Never claimed to be Mrs. Molly Homemaker

20120810-094038

I can hold my own in the kitchen, I’m no Rachel Ray by any means but I have a few dishes that I make that leave people saying “mmmm that was good!”. I have cookbooks galore that I skim through occasionally for new ideas, an “PIN” yummy must trys on Pinterest daily and when I get control of the remote 9 times out of ten the channel gets turned to the Food Network.

In the past couple of months the hubby has given some rather “helpful” suggestions for making the my cooking process easier. “You should prep our meals for the week”, “While making dinner you should prep for tomorrows meal”, “Guy marinates his meats overnight, you should try that”. Although his suggestions were received with a smile I kindly reminded him that I will not be prepping meals ahead of time (been there done that) and he is always welcomed to utilize the kitchen to make meals anytime he wants. “You know I don’t cook, I just don’t know why you can’t do step A and B then C and D tomorrow” he said.  Although, I understood his point… but for a man who has pretty much survived on PB&J sandwiches and Oreo cookies before we were married he just needs to just sit on the couch and leave the cooking to me…..I don’t suggest easier ways to go about tending to our yard or claim to be Bob Villa, I know my place.

dishes

I’ve tried to explain to him that “prepping” meals isn’t as easy as it may sound, it takes time A LOT of time and I have tried this numerous times when the kids were younger but ….it just isn’t something that I enjoyed doing….BUT  if I knew that the pots and pans would be cleaned by him then maybe I would rethink the whole meal prepping idea.  We can all guess what his answer to that one was.

I know of families that prep their meals but they have children at home and a busy lifestyle where prepped meals make sense; but it’s just the two of us…. I just don’t see the need to prep meals.

Screen-shot-2013-03-19-at-5.30.14-PM

I did “entertain” the idea of prepping our meals not so long ago and came across a couple of blogs that are all about this crazy idea……….It didn’t take me long to laugh out loud and say “OH HELL NO” especially when I saw the kitchen sink full of mixing bowls, pots and pans, but I kept reading …… skimming their weekly recipes and knew instantly that my hubby wouldn’t be down with a weekly rotation of ground turkey, chicken breast and ground beef….he would definitely question the little grainy things on his plate which I would later have explain what quinoa was and why it doesn’t really have any flavor.

“Honey you knew I wasn’t Molly Homemaker before we got married but I haven’t made you sick, your food isn’t burnt and you seem pretty pleased with your meals…but if your compliments about how good dinner was were just little fibs then you know where to find the Peanut Butter and Jelly …and the bread is over there”  I told him as I headed to the bathroom with the furkids to give them a bath.

mind you, it was late evening….about 8pm, yeah I have PLENTY of time to prep meals. 

 

Come on now….really?? chocolate???

sam-gross-it-s-something-new-i-m-trying-out-death-by-chocolate-new-yorker-cartoon

I received some awful news yesterday. It was one of those “Shut up, that can’t possibly be” type of news. I was just sitting there waiting for her to crack a smile and say “I’m kidding”, but that never happened.

How are you feeling? Did your migraine go away?” a co-worker asked.

“it’s not as bad as it was, but I probably overdosed on chocolate which brought on the migraine”….I said, JOKINGLY.

“You DO know that chocolate is a trigger for migraines right?”

“SHUT UP!! You’re kidding…..” I waited for her to say she was joking.

“No really, have you ever read up on what triggers migraines? Chocolate is one of them” she said.

Now….I wasn’t going to argue with her, she knew her stuff…..plus she runs the clinic. So she should know a thing or two about medicine.

“Thanks for delivering the worse news EVER” I said laughing as I looked at the Frankenstein bowl filled with chocolate in front of me. “Stupid ass chocolate, next you’re going to say that wine, olives and bread are triggers as well”. She laughed….as we headed out to our cars.

This can’t be true, I thought to myself as I was driving home. I did eat a good consumption of Twix and KitKats earlier that day, but I was stressed out……urgh I need to move the bowl. I can’t have my death certificate  read “Death by Chocolate”.

Once I got home, I logged onto my computer and typed in “Migraine Triggers” ….. Please let her be wrong, I said to Lily my furgirl……but she wasn’t.

Migraine Food triggers

Here’s a partial list of major food triggers, according to the National Headache Foundation.

• Ripened cheeses (such as cheddar, Emmentaler, Stilton, Brie, and Camembert)
Chocolate
• Marinated, pickled, or fermented food
• Foods that contain nitrites or nitrates (bacon, hot dogs) or MSG (soy sauce, meat tenderizers, seasoned salt)
Sour cream
• Nuts, peanut butter
• Sourdough bread
• Broad beans, lima beans, fava beans, snow peas
• Figs, raisins, papayas, avocados, red plums
• Citrus fruits
• Excessive amounts (more than 2 cups total) of caffeinated beverages such as tea, coffee, or cola
• Alcohol (including red wine and beer)

I’m screwed …..  hahaha…… at least it doesn’t mention olives, I love olives!!  Okay, so I guess if I have tiny amounts of chocolate, cheese, sourdough bread, tea and of course wine I shall be able to keep the migraines at bay….but I also have to stop stressing myself out to.

I hope I didn’t ruin anyone else’s day by this news.

My brief escape from reality

images (2)

I wish at times that I had the luxury to just hop on a private plane and fly to my favorite places for a few hours so I can experience the sights, smells and the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted all over again.

When I find myself wanting to just escape I close my eyes and picture myself walking along the cobblestoned streets of Little Italy, New York taking in the culture that oozes out of every restaurant and bakery that I pass. I’m easily entertained by the accents of the big burly Italian men that stand in front of their restaurants shouting out in Italian how magnificent their menu is and trying to leer me into their restaurant, and all I can think about is where is Don Vito and the rest of the Corleone family?

As I’m continuing my walk down Mulberry st, my senses take over and I’m instantly taken into the most amazing deli. Just stepping foot into this place makes me gain 10 pounds just by the smell alone. I’m in carb heaven………breads line the aisles, and yes I inhale hmmmmmm….nirvana! My senses become awaken by the smell of pancetta, prosciutto, Calabrese, sopressata, and as the jolly old butcher notices my desire to just take a sample… I smile and force myself to leave. In a way, I’m in the middle of an amazing foreplay session with my senses because once I get to my destination …………….all the teasing will be worth it. I venture into the little ma and pa bakeries and just want to sink my teeth into the fruit tarts and cannolis, but I can’t ruin my appetite on these magnificent treats so I listen to my growling stomach and continue on down mulberry street.

Casa Bella Ristorante sits on the corner of Hester and Mulberry. It’s a quiet little restaurant and although I normally sit inside and gaze out the window I choose to enjoy my meal outside and partake in my favorite pastime, people watching while I devour my favorite dish…….Penne con broccoli with chicken, along with their mozzarella ,tomato basil salad and  sipping on a glass of Merlot. The first bite is indescribable; it’s almost like having an orgasm in my mouth …..and there I sit satisfied getting lost in all that surrounds me.

yadid-levy-people-sitting-at-an-outdoor-restaurant-little-italy-manhattan-new-york-state

“Ring Ring”  I’m whisked back to reality; to the life I’ve become accustomed to “Good Morning, this is Jolene, how can I help you?”  and as I take a deep breath and start my morning, I smile knowingly  that without a doubt  I will be back to walk the streets of Littly Italy….. hopefully sooner than later!!

This is one of my favorite recipes….you GOTTA try it!!

You need to try this………Grilled Cajun Ranch Chicken.

cajun chicken pasta

(this Pinterest picture doesn’t do it justice and lame old me was too excited and HUNGRY to grabbed my camera to take a picture of the yumminess on our plates)

This was my third time making this dish and my third time attempting to perfect the sauce that goes with this yummy concoction and let me tell you I NAILED IT!!  the first couple of times the sauce was either too runny or just didn’t have that kick but I figured it out, so let me share it with you!

Chicken

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup ranch dressing

3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning

2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pound (that’s the fun part) chicken breast to 1/4″ thickness. Place chicken in the gallon size ziplock bag, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (the longer the better)……but it still taste good if it’s in the bag for 30 minutes. Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Grill chicken for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear……I have also just cooked it in a deep pan on my stove and it’s just as yummy….slice and serve over pasta.

Pasta

16 oz of bow tie  (Personally, I use Penne pasta)

For the SAUCE …..

2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tbsp pepper

2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning  (but you may want more, just taste it first)

1/4 cup butter

1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

In a small saucepan, melt butter, add garlic, whipping cream, cajun seasoning, pepper and parmesan cheese. Whick together on low heat for 5-6 minutes. NOW……. this is when I noticed it was a bit runny, I like a thicker sauce so I grabbed some mozzerella cheese and grabbed about a cup full ok, who are we kidding it was more like a huge hand full…I LOVE my cheese. I stirred it up and noticed it was getting thicker…….so depending on how you like your sauce runny or thick….cheese works wonders !!!

Grab a plate, place pasta down first ….. pour some of the yummy sauce on top, place the chicken on next and then top it with some parmesan cheese.

This is also great with some garlic bread and a glass of Merlot or any type of wine for that matter.

bon-appetit

Lunch gone bad …… twice in one week

So I’m 2 for 2 this week……. “what is she talking about” you say? Well let me tell you, For the last 5 months I have been making The Misters lunch so he could bring it to work. Before I came into the picture his lunch consisted of NOTHING, but he would then come home and indulge in cookies, cereal, egg sandwiches and whatever else single men digest. He seriously thought this gesture would change after a while and even when I am mad as all get out (ohhh see country newbie typed country slang) as can be I still make him lunch, it’s not as fancy and he sure doesn’t get cookies but he won’t starve.

Well, normally I usually put in some sort of leftovers but this weekend we were out of town so he got stuck with some pasta salad, I liked it and when my kids were around they loved it. After lunch I get a text message asking “what was that you made me for lunch”, I told him it was Suddenly Salad with bacon (I’m glad I didn’t throw in olives) . He didn’t care for it and made it known later when he cornered me in the kitchen and lovingly asked “what possessed you to put that in my lunch” hahaha….. “It was pasta salad and mister you should be lucky that you at least had something to eat”. I mentally noted that The Mister doesn’t like pasta salad along with other things that have been filed away.
Today, I decided to throw in some TGIF frozen buffalo chicken nuggets with the instruction to microwave it for 3.5 minutes…..well, I just got a message stating that the chicken was to rubbery and never to buy those again but he had plenty to munch on till dinner. ….. I’m thinking he over microwaved it but they were probably better if they were baked in the oven, but nonetheless I am not doing that great this week as far as lunches go. Maybe next week I will try sandwiches with a smiley face on the bread?? I think he got used to having leftover pork chops w/ veggies, meatloaf with potatos, chicken alfredo, spaghetti or some chicken concoction that I made earlier during the week.

images3
But although he may complain here and there, it’s just a learning process until I know for certain what he likes and doesn’t like……………….but boy was I tempted to just give him a little container of pasta salad today with his rubbery chicken nuggets.