But I’m using this as part of a scavenger hunt for someone. So please to be ignoring the animated GIF below, unless you’re someone (and you know who you are!)
Right. Already missed a day. Fubar. Oh well, I shall still push along, in an effort to get back into the whole blogging thang. I’ve been trying to work on an actual post, but just can’t seem to focus, so I shall not push it tonight, and see what I can accomplish tomorrow.
Then life happened. But why not start fresh with a new attempt at NaBloPoMo? Ok? Everybody on board? Excellent.
Let me begin by copping out with a post that consists of my Facebook status from a few days ago, as the clock is ticking down on Mr. Man’s nap and I still haven’t cleaned the kitchen…
Today’s lesson: don’t carve your pumpkins too early. This will lead to massive pumpkin shrivelage, which will in turn send you to the internet to research restoring carved pumpkins (obviously.) This action will then lead you to fill your sink with water and pumpkins, with the intent of soaking them for 4-8 hours to re-plump. If you DO decide to carve your pumpkins early, also decide to mop the floor that morning, so you can discover the weight of the pumpkins and water in your cool but shoddily constructed renovated sink has caused the drain gasket to fail and water is slowly filling the cabinet under the sink. Which you will discover when you open the cabinet for the floor cleaner (again, obviously.) Upon this discovery, immediately freak the heck out and drain the sink, which will cause even MORE water to flood the cabinet, soaking your dishwashing detergent and necessitating a large-scale evacuation of all the nasty chemicals stored therein. Lastly, feel fortunate that this happened while your child was napping, so you can leave all the chemicals strewn about the kitchen willy-nilly to dry whilst you rush to Facebook to educate everyone on the dangers of carving your pumpkins too early.
Example A (the night the pumpkins were carved):
And then there’s Exhibit B, taken just two minutes ago, because of course we went ahead and put the pumpkins on the porch. Lazy FTW!
So. Recently, I decided to actually create meal plans for us, in an attempt to keep grocery costs down and prevent the dreaded “what do you want to eat, I don’t care what do YOU want to eat” conversation that spins round and round until one of us is thinking that they would eat the other one’s HEAD if only to get them to produce a damn answer already.
My attempts at meal planning started with my getting BD to promise that he wouldn’t fall over onto the floor in convulsions if what I was planning to cook sounded the least bit sketchy to him (see: the polenta debacle and turkey lasagnagate.) The problem is, he would be happy eating the same five recipes (cooked the way his mom cooked) over and over and over until he died, where as I want to experiment and try new things, or old recipes with different/fresher/better ingredients. Which frankly sounds like a Communist plot to my dear husband, so compromise was required. Building on the basic rule we established when I began cooking for him (vegetables MUST be either ground to paste or in such big chunks he can pick them out) it has been decided that as long as I follow that rule AND make at least one recipe he likes each week, I’m free to wallow in my cookbooks to my heart’s content.
And so, inspired by this post over at Food Lush, I began January’s meal calendar using Martha Stewart’s Great Food Fast, although I definitely played fast and loose with the following recipe, so I’d say it was more inspired by Great Food Fast than anything else. The fact remains, that although I can STILL taste garlic, it was awesome, and I am absolutely going to make it again.
Garlic Roasted Chicken Breast (vaguely inspired by Martha Stewart)
2 large skinless chicken breasts
4 garlic bulbs
2 c. chicken stock
dried Italian seasoning (I have a mix, but it has basil, oregano, sage, thyme and such included, if you’re interested…)
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Begin by cutting the very top sprouty thing off the garlic bulbs, then whacking the top third slap off. (Removing the sprouty top first makes it easier to turn upside down…and if you do it after you cut the top off, all the little garlic bits will *spoit* out of the skin.) Turn tops upside down and place in the middle of a ovenproof skillet (cast iron is great here!) Lay both chicken breasts out so they cover the garlic tops, and place the 4 bulbs around the chicken breasts, cut side up. Drizzle olive oil over everything, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and italian herb mix. Chuck into the oven, and roast for 45-60 minutes, rotating skillet halfway though and turning bulbs over so the cut side is down. Remove from oven when juices run clear and internal temp of the chicken is 165 degrees.
Remove the breasts and bulbs from the pan, cover chicken with foil and let rest. Pick out any remaining garlic skin from pan (you can leave any garlic cloves that fall out to help season the pan gravy.) Turn heat up to medium under pan and deglaze with chicken stock. Simmer to reduce, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Slice chicken breasts on the bias and drizzle with gravy. Serve with crusty bread and roasted garlic bulbs for spreading on the bread.
In retrospect, I would probably have squeezed all the roasted garlic cloves out and mashed them with a little butter to create a spreadable mash, as the bread we bought was too soft and couldn’t handle the straight clove. It was so very very good, though. I also served this with a side of super classy 4 Cheese Rice-a-Roni, although any sort of rice or potato side would be as delish.
Man, I wish we had some more leftovers right now.
Well, I’ve been working on moving my archives over to this site, but have been hindered by two things.
1. I have a 2 month old and thus a fractured attention span. When most of the posts that I’m bringing over have lots of photos, and need photos uploaded, and I have to FIND the damn photos on our home server, well…
2. Due to my stupidity in letting both my domain and my hosting lapse, I’ve only got about half the posts I had at the old site and every time I open the folder of posts to bring more over, I get pissed at myself. My reaction to that? Close the computer in disgust. Which–I know. I’m an idiot, but there you go.
I’ve been working on Mr. Man’s birth story, and am hoping to get that posted soon, so we can all see some NEW content, not just regurgitated old posts.
I’m sitting here, typing one-handed as Mr. Man is cuddled in my lap. It’s that precious time right after he’s eaten when he looks up at me with absolute trust and love in his eyes–then spit-up comes drooling right out, quickly followed by a salvo from the general direction of his posterior.
So, while I try to deny that I’m sitting here with a lap full of pre-owned milk (from both ends of my child) I shall quickly post something, then get up and find my haz-mat suit. The following came from a Facebook app that compiles statuses over the past year…it grabbed some good ones that I had forgotten, so I’m re-posting them over here.
-Welp, there’s only one explanation. We’ve got a small but malevolent spirit apparently inhabiting our house and absconding with important possessions. BD’s first wedding ring, the title to my old car, my ever-loving PASSPORT! I shall call it Glenn. I hate you, Glenn.
-Well, vacuuming just turned into an impromptu dance to Rhianna’s “The Wait Is Over”. Guess my jubilation at starting a new job next week just got the best of me. Sorry neighbors, I’ll try to keep my spontaneous weirdness away from the windows next time.
-Baby’s room=messier than when we started. Good thing we have 5 months to get it cleaned out, right? Right??
-I don’t know if it’s the Mexican vacation (although that was weeks ago) or some weird side-effect of pregnancy, but I’m peeling. I mean PEEEEEELING! LEPROSY, WOE, DESPAIR, etc, etc. Please don’t be offended if I shed in your general direction.
-Oh, crap. Baby Smelks is kicking it up while Ryan and I watch a DVRd episode of Top Gear. And he/she stops when we hit pause… does that mean I’m gestating a tiny gear head?
-Some people listen to “Let it Be” by Lennon/McCartney when they’re having a bad day–I sing “I Go On” by Bernstein. Who’s with me?
-Well, we ditched AT&T and the iPhone 4 today…just couldn’t handle the dropped calls. Fortunatetly, my parents are hoarders, so we’ve got a few old loaner phones while we wait for our new Verizon phones to ship. Yay, parents! Boo, AT&T for such crappy coverage! (And Apple? My husband’s face shouldn’t be able to turn on speaker phone, face time and hang up a call…I’m jus’ saying.)
-A note to my sister-in-law’s dog, who is currently “vacationing” with us: If you so much as utter one more pitiful whine in my general direction simply because you’re outside, I’m taking you to the nearest restaurant and selling you for meat.
-Holy moly! Undying love to my mom and aunt for coming over today and rescuing me after I pitched a complete wobbler about my first day alone with Mr. Man.
-Things that annoy me: 1. How bloody long it takes me to fall asleep after getting up to feed Mr. Man and 2. Randy Moss.
Hee. Ok, I promise that I won’t do that sort of re-posting thing too often, and I will NEVER post that funny dream I had, or interpret search strings that led to my site, but damn, folks. I don’t care who you are. That shit’s funny right there!
So. In the few months since I left work to finish gestating and deliver precious, precious (noisy!) life, BD and I have been making a much greater effort to watch the money we spend.
The biggest change has been in the way we eat. As much as I love to cook, I just didn’t DO it very often, facing such obstacles as not enough time, hating dishes, and getting sick of trying to find inventive ways to cook sans vegetables (since SOME people in this house are avowed carnivores.) And really, what better time to rededicate yourself to providing food for your family than when you have a baby, am I right? It’s clearly SO much easier to cook and do dishes when one or the other person is bouncing/feeding/dealing with a very opinionated 2 month old. Clearly. However, it actually has been good for me, as I’m really getting back into the creative side of cooking and inventing my own recipes.
Take tonight for example–we haven’t been to the store in a while, so our on hand supplies are getting low. I decided on buffalo chicken tenders with fried potato rounds on the side (I know, I KNOW…this is not gourmet fare by any means, but seriously? All we have in the house is a bag of pre-breaded uncooked chicken and a collection of dubious potatoes.) Of course, we didn’t have any buffalo sauce, but I wasn’t about to let that deter me. Since we do have a large quantity of sriracha sauce, I decided to put my own spin on buffalo sauce, and build one with an Asian slant, using sriracha as the base.
Merrily I went about my task, flinging butter, garlic, sriracha and assorted spices around with reckless abandon as BD kept the young Mr. Man entertained in the living room. I had just finished the sauce and was working on a good name for my creation, when BD wandered back into the kitchen after putting Mr. Man on his play mat and going outside to feed the dogs.
He then proceeded to ask me the location of Mr. Man’s last diaper (which was a substantial one, and as we use cloth diapers, was upstairs with the other diapers awaiting the laundry.) I allowed as how the diaper was by the washing machine and BD’s face fell.
“You mean” he asked slowly, “that smell is the sauce?”
Once the smoke had cleared from my head exploding, he agreed to try the damn sauce, and–fortunately for his continued existence–declared that it was good. And lo, it was. Although I did put in a wee bit too much ginger, but I’ll change that next time. And there will be a next time, because Ellbee’s Soon To Be Famous Sweet and Spicy Chili Wing Sauce turned out to be one of my better creations.
I plan on posting more recipes here as time goes on, and also, keep an eye out in a few months as I begin my foray into the (squishy) world of homemade baby food. Veggies, beware!
-Ellbee’s STBF Sweet and Spicy Chili Wing Sauce-
4 Tbs salted butter
1 Tbs minced garlic (3 large cloves)
1/3 C sriracha sauce
1/4 C ketchup
1/2 tsp ground ginger (this is half what I used, adjust to your particular taste)
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Begin by melting butter over medium heat in a sauce pan. Mince garlic and add to butter. Let garlic simmer for a few minutes, then add the sriracha, ketchup and spices. Let simmer for several minutes, stirring occasionaly to incorporate butter. Place chicken tenders or wings in a large mixing bowl, and pour sauce over the top, stirring briskly to coat. Glare occasionally at significant other for making disparaging remarks about the aroma of the sauce, which is a perfectly lovely melange of garlic, ginger and sriracha.