Recipe Review: Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes

I have so many ideas for this blog, but I also don’t want to do too much and turn it into a hot mess either. So I’ve decided to go ahead with one idea I had: Recipe Reviews. So WELCOME to the first post of my new series!

Recently I’ve adopted a Paleo type eating style. I have a thyroid issue (Hashimoto’s) so I’ve been doing a ton of research into fixing the side affects that the medication does nothing for. I’m sick of being lethargic and in a brain fog all day! So FYI for anyone that doesn’t know, its a whole lot to do with food.

One of the blogs I’ve started following is The Civilized Caveman, George Bryant. He has an incredibly inspiring story of how he overcame bulemia and became a super charged, six pack having, healthy dad by eating real food.

From his book “The Caveman Feast” I present my review

Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes

balsamic chicken

Click to view post on Civilized Caveman Cooking

I picked this one because I had most of the ingredients, and the ones I didn’t have I was planning on getting anyway!  I didn’t bother buying the sundried tomatoes though.

I split the recipe in half. I was actually cooking chicken breasts for my husband, so I set aside 2 for me to sample. I marinated it overnight and cooked it in the usual manner that I use to cook chicken for The Man, in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes each side.

The balsamic sauce ran all over the pan and turned into a crunchy charred mess, so I’d suggest lining your pan with foil if you do the method I used. Fortunately I always line my pan with foil; air sticks to my pan and won’t scrub off.

Now fair warning here, The Man DOES NOT like the smell of balsamic, so I constantly hear complaints about my stinky food. But  I don’t mind it…and thats good, cause this one aromicized the house.

I ate it for lunch the next day with the chicken cut in slices and resting on a bed of raw spinach leaves. It was good, but needed extra sauce. When I came home I had the same thing, but added some sauce over the top. It was SO GOOD!!

I have no pictures of the cooking process or the first testing. I cooked this about 3 weeks ago and had no idea I’d be composing this post in the future.

Sinse then, I haven’t actually cooked the chicken with the sauce, BUT I keep this balsamic sauce in the refrigerator and I’m poring it over my salads regularly.
(I make it with equal vinegar and oil. I like that ratio best.)

In fact, I just finished eating a simple balsamic chicken salad for lunch!

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Also good with shredded Asiago cheese

Thanks for sticking with my first Recipe Review! Balsamic Chicken is pretty basic, but then again I’m semi new to this cooking-stuff-other-than-junk thing. Next time I’ll review a more complex recipe.

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Coffee Creamer and Spontaneous Combustion? Yikes!

I love Mythbusters! They had an internet myth to prove or bust: Does powdered coffee creamer ignite into a giant fireball with air? I was interested…I used eight tablespoons in each 8-cup pot of coffee I brewed.

 

Yikes! I’m glad I never combusted like that. But I’d guess that if it’s wet it won’t blow up in a fireball. I’m a long term sugar addict, and one of my sources of sweet stuff was packages of coffee creamer (when sugar packets weren’t available). I would pour 2 or 3 in my mouth randomly. This was when I was a kid. Once I started drinking coffee, I only used it as intended. But still, should this stuff really be put in your body?

What’s in this stuff anyway? Chemicals, chemicals processed with chemicals, and chemicals overlaid with chemicals. Basically it comes out of a lab, not a kitchen.

Partial Ingredient list:

  • Corn syrup solids – imagine corn kernels that are somehow turned into corn starch. Then take that and add hydrochloric acid (highly corrosive to humans) which turns it back into a liquid. This liquid is then processed again to become dried crystals. Eww
  • Hydrogenated oils – already processed oils put through chemical catalysts with metals that change its molecular structure. The final product is trans fat, in powder form.
  • Sodium caseinate – a milk derivative that’s put through so many processes the FDA doesn’t even consider it a dairy product.
  • Sodium aluminosilicate – anti caking agent used in processed food items as well as other things like launtry detergent. It contains aluminum which is toxic in people.
  • Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate – this is also a foaming agent and used in shampoo to make it lather up.

I would call this Frankenfood for sure. I don’t consider myself a health nut or a healthy lifestyle evangelist, but this is just scary.
So what can I do with all this coffee creamer I own? (Yeah, I shop at Costco)

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Here are some ideas I either thought of on my own or found on the internet.

(NOTE I’ve tested none of these, attempt at your own risk)

  • Paint –  mix 1 part water to 3 parts powdered creamer until you get somewhat like the consistency of paint. Add water based color, whatever hue your heart desires. Use as if its normal paint. This would probably work best with a kids project. (This was an internet idea that was for powdered milk but I’m guessing it would work either way.
  • Abrasive agent for cleaning – Baking soda is great to use for cleaning sinks, so maybe if you dump some of this in the sink and give it a go it’ll remove all that gunk around the drain.
  • Exfoliator – Baking soda is also good for exfoliating your skin. I use it on my face from time to time and really like it because it doesn’t have the dyes and scents of commercial exfoliatants. Great for acne sufferers. Maybe I could make a paste of this stuff and use it to exfoliate my feet? I’d never put it on my face!
  • Oil absorber – What if you sprinkle it on grease splatters on the oven after frying up a delicious batch of chicken? I wonder if it would soak up the grease and you can pick up the chunk like kitty litter. hmm

I’m now using regular old half and half or heavy cream in my coffee and just loving it. And contrary to popular belief, no I didn’t gain a bunch of weight when I made the switch. I actually lost weight! Half and half is good fat that you need to be healthy. All things in moderation too!

Extra link if you’re looking for more scary news on powdered coffee creamer.
Go here

Pancakes, Waffles and Inspired Coffee

The Spoon’s Short Order chef (Chef L, or El Chef?) has perfected the art of delicious pancake crafting. I’m a coniseur of sweets and bread, so for any sweet bread I’m automatically an authority, right? Anyway, Chef L whipped up another batch of her insanely delicious Waffle inspired pancakes.

I’ve officially titled them Waffle Cakes ©. Sinse it’s copywrited now, I can’t give the recipe away, but please do gaze at the deliciousness.

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Waffle Cake

Woe is me; I’ve given up all that bloating sweet bread, so I can’t eat it… BUT I can create a Waffle Cake © inspired coffee beverage!

Here are the selected ingredients in the brand new Waffle Cake © Frappe.
Drip brewed coffee
Half and half
Almond milk
Heavy whipping creme
Brown sugar
Cinnamon
Maple syrup

Whatever the secret sauce is that Chef L uses, its not included in the coffee, but the taste is insanely good in a cup too.

I mixed all these ingredients and sent them for a spin in the ice cream maker. We don’t have a blender big enough or powerful enough to blend up ice smooth enough to make a legit Starbucks knockoff. But 15-20 minutes in the ice cream maker and it’s PERFECT

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Waffle Cake Frappe for two

I thickened up the maple syrup to make the drizzle using corn starch. (see it on Pintrest)

 

Sweet Potato Cookies

A couple thanksgivings ago I found a recipe online for pumpkin cookies, but I don’t like the texture of pumpkin, so I substituted sweet potato, and made a few other changes to the original recipe. They were a huge hit and I’ve had to make them many more times by popular request.

The first thing I do is bake the potatoes in the oven. Baking them versus boiling them makes the sugar more intense and delicious. This is the first time that I bought white sweet potatoes, an actually didn’t know they existed. (horizons broadened!)

While they were cooking, the house smelled like brown sugar and all sorts of goodness. I didn’t weigh myself, but I bet I gained a couple of pounds from the smells. I’m not a huge talker and I don’t have paragraphs and paragraphs to say about these, so with no further ado, the recipe ladies and gents.

SWEET POTATO COOKIES

1 1/2 cups shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 cups sweet potato
2 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (I also add my proprietary blend of sweet potato spices)
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour

Frosting:
6 tbsp butter
8 tbsp milk
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Cream shortening, butter, sugar and pumpkin. Add eggs and mix well. Sift together the baking soda, cinnamon, salt and flour. Add to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
  2. Drop from spoon to ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
  3. To make frosting: Cook butter, milk and brown sugar until dissolved. Cool and add powdered sugar and vanilla.

 

Sweet Potato Cookies

Sweet Potato Cookies

I took this plate to a friend of mine today that’s in the hospital. He’d been requesting the cookies for quite a while. Maybe it shouldn’t have taken a medical event for me to make them.

Pardon the dust at Greazy Spoon…

This blog is under construction!

But what’s being constructed, you ask? A place where I’ll feature my cooking escapades. For anyone who has to eat but doesn’t like to cook, please join my journey as I try to create a love of cooking. (I already love to eat)

I’m currently in the process of trying to lose those last 10 pounds. I’ve finally adopted a healthy eating habit and I’m dragging the family along with me, kicking and screaming. In order to motivate me to actually do this, I’ve created this project to force myself to get in the kitchen! 

The recipes I’ll be cooking will mostly come from my Pintrest boards. Feel free to check them out, follow me if you like the foods I like, or suggest which ones I should cook in the comments. 

I hope you’ll join me on this journey as I review recipes and maybe even create a few of my own!