Chicken “cacciatore.”

This isn’t chicken cacciatore. It’s loosely based on The Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Cacciatore.

Dinner is served.

I’m still broke as a joke and I decided to make dinner with what I had on hand. Maybe someday I’ll have money, but it’s not going to be any time soon. I have too many expensive things to do. (Therapy, yoga classes, zip lining, beer drinking, rent, bills, taxes, pre-wedding massages with my darling to-be-Mrs. sister, etc.)

Does anyone else agree that summer is more expensive than Christmas/the holiday season? I mean, I can get away with making cinnamon rolls as gifts for Christmas and everyone loves me. Summer has so many fun activities and they all seem to cost money.

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 1/2 lbs thinly sliced chicken breast
  • salt & pepper
  • a healthy spray of olive oil Pam
  • 1 medium-large onion , halved and sliced
  • 2 roasted red peppers (from a jar)
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
  • 3/4 cups chicken broth (I made mine from “better than bouillon”
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • mozzarella or parmesan cheese for serving

I also had pepperoncini in my mix, but I didn’t like it. I think next time I’ll add olives (and mushrooms) because that would taste better. Much better.

Just…. don’t use pepperoncini. They taste bitter. Not a good bitter like an IPA.

Triple Mango IPA from Troegs. It packs a punch.
A delicious punch.

Just bitter, like the tears of the divorced or losing political candidates.

What I did:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375*F.
  2. Heat oil to medium-high in a large oven proof skillet. Salt and pepper the chicken liberally. Fry the chicken in the skillet in batches until all chicken is just cooked through. Remove to a plate.
  3. Add onion, red pepper and garlic (and olives and mushrooms, if you’re using them) to the skillet. Cook for about one minute. Add the thyme, smoked paprika and red pepper. Stir.
  4. Add the chicken broth and deglaze the skillet. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil for a minute.
  5. Add the chicken to the mix but do not submerge, you want some of the chicken peaking out. Cover the skillet with a lid or foil and move to the heated oven.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, removing the foil when you have 15-10 minutes left on the timer. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to package directions.
  7. Drain the noodles and place  in a serving bowl. Remove the chicken mixture from the oven and place chicken on top of noodles. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomato mixture from skillet and place on top of chicken.
  8. Place the skillet back onto a burner and boil until juices are thickened, about 5-10 minutes, then pour this over everything.
  9. Serve with bread or a salad… and cheese.

Chipotle Bean Enchiladas

Howdy all!

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I decided to create my own enchilada recipe. Maybe enchiladas aren’t all that complicated or fancy, but I’ve been thinking about this recipe since I made the burritos. It didn’t hurt that I also bought a few Torchbearer Sauces to make cooking more fun and adventurous. I tasted the Chipotle BBQ and it was a little bit sweet with a nice spicy kick. Mmmm-mmmm.

So, without further ado:

The ingredients:

      A heavy spray of olive or canola oil
      1 small onion, roughly chopped
      3 cloves garlic, minced
      1 teaspoon chili powder
      1 teaspoon cumin
      2 15 ounce cans of beans, drained and rinsed (I used black and great northern white beans)
      1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
      3/4 cup chipotle BBQ sauce
      8 8″ corn tortillas
      2 tablespoons oil or butter
      2 tablespoons flour
      2 cups milk
      1 1/2 cup of cheese (use an assortment of cheese for the best sauce, I used mozzarella and feta, 2:1)

What you’ll do:

  1. Add the diced onion to the skillet and sauté in oil for 5 minutes, until becoming soft.
  2. Add the garlic and give that a stir for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add the rinsed beans, tomato, chili powder and cumin the the skillet. Allow to cook over medium, at a low boil/simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce by melting butter or heating oil in a pot large enough to hold at least a quart.
  6. Add the flour to the fat to make a roux. Then add the milk and bring it to simmer, allowing the milk to thicken.
  7. Once it thickens, add the cheese.
  8. To assemble the enchiladas, spread about 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce and 1/8th of the filling on each tortilla. Roll them up and place them seam side down in a cake pan.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over top and place the assembled pan in the oven at 325*F for 30 minutes.

Serve with rice, chips and/or a veggie.

Greek Dip

I was in Gettysburg on Saturday to see some good friends and get a secret VIP tour of Spangler Farm.

Let me just say, good friends, wine slushies and cupcakes can cure a world of ills. I needed that break after a not-so-fantastic Friday night.

Obviously, while I was in Gettysburg, we had to eat, so we got some pizza, beer and snacks. Snez made a fantastic Greek dip. It was so good and so easy that I’ve made it twice in a week. So here it is, I’m sharing it with you. Don’t like olives? Leave them out? Don’t like feta? You could probably substitute another sharp cheese. I haven’t tried it that way because I love olives and feta and hummus and Greek yogurt and kittens and rainbows and fireflies and cake.

Whoops. I got a little carried away.

I love pasta and mushrooms and garlic and pie too. And cookies. And lots of other things, but you want to know how to make this dip. I can tell.

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Ingredients:

    1 5 oz. container of plain Greek yogurt
    1 8 oz (or 1 cup) container of hummus — I love red pepper, that’s what Snez used and I don’t question that decision
    1/2 cup cucumber, diced
    1/2 cup red onion, diced
    1/2 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
    1/2 cup feta, crumbled

To make it:

Spread the yogurt evenly in the bottom of a serving bowl. Then add the layer of hummus, followed by the cucumber, followed by the onion, followed by the olives and finally top it off with feta.

Serve it with tortilla chips or crackers. Whatever your vehicle of choice may be.

Clearly there is a lot of wiggle room. You can add more or less of something to suit your taste.

It’s so yummy and easy. There’s no reason not to make it.