Today for lunch I had a bowl of soup. See, ever since I was a little girl, cream of mushroom soup by Campbell’s has been my favorite. I love it so much that I can eat it raw right out of the can. Nasty, I know, but it’s just so good! Well, when we were shopping at Earthfare this can was on the shelf and I thought I’d give it a try. Color me disappointed because this was very plain tasting. From now on I will just make homemade because, for almost $3 a can, this is a bad buy. It’s hard to feel satisifed with a lunch like that because it leaves you wanting more.
This is the glory that awaited me this morning for breakfast. A golden, buttery croissant, a teaspoon of delicious French Strawberry Jam, and a hot cup of tea lightly sweetened with a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of cream.
Before we get started on this new venture I want to make some things clear. I am an ordinary person with an extraordinarily average kitchen. See for yourself:
This is my cooking apparatus, a 1978 Jenn Air Convection Oven. Probably one of the first off the line but certainly quite the appliance in it’s day. I love it because I can exchange the griddle and electric cooktop as well as an indoor grill attachment. It might be old but it’s a workhorse, let me tell ya!
Ok, so I’m attempting to get into shape and I’m going to use this blog to track my progress and the bumps in the road along the way. Please accompany me on this journey, even if only to cheer me on!
With all apologies and respect to the Pioneer Woman who has inspired me to track my progress in this fashion, please allow me to welcome you to my new blog. It’s purpose is to record my journey to a healthier, happier me. I don’t want to look like Paris Hilton but I would like to feel good in my clothes and be comfortable in a bathing suit, neither of which are happening in my current state. Let’s begin. Tonight’s dinner was simple. Having a new puppy means I can’t have all my attention focused in the kitchen so I was doing something quick and easy this evening. The menu was Chicken Saute, Haricots Verts, and Mashed Baby Red Potatoes or Chicken, green beans, and taters. Carry on.
The mashed potatoes are comprised of salted butter, sour cream, potatoes, and kosher salt. You can use any form of salt that you like I just prefer kosher because it’s hard to over-season with it.
So I placed the potatoes in my trusty pot and covered them with water and waited for them to come to a boil. Once that happened, I turned the heat down to about 8 and let them gently boil for about 10 minutes. While these were boiling, I prepared the green beans as you will see below. Once 10 minutes had gone by, I poured everything into a colander to strain the water then placed the potatoes back into the pot and covered it. I set it on an unused burner covered for 15 minutes. The potatoes will be perfectly cooked and ready for mashing, I promise.
Using my trusty potato masher because I like them slightly lumpy, I start to mash up the chunks of potato. Now comes the fun part, I add a Tbs of salted butter per person plus a heaping Tbs of sour cream. Are you still with me? Yes, I really do plan to lose weight eating like this. I’m not crazy, I promise.
You can keep the potatoes in a warm oven if you fix them first or you can cook your chicken while the potatoes are steaming in the pot pre-mashing.
Here are the ingredients for my haricots verts. They are French green beans and they are delicate and sweet and oh, so good. Oh yeah, there’s more butter….stay with me people.
The haricots verts come with part of the stem still attached so, unless you like eating woody things I suggest you cut them off….
Fill a good sized pot with water, throw in some kosher salt (1 tsp) and wait for it to come to a rolling boil. Below is a rolling boil.
Add your beans and cook them for 3-5 mins TOPS. Usually I would tell you to blanch these which would require you to put them in an ice bath after they boil but I personally find that step to be a real pain in the ass. It doesn’t really make a difference in this recipe anyway.
Once your 3-5 minutes are up, pour the contents into a strainer. See how beautiful and green they still are? I love southern-style green beans too but these are to die for.
Take 1 Tbs of butter and place in a saute pan set on medium heat. Once the butter melts, add your beans and stir to coat with the butter. At this time I generally take a small pinch of salt and toss over the top of the beans as they cook. I cooked them in the pan for 10 minutes, while my taters were steaming.
Here are the ingredients for my chicken. The seasoning I use is called Spice Delight and man it is good. Some local guy makes it and sells it at one of our grocery stores, The Fresh Market. I go through this stuff like crazy because I use it on everything. Yum! Also, I use the thin cut breasts. I prefer my chicken to have little boobies. Saves me the time and mess of having to flatten them myself.
Season the chicken liberally with spice of your choosing. I do one side while it’s on the board and do the other while it’s in the pan.
Add the chicken once the oil is hot enough and turn the heat down to medium. All you turkeys out there who have a gas range will notice your heat change quickly and, I’m mad at you about that. Anyway, I could only cook two of these at a time and it took about 15 minutes start to finish to cook 4 of them.
Now, here is my dinner plate, being held by my little sausage fingers. My plate is a 7.5″ square, much smaller than the average dinner plate and I put small portions on it. I took small enough portions that I thought I would need to go back for seconds. However, by eating mindfully and slowly, really savoring the flavors I was tasting, my dinner took about 20 minutes to consume and I felt more than satisfied at the end. I had planned to have a tiny scoop of ice cream for dessert but found that I didn’t need it after all.