Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cooking Again!

Yes, I've been cooking again.  Clydie had her surgery Monday, and I've taken over the cooking while she recuperates and heals. More on the cooking in a minute, here's the info about Clydie:

Three years ago, Clydie had an AAA repair (abdominal aorta aneurysm).  The surgeon inserted a stint into the artery, and we thought she was all better and had been released by the surgeon after the required number of follow ups.  Purely by accident, her oncologist found a leak around the stent (she'd had her 4 year scan and normally the scan doesn't go low enough to see the aneurysm and for some reason this year, it did - blessings!), and immediately referred  her to a vascular surgeon and scheduled a follow-up scan with contrast.  Sure enough, the aneurysm had grown, and she had to have surgery to fix the leak.

She has done amazingly well, and in the words of the new surgeon her outcome was "best case scenario" and she wished that all her patients had such great outcomes.  Clydie spent the night in the hospital, and was discharged yesterday.  I told her this past weekend that I wanted her to take a break from cooking, that either Brian or I would handle the cooking for at least a couple of weeks until she felt up to getting back in the kitchen.  And boy, does she HATE not being able to get in the kitchen and cook, or at least assist in cooking.

Last night, we had Italian Chicken with Tomatoes.  I've fixed this before and it's been pretty well liked for the most part.  Steven didn't particularly enjoy it for some reason, but ate it anyway.  I didn't brown the chicken before putting it in the crockpot, and fixed it slightly different than the recipe calls for - chicken in the bottom, poured some olive oil over the chicken, mixed the vinegar and random herbs and garlic together, and spooned this mixture over each chicken breast.  Then I poured the tomatoes over the chicken, and on the cooker went on low for 10 hours.  I fixed angel hair pasta and warmed some seasons French bread, and we had salad, as well.  Yummy!

Tonight, I tried something different - Grilled Beef Chimichangas.  But I didn't cook them on the grill - I used my electric skillet.  I browned the beef in it, added the peppers, garlic and onions (no hot peppers, as Clydie can't tolerate the stuff too hot) to the beef, then poured it out in the strainer, rinsing the fat off.  Mixed in the taco seasoning, added some extra cumin and some cayenne pepper powder, and homemade salsa.  We didn't have any cilantro, so it was just sour cream mixed with the garlic that was smeared over each tortilla.  I made homemade Spanish rice - cooked the rice in my rice cooker and added a can of Ro-tel tomatoes to it.  When I built the chimichangas, I used the sour cream/garlic mix, shredded cheese, rice, black beans, and meat.  Folded those suckers up, toothpicked them together, and grilled them in my freshly cleaned out electric skillet.  Man were these things good!  I fixed an extra one for my lunch tomorrow, and Brian ate it, so I hate to make and cook another one to pack for lunch.

I think I'm making Crock Pot Fagioli Soup for dinner tomorrow night.  The only thing I don't have for it is the celery, and I think it will be just fine without it.  I'll have to do some prep work tonight and probably go ahead and saut√© the veggies so I can just put it in the crock pot in the morning.  Of course I'll have to cook it on low since it will simmer all day.

I'll keep sharing the new recipes we try and let you all know how they turn out - I know I've enjoyed the ones I've found so far, and am looking forward to making some of the others that I've stumbled across (chicken cacciatore anyone?  that'll be what's for dinner on Friday night)

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