Snow Day #4 – Boredom Busters

A great time to cook and eat. 

Parsley, sage, rosemary and snowI just heard a report that it is a record snowy winter in Philadelphia. Today is the fourth snowy day there that has accumulated more than 6 inches in one day. This has never happened ever. So, all of you along the east coast that are stuck inside, like me, what are you doing today?

I made Baked Eggs in Grits for breakfast and am currently making French Onion Soup – perfect snow day food. (Will post the recipe tonight when I have some pics) Last night, I made a recipe from Bon Appetit – January 2014 – Pan Roasted chicken with Harissa Chickpeas. It is cheap, easy, and tasty. I especially liked the chick peas and how the harissa warmed up my insides. Check out the link for the recipe; it is definitely worth doing again. ( I did find that I needed more water than what the recipe indicated – otherwise, the recipe was accurate.)

Snow day GamesTonight, once we get a good dose of cabin fever, we might whip out our favorite games – Cards Against Humanity  (CAH) (you can play online too!) and Things. Can play this online as well.

I know that CAH is taking the country by storm, but if you haven’t heard of it yet and you have a warped sense of humor, like my family, you need to check it out. My son got this for Christmas (he knows one of the developers of the game) and we had a blast playing it. In a nutshell, everyone pulls cards from a deck that are used to fill in the blank(s) for a statement or question the “judge” poses from another pile of cards. The goal is to see who has the funniest answer. When playing this game, make sure you feel comfortable with each other because it gets smarmy and inappropriate quite fast.

As much as I like CAH, THINGS can be even better. The major difference between the games is that THINGS doesn’t have cards for the players to choose their answer from – you need to create your own answers. So, it can get just as crazy as CAH as long as you have truly demented and creative people playing. Since the oddball answers are up to you to create, it can take a few rounds to get the proverbial “creative juices flowing,” but once everyone gets in sync it can gets even wilder and raunchier than CAH.

Also, if you choose to, THINGS can be played in a G-rated mode, but why would you do that?! Both games are available online, so get shopping and you too will have a blast during the next record-braking snow storm. Winter isn’t over yet.

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Honey and Sriracha Glazed Chicken Thighs

 Honey Sriracha Glazed ChickenWell, the floodgates have opened and am I excited! Do Again suggestions are coming in from all over the country, from followers and I couldn’t wait to share the Honey and Siracha Chicken from my Texas/Wisconsin  friend, Myra (Hey, girl!). She told me about a spicy chicken recipe that she and her husband love. It is ridiculously easy, spicy, and cheap. And, with Super Bowl Sunday coming up, I couldn’t resist trying it. I mean really, all it has for ingredients are chicken, honey, and Sriracha. Who can resist that? Not me!

 The chicken is just spicy enough with just a hint of sweetness. I was tempted to tinker with it by adding additional ingredients such as soy sauce, but found that Myra’s recipe was perfect. Although, a sprinkling of sliced scallions is always a nice addition in my book. In fact, my husband, after tasting it, immediately said it was worthy of doing again and has requested that I make it for the big game using wings instead.

 Serves 4

  • 4 bone-in, skin on, chicken thighs
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 4 tbsp. Sriracha

Preheat oven to 400°

SrirachaMix the honey and Siracha in a large bowl, until blended. Place the chicken thighs in and marinate for one half hour.

Place the chicken thighs on a foil-lined, rimmed cookie sheet. Make sure you do this step, otherwise you will be scrubbing your pan for a very long time. Not fun. I found out the hard way. Place it into the middle of the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Baste the chicken with leftover sauce from the bowl, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. To make sure the chicken is done, pierce it with a knife or skewer. If the juices run clear, then they are done.

That is it!

PS: Myra said her husband, Jake, likes to have some extra Sriracha on the side for dipping. Personally, I think he is dipping crazy; but to each his own. I like spicy food, but that is too much for me. Of course, he plays rugby, so he can handle just about anything.

 

 

 

Tortilla Soup

Crispy tortilla strips and avocado make this soup irresistible on a cold day.

Crispy tortilla strips and avocado make this soup irresistible on a cold day.

Woke up this morning to find that the temp outside had plummeted, which always make me want to cook soup. And, my fridge is now overflowing with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. What is a girl to do? Noting that I also had a few fresh corn tortillas in the fridge and an avocado, I decided to whip up a batch of Tortilla Soup.

This recipe is a family favorite and is really easy to make. You can skip the step for making your own fried tortilla strips, but I encourage you to take time and effort, which is minimal, to make them. Store bought chips just aren’t satisfying enough and with the chili/salt topping, you will want make these chips over and over just for nibbling. Although I do highly recommend making the soup too. You will be glad you did.

Let me know what you think of the recipe.

Tortilla Soup

6 Servings

  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can tomatoes, petit diced
  • 4 cups stock – chicken or turkey
  • 1 ½ cup tomato juice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 corn tortillas, cut into ½ inch strips
  • oil for frying
  • chili powder, salt
  • 2 cups, cooked chicken or turkey, shredded
  • 1 cup cheddar or monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • lime wedges

In a saucepan, pour in the vegetable oil, and sauté the onion and garlic over medium-low heat until translucent; make sure to not burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes, stock, and tomato juice. Add the spices and salt and pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes to meld the flavors.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Fry the tortilla strips in small batches and cook until they become crisp and golden. Remove from the oil, drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and chili powder immediately.

Add the chicken or turkey to the soup to warm it through.

To plate the soup, place the crisped tortilla strips in the bottom of a bowl. Then top with the cheese and avocado. Pour the hot soup over the whole thing, top with a generous dollop of sour cream and a nice squeeze of lime, and serve.

This is truly love in a bowl. A definite Do Again! Just ask my kids.

 NOTE: I sometimes add lime zest along with salt and pepper to the sour cream to elevate the taste even more.