• Personally speaking….

    Just the thoughts and cookings of a software engineer that likes to make foodstuffs from time to time in the bay area of California.
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    How to get to Amici's from the hotel

    My first food truck experience.

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Quorn chick’n nuggets

Quorn Chik'n Nuggest

I’m not a huge fan of fake meat cause it’s usually tasting like, um, fake meat. I’ve had this package in my freezer for a while now and finally got up the nerve to try it. Let’s see, I went vegetarian again October 23, so this has been in the freezer since at least February, probably.

They crisped up alright. And the texture was similar to chicken nuggets. The flavor wasn’t exact, of course. It tasted like freezer burn chicken nuggets. Maybe that was because I’ve had them in the freezer for so long? Once I started dipping them in stuff, then they improved drastically. Would it fool someone? I don’t know. I don’t know if I would do that. The only person I would try to fool knows that I’m vegetarian so would know that I’m not fixing her real chicken. This would be more “realistic” (to me) if it were covered in barbecue sauce and/or kept wet with the dip.

No, not vegan because they contain egg and milk.

Will I buy them again? No, I don’t think so. Just not sure why I would. I’m flirting with veganism so the egg and milk would make them “out.” I also don’t think it’s “worth it,” you know?

Dinner: Braised Balsamic Chicken

Chicken breast was on sale. You know what that means! Yep. Time to cook around the sales!

I thought I’d go for color with the dish and had some leftover sweet potato in the fridge. I don’t know why but I feel in my head there is a love for pairing sweet potato and the tang of balsamic. Maybe I just made that up. Either way, it was good. Next time, I think I would add more liquid cause the breasts were thick — even though I cut them in half to thin them — and took a bit to cook through. The liquid reduced. If I were to serve this over pasta, having more of a sauce would be good.

balsalmic chicken


  • Braised Balsamic Chicken
    Boneless, skinless chicken breast on sale at Food Lion for $1.99 a pound.
  • Mashed sweet potato
  • Green beans

Chinese Roasted Chicken, Eggplant with Raw Garlic, Easy Garlic Rice

Local Honey Nom! The muttermutter card reader crapped out again in the middle of import. It then wouldn’t work for the rest of the evening. Muttermutter. I’m buying a new one this weekend, hopefully. Apologies for no photo of the meal but enjoy an older photo of local honey instead!

Overall, the meal looked ok. The chicken was a brownish with some darker bits of caramelization. This was one of the .49/lb whole chickens that I cut up. Also on the plate were two other new recipes. The parsley rice was beautiful in white and green flecks and tasted good. Eggplant was not colored like I thought it would be and ended up darker than I hoped even with the parsley sprinkled on top. The plate needed something more colorful. Basically, the plate was brown-ish, brown with green and white bits, and white with green bits. Ah well 🙂

Another note for future self: don’t try to save the garlic. I wanted to use up the sprouting garlic so opened up all the cloves and took out the sprouts. I don’t think I got all of them though because the garlic was bitter. Each of these dishes were new to me but I’m pretty sure it was the garlic that put one “off.”

Dinner: May 20, 2008

  • Chinese Roasted Chicken
    Nom nom! I have a few honey/soy sauce combo chicken recipes in my notebook. I liked this one too. I doubt I could actually taste the five spice since I think that jar had been in my pantry for a few years and the apartment for a few years before that. I’ll have to try this again with a fresh jar! Fantastic dish. I didn’t marinade for 2 hours because that would have put dinner even later than I ended up eating (8:30p.m.) so I cut the soaking time to about 1 hour. Longer would be better, I think. Maybe do it overnight to be quicker? Hmm. The sauce was great. Chicken took longer to cook than written which was frustrating. Maybe I’ll try it at 350 next time for the same time.
  • Eggplant with Raw Garlic
    Here’s the puppy that really shouted “Bad garlic! Bad!” I love garlic but it was hard. I had a lot of eggplant so poured the sauce on half the dish and left the other half sauce free in case I didn’t like it. Good thing too. I didn’t like parsley on eggplant either. I want to try fixing eggplant again though but won’t do this sauce.
  • Easy Garlic Rice
    Another nom nom! I used the last of some plain white rice and eyed longingly the Jasmine bag. I want to try it with Jasmine next time. Or maybe I’ll go for the Basmati brown. Brown rice: mo’ betta for ya. The color combo was pretty with the white and green contrast. I got tired of finely chopping onion and garlic though. I ended up just walking the knife around and around and around…. No, I don’t do the fancy food processor stuff. Usually not a big deal. Like the parsley? I just put some in a measuring cup and used kitchen shears to snip inside of it.

Not a bad meal considering I gathered up the recipes right before starting it. I have a homemade bag of romaine in the fridge that needs to get in my bellah! Grocery store circular came out today. The .49/lb chicken deal is over but I got two rainchecks. I also want to try making some more fresh fish. Sounds like I should be planning out my meals again, eh? Yes. I know. Planning makes things so much easier!

Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, garden salad

Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, saladI’m seeing a chicken theme here. Bwok? I do eat other things, really! But for .69/pound (.20 off per pound), I got a roasting whole chicken and looked for something to do with it that would be at least a little different than the other birds that have fallen on my plate recently. I wrapped it up in plastic last night and checked the potatoes. They felt neglected and started to expand their family by growing. But it’s not that hard to pop out the eyes — how barbaric sounding! — and make some mashed potatoes. The other side was hard to choose though. A quick check on the fridge yielded the answer in leftover salad bits. “Eat us!”

Dinner: April 27, 2008

  • Roast chicken
    I’m seeing a chicken theme here. I do eat other things, really! But for .69/pound (.20 off per pound), I got a roasting whole chicken and looked for something to do with it that would be at least a little different than the other birds that have fallen on my plate recently. I did a rub and wrapped it up in plastic last night and checked the potatoes. They felt neglected and started to expand their family by growing. But it’s not that hard to pop out the eyes — how barbaric sounding! — and make some mashed potatoes.
  • Mashed potatoes
    De-eyed, peeled, cubed, boiled some Yukons. I guess I should have realized by their low price (.80/pound) that they weren’t going to be much longer for this world. The chicken left some liquid in its pan, so I whipped up gravy (I use cornstarch).
  • Garden salad
    Leftover boiled eggs (white only), tomato, romaine, cucumber, celery and Good Seasonings Light Greek Vinaigrette.

Oven Fried Chicken, Avocado Greek Salad

Avocado Salad

Dinner: Oven Fried Chicken and Avocado Greek Salad

  • Leftover Oven Fried Chicken
  • Avocado Greek Salad
    So with the sale on chicken, there was a sale on avocados. I grabbed one and had no idea what I was going to do with it. A previous boss used to rave about this Greek dressing and avocado. So, I put together some torn romaine, quartered tomato and half the avocado. Drizzled with a little Greek dressing and enjoyed! The only problem with the dressing is that it’s about 3 points which is a bit high. It’s very delicious though.

Honeyed Chicken, Roasted Butternut, and Strawberry Salad

In my effort to try and live mo’ bettah, I cooked last night and tonight. It’s hard though. I get off work around 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. Commute is not long but still puts me in the kitchen around 6:00 – 6:15 p.m. usually. Then there’s prep and cooking, so I’m not eating till around 7:00 p.m. or so. I want to exercise when I get home but if I did that, then I wouldn’t eat till closer to 8:00 p.m. Insane. Oh and another thing about eating last is the craptastic light I have to work with if I do photograph. I apologize for the blur. 20080423 Dinner

Dinner: April 23, 2008

  • Honeyed Chicken
    Used up the rest of the drumsticks that were dirt cheap that I bought yesterday. Didn’t use my locally bought honey because I didn’t have enough but will next time. I did use my own grown chives from out back instead of green onions. Measurements were eyeballed but used basically the rest of the recipe sort of. You know how it is.
  • Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Strawberry Salad
    This was a mixture of torn romaine lettuce, baby spinach and sliced strawberries. They’re in season, y’know. I drizzled on top of it some bottled Light Balsamic Dressing (Newman’s Own). This was my first time making or eating a strawberry salad and I liked it. Next time maybe I’ll add nuts.