slow cooker honey teriyaki chicken

This dish is so simple and so delicious, I have to share. It pleases all types of taste buds [even the most intolerant - aka toddler/child taste buds], and is so easy a child could make it. I use a 6-quart crock-pot, but you could half the recipe for a smaller cooker.

Ingredients:
5-6 lbs drumsticks
8oz [half a bag] baby carrots
2 packets honey teriyaki seasoning mix [I use sun-bird]
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP soy or teriyaki sauce
1 cup water [warm]

Layer the bottom of the cooker with the carrots, then arrange the drumsticks on top. Mix the seasoning packets, sugar, and sauce in with the water and pour over the chicken and carrots. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 8. Serve over white rice [or noodles] with broccoli or snow peas on the side. Make sure to pour some extra juice over the chicken and rice…

IBF_5338

east meets west

For Father’s Day, I got bluefish one of these. For its maiden [lunch] voyage, I packed it with some refreshing summer fare – a pasta salad [just throw together, shrimp, chicken, rotini, olive oil mayo, celery salt/season all, peas & grated carrots] and avacado & cucumber rolls [with pickled ginger & soy sauce]. I think may have made bluefish’s co-workers jealous.

IBF_0899

a taste of summer

Many thanks to my friend [and neighbor], David, who provided me with this recipe and brought over fresh mint from his garden so I could make it! It is delightfully refreshing, and so simple. Also, you can get everything you need at your local farmer’s market. The ingredients are watermelon, feta cheese and fresh [chopped] mint.

IBF_0914

After cutting the watermelon into small squares, I tossed it with the mint leaves. When serving, I tossed in the feta. Onefish decided he liked his without the feta, but thought mint with his melon was magnificent.

pigs in bitty blankets

These are so simple and the bitty fish has a blast making them. All you need is a package of crescent rolls and two kosher hot dogs [cut length-wise into quarters] and little hands to roll the piggies into their blankets. You could be adventurous and put cheese in these, as well.

IBF_5782

IBF_5787

IBF_5789

I cooked this batch in the toaster oven [on my wee silpat] at 375 for 15 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need more or less time. Just keep an eye on them, and let them get nice and brown so the centers get cooked.

bitty bags

I’ve been looking around for small rolling suitcases, as I know my independent bitty fish would go nuts over them. However, cute + well-made = expensive. Today, I found what I’ve been looking for. These adorable American Tourister bags are normally $80 per set, but I found them on eBags through Amazon for $23 per set [and eBags has a free shipping promotion for any order over $25].

IBF_bags

Twofish had been coveting her cousin starfish’s Ladybug suitcase, so I thought it would be a safe bet to get her the ladybird design. I let onefish pick out his bag design – I thought he’d pick the tiger, but he wanted the penguin! I guess he remembers Happy Feat fondly. I’m posting this with the thought that some of you might have bitty ones who would love these, as well.

chicken salad cukes

This is one of my favorite bento staples, as it’s both fresh and filling. I got the idea from the lovely ladies over at Laptop Lunches, but this is my variation on a theme. You can use tuna fish or chunk chicken, and I like to use olive oil mayonnaise. As for the cucumbers, pick out ones with a wide girth – it makes it easier to scoop bowls for filling. I cut pieces about 2 & 1/2 inches long and use a grapefruit spoon [a paring knife works, too] to hollow out the cuke, leaving the bottom in tact [note: if you're using an end piece, just cut a bit off the end so it has a base]. I also use the same batch of chicken salad to make a sandwich, as I’m usually feeding a grown man with this lunch.

IBF_5732

As for the containers I use for bluefish bento, I have the New Wave Enviro Stainless Steel Food Container and the LunchBots Pico Stainless Steel Lunch Container, the latter fits two halves of a sandwich perfectly.

olympic niblets

To celebrate the start of the Vancouver Olympic Games, I put together a red [strawberries], white [pita triangles] and blue [blueberries] snack tray for the bitty ones. As you can see, there was also yellow [hummus], brown [honey roasted peanuts] and green [Snapea Crisps - the ONLY vegetable twofish will eat].

IBF_6088

IBF_6092

Onefish and twofish polished off the entire spread during the qualifying rounds of the men’s ski jumping.

a meal for the new year

Though you may think I’ve given up my on my culinary explorations this past month – ’tis not so! I simply haven’t had the time to photograph and document my adventures. With bluefish’s new job, I can’t promise 2010 and will be rife with free time… but I will do my best to post at least once a week!

For now, last night’s feast.

shroomy beef burgundy [in the crock]
2 large boneless steaks [cubed]
16 oz halved button mushrooms
1 small sweet onion [diced]
1 – 10 & 3/4 oz can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 – 1.2 oz package of brown gravy mix
1 cup warm water
1/4 to 1/2 cup of [drinkable] red wine

Set your crock pot on high and pour in water, gravy mix and mushroom soup. With some oil, brown the onions on med heat and then throw the ’shrooms in and brown together for a few minutes. Turn heat down to low and put lid on. Simmer until shrooms are about halfway cooked. Pour the onion, shrooms and all the juice into the crock pot. Cube beef [I did 1" cubes], salt & pepper and then dredge [coat the beef in a light dusting of flour, and then brown on med/high heat]. Put the browned beef in the crock pot, pour the wine over everything and give the mix a stir. Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours and serve over rice. All of my fish enjoyed this dish! [And, I find this dinner goes quite nicely with the rest of the bottle of red wine.]

shroomy beef burgandy

best white bread [seriously]
[I got this recipe here and adjusted the amounts to make a 2 lb loaf].

1-1/3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons white sugar
1-1/3 (.25 ounce) packages bread machine yeast
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cups bread flour
1-1/4 teaspoons salt

Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes. Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast. Select Basic or White Bread setting, and press Start. [Note: I took this bread out 10 minutes early and it was perfect - so, check on the loaf at the end to keep it from burning. Also, I used two packages of yeast and put it on the quick bread setting.]

best white bread

I have never seen bluefish gobble up homemade bead like this loaf. It really is a superior white bread machine recipe. I’m going to have to try this method with other breads.

his and his steak bento

Last Monday, bluefish started a new job. You know what that means? [Besides the fact that I've had almost no time to post new entries.] You guessed it – I’ve started making bento lunches for both of my boys! This was my very first dual lunch spread:

IBF_4567

IBF_4568

For bluefish: Steak over rice with hard boiled egg [car-shaped] on greens and fresh avacado. For onefish: Steak over rice with boiled egg [bunny-shaped] on cheese and baby carrots. My guys seem to thrive when they load up on protein.

To make the steak extra tasty [they would both be eating in chilled, after all], I pan-fried good cuts of steak in canola oil [with a little salt and pepper]. Once it was done [just slightly pink in the middle], I sliced it right out of the pan and dipped each strip in a combination of soy sauce and walnut oil then laid it directly on the bed of rice. YUM.