Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Last Minute

As you may have noticed, I have not blogged in a bit. I apologize, I have been swamped with work. I had a week where I was just too tired to do anything. The idea of cooking was too tiring to even be attempted. Plus, I don’t know about you, but when I get busy dishes are the last thing on my mind. Yes, I am still doing dishes to catch up on my lack of housework last week. So you don’t feel like cooking and all your dishes are dirty, What do you do?

Now adays people are pinching every penny they can therefore eating out every night for a week is not really an option. Or at least, I am watching my spending. Eating out adds up quickly!!!!

If, I was not too tired to make it to the food store on my way home, I am a fan of buying the grocery store roasted chicken. I would just serve this with a pre-mixed bag of salad. TA-DA dinner is served. It is not fancy or sophisticated but it is healthier than pizza if you take the skin off.

In my house, I am only feeding two people. That means leftovers and an easier dinner the next night. First, I pull all the chicken off the bones and rip into fork size pieces. Though not exactly scientific, it is a great way to release some tension. Ripping is theraputic…..Trust me !!!! If I was super tried, I would throw the chicken on top of the left over pre-mixed salad. Then add a ton of parmesan cheese (which I LOVE) and grated is fine. I normally have grated parmesan cheese in my fridge at all times. Dress with Caesar dressing and then call it a night. I know Caesar dressing is not the healthiest thing in the planet, but I tend not to care much when I am tired. If you are super concerned with the calories, use a reduced-fat Caesar. I personally LOVE the Ken’s Caesar dressing when I don’t make my own from scratch.

Now if I have a little more energy, I make chicken salad. Instead of tossing the chicken onto lettuce, I mix the chicken with mayo, a clove of garlic, a little lemon juice, sun dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, whatever nuts are around, and avocados if I have them. Lemon juice, sun dried tomatoes, mayo, and nuts are kitchen staples for me like the parmesan cheese. Then I serve this with saltines or on bread.

Of course this is assuming I was not too tired to go to the store. There were nights last week where all I wanted to do was go home, take my shoes off and melt into the couch. On those not too pleasant nights last week, I wanted comfort not tuna fish or something frozen. I want tomato soup with grilled cheese. There is something about the warmth of the soup paired with melty cheese that makes me happy. Now, I use a can of tomato soup, but I doctor it. I add milk to make the soup creamier. I would say cream or half and half however, I normally only keep milk around I throw in a can of diced tomatoes or fresh if I feel like dicing, to give chunkiness along with dried basil, garlic, and chili powder. You could add an onion, though that involved a lot more effort. I stir and let simmer while I make grilled cheese with whatever cheese I have in my fridge. As, I have written, I love cheese. In my frig last week was Swiss, Jarlsburg, cheddar, provolone, mozzarella, and parmesean. I just butter the bread on all sides then use whatever cheese I am in the mode for. If I make the soup spicier I use cheddar in the sandwich. When I finish with the grilled cheese, I pour myself a bowl of soup and proceed to relax in yummy goodness.

Overall, I have learned if you tweak pre-made things like tomato soup a little, they taste homemade, without all the effort. I am not saying that they taste better than recipes made from scratch, but they’re not too far from it.

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