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Last night I got home from work and went on a run. The weather was amazing and while I was on my run all I could smell were people getting the BBQ going. And it smelled amazing. And all I could think about was the last time I had a  burger. So I went to Kroger and made the best burger ever. And it was  amazing.

That’s all.

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When you work at a preschool or around children of that age, you begin to adopt lots of their habits. For example, you whine (if not out loud then at least to yourself) a lot more than normal adults. You also discover an itch to throw something when you don’t get your way. The need for naps becomes blatantly apparent and you begin to realize that sometimes the best lunches are those that are most simple and sweet.

And many of you tease the fact that on most days my preferred lunch of choice consists of peanut butter and jelly with an apple and some other goodie, but seriously. It’s delicious.

Today, in my midst of being an adult and coupon cutting, no coupon or advertisement excited me more than the one I found for Uncrustables. So simple! So delicious! AND! They now have GRILLED CHEESE VARIETY! And Peanut Butter and Honey! On Wheat?! Oh, man. Guys, seriously. Don’t knock ’em til you’ve tried ’em and I’ve got such a suspicion that you’ve never even thought of trying them.

EDIT: Next time I’m Krogering, which may be tonight, I am going to buy one of the new varieties and give you a FULL REPORT on how AMAZING it really is.

Isn’t really as cool as I thought it would be.

Eff it, dude. We’re going to Target. And then probably playing some sort of Monopoly or Scrabble.

I’m big on packing my own lunch for work. It’s cheaper, easier and I almost always get what I want. Granted, it gets boring (crackers, apple, PB&J) it always has a way of leaving me satisfied.

 The Museum Center has a typical museum food court going on. The one corporate sponsor (Pizza Hut) and then the sandwiches, fried foods, burgers and salads which many of my co-workers partake in on a daily basis. Hence a major reason that I won’t touch the stuff, some of it just looks downright nasty. But last week, at a staff lunch, my boss had a salad that looked amazing. Now, there are few things in life that I love more than a good salad. Crasins? Apples? Feta? MIXED GREENS?!?! I’m all about it, so imagine my surprise at the mixed greens, crasins, feta, apple and grilled chicken salad I saw in the dining area today. It had to be mine. So I bought my salad and out of lack of a balsamic vinaigrette (my favorite dressing), I went for the raspberry vinaigrette which I had never had before.

And I will never.

Have.

Again.

The dressing tasted like vomit. Totally sickening and awful. And it didn’t help that it covered what tasted like rancid feta cheese, wilted lettuce, weird dried apple things and crasins that you couldn’t taste because they were covered in raspberry vomitgrette dressing.

And that wasn’t chicken.

And now I don’t feel so well.

In other museum news, today I was in the Trading Post and a little loquacious young lady came in and was telling me ALL about her rock collection. And I guess I kept saying “Cool” a lot because she paused her story, looked at me and said “You say ‘cool’ a lot.”

So I guess it’s time to retire “cool” from my vocabulary. Kosher? 

My crazy hectic awful schedule leaves me little time for kitchen fun. But! Last night presented an opportunity! So! I present to you…

Spicy Roasted Tomato Chicken!!!
Chicken breast cooked in crushed red pepper, hot sauce, EVOO, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then it sits in a bath of juicy tomato for 20 ish minutes. Smack that down on some brown rice and you’ve got some good eatin’.

“Geeeeeeeeeeeeeene Parmesan!!!”

Tonight, Amigos, in honor of my brother Clayton’s return from Italy, I stole a recipe from Giada, that spicy little I-talian number they have on Food Network, and cooked Mushroom Parmesan for the Vegetarians and me. Satisfying, rich and flavorful. It was definitely a good choice. More, more! After the jump!

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Preface: For those who don’t know, last Friday I got a brand new, abso-freakin’-lutely beautiful HDTV that I’m calling Darryl Hannah. She’s a beaut and the answer to your question is ‘Yes.’ I have developed a very deep and interpersonal relationship with my television set. Sue me.

Since I got the TV I’ve been watching a crap ton of Food Network because everything looks high-def enough to eat right off the screen. Watching all of this Food Network and having to prepare all my meals for myself, has really made me realize how much I truly do love cooking and spending time in the kitchen. So, you can imagine my excitement when last Sunday on my adventures around Boone County with Taylor and Joe, we stopped at a few farmer’s markets and we were able  to buy pretty peppers, potatoes, green beans, giant onions, sweet corn, eggplant, delicious cantalope and homemade jam! In fact, that night, Joe, Taylor and I used some of our new ingredients to make quite the filling and delicious dinner! But, I was pretty upset when I realized that because of work scheduling or other commitments (like seeing SUPERBAD tonight!! Full report later, I promise!) I wouldn’t be cooking a nice meal for myself until Tuesday! Well, all my delicious veggies will be no where near fresh by then, so I took today’s special circumstance to make myself a fantastic and easy late lunch/early dinner!

 

I figured that a good way to use up some of these veggies would be to make some sort of concoction where I could use a lot of them at once. Being that I had one bell pepper that I was especially anxious to try, as well as some other things, I decided to make a stuffed bell pepper with ground turkey and some other fun veggies, too.

First I put the ground turkey and EVOO on the skillet and let it get pretty well cooked before I threw on the veggies that I knew wouldn’t take too long to cook. While the turkey was cooking up, I cut off the top of my round bell pepper and cleaned out the inside and once that was cleaned out, I rubbed basil and garlic powder all on the inside of the pepper, because as you should know by now, I cannot cook without garlic.

When the turkey was pretty well cooked, I put in a diced onion, sliced garlic, crushed garlic, Hungarian hot pepper and some oregano, salt and basil and a few dashes of Tabasco. When the onions started to look a little toasty, I threw on some ketchup to cool off the heat brought on by the Hungarian hot peppers and the Tabasco. When everything was simmering, I threw on the pepper, open side down to the skillet and let it get a little bit soft and let the basil and garlic get it on before they were rudely interruped by the Ground Turkey Gang which got scooped into the pepper by an ice cream scooper and left to soak up the heat on the skillet for about 5 minutes. When that was all said and done, I covered the top with shredded mozzarella cheese (my favorite) and basil and let it all continue hang out while I started to clean up my cooking mess.

 Once all was said and done, and I decided it was still plenty spicy, I put a squirt of Ranch dressing on the plate to help cool down my mouth if it ended up spontaneously catching on fire from the Hungarian hots. I’m glad I did because it was… whew. Spicy. But good spicy, not flavor-masking spicy.

And that’s that!

Who knows, maybe someday soon, I’ll muster up the courage to once again face my fear of cooking fish.

Terrifying.

Til next time, let’s go cooking!

This past weekend I moved into my very own apartment! As Carla would say, “Nobody lives there but me!” and so far, so good.

But let’s take a look at some pictures to better illustrate Silena and Chelsea’s great road trip and moving in experience.

Meet you after the jump!

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Well, since moving in on Saturday, family has made it a point to feed me some absolutely delicious dinners. Aside from making Silena and myself scrambled eggs one morning, a bowl of cereal the next and peanut butter and banana after work, I’ve done zero cooking (We ate at Waffle House this morning and Moe’s in Newport yesterday. SUCH good Mexican food!!!). Anyway, I was really looking forward to getting my Sea Foods on tonight.

I didn’t have much to work with, but I stretched what I did have pretty far.

Our players for this match included, chicken breast, spinach, onion, garlic (whole cloves, slices and crushed), pepper, lemon and olive oil. Super simple and ended up being super yummy.

First, we put our chicken in the pan with the olive oil, lemon juice, pepper, garlic slices and onion:

Then, when the chicken was pretty well cooked, we took it out and threw in some spinach and let it get its saute on with the onions and garlic. Also (because I can never have enough garlic), I threw in the crushed garlic and some whole garlic cloves.

 

 And once all those lovely veggies and whatnots were sufficiently sauteed, lemon, peppered and prepared to perfection it got forklifted (Literally! Ha!) on to our chicken.

 Super simple and incredibly yum. And that’s what Sea Foods is all about, gang.

(Preface: They’re filming a movie in the hills behind my house. The alias for the project is Pineapple. And every 5 minutes there’s a joltingly loud explosion followed by deafining helicopters. That being said, I would like to one day pay top peso to go see this movie. It even sounds excellent.)

Wellity, wellity, wellity. This seems to be the little feature that could, don’t it.

Last night my good Anthro buddies, Tracy, Erica Jean and Lupe (also soon-to-be Guatemala travel buddies!) came over for some 303 studying, some laughs and most of all cranberry orange chicken!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Not too much to say on this one, gang. It was a pretty easy dish. Not too much work, just mostly waiting.

What you’ve got there are caramelized onions, minced garlic, crasins and some orange juice for the sauce. You let the chicken sit in that for about 20-25 minutes and it soaks up a lot of the juice and flavor and when it’s done, you throw down some wild rice and let it sit for a few more minutes so all those good flavors learn to get along. And they do. Beautifully.

I’m not a huge fan of sweet tasting meats, but this really was delicious. Letting the chicken just cook in this saucy, crasiny goodness for the time that it did was truly what made the difference. The caramelized onions were perfect and adding the smallest amount of salt at the end gave it just the right little extra kick it needed.

So, that’s that for this edition. Thanks for stickin’ around.

Til next time, eat your veggies.