Friday, September 28, 2012

Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater

We have had a couple of days lately that just haven't worked out as planned. School has kind of turned into the same situation as paying off our cars. You would think we'd have more money every month since we paid them off. No, it's more like that's less we have to come up with. We quit science co-op and we no longer have bible study, so you would think we would have more time. Not so much. Crazy how that works, huh? Because we are pressed for time and have some late nights, it means crazy cooking or a lot of crock pot cooking. We all know how much I love my crock pot, but sometimes, I need a break. 

The last couple of weeks, I've made "cheater" meals. I either didn't have everything I needed to make dinner or I no longer use some of the ingredients or for some reason I just didn't have time for the recipe. The first was stuffed peppers. I did use peppers from the garden. They are so lovely. The one thing that has consistently produced are the peppers. You should see our sweet potatoes and yukon potatoes, but they aren't ready to harvest yet. My recipe for peppers calls for instant rice. I'm sorry, I'm Hawaiian. I can't use instant rice by law. It's really my own law, but it's there. I was going to use brown rice, but I still have some sticky rice from when my dad came to visit and it needs to go. I will eat it all if it doesn't. I cooked the rice because if it didn't cook completely while the peppers cooked, they would have been awful. I don't like crunchy rice and I wasn't taking a chance. I also didn't have fresh tomatoes, so, gasp, I used canned. Cool your jets, people. You know it was the good stuff. Since everything was cooked when it got put together, I didn't have to cook it as long. It also didn't seem as time intensive. I put it all together and put it in the fridge. When hubby got home with a couple of the kids, he popped them in the oven to warm up. They were scrumptious.

Mexican chicken is one of my favorite things to eat. Some of the ingredients, however, make me cringe now. I had leftover chicken that needed to be used. This was another thing I could put together and cook later. And once again, since everything was cooked already, it just needed to be heated. I used blue corn chips, They are so good. I layered chips, chicken, Rotel ( I know, don't judge.), more chips, and Provolone cheese. I sprinkled the chicken with some cumin and oregano and a little cayenne. Not too much cayenne since the Rotel more than made up for the spicy. I should have added a little chicken or veggie stock to add a little more moisture, but I didn't think about that until I was eating and it was a little dry. As I was putting it together, the big girl asked if there was enough for everyone to have thirds and fourths. Darn it, no, but next time there will be.

And, last but not least, I picked up a pie pumpkin at veggie co-op. Just one, but it makes a lot of pumpkin. I am going to process that bad boy today. I have visions of pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cake or pie, and maybe a little pumpkin in my coffee. I'll make my own darn pumpkin spice latte. Take that! I'm really the only one that likes pumpkin flavored things. Except when I make them with fresh pumpkin. Then it gets eaten faster than you can say "Peter, Peter". It's all in the ingredients you use, I have found. My family is not big on sweet potatoes or Brussel sprouts, either, unless I cook them. I think it's because I sprinkle everything with extra love. 

That's all I got for now. I think I have time for a second cup of coffee. I wish that pumpkin was already done. Tomorrow is another day.             

Have a great day.

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