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Kitchen experiments

15 Oct

Cooking and baking are some of my coping techniques when I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed. That’s usually when I come up with some of my best recipes. Is that transferable skills from getting the munchies?

Have you heard of the dump cake? You know the one where you pour cake mix and butter over a can of fruit. I made one with pears yesterday. It’s my son’s favorite thing ever. In fact, that’s what he wanted for his birthday cake.

But he spent the night with a friend last night and I ate half the pan. So I figured I better not eat the rest of it because he knew I made it. That’s the bad thing about using the kitchen as a coping skill. You eat what you create.

I was hungry this morning, but I didn’t want cereal. I really wanted his half of the cake. So I decided to scrounge through the cupboards to see what I could come up with.

I found one of those single serve things of pears. And the light bulb went off! Make a little one just for one. I don’t have measurements for this one today. It was a some of this, some of that kind of morning.

I mixed some granola with a little pancake mix, I didn’t want to drag out the big flour jug. Added some brown sugar, I used a table spoon, like a soup spoon, rounded over. Some vanilla. The bottle was almost empty so it all went in. Mixed it all together and sprinkled it over my pears in a small pan that I had sprayed with pan spray. Poured some melted butter over it all and stuck it in a 350 oven for 25 minutes. Just like the big one. When it was done the whole house smelled of butter and brown sugar. They really need to make that a Scentsy flavor.

The funny thing is, by the time it was done, my craving was gone. Maybe the smell was what the craving was for. So I only ate part of it. I’ll have the rest as dessert after dinner.

  • I’m grateful I can make something out of nothing when I’m in the kitchen. And that 90% of the time, it ends up being delicious. I’m grateful my cravings are short lived. I’m grateful my house smells so yummy today. Brown sugar, butter and vanilla baking in the oven is heavenly.

Night all. LOVES


Easy hot breakfasts

9 Oct

Today I decided to share some more quick and easy recipes I’ve come up with lately.

I love waffles, but making waffles for one has been an interesting adventure for a while now. I say for one because if you follow a normal recipe, you’re up with many, many extra waffles. I know you can freeze them and reheat them later, but my toaster isn’t the best at that. So I figured out how much mix to use to make 1-2 waffles. I use pancake mix because it usually comes from the food bank. Mix 1/2 cup mix in a small bowl with 1 egg and 1/2 cup milk. Sometimes I’ll add a dash or two of cinnamon. Pour into your preheated favorite waffle maker. My waffle maker makes 2 waffles squares at a time and this amount makes about 3 squares.

Another breakfast I’ve come up with came from wanting oatmeal because it’s cold out. I’ll  take a cup of granola and add a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a squeeze of syrup in a microwave safe cereal bowl. Heat on high for 90 seconds and stir.

Both of these are amazing breakfasts. Especially as it gets cooler in the mornings. Although I have been known to eat them for lunch and dinner too.

  • I’m grateful I can find new and different ways to use the stuff I get from the food banks. I’m grateful I have perseverance to keep trying new things. I’m grateful cool mornings so I can have hot breakfast.

Night all. LOVES

Feeling yucky & stone soup

1 Oct

I feel yucky today. Actually started last night. I had to get up in the middle of the night to get something for a headache. And I still woke up this morning with the same headache.

I decided I needed some chicken soup to help me feel better. But it’s the end of the month and the cupboards are nearly bare. So what to do? You go with it and see what happens.

I started by having Carson start the process. He put 2 frozen chicken breasts in the electric skillet with two 32 oz. cups of water, turn it on to 350 and put the lid on.

I went in about 15 minutes later and added salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and sriracha. After another 15 minutes, I cut up the chicken into little pieces and put them back into the pan. Then I cannibalized the meals on wheels TV dinner things for all the frozen veggies. Added a can of black beans for more protein and a package of egg noodles. Stirred everything and let it go for another 10 minutes.

Then a scrounged some more and found a forgotten ramen seasoning packet and threw that in with some soy sauce and some fish sauce. After tasting, I decided it needed a bit more garlic, salt, and sriracha.

I’ve had 2 bowls already and there’s still lots left. Carson had his in a mug. The only thing that’s not perfect is all the noodles have soaked up the broth. Carson isn’t thrilled about that. He would rather have broth than anything else. Ever! I’m sure we’ll figure something out.

  • I’m grateful that all those lean years gave me the knowledge to make “stone soup” as my mother called it. I’m grateful that the soup has finally helped me feel warmer. I’m grateful that I have leftovers when I wasn’t sure I would have firsts.

Night all. LOVES

Easy chicken dinner

10 Sep

Tonight is a recipe night. Mainly because cooking helps me out of my funk and I really don’t need any sweets at the moment. My self-control button is stuck.

In my electric skillet, I put a tablespoon of butter and about a tablespoon and a half of oil and brought it to a slow heat while I prepped my veggies. I used 1 large onion, 5 little potatoes, and 3 long, but skinny carrots. I peeled and chunked everything and threw it on with the oil. Turned the heat to 350. Took 3 frozen chicken breasts out of the freezer and laid them on top of the veggies. Salt, pepper, and garlic powder over all. Put the lid on and let it all hang out for about 45 minutes or so. Stirred everything and turned over the chicken. Put the lid back on to hang out for about 20 more minutes. When the veggies are tender and the chicken juices are clear, dinner is done. Easy peasy.

Now to see how much my picky child will eat.

  • Tonight I’m grateful to have stuff lying around to be used. Even if I actually need to cook it. I’m grateful it’s cooled off outside. The doors are open and I might actually have to turn one of the fans off. I’m grateful for another day clean and sober.

Night all. LOVES

Veggie stir-fry

20 Aug

I have all these vegetables hanging out in my fridge because I got a food order this week and I got some zucchini and summer squash from one of those Facebook free pages.

So tonight I decided to throw them all together to see what I could come up with.

I put a couple of tablespoons of butter and a little oil in my electric skillet set on 350, added one medium onion, sliced into moons and let it start to brown. I then added a small zucchini and a summer squash, cut into half moons, some salt, pepper and garlic powder and let them hang out for a bit.

I then cut all the stems off a bunch if broccoli and threw them in with the frying veggies, saving the blossoms for later. They don’t need to cook as long. I also chopped a large tomato into chunks and set it aside with the broccoli florets.

I knew I need some protein so I took 2 thick deli sliced ham and cut it into chunks and set it aside. I also chunked up some cheddar because it’s cheese!

I added the broccoli and tomatoes to the skillet, stored everything well. I added some fish sauce and some soy sauce, just once around the pan, and about a tablespoon of brown sugar to cut the acid of the tomatoes and make it kind of a teriyaki flavor. I put the lid on for 5 minutes to steam the broccoli and to finish the rest of the veggies.

When I removed the lid, I added the ham and cheese and 2 beaten eggs to the middle of the pan. Stirred until the eggs started to set then stirred it throughout the pan to incorporate the rest of the veggies. Added some sriracha, again just once around the pan. Put the lid back on and turned the heat off.

Let everything sit and mingle while I fixed a glass of strawberry lemonade I bought while out yesterday, checked my sugar, and did my insulin.

Makes enough for some now and a late night snack later. The only downside is it was really watery. I don’t think I needed to put the lid on the second time. But I know I’m full and happy.

  • I’m grateful to have fresh veggies in my house. It doesn’t happen as often as I would wish because they’re expensive. I’m grateful that my eyes are finally starting to quit hurting from yesterday. At least enough to write this with the brightness turned low. I’m grateful I don’t mind listening to music and things when I can’t always read. I don’t like not being able to read but I’ll deal with it.

Night all. LOVES


What are you eating?

9 Aug

I’m being lazy this month. The high temperatures haven’t helped. But here it is into the second week of the month and I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet. We’ve been eating and making do with what’s in the cupboards.

This morning for breakfast I made some baked oatmeal. I started with almost a cup of rolled oats. I added one grated pear, the juice from 2 small oranges (about 2/3 cup), some cinnamon (I didn’t measure because the lid was open and more than I wanted went into the bowl) some freshly grated nutmeg (didn’t measure that either), 1/4 cup brown sugar. Blend it all together and spread on a greased tray and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Until it’s brown and toasty.

For dinner I’m doing some chicken. I put 2 frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a pan of  water. I added some pepper, garlic powder, sriracha, Italian seasoning, soy sauce and some fish sauce to the water. I also added a handful of frozen celery and a handful of frozen onion. Brought it to a boil, lowered to a simmer and let it hang out until the chicken isn’t pink in the middle. Then I have chicken I can chop up and use in some noodles, the child likes ramen. And I have about a quart of chicken broth. I might add some of the frozen brown rice I have in the freezer to made some chicken rice soup.

I’m hoping the chicken will help us both feel better. I have a scratchy, sore throat, a growly voice, and a runny nose. I’ve used most of a roll of tp just since last night. The child has a cough and sore throat. I had the windows and doors open late last night because I figured all the smoke had dissipated, but I guess not.

  • I’m grateful to have stuff stashed in the house for those moments when I just can’t get out to the store. I’m grateful to be able to make excellent Whatchagot stew. I’m grateful that the weather is cooling off. Haven’t even turn the air conditioning on yet today.

Night all. LOVES

Day 2 of the Oregon blast furnace

4 Aug

Today the temperature has gotten up to 104. It’s not as high as expected because we have a layer of smoke from the forest fires between us and the sun. Good thing because it helps keep it cooler. Bad thing because you can’t go outside without seriously impacted breathing. They’ve even closed all the outdoor pools in the county.

We attempted to sleep downstairs last night because it was just too hot upstairs. I don’t think it got below 75 up there all night. I say attempted because I was on my broken couch. It has started to eat me and is funny to watch me climb out of it. Carson was in the recliner using a chair as a footstool because it doesn’t recline anymore. Neither of us slept much. And we’ve been nodding off and on all day. He is currently snoring!

I wanted to throw out a quick little snack that we like when it’s warm out. Or anytime actually. Especially for breakfast.

Put 1 cup ice in a blender cup. We have a Ninja with the single serving tumblers. Add a tablespoon of unsweetened vanilla coffee creamer, 2 tablespoons of hot chocolate mix (like Nestle or Swiss Miss), 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and 1 cup of milk. Pulse until smooth. We add a banana if we have it. Or a 1/2 cup of yogurt. It’s also really good to use other types of fruit and leave out the chocolate. If the fruit is frozen, use less to no ice, depending on desired thickness. I also use non dairy milk like almond, soy, or the like. If it’s a lean week and we’re out of milk of any kind, I’ve used 3 tablespoons of dry milk powder and ice cold water with a dash of vanilla essence. Serve with a straw. I came up with this when I was looking for ways to get more protein in our diet. Especially for my non meat-eating child.

  • I’m grateful that we have options to stay cool. There are many here in the city that don’t. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to keep us drinking fluids. Mostly water even. I’m grateful it’s supposed to cool down to 102 tomorrow!

Night all. LOVES