Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chicken Piccata and Blood on the Kitchen Floor

There I stood, in front of the bathroom mirror at work, with the scissors from my desk drawer, chopping at my bangs and knowing I should stop, but I couldn't.  It was one of THOSE all started with cleaning blood off the kitchen floor.

I got up, velcro dog followed me downstairs, I patted his head, started the coffee, and went into the exercise/dish room and popped in a video.  I exercised for 45 minutes, went into the living room and made a fire, poured myself a cup of coffee, turned for the creamer and there was blood all over the floor.  Not the "someone just got murdered in my kitchen" kind of blood, but the "Someone hit a major vein and is going to need a lot of stitches" kind of blood.

After a quick check to make sure it wasn't me (I can never tell these days).

"Tucker, what the hell?" I call (he had just got his stitches out the day before and I figured he was really oozy).  I grabbed the cleaner, washed the kitchen floor, got an old towel and called him to make him lay down on it.  He came over and started to lay down and I went to give him a pat...AND SAW THE INSIDE OF HIS CHEST..the muscles covering his ribs, the bloody oozy stuff.  His incision site had popped open, the area hadn't healed and the stitches came out too early.  Crap.

"DAVE" I hollered as I headed up the stairs, but staying in sight of Tucker so he wouldn't climb and open the area any more.  "Get up, we have to take Tucker to the vet NOW."

I told him what happened, Dave jumped up, threw on some sweats, loaded the dog in the jeep and he was out the door before he even had a cup of coffee.

I got ready for work and when Dave got home with my jeep, I went to work.

The rest of the day was fine, almost...I got some work done, had lunch with a couple of friends, went shopping for work and back to the office to get a publication to the printer before they closed.  I was waiting on one school district.  I had emailed and reminded them, but now we were past the 1:00 deadline so I called them.  A call right back was promised and I said I had to be at the printer by I waited, and I waited, and I waited.

Then, those left-over donuts that were brought yesterday for our staff meeting started calling my name, LOUDLY.  Now, I didn't eat one when they were fresh, slightly warm, with the frosting a little soft and sticky from the warmth, no I waited until they sat out for two days and they were stale, hard and really not delicious...but I ate them anyway, as I stressed about the printing deadline and the afternoon slump set in (made worse by the adrenalin I produced in the morning after seeing my dog's insides). And I say 'they' because I didn't eat one; no, I ate two.  Even as I ate them and told myself they were not delicious, I could have a fresh warm one tomorrow or even on the way home tonight, I continued to eat one and then reach for the second one. I was a lost cause.

So, now I'm still waiting, hyped up on sugar and decide that is the perfect time to take my very dull scissors from my desk and trim my bangs since they had been hanging in my eyes all day and I was more than annoyed by then.  My office mate had gone home and I headed to the, yea.
It is a good thing hair grows.

Well, I needed a delicious treat so I made this for dinner.  It was warm, it was delicious, and it was healthier than those stale donuts.  At least dinner was a success.

Chicken Piccata
adapted from Barefoot Contessa

2 split boneless, skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1/2 Tbsp. water
3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
olive oil
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, (2 lemons)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp. chopped capers

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Mix flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper on a plate.  Mix egg and water in a shallow bowl.  Place breadcrumbs on another plate.

Pound chicken breasts into 1/2 to 1/4 even thickness.

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a sauté pan.  Dip chicken in flour, egg, then breadcrumbs and place in heated oil to brown on both sides.  Place on prepared sheet pan and bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through.

For the sauce, wipe out the sauté pan with a paper towel.  Add 1 Tbsp. butter, lemon juice, capers, and wine to pan.  Let it reduce by half.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter.

To serve, place one chicken breast on a plate, top with half the sauce.

2 servings

1 year ago:   Pumpkin Spelt Sourdough Bread and a Starving Friend
2 years ago:  Ultimate Decadent Brownies
3 years ago:  Apple, Bacon, and Onion Stuffed Pork Chops and My Pet Peaches

February 18, 2015  Sunrise 8:39 am  Sunset 5:32 pm  Temp. H 21/ L 1°F

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Mug Lemon Cheese Cake and the Lost Wedding Ring

Last Wednesday, after work, I went for physical therapy and a massage.  I arrived in my work clothes, and after my massage, left in my pajamas.  I took a pair of pj pants, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt to wear home.  I take all my jewelry off, so I put it in a red zip bag I have in my purse for mints and gum.  

I didn't get around to putting my jewelry on the next morning.  Not even my wedding ring!  We were busy, I mentioned it a couple of times but never took the time to reach into my purse and pull out the red zip bag to get everything on.  Friday went by, then Saturday.  But Saturday evening, we were going out for a Valentine's Day dinner, so on the way to the restaurant I reached into my purse to put on my jewelry and it was not there.  

I panicked.  I dumped everything out, hopeful that I was just missing it.  Nope, really not there.  We turned around and I searched through my car, perhaps the bag fell out on the floor...nope.  

We were already a little late for our reservation, so we went to the restaurant.  Dave gave me a hard time about losing my wedding ring, and bracelets, and diamond necklace, and earrings.  (Remember last year when I lost the diamond bracelet Dave gave me?) So, here I was losing stuff again.  I felt terrible.  Everyone tried to help.  We called the massage therapist to look in her massage room to see if I dropped it there, nope.  We thought about all the places it could be.  The Bboy and the Chick tried to change the subject and distract me.  Nothing worked.  

But then, the Bboy said something about the pajamas and the bag I take my clothes in.  Then I remembered!  I put the red bag in the big bag with my clothes, and I remembered putting my dress on top of the red bag...SO IT WOULDN'T FALL OUT, and then put my jacket on top of that.  I had it in my bedroom under all those, yes, I hadn't emptied the bag yet.  We had a very nice dinner after that.

As soon as we got home, I raced upstairs and retrieved my red gum bag full of jewelry!  I was so relieved.  

So for Mug cake Monday, I made these Cheese Cake Mug Cakes.  This is one kind of cake Dave really likes.  I figured I owed it to him for the trauma I created on our night out.

Mug Lemon Cheese Cake
Mug Cakes, Leslie Bilderback

1/2 cup graham crackers, crushed
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of kosher salt
Lemon zest, and juice of one lemon
1 large egg.

Divide the graham crackers between tow large mugs.  Top each with half of the butter.  Microwave each mug separately for 20 seconds until the butter is melted.  Stir the crumbs with a fork so they are well coated with butter.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and salt with a fork or large spoon until smooth and creamy.  Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and egg.  Beat the batter until smooth.  Divide the batter between the two mugs.  Plop the mixture on top of the graham crackers, and give each mug a little tap to settle the cheese mixture.  Microwave separately for 1/5 to 2/5 minutes each until the filling is slightly puffed (it will deflate).

Remove each mug from the microwave and chill for 15-60 minutes for full enjoyments.  Top with fresh berries and/or whipped cream.

1 year ago:   Maple Bacon Wrapped Chicken and Crock Pot Help
2 years ago:  Fried Dill Pickles and a Treat for My Husband
3 years ago:  Better than Sex Chex Mix

February 16, 2015   Sunrise 8:50 am  Sunset 5:21 pm  Temp.  H 34/ L 16°F

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sausage and Quinoa

Last week was a tough week.  The velcro dog is doing better, he got the drain out, pathology came back it was good, bad news (tumor was cancer, but very early stages and they think they got it all), my husband got sick and when I told him his mangina was showing because he was so grumpy and he got really mad and hasn't let it go, I got sick and called him a carrier, which also didn't go over well, it got cold again (-38 as I write this) and I feel like crap (oh yea, I already said that).

So, the last thing on my mind was blogging, besides I didn't have anything to say except complain about how bad I felt (nobody's got time to listen to that) and I didn't cook much because I was sick, Dave cooked dinner most nights.

So a couple days have gone by, I am feeling better, Dave still hasn't dropped the mangina comment (I'll never say that again, at least not in front of him) and I'm ready for life to get back to normal for a couple of weeks.

For work, I travel a lot, and our travel season officially starts Feb. 22.  I will be home 12 days total from Feb. 22 through April 26.  One day here, a couple days there, just long enough to unpack, have Dave do my laundry, and I'm off again.  So between now and Feb. 22 there is a long list of things I need to get done.

I hadn't planned on sharing this recipe.  It is one that I threw together for dinner with what I had on hand, but Dave started eating it and said, "Are you going to take pictures?  This is great, you can make it again."

And since he was still mad at me, that was high praise!  So, here it is.  I hope you enjoy it as much as Dave seemed to.

Sausage and Quinoa
adapted from Ellie Kreiger, Weeknight Wonders

1 cup rinsed quinoa
1.5 cups chicken broth
2 cups corn kernels,
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. moose sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 lime

Bring chicken broth to a boil, add quinoa.  Reduce heat to low and cover until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook sausage until browned, add onion and cook until softened.  Add corn, tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Cook until vegetables are tender, about 2 minutes.  Add quinoa and toss.  Chop cilantro.  Top quinoa and sausage with lime juice and cilantro.

1 year ago:     Pork Chops with Chick Pea Mash and Late Dinners
2 years ago:  Pear Upside-Down Cake and Watching Downton Abbey
3 years ago:  Chocolate Cake and Crazy Cooking Challange

February 11, 2015  Sunrise 9:03 am  Sunset 5:08 pm  Temp. H 1/ L -11 °F

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Better than Sex Monday Mug Cake

A couple years ago I was going through my recipe cards and came across this recipe for Better than Sex Cake.  I also added this Better than Sex Caketini and Better than Sex Chex Mix.  But if you think any of these things are better than sex, then someone isn't doing something right...just saying.

I found in my mug cake book a recipe for Better than Sex mug cakes.  I thought I would share it with you for Valentine's day week.  They are truly delicious, and if you don't have a date for Valentine's day, you get to eat both which is almost better than sex, um yea.

Better than Sex Mug Cake
Leslie Bilderback, mug cakes

1 large egg
3 1/2 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup self-rising flour
pinch of kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. caramel sauce
1 crushed Heath bar

In a large mug, whisk together the egg and oil with a fork. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, and brown sugar.  Add the flour and salt.  Beat the batter until smooth.  Swirl in the carmel sauce and crushed candy bar.  Divide the batter between two mugs.  Microwave separately for 1.5 to 2.5 minutes each until risen and firm.

Top with whipped cream, a caramel drizzle and a dust of crushed heath bar.

1 year ago:   Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad and Working Full Time
2 years ago:  Oatmeal Cookie Bars with Fudge Filling and Answered Prayers
3 years ago:  Pina Colada - Drink of the Week

February 9, 2015   Sunrise 9:10 am  Sunset 5:01 pm  Temp. H -9/ L -24°F

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sick Dogs

So this has been my week.  Tucker, our 13 year old golden retriever, had a tumor removed and he became the velcro dog.  He would not leave my side so I sat on the floor next to him to keep him still and calm.  Later in the week I moved to a chair and he sat on my feet, yes on, he had to be touching me.

I think this hurt my husband's feelings a little since Tucker is his dog, but it is what it is.  Tucker gets his tube out today and we are hoping for the pathology report also, say a little prayer for a benign tumor, we sure are.

Tucker is doing better.  He is eating, drinking, and moving fine, still the velcro dog but I think when ever you are really sick no one is better than your mom.

1 year ago:   Peach Skillet Cobbler
2 years ago:  The Blue Pants Problem and a Chocolate Martini
3 years ago:  50 Below and Cioppino

February 3, 2015   Sunrise 9:30 am,  Sunset 4:40 pm  Temp. H -12/ L -27