Friday, September 18, 2015

Doggie Danger

I am all about the new recipes the last few weeks. I finally realized that many of the things I would like to eat, but my husband doesn't like can be made and taken to work for my lunches. It only took me about 4 years of marriage to realize that, but now that I have I am on a roll.

Before we get to Aunt Liz's Chicken Spaghetti Casserole. I have a quick tip to share (I apologize if I already shared this.) Shredding chicken in the KitchenAid mixer is super fast and simple. Just toss the cooked chicken (hot or cold) in the bowl and using the paddle attachment - perfectly shredded chicken in less than a minute. No mess. 
Here we go...the cast of ingredients. Nothing too out of the ordinary here - I usually have these items on hand.
I know you are supposed to make the recipe the way it is written at least the first time, but I just can't help myself. Since I was making this for myself I simply had to add my beloved mushrooms. My husband detests fungus.
All the dry(ish) ingredients are mixed together. I was more than a little nervous about my pasta cooking through. I didn't have spaghetti and decided to use up the leftover ziti instead. I had just assumed the pasta would be precooked, but it went in dry.
Then I mixed the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
Combine the two and into the casserole dish - sprinkle with cheese and bake. Like Mary at Runs to Get Waisted says casseroles aren't much to look at, but they are scrumptious. It just doesn't matter what they look like :)  Be sure to check out Mary's review of this recipe here.
You can tell from the picture that the noodles didn't cook as well on the top, They weren't hard and gross, just a tad more al dente than I would have chosen. That did not stop me from enjoying a yummy dinner.
I few days later I took a portion to work for lunch. It was even better. The last portion is in the freezer at work for another day. The recipe makes 8 servings, but I had only made half the recipe this time. Next time I am sure it will be full batch. Even though the ziti didn't cook quite as evenly I would use it again.
And because the chicken was so easy to shred in the KitchenAid mixer I had overshredded and had plenty leftover to make a yummy chicken salad. I love grapes in my chicken salad and as you might notice I don't have a problem with raw celery :) 
Yesterday, I had my lunch all packed and took it to work. Then this cutie called and invited me to could I resist?? I couldn't. The lunch waits for me in the work fridge,

After work, I had to make a mad dash around the neighborhood before I made dinner. This challenge is keeping me going and I am super grateful. I was a little bummed that I missed the cooler weather in the morning while I was blissfully oversleeping. By the time I walked in the evening it was 89 degrees - ugh!  But I felt good and was thrilled to record my fasted mile since the streak started. 17:03 - it is no where near my best, but I am back and making progress :)

I had thought about taking Millie with me, but I ended up being very glad I didn't. It seems every dog and their crazy cousin were out and about. I think these guys were "behind" and electric fence. I could still hear them barking a block away.

This guy was not amused by me walking down his street and rudely let me know. And to pay him back I have posted this unattractive picture of him for all the world to see.

The funniest thing was him holding his dumbbell in his mouth and still barking up a storm. Seriously, it was almost as loud as when his mouth wasn't full of toys.

I wish I had a picture of my third encounter, but it happened so fast and then the people swooped in to rescue me. A tiny Yorkie came dashing out after me, then another one and then another one. Three crazed, but adorable Yorkies yapping their fool heads off. They have no idea how small they are. Thankfully, their people were hot on their heels and called them off before I was mauled..

I was in a hot hurry to get home and grill this delicious pork tenderloin that I had marinading all day in garlic, rosemary, basil and my new white balsamic vinegar. We love tenderloin and it is such a lean meat - a nice break from chicken breast.

Perfectly grilled - although I didn't let it rest as long as I should have - see the juices running out on the board.
One of our favorite ways to eat tenderloin is on a sandwich with a little cheese. Today we had white cheddar, but our absolute favorite is a Swedish cheese Vasterbotten - kind of a cross between cheddar and parmesan. We topped the sandwich with fresh tomatoes and red onion - no condiments. Delicious.  With a side of grilled corn and a pear, it was the perfect summer dinner.
Today is day 10 of the challenge. I didn't get up at 5am but still wanted to get my walk in before work. It was nice to watch day break for a change. Looks like the cheerleaders were out painting the football players vehicles last night. My nephew's truck was hit :) 
I just love the changing leaves in all the shapes and sizes. Reminds me of my 8th grade 4-H Forestry project and leaf collection. 
This is what I love about morning walks, but have been missing at 5am.
This car made me laugh a little. It reminded me of cartoon cars taking off and the front wheels come up off the ground. I didn't see the jack at first.
I promise - this is not mine. I know I have a snacking problem, but I did not stop for a snack on my walk...really, I didn't. By the way, this reminds me of one of my husband's and my biggest disagreements - he loves Jack in the Box tacos and I think they are GROSS! Thoughts?
I was surprised to see this school bus out so early - it is a bus from a neighboring district and they must start school earlier. For the record the buss was not speeding, it was just hard to get a picture because it was so close and moving.
The cherry on top of my lovely walk was arriving home to find that my husband had locked me out of the house. He knows I don't take the key when I walk, but he must have been on auto pilot since he was leaving for work. We left the house at the same time and I didn't notice him locking the door.  Since he is a bus driver he can't dash home to let me in. Thankfully I found an unlocked window. (The other option was to wait 40 minutes for the bus driver who comes through our neighborhood to drop off his key). I considered using this cheap bucket as a stool, but decided against it.
The guys were working on the house next door and I borrowed a small ladder. I was secretly hoping one of them would offer to climb in the window for me, but no such luck. Actually it was super easy to get in. I am not sure if that is a good thing. Now that I know who easy it is to get in the house I better be more vigilant about making sure windows are locked. And if I do that I might also need to work out a better key plan.
Every day is an adventure!  

My husband has two trips this weekend (tonight and tomorrow) so I am going to have a little free time. Maybe I will try another new recipe. Tomorrow I want to hit the farmers' market and I get to hang out with my niece :)  

What are your weekend plans?


  1. Ugh. Jack in the Box tacos are terrible! My hubby loves them, too. I can't stand them.

    And way to keep streaking!

    1. It must be a guy thing. I am happily obsessed with this challenge.

  2. Great job streaking! Love the Spaghetti Casserole looks amazing! :)

    1. Thank you! Let me know if you decide to try the casserole.

  3. Oh gosh, I love a good pork tenderloin! Think I'll have to add one to my meal plan for next week. Your tomatoes are gorgeous!

    1. I know they are so delicious. Let me know how you fix it. My tomatoes are having a little end of summer burst and I could not be happier about it.

  4. Your casserole turned out so much prettier than mine! I love that you added mushrooms, I totally love them. And I also always look forward to the pictures you post, it makes me feel like I'm right there with you!

    1. I am glad you like the pictures...I am obsessed with taking them and I often wonder if people think I am nuts :) Viva le mushroom!

  5. Would would have thought to throw chicken in the mixer to shred it! I am so doing this the next time.....which will probably be when I make that looks SCRUMPTIOUS!

    I was out running on Thursday morning and got to the front door and had this sinking feeling that I was locked out. I usually take a key when I know that the house will be empty when I get back (a cheap carabiner keychain with my house key on it works GREAT....I hook the carabiner onto the strap of my bra and tuck the key under the strap or even into the top of the bra....yeah, kinda crazy and lumpy but it doesn't bother me and I don't hear it rattle!) Luckily for Thursday morning the door was unlocked....whew!!!!

    1. Getting locked out stinks. I definitely need a better plan...thanks for the suggestion :)

  6. We don't have Jack in the Box in Michigan but I am sure I would not like them. I don't really like fast food tacos. Now if they have crinkle cut fries, sign me up!
    I am making chicken spaghetti for dinner tonight. Wish me luck!

    1. Just saw your spaghetti looks yummy! Meg, I can't even tell you how gross they are - they have a slice of cheese in them :(

  7. I really enjoyed seeing all those great picture of food. Was reading this before dinner and decided to get up and make Tacos. Such a great dish to make and the whole family loves them. My wife actually knows how to make the Taco's herself so they are really good for you. Thank you for sharing this with us. Thanks.

    Earl Mark @ Eastway Lock