Bonus Post! Best ever brownies

I can’t believe I haven’t shared these with you yet!!  Unless I have and I just can’t remember it.  Getting old is a bitch 😉

I found these over on smitten kitchen – one of my favorite sites.  They are so simple to make, it’s kind of imperative that you make them

Ingredients – forgot the eggs of course.  Also, I didn’t have enough regular flour, so I just used cake flour to make up the rest.  I hope it works out ok.
B_Ingredients

Melt the chocolate and butter.  Do NOT taste at this point.  Trust me.  It’s bad.  Also, you might want to, I don’t know, chop things up so they aren’t in huge chunks that take forever to melt
B_ReadyToBake

Get the rest of the ingredients ready and chuckle at the ease of it.
B_Prep

After the chocolate and butter are melted, add in the sugar and mix.  Now taste 😛
B_Sugar

Add in the eggs.  It’s supposed to be one by one, but does anyone actually do that?  I don’t – I get impatient
B_Eggs

Lastly, the flour.  Realize you should have used a bigger bowl, but you couldn’t find it because your mother was just here and put it in some random place.
B_Flour

Spread into the pan thinking that maybe you should have taken some more time with the parchment paper and bake it for 25-30 minutes.  Go to write the post and realize you didn’t actually take a picture of this step (Facepalm)

Take it out and try not to eat it all at once.  Remember, these are for you to bring to work to apologize for never making the promised cupcakes.
B_Done

Try to cut.  Why are cupcakes the most difficult thing to cut??
B_Cut

Of course, I had to sample it to make sure it tasted ok.  They did.  These really are very good.  They are in the book, now.  I took them to work and they disappeared quickly.  The substitution of the cake flour didn’t do much to change the brownies that I could tell.

Go.  Bake and be merry with chocolate on your fingers 🙂

Chicken and Dumplings the easy way

I love chicken and dumplings.  If I could eat them all day, every day, I would.  This recipe is for a Chicken and Dumplings casserole.  No messy dumpling making!  Could it be that easy?  We shall soon find out.

Ingredients
CDC_Ingredients

Melted Butter first
CDC_Butter

Chicken next.  I shredded all of the breast meat from the rotisserie chicken in the ingredients picture.
CDC_Chicken

Flour mixture
CDC_Flour

And Finally, soup mixture
CDC_Soup

Baked
CDC_Baked

Plated
CDC_Plated

I don’t know what happened, but it took about an hour to get that browning on the top.  It kind of overcooked the bottom of the pan at the same time.  Does it taste like chicken and dumplings?  No.  Was it good?  Yes!  It was very simple to make.  It tasted like my version of chicken and dumplings that I make with bisquick dumplings…..you know, without the dumplings.  Same ingredients, same taste 🙂  I wonder if my problems are related to my oven.  I always have issues with my oven.  I can’t wait to move…..

Regardless, it was a poor pick for a summer evening in the south, but a good, easy choice for a weeknight.

Hearty Pasta Dish….In Summer….In The South

I forget where I came across this recipe.  Being the smartest person ever, I decided to make a hearty pasta dish in the middle of summer in the south 😐  One thing before I start, you must love peppers to enjoy this dish

Ingredients
IDN_Ingredients

Cooking the sausage
IDN_Sausage

Cooking the onions
IDN_Onions

Have I ever shown you the easiest way to cut up a bell pepper?  I never use any other method now.  Instead of cutting off the top, cut vertically, like this
IDN_CutPepper1

Continue around the pepper and you end up with slices like these.  No cleaning needed!
IDN_CutPepper2

Another tip?  Cut with the skin side down.  That way, if the skin is a little tough, you won’t smush the pepper flesh.  Enough about the peppers…..well almost.  Peppers in the pot!
IDN_AddPepper

All ingredients in
IDN_AllIn

Everything mixed up with the pasta
IDN_AllMixed

Plated
IDN_Plated

Don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of wine when the recipe tells you to add it.
IDN_Wine

I was kind of wary about it, but I liked the dish.  I think the only thing I would change would be the peppers.  I think they need to be in a smaller size.  I would just cut them in half again to make them shorter.  The sauce is great.  I might try and use dried herbs.  I might use half hot sausage to give it a bit of a kick.  Other than that, wouldn’t change a thing 🙂  I got 5 REALLY big servings out of it – even though the recipe says it makes four.  I don’t know if you could substitute the pasta, but it is hard to find.  I was able to find it at Earth Fare, but whoooo – it was expensive.  Maybe I will just try and make it from scratch next time.

A note about the posts

As you probably noticed in the past, I was really sporadic about my posts.  I am trying to fix that now with a schedule of when I am adding a new post.  I am currently on a Schedule of Monday and Thursday (no, this one doesn’t count).  This gives me the weekend to cook the recipes and also time to eat them.  Remember, I am cooking for one 🙂  I think it will help with the anxiety of having new recipes/posts for you all on my side, but still be able to give you regular posts.  Because of that, my posts may be behind the times a bit – forgive me, but it is bound to happen.

It also looks like I will have to make a decision soon on whether I should go premium or not.  I am almost at half my capacity right now with the free site.  I don’t know what will factor into that decision.  I will obviously let you know what I decide 🙂

 

Until Monday.

Double “Crunchy” Chicken with Honey Garlic Sauce

Another find from Pinterest, I was really excited about this recipe.

Ingredients – forgot the oil (not including the sauce – look at all of those seasonings! 😮 ).  You can see the laziness of me in the background with the thinly sliced chicken breasts 🙂
DCC_Ingredients

Breading in the bowl.  I didn’t sift because I didn’t have ground thyme – just regular.  I simply took a fork and fluffed it a bit.
DCC_Breading

I didn’t take a picture of breading the chicken, but I did notice one thing – you really can’t bread ahead of time.  When I did that, the egg started to seep through all of the flour and some of the pieces stuck together.  I don’t think it affected the final outcome of the dish, more of an FYI.  I think that if I want to bread ahead of time again, I will get out parchment paper and make it one level.

Another note about the breading: the recipe says that it makes enough for two batches, but the idea of saving used breading makes me squirmy, so what you see up there is only a half a recipe.  Before breading, the recipe instructs you to add salt and pepper to the chicken.  I skipped this since it was already in the breading.  I also cut in half the egg wash step.  I figured if I needed it, I could always add more.  Maybe that was a mistake?

Cooking the chicken
DCC_Cooking

All the chicken done – not a bad haul
DCC_Done

Let’s not forget the sauce!  I actually made this first since the directions say it needs to cool.
Ingredients for sauce
DCC_Sauce

This is how I measured the liquid……cause it looks cool
DCC_Cool_Liquid

Sauce boiling
DCC_SauceCooking

My plate – I was hungry, so there were no sides
DCC_Glazed

I think the temperature didn’t translate well on the site.  I think I should have set it to 6 or 7 on my stove.  This cause the chicken to not be as crunchy as I would expect it.  I didn’t dip the chicken in the sauce because I wasn’t eating it all in one night.  The sauce wasn’t bad, but I think that it would be better without the pepper.  That plus what is in the breading seemed to be a little over kill.  If I had put salt and pepper on the chicken as well, I don’t think I would have liked it at all.

The reheating the next day, I put the sauce on the rice I actually cooked and it was better that way.  The chicken still needed something, though.

There were so many seasonings, I really couldn’t tell what I was tasting.  I could taste the pepper, but only as a burning sensation.  I could definitely taste the black pepper.  The nutmeg and maybe ginger, but that might have been the smell.  The rest of the breading?  Nope, couldn’t really distinguish it.

After all that is said and done, while this wasn’t a bad recipe. per say, it is quite involved with a lot of ingredients that didn’t turn out a result as highly praised as in the comments on the original site.  I don’t think I will be making this again.  If I did, I would probably cut a lot of seasonings out of the breading.

Breakfast Burritos

I had planned on making homemade hot pocket type breakfast things.  Really descriptive, huh 🙂  Well, I decided to be lazy because I don’t want to deal with the dough.  I thought to use rolls instead, but I forgot to buy them.  I was sitting here trying to figure out what to make.  I wanted something different, but I didn’t want a lot of servings since I have some hard boiled eggs that need to be eaten.

I decided on Breakfast Burritos!!

The start of something good
BB_Start

Eggs cooking.  I am a bit anal about things.  I cooked the eggs separately for all the burritos that I made so I knew exactly how many were in there.
BB_Eggs

Start building.  I put it on a piece of foil to make it easier to wrap.
BB_Step1

Bacon first – cause I like crunchy on the outside.  Two slices, please.
BB_Step2

Then the eggs – slightly undercooked since I knew I would be reheating them.  Don’t want to have over cooked eggs.  I used one egg and one egg white
BB_Step3

Sausage – cause……why not?  🙂  I only used a half of an ounce
BB_Step4

Cheese on top of it all.
BB_Step5

I don’t have a picture of them wrapped because I am not that good at it and I immediately put it in the foil.  Normally, I would recommend freezing them, but I only made three and I know I will be eating them all by Friday.  I have made them in the past and they were fine frozen.  I think I actually reheated them in the toaster oven, but I don’t have one at my new job.  This time, it’s gonna be the microwave.  I am still pretty excited about it 😀

Sweet Chili Sauce

I was making a recipe and I forgot the sweet chili sauce.  A quick google search and I found a simple recipe that sounded good AND I had all the ingredients.

Ingredients.  The recipe called for fish sauce, but all I had was oyster sauce.  I thought I would be able to substitute it.  SCS_Ingredients

Simmering
SCS_simmer

See the goo?  Yea, I boiled over.  It sucked, but it worked out in the end.
SCS_BoilOver

See how nice and thick it is?  That’s from the addition of the corn starch and water slushy that I added.  I forgot it in the ingredient picture.
SCS_Complete

Holy crap – this stuff is good.  I used it in the recipe (that really sucked, so I am not sharing it with you) and I used it for the shrimp last week.  I think I added more red pepper than I should have, but it was still good.  I didn’t get the sour taste that they mention in the article.  Maybe since it boiled over, I lost some vinegar.  I am still going to be making it again.

It was so simple to make that I don’t think I would ever buy it.  I always have the ingredients in my fridge/cupboard.  I highly recommend it.  The heat can be adjusted to your tastes – I just didn’t measure and taste 😀