Tag Archives: Cook

Messes and successes…

Today has been a lazy day in my house.  We had lunch and goofed off, the Electrician has watched Basketball and football most of the day.  I decided earlier today, I would make something out of stuff I had in my kitchen.  The Electrician and I have not been to the grocery store in a while so, I wanted to make a “pantry” dinner.

I did a little research on that thing called “google” after I had scanned all of my cookbooks.  I took stock of the ingredients I had on hand and this is what I came up with.  I am taking you on a picture journey with me….

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Yes, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, Artichoke hearts, mushrooms, an onion, garlic, roasted red peppers, penne pasta, chicken base. and because I am a dork, I forgot the parmesan cheese in the photo.

 

I had looked up recipes for  Chicken Artichoke mushroom dishes, and I found a couple I liked, so, being me, I combined them, to make it my own.

First, I smashed the chicken, and then sliced it…..

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Then, I sliced and diced my way through the rest of the stuff…

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I’m pretty good with my knife skills, at least, I haven’t sliced and diced any fingers lately, so that must be a plus….

 

 

 

 

The recipe I was sorta of following said to brown my chicken, so I browned my chicken in my favorite pan of the moment which is a handy-dandy cast iron frying pan, also good if you need to smack someone over the head with it…just sayin….

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I decided to brown it in 2 batches because I wanted it to brown and sizzle and not steam and become limp….

 

I do have to say though, I really, really try not to make a mess out of my stove….uhm…head held down, I did though, my stove was truly messed up when I finished this one and I kind of felt bad when the Electrician had to scrub it to make it shiny and new again.

Next was this…  after taking the chicken out, I threw some more butter in the pan and then the onions, roasted red peppers  garlic and mushrooms.  I stirred them around for about 5 minutes, until everything was sizzling and soft

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Then it was time to throw the artichoke hearts in to the mix…

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I sizzled these all together for about  8 minutes, and then got busy putting the rest of the stuff in the pan.  That’s when it hit me….oops, should have used a bigger skillet….

 

 

 

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I threw in the chicken, and some chicken stock with some butter and flour mixed together, it was supposed to thicken it up…Although this recipe was originally supposed to go in the oven, the Electrician HATES baked chicken, fry it, grill it, broil it but DO NOT bake it.  Yea, he’s a little strange about that.

So I think that’s where it got a little bit messed up.  I went ahead and boiled the penne regate pasta and then drained it and put some butter (yea, well I love butter) and some parsley on the pasta, and then served it up…

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We sprinkled parmesan cheese all over it and ate dinner.  I will be truthful here, I only ate half of my plate, simply because I got full fast. Especially after the Electrician asked me, “do you think this is the Olive Garden or something?”  After much discussion, the Electrician and I have come to the conclusion while it was good, we know how to make it better.  We strained out all of the “juice” so to speak and will put the remainder of the chicken concoction in some Alfredo sauce and then I think I will have achieved a master piece.

This was my adventure of today, I hope y’all enjoyed it as much as I did, and by the way, I never really realized how hard it was to cook AND take pictures at the same time, so my hat is tipped to all of y’all that are food bloggers and do this, cuz I have figured out, I really am not that coordinated….

The Cook-off fest has started…..

For those of us here in the United States, we have a holiday coming up called Thanksgiving.   I did Google it and apparently Canada also has a Thanksgiving, just in October instead of November.

I don’t know about anyone else, but this is my time to shine and just have some good ole fun in my kitchen.  This year, I have taken a different approach and I am trying something new.  Instead of one BIG turkey, I have 1 10 pound turkey and a 9 pound turkey breast.  Usually, the Electrician grills the bird on the grill, or has been known to smoke it.  I have never brined, nor have I ever injected anything into the bird.  Until this year.  I have bought an injector and have bought Tony Chachere’s.  Yep, I’m going to inject the whole bird, and then just flavor the turkey breast, normal.

Creole Butter & Jalapeno 17 oz.

 

I’m going to cook the whole bird in the Flavor-Waver, and then I found a recipe for a “Crock-pot” turkey, and the Turkey breast is going into the crock pot, to be cooked in gravy and orange juice.

I am also doing something different with my dressing/stuffing.  Normally, I make the good old standby, sausage, onion, celery stuffing.  This year, I am using the oysters that my “outlaws” brought me, and I am making oyster stuffing, as well as the good old standby sausage stuffing.

Now, I know most people will make that good stuff called Green bean casserole, with the cream of mushroom soup and French’s canned fried onions.  But me?  Nope, I am trying a new version, I will use fresh fried shallots, and a homemade mushroom gravy to go with fresh green beans.

While I know that having 2 vegetables the same color is sort of no-no, I’m still making some fried Brussel sprouts, the Fisher-dude and I have agreed, we both love ‘em so they will be on the table.  Although to add a little color, I will probably cook some of the corn, that I put up this past summer, and I will say my own special prayer to Dick, and give him Thanks.

Everyone in my family, knows, I seriously suck at making mashed potato’s.  It is a known fact.  So, the Electrician will be whipping those bad boys up, and I will concentrate on the Sweet Potato casserole, with brown sugar, sweet potato’s, marshmallows and pecans.  (heaven in a casserole dish).

Of coarse, in my house we have 2 options, Turkey gravy and Ranch dressing.  Yes, I have raised a bunch of weirdo’s.  My family likes to dunk turkey into ranch dressing.  Those will be on the table too.

I am toying around with a salad idea, I was thinking a jello salad with some stuff, but I still have some time so peeps shoot me some idea’s.

Rolls, I forgot about those, I have them covered though, some yummy yeast rolls that are in the freezer, just waiting to be baked.

But, folks, this is just the dinner.  There are the appetizers, which are, a standby relish tray, sweet pickles, sour pickles, green olives, black olives, radishes, and carrots.  Chips and dip, Cheese ball, spicy boiled shrimp, crackers and cheese.

But not to be left out, I am sharing the dessert portion with the Nursing Student (who is also in charge of the cheese ball), she is making a Pumpkin Roll, and I am making a pecan pie.

This is a day, that we all get together, the women all cook, the guys eat, and watch the game, or in my house, they play on the computer.  We rent movies and things are generally loud.

After dinner, some take naps, some do dishes, and then we all watch movies together, and eat some more.  One thing we do, is give Thanks for everything.

But as for me?  I get to play in my kitchen for 3 days and make an outstanding meal, and have it all gone in 20 minutes, although we all eat ALL day, and then there’s the leftovers.

I truly love to play in my kitchen, and with everything I have going on right now in my life, it is very therapeutic for me.

While the Farmer ALWAYS has an open invitation to my house, I have taken into consideration his feeling for noise, and I will take him a plate over, after all of the dishes have been washed.    Because my house can get extremely loud, with kids and Grand babies.

Playing with Green chili today

Remember this?

Well, today was the day, my wonderful husband, The Electrician, and I were going to roast all 25 pounds, and then bag it up.

Here the Electrician is playing with the fire.  (Actually, he likes to fire up the grill.)  It is actually about 9 am this morning.

We had everything lined up, the box of chili, and then a trash can with a garbage bag in it.  Now that the fire was ready, let the roasting begin…

I started throwing the chili on the grill, and the object of roasting is to get the chili charred, and limp.  Now, I will let you know, sometimes, the chili will pop and split, and you can get hit by some seeds. Yes, this happened.

The Electrician and I took turns turning the chili’s, and then when they were ready, tossing them into the plastic bag.

This is how it looked, about 40 different times, by the way….25 pounds is a LOT of chili.

It seemed like I would never get to the bottom of the box.  I really don’t know how many times, I filled up the grill, took them off the grill, filled up , well, I think you get the picture.

It was  a family affair, with Ms. Baby sitting outside and supervising.  Although at one point, I asked the Electrician where the cat was, and apparently since both of us were distracted, she thought she would go exploring.    She got sent inside.

When the last chili came off the grill, we closed all the vents, and put the lid on the grill, and tried to save some of our charcoal for dinner.  We wrapped up the bag, and then set the garbage can in the garage, to let it steam for about 5 hours.

Meanwhile, I’ve whipped up a batch of chocolate chip/butterscotch cookies, and also made our Sunday Supper.

Usually on Sunday’s we eat at about 2 pm, and today, we had a salad, with mushrooms on the grill, Brussel sprouts, on the grill, grilled potato’s and the main star, smoked pork chops on the grill.  I figured since we had already fired up the grill once today, we might as well  keep it going.  Dinner was fantastic (burp)  (uhm, excuse me).

Now it was time to bag up the chili.  Now, I will warn you, like we found out the other night, folk’s this chili is hot.  I’m not a weenie, but it was in my best interest to wear a glove while I was bagging up the chili.  Since it has steamed for about 6 hours,  it renders a juice, which can be harmful, with repeated contact.  I have enough experience with it to know.  In the past, I’ve had my hands tingle for hours, and for goodness sake DO NOT RUB your eyes.

So, the Electrician found me some gloves, and I got to bagging.

I bagged the chili, and the Electrician was in charge of sealing the bags.

Last one whew!  We ended up with 30 quarts of fresh roasted New Mexico Hatch, Hot (Sandia) chili.

Yummo…..the things I am going to make with this stuff. On the top  shelf of the freezer, is all the corn-on-the-cob, I put up.  The second shelf would be the green chili, the third shelf is a mixture of seafood, the Electrician and I brought back from Biloxi, MS.  The fourth shelf is my made ahead dinners.  The bottom shelf, which you really cannot see, is chicken stock, I’ve made and saved.  Oh yea, I do have 2 other freezers, full of this summer’s bounty too.

Plus, the aroma from the roasted chili has filled up my house and my freezer.  Now mind you, this will last me all year, until next August, when I will probably order another 25 pounds.  I am one happy girl right now.

As a side note, I do need to mention that I got this chili from “The Hatch Chili Farm” which is actually Berridge Farms.  Here is a link to them in case you are interested….   http://hatchnmgreenchile.com  They have kept me informed with e-mails, and the like, and I would highly recommend them to anyone!  And the chili is FANTASTIC!!!

Camsgranny is making Green chili Stew….

 

The cast of characters… This would be Green chili, a pork sirloin roast (although, pork chops, pork roast or any type of pork works),  A couple of potatoes, onion, Chicken broth, frozen corn mine was from the freezer from some of the corn the Farmer picked and I froze.  diced tomato’s, (I didn’t have any canned, so I used some from my freezer from my garden)  a couple of cloves of garlic, then some oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and ground coriander, salt and pepper, I’m not quite sure how the Tony Chatere’s ended up in the photo other than, this spice is usually on my counter most of the time.

First, I roasted the green chili…and peeled it and chopped it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also cut the potato’s and onions then  peeled the tomato’s.  I did not have canned, so I used the one’s in my freezer than I had harvested out of my garden,  I spiced them up too.  I used Salt and pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder…

 

Then, I threw the potato’s, onions and garlic into a hot pan that had olive oil heating up.  I got a semi crust on the potato’s and the onions had softened, then I threw in the cubed pork.  I let it get all white, and let the moisture cook out of it for a bit.  Then I threw in the flavored tomatoes, and the green chili and some more spices,  I usually spice things up a couple of times.  When it was all together, I threw in about a palmful of oregano, salt, pepper, cumin, ground coriander, ground garlic, ground onion powder,  the frozen corn, the green chili, and covered it in chicken broth…then I just let it simmer for about an hour…

 

 

 

About this time my camera dies, and I had to wait to take the after picture…  This is what the stew looked like when I was done(actually this is what was left after the Electrician and I had dived into it.)  The Electrician eats his different from me.  He gets a tortilla and lines it up with cheese and then makes a burrito.  Me?  I warm a tortilla and slather it in butter and then use my tortilla as a spoon.  I am here to tell you though, this is heaven in a bowl.

 

Folks, I lived for 13 years in New Mexico, I learned a lot of different cooking skills.  I learned a lot about different flavors.  Chili is one that I embraced.    There is mild chili, and then there is medium hot chili, and then there is in your face chili…

I guess for me, when times were lean, and we ate beans and chili and tortillas for weeks on end,  the flavor was there.

It’s amazing sometimes what a food can make you remember, Point in fact….When the Electrician ate his stew tonite, he smiled at me, and said “I must be used to it, but I swear, the first time you fed this to me, I thought I was going to die, but now, I actually enjoy the flavor, even though my nose is running, BUT, if my butt burns tomorrow, I’m going to get you”.

Hehehe…some things never change huh?

 

 

 

 

It’s HERE!!!!

This my friends, is a box of 25 pounds of New Mexico Hatch “Sandia” chili.  This is a box of spicy, smells delicious, goodness.

I could not believe when the Electrician called me today, (it’s been a very stormy day here, and he had a rain out), to tell me “It’s here, and honey, it smells good, but it might be a little spicy, because I could smell it when I opened the box.”.  I squealed, and said “really, it’s here?”  “yes, babe it is.”  to which my brain started going into over drive and I blurted out ” We are having green chili stew for dinner ok?”

Now mind you I have fed this man chili the past few days, and I think he may have cringed when I said I was making green chili stew.

When I arrived home, Yes, to the Farmer, I made it with no hail damage to the Rav4.  Although I did drive through town, and some of the streets were flooded.  By the time, I got to my little town, it had basically stopped storming and the sun was out.

I stopped at the local I.G.A. (we call it Igga here), I went in a got a gallon of ice cream for the Electrician and then I happened to look at pork roasts, now mind you I only had a certain amount of $$ on me, so I calculated, I grabbed the pork roast and ice cream, and hit the road.

I actually came home and sniffed the chili (ok, that sounds a little weird) but if you have ever smelled green chili it has an aroma all to itself. I then grabbed one out of the box and chowed down, I got about all of it gone when WHAMMO, the heat hit the back of my throat, and WOW, it was good.   Fresh, is okay, but when you roast it, well.  Let’s just say I drooled.  It brings back a lot of memories for me, some good, some bad.  But most of all it awakens my taste buds.

I made the green chili stew, and it was good.  The Electrician even enjoyed it, and commented on how the house smelled good, while I had roasted the chili’s.  Mind you, we both got our sinus’ cleaned out, (it is a little spicy).  It was worth it.

Come Saturday, I will be roasting the 24 1/2 pounds of chili on the grill outside, and I promise to take pictures.  Roasted chili means fall, fall means cooler weather, and hoodies, and bonfires, and jumping into the leaves, football games, tailgating, and a BUNCH of other good stuff.

I really like fall.

Signs…

 

Ok, so far this morning,

I have managed to trip on the stairs over the cat.

Spill coffee all over the wall in the above mentioned trip.

Cleaned up spilled coffee.

Tripped over the above mentioned cat, while refilling her water bowl.

Cleaned up the water, at the above mentioned trip.

Grabbed lotion instead of soap, while washing my face this morning.

And the topper……

How the heck do you get toothpaste in your eye?

With all of that being said, I am heading down the road to the Farmer’s with a very “fresh and minty” eye.

Maybe I should crawl back into bed, and start over?

 

 

Falls, cookies, and tuna.

Some people wake up to Alarm clocks, and other stuff, this morning I was woken up by the phone. It was still dark outside so I knew it was early.  I answered it and this is what the conversation was “Hello”  “Joanne, it’s your Dad”, “Hi”  “I need you to get over here as soon as possible and help, your Mom’s on the floor”.  “Okay, let me get dressed and I’ll be right there”.

So, I did what every good daughter does, fly outta the house in my p.j’s with my tennis shoes and get outside and realize damn, it’s cold.  I make the trip over and arrive and sure enough my Mom is on the floor.  “Uh…Mom what are you doing on the floor and how long have you been here?”  “The  squirrel in the window was bothering me, and I don’t know how long I’ve been here.”  Between the Farmer  and I, we got her back onto the bed and then assessed the damage.  Well, she is going to have a Shiner on her eye, and she has rug burns on her cheek, and while it looks bad, it’s really not as bad as it could have been.

We are not really sure why she got up in the middle of the night, it has been about 3 months since the last time she attempted to get up.  But…we did some research and found this  Ez adjust bed rail. EZ Adjust Bed Rail by Standers

Which will be delivered on Thursday.  This outta keep her butt in bed. 

After the ordeal of everything, my Mom was in pretty good spirits and drank some coffee, I got her cleaned up and dressed and made it out to her power lift chair with only a couple of warbles.  Although, she did try to do some negotiating with me.  As in, “you know, that was kind of hard to spend the night on the floor, so I think you should make me some chocolate chip cookies to make me feel better.”  uh…ok….  So, I whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies and then the Farmer got in on the act….. “uh, Joanne I really liked the tuna casserole thingy that you made and I could sure eat one for dinner to make ME feel better after being stressed and upset over your Mom”…uh ok…..

So, I fixed both of them up good, I made a double batch of cookies and froze half the dough and there are 4 tuna casserole thingy’s in the freezer, right along side those cookies.

And me?  Yes, I was stressed, yes I was upset.  But I actually surprised myself today, because I am ok!  I spent the afternoon getting the skunk stripe out of my hair and am now a nice new shade of  auburn, the Electrician and I had leftover green chili chicken enchilada’s for dinner and I am in my “comfy” clothes getting ready to watch the Walton’s. 

Today, while it may not have started out the way any of us wanted it to, has been a really good day.  My Mom survived and has promised not to get out of bed tonite, she got chocolate chip cookies, the Farmer got a tuna casserole thingy for dinner and I…well,  I have the satisfaction of knowing today I made a difference.