Wednesday, March 31, 2010

all while waiting for sauce to thicken

Last night's dinner was an adventure.  Let's back up to Monday, when I went to SuperTarget to shop and discovered they had boneless, skinless chicken thighs for a price somewhere around $2.29/lb.  I was pretty sure I could find a better price, so I passed.  Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon.  I go to my go to spot for chicken thighs (Stater Bros.) to discover they don't even have any in the store.  I was bummed because I was tired and wanted to get home and get dinner started.  So I had to go back to SuperTarget.  Imagine the joy this bargain shopper had when I got to the chicken thighs and found they had a $3.00 off coupon on the package!  This bumped the price of the chicken thighs I got to just under $.99/lb.  Oh yea!!!

Well, I got home and got started on dinner.  The recipe from the Southern Living Slow Cooker Cookbook was Sweet Glazed Chicken Thighs.  Putting it all together to put in the slow cooker is speedy; I think I had it together in less than 6 minutes.  So I sat back and relaxed while they got going.  Little did I know the hard part was yet to come.

When the chicken is ready (tested with a thermometer), the recipe states: "Whisk together water and cornstarch in a small bowl; add to sauce in slow cooker, increase heat to HIGH.  Whisk constantly until sauce begins to thicken, about 6 minutes later."  What happened six minutes later?  Besides an arm cramp, absolutely no thickness - none.  So I added more cornstarch...and then a little more....and then, at the 15 minute mark - I gave up.  So we had chicken and rice.  Nothing else.  Sad dinner.  I was even going to get some broccoli going, but my arm hurt!  The saving grace for the recipe is the chicken is really good and tender, if a bit dry. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Game Night, Pizza Night, Same Diff

Trying to get back into the swing of things has made for a tiresome day.  Thankfully, we were rewarded with a great (and important) win by the Mavericks tonight (Dirk for his 2nd career triple-double) and a pizza worth the time it took to make it. 
We are pretty simple pizza eaters by most standards.  Every once in a while we will step outside the box and try something new, but mostly we like pepperoni.  Drew prefers onions with his; I like black olives (as many as possible) with mine.  So it was not anything special, but it was good. 
I used the Pampered Chef Pizza Dough mix.  This was the first attempt and skepticism soon turned to incredibly doughy hands, followed by...SUCCESS.  It actually did what it said it was going to do...I was thrilled.  Thank you PC.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with the other half of the dough produced by these efforts...any suggestions?
After the dough was together, I rolled it out into a thin crust and spread some pizza sauce over most of it.  To top the pizza I used mozzarella and parmesan, pepperoni, onions on one side, black olives on the other, and sprinkled the top with a little Italian seasoning.  I threw it in the oven for 17 minutes and was very pleased the results.  I think it is better than Pizza Hut and a whole lot cheaper.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back to Basics

After a monthlong lack of posting and planning, I am back and ready to cook again.  I cooked a couple times in the last month, but mostly relied on the kindness of friends and the greed of the fast food industry to get us through. 
So I thought I would wade into the shallow end and then work back up to full speed (yes, that's a mixed metaphor).  Thank goodness for a slow cooker and lots of recipes to try.  Tonight's came from Southern Living Slow Cooker Cookbook  - Cheesy Chicken Casserole.  Don't you just love the recipes that don't try too hard in the name department?  This one is simple to throw together.  It is also nice because you can start it later in the day than most SC recipes and it is still ready in time for dinner.  I served it with salad.  When we tried it, Drew said it is called Chicken Devan (sp?) and tastes like what his mom made.  This is a pretty good compliment for Drew and then the compliment of all compliments for every displaced Southern woman...He went back for SECONDS!  So this one was a hit!  I enjoyed it too, I think it could have been a little less creamy, but it was great in the taste department.
Oh and by the way, wading into the shallow end does not include taking pictures of the results...sorry, deep end later in the week.