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Like a Ninja

Last summer, when I began my adventure into vegan baking, I ran into a snafu.

I burned out the motor of my food processor…all while making some sort of peanut butter dessert.

I put this item on my Christmas list and, lo and behold, the in-laws gave me one!

Of course, they always go all out when they purchase gifts, for which I’m appreciative because their diligence ensures that the gifted items have five-star ratings and won’t tear up after one or two uses.

I was excited when I unwrapped the Ninja Kitchen System.

Here’s what it looked like when I unpacked it from the box…

Oh word, but look at all of those blades…BIG ones…and bowls (there’s a small one inside the larger one).

One of the things I had decided to do when the new year began was tighten up my eating habits.  Although I don’t eat too badly, I had begun to slip…eating more fries and things with sugar in them.  The roll that’s been growing around my middle is evidence of that, and having the poor body image that I do, I need to fix things.

The Ninja came with a small recipe book, so I decided to try my hand at one…Pineapple Banana Swirl…

I’ll admit that I am not a fan of smoothies.  I don’t like the texture of fruit mashed up, but this recipe wasn’t bad.  I’m going to stick to eating my fruit though.

I also made my black bean soup and had a lot of fun chopping up the onions, celery, and jalapeno peppers.

I’ve gotta say that this system is the BEST I’ve ever used, and though I don’t cook often, I have been married over twenty years and have used a lot of products.

If you’re in the market for a new blender/chopper system, you won’t go wrong with this!

I was not paid to write this.  I’m simply bragging about a positive experience with a product.  🙂

This is What I Get for Cooking

Shortly before Chicky returned to school, I began cooking again.  In my desire to obtain some sort of balance between home and work, I am determined to do my guys right and provide meals for them on a regular basis.

I am on a roll, I am happy to say, and have cooked more than two meals in a week.

Go me!

Thankfully, Chicky has a “Nom Nom” Pinterest board, and I’ve done a bit of stalking.

Well, actually I stalk her all over the internet, but, as any loving, caring mother will admit, that’s just what we do.

Anyhoo…

I found a recipe for Firecracker Chicken, and after seeing that I had all of the ingredients except for the hot sauce, I decided to give it a try.  The Mr. picked up the sauce on the way home from work, and I was all set.

It is a fairly simple dish to prepare, but it does take a bit of time to bake, so it’s not something you can whip up at the last minute.

First, I browned the chicken.

This is where I ran into a slight problem.

I don’t know what happened, but the oil in the pan popped more than it ever has when I’ve cooked before (I used to cook almost every night when the kiddos were younger).

I actually yelled out in pain as a couple of splashes of oil hit my arm and thumb.

I sucked it up, finished the dish, and when all was said and done, my guys RAVED about it.

In fact, Rooster ate this chicken for leftovers several meals in a row…without even warming it up.

Because the recipe calls for hot sauce and brown sugar, it’s a blend between spicy and sweet.

I think that the next time I make it, I’ll cover my arms with something so that I am not tortured with blisters like the ones you see in the following pictures (they are filled with water, which you can’t see but is there nonetheless)…

Day 2 of Two Days of Cooking Dinner

Day two of two days in a row of cooking dinner involved chicken…again.  This is one staple that the carnivores in my family like to eat, and I can usually find it for a decent price at Sams.

Chicky has pinned quite a few recipes on Pinterest, and I had seen a simple chicken recipe a few days back.  Although I couldn’t locate the pin again, I googled “chicken” and “brown sugar” and found just what I was looking for…Chicken Hurry.

My original intent had been to cook this in the crockpot, but I realized I didn’t have enough chicken, so, by the time I ran to the grocery store to get more on the way from taking Rooster to the college to get registered for college…a two-hour ordeal), I didn’t have time and had to do it the old fashioned way and bake it instead.  I followed someone’s recommendation by doubling the amount of sauce I made.  I also added garlic.

You can see it in the 9×13 pan in the center of my table…

The other item I made for this dinner was Old Fashioned Fry Bread.

I’ve been very active on the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup forum on Ravelry.  Someone shared this recipe, and I knew I had to try out.  I’m pasting the recipe below…

Old Fashioned Fry Bread

4 cups flour
2 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening (shortening works better than oil in this case)
1 cup warm water

Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add in the shortening and water. Add only enough water to make dough stick together. Knead dough until smooth, make into fist-sized balls. Cover them with a towel for 10 minutes then pat them out into circles about the size of a pancake. Fry in hot cooking oil in cast iron skillet until brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels, serve with jam

Here’s what the bread looked like while I was cooking it…

I had no idea if they would taste good.  They were a lot thicker than I’d anticipated.

Well, let me tell you that the family RAVED about these!  They turned out more biscuit-y than pancake-y, but everyone said that was fine with them.

Chicky and the Mr. grabbed the honey and ate a couple that way.

Thus ended day two of cooking.

Nobody was hurt in the process, although the family is still recovering from shock.

Day 1 of Two Days of Cooking Dinner

I surprised my family this past week by cooking two nights in a row.

No, hell hath not frozen over, for those of you who lean towards being sarcastic.

😛

Wednesday night, I knew I wanted to make chicken fingers.  The Mr. and Rooster absolutely love them; this is the only dish they will eat left over.

I hopped over to Google to find some sort of different batter and found the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Homemade Chicken Strips.

Because I’m a huge fan of The Food Network, I’ve noticed that most people soak their chicken in buttermilk before applying the breading and frying.

The Mr. is lactose-intolerant, so this has never been a viable option for me.

Because I’ve been doing so much vegan baking, however, I’ve learned that I can create “vegan” buttermilk by mixing a small amount of apple cider vinegar with soy milk and set it aside to curdle.

So, this is what I did and then followed the Pioneer Woman’s instructions carefully.

Here was the result of my efforts…

Look at that breading!!  Pretty, isn’t it?

To accompany the chicken, I made Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary.  I had a bag of potatoes that was a day or two from having to be thrown out.  They weren’t red, but I said what the heck.  I also didn’t have fresh rosemary, so I used dry herbs.  What a super easy side dish to make!!!  They turned out crispy, and the taste was the perfect blend of garlic and herbs.  Yum!

Dinner probably took about an hour to put together.  This is one I will definitely duplicate during the school year when time is at a premium!

 

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