Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 14-15, the belated weekend

So, looks like I've owed this blog a post for many days now, and I mean a real one, not just me railing about how I can't afford either McDonalds or organic free range arugula nuggets. So I'm going to do one better. Realizing that trying to talk about the whole week would make a post much longer than I'm comfortable with, I'm going to break it down. Here's the promised post about the food I made this weekend. 

Saturday, M had to go in and write a paper for his final project in one of his classes. Before he left, I wanted to give him a good lunch, so while he took Pookah to Petsmart for the adoption event (still no takers! Can you believe it?), I made tortillas. I've been wanting to do that for awhile. I like tacos and quesadillas, but the wraps are not cheap.  Homemade tortillas take more time, and they are not quite the same, but they are very enjoyable, and literally cost pennies. Flour, baking powder, salt, and vegetable oil, that's it! My first batch turned out pretty thick, but I think I can temper that with a little more rolling next time. We went simple with the toppings, folding each one in half and filling them with shredded cheese and fire sauce from Taco Bell. I dipped mine in salsa as well. They were delicious! 

Actually, the biggest cost associated with the tortillas was the rolling pin. After the fiasco with the pasties, where I was left trying to roll out dough with my fingers and the tube from a turkey baster, I decided it was time to finally add this basic utensil to my large collection of kitchen implements. My first thought, being thrifty and all, was that I could go for a French-style rolling pin and simply buy a piece of thick dowel rod at the hardware store. I bopped over to Lowe's to check it out. I spent much more time dreaming over container garden stuff than looking at dowels, but that's okay, I didn't buy anything. As it turns out, they only sell dowel in four-foot lengths, so I would've had either the world's largest rolling pin or three rolling pins, a bit more than I need. And they were 7.50. I thought maybe I could do better, so I headed to Target. I was tempted, oh so very tempted, by the KitchenAid and the Oxo GoodGrips ergonomic, acrylic, cool-colored rolling pins at twenty bucks a pop, but settled on the store-brand, wood, round-handled model for six dollars. I paid the price for being cheap by having to return the first one to the store after discovering a big chip in the handle, but the second one worked just fine. It's nice to have a rolling pin, and you can see it in the picture above. 

For supper on Saturday, I used the big pack of drumsticks I got at 89 cents a pound and made spicy chicken legs. Holy cow, were they good! Really easy, too. Defrosted the legs and put them in the crockpot, cubed butter and sprinkled it overtop, poured an entire bottle (got it on sale, too!) of Frank's Red Hot Sauce overtop, then shook on garlic salt, onion powder and pepper. I deviated from the recipe a bit, I crockpotted it for two hours, then put them all on a pan and oven-cooked them for 40 minutes at 350. While they were in the oven, I took the liquid from the crockpot and reduced it in a pan on the stove, then spooned it over top of the legs while they cooked. When they were done, we ate them with ranch dressing. Absolutely delicious, and enough for lunch the next day, too. I was very happy that they are even better when reheated. Drumsticks are always going on sale, but I've never had anything this wonderful to do with them before. 

On Sunday, we were scheduled for scrambled eggs but we skipped that because we were both more interested in eating spicy chicken brunch. I dropped M off at school to do more with his paper, and then went to a yarn store in the next town over, to check it out and see what it was like. I've been doing just tons of knitting lately, I have a gallon-sized Ziploc full of baby hats and mittens and booties by now. And this knitting store is the type that has classes and knitting circles, and is the sort that promises human interaction. I miss human interaction so much! I went over there, and it was great. I met some really nice people, got some tips on my knitting, and invested a small amount of money in needles that are actually the appropriate size for all the small things I've been doing. I've been back once already and plan to go again. I love M, and the cats and the birds, but if I don't get out a little more, I'll go crazy. 

After coming back and picking up M, I made up a Tuscan White Bean Soup from a mix we got in a care package from M's mom. I wasn't expecting much from it, it looked kind of watery and boring, a bean soup of meh. To kick it up a bit, I added a splash of basil-infused olive oil and half a chunk of ham from the freezer. Wow! It turned out to taste much better than I thought, and was actually very satisfying. And in case you're wondering, I haven't been taking many pictures because my computer has been gone, and it throws everything off. It's back now though, so I'll try and do better in the future. 

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