didn’t get to go to the gift shop, so I have nothing really cool to show you!  But I can tell you it was a cool trip, and I think we should go back as a family instead of with a big group, we can spend more time looking around.

I got my hair colored last week, got some blonde highlights and some purple highlights, which actually turned out more lilac than purple, and here we are ONE WEEK LATER, you have to really look to find them.  I’m a little disappointed.  Think I’m going to go more like a garnet red next time, see how that turns out.

And we qualified for a mortgage, went looking at houses last weekend, found one we LOVED, so we made an offer.  After a little haggling and what seemed like forever (four days), we came to an agreement.  Inspection is this Wednesday, we’re supposed to close 3/15.  And lo and behold, we got a letter from an attorney, the house we’ve been renting for the past 6+ years has been foreclosed upon, the former owner has until 3/11 to pay up, or it goes to public auction 3/14.  Sounds like we’re getting out just in time!  Even trying to move the closing up a week or two if we can, so we can be out before all hell breaks loose around here.  I’m just crossing my fingers we get our original deposit back…  that money would REALLY come in handy to get stuff for the new place!

So, anyway, it’s been a busy few weeks around here.  Haven’t done much ORIGINAL cooking lately, but I do have two things to share with you this time.

BBQ Pockets

1 pound ground beef

1 Cup BBQ sauce of your choice

1 can jumbo biscuits

Brown and drain ground beef, return to pan.  Reduce heat, add BBQ sauce, and simmer for about 10 minutes, while you prepare the biscuits.

Roll the biscuits as flat as you can, mine came out pretty big, but not so thin you can’t handle them.

Place the rolled out biscuits on a cookie sheet, ungreased, place about 2 tbsp BBQ mixture on each flattened biscuit, fold over, press to close.  You can also go around the flat edge with the tines of a fork if you want, but the design sort of gets lost when the biscuits bake.  I had to do 2 at a time because they were SO big rolled out, two of them took up half the cookie sheet!

Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes, or until deep golden brown.  Serve warm!

Taco Pockets

1 pound ground beef

2/3 Cup water

1/4 Cup taco seasoning

1 can jumbo biscuits

Brown and drain ground beef, return to pan.  Reduce heat, add water ans seasoning, and simmer for about 10 minutes, while you prepare the biscuits.

Roll the biscuits as flat as you can, mine came out pretty big, but not so thin you can’t handle them.

Place the rolled out biscuits on a cookie sheet, ungreased, place about 2 tbsp taco mixture on each flattened biscuit, fold over, press to close.  You can also go around the flat edge with the tines of a fork if you want, but the design sort of gets lost when the biscuits bake.  I added a little shredded cheese on the outside of mine, but I think next time I’ll try cheese INSIDE.  I had to do 2 at a time because they were SO big rolled out, two of them took up half the cookie sheet!

Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes, or until deep golden brown.  Serve warm!

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Taco on the left, BBQ on the right.

I also served ranch dressing with these, it was GOOD!

And then tonight, we had something different…

Teriyaki Pork with Rice

4 boneless skinless pork chops, thick cut

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (Kikkoman’s is good)

2 cups prepared leftover rice

1 cup frozen peas

Trim fat from chops, cut into cubes, saute over medium heat until no longer pink.  Add in sauce and peas, stir well, cook until peas are bright green, maybe 5 minutes.  Reduce heat, add in leftover rice, cover and simmer about 10 minutes.

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It was GOOD!!

So, that’s it for now.  Hope you try one of these, let me know how they come out for you!

Eat well, love well, live well!!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza day 334-347 (week 49 & 50)

December 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm (Food, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!!

I can’t believe I’m on week 50 already!!  And I’m sorry I got sidetracked last week and didn’t post, but I hope you will forgive me.

I’ve been so busy, working a little OT, getting presents made, shipping out of state presents, finishing up William’s makeshift Advent calendar.  I just ran out of weekend last weekend!  This weekend, I skipped doing my nails so I would have time to catch up here, make a couple of projects I had wanted to try, finish wrapping the presents sitting around here in bags, clean up a little, you know, all those things that get away from you this time of year!

I’m really looking forward to a four day weekend next weekend!!  Going to bake some cookies, get everything together for Christmas dinner, and pick up the last couple of things on my list for the boys, and maybe a couple of stocking stuffers.  Want to try a new roll recipe I found, too, hopefully we’ll have nice fresh sweet yeast rolls to go with Christmas dinner!!

And I’ve been so turned around, I can’t honestly say I can give you a day by day account of what I made, but I do have a couple recipes to share, a new twist on one I’ve made before, and hopefully you will find something you like here!!

So, on to the food….

Garlic Pork with Rice and Peas

4 boneless pork chops

1 cup frozen peas

1 container garlic flavor Philadelphia cooking cream

Rice made in your rice cooker or stovetop

Trim the little bit of fat from the edge of the pork chops, then cut the chops into small bite sized pieces.

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Put about 2 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, heat to medium, add in pork and cook until no longer pink.  Add in peas, cover and steam about 5 minutes.  Add in cooking cream, stirring until melted well.  You can add a little milk if needed to thin it out if you want.  Add in the cooked rice, stir until mixed well, and serve!

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Glazed Carrots

1 Cup frozen carrots

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp butter

Put everything in a microwavable dish, cover, microwave 5 minutes, mix and serve!

Coconut Curry Chicken

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 cans coconut milk

1 box Golden curry mix

Put everything in the crock pot, DO NOT add any water, cover and cook on LOW 8-10 hours.  Remove chicken from the pot, shred, stir sauce in pot, add back in chicken, serve over Chicken Flavored Rice.

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Chicken Flavored Rice

I don’t know about your rice cooker, but here’s how mine works…

Fill to “3” line with water, add in 3 scoops rice and 1 packet of chicken flavoring (I used Knorr’s chicken stock this time), set to COOK and serve when it’s done!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I don’t think I really need to go into this one…  frozen meatballs, boxed spaghetti, jarred sauce….

Pot Roast

1 3-4 pound pot roast

1 box beef stock

1 packet beef Flavor Boost

1 packet French Onion soup mix

Put everything in the crock pot, set to LOW, cook 8-10 hours, it will literally fall apart, and because you didn’t add any plain water, it won’t be all dried out!!

Home Made Beef and Rice Burritos

1 pound ground beef

2 cups water

1/2 cup taco seasoning

2 cups leftover rice

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded cheese

8 tortillas

Put ground beef, water and taco seasoning in the crock pot in the morning.  Set on LOW and cook 8-10 hours.  When you get home from work, chop up the beef in the pot, stir in the rice and beans, and add a little more taco seasoning if you need to.  Mine needed just a couple tablespoons more!

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Put the tortillas one at a time on a plate, sprinkle with a few tablespoons shredded cheese, two large spoonfuls (maybe 1/2 cup??) of the meat, rice and bean mixture, fold in sides and roll into a burrito.

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Place in a wide shallow baking pan.  Repeat with all tortillas, you might have a little filling left, but not much.  Pour enchilada sauce over burritos, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Serve with a little sour cream, or ranch dressing.

Bacon Cheeseburger Muffins

1 pound bacon

1 pound ground beef

2 cans biscuits

1 cup shredded cheese

Cut bacon into small pieces, cook until crisp, remove to paper towel lined plate.  Set aside.

Cook beef until no longer pink, crumbling as you cook.

Press biscuits as flat as you can get them, keeping them round.  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray, put one biscuit in each muffin cup.  Spoon in little shredded cheese, some bacon, some beef, top with a little more cheese.  Repeat until you run out of muffins and toppings.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or more if needed, to get a nice golden brown edge on the muffins.  Serve with dipping sauces of your choice!

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So that’s all I can remember that I cooked, hope you found something you enjoyed!!

Until next time, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza day 327-333 (week 48)

December 2, 2012 at 9:52 pm (Food, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!

It doesn’t seem like last week was Thanksgiving, but it was.  Full work week this week, and a crazy one at that!  Got a little OT, which will help pay for all the Christmas shopping I did, and the little bit I have left to do, so it’s all good!  Everything is wrapped already and under the tree.  William doesn’t believe in Santa any more, so now I get to torture him with wrapped boxes under the tree for weeks!  But we’re doing an Advent calendar this year, for the second year, so he gets a little something every day.  I don’t have an actual Advent calendar, so I’m improvising…  Chinese take out style boxes with numbers on them, got 8 filled so far, gotta get the rest done this weekend when we get paid again.  They’re reusable, so I think this will be our new tradition, but Mike says we need to do this for everyone, not just William, could get expensive!!!  Dollar store, here we come!!

Anyway, on to the food….

Monday

Left overs on the run – we had a school meeting to go to!

Tuesday

Clean out the fridge night!  We still had some Thanksgiving leftovers, lots of veggies, and we made fresh biscuits to go with it all.

Wednesday

Pesto Chicken with Pasta and Veggies

2-3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 C frozen peas

1 C frozen cut green beans

Pesto flavor Philadelphia cooking cream

1 box Dream Fields pasta of your choice

Trim any excess skin or fat from the chicken and cut into small bite sized pieces.  Cook in a couple tablespoons of olive oil until no longer pink.  Add in vegetables, cover and steam 5 minutes.

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Meanwhile, cook the pasta to package directions.

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Add cooking cream to chicken and veggies, you can add a little milk if you need to so it thins out nicely.

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Drain pasta, add in to chicken and veggies.  Mix well and serve.

Nice one dish meal, too bad it’s not one pot, too!!

Thursday

Pork Chops and Eggs

I worked a little late, so Mike started dinner.  He fried up the chops with a little butter and salt.  Then made scrambled eggs with cheese, and some biscuits.  Quick and easy, and tasty!

Friday

Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 pound bacon

Ranch dressing mix

Prepared ranch dressing

Salsa

Tortillas

Cut bacon into small pieces, fry until crispy, remove to paper towel lined bowl and set aside.  DO NOT pour off grease.

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Trim excess skin and fat from chicken, cut into very small pieces.  Fry in the bacon grease with about 2 Tbsp dry ranch dressing mix.

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Put a little cheese of your choice on a tortilla, add in some chicken and bacon, top with some ranch dressing and salsa, and wrap it up.  Serve!

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YUM!!!

Saturday

Taco Salad

1 head Iceburg lettuce

1 pound ground beef or chuck

2/3 cup water

1/4 cup taco seasoning mix

Salsa

Ranch dressing

Shredded cheese

Crushed tortilla chips

Cook ground beef until no longer pink.  Drain any excess fat, add in water and taco seasoning, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.

While that’s simmering, chop the lettuce whatever way you like it, I went for almost a fine shredded look.

Put some lettuce in a bowl, top with about 1/3 of the prepared meat, 1/3 cup shredded cheese, 1/4 cup salsa, few Tbsp ranch dressing, and a handful of crushed chips.  Mix well, and serve!

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Sunday

Coconut Curry Chicken

3-4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 cans coconut milk

1 Pkg golden curry mix

Rice

Knorr chicken flavor concentrated stock

Trim chicken of excess skin or fat.  Put into crock pot.  Add in coconut milk and curry spices (the brand I buy comes in a block), set to LOW and cook 8-10 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours.  Stir occasionally to mix the curry with the coconut milk, makes a very nice sauce.

About 30-45 minutes before the chicken is supposed to be done, make rice in the rice cooker per directions, but add in the Knorr chicken stock to the water before you start the cooker.

While the rice is cooking, you can steam some veggies as a side dish, I did broccoli and peas tonight.

When the chicken is done, remove from pot and shred.  Serve by putting rice on the plate, top with some shredded chicken and some sauce.  Serve with your veggies, YUM!!!

So that’s it for this week.  Couple of repeats I know, but I’ve been a little busy this week.  I’ll try harder next week!!

Until next time, eat well, love well, live well!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 258 – 263 (Week 38)

September 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  What a week….

William was home sick from school two more days, so he’s now missed 6 days in the first month of school!  I sure hope whatever the heck is going around out there stays the heck away from us!!!  He’s on another round of antibiotics, hopefully this will be the end for a while.

Mike is still fighting off the first bug, using his inhaler a lot, sleeping more than not when he’s not at work.  I feel bad for him, but I’m still fighting it, too.  My chest is still a little tight, but the stuffy nose is all gone and the sore throat with it, so I guess I’m getting better.  Out of antibiotics, so I certainly hope so!!

Work is going better, I’m actually helping to train a new person, so maybe all my uncertainties are all in my own head!  That would be business as usual for me, I’m always my own worst enemy.  I’m still learning new things, so that’s good, and keeps things interesting.

And last but not least, it’s been a busy weekend.  We were supposed to go visit my folks, dad’s birthday today, but since William was sick again, and Mike and I weren’t quite over what we had, we didn’t think it would be the smartest thing we’ve ever done to go over there.  But, we did get laundry done, the kitchen is cleaned up, got the yard cleaned up so maybe the HOA will leave us alone for a while, even got James to come home and help for a bit.  And got what I hope is a nice surprise…  the neighbors pulled up with a trailer, so maybe they are moving out!  That would be the highlight of my year!!!  They never cut their grass, the HOA ends up doing it about once every three months, so the weeds are literally 4-5 feet high before they get cut back, so guess what our yard is full of!  Keep your collective fingers crossed…

So, on to the week in food.  It was a very chickeny week around here, but we tend to eat a lot of chicken, so that’s not really unusual.  Maybe you’ll see something you want to try!

Monday

Chicken and Sausage

3 Boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 rope smoked sausage

1 Jar tomato basil spaghetti sauce

1 Tbsp garlic powder

Cut the sausage into chunks, put it in the crock pot.  Put the chicken in whole.  Add the sauce and garlic.  Set on low, and cook 8-10 hours.

During the last hour, prepare some rice in your rice cooker to manufacturer’s directions, adding a little garlic and chicken flavor boost to the water before you add the rice.  Stir it up before you turn on the cooker.

Remove the chicken and sausage from the crock pot, shred the chicken, cut the sausage into smaller chunks, add it back into the sauce to keep it warm.

Put about 1 cup cooked rice in each bowl, top with chicken, sausage and sauce, and serve!  You can add a little shredded cheese if you want.

This was OK, but it needed something, and I couldn’t figure out what…

We had some steamed broccoli on the side…

Microwave Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Tbsp melted butter

1 Tbsp white sugar

1 Tbsp brown sugar

3 drops vanilla

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup flour

2 Tbsp chocolate chips

Mix the sugars, egg yolk, butter and vanilla together in a small bowl.  Add in the flour and mix until a thick dough has formed.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Spray a small ramekin or coffee mug with butter flavor cooking spray, scoop in the prepared dough, microwave 45-60 seconds, and serve!  (Mine cooked for 50 seconds and were perfect)  You can top off with a scoop of ice cream if you like, would be good!!

Bacon Egg and Cheese casserole

12 eggs

1/2 cup Parmesan

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup shredded cheddar

1/2 cup half and half (fat free)

1 pound bacon, cut into small pieces and cooked crisp

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish with butter flavor cooking spray.

Mix all the eggs and cheeses together, add the salt and pepper.  Pour into prepared pan.  Sprinkle in cooked bacon, and make sure it sinks in to the eggs.  Cook for 1 hour, testing at 45 minutes to see if done in the center (poke it with a knife, clean = done!).  If you can get it done in 45, then do, but my oven always takes a full hour.

Sorry I didn’t get a “done” shot!  It looked really good.

Allow to cool about half an hour, cut into 8 pieces, package them into individual servings, and you have breakfast for a few days!  Reheat 1 minute in the microwave, loosely covered, salt and pepper if you want, YUM!!!

Tuesday

Curry Chicken

5 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1/2 package Golden Curry seasoning mix

1 cup water

Salt and pepper to taste

Left over rice

1 cup frozen peas

Trim chicken thighs of any large pieces of skin or fat, but leave the little stuff, it’ll cook off.  Cut into bite sized pieces.  Cook in a large skillet over medium heat just until no longer pink.  Add in water, simmer for 10 minutes.  Add in curry seasoning, stir until mixed well, simmer another 10 minutes.  Add in left over rice and frozen peas, cook another 5 minutes, serve!

I had some left over broccoli from the night before, so I reheated that and topped off the bowls with it, except for William’s.

This was really yummy, but then we’re all getting hooked on curry since we first tried it earlier this year.  I’m going to have to find my own mix of spices to make my own curry!!

Wednesday

Mexican night!!

Can you believe, I told William it was Mexican night, and he actually says YEAH!  So here we go…

Frozen burritos topped with enchilada sauce and cheese, baked per package directions, but with my own little twists.

Quesadilla

Flour tortillas

Ground beef

Taco seasoning

Water

Shredded cheese

Butter flavor cooking spray

Cook ground beef until no longer pink, crumbling as you cook.  Drain off excess fat.  Add in about 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup taco seasoning, stir well, cook until sauce thickens.  Remove from heat.

Preheat large skillet over medium heat, or just a touch lower.  I use the “4” setting on my stove.  Spray pay with cooking spray.  Put in 1 tortilla, spoon in about 3-4 Tbsp prepared beef, top with shredded cheese, top with another tortilla.  Use enough cheese so that the tortillas will stick together!  Cook about 1 minute per side, be careful when you flip it, it can be messy but after a few tries, you learn the tricks to keep them together.  I use two spatulas!

Remove from pan, cut into triangles with a pizza wheel, and serve with sour cream, ranch dressing, salsa, whatever you like!

Thursday

Left Overs

We had some baked potatoes left over from the week before, I had frozen them after I cooked them, they keep pretty well.  We also had curry, chicken and sausage, and some school sandwiches, so everyone got something they liked.

Friday

McDonald’s – yeah, I know, junk food, but I was in the mood!!

Saturday

Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

Mini Pineapple Pizzas

These sort of go together…

2 cans refrigerated biscuits, flattened

1 jar pizza sauce

1 bag pepperoni

1 cup pineapple tidbits (I mean one of those single serve cups, not a whole cup!)

1 bag shredded Italian blend cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Spray a muffin pan with butter flavor cooking spray.

Sprinkle corn meal on a pizza stone or pizza pan, whichever you have.

Put the flattened biscuits in the muffin cups, my pan holds 12.  Put the rest on your pizza pan or stone.

Mix about 1/2 jar sauce with finely chopped pepperoni.  Spoon mixture into muffin cup biscuits.

Spread about 1/2 tsp sauce on each flattened biscuit on the pizza pan/stone.  Top with 1 slice pepperoni and 4-5 pineapple tidbits.

Top each muffin and each mini pizza with shredded cheese, as much as you can get on there without overflowing!!  (we like lots of cheese)

Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Serve!

Mini Apple Pies

2 cans crescent roll dough

1 can apple pie filling

1/8 cup sugar

2 Tbsp cinnamon

1/2 Tsp vanilla

Butter flavor cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray Texas muffin pan with cooking spray.

Separate dough into 8 sections, two triangles each.  Roll up the dough into a ball, flatten it out really flat, put one circle into each muffin cup.  You will have two triangles left, roll them together, then roll them out into a rectangle, or as close as you can get to a rectangle.  Use a pizza cutter and cut the dough into 6 skinny strips, then cut those in half so you have two shorter skinny strips.  Set aside.

Mix the apple pie filling with the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.  Spoon into biscuit cups.  Top with crossed dough strips, sprinkle with a little sugar.  Bake about 10-12 minutes.  Allow to cool about 10 minutes, serve with a scoop of ice cream.

Sunday

Chicken and Dumplings…  sort of

OK, so this was not my best experiment.  I bought a package of frozen dumplings, and tried to follow the package directions, but all I got was thicker broth instead of good dumplings.  The dumplings were just lumps of dough in the bottom of the pan, they were NOT good.  So, I ended up with chicken, rice and peas in a nice creamy sauce.  It tasted really good, but I was SO disappointed in the dumplings, I was really looking forward to them!

So here’s what I cooked:

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 packets chicken Flavor Boost

1 Tbsp Everglades original seasoning (the green one, not the red one)

1 1/2 quarts water

1 cup frozen peas

1 pkg frozen dumplings

Put all this in the crock pot, cook on low 6-8 hours.  Remove chicken, shred, set aside.

Pour juices into stove top pot, bring to a boil, add dumplings.  The package says to break them into pieces, but they were frozen together, so I couldn’t!  This is probably the problem….  boil 3 minutes, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes.  I did that, I still had lumpy doughy things in my pot, but my juices had become a sauce, so that was good.

I removed the dumplings, added in some leftover rice and the frozen peas, added in the shredded chicken, cooked it all over low for about 15 minutes to heat up the peas and rice, and served!  It tasted good, but it wasn’t what I had planned, so I was disappointed.  Oh well, guess I need to learn how to make flat dumplings!  Got a pasta machine on my Christmas list…

And now, some random photos for you…

I did my nails yesterday, I’m not sure I like them, but they’re OK.

Here’s William.

Here’s Duke the girl cat named by a four year old…

So, that’s it for this week.  It’s been a good food week, or at least a good food weekend.

Until next time, eat well, love well, live well!

 

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 244 – 249 (week 36)

September 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!!  Hope you all had a great week…

Crazy week at work, had to finish up closing out the month of August, but everyone pulled together and pulled it off.

William had a great week at school!  Finished up his antibiotics today, really loving having all these teachers in middle school, loving his guitar classes and learning a song by his favorite band, Green Day, just way too cool!!!

Mike had a pretty good week at work, he’s been taking antibiotics, too, so he’s feeling better.  Still tired, but better.  Busy at work, which is a good thing, it’s kinda rough when he’s not busy!  He gets bored so easily…  sounds like William!

I think James had a good week, got called in to work some extra hours, cut the grass for us (looks nice), off at his girlfriend’s like every other weekend.  Between work and girlfriend, we almost never see him, but he’s been really helping with William, getting him to and from school almost every day so we don’t have to pay for after school care, very cool!

Anyway, on to the food, that is why we’re here, right?  I’ve been keeping notes so I don’t forget what we had each night…  yeah, Fibromyalgia is like that, if I don’t write it down, I really do forget!  So here we go!

Monday

Went to a birthday party for William’s best friend, Noah, so we kind of “ate out”…  Hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, chips and dip, potato salad, home made cake, YUM!!!

Tuesday

Chicken Pesto Pasta

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces

1 box Dream Fields penne pasta

1 container Philadelphia pesto flavor cooking cream

1 cup frozen peas

Cook pasta to package directions, drain.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add chicken, and cook until no longer pink.  Drain any excess fluid.  Add in peas and cook until heated through.  Add cooking cream, heat until cream is well melted, stirring frequently.  Add in pasta and serve!

Wednesday

Frozen taquitos (had a Thirty One party to go to, so dinner had to be quick and easy!)

Thursday

Coconut Curry Chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 package Golden Curry spice mix

1 can coconut milk

2 packets Flavor Boost chicken flavor

Rice

Place chicken breasts, coconut milk, 1 packet Flavor boost, curry spices, and 2 cans water in crock pot.  Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.

About 30 – 45 minutes before ready to serve, add water, 1 packet flavor boost and rice to rice cooker per cooker’s instructions, and cook until cooker says it’s done.

Remove chicken from crock pot, shred.

If desired, cook your choice of veggie to go with this dish.  We usually do broccoli for the grown ups and peas for William, nothing different this time.

Put about 1 cup rice in a bowl, add about 1/2 a shredded chicken breast to the bowl, add in about 1/2 cup of your veggie, top with a little bit of the juice from the crock pot, sort of like a sauce, and serve!  If you wanted, you could even take some of the juices from the crock pot, add a little yogurt and flour and make an actual sauce out of it, might have to try that next time!

Friday 

We ordered pizza from Jet’s, sort of a treat, and boy, was it good!

Saturday

I’ve spent the better part of the day creating yummy yummy stuff today!  Lots of recipes to share!!!

Asian Style Pork Roast

2-3 pound pork loin roast

5 tropical fruit cups in juice

About 3-4 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp minced garlic

2 Tsp ground ginger

Place the roast in the bottom of the slow cooker.  Add in everything else, stir a little, cook on LOW 6-7 hours.  Remove roast from pot to serving tray.  Pour juice and fruit into a blender and LIQUIFY, use as a sauce for the pork, it’s pretty good!  Slice roast and serve with a side of sauce.

This turned out SUPER tender!

 

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Bread (from http://www.thecountrycook.net)

1 round loaf sourdough bread

2 cups shredded cheese (I used colby jack mixed cheese)

About 1 pound bacon, cut into small pieces and cooked until crisp

1/2 cup butter, melted

About 2-3 Tbsp dry ranch dressing mix

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Using a sharp bread knife, cut the bread going in both directions but don’t cut all the way through the bottom.

Place your bread on a large piece of aluminum foil (this will make it easier to wrap it up later).

Place shredded cheese in between the slices. Really pack it in there as best you can.

 

Now add in bacon (as little or as much as you like).  We LOVE bacon, so I used a whole pound!  Do your best to get in between the slices.

Now take 1 tbsp. dry ranch dressing mix and add it to the melted butter. You can add more dry mix if you like a stronger ranch taste. Give it all a good stir until combined. Pour or spoon the butter mixture over top of the bread.

Now wrap the whole thing up in aluminum foil and place on baking sheet.

Bake at 350F degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap from the foil and bake for another 10 minutes (or until the cheese is melted).

And then dig in while warm!

 

Home Made Cinnamon Rolls

Dough                                                                                                                                                Filling

3/4 cup warm milk                                                                                                                        1/3 cup butter, softened

1 large egg                                                                                                                                         1/3 cup sugar

3 cups bread flour                                                                                                                         2 Tsp cinnamon

3 Tbsp sugar                                                                                                                                   1/2 Tsp nutmeg (optional)

1/2 Tsp salt                                                                                                                                     1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

4 Tbsp butter

1 1/2 Tsp bread machine yeast

Add warm milk and egg to bread machine pan.  Add in flour, sugar and salt.  Tap pan to settle, and push a little of the dry ingredients into the corner of the pan.  Place butter in corners of pan.  Make a little well in the center, add in the yeast.

Set the bread machine to DOUGH, put the pan in the machine, and hit start.

On my machine, this is a 1 hour 20 minute cycle.  Yours could be different!

When done, remove dough to a floured surface, kneed about 1 minute, cover, let rise about 15 minutes.

Roll out dough to about 15 inches by 1- inches.

Spread softened butter onto dough, top with sugar and cinnamon mixture (with nutmeg and nuts if you go that route!), roll as tightly as you can starting on a longer edge.  Press edge to seal as best you can.  Using a sharp knife or long piece of dental floss, cut into roughly 1 inch pieces, you should get about 12.  Place each roll into a greased 13″ x 9″ pan, almost touching next roll.  Cover and let rise 30 – 45 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.  Cool in pan 10 – 15 minutes.

Top with icing made with 1 cup powdered sugar, 1-2 Tbsp milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla and serve!

I haven’t iced these yet, but we aren’t having them until tomorrow morning.

 

Chocolate Fillers  (from the back of a Log House chocolate chips bag)

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 Tsp salt

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup quick oats

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter, brown sugar and salt.  Blend in flour and oats until crumbly.  Press about 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ pan.  Heat condensed milk and chocolate chips in a sauce pan until smooth.  Pour over base in dish, spreading to the edges.  Top with remaining crumbs, press lightly.

Bake 30 – 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Cut into however many pieces you want, I went with about 12 bars.

VERY good!!

Anyway, that’s it for now.  Not sure what I’m making tomorrow, but I had so much fun today, I just might have to cook again tomorrow!!

Oh, and while I was waiting on various machines to do their thing, I made some jewelry…

I finally finished this one, started it months ago but wasn’t sure where I was going with it until I found these cool plastic spike beads, then it all sort of came together!  It’s a pin/pill bottle necklace.

Another one I started a couple weeks ago, did the wire wrapping/beading around the outside edge today.

And made this from start to finish today.  Some cool aluminum chain, lots of little crystals and some cook brass coins, and viola, pretty  earthy bracelet!

So, until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!!!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 229-235

August 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  Hope you’ve all had a wonderful, positive week!  It’s certainly been interesting around here…

Last Sunday we went to my parent’s house, so no, I did not cook. We went swimming and caught up on what’s going on.  Mom made burgers, the boys helped cook them on the grill.  She also made her amazing potato salad, baked beans, deviled eggs, and Tres Leche cake.  I have recipes for some of those things, maybe I’ll even share one day, but not today!  We picked up James’ car and brought it home.  Somehow, I can’t believe I’m saying those words, my child is not supposed to be old enough to have his own car, I’m not that old!

The work week was relatively calm, except that we’re loosing some team members to other teams, loosing one team member who’s just leaving the company, getting some new team members, and reorganizing coverage areas again, but not so much that it will be completely crazy, and I’m comfortable enough now that I think I can handle it.  I’m just glad that the boss thinks I can handle it, too, means I am doing OK even though sometimes I still have doubts.

Mike is still feeling pretty rough, but he saw a new specialist this week that we think is on the right track, more tests, but he has some good ideas and isn’t just blowing smoke, and not immediately blaming all Mike’s health issues on his weight like so many others, including me sometimes.  I know, I have no room to talk, but I just think we would both feel so much better if we lost some weight.  Of course, I’m not helping, doing all this cooking all the time, but I’ve got it in the back of my head all the time that I need to find healthier ways to make the foods we like rather than just trying to redo our whole diet.  We’ll get there!

William started school this week, new school, new kids, new teachers, new schedule, first week of Middle School.  Again, I’m not old enough for my younger child to be in MIDDLE school!!  But he absolutely loves it!  His homeroom/math teacher seems fun.  Didn’t get to meet the PE coach, but William seems to like him, too.  Language arts/Social studies teacher seems really nice, and she seems to understand my thoughts on teaching to more than just the FCAT, I like a teacher that thinks I’m right LOL!  The music teacher is just too cool, and William has two classes with him, regular music, and guitar class.  William and Mike went out last weekend and rented William a guitar, think it might be a rent-to-own type of thing, not entirely sure, but he really seems to be enjoying the class.  Didn’t get to meet the science teacher yet either, but William likes her, so she must be OK.  He can usually smell bullshit faster than we can, and he’s really happy so far, so I think this might be one of our better moves, this Charter school.  And, of course, I’m going to get to put some of my fundraising experience to work for them and be involved without being in charge, so I’M happy, too!!

And James is, well, James.  Working, playing video games, out for the weekend as usual.  I’m a little frustrated with him right now, his “rent” is chores, and they aren’t getting done unless we bug him, and I just feel like he’s 19, I shouldn’t HAVE to remind him any more, but I do.  I think we’re going to sit down one night soon and have a chat.  Need to talk about what we’re going to do when it’s time for new phones at Christmas, what we’re going to do about chores and rent and school, just all those fun little subjects we all love talking about so much…  NOT!  Hopefully it will be a grown-up discussion instead of the usual talking-to-a-wall discussion…

Anyway, you aren’t here for the gossip, you’re here for the food!  I decided to take it a little easy on myself this week, I kept track of what I made each night, but I didn’t pressure myself to WRITE each night, and I actually feel better about this little project than I have since I went back to work.  I was putting a lot of pressure on myself, and getting on my own case when I didn’t write every night, but I’m realizing that that’s just not fair to me.  I have to have time to unwind, relax, be part of the family, and quit trying to be Super-Mom.  So I think I’m going to stick to writing on weekends, maybe a night or two during the week if it’s not too much pressure, but not every night, it’s just too much with the job and the kids right now.

So, here we go…

Monday

Pot Roast and Potatoes

1 rump roast, approx 2-3 pounds

1 packet beef Flavor Boost

4 Tbsp dried onion flakes

1 Tsp garlic powder

4 potatoes, washed and cut into bite sized pieces

Water

Put the roast, the cut up potatoes, Flavor Boost, onion flakes, garlic and potatoes into the crock pot.  Add enough water just to cover everything in the pot.  Stir it up a little, set to LOW, and cook 8-10 hours, stirring a couple of times throughout the day if you can.  It’s OK if you can’t, but it’s better if you can, or if you can find someone like my son to do it for you!

Remove roast and potatoes from the pot, put on serving platter, allow to rest while you strain out about 4 cups of the broth, put it in a sauce pan, add in brown gravy mix per package directions (packets usually call for one packet for each cup of liquid, the large container of mix calls for 3 Tbsp per cup of liquid), stir well with a whisk, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened.  Serve with the roast and potatoes for a good old fashioned family meal!  We also had some steam broccoli and peas with our meal, just to round things out.  A salad also works very well.

Tuesday

Curry Chicken and Rice

Another crock pot meal…

5-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, thawed or frozen, doesn’t really matter

1 packet chicken Flavor Boost

1/2 box Golden Curry mix, medium heat variety

1 can coconut milk, shaken well

Put all these into the crock pot.  Add just enough water to cover the chicken, I think I might have added 3 cups all together.  Set to LOW and cook 8-10 hours.

When I got home from work, I made a small pot of rice in the rice cooker (water to the “2” mark, two scoops of rice), added 2 packets of chicken flavor Flavor Boost, served the chicken with this rice, and some steamed veggies on the side, it was AWESOME!  Even William went back for seconds on both the rice and chicken.  There was barely enough left for my lunch the next day!

Wednesday

Turkey Sausage with Parmesan Orzo

This is a super easy meal, and William helped me cook it.

Cut up the turkey smoked sausage into bite sized pieces, saute with no added butter or anything, the liquid in the sausage helps it steam/simmer very nicely, just don’t leave it alone, it might burn just a bit.  Voice of experience here!

Along with this, we made Orzo pasta to package directions, drained, added butter and Parmesan cheese, mixed it all up, kind of tastes like mac-n-cheese but better.  Goes great with the sausage, makes for a hearty meal, but not too heavy.

Thursday

Leftovers

We had leftover potatoes and gravy, leftover egg rolls, some leftover veggies, I don’t even remember what all else we had, but we had quite a bit on the table!

Friday

Spasagna

I found this on another blog, it sounded yummy, and OH WOW, it was AWESOME!

So, courtesy of http://www.thecountrycook.net here’s Spasagna…

1 (26 oz) jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

1 (16 oz) jar of Alfredo or Garlic Alfredo sauce (I didn’t have the garlic kind, so I added a little garlic to the recipe)

1 Lb spaghetti noodles (I used Dreamfields angel hair)

1 lb ground beef

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup milk (2% or higher)

1 Tsp dried oregano

1 Tsp dried parsley (I didn’t have the individual spices, so I added 2 Tsp of mixed Italian seasoning)

Cook noodles to package directions, drain very well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with olive oil nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine Alfredo sauce, mozzarella, milk and spices.  Stir well. Add in noodles and stir/toss to coat completely.  Put this mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Cover with aluminum foil, and bake about 30 minutes.

While the noodles are baking, start cooking the ground beef in a large skillet or medium saucepan.  Brown and crumble beef until cooked through.  Drain well, and add back into pan.  Add spaghetti sauce, and leave on LOW heat, cover if you can, and let it simmer until the noodles are ready.

Allow the noodles to sit about 10 minutes before trying to top or cut into servings.  Top with the meat and spaghetti sauce mixture.  (I wasn’t sure what a serving should be, so I just cut the pan into 8 pieces.)  Top with Parmesan cheese if desired and serve!

Saturday

Pork Wontons

4 boneless pork chops, fried and cut into small pieces (about 1/2″ pieces)

Wonton wrappers

Oil for frying

Your favorite sauce for dipping

Place one piece of pork into the center of a wonton wrapper, wet two edges of the wonton wrapper and fold over to make a triangle.  Then dampen two corners and fold in towards each other to make a little hat packet looking shape.  Fry in hot oil about 2-3 minutes per side, remove from oil to paper towel lined serving tray.  Continue with pork and wontons until you run out of one or both.  Somehow, we had just enough of each!

And we had sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, my home made plum-peach sauce from last weekend, lots of sauces to pick from!  Needless to say, they are all gone…

Spinach Hummus

I found this recipe on the internet, but I had to tweak it a bit to make it work in my blender.  One of these days I’ll get an actual food processor…

2 cans chick peas, one drained, one not drained

1/2 cup Tahini, well stirred

4 Tbsp garlic, minced (I buy my garlic pre-minced in a squeeze bottle, so it’s WAY easy!)

Juice of one lemon, or more if you prefer

2 Tsp salt

1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed

4 Tbsp olive oil

Put chick peas in blender, with the juice from one can, blend until smooth.  Gradually add in Tahini, spices and spinach, blending very well after each addition.  You can add a little more oil if needed to thin it out and make it blend better.  I have to admit, I still have a couple of whole chick peas because I wasn’t overly patient with this, but it still tasted really good, and I’m not a huge fan of hummus!

Corn Muffins

This recipe is from the package of Dixie Lily corn meal…

1 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup corn meal

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup melted shortening (butter!) or oil

Grease muffin cups or use paper liners, heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Beat egg in a separate bowl, add milk and shortening and mix well.  Stir in dry ingredients and mix well.  Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full, bake 25-20 minutes or until golden brown and set.  Serve warm with butter, honey, grape jelly, whatever YOU like on corn bread!

Chocolate Cake with Home Made Chocolate Frosting

I used a chocolate fudge cake box mix, Duncan Hines I think.  Didn’t do the cake from scratch, just followed the box directions.  But then I didn’t want to use store bought frosting, so went hunting for a recipe…  Here’s what I found!

4 cups powdered sugar

1 cup butter, melted

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp milk

6 tbsp cocoa powder

Blend everything very well in a large bowl, spread onto cooled cake, top with sprinkles if you want and serve!

So now it’s movie night, gonna go eat the cake and watch a movie.  So until next time, eat well, love well, live well!!!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 210

July 31, 2012 at 9:16 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!

Gonna tell you right up front, this is going to be a really short post!  I’m watching the USA women’s gymnastics team winning their gold medal (yeah, I know they won, now I want to see it!), so I won’t be typing very long!!

Busy, busy, busy at work, stressed out when I got home, but now I’m nice and relaxed!

Boys did some chores for me, Mike is off to Orlando for the week, the cat has been in my face since I walked in the door, which on one hand makes me nuts, and on the other hand, I know I’m loved!!  🙂

Anyway, quick and easy dinner tonight.  It doesn’t have a “name”, but everyone liked it!

Rice made in the rice cooker…

Kielbasa cut into tiny wedges…

Frozen peas…

Fry the Kielbasa in a large skillet about 8-10 minutes or until almost done.  Add in the peas, and continue to cook another 8-10 minutes, or until the peas are hot crisp tender.

Put about 1 cup rice in a bowl, top with about 1/3 of the sausage and peas, serve!  Mix it up a little in the bowl, YUM!

AND, I had leftover rice, made rice pudding in the crock pot.  Not very “puddingy”, but tasty…

Rice Pudding

5 cups cooked rice

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 can evaporated milk

1 Tsp vanilla extract

1 Tsp cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten

2 Tbsp butter

Put everything in the crock pot, mix VERY well, heat on LOW about 2 hours or until rice has absorbed all the liquid, serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! YUMMM!!!

So, that’s it, gonna go watch Olympics, until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!!

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 189-193

July 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm (Food) (, , )

Hello again friends, welcome back!  Sorry for the prolonged absence, but I have an excuse!!  (no, my dog did not eat my log book)

Tuesday afternoon, I got a call from my boys saying they heard a really loud crack followed immediately by thunder, and half the lights in the house went out.  Silly me, I figure lightning hit CLOSE TO the house and just set something off.  So I send James, 19 years old, old enough to handle some instructions, out to the garage to check the breaker box.  He says a couple of them are off or popped, so I tell him to turn them all the way off, then back on, and see if that doesn’t fix things.  Well, they got lights back, but the A/C wasn’t working and the cable/internet/phone weren’t working.  So, first things first, I decide that I can wait until I get home to call the landlord…  first mistake.  No after hours service, no after hours phone number even, and the person I usually deal with never answers his cell phone, and that night was no exception.  Great.  Next call, Verizon, see if they can reset the cable, or whatever it is they do.  They run all sorts of tests while I wait on the phone, in the garage, sweating my butt off (Oh how I wish!!), have me disconnect the battery (which looks like a mini car battery by the way, did NOT need to know that) and reconnect it, plug the unit into a different outlet (had to hunt down some extension cords for that one, sweat some more), still nothing.  So, they decide they have to send out a technician, can’t come out until Thursday, oh joy.  Well, we can live without cable and internet, right?  We aren’t like addicted or anything, right??  Well….  we didn’t kill each other, so I guess we were OK.  We all sat around reading that night.  Needless to say, I did NOT cook!  No A/C, in Florida, in July…  no, I did NOT cook!!!  KFC, here we come.

So Wednesday morning, I finally get hold of the landlord’s office, not my particular agent, but the office.  I tell them what we think happened, lightning really close to the house, think maybe it blew a circuit breaker or something.  Could they send someone out.  They give me the number of an electrician, whom I call three times, no answer, left messages.  After lunch, I call back to the landlord, they have also called and left messages without getting answers, so let’s try someone else.  This time, THEY make the calls, not me.  About an hour later, I get a call from an electrician, or their office at least.  Very nice lady, tell her the story, she sends someone out.  Sometime during the afternoon they show up, no warning call as they said they would, but I guess that’s OK.  They replaced a GFI (surge protected) outlet in the garage that was fried, but they never mention what they think might have done that, they just say, we fixed it, should be all good now.  Well, just so happens that this outlet is where the Verizon box was plugged in, so we think Hey, if the outlet is fixed, maybe the Verizon might work???  No…  that would just be too easy!  So, another night with no A/C, no cable, no internet, no phone, we decide to order pizza and plug in a movie.  Again, no A/C, in Florida, in July, I did NOT cook!

Thursday morning rolls around, I call the landlord again, still have yet to talk to MY agent, but I’m OK with that, I don’t much like him anyway, he’s a bit of an ass.  I do, however, really like his associate/assistant or whatever he is.  Guy named Nate, very helpful, doesn’t talk down to me, doesn’t make me feel like I’ve been slimed, yeah, I can deal with this guy, and he calls me back!  Tell him the electrician was in, replaced an outlet, but something is still not right, we still don’t have A/C.  The unit is working, blowing air, the electrician checked everything and said that electrically it was fine.  Told him about the fried Verizon box, happens to be on the same wall as the air handler in the garage that isn’t doing it’s job, might just be a coincidence, tell him Verizon is coming out in the afternoon, maybe they could send out an A/C person, too?  Yeah, OK, we’ll send someone, they’ll call you to let you know when they will be there. This time they got a really good company first try.  Got a call not even an hour later, they would be there between 4 and 6, check everything out and fix it right up!  I’m thinking YEAH!!  But it just wasn’t meant to be…  Verizon replaced the hub out in the garage that powers the whole internet/cable/phone system, so we had internet and cable again, but still no phone.  Technician says that’s pretty normal, takes a few hours for the system to reset itself, but he’ll ask them to move it along a little.  Um, yeah.  Anyway, the A/C guy is poking around when I get home from work, says everything is working but all the freon is gone.  OK, where did it go???  So, I ask him, did anyone tell you what we think happened here?  Ummm, no…  so I tell him, lightning close to the house, not sure exactly what happened, but they had to replace a GFI outlet and the Verizon hub.  Hmmm…  next thing I know, he’s climbing around on the roof!  OK, no A/C unit up there, buddy, what the heck??  Well, seems that the condenser in outside, and there is a copper pipe which goes from the condenser to the air handler in the garage, UP OVER THE ROOF.  Well, lightning didn’t strike NEAR the house, lightning struck this copper pipe ON THE HOUSE, put a hole in the pipe letting the freon out, conducted the electricity into the garage, and fried both the outlet and the Verizon box, and, we later found out, shorted out the phone lines which still don’t work!  And as it turned out, he did not have the parts he needed to fix this particular issue, so he had to come back Friday.   😦   So, still, no A/C Thursday night.  It was Mike’s late night at work, and he had to stop at Walmart on his way home anyway, so two huge fans, chicken strips and ice cream!!  Once again, no A/C, in Florida, in July, I did NOT cook!!

Here’s the pics of the pipe:

That black spot with the hole in the middle is the original strike point, and the smaller holes are where the lightning sort of skittered across the pipe.

Anyway, he came back Friday afternoon, fixed everything up, just in time for James to leave for work and a weekend with the girlfriend.  I feel bad that he and William suffered through that heat all those days, but they were really good sports about the whole thing.  They cleared paths in the garage for the workers, broke down a bunch of empty boxes and put them away or got them ready for trash.  Still managed to do some chores even though it was 90+ in the house.  Good kids!!!

Meanwhile, while I was at work, I got onto the Verizon website and chatted with a technician while I was doing some work, they didn’t have my ticket in their online system, so I actually had to tell this guy what happened, but that was OK.  I’m a fairly quick typist most of the time.  So they ran some more tests, and came back to tell me that there was a short somewhere inside the house keeping the dial tone from reaching the phone, said their system said “hazardous potential” when they tried to send a signal, and they could send someone out for $79.99 plus $39.99 an hour to fix it.  I think not!!  So, I called Nate the landlord guy back, told him what was going on, asked him to send that nice electrician back out.  Some time next week would be fine, it’s not critical, we can live without phone service, after all, we ALL have cell phones!  But it does need to be fixed, if nothing else, for whomever ends up buying this house someday!

Oh, and one bit of good news, on Friday the 13th ironically…  my temp position WILL be turning into a permanent position, just need to hammer out the details with the head of HR this coming week!  YEAH!!!  So, even though we finally had A/C, we had to go out and celebrate!  So, dinner at Golden Corral, yummy!

And here we are, Saturday.  Grocery shopping is done, laundry is about half done, dishes are done, chicken flavored rice is in the cooker, going to fry up some Kielbasa and maybe steam some veggies.  Nothing too complicated, but home made nonetheless. Sorry, no complicated recipes today, I’m just not up to it after this week!  But I’m thinking about doing some prep work for the rest of the week tomorrow, and maybe a little baking, so maybe I’ll have something cool to share tomorrow.  Oh wait, guess I could tell you about the rice…

Chicken Flavored Rice

Rice Cooker!

Fill pot with water to “3” mark

Add in 2 packets of Chicken flavor Flavor Boost, mix well

Add in 3 cups (not actual “cups”, but the “cup” that came with your rice cooker!!) rice, stir until rice settles

Plug in the cooker, set to cook, and wait until it pops!

Serve with whatever you like to have with rice!  It’s sort of like Rice a Roni without the Roni part…

Anyway, that’s it for today.  My fingers and forearms are tired from typing, and I gotta go cook that Kielbasa, it won’t cook itself.

So until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!!

 

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The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 175

June 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm (Food) (, , , , , )

OK, so now I’m back to the right day of the week!  Happy Tuesday!!  Welcome back friends!!

So, Tropical Storm Debby has just about blown herself out, at least here.  No more rain today, but it’s still really cloudy, and really windy.  Some roads are still closed, but mostly just the Skyway Bridge, and due to winds, not flooding.  Still quite a bit of standing water around, but we SO needed a good rain!  Just wish it hadn’t been all at once!  I heard this morning that my folks were really getting pounded, but I haven’t talked to them yet to see how bad it was.  Just tried to call, hope they’re just doing something or went somewhere, they didn’t answer…

Mike came home early from work, mostly because he could, but also because he’s got to “work” a baseball game after hours later in the week, and he has to use the time this week, and also because there’s a wind advisory on one of the bridges he has to drive across!

I had a good day at work, got a lot done, and broke through a little bit of a wall I felt was there with one of my co-workers.

So, I was looking forward to making dinner tonight, planning on a little experiment, and it came out really well!  I took the little bit I learned using packaged sauce products and a couple of recipes I read, and combined them into something that was actually pretty yummy.  So here we go:

Coconut Curry Chicken (my way)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 pkg golden curry seasoning, medium hot (found it at Walmart, it’s literally a brick of seasoning, but it’s easy to cut up)

1 small container plain Greek yogurt

1 can unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup each any other crunchy veggies you like in your curry, like green peppers, fresh peas, fresh green beans

Remove any excess skin or fat from the chicken, and cut into small bite sized pieces.  Sautee in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add in veggies and cook about 2 minutes.  Add in coconut milk and simmer 8-10 minutes or until veggies are crisp tender.  Add in the Greek yogurt and seasoning, cook stirring constantly until seasoning is completely dissolved and sauce has thickened, about 5-7 minutes total.  Serve over rice or noodles.  I serve it over chicken flavored Jasmine rice, and I think it turned out really well.  It really wasn’t spicy at all, but it had really good flavor.  And, I have leftovers for both Mike and I for lunch tomorrow!  YEAH!

 

Here’s the chicken, carrots and the curry sauce all nice and cooked.

This is my rice cooker that I rave about!  I love this little thing!  It was actually Mike’s before we got married, but if it ever dies, we have GOT to get another one.  It’s SOOO handy!

Doesn’t that look good?!

Anyway, that’s it for tonight.  Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

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