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Blog Archive for February, 2012

I Made Soup Y’all!

Categories: Featured, Homeowner Tips | Posted: February 17, 2012

Have you noticed that although the weather in North Texas has been very Bipolar of late, we only get the cold and dreary stuff on the weekends?  I’m all stuck inside working while it’s bright and sunny and warm and then the weekend comes and I can’t bring myself to get out of bed because the weather is so disappointing.  So to cheer myself up, I decided to make Caldo de Pollo.  That’s chicken soup, Mexican Style.

 

My first order of business was to call all my relatives to find out how they make Mexican Rice, since I’d never made it before (or even Chicken Soup for that matter).  My cousin Feliz had a completely different way of making it than my sister.  My cousin Yvette didn’t call me back (she hates sharing her recipes because they are the best) but I have eaten her rice and watched her make it in the rice cooker once before.  After heavy consultation, I did what I always do and take the best ideas from every one else and make it my own way.

 

I decided to make the rice and the chicken soup separately and then add them together when I served it up.  I used boneless skinless chicken tenderloins instead of a whole chicken since I don’t like bones or skin or dark meat.  I put quite a bit of low sodium, fat free chicken broth in my crock pot, added the chicken tenderloins and cranked that baby up.  Now it’s time for the rice.

 

I used brown rice, which was the first departure from tradition.  I browned it with some onions and garlic in a skillet.  Then I dumped it unceremoniously in the rice cooker and added a can of Rotel with cilantro.  That was the second departure from tradition.  Most people I know use tomato paste or tomato sauce.  I also know a lot of people who add peas and carrots to their rice, but I’ve never like it that way.  Instead of water I cooked the rice with more chicken broth.

 

I did chop up carrots and celery and add that to the chicken and broth fiesta in the crock pot.  After a while there was a chicken-y scum floating on the top, but I was too lazy to skim it or strain it.  Hey, I’m an amateur!

No, I didn’t forget to list the spices.  I didn’t add any.  I left that up to the can of Rotel and the natural yumminess of the ingredients I was using.

After everything cooked up to perfection (I mean I went to the gym, had a shower and was now ready for my lunch which was bubbling up nicely in the crock pot all morning) I served myself a half a cup of rice and a cup of chicken soup on top.  YUM!

Fall Cooking: Spaghetti Squash

Categories: Featured, Homeowner Tips | Posted: October 20, 2011

Scooping out pulp from an uncooked Spaghetti Squash

If you have ever watched The Biggest Loser or any other weight loss shows, I am sure you have heard of Spaghetti Squash as a great alternative to pasta.  I have been on a big health kick since February of this year and I think I have eaten pasta only twice in that time span.  I can’t handle the carbs and calories in my diet.  But recently I have been craving pasta.  So, on a whim at the grocery store this past weekend I thought I’d buy a Spaghetti Squash.

I got really excited thinking about all the ways I used to eat pasta and what I could cook to go with the spaghetti squash.  I was really squealing with joy.  So after a quick Google query on how to cook the thing, I was off!  I set the oven to 375° and got the Big Knife from the set I received as a wedding gift.  I have only used that knife like, three times and only on a watermelon, so I was unprepared for how tough a Spaghetti Squash is!  I was fighting that thing and praying the knife didn’t fly out of my hands and hit my dogs (who always hang out in the kitchen when I get the cutting board out).  Finally after wrestling with it and not cutting myself or my furry friends (whew!) I began the drudgery of scooping out the pulp.  Hated it.

Next I placed it rind up on a baking sheet and set the timer for 35 minutes.  After it cooked, I let it cool for a while until it was only slightly warm to the touch.  The website I visited on how to cook it warned of burns if you scraped it too soon.  It was so easy!  I just took the fork and scraped it from one end to the other and it fell right into the plastic container.  Since I am the only one in my house who will even look at a vegetable I was worried that I would have too much.  But since I ate half a container of it at my first sitting, I think I’m safe!

On my first taste it was a little sweet.  I thought that was OK since I usually add a little sweetener to my homemade pasta sauce, I’d just plan to leave it out.  My favorite way to eat pasta is as a side dish with a little butter and cheese and seasonings.  So I paired it with my steak and sprinkled a little garlic salt and some Italian seasoning on it.  No butter or cheese, but I’m used to that now.   I. Was.In. Heaven.  It had a slight crunch that I adored.  So the conclusion: Spaghetti Squash-Good and Easy to make!  Four Stars on this veggie!

Cooling

 

 

Scraping the Spaghetti out

Scraping the Spaghetti out

 

Almost finished scooping

Empty Rinds

 

Can I have some Mom?