Saturday, August 24, 2013

If it's not one thing...

So. Our youngest son had an interview today and since the truck needs brakes and steering work, hubby's been taking my car, which meant I had to take him to work this morning. He keeps saying he's not working this Saturday, and every Friday, they ask him to come in. So anyway, we come downstairs to take the dogs out to only to find Maverick's  left cheek all swollen. That was NOT like that last night! And of course it's the weekend and the vet isn't open till Monday. If I thought it was life threatening, yeah, id find a way to pay an emergency vet, but he's acting fine, eating, drinking, and playing, so we're keeping an eye on it and calling the vet Monday morning. I had my son hold him as still as he could (all the men in my family are big softies...the never hold the animals tight enough for fear of hurting them even when it's for their own good) while I put some peroxide on it.

I don't know what the hell happened, but he has like a scratch/cut/whatever in the middle if the swelling. He was in his kennel all night so I'm clueless.

Then I have been dying for some good potato salad. The store bought stuff makes me gag. So, I put some potatoes on to boil....and proceeded to forget about them and took a nap as I haven't been sleeping well. All the water boiled off. Hubby was taking the dogs out and saw it. *sigh*. So I'm all upset because we're having burgers and I'm thinking the potatoes are going to be too soft for salad and WTF can you make with mashed potatoes that would go with burgers???

So, I though I would try some fried potato patties and started peeling. Whoa. Wait a minute...they weren't *that* soft! So I put eggs on to boil and cut the potatoes. Cut them a little bigger than usual just so they wouldn't fall apart so easy. Then, instead of spooning mayo on top and stirring, then adding mustard and so on, stirring after each, I mixed the dressing up in a bowl and added it after the eggs and onions were in with the potatoes so there was only one stirring. Turned out GREAT!

Now, I would love to share the recipe...but I don't measure any of the ingredients. So...I'll tell you what I put in and let you measure to taste.

I make a lot because we love it and it goes fast. So...this is about what I use.

6-8 medium potatoes. Boiled with the skin on. This keeps them from rubbing together in the water and getting really mushy.
4-5 eggs, boiled, peeled, and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2-3 C. Mayo
1/2 C. Mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Now, if you like it more or less tart, add more or less mustard.

Peel the potatoes once they're cool.  You can use your fingers as the skin should come right off.  Cut them into bite sized pieces. Mix everything together and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Grilled Shoyu Chicken

Chicken was on sale, so my freezer is full! Love getting just thighs rather than leg quarters. Fewer bones. Anyway, that meant I needed some good recipes! I've made this before, but not for a long time, and it was def a hit!

I was going to just throw it in the oven, then hubs came in and asked if I wanted him to grill it. Awww shucks! Ya twisted my arm!

The whole back yard smelled heavenly!  He said the neighbor, who was trimming some bushes, was sniffing our way the whole time, too!  Gotta love making something so good that just the smell has the neighbors jealous!

Made cheddar mashed potatoes and he threw some corn on the cob on the grill, too. I had my corn after the chicken and potatoes because I loveeee corn on the cob and didn't want chicken and potatoes on it.

Grilled Shoyu Chicken

Chicken pieces to feed everyone (bones in or out, but adjust cooking time for boneless), skin removed
1 C water
1 C soy sauce
1 C brown sugar
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 t pepper
1 T paprika
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 t ginger

Combine everything except the chicken in a ziploc or large bowl and mix well.  Add chicken, making sure the meaty sides are covered. Chill 1 hour.

Place meat on heated grill, turned medium low. For bone in chicken, cook about an hour, or until juices run clear.  For boneless, cook about 30 minutes, or till juices run clear.

This can also be baked at 350 for about the same cook times listed above.

Hubby brushed the marinade over the meat as it cooked. Just remember to never use marinade that has had raw meat soaking in it unless it is to baste meat that is still cooking or place the marinade in a pan and bring it to a boil, then let it boil 5 minutes, before using! Otherwise, you may well get food poisoning.

The potatoes in the pic were just mashed with milk and butter. Then I added some salt and 2 cups of shredded cheddar.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nacho Stuffed Shells

This has been a favorite for years. It's a little labor intensive, but worth it. I planned it last night, when I actually felt like cooking. Unlike today. Blah. Oh, well. Hubby offered to pick up Chinese, but damn that gets expensive with four of us! So...our oldest son is going to a concert at the state fair tomorrow. Guess what the rest of us are having for dinner ;)

Speaking of my oldest, he finally, after sitting on his butt all summer and twanging my last nerve repeatedly, contacted the college he wants to attend. Went in and started the ball rolling. Yay! And my youngest is now a mere 8 pounds from enlisting. With all that's now going on, I'm not as enthusiastic as I otherwise would have been, but it's what he wants. Hey, maybe, in another 5-10 years, hubby and I will have the house to ourselves!


Nacho Stuffed Shells

16 oz. Box jumbo shells
1 lb ground beef
16 oz. Can refried beans
1 C. Salsa
16 oz. Can tomato sauce
2 C. Shredded cheese of your choice
1 packet taco meat seasoning
1 C. Water

Cook shells according to package directions.
While pasta cooks, brown beef in a large skillet.
Drain both meat and pasta. Cover shells with cold water. Stir water and seasoning into meat, simmer 10 minutes. Stir in beans and half of cheese. Heat to melt cheese.
Combine tomato sauce and salsa.
Heat oven to 350.
Spread 1 C. Salsa mixture over bottom of 10x14" baking dish. Fill each shell with about 2 T meat mixture and arrange in the baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over filled shells and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Cover with foil and bake 25-30 minutes.

Friday, August 9, 2013


So I was wanting hot wings. Really, really wanting them! Of course it was like 11pm, I never do things the easy way. So o go to the grocery store. I believe I have already told you that I'm cheap, right? So when I see my choices, I got inventive.
See, they had small boxes of like 6 winglets (you know, not the whole wing, just half) for like $4. Seriously? So I move on. They have  4 pound bag of frozen winglets, plain, just cut and frozen, for $8. Better, but all I want is a snack, not a meal for the family! OK, let's look at the fresh wings. Now I remember when wings were all but free because nobody wanted them. Now they're as much as chicken breast! I. Don't. Think. So!

What to do? Hmmmm. Well, I *do* have a package of chicken breast thawing in the fridge. There's more than I'll need for dinner...yeah! That'll work!
Now these were bone in breast halves, so they included the tenders. They're not heavily breaded, either, but quick and pretty good!  Oh, and I don't do the butter in the hot sauce thing, but if you prefer it that way, feel free.

Hot Fingers

1 large chicken breast half, cut into strips
1/2 cup flour
1 T Cajun seasoning
Hot sauce

Combine flour And Cajun seasoning in a medium bowl. Add chicken strips and toss to coat.
Heat oil in a large skillet, then add chicken a little at a time so it doesn't clump together. Fry about 10 minutes or till cooked through.  Remove to paper towels to drain. In a bowl, add as much hot sauce as you like, add chicken, and toss to coat.
* there's really enough for 2 people for a snack or one for a meal, but...they really were good!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chicken Parmesan

This is such an easy meal and sooooo good! It's nice when the store has chicken breast on sale and I can stock up. I actually prefer the bone in breasts. It's not hard to de-bone it and as a bonus, you get the tenders, too. Not to mention, the bone in is usually cheaper than the boneless even when the boneless is n sale.

So, they had the bone n breasts for 99¢ a pound, so I bought like 15 pounds. When your freezer is full of the all the same meat, you have to get creative! And I have, but this is a favorite.

Now, my husband is NOT a fan of chicken breast. In fact, if I cook them as is, he won't touch them. They have to be cut up or shredded in some kind of dish or pounded thin. So, I pound them down to about 1/2" thick before I use them. The also cook faster this way, so if you want to skip this step, you'll have to adjust the cooking time. Also, he doesn't like the meat smothered in the pasta sauce and baked, so that's another option.  We also like a lot of sauce, so if you don't, one jar will do.

Chicken Parmesan

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3/4 C. Breadcrumbs
1/2 C. Grated Parmesan
1/2 C. Shredded mozzarella
16 oz. Pasta, whatever shape you like
2 jars pasta sauce

Heat oven to 250.

Place each chicken breast half between layers of plastic wrap and pound to 1/2" thick.
In a plate, combine Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Coat each breast in this mixture.
Heat oil in a large skillet and cook chicken until juices run clear and it is no longer pink.

While the chicken is cooking, heat a large pot of water to boiling and cook pasta according to package directions.

When chicken is done, place it in a baking dish, sprinkle with mozzarella, then with extra breadcrumbs and cover with foil. Place in oven.

In the same skillet, heat pasta sauce until heated through. You can pour some or all of this over the chicken if you like, cover, and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Serve chicken with pasta and sauce.