In other news…Life keeps getting in the way…

Wow, my poor sadly neglected blog.

I honestly don’t know how people regularly keep up with these things. They are so much work…

My life has gotten all of the sudden CRAZY hence why I haven’t been blogging. I’m finally working semi regularly (At least 5 days a week) which has been awesome! But I had forgotten how much working takes out of you…I get home from work and all I want to do is relax…Blogging is usually at the back of my mind. Also I have a HUGE announcement. I have decided after over a year of deliberation…to Transition. For those of you who don’t know what that means. in short form it means to medically change my body, and my social role from Female to Male. Its much more complex than that…but that is the basic definition. That has taken all of my time and energy…just getting everything set up to start the medical aspects (especially for someone who doesn’t have Health insurance…it is really complicated.) and then on top of ALL of this. I had complications with my Snap program benefits, and couldn’t purchase fresh food this month. So I didn’t really have much to blog about. But I FINALLY got that sorted out, so we have fresh produce in the house again! yay!

To celebrate being able to buy food again. I bought some shrimp, potatoes, ginger, and cilantro 2 days ago. and made my infamous Curry.

I usually make it with chicken so I was apprenesive about using shrimp but Beth LOOOOOOVES shrimp so I decided to treat her, and give it a shot.

It turned out AMAZING.

Heres the recipe.

Thai/Indian curry base (add protein…I used shrimp this time, but Chicken is great, and Pork works well also)

4 Portions              Cook time: about 45 mins                  prep time: about 20-30 mins

1/2 Onion Diced
2 Cloves Garlic Crushed
1 small knob (about 1/2 tablespoon) Fresh Ginger Minced
2 or 3 Potatoes
1 Can diced tomatoes
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon (depending on house spicy you like it) Thai Kitchen RED curry paste
1 – 2 teaspoons Yellow Curry powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 Can Coconut Milk (NOT the low or reduced fat kind…yuck.)
1/4 cup cilantro (or how ever much or little you like…I like A LOT!)
1 fresh lime

With Chicken: Add 2 small Chicken Breasts

With Shrimp: Add 1/4 Lb Shrimp

1. In a med sauce pan sweat the onions and garlic in 1 teaspoon olive oil

2. add ginger and potatoes sweat the ginger until it becomes fragrent.

3. add the curry paste and spices

4. add the tomatoes and coconut milk

5. Simmer until the potatoes are soft (about 30 mins)

6. Add the cilantro and lime

7. Serve IMMEDIATELY. with Rice and Naan.

 

If you are adding a protein I usually cook about 3/4 of the way separately in a small amount of olive oil and curry powder. When usuing chicken. Cook separately, allow to cool, shred with a fork or your fingers (but I am not very patient and end up burning my fingers) then add to the curry base when you add the lime and cilantro.

If you use shrimp, remove the shells and tails and add RAW when you add the cilantro and lime if they are small to med sized shrimp they should cook in about 1 minute and 30 seconds.

 

Sorry no pictures this time. :/

 

Just fyi this makes FANTASTIC LEFTOVERS!

Back to reality.

This past week was wonderful…a blissful “vacation” getaway to the scenic destination of Land Park, just a short 5 minute drive from downtown Sacramento, but worlds away. Really. House sitting for Beth’s Aunt was truly such a gift to us…While Beth still had to work during the week, I spent my days lounging by the pool and sipping an endless supply of Ice cold Sprite (which just so happens to be my FAVORITE soda besides Sun Drop!). We ate FABULOUS Food, and watched LIVE TV for the first time in probably 2 years. We slept in a California king sized bed that was so soft and pillowy that it literally felt like you might be swallowed whole. We hot tubbed every single night, and swam in the pool on the weekends. AAAAND to top it all off I got to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics 2012, on LIVE TV…which as my mother can tell you, is my FAVORITE part of the Olympics, I LOOOOOOOVE the parade of nations!

aaaand now, we are back home. Back to our tiny but comfortable apartment, back to hulu or olympics online, back to my pathetic excuse for a stove, and back to our double bed….not even a queen size.

But alas This is a cooking blog…enough of me complaining lets get to some eats.

As I’m sure most of you have experienced coming back from vacation can be nice, that wonderful “ah back home” happens as soon as you enter the door. But coming home from vacation even if its only a week long trip like ours was, has its challenges. Mainly for me, in the area of What to make for dinner…

We arrived home sunday night after dinner, so Monday was really the first chance I had to cook anything. I opened my fridge and to my extreme disappointment, I saw….very little. My fridge contents were mostly soggy and some things had gone bad so it smelled all together unappetizing. But somehow I managed to scrape the bottom of the barrel and find the ingredients for a tasty fritatta.

Now if you have never had a Fritatta, think of it as a crustless quiche, or an unfolded Omelet. it is a simple italian dish…with endless room for creativity, and it is also VERY forgiving, it is almost impossible to screw up a fritatta.

So here is what I made…and let me just say, it was SO good.

Dilled Turkey and Potato Fritatta

1/2 Red Onion (diced Small)
1/2 Green Pepper (diced Small)
4 Baby Bella Mushrooms (sliced thin)
6-7 Slices (good) Smoked Turkey Lunch meat (bitesized pieces)
2 Small red Potatoes (peeled and sliced thin)
3 eggs
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
A splash of milk
a handful of Dill (chopped)
1/2 (or more) Shredded Cheese

1. Preheat your oven to 375 F (make sure you use an oven safe saute pan for this recipe)

2. Put a small pot of water on the stove to Par Boil the potatoes (Par Boil: To pre cook in Boiling water)

3. melt a small knob of butter in a 10′ saute pan, add onion, green pepper,  and mushrooms. Saute on high for a few minutes to brown the veggies, then turn down and cook until the veggies are soft.

4. When your water is boiling add the potatoes, and cook for about 1-2 minutes, just until the edges are soft.

5. add the potatoes and turkey to your veggie mix.

6. add your 3 eggs, sour cream, milk, dill, and shredded cheese in a bowl and mix together well.

7. once the turkey and potatoes are warmed and slightly brown, add the egg mixture. Cook on medium to high, until the edges are lighter in color, and slightly firm. Don’t worry about the middle being raw, it will cook in the oven.

8. Place in the oven, for about 20 minutes.

9. Remove from the oven, and flip onto a plate, This is easiest to do by placing a plate on top of your saute pan (like a lid) and flipping the saute pan over with the plate still on top when you remove the pan you will have a perfectly flipped fritatta.

Heres what was left of ours. 🙂 Enjoy!

Craving Carbonara? I have a great recipe for you :)

Today is the 10th, obviously…reason I mention it is this…in exactly 9 days My Wife will turn 23, so I have decided to do a fun little inexpensive (cuz we’re still broke…lol) present for her that will span out over these next nine days…I am calling it…the 23 reasons I love my wife project. So to kick things off today I bought her 6 chocolates from Ginger Elizabeth’s (an amazing specialty chocolate’s shop in down town sac…) with a little card that said “Reason #23 why I love Elizabeth Kelly” inside the reason was “Because you are a Ginger Elizabeth” hehehe I find myself so clever.

Just thought I’d share. 🙂

Anyway…On to the FOOD!

As I said in my last post, Carbonara is not exactly the healthiest of meals, but since I love it soooo much, I wanted to make it a wee bit healthier. In the end, it did taste a lot lighter (I’m not sure if it was in fact healthier but I felt better about eating it) and didn’t feel as heavy after we had eaten. Boy was it still delicious though, creamy and salty just the way carbonara should be!

~Pasta Carbonara Ala Sarah~

Ingredients:

5 or 6 handfuls of Pasta (I used Farfalle…Bow Tie Pasta)
1/2 Onion
1 Slice Bacon
1/2 Cup Half and Half
1/2 Cup 2 % Milk (Not Pictured above)
2 eggs
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese (Not Pictured Above)
2 Green Onions
1/4 Cup Dill
2 Cups Peas
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Chop the onion finely and slice the bacon into small pieces. Saute together in a large (12″ or larger) Non Stick Saute Pan, until the onions are soft and slightly brown and the bacon is browned

2. Add Peas to the onion bacon mix and saute until the peas are cooked. Cook pasta at this time as well.

3. Mix Milk, Cream, Eggs and Cheese in a small bowl along with some seasoning (Salt and Pepper) and your herbs and green onions!

4. Drain your pasta and add it to your peas and bacon mixture. make sure your pasta is REALLY HOT before moving on to the next step

5. Once your pasta is HOT, TURN OFF THE FLAME OR HEAT TO THE PAN! Then add the egg mixture

6. Stir carefully but briskly. The key here is to keep the egg mixture moving so that it cooks but you don’t end up with chunks of scrambled egg in your pasta, so keep stirring until the sauce is thick.

Viola PERFECT light Carbonara with a yummy twist!

Enjoy!

~ Let your adventurous Chef Thrive!

S.

Wonderful Wednesdays Recipe! Pollo Mojo (Cuban Grilled Chicken) and sides

If you know me at all you know I am white…in fact I am about as white as they come. Despite the unfortunate lack of ethnic diversity in my heritage, I am OBSESSED with all things ethnic when it comes to food. One cuisine in particular strikes a chord in my heart, bringing back memories of adolescence spent in South Florida. That cuisine is Cuban! I am in love with cuban food, and I am convinced I could eat it every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of it. My mother (who is also VERY white…) is an excellent Cuban Chef. She grew up in Ft Lauderdale (which is just north of Miami for you non floridians) where she learned to love cuban food, and then she learned the cuisine while living in miami (also known as N. Cuba for you non floridians) with my dad. For as long as I can remember we have had Cuban meals cooked by my mom or dad at least a few times a month. Cuban products are very common in the local grocery stores of South and Central Florida, Mojo Creojo (marinating sauce) can be found just about anywhere as well as, fresh plantains, and guava paste. So I just naturally assumed I would find in any grocery store anywhere in the country. When I moved to California, I quickly discovered I was wrong :(. When I asked a Safeway clerk one day if they had any Mojo Creojo he looked at me like I was from mars…and promptly mispronounced it as he questioned me. Well no, Safeway does not carry Mojo, neither does Sprouts, Trader Joes, Savemart, or Grocery Outlet. So I decided I would just have to make my own…One of the key ingredients to this sauce however is Sour Orange Juice, also a product not found in Northern California. So long story short This is my adaptation based on the ingredients available to me here in California. So without Further ado…Heres the recipe

Pollo Mojo and Sides

Alright so first things first you need to get the marinade started for the chicken heres what you will need

1/2 Onion Sliced thin
3 Limes
4 Cloves of garlic Smashed (I just beat them with the side of the knife a few times…but be sure to remove the skins)
1 handful of cilantro
1/3 cup Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Alright so get the onions and garlic in a bowl or ziplock, juice the limes and then throw the pieces of juiced lime in there too.
Chop the cilantro and it to your marinade, which should be smelling AWESOME by now.

Add your chicken and then pour in your olive oil, and give everything a good mix. Make sure if your using a bowl or pan, that the chicken ends up at the bottom, resting in the juice mixture, and with the onion and garlic on top.

Now cover that and whack it in the fridge.

Next you wanna get your rice and beans going, I’m not going to go into great depths with this one because really its not possible. Just toss a can of black beans into a pot with 2 bay leaves (if your beans are slightly dry and sticky add about 1/2 – 1 cup of water to allow time for the bay leaves to flavor the sauce.) allow to just barely simmer until your ready to serve (if they get to dry at any point, just add more water. You want them to have a nice smooth syrup but not be soup.) Start your rice

Next Prep the Salsa

2 roma tomatoes Diced Small (I like roma tomatoes because to me, they taste the most like tomatoes should)
1/4 Onion diced very Small
1 handful Cilantro Minced
1/2 Lime juiced
Salt (and pepper if you like)

Mix those all up and whack it in the fridge.

On to the Tostones: Brief explanation of what those beautiful golden discs are. Tostones are a product of the Plantain in green form, they are starchy and delicious and very much like a sticky potato unless fried. When fried they become like a cross between a french fry and a corn chip. Delicious. Green Plantains can be fried in a variety of ways, thin sliced and fried to golden brown, cubed and fried like hash browns or my personal favorite (the tostones way) fried once in a very thick disk flattened and fried again to brown and crispy. Mmmmm….

So take your plantain which looks like this…(a giant green banana)

and cut the ends off, then Score the skin down 3 to 4 sides (I should have taken a picture to show you but I forgot…sorry) then peel the skin off working your fingers between the skin and the flesh down your cut marks and it should pop off.

Once you get the skin off cut them into about 1/2 inch thick pieces. Like this…

Using a Medium NON STICK Saute pan put enough oil (I use half olive oil and half vegetable oil) to cover about 1/4 of the plantains. Turn it onto High Heat. When the oil is hot enough put a tester in, the oil should bubble considerably around the sides of the plantain. Put the plantains in flat side down. Flip them after about a minute, and let them cook another minute. Then remove them from the pan. Lay them on the cutting board and allow them to cool for about 1 minute.

Using a small heavy saute pan or flat bottomed object, take 1 plantain disk and smoosh the heck out of it…ok ok not really just apply a light amount of pressure until you feel it flatten (don’t go crazy you still want them to be about 1/8th of an inch thick)

After you have them ALL smooshed! Set them aside and cover with plastic or aluminum foil to keep them slightly warm.

Last but DEFINITELY not least. Take your chicken out of the fridge!

Fire up that grill and cook em!

I used high heat to start and got some nice caramelization on the chicken then cooked them through on medium flipping about once every 2 -3 minutes (I don’t like charred chicken)

After your chicken is done fry up those tostones real quick using the same method you did for the first fry just try to get them golden brown.

Then EAT! I’m pretty sure the traditional cuban style is to just mix the beans and the rice together, but I usually mix everything together then put it on top of the tostones and eat them like little nachos…how very un-cuban of me lol.

So thats pretty much it, I know this one was a little more complicated than my previous recipes but don’t let that stop you! I promise its worth the extra trouble! and be sure to let me know if you try it! Oh and check back with me tomorrow for my menu update and budget friendly tips!

Tips on Budget friendly dates! and Summer Corn Soup Recipe

Happy friday! I am so excited its finally friday, tonight is DATE night for me and Beth!

Growing up with the parents I had, date night is a very normal concept for me. My parents went out weekly every thursday night come hell or high water they went out to dinner. I grew up thinking every couple does this, its just what you do when your married. Haha little did I know, this is a foreign concept to many people. So I will say my 2 cents on why I believe date night is important, and then get to the list of cheap date ideas!

My two cents on marrital dating. It is probably the single most important weekly thing you can do with your spouse or significant other. I think its ridiculous that couples either with children or especially without don’t go out on dates on at least a weekly basis. We spend all this time “dating” and getting to know our potential mate, and then get married and decide “oh I know everything I need to know about you now, nothing new to learn here” suddenly your interesting spontanious exciting relationship becomes mundane, boring, and ordinary. Why!? because you stopped striving to know each other. Through many talks with my mother I have come to understand one thing, you can live with, be married to, and be in love with the same person for over 25 years and STILL not know everything there is to know about that person or ever fully understand them. So why would you stop trying just because your married and living together, you should be trying even harder now! Yes I know relationships will still ebb and flow, be exciting one season and slightly drab the next, but that doesn’t mean you need to let your interest in your partner cease to exist. So basically all I am saying is for me, in my relationship I view dates as one of the most important parts of our weekly routine. It gives us a chance to catch each other up on anything that was missed in our nightly talks over dinner, and it is an opportunity to get away from the stress of life for a few hours and remember why we are together. It strengthens our bond as friends, and as partners. It lets us laugh together, and come up with funny inside jokes. Its all around just a good idea. So i guess that was more like 2 dollars worth than 2 cents, but you get the idea I hope. I would encourage you couples out there, to keep on dating your significant other, even after marriage, and after children.

Now after I’ve said all this I have to explain a few things about where the inexpensive date push came from. You see we have been having a really difficult time making this a part of our weekly schedule, not for lack of time, but for lack of funds! So after a very long talk about our future together, we have decided to make our friday night dates MANDATORY…lol which means I now have to figure out how we can afford a date every single week, which has actually been super fun. So I have a simple list for you all to check out. Please comment below with your favorite inexpensive date ideas and let me know what you think of ours! Feel free to try them out or make use of any that you think sound fun or interesting. I will include overall date prices for the Sacramento Area, everywhere else is up to you!

I have ours divided into categories

At home:

Game Night        – Free (unless you don’t have any games)
Some great two player games are:
– Scrabble Blink (card game)
– In a Pickle (Card game)
– Zombie Dice (Dice Game)
– Farkle (Dice Game)
– You can also adapt games like apples to apples or cards against humanity into a competition and just               decide between the 2 of you who’s is funnier

Movie and Homemade Pizza                     – Pizza Supplies for us about $5 + $1 redbox movie
This is a great reusable date, not only is it fun to make pizzas with your sig. other but its also fun to do theme movie nights. Make your pizzas to match the place the movie is set, or dress in character or even have a movie marathon. Some movie categories and theme suggestions:
– AFI top 100 Movies (this is a fun ongoing weekly or monthly date, watch 1 or 2 classics until you make it through the list)
– Classic Musicals night  (singin in the rain, Wizard of Oz, Cabaret, Sound of Music, Chicago, All that Jazz and so many more)
– Disney movie night 🙂
– Slasher Movie night (great time of getting closer and closer as you get more and more “freaked out” lol)

Spa Treatment                  – $8 depending on what you buy
sink into a bubble bath for 2 add a glass of wine and finish the night off with a massage for your honey 🙂

Outdoors/Sports:

Hiking:                              – $8 (gas) + $10 (food)
Places to hike in the greater Sacramento Area: The American River (from Sac County all the way up past Placer county there are BEAUTIFUL hiking/walking trails)

Picnic:                              – $10 (food)
In the City of Sacramento we are SPOILED for choices of parks. We usually picnic at Fremont park on P&16th Streets but there are parks EVERYWHERE just pack a few sandwiches and a salad, grab your blanket and your set! This is a fun one to combine with game night, or pack a frisbee or guitar. There is always the option to sit and people watch as well, this is particularly fun in Sacramento because we have A LOT of “interesting” people.

Concerts in the Park        – FREE!!!!
Cesar Chavez Park offers free Concerts in the park every friday for those of you who live in this area.

Silly Tourist Photo Day:      – FREE!!!!
Grab your camera and head out, hit up all those touristy spots that you usually laugh at when you see people taking pictures in front of. Stop and strike a pose, have fun experiencing the city as a tourist and get some AWESOME memories from the day! Added fun, stop in for a coffee at one of the local shops and pretend that your in from out of town and know nothing about coffee or talk in ridiculous accents, BE OBNOXIOUS!

Stores/Shopping:

Thrifting:           – FREE (unless you buy something lol)
Take a camera with you and dress each other up in Obnoxiously ugly clothing.

Garage Saleing      – FREE (Unless you buy something lol)
This is only for you early saturday morning people. Great summer activity, and an excellent way to find quirky little gifts for your love.

Flea Markets      – FREE (Unless you buy something! lol)
Flea markets are fun because you never know what you will find or WHO you will see, seriously every time I go to the flea market I am reminded of the website “People of Wal-mart”.

Restaurants/Places/Day Trips

Sac Comedy Club                   – $16 (2 tickets)
Sacramento Comedy Spot on 20& K Street does an “Up and coming comedian” Show on wednesday nights about once a month plus many other small shows on weeknights. They all average about $8 a ticket

Crocker Art Museum           – FREE (for Bank of America Customers on Eligible dates) $20 (2 tickets)
O & 3rd St Sacto

California State Railroad Museum         – $18 (2 tickets)
I St Old Sacramento
I love the Railroad museum…I just have to say if you haven’t been GO!!!! It is completely worth $9 a ticket!

Drive in Movies
Bradshaw and hwy 50                          – $13 (2 tickets 2 movies)

Library Events                – FREE
I & 9th St. Sacto
check Saclib.org for events!

 

Woooooo ok that list took longer than expected 🙂 So Onto an AWESOME RECIPE!!!

 

Summer Corn Soup

3/4 lb Corn
5 cups Chicken Stock (or veggie stock for vegetarians)
2 stalks Celery
1/2 Onion
1-2 Med Potatoes (I used one small one but that was because thats all I had)
1/2 Cheese (Optional)

Put your stock in a med sauce or soup pan bring to a simmer over med-high heat
here is the brand of stock concentrate that I use

 

Add corn 1/2 lb (about 3/4 of your total for the recipe) (I used frozen), potato, celery and onion. Let them simmer for at least 20 mins until the potato is cooked

SOMEHOW puree the soup I had to get creative for this part. I have 1 SMALL blender so I did it in batches dirtied up another pot but it worked.

Add the rest of the corn and return to a simmer. As soon as it simmers add the cheese and remove from the heat.

Season to taste and serve with a sprinkle of cheese on top. SO GOOD!

Alright So thats it for today! 🙂 Hope you enjoy the recipe and the date ideas! What do you and your significant other like to do on your date nights!?

 

– S.

A brief overview of How to make a Menu & ~Recipe! Bruschetta Chicken

I’m going to start this post off with menu making because if I put the recipe first, most of you will probably skip the menu making and go straight to making dinner, because it was that darn good.

Why make a menu, you ask?

whats that? you didn’t ask? well thats ok I’m going to tell you anyway.

1. it keeps cost’s down…that is if you choose the right recipes and stick to your list! Menu’s provide you with an easy way to make a shopping list, just write the ingredients you will need for your dinners, add your staple items (refer to my post yesterday if you don’t know what your staples are) and bam you are done! If you choose dinners that are relatively simple you should have a short (or shortish) list and minimal extra costs!

2. It saves you from the dreaded “Ugh there is nothing to cook in this stupid fridge” feeling. I get this feeling frequently when I haven’t preplanned my week of meals. I look at my fully stocked fridge, and see a mish-moshed pile of ingredients all of which had the best intentions but none of which could be put together to make a meal. Saving you from this feeling is also saving you from the inevitable “Oh lets just eat out” Feeling that comes next, which saves you money.

Now you understand the importance of menu’s now I shall tell you how to make one, my young grasshoppers…

The First step to making a menu is Knowing Your Options:
To do this you need to make a list of things you already know how to make, whether its a handwritten list in a notebook, a box full of recipes, or a computer database, it is important to have your standby’s close at hand.

Next you need to Explore your Interests:
To do this you will need Recipes/styles of cooking/Flavors that Interest you. The interent is chocked full of great resources for budding “chefs” and adventurous cooks. Once you know what your looking for you can visit any number of sites and let your sense of cooking adventure come to life. Some websites you might want to check out are:
the Pioneer Woman Cooks – Hands down the best food blogger on the internet! She is so funny, and her recipes are so delicious!
Tastespotting – This is basically food porn
Food Gawker – This too…
Epicurious – some great recipes on here but also some questionable ones so be careful!
Jamie Oliver – LOVE jamie oliver! Great recipes and healthy as well!
All Recipe – The good the bad and the ugly seach with care!
Use these to find new recipes or new ideas for dinners.

Next you need to Find/make a chart that works for you:
I use a piece of notebook paper with the week date at the top and days of the week listed. but you can use a calendar or dry erase board…MINE usually looks like this:

Menu – 6/6 – 6/12

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

Saturday:

Sunday:

Monday:

Tuesday:

Last you need to let your creative juice flow and fill that sucker in!

I try to alternate between standby’s and new recipes, I usually make 1-2 “New” or newish recipes every week. Things I’ve either never made before or only made once or twice. I also always leave at least one day open for leftovers, so that we don’t waste food. As an added bonus it keeps me from having to cook every single night of the week, which after 3 or 4 days of work and then making dinner its nice to have a break.

Alright now that the learning is out of the way time for the fun part! Here is a delicious recipe for you all to try

Bruschetta Chicken

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Servings 2                 Prep time: 30 mins             Cook Time: 15 mins

2 Chicken Breast (I only used one but that sucker was HUGE!)
1 pint Grape or Baby Heirloom Tomatoes
6 leaves Fresh Basil
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Slice grape tomatoes into bit sized pieces (I sliced the smallish ones in half and the larger ones in quarters.

2. Chiffanod your basil leaves (refer to pictures for example)Image

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Place tomatoes and basil in a small to medium sized bowl. Add EQUAL parts Balsamic Vinegar and Olive oil to coat Tomatoes. Stir and place in the refridgerator

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3. Pound chicken breast to about 1/4 inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper and saute in a hot pan with about 1 TBL of olive oil until cooked through. Try to get as much browning as possible in the beginning then turn the heat down to low or medium to cook the chicken through, it should take 10-15 minutes.

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4. To serve spoon the Bruschetta over the chicken, I did about 3 spoonfuls of tomatoes and one spoonful of just the juice at the bottom of the bowl.

To make the bread that I served on the side, Slice french bread in 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices at an angle if you like. Slice one clove of garlic very thinly and saute in a large pan with 2 tbl olive oil on medium heat. Remove garlic slices turn the heat up to high. Add the bread and toast both sides with the garlic oil.

I Served mine with a salad and the garlic toasted bread. it was delicious!

Hope you enjoy, and write me back and let me know how yours turned out!

Well here we are back again.

So its been a long time….I am really bad at blogging…I know.

but heres the deal…I feel inspired to restart this blog…because my lovely wife has started her own blog, and its absolutely fantastic…she is much more faithful than I am, so I’m thinking if she is writing hers it will remind me to write mine. we’ll see how well that goes.

On a side note I have a quick and delicious recipe for you created by me, totally by accident.

Accidental Soup

1-2 pieces Bacon (chopped)
1/2 Onion (diced)
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup White wine (whatever you have left over in your fridge will be fine…I used Pinot gris but thats what I almost always use for cooking)
4 Red Potatoes (diced)
1 can white beans (optional)
5 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups Sugar Snap Peas (Cut and “de stringed”)
1/2 cup Green Onion (sliced)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)

This seems like a lot of things like bacon and cheese but bear in mind this makes 8-10 portions.

1. Saute the bacon and onions in a large soup pot, I didn’t add oil because there is no need with bacon! 🙂

2. Add crushed garlic clove when the onions begin to soften. DO NOT LET THE GARLIC BURN!!! turn down the heat if you need. Let saute for about 30 seconds to mellow out the garlic

3.  deglaze the pan with the white wine, be sure to scrape all that delicious caramelization off the bottom of the pan. reduce by 1/2

4. add the potatoes and saute for about a minute allowing them to start to soak up the wine mixture. Add the white beans at this time if you want them.

5. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

6. simmer until the potatoes begin to soften and add the frozen corn. bring back up to a simmer.

7. simmer until the potatoes are cooked through. take a potato masher or stiff wisk and mash a few good times. The goal is to thicken the soup slightly NOT to mash all the potatoes.

8. add the sugar snap peas, parmesan cheese, and green onions. Turn off the heat, the soup should be hot enough to cook the peas just slightly.

Serve IMMEDIATELY!

seriously this was one of the most delicious things I’ve made in a long time. I love making things out of random bits and bobs of leftover produce from previous recipes 🙂 hope you enjoy and let me know what you think 🙂

Amazing and EASY dinner…winner!

I made the menu for this coming week today…and while making the menu I had a brilliant idea…sparked from my desire to make an asian flavored salad that was not mandarine chicken salad AGAIN…lol so I looked back at the brain archives for my favorite chinese dishes…and found LETTUCE WRAPS! woo!!! and me being me…i figured I’d grab a quick recipe just to get an idea of what to put in them…then come up with my own recipe…much to my dismay…most (in fact ALL) of the recipes were for ground beef (what gives? no ground turkey fans in china apparently) now improvasation in the kitchen is my thing…so I figured eh I’ll just make it work.

So heres what I came up with…

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps:

(about) 1 tbs Sesame Oil (toasted)
1/2 lb Ground Turkey
1/4 to 1/2 Yellow Onion (chopped)
2 cloves Garlic (minced or pressed)
1 large knob (or about 2 tbs) Ginger (Minced)
1 can water Chestnuts (chopped or sliced)
1 good sized Carrot (grated)
2 1/2 tbs Housin Sauce
1 tbs Worschestshire (good luck spelling that…I never can obviously) sauce
1 tbs Rice Wine Vingar (seasoned or unseasoned)
a good dash of soy sauce
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Cilantro (minced) (to taste)

1. Saute onions in sesame oil until soft, add garlic and ginger and saute for about 1 or 2 mins (don’t let the garlic burn)

2. Add ground turkey and saute until ground turkey is almost cooked. Add Housin sauce, W. Sauce, Rice Vinegar, soy Sauce and Water chestnuts

3. Saute until cooked (haha) in other words till the turkey is done and the chestnuts have soaked up some of the sauce. Add carrots and Cilantro (but do not COOK) the carrots are much better raw with that crunchiness left in them.
should look something like this…

then use Large Iceberg (in my case cuz it keeps longer and is less expensive…I know I know mom it has no nutritional value…but that crunch is just sooooo good) as wraps or cups to put the meat into (aka lettuce tacos)

finished product = delicious

I’ll admit I was dubious about eating JUST this for dinner (no sides no salad no starch) but it was delicious and after about 3 lettuce wraps each both Beth and I were stuffed. We had a little leftover but not much…and as with most asian dishes it only gets better with time spent in the fridge marinating! so Heres to a great lunch tomorrow 🙂

also on a side note…I would like to add after only working at this for about 3 weeks now…and with a few work outs thrown in between almost all my pants are falling off…and my “spare tire/muffin top” is dwindling. I haven’t weighed myself because we don’t own a scale but I think we might need to invest in one to catalog this experience…anyway…hope you try this recipe out and enjoy it as much as we did!

Oh I am so bad at blogging…

image

Ok ok…I know what your going to say…I suck at keeping up with this blog…and your right…I do. But I have so busy with like 12 ongoing projects that I just haven’t been keeping up…anyway…so update on this past week’s meals…

last friday I bought some beautiful kale and cabbage from a small local farmers market…I decided with this whole vegetable kick working out pretty well for us…why not kick it up a notch with fresh local produce and green stuff that is basically superfood like kale which happens to be some of the best green stuff you can eat….so anyway beth was apprehensive about the kale (she had never had it before) so I decided to ease her into it by combining it with familiar ingredients. Like pasta…lol the result? A delicious and really low fat dinner. I don’t really know what to call the dish so for now its just “italian sausage with kale over pasta” the recipe is as follows…

1 large bunch of kale (washed and roughly chopped into bite size pieces)
1 or 2 (depending on how much sausage you like) italian chicken sausage
1 can stewed tomatoes
1/2 can white beans (optional)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
Oregano to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

Basically I cooked the pasta (I used bowtie) and while that was boiling, took the sausage from the casing and sauteed until almost cooked then added as much kale as I could fit in the pan lol…cooked till slightly wilted. Then added the tomatoes, beans, garlic and oregano and cooked until the garlic mellowed out…about 5 mins. Then dished up the pasta and served the sauce on top with a touch of Parmesan cheese. Super delicious.

And beth is now a kale LOVER…way to go me!

2 posts in one day…amazing…

I have a funny story to share…and I just had to pop on here to tell someone…

Tonight I was planning on making Balsamic chicken with Roasted Green Beans and tomatoes, but alas my plans were changed when I realized i didn’t have enough green beans to adequately make up a side dish (and because i’m lazy and didn’t want to defrost 2 chicken breasts…but shhh don’t tell beth…) Instead I began rummaging around in my fridge for other options, and behold! what did I find? about 8 green beans, a tomato, some bacon (yes I know bacon…i just can’t get away…), a small very dry hunk of parmesan, a quarter of a red onion, an ear of corn? (don’t ask me why just one), and some black olives. All of which needed to be used tonight or risk going bad in the bottom of my fridge. So I decided to stick with the plan of balsamic, and make a pasta salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette. mmm tasty…

I cooked up the corn, and green beans…then while the pasta was cooking and the bacon was sizzling deliciously (mind you I only used 1 slice for 2 people) I diced the tomatoes, made the vinaigrette (which consisted of balsamic, olive oil, salt pepper, and some onion powder for those of you wondering out there), and cut the corn off the cob. Just when I was about to mix everything together, I realized I had forgotten the red onion (which in my opinion is the most important part of pasta salad). so being handy in my kitchen, I grabbed my “Slap chop” thingy and whacked the onion to oblivion, then I mixed it all together, added some parmesan and salt and called it dinner.

It was super tasty, minus the tiny plastic pieces I didn’t know were plastic until we had finished dinner and beth pointed it out. Apparently my handy dandy slap chop thingy broke while chopping the onions, and sent tiny plastic shards all throughout the onion then got mixed all throughout the food. so we might die, I don’t know, only time will tell.

Needless to say, its always important to check your equipment before whacking things to oblivion. This applies to multipul situations. anyway that is my free piece of advice and my funny story. I’ll post the recipe for the pasta salad plus pictures but minus plastic tomorrow…