Friday, March 31, 2017

Food For Thought

It's Spring Break here - well we're wrapping it up, anyway.  All four kids were home - for the first time in six years their school schedules matched up.  I had hopes of heading out somewhere, even overnight, with them, but work schedules got in the way.  Boo.  

The demise of plans is what I'm using to blame my lack of cooking meals this week; I just didn't have it in me.  It works in my head, but I don't think the family is buying it.  I had a plan.  And a shopping list.  I just never made it out of the house. . .except to make a run to Taco Bell on a night when the chicken that was being smoked, didn't appear as though it would be done for dinner.  I made the off-hand comment, as I left to get tacos, "Watch, it'll climb the last 20 degrees and be done when I get back."  Truer words were never spoke.  Two of those stupid birds were indeed done by the time I set the bag of tacos and burritos on the kitchen counter.  We had the chicken the next night - it was fabulous.

I did make a couple things, however.

Sunday, I set up a brine for the chickens that would be smoked on Tuesday.  I used my Favorite Brine, but instead of orange rind, I used lemon (goes well with chicken) and added some thyme.  I should have cut back on the rosemary, but didn't.  Not that it was bad, I love rosemary, but I wanted more thyme to pair with the lemon.  The chicken was amazing - moist, a touch of sweet.  I now have a four more chickens to break-down for pre-cooked chicken recipes and bones to cook down into broth.  Something perfect for this rainy-waiting-for-snow day.

I still had those two pints of this 5-minute Enchilada Sauce to use up.  I opted to make smothered burritos for In-Law Dinner on Monday.  I used this Taco Spice, mixed in refried beans, rolled 'em up and smothered them.  Boom. Done.

I found two containers of left-over pumpkin stuffed way in the back of the fridge, so when I needed a dessert, I decided to find something to use it up.  Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins to the rescue.  These were really good, very moist, nice warm seasonings.  I liked the cream cheese, but I think I may have been overzealous in my swirling - next time I'll cut back on that.  Still, there was a nice layer of the cream cheese.  Here, at altitude, they took longer to bake, but stayed moist despite the longer cook-time.  The moistness, actually, makes storing them difficult.  Put them in a sealed container and they get wet. . .You can actually leave the top loose, or store them in the 'fridge.

I needed a side for the burritos.  I always have black beans on hand, so this Southwestern Black Bean Salad worked for me.  We used it as a salsa with chips.  It was good, with a nice tang from the lime juice.  It would have been a good topper on the burritos.  It would also work as a non-meat filling for burritos or tacos.  I can see it on top of a bed of lettuce, as well.

I may not have put much, or any, effort into meals this week, but what I did do, used up some languishing items.  So that's a bonus.

We're expecting a snow storm, or we were 12 hours ago, I'll need to check the weather to see if they're sticking to that story.  So maybe, we'll enjoy a weekend with us at home, sort of a stay-cation, instead.

Happy Friday,

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