Tag Archives: blog

High School Reunion

This was not an official high school reunion. Rather, this was born out of the fact that we are all turning 50 this year! It was overwhelming to see all these guys show up. I can look back over the years and actually recall the interactions we had together. They were not just bodies in a school I never bothered to know. For some, this was the first time I had seen them in 31 years. The consensus was I am the next to turn the big five-o which is startling since that does not happen until May. I am the third one in on the left in the featured image. I’d say that’s a pretty camera friendly shot!

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Pepsi-Cola Chops

I recently came back from a business trip to Atlanta.  One of the meals was a cola marinated beef.  So, I searched for some recipes and settled for one using pork chops. Since the chops were thin, I expected them to be on the dry side but they still had a delicious taste.  I would recommend using thicker chops or beef.  The marinade is simply cola, ketchup, and JD Master Blend in a 2:1:1 ratio. Bake covered. Add your favorite macaroni and cheese and serve it up!

 

Sweet Potato Tacos

I am closing out 2016 with a food post. I found this great recipe on simplyrecipes.com.

This was originally a meatless dinner but I added a little chicken. What a lively meal!  If you make this dish, you will certainly have friends talking.  This is a very healthy dinner open for your own enhancements.

The sweet potatoes really make this meal so take the time to season and cook them properly. I made a few changes. I did not add cumin. Instead, I added a pinch of cayenne pepper for some extra kick!

Next time, I will convert that slice of avocado into guacamole. I think that will hold everything in that taco better. Besides, is it not hard to get a ripe avocado right from the grocery?  I will experiment with swapping the cilantro since it is a little strong for my tastes.  Add a side of beans and rice and you have a beneficial meal.

 

Quote Challenge Day 2 of 3

anger

 

This quote is a clever way of saying, “Think before you speak.” Controlling anger can be more demanding than this challenge. I sometimes find words spinning around in my head and then I realize I am getting upset over nothing. This does not happen nearly as much as in my youth. We all learn to take things in stride a bit more. Would you not agree?

This post was inspired by the three day quote challenge
invitation posted by MoonSkittles aka Dajena.
Stop by her site and check out her insights! 🙂

 

Chicken Casserole

I have been overdue for a cooking post. About a month ago, I tried my hand at my first casserole. I surfed the web for my best match. Then , I selected someone else’s improvements on the recipe. Well, as we all know, the first try at a new recipe is usually the first trial.  We all want to craft our dinners the way we like them, right? The right foods with the right seasonings. So, this is my second trial.  ChickSpagCassOf course, the dish was a big improvement and post worthy. The original recipe called for both cream of chicken and cream of mushroom. Well, I am not a big fan of mushroom but I was willing to give it a try. I did not like it. The flavor was too dominant and was cut from the recipe. I added a little more sour cream and some shredded cheddar jack cheese instead. I also added peas. I also swapped out egg noodles for thin spaghetti. The noodles ended up too mushy. The spaghetti was a big improvement. There is only one thing I would change to make it perfect. I would steam the broccoli and carrots for about five minutes prior to adding them to the baking dish. This way, they won’t be so crunchy. They were still good. Hey, they are vegetables no matter how you cook them (except overcooked)! This reminds me of the Friends episode where Rachael botched the Thanksgiving dessert by combining parts of English Trifle and Shepherd’s Pie ingredients but Joey liked it anyway! “What’s not to like”, he said.

So, my dish should actually be called Chicken Spaghetti Casserole with Vegetables.

The ingredients for a 2 quart casserole dish. Serves 2-3.

1 1/2 chicken breasts
1 can of Cream of Chicken soup
8 ounces of sour cream
2/3 cup of fat free milk
1/2 cup of Cheddar Jack cheese
3/4 cup Broccoli
One carrot
1/2 cup of peas
1/2 serving of spaghetti (judgement call!)
Pinch of black pepper
Healthy grind of garlic sea salt
Your choice of topping: buttery crackers or corn tortillas
One tablespoon melted butter for the topping

 

ChickSpagCassServedI am not going to go through the preparation instructions. It takes time but look at the results! Otherwise, I will be getting hungry for dinner again as I write this at 11:30 am! I would say it is a rather healthy meal. Exceptionally delicious. Served with garlic bread. One tip. Let the dish cool for about a half hour. This way, the meal will thicken and not be runny. Unless, that’s the way you like it!

 

Burrito Mas!

One would have thought this was Cinco de Mayo weekend with all the Mexican style food being cooked at my place!  I dug my favorite burrito recipe out of the top drawer on Saturday.  Burrito2016

Simply chicken, rice, and refried beans inside. This takes a lot of preparation time but the results are so worth it. First, fry the chicken. Then, saute the rice. Shred the chicken by hand and toss it back into the pan with rice. Add chicken broth and let it simmer! I used packaged salsa. However, it is always too salty and can take away from the original flavors.

 

BurritoA2016So, today I went without the salsa and just added fresh tomatoes and chives. Of course, I whipped up my famous batch of chicken nachos for today. There is plenty left over for the next day or so. Care to join me?

This is me marveling over my wonderful creation!

I look pretty happy there. You should have seen me when I ate them! 🙂

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Wings – Fresh Pollo

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There is nothing like cooking up a big batch of fresh wings! If you are still tempted to buy the prepacked style, I suggest you stop. They are so much better fresh and made the way you like them! I will admit, the first time I had to cut them up myself, I was a little squeamish. You’ll get over it. Cut off the tips and cut at the joint where the drum meets the wing. A great cooking trick is to boil the wings for ten minutes after you cut them. This boils off most of the excess fatty skin. Then , you can marinade and/or baste them. I bake them for at least 45 minutes at 400 degrees. I like them on the dry side. Yes, I cook a mean bird! 🙂

These will go great with the new episode of The Walking Dead tonight!

 

 

Fresh Marinara

It has been weeks since I have blogged about food.  I think it was due to the fact I gained a few pounds over the holidays! Laying around with a leg injury did not help the matter. This is my second attempt at making chicken tenders. The first time was great but I cut corners and settled for a prepackaged honey mustard dipping sauce.  This time there was no laziness! Indeed, this was the first time I made a marinara dipping sauce. Let me tell everyone. I impressed myself!  I viewed a few online recipes and settled for my own style. I can’t give you exact proportions because I usually judge what I think is best.

ChickenTenders

The marinara includes:

3 Fresh tomatoes(on the vine) – the best variety!
2 cloves of garlic
a good pinch of basil
about an eighth of an onion (don’t worry, I will use the rest for another meal)
1/3 can of no salt tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper and even less cayenne pepper

I did not add any water! All recipes state to add water and all the comments were that the end result was too watery. I even drained the tomatoes after finely chopping. I won’t go into the details of the preparation but if anyone wants to know just ask!  Saute the garlic and onion by themselves.  Then, bring everything to a boil. Then, reduce heat to very low and cook for at least 1/2 hour.

The marinara was delicious! Sweet with a spicy kick at the end.

The chicken tenderloins, as usual, were antibiotic-free and of local selection. Just breaded, fried, and drained on paper towels after cooking.

Are you hungry?

 

Thank You!

Follows

Shouting out a big Thank You to all my followers!
I am burning the midnight oil to give back support.
There are so many interesting blogs and viewpoints out there.
You inspire me every day.

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Come on my Canadian neighbors, put down the hockey sticks!

 

 

Pork&Bean Chili

Now that the cold weather has finally settled in, it is time to get back into the swing of making soups and chili.

Today, I made some great chili. Instead of using beef, I purchased cubed, shoulder pork. I also selected a cheddar biscuit mix. Sometimes, I just buy the ready made kind but I was IMG_0628not that lazy tonight!  I did go with a chili mix instead of making the whole thing from scratch. However, there were fresh bay leaves, cilantro, garlic, and onion added.  There were a few times I tried soaking dry beans but now matter how long I soak them (even two days) some beans are still hard. So I gave up on dry beans. There must be a secret to that!

The soup was tasty. The cheddar biscuits were awesome. As usual, I always cook for more than one night’s worth of dinner. So no cooking on a Friday night. Yes!

The finished products….

What did you create tonight?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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