Food and weight-maintenence blog for the POST diet girl

Archive for the ‘Chicken’ Category

5 minutes

Once again, I made muffins for breakfast in my test kitchen:

Miss P’s Test Kitchen: Experiment #3 – Spiced Buttermilk Muffins

Taken from: http://www.mylifeasamrs.com/2012/01/spiced-buttermilk-muffins.html

The most moist 7 delicious spiced muffins!

Ingredients:

For the Muffins:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon buttermilk

For the Streusel Topping:
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice

Directions:

For the Streusel Topping:
Combine ingredients in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.

For the Muffins:

Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare muffin tins with muffin papers or parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer) cream together the sugar and butter until thoroughly mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, allspice, and cinnamon. Slowly add the flour and the buttermilk to the sugar/butter mixture (alternating wet with dry) and mix at low speed until smooth and combined well.

Fill each of the prepared muffin tins about 3/4 full with the batter. Add a rounded tablespoon of the streusel topping on top of each muffin cup of batter. Bake immediately so the topping doesn’t sink to the bottom of the muffin.

Bake for 20-28 minutes, until golden brown and when a toothpick is inserted into the middle of the muffin it comes out clean. (Oven temps vary, so check the muffins after 20 minutes).

Serve hot!

*I baked these at 350° for 21 minutes. I was disappointed in using butter instead of oil, they simply were not very moist because of this. So from now on, I will use oil. They didn’t burn or brown too much on the outside, but still had an awfully thick “shell” of brownness around them. Hm…perhaps it is the baking pan I am using? I’ve heard that since it is a darker colour that it may not be the optimum tool for the job as they tend to cook the outsides too fast. To test this theory, I will try my ceramic pan tomorrow. Then the next day my lighter-coloured aluminum ones.

I do highly recommend the spices in this recipe, if nothing else. So far, I liked the first combination of ingredients the best as they rose really well, but preferred the second temperature/baking time. I will try again tomorrow!

Lunch:

Usual.

I did give one of these to G. I stopped by work in the evening to say hi and bring him baked goods. He was elated to see me. That made me feel wonderful about myself. He complimented me so much in the 5 minutes I was there, I nearly cried. He treats me so much better than any other man ever has.

It’s crazy when 5 minutes can change your entire outlook on the day. And make you feel like the most beautiful, most amazing woman in the world.

Dinner:

Strawberry Balsamic Chicken on Couscous

Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/strawberry-balsamic-chicken/

Ingredients:
4 (8 ounce) containers strawberry
yogurt
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 large strawberries
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, sugar, pepper, cinnamon and salt. Place chicken breast halves in a shallow baking dish, and pour the sauce over them. Refrigerate for 1 hour, turning chicken over half way through.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape the marinade off of the chicken breasts, and place them into the hot oil. Quickly brown the chicken on both sides, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let rest for 3 minutes.
3. While the chicken is cooking, transfer the marinade to a saucepan. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat. Remove stems from strawberries, and slice thinly so they will fan nicely. Set aside.
4. Slice chicken breasts on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place on serving plates, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the marinade over each chicken breast, and fan one sliced strawberry over the top. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh mint and parsley. If you really love balsamic vinegar, finish the dish off with an artful drizzle.

*Okay, I in no way made it like this at all. But I WANT to at some point. I bascially just cooked some chicken breast strips with olive oil, onions, mushrooms and strawberries, added the balsamic, yogurt, sugar, and spices mix and served it on couscous. I will make this properly at some point, but not tonight. I just wanted to get this done fast and don’t have time to let the chicken marinate properly.

Still haven’t been able to get back to the gym yet. I was working from home all day, I did very well and got a lot accomplished! I am still working out a time that I can get there.

Distinct lack of 4:30 AM

Not that it was terrible or anything waking up that early, but my sense of time disorientation yesterday left me feeling that maybe I could use a little more sleep. I slept until 8:30.

I decided to try something different for breakfast since raspberries were on sale and I actually had time to make something.

Breakfast:

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Scones with Dark Chocolate Raspberry sauce (made by my dad)

Scone recipe taken from: http://www.joyofbaking.com/RaspberryScones.html

Ingredients

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour

1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (75 grams) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

2 ounces dark chocolate chunks or chips (about 1/2 cup) (50 grams)

3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk plain yogurt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Added: 3 T dark cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.  Stir in the chocolate chunks (chips) and raspberries. In a small measuring cup whisk together the yogurt, vanilla extract, and egg. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently four or five times and then pat, or roll, the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut the dough into eight triangles. Place the scones on the baking sheet.

Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

*Now, if I were to have done these correctly and just followed the recipe exactly, they would have been perfect. But I had to go and fuck them up by adding too much liquid. I decided the dough was too dry (even though for scones the dough is SUPPOSED to be dry as they are supposed to be more dense…UHG!) and added 2-3 T more liquid. Dumb, dumb, dumb. So these were more like scone-shaped muffins instead of scones. I means, they tasted good and had they been MUFFINS they would have been perfect! But I wasn’t making muffins, I was making scones. Idiot! There will always be a next time, though. At least I drizzled my dad’s dark chocolate raspberry sauce on them, which made them even more wonderful! I’ll get this baking thing down yet!!! I will not be defeated!!!

Lunch:

I skipped lunch today. I think it was because I had a late, large breakfast (I ate all four of those muffin scones…) and had a LOT of running around to do. I called a mechanic today. This will be my last day without a car. I will get it towed and fixed tomorrow. I’m so happy I could cry, but I also do enjoy walking. So I went on one last long walk.

Dinner:

Orange Chicken

Crispy chicken recipe taken from: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1639,152180-247202,00.html

SEASONED FLOUR:

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning

Combine all ingredients and set aside.

CRISPY BATTER:

2/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 beaten egg yolk
3/4 c. flat beer or water

Combine flour and seasonings in medium bowl. Combine egg yolk and beer or water. Add gradually to dry ingredients. Heat Crisco to 365 degrees in deep saucepan or deep fryer to a depth of about 2 inches. Moisten chicken pieces. Dip in seasoned flour, then batter, then back in seasoned flour. Fry in hot Crisco for 15 to 18 minutes, or until well browned. Drain on paper. Serves 4.

Orange sauce recipe taken from: http://thenoshery.com/2010/03/19/better-than-takeout-orange-chicken/

Orange Sauce

1 ½ cups water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ginger root, minced
½ teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

In a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.

Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired garnish with green onions.

NOTE: I also added sauteed carrots to this dish. Carrots and orange go very well together!

*YES! YES YES YES! I finally made a crispy chicken that STAYED crispy in sauce! It just had a nice, light crisp to it, it wasn’t KFC or anything. It was PERFECT! I loved it! The seasoning for the fried chicken itself was not exactly suited for a Chinese dish, but was delicious none the less! I am so proud! It was a fantastic sauce recipe, too. I highly encourage you to try it!

 

I will be calling my brother first thing in the morning to get my car taken care of. Wow. A car. It’s hard to imagine it now since I’ve been walking for miles and miles every day for 4 months now. Damn.

Exercise: 6 mile walk

4:30 AM – Day 1

Working at 7 AM has it’s perks. The earlier mornings lead to longer evenings to do other things. Either fun things, second jobs, or perhaps running errands. They also mean that one has the opportunity to work 2 of those hours customer-free and are left alone to finish work efficiently. Ah, the quiet serenity of early mornings!

Breakfast:

2 hours in the morning before leaving on the half-hour walk to work, for myself, is ideal. A little over 1 hour to wake myself up properly, relax, play around on the internet, make coffee, have breakfast, maybe answer some questions for my customers.  At about 10 till 6:00, I start the water in my shower, pick out something to wear for work and lay it out on my bed, jump into the hot water for around 5-10 minutes, dry my hair, throw on some eyeliner, and get dressed. Normally, a couple of chores are in order, washing the dishes that were used for breakfast that morning, putting away anything that may have been left out from the evening before (I prefer to leave a clean house), and say goodbye to whomever I was chatting with on the computer.

Then I leave for a pitch-black walk. The sun won’t even start rising until 45 minutes after I’m already there.

When I get there, no matter how great I looked when I left, I look like absolute crap. The wind tousles my hair too much and I look awful. Uhg. Every time. Luckily G is not here today.

I had half of a cranberry sandwich and soup for lunch.

After work I had to walk to buy more supplies. Then home. Then start and finish a project. So I pulled double-duty today. I will be doing this for the next couple of days as well.

Dinner:

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Chicken Pot Pie

Taken from: http://nummynumnum.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/butternut-squash-mushroom-chicken-pot-pie/

1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth (preferably homemade)
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. olive oil
6 slices center-cut bacon
3 portabella mushroom caps, cleaned and diced (about 3 cups)
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 cup diced onions
2 lb. chicken breasts and thighs, diced
salt to taste
buttermilk biscuits (make your own if you can, but I can’t bake)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the butternut squash, milk, chicken broth and garlic in a small pot and set over medium-low heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the smoked paprika and set aside.
  2. While the squash cooks, set a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the oil and the bacon and the onions. Saute until the bacon begins to crisp and the onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and cook through, about 10 more minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Grease a casserole dish. Place the contents of the skillet in the baking dish, then ladle the butternut squash puree evenly over the top. Halve the biscuits and place them in an even layer over the top.
  5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the biscuits are cooked through and golden. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before servings.

Biscuits AB style

From: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/southern-biscuits-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

 

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.

 

Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that’s life.)

 

Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

*Delicious!!! I couldn’t eat all of it, I made way too much. So I just threw the rest out. Leftovers are just not practical for someone like me. I just don’t ever, ever eat them.

Restraint

I made sort of a lavish breakfast this morning as I have these apples I must use. I was very proud of myself in that I didn’t smash on the entire batch. I also didn’t necessarily TRY to limit myself. While I was eating them, I decided, “I am full. I do not wish to eat any more.” I put the rest into a ziplock bag and froze them for another time. I am happy with this seemingly small accomplishment. Listening to our bodies is so much harder than it’s made out to be.

Breakfast:

Apple Breakfast Puffs

Taken from: http://www.mangiodasola.com/2009/10/apple-breakfast-puffs.html

3 cups AP flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening (Crisco)
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used buttermilk)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 sticks butter
1 apple (peeled, cored, and diced into small cubes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups (I used “Baker’s Joy”, like Pioneer Woman). Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk mixture, and set aside.

In a different bowl (I used the stand mixer bowl), cream together sugar and shortening, then add eggs and mix. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to creamed mixture, beating (until the flour is mostly incorporated) after each addition and ending with the flour. Fold in chopped apples. (Make sure you do not overmix so that the puffs do not come out tough.)

Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden. In a bowl, melt 1 1/2 sticks butter. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip baked muffins in butter, coating thoroughly, then coat with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

*I made these into mini-muffins, sort of doughnut hole style! They were slightly overbaked, but otherwise addictive! I have all sorts of new baking pans and still have yet to get used to them. I also desperately need an oven thermometer. That would greatly help my oven temperature situation.

Lunch:

I also had a little applesauce with this. But not a lot.

After my sammich, I went on a massively long ass walk. There’s always so much I need to friggin do, I swear. I will have my car back so very soon, I keep telling myself. I love to walk, but it will save me so much time if sometimes I had my car. It normally takes me about 3 hours to walk (what would be) a 10 minute drive up the street, shop for supplies, walk to the grocery store, shop for food, then walk home. In the end, if I had a car and needed the time more than I needed the exercise, I could have all of this done in about 1 hour. I really need my car.

Dinner:

Cashew and Coconut Milk Curry with Chicken and Peas

I wrote down everything I put into it. I’m getting MUCH better at that! I wanted to put A LOT more peas into this dish, but ran out, so I substitutes with the little bit of broccoli I had left. I will write what I WANTED in this as opposed to what I actually used.

Peanut Oil
1 boneless, skinless Chicken breast, cubed
Onion, sliced
1/2 cup Peas
1 t Mustard Seed
1/2 T Cumin
1/2 T Garam Masala
1 t Cayenne Pepper (I like my stuff hot, you may choose to use less)
1 t Onion Powder
1/2 c Cashews, divided
1 t Sugar
1/2 c Coconut Milk
1/3 c Crushed Tomatoes
1 T Tomato Paste
1/3 c Chicken Stock (or however much you feel you want in it to thin your sauce out)
1 T Honey
S&P
Lime juice (garnish)
Sour Cream (garnish)

Blend 1/4 – 1/3 cup of the cashews in a food processor with about 1 t of sugar until smooth (like peanut butter). This may take a while (but totally worth it).  Cook the chicken in peanut oil until no longer pink in the middle. Remove from pan and set aside. Cook the onions, peas, reserved cashews, and mustard seed in the same pan until the onions become translucent and the mustard seeds start to pop (you may add more peanut oil if necessary). Add other spices and cook about 1 minute longer. Add coconut milk, cashew butter, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and honey. Cook to desired thickness on medium heat. If you should want the sauce a bit thinner, add chicken stock. Add chicken back into the pan and heat through. Sprinkle on some fresh lime juice and serve on sticky rice with a dollop of sour cream.

*One of the very best concoctions I do. I love adding cashew butter to dishes! It is very Indian-style and I would have served it on Basmati rice if I had any. Toasting the spices before adding the liquids helps to release the flavour and aromatics, so don’t skip this step! Someday, I would like to buy my spices for these dishes whole and grind them myself. I am working on being rich enough to do this on a consistent basis.

It was nice to get a lot of things done today errand-wise, but I did not get as much work done for my business as I would have hoped. Then again, I spent my morning making mini-muffins instead of working, knowing full well my errands would suck up a large portion of my time today. Well, the joy of baking simply MUST take precedence every once in a while to keep one sane!

Exercise: 8 mile walk

I won something!

What an odd morning!

I’d put off getting some work done (also probably put off proper blogging) to randomly join a chat sponsored by Gevalia coffee. It’s something I guess they do every Thursday morning. They also offer prizes to participants. I thought, “Eh…sure! What the hell?” and jumped into the chatroom. I quickly turned the conversation in the room toward food and made everyone hungry. Then at the end of the chat, they told me that I had won. How they choose their winners, I have no idea, but I won! So basically, I got to talk about food for an hour and then got free coffee. Life is great!

Breakfast:

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

Taken from: http://ladywiththeredrocker.com/2012/01/12/pumpkin-baked-oatmeal/

6 cups quick oats
1½ sticks of butter (melted)
1 cup brown sugar (You can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking. You can also use part sugar and part honey if you like.)
1 cup canned pumpkin
¾ tsp. salt
3 eggs
2 cups milk
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ pecans, chopped (optional, but oohhh so good! :D )

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl, mix well, and pour into a 9×13 baking dish.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning bake at 350° for 20 minutes with foil off.

*Next time, I would like to do an overnight version of this. It was really good, but felt it was a bit dry. I’m not sure if more liquid would help or if maybe letting it soak overnight would help. I did use honey instead of sugar and also didn’t put any other kind of crazy crumble on top. I tried keeping this simple so I didn’t go overboard with the unnecessary calories. I put a dollop of Greek yogurt on top. I had 2 small servings of this and threw out the rest. I made a 1/3 recipe.

Lunch:

You guessed it.

Dinner:

Ginger Pear Chicken

Sorry about the two different light sources in the picture. I’m sure no one else notices that sort of thing but me. Still…

Taken from: http://busycooks.about.com/od/chickenbreastrecipes/r/gingerpearchick.htm

Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger root
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 pears, peeled and sliced

Preparation:

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper and dredge each in flour. In heavy skillet, combine olive oil and butter over medium heat. When foamy, add chicken; brown on both sides but do not cook through, about 5 minutes total. Remove chicken to plate.Increase heat to medium high; add ginger root and onion to drippings remaining in skillet. Cook and stir until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Return chicken to skillet along with pear slices; reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 6-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened. Serve over couscous or hot cooked rice.

*I of course only made one of these, not six. Hehe. I followed the recipe exactly save for the added broccoli that I put in. I liked this. It was simple, easy, and delicious! I would make it this way again.

I was going to go out with a friend of mine tonight, but she turned out to be too tired. No matter, I worked until late. I didn’t stop till around 11 pm. It was a good day for food!

Exercise: 3.5 mile walk (I now have an iPod nano, those have a pedometer built in! Holy shit!)

Love letters

I’d had a love letter waiting to surprise G with for about a week. I meant to slip it onto the windshield of his car that day, but as it turned out it was supposed to rain and of course the idea of my very important letter getting rained on was not tolerable.

So I snuck it under his windshield wiper today on my walk. I knew he wouldn’t see it. One of the times we were out there was this NEON green flyer someone stuck there during the time we were away from the car and as I noticed its presence immediately upon walking up to it, it took him getting into the car, turning the car on, and practically backing out of his parking spot to notice that it was there. Clearly he would not see it. So make sure that wiper it holding it down really good…it’ll be on the highway for a little while…

The note simply had a heart drawn on it. After that my initial. It was in a small envelope with a “G” scrawled on the front and sealed with a wax heart.

I wandered back home and worked for the rest of the day. At 4:30 I received a call from him (though I missed it because my phone was still on vibrate from my walk and I didn’t hear it ring…dammit…) but didn’t actually get to speak with him until he got home. He’d finally noticed it was there….while he was on the highway. He pulled off into a city about 20 minutes away to grab it. He called to let me know he’d found it. He wrote me later on Facebook with a “heart” at the end of his musings.

As silly as it sounds, this made me immensely happy.

I didn’t have anything incredibly exciting for breakfast or lunch, but I had a pretty cool dinner:

Chicken with Peach Tomato Sauce on Angel Hair

Taken from: http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/2011/08/recipe-pasta-with-tomato-peach-sauce.html

Ingredients

  • 4 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large peaches, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 8 oz pasta

Instructions

  1. In a lightly oiled 9×13-inch baking dish, stir together the tomatoes, peaches, onions, olive oil, salt, cinnamon, black pepper and chipotle chili powder.  In a 450 degree oven, roast uncovered, stirring at least twice during cooking, until the ingredients have softened and thickened, about 40 minutes.  Stir in chickpeas, tarragon and balsamic vinegar.
  2. When the sauce has been roasting for about 25 minutes, bring salted water to a boil in a large pot.  Stir in pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain well.
  3. Mix the pasta with the sauce.  Divide among four warm bowls and top with feta cheese.
  4. *I added chicken and a big pinch of sugar to this and cut the chickpeas. I would have loved to add those, but didn’t have any. This was really oddly good! You’re never sure if some of the fruit/meat combinations you come up with will work, but this was wonderful! I don’t think there is anything that I would do differently!

    Tomorrow we are seeing a live event being broadcast into theaters. It’s going to be a 5 hour “movie” basically. We’ll be getting some coffee beforehand. Of course it’ll be a good day.

Busy and Dateless (the story of my life)

Date with PFH#1 did not happen today.

I ran around all day grocery and paint shopping.

I only spent $30 on food and it should feed me for the rest of the month without much issue.

I bought black spray paint to paint my entertainment center thing with because it was cheap. But it also sucked. A lot. So I took it back and bought real paint instead.

Then I spent the next couple hours painting in the hot sun. It was awesome. I love being out in the sun. I am no longer the pasty super-white goth girl that I used to be. The sun is like a drug for me. And in a way the Vitamin D you get from is really is like a drug.

PFH#1 spent the day packing and getting ready for his trip.

It’s ok. I have PFH#3 taking care of me tomorrow.

I am certain to let #1 know this. That another man is happy to pick up where he is slacking. That I adore this man’s company and am greatly looking forward to being with him tomorrow.

He has to know that at the moment I can be lost. I am not tied town and I will not sit around and wait for someone.

He is understanding this.

Breakfast:

I skipped breakfast due to that huge dinner I had last night. Wasn’t hungry.

Lunch:

I dunno, I was running around like a busy ass crazy person all day, I didn’t leave a lot of time for lunch, so I just grabbed an apple.

Dinner:

Tangy Cherry Chicken

Taken from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/tangy-cherry-chicken-recipe2/index.html

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves, about 6 sprigs (Left out, did not have)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup pignoli (pine nuts) a couple of handfuls (I used almonds)
  • 3 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped (No celery, so I left this out too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
  • 1 cup dry white wine, 1/4 of a bottle (Used red wine)
  • 1 cup dried cherries, a couple of handfuls (Used fresh cherries instead of dried)
  • 2 cups plain couscous (Used arborio rice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, eyeball it
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, eyeball it
  • 1/4 cup honey, eyeball a healthy drizzling
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • Generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with the 3 turns of the pan of extra-virgin olive oil, about 3 tablespoons. Season chicken liberally with half of the thyme, salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

In the bottom of a medium sauce pot, heat and toast pine nuts over moderate heat and remove. Add 2 cups stock and 1 tablespoon butter to the pot and bring to a boil.

Return the chicken skillet to the burner over medium-high heat, add 1 turn of the pan of extra-virgin olive oil, add the onion, celery, crushed red pepper flakes, nutmeg, salt and pepper, cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the celery and onions are tender. Add the white wine, and cook until the pan is almost dry, 1 minute. Add the 2 cups boiling chicken stock, and dried cherries and continue to cook for about 5 to 6 minutes or until there is only about 1/2 cup of liquid left in the pan. Turn the heat off the under the pan. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons cold butter in small pieces and whisk until it has completely melted.

In a medium saucepan bring the remaining 1 cup chicken stock to a boil, add couscous, allspice, cinnamon and a little salt. Cover pot and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Drizzle honey over the couscous and add the pine nuts, scallions and parsley. Toss and fluff with a fork to combine.

Serve the chicken whole or sliced with cherry sauce poured over it and couscous alongside. Dark seared greens or simple salad complete the meal.

*This would have been better had I added some pureed cherries or cherry juice to it somehow. I cooked the cherries for too long and they lost a lot of their sweetness. I will fix this next time. Otherwise it was still good! Just not as good as it could have been.

It was such a ridiculously long day, I didn’t even mind not going out. I would have had very little energy left to give on my date. So its ok. I am very much looking forward to the movie tomorrow. I have to be at work at 8 AM for a store meeting, I already know its going to be incredibly annoying walking there since every single employee who works there is going to be heading in ALL AT THE SAME TIME and will INSIST on picking me up. People don’t understand that I’m not walking because I have to, I’m walking because I WANT to. This is an incredibly difficult concept for most people to understand.

But I’ll get to see both Potential Future Husband #2 and Potential Future Husband #3 there. Such great guys. I love them.

Exercise:  Taking apart entertainment center, painting entertainment center (2 coats) in the heat, dragging each piece up to my apartment and re-assembling it