Showing posts from January, 2010

Possibly the Best Day at Work Ever

Four times a year we deep clean the roasting machine, it's long, involved, greasy & dirty and it takes a bunch of hours. Today I was fortunate enough to have the Fabulous Armadillos use my roastery as a rehearsal space for their upcoming Motown show at the Pioneer Place in St. Cloud. Sorry, folks, it sold out weeks ago.

So all day I was treated to a live band playing songs like Respect, Natural Woman, The Tears of a Clown, Shotgun and many more.

Okay, that's not such a great video. But this one is! His name is Julius Andrews IV and he won the pre-teen division of the Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest in 2009. Having him there brought tears to my eyes it was so cool and beautiful!

All in all, I had a GREAT day at work!

Chicken Lasagna

Tonight's menu is a chicken lasagna, since I haven't done it yet it's not so much a recipe as it is a plan. It's pretty much just your standard lasagna made with diced chicken. Usually I'll use browned hot Italian sausage when I do this.


1 lb. chicken breasts, skin & fat removed
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (29 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2-3/4 cup baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
medium sized onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2-1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp (seriously small amount) fennel seed
1 egg
1 small container part skim ricotta cheese
1/4-1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1-2 cups shredded mozarella cheese
9-12 lasagna noodles, par-boiled

Preheat oven to 350° F

I've already taken the chicken breasts, washed them and patted them dry, added a sprinkling of salt & pepper to both sides and fried them in a heavy pan using no oil for about 2 minutes per side. They're nice and caramelized, they might not be cooke…

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

A week or so ago I bought a whole chicken and decided to cut it up myself. I'd never done that before, so I looked up a couple of videos on YouTube and went to it.

It's an incredibly economical thing to do! I spent about $6 and got about $10-12 worth of meat out of it, and a nice carcass to make soup, which is what I did tonight. I never make the same soup twice, but there are always similarities, in this case, this is what I did:

1 chicken carcass, breast meat, thighs & wings removed -- don't worry, there's still plenty of meatseveral cups of water (5 or 6?)1 medium onion, chopped3 cloves of garlic, minced4 medium carrots, sliced3 stalks celery, sliced1 can diced tomatoes1 can white beans -- including that nice, starchy water1/2 cup frozen yellow corn1/2 tablespoon salta good dose of ground pepper1 tsp dill weed1/2 tsp turmeric1-1/2 tsp dried parsleyA few shakes of red pepper flakesMost of my measurements are by eye so I am only guessing the amount.

In a separate pan…