25 February 2014

Orange Chicken

A month or so ago, I prepped a bunch of "freezer meals" - ingredients all chopped and marinated so that we could just pop them into the oven or slow cooker for easy weekday meals. One that I tried was Orange Chicken. The recipe sounded great, it smelled great while it was cooking a few weeks later, and it tasted pretty good that first night! It was chicken thighs, assorted veggies, and a sauce made from bottled bbq sauce, orange marmalade, and soy sauce. I am not going to give you the exact recipe, because it wasn't so great after all...

Dino disagreed about its greatness. As soon as he heard the name Orange Chicken, he wasn't too sure about it. He kept saying while it was cooking that he liked oranges, and he liked chicken, but he didn't like them together. We countered back - have you ever had them together? No... Then how do you know you don't like it?

When we served it up in bowls with rice for dinner, he was perturbed that it wasn't orange in color - the sauce was mostly brown, and it was tangy, not just sweet. He stared down that bowl, knowing that he wouldn't get dessert until he had eaten the prescribed amount (2 bites of chicken, and 1 bite of each kind of veggie - a little of everything, so you can really know whether you like it). He ended up not eating it but rather choosing to just go to bed instead! He needed the sleep, so we agreed.

The next day, he asked with a dejected sigh whether I would ever make Orange Chicken again. I told him maybe, but not for quite a while, since I like making different things at different times. Almost every day he asked me the same question until, after a few days of taking it for my lunch at work and getting very tired of it, I finally told him no, I would probably never make it again because I wasn't that crazy about it. He was so relieved!

Cut to last week. He's been very inquisitive about jail lately. He got a police station LEGO building set, complete with a 2-bunk jail cell. He has been asking about why a person would go to jail, and what it is like in jail. While we were trying to convey to him that jail is not a pleasant place, not a place that anyone would want to go, we said that there is nothing to do but chores (cook, clean, pick up trash...), and the food is boring and doesn't taste good. He perked up and asked with a grimace, "Do they serve Orange Chicken??"

10 February 2014

Recipe - Lasagna Soup

I am copying this slow-cooker recipe to my blog here, since pages on news sites tend to be archived after a while and I want to make sure I can get to it when I'm ready to make it!

I will probably use regular pasta sauce instead of the spicy "Arrabiatta" (though Wikipedia says it is supposed to be spelled Arrabbiata), so I left "spicy" out of my post heading.

Also, this was from a spot on the morning news featuring a grocery chain representative, hence all the references to Kroger and thier Private Selection brand.

Spicy Lasagna Soup
Makes 10 to 12 servings.

1-18 oz. pkg. Kroger Sweet Italian Sausage Links (sliced)
1 Green Bell Pepper (small diced)
1 Yellow Onion (small diced)
1-14.5 oz. can Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic
2 cups Private Selection Arrabiatta Tomato Sauce
1-32 oz. pkg.Kroger Simple Truth Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
½ tsp.Kosher Salt
½ -16 oz. bag Private Selection Cavatappi

1-16 oz. pkg.Kroger Ricotta
¼ cup Kroger Deli Wholesome @Home Basil Pesto Sauce
Kroger Shredded Mozzarella

In the bottom of a large crock pot, add in Italian sausage.

Add in bell pepper & onion.

Over top, pour in fire roasted tomatoes, Arrabiatta sauce, & chicken broth.

Season mixture with crushed red pepper & salt. Lightly stir everything together, leaving the sausage at the bottom.

Cover and cook on low setting for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

For the last ½ hour, add in the pasta & cook on high until pasta is tender OR you can cook the pasta separately & add into your soup.

In a small bowl, mix together ricotta & basil pesto.

Serve soup piping hot with a dollop of the ricotta mixture on top & a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Have some of our awesome Kroger Deli Hot French Bread & you have a perfect meal to beat the cold!