Sunday, February 14, 2016

A sort of productive day....

Well, today was somewhat productive. I started out the day working on my New Years Resolution to master making biscuits. They turned out well. This is the recipe I used:

Then I decided to start on the honey oat bread. This is the recipe I used: I didn't put the topping on this time. For me, I wanted to use the bread for sandwiches and things and the honey/oat topping just made it more of a sweet bread than an all purpose bread. But, I made it today and it turned out really well as a sandwich bread.

I also made chicken rice soup with the remaining  chicken from Thursday, rice from last night, some chicken broth, some diced carrots and a bit of lemon juice.

And since I was still in a baking mood, I decided to make some granola bars. I wanted "almond joy" ones. I used this recipe:
But, I halved it and then added 1/3 c each of sliced almonds, coconut, and mini chocolate chips. So, I got a lot done today.

I have also decided that I have so much stuff in the freezer I should not buy any more groceries until I clear out the freezer a bit. This means there might not be a lot of cooking this week if I try to clear that out, but we'll see what happens.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Weekend Cooking

I haven't gotten much done yet, but it's supposed to be cold and snowy tomorrow so I should have lots of time to cook and bake - while cleaning and doing laundry. 

I made the chicken in the crockpot on Thursday for dinner. That was lunch on Friday. What did I have for dinner last night? Oh, boxed mac and cheese. I had a lazy morning before heading off to work for a half day. But I made an open faced egg sandwich - eggs with ham and cheese on english muffins. Tonight I made a quick red beans and rice. I don't really have a recipe. I combined about three. But, basically, sauté celery and onions in a bit of oil with red pepper, black pepper, and salt (I didn't have green pepper). I had half a turkey sausage in the freezer - sliced that in to half rounds and added it to the pan once the veggies were soft. It was getting a little dry so I added a bit of water. Then a bit of garlic and two cans of drained, rinsed red beans and two bay leaves and more water and let it simmer for a bit. I added water a few times. But, it didn't taste quite right so I started looking at other recipes. I ended up adding some oregano, paprika, worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Then it tasted much better. Mush up some of the beans to thicken it up. Good, easy, and warm on a cold day. 

The plans for tomorrow. I think pizza dough. I really wanted pizza tonight, but didn't want to wait for the dough by the time I got home. I want to try the oatmeal bread from a few weeks ago without the honey topping. Last weekend I went to Aldi and they had whole wheat flour on sale for $1.49 a bag (it's closer to $4 everywhere else!) so I bought two bags. I might make either whole wheat pizza dough or another bread. Not sure what to do for actual food. I have more chicken in the freezer so maybe another crockpot recipe. And I still want to make tamales.

Tune in tomorrow to see what happens....

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I'm back!

Apologies for the long absence. Life got in the way. I haven't done much cooking the last week or so. I had good intentions and then I was asked to make cupcakes for a work birthday, which I thought I needed to do by Friday. So, Tuesday (last week) I went to the store to get the ingredients, then planned on baking them on Wednesday and filling and frosting on Thursday. I bought deli ham on sale because it's an all purpose deli item - delicious for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There were two nights of brinner grilled cheese (breakfast for dinner) - basically an egg in a grilled cheese sandwich. But, then cupcakes got delayed until Monday, which means I had Sunday to make them. But, Friday evening and Saturday had work required events. And the grocery store was crazy on Saturday afternoon when I finally did get escape from work. I did make chili over the weekend, and last night was happy hour. I guess that's how I managed to go about a week without really cooking.

But, let's talk about the cupcakes. They are my traditional St. Patrick's Day cupcakes, but one of my colleagues favorite and it was her birthday. They're a chocolate cupcake (Devil's Food Cake mix, sometimes made with Guinness instead of water), a chocolate mousse Irish Whiskey filling, and Irish Cream buttercream frosting. Since I'm being frugal, I decided to make the Irish Cream instead of buying it (I was already buying whiskey). I found a really good bourbon cream recipe I made as a gift for Christmas and all I had to buy was condensed milk (I was already buying heavy cream for the cupcake filling). I use this recipe. It's really good, but I think it does need to sit a day or two to be really good. This is a picture I took from when I made them in September - halfway to St Pat's Day. Now, I need to think of another St Pat's kind, although I was assured no one would mind having them again in just over a month.

Not sure what the plan is for the rest of the week. I bought chicken breasts (since they weren't much more than whole chickens) to cook in the crockpot, but forgot to buy potatoes. But, I think that will be dinner tomorrow night. I'll set it up tonight with the timer and then stop at the store for potatoes on the way home tomorrow night. There will probably be another quiche because I have heavy cream left over.

I'm going to try to keep this updated in the future, but we're entering my busiest time at work for the next three and a half months. We'll see how it goes....