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Food & Drink

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Chicken-Asparagus Pasta

Posted by Joni in Food & Drink

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I decided I was tired of rice so I scrapped my original idea to make a chicken and rice casserole. I just browned my chicken thighs and then brown the following vegetables: asparagus, celery, mushrooms, and onion, in oil and butter. Then I dumped in a box of rotini pasta and 2 cups of vegetable broth, returned the brown chicken thighs to the pan put a lid on it and I’m steaming it for 25 minutes. Right before it’s done I’m gonna stir in a little cream so I’ll have a nice pasta casserole. I’ll post a picture when it’s finished. I hope it turns out good, or at least edible, because it’s what I will be eating for the next few days. I used my Sunny Paris Penzeys spices blend on the chicken thighs and on the vegetables along with some all purpose Greek seasoning. No salt of course. And my vegetable broth is always either low or no sodium. Recipe and cooking times below.

Blog Post

The Last Best Thanksgiving

Posted by Joni in About Him, About Me, Food & Drink, Holiday

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I am remembering Robo’s last Thanksgving, our last Thanksgiving together. I recently spoke to a friend who is going through a rough patch with a dying relative. She told me, I keep thinking of things in terms of “last” as in last birthday, last Thanksgiving, last Christmas, etc. I told her not to thinnk of them as the last, but the best or the most cherished. And that is what Thanksgiving 2011 is to me, and always will be.

Thanksgiving was always Roberto’s favorite holiday, for reasons you can imagine: Food and football, a license to pig out and overdose on sports on TV? It doesn’t get better than that if you are a guy!

The menu was fairly simple. We were hooked on Giada DeLaurentiis and her cooking shows, so a lot of the dishes were Giada-inspired. For starters, I made a berry strada. Followed by tomato and green bean casserole. I also made cornbread with creamed corn and jalapeno peppers, rich and creamy. I had found a fresh turkey breast at the grocer and roasted that on my own (later I would come to rely on precooked turkey from Pappas and Honey Baked Ham Co.). Dessert was the traditional Chess Pie that he loved so much.

I couldn’t know then, when I was happily cooking for the man I loved that it would be a short two weeks later that he would be gone. I couldn’t know then that the Thanksgiving we shared in 2011 would be our last together. That no other Thanksgiving since then could ever compare, with him not around.

So this Thanksgiving, when you are gathered with your loved ones, don’t hesitate to hug them and tell them how much they mean to you. You may not get another chance next year.

Make THIS holiday the BEST one ever, whether it’s the last one or not.

Blog Post

Chicken Tequila … It’s What’s For Dinner

Posted by Joni in Food & Drink

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Tonight, I’m making one of Robert’s favorites. It’s a dish copied from the Alonti Deli in downtown Houston, and made better by me (at least according to Robert, but maybe that’s because he likes sleeping indoors!). It’s very easy to fix, start the salted water boiling for the pasta while you prep the vegetables. By the time you’ve melded the sauce, the pasta is ready to drain and dinner is served, in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup grilled chicken, cubed (I use 6 oz. Hormel Select Carved chicken breast)
  • Four bell peppers, cleaned and julienned
  • 1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 12 ounces pasta (I recommend fettuccini or bow tie pasta), cooked in salted water
  • Alfredo Sauce (I use Monterrey Pasta Co. fresh alfredo sauce)
  • Tablespoon granulated chicken boullion
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • Shredded parmesan

Preparation

  1. Once your salted water has come to a boil you can start preparation.
  2. Add pasta to boiling water.
  3. Clean and julienne four bell peppers (I like to use green, orange, yellow and red).
  4. Clean and slice mushrooms.
  5. Heat olive oil in wide saute pan and add peppers. Saute lightly for about five minutes, then add mushrooms.
  6. Add chicken, toss well with peppers and mushrooms.
  7. Add alfredo sauce, boullion crystals, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
  8. Add Tabasco sauce to taste (this can be omitted completely if you like).
  9. Simmer on low heat until heated through and pasta is done.
  10. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

Blog Post

You Are What You Eat

Posted by Joni in Food & Drink

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I have suddenly been inspired to start eating healthy. (This after polishing off a half a bag of Cheese Doodles, yuk yuk.) I was reading Cami Walker’s blog and she is going on a major health/yoga kick right now to sort out some personal issues. She shared this recipe and so am I. It sounds good to me, although I have no idea what wheat berries are. So I’ll probably stroll on down to Whole Foods this Saturday to buy the ingredients.

WHEAT BERRY CONGEE

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 3-5 cups water — start with 3 and slowly add more as needed as it evaporates
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 5 nickel-sized chunks of ginger
  • small handful of dried cranberries
  • small handful blueberries
  • 5 strawberries

Preparation

  1. Put everything in a pot.
  2. Bring to boil, stirring regularly for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low simmer and cover pot for 1-2 hours, or until wheat berries are soft.
  4. Stir regularly.
  5. It’s yummy hot, but is also good cold with rice milk.

Blog Post

Fat Freddy Versus the Golden Arches.

Posted by Joni in Current Events, Food & Drink, Weighty Matters

In the latest frivolous lawsuit to tie up the court system, someone is suing McDonald’s because they now have weight and/or heart and/or cholesterol problems from eating too many Big Macs. Uh, ya THINK? Unreal. That’s a bit like suing a cathouse after you contract a case of clap, wouldn’t you say? Shoulda known better! Everyone is trying to skirt blame for their own predicaments; no one wants to accept responsibility for his or her mistakes. I have made a few in my lifetime, and probably will make a few more before it’s all over. But each and every one of my screwups was at my own hands! There was no one to blame but myself! Sheesh. It will be interesting to see how far this case gets. I keep forgetting that it’s not a JUSTICE system; it’s merely a LEGAL system.