The Hotness That Is Jason Wiles

For all those males out there, you may want to go here. Hubby, that includes you.  🙂

I mean, what’s not to like? He’s good looking, he grew up in the mid-west, he’s good looking, he’s a good actor and he’s good looking.  😉  I think I first saw him on 90210?  Or was it in a music video? I just found out he was in Higher Learning – which I happen to have on my Tivo and haven’t watched yet.  Yes, I know I’m about 10 years behind, so?

Which brings me to the fact that I finally got around to watching the latest epidsode of In Plain Sight, and who should happen to grace the screen, but Mr Jason Wiles.  He plays a cop, Epps, (I caught maybe one or two episodes of Third Watch back in the day, but wasn’t a regular viewer) who goes into Witness Protection for narcing on his fellow law enforcement buddies.  Anyway, we find out about 6 months prior Mary slept with Epps, who is her witness, and fast forward to the present, he’s a person of interest in the death of a cop.  By the end of the show Mary’s pretty much broken up with Raph (her on-again off-again, boy toy) and Epps (Wiles) has opted out of WitSec.  Hmmm…do I see some episodes in the future for Mr Wiles?  Season Two perhaps? I hope so.  🙂

Slow Cooker Love – BBQ Chicken

This past week is catching up to me hard.  After work, I picked MC from school, came home and made a few sides to go with dinner.  By the time I was done, which wasn’t even 30 minutes, I was exhausted.  MC was whining about something, Hubby was on the couch with his ankle propped up and I just didn’t want to be doing whatever it was I was doing, anymore.  I sat down to eat and MC started sticking his fork in his ear, so I took it away, after I’d asked him three times to stop. Two straight minutes of “MY FORK! MY FORK!” while bawling.  I had to laugh or I would cry.  I finally turned to him and told him to stop crying and that it wasn’t necessary to yell and that isn’t how we ask for things.  Then I get a “Peese?” I gave him the fork back, but he still didn’t use it to eat anything…*sigh*

I left the dishes in the sink – didn’t even bother, because there were clean dishes in the dishwasher I didn’t want to put away. I barely finished MC’s bath – Hubby had to take over for a few minutes.  But, thank the lord MC fell asleep fast last night, or I might have run out of the house screaming.

We sat down to watch Superhero Movie and I promptly fell asleep about 45 minutes into it.  So, I can’t tell you whether or not you should watch it, since I didn’t really see all of it.  But, from the 45 minutes I did see, it’d probably be an “eh”.  It’s your usual spoof on the comic movies (Spiderman) that have bombarded the public lately. Not that I don’t enjoy them. I was never really a comic book fan, but I love watching the enormous possibilities of the world on the screen.  😛  Does that even make sense?  I start imagining I’m Jean, or Jubilee and what I’d do with my powers, if I’d fight for good or evil, or hide it from everyone…but, I digress.

The good thing about last night?  Dinner was mostly ready by the time I got home…and it was good.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
Servings: 2
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 small onion, diced
4-5 bone-in chicken thighs (mine were frozen)
1 bottle of barbeque sauce (I used Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q sauce – my fav right now)
¼ – ½ cup chicken broth/stock

Place the onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the thighs on top of the onion. Cover the chicken with barbeque sauce and chicken broth. (The liquid doesn’t have to cover the chicken. The chicken will release liquid since it is frozen and still has the skin on.) Cook on low for 8 hours.

Quick Oil & Vinegar Slaw
Printable Recipe

16 oz package of coleslaw mix
2 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil, but you could use vegetable)
2 tablespoons vinegar (I used apple cider, but you could use any kind)
1 tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon honey
½ tablespoon celery seed (can omit if using celery salt)
1 teaspoon salt (can use celery salt)
pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients, except the coleslaw mix, until combined. Pour the dressing over the coleslaw mix and toss. Set aside or refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Search For The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie, Part 2

Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
these are definitely thick

Finally, the second installment…

This time it’s a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.  I found the recipe here, on the blog Good Things Catered. However, I changed it up a bit to suit my fancy.  😉 I didn’t use the “pull apart” technique.  I just used my trusty, handy dandy, small cookie scoop.  Call me anal, I like my cookies to all be the same size and look about the same.  I also added nuts and changed up the “chips”.

Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Part 1 was Alton’s “The Chewy” which showcased 1 egg and 1 egg yolk, melted butter and a higher ratio of brown sugar to white sugar.  All the same components showed up in this recipe. By using my oh-so-highly-honed-skills-of-deduction, it seems this is what gives the cookies their chewy texture. 

They both hold their shape well and taste good, but there’s something about Alton’s recipe that just makes a better cookie.  Is it because I used my small cookie scoop instead of a bigger scoop (like the #20 disher Alton uses) that I got a more crispy exterior from the ATK cookie? Is it the bread flour? The milk? The extra butter?  Bah!

I guess I’ll have to keep looking and tweaking…

Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, as found here, from Good Things Catered
Yield: 3 dozen
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
½ cup white chocolate w/coconut
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking soda and salt.
Mix the butter and sugars, in a stand mixer, until thoroughly combined.
Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined. Stir in chips and nuts.

Scoop out dough using a small cookie scoop. Place the balls about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15-17 minutes.

Cool cookies on sheets until they can be lifted without breaking. Place on wire rack to finish cooling.

Previous Posts
Search For The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie, Part 1

Up Next

I’ve been MIA for over a week due to some family/personal issues, an impromptu garage sale and Crown Royal.  LOL.  Don’t ask. It all just got the best of me.

I need some help with meal planning this week. I’m taking suggestions for easy, minimal kitchen time, summery meals.  🙂

Coming up this week:
Search For The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie, Part 2 (finally)
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 4 (think Pina Colada…)

Not Quite Cheesecake Factory’s

…but better, cuz it’s mine.

chinese chicken salad

Whenever I go home for the holidays, one of the places my parents like to take us is to The Cheesecake Factory.  I’m not sure why, except that they love the Lettuce Wraps there.  They are nothing like the ones at PF Chang’s, which I think is what people think of when they hear Lettuce Wraps.  TCF makes them with grilled chicken, not minced and tons of different vegetable and noodle fillings.  My sister and I always share the Chinese Chicken Salad and something else.  We’re a family of sharers.  Hubby has learned to accept this.  🙂

Anyway…I was doing some meal planning today and realized 3 out of the 5 meals I’d written down were Asian.  Which isn’t a bad thing and considering I’m Korean, shouldn’t be an odd thing.  But, usually it’s maybe 1 item.  The meals were Chinese Chicken Salad, Asian Meatballs and General Cho’s (or however you want to spell/pronounce it) Chicken.  What’s funny to me…these are very Americanized “Asian” foods. But, I still love ’em. 

I searched the Internet for a good dressing for my salad and came across a TCF copy cat.  I had all the ingredients for the dressing except plum sauce.  I added it and some veggies to my grocery list for the week and decided it would be the first of the Asian meals for the week. 

I started making the dressing for the salad and realized there wasn’t any type of salt.  The dressing was flat.  So, in went some soy sauce.  The sauce was too thin for me – added some canola oil.  What next?  The sauce was too sweet. I tried to balance that out with some chili sauce (Sriracha, or what I like to refer to as Rooster Sauce).  I think my additions really helped to the balance out the dressing.  My craving was sated.

One of the neat things about the TCF salad is the crispy rice noodles on top. I bought some saifun noodles and tried to fry them, but I had no luck.  I’m not exactly sure what happened…maybe I bought the wrong noodles?  Regardless, I already had a back up plan.  Fried wonton skins.  Oh yeah baby.  These suckers are addictive.  Just look at them.

crispy won ton skins
who wouldn’t want to crunch on these babies?

These are so easy to make.  Buy the won ton wrappers – the small square ones – cut them into strips and fry them in some oil.  Then, crunch away!

I’m submitting this post to A Southern Grace’s Beat The Heat event. We’re supposed to pick our “very best dish, that requires no heat to prepare”.  Ummm…1) my blog is really new and 2) it’s alot of baked stuff.  BUT! I had one dish I love, that I’ve shared here. (Can we ignore that I fried the wontons???) The deadline is this Friday, August 8th and I just read about the event today (Thursday, August 7th).  So…here you go Grace!  My entry into “Beat The Heat”!

Chinese Plum Salad Dressing
Adapted from this Chinese Plum Salad Dressing
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1-2 teaspoons ginger, grated (depending on your taste)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon plum sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili sauce
pepper (to taste)

Boil the sugar and vinegar for about one minute.  Add the ginger and boil for another minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a small mixing bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Pour over salad.

My salad was made up of rotisserie chicken marinated in the dressing, cole slaw mix, snow peas, green onions, broccoli slaw, shredded romaine and crispy wonton skins.  I used one tablespoon to marinate my chicken and probably 3 tablespoons for the salad you see above.  This was not a TCF size salad, so you don’t need to use all of the dressing.  I stored the rest of mine in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch.  😉

Ooey Gooey Chewy Goodness

ooey gooey chewy cookie

I contemplated making this part 2 in the search for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie, but it was just so much more than that…these are my Ooey Gooey Chewy cookies.  I wanted a “kitchen sink” type of cookie, so I literally grabbed just about everything from my “sweet” pantry – chocolate chunks, toffee bits, chopped walnuts and ROLOS.  The Rolos added a nice caramely-ness to the cookies. Even though they look thin and crispy, they are actually pretty chewy.  Just the way I like it.  🙂

ooey gooey part
The Rolo effect

the goods
The goods

Ooey Gooey Chewy Cookies
Yield: approximately 30 cookies
Printable Recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup bread flour (you could probably just use all-purpose; I don’t think the bread flour lent anything to the recipe)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, cold, cut into 1-in pieces
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk (could probably omit)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 T milk (cold probably omit)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup toffee bits
approximately 10 Rolos, quartered

Sift or whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
Beat the butter and sugars until smooth.
Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla and milk to the butter/sugar mixture; blend until smooth.
Add the flour mixture; blend until smooth.
Stir in the remaining ingredients. 
Chill the dough for about 20-30 minutes, just to be able to scoop it easier.  (The dough is a bit sticky.  You could probably omit the additional yolk & milk to make the dough less wet.)

the crispy chewy part

 

What Good Is Medical Insurance…

…if you’re just going to have to pay $170 out of pocket for an xray – because “the lab” isn’t really associated to the doctor’s office and your deductible is $1500 – that would have been included in a visit to an orthopedic (sp?) doc ($50 co-pay), but because you went to your internist that didn’t just refer you to an ortho, you pay a $25 co-pay for that visit and still don’t know if your ankle is broken – hubby, not me. END RANT. ARGH!