Food: Small Disasters and Modest Successes

Guess what happened about 2 minutes after we should have already left for gymnastics on Friday?

Yes, that’s my butter dish, which was shattered all over the floor when the refrigerator door was opened with the vigor that is only possible when you are a 7-year-old with an obsessive desire for salami while your mother is standing by the door calling to you, “Come on! Please! Let’s go!”

So yeah, that was awesome.

I tried two slow cooker recipes that were limited successes, both from the Fix It and Forget It Big Cookbook.  First, I made a Macaroni and Cheese, which was this recipe. This was a decent homemade mac and cheese, and the whole family liked it. I thought that it was a little dull, so I added about a teaspoon of dry mustard, which helped. I think next time I’d throw in a bit of dried milk, too. So:  it was easy, it smelled good all day, and everyone ate it. On the other hand, no one raved about it and it certainly isn’t too healthful. But its a good slacker meal. I have no photos, but follow the link and Erin’s got lovely photos.

Then I tried Iranian Wash-Day Stew.

This one smelled super-awesome all day, and then it was. . . good. It could have been slightly more interesting. I’d make it again and add more tomatoes (not peeled) and some other vegetables.  Cute W and I liked it, J took one look and opted out completely, and M painstakingly picked out the pieces of meat. Also, I should have gotten better bread.

Tonight we made a recipe that’s a labor-intensive but delicious family favorite. It’s sort of homemade chicken fingers, which we call Mrs. Seals’ Chicken after our neighbor in Ft. Worth, Texas, who passed it to us in 1978. It’s a pain in the neck. And a mess (see photo below), but it’s super-yummy, and it’s good hot or cold, so it’s great for a picnic. Not, like, now. But you know what I mean.

Mrs. Seals’ Chicken

Ingredients:

•    1 – 2 lbs. skinless & boneless chicken breasts
•    1 cup flour
•    2 eggs, beaten
•    ½ cup club soda
•    1 t. seasoned salt (oh, we totally use more)
•    1 t. pepper
•    ¼ cup vegetable oil
Directions:
•    Wash the chicken and pat it dry.
•    Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces & sprinkle with seasoned salt.
•    Heat the oil in a skillet on medium high heat.
•    Mix the flour, salt & pepper in a bowl suitable for dredging.
•    Mix the eggs with the soda in another bowl.
•    Dip the chicken in the egg wash.
•    Dredge the chicken in the flour, coating thoroughly.
•    Dip the chicken in the egg wash again.
•    Dip chicken in the flour again.
•    Place the chicken in the skillet and brown for 5 minutes covered.
•    Turn the chicken pieces and brown uncovered for approximately 5 minutes.  You don’t want to over-cook the chicken but you want it to be crispy.
Oh, serious deliciousness. Again, not health food. And labor-intensive.
So, did I make anything that was easy, healthful, and well-received by the children?
. . . why, yes I did!!
Roasted chickpeas! I found the original recipe in The 150 Healthiest 15-Minute Recipes on Earth, but when I followed their directions, I overcooked them and they were also way, way too spicy. Their recipe called for cumin, curry powder, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, powdered ginger, cinnamon, & salt.
Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

•    1 T coconut oil
•    1 (15-oz.) can of chickpeas
•    ½ t cumin
•    ½ t garlic powder
•    1/4 t chili powder
•    1/4 t salt
Directions:
•    Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
•    Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
•    Heat coconut oil to liquid.
•    Pour chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with coconut oil.
•    Sprinkle on the spices and stir to combine.
•    Bake the chickpeas for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice.
The kids scarfed them down. Also, if you frequently find yourself craving a big back of chips, this might be an excellent substitute.

4 Comments

  1. HollowSquirrel

    The chickpeas sound good, but coconut oil? Do they sell that at the Co-op? I have to send you a recipe for the crockpot that one of my friends posted on FB.

  2. Yes, please! I’m always in need of crockpot recipes! They’ve got coconut oil at Hannaford, I know. Probably most places in the natural foods section. I expect that you could use olive oil, too, although I don’t know if it would change the flavor.

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