Sunday, February 15, 2009
Grilled Cheese... It's What's For Dinner...
This post could also aptly be titled... Motivation... It's What I Lack...
Brad and I went out of town this past weekend, and as a result, I didn't cook much the previous week. Other than sheer laziness and a lack of motivation, I have no excuse for this week.
Monday, we arrived in sunny St. Louis around 3 pm from our adventures in Pennsylvania.
Because we could, we drove further into the city (away from our home beyond where the sidewalk ends) to eat at my favorite restaurant, Pho Grand. I had my usual, #2303, tofu with coconut curry. Yum!
Tuesday was a busy, busy day for us. I taught all day, then Brad had his flight lesson, then we worked the Speech Meet for one of my colleagues. We didn't get finished until 8-ish, so we went to Ruby Tuesday for supper. I am so used to using our restaurant.com coupons that I feel like if we are spending $40 for dinner, it should be way better than Ruby Tuesday. I had some butterflied, fried shrimp and the salad bar, and Brad had some sort of seafood experience and the salad bar. It was okay (though I'll admit better than what I made for supper tonight).
Wednesday, I made... um... grilled cheese? I had to work the concession stand for NHS, and then I went to the grocery store afterwards. When I got home, I prepared myself a delicious grilled cheese.
Thursday, I made... um... grilled cheese? I planned on leaving work early on Thursday, (meaning before 5) but in the end, I stayed a lot later. I am pretty sure I had grilled cheese. Did I make anything for Brad? Signs point to no.
Friday night, I made Summer Squash Enchiladas (picture above... recipe link to the left...). Normally, I use mushrooms and zucchini and yellow squash, but I only had zucchini, so that is all that was in them. They were pretty good, but the flavor lacked the complexity they sometimes have. On the other hand, the lack of mushrooms made the vegetable mixture firmer, so that was good.
On Thursday, I pirated a recipe from a friend...
Cookie Dough Cupcakes
1 box cake mix (I used yellow)
1/2 recipe cookie dough (I made chocolate chip)
1 tub icing (I used chocolate fudge)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll cookie dough into 1 inch balls and freeze until firm.
Prepare cake mix using package directions.
Line 24 muffin tins with liners. Fill half full with cake mix. Push a cookie ball into the center of each cupcake.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack. Allow to cool at least 30 minutes. Frost cupcakes.
The true joy of this recipe, other than its ease, is that it is very versatile. You can use pretty much any flavor cake mix, many different types of cookie, and any flavor of icing. They were really good.
I got the deep frier out on Monday to make crab rangoon (recipe to the left!) Because it is such a pain, I usually go fry crazy for about a week every time I get the frier out, then scrub it and put it away, where it gets ignored for about 6 months until I get it out again. Last night we had the last of the crab rangoon, some frozen breaded shrimp I bought, and some premade hush puppies I bought. (I worked hard on our Valentine's Day meal!)
This evening, I made buffalo chicken fingers. They were mediocre. I think they needed to be battered, and the frozen, and then fried. The first batch, I laid the chicken pieces onto the little basket and the batter dripped through and then cooked, so the chicken pieces had to be surgically removed from the fry basket. The remaining rounds, I just lightly dropped them into the oil, with the basket already lowered. That helped, but not much. They tasted okay, but there are quite a few leftovers, and sadly I think we are going to feed them to the Lincoln County garbage dump. Fried food isn't good the next day. For supper, we also had some frozen sweet potato fries (from the freezer... from Trader Joes... baked!), and mixed vegetables.
Buffalo Chicken Fingers
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut longways into 4 strips each
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups light beer
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup flour
1 bottle wing sauce (I used Sybergs... a local favorite)
Heat oil in frier to 375 F. Mix flour, salt and paprika together. Whisk beer into the mixture until well incorporated. Dredge chicken pieces through flour, and then coat with batter. Gently lay battered chicken in the hot oil. Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip over. Cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Toss in buffalo sauce before serving.