Jerk Chicken Hot Plate (Whole 30)

Even though I didn’t do a Whole 30 this month, I am trying to eat better, cleaner food with more vegetables. I have kind of fallen into the rut of eating out or picking up something at the grocery store deli on my way home from work.

I am starting by getting rid of my normal breakfast of bagels and a Dr. Pepper. I am replacing it with easy to throw togther, take 10 minutes to cook meals, called hot plates.

I can’t take any credit for hot plates. I blatantly stoled the idea from Mel Joulwan and her fabulous Well Fed cookbooks and ran with the idea. Its simply taking some kind of protien, some kind of spices or sauce and throwing them over some kind of vegetables. Mel Joulwan had many ideas which you should check out but I have come with some of my own ideas for hot plates that I am going to share with you here.

Jerk Hot Plate

8-12 oz diced chicken

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 TBS olive oil

In a small bowl, combine all the spices; set aside. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add oil. When hot, add chicken and spices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink, 6-8 minutes. Serve over a salad, baked potato or with other vegetables.

Brussels Sprout and Potato Hash (Whole 30)

Today was like Christmas in June. When I got home from work there was a package at my door. The package was from my parents. They are moving to a much smaller house in a few weeks and they are getting rid of stuff that is no longer useful to them. The box was full of things my mom thought I might like and have use for.

Some new Hull brown drip dishware for my collection.

A few cute knick knacks for my living room because mom knows my thing for frogs and parakeets

The absolutely coolest thing, though, was my baby book and a bunch of memorabilia from my childhood. My mom sent me my baby book.

Wasn’t I a cute little shit?

There were report cards from 1st grade all the way through graduation that confirmed something I always suspected. I have always been really, really good at reading and always sucked at math, except for 11th grade when I sucked at math and American government.

But the coolest thing in a box full of cool things was a note from my grandma Goeser, who passed away when I was 14.

It was so much fun to open this package and look through all the stuff.

Brussels Sprout and Potato Hash

3/4 lb Brussels sprouts

1 russet potato, unpeeled and chopped

1 1/2 TBS chopped fresh

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts then halve them and coarsely chop them. Place them in a large bowl. Add the potatoes, thyme, onion, garlic and oil. Stir to combine.

Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, stir them and spread in a single layer again. Drizzle them with more oil if necessary. Roast 15 more minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender.

At this point, I scoop out the amount of vegetables I want to eat and crack two eggs over the top. I continue to roast the vegetables until the eggs are done to my liking. Its usually about 10 minutes. I cool the rest of the vegetables and save them for more breakfasts later in the week.

24 Hour Omelette

Some people get emotionally involved in books. Some people get emotionally involved in movies. Apparently, I get emotionally involved in cooking shows. At 5:30 this morning, I was yelling at my tv because the technical challenge on The Great British Baking Show was angel food cake and someone greased the fucking tin!!! Other people didn’t whip their egg whites to stiff peaks and still others didn’t cool their cake upside down!!! It drove me crazy.

I guess its because if I had a signature dessert, it would be angelfood cake. Its my favorite cake. Years ago, I spent my whole summer learning how to make it from scratch. I made at least a dozen angel food cakes that summer and many more since. I am the best egg seperator on the planet so if you need eggs seperated give me a call.

What does this have to do with a 24 Hour Omelette?  Well, it does have eggs and you do bake it.  Other than that, nothing.  It’s just the my random ramblings.  I do suggest you try this recipe.  Don’t let the title fool you into thinking it’s a complicated recipe or takes a long time to make.  I put the omelette together before I went to bed one night, 5 minutes of work and baked about 6 1/2 hour later while I was getting ready for work.   It  is   a really good bake.

24 Hour Omelette

1 TBS butter, softened

2 slices hearty white bread

3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

3/4 cup milk

2 eggs

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 tsp dry mustard

Salt and pepper

Grease a 3 cup baking dish. Spread butter evenly over one side of the bread and tear into 1 inch pieces. Spread half the bread cubes in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half the cheddar cheese. Repeat with the remaining bread and cheese.

Whisk the milk, eggs, onion, mustard, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper in a bowl. Pour the mixture over the bread and cheese. Using your hands to gently sumerge the bread to help it soak up the egg mixture. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at leat 8 hours up to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake, adjust the rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove cover and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 1 hour, roatating the dish halfway through cooking time. Let cool slightly before serving.

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

Today is a big day. I graduate from training for my new job. We get a ceremony, pizza party and everything. Its nice to work at someplace that celebrates its employees success. But none of that is why today is a big deal for me.

I am so excited about graduating today because three weeks ago I was seriously thinking about quitting and going to ask for my old job back. If you knew how much I hated my old job at the end you would know how low I was feeling. I cried at my desk several times. I was so overwhelmed. On some level, I think I didn’t believe I could do the job.

I am fortunate that I was surrounded by people who believed otherwise and worked with me until I it believed too.

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

Adapted From Cookie and Kate

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt1/8 tsp nutmeg

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

2 1/2 TBS honey

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 TBS melted butter

1 1/4 cups blueberries

Preheat the oven to 375. In 1 1/2 quart baking dish, spread 1 cup of the blueberries on the bottom of the dish.

In a small bowl, combine the pecans, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking powder. Spread the oat mixture over the blueberries in the baking dish.

In the small bowl, combine the milk, honey, egg, vanilla and butter. Pour the milk mixture over the oat mixture. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup blueberries over the top.

Bake 40 – 45 minutes. Serve with milk or yogurt.

Bacon Ranch Breakfast Hash (Whole 30)

This week I did something I haven’t done in almost 13 years and something I never thought I would do again. I gave my employer my notice. Friday, March 29th will be my last day with my old employer and Monday, April 1st will be my first day with my new employer.

Although I am beyond ecstatic to be to be leaving my current place of employment, I am really having a hard time leaving the people. I mean, I knew it would be hard. These people have been with me through some of the best and worst times of my life. I just didn’t expect it to be this hard. So many tears and so many hugs and I still have 4 more shifts before I am done. You would think I was moving 6000 miles away instead of 6 blocks away.

I am also very touched by the reactions of some of my regular customers that I told that I was leaving. My goal has always been to make sure everyone who comes through my line leaves feeling a little better then when they got there. I never knew how much I succeeded at this until I decided to leave.

If you are wondering what the picture has to do with Bacon Ranch breakfast hash, the answer is nothing. My friend, Ess, bought this little Angel for me to celebrate my new job. She spent a lot of time picking just the right stone for me.

I don’t know if I believe in the power of crystals and all that but I gotta say, this one is perfect for me. I need help attracting new opportunities because I sure don’t going looking for them. New opportunity means changing things and I don’t handle change of any kind well. Even though I know that there is no future for me where I work now, those voices in my head fill me up with self doubt, that I will fail at my new job. I am too old, too dumb, just too much of everything to suceed. If this can help me move past that I’ll be grateful. Those negative inner voices can really beat you up if you let them.

Bacon Ranch Breakfast Hash

Adapted From The Defined Dish

1/2 lb baby yellow potatoes, cut into fourths

2 strips compliant bacon

1 1/2 tsp olive oil

1/2 lb ground chicken

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 cup baby spinach

2 TBS compliant ranch dressing

Place the potatoes in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Place sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling cook for 5 minutes or until slightly tender. Drain.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the bacon until crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Break the bacon into little pieces. Remove to a plate. Set aside.

Drain all the bacon grease except for 1 tablespoon. Once the potatoes are done, add the potatoes to the skillet with the bacon grease. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 6-8 minutes, until golden and tender. Add the spinach and cook until wilted about 2 minutes. Remove the potatoes and spinach to the plate with the bacon.

Add the ground chicken to the pan. Brown the chicken, breaking it up with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing. Continue cooking and breaking up the meat until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Once cooked, drain the fat, add the potatoes and spinach back to the pan with another tablespoon of ranch dressing. Mix well and heat through.