What’s for dinner?

I can follow a recipe, but I’m not a great cook. There’s a reason I married a chef! But sometimes you just make a really tasty meal and you’re proud of yourself! I do a lot of budget meals, and the key to that is flexibility. This meal, like most I make, is easily adapted to your tastes. So what did we have? Teriyaki chicken with onions and pineapple over homemade fried rice! Did I mention the chicken was done in the crock pot for a super easy meal? Uh, yeah.

In said crock pot, I added 4 chicken thighs, a sliced red onion, a can of sliced pineapple with juice, and about a half cup of teriyaki sauce. I let that hang out on low for 4 hours. My slow cooker runs hot, so adjust accordingly.


When the masses were ready to eat, I started the fried rice. I made instant brown rice (4 servings) as directed on the box. In a frying pan, I melted 2T of butter and scrambled an egg on medium-high heat. Then I added about a cup of thawed green peas and heat through.


Next, I added back the rice into the frying pan with a little bit of teriyaki sauce and mixed it all around until it was some happy fried rice.


Then there’s nothing left to do but throw it on a plate and get to business! (*Note: I am not a skilled food photographer! Be merciful!)

Both the husband and the kid were a big fan of this one. And I love versitle meals. You could easily change out the veggies in the rice, swap chicken thighs for breasts or pork chops, skip pineapple or onions… I’ve taken the contents of the crock pot, wrapped them in individual aluminum foil pouches, and tossed em on the grill. The world is your oyster (…if you’re into them).

Also, while sitting at the dinner table, my 6 year old daughter asks me what a female dog is called. My husband practically falls over laughing. This is my life.


How To Ruin What The Internet Calls The Easiest Potato Recipe Ever

I find myself regularly browsing food on Pinterest and today’s post is courtesy of my raging hunger a few weeks back. I had to pin ALL the food. So picking up stuff at Target today, I thought I’d try these red potatoes that were patiently waiting on my Yummy Things board.

Now I got home and did a little googling. The pin itself didn’t really have directions to follow, so I quickly learned that these are called Hot Crash Potatoes? Ooookay….. I just called them smashed up red potato things. They popped up on the Pioneer Woman’s blog and have been adapted and altered, and my attempt is no different. She claims they are super easy to do. Well yeah, they were pretty easy to make. But I’m not sure my endeavors yielded the same hot crashy potatoes.

You start by boiling your potatoes (after a good scrub and cutting off any weird looking growths) until they are “fork tender”. Now I literally had enough clean forks for the three of us to eat. I opted for a toothpick. You take what you can get some days…. Anyway, the boiling took me maybe 15 minutes? Honestly, I was online. I have no clue. Fork tender…


Once the taters are cooked, drain all the water out. You’ll wanna prepare a baking sheet for them, drizzled in oil. I suppose a nice liberal coating of nonstick spray would also work. Then the fun part–smashing them! Not. The Pioneer Woman suggests using a potato masher to do it. That obliterated the potatoes. Try a fork. Of course you’ll have to hold these very hot potatoes down as you do it… I got a little carried away. I’m not quite sure how I mistook smash and annihilate…


Once you’ve got them all smashed to oblivion, give them a liberal drizzle of oil and a seasoning. I used my Fantastic Four: salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder. Seriously. I use those four on everything… Stick them in the preheated oven, 350 for half an hour or so. I just kept them in for as long as it took my chicken to cook. Then sprinkled a smacking of shredded cheese on there and let it melt. Scoop those suckers onto a plate and dollop the sour cream on and you’re in business!


Okay, so the title led you to believe that I massacred some simple potato recipe. I lied. The truth is, they were easy, crispy, and pretty tasty. Overly smashed, but a success. The only critique was that the man wanted more cheese on them. Shocker… Cheese needs more cheese in this house… But these were pretty good. It’s a fun recipe to toy with as far as the seasonings and toppings. We’ll have to revisit them as a vessel for a loaded smashed something or other.

The Orange Julius Experiments

Pinterest has struck again! I found and pinned a recipe for a homemade Julius, then remembered I didn’t have a blender…. Well, as luck would have it, I am now the happy owner of a blender!

Mike got home from work early, which resulted in an impromptu excursion into town. After hitting the mall (yay for some treats there- a shaving kit for Mike and new barbells for my rook!), we moved the party to Sur la Table. A $50 blender knocked down to $35? Well THAT is how we ended up with a new blender….

Anyway, back to the Juiuses! Or Julius’? Julii?

So according to Pinterest, all you have to do is stick all the ingredients in a blender and call it a day. Easy enough. So I toss the milk and orange juice, vanilla, sugar, and ice into the blender and whirr away. No, Nina, I don’t have anything. Go to bed. So how’d it turn out? Well, the taste seemed pretty on point! Even Mike the Orange Julius freak said it was a pretty good copycat. My only question is the texture of the drink. This produced a kind of foamy Julius. I have no idea if it should have a little foamy quality on top, because I’ve only ever had mine in the mall via a straw… Nonetheless, a damn good recipe to keep tucked away for those days you’re having a little craving. And I was pleasantly surprised that 2 glasses only required half of  can of oj concentrate, so it’s easily doubled for 4 people. Or 2 very thirsty fat asses…. Never mind….


The Orange Julius Recipe via Pinterest

6 ounces orange juice concentrate, thawed

1 cup milk

1 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

10-12 ice cubes