Jmadchen's Blog Spot

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chinese Night and Mexican Night

Last night we had some friends over and I really had been wanting to make sweet & sour chicken, so I bought a jar at Freddies and combined it with some chicken chunks and peppers. I also pan fried some potstickers and made some rice in our rice maker. The only problem was the potstickers lived up to their name and actually stuck to the pan! Which is slightly embarrassing when you have company, but it ended up working out anyways. Dinner was delicious!!! We all loved it, so I will definitely have to make it again. Hooray for Chinese night!

Tonight I was in the mood for something south of the border. Chicken fajitas sounded like they would do the trick, so I cooked up some chicken in a pan and after they were done, I added the rest of the peppers from last night and some tomatoes plus a packet of Lawrys Fajita seasoning with about a half cup of water. I also heated some black beans and of course tortillas to put everything in. Wow, soo good! I think the smokiness of the seasoning made it extra yummy! Another success, this is getting kind of boring, I should have some disaster about now in my new cooking adventures :) Of course there is always tomorrow night!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Orange-tastic Chicken!

We just finished eating dinner and I have to say this time the Orange Chicken was delicious! This was my second time making the crockpot365 recipe for Orange Chicken and this time I modified it and left some things out. I made the chicken the way it says in the recipe except I dredged the chicken through some egg before the flour. The recipe for the sauce calls for orange juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, brown sugar and ketchup. Well we really didn't like the ketchup taste last time, so I left it out and instead I used soy sauce. I also added a tablespoon more of brown sugar and because I used soy sauce, I left the salt out. I think this really made the difference in the end. I was at a birthday party in the afternoon, so when I got home the chicken was ready and that meant I didn't have time to make rice, so I made a quick batch of couscous to with it. White rice probably would have made it more of a Chinese meal, but oh well it still tasted good with the couscous! Tomorrow I am going to try a glazed carrot recipe that I copied down from my friend so I am excited to try it out. Not sure yet on the main dish, I need to go to the store badly so we will see what find tonight or tomorrow when I go. More to come....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Potatoes drive me crazy!

Potatoes drive me crazy! The chicken turned out really good! I might add some more spices to it, but all in all it was pretty yummy. The potatoes on the other hand were rock hard! I had to broil them for awhile to get them somewhat soft and they were still under cooked. Should I have put the potatoes in with the chicken? Or cooked them separately? I just bought a big bag of potatoes so I am sort of stuck with them for awhile. I may try a different version of the potato soup I made before or just bake the suckers.

Also I think I am getting tired of chicken, so I am going to look online for some more recipes to try. I need inspiration! So more adventures to come!

Now back to more cooking adventures

It has been super busy and finally last night I felt like attempting to cook dinner again. I had been thinking about the Old Spaghetti Factory and their delicious mizithera cheese pasta dish and I decided I would make my own version, since I didn't have time to search for mizithera cheese. Anyone know where I can buy it? After realizing we had no fresh pasta in the house, Jacob had to make an emergency trip to the store and brought back 3 kinds of spaghetti. I went with the thin noodles and cooked them up. I then sauteed some chicken in my new pan and added salt and a healthy dose of pepper. I mixed the two together which was very hard by the way, I added parm cheese and an italian blend. You would think this would be enough but it really wasn't so I used the last of a jar of Triple Mushroom pasta sauce to spice it up. I really didn't think it was going to taste that good, I had so much trouble mixing everything and I was dissapointed because I really wanted mizithera cheese. I was pretty grumbly about the whole thing, maybe I was just hungry, I tend to get cranky if I don't eat :) Well dinner was wonderful in the end and Jacob loved it so that was enough for me.
Today I am sort of scrounging around in the cupboards to see what we have since William is taking his nap and I can't go to the store with him alone in the house. I think they take childeren away from their parents for that? ;) So I found more chicken breasts, big suprise since we have two costco size bags of chicken, and a can of sliced tomatoes, more mozzarella cheese, the last of the italian blend, and finally potatoes. I just got this all together so I am not sure how it will taste, but the chicken, tomatoes and cheese plus lemon pepper, garlic powder are all cooking in the crock pot with a barrier of aluminum foil and sliced up potatoes with olive oil and more lemon pepper on top. Stay tuned, I will give a review of my dinner later tonight.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Marinara Pesto Chicken

I got a little creative for dinner tonight and tried the Pesto Chicken recipe for a third time but added marinara sauce and a mix of cheeses. I watched the chicken closely this time and it ended up tasting better than all the other times I cooked chicken in my crockpot! I was very pleased! In addition to the chicken, I sliced up two potatoes and put them on a cookie sheet with olive oil and this lemon pepper blend that comes in a salt shaker. Oh my, those potatoes were soo yummy! Jacob LOVES potatoes, so he would be happy with them every night. The potatoes did take a really long time to cook though, so I may put them on broil next time. We ate early tonight because Jacob has a rehearsal with a singing group and can't eat too close to singing.

Anyways, we pretty much stayed in all day which was nice after a busy Saturday! Yesterday we went to my parent's house and they ended up watching my cousin's baby for awhile, which of course was just terrible that I got to see that adorable baby two days in a row :) My cousin and his wife in addition to her family were at the hospital again to see her grandmother. We watched the Duck game and decided to wallow in misery at Old Chicago pizza for dinner. The Oregon State game was on, so most of the restaurant was filled with Beaver fans except for this sad table in the corner with a father and son both decked out in Duck gear looking morose. At least the Beaver fans got to celebrate yesterday! I am not a huge sports fan or anything but my whole family went to the UofO and I did for 2 years, so we have to support the teams in good and bad times :)

Well I am off to an evening of relaxation before the very busy week ahead!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Babies and Taco Soup

Yesterday was soo eventful it was a good thing I wasn't planning on cooking anything! My good friend came over in the morning with her daughter and baby boy for a playdate with William. They had a really fun time playing and it was also fun to play with the baby. As soon as they left and I got William down for his nap, my best friend called and needed me to watch her baby because her grandmother unexpectedly had to go to the hospital. I was thrilled because her baby is also my cousin, she married my cousin, so I guess their baby is my first cousin once removed. Anyways, we had a fun time with him while he was here. You wouldn't believe this but literally as soon as they left, my girl friends were at the door for our planned girls night! Well the same friend that came in the morning, came that night too with her baby, so that was fun! All I was in charge of was making WW cupcakes which was super easy, a cake mix and 12oz of diet soda, I topped the cupcakes with non-fat coolwhip. They were yummy! We also had taco soup, corn bread and salad. I definitely want to try making the taco soup, maybe with some slight modifications. But it was healthy which I liked, so I would maybe only add a little cheese to it. When they left, I literally crashed into bed! William went down early after all the craziness of the day so that was nice! I had a really good time with my girlfriends and hope we can do it again soon! Well I don't know what today will bring, so we will see when it comes to dinner. I did get a good tip about twice baked potatoes that I do need to try at some point. Thank you Jenny for the tip! I was about to give up on the whole thing! Anyways, we may just eat leftover taco soup but I might try and see what modifications I can do to it...hmmm

Friday, November 06, 2009

More Pesto Please!

Everyone was running in different directions yesterday, so when William and I finally got home, Jacob was out running an errand. I put on one of William's favorite Baby Song videos and started dinner. I love pesto sauce so I was pretty excited to use it and after the pasta was done I practically poured the whole bottle in along with the chicken pieces and lots of cheese. It was delicious!! I also bought some french bread to go with it and dipped slices of bread in olive oil with balsamic vinegar. I love that, it makes me feel like I am in one of those Italian restaurants where they give you a plate with oil and vinegar to dip your fancy artisan bread in. Anyways, William and I ate before Jacob came home because we were starving, or at least I was! Jacob came home soon after and loved it too. So all in all it was a successful meal and no mishaps! Hooray! Tonight my girlfriends are coming over so all I am in charge of is dessert which will be 1 point chocolate cupcakes. I'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Twice baked potatoes?

I'm thinking this blog is going to end up being more of a humorous series of stories of my attempts at cooking. For example, yesterday I decided to try making twice baked potatoes again and I even bought sour cream and a new potato masher this time so it would turn out better than the first time. Well I heard that if you put a slit in the potatoes before cooking they will cook faster so I did that and put them in the oven for an hour. After an hour, I took the pan out and because I had trouble scooping the potato stuff out last time without ripping the skins apart, I had Jacob try. Well he ended up ripping the skins all to pieces and by that time we were soo hungry we didn't care and put everything into a ceramic bowl skins and all plus cheese and sour cream. I also added lots of pepper and a little salt. We put the bowl in the oven for 20 minutes and just ate the mash as it was. It actually tasted super yummy. But I do feel like I should try again at some point and see how people are able to scoop out the potato stuff without ripping the skins to shreds. Should I let the potatoes cool for a certain amount of time? I do admit however that I was in a bit of a hurry because on Wednesdays there is a show I watch at 7 and I wanted to have dinner before then and also have William in bed. Major feat but I managed to accomplish that so it made up for my potato failure. Oh well, tonight I am going to make pasta, chicken with pesto sauce and some type of cheese. I don't think I can do anything too terrible to that but we will see, stay tuned...