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I hit a wall and haven't felt like cooking the last two nights.

Last night, H made us blueberry pancakes and bacon.

Tonight my H picked up a rotisserie chicken and we just had salads topped with the chicken. Nothing fancy. I followed mine with a big handful of halloween candy. (Gotta make sure we balance out those vegetables.)

I need to go grocery shopping but I am procrastinating. The longer we stay home, the harder I find it is to get the energy to leave the house. I haven't left my house at all in the last 5 days. Furthest I've gone is the mailbox.

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I'm the same way. Gotten too lazy to want to shower and makeup and all that and put on something decent, but I did it today and got out of the house.

And I'm burnt out on cooking. I have trouble thinking of anything now. I wish I could get a roast chicken from Sam's. They're so good, but they won't curbside them. So good thing I discovered KFC grilled. It's usually pretty good and can use for making other things like nachos. In fact, that doesn't sound bad. Wish I had a good salad to go with it. Caesar, but no.
 

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Crap. I bought mushrooms and then forgot to cook them up before they spoiled (which takes only one day). Reminded me why I never buy them. I just meant to cook them up to add to frozen pizza and eggs because they were good like that last time.

I had bought stuff to see if putting tuna and dressing together was any good, but now it's so close to TG I don't want to do it. I doubt it's good anyway, but I thought maybe with mushroom soup and a couple of peas, maybe. Now I'm kind of at loose ends for dinner...may go get a Jersey Mike's sandwich Mike's Way, but this new location doesn't have the Mike's Way completely down, no little spice/seed thingies and too much meat.
 

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Today I made sour cream chicken nachos. Decades ago, there was a hole in the wall that all kinds of people packed into after the bars closed at 2:00 in the morning, and they had the best chicken nachos, unlike the kind anyone else makes, which are usually just fajita meat with sour cream and guac on the side.

They caramelized onions, stewed chicken and a little tomato and onion and pepper until tender and shredded. They put the stewed chicken on the chip, and they had what seemed like a sour cream sauce with monterey jack cheese on the top, plus a caramelized onion slice. They closed and ever since then, I've tried to get as close as possible. I stew the (already cooked) chicken and put it on, followed by generous sour cream and then monterey jack and onion when I'm up for that much work (caramelizing takes time).

But since then, I have learned that the sour cream sauce is probably the same sour cream sauce with some chicken broth in it that goes atop some chicken enchiladas. I have one place that would do them that way for me, but I've quit going. I still haven't figured out if the cheese is in the sauce on just very melted on top. Guess I'll never know, but anyway, they're still my favorites, even if mine aren't perfect.
 

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BF has a kidney stone so not up for any food tonight. I had some baked chicken leftover from the other day so I sliced it up, seasoned it with chili powder, garlic powder, chive powder, and paprika and had an awesome fajita with Spanish rice for dinner. I almost ordered out (I was craving steak) but glad I didn’t.
 

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I'm at my parent's house for dinner. Whether we had fajitas, tacos, or burritos is apparently still up for debate.
 

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Crispy salmon with spinach and pureed butternut squash, topped with homemade bbq sauce.

This was amazing but my kids didn't like that it was presented this way (everything piled on top of each other, rather than side by side).


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@kag123 - What cut of beef did you use for the cheesesteaks?
 

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Meatloaf used to be a staple of mine, like it is many, but I have had trouble with it lately. Now the old recipe I used was one using boxed packet of onion soup mix. But then I went back to the traditional and had a few failures, too greasy, falling apart, just not tasty.

Obviously, I can't live without good meatloaf, so I tried the Paula Deen meatloaf recipe with oats that comes up if you google. I had made a good bbq meatloaf using oats before but it's not substitute for traditional meatloaf, but I tried this recipe and it came out pretty good. It's still greasy. I had looked up what type ground beef to use and it ALL said high fat content, but I used 80/20 and it was still a lot of grease but probably the best compromise. It's just that it's hard to get it picked up out of the grease (or drained) because it will break apart. I don't think you could put it on a rack over a pan like a roast because it's too bendy. Maybe you could put parchment under it so you could lift it up, but I think it would disintegrate.

I do like the oats in it. The give it a little body and are a little better for you. And best of all, I like the simple topping Paula Deen puts on it, which is just ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. It's just right. I am okay with just ketchup and less okay with a tomatoey topping, but this is just right, a little tang, but familiar.

I made bacon pineapple baked beans to go with it. I didn't cook them long enough for them to get congealed and less runny, but they tasted good. I also went ahead and put some weiners in them. I didn't use much pineapple because I made that mistake before, but a little is good. It needs smaller pieces than comes in those cans (chunks) though. I may put it back in the oven today and see if it sets up a little which would be more like baked beans and less like beanie weinies!
 
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Well it's one of the easiest meals you can make. I went and picked up a bunch of stuff at the store and while I was sanitizing everything that had to be put up I just opened everything that went into the beans or the meatloaf and dumped them in two separate bowls and then finished it off once I put up the rest of the groceries. Because the only thing I actually had to cook was a couple of strips of bacon, and those aren't strictly necessary. so both of them are dump it in and cook it recipes. I stuck the onion in the food processor with a small red pepper and half can of diced tomatoes for the meatloaf. I had never used petite or any type of tomatoes in meatloaf before. I do think I like the addition.
 

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Every year around this time, I attempt to bake bread. Specifically, I try out dinner roll recipes in hopes of finding "the one" that is worthy of being included on our Thanksgiving table.

Problem is, I am terrible at baking anything that has yeast in it.

For years I've tried and every time it comes out just...weird and not what I wanted. I'll eventually give up again until the following year.

I wish I had a grandma or some other figure in my life that could mentor me on these things. I've read so much of yeast baking is about feel, knowing when the dough is ready or when it needs kneading. I don't have anyone to teach me so I have to rely on books and youtube and lots of trial and error (but mostly error).

This year I even bought a food scale to measure my ingredients out in grams rather than relying on cups or tbsp. I had my hopes up that this was the key to all previous failed attempts - but sadly no.

These were from last night. While the taste was fantastic, the texture is not what I was looking for (nor the look lol...not too pretty!) So, back to the drawing board.


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I'm gonna have to go ahead and satisfy my craving with a homemade chicken pot pie this weekend. It's been on my mind all week long. I made a pecan pie last week and this week I made a homemade lemon pie with the meringue. Oh my...both pies turned out delicious.My sweetheart told me I had to cut back on my Thanksgiving meal this year because I'm notorious for cooking too much. So I reckon I'm trying to get it all in before Thanksgiving! 😉
 

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Well tonight I am trying a couple of new recipes. Been looking forward to them for a couple of weeks so hopefully they taste good. Both recipes are Asian. The first is somewhat like meet balls, but it is cooked on skewers in the barbecue.

The next one is just a spicy potato side dish.

These are not the actual recipes I am using, but they have the same names and are pretty similar to what I am doing. It's easier to share these links than an image from my cookbook.
 

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@kag123 - You might want to look at the Quaker Oats website that has a tab specifically dedicated to yeast bread issues. I assume it would also pertain to rolls. Maybe one of the issues you are having is addressed there. The rolls look good to me. What was it about the texture you didn't like?
 

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The only thing I can tell you is that your yeast needs to be completely fresh and it doesn't stay fresh long. And then you have to be careful what temperature you dissolve it at which is basically lukewarm. And there is such a thing as bread flour.
 

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I've been very sick the last 5 days so no time in the kitchen for me. I deal with chronic illness but being home all of the time, I haven't had as many bouts with my symptoms as I used to have when I was doing more before covid. So, this really knocked me on my butt. It's been quite a long time since I've been that far gone. I think I am coming out of it now, fingers crossed, but unfortunately my H started his work travel today and he's gone this week. Luckily my kids are old enough to pretty much fend for themselves when I'm down for the count. I am hoping that I can spend more time out of bed this week.

I made our official announcement to both sides of the family yesterday that we are not hosting Thanksgiving this year, instead we are sticking to just our immediate household. Covid is out of control here and I hope my decision was the right thing to do. I am sad about it and I know there were some hurt feelings.

We are essentially going back into lockdown, and hoping to regroup for Christmas at this point if we can figure out a way to have everyone quarantine for 14 days prior to Christmas.

I am the cook of the family so I plan to make care packages for both sets of parents to drop off on the day before Thanksgiving. (Porch drops, no visiting. :( ) I'll make them all the sides we usually have (stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, a veggie, sauerkraut), homemade dessert of some kind, rolls and homemade cranberry sauce. That way all they have to do is take care of their own Turkey, and heat up the sides on the day of. I figured I'm making all of those things anyway for my own house and it's not much extra work to double the recipes to share with them.

My H brought up the idea of doing something completely different for Thanksgiving since it will just be the four of us...like mexican or sushi or something. But, my kids would revolt. Thanksgiving dinner is my sons absolute favorite meal of the year, and I want to keep things as normal as possible for them under the circumstances. So we will stick with traditional.

What are you all planning to make for Thanksgiving? I love to hear the menus that everyone else makes. :)

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