Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Near and dear!

What's near and dear? FOOD! I like food, and as I've aged... I appreciate food more and more. I enjoy natural flavors, and am learning how to cook in a whole new way compared to the way I grew up. Now, I love the food I ate growing up, but it was sort of a simple set of meals (tasty to me, weird apparently to others, but that is another post).

While I won't claim to being a great cook, there are a few things I feel like I do well... and my confidence is growing in the kitchen... which is weird to say because I've always loved being in the kitchen and cooking, just I've always had a fear of the unknown recipe or food/spice...

Thankfully my dear husband, and his bravery with food (and nearly stainless steel stomach) pushed me to step out on the ledge once we got married. Then came kids, bravery 0 again and easy won out for a good while... falling back on my old tried and trues from growing up. Last but not least, the newest member of our little family, Celiac disease, entered the picture a few years ago and back out on the ledge I was tossed.

Truth is, it was time for a shake up... and weirdly enough (because I refuse to admit it) I was ready for a change! Out went wheat, most cans, lots of frozen things, all boxes, and little packets... in came lovely colors, fresher things, and higher grocery bills... and a need to change my thinking on how food will be cooked in my kitchen!

No, every week I'm not adventurous... I have come up with new tried and trues to make it through the days I'm uninspired (hopefully I'm not the only one who has a hard time cooking when what I'm cooking doesn't seem to be what I want... I know, add it to my list of things to offer up). Sometimes, though, I will have a rough plan for a meal and have lots of fresh things but it doesn't come together until that day... enter TODAY!

A meal we all like around here that can have a plethora of combinations is taco bowl night. The choices range from the different veggies to throw in, rice, tortilla chips... to meat, ground beef, steak of some random cut, or chicken. Tonight it will be chicken... but how to season, that is always a predicament for me. Growing up we used one thing... Tony's... and while it is GF, my family likes other flavors... oh and Tony's is really not, um, well spanish in flavor! Oh and marinading it an art form that I really am only just dipping my toes into! Do you remember that ledge? Well I'm there... we've had a crappy week... no a crappy month... well more like a crappy 6+ weeks... and I decided to take it out on my veggies...

I made up my very own marinade. No, not rocket science or a cure for cancer... but hey it smells really good :-).
I know, it doesn't look tasty now... but I assure you, I dipped a pinky in to see how it came out... I didn't work it out on paper or anything, just kind of winged it as I went!

So what's in it.... hmmmm, let's see:
1 tbs chili powder
pinch of cumin
dash of salt (big chunky salt is the way to go people)
a few twists of the pepper grinder (did I mention that this was real scientific)
1/2 orange bell pepper (it's what I had)
1/2 med white onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 small lime juiced
1/2 small lemon juiced
1/2 cup chicken broth (that was after I noticed it was more of a paste instead of a marinade)

Chop in processor (also something that doesn't regularly see the light of day in my kitchen), dump in freezer bag along with b/s chicken... and there you have it... what seems to be a tasty way to get the chicken seasoned for taco bowls!

How to cook it? Ahhh, that's where Daddio comes in, if I smile real nice when he gets home... he will light the grill and throw them on! Otherwise I would just use my little grill pan on the stove. Alright friends, I will let you how it turns out! Have a lovely day!


nicole said...

Looks yummy. I am actually considering asking for a food processor for Christmas, even though I typically have a firm no appliances policy for gifts. You could probably also let the chicken cook in the crock pot all day and it would be easy to shred when dinner time comes around.

MommaLlama said...

I received a very tiny processor for a wedding gift, but the one in the picture is an attachment that came with the blender and works much better. Yes, the crock is a good choice, but I was hoping for grilled chicken... sadly Daddio came home late so I had to do it in my grill pan!

Verdict: AWESOME!!! Very tasty. Next time I will try to remember to grab a pepper (chipotle, or jala.)