Stuffed Bell Peppers

Tonight, I tried this “recipe“. I put it in quotes because if you follow the link, you’ll see that it is a list of ingredients with no amounts or directions posted. There aren’t even specifics on the ingredients i.e. onion as opposed to white onion or red onion. As I’ve stated before, I’m not a cook, so I did my best at guessing the proper ingredients and quantities. I prefer my ingredients to be real, organic and non-GMO so when shopping, I could only find green bell peppers at my local Whole Foods. I would have prefered to have a variety of color, but I was stuck with what I got. 

The recipe was fairly easy. It took about 45 minutes from start to finish. I was able to start after my husband arrived home from work and dinner was served and devoured before we had to bath the Babe for bedtime. 

I opted to broil the bell peppers instead of grilling them. If we had our own grill, I think it would have added to the flavor. 

I rinsed 1 Cup of brown rice. Then I drained the water off and added 1 3/4 cup chicken broth and 1 Tbl unsalted butter and cooked the rice. Meanwhile, I chopped 1/2 of a medium sized white onion, 2 cloves of garlic and 7 large leaves of basil, and halved about a dozen cherry tomatoes. When the rice had boiled down for about 20 minutes until all the broth had absorbed mostly into the rice, I then added the onion, garlic, basil and cherry tomatoes and let the rice cook the rest of the way down. Once the rice was ready, I added 4 heaping soup spoons of grated parmesan cheese. Once combined, I took the peppers, which had broiled for about 15 minutes, out of the oven and stuffed them with the rice mixture. Then I took fresh mozzarella cheese and sliced it 1/8″ thick and placed it on top of the rice mixture. Then I placed the peppers back into an oven set to 350° F for about 5 minutes, until the cheese had melted. 

While they look delicious, they were very plain. By the smell of it, they should have been very flavorful, but they just weren’t. We got a pop of flavor here and there, but nothing like I was hoping. 

My husband and I discussed what could make them better. Here are some ideas that we came up with:

Use red and yellow bell peppers. The green pepper flavor really overpowered everything else. 

Use more garlic. I was going to, but again didn’t want the predominant flavor to be garlic. I would use maybe 4 cloves? 

Use olive oil instead of butter when making the rice. It is an Italian dish….

Actually saute the onions and garlic and then add the fully cooked rice? I didn’t want to dirty more pans

Use more parmesan. Cheese always makes a dish better. 

There are numerous ways that I think my best friend could take this dish and make it something mouth watering. Maybe you have your ideas too and if they work, please share. This recipe seemed to have so much potential, but in the end fell flat. That’s what this is about though. Finding out and expanding our “Usual dinners” list. 

Here are the pics! Enjoy! See you soon!

Ingredients almost done Cooked

Teriyaki Bacon Wrapped Chicken Skewers

Friday I had a burst of energy. As soon as I was able, I made the Teriyaki Sauce and began cutting the chicken. I had soaked the skewers overnight in water so that they wouldn’t just go up in flames on the grill.

After cubing 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, I wrapped the bacon around a cube and cut with kitchen shears to size. The original post mentions something about not using thick cut bacon as it won’t work for this recipe, and they are right, but I picked up the only uncured Applewood smoked bacon I could find and it was thick cut. As I wrapped the chicken in the bacon, I stretched the bacon as thin as possible. Then alternate chicken/ bacon with Pineapple. I was able to get 3 bits of each on each skewer and the recipe yielded 6 skewers. All of this before the little one woke from his nap. YAY!

After letting the skewers marinate in the teriyaki sauce all day, I let my husband grill. Because the bacon was so thick, we had to broil after grilling and still a lot of the fat was not as crisp as I would have liked.

I served the skewers with brown rice. Nothing too fancy this time. I still am recovering from my hospital stay after all 😉 My husband LOVED them! I liked them a lot.

The teriyaki was a pleasant note as opposed to being overpowering. I love grilled pineapple and it added a nice sweetness. All in all, a really well balanced flavorful meal.

This has only made my husband more excited about the whole experiment.

This week, two recipes: Stuffed Bell Peppers with brown rice and Lemon Blackberry Pie

See you soon!ImageImage

The Best Laid Plans…

Oh! We’ll have plenty of time this weekend to do the first recipe! It’s the 4th of July long weekend…and I’m going to be admitted into the hospital?

Since arriving back from Colorado, I had not been feeling tip top. I had attributed it to the fact that I was a single parent for a week with a child who also wasn’t feeling well. I may get sick but I would get over it. 

As the holiday neared, my temperature went up, up, up! Not just because it was ungodly hot in the San Fernando Valley either. On the 4th, I ended up in Urgent Care. The doctor was either not paying attention to my actual symtoms or was already on holiday in his mind because he prescribed me meds for allergies. I went home and one medication that he prescribed caused severe sweating and my eyes to fling open at 10:30 pm and I didn’t get to shut them again until 4:30 am. This also complicated the sleep patterns of our 9.5 month old who is still breast feeding. He woke up at 3 and also didn’t get back down until 4:30.

The next day was worse with my temperature peaking at 102. I thought that if I still felt this awful come Saturday morning, I would certainly go back to Urgent Care. I felt worse and so we returned for another diagnosis or to yell at the first physician anyway. The new doctor took one look at my throat and declared that he thought I had an abscess on my tonsil and that if my fever rose to 102 again I was to head straight to the ER. He gave me an antibiotic shot and a shot of B12 and sent me home. Within an hour, my temperature was 102.7! I told my husband that I was sorry, but we had to go to the ER. 

There they couldn’t figure out what to do with me, but I had begun to finally feel a bit better. They suggested that I be admitted over night just for observation and I could see an ENT doctor and we’d get it all figured out. I thought that this sounded lovely! One night in hospital, my son could try to sleep in his crib and not feed on Mommy all night and Mommy could maybe get a good nights sleep. 

Four days later, I had been diagnosed with severe tonsillitis but I hadn’t had surgery. I was just observed. Sort of. One of those days, the ENT didn’t even come to evaluate my condition. My son was getting dehydrated and his separation anxiety seemed to be getting confirmed. My husband was unable to work and was doing the job of the two of us. I was slowly but not surely getting better. 

It may seem funny, but I thought about this blog. Not because I felt like I was letting anyone down, but because I wanted to be cooking and living life outside of the hospital rather than watching 9 episodes of Castle in a row. (I love Castle, but to watch that many episodes in a row, you must be at least 70 years old.) I also wanted to be home with my guys. 

I was released late Tuesday afternoon and I immediately began planning to make this weeks recipe. And I’m working on it. 

As I type, I’m listening to my son still getting used to not falling asleep in my arms nursing in our bed. Instead, he’s “learning to self sooth” by crying himself to sleep for an hour because now that we’ve started that, it would be really bad to go back to the way things were, (from what I’ve read). I hate every second of it. I feel like I’m torturing my Love Bug. Any constructive advice welcome. 

Incidentally, I am going to make the Teriyaki Sauce for this weeks recipe. It’s this one from FoodNetwork.com

I think I’ll have pictures up this weekend. You know, barring any more hospital stays. 

See you soon!

Let’s get it started…

I’m back from visiting family. I had a lovely time but came home even more exhausted from travel than anticipated. So did the baby. It was a good week to be away though as the hubs had a lot on his work plate & wouldn’t have been too available to help out.

This week holds 2 holidays in our home. The first, Canada Day on July 1 and of course there is the Forth of July! Lots of country births to celebrate. As we stuffed our faces with perogies and Montreal smoked meat Poutine at the Redondo Beach Cafe and will likely find something equally amazing and fattening to eat on the Forth, we opted to start our experiment next week. I say we, because I fully feel that my family is a huge part of this. My husband has to eat what I make  so I consult on which recipe I will be making in the next week.

We’ve settled on the Teriyaki Chicken Bacon and Pineapple skewers.

Dan asked if it would be cheating if he grilled them. He quickly followed that up with, “Of course, you could grill them too!” How very Canadian of him; Allowing for non traditional gender roles 😉

See you next week!