Spicy Chicken Rub

I saved this recipe mostly for the shape of the chicken in it.  Chicken Rings – whaaaaat?  I was decidedly lazy and didn’t actually make the rings.  I was so surprised by how much I LOVED the seasoning mix, that I had to make a single post for it instead of tacking it on to the one where the side was made.

Seasonings.  I swapped the Lemon Pepper for Shallot Pepper.  I am not a huge fan of lemon pepper and thought it might be good.
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All measured out (Can you tell what is what?  lol)
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Chicken skewered
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Can you tell why I couldn’t cook it like this?  The sticks were over the lip of the grill pan – no heat getting to the ends of the chicken pieces.
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I moved them this way instead.  Better, but not great.  I still ended up having to take them off the sticks – sad face
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Done up close
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Zoomed out a bit
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When I was cooking this, it kind of smelled like Indian food.  I could not believe how good it was.  I am considering mixing some up so I can have it on hand at all times.  I might cut the salt down a bit, though, but I am afraid it will thrown off the balance.  If you like tasty spicy, but not burn your mouth spicy, make this.  I think you would be able to control it with the type of Chili Powder used.  I don’t know the difference of the sweet paprika vs smoky paprika, so that might be something that controls the heat, too.  I liked it with the sweet paprika just fine.  This is a HIGHLY recommended blend.  All I know is that I want to go back and finish all of the chicken, but I want it in a salad tomorrow for lunch more.  Can you imagine?  A salad topped with spicy chicken and ranch……maybe I will have it now 🙂

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One of THOSE days

See this spot?  this is where I usually start my post about some new recipe I tried, sadly starting with something similar to “So, I found this recipe….”.  Today?  Not so much.  Wanna know what happened?  Promise you won’t laugh?  Nah – go ahead, I can now.  🙂

First, I drove through hail on the way home from work.  That was a new experience for me.  Do you know how unsettling that is?  Now, imagine you are going 60+ miles an hour down the highway when it hits, in a car with a cracked windshield.  I should have just thrown up my hands and gone home, but nooooooo.  I had to be motivated today and still go to the gym.

Luckily, the gym was pretty normal.  It was after the gym where it went all to shit.  Yep, there’s gonna be swearing in this post.  Dammit.  I had an errand to run to Target.  Instead of going in, picking up what I needed and going home, I decided to look at some clothes, water bottles and a gym bag.  I ended up buying items in each place I visited.  Now, I was walking down to my original destination when I realized, I don’t have my wallet.  My dumb ass just had a loose wallet and keys since I had just come from the gym.  I ran/walked back to the area where I got the bag.  There was my wallet.  PHEW!  Then I realized, waaaait……didn’t I have keys at one point?  Sonofabitch!!

I ran/walked towards the clothes area.  This is also my first encounter with the security guard at the store, but not my last.  It just so happened that I ended up right behind him for two turns.  He eventually veered off into the toddler area in an effort to evade me.  I looked all over – nothing.  I didn’t see anything on the floor and I had no idea what else I looked at.  I went back to the sports area, ideas running through my head.  Then, a thought hit me.  What if I left the keys in the car???  Shit.  Why did I think of that??  Now, I am FREAKING out.  What do I do?  Drop everything and go check to see if the car is still there?  See if my keys are there?  My conclusion?  Fuck it, I’m gonna finish my purchases.  After getting everything, I anxiously walked out to the car and tried the door.  Locked.  Fuck.

I forgot to tell you all one tiny, little detail.  Notice that I only mentioned a wallet and keys?  Yea, my cell phone was locked IN the damn car.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t know any numbers on that phone save my parents’.  I don’t think they were gonna be able to help me 8 hours away.  So now, I am trying to figure out what the fuck am I gonna do if I don’t find my keys.

I went back into the store, stuffing my purchases in my newly purchased gym bag whilst tearing off the tags as I walked backed into Target.  Started getting the evil eye from the guard at this point.  I stood in line at Guest Services behind some woman complaining about her pictures.  The only person manning the desk walked away to do something and this woman sat there and ate carrots.  She was chomping on baby carrots in line at Guest Services in Target.  What the hell?  When did it become appropriate to eat whenever the hell y0u wanted?  With every snap of the baby carrot she was gnawing on, I wanted to shove the little plastic container and start whapping her with it, so I left the line to try looking again.  A couple more circles and still nothing, just me sweaty looking suspicious….apparently.  By this time, it was obvious the security guard was following me.  I looked down one aisle and he was there.  I moved to the next and looked and he was there.  It was like a creepy stalker movie.  I was about ready to just yell “WHAT!?!?”  I don’t deal well with stress like this…..can you tell 😮

I saw someone working in the section that I was in first and I took a shot.  I asked if she happened to find some keys.  Holy Crap!  She had!!  OMFG!  I almost hugged the poor teenager and thanked her profusely.  I journeyed back to Guest Services where she had turned them in.  Luckily Carrot girl was done with her snack and another employee had come by to help.  I asked and she said yes!  Two yeses in a row!!  Finally.  Gloriously.  My keys were in my hand and I almost ran out of there, leaving the Security Guard in the dust as he watched me expecting the door alarms to go off.  His store was safe for another night.

By this time, it was 8pm – an hour after I left the gym.  Target is right across the street, so 75% of that was me trying to make keys magically appear.  If I had waited longer at Guest Services, I may have gotten my keys earlier, but maybe the employee hadn’t found them yet.  Also, I didn’t see the employee at first.  So that’s it.  By the time I had come home, I was starving, exhausted and on the phone with my friend.  Because, you see, when I finally did have my phone, my extra key contact was not reachable and my parents were not home (I had decided that I would be able to get the extra key guy’s phone number by guiding my mother through accessing my address book online.  Hey, I was desperate), so I still would have been screwed.

I was going to go to the bar to try and forget everything that happend.  Instead, I made some Applegate beef hot dogs with garlic bagel chips.  I love these hot dogs.  I used to get the low fat Hebrew National, but these are bigger, tastier and about the same nutritional value.  I pair them with some of the best buns I have ever eaten.  Martin’s Potato rolls.  For the hot dogs, I use their long rolls, I love all of their rolls….well, the first row and the first one in the second row are all that I have tried.  They are always soft and fresh no matter where I buy them.  The chips?  OMG these are good.  These are SOO garlicky, my coworker has been able to smell them from the next cubicle.  I can’t get enough of them…..sometimes the end up being my entire meal.  I try not to let it happen too much, though.  🙂

That was my night.  I hope you forgive me for not cooking for you last night and I will be back at the stove tonight.  Awesome.  Sounds like there’s a storm with some loud thunder moving in.  *SIGH*  Time to end this day.

Enchilada Pasta Casserole

Because I can’t get enough baking in the southern heat, I decided to make this recipe.  I was originally going to make chicken with mac and cheese, but I didn’t have the ingredients I needed in the house.  Since I am being QUITE lazy today, I needed something else today.  Something easy and this just fit the bill.

Ingredients – I used just some taco seasoning instead of the three listed in the recipe (did I mention I was lazy?).  I also had to measure the ground beef after it was cooked because it was frozen.  I didn’t want to wait for it to thaw, so I threw it in the pan (see a pattern?).
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About to mix everything.  There are no pictures after mixing, because I am telling you – it is GROSS looking.  I am not saying it tastes gross, but is not a photogenic bowl.
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Ready to be baked
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Done
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It didn’t look anything like the picture from the website when I served my plate
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It was a simple, easy dish.  I, of course, forgot the salt and that was a notable missing element.  It would definitely be better with that element.  It isn’t a bad recipe, but it isn’t something I would see myself making often.  Maybe it was because I used taco seasoning instead of the listed seasonings, but it just didn’t make me sit up and notice.

Almost as good as Stouffer’s

When I was growing up, my mom used to make the Stouffer’s vegetable lasagna (Family Size) every once in a while for an easy meal.  For a long time, I HATED it.  All those vegetables messing up the crunchy sides and creamy sauce – blech.  As I got older, I started to like it more and more.  Now, it’s one of my favorite frozen meal indulgences.  I don’t remember where I came across this one, but when I decided to explore vegetarian dishes, I knew I had to try it.

I did change some things, though.  I don’t like zucchini very much reheated, so I add more broccoli, carrots and included onions.  I only used about half the mozzarella cheese – it seemed plenty to me.  I didn’t add any extra parmesan either (see below).  I also didn’t use jarred Alfredo Sauce.  I looked for a simple recipe that didn’t make too much for a single person.  Some of the recipes used a quart of half and half!!  I didn’t need that much.  I did a little dance when I found this one that only used 1 cup.  I messed up on the parmesan cheese and ended up using 1.5 cups.  WAY too much…..for the sauce on pasta.  It ended up being perfect for this recipe.  It was a little thick, so I tried heating it up and ended up adding a little water.  Broth would probably work good, too, but I didn’t have any vegetable broth.

On to the pictures (you’re gonna like this!)

Ingredients
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Cooking the veggies
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Mixing with the sauce
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First layer
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Second layer
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CHEEEEESE!
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All baked
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My plate
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These are SO good.  I am going to add them to my cookbooks.  A few things: I did not need to spray the muffin pan with non-stick spray.  My pan is non-stick, so I figured I didn’t need it.  Also, since I made my alfredo sauce, it had a bit more fat in it than the light stuff at the grocery store.  I don’t know if that made a difference or not.  They didn’t stick when I took them out, but they did try to separate.  I just made sure not to grab the top wonton and put the fork/spoon all the way to the bottom of the cup.  I want to try this again and again.  I really liked the combination of vegetables that I chose, too.  I can’t wait to have these tomorrow.

Bagel Sandwich

The worst thing about going veggie is that I immediately wanted a sandwich.  Do you know how hard that is to do when you aren’t eating meat?  Luckily, I had squirreled this recipe away for just this time.  It’s not really a recipe per say, but it helps to formulate a sandwich that you wouldn’t normally think of.  There are better pictures on the site, but I did take some of my own

Ingredients – I used some different cheese because this is what I had.  I also didn’t use the green onions because I forgot to write that ingredient down.  And minus tomatoes.  I just don’t like those ones 🙂
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Cut up your ingredients and get them ready to go while the bagel is toasting.  I didn’t use as much cream cheese as the original because 4 ounces for 1 sandwich seemed like a lot
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Start layering
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Cut in half and enjoy
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….well, enjoy if you like avocados.  I figured I would give them a try because a couple days previous, I had some guacamole and I enjoyed it.  This time, I remember why I don’t like them.  I think they taste like dirt.  I immediately took them off my sandwich and continued eating.  It was a very flavorful sandwich even without the green onions.  I ended up having it a couple more times.  Now, I don’t know what to do with the avocado, but I think it has been in my fridge too long.  Ah well, at least it was only a dollar.

It’s Sunday – one week from the start of my veggie week.  I mostly did ok, but I didn’t get to make one recipe that I really wanted to (coming later).  The only hiccup was the day that everyone on my team decided to go to lunch together since one was getting married and going to be gone for a month.  I figured we would go somewhere that had vegetarian options, but noooooooo, they decided on a steakhouse.  I mean REALLY??  Instead of getting soup and salad, I just buckled and had some steak.  In my defense, at least I only got a half a steak sandwich and a salad.

I think I am going to extend the veggie diet for a few more days with a couple changes.  For breakfast tomorrow, I want some scrambled eggs and I like them with cheese and, you guessed it, meat.  I have some turkey sausage that I will use for that.  Also, I have a recipe for a frittata that I want to try.  It has some bacon in it, so I will be having that all week – just a little meat.  For lunch and dinner, I will stick to vegetarian.  I have a few more recipes I want to try 🙂  Then Saturday – back to normal!!  Chicken and mac and cheese planned – woo!

Overnight oatmeal

I am always looking for ways to have oatmeal.  Why?  Because I know they are good for you and filling.  The problem?  I hate the traditional preparation of them.  I decided to try this very simple overnight oats recipe.  Basically, you soak the oats in milk and you put whatever you want on top of it.

Ingredients – I was planning on using cocoa roasted almonds, but then I saw these and thought it would go better and not get overwhelmed with chocolate.
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Mix the milk and oats – Don’t worry, the liquid gets absorbed as they soak
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Prepare the toppings.  The original recipe had the toppings already mixed in the oatmeal, but…..wet nuts, yech.  I smooshed the nuts and then added some chocolate chips
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This is what it looked like two days later.
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I added the toppings and mixed up.
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It was very filling, but just not my thing.  I remember doing this with yogurt and I think I may have liked it better.  There was just something missing.  I felt like I needed crunchy something afterwards, but I really didn’t have any room.  Now, I have all this chocolate milk I have to find SOMETHING to do with 😉

 

(PS – sorry for the late posting.  Thought I published yesterday :oops:)

Almost failed on day 2

Wanna talk about going on the edge?  I made a recipe with COOKED CABBAGE *GASP*.  I could eat coleslaw all day, but not a huge cooked cabbage person.  I decided to take a chance on this recipe.  I am sure you are wondering how I almost failed, not to worry, I am getting to that 🙂

Ingredients – I forgot to include the butter
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Cooked noodles.  It was here you were supposed to reserve some pasta water.  I forgot, so I went searching for something.  I almost used some chicken broth in the freezer……waaaaait, that’s not vegetarian.  CRAP!  I didn’t have any wine or vegetable broth.  I just ended up using some plain water.
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Food processor?  We don’t need no stinking food processor!!
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Cooking the breadcrumbs
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Heating the oil.  It was at this point I thought “Crap!  I still need to slice the veggies!!”
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I only used half the cabbage – can you blame me?
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It did shrink quite a bit.  This is the point that you need to use the reserved pasta water to deglaze the pan, except if you are me 🙂
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Ready to mix
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FINALLY!  Feed time!!
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The white spots on the last picture is just parmesan cheese.  Because, if you’re like me, and you go looking for chicken broth in the freezer, you will also leave the cheese in there to get partially frozen.  I also overcooked the noodles a but.  I think it needs to be shocked to stop them from cooking.  It actually worked out because, as I have said, I suck at mixing pasta, but it kept breaking.  I was pleasantly surprise, I really like this.  The onions were so sweet.  I used vidalia instead of the yellow in the original recipe.  I also use some buckwheat noodles instead of the whole wheat pasta.  I thought “sauteed cabbage, sauteed onion.  Japanese noodles!!”  You made the same connection, right?  Right?  Aww…….

 

PS – yes, I know this isn’t on the schedule, but instead of subjecting you to a month a vegetarian recipes, I figured I would just post a bunch this week.  Also to make up for missing last Thursday 😉