Galley: 1) the kitchen of a boat. Sally: 1) a venture off the beaten path, 2) a military action in which besieged troops burst forth from their position, 3) a witty remark.

Monday, January 23, 2012

One-Pot Curried Rice with Chicken

I just caught myself asking, "Do I have time for a blog entry?"

I almost said NO, but then I remembered that pesky New Year's Resolution, and decided that just like I whipped out a quick dinner the other night, I can whip out a quick blog entry today. And then do a better, longer one next time!

Back in November I made a truly wonderful and warming Curried Cauliflower Rice Dish. The recipe is here:
One-Pot Curried Cauliflower Rice

The other night, in a rush, I realized that I had all the ingredients except the cauliflower. I decided to substitute chicken, which I did have. Here is what you do:

Follow the original recipe, except instead of sauteing cauliflower you will saute 1-inch chunks of chicken until lightly browned.  I had bone-in thighs, so had to skin and bone them. If you have a boneless option it will be much quicker. Also, use an amount of chicken proportional to the number of people you are feeding. I used two thighs for two adults and a child.

It is okay if the chicken is not cooked 100% of the way through, as it has more cooking ahead of it, but you do want to brown it.

After the chicken is browned, set it aside just like the cauliflower and proceed with the original recipe. THEN, when it is time to sprinkle the cauliflower over the top, STIR IN the chicken instead. Once the chicken is stirred in, finish with the original recipe.

This was quite good and quite easy. I think cutting the skin off the chicken was the longest part for me!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Searching for Sleep III

To quote a favorite Moose of ours, "So it wasn't so simple, and it wasn't so easy, and it wasn't so perfectly perfectly... but it was close!"

This whole sleep thing has taken over my days. Right around 10:30am, I calculate that I can squeeze in one more cup of my caffeinated Chai spice tea before noon. Then, I have to consciously make decaffeinated or no caffeine drink choices all afternoon. Around four o'clock, I begin to consider that if I'm going to have a glass of wine, I'd better decide how soon I'm having it since after 6:00pm it's verboten. Then, there is the 8pm cut-off of all liquids, so after six o'clock I have only two hours to get in my Bedtime tea and my tart cherry juice. And don't forget the screen time thing. The laptop and my eyes don't go together after 8:00pm.

All this... but I am starting to sleep better! Not perfectly mind you, but better! I'm feeling excited.

I'm going to keep it up.

The cherry juice is expensive, and the rest of it a little bothersome, but not waking up repeatedly all night is definitely worth it!

If anyone else has "better sleep" ideas to share, please do!

Nightie Night!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Searching for Sleep II

Alright. So I wasn't really expecting to sleep great my first night into this sleep tips experiment (remember that Red Bull?), but I guess I was hoping. Just a little. But no go.

So, here is my first report:
Day One: Caffeine after noon (bad). No alcohol three hours before bed (good). Calming Herbal Tea and Cherry Juice in the evening (good). No liquids in the hour before bed (good).
Result: I still had to pee in the middle of the night, and I didn't sleep well. Woke up at least five times.

Day Two: No caffeine after noon (good). Alcohol in the three hours before bed (bad). Calming Herbal Tea and Cherry Juice in the evening (good). Liquids in the hour before bed (bad). No screen time in the hour before bed (good).

(Screen time? Did I not mention that? Right. In the hour before bed, I'm not supposed to be in front of the laptop screen. Apparently "electronics emit a blue hue that mimics daylight [and] it stops your body from producing the sleep hormone melatonin." (Shape Magazine Jan 2012). Also, the contents of the screen can be "stimulating." I hadn't thought of my blog exactly that way before, but it is flattering.)

Result: Our cat climbed all over my head all night and I didn't sleep worth beans. Might be the cherry juice.

Day Three: I did everything right!! (except I had about ten minutes of incorrect screen time... but I'm not going to count ten minutes).
Result: I slept okay. Not so good, and not so bad... BUT I did have to pee. I always have to pee. I'm not sure that eliminating liquids in the hour before bed will help, but I'll keep trying.

Day Four: This is it. I'm going to pull it off. Even the no screen time thing. And my wonderful husband stopped at the store to replenish my tart cherry juice supply. In case you're wondering, the glasses of tart cherry juice have that sleep hormone in them. Melatonin. And according to one British study, folks who drink it morning and evening sleep longer and more deeply. Raise a glass!

I'm going to bed.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Searching for Sleep

About four years ago I couldn't sleep. I would wake up frequently throughout the night, sometimes upwards of five or six times. It got so bad that I would actually put off going to bed because I didn't want to wake up... not exactly the best plan. This went on for about eighteen months, and then, one night, my daughter actually slept through the night. I awoke in a panic (in the morning!!), realizing that not once had I been awakened by cries and a baby frantically signing "milk milk milk!" at me. I hurried to my daughter's bunk, and there she was, all tucked up in a little ball, blissfully asleep.

After that, she didn't sleep through the night every night. We easily hit the two year mark before we were all sleeping through the night regularly. This was a tough time for my husband too, as he was often awoken as well. He was working full time and at one point also taking classes for his Captain's license in the evenings. We were exhausted. He slept through lunch breaks at work, and I think I was probably mildly crazy--but in a nice way.

Now, four years later, I can't sleep. I'm waking up frequently throughout the night, sometimes upwards of five or six times. This has been going on for a few months...

And I don't have a baby.

Why can't I sleep?

And how is all this related to my blog?

Well, today I did some reading. Not too in depth, just "12 Tips for Better Sleep," (spotted on the cover of this Month's Shape Magazine). And there was a bit in there about food. Or more specifically, about beverages. I am not a big tea drinker, I am a huge tea drinker, and I'm of the caffeinated persuasion. But one of the 12 tips was, "no caffiene after noon." !!!!!! Really!! That is what it said. I like to drink my black, chai spice tea right up until the moment I go to bed, but according to the article that is wrong for a couple reasons:

1) Caffiene keeps you up.
2) Liquids make you pee (and wake you up first, we hope).

So, first offense caffienated tea, and second offense drinking liquids right before bed. Apparently I am supposed to only drink calming beverages, like a soothing herbal tea or a tart cherry juice, and nothing at all in the last hour before bed. This includes nightcaps. One of the tips actually stated that you only think alcohol helps you sleep, but really it prevents you from entering a deep sleep, so no alcohol in the three hours before bed. I don't know what time you get home at night, but this could easliy just translate into "no alcohol," thereby not only helping with your sleep, but giving your liver and budget a break too.

Anyway... I never buy tart cherry juice. Or rather, I never used to buy tart cherry juice. Or soothing herbal teas. But today I bought both: Cherry Juice and "Bedtime Tea."

I did have just one eensy little Red Bull after noon today, but now I'm done. No more caffiene today. No alcohol. Cherry Juice and Bedtime Tea tonight. I'll let you know how this new beverage experiment goes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cranberry Sauce with Oranges

Love these colors!!
For Thanksgiving 2011, I was assigned the cranberry sauce. I had never, ever before made cranberry sauce, and had no idea how much of it 20 people might eat. One bag of berries? Two? Three?? So, I consulted with my stepmother, then doubled the recipe below. This made plenty for everyone, with a little leftover which disappeared the next day. As this blog post is quite late (Thanksgiving!?), I cannot quite remember everything I did... but I think I may have tossed in an extra apple as well.

I had many positive comments on the lovely orange flavor that comes through in this recipe! Enjoy! You have plenty of time to practice before Thanksgiving!

You will need...

1 small organic orange (you are going to eat the rind, so go organic for this!)
2 cups water
1 tart apple, ex/ Granny Smith, Pippin or McIntosh
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar (I reduced this to a little less than a cup, as I prefer a bit more tartness to come through)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1) Squeeze the juice from the orange/s and set the juice aside. Remove and discard the membrane from inside the orange rind then dice the rind. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the rind and the water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.

2) Peel, core and quarter the apple. Cut into 1/2-inch dice and place in a saucepan. Sort cranberries, discarding soft ones. Add to the apples along with the orange juice, orange rind, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan partially.

3) Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, the apple is tender and the cranberries have burst, 10 to 15 minutes.

4) Transfer the cranberry sauce to a heatproof bowl and let cool for 1 hour before serving. NOTE: I just left my cranberries in the Dutch Oven, let them cool, and took them in Dutch Oven to Thanksgiving. No extra dishes needed!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

khalil's turkey and white-bean chili

Dear Khalil,

I’ve never met you, but you are a culinary genius. When I read your quote, (“Turkey and white-bean chili with no tomatoes may sound unorthodox, but mine is destined to become a classic”), I’ll admit I thought you sounded a touch impudent. But that was before I made your chili. I have never (ever) before sat down to a bowl of chili and with every bite proclaimed: “This is sooo good! Oh, this is really good.”

I loved your chili. Loved it. I made it on a damp, cold evening, and it was incredibly perfect. After scooping the last bit out of the pot, I decided that whenever we have a guest, I’m making your chili. It’s true. So if you decide to visit, you can be sure I’ll be serving your classic.

Your biggest chili fan

P.S. I made your chili again for the holidays. Win!

From everyday food
Serves 6
Active Time 45 min
Total Time 1 hr 20 min

You will need...

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced (I used one since cooking for a kid)
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 tsps ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano (preferably Mexican, but not necessary)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
coarse salt
1 lb. ground white meat turkey or chicken
5 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 can (~15.5 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (~15 oz) white hominy, rinsed and drained
3 Tbsp cornmeal

Suggested Toppings:
Sliced Radishes, Sliced Scallions, Sour Cream

1) In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until softened ~ 8 mins.

Serrano chili, garlic and rosemary.
2) Add garlic, chiles, rosemary, cumin, oregano, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, ~ 2 mins; season with salt. Add turkey and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 5 mins.

Onion and spices softening and "fragrant-ing"
With ground turkey or chicken
3) Add broth, beans and hominy; bring to a boil over high. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chili is thickened slightly, 25 mins. Stir in cornmeal and cook 15 mins. Season to taste with salt.

Beans, hominy, broth
Get it all in the pot!
Cornmeal! Last step!
4) Sit. Eat. And frequently comment on how good this is.

Top with sour cream, (and radishes and scallions if you like!).

Friday, January 6, 2012

2012 Resolution!!!

Still alive, though I have not often been here of late!

I have made two New Year's Resolutions, however:

1) Be better about my blog, and keeping it current.

2) Write more Thank You notes.

This blog started out as a New Year's Resolution for 2011, so it seems only fitting that 2012's resolutions should include Galley Sally as well. I have so many recipes that I tried, and photographed, and never posted last year... it is just ridiculous. So! More consistent posting this year.

AND! A Thank You note to everyone who stuck with me this year, followed along, and commented on posts. Thanks so much for visiting and participating! It is always good to know someone is reading.

I wish everyone a truly fantastic New Year, and I plan on sharing even more recipes and boat thoughts this year!