Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mason Jar Recipes_ Omelette Sammie to Go

How y'all doing? I am going a little stir crazy. the weather has been crappy for the last 2 weeks. Maybe longer. I don't know--all the days seem to blend together. I made it to work and back home this week but haven't done much else.

Today the hubbs and I were supposed to go shopping and to dinner to celebrate our belated Valentine's anniversary since he had to work last weekend. Then we had the big snow last night and today. And guess what?   he had to go to work ...sigh.  It is still snowing, so no chance of doing anything, ugh

Since I am stuck in the house I might at well find something for myself to do. Hmmm, what to do. Cleaning? Laundry? Cooking?

Cooking it is...sorta

I watched a video (Land O'Lakes) of an omelette in a coffee mug. My first thought was  "Why didn't I think of that?". My second thought was, "I can do it one better and make it in a mason jar"

Mason Jar Omelette
3 beaten large eggs (which is 2/3 cup) 
2 TBS minced pepper
2 TBS minced diced onion
2 pieces of ham (deli thin),  rolled and diced
1/8 cup of shredded cheese
salt and pepper to to taste
dash of tabasco sauce
 1 (straight walled) pint mason jar, sprayed with cooking spray

Combine minced vegetables, eggs, ham and cheese. mix well. Pour into a a well sprayed mason jar. Cover with plastic wrap. 

Microwave 2-3 minutes on high (depends on microwave wattage). The egg will "climb" the jar as it cooks--hence the plastic wrap.

Let stand for 30-45 seconds . Remove plastic wrap. Invert jar, use a potholder because the jar will be very hot. The cooked omelette will slide out and release with ease.

This is the perfect size to slice and fit on an a toasted english muffin for an on the go breakfast sandwich.
I assembled the remaining 2 sandwiches and froze 1 for the hubbs for breakfast later this week. I sent him to work with 2 of these wrapped in waxed paper.  I instructed him to zap in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds if needed.

The nice thing about the mason jar is you can pre-assemble your ingredients, put a lid on it, take it to work and microwave it there.

BTW--the hubbs LOVED these breakfast sammies. He said the eggs weren't rubbery and there was just the right amount of all the ingredients in each bite. Definitely a win! 

Seriously, I can not think of anything more perfect than a mason jar.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

23 years

Handmade card for the hubbs
26 years ago I met the man who took my breath away at first sight and who would forever change my life.  It could not have been easy for the hubbs to go from bachelor to instant family. The hubbs has always said "it was easy falling in love". Then I joke "it was hard living with me". He will wink and smile as we laugh together...

After a few years our relationship progressed and we found ourselves standing nervously in judges chambers in Batavia, Ohio with a few family and friends, to witness us joining in marriage.

Our marriage ceremony was impromptu but the sentiment behind it was not. It had taken some cajoling on the hubb's part for me to agree to marriage since I was a bit of a commitment-phobe given the lack of examples of long term marriages in my family. I used to joke that the hubbs family was the epitome of Norman Rockwell but mine was epitome of Norman Bates, haha.

We had begun planning a wedding but it was so much hassle (complaints about the date/time/ location/ design and the fact we had planned on serving alcohol at our reception). Finally, we said to heck with it and called it off. Then we began talking in earnest about how marriage was for us and not to please anyone else. So after a case of last minute cold feet we decided to take the plunge.

23 years ago we stood before a judge dressed in red robes, recited our vows and committed to each other. It wasn't fancy or what most would consider classy but it was honest and heartfelt. The hubbs was on his lunch break wearing his uniform and I wore a navy suit dress.

In 23 years we have grown as people and our marriage, at times, was tattered as an old newspaper. We both have been guilty at times of tearing each other down and hell bent on destroying our relationship; instead of building each other  up and strengthening our relationship. We have been through heartache, loss and despair.

In 23 years we have also experienced so many positive things. We have had love, happiness and contentment. We have evolved as individuals and grown as a couple. We have made the hard decisions to stand fight for us. We don't take what we have together for granted. A marriage is work. Hard work!   It is all too easy to become complacent and blame the other person for whatever conceived issue that wedged itself between each other.  Whatever mistakes we have made--we have acknowledged them. Owned them. Accepted them. We do NOT continue to pull past mistakes as arsenal and use it against one another. All that does is tear at the fabric of our union. Love is the thread that combines us. I can only hope, is our thread remains continuous and strong enough to hold the pieces of each us together as one.

23 years ago I married the man who is truly the love of my life. I thought I knew love before, but that was a facade. Mistaking crushes or infatuations for soul baring-change your psyche- kind of love. He is my friend, my lover, my confidante and my partner. He is one half to my whole. I consider us blessed as we have become the example of what a long term relationship, a happy marriage, and a commitment looks like. Happy Anniversary and Happy Valentine's Day to the man strong enough to be partner. The man who claimed my heart. The man who accepts me as I am--not perfect, but perfect for him.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Comfort Food

So I am kinda feeling like dookie. I don't have a full-on flu or armageddon type cold but just enough to where my body is like, "Yeah, just a reminder about who's in charge and you don't get a chance to enjoy your weekend" kind of blah...

When I suffer from a case of the ickies, I want comfort food. Except, I feel like yuck and don't have the energy to spend hours cooking. I wanted some type of chicken noodle or rice/ soup/ casserole type thing because that is what sounded...well...comforting.

I went digging through the pantry to see what I had on hand, I had a choice between noodles or risotto, and I went with the risotto. I mean, risotto is so creamy it practically screams comfort.


Begin by pouring your broth into a 2 qt sauce pan on medium low heat. Add to this 2 small bay leaves. You should always have your broth warm when making risotto. Warm broth ensures the butter/ oil will evenly coat the grain to keep it from clumping, as well as, aids in absorption resulting in a creamier consistency.

In a heavy bottom 4 quart stock pot add the 3 tablespoons of butter on medium heat. When this is melted let this cook for about a minute with stirring to eliminate some of the liquid.  Add to this 1/4 c diced (frozen) onion. Stir continuously, as to not burn any of the butter solids or the onion, cooking for about 2 minutes. 

Add 1 cup of Arborio rice. Stir well to coat all of the rice. Cook, while stirring frequently until the butter and rice browns and the onion is caramelized (3-5 minutes)

Add the drained canned chicken to the pan, breaking up the chunks of chicken as you saute.

De-glaze the pan by adding the wine. This is optional but I prefer the subtle notes the wine adds to the risotto. Cook and stir for about a minute until the liquid has flashed off.

Add the heated broth a cupful at a time, while stirring. There are 2 schools of thought on how long it should take to add all of the broth. Some people take 30 minutes to incorporate all of the broth. I added mine over 10 minutes. It was still creamy at the end of the cooking time. 

Add spices (no specific measurements)

All of the broth

Cover and allow to cook 15 Minutes on Medium-Low, no stirring.

As you can see the bulk of the liquid is absorbed and is beginning to have a creamy texture . Remove the bay leaves at this point. 

Measure out and add the frozen vegetables (1&1/2 c). 

Give a quick stir. Cover and cook  10 minutes on low, no stirring.

Ta-da! Creamy, dreamy risotto. No added heavy cream. No cream of any kind of soup in a can. Just a beautiful blend of flavors and textures. It is earthy, nutty, and buttery. A light yet savory flavor. The vegetables are tender crisp and the shredded chicken melts in your mouth.

 I did add a quick dash of pepper and sprinkle of salt to finish. Serve with butter bread or biscuits and a tall glass of "moo juice".