Monthly Archives: July 2010

Chicken Tacos

H and I have really enjoyed the enchiladas I posted before.  They have a few draw backs, however.  They are nearly completely uniform in texture, and they take 3 pans to make.  I was interested in chicken and Mexican food, but not 3 pans, and had a revelation.  I could make them into chicken tacos to solve all these issues.

1-2 lb chicken
1 can rotel
1 can green chiles
1 can salsa
lettuce
taco shells
sour cream
monterey cheese

Throw the chicken in the crock pot with the rotel, chiles, and salsa.  If it looks dry add a little water.  Let that cook while you’re away from the house, about 8 hours.  The longer it cooks, the easier the chicken will fall apart.

Make tacos with the above ingredients.  It is fantastic.  The only things dirtied are the crock pot and your plates.

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Two Front Teeth!

It took the dentist about 10 minutes to put in my new tooth bonding.  She then spent the next hour shaping, polishing, and beautifying my new tooth.  It is a superior tooth, better in shape and care than the one I have lost.  Yet, let us not forget the tooth that was with us for 8.33 years.  I bet you’re wondering what my new tooth looks like.  

I don’t want to brag, but my teeth are pretty much Jon Bon Jovi good.  We also have similar haircuts.  We’re basically twins except I have a cuter chin.

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It’s a Tooth Catastrophe!

I have no idea if I’ve previously mentioned this, so I will give a brief synopsis.  On the last day of my sophomore year of high school I was in a car accident as a passenger.  It was a driver’s side t-bone and led to me getting a new nose, biting off the tip of my tongue and breaking parts off my front two teeth on the dash.  One of the very first things we got checked was my mouth.  I felt so much more like myself once I had my teeth back.  They did, however, tell me that the bondings would not last forever and would have to be replaced eventually.  Apparently that time has come.

I was brushing my teeth last night and stupidly held the toothbrush in my mouth for a second while I did something else.  After I finished brushing my teeth, I felt something hard in my mouth.  Lo and behold it was half of my right front tooth.  As a result, I look like this lady.  I can’t get into the dentist until tomorrow morning at 9:00, so until then I will be self conscious and annoyed at myself.  I just hope they’ll be able to rebond the tooth because the dentist did tell me that bonding couldn’t be a forever solution. 

For work today, I stealthily slid the broken part back onto my tooth and it is sticking rather well, so no one knows but me right now, but it is still terribly terrible and upsetting.  Just call me Clem and move me to West Virginia.

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Bowtie Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms

6 oz farfalle pasta (whole wheat is better)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
12 oz mixture of mushrooms (Whatever type will be fine)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups spinach
1 tsp thyme leaves, chopped
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp shredded Parmesan

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

When the pasta is half finished, heat oil over medium heat.  Then add onion, mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, and until the mushrooms have begun to brown. Stir in spinach, thyme and pepper and cook until spinach is slightly wilted, about 1 minute.

Toss mushroom and spinach mixture with pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

This one was really easy, although I don’t know how I feel about it long term.  It was really garlicy and oniony.  That isn’t necessarily bad, but didn’t have enough other flavors in it.  The concept is good, we just might reduce the amount of aromatics and add something else for a better sauce next time.

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

As we are going on vacation this weekend to H’s family reunion I figured I would share what we’re bringing.  It is Buffalo Chicken Dip.  It’s not healthy, but tastes good.

2 pounds of chicken (this can vary some)
2 8 oz packages of reduced fat cream cheese.  (Don’t get the fat free stuff because it gets a weird texture.)
1 cup ranch dressing
*1/2 cup of hot sauce (we use Frank’s)
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

* The recipe actually calls for 3/4 of a cup of hot sauce, but we have some wimpy stomachs in our family (like me!) so I put in 1/2 cup and then let people add hot sauce at their leisure.  This allows people of all stomach fortitudes to enjoy the buffalo chicken dip.

We precook the chicken the night before so it is cooked for assembly.  Throw everything in the crock pot and let it combine for a couple hours, until heated through.  Then have at it.  We enjoy it with a mixture of celery and tortilla chips.

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I Got Told

Instead of a proper honeymoon, H and I decided to do several honeymoon activities over the first year of our marriage.  This included our Chicago trip and now going to Jersey Boys in Des Moines.  Our first “date” when I was 14 and he was 15 was at Aida in New York on a band trip, so musicals are somewhat special in our relationship.

When we got to the theatre, one of the first things I noticed was that the concentration of older people was much higher than I anticipated.  I figured out eventually that it was probably because this music was what they listened to growing up.  Franky Valli and the Four Seasons were their biggest from 1962 to 1968, so people in their mid-60s to mid70s would have enjoyed that music most.

I have no problem with older adults and continued on my merry way, having a nice date with my husband.  When the show started, the lady sitting beside me was a nonentity, at least until they got to the song Sherry.  You know the one: “Sheh-ehh-ehh-eh-eh-eh-ry Bay-ay-bee. (Sherry Baby)”  All of a sudden she was singing along.  No, she was “singing” along.  I had to put quotes around that because that woman was tone deaf.  She was speaking along painfully.  I shot her a few death glares before I had to say something.  She looked wounded but was quiet.

Then, there were some clapping portions of the show where audience participation was encouraged.  This is standard fare for concert activities, so H and I were clapping along while my neighbor was throwing her hands together so erratically that you have had no idea she thought she was clapping.  It boggled my mind. I even tried to subtlely clap in her direction to help her out, with no success.

When the show ended, we got up to leave with all the rest of the audience when the lady says to me with a creepy claw hand gesture as reflected in today’s picture, “My generation had the best music!”  She said it in a tone that people might equate with the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz.  I had no response to give, so I turned and walked out of the theatre with H.

I got told by the old lady at the musical.  I got told.

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Skillet Lasagna

I am a lasagna making superstar.  Quiet the applause.  I really am.  What makes this special, is that you make it in a skillet, which cuts the total work time down to about an hour (or at least that was what it took me starting with frozen meat.)  I listed the ingredients in sections because they are used in those groupings. Here’s the breakdown:

Section 1

1 lb lean ground beef
2 tbsp dried minced onion
3 Cloves Garlic (minced)

Section 2

1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1-1/4 cup water
8 oz tomato sauce
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
2-1/2 cup broken up whole wheat lasagna noodles

Section 3

1 cup fat free cottage cheese
1/4 cup fat free grated Parmesan cheese
Dash Italian Seasoning and Pepper
1 egg
Shredded part skim mozzarella cheese for garnish

To prepare this skillet lasagna masterpiece, start by browning the meat.  Once it has a little color, maybe halfway through, add the onion and garlic.  I added a little water with them to help the onion reconstitute.

Once the meat is browned add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water, oregano, parsley, and Italian seasoning.  Give that a good stir and then add the broken up noodles.  Make sure that you mix them in well because they’ve got to cook in the liquid and absorb a fair bit of it.  Let that simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the noodles are tender all the way through.  Make sure you stir every 5 minutes or so to keep the moisture even.

While it’s simmering combine the cottage cheese, Parmesan, egg, Italian seasoning, and pepper.  I was pretty liberal with the pepper because there wasn’t any in the rest of the dish.  Once your noodles are tender drop the cottage cheese mixture on top by spoonfuls.  I spread it out a little bit once it was on to make the layer even.  Let that cook for 5 minutes.

Finally, spread the grated mozzarella on top.  Let it melt, then serve.

It is basically lasagna’s ugly cousin without any of the soupiness issues that lasagna can get.  It was a hit at my house.

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