Monday, January 21, 2013

My crockpot. I think I'll Keep It.

There's roasted chicken under
that tatziki
Today I tried a couple of recipes I found on Pinterest: crockpot rotisserie chicken and naan-like flatbreads.

The chicken is so easy, and comes out amazingly tender.  The only differences from the store-bought kind are the lack of chemicals ( a plus) and the skin doesn't get crispy. I don't eat the skin anyway, so no problem. Just blend some spices, add a bit of water to make a paste, and rub it outside and inside a chicken. Spray the inside of the crockpot, plop the chicken inside, put on the lid and turn on the heat. I put it on the low 8-hour setting.

The naan recipe comes from and is also easy to make. It's probably as close to real naan as you can get without a 900 degree tandoori oven.  The author has a chicken tikka masala recipe that sounds super tasty. I may have to have a dinner party someday soon :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stuffed peppers:). The stuffing is wild rice, chicken-apple sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, thyme, a splash of sherry, and asiago.    Really tasty, and just one half is very filling, which  helps with that portion control thing I'm working on this year.

Banana oat muffins, based on this recipe, which called for strawberries which I didn't have. So I used bananas, and added vanilla and cinnamon.  These are delightful, and as a plus, they're gluten free.
This was my first time using silicone cups. They work really well, and are recommended for flour-free recipes. I can see these working with all sorts of fruit, and I may try some savory adaptations too.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Best Laid Plans

This was the plan for January: 
But thanks to the flu, this is what happened:

Almost two weeks of no somatics, no gym, no stickers in the day planner :(
Yesterday was my first workout.  Okay, walk. Well, if we're being honest, it was a mosey.  Hopefully tomorrow I'll work up to a stroll ;)
At least I got this out of the way before the new semester and new job begin.  This semester shouldn't be too bad; Human Nutrition and Math for Clinical Calculations.  

As for the nursing school plan, (Plan Q.3 I think), I'm on the fence as to whether it would make sense to  postpone for a semester, due to little things like being out of work for so long and having to spend the summer taking pathophysiology.   Plan Q.4 would mean having about a year to work, having the summer off, and taking a less compressed version of pathophysiology in the fall, and starting the nursing program in the spring.  Q.4 is saner, but Q.3 has the 'getting on with it' thing in its favor. And the realization that I'm going to be 50 this year makes the 'getting on with it' thing seem quite reasonable.

I have until the Fall application deadline of March 29th to make up my mind....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Not Entirely Traditional New Year's Day Tradition

There are a lot of Hoppin' John recipes out there.  This one is a combination of several of them. I used a crockpot, but you could also do this on the stove.  Keep an eye on the liquid if cooking on the stove- you may need to add more due to evaporation.  It's simple, and tasty, and goes well with cold weather.

Hoppin' John

1 pound dried black eyed peas, rinsed and soaked overnight (or 8+ hours, depending on when you are starting)
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, chopped small
2 stalks celery, chopped small
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 cup rice (uncooked)
(1 ham hock OR beef bone OR chicken OR turkey ham OR turkey bacon -( about 1/2 to 1 pound) OR nothing)
4 cups broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp Creole seasoning* (1 Tbsp if you like heat)

After soaking, rinse and drain beans.  Dump into crockpot.
Add everything else.
Set crockpot to desired cooking time ( I did 8 hour/slow)

Traditionally served with greens (collard, mustard, chard, whatever) and cornbread.  Jiffy brand mix is a cheap and tasty option.

This makes quite a lot, which leads to the leftovers known as Skippin' Jenny.  You could shorten the cooking time by using canned black eyed peas, but it's so good this way.

*available in the spice aisle.  It's a blend of peppers, garlic, salt, and some other stuff.

Enjoy :)