Friday, April 29, 2011

Grilled chicken salad with exhaustion on the side...

Yesterday I was sitting at home, I had run a few errands earlier, and then with lots of time, and no money, came back home and did nothing.  Until I got a text from my boyfriend.  It kind of made me mad, so what do I do about it you ask?  I decide that after months and months of NOT exercising, that I am going to go ride my bike.  For 4 1/2 miles.  I thought I was going to die.  When I am regularly riding, this is easy, and it is my quick trip.  Normally I can do much more before my knee just says no.  But yesterday, every part of me was screaming no.  By the time I got back home, I was overheated, even though it was a beautifully cool day outside, and I was parched.  As I stood and waited for the icy cold water to slowly stream out of my fridge into my cup....I thought I was going to pass out.  Thankfully I didn't, I got water, and sat down outside to cool off.  So that inspired me to make a salad last night.

As I was working on this grilled chicken salad, I was kind of pre-writing what I would say in my head, and one of the first things I was going to talk about was how upset that I was with my lettuce choice.  But there's a side story here....

Tuesday I went to the grocery.  Before I left for the grocery, I discovered that my car had been broken into for the 2nd time in a month.  I was furious.  So as I am at the grocery, getting my produce and other things, my head is not really in the game.  Now normally, I am the MOST picky of picky, and I look at every container of salad, or every single strawberry bin, or test each and every tomato before I decide which on makes the cut.  But Tuesday, like I said, my head wasn't in the game.  So last night as I am making the salad, I am having to go through the entire container of salad and hand pick out the leaves that passed my approval, because as I was to discover, I picked the one bin that had been on the shelf just a bit too long, and some of the leaves were past the eating point.  Normally the organic salad mix that I get is perfectly fresh and beautiful, but last nights proved a little disappointing, but at least there was enough to still eat.



So I pan grilled some chicken breasts with a blackened chicken seasoning and Worcestershire sauce, made a homemade honey mustard vinaigrette, chopped tomato's, olives, mushrooms, and even half a pear up, and threw it all together to create a really great salad.


And as usual my littlest dog Schnelly is waiting patiently for me to drop any delicious morsels of food onto the ground for her to eat.  Alas, she usually doesn't get any, because as much as she waits patiently for me to drop something, I don't want her to think it is okay to actually beg.



Here's the salad all put together, I also decided to throw some goat milk feta onto it, which I think gave it that extra kick.  It was a great supper after almost killing myself on my bike, and it made a ton.  Enough for Micah and I to eat, plus our friend AC who was over working on music with M.

It's a pretty easy recipe, just get salad mix, olives, pears, tomato's, and mushrooms, chop them all up and throw them in.  Or you can put whatever you want in your salad.  This is just what I like in mine.

My recipe for the dressing however, doesn't have exact measurements, I just do it by taste, but here's what I used roughly...

1 tbsp honey
1tbsp course mustard
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
2 tbsp olive oil
 a splash of white wine vinegar to loosen it up a bit
and a splash of lemon juice to also loosen it up, and give it a little more kick


One more thing, I'm going through some changes here on the blog, trying to figure out what I want everything to look like, let me know what you think about the design, because I just can't make up my mind.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

As promised...

Pictures!!!

Like I said last night I don't have pictures of making the pork for the tacos start to finish, but I did make sure to do so while I was making the guacamole!

Here's what I started with...













And this is the result. The Avacado's that I got at the grocery were so ripe, they were just begging to be made into delicious guacemole.















































So the whole meal turned out really well. The only downfalls in my eyes were that I forgot to heat up my tortilla before putting everything in it, so it cracked when I was rolling everything up, and I hate the color of the countertops in my kitchen, they make everything so blah! I hate blah. If I didn't rent the place, I might do something about it, but hey, I might still do something about it in the future.

As a side note, are putting pictures into posts the bain of anyone else's existence? It is a pain in the butt! They never load in the order that I want them to, and then I have to try to re-arrange them and they never go where I want them to, and some of them get deleted for a second....it's so frustrating. Any tips?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The worst blogger in history is.....

ME. I admit, I have been horrible, and I mean HORRIBLE at keeping up with this blog. For a while, I did great, then, I got busy, then I got unbusy, but I was so far behind that it was daunting. It still is daunting. The idea of trying to keep up with this thing, even if its just once a week, picking my favorite meal from that week and writing about it. Can I really commit to that? I hope so. Seeing as how I have SO much free time, and I'm feeling a bit like a "bored housewife," and the problem with that is, I'm not married yet. But I do live with my boyfriend, and I have a part time job while he works full time...point being, a lot of free time. I talked with my mom today and she convinced me that I need to get back to this, daunting or not. Maybe I will put up past meals, maybe I won't. I guess we will do this on a as I see fit basis.

But today I did start working on something that I won't actually get to eat until tomorrow, but I did some tasting and I am positive that it is going to be fantastic.

Bon Appetit has this great recipe for pork tacos! So I took the basic idea of that, and twisted it around, mostly because I couldn't find all the ingredients in just one grocery store, and since we have had horrendous weather (read: TORNADOS!!!!!) all day long, I just managed one store.

I failed to take pictures of the process, but I will get some posted up of the making of the taco part.

My recipe for pork tacos is...

(HUGE FLASH OF LIGHTNING AND THUNDER RIGHT OVER MY HOUSE JUST NOW)

4 lb Boston Butt
4 dried chile peppers
4 Garlic cloves, smashed but not diced or cut in any form
Bay leaves
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp all spice
1/2 a large white onion chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice

and the magazine recipe calls for 1 bottle of Negro Modelo, but since my recipe took place in a crock pot, I used 4 bottles of it.

So basically combine all ingredients into the crock pot and let it cook for 7-8 hours. Make sure when you put the meat into the pot, that you put the fat side up, because as the meat cooks, the fat helps to tenderize everything below it. I did continue to rotate the meat though as it was cooking, just to make sure that everything got an equal time share of cook time down in the beer/ingredients concoction.

After the proper amount of cooking time, separate the meat out into a glass dish from the fat bits, onions, garlic cloves, juices, etc.

After that I shredded the pork with two forks, and seasoned it just a tad with some Tony's cachere's and just a very little bit of chipotle bar-b-que sauce and some raspberry chipotle sauce. I didn't want to use much sauce, because the main flavor that I want is that of the pork, I didn't want to drown out all the "hard work" of seasoning and cooking in beer etc. So all in all it was probably 1 1/2 tbsp of bbq sauce. Just enough to give it a bit of a shine.

As of now the meat is back in the crock pot on the "keep warm" setting to help bring out some of the extra flavors, after it came out of the crock pot the first time.

In the morning I will get it back out, and let it cool down, all the while trying to be good, and not eat it before lunch time, because let's face it, delicious or not, pork tacos in the morning is a bit weird.

So, I will take pictures in the morning of the assembly process onto the tortilla.

And here's hoping to me being more successful of a blogger. I read them often enough to be dedicated to several blogs, so I should at least be dedicated to my own!

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