June 29, 2011

Homemaker; Marine Wife Style!

I need to get an apron to wear when I cook to make it official but I may just be the next Betty Crocker! I've made some amazing dishes since Pat has been gone. He should give me a chance and let me cook. We always eat out or order out, which is fine sometimes, but seriously, I would love to have dinner waiting for him on the table when he gets home from work. He thinks I'm going to poison him though. Have some faith babe. He knows I can cook. Just every once in a while, of course, a dish doesn't turn out well. I'm not going to lie, I'm not perfect. 

Deployment Dishes:
Chicken Enchiladas - First I followed the box directions, and fell in love. The next two times, I tweaked the recipes. I didn't have enchilada sauce so I used hot salsa, different cheese and spices, and I made it work with fajita wraps(which were smaller). If Pat was home, we would probably only have enough for dinner but I was able to get dinner that night, and lunch and dinner the next day! I want to try a different recipe next time. I can't wait!

Creamy Chicken and Salad - I just made this today and really it's simple. Besides preparing the lettuce and vegetables that I choose (today all I had was onion and green peppers), I make my own hard boiled eggs with a simple recipe and experimented with a different way to make the chicken. And the two ingredients that make the salad amazing, cranberries(dried) and glazed walnuts. I didn't want plain chicken so I experimented with Cream of Chicken soup, since for some reason I have a bunch of cans. I didn't think I needed to let the chicken marinate in the CoC since it's thick, I didn't think it would penetrate through the chicken. So I through the chicken on the stove and added a mixture of seasonings. This consisted of probably 8 spices. I like spices and am not afraid to combine them. I was nervous that the chicken after being cooled, would still be too creamy/wet but when I combined all the ingredients with the lettuce, it turned out perfect! I did run into a problem, my refrigerator froze my lettuce and spinach. I was upset but able to save most of the lettuce and a decent portion of spinach. Stupid fridge. I wasn't sure which dressing I should try with it. I tend to stay with creamy dressing like ranch or honey mustard. But with the chicken being creamy, I thought that may be too much. There was red raspberry vinaigrette in the refrigerator, but I opted for ranch. IT WAS AMAZING. The cranberries and walnuts are my favorite addition to salads. YUM.

Slow-cooked Pork Chops - This was a recipe I found while Pat was in Cali, training. I wanted to make it for him when he got home but he insisted on eating whatever he wanted and where ever he wanted before he deployed. I made it shortly after he left and it was amazing. Some of the reviews said that the particular blends of spices were odd with the choice of pork, but that it was still a great dish. I'm unbiased when it comes to spices and foods combined. I don't think only certain spices should be used with certain meats, pastas, veggies, etc. So I slow cooked the pork, chicken broth, and spices all day. It smelled amazing and when it was done, the pork just fell apart very nicely. I think I made noodles that night to accompany it. I noticed there was a large amount of broth left and it wasn't thick so I decided next time I will add potatoes, carrots, and onions like you would with a roast. I think those additions will accompany the pork better than the noodles. I really wish Pat would have let me make it for him. I don't care if he says he doesn't like pork, it's because, I think, the way his mother makes it and the type she uses.

Besides main dishes, I make some mean glazed carrots. I haven't made them in a while and although they are amazing, I haven't perfected them. I also need to work on my brownies. I don't know if it's the different type of boxed brownies I choose, but none are as good as I remember them being when I was a kid and mom was making them. If something doesn't change, I may start looking for a homemade recipe instead. I made sugar cookies the one night and even though the recipe is so simple, they were the most amazing cookies ever. Moist for days after! I did take them out early because my oven tends to over cook, but I'm not sure if it was that, or because I may have used tub butter instead of stick margarine... or maybe even the container I stored them in. I'm not sure but the were amazing.

I really want to make my Three Berry Pie, but I don't feel like buying the berries. They're slightly expensive and I don't feel like using the money on something I'm probably going to  be the only one eating. It is an amazing pie though. I use raspberries, black berries, and strawberries. I think it's the black berries that make it, but that's just me!

This evening I'm going to try this really simple cinnamon toast rolls/folds. It's 3 ingredients and oven time. And there's even a simple way to make icing! I can't wait, it just sounds fun. The only problem is, I just bought bread and I don't really want to use it all on these but I just might ;)

<3Semper Cookin'!

P.S. Lipton Pomegranate Blueberry Iced Tea = Amazing.

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