Monday, July 30, 2018

Side Dish Superstar: Sauteed Italian Lemon Broccoli

Stock Image

This super-easy side dish requires three ingredients:
Broccoli (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup Italian dressing
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Heat a large skillet on medium. Pour in the dressing and lemon juice. Add broccoli. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

That's it!

I tried the Boca "chicken" nuggets today instead of Quorn. They were not a hit.  My son disliked the "squishy" texture. The Quorn nuggets more closely resemble real chicken in both texture and flavor. Quorn has the superior product but is more expensive, which why I like to stock up when it goes on sale. 
The broccoli cost just $1.50. Look in the produce section for items that are about to expire. You have to use them quickly, but you can save a chunk of change.
More stores are starting to have a "misfit produce" section, and you can find some nice savings on items there as well.

~Cie~







Saturday, July 28, 2018

Easy Recipe: Stockpot Chicken Cacciatore

Cheat: this photo is from the Food Network. But it gives you an idea of what the finished dish will look like with the onions, peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

Easy Recipe:
Stockpot Chicken Cacciatore

Good afternoon, Delivered Ones! Today I present you with a fancy-sounding dish which is actually super-easy to prepare.
I got this recipe from Cathy Mitchell's Dump for Diabetics cookbook. I don't know what kind of skillet Cathy has, but my skillet would never contain all these ingredients. I used my stockpot instead.
I suggest keeping a bottle of Italian dressing on hand. It works nicely to enhance meat dishes, and you can always whip up a simple salad to go with your meal as well. I just use good old inexpensive Kraft, but you can use whatever you want.
And now, our recipe.

You will need:
3 pounds chicken thighs. I got the skinned and boned variety. It costs a bit more but is worth it to me not to have to deal with the hassle of skinning and removing the bones myself.
Italian dressing
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic. I used Del Monte diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil.
One bag frozen peppers and onions
1 cup sliced mushrooms. Or, if you're me, and you really like mushrooms, just use the whole 8 oz box of sliced mushrooms. You could also use canned or bottled mushrooms.

Heat stockpot over medium heat. Pour in 1/2 cup Italian dressing. Cook chicken thighs until brown on all sides. They do not need to be completely cooked, but browning the surface beforehand helps seal in the flavor. I went about 10 minutes on each side.
Add your can of diced tomatoes with garlic, the bag of frozen peppers and onions, and cup (or 8 oz box) of sliced mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover stockpot. My stockpot's lid got broken a long time ago, so I used my small pizza pan to cover the stockpot. It ain't pretty, but it works.
The original recipe says to cook for 30 minutes. If you're waiting for someone, you can reduce the heat to low and keep the food warm until your friend/family member joins you.

Depending on the number of people you are feeding, this dish will either be gone in one sitting, or you will have leftovers which you can freeze for a quick meal later. Serve with a side salad and noodles or potatoes if you wish.

~Cie~




Thursday, July 26, 2018

Game Review of Best Fiends


The characters are amazing and the game is challenging but fun. Going on these attributes, I would give the game five stars. However, the microtransactions required to advance in many challenges are possibly the most predatory I have encountered, which is a shame. I probably spent about $20 before saying "no more." I am not going to be your whale.
Game developers could make plenty of money by offering a VIP club for a modest sum of money, $5 per month or thereabouts and give VIP members special characters, costumes, power-ups and such, rather than gouging players.
Games with predatory microtransactions hurt those with compulsive behavior issues such as gambling addiction. It's shameful that game developers think nothing of preying on vulnerable people.

~Cie~


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Food Review: Quorn Cutlets


I am not a vegetarian, but for the past few years I have been incorporating more plant-based foods into my diet. It’s sometimes a challenge to find products where even a dedicated omnivore won’t miss the meat.
Quorn’s Sharp Cheese and Chick’n Cutlets fill the bill and the belly.
These easy to prepare cutlets feature a flavor similar to Chicken Cordon Bleu without the effort or the meat. I like to serve them with a side such as corn on the cob or baked potatoes. A fruit cobbler makes an easy and delicious dessert to finish this simple, tasty meal.
~Cie~
Note:
I normally don't engage in writing challenges on this blog, but the word for the 100 Word Challenge was Cook, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Product Review: Among Friends Devilishly Chocolate Gluten Free Cake Mix


Disclaimer: This is an unsolicited product review. I have earned no compensation for this post.

Among Friends is a line of gluten-free baking mixes. I picked up a bag of the Devilishly Chocolate cake mix at the grocery store and let my Gourmia go to work. Once the cake had cooled enough to put it on a plate and top it with a little frosting made from 4 tbsp. of butter, a bit of unsweetened organic cocoa powder, some coconut sugar (probably about 1/4 cup, but I didn't measure it, I was just using what was left in the bag) and a capful of vanilla extract, I had a slice.
My initial reaction was "this needs something, but I don't know what."
It didn't taste bad, but it needed something. It simply might not have been chocolatey enough for my chocoholic tastes.
My son had a slice and declared it "pretty good." He isn't as much of a chocoholic as I am.
I had another small slice after the cake was fully cooled, and it tasted a bit more chocolatey. 
Overall, my feelings about the product are positive.
It contains organic ingredients, and, if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it gives you the chance to enjoy a little dessert. 
FYI: Gluten-free baked goods tend to be a bit denser than standard baked goods. 
I give this product a B for excellent ingredients and decent flavor that doesn't quite hit the "knock my socks off" mark but is definitely above the "eh, it's okay, I suppose" mark.

~Cie~



Saturday, July 14, 2018

Recipe: Turkey and Dressing Casserole



It has been a busy week, and my son and I have been taking advantage of Smashburger coupons. While I tend to prepare vegetarian meals, sometimes I still use meat. This was one of those times.
I got a pound of Simple Truth Organic ground turkey from King Soopers and used it to create the following casserole/meat loaf. Here is the recipe.

1 cup hot water
1 bouillon cube (I used vegetable)
Beat together in a large bowl with one egg
Add one ten ounce bag of Mrs. Cubbison's cubed stuffing
Mix together. The stuffing does not have to be entirely saturated.
Blend in ground turkey.
Press into a 9 x 9 pan lined with Reynold's Wrap and sprayed with cooking spray
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes

My son had not only seconds but thirds of this casserole. He suggested that next time I make it I should include a side of gravy.
I have not yet figured out how to make an acceptable un-meat loaf.

~Cie~



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Thursday, July 5, 2018

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Sunday, July 1, 2018

How To Be A Beautiful Domestic Goddess of Plenty


Hi. I'm Cie, and it really grinds my gears that girls overall are still taught to be such petite delicate flowers that we have to wait for a manly man to do anything remotely handy.



I'm sure this fellow is efficient. But why should I pay him for things I can do myself?
Today I changed a shower head.
I bought a $3.95 10 inch pipe wrench and a $3.95 shower head from Walmart. 
I probably should have bought a step stool, but I stood on the edge of the shower like an idiot. Don't do what I did.
Remember, when loosening a bolt or screw, turn counterclockwise. You can also try to remember "lefty-loosey, righty-tightey," but I'm kind of dyslexic, so that doesn't always work for me.
I ended up getting soaked because the old shower head was clogged with mineral deposits, so there was water standing behind it.
It was also a real bastard to remove it, because the person who put it on in the first place wanted to show that he could give The Hulk a run for his money when it came to tightening shower heads.
Nonetheless, I got 'er done, and now I have a nice working shower head, just in time for the monthly Henna treatment. The important things in life, you know.
I also bought an inexpensive hair trap for the shower drain, a mini drain snake and clog remover for the bathroom sink, and a toilet repair kit to get the toilet in my son's upstairs bathroom working again.
After I did all this, I made a gourmet meal from scratch.
Just kidding. I bought a spicy marinated half chicken from my local King Soopers meat department, chopped an onion and sprinkled it with McCormick's Himalayan Pink Salt Garlic blend, put some Farm Rich potato skins in the pan with the chicken and the onion, and poured a can of yams into a saucepan. I then made some ranch sour cream for the potato skins.
This is a really difficult recipe if you aren't an expert chef!
Take two cups of sour cream and stir in an envelope of ranch dressing mix.
I found it necessary to taste the mixture a couple of times. Just to make sure it was really well blended, you know.
This incredibly difficult enhancement will steal the show. It will be necessary to buy double the amount of potato skins you would need otherwise to avoid disappointment. Truth be told, you could skip the chicken and the seasoned onions and just serve potato skins with ranch sour cream and some yams for dessert.
It was a pretty productive day overall!
And, you know, if the men don't find me hot, they should at least find me handy!

~Cie~