Archive for 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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Entering the home stretch

Posted in Moving, Musings, Weight with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2013 by Dena

Yesterday marked one week until the trip home.

Lately, I’ve been fixated on how much there is to do before the move (all the packing, etc.), but something about Lee taking our cat to the vet yesterday to have her checked out and getting a certificate stating that she’s fit to travel, and seeing the printed-out itinerary for the flight for the first time … suddenly it clicked that I’m finally about to go home.

Hard to explain how that makes me feel, other than overwhelmed–it’s kind of a combination of things: stress (haven’t exactly forgotten about the packing, etc.), worry, excitement. It’s kind of scary in that it’s not under the best circumstances–we’ve got SOME money saved up, but it’s gonna be tight for a while. We’re moving into an Extended Stay hotel which is gonna be overly expensive, but it’s our only option right now. We’ll both be unemployed at first.

But on the upside, no screaming toddlers and yelping (not to mention huge and hyper-active) dog to deal with. No more living in a house where I feel like I have to hide all the time just to avoid criticism.

Not to mention that I’ll have my own kitchen (well, kitchenette, I guess, but I’ll actually be able to use it) so I’ll be able to go back to cooking on a regular basis. Lee keeps trying to tell me that we’ll be living on ramen* to save money–uhh, I don’t think so. I can’t wait to try making bone broth. I figure I can make that, and maybe add some gluten-free rice noodles, some spices, and maybe come up with something similar to ramen–other than the noodles (because gluten-free anything is usually overpriced), it should be pretty cheap to make. I’m also bringing the Cuisinart (shipping it to my mom along with some other things I can’t live without for a few months) so I can make my own nut butter and stuff like that. So I’m definitely looking forward to that stuff.

*We both actually love ramen. I used to drizzle a couple of slightly-beaten eggs into the boiling water during the last minute while the noodles were cooking, then I’d drain out nearly all the water before adding the packets of seasoning–tasted awesome. Obviously, it’s not healthy, tho, so I try to avoid it now.

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Okay, my co-workers just surprised me with a going-away party–that was awesome. I didn’t mention here yet that tomorrow is my last day at this company. Yes, I’m typing this at work–too busy packing at home to update, and there’s pretty much nothing better to do around here anyway  =P

Oh, speaking of co-workers … I was throwing all my knickknacks into a box and one of my co-workers, who is really tiny, went “Take me witchoo, I’ll fit in the box!”

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To wrap up, not doing too great on the weight-loss front. Still eating too much chocolate and peanut butter (due to stress–not to mention that I just had pizza and cake XD). I also stopped exercising, other than my daily 25-minute walk (which is really more about escapism than health at this point, anyway). But I haven’t gained more than maybe 2-3 lbs., and I’m hovering around that number. So, could be worse. Definitely going to step it up again after the move.

I guess that’s about all I can think of as far as updates, for now. Next time I do an entry, it might be from Sacramento.

I keep thinking about the last line from the Red Dwarf pilot: Lister puts one arm around Cat (who is looking at him like he’s nuts) and doing a fist-pump with the other while saying: “Look out, Earth! The slime’s comin’ home!”

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.