Thursday, May 30, 2013

Grilled Bacon, Avocado and Cheese Sandwich



No, this is NOT a Paleo recipe. This is a pre-Paleo recipe I made a few weeks ago, and it was goooood.

I love avocado, and slapping some cheese and bacon on top of it just made it better. I do miss cheese a bit. Bread? Eh. I found some really good wheat-free soy-free rolls at the commissary, so I've been eating those with sandwiches. My Doc is giving me a lactose test, Celiac Disease test and gluten test next week to see if I have any issues with that stuff. He said if I don't, then knock of this hard-core Paleo thing and add wheat and dairy back into my diet. He's really harping on me to gain weight. I'm doing my best, but it's hard.

I may add little of that stuff back in, but not nearly as much as I used to eat. Probably just things like oatmeal for breakfast, a yogurt here and there. I really like this healthy eating thing, so I'm gonna stick with it. No more blocks of cream cheese and sour cream sauces, topped with a stick of butter.

I also meet with a dietitian next week. Hopefully she can give me some tips on how to eat healthy with Crohn's Disease and also try and gain weight. A tough thing to do.

Ok guys, I'm off to go pick up my Mama! We're heading out on this beautiful day to grab some lunch. I don't know where we're going since she's picking, but I'm sure it's some place I do NOT want to go. She has the worst taste in restaurants. Sorry Mom...no offense, but it's really terrible  ;)~

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'Grilled Bacon, Avocado and Cheese Sandwich'
Source: Adapted from eMeals Classic Meal Plan for 2

Ingredients

8 slices of bacon
4 slices of sourdough bread
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons pressed avocado
2 tablespoons crushed tortilla chips

Directions

1. Cook bacon until crispy; set aside.

2. Butter one side of each side of bread and place two slices in a heated skillet, butter side down.

3. Spread each bread slice with avocado then layer cheese, bacon and tortilla chips. Top each with one slice of remaining bread, butter side up.

4. Grill over medium heat, flipping once, until golden brown or until cheese is melted.



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1 Year Ago Today:



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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ginger Chicken



Hello again!! I feel like I've been away forever!

Jesse and I had an awesome time visiting with Daddy-O down in Norfolk, VA for his port call! We went to the park, rode the train, played golf, spent a fabulous day at Busch Gardens on Memorial Day (the park was dead...don't know why, but it was great!), which Jesse LOVED.

I have decided, though, that I do NOT care for Norfolk Naval Base...not one teeny-tiny bit. No matter HOW big and amazing their NEX is.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

I'll stick with my quiet little rural bases any day...Groton, Kings Bay...yes please!

Ok well, I've got some laundry to do and a little cleaning to get done. The house has a dusty 'hasn't-been-used-in-awhile' feel to it, so I've got to go breath some life back into it.

We got back late last night...around 8:15 (late for Jesse and I at least), so I was only able to make us a quick dinner, unpack our stuff, shower and get in bed. That was one of the worst rides home ever, so I was exhausted.

Have a great day guys, and I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend! A million thanks to all those who serve and have served!!

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'Ginger Chicken'
Source: Adapted from A Girl Worth Saving

Ingredients

2 lbs chicken legs
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of diced red onion
1 stalk of green onion chopped.
1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Directions

1. Combine the coconut oil, onion and ginger in a skillet over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Sprinkle chicken legs with salt and pepper and place in the skillet. Cover.

3. Reduce heat to low and allow to cook covered for 35 – 40 minutes. Add the red onion for the last 3 minutes of cook time. Serve.



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1 Year Ago Today:



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Monday, May 20, 2013

Oven Baked Spiced Ribs



I know I said I was only gonna post on Tues & Thurs for awhile, but this is an off week. I'm currently sitting here trying to kill time and not think about food (as I post a recipe on my food blog...I know. Shut up) waiting for my 1:15 colonoscopy appointment. Good times today people...good times. This will be #5 for me...I've become quite the pro!

It's good though. I need to find out what's up so we can readjust my medicine and get things working again without pain. I'm just S-T-A-R-V-I-N-G. I haven't eaten anything in 40 hours, and I won't be able to eat again until around 3:30-ish...the no food (and nasty drink the night before) are by FAR the worst part of this. The procedure itself is easy as pie. Mmmmmmm.....pie. With a side of cheeseburger.

Moving on.

Then, later in the week, Jesse and I are off to go visit Daddy-O at a port call! We're very excited about this. He's been gone a month, so spending 4-5 days with him will be a nice break before we have to say goodbye again for another month.

Anyway, these ribs? Awesome.

I was a little apprehensive about trying ribs without drenching them in BBQ sauce (I have since come to learn that there ARE Paleo friendly BBQ sauces out there, or I can just make my own...good to know), but the spice rub that goes with this is really  good. It makes a lot, and since I absolutely did not make 4 lbs of ribs for just myself and Jesse, I had a lot of leftover. I've kept it and rubbed it on chicken breasts as well as pork that I've thrown in the slow cooker. It's a great spice combination to have handy!

Ok guys, I'm off to....well, you know.

Hope you have a better afternoon than I'm about to have :)

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'Oven Baked Spiced Ribs'
Source: Adapted from Paleo Cupboard

Ingredients

4 pounds pork ribs
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

1. Heat oven to 250 and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven.

2. Combine all spice ingredients together in a small bowl and stir to combine.

3. Rub both sides of the ribs with the spice rub and place the ribs in large baking dish, rib side down.

4. Add a small amount of water to the dish (about 3-4 tablespoons) and bake the for about 2 hours and 45 minutes, turning occasionally.

5. Broil the ribs for about 5-10 minutes to brown the meat side. Cut the ribs and serve with extra napkins.



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1 Year Ago Today:



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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Avocado Mango Salad with Grilled Shrimp



Omg, it is sooooooo beautiful outside!!! I wish the grass needed cut so I could just be doing something out out there. I already laid out for awhile (not too long...I leaned my lesson the last time).

Anyway, this recipe was the first 'Paleo' recipe I ever tried. Looks pretty normal, eh? Yeeeahh, that's cause it is. This was so, so good, and it's something that I would have passed right over a month ago.

When I decided to start eating this way I did a board search of Paleo Recipes on Pinterest...got a MILLION ideas. This was one of the first I noticed. I was never worried about dinner recipes. All Paleo is is eating super healthy, which is simple to do with meats fruits and veggies. Breakfast and lunch though? That was a concern of mine.

I wanted recipes that were easy and weren't gonna keep me in the kitchen all day. I cook dinner every night, which I like doing, but I'm not making some elaborate breakfast and lunch as well.

This was simple. You can even buy already cooked and peeled shrimp if you want! (That's what I did. I just stuck them on a skewer and set them in the panini press for about 45 seconds to get that 'grilled' look for the pictures).

If you want to use the actual grill, go for it. Or you CAN cook raw shrimp on a panini maker. Takes about  2 minutes. I do this when Heath is gone since there's no way in hell I'm firing up a charcoal grill. Oh, and the leftovers of this are just as good. I heated them in the microwave for a bit just to take the refrigerator 'chill' off, but I loved it.

Ok guys, enjoy the rest of your week and have a great weekend! See ya Tuesday!

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'Avocado Mango Salad with Grilled Shrimp'
Source: Adapted from What 2 Cook

Ingredients

Salad:

2 lbs large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 avocados, pitted, peeled & cubed
1 mango, peeled and diced
Lime wedges, for serving

Dressing:

1 mango, peeled and finely diced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 jalapeno, seeded & diced (optional)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup canola oil

Directions

1. Preheat gas grill to high. (Or you can grill shrimp indoors on a panini maker...takes about 90 seconds).

2. Prepare the dressing: Combine all dressing ingredients (except oil) in a blender and blend until smooth. While blender is running, remove lid and pour in oil in a steady stream. Continue blending for several seconds, then remove and set aside.

3. Prepare the shrimp: Rinse shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel. Add about 1/3 cup of dressing and toss to coat. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. String shrimp onto wooden or metal skewers for grilling. Grill over high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill, let cool, them remove from skewers  (Or place shrimp skewers on a heated panini. Close the lid and grill for 90 seconds. Remove from panini maker).

5. In a large bowl, combine the salad mango, avocado and grilled shrimp. Add dressing to taste; toss lightly and serve.



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1 Year Ago Today:



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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Oven Roasted Chicken & Potatoes



Well guys, just wanted to give you a heads up that you're going to be seeing a lot less from me for a while. Possibly a few months. I'm going to post on Tuesday's and Thursday's for the next few weeks (well, except next Thurs since Jesse and I are leaving to meet Heath at a port call for 6 days), then I'll probably switch over to Mon, Wed and Fri for awhile.

My Crohn's has taken a turn for the worse, and my Humira injections are no longer working. At all. Since this was the last stop on the medicine train for me, I've decided to look into other alternatives.

For years different doctors have been telling me food has no affect on Crohn's Disease patients. I've always been absolutely dumbfounded by this considering Crohn's in an intestinal  disease. How can food, which passes through your intestines, have nothing  to do with the pain and inflammation???

So, after much research and reading, I've decided to adopt the Paleo Diet. Crohn's patents have found immense success with it, and I figure...why not? Sure it's a pain-in-the-ass diet...no wheat, dairy, carbs or packaged snacks, but ya know what? If I can get through the day without pain, I'm  in.

I've been doing this hardcore for about 4 days now and I can already feel a difference. Mainly, I'm not crying every time I use the bathroom. Seriously.

I'll post the Paleo recipes as I make them, but I'm not going to broadcast them as Paleo (that scares some people). While Paleo is a strict diet, it's an incredibly healthy one. Meats, fruits, veggies, nuts. Don't get much healthier than that!

You will see a significant increase in healthy meals, though I do still have a bunch of pre-paleo meals in my drafts folder waiting to be shared, so you'll still see some oldies. As the weeks go on though, there will be no more cream cheese sauces, no butter creams or breads. No mac & cheese (yes, my heart has broken a little at the loss of my beloved mac and cheese) or crescent rolls.

It's cool though. I need this. My body needs this. It was one thing when I had the medicine holding everything at bay, but since that's no longer an option, it's time for change.

I'm sure gonna miss you Paula Deen. We had a good run you and I...but I've just gotta move on.

Have a great day guys. See ya Thursday :)

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'Oven Roasted Chicken & Potatoes'
Source: Adapted from eMeals

Ingredients

3/4 lb diced chicken
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 lb red potatoes, cubed
1 medium onion, quartered

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350.

2. Combine all ingredients in a greased baking dish. Cover

3. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 30 minutes. Serve.



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1 Year Ago Today:



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Friday, May 10, 2013

Honey Chicken Bites



It. Is. STUNNING outside!!

I'm gonna post this real quick then head out to get some more grass seed before the rains come back tomorrow. My grass seed out back is coming in beautifully, so I figure I'll throw some around out front.

This was an easy and tasty little recipe that cooks up really fast. My little bites never came to a 'golden brown', they were more of a white-ish/tan-ish color. I don't know if that's from the cornstartch or what, but it didn't affect the taste. I know I had my oil hot enough, so who knows.

Ok guys, hope you have a great weekend. We've got an FRG Mother's Day Brunch on Sunday, but other than that it'll be pretty quiet around here. See ya next week!

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'Honey Chicken Bites'
Source: Adapted from Salu-Salo

Ingredients

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 egg whites, beaten
1/2 plus 1/8 cup cold water
3/4 cup honey
3 teaspoons sweet chili sauce
Oil for frying

Cornstarch/flour mixture:

1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

1. Heat a good amount of oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat (enough to submerge each chicken piece about half-way).

2. In a medium bowl combine ingredients for cornstarch/flour mixture. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, beaten eggs and cold water to form a creamy batter.

4. Dip the chicken pieces into the batter and then roll in cornstarch/flour mixture. Drop each piece in the skillet and fry until cooked through, turning once...(about 2-3 minutes per side). Drain on a paper towel lined plate.

5. In a small dish mix together the honey and the sweet chili sauce. Pour over the chicken bites and serve.



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1 Year Ago Today:



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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sausage and Black-Eyed Pea Hash



This recipe was quite the surprise. I decided to make it because, regardless of the long-ish list of ingredients, it's really a super simple recipe. Just do a little prep-work earlier in the day, or even the night before, by chopping up the sausage and veggies and storing them in the fridge until you need them. That way when it comes time to cook this, just toss it all  together!

Plus it had an egg on top...I love eggs.

This was so, so  good. Seriously. Really good. Even Jesse liked it! I did have to pick the yellow squash out of his, but other than that, he loved it. I cant wait to make it for Heath when he gets back. I think this is something he'll really like it.

Plus it's very good for you. Turkey sausage...all those veggies...an egg. Sounds healthy to me!

Have a great day guys!

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'Sausage and Black-Eyed Pea Hash'
Source: Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

8 oz diced turkey sausage
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, cubed
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 (15 oz) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon canola oil (or coconut oil)
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

2. Add celery, tomato, red pepper and squash; sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add water, thyme, vinegar, Worcestershire, dijon mustard and peas. Simmer for 2 minutes or until peas are thoroughly heated. Remove pea mixture from pan; keep warm. Wipe pan with a paper towel.

4. Return pan to medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Crack eggs into pan; cook 4 minutes or until whites are set. Remove from heat.

5. Place about 1 cup pea mixture onto each of 4 plates; top each serving with one egg. Sprinkle eggs evenly with pepper.



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1 Year Ago Today:



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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Apple French Onion Soup



I know, I know. You're probably thinking, 'Soup? Really? It's MAY!'. Well, I love French Onion Soup, and my taste-buds couldn't care less what month it is. Besides, I made this about a month ago, and if you spent this past April in New England, then you know April was friggin freezing.

When I saw this, I just couldn't see how adding apple to French Onion Soup could be bad. It sounded like it belonged, like it's always supposed to have been included. I had to try it.

This is a really easy recipe, but it does require some time. The onions need to simmer and carmalize on the stove-top for about 2 hours, so you'll want to start this early. After that you're just throwing in the rest of the ingredients, letting the whole thing simmer for another 30 minutes, broil with the bread, and then you're good to go!

Well, it's raining today, so this is the perfect day to catch up on laundry and cleaning. The past few days have been beautiful and I've occupied myself by doing yard work and tanning. The house is starting to feel a little neglected, so I should probably give it some attention.

Have a great rest of your day!

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'Apple French Onion Soup'
Source: Adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
3 pounds onions, sliced (about 12-15 onions)
1/2 cup water
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup white wine
2 cups beef or vegetable broth
1 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper to taste
French bread, sliced
1 1/2 cup gruyere or fontina, shredded

Directions

1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions and water and cook, covered, until completely tender and caramelized and golden, about 2 HOURS, adding more water if needed.

2. Add the chopped apple and thyme and cook for 1 minute.

3. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the wine and deglaze the pan.

4. Add the broth, cider (or apple juice) and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Season the soup with salt and pepper and divide the between 4 oven safe bowls. Top each bowl with a slice of French bread, followed by the cheese, and broil until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown, (about 2-3 minutes).



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1 Year Ago Today:



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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Seared Pork with Roasted Grapes



Good afternoon! Well, it all flew by so fast, but today marks mine and Heath's 10 year anniversary. 10 years!! Kind of makes me feel old. I can clearly remember my parents 10 year anniversary...I was 9.

Anyway, I couldn't be happier. I sure did get a great one, and while sometimes he can drive me crazy (seriously dude...the hamper is right there...2 feet from where you throw your clothes on the floor), I love him more and more each day.

Ok...enough with the sappy stuff.

This is a super easy recipe that I highly recommend. If you've never tried roasted grapes before, then you do NOT know what you're missing. They're awesome. The first time I tried them was for this recipe...Roasted Grapes with Thyme and Ricotta. I've made that appetizer probably 4-5 times, and it's always a hit.

Even if you don't want to make this particular recipe, just try roasting some grapes and serving them on crusty bread. They're sooooo good. And good for you as well!

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'Seared Pork with Roasted Grapes'
Source: Adapted from Bev Cooks

Ingredients

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless pork chops
2-3 cups seedless red grapes, pulled from the stems
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
coarse salt and pepper

Directions

1. Heat oven to 400. Arrange the grapes on a foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with a 2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle with thyme sprigs and a small pinch of salt.

2. Place in the oven and roast the grapes for 20 minutes, or until they’re slightly wilted and bursting.

3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a skillet over medium-high. Season the pork on both sides with salt and pepper and sear for 4-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chops.

4. Arrange the pork on a serving plate; sprinkle the roasted grapes over the pork and drizzle with any remaining grape juice. Garnish with fresh oregano.



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1 Year Ago Today:



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Monday, May 6, 2013

Shredded Chicken & Mac Sliders



Good morning! Well, actually it's really not. My Humira injections have decided to start wearing off after a week (I inject every 2 weeks), so my Crohn's has relapsed and the last week until my next injection has become quite miserable. I had forgotten how painful Crohn's can be.

SO! Off to the doctor...in 11 days. I already know what he's gonna tell me. More Humira! Instead of injecting every two weeks I'll do it every week. The problem with that is I've developed an anxiety to the shots. Every two weeks is awful...it takes me about 20 minutes before I finally get the nerve to press the button and inject (it's a spring-loaded pen, I think that's the biggest problem I have with it...the spring-loaded jab of the needle).

Anyway, I'm looking into diets to help control things. Paleo and SCD (Specific Carbohydrates Diet) are the front runners...particularly SCD. Thousands have found amazing success with it, but t's a HUGE change. I think it's a blessing that Heath is gone right now. That way I'll have no distractions and can just cook for myself (Jesse's simple to cook for. He eats a lot of Schwan's).

Enough about that though...moving on to this recipe.

If you have a macaroni salad recipe you prefer, or you just want to use store bought pre-made stuff, go right ahead and do that. It would make things much easier. I just figured I'd try 
it and see how it was. It wasn't bad, but to me, macaroni salad is macaroni salad. It really wasn't worth the extra effort.

As for the chicken, it's super easy and very good. You can always take it and make tacos with it, or mix it in with some rice. I just saw this on Pinterest and really like the idea of putting macaroni salad on a sandwich :)

Ok guys, have a great rest of your day! I heading out to cut the backyard...joy!

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'Shredded Chicken & Mac Sliders'
Source: Adapted from Mangoes And Palmtrees

Ingredients

Slow-Cooker Chicken:

4-5 Chicken Breasts
3 garlic cloves, peeled & smashed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
2 green onions, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups diced pineapple
2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon brown sugar
Hawaiian Rolls

Macaroni Salad: (If not using store bought pre-made)

2 1/2 cups dried macaroni
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup sliced green onions 
1 1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoon celery salt 

Directions

1. Place the chicken breasts, garlic, ginger, green onions and pineapple into a greased slow cooker. In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar. Pour over the chicken, making sure everything is submerged, then cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

2. To prepare the macaroni salad, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions; drain and allow to cool slightly.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, and celery salt. In a large bowl combine the cooked macaroni, grated carrot, and sliced green onion. Add the mayo mixture and toss until pasta is completely coated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

4. When the chicken is done cooking, shred each breast using two forks to pull the meat apart (this can be done in the slow cooker, or you can take the chicken out and shred it in a bowl if that's easier). Keep the shredded chicken in the liquid in the slow cooker.

5. To assemble the sliders, cut each Hawaiian roll in half. Place shredded chicken on the bottom halves and drizzle with a little of the juice from the slow cooker. Top with macaroni salad, and replace the tops of the rolls, securing with a toothpick if needed.






Friday, May 3, 2013

Turkey Cheddar Hawaiian Rolls



It didn't go well.

I hate the DMV. I HATE, HATE, HATE the DMV. Whatever...long story short, Connecticut can piss off. I'm just gonna re-new my SC tags. Spent about an hour down at Squadron today getting some help, and all should go smoothly from here on out. SHOULD. We shall see.

Anyway, I'm posting a lazy recipe today. Well, it's hardly a recipe, more of a suggestion really. I'm pretty sure everyone knows how to make a turkey sandwich.

The mango chutney was good! I've never had it before, but I really liked it. Even though it looks like a jelly/jam, I found it in the International isle at the commissary, so that's where it may be for you as well.

Ok guys, have a great weekend! We've got a busy weekend coming up...my favorite kind! The sooner we can make these weeks go by, the sooner we can see Daddy-O again :)

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'Turkey Cheddar Hawaiian Rolls'
Source: Adapted from eMeals Healthy Lunch Plan

Ingredients

2 tablespoons mango chutney
4 Hawaiian rolls, split horizontally
1/2 lb thinly sliced deli turkey
1.2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

1. Spread 1/2 tablespoon of mango chutney over the bottom half of each roll.

2. Top evenly with turkey slices and shredded cheese. Replace roll tops and secure with a toothpick if desired.



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1 Year Ago Today:



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