Posted in Chef Lane, Food, movies, Reviews

3 Breasts: A recipe and a review


I used 3 chicken breasts (on the bone with rib meat) and made 4 different meals.  To cook the meat, I warmed EVOO in a stewer over medium heat with 2 Tbs of garlic paste, and 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary.  When that was warm, I browned the breasts, skin side down, then added water to cover.  To that, I added 2 Knorr chicken flavor cubes, sea salt and a variety of herbs that smelled nice.  I brought that to a boil, then simmered for 45 minutes

I shredded the meat of all 3 breasts, added about 1/4 of it back to the broth with a cup of carrots, a cup of cauliflower and 1 1/2 cups of lentils to make soup (cooked for another 20 minutes before adding the chicken back in.)  With the next 1/4, I made shredded chicken tacos with fresh, homemade salsa, and used the final 1/2 for a plain chicken meal for Thor, and shredded chicken sandwiches for dinner.

To make the salsa, coarsely chop 2 large tomatoes, and finely chop 1 banana pepper, 1 small jalapeno, 1 small onion, 3 cloves of garlic, and juice 2 limes.  Put the peppers, onion and garlic in a strainer and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them and let drain well.  This softens them and brings out some flavor.  Mix everything together with salt and chili powder to taste, then refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

For shredded chicken sandwiches, mound the cold, shredded chicken on foil and sprinkle with cheddar cheese, then broil until cheese is bubbly.  Serve on hamburger buns with horseradish sauce.  Tasty!

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B and I went to see Total Recall last week.  While the 3-Breasted Hooker made it back into the film, the bomb-mask (my favorite thing from the original, other than Arnold’s accent) did not.

I didn’t have high hopes for the film, so I wasn’t disappointed when it wasn’t great.  I was surprised at what was the whole trouble, though.  First, Collin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale were very good in their roles.  Farrell was believable as an Everyman who might be a revolutionary.  Beckinsale was the perfect sociopath.  Both are very easy on the eyes, and stood out against the perfectly dystopian backdrop.  Their chemistry was right on target.  They reminded me a bit of Pitt and Jolie as Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

The first quarter of the film was promising, though I did lean over to ask B why everyone spoke in an American accent if the only places left on earth were the UK and Australia, and why everyone other than the main characters were Asian.  That was a startling defect.  How can the whole of the world be Asian, but the only people important to the plot be white, pretty people?

But I could suspend my disbelief.  The action was good, the gadgets were cool, and I could get behind Rekal as a possibly safe, possibly sinister place.  Then, something horrible happened.  Jessica Biel.

Biel has gorgeous hair, beautiful skin, and has an amazing figure.  She cannot act.  Period.  Every scene she was in was diminished by her presence.  I wish I could be nicer about that, but it’s sad and true.  She brought absolutely nothing to the role other than pretty hair, and really just served the purpose of making me think, “Dang…I never realized Kate Beckinsale could act.”  Listen, Beckinsale playing dead was better than Biel playing anything.

Brian Cranston was woefully miscast, as was his wig.  Bill Nighy was wasted in his role.  He should have had Cranston’s part.

Overall, I had a fine time.  It wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen (The Messenger), and it wasn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen (you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.)  It was all right.  The bad did outweigh the good, so I only give it 2.75 out of 5 stars.

Posted in Chef Lane, Food

In a Jam


On the advice of my friend, Laura, I bought an Oster bread maker about a year ago.  I’ve made exactly one loaf of bread, and it was lovely.  Unfortunately, it did not come with a bread slicing fairy, so I lost interest quickly.  Laura had told me she used her bread maker to make jellies and jams, though, so when I started eyeing with distress my 8lbs of plums from Bountiful Baskets, I decided it was time to haul it out from under the sink and get down to business.

Oster bread maker.

 

Basically, you throw a cup of sugar, a tablespoon of powdered pectin, two teaspoons of lemon juice, and a cup and a half of the fruit of your choice into the bread maker pan.  You let it mix for 5 minutes, then you set it to bake for an  hour.  Et voila, jam!

You pour that into heated jars, pop on the lids, then process them in hot water until the jar lids sea.  Then let the jars cool before putting them in the fridge to set the jam.

I made both plum and strawberry jam last night.  Thor and I ate the plum jam for breakfast, on toasted sourdough bread from Bountiful Baskets, with my favorite butter, Kerrygold–an Irish butter.  Thor ate both his pieces without a word, but tells me now that it would have been perfect, had I not let the butter and jam mix together.

Plum jam on toasted sourdough. Mmmm.

I’m pretty pleased with the result.

 

Posted in Beauty, economy, Food

Hungry in the Summer and in Sahel


If you have eaten a meal in the last few days, please take a moment to consider your good fortune.  If you have been able to feed your children, please take a moment to consider yourself very blessed.  Remember that there are people around you who are starving, and who watch their children starve, and please remember that summertime is one of the worst times for hungry families. 

During the school year, kiddos at least have access to school breakfast and lunch.  In the summer…those are just two more meals for families to try to figure out.  The North Texas Food Bank offers children meals during the summer at their Kids Cafe.  This is a great place to share what you have, even if you are donating just a dollar or two every month.  Every cent helps.

The North Texas Food Bank has a program to help children at risk of food insecurity and chronic hunger over the weekends, as well.  Doesn’t “chronic hunger” just break your heart?  I can’t stand it when I think Thor has been hungry for more than an hour.  I can’t imagine him being hungry for days on end.

Lainey, of Lainey Gossip, posted this today and I want to share it with you.  First and foremost, I recommend helping the hungry where you are, but we must also always remember the people who live in other nations, who have less than nothing. 

Last year we saw the worst hunger crisis this century in the Horn of Africa. Now a similar crisis is spreading across the continent’s Sahel zone.The hunger has reached crisis levels in countries including Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Chad. Across the region, erratic rainfall, endemic poverty, low crop yields, and rising prices for staple foods have combined to create this crisis.

The Humanitarian Coalition member agencies are already hard at work across the Sahel. Their ongoing projects in the areas of water and sanitation, food security, education, and women’s empowerment are helping vulnerable communities counter the effects of food shortages.

The Humanitarian Coalition is currently appealing for support to address the drought and food crisis in the Sahel. 80% of donors give on-line. Here’s how your gift would help:

$50 – buy milk to treat a severely malnourished child for 3 weeks
$100 – feed a family for 5 months
$250 – feed 5 families for a month
$500 – pay a nurse for a month, to care for malnourished children

Please click here to support the Humanitarian Coalition.

Again, I encourage you to share as you can.  Even the smallest donation helps.  And if you can encourage your friends to donate, so much the better.  Ten friends with a dollar each can make an impact.  Ten friends with five dollars each can feed hungry, little children.  Ten friends with ten dollars each can feed one of those hungry families for 5 months.

Posted in Chef Lane, Food

Chef Lane: Some Lamb, Some Radishes and Some Kale walk into a kitchen…


You all know I got a haul from Bountiful Baskets, and that I had no idea what to do with some of my produce.  Namely, I had two huge bunches of kale and a bunch of radishes, and not a clue what to make of them.  I’ve been hunting down recipes and making them my own, and so far, I’m having a lot of fun and success.  Tonight, I made a dinner of grilled lamb (cooked on The Griddler, thanks Dad and Barbara!), sauteed kale, and grilled radishes.

Sounds disgusting, doesn’t it?  Surprisingly, it was delicious!

Lamb, kale and radishes. Surprisingly delicious.

You will need:

  • 6 boneless Lamb chops (They come 3 to a pack at Kroger)
  • 2 bunches of kale
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup veggie/chicken/beef stock (you pick)
  • 3 Tbs Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbs Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs garlic paste
  • 1 tsp Miso
  • 1 ice cube
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Herbal Sea Salt to taste

I love this herbal sea salt by Caber, called Seasonello.

I use this all the time. I love it for seasoning lamb.

My dad and his nifty wife, Barbara, bought us The Griddler the last time they were here.  They use it in their RV for a lot of cooking, and after telling me how easy it was to use, and to clean, I told B I wanted one for Christmas.  Dad and Barbara brought us one the next day.  It is amazing!  I love it!  I love it most because it is so easy to clean.

Anyway, while your Griddler or grill, or oven are pre-heating, salt your lamb with the herbal salt and set it aside.

I have a really cheap vegetable slicer that I bought at Kroger.  I call it the Slice-o-matic.  It looks something like this:

It slices your vegetables into wafer thin pieces! Just watch your fingers.

Use your Slice-o-Matic, or whatever you have handy, to slice your radishes into very thin rounds.  Do the same with your 3 garlic cloves.  Cut up your butter into tiny pats in a small, broiler safe baking dish, put your radishes and garlic in the dish, drop the ice cube in the center, then cover with foil.  Broil for 25 minutes.  (You can skip the baking dish and just put all of this in foil, edges wrapped up so as not to leak butter everywhere, and put this on the grill for 20 minutes.)

While your radishes are going, put half your sesame oil in a large saucepan with all of the garlic paste.  Heat until the oil is bubbly, then add your cup of stock and Miso.  You will have taken the leaves of the kale off the stalks, and ripped those into smaller pieces.  Put those in your saucepan and mix until your leaves are all covered with the oil, garlic, and stock.  Cover and cook on high for 5 minutes.  Remove cover and reduce heat, simmering until the liquid is nearly gone.  Add in the sesame seeds and stir.

While the radishes are going, and the kale is cooking, throw your lamb on The Griddler.  5 minutes for rare, how B likes it, and 8 minutes to medium, how I like it.

Serve and be surprised!

The kale has a really nice texture and the miso and sesame oil give it a great flavor.  The radishes come out with a very potato-y taste.  I was hoping B would like it, and was thrilled when he ate all the vegetables.  That’s pretty rare.  When Mom came to bring Thor home, I had her give it a taste, and she especially liked the kale.

This recipe yields dinner for 2 adults, with 2 servings of leftovers.

 

Posted in Chef Lane, Food

Chef Lane: No Noodle Lasagna


I’m working out how to utilize all the produce from my Bountiful Basket order.  First up, today, was the eggplant.  I had an idea of what I wanted to do with it, but when I started to work, I realized that the bottom quarter of the plant was not usable.  So, I switched gears and turned it into a lasagna.

No pictures again, but this time because it smelled so good I kind of dove into it before I thought to take any.

You will need:

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 3 leaves of fresh basil (or dried)
  • 1/2lb of ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup pasta sauce of your choice
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1tsp Cilantro Paste
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Slice eggplant into paper thin rounds.
  3. Dredge the rounds in egg (I added a dash of salt to the egg), then coat with bread crumbs.
  4. Place the coated eggplant on a cookie tray and bake at 350 for 10 minutes, turning the rounds halfway through.
  5. Remove from oven and set aside.
  6. Finely chop basil leaves.
  7. Slice onion into thin rounds.
  8. Leave half in rounds, and finely chop the other half.
  9. Mix garlic, cilantro, and chopped onion into lamb, then brown in skillet on stovetop. While meat is browning, add half the basil leaves.
  10. In a small casserole dish, pour a small amount of pasta sauce and cover bottom of dish. Layer the bottom with the baked eggplant rounds. Add a layer of onion rounds. Use half the goat cheese and create a cheese layer.
  11. Pour in the entire meat mixture for the next layer.
  12. Cover with a layer of pasta sauce
  13. Add the rest of the goat cheese and cover layer.
  14. Cover with the rest of the eggplant rounds and the rest of the pasta sauce
  15. Top with parmesan cheese and the remaining basil.
  16. Cook at 350 for 35 minutes.

This makes about 6 heaping 1/2 cup servings, and works out to the following per serving numbers (according to MyFitnessPal):

  • 253 calories
  • 17 carbs
  • 15 fat
  • 14 protein
  • 4 fiber

Thor ate his up!  This means I got eggplant, onion, basil and cilantro into the boy without his knowing it.  Yay!