Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

the return to real life

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

I graduate in two months and two and a half weeks.

It’s all very exciting.

IMG 2853

Doesn’t he look excited about my upcoming graduation party? (Yes, I’m planning the party months in advance. It’s nice to have things to look forward to – dontcha think?)

The thing about graduating is that when you graduate, you sort of have to find a job. Tomorrow I have my first interview. Today, I did a lot of prep.

IMG 2856

I spent some time with my computer, reviewing the company’s website and my resume.

IMG 2857

I painted my nails. (I realize they’re not as beautiful as they could be, but this was before I cleaned up the edges. And also I don’t intend to let anyone get this close to my hands tomorrow – instead I shall keep them at a distance where they are like ‘ooo pale pink how nice’).

IMG 2855

I picked out my outfit.

(That’s it, folded neatly (ha) onto my dresser under my mini bedroom art gallery.)

IMG 2854

I had to do all of this while Crockett packed for his Tahoe snowboard vacation. He’ll be gone for five days, which is fine, except he won’t be here to debrief me from my interview.

He tried to make up for that by pre-debriefing at The Empire. He tried something new:

IMG 2859

pan roasted chicken with potatoes.

I went with the usual:

IMG 2860

 

calamari salad.

I know, I’m predictable. I plan to list that as one of my strengths during my interview.

Why no, I’m not working today

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Today and tomorrow are fall break!

And yesterday was Crockett’s birthday!

If your definition of epic is ‘yeah, that was pretty awesome’, then it’s been an epic weekend. (If your definition of epic is the actual definition of epic then I apologize for how I like to use it.)

On Friday we went out with a few of Crockett’s friends. For 10 hours. (We met the early birds at a 4 pm happy hour and stayed out with the latecomers until after midnight – who’s 33 now, huh?)

me and crockett at empire

Based on the reactions on facebook, this is the most best my hair has ever looked.

How could I not share that with you?

On Saturday we recuperated.

On Sunday, birthday funday really began.

We started with brunch at Lola, one of Crockett’s favorite places.

IMG 2608

IMG 2607

It was nice enough that we could sit on the patio. (Please excuse my dirty camera lens.)

I told the host and our server that it was Crockett’s birthday. He told me to stop. I said ‘not on your life’.

IMG 2611

And then we got free cinnamon sugar doughnuts, proving pretty soundly that I was right and he was wrong.

Ha.

IMG 2610

We ordered brunch drinks – a peach mimosa for me and a bloody maria for the birthday boy, and then got down to doughnut eating while we made our meal choices.

IMG 2612

And while Crockett fielded birthday calls, left and right.

He’s apparently quite popular.

IMG 2613

Here’s the thing about fried food. It may be guilt inducing, sometimes. It may be overkill, sometimes.

Sometimes, though? It’s perfect. These doughnuts were warm and crispy and every single bite was absolutely necessary.

Lola is a little tough for me – they have a lot of bell peppers in their hashes and stuff. I went with a safe choice.

IMG 2614

Chicken and waffles.

Wait, did I say safe?

I meant delicious. It was a brined chicken breast with buttermilk waffles (I think), chorizo gravy, and a raspberry chipotle syrup. I made Crockett a bite right off, so that I wouldn’t eat it all before he got to try it.

IMG 2616

For his own meal, Crockett went for the pulled pork benedict, served on chile cornmeal muffins.

It was tasty, but it was no chicken and waffles.

IMG 2619

I also caved and ordered coffee. I’m trying to move away from coffee in restaurants, because I keep getting refills and then I feel a little jittery until mid-afternoon. Sure, I could just turn down the refills, but it’s better if I don’t have to put myself in that position. I’m not strong like that.

IMG 2623

A chicken waffleicious bite, right there.

IMG 2625

Lola is in a really great neighborhood of Denver, and they’re one of the locations where you can rent these bikes. You pay $6 for the day, and can take a bike from any location for up to half an hour for free. It’s kind of expensive, but we had some time to kill before our next stop, so we rented a couple and rode around the neighborhood, looking at adorable houses and new condos and dreaming of a slightly more urban life. When we brought the bikes back, we realized we still had some time to kill, so we checked them out again and rode over the highway into downtown Denver. We tooled around for half an hour, through the parks – it was a very effective way to rid ourselves of our brunch induced desire to nap.

IMG 2626

It’s a good thing, because our big event for the day was pretty physical. Indoor skydiving!

(Those two people are not us.)

IMG 2631

These two people are us.

Once we started the skydiving, I had to lock up all my stuff, so I don’t have any pictures. I do have a video, but in general it was like this – we laid on our stomachs in the wind and tried really hard to learn what some people make look easy.

We were pretty good, honestly.

Afterwards, we went to Crockett’s brothers house for dinner and delicious homemade Italian style cheesecake.

It was a lovely day.

Happy birthday, baby!

Google Foodle

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

I got to go to the Boulder Google offices today.

As much as I wanted to, I didn’t walk around taking pictures of everything - but I did find two things necessary to document.

Obviously I took this with my phone – it had to happen. A nice woman told us we could help ourselves to anything in any of the kitchens. She said this and I turned around to find that I was standing in front of a row of Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay bottles.

The second is the weird lunch I managed to put together in the Google cafeteria. It’s chicken, beans, nacho cheese, guacamole, cottage cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, and salad dressing. (Eaten under an umbrella outside.)

I had access to the best food that Google had to offer, and I still remained sugar free. I turned down nachos and taquitos, pita and naan, and tres leches cake and tiramisu.

I have so much will power it’s oozing out of my over-proteined pores.

(Those cookies aren’t mine, I swear.)

P.S. The food was corporate cafeteria good. If it had been restaurant good, I would have gone back for every single one of those things that I turned down the first time around.

soooo slow

Monday, September 12th, 2011

My head is full of…

well, snot.

Dude, what. I know it’s gross. Trust me, it’s grosser when it’s your head. My advisor thinks it’s because she made me collect the homework in from the undergraduate Probability & Statistics course that I’m TAing. I think it’s because every single person I know is sick.

I’ve actually made some tasty food, despite wonky taste buds.

This was loosely based on these Honey-Glazed Chicken, Peach, and Sweet Potato Skewers, but instead of skewering them I essentially stewed them. It was sort of complicated – I transfered things in and out of bowls several times – but the main change I made was to pop up the glaze with some fish sauce and some soy sauce.

Delish.

(P.S. My pictures are smaller. I’m not sure why. I’ll figure it out later.)

On Friday I spent 9 hours on campus.

I spent three of them laying in the shade of this tree.

Due to my fuzzy head, I woke up 20 minutes before I needed to leave the house, so I bought lunch. Hellllo Asian Chicken Salad.

The wasps enjoyed it as well.

There is literally nothing more comforting than corn dogs.

Macaroni and cheese? Pshaw.

Veggie hot dogs wrapped in corn batter is where it’s at.

For realz.

Dog.

it’s that time again

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Yes, it’s school time again.

It’s also been a year since I had my first cholesterol test ever and they told me that I was basically about to die.

Fine. I’m exaggerating.

But it wasn’t good.

My doc recommended South Beach, and I tried for awhile, and then got cranky because I eat (fairly) well and I exercise and South Beach seems to be geared towards those who don’t. My dad has high cholesterol. My grandma had high cholesterol (and was in her 90s when she passed away).

Of course, they both took medication.

Anyway, I’m going to make an appointment tomorrow to see if last year was a fluke, or if eating more oatmeal somehow worked a miracle.

(Cough*I don’t know if oatmeal can touch 279 but I can sure hope*cough).

If it didn’t, I may consider medication.

Now that I said all that, let me show you the terrible care I’ve been taking of my heart this week.

Chips and beer at Chili’s. (Girl date.)

Steak with Crockett when I got home that evening. (That is the piece I ate, so at least I’m practicing good portion control. That’s important, right?) Plus, everyone knows avocados are full of heart healthy fats, and those sauteed greens with summer squash were done in a non-stick pan with just a smidge – a SMIDGE I say – of olive oil.

After that, I figured I had a window where my heart would be so busy with the steak that it wouldn’t even notice more red meat headed its way.

You know, how the second cookie totally has fewer calories than the first.

My dad brought me some venison green chili, made with venison that I pulled out of me and Crockett’s freezer. (It entered the freezer before I moved in and I’m not entirely sure where it came from.) Since I have no idea what to do with venison, I let my dad fool around with it.

I poached a couple of eggs directly in the chili and ate it on my way to school.

Turns out I like venison when it’s super hot. The closer it got to room temperature, the more it tasted like something you shot in the woods.

I didn’t finish it. If I’d been eating at home, I would have just kept nuking it and happily devoured the whole bowl.

Last night we had a birthday party to go to, and the night before we had snacks on the town (including frozen yogurt from The LoCoYo, a new do-it-yourself place in town that I would totally move directly into if I could).

Tonight I did two important things. First, I got back on the lean meat and lots of veggies bandwagon.

Second, as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a sampel of the new KC Masterpiece Buffalo Marinade. I actually used it as a marinade for pulled chicken that I put on a pizza way back before we left for NY, but a) I didn’t take pictures and b) the crust (homemade) was TERRIBLE – too salty and floppy and never really stopped being damp. Yeah, terrible. Tonight, I went simple.

Crockett was in Golden watching stage six of the US Pro Cycling Challenge until late afternoon, so I threw some mostly defrosted breasts into the marinade to throw on the grill when he got home.

Of course, by then it was raining, so ‘the grill’ became ‘the Foreman grill’.

Still totally worked. I ate mine with some of the light blue cheese dressing I’m madly in love with spread on top. Crockett just plain dipped bites of his into the dressing.

I am a huge fan of buffalo flavor (my favorite salad and my boyfriend both have their roots in Buffalo) and this doesn’t disappoint. This is the second pound of chicken I’ve used it on, and there’s probably another pounds worth in the bottle.

With it, we had tomato and cucumber salad with cornbread (based on this recipe). I made some substitutions (mint for the cilantro, reduced fat feta for the cojita, and crumbles of my dad’s cornbread recipe for the cornbread croutons) and it was perfect.

See? As along as you totally ignore the first two things meals I showed you, I am taking excellent care of my heart.

I hope my doctor doesn’t read this.

chicken guuuud

Friday, May 13th, 2011

5th element? Anyone?

Bueller?

Anyway, I have had this nutso craving for Eastern hemisphere food. I think that it’s perhaps because I was writing about fair trade and rice and stuff for so long… or maybe not. Anyway, Japanese, Chinese, Indian – I want it all.

(Is India in the Eastern hemisphere? How does one define east and west on a big ball in space?)

Rawwww chicken, yo.

Aren’t Crockett’s metal skewer thing-a-ma-bobbers cool?

This is Tandoori Chicken, from Budget Bytes. I think that if I had to pick one food blog from which to cook forever and ever, it would be Budget Bytes. Plus, I think me and Beth would be friends if, you know, we lived in the same place and knew each other. Of course, I think that about everyone in the food blog world. And it’s probably mostly true.

Tandoori Chicken Kebabs
Slightly adapted from Budget Bytes

Serves 2 – 3

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion (not red)
  • thumb size piece of fresh ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • generous 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (in my opinion, turmeric is mostly for color – if you don’t have this, no need to rush out and buy some)
  1. Trim any major fat off the chicken and cut it into evenly sized chunks or long strips. Strips will have more tandoori flavor but chunks will stay more moist – I did two skewers of strips and one of chunks. If you have precut tenders they’re probably perfect already. Put the chicken in a big bowl or ziploc bag.
  2. Cut the onion into big chunks. Finely chop garlic and peel and grate the ginger. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and the rest of the ingredients to the bag with the chicken. Close the top and mix all of the ingredients well. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for four to twenty-four hours. Don’t skimp.
  3. When you’re ready, start your grill going. If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least half an hour before starting the grill, and then go buy some metal skewers so you won’t have to do that anymore. Pull the chicken out of the refrigerator and either line the chunks up or stick the slices on in an s-shape. If you like onion, you can skewer chunks of onion between the chicken.
  4. Put the skewers on the medium heat part of the grill for four minutes, and then flip them and cook for two to three more.
  5. Serve with rice, salad, and/or naan (if you have naan, you can heat that on the grill as well).

You might want to think about making extra.

So close

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

I am done with everything but my 20 page term paper on the implications of Fair Trade on global poverty levels.

I have been avoiding this paper for a month.

It’s due at 11 on Thursday, and I basically just started this afternoon. I mean, I’ve been ‘researching’ it for several weeks, but when I looked at what I had this afternoon when I put pen to paper I realized I was missing ~75% of the actual research I needed.

For the past two days, one of my avoidance methods has been cooking. Oh, and organizing my recipes. I just started using MacGourmet – any experience, anyone? I’m all in now, so I’m using it either way, but I’m not as pleased as I’d hoped. Mostly I bookmarked recipes I wanted to try before, but that had the potential for things to get lost in the morass, so this is definitely an upgrade.

One of the lost recipes was Sweet Pea’s Kitchen Baked Chicken Fingers.

We ate them with homemade baked beans and mustard to dip them in, and they were pretty tasty. They were even better the next day, sliced up for open faced sandwiches with a garlic herb cheese spread and strawberry jam, as shown above.

I totally didn’t used to get panko. What, I said to myself, could be so freaking special about bread crumbs?

Yeah, I’m not very smart sometimes.

Also, there are these artichoke croquette thingies that… ok, I missed it when I made them the first time (I mean, I was there, but we had a bunch of people over and I didn’t manage to take pictures before they got all snapped up), but I’ll make them again and then share them with you guys. SO GOOD.

Anyway.

This weekend I did some homework, and made some chocolate chip cookies so that our cookie jar didn’t look all sad and lonely.

Don’t worry, I made more than this. The rest are in the freezer. I’m rationing.

Also, we went to Lowe’s.

While we were driving home with my plants, it started to snow.

Since I suspected that seedlings wouldn’t do so well in the snow, I relocated them all to the front window. Those two flowers in front are the extent of my ornamental purchases. Behing them is some special ground cover kind of basil, romaine, corn, peppers (NOT bell)…

… thai basil, genovese basil, sage, mint, greek oregano, and probably something else I’m forgetting.

I also bought a whole bunch of seeds to plant around these – it’s the best combination of instant gratification and self control.

As you can see, our front window is sort of a greenhouse thing. It has glass on all three sides and the ceiling. It’s been killing my plants since I moved in.

I solved that problem by turning it into the desert.

An alien cactus dessert.

Some miniature Jade trees.

A grafted cactus.

Are you asking yourself if these plants are in a bowl, a gravy boat, and a mug, respectively?

Yes, yes they are.

These are all things that I used before I moved. We integrated our favorite things, and some crockery just didn’t make the cut – which doesn’t mean I can’t use it.

Also? A GIGANTIC yucca.

Oh wait, I mean a mini Yucca.

Ok, fine – perhaps it’s roughly a head sized yucca.

Way to ruin my fun.

For dinner that night I found my self starving allofasuddenhadtoeatRIGHTTHEN.

I made a super quick quasi-ramen – the broth is water with a little soy sauce, ketchup, siracha, and rice vinegar. I just boiled it up and poured it over some soba noodles and some microwaved stir fry vegetables.

Classy? No.

Stomach void filling? Yes.

Ok. Coffee. Fair trade. Poor people. Etc.

Later dudes.

la la

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Could you tell that ‘la la’ was the Gilmore Girls soundtrack? No?

I’m on Season 5 now.

That’s pretty much it, for what you’ve missed. I studied. I got a new laptop that, despite being exactly like my old laptop, wouldn’t take the pictures from my camera.

I figured it out. By the way.

This is Deb’s tomato and corn pie.

Yes, it’s a pie made with biscuit dough and filled with tomatoes and corn … and mayonnaise and cheese. Don’t let that throw you.

Crockett changed his statement that my grapefruit scones are the best thing he’s ever eaten. Now he says it’s this.

This is where I ate my leftover tomato and corn pie. My office on campus doesn’t have a window, and this place under the stairs had plenty.

This is the chicken that Crockett assaulted with a PBR can.

He said this and drowning your enemies is the only appropriate use of PBR.

He stuck a can up it’s patootie and then he made it dance.

Then we allowed it to cook in the most dignified manner we could find. Turns out, a chicken with a can up it’s butt looks roughly the same when it’s being dignified as it does when it’s dancing.

Cloey enjoyed the sunshine.

I started eating summer fruit.

Hellllllllo mangos.

Crockett and I watched the Sabres play game 5 of their series against the Philadelphia Flyers.

This is the face of a man who likes watching his team win.

Sadly, they lost the next two games and they’re now out of the playoffs.

I actually found myself caring a little bit.

I made chicken and then covered it with cheese, and then put all of the leftovers in our fridge in a pan until they were cooked, and then put the chicken on top of the leftovers. It seemed like a good idea.

It wasn’t, so much.

Our apple tree is flowering.

Isn’t it nice?

I’m trying not to think about all of the apples that will eventually grow from these flowers and fall into the grass and be eaten by puppies. And then thrown up onto our carpet.

I’m just thinking about the flowers.

These, folks, are the best of the 200+ pictures that I’ve taken since I was last able to upload pictures.

tooooo many strawberries

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

I am such a gigantic sucker for enormous containers of reasonably priced fruit.

Even when I look at all of the containers and see that several of them have already crossed over the line into visible mold.

And I suspect that said visible mold might be the source of the reasonable price.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m rapidly losing strawberries to gross softness and, yes, mold.

I had to combine them with these wacky organic frosted mini wheats that I bought awhile ago and put on top of the fridge and then forgot about.

Sure, they LOOK ok – that’s how they get you.

Ok, fine. They weren’t all bad. I’m guessing I have about eight hours to deal with the remaining pound, though.

I’m thinking New York Cheesecake with strawberry sauce.

Two nights ago I made chicken parmesan.

That doesn’t have anything to do with strawberries.

Crockett remembers chicken parm as being cafeteria food, so I though I’d see if I could improve upon it.

Chicken Parmesan
Inspired by a Cooking Light recipe I can no longer find

Two chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup grated romano cheese (yes, this does remove it the ‘parmesan’ from chicken parm – I like romano more so this is what I keep on hand)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1-2 egg whites or 1/4 cup purchased egg white
1 cup tomato sauce (I bought mine – I’m half Italian, sue me)
3/4 cup grated mozzarella

  1. Heat your oven to 400, and grab an oven safe dish that will about hold your two flattened breasts.
  2. Ha.
  3. Mix together the flour, cheese, salt, and pepper in a flat dish or on a plate.
  4. Pour the egg whites into another flat dish.
  5. Put the chicken somewhere safe and cover it with plastic wrap, and then smack the thick halves of the breasts a bunch of times until it’s they’re the same thickness as the thin halves. (The plastic wrap is to stop chicken juice from getting everywhere with each wack. It’s possible that I’m too enthusiastic about this part.)
  6. Put a non-stick pan on the stovetop over medium high heat.
  7. Rinse the wacked breasts off and pat them dry with paper towels, and then dip them in the egg, and then lay each side in the flour cheese mix. You know how chicken breasts have a smooth side and a craggy side? Start with the craggy side, then flip for the smooth side, then lift the breast into the hot pan. Do the same with the other breast, and while the bottoms (smooth sides) brown, use your fingers to sprinkle any leftover flour mixture onto the top in areas that didn’t get a lot of coverage.
  8. When the bottoms are brown, flip and brown the top sides.
  9. Pour two quarter cup piles of tomato sauce into your dish, and place a breast on each. Top them each with half of the remaining sauce, and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the mozzarella is browned around the edges and the chicken is cooked through.

Honestly, I’m not sure I NAILED it, but I beat the hell out of Crockett’s elementary school experience, so I’m placing this at least tentatively in the win column.

 

torta rustica (i.e. meat cake)

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Crockett’s papa is visiting, and we’ve been mostly gabbing and drinking wine all weekend. I made him a coffee cake (which I’ll post the recipe for later, because it was pretty tasty and is holding up remarkably well), but I also had signed on as a volunteer recipe tester for the ‘your best recipe with fresh ricotta‘ contest. I have had problems with completing my testing on time before, but I happened to have some fresh ricotta in the fridge, and I couldn’t pass up this recipe.

It’s essentially a savory ricotta cheesecake with romano and salami, baked inside a giant sugar cookie.

See? Giant sugar cookie.

Full of cheese and salami.

I kept going – man, this is weird, and then taking another bite.

And then my piece was all gone.

So I started in on the ones I’d cut for Crockett and his dad.

Apparently I liked it.

Since  I was testing it, I was very faithful to the recipe (except that I cut it in half), so I’m not going to reprint it. It’s here, if you feel like making a sweet meat cake of your very own.

That’s not all I ate yesterday, of course.

I had some muesli, to pre-soak up all the nitrates that were undoubtably in the salami.

And some chicken chili, while doing homework.

Apparently the hanta virus isn’t affecting my appetite.

Or my desire to pose goofy with Crockett.

P.S. I don’t really have the hanta virus (probably). I spent a large part of the weekend cleaning out the garage of my condo, and a lot of mice have – ahem – left their mark there. Now I have a fluey chest cold type thing. Draw your own conclusions. Both Crockett and my girlfriend Star have drawn the conclusion that I’m a hypochondriac – which isn’t completely unfair, so jump on that bandwagon, if you’d like.