Thursday, December 31, 2009

Chicken and Cookies Challenge - Week 2

Friday was Christmas! You should know this unless you were living under a rock for the last few months... or well... for awhile at least. So I needed to do something special for Mr. Wonderful this week.

Chicken: Dad Wonderful made an enormous free-range turkey (a chicken like bird) and I could not upstage the turkey with a chicken... because it would then have to be a VERY large chicken... and that would probably not be worth our while.

Cookies: Chocolate Covered Honeycomb from the Candy Addict

I had pictures to send... but apparently when I send pictures from my Droid to my email... if I delete the picture before I check the email it gets lost somewhere in cyberspace... Mr. Wonderful is totally going to have to fix that...

I could not find honey for the honeycomb so I substituted with 100% maple syrup from that farm by my uncle up in Maine. No one complained...

They did not end up looking like the Candy Addict's pictures:


In fact mine resembled turtles more and people compared them to chocolate covered caramels... where did my bubbles go?


Monday, December 21, 2009

Chicken and Cookies Challenge

Last week Mr. Wonderful and I took a wonderful journey in slightly-above to slightly below freezing temperatures to Northern Virginia (NOVA) to house sit and tour DC. On Tuesday, December 8, we toured the American History Museum to visit Julia Child's kitchen. Okay... so we were there because we LOVE museums, tours, history... and I have a secret obsession (okay... not so secret) with cooks and crafters I remember seeing on television when I was growing up. Julia Child, Carol Duval, and Martha Stewart... gave me the inspiration and training to do so many wonderful creative things that my family simply lacked the know-how and will power to do. After visiting her kitchen I amazingly talked Bee into renting Julie Julia from a RedBox and Mr. Wonderful into watching it with me! Then he had a challenge for me...

You see, Mr. Wonderful and I have a Friday tradition that started our first Friday night together over two years ago: Chicken and Cookies. Now the chicken could be substitute for chicken. Cookies could be brownies, cakes, or bars. Friday night could fall on a Saturday or Sunday if we were traveling and there was no way we had access to either chicken or cookies. I can only recall a few times when we were traveling overseas and when he was off on a boys weekend.

Now we have a few go-to recipes that we enjoy to no end, but we're ready to try something new. So here is the challenge: 101 different ways to cook chicken and cookies. I am not bound to any book, any genre, any chef. 202 recipes total... 2 new recipes each week... not repeating.

Week One

Crock-pot Taco Chicken
(Given to me by the receptionist at the agency)

4 chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1 package taco seasoning
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
*Note: I substituted for low sodium and low fat options for all ingredients where possible

Her Instructions:
Place all ingredients except for sour cream in crock-pot for 6-8 hours and then add sour cream. Serve over tacos, straight up, or on nachos.

What happened:
Place chicken (still frozen because it refused to thaw), salsa, taco seasoning, and soup into crock-pot. (Throw in can of chicken stock because it looks like there is not enough liquid and that makes you nervous...) Cook on low all night (the chicken was frozen remember... and slightly freezer burned). Be amazed the chicken smells good in the morning... though disappointed it looks terrible. Stir, turn on high and go shopping for the next 6 hours. Return home and remove incredible smelling chicken from salsa/soup mixture. Be shocked when the previously frozen, freezer burned chicken flakes apart and is super moist and fabulous looking. Shred chicken and place it back into the crock-pot. Wait until Mr. Wonderful calls and says he is close by (long commute) and add sour cream. Die over how incredible it tastes. Revive yourself and serve family of 8 (4 choose beef option instead) with tacos topped with delicious chicken stuff. Wonder what to call the chicken stuff and how to use leftovers...

Leftover options:
  • More tacos
  • Nachos
  • Straight up
  • Sandwiches.... Mr. Wonderful said it is a great faux BBQ and we are all excited to try it.
Alton Brown's Sugar Cookies (From Food Network website)

I have never made sugar cookies (that I can remember at least) as I cannot really tolerate sugar and they seemed so boring I never really put up the effort. A cookie when removing them from the oven so I tried a bite... meh... I wasn't too impressed. They needed something in the line of flavor... other than: "There's butter, sugar, and flour in me..." and I added some vanilla to it as well...

My grammie said they were bland, though everyone else seemed to enjoy them. After our chicken dinner Papa, Mr. Wonderful and I decorated the cookies here is Mr. Wonderful's present to The Bloggess for sending him a holiday card:

Till next time,