• Scary Spice

    Date: 2010.11.08 | Category: home improvement | Tags: ,

    Man, Monday hit me like a ton of bricks.  I am saddled with a cold/allergies and I feel like I’m walking through a swamp.  I just feel heavy and tired.  Tonight I’m just going to relax and rest and hope it does me good!

    Yesterday I played with Mark’s camera a bit.  Here is Ada sniffing the wind:

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    For dinner yesterday I completed Meal Five of Week Four of the Four Week Recipe plan from Real Simple: Yes, folks, the cookthrough is OVA.

    It went out with a bang.  On the menu?: Cajun Chicken and Collard Greens.  For some reason this recipe made me start talking with a draaaawwwl.  A Suth’n drawl.

    I’ve never eaten or cooked collard greens, and I’m not sure I’ve ever had black-eyed peas either.  (Resist the urge to start singing My Humps.  My husband did not.)  Luckily, 24 hours before I had to cook this meal, I watched Paula Deen herself prepare colluhd greeens, y’all.  Here is how she explains it:

    Wash the collard greens thoroughly.  Remove the stems that run down the center by holding the leaf in your left hand and stripping the leaf down with your right hand.  The tender young leaves in the heart of the collards don’t need to be stripped.  Stack 6 to 8 leaves on top of one another, roll up, and slice into 1/2 to 1-ince thick slices.

    Did I go to the right source or what?  Lady knows what she’s doing!

    Here’s how it turned out

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    Another tip for this simple recipe was the chicken called for blackening or cajun seasoning.  Don’t run out and get this (as you know I have a ton of seasonings as it is – more on that later).  You can make it yourself by combining paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, pepper and salt.  Here is a link with measurements, but honestly I don’t think that is necessary – just estimate it.

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    And with that, the Real Simple cookthrough is done!

    Fortunately, this means:

    • Less spices to buy
    • Not trying recipes that I don’t want to cook but feel like I have to
    • Less pressure to cook – PB&J and grilled cheese, here we come

    Unfortunately, it means:

    • More PB&J and grilled cheese
    • I have to come up with my own meal plans (and I hate meal planning)
    • I won’t be forced out of my comfort zone
    • Having to come up with stuff to blog about on my own!

    This weekend, I rectified my spice situation.  Unfortunately, I deleted my “before” pictures!  Basically, I had one spice rack by the stove, and more than double the number of spices in the pantry.  It was out of control.  I decided to consolidate it all and install a spice rack on the back of our pantry door, clearing up some counter and pantry space at the same time.  Here is the result:

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    The kitchen is really clean and more functional now, and just makes me want to go in there and cook up a storm.  Why didn’t I do this before the cookthrough??!  Who knows.