11 Ways to Cook Your Goose….er Chicken: Day Five

This whole '11 Days of Chicken' thing is much harder than I thought it would be. Just shows to go ya how very sick of chicken, and food, I am, in general. While others think that fusion cooking is some spectacular, Foodie-Heaven creation, in this house, it happens on a regular basis, mainly due to lack of organization and planning. You go with what you've got and what sounds good....who cares about keeping a theme. So, having chicken that I needed to use last night, this is what I came up with. Pretty simple, yet fairly tasty and completely confused.

Confusion Chicken

Kitchen Tools
Confusing Your Chicken
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Cover cutting board with plastic wrap, set chicken boobs on board, then cover them with additional plastic wrap
  • Beat the meat. Yes I said that. Beat it, till the boobs are flattened to approximately 1/2 inch in thickness
  • Uncover the chicken and discard the top layer of wrap. 
  • Add olive oil to skillet and heat on medium-high (7-8 on my stove) 
  • Sprinkle chicken rub generously over the top side of each boob, feel free to actually RUB it in, if you wish
  • Spritz the top sides with Salad Spritzer, about 5-6 sprays for each piece. 
  • Pour on a small amount of honey teryaki marinade, about 1 tbs for each piece then gently rub it around, to coat the side.  
  • Place the chicken in the skillet, seasoned side down
  • Repeat the seasoning process to the naked sides once they are in the skillet. 
  • Cook approximately 4 minutes per side, until the sauce starts to carmelize and even burn a bit....(adds  even more flavor!) 
  • Place cooked chicken on baking sheet or pie pan and place in oven to finish cooking through, about 10-15 minutes
I served it with this funky quinoa concoction (Ginger Sesame, I believe) and some sauteed zucchini and red peppers.  I tossed some chicken broth in the skillet, loosened up all the burnt/cooked marinade, dumped it out, then added the veggies and sauteed for about 10 minutes on medium, till they were completely cooked through. Add some Insa-LITE-a Caprese, and you've got a meal. 

This meal, to be precise: 

To be honest, I'm not too impressed with quinoa thus far in the game.  This is the second time I've tried a quinoa product, and perhaps I'm not cooking it right, but it just seems to feel funky in the mouth. The flavor itself, not so bad, just the texture, like it's not cooked properly. I'm not a big fan of 'al dente' texture...I like things, like rice, pasta, etc., to be just a hint past 'al dente' about right before overcooked and squishy. The next time, and last time if it turns out shitty again, I try quinoa, it will be completely plain, fresh, no added flavors or other grains.....and then we'll see if it's me or the quinoa. 

If your a quinoa expert, please do share your secrets!  


You Say Tomato, I Say Caprese...

A long time ago and far, far away, I learned about Insalata Caprese from that Italian/Californian chef Michael Chiarello. I was watching PBS, as I usually do, and he made some very large, very unwieldy, stacked salad with a few large slices of tomato, a SLAB of moozarellllllle (which is how I hear it when proper Italians say the word), and basil. Since then, I've revised.....and today, I revised it even further to try to increase the health value whilst decreasing the fat content. Kind of hard with cheese, but every little bit counts, eh?

So, to go with tonight's chicken, whose preparation technique remains undecided, I bring you a light-hearted version of Insalata Caprese:

Insa-LITE-a Caprese

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, washed
  • 6-7 large, fresh basil leaves, also washed, then patted dry
  • 1/3 c red onion, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 8 oz package fresh Mozzarella cheese
  • Wish Bone Salad Spritzers Balsamic Breeze
  • Kosher salt-just a pinch or two

  • Cutting board
  • Salad bowl or bowl of your choosing
  • Plastic wrap or a lid for the bowl
  • Knife
  • Spoon or spatula

What to do....

  • Cut each grape tomato in half. Yeah, it's labor-intensive, for about 5 minutes. 
  • Make a fancy chiffonade out of the basil. Failing that, roll the leaves together, then slice thinly through all layers. VOILA: Chiffonade. 
  • Cut and peel at least 1/2 of a red onion, and thinly slice off 6 to 8 slices. Chop those slices in half or in thirds, depending on how large you want your onion chunks. 
  • Throw everything in the bowl, like this: 
  • Cut off at least four slices of Mozzarella, maybe about 1/2 inch thick, using approximately 6 of the 8 ounces. (I don't have any clue why I insist upon capitalizing Mozzarella..I just do) 

  • Cut the slices into cubes, like so: pile the slices into a stack, cut into 4-6 rows in one direction, the 4-6 rows in the next direction, so as to create little squares. I am having a brain fart right now, so I cannot recall how you would properly define the amount of turn it would take. I wanna say a quarter-turn, but it's not sounding right. Just make CUBES! 
  • Add cheese to the veggies and basil and sprinkle with 1-2 pinches of kosher salt 
  • Spritz the entire salad with the Balsamic Breeze dressing, approximately 7-8 times then stir to evenly coat the salad 
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid, and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow all the flavors time to get properly acquainted. 
  • Eat. It. 

Altogether, it wasn't really THAT unhealthy to begin with, it was just dressed with approximately 1/4 cup of olive oil. Huge amount of fat there, so in hopes of decreasing fat, I opted for the Salad Spritzer dressing, which rolls in at 1 gram of fat and 10 calories, or less, considering that I used less than the 10-spray serving size. The cheese...ah, the cheese....it's actually not TOO bad either...a 1 oz. serving has 5 grams o' fat and 70 calories, so, take that times 6 oz. used, and you get 30 grams fat, 420 calories....but then, a salad of THIS size will effective serve at least 3 people, so you have 10 grams of fat and 140 calories, per serving, in cheese.  No fat and very little calories in the tomatoes, onions and basil.....so effectively, you get a side salad with 143.33333 calories and 10.3333333 g of fat. 

Serve it with a grilled boob o' chicken and some sort of baked potato, rice, or another veggie, in steamed format and you're doing really well, whilst holding on to a ton of flavor!  


Mixing Up the Green

Whilst the elders of our families are around, I continue to be stuck with salad detail on Turkey Day.  Once I made the entire meal for the entire family. Once. The whole shebang: the resident roasted turkey, cornbread/sausage stuffing, homemade mashed potatoes, sweet potato pie, and spinach/artichoke dip and veggies, etc. etc. etc.......

Since I get stuck with salad prep at least once per year, I like to make it interesting. I refuse to make the standard iceberg bowl with cheddar, tomatoes, onions and croutons. Nope, not me. You want salad from me, come prepared for a salad the likes of which you've probably never heard of nor seen.  Yesterday was no exception.

A whole bunch of stuff was on sale or I had a coupon during last week's journey to the market of supers......so I got organic greens and spinach on clearance, a pomegranate, some pomegranate vinaigrette and goat cheese. Pecans, too.  Here's what happened to it:

Mixed Up Greens with Pecans, Pomegranate and Goat Cheese


  • Earthbound Farms Organic Baby Spinach (1 container)
  • Earthbound Farms Organic Herb Blend (1 container) 
  • Dole Classic Romaine (1/3 to 1/2 bag) 
  • Iceberg lettuce (about 1/4 of a head) 
  • Alouette Crumbled Goat Cheese
  • 1 whole pomegranate
  • Marzetti Simply Dressed Pomegranate Vinaigrette
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 small bag whole pecans
  • 1 tbs butter
  • Wishbone Salad Spritzers-Balsamic Breeze
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
Kitchen Tools
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Spatula
  • Skillet
  • Small bowl for pomegranate seed harvesting
  • Large Salad Bowl (make the salad in the serving bowl, keeps it neater that way....) 
  • Meat tenderizer/mallet
  • Fork
Tossing Your Salad
  • Melt butter in skillet over medium heat
  • Pound pecans, still in bag, with meat mallet, til partially crumbled. Doesn't have to be precise, just pound a few times on both sides to break up some nuts! 
  • Add crushed pecans to skillet and spray 5-7 times with Salad Spritzers Balsamic Breeze. 
  • Add brown sugar and stir to coat pecans evenly with dressing, butter and sugar. 
  • Let them go for about 1-3 minutes on medium, until sugar is completely melted. 
  • Spread the nuts around the pan, evenly, breaking up any large clumps, remove from heat and allow to cool completely. 

  • Add all greens to the salad bowl, removing any wilted or discolored bits as you find them. Packaged salads are already washed so you don't need to wash any of the greens. 

  • Cut off the ends of the shallot, peel and thinly slice the entire bulb, then break it up into smaller bits and sprinkle over the greens

  • Wash the pomegranate and cut off one end to reveal the seeds. 
  • Here's where the fun begins. There's a reason why pomegranate products are so 'spensive...it's a labor-intensive process to reveal all those juicy lil seeds whilst keeping all the pith at bay. So, what I did was to slice through a piece of the skin, from top to bottom, and peeled it away. From there, you can break off clumps of seeds. Remove seeds from pith into a bowl.....they fall away fairly easy, it just takes a bit of time and patience. Repeat this process till you have 1/3 to 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds. Pick out any remaining pithy bits...then sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over the greens. 

  • Use a fork to crumble goat cheese into smaller pieces, unless you like huge bits of cheese, then leave it be. 
  • Sprinkle goat cheese liberally over the greens
  • Use a spatula or your fingers to remove pecans from the skillet, and sprinkle THOSE too all over the top of the salad. The finger method is a bet messy, if you must know. :) 
  • Chill for 10-15 minutes

Serve with Marzetti Simply Dressed Pomegranate Vinaigrette. Doesn't take much dressing at all. For appearance's sake, I did not "toss" anything, but left it all lay atop the greens...because the toppings are much weightier than the lettuce, they would all fall to the bottom and leave you with a mess of nothing but green. No fun there! Got excellent reviews from a table full of assorted picky eaters, so all in all, this year's salad surpise was a smashing success!  

Try it! Now! Or later.... 


11 Ways to Cook Your Goose….er Chicken: Day Four

In case you hadn't noticed by now.....these are not running daily.....just whenever I happen to make chicken dishes, which happens to be several times a week. Mostly trying new things, or variations on what I've done in the past to change things up and keep it somewhat interesting. 

Soooooooo, last night, knowing that my beloved was really in the mood for one of the all-time favorites, I changed it ever so slightly, and still he was all smiles and satisfied by the end of the meal!  This one, gently stolen from another Rachel Ray recipe, contains certain modifications just to see what I could do with it.

Due to visiting with the son-child and general lack of attention to detail, I did not take pictures, but as you will see, by visiting the page for the original recipe, it sort of somewhat turned out like the picture shown.

Here's the original recipe:

Honey-Mustard Sesame Chicken Planks

Then, there is my version:

Honey-Mustard-Sesame Chicken Boobs


Degreasing The Menu

Sometimes, the greasy food offers alot of comfort that you can't find anywhere else. Yet, it leaves you with a raging case of upset stomach, heartburn, not to mention the ton of calories you just packed in and the guilt that wrecks your mind. So it is with one of our favorite meals: Sausage, peppers, onions and fried potatoes.  That's right, FRIED potatoes. Not french fries, more akin to home fries.....sliced potatoes, fried up in a pool of boiling oil with onions thrown in for good measure.  Good for some part of the psyche, bad for everything else.  

So, since the last time I made it, and then felt nothing but shame afterward, I decided that it could indeed be done in such a manner as to retain the flavors without all the added fat, calories and subsequent humiliation.

Most of my recipes have been written and posted on Bukisa, yet today for some reason the site decided not to cooperate, 3/4 of the way through my post, and it froze. Hence, I gave up and will now share it here instead. Not sure how I'll proceed in the future, with writing the recipes, but for now, it's here:

Guilt-Free Sausage, Peppers and Potatoes


11 Ways to Cook Your Goose….er Chicken: Day Three

So, I was perusing my stable of saved recipes for the next adventure in chicken preparation when I came across Chicken in Garlic-VinegarSauce which, by virtue of its name alone, does not sound all that spectacular. However, when I read the ingredients and prep, I was hooked.  Yet.....since there are only TWO of us, and I am really, really making an attempt to cut back on fats, etc., I made some serious revisions to the dish.  This is what I concocted: 

Braised Chicken with Shallots & Thyme
(The name has been changed to preserve the sanctity of the original recipe)


3 Tbs Olive oil 
Chicken boobs (3 or however many you need for two people)
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp Coarse-ground black pepper
1/2 large shallot, chopped fine
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/6 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
3/4 Cup Chicken Broth (low-sodium, fat free is best, but as always, use what you have!) 
4 sprigs of thyme, fresh 
(I used my own, grown outside the kitchen window, of the Lemon Thyme varietal)
1-2 Roma tomatoes
1 Tbs chives, dried (or fresh, chopped fine, whatever you have) 
1/3 Cup Sour Cream (Fat free is good, but again, whatever you have)
1-2 tsp Spicy Brown mustard (or Dijon, or hell, even regular yellow mustard) 
2 tsp Tomato paste
1/2 Cup Chicken Broth for finishing sauce


-Heat olive oil in large skillet (with lid) on medium to medium-high
-Sprinkle chickens with salt and pepper then add to skillet and cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes
 per side.
-Remove boobs from skillet and set aside.

-Saute shallots and whole garlic cloves in remaining oil, on medium for 1-2 minutes. Keep an eye on it and
  stir frequently, or the shallots will burn quick!
-Stir in vinegar and chicken broth, then put chicken back into the skillet and add thyme sprigs
-Cover and let simmer on low-medium ("4" on my stove) for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked
 through completely and tender.

-Chop up tomatoes, place them in a bowl and add the chives and any remaining salt and pepper or sprinkle
 some of each over the top if you didn't measure it out beforehand.

-In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, tomato paste and mustard.

-Remove cooked chicken from skillet and set aside.
-Add sour cream mixture to skillet and whisk to combine with shallot broth, keeping heat at low-medium.
-Stir in remaining chicken broth then place chicken back in skillet and coat each piece thoroughly with the
 sauce.  Replace the lid and allow the entire mess to simmer for another 5 minutes or so.
-Plate up the chickens and top them with the tomato garnish/salad/quasi-salsa stuff.

Served here with steamed asparagii with garlic and Near East Curry-flavored Cous Cous.


-If you like lots of sauce, double up the sour cream concoction and add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chicken
-If you use fat-free, low-sodium everything, then it gets even more healthy. Even healthier than the original
 recipe which used a ton of olive oil and butter.
-I didn't really care for the Cous Cous, mainly because I'm not too big on Indian spices....go for plain or
 another flavor if you, too, do not appreciate curry stuff.
-I use Parkay Butter spray on the asparagii....it's fat free and somewhat resembles the flavor of BUTTER.


11 Ways to Cook Your Goose....er Chicken: Day Two

Sometimes being lazy can benefit your chicken-preparation skillz. I typically like to doll up my chicken carcass with an assortment of fresh herbs, garlic and butter. Yet, yesterday, between the sounds of a puking dog and a puking me (due to recent new medication), I did not even begin to have an appetite for smelling fresh stuff, let alone for dealing with the bird. 

So, simple is good and behold, the second way to cook chicken is born: 

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
-Remove chicken from plastic bag, remove any extraneous bags filled with disgusting chicken innards and    
  rinse the bird well to remove that gross coating of slime/blood.
-Place the chicken, boob-side up, in a glass baking dish (9 x 11, I think?).
-Slather the bird with a couple 3 or 4 generous splashes of olive oil, rubbing it into the skin, especially  
  around the neck, wings, lets and the underbelly.
-Sprinkle Kosher salt over the top…lightly. Probably didn’t even add up to ½ teaspoon then generously 
 coat the skins with Lemon Pepper seasoning of your choice.
-Flip the bird…literally, and figuratively if you’re in the mood and repeat sprinkling.
-Bake bird on center rack for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

There was no basting, there was no fussing…just bake the bird.

Served with a can of French Cut greenie beans and instant IDAHOAN Baby Red mashed potatoes.

Oh and do make sure to wash up after preparing said bird…..no need for cross contamination of kitchen utensils or presenting your family with a rousing round of Salmonella. Ew.

For the alternative and absolutely scrumptious version of an oven roasted chicken, go HERE.


11 Ways to Cook Your Goose....er Chicken: Day One

In honor of the total Eleven-Fest we had this past week, I decided that now would be a good time to find new ways to cook chicken, since it's one of the main protein items we consume about 4-5 times a week. You CAN teach an old bird new tricks and so, I'm searching for 11 new chicken recipes so add some zing to our otherwise boring repertoire of foodstuffs.

While I don't promise that all of these dishes will be completely healthy or diet-friendly, I do know that moderation is key and you can pair these up with healthier sides (salads, steamed veggies, etc..) and still be on the winning side of food consumption.

Starting out the series, I bring you Chipotle-Barbecue Chicken from Rachel Ray's Everyday magazine. Of course, being the rebel that I am, I cannot ever follow a recipe to the exact letter, so I made some revisions along the way.

I made this for dinner the other night, and while there was a bit too MUCH zing....the flavor still kicked ass and it was even better the next day for lunch.

So, here's the original ingredient list, borrowed from the link above:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)

And here is how I revised: 

No butter
No onion
2 Tbs olive oil instead
2 garlic cloves instead of 6
2 chipotle chiles, cut open, seeded and rinsed (instead of above amount) 
Ketchup, probably about 1 cup total
1 Tbs cider vinegar instead of 3
1/2 c brown sugar instead of 2 Tbs
2 or 3 good splashes of Worcestershire sauce
Chicken boobs instead of thighs.  

1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 small handful fresh cilantro, chopped fine

Preheated oven to 385 degrees (F). 
Sauteed shallot and garlic on medium-low (otherwise, garlic burns quick and thusly sucks) 
Removed sauteed items from skillet, put them in a bowl for later.
Added everything else to the skillet, stirred over medium, put shallot/garlic mix back in
Simmered for about 5 minutes. 
Trim off fat and other gross bits from chicken, feed scraps to the gentlemens Paulie and Dio

Place trimmed chicken directly in the skillet, to coat with the sauce.
Sprayed cooking sheet with no-stick spray, since I was out of aluminumumumum foil. 
Placed boobs on sheet, with smooth side up and coated with remaining sauce. 
Baked for approximately 35-45 minutes. (Yes, a while, but I have a fear of raw chicken!)  

I don't have a pic, but if you visit the link, it looks pretty much like that only with boobs instead of thighs.  

We don't stomach extremely spicy foods very well in this household. What I added was MORE than enough and I could have stuck with one very small chipotle, still seeded and rinsed. To some, it might be too mild, so add the amount of heat that you can stomach or decrease even more...to say 1/2 a pepper, seeded and rinsed. Regardless, it's a sweet, smoky, spicy sauce and it makes for an excellent sandwich the next day if you only eat half, which I did because it got too hot for me.  Yes, I am a weinie, for lack of a more appropriate term.  

So, enjoy. Goes good with veggies and a baked potato or oven roasted potatoes...or probably even rice.  It's just good. Enjoy!  

The Booty

So I did actually go to the store.  I did actually refrain from buying copious amounts of anything junk-related. This is a rough summary of the items:


Jasmine rice
Cous cous


Special K Vanilla Almond (which I eat with banana)


1% milk
Coffee creamer (non-dairy)
Vanilla rice milk
Half/half (for the Somewhat Autumnal Bisque that I still need to make)
Fat-free Ricotta (which I forgot to pair with curly kale...damnit, I knew I forgot something!)


Huge pork chops, which I butterfly and get two meals out of.....
93/7 Lean ground turkey (2)
Skinless, boneless chicken boobs (small pack)
Turkey smoked sausage
Deli roasted chicken boob-1 lb.

Veggies (Frozen)

3 Green Giant health veggie blends....(on sale $1 a piece....works for a side!)

Veggies/Fruits (Fresh)

Romaine (bagged)
Organic greens
Gold/orange cauliflower
1 Leek
1 cored pineapple
1 bag apples
2 containers blackberries (50c each, are you kidding me??)
Baby bella shrooms
Shitake shrooms
1 pomegranate
1 red pepper
zukes and yellow squash
Grape tomatoes (1 container because I have yet to get mine started indoors for the winter months...fail.)
Handful of snow peas (gonna attempt some form of stir fry this week).

That, of course, is not the entire list, but suffice it to say that there were no cookies, no chips, apart from Bugles for the beloved's lunch, which is portion controlled and thusly not as bad as it sounds, and no frozen garlic bread, or other bread for that matter.  There was Coca Cola, for him, but he's been cutting back, so it lasts longer. I only drink tea and coffee. So, all in all, it was a fairly good trip. Now, let's see what I do with it.


Sick of Food

Ever get stuck in a rut? Get a skip in your record? The same old, so very same old makes you nauseous just to ponder?  That's where we're at, me and my beloved, when it comes to our daily intake of that fuel formerly known as FOOD.

I think we experienced a mutual epiphany, defined thusly as:

sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality oressential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

 As we sat discussing how we felt about ourselves, I uttered without thinking:

"I'm so sick of everything we eat"

To which my beloved excitedly replied:

"Me too!!!!!"

Not sure why, but lately we've been packing on some pounds, eating a fairly substantial amount of junk and subsequently paying the price.  I could easily blame my gainage on this autumn's full hysterectomy, but I just don't think that's it. Having come through both surgery and recovery with flying colors and very little post-op pain, I just don't think that's the contributing factor.  Depression might be playing a role, stress, even...over the simple things like not being able to get a job, losing what regular income I did have through my writing work, and the lack of a car.  Mine gave up her ghosts and got hauled away the other day.  BUT, things are looking up, a new car has entered the picture and I had an interview that I THINK went fairly well yesterday, barring any failure of the background check?!  Not sure how much trouble one can get in to whilst living the life of a hermit for three to four years, but hey, you never know.  Anywhoooooooo......

Back to food.  It's time for changes.  Time to eliminate the garbage and get back to what we know will make us feel better.

Here's what we will be eliminating, or at least consuming in much more moderation than we have been:

Sugar (cookies, cake, pie, junk.)
Pizza (of the frozen variety. It's easy, but it's NOT easy on the waistline....)
Breads (mostly garlic, but some other kinds......you just do NOT need to have bread with every meal!)
Salt (for me...it's my weakness)

Here's what we will be ADDING to the menu because darn it, it's just good for you:

Lean Proteins (turkey, chickens [of which we already eat a profuse amount], lean beef, fish)

Getting back to more natural, less processed eating. I already know how much better I feel when I eat like that, so the information is there, I just have to use it. So, today, I'll be exploring different menu options, making a list and heading to the store to give our daily intake of foods a much needed makeover!   Stay tuned for the exciting details!!


Greetings and Salutations...

Hi there! You have reached the very first post in a hopefully long line of posts. I love to cook. I used to cook for four or more, but over the years, the numbers have dwindled and we're down to two. I am here to tell you that it can get really boring, really fast.....so, instead of just being bored, I intend to discover new ways to feed  the two of us while maintaining a modest food budget.

So, while there's not much here today, I hope you'll check back regularly and see what I create and share!

Thanks for stopping by!