Friday, September 24, 2010

On Food and Blogging

Honest Moment #1: I LOVE food; and cooking, and eating, and baking, and basically anything that puts me in a kitchen.
My extended family is large and loud and very Italian-American; at least on the side that bolstered my love of food. I remember standing on a dining room chair to help my mother make lasagna from still warm noodles or roll peanut butter filling into balls for Christmas candy. That has carried over to an obsession with cookbooks and cupcakes and kitchen experiments that sometimes go horribly awry (yes, I'm referring to you Cabbage Debacle of 2009).
Honest Moment #2: I wanted to blog about food before I even thought about start this blog.
Months ago I talked with my Mom about wanting to blog about food. Work had been particularly rough and cooking/baking relaxes me. Mom didn't quite get why I would want to spend my free time doing this. I was also worried and afraid. I am not a chef or any kind of a gourmet anything. I'm a home cook and one that is still learning at that. Do I know how to cook? Yes, but I'm not making kimchi or kefta or anything 8500 words in the name of the dish. I'm working on learning and sharpening basic kitchen skills; why on earth would anyone want to read what I have to say about food and cooking? So I let the idea go…
Then, over the summer I decided to start working on "The List." The one I made in college of all the things I want to do before I die. So I started this blog; about my life and my friends and things I love. Thus far I haven't talked about food much, the one post about cupcakes I made. That's actually been quite hard; partially because I'm feeling domestic lately and I'm wanting to spend all my extra time in the kitchen or reading cookbooks and partially it's because food and eating is such a large part of my life. I've been saying for a while I'm having trouble finding my voice and my point of view and I think it's because I've been doing my best not to talk about the new pizza place near USF or the new cookbook I got today. So I'm going to stop avoiding it and embrace it.

Honest Moment #3: I still hate doing dishes.
The general equation of my kitchen time goes something like this: Idea(Mom+Google)= Eight loads of dishes or some equal awful and larger amount. Like potentially the entire contents of my silverware drawer or all my spatulas and slotted spoons. Sometimes this is enough to make me hesitate, but I usually charge forward anyway. That's why there are dishwashers, right?

Here's what BFFMandy and I had earlier this week (that was fan-fab-tab-ulous leftovers tonight):

It Chicken Cacciatore! My Mom always calls this Hunter's Stew or Hunter's Chicken. I made this in the Crockpot and it was pretty much the easiest thing on the face of the planet.

So here's what you need:
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Green Bell Peppers, seeded
Garlic Salt

And here's what you do:
- Get some chicken (with the bones in and the skin on). You can use whatever you want or already have. For this I use a whole chicken that they cut up for me at Target.

- Salt and Pepper your chicken on both sides.  
- Coat the bottom of a non-stick skillet with Olive Oil, again whatever you have is fine.
- Brown the chicken on both sides and place in a lightly (and I mean super super lightly nonstick sprayed Crockpot crock. It's supposed to be non-stick anyway, but tomatoes can be a pain to clean if they stick…we'll get to that.)
- Roughly chop all the Onions, Green Bell Peppers, and Tomatoes. This should be a fairly rough chop; you want the vegetables to stand up to the long cooking time and not cook away or into mush. You can also add other vegetable like carrots or mushrooms if you have them. There are purposefully no specific amounts for this recipe because you can shrink or grow it very easily by adding an additional chicken breast or extra vegetables. Use what you need to fill your Crockpot. For reference I used two medium onions, two medium bell peppers, and six small-ish tomatoes; just because I like the tomatoes best.
- Place the vegetables over the chicken and sprinkle with Garlic Salt. Just use a little, the flavors will condense some during cooking and you can always add additional salt, pepper, or whatever other Italian spices you like at the end.
- Place the lid on your Crockpot and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours (I started mine at 7:30AM before I left for work and BFFMandy said it was done when she got home at 5:00PM.) Check it at the low end of the cooking time it you can, if the chicken's done you're ready to eat. You can serve the chicken pieces whole or shred the chicken. We served it over long spaghetti and it was fabulous. 

So that bring me to the end of my first post about food. I'm not sure yet that this will be a "food blog" but I will definitely have more blogs about food.

Smiles. =)

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