"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, July 20, 2013

More lessons from Mandy’s kitchen

Last night’s dinner was made with great intentions and real possibility.  It was awful anyway.  I put two frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot, knowing it would cook slow and come out tender.  That part was right on.  My first mistake came when I found a can of Rotel in the cabinet and thought it would give the chicken a nice flavor.  When dinner time rolled around, I pulled out a package of flour tortillas.  In the spirit of trying new things… I dried out 4 tortillas in the microwave, cut them into triangles, spread them on a cookie sheet, sprayed them with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled them with salt (I use sea salt for almost everything).  I then baked them at 425 for about 20 minutes.  Yes, I found this on Pinterest and it sounded like a healthier way to have a few chips with our burritos.  The first one, fresh out the oven, was okay.  Once they had cooled they were just gross. 

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Let me back track a little bit.  I think that if I had been eating them as a treat with a bit of cheese or hummus then they would have been okay.  You know, like pita chips (which I just might try for myself).  As for tortilla chips, the tortillas really need to be corn and not flour.  I think that would make them much better.  Maybe I will try again another time. 

Back to the chicken… I shredded the cooked chicken breasts (with Rotel) and sat it out along with a big bowl of lettuce, some grated cheddar cheese, salsa and fat free sour cream.  Drew made a burrito with a fresh tortilla and I made a taco salad.  It looked pretty good. 

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Looks are deceiving, because it really wasn’t very good.  Cooking the chicken with the Rotel was too much fire and not enough flavor.  The sour cream was recently purchased and the date on the carton was August 3rd.  The date was wrong.  The texture was fine but the flavor was spoiled.  Once the tortilla chips had completely cooled they tasted more like cardboard.  All I had left in the fridge was iceberg lettuce and it leaves much to be desired.  Yeah, so pretty much the cheese and salsa were the only things worth eating.  Super bummer. 

I guess there’s only one way to learn and that is to try.  Next time I will use a better variety of greens, add more veggies, leave out the Rotel, check the sour cream for freshness and use corn tortillas instead of flour. 

We all know that a splurge is necessary now and then, so… Pinterest recipe to the rescue!  Warning:  massive amounts of sugar, butter and cocoa… and completely delicious! 

Lunch Lady Iced Brownies:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Spread into a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. 


  • 1/4 cup softened butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used 1%, but you could also used canned milk)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • dash of salt

mix all ingredients until smooth.  I let the cake sit for about 5 minutes, to cool slightly before frosting. 

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Oh yeah, I might have cut a warm piece of this brownie/cake before it dawned on me to take a photo.  The first bite actually made me make yummy noises, but it’s so rich that I couldn’t finish the entire piece.  SO SO SO yummy and worth indulging a bit. 

Enough about food.  We watched Pitch Perfect on DVD when it was first released, but for some reason I wanted to watch it again.  It’s such a funny movie and after watching it again I feel like there’s a real possibility that I may want to learn to play/sing nearly every song on the soundtrack.  You’ve been warned :) 

I had the one of the worst headaches ever last night.  I was fine all through the day and evening, with just a touch of the headache that still hasn’t completely gone away.  I’m pretty sure it’s a tension headache, since the pain starts around one temple, wraps around the back of my head/neck and to the other temple.  That’s nothing new to me and what I’ve been dealing with off and on for the last few weeks.  However, about 9:30 Drew and I decided to take a dip in the pool.  I always take my glasses off to get in the pool, so when my head started hurting about 10 minutes later, I just assumed it was from straining to see the stars in the sky.  Then, I suddenly felt like someone was poking their finger into my left eye.  The pain was sharp, sudden and persisting.  I relaxed and floated with my eyes closed to try to ease it, but then I suddenly felt like I was going to be sick.  I immediately got out of the pool and spent the next 10 minutes sitting on the side of the bath tub with a towel over my face to block the light.  What the heck?  I finally dried off, got dressed and tried to sit in the living room with Drew, but I couldn’t handle it.  The noise and light from the television was too much and I just needed to lay down.  I went to bed alone and laid in the quiet dark for a good while before finally falling asleep.  I did wake up a couple hours later, still feeling the pain in my eye and not willing to move to find out if I was still nauseated.  Is that a migraine?  I don’t know.  I recall having a headache like that once when I was a teenager, but not many as severe and acute as an adult.  I don’t know what you call it, I just know it was not fun and put a screeching halt to the rest of the evening.  Should we blame the chocolate brownie cake?  I sure hope not! 

Update on Mom’s husband Ken:  his surgery was delayed a few hours yesterday, but it all went okay.  The doctor had to remove quite a bit of bone and said that he would likely be very sore for a while.  Please keep up the prayers for his recovery and that the surgery will prove helpful in his pain control. 

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