Archive for extended stay hotel

Two Stove-top chicken “Recipes”

Posted in Recipes/Food with tags , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2013 by Dena

Not really recipes, so much as stuff I threw together that turned out good, so figured I’d share  =P

So, as I said in a previous entry, we’re currently in a hotel, where my cooking is limited to a stove-top and microwave, so I’ve had to get a bit creative. Money is also extremely tight, since we’re (so far) jobless and living off of our savings, so I’m also limited when it comes to ingredients. So figuring out what to cook, so we don’t end up living on instant ramen, has been an interesting challenge. Oh, and my non-primal husband has to like it as well, which ups the challenge even more.

Here are two I’ve made recently that I was pretty happy with:

Lemon and Garlic Chicken with Potatoes

chicken

This one was adapted from a recipe from Barefoot Contessa that I saw her make on her show ages ago that I’d been wanting to try ever since (the one I linked to isn’t the exact one, but it’s pretty close, and the one I used as a guide for this one).

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 small white potatoes, roughly cut
  • half an onion, roughly cut
  • a few cloves of garlic, only cut into about 4 pieces each
  • one lemon, quartered
  • dried rosemary and basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter to cook the chicken in (this was mainly because the pan provided by the hotel sticks like crazy and I was hoping more grease would prevent it–you could technically leave it out if you have a non-stick pan, but I think it adds to the flavor)

So, after cutting everything up, I sauteed the onions and garlic in the butter until soft, then I removed them so they wouldn’t burn, and added the chicken, lemon, and spices. Then I covered it and let the chicken cook for 5 minutes on medium-ish heat before turning it over 1/4 of the way, plus I stirred the potatoes and lemons around so nothing would burn. After somewhere around 5-6 times the chicken was cooked through and the potatoes were fork tender, then I re-added the onions and garlic and gave them a chance to heat back up.

The juice from the chicken combined with the lemon juice and garlic forms a really nice sauce. Everything just goes together really well. I’d like to substitute the potato with something a little more healthy like cauliflower, but didn’t think my husband would like it. Maybe at some point I’ll give it a shot.

It made 4 somewhat scant servings–we tend to eat light. Would probably be 2 for most people =P

Home-Made “Ramen”

ramen

Okay, in NO way is this authentic or traditional ramen. My husband and I like instant ramen, which I make a specific way–while the noodles are boiling, I add a raw beaten egg during the last minute or so of cooking, then I drain most of the water before adding the flavor packet. Cheap and unhealthy, but we love it. But I was wondering if there was a way to make a healthier and semi-primal-friendly version from scratch. Here’s what I came up with:

  • 2 cups of home made bone broth (I should have used more, as I’ll mention below)
  • Chopped-up meat from 2 cooked chicken thighs
  • Rice noodles (I just threw some handfuls into the boiling water, but I think I ended up with 2 cups total)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Oriental-ish spices–whatever you like, but I went with ground ginger, onion powder, minced garlic, some chopped green onion left over from something else, and salt

Pretty simple. First, I cooked and rinsed the noodles, then I heated the broth, added the spices, then once it came to a boil, I added the rest of the ingredients.

It came out pretty good, but much less strong-tasting than the instant kind, so I added more salt to mine–in the future, I’d probably spend a little more time adjusting the spices, but it had come to a boil pretty quickly and I was worried it might start to burn or something if I messed with it for too long. The result reminds me a bit of chicken soup with the little chunks of chicken amongst the noodles, even though it definitely tastes oriental, probably because of the ginger. I definitely should have used more broth–probably 4 cups would have been better, as it practically evaporated by the end, as you can see in the pic.

I had never used rice noodles before, and I really liked the texture and it absorbed the flavor of the broth nicely. Of course, rice isn’t technically primal since it’s a grain, but it is one of the more benign grains, so some primal people eat it anyway. A more primal version would probably involve shredding a vegetable of some kind into long ribbons, but again, I didn’t think my husband would be up for that (he’s a total pasta addict, so this was intended as a compromise of sorts, since it’s at least gluten-free).

It made about 5 scant servings.

So there you go. My next experiment will likely be Chicken Vindaloo (file it under “You know you’re a fan of Red Dwarf, When …”).

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In a New Place (Or an Old One, Depending How You Look at it)

Posted in Moving, Musings with tags , , , , , , on November 13, 2013 by Dena

Just wanted to say that we did make it to Sacramento safely (on October 30th), tho there was a bit of a snag getting the cat through the airport, then another snag getting picked up at the final airport, then yet another snag borrowing my mom’s car … but eh … the important thing is that we’re in Sacramento and things are beginning to settle down. Time for me to start being productive again.

I’m not doing great diet-wise. I think it’s partly because I have the laptop set up at what is really the kitchen counter, so I’m just too close to temptation most of the time. Also, I’ve kind of slipped into screw-my-heath-need-to-binge mode. Like I said, we hit a snag with borrowing my mom’s car and we were without transportation for a week. We are within walking distance from a liquor and food store, but it is a bit of a trek and there’s only so much you can carry when you’re on foot (not to mention, I don’t think they had any meat or produce). So we basically lived on delivery pizza and free Pop Tarts and oatmeal from the lobby during that time. At some point I had to just throw up my hands and not worry about the quality of food too much, if only to save my sanity, and I’m having a bit of a hard time letting go of that now. This is where being a creature of habit can really put a damper on things.

But, the good news is that we’re now borrowing my mom’s car (she doesn’t use it much), so we’re able to make trips to the grocery store. Therefor I’m making breakfast and dinner every day. Breakfast has been bacon and scrambled eggs (soon to change to sausage and scrambled eggs, since I got a bit tired of bacon).

As for dinner, I came up with a good recipe for chicken drumsticks (they’re cheap–it’s something like $5 for a dozen–I think it was Julie who drew my attention to that awhile back–thanks), which was adapted from a Barefoot Contessa recipe. I will try to post it soon–either way, it turned out awesome. Even Lee, who was really unenthusiastic about drumsticks, loved it.

I really need to start a job search, like really really soon. We’ve got no source of income, just some money saved up, and we’re living in a hotel room, which we’re only going to be able to afford for a little while. But, honestly, I’m having a hard time getting motivated. I’m so tired of office jobs, and I’m kind of into the domestic thing right now–I can’t think of anything more daunting than sitting at a desk all day just for the sole purpose of earning money to survive, and not having time to cook and such in the evening. It’s awful and selfish of me, but it’s just how I feel right now. Hopefully I’ll get over it soon.

Well, I guess it’s time to wrap up for now. I’ll try to get back into the swing of things and post more often. This blog is as much for me as anyone else–the soul-searching I do while writing this stuff can be pretty helpful with getting my thoughts in order.

Slight update on the moving situation

Posted in Moving, Musings, Recipes/Food with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2013 by Dena

So I think it’s about as final as it can be without having actually made the reservation yet–on August 31st, my husband (and cat =P) and I will be moving into an Extended Stay hotel room on August 31st and will be there until October 31st. They do allow pets, believe it or not. If you’ve never been in one, they’re pretty nice as hotel rooms go–fairly roomy, and there’s a small kitchen with a microwave and stovetop, along with a few dishes in the cupboards, some silverware and pots and pans–almost like a furnished studio apartment.

The good news, as I’ve mentioned before, is that I’ll be able to cook again. While cleaning out the old storage unit, I came across my old Cuisinart (food processor) and put it aside for the move. I will definitely be making some use out of it. I’ll also be in a place that is QUIET for a change–the place where I live how has way too much noise pollution and it wreaks havok on my mood and stress level.

The bad news is no oven or dishwasher–obviously the former will limit my cooking somewhat, and the latter will mean having to hand wash dishes (which I HATE), but oh well. Also not sure how I feel about having Luna in the same room with me 24/7–we love that cat like a daughter, and she’s a sweetie, but she can also be a demanding little brat for no reason at all sometimes, so I might miss not being able to occasionally lock her out of whatever room I’m in but oh well, we’ll deal.

Anyway, I do have a couple of goals I hope to acheive during those two months …

Lately, I find myself eating cheese a lot as a source of protein and fat, because it involves no preparation (well that and it tastes awesome =P), but once I’m able to cook more, I’m going to try to cut way back. I’ve read that dairy causes sinus problems, and I’ve had sinus problems for years, so I’m thinking of trying to cut dairy out of my diet for awhile to see if it helps. I’ve also gotten to  where I hardly touch veggies anymore, and while it doesn’t seem to effect me in a negative way, I’m sure it’s not ideal in the long term sense. I know of several ways to make veggies more interesting to eat, and hope to come up with new ones–now that I’ll have my own kitchen (and a Cuisinart!), that’ll be a lot easier. I can also cut back on the pre-processed food more easily.

I also hope to help my husband improve his diet. He has health problems that I think going low-carb (if not paleo) would help with a lot. I THINK I’ve gotten him to agree, especially now that we plan on moving out of Memphis at the end of October, which will mean leaving my job, which will mean no health insurance for awhile. He’s the sort of guy who, when left to his own devices, will eat bread, chips, and soda as a meal. Not sure if I can get him to commit to giving up grains entirely, but if I’m making most of his meals, that’ll give him less opportunity to carb himself to death.

Oh, and I don’t know how many reading this watch my videos–I know I announced this blog on Twitter, where I keep in touch with viewers, but I don’t know how many (other than Farel =P) are actually following it. Anyway, for anyone who is, the move SHOULDN’T effect my yearly Silent Hill videos–I hope to have all my game footage collected by the end of this month, then I’ll just pick at it a bit and work on preliminary stuff (like that dreaded opening sequence) while getting ready to move in August, then I’ll do the filming and the bulk of the editing in September–hopefully it’ll go as planned. We’ll see.

I’ll also try to finally record that Q&A video where I answer questions asked by people a year ago XD  At the very least, I’m trying to reach my monthly quota.

EDIT – Did I say SLIGHT update? Goddamn!

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Posted in Moving with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2013 by Dena

Anyway, now that I’ve gotten that bit of fangirlism out of my system …

It’s about 1.6 months until the move–it’s an interesting mix of excitement and apprehension for me.

We’ll be temporarily moving into an Extended Stay hotel room for 2 months, at which point, we’ll hopefully save up enough to move to Sacramento at the end of October.

I’m just glad we’ll have our own space again–not crazy about it being in basically one big room (especially since we have a cat–can’t lock her out of the room when she’s being a brat =P Well, not if I want to keep her anyway), but oh well. At least I can start cooking again. Unfortunately, I think there’s only a microwave and stovetop–no oven–so that’ll limit me a bit. But I should be able to work around it–apparently you can roast veggies on a stovetop if you just have a skillet with a lid.

I wonder how well baking in a microwave works? I keep seeing recipes for basically cake-in-a-cup that you stick in the microwave, so … I wonder if cookies can be microwaved (nothing bad, I’m thinking of Julie’s Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies, I love those things).

Oh well, I’ll figure something out. May just have to bake a few batches of things before the move and freeze them to hold me over for those two months (espcially my Paleo Bread–can’t live without that stuff!)

P.S.: Would you believe that my coffee maker crapped out this morning? Had it waited maybe another month, I would have toughed it out, but now I’m gonna have to buy a new one. Eh … not a total waste, I guess–hotel coffee makers never have that feature where you can program it to brew at a specific time, I may unplug the hotel one and stash it and use my own instead.