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Well, last night we ate the chicken I got out to thaw and then forgot to cook because the vegetables were so exciting. The vegetables were STILL the best part of the meal, but I certainly wasn’t going to give the meat to the dog. If he wants meat, he can go down to the garden and lay for the rabbits that are eating the green beans.
Last night, I boiled new red potatoes and green beans wrested from the ravening jaws of encroaching lagomorphs (rabbits). When they were done, I turned off the heat and put some corn on the cob into the water–all it has to do is heat through, really.
Meanwhile, I washed the chicken breast and marinated it in white wine and buttermilk. Then I heated garlic-infused olive oil in a pan, dredged the marinated chicken in seasoned flour and fried it. Tender, juicy and tasty. Charlie and I split it between the two of us.
writing prompt: Do you love cute little bunnies or loathe ravenous lagomorphs? Or does your mouth water over hassenpfeffer? Write your point of view, then have an argument with a character with a different point of view.
I didn’t know what I was going to fix last night, but I came up with this:
CHICKEN (or not) AND BEAN QUESADILLAS
- flour tortillas
- pre-cooked chicken
- refried beans
- shredded Mexican cheese mix
- waffle maker–electric kind
Cut the chicken off the bone if it’s on a bone. Cut the icky bits off and give them to the happy dog. Spread refried beans on a flour tortilla, sprinkle with chicken and cheese, top with another tortilla and put in in the waffle maker and cook until there are browned waffle marks on it. Remove and cut into fourths.
I also cut up lettuce and cherry tomatoes and served that on the side. Had salad dressings, enchilada sauce and salsa so folks could have salad or put the veggies on the quesadillas and spice everything up or not as they pleased. Oh, also had some corn tortilla chips for dipping into salsa.
Quite tasty, especially for something knocked together on the fly, and flexible enough to please a variety of tastes. If there had been any vegetarians present, I would have made some quesadillas with just beans and cheese.
writing prompt: What’s in your refrigerator? (Or your character’s?)
I told you about how I cooked a bunch of chicken breasts in the crock pot. Okay, so (and this would work with any pre-cooked chicken, o’course), I made this quick and easy thing. You need a RICE COOKER for it, one of the best gizmos I ever bought.
ALMOST ONE-DISH CHICKEN AND ASPARAGUS
- cooked chicken
- multi-colored peppers
Put rice in the cooker. Add water any seasonings to taste. Top with seeded peppers and as much fresh asparagus as you can fit in. Drizzle with garlic-flavored olive oil. Cook. Heat cooked chicken. Divide the rice and vegetables into dishes and top with chicken.
I’m getting over my cold, but you still wouldn’t want to eat across the table from me. I went to Mom’s last night and we watched RUNAWAY BRIDE. I love Richard Gere and I love Julia Roberts. They both seem like people I would love to know in person. It makes me happy to watch either one of them work. I didn’t much like the story–a woman who dumps multiple men at the altar because she doesn’t know who she really is but has pretended to be what they wanted. Once, barely acceptable. Twice, no. Three, four…. Seems like the guys in one little town would wise up, doesn’t it? But it was still a fun movie, thanks to all the good secondary and bit characters, and ALL the good acting from everybody in the cast. Good music, too.
writing prompt: How would one of your character feel/act if dumped at the altar?
Should be quick and clean crock pot chicken, actually.
- frozen chicken breasts
- rotisserie chicken seasoning packet
Line your crock pot with … well … a crock pot liner (comes in a box in the seasonings aisle or the food wrap aisle). Layer the FROZEN breasts in the pot, sprinkling each layer with the rotisserie seasoning. It’s pretty intense, so be careful not to overdo it. Pour some sherry in at the side, so as not to wash off the seasoning. Cover and cook on low for three or four hours. Turn off the heat, let sit about half an hour, then refrigerate. You can put the crock pot in the fridge or you can gather the top of the liner and lift it out and put it into another container.
Tender and flavorful, good hot or cold.
If I had had more time, I might have cut up onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms and put them on the bottom, the chicken on top.
writing prompt: Does your character like cooking long, intricate recipes, or quick, easy ones?
We had our vegetarian/carnivore stroganoff last night, and it was very good, indeed. I made garlic bread using a hunk of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day’s recipe for brotchen, except I worked in some garlic powder and Italian mixed cheeses before I put it to rise and didn’t put water in the oven with it. The crust was soft and the interior was packed with all kinds of flavors.
RAVIOLI AND CHICKEN
- frozen peas
- pre-cooked chicken, cubed
- fresh mushrooms
- Parmesan cheese
Fry the mushrooms in a dry pan. Meanwhile, cook the ravioli. Add butter to mushrooms. Add peas and chicken and stir until hot through. Drain ravioli and divide onto plates. Top with vegetables. Sprinkle with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese.
The dessert is leftover cheesecake topped with fresh strawberries marinated in sugar.
writing prompt: How did your main character’s mother spend her latest Mother’s Day? If she’s deceased, how did she spend her last one?
I got home last night RIGHT in time to start supper, which meant I needed something I could make without much time or effort. So I made this:
PASTA WITH CHICKEN SAUCE
- pasta (I used wide egg noodles)
- frozen chicken breast
- canned or frozen peas
- mushrooms (I did not have any, alas, but I thought of them and would use them if I had them)
- Parmesan or mixed Italian cheeses
Slap the frozen chicken onto a low-fat grill and cook for about 7-10 minutes. Remove chicken and cut into small pieces. Cook the pasta, drain it and toss it with a little garlic-flavored olive oil. In the same pan, with no butter or oil, dry-cook chopped mushrooms until they’re browned and nutty-scented. For each cup of sauce, add a little more than one Tablespoon butter. Add salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like. For each Tb of butter you added, add one Tb of flour. Stir until all the flour is coated and cook for a minute or two. For each Tb of flour, add a little less than one cup of milk. Add peas and chicken and stir until sauce is thickened. Divide noodles into bowls or plates and top with sauce. Grate Parmesan over the top or sprinkle with mixed Italian cheeses.
Then I wanted dessert to take to tea with Mom, so I made these. Back in the day, cupcakes were called Cup Cakes because you measured the ingredients in a cup. This proportion makes a denser product than you may be used to–kind of a cross between cake and sweet bread. Needs no icing.
INSANELY EASY CUPCAKES
one cup of everything makes one dozen cupcakes
- solftened butter
Mix and divide into 12 greased or lined cupcake … thingies. Bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown on top.
writing prompt: Do your characters eat dessert? What do they like? What do they hate? What do they do when confronted at a friend’s house with something they hate?
Only in Corydon….
Mom and I had lunch yesterday at El Donohues…that is, The Real Enchilada, AKA Olga’s (great food, sensible portions, great price–not related, not being paid to boost them, I’m just sayin’). We sat at a table by the front window, where I could see the intersection. I wasn’t paying any attention, but then a truck parked right outside the window and that snagged my attention. Guy got out and ran into the intersection, flagging what passes for traffic around here to a standstill. What was he doing?
“Oh!” sez I, “he lost his chicken!”
“What?” Mom very reasonably asked.
“He lost his chicken! He’s going into traffic to rescue his chicken! …Or maybe it fell off the Tyson truck and he’s saving it.”
There’s a Tyson hatchery and a Tyson butchery on opposite ends of town, and trucks filled with chickens pass through many times a day…and they come back EMPTY! (DUH DUH DUH DUHHHHHH!!)
Then I realized that my daughters are probably the only people I know who would run into traffic to RESCUE a chicken.
“Or maybe it fell off a Tyson truck and he’s taking it home for supper. He’s got it. He’s picking it up. He’s putting it in the back of the truck.”
He took off.
The next vehicle that passed was another pickup…with a Tyson logo on it.
“Oh, my God, Mom–IT’S THE CHICKEN POLICE! That guy is so BUSTED! WHOOP-WHOOP–WHOOP! ‘Hands on top of your head, sir, and step away from the chicken.'”
“It wasn’t really!” Mom said. “It wasn’t really a Tyson truck.”
“It really was!”
If we hadn’t already ordered, we would totally have run out and followed the vehicles to see if the Tyson guy really was following the chicken guy and, if he was, if he caught him and what he did about him. AND NOBODY IN TOWN WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT WAS WEIRD. I mean, they would have thought it was a LITTLE weird, but understandable.
It’s all I can do to keep from calling the place where the chicken guy works (yes, I know where he works–I told you this was a small town) and asking how it went, but I wouldn’t want to take a chance on getting him in trouble. Sooner or later, I’ll see him out someplace where I can talk to him, and I’ll ask.
I LOVE this town!
Oh, BTW, I’m blogging today at Fatal Foodies about cooking during the ice storm.
Writing prompt: What would you or one of your characters run into traffic to retrieve, other than a person or a personal pet?
It was cold and snowy yesterday, and I had a taste for chili. We don’t eat ground beef, and Charlie doesn’t eat beef at all, so regular chili was out. I considered making vegetarian chili, but I bought a couple of packages of cooked chicken strips last week that were burning a hole in my freezer, so I added some of those. Here is a recipe for vegetarian white chili with optional meat additives.
WHITE CHILI–VEGETARIAN AND OTHERWISE
- Cooked spaghetti YES, I said SPAGHETTI! Around here, we eat chili with SPAGHETTI in it! YES, I said, YES!
- 1 can white beans (I used Great Northern)
- 1 can water
- 1 tsp boullion powder (vegetable or chicken)
- 1/2 Tb garlic-infused olive oil
- 1/2 Tb butter
- 1 Tb flour
- chili powder
Heat oil and butter. Add chili powder, cumin and pepper and stir to toast. Add flour and stir a couple of minutes. Add beans. Mash them a little. Add water and boullion powder. Heat, stirring, until slightly thickened and bubbly. Add cooked cubed chicken, if you are NOT A VEGETARIAN.
Writing prompt: Pick a character you’ve written but don’t know very well and need to. What does your character like to eat on a cold snowy day?
Mom and I had a full day. We left about 10 this morning and ran some errands in town–Butt Drug Store ( am not kidding), checking to see if Southern Indiana Writers needed to bring table and chairs to our signing on November 28 from 9-noon (need table, not chairs), library, bank, UPS Store to run off copies of Community Unity newsletter.
Then we went to PC Building Materials to order Mom’s carpeting–Now that her elderly Border Collie is no more, she’s replacing the carpet and buying a new couch and chair. I love PC. I LOVE PC! I would like to pack a suitcase and take a vacation in there. They have so many beautiful things. I could just stand and stare at their flooring or wander through their kitchen displays as through a garden. *sigh*
We had lunch at a New Albany landmark restaurant which I shall not name, because it isn’t very good anymore. 😦 Sad. Sad.
Then we went to Kroger, Ben Franklin’s, Big Lots and Dollar Tree. I was looking for monofilament thread to sew pretties on my purse with, and found it at Ben Franklin’s. I was also looking for Plexiglas display stands for posters for book signings, and found them at last at Office Depot. Hurrah!
Before we got back on the expressway, we turned off at Furniture Liquidators in New Albany (ask for Julie) and ordered Mom’s new couch and chair.
THEN we came back to town and finally went to the grocery!
I didn’t get home until five. Hungry. Wanted supper.
I popped a frozen chicken breast in the grilling machine, putting nothing on it but a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper. Made some cornbread stuffing-in-a-box, using half the recommended amount of butter and a splash of garlic-flavored olive oil. I had bought some steam-it frozen Brussels sprouts and nuked them. Supper in 15 minutes, and it was GOOD!
Writing prompt: Your character has to order new carpet and some furniture. What does he/she choose and how and why and what sort of experience is it for the character and for the salespeople?
One of the best foods ever invented is chicken and dumplings. We had some last night. Cooked down some chicken bones and gave the scraps to the happy happy dog, then mixed up about a cup of all-purpose flour, an egg and some milk, rolled it out, cut it into squares and put the squares into the boiling broth. Personally, I prefer fluffy dumplings, but I like the little noodle-like ones, too, like the ones I made last night. My husband’s family calls them “slicks”. They’re good with dried sage crumpled up in the dough, too, but I cooked fresh sage, onions and garlic into the broth. We had some left-overs but, when I got home from visiting my mother, our #3 daughter had stopped by and eaten all the slicks and most of the broth. Ah, well–I’ll just add some more chicken, some veggies and some thickened boullion and made a chicken pot pie. Happiness reigns!
No, I haven’t even started my Chronicles for next week….