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New Recipe and Frozen Pie

29 Sep

The other night a friend came over to help me move furniture. She was originally going to help me move but since I don’t have to move anymore (long story!) I decided to use her muscles to help me rearrange my living room.

In the way of friends, and moving, and all that, I offered to pay her for her help…in food. I figure you offer pizza and drinks when bribing friends to help you move, the least I could do was offer her dinner and dessert to help me rearrange furniture.

The rearranging was actually a lot easier than anticipated, which was a lovely surprise.

And the food turned out pretty decent, yay!

I got a recipe from a lady I follow on YouTube, it is called One Pot Enchillada Pasta. She got the recipe from someone she follows online (oh the wonders of the internet). The link to the video is here:

And here is the link to the original recipe…

https://www.iheartnaptime.net/enchilada-pasta/

Cause ya know, it is important to give the right people credit.

I won’t go in to the details of how to make the dish since I have just provided you with two links to that info, but here is a brief overview of my cooking adventure with this recipe.

The hardest part was finding enchilada sauce. Yup, you heard that right, that sauce was an elusive beast. I just sorta assumed it would be in the Old El Paso aisle at any grocery store so I stopped at Superstore on my way home from work to grab that and a bunch of the other ingredients, only to discover they don’t carry enchilada sauce, in any aisle, by any brand. Uhh, it is sorta one of the main most needed ingredients considering “enchilada” is in the title of the recipe! I had a sneaky suspicion that if Superstore didn’t carry it other stores might not so I then proceeded to call a bunch of other grocery stores (figured calling saved me more time than driving all over the place) and it turns out nobody had the sauce.

Just greeeeeat.

There goes that cooking plan. *rolls eyes*

Later that night at home I googled the sauce and discovered that Save-On-Foods carries it and they have the whole order online and pick-up the order whenever it is convenient for me deal so that is exactly what I did. I placed the order, timed my pick-up for after work the next day, problem solved!

The actual meal is easy to make, mostly because it is dumping a bunch of stuff in a pot lol Just brown the meat (ground beef or turkey, whatever you prefer), add the other stuff, stir, cook for a while, add a couple last minute things, stir, cover and simmer for a while, add some cheese and cover until the cheese has melted, serve.

Easy peasy.

I opted to not put the cheese on top and let it melt, mostly because the recipe called for a lot of cheese and sour cream and pasta, and is just in general a not-healthy recipe and I thought the least I could do was have us add our own cheese to our own bowls so we can decide how smothered our food was. It probably didn’t make much of a difference calorie wise at that point but hey, a girl can try!

Oh, and you can top your serving with a whole variety of things, tomatoes, avocado, green onions, sour cream, really, whatever you want. So I prepped some stuff for use as toppings and had it ready to go.

My bowl ended up looking like this…

one pot enchilada pasta

Yes, I know my ratio of sour cream to everything else is out of whack but whatever, I like sour cream and very rarely eat it, shrug. You can’t really see the actual dish I made, only the toppings, but it is under there!

It turned out tasty. Spicy, thanks to the green chilies and possibly the enchilada sauce (I’m not sure just how spicy that sauce is since I didn’t taste test it separately before adding it to the pot), but not so spicy it is hard to eat. I used regular penne pasta for mine, and I added in one cup vs the 2 cups of ziti noodles the original recipe called for. I gotta say, one cup of penne was plenty! I don’t see why you’d need more than that. I think other than the change in cheese and the change of noodles I stuck to the recipe.

I’m happy with how it turned out, it made a huge amount of food, I had left overs for daaaaays! Despite that, I probably won’t make it again, unless I am making it to take somewhere, because it is so unhealthy, but as a one off it was enjoyable.

Dessert was also served that night, in the form of a frozen pie I actually bought from the friend that was helping me. She was fundraising and selling frozen baked items and one of the things I bought from her was a peach pie. I never got around to baking it and her coming over seemed the perfect excuse.

All I had to do was pop it in the oven for an hour, it then said to let it cool for two hours, which we felt was extreme so we cut in to it sooner than that lol Whoever said patience was a virtue wasn’t waiting for a pie to cool!

The crust was nice and flaky, the peaches were delish, the glaze or sauce or whatever you want to call it that the peaches were in was interesting. Not bad, just not what I was expecting. I think they added the juice or flavouring of another fruit in there, which is odd, is it not? Maybe that’s just me…

peach pie

I was able to send left overs home with my friend and take a good chunk of the pie over to a different friend’s place a day or so later, the pie sure did make the rounds lol

All in all, it was a good pie, I could have made better (yes, I know that sounds smug but don’t hate a baker, that’s not nice πŸ˜‰ ) but it was nice to have the convenience of just popping a ready made pie in to the oven and not have to do all the work of actually making it. Which I guess is why ready made foods are such a massive industry lol

So yeah, there we have it, two yummy dishes, made and enjoyed by all. πŸ™‚

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Canned Bird

7 Sep

At some point I bought a can of turkey meat. Yes, you read that right, the way you buy canned tuna to make tuna salad, I bought that, but the turkey version.

PC Blue Menu Seasoned Chunk Turkey Breast

I think I had some brilliant idea of getting my protein in, at a not horrible cost, and with no worries about (1) having to cook the meat and therefore risk food poisoning and (2) being able to keep it in the cupboard and have it on hand whenever I need it. The boon of not needing defrosting time was also taken in to consideration I’m sure.

I’ll be moving soon and am loath to pack and move a bunch of food. I go through this every time I move. The result is I end up eating a lot of strange foods, or strange combinations anyways.

Tonight after dragon boat practice I was in that mood where I didn’t want to eat because I wasn’t hungry but I knew I probably should eat because I’d been exercising, and I hadn’t had dinner, and if I didn’t eat then (it was roughly 10pm) with my luck I’d feel peckish around midnight and really be in a pickle about if I should eat, and if so, what I should eat. sigh.

So into the cupboard I went to see if inspiration would strike and I found the can of turkey meat.

I reeeeally didn’t want to open it, buuuuut, it is protein (technically), and theoretically wouldn’t be gross (people eat tuna and that stuff is just nasty, this couldn’t be worse, right?), it didn’t require me to cook anything, and I could easily make a simple turkey salad wrap with it…there were a lot of positives on my mental checklist about this food.

I opened it, thank goodness I haven’t packed my can opener yet!, and oh my dear god the smell. The smell is not pleasant at all! At least not to my nose…the cat liked the scent so much he came out of the bedroom and started meowing at me, demanding his share. It smelled like tuna. How is that even possible??

Now, I’m not proud of this, but I used the cat as a test subject and gave him some of the meat. I figured if he ate it then it must be ok. Umm, he wouldn’t eat it. Sniffed it and walked away without a backward glance!

This didn’t bode well…but I felt like I had come to far to back out now so I drained it, then rinsed it because it was freaking me out, mixed it with some dill, black pepper, mustard, and calorie wise miracle whip, then I spread it on a mini tortilla wrap and topped with some shredded coleslaw (no dressing), and a small amount of shredded cheddar.

Simple? Yes.

Likely to food poison me? Probably not.

A meal that contains food groups? Surprisingly, yes.

Go me go. πŸ˜‰

It wasn’t as horrible as I was expecting…I mean, it wasn’t so gross I didn’t eat the wrap. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it, but it could have been worse…right? Right! It can always be worse! Aren’t I such an optimist? πŸ˜‰

So there we have it, my experiment with Seasoned Chunk Turkey Breast in a can. For all that it smells atrocious, doesn’t have a pleasant texture, and tastes unique, I can see why people might buy it. I don’t remember the cost but it can’t have been too high, and it was an easy to use food item, and the meal came together quickly – all things to take in to account when grocery shopping.

I however will not be putting this particular item back on my list. I’m putting it in the same category as brussel sprouts, fine for people who like them but something for me to avoid if only to not have to smell it.

Spilled Egg

8 Aug

Why is it “spilled” when it is a liquid but “dropped” when it is a solid?

Not really the point of my post but just a thought to wonder about…at 2am…when I should be sleeping… πŸ˜‰

Tonight after rehearsal I came home and was making myself a late dinner. Usually if I have a later dinner it is super simple, and on the smaller side, and sort of breakfast related…what can I say, breakfast foods tend to be my favourite, shrug.

I opted for egg on toast, though my version also has two slices of turkey bacon on there, so the layers go: toast, turkey bacon, over easy fried egg. Simple. Tasty. Has protein. Yum!

I’ve made this often enough I have the timing down perfectly so there I am with the bread toasted and on the plate, the turkey bacon on top of the toast, and I bring the fried egg over via spatula to put the egg on top of the bacon but the egg slips and next thing you know it is flying through the air and landing sorta stuck between the front of the cupboard and a plastic bag that holds my empty pop cans (I collect them for the bottle depot). I actually had a brief moment when I thought I could somehow save the egg but then it continued it’s journey downwards (damn you gravity!) and plop, it was on the floor.

The floor of my kitchen that I haven’t scrubbed in over a week.

Crap.

I picked up the still hot egg, saw the cat hair on it, made a mournful sound, and put the still hot egg in the compost.

Trying to move on from the disaster, and also trying to fix the meal before my toast and turkey bacon went stone cold I quickly cooked another egg.

As I pick this egg up on the spatula to carry over to the toast I am more cautious, no repeats of last time thank-you-very-much!

Instead, as I transfer the egg from the spatula to on top of the turkey bacon it starts to slide and almost goes off the plate in to the sink!

NoooOOOOooooo!

Luckily I managed to save it and put it back where it belonged. Phew!

You should have seen how careful I was when carrying my plate to the chair where I sat and ate. I was half convinced the universe didn’t want me to eat tonight and was doing everything in its power to ruin my meal. Because obviously it couldn’t have been my fault, not my clumsiness or anything that might be the problem here… πŸ˜‰

egg

Garden Fruit

8 Jul

For all that I like to hike, and dragon boat, and I get so grateful to finally be able to escape being inside when work is done, I am not really an outdoorsy kind of gal. Shocking I know! πŸ˜‰

This extends to being in gardens. I like gardens in theory, but in reality they are filled with bugs, and spider webs, and wind, and too many icky things for me to enjoy myself. I never relax in gardens because I’m always keeping an eagle eye out for the next bug to wander my way. And yes, I know I am crazy.

My landlords were away for a while and they asked me to water the hanging baskets because the sprinkler system they have set up wasn’t working properly and two baskets were being neglected. They also asked me to keep an eye on the strawberries and pick the raspberries.

Pick the raspberries!

So, not only water some plants but touch them! Touch! Eek!

I put it off for as long as I could but eventually I had to go out there and water stuff, and pick fruit, and you have never seen a person look more uncomfortable than me picking raspberries.

Turns out flowers in hanging baskets are kinda delicate so they may not recover from the time I “forgot” to water them…I am much better with cacti. Indoor cacti that is. I have two and they are doing great, even with the cat chewing on them now and then.

The strawberries, well, I don’t know how to gauge how well the bush is actually doing. It is super tiny but it did create these…

strawberries

The little one was still attached so I left it. The larger one had come off the bush so I took it inside. I would’ve put it in the compost but my landlady kept texting asking if I had eaten it yet so I scrubbed that sucker so clean there was no way there was any trace of a bug footprint left and I ate it. It was actually pretty good. Smaller than strawberries from Safeway but more flavourful.

Then the drama of the raspberries! I’m in the backyard plucking the raspberries from the bush and every time I slightly change the angle I am looking at the bush by I see more raspberries ready to be picked. They were hidden amongst the leaves, near the back of the bush, generally in harder to reach areas that involved my hand going deep in to the bush to be able to grab the fruit. I was so not ok with this. Then! Oh the horrors! I was picking a raspberry and an ant got on my hand! My hand! I did the whole shaking my hand thing and that ant went nowhere, clung to me for dear life. So then I continued to shake the hand while the rest of my body started to move and jerk around and I almost came in to contact with a spider web! A spider web, just right there, in the open, waiting to ensnare me and make it easier for the spider to creep from the web on to me, *shudder*.

That was when I called it quits.

raspberries

This was my reward for my dramatic time in the garden. I could have gotten a lot more for a lot less stress at the grocery store…just sayin! They are quite tasty though, and free since all I had to do was pick them and not buy the bush or put effort in to growing them lol.

I am so incredibly grateful that raspberry bush is in the backyard and out of sight…

spider gif

A Safeway Sandwich

28 Jun

The other day I had a small amount of time to grab something to eat so I stopped at Safeway and did that whole build your own sandwich deal…yeah…so not worth it.

I’ve never gotten a sandwich from there but since my options were one of the pre-packaged sandwiches, a freshly made to order sandwich, or my going to Subway, I thought this was a healthy choice.

The list of options you can pick from is out of date so the first three types of bread I asked for I was told I couldn’t have because they don’t use that bread anymore. Okaaaaay…annoying but fine. Then the guy couldn’t tell me how much my sandwich was going to cost because it depended what meat I got, I told him I wanted turkey and he was still unable to tell me how much it was going to cost. sigh. Then when he put the turkey on the bread it only covered half the bread! The meat is pre-portioned to make sure they only put a certain amount on the sandwiches but the portioned out amounts are freakishly small, so I asked for double meat. Oh, and when I asked how much it would cost for double the turkey he said it depended on how much the turkey cost…but he didn’t follow that up with how much the turkey costs, he just ended the sentence like that lol

I was starting to wonder just how much this sandwich was going to cost me. At this point I didn’t really want it anymore, it was becoming more effort than it was worth, but not like I could walk out half way through the sandwich making process. *rolls eyes*

The rest of the sandwich had mustard, light mayo, spinach, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and one slice of cheddar cheese. a fairly classic combo.

safeway sandwich

I was doing the really classy thing of sitting in my car and eating the sandwich, I would have eaten it while driving but they didn’t cut it so it was too large for me to hold and eat, while driving.

The first bite was pretty much all bread and that kinda set the tone for the rest of the sandwich, the tone being I was eating stale bread. I know, I know, first world problems! But c’mon, I paid for this freshly made sandwich and they can’t even be bothered to put it on bread that isn’t stale? Not cool Safeway.

In the end the bread was inedible, I ended up opening the sandwich up and eating the meat, cheese, and veg, then threw the bread away. So, yay on saving calories! But boo on paying for something that turned out to be a waste of money.

I should’ve just gone to Subway. πŸ˜›

People Need Hobbies

27 May

A week and a half ago I finally started composting. Yes I know I am late to the game with this but hey, at least I’ve started now, right? That should count for something!…maybe… πŸ˜‰

Anyways!

I have been dutifully collecting my kitchen scraps in a brown paper bag, that is inside of a plastic bag juuuuuust in case the paper bag leaks…I may or may not have trust issues when it comes to paper bags…and I got to the point where it was time to take them out to the larger bin.

Where I live all composting materials go in the bin labelled “Yard Trimmings”, it looks just like the garbage bin, only the name on the top is different. My landlord always keeps both bins under the deck so not like I have to go searching for the thing.

Only, I did have to go searching, because it wasn’t there. I thought maybe I missed the day it goes out and it was already in the alley waiting for pick-up, no biggie, I can hold off one more day and add them to a newly emptied bin, but nope. The bin didn’t reappear the next day.

Or the next.

Or the next.

Finally I go actively searching for this thing. I’d like to pretend it is because I am industrious but it is more because my kitchen scraps are starting to smell a little and I’m not enjoying it.

So a-hunting I go! Is it in the alley? Nope. The front yard? Nope. The backyard? Nope. Under a different part of the deck? Nope.

What the hell, where could it have gone?

Last night I ran in to my landlord, and his wife, and I ask where it is. I am all self-depreciating about it, saying how I feel so dumb I can’t seem to find a large, usually easy to spot bin, and it turns out it isn’t me being a dummy!

Someone stole the yard trimmings bin.

yard trimming bin

Should I make a missing poster for it?

Who. Does. That?

Someone who needs a hobby, that’s who!

I mean c’mon, not like these things are hard to come by, ask the city and you’ll get one, they want us to compost!

But nope. Someone who is obviously lacking in entertainment apparently decided after last yard trimming pick-up day to go down the alley and take our bin. *rolls eyes*

My faith in my fellow human is fast decreasing.

So now I am storing my compost in the brown bag (which has split), inside the plastic bag, inside an old kitty litter container that has a lid, in the hopes of containing the smell..but oh man do ya ever get a strong whiff when you open the lid to add something new in there.

The landlord contacted the city, turns out these things have serial numbers on them, and he was told they (as in the city) would get back to him…that was almost a week ago…if this doesn’t get resolved soon I’m going to have a whole new ecosystem flourishing in that kitty litter container, and won’t that just be all kinds of fun to deal with? πŸ˜‰

 

My Attempt to Roast A Squash

24 May

The other night at work the chefs roasted butternut squash, I had a piece and it was amazing. After grilling the chef that was on that night on what to do I thought I might give it a try, at home, with only the cat to supervise me…it may not have been my best idea but the house is still standing so it couldn’t have been the worst! πŸ˜‰

As those of you who have read past cooking posts know, I have a teeny tiny kitchen with nooooo counter space to speak of so my cutting board gets balanced on the edge of the counter that is at the front of the sink and the middle part of the sink, it is a wobbly, dangerous, stupid, place to put a cutting board, but generally my best option. I’m pretty sure one of these days I’m going to slice in to my finger *rolls eyes* Tonight, I dropped the knife and almost stabbed my foot, oops! But I didn’t! So I’m counting that as a win…

After deciding I wanted to keep my feet and fingers intact I managed to find a better balancing spot and proceeded to do as the chef instructed. He said to chop the top and the bottom off, then peel the squash, then cut it in half so the round bulb part is separate from the top column shaped part. Then I slice open the bulb part to dig out the seeds and cut the entire thing in to pieces sized however I want them to be sized.

butternut squash

I’d love to say it went as smooth as it sounds like it should have but well hey, it wouldn’t be my kitchen if that happened, right? πŸ˜‰

I don’t know if it is my peeler, or my technique, or what, but peeling that squash was not an easy task. I ended up using my knife and hacking away at the outside so my poor squash looked not quite as attractive as one might imagine a peeled squash could look. Cutting the top and bottom off was fine, cutting the entire thing down the middle was a tad harder…that could be due to my knife being too small but let’s not get picky about these things, ok? Then there was the whole digging out all the seeds and gross stuff from the bulb section, ugh, I always dislike that part of dealing with a squash, so slimy, so squishy, so easy to have a knife slip because maybe I started using the knife without getting all the goo off my hand…but again with the being picky!

So eventually I get my chopped up butternut squash on the baking tray and now the easy part. I had some oil in a little dish and I got to use my oft neglected pastry brush to spread the oil on the squash, then I sprinkled some brown sugar over top. At this point, or at some point, maybe not this point, I kinda forgot (oops again!) I was also supposed to sprinkle pepper, salt, and a Club House vegetable seasoning on the squash but (1) I was too lazy to get the pepper (2) I don’t add salt to anything so that wasn’t gonna happen and (3) I tried to buy the seasoning but the store didn’t have any so I was crossing fingers it wasn’t an intricate part of making the squash taste good.

While all this was going on the oven was heating to 350, it was sitting at its temperature for quite a while because yeah, this whole prep thing didn’t go quickly *rolls eyes* so in went the tray and on went the timer. I was told ten minutes, maybe fifteen, would be needed, and to stab the squash with a fork to test it. Also to remember what the squash looked like at work and wait till my squash looked the same.

Well…um…yeah…something went a tad wrong there. For starters, at the ten minute mark it was nowhere near done, so back in it went, in the end I think it took 40 minutes or so. Which is unfortunate because I was super hungry so that 40 minutes felt like an eternity. Even after all that time it didn’t look the same as the squash at work but it passed the fork test and I wasn’t willing to wait any longer…impatient much?

Also, I think maybe I should have flipped it at some point? The sugar kinda melted down so it was on the tray, leaving the topside of the squash pieces bare. Which is fine, except the squash was basically sitting in a brown sugar and oil lake so when I took the squash pieces off the tray there were strings of sugar, like gooey strings you’d see on a caramel apple or, I dunno, a caramel filled chocolate…not that I don’t like sugar but what I was seeing seemed a tad excessive. The underneath side had a nice browning effect to it, thanks to sitting in the sugar, where as the top was the same colour as it started out as. Not as pretty as the roasted butternut squash at work. Then again, those chefs went to school for who knows how long, their food better look nicer than mine! πŸ˜›

butternut squash cooked

In the end it was edible, actually, it was more than edible, it tasted good. Not as good as what I was trying to recreate but that could be due to the lack of seasoning, or too much sugar, or the wrong cooking temp and time, or the simple fact that I made it…but it wasn’t so horrible that I won’t try again, and hopefully get better results next time!

Hey, don’t scoff, a girl can hope! πŸ˜›

 

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