Monday, 24 September 2012

The Day I Made A Mess In My Kitchen

Everyone keeps posting these "OAMC" posts on Pinterest, but none of my friends have actually attempted to partake in the madness (as far as I know!).  So I thought "well, dammit.  I'm gonna give it a try!"  I headed off to our local Costco and shopped up a storm.  $282 dollars later, and I've got enough stuff for my cook-a-thon and various other bulk-sized goodies that I can't fit in my pantry.  I always forget to think about that.

My plan was to prepare, prepare, prepare.  I did nothing of the sort!  I'd printed out recipes, prep sheets, grocery lists.  They are still sitting on top of my fridge.  I figured that I'd just wing it.  I know what I like to eat and what my cooking capabilities are.  I'm pretty freaking lazy in the kitchen.  Bottled sauces, pre-washed veggies and spice packages fill my cupboards and fridge.

I had 10lbs of ground beef in the frying pan.
I had 4kg of chicken breast in the oven.
I had 4 kg of chicken wings defrosting just enough that I could seperate them.

I sliced onions and mushrooms, and grated cheese!  I chopped celery and opened the zipper on my bag of carrots!  Then I got all crazy and just started throwing things together!  It worked out well.  I managed to use a lot of "food cupboard crap" that I've had for ages but never had a reason to use!

I kicked the dog and cat outside as I couldn't stand the begging, but caved and let the dog back in 15 minutes later as I was making such a mess on the floor, and he's a pretty good vacuum.

All in all (including clean up) I spent 5 hours in the kitchen.  Clean up took almost an hour, and I was trying to clean as I went!  Haha.

This is what I ended with...

That's 17 separate meals, and I still have a full large freezer bag full of cooked chicken breast which I'll use for salads, pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and stuff and another 3lbs of stewing beef that I'll use for some kinda crockpotty meal!  I also made another double-sized lasagna that we had for dinner tonight (not pictured here as it's in my tummy!)

The freezer bags include:
2 bags (2+ dozen wings in each) of hot wings, 1 bbq wing, 1 teriyaki wing.  (We cook these over 2-3 hours at 200.  They taste so much better when they're done slowly in the oven!!!)
Taco meat.  (I add some salsa to the meat mix to give it more taste and a nicer consistency, then I throw it frozen into the crockpot for a few hours.  The hamburger meat is always pre-cooked!)
Spaghetti sauce with meat (for the crockpot, so the meat is browned.  Spaghetti sauce is yummier in the crockpot and I add 1/4 cup heavy cream at the end to give it a nicer color and flavor!)
Beef Stew and Beef Strogonoff bags.  (Both using common old spice packages.  Everything is thrown in the bag so that I know I have a decent meal laying around, even if I haven't gone shopping in a while.)

The contents of the aluminum tins are self-explanitory, but if you'd like specific directions, let me know!  Even though this was time consuming and messy... I'm sooooooooooo doing it again!  It felt so good to know that I have dinners that my boyfriend can throw in the oven for when I'm working late!

Keep your eyes peeled for the 2nd installment! Hehe

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Buffalo-ded Chicken!

I'm definitely getting a little more adventurous in the kitchen since the birth of Pinterest and recently I'd tried a recipe that I'd found on there from Kayotic Kitchen.  The link will open in a new window.  :)

Anyway... My Son is a bit of a fussier eater, but he LOVES hot wings, and pretty much anything that has hot sauce on it, so we keep a lot of it on hand.  I was about to make Kayotics awesome "Kaytucky Chicken" again, when I decided to improvise and this is what happened...

I made a delicious mixture of cream cheese, ranch dressing and Franks Red Hot Sauce.  My friend, Kaylea used to make this fabulous dip that tasted like hot wings, and this is what she made it with.  Recipe, STOLEN!  :D
I used:
1/2 block of cream cheese
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce (then I added more, for good measure!)

Mix it all up into a deliciously creamy mess...

Then take a good knife and make a slit through the middle of the chicken breast. Note how I forgot to take a picture before I started stuffing the chicken.  *sigh*

After that, stuff 'em!  I used all of the mixture between 4 breasts and it was perfect.  :)
Don't they look lovely?  =D

I didn't want to make any puff pastry and I had some Shake N Bake in the cupboard.  I'm pretty sure it was for pork, but I'm sure it doesn't matter in the long run. I carefully covered the breasts with the Shake N Bake (there was no shaking involved otherwise the stuffing would be... unstuffed.), then threw them in a 350 degree oven.  After about 10 minutes I had a peek. I couldn't help it, and ZOMG!  They smelled delightful. I baked mine for 35 minutes as I have a convection oven, you'd probably wanna do 45 minutes in a conventional oven.

And again, I forgot to take a picture of them as soon as I took them out of the oven because I was soooooooooooo hungry and they smelled DELICIOUS.  Here's a shot after a few bites.  Hehe.

I'll be making these again! And again, and again!!!

Screw you, Lunchables! >:D

I am the Mother of a quirky 13 year old daughter who knows much more than I ever could know, and a lazy 15 year old son whose idea of lunch is an entire box of granola bars "because it's easy".

My daughter adamantly tells me that she has superpowers that allow her to get through an entire school day on a bagel or some oatmeal because it's simply "not cool" to have lunch at school and there's simply no time to eat in the 45 minute lunch break that they're given. 

That's when I decided to up the "cool factor" on school lunches so that I know that they're at least eating somewhat decently.  Neither of them like sandwiches and end up throwing them out regardless of how awesome I make them, so I don't waste my time!  (I personally hate sandwiches too, so I can't really fault them for that.)  The boyfriend likes whatever, so he's not a problem.

I tried a few different things last year and nothing seemed to work.  I guess it's too hard to have to look in the cupboard AND the fridge.  They just went straight for the cupboard snacks, which is all crap (yes, I like to have some junk food laying around the house, but I definitely like my healthier snacks too!)

I bought a bunch of Betty Crocker toss-away containers from the dollar store.  They come 2/pack for $1.25. Not bad, seeing as how my daughters other superpower is that she loses shit.  All.The.Time.  Grrr!  

These are what I made!  *proud smile*

Each one has some good, some bad in it but everyone seems to love them, so I'll keep making them and changing it up a bit each time.  

These ones have a:
Granola bar
Cheese and Pepperoni stick
Yoghurt covered raisins
Fruit snacks
Baby carrots
Campari tomato
Sweet mini pepper

So like I said in the title... Screw you, Lunchables!  You ain't got nothin' on me, and these probably cost less than $1.50 for each snackbox!  Win-Win!