Sublime Foodie

A site for food, crafts, art, photography, and all my favorite things!

Crockpot Juicy Lemon Chicken and Vegetables October 1, 2013

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This dish was sort of a last minute thought that I just threw a bunch of stuff in the crockpot and let go. It turned to to be delicious and easy and I didn’t need to buy anything! I love that! A little back story, we raised chickens for the first time this summer and nobody told us we were supposed to hang them to tenderize before freezing after they were slaughtered. The meat was so tough and awful it was difficult to eat. I have been desperately trying to come up with ways to cook the chicken we have and make it tender and moist. So far I have come up with cooking low and slow with PLENTY of liquid. When you make this, you can pretty much throw in whatever vegetables you want or have around, I just happened to only have carrots and onions. Also, When I made this I did not measure and I typically don’t measure anything so the amounts are approximate. I used a whole frozen chicken for this, however the chicken was the smallest at  just over 2 lbs.

Ingredients:

1 Whole Chicken (2-3 lbs)

1 1/2 32oz Box Chicken Broth

1 TBSP Oregano

1 TBSP Rosemary

2 TBSP Minced Garlic

2 Lemons, Sliced

1/8 C Lemon Juice

Carrots, Peeled and Cut to Desired Size

Onions, Chopped or Sliced

Salt and Pepper to Taste

 

Directions:

I used frozen chicken, so I put that and the chicken stock and lemon juice in first and turned the crockpot on high. I added the spices once it started to warm. Once all the spices were in I started peeling the carrots and chopping the onions and lemons. I added the lemons first and then waited about an hour to add the onions and carrots. Once everything was in I covered it and set the crockpot for 6 hours on high. If the chicken is not frozen I would probably use the medium setting at first. After about 4 to 5 hours I checked on it and the chicken was fully cooked so I put it on warm/low for the last hour before my husband came home. The chicken was very flavorful and perfectly cooked, falling off the bone. I have never had chicken fall off the bone and be so tender and juicy. Andrew thought it was great and we definitely will be having this again!

 

Photo Of The Day!!

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I work at a scrap metal yard and this delightful little sign came in for junk. Sometimes I enjoy working with the crack heads that come in here. The fact that they scrounge like crazy for 1 lb of copper to get their next fix can sometimes bring us fun things like this sign!

 

Zip Lining, The Most Terrifying Experience Of My Life.

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This is a photo of my husband and I on our second anniversary. For some reason, we decided that going zip lining would be a fun activity for two people with a fear of heights and a massive hangover. In case you were wondering, the only reason we thought we should drink heavily before an early day of zip lining was because these two dumbasses chose to get married the day after my birthday. Now, every year on my birthday I’m supposed to be mindful of the following day’s festivities. Not to mention that my birthday fell on a Friday this year, (Yes, Friday the 13th) so we had Friday night and Saturday night to celebrate. Now we are both forced to be obnoxiously hungover on our anniversary, yet still feel pressured to do something fantastic. Great idea, huh? Anyways, we got lost trying to find the mountain, yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds, and ended up being late and holding up the entire group. I was hoping to lay low in my drunken stupor, however, walking up to a group full of angry, pre-harnessed, impatient sheriff’s was not my idea of laying low. We then proceeded to wander around looking for the desk to check in and sign a waiver, (which immediately made me nauseous) and then the instructors offered to dress us since we had already held up the group and it was clearly time to go. After apologizing and making some lame ass jokes we proceeded towards the chairlift of death. I hate chairlifts, whenever I used to go skiing or snowboarding or whatever I used to do at these places I would ride the T lift because it didn’t involve being dragged up hill by rotten wood and flimsy cables. In this scenario, the T lift doesn’t exist and we were already a nuisance. So I bit my tongue and slithered into my seat with every ounce of willpower I had. Every time that stupid rotten chair went by a post and over the rolling things it felt like we were about to collapse. It was ridiculous. The next day I was telling a friend about the experience and she informed me that a few years ago that very chair lift had collapsed with people on it and they just stuck that thing right back up. I’m really glad I wasn’t told this little parcel of information before my death ride up the mountain. When we reached the top I practically pushed Andrew off trying to get back to level ground. We hiked a little ways and made it to our first line. This, was extremely nerve wracking for us, however the mood was lightened by the men kneeling crotch level and tightening our harnesses…Andrew’s pants must have shot up a mile revealing his bare ankles. Hilarious. Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of this particular sight because I was busy watching our friend Brandon making awkward small talk with the man tightening his harness. So we got in line and they starting hurling people off the platform. It was crazy and scary and I thought I was going to puke. I let most everybody go ahead of me and when it was my turn I reluctantly left Andrew’s side and forced myself up the stairs. They hooked me up and said, “whenever you are ready”. I walked up to the edge, bent my knees, and waited. I felt like i probably looked as if I was trying to shit with the awkward stance. The lady leaned over and said, “I said, whenever you are ready”. At this point I was terrified and frustrated and yelled back at her that I wasn’t fucking ready yet. Eventually I slid off the edge and went flying across the river to the other side. I was going a million miles per hour when it flipped me around so I was coming up to the platform back to and completely blind. Once my legs slammed against the platform I figured I was there. The instructor enthusiastically asked if I loved it with a big goofy grin on his face. Of course, I responded with an equally enthusiastic, ” HELL YES THAT WAS FANTASTIC!!!!”. I turned around and gave Andrew a big toothy grin and thumbs up, which I’m quite positive he didn’t see. And watched him come flying towards me with a look on his face that I could never describe. It was a cross between terror, excitement, and possibly shitting his pants. I’m sure, it was exactly how my face looked minutes before, which I confirmed when our friends Jenny and Brandon showed us the very flattering videos they took while I was flying through the air. Much to my surprise, zip lining was actually quite delightful. I didn’t need to wait 20 minutes the next 6 platforms I practically ran off. Andrew had a blast as well, however he wouldn’t admit the fear he had on that first line. For anyone afraid to go zip lining I have a few things to say to you:

1. Do not drink the day before or of your zip lining adventure.

2. Do not let the fear stop you, it’s really fun and not at all scary once you get past the chair lift of death.

That is all.

I would like to add one last picture of us on the chair lift so everyone can see how terrifying it was, and also a photo of us when we first got there. I’m pretty sure the instructor in the background is talking shit about us. Enjoy.

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My Dad Dancing Drunk at Sting. September 30, 2013

I would just like to share this experience with all of you. This is my father, completely wasted at the Sting concert we went to a few months ago. Yes, he is the only one dancing. Yes, everyone is pointing and laughing at him. And yes, he is sloshing beer all over himself and Katie. All night he was being yelled at by security for apparently having too much fun and doing so in the walk way. I, personally, thought he was a delight. Unfortunately, he could not persuade the young security guard to dance with him.

 

Photo of the day!

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Why You Need 7 Bank Accounts To Save Your Financial Well Being March 27, 2013

MONEYI realize many people reading this probably think that I am insane and that 7 bank accounts, (yes, I said seven) is a ridiculous and completely over the top and possibly even random amount. Well, I thought that as well, until I did it. Before I decided to take action, not fake action, but real action, my husband and I were drowning in financial crap. It wasn’t that we weren’t making enough it was just that we were not able to manage our money properly. We were doing this for one month before we both got laid off at the same time. Now, we had also recently purchased our home and had a mortgage to pay as well. During the time we were laid off we went from making around 1500 dollars a week to just under 400 dollars a week between the two of us. It was a bit of a shock. However, we were still able to pay our mortgage and all of our bills, buy groceries, occasionally go out, we still went to the bar on weekends with our friends, we both still smoked cigarettes, we saved money, a lot of money, and we were still able to buy things that we wanted and probably did not need. Granted, we could have cut back more in many areas, but I am 500% convinced that we would not have done any of this without the 7 bank accounts. I will take the time to explain each account by explaining what it’s purpose is, how you use it, what you use it for, why you need it, and why it’s important not to skip. When I first had this idea I made a list of everything we want to save for and everything we do spending-wise. I decided I only need four and that 7 was a little bit extravagant. I opened the accounts and it went well for a while, but then I decided that I really did need that other account, and the other one, and the other. Next thing I knew, I had all 7 and they are really working out for us. Here are the names of each account and I will go on to explain each:

1. Bill Checking

2. General Savings/Family Savings

3. Wife Checking

4. Husband Checking

5. Fun Savings

6. Medical Savings

7. Emergency Savings

Most of these are pretty self explanatory, however, there are points that may persuade you more in their favor and you may not think of all of the benefits at first glance.

1. BILL CHECKING

Obviously the bill checking is for bills and only bills. You should have your paycheck direct deposited directly into your main checking account and from this checking, the allotments are disbursed throughout your other accounts as weekly or monthly bills. This checking account is solely for bills and not a penny should come out of this account for anything other than bills or disbursement to other accounts. I’m assuming most of you have online banking through your bank and are able to view all accounts at any given time. This account is where you know the amount you make and the monthly amount for every single bill you pay out on a monthly bases. Your Bill Checking should NEVER be less than the total amount you pay out monthly. If you are just barely scraping by, don’t be naive and cut back on your bills in any possible way. Carpool, live without cable, go to Straight Talk or another prepaid phone service, eliminate home phone if you have a cell, anything you can do to cut back. No matter how much you pay in a weeks time your Bill Checking does not go below the full amount of monthly bills paid. I can not stress this enough for a number of reasons. First, if something happens and you are unable to receive pay one week or month and you are not accounting for a mistake or emergency like this you will be in deep crap! I can’t count on all my fingers and toes that my monthly automated payments have come out at the wrong times or been pending for too long and had 4 or 5 large payments come out on the same day for whatever ridiculous reason the bank decides to throw out this time. DO NOT GET CAUGHT IN THIS SHIT! A lot of banks do these things on purpose and change dates so they can charge you fees. Be prepared for unexpected occurrences, charges, mistakes, anything at all by allowing some breathing room. Once again, nothing aside from bills comes out of this account. You will be setting up recurring weekly or monthly payments out of this account to your other 6 accounts, these are considered as bills when leaving this account. The same goes for the other accounts, you should not be taking out of any of the other accounts to pay bills. Hence, Bill account.

2. GENERAL SAVINGS/FAMILY SAVINGS

This savings account is the one you and your family will use for things that affect your family. If you want a pool or an addition on your home or new appliances or a new vehicle or want to make investments financially, in your home, or in your future or anything at all. This is the account you will use if your dog chews your couch and all of a sudden your family is coming over for Thanksgiving and you need a new one NOW. This is a situation I have been in, (in case you were wondering it only took Riloh4 days to chew the new couch…). If your car breaks down and you decide you want a new one that doesn’t suck, this is the money you use to invest in your family’s needs. You might decide you need to redo the bathroom or you want to purchase a piece of land or you have to pay school fees or haircuts or buy books or birthday gifts for the family. This could even be the account you choose to use for Christmas gifts. The possibilities are endless. Do not confuse this account for the Fun Savings. This savings is not by any means for fun it is for family necessities and novelties. NOT FOR FUN. You will not use this account to go on a vacation or go on a shopping spree. Don’t worry, there is an account for that! This account is basically for family and household related emergencies that do not threaten you in any way. As far as the amount you put into this account, it really can be anything you decide you can afford. If you can only put in 5 or 10 dollars a month, that’s all you can afford. No need to feel worried or like this isn’t enough. Even if you saved one dollar a month into these accounts, it’s helping a hell of a lot more than not saving at all. I personally started during our lay-off period at $50 per week going into this account. I was unsure how this would work at first, but we were able to continue this amount weekly throughout the time we were laid off and now that we are back to work I will be increasing this amount.

3. WIFE CHECKING

How many wives have went out with a friend and somehow unwillingly and completely innocently landed in the clothing department at Kohl’s staring at the most wonderful dress they have ever seen and wondering, “how mad will my husband be?” and “is it possible to sneak this one by him?”. Worry no more wives, this is where it gets good. To make it fair, husband has his own account as well. The money that goes into this account is a mutually decided upon amount and the debit card belongs to the wife and only the wife. In this particular account your allotted amount builds up and if the wife decides she needs a new pair of shoes or she will die, guilty pleasure no more! This is how the wife can spend money on things she wants or needs and not feel guilty, not have to ask to buy something, not have to debate and wonder and be confused or curious when making a purchase. I always feel the need to ask my husband when I want to purchase anything because he’s the real bread winner in this family, and he always says I don’t know, you do the bills! For some reason I always feel guilty later or I don’t do it because somehow it’s not fair. In reality, I buy a lot of smaller things and he buys more expensive items less often. It evens out, but quantity always seems like more regardless of the money. With this checking, you agree on the amount and you don’t have to ask your husband if you can buy something and you don’t need to feel guilty. This has helped my husband and I avoid a lot of fights and a lot of resentment over silly things like money and novelties.

4. HUSBAND CHECKING

Much like the Wife Checking, the Husband Checking is for the husband to use however he wants. My husband, always wants to buy vehicles and tools and all kinds of large expensive items every time I turn around. I always say no or we should wait or we should do this or that. He usually gets all of the things he wants, but it starts with an argument. The things my husband buys are few and far between but boy are they expensive! He sure knows how to get even! This checking allows him to know when he can buy things and when he can’t afford them. He has his own debit card and he has the ability to use it for anything he wants. He doesn’t have to ask his wife permission and get shot down and there is no fighting. The freedom of these accounts really has done amazing things for our marriage. We used to fight so much about money and now if we don’t have it, we don’t buy it and that’s that. Every now and then we will decide we want to put our money together and make a purchase for something larger that we both want, but many times these things turn out to be more family or household items and we can get away with using the General Savings. We both get exactly the same amount of money each week, like an allowance, and however each of us chooses to spend it is our own business. The amount we put into these accounts during our lay-off period was 25 dollars per week each. We really didn’t buy much so at the end of it we each had about 500 dollars to do what we want. I bought a new phone and he bought a big tool box and some materials to build himself a man shed.

5. FUN SAVINGS

The Fun Savings is the account we use for vacations, trips, or even buying toys such as four wheelers and snowmobiles. This account can be used for any type of fun family activity your heart desires. We have used this account to go out on a date and go to the movies when we were laid off and low on money, we used to for our trip to Canada, we were planning on taking our Niece to The Maine Jump, which is kind of like a Chuck E. Cheese type of place and this is the money we would use. This account is never to be touched for anything not fun. No bills, no household items, nothing boring. This account is purely for the fun of the family. Andrew and I like to be spontaneous when we can, so having a little bit of money saved specifically for fun things is good because when we are broke and decide we need to drive to Six Flags in New Hampshire and have a little fun or take a weekend camping trip up north, we don’t need to worry about how broke we are because we put money away just for fun and it’s illegal in our home to use it for anything not fun. We like to go camping over Memorial Weekend and this is probably how we will do it this year. Right now, we put 30 dollars per week into this account and we haven’t touched it. This account has built up fast and I have big plans for it. We want to go on a cruise next year so we are saving this account for that vacation we have been dreaming about.

6. MEDICAL SAVINGS

We all hate getting hurt unexpectedly and ending up with expensive hospital bills. We just not got insurance through Andrew’s job so this account is for copay’s and any other medical type emergency we may have. Andrew got battery acid in his eye a few weeks ago and ended up in the emergency room in a Friday! Can you say expensive! We just got the bill and without this account that unexpected incident would have been financially crippling. I almost didn’t make this account because first we have insurance now and second we never get hurt. Clearly, it was a good idea. Now, when something happens we aren’t trying to “tough it out” and get through it ourselves like idiots. If we need medical attention it isn’t as scary as it used to be. We can pay our outstanding bill and still have money left in this account for future accidents. This account has saved us and I’m sure it will continue to save us, especially when we decide to have children in the future. The amount we put in during lay-offs was 30 dollars a week and man oh man did this pay off for us! The other thing about this account I would like to add is that our bank mentioned Clubs. Now, I don’t really know what it is and they had a difficult time explaining it to me. It’s not a checking account, however it acts exactly as a checking account would. It’s completely separate even though it’s not technically another account, and it can be named anything you want and it needs no minimum balance yet it earns a teensy bit more interest for you. I went with it solely for the fact that I could name it anything whereas I could not with an actual account.

7. EMERGENCY SAVINGS

This account is for emergencies. By emergencies, I mean you are about lose your home or dies or something spectacularly crazy like that. You do not touch this for emergencies such as needing cigarettes once you have quit, running out of gas, breaking down, trying to replace something broken before anyone notices etc…Not those kinds of emergencies, actual real emergencies that affect your entire life and might make your life end. This money does not otherwise get touched ever. For example, when my husband and I were laid off and all of a sudden we realized we were not gonna be able to pay our mortgage and the bank was going to take our home, we would use this money. Another example is if you can’t pay a bill you might be at risk of losing whatever your loan is for such as a vehicle, a business, or hard worked for good credit. I also put 30 dollars a week into this account. We are still building this up and hopefully we will never need it, but if we do, I’m sure we won’t regret it.

As I said, no matter how small the amount and how far between deposits, it is a million times better than not saving at all.

Now, I want to talk about large amounts of unexpected funds such as taxes. We were delighted at the amount of money we received from taxes being the first year we owned our home and the first year filing jointly. Before we knew what we were getting back we decided how much was going to be used for fun money and how much would go to savings. We had a predetermined percentage that we both agreed on we would take out and split between the two of us and the rest would go into our General Savings for our future. We want to build a garage and many other things, so this was the best place for us. I do not recommend putting these types of things into your fun account. There should be a percentage for fun and the rest should be for saving whether it’s medical, emergency, or general. We decided on 15% for fun and 20% for our bill account and the remainder for General Savings.

I also have made some downloadable PDF’s of forms I use monthly and yearly to record tax deductions, monthly bills, and many others. I will post these as soon as I get them up and running, I have had some trouble getting them on here.

Good Luck Guys! I hope this helped, please feel free to ask any questions at all and I will post some more helpful tips soon!

 

Photo Of The Day! March 6, 2013

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This was another beautiful building in Quebec, Canada on our trip for Winter Carnival! It was amazing how many buildings looked like this in the Old City. I just couldn’t believe how amazing it was and how beautifully done the architecture was.

Enjoy!

 

Cheesy Queso Chicken With Rotel Vegetables And Rice February 26, 2013

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A few weeks ago I decided to try some Rotel. I had never had it or used it before, I had hardly even heard of it. I recently started using the blocks of Velveeta cheese for Macaroni and Cheese instead of Kraft boxes. On the back of the blocks it says Queso Dip and all it is, is half a block of cheese and a can of Rotel heated over the stove. I love anything spicy, Mexican, or just plain cheesy! We decided to try it out and see how we liked the dip. I had bought extra cans of Rotel because I saw that there were a lot of recipes that incorporated it and I thought I might try some of them and having it on hand would be smart. I went on the website and searched for a recipe I had all the ingredients for. I did have to tweak it a little bit, but it was so simple and I had everything right on hand. It came out so unbelievably good! The queso is delicious and we couldn’t pull ourselves away from the stove while it was still heating up! Andrew doesn’t really care for dips and cheesy food but he actually said it was one of the only cheese dips he had ever had that he really liked. We couldn’t stop eating it so when the food came out we put it on top, best decision ever!

You can find the original recipe, here.

Cheesy Queso Chicken With Rotel Vegetable and Rice

Ingredients:

1 Package Chicken Breasts, Cleaned and Sliced in half to 1/2 inch slabs

2 Cans Rotel With Green Chiles, Undrained

1/2  32 OZ Block Velveeta Cheese, (16 OZ) Cut Into 1 Inch Cubes

1 Can Sweet Whole Kernel Corn, Drained

1 Can Black Beans, Rinsed and Drained

1 Cup Brown or White Rice, (I use 1 cup for 3-4 people.)

2 TBSP Cumin

Shredded Cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Cut squares of tin foil, 1 for each person. Spray tin foil with cooking spray.

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Mix in large bowl corn, beans, cumin, and Rotel. In separate saucepan, mix second can of Rotel and 16 OZ Velveeta cheese and turn heat on low. In another saucepan, boil 2 1/2 cups of water and add 1 cup of rice. Simmer with cover on for 45 minutes.

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Place 1-2 breasts of chicken on each square of tin foil. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, and spread bean and corn mixture over each chicken breast until gone. Close tin foil around chicken and bean mixture to form little chicken ‘packets’.

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When rice has about 20 minutes left to cook, place packets on sheet pan and into oven. Bake 20-25 minutes. When done, wait a few minutes before opening packets and be careful, steam is very hot. Open each packet and check each chicken breast. If not cooked, close back up and put back in oven for 5-10 more minutes.

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Continue stirring queso and turn up heat to boil gently.

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Serve rice, slide contents of packet out over top of rice, pour queso all over beans and rice, and chicken. Sprinkle with Shredded cheese.

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ENJOY!!

PS.

If you’re not used to buying brown rice or white rice, I always buy this kind. I find it right at Wal Mart or Hannaford’s. It’s easy to cook and the directions on the back are very clear and easily understandable. I say these things, because I have a very difficult time with rice. I can never cook it correctly and it always comes out really weird. This is the only rice I’ve used that I don’t have issues with.

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Photo Of The Day!

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This cute little ice rink was in front of all of these beautiful buildings and this beautiful little castle wall. I loved the wall behind the skating rink, it almost reminded me of some kind of fairy tale. I got a lot of nice photos of the wall, but we had stumbled upon this skating rink. It was so cute I just wanted to grab a pair of skates and stay there all day!

Enjoy!

 

Reese Peanut Butter Cup Cake February 25, 2013

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This deliciously decadent cake is a family recipe from my parents’ restaurant when I was little. I can remember one of my many little jobs as a child at the restaurant was cutting up the Reese cups for this cake EVERY DAY! They sold almost an entire cake everyday at the restaurant and the piece or two leftover was always being fought over by the employees. We were like vultures with this cake. The last piece came into the kitchen and we flocked to it and dug our claws in. Looking back I think of us as animals clawing through the cake, shoving each other out of the way…Obviously, that’s not exactly how it happened. I picture the scene in Mean Girls when she flies over the table and attacks the girl, that was us, with this cake. Yeah, it’s really that good. I don’t even like chocolate OR peanut butter!

So for my niece’s birthday and my brother in-law’s birthday we had a little get together tonight at my in-law’s house. I was in charge of dessert, so I made the cake. I chose this, because every single birthday, no matter whose it is, we have chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. It’s Andrew’s whole family’s favorite cake. I figured this would be perfect! You can also find this recipe on my mom’s blog, at this link. I haven’t changed the recipe at all because it’s so perfect the way it originally was. Here it is! Enjoy!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Ingredients:

1 Box Chocolate or Devil’s Food Cake

Approximately 8 regular sized Reese Cups, chopped
Bake according to box directions in two 9inch pans. Cut top off of one cake once finished, set aside for cooling.

Frosting Ingredients:

4 Heaping TBSP Peanut Butter, Smooth

1 Stick Butter, Room Temperature

3 Cups Confectioners Sugar

4 OZ Cream Cheese

1/8 -1/4 Cup Heavy Cream

Beat peanut butter and butter together until smooth. Slowly add in confectioners sugar and beat in cream cheese and cream until desired consistency.

Frost top of cut top cake almost to edges. Place second cake layer on top. Frost entire cake and sprinkle Reese Cups on top. Drizzle chocolate syrup over top if desired.

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And the scraps were good too! I just couldn’t wait to I saved a little frosting and got my fill before dinner!

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Enjoy!

 

 
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