Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chicken à la Twitter

I can't recall ever blogging a recipe before, but, by special request from a Twitter friend, here is the Crock-Pot®chicken recipe I threw together week before last. I tweeted the ingredients as I was creating, but it took me a few tweets, and searching a Twitter stream is a hard way to find a recipe.

Chicken à la Twitter (aka Santé Fe Chicken--that's what I was going to call it until Alyse asked for the recipe.)

3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used hormone & anti-biotic free)
1 envelope taco seasoning (I used Old El Paso brand)
2 cups uncooked rice (I used Uncle Ben's original converted--orange box)
1 jar salsa (I can't recall how many ounces, but you know, a regular-sized jar--I used chipotle flavor)
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes (I think that was a 14 oz. can--you know, regular-sized)
1 can whole kernel corn (I used yellow)
1 can black beans (I used Bush's)
1/2 cup chopped olives (I used green because I like them better and had them in the pantry)
32 oz. chicken broth or stock
2 containers Philadelphia brand Philly Cooking Creme (Santa Fe flavor)

1.    Put the chicken breasts in a large Crock-Pot® (5 - 6 quarts)
2.      Sprinkle the chicken with the taco seasoning, turning to coat both sides

3.      Sprinkle rice over chicken

4.      Pour salsa over top

5.      Pour tomatoes on (don't drain)

6.      Pile on the corn (drained)

7.      Pile on beans (drained)

8.      Pile on the olives

9.      Mix the chicken broth with the cooking creme in a separate bowl, then pour the liquid mixture over into the crock pot

10.  Stir it a little, but leave the chicken on the bottom

11.  Put the lid on the Crock-Pot®and cook on high for 6 hours

12.  Check the pot after 4 hours and again at five if you're around just to make sure the rice doesn't need a little more liquid. If it does, stir in a little water or broth. (Mine was fine, but I've made similar recipes where the rice was dry and needed more liquid.)

13.  Using two forks, shred the chicken and stir in with the rest of the casserole just before serving.

If you like (I did) serve with sour cream and tortilla chips on the side.

If you have leftovers, try wrapping them up in tortillas the next day. We did this and topped with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, guacamole and I can’t even remember what else—but you get the idea. It made some pretty decent burritos.

If you try it, I hope you like it. All I can say is, we didn't have to toss any of it out.

Peace, out,


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Christmas Trees Won't Fit in the Bathroom

I can write about this now, because it's over. But, I've danced perilously close to the line between sane and crazy these last few months...

Sugar and I are blessed with a large family, and we are grateful for each and every loved one. We love it when they all come over to visit. We were not, so much, prepared for five of them to move in for an extended stay. But, the economy and other disasters made it necessary. This is what family does, right?

The guestroom became an extended-stay bedroom, which meant all my off-season clothes had to either fit into my closet or be stored in the basement. Both my office and Sugar's also became extended-stay bedrooms, which meant that everything in those offices, including all the stuff stored in the closets, had to go downstairs. All of this had to happen quickly, which meant we ended up with what looked like the aftermath of a tornado in the basement.

When we first bought our current home, the partially finished basement served as an overflow area. It was eclectically furnished, and we could hang out there when all the family was around, or when we felt like rounding up a group of friends for Karaoke and didn't want trouble with the HOA. (The sound doesn't carry outside from the basement.) Also, there was a nice-sized storage room, the laundry room, and a pre-plumbed, but unfinished, bathroom.

We tried carving office space out of the storage room, but the Christmas trees wouldn't fit in the bathroom, which was the new storage room. With all the stuff now in what used to be the unfinished-but-not-too-bad Karaoke/Family room we were low on space for everyone to hang out separately when we started getting on each other's nerves. And, as I am slightly--okay, maybe much more than slightly--OCD, the chaos in my house was driving me to the brink of a breakdown.

Suddenly, the basement we might finish one day became the basement we needed finished lickety-split. All the stuff that had just been moved to the basement had to be moved to the garage. The cars had to be parked outside. Never one to pay someone else to do something he can conceivably do himself, Sugar drew up a construction plan, got a permit, and got to work--during the one day a week, some weeks, but not all, when he was home.

Progress was slow. Nerves frayed. Construction dust drifted upstairs and covered everything, no matter how often we cleaned. After about eight weeks, Sugar looked at me and said, "Call somebody." I did, and the work is mostly finished now. We had a few bad moments when we were cleaning the aftermath and moving things back in from the garage. Several pieces of furniture are worse for the experience, and one didn't make it.

But, we have a fully-functional family/Karaoke room now, with more than one bare bulb and a disco ball for lighting, and more than one electrical outlet to replace the two power strips and spaghetti bowl of extension cords. The Christmas trees have their own storage space. Sugar has his office back, and I have a killer new writing cave. And boy, does that extra bathroom come in handy.

Peace, out...