Monthly Archives: September 2011

Beer in the Rear Chicken Recipe

Easiest. Recipe. Ever.  I altered a Paula Deen recipe to come up with my own.  In addition to baked chicken for dinner, you can make so many other things from the leftovers – casseroles, salads, soups, stock, etc. 

Preheat your oven to 400.  Rinse and pat dry the inside and outside of a whole chicken.  Open a beer or soda aluminum can and drink or pour out 1/4 – 1/3.

Line an 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ dish with foil and place the can in it. Lower the butt cavity over the top of the can as far as it will go. Use the can and the 2 legs as support to balance the chicken upright in the dish.

Rub the chicken with your favorite spice rub. I use a BBQ rub.  Place chicken in oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Take chicken out of oven and reduce oven temp to 325. Using a pastry brush, brush on a sauce or marinade that compliments the spice rub you used. I use Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce.

Put back in oven. Take out every 30 minutes to brush on more sauce and check temperature. When my oven is in convection mode, I only need 30 more minutes until it is done (that is a total of 60 minutes cooking time), but depending on your oven and the size of the chicken, it could take up to 90 minutes total cooking time.

When done, let chicken stand for 10 minutes. Slowly slide chicken up and off the can and place on cutting board to carve.

My Made-Up Mexican Dump Recipe

1 cup uncooked quinoa, brown rice or white rice

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 lb ground beef

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups frozen corn, rinsed or 1 can corn, drained

1/2 Jar of your favorite salsa

Fresh cilantro, rinsed and chopped

Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

Cook quinoa or rice according to directions.

In a skillet, cook beef and onion together until beef is cooked through.  Drain off fat.

To the beef/onion mixture, add the cooked quinoa or rice, black beans, corn, salsa to your taste, cilantro and a little water.  Mix it all together, put a lid on it and let it simmer for about 5 minutes to combine the flavors.

Turn off the heat, sprinkled some shredded cheese on top and recover to let the cheese melt.


Chicken Broccoli Casserole

This is a “dump” recipe, meaning the ingredients and measurements change based on what I have on hand and how much I am making each time.
8.5 oz box of corn muffin mix, prepared
Cooked chicken or turkey(great use of leftovers)
Frozen broccoli
Can of cream of mushroom soup
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Prepare corn muffin mix according to directions and bake.  I usually bake it as bread and not as muffins, but whatever you want to do.
Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.  Cover the bottom with cut up turkey or chicken.  Layer your frozen broccoli on top of the turkey, to cover.
Next you will whisk together 1 part milk to 2 parts soup and pour over the broccoli and  turkey.  When I am making this is a 2 quart dish, I need the whole can of soup mixed with a half a can of milk.
Sticking with the 2 quart dish idea, melt half a stick of butter.  To that add your cornbread, crumbled and a couple of handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese.  You’ll have to play with these amounts and decide how much of the cornbread topping you want.  When I make a small 1 quart dish, I only need half of the cornbread, so I freeze the rest for another time.  You may like more or less topping on your casserole than I do.
Spread your cornbread mixture over the top of your other ingredients to cover.  Bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on how big your dish is.  If you find, halfway through, that your topping is getting too brown, you can cover your dish with foil for the rest of the cooking time.
Make sure you let your casserole cool for 5-10 minutes before serving it up!

Steak and Potato Soup Recipe

First of all, I have to tell you how nice the last 28 hours have been for me.  B was picked up by his Nana yesterday at 11am and I’ll get him back at 5pm this afternoon.  I love that boy more than life itself, but we all need a break from our kids once in a while, especially when you are home with them all day, everyday. Some of the things I’ve enjoyed during my childless time:

  1. Not having to lock the bathroom door, or even close it
  2. Not having to pause and rewind a show I am watching every 117 seconds b/c B has a burning question, need or story to tell that cannot wait
  3. Only preparing food for myself, whenever I wanted it, and not listening to any complaints about what I made (the hubs and I decided to do our own thing for dinner last night)
  4. My house is just as clean and picked up as it was 28 hours ago
  5. No noise except the 80s music on Pandora and the sound of my own voice talking to the kitties.
  6. The hubs and I watched a couple of epis of Tosh.0 last night.  Have you ever watched Tosh.0???  OMG, that man isso wrong and so politically incorrect and says things that are OK to say in your head but not out loud.  And b/c of that, he is so funny your sides and your face will hurt from all the laughing at the end of one 30-minute episode.  Add him to your DVR and when you’ve had a bad a day and the kids are asleep, watch him.  All that laughing will release some serious endorphins and will pick you up.  Just put a fan or white noise machine in your kid’s bedroom so you don’t wake them up with your hysteria.
  7. I haven’t had to remind anyone of anything at all
  8. Not a single question has been asked of me…*sniff, sniff*…this one makes me so happy I’m tearing up…
  9. No one is following me around b/c his irrational fear of not remaining within eyesight of me is back again (hence #1 on this list is #1 on this list)
  10. I am blogging before 11pm
I could go on, but my time alone is ticking away…
I had a buttload of steak leftover in the fridge and the hubs tried to throw it out last night.  He’s a disposable kinda guy.  I wanted to use it up somehow and, thankfully, he did not argue with me.  I’m sure he chose not to this time b/c he knew tonight was trash night and figured he’d get rid of it them.  When I woke up this morning, and mind you, I woke up b/c my body had had enough rest and naturally woke itself up, instead of being yanked awake by pokey fingers, someone jumping on me, breathing on my face, tickling me or singing at the top of his lungs, I had 3 distinct thoughts.  1) It’s raining, 2) I bet the business manager did it. He was the only one who knew she was pregnant. How come the detectives aren’t looking at him? (I fell asleep before last’s night epi of “Body of Proof” was over, and 3) Steak and Potato Soup.
I was very happy to have this last thought, b/c I usually just make a breakfast hash with leftover steak and I wanted something different.  Plus, the amount of leftover steak I had would have made hash for 5 people.  I searched “Steak and Potato Soup” recipes on the net and decided on the 2nd one I read b/c it was easy, I had all the ingredients and it called for leftover steak instead of fresh.
Here is the link to the Steak and Potato Soup recipe I used.  Since I’m allergic to olive oil, I used Wegman’s Basting Oil and t white potatoes instead of russetts.  The hubs gets heartburn from cooked tomatoes, so instead of using 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, I squirted a smidge of tomato paste from a tube in there and mixed it in with the veggies until it carmelized, just to bring some color and flavor depth to the dish.  I had a bowl for lunch and it was DELISH!  I am serving it for dinner, tonight and then will freeze the rest.
It’s funny that the recipe says to serve it with Ree Drummond’s “The Bread”.  I just made The Bread for the 1st time on Monday night to go with Spinach and Cheese Tortellini.  It was good, but not as goooood as she described it.  And I know why, too.  The hubs was upstairs with the boy b/c the boy needed a shower and refused to be on a different floor all by himself, when he called down to ask what was burning.  So, I had to take the bread out of the oven.  :o(  It needed about 30 more seconds under the broiler to be goooood.  The hubs didn’t even eat any b/c he was not feeling well.  I am going to put the leftover bread back in the broiler tonight to finish it off to the gooooodness stage and serve with the soup.  He’ll thank me!

Day 13 Through 30 On The Whole30

We were happier, calmer with the changes we had made in our diet.  I know we cannot continue to say we are on The Whole30 when we are eating non-approved Whole30 foods, but we were happy to have stuck with most of our food changes.  We were still cooking with foods in their natural state, we thought.

On day 16, we were supposed to leave for a week+ at the Eastern Shore.  We decided to wait until the morning of day 17 before leaving, due to the amount of heavy rains and flooding that was occurring between our Washington, DC area and the Eastern Shore.  Plus, a tractor trailer accident had shut down one of the Bay Bridges on Day 16, and we did not want to be stuck in traffic on top of flooding.  We arrived at our beach house at 10:30am on day 17.

Whether I am away from home one night or one month, I have to unpack everything upon arrival.  As I was setting out our personables in the bathroom, I tripped over the scale.  Now, we are not supposed to weigh ourselves during the 30 days – only before we start and after we finish.  But I convinced myself I was already on that “slippery slope” you here politician mention so frequently, since we had added back some non-approved Whole30 foods.  Also, every scale was different and this particular scale looked like it had been bought with the house, at least 40 years ago, so there was no way it could be accurate anyway.  I stepped on and, to my surprise, it said I was down 13 pounds.  I said, “WHAAAAAAT?!” just like the minion from Despicable Me.  I dismissed it; “It’s just an old, uncalibrated scale,” I told myself.  I should have listened to the scale and stuck to the program the entire trip and would be better off now…  Anywho, I had alcohol twice on our 9 day vacation, Grotto Pizza twice, spinach dip (with dairy ingredients) one night, ate some potatoes and drank a soda half of the days at the beach.  Blasphemer!  ;o)

Yesterday, while doing our grocery shopping, we took our blood pressure and weight again at the pharmacy, to see if anything changed.  My blood pressure and heart rate had gone down and I had lost 6 pounds.  Is that the difference between scales, the non-approved foods I ate and drank at the beach or the fact that I did not weigh myself naked, 1st thing in the morning after peeing?  Who knows.  What I do know is that I dropped 2 clothing sizes and 2 bra sizes.  At first, I started to berated myself.  “If you’d only stuck to the plan completely and worked out more at the gym, you’d have lost so much more weight!”  But it isn’t about losing more.  I lost 2 sizes!  I’m happy with that!  I know how much better we can look and feel by eating “clean” foods – whole ingredients without preservatives and chemicals.  So we are going to strive to live as clean as possible.  With the occasional homemade spinach and artichoke dip and a blood-orange martini.  ;o)

Days 4 through 12 on The Whole30

It was brutal.  The hubs and I were hungry and in bad moods all the time.  I could tell that I was losing weight by how loose my clothes were getting and how different my stomach looked.  But I don’t necessarily attribute that to how great the program is; I believe it had more to do with the fact that I was not getting enough calories in me daily.  I honestly believe that The Whole30 is a great program.  For some reason, however, the hubs and I were more on an Adkins diet instead of The Whole30, and that is why we were so miserable.  I love vegetables but, for some reason, I was not able to get the amount into us that we needed.  We were eating mostly proteins and just some vegetables and fruit.  I was so frustrated!  Why couldn’t I figure this out?!

By the time we had reached day 10, the hubs and I had argued more in the past 7 days than we had in the past 7 years.  We declared no diet was worth that!  On day 11 we were to attend my mom’s annual family reunion.  The hubs and I decided that, regardless of what was being served, we were going to eat and drink whatever the Hell we wanted because ithad to be better than what we were going through.  Oh, how wrong we were…  That night, September 4-5, neither one of us slept much.  The hubs, who had not taken any heartburn medication since we started The Whole30, could not lay down from the terrible heartburn.  He took some Prilosec and had to sit up all night long.  I tossed and turned, unable to get comfortable.  When I did doze off occasionally, I had nightmares and woke with a start, frequently.  The next day we were sluggish and irritable instead of just being irritable.

We decided to make some changes.  We knew we should not go back to eating as we had before starting The Whole30, but we also knew we could not continue as we were.  So, we compromised.  Due to my olive oil allergy and the disgustingly sweet taste of cooking in coconut oil, we added back canola oil and Wegman’s Basting Oil.  We also decided to add back a starch – brown rice.  We agree with the belief of The Whole30’s regarding soybean oil.  We are still vigilant to avoid soy products.  It was amazing to see how those few changes made a difference in ourselves, our marriage and our home.

Gratitude and Mushrooms

Yesterday I anticipated a rough return to B’s lessons after we spent 9 days at the beach.  And what a glorious 9 days they were!  *sigh*  But I was pleasantly surprised.  B was focused and attentive and we had a great time.  He reads to me from a chapter book everyday and yesterday it was from Riding The Pony Express by Clyde Robert Bulla.  He chose to lay down on the floor under one of the living room windows, between the sofa and his desk, so I laid down next to him.  There was just enough room for the two of us.  He’s gotten so much better with his reading that I did not feel the need to read along with him and ensure he is saying the correct word, not skipping words nor adding words that are not there.  We seem to be just about out of that phase.  I can tell if there is a difficult word b/c of his hesitation and he will ask for help if need be.  So I just laid there with my eyes closed, enjoyed the story and was filled with such contentment and pride.

When he finished the chapter, I opened my eyes and turned to look at him at the same time he turned to look at me.  As he read the feelings in my eyes, a huge smile spread across his face and then he rolled on top of me and gave me a big hug.  That morning, the hubs and I had been talking about our finances since I recently quit my part-time job, and I was worried.  But that worry was wiped away and now I was so happy and grateful for this boy of mine and a husband who supported me and didn’t doubt that we would be OK.  So, I said, “B, I am so grateful to God for you and your daddy.  We have so much to be thankful for that I want to thank Him right now.  Will you pray with me?”  He says, all perky, “Sure, Mama, I’ll pray with you.  Go on with your pray!”  (Hehehe – he calls prayers, “prays”, and the way he said it was like, “Go on witcha bad self!”)  After giving thanks, we finished up with the rest of our lessons and then had lunch.  B could not believe we were done; he said lesson time went by fast.  I’m glad he felt that way because it was almost 4 hours.

After lunch we went for a nature walk.  I got the idea from another HSer in the group I belong to.  She shared with us what she did with her children and I loved the idea.  After all the walking we did at the beach, it was hard being inside for so many hours, so I thought a nature walk would be fun.  I had B take a pad of paper and a pencil in case he wanted to sketch anything he saw and I had the camera on my phone.  The theme of the outing quickly became “Mushrooms”.  They were everywhere and all different kinds!  I don’t know if the high amounts of water and cloudiness recently has bred them or if they’ve always been there and I never saw them.  But I took pictures of them and B drew them.   There was this one group of trees, under which, we could not find any mushrooms, but we found several small spots that had been dug up.  I said to B I wonder if someone or something has been digging up the mushrooms to eat.  It wasn’t a dog, b/c the wholes were small and precise.  Finally we found a hole with half of a dug up mushroom left in  it.  Who is digging them up – a neighbor, a squirrel, a raccoon?  We were going to try and find out what the mushrooms were when we got home by comparing our pictures with those on the internet, but the hubs was already home when we got back to the house, so all that went out the window.  It was fun-daddy time!  When I put B to bed last night he said, “Mama?  I had a really fun time on our nature walk.  We should do it again sometime.”

Here is a picture I took of him sketching a mushroom:


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