Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Poultry’ Category

Cinnabombed

I spent 15 minutes Saturday night trying to convince some lunk that I am not Italian. Now I know I have dark hair and dark eyes, but I am pretty fair. His drunken insistence wore on my last nerve. I know I should have shooed him away then and there, but he was from Boston and I am a sucker for the accent. He pitifully orbited around me for the rest of the evening. I tried to be kind, but when he tried to kiss me as I left I had just about had it.

I ambled home, talking to a friend on the phone. Once in my apartment I decided now was the perfect time for a cinnamon roll. I had lugged back a bag from a beloved bakery in RI and it seemed like a delicious treat. In my haze I placed the frozen hockey puck on a plate to defrost.

A non microwave safe plate.

For 90 seconds.

As I type this out I am reminded of my idiocy with every key stroke; a shiny blister resides on my right ring finger. Not only did I manage to injure myself in those wee hours, I passed out in bed with a plate and a potholder. I woke up with the plate next to my head and laying on top of the potholder. Now this may not be my proudest moment, but it is a better option than waking up with a vodka bottle near my head and laying in top of a drunken Bostonian, no? Baby steps here, kids. I am growing as a person.

I mean, who the hell makes a cinnamon roll when they are drunk?  Isn’t it pizza time? Or falafel time? I mean hell, I have even been known the shamelessly wolf down a sandwich in those wee hours.  Nothing as good as this chicken cheesesteak, but it would be hard to match.  Lightened up, these has far less oil and fat than the traditional cheesesteak and tastes really good.  I made a tactical error toasting the bread; it made it a bit dry, but that is my own damn fault. The picture here blows (big surprise), but is there really anyway to make a sandwich look really awesome?  Probably, but I was too hungry and this was snapped in a rush.

Maybe I will go for this next time; the baked goods have not treated me kindly.

dscn12621

Chicken Philly Cheesesteaks
Slightly adapted from Cooking Light

Cooking spray
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into (1-inch-thick) strips
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red bell pepper strips
1 cup green bell pepper strips
1 cup vertically sliced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
4 (3-ounce) submarine rolls (such as Cobblestone Mill brand)
4 (1-ounce) slices provolone cheese

Preparation
Spray pan that has been over over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan. Add red bell pepper and next 5 ingredients (red bell pepper through garlic) to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken and pepper sauce; remove from heat.

Slice each roll in half horizontally, cutting to, but not through, other side. Place 1 cheese slice and 1 cup chicken mixture on bottom half of each roll, and gently press roll halves together.

Read Full Post »

Vanilla

Prologue: I hate to do this because I think it is my prerogative to be a bit of a cunt sometimes if I feel like it, but I assure you, this is not about you.  Yes, you.  Really.  Not about you.  And hey, maybe this isn’t the most flattering picture of me, but seriously, I will buy you a beer if you email me and tell me you have never once done a double take at the partnering of a friend…or thought a nasty thought.  Maybe I am judgmental, but hopefully I can work through that in therapy.

————————

I met a friend for dinner the other night and we got on the topic of another of our friends who has fallen off the map. It is a pretty common tale; he met a girl and we have been left in the dust.

Now, I get it. I am old enough to understand and accept that things change when someone is in a relationship. Hell, they should within reason. Priorities shift, love is grand and all this. This is in not that kind of bitter rant.

But this girl, Christ almighty. Over the past year I have referred to her as “Cream of Wheat”, “Khaki”, “Missionary”, and “WhatsHersFace”. Being around this girl is a fate crueler than watching paint dry, a slow and painful torture of boredom. I would much rather this girl be a bitch or a nutter than the reality. She bores us all to tears and frankly, I think less of my friend for being with her.

This is not to say I think I am the world’s most interesting person. As much as we all want to think we are smart and funny and charming, no one is all that special. But this girl? I can scarcely be around her, which actually works out okay since my friend has all but dissapeared since meeting this wet blanket; I actually don’t have to see her that often.

There is a part of me, the charitable part that wants my friend to be happy, that hopes I am totally wrong.  Perhaps this woman is some sort of comic genius or can pontificate for hours about sustainable energy when I am not around.  I hope, for his case and the case of humanity, that this is the situation.  I mean sometimes things appear to be really vanilla, but they surprise you.

Take this chicken dish.  I added a few tweaks to my friend MakeOut Bandit’s lemon chicken and it turned out shockingly well.  This is just an amalgam of leftovers and things I had kicking around in the fridge and I could not be happier with how this turned out.  Now, it doesn’t look the prettiest (the brown rice and yellow bowl surely don’t help either) but it was really good.  The sauce is thickened by the cornstarch and it is highly reminiscent of Chinese lemon chicken, but way healthier.  The vinegar adds a nice contrast to the curd and the green onions are a lovely compliment to the whole dish. Oh, and it is easy…I threw it together in less than 15 minutes.  Really, you cannot go wrong here.

Here is to hoping my friend’s girlfriend has some hidden surprises as well.

dscn1193

Lemon Chicken

Adapted from my friend Makeout Bandit

Pam/Cooking spray

1 packet chicken tenders, cubed

Salt and pepper

2 green onions, chopped (if you have chives on hand, you could sub those in)

1 cup lemon curd

2 TBS white wine vinegar

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 tsp corn starch

Preheat large skillet over medium heat. Spray pan. Salt and pepper cubed chicken and add to skillet. Cook chicken for about 8 minutes and then add green onions. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Mix together vinegar, curd, broth and cornstarch. Add to pan and cook for about 2 minutes (sauce will thicken). Serve over brown rice.

Read Full Post »

Feeling Feelings

I’ve had a secret shame buried deep inside me for a few weeks.

I watched “Twilight”. I watched “Twilight” and I liked it.

Now, everyone is carrying on and on about the dreaminess of Edward Cullen and I do feel a bit superior when I proclaim I did not find him the least bit attractive. Now this is not to say there haven’t been a few young men I have taken a shine to; I feel a special kind of flutter every time I see Joe Jonas. Say what you will but that boy really does look like he needs his purity ring tarnished and I am happy to take on that job.  Also, I find his floppy brown hair lovely.

But Edward Cullen? Too pale, skinny, hairless and far, far too blond for me. I do not handle emotional boys well and our dear Edward feels far too many feelings for my liking. He seems a young man that would be scared of hurting me, only wants to make love and would talk incessantly about what a deep connection he feels. I do not care for this one bit.

Oh, and he is a vegetarian. I know plenty of lovely men who are vegetarians, but really? Nothing produces a pile of sawdust in my panties faster than a man who won’t eat a steak.

What I think got me about the movie was the sort of wide eyed faith Bella has in what she is feeling. She is in awe he loves her and doesn’t quite understand it, but she just goes with it.  She is young and unscathed by heartbreak.  There are no “what ifs” and she doesn’t hold back scared of the possibility of being hurt.  The movie reminded me of the free fall of first love and made me wish I was 14 again.  Well, 14-years-old minus the acne and the disproportionately large rack.

Except in my 14-year-old fantasies, it was not Edward Cullen…it was Anthony Kiedis.  There will be no pale vegetarians on my watch, no propping of of weak men who are far too emotive.  The only thing I am ready to handle on a regular basis is raves about my cooking  and Mr. Cullen would not be able to even eat my food and that’s just too bad.  Not to say their aren’t some misses but I like the accolades when they are deserved.  For instance I threw this meal together totally last minutes and it came out really well.  Sure, it is just pasta, but it is flavorful and I managed to get a ton of vegetables in here.  For a fast week night dinner that will leave you a ton of leftovers you really cannot go wrong. The whole wheat pasta adds a nice depth and the sauce, more chunky than a normal sauce, manages to stay light(er) thanks to the turkey and artichokes.  Hey, this isn’t going to change your life but it is way better than a jar of Ragu.

And how do you feel about that, Edward?

dscn1131

Summer Pasta

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, minced

1 pound mushrooms, chopped finely

2 teaspoons dried basil

1.5 teaspoons dried oregano

1 package (about 1.5 lbs) ground turkey

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 8 0z. can tomato sauce

1 14.5 oz. can chopped tomatoes

1 14.5 oz. can artichokes, drained

Salt and pepper

1 box whole wheat pasta

Parmesan for sprinkling

Boil salted water and cook pasta while preparing sauce.

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms,a pinch of salt and some pepper and cook for another 3 minutes. Drain off some of the liquid from the mushrooms with a spoon. Add basil, oregano, balsamic and turkey and cook for 8 minutes. (You may need to spoon off some more liquid.)Pour in tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes and artichokes. Cook for an additional 7 minutes. Salt and pepper and mix with pasta. Top with parmesan.

Read Full Post »

Baller, Shot Caller

I have probably seen the movie “Jackass” about 10 times. I own way more Lil’ Wayne and T.I. than is socially acceptable for a grown woman. I can watch “$240 Worth of Pudding” (thanks for the tip off, Hammer) and laugh hysterically while other people roll their eyes.  I slap asses often and with inappropriate zeal.

All and all I can be shockingly immature…well, at least until the bathroom humor begins. You know how I feel about that.

So I have to tell you that I am itching to make a big balls joke here…but I won’t. It would not be very lady like.

There isn’t really anything funny about big balls anyway. Am I right ladies and 11% of the men?

Now there is nothing wrong with big balls per se, but sometimes they can be overwhelming.  This weekend I decided to try a new matzo balls soup recipe.  My old recipe was pretty perfect but I was itching to try a recipe that didn’t call for seltzer.  I never have seltzer around and it always seems a waste when I purchase it.  I loved how this recipe came out; whipping the whites and the yolks of the eggs separately as does the use of the baking soda. But there is the rub; the baking soda really makes these matzo balls puff up.  They almost doubled in size when I cooked them.  Now, they still tasted good but they were some overwhelmingly large balls.  Make sure to keep them pretty small–about ping pong ball sized–when making them.  Despite the overwhelmingly large balls this was some seriously good soup.  Salty and flavorful and hearty, I could eat it every day.

Big balls happen…I will hope for better luck next time.

dscn1124

Matzo Ball Soup

Inspired from Food Fashionista

Matzo Balls
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon shmaltz (chicken fat) — you can sub in vegetable oil
1 cup unsalted matzoh meal
1/2 teapsoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Soup
5 cups chicken stock/broth
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced onion
Salt to taste

Beat egg whites in a bowl until fluffy (not stiff, just fluffy) and beat egg yolks and shmaltz in a separate bowl. Add yolk mixture to whites and stir well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Place mixture in refrigerator for an hour.

Form about 2 dozen balls and drop in to salted boiling water. Cook for about 40 minutes.

While matzo balls cook, add all soup ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cover.
Yields about 20 matzoh balls.

Read Full Post »

She’s So Lucky

A few summers back I was out with a few friends. I was wearing a floatier halter top, not typically my style, but it was the summer after I lost all the weight and I was trying to embrace the new me…or whatever. Who the hell knows why I chose this top as I felt supremely uncomfortable wearing it, but I suspect it had something to do with how awesome it made my cleavage look and the fact that the tag had a “S” on it. I am fairly predictable.

l-and-l1The evening ended with me staggering around the streets of Adam’s Morgan with my friend Cindarella and a few other folks. This was probably the most boozy period of my life; I was fresh out of a relationship that crashed and burned with a spectacular brightness and I still hadn’t figured out how much liquor my new, smaller body could actually handle. I could have made Betty Ford blush with the amount of beer I was consuming on the regular and while I wish my staggering was merely a metaphor sadly it was not. I could barely stand up, but a much more sober Cindarella stood by my side, told me I looked pretty in my shirt, talked smack about my ex and generally watched after me.

As we crossed 18th Street, a crowd of clearly strung out riff raff had congregated around the McDonald’s. One man, unshowered and barely coherent, looked at me and screamed “You shouldn’t be drinking when you are pregnant.”

I lost it.  This man had touched on a deep insecurity when I was already in a vulnerable place. I absolutely came unhinged on that corner. Crying in public probably ranks just above eating coconut and just below dating a blond on the list of things I aim not to do, so you know it had to be bad. Cindarella yelled at the guy but largely tended to me; she hugged me tight and got me in the nearest cab, fully knowing I could never bounce back from that. The evening was a wash.

Little did I know that after I left Cindarella chased that man down, fixing to give him a piece of her mind. He was nowhere to be found and this is probably for the best.  Cindarella is a force and not to be messed with but even I was surprised to hear she chased a CRACKHEAD IN TO AN ALLY for me. Of course when I heard this story I immediately thought about how afterschool special it would have been had she been shanked in that ally. (Kids, this will happen to you if you move in to the big city…) Praise Allah that I have somewhat cleaned up my act, that I haven’t cried in public since, that I have largely forgotten about the guy.  I also trashed the shirt.  Still, I can’t help and think of that story and still smile to this day. Screw “Chicken Soup for the Soul”; I had someone way better to turn to when the chips were down.

———————————————–

(Chicken stock is super easy to make and can be adapted to what you have on hand. Just throw some root vegetables in a pot with some chicken backs and necks, or in this instance a chicken carcass. All the measurements here are guesses; I promise you cannot screw this up.)

dscn1121

Chicken Stock

1 chicken carcass (I threw the left over carcass from the last chicken I roasted in the freezer and pulled it out for this purpose)

water

2 carrots, roughly chopped (I threw in a big handful of baby carrots instead)

3 celery stalks, roughly chopped

1 onion, quartered

Handful of flat leaf parsley

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon peppercorns (or a teaspoon ground pepper)

2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

Put chicken in large stock pot and cover with water. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 3 hours. Strain through a mesh strainer and skim off fat. Freeze or use within 5 days.

Read Full Post »

The Mouth

I don’t really know where the mouth came from truth be told.

As a kid we were not allowed to watch anything our parents’ believed could corrupt our young minds; “Three’s Company”, “90210” and “Beavis and Butthead” were banned in my house.  I think I have heard my mother swear twice my whole life.

Now I do remember the first time I said a naughty word.  I was in the woods, sitting on a monstrous rock, with my childhood best friend, Jennie.  (Isn’t every girl’s childhood best friend Jennie?)  We were 8-years-old and about an acre away from my house.  I wanted to be absolutely certain no one heard us.  Holding hands we both uttered the word “shit” and giggled.

It has gotten progressively worse over the years.  Readers and real life friends have witnessed my dirty verbal gems.  At times I don’t even know where they come from…I am beginning to think I am just inherently depraved.  At work I can hold it together, but in my day to day life I find it getting harder.  It is just a habit, like moisturizing or worrying about Britney Spears’ mental stability.  I do my best to respect my mother but I hear the phrase “Alexandra! Language!” with more and more frequency. She calls me Alexandra when she means business. The other day the “f word” slipped out when I was around my 6-year-old cousin.  He didn’t hear me, but I was really disappointed.  I try to be the best version of myself around him.

I’ve decided I am going to make an effort to be better.  While I do think the taboo regarding swearing is a bit ridiculous, I think I could benefit from using my words more.  I mean, I am not an idiot.  Not every sentence needs to make a sailor cringe.  This being said, a perfectly placed naughty word? Divine.

For instance, this chicken was fucking good.  Seriously. Fucking. Good.  Now I have made some roasted chicken in my day and this is hands down one of the best.  A friend of mine loves to make chicken breasts with lemon curd and I got the idea that I should roast a whole chicken using the same method.  Lo and behold, Cooking Light had beat me to the idea.  I have pasted their recipe below but I was really laid back about the whole thing.  I rinsed the chicken, patted it dry and stuffed a bunch of garlic, herbs, salt and pepper under the skin.  I threw a few lemons halves in the pan and stuffed a handful of herbs and a lemon half in the cavity.  After piercing the chicken a few times, I slathered the whole bird with some lemon curd. While it cooked I basted it several times.  After removing it from the oven, I made sure to let the bird sit for 15 minutes before carving.  This is an essential step for moist meat. What I love about this recipe is it does not require lubing up the chicken with fatty oil or butter; all the moisture comes from the tangy lemon curd.

I mean, doesn’t it look pretty fucking good?

dscn1089

Roasted Chicken with Lemon Curd
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Cooking spray
1/2 cup Lemon Curd
3 large lemons, halved
Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 450°.

Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.

Combine the rosemary and the next 4 ingredients (rosemary through garlic). Rub mixture under loosened skin, and rub over breast and drumsticks. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken.

Place the chicken, breast side up, on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Pierce the skin several times with a meat fork. Insert a meat thermometer into the meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone; brush chicken with Lemon Curd. Arrange lemons around chicken. (Note: I stuck half a lemon and some thyme sprigs, salt, and pepper in the cavity.) Bake at 450° for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° (do not remove chicken from oven), and bake for an additional 1 hour or until thermometer registers 180°. (Cover the chicken loosely with foil if it gets too brown.) Remove the chicken from the oven. Cover the chicken loosely with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes. Discard skin. Serve with lemon halves, and garnish with rosemary, if desired.

Read Full Post »

Identity Politics

When I was a little girl my grandmother would bring me to the library on the weekends. She actually brought me to this library:

woonsocket-fail

Perhaps this explains all the typos and my grammatical foibles?

I was way in to grimy puppets and the coloring and, of course, the books. I would always chat up the children’s librarian– there was never a shy fiber in my being. She and I were buddies, but she did one thing that always bothered me: she always jacked up my name. She tried to make it cutsey and, well, this annoyed me. One day I turned to her and said: “My name is Lemmy. L-E-M-M-Y. Lemmy.” I was three years old; I was also a live wire.  When I was in high school, I stopped in to this library with now close friend/then boyfriend B and the woman told him this story.  He was not at all surprised.

This is why it pains me so to call this chowder; a name is a serious thing. Chowder, at least to me, means something thick, heavy, and super creamy. This chowder, while hearty, is none of these things.  Skim milk keeps it healthy and the chipotle peppers keep it interesting.  It warms and fills you without making you feel leaden.  I had some odds and ends kicking around and this was the perfect meal to throw together to clean the fridge.  If you don’t have chipotles on hand, a jalapeno would be a good substitute; just throw it in when you sautee the peppers and scallions.  I have been eating this all week for lunch and it has been the perfect remedy to the cold and dreary weather.

So call it whatever you want; just know that it is good.

dscn1068

Southewestern Chicken Corn Chowder

1 TBSP olive oil

1 chicken breast diced

1 strip bacon, chopped finely

1 small red bell pepper, diced finely

6 scallions, white parts thinly sliced

2 TBSP flour

1 16 oz bag corn, thawed

1 3/4 cups (or a 14 oz can) chicken stock/broth

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced, plus 2 tsps adobo sauce

1 cup skim milk

Salt and pepper

In large soup pot over medium heat, heat oil and then cook chicken for about54 minutes (It does not need to be brown). Add bacon to pan and cook for about 3 minutes. (Note: by this point the chicken should be brown.) Remove chicken and bacon from pan. Add peppers and scallions to pan and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the flour in and cook for about a minute, while stirring. Add the corn, milk, broth, chipotle pepper and sauce, salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes and puree some of the mixture with an immersion blender-just stick it in the pot for about a minute (or scoop out about 2 cups and blend in blender). Add chicken, bacon and juices back to the soup. Cook for an additional 15 minutes. Serve with cheddar cheese.

Read Full Post »

Pow! Bam!

My cousin SuperBoy is 22 years younger than me. Being so much older makes me more like an aunt than a cousin to him…a wayward, indulgent aunt who caters to his every whim.  He isn’t my kid so I don’t have to suffer to consequences of him staying up late or eating an extra cookie…it is my job to be awesome cousin Lem and it is a job I take seriously. So what if playing with knives is a bad idea? He said please.

A few days before Christmas I headed over to SuperBoy and AuntLifeSaver’s house for our annual gift exchange. While his mom was on the phone, SuperBoy and I began roughhousing. I may look like a dainty flower, but I can throw down with the best of them. My brother would beat me mercilessly when we were kids and I don’t think anyone ever loses the fight that’s been instilled in them. Of course, SuperBoy weighs about 50 pounds, so I was very careful to not hurt him. As he stood on the arm of the couch and lept into my arms, I did my best to cushion every landing.

Tried? Did my best? You know this isn’t going to end well.

I knocked his tooth out.

Look, it was loose. Maybe it wasn’t quite ready to come out, but I think the tooth was nervous to leave the safe confines of his mouth. I nudged it out of his gums like a mama bird pushes her baby out of its nest. Plus, SuperBoy kicked me in the face and kneed me in the crotch several times. He had it coming.

As a testament to his encompassing awesomeness, SuperBoy could not contain his glee about the whole situation. He ran to the mirror and yelled:

I look like Alex Ovechkin!

If knocking the kid’s tooth out makes him that happy, I cannot wait to see the look on his face ten years from now when I buy him porn. Oh, little man, I hold the keys to your kingdom.

Three weeks later and the boy still doesn’t have even a smidge of new tooth poking through. All the photos from the holiday serve as a reminder of our holiday reenactment of The Wrestler. Of course, he is a rock star and he ate the hell out of some pizza with me on my birthday.   I would totally be slurping some soup, but I am not a 6-year-old boy. I don’t know if this bowl of soup would get that new tooth a moving, but it certainly is something marvelous.  It is super healthy–lots of protein and fiber–and tastes fantastic.  The cumin makes a bit smoky and it is a bit spicy without being overpowering thanks to the jalapeno and the chili powder.  it is comforting and flavorful and you don’t even have to feel bad about it.  I threw it together and could not have been happier with the results; I had this every day for a week for lunch and didn’t tire of it.  I used light chips on top, but baked or regular chips would work just as well.

So enjoy. If you don’t like this, don’t complain to me.  You might be looking for some dental work.

dscn0979

Tortilla Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 medium jalapeno, veined, deseeded and diced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 quart chicken stock

2 teaspoons cumin

Shake of chili powder (or to taste–can be omitted)

1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 large chicken breast, poached and shredded

1 can diced tomatoes (do not drain)

1/2 cup frozen corn

Salt and pepper to taste

Topping: crumbled tortillas

Heat oil in large stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, jalapeno, oregano and a pinch of salt to pot and sautee for about 5 minutes to soften vegetables. Add remaining ingredient and cook for about 30 minutes to heat through. The longer it sits the better. Serve with tortilla chips. Also great with cheese, avocados, sour cream…etc.

Read Full Post »

A Chance Had Passed

At 13, D, I thought you were the cat’s pajamas.

At 13, you were it. When I wasn’t letting you cheat off of me in English class, I was busy scribbling your name in hearts. I deemed your last name ideal. My initials wouldn’t have to change. Lemmy Lemmonex-L’Frenchy? Porntastic perfection. I had flipped my lid.

At 13, you didn’t like me in that way. That way was the only way I wanted you to like me.

At 13, I was an adolescent prone to histrionics, drama and platitudes. I would listen to Vanessa William’s sing “Save the Best for Last” and cry, thinking you would one day come to your senses. You would wake up and know I was waiting for you.

At 13, I just wanted to hold your hand and cheer your name at basketball games.

At 14, I got over you. I became sick of doing your homework and stroking your ego. Infatuation is a fickle bitch; it slinks away as fast as it slithers in.

At 25, D, you found me on MySpace. At 27, you came knocking on Facebook.

At 27, you scare me. You look like you have developed a drinking problem and a steroid addiction. Your veins bulge, your hairline retreats and your eyes have dulled. The 13-year-old heart that beats inside me breaks just a little.

At 27, D, I feel grief and sadness when I look at you. There once was a time when my immature, lovestruck heart wanted to wait for you. And now? I’m doing my best, and thankfully, I did not save myself for you. I hope you get healthy.

Yep, that is the low fat cornbread underneath.

Yep, that is the low fat cornbread underneath.

(I’ve saved the best for last… Healthy cooking month has come to an end, but I plan on continuing on the right path. When it is this good, it is not too hard to be healthy. Using extra lean ground turkey is usually kind of dicey–it can be very dry–but chili is the perfect home for it. Don’t let the chocolate scare you; this is not a sweet dish. The cocoa just adds depth and an unexpected flavor. This reheats perfectly for lunches and makes a ton of food.)

Turkey Chili

Nonstick spray

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 package extra lean ground turkey (about 1 1/3 lb)

3-14.5 oz cans various beans, rinsed (I used black, garbanzo, and small white beans)

1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes

1-6 oz. can tomato paste

1 tomato, diced (you can leave this out…I just needed to use one before it went bad)

2 teaspoons cumin

1 tablespoon chill powder

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

Salt and pepper

Spray large soup pot with nonstick spray. Add onions and garlic and cook for about 6 minutes, until softened. Add turkey to pot, breaking up with wooden spoon. When the meat has cooked, add remaining ingredients to the pot and cook for about 25-30 minutes.

————————

HEY! Where are you going? Make sure you click over to So Good and see what I am up to this week.

Read Full Post »

Comforted

My comforter in college could have served as a Rorschach Test.

Freshman year, I spilled a Spaghetti Lean Cuisine all over it, leaving a pinkish red stain in the middle.

Sophomore year, the year Old Man and I were drunk about 96.3% of the time, we managed to smear chocolate sauce (we were making peppermint patty shots–don’t judge!) and Chef Boyardee Ravioli all over the bottom half.

When I was a junior, I had a boy…well, he was a man at the age of 27…come over and we ate dinner on my bed. That’s when I dumped a bowl of artichoke ravioli with tomato sauce all over the end of the comforter.

Senior year? Dancing. Margaritas. Chips and Salsa. ‘Nuff said.

When I threw that comforter out at the end of those four years, I saw the remnants of way too much fun permanently stained in to the fabric. Also, I realized that I have a real hankering for carbs and quite possibly a raging case of the “dropsies”. (It is a real condition; wiki it.)

Oh, carbs, how I love you. I want to hold your hand…in public. I want to give you a backrub. I want to take long, hot showers with you until my fingers turn pruney and I have scalded every last scrap of skin off my back. I want to confess my deepest, darkest sins and fears to you and have you tell me “It’s ok, Lemmy. I still accept you.”

Carbs are comfort. Carbs are life. Carbs are a beacon of light in this mad, crazy world. I cannot live in a world lacking in their soft touch.

Luckily, I don’t have to cast them asunder. Of course, one cannot stay svelte eating huge bowls of pasta doused in parmesan and oil…but whole wheat pasta? Bring it on. Dr. Atkins can shove it. Growing up, I ate pasta at least twice a week and it is just something I am not willing to forgo. I came up with this chicken parmesan recipe as an excuse to eat a little bit of pasta, but it quickly turned in to the star.

Who wants some spaghetti when you can eat chicken covered in sauce and cheese? The panko breading is essential here. It is much crunchier than normal bread crumbs and holds up well to the the pan frying. Also, the parmesan mixed with the panko serves a dual purpose: it helps the chicken stay crispy, hence replicating a fried texture, and it permeates every single bite with cheese. I used chicken tenders for this recipe; they were on sale and cook a bit faster. This is one of my favorite, homey recipes. It is pure comfort food and not bad for you at all thanks to the egg beaters, whole wheat flour and low-fat cheese. It tastes so good it almost made me forget about the pasta. I could stare in to it’s eyes forever.

Just don’t drop it on the way to your bed…

Chicken Parmesan

Non stick spray

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 chicken breasts or 8 chicken tenders, pounded to 1/2″ thickness

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup egg beaters

2 teaspoons dry basil

2 tablespoons grated parmesan

1 cup panko bread crumbs

Salt and pepper

1 cup tomato sauce, jarred or fresh

1/2 c low fat mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Spray an oven proof dish with cooking spray.

Create breading station. These dishes should contain:

* Dish 1: flour, pinch salt, a few grinds of pepper
* Dish 2: egg beater, a few grinds of pepper
* Dish 3: panko, parmesan, dried basil

Heat a frying pan and add spray and 1 tablespoon oil. Dip each piece of chicken in your breading station (Dish one, then two, then three, obviously). Fry each piece of chicken for about 2 minutes on each side in hot pan and place in baking pan when done.

When all pieces are done, cover each with sauce and the mozzarella cheese. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes. Serve with whole wheat pasta.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »