Italian Herb Chicken with Broccoli

I’ve become a little bit of a fan of the Land O’ Lakes Saute Express seasonings. I’ve made the Italian Herb before, but this time I decided to change things up a little.

So I decided to add some broccoli to the pan and I sauteed it up with the chicken. I’ve been tolerating plain broccoli florets for a while now so I hoped that adding them to the seasoning would give them a little more flavor.

Italian Herb Chicken and Broccoli

The broccoli certainly did get cooked in well with the chicken. I do think I may have added it too soon though. The broccoli got a little too soft.

Italian Herb Chicken and Broccoli with Noodles

I topped it all off with a little pasta and Parmesan cheese. It made for a great meal with some much needed greens. The broccoli was a bit too mushy, but it was a little more flavorful than usual. Perhaps it would be better to say it hid the broccoli flavor better. Either way, it gave me another way to eat broccoli.



TGI Fridays Gift Card

Over the holidays, my brother gave us a gift card to TGI Fridays. My wife and I don’t tend to eat out often. Usually we do carryout instead and eat in the comfort of our own home. Last weekend we decided to treat ourselves to a nice late lunch. We figured dinner would be more crowded – especially on the weekend.

We started with the potato skins and mozzarella sticks. These are two of our favorite appetizers at TGI Fridays – anywhere really. We didn’t finish all of them on purpose. They are pretty filling and we wanted room for our meals. We did, however, get them boxed up to take home with us for later.

Linda ordered the Hibachi Steak Skewers. They are made with Black Angus steak. It’s marinated in a black pepper soy sauce with some garlic and basted with a miso glaze. It’s all served over a jasmine rice pilaf. She ordered broccoli as her side dish. I’m not sure why, but the skewers come with some grilled pita bread too. She gave me a taste of some of the steak from the skewers and it was pretty good. I couldn’t even tell it had garlic in the marinade.

TGI Fridays Hibachi Steak SkewersI ordered the Black Angus Flat Iron Steak. It’s topped with a maison butter which I didn’t care for much, but it didn’t detract from the steak much. The steak was very flavorful and incredibly tender. It’s also very lean. I don’t leave anything behind like I usually do. That’s why I always try to find a TGI Fridays when I travel for business. I’ve even found a few airports that have one. Anyway, I selected broccoli and sweet potato fries as my two sides. The broccoli was OK, but I prefer the florets. They also weren’t seasoned very well or possibly at all. There’s something that strange to hear coming from me. The sweet potato fries were really good. I think they were baked because they weren’t oily. They didn’t have the kick that my sweet potato fries do, but I really liked them.

TGI Fridays Black Angus Flat Iron SteakIt was a very enjoyable meal out. Later that night, we heated up the leftover potato skins and mozzarella sticks. Overall, I’d have to say that TGI Fridays is probably one of my favorite restaurants. If it was a little closer we might be more inclined to eat there more often. It makes a really nice treat though.



Pit Bull Transport

Our trip back from New Jersey was an interesting one. We sometimes work with an organization called Out Of The Pits that rescues Pit Bulls and places them into good homes. Before we left for New Jersey, we heard of three adorable 12 week old puppies that were coming up from the south. They needed someone to pick them up in Newburgh and bring them to Coxsackie. We were going to be driving right by both on our way home so we let them know we were interested. We got a call telling us that pick up time would be around 2 PM in Newburgh. We decided to head out early and we arrived in Newburgh around 11:00. That gave us some time to relax and prepare.

When we first arrived in Newburgh we went to Barnes & Noble to look for a few books my wife wanted and to get online for a little bit. Then we made our way over to Petsmart because we realized we had forgotten to pack leashes. It’s a good thing we didn’t bring them or we never would have gone to Petsmart. We told a few of the employees what we were doing and they brought us to look at seat belt harnesses. In the same isle, we spotted a back seat hammock that protects the seats and prevents pets from easily climbing up front. I’m glad we got it – but more on that later. On to the food.

We decided to grab lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse since we had plenty of time to enjoy a good meal before we picked up the puppies. We ordered what turned out to be a huge order of cheese fries as an appetizer. Between the two of us, we didn’t finish it. We both ordered the Flat Iron Steak. I got mine with broccoli and rice pilaf.

The steak was delicious. I get mine done medium-well. I like the Flat Iron steak because it’s a little more lean a cut than the NY strip steak. I generally will eat the whole thing rather than leaving a lot of pieces of fat behind. The rice pilaf was a little spicy, but I’ve been getting used to spicier foods lately so that was OK. I have no idea what the little red-orange flakes are in it though – and I’m not sure I want to know either.  The broccoli was a bit bigger than I prefer. I like the baby broccoli florets. I ended up cutting up the broccoli into smaller pieces so I could scoop it up with some rice.

So after we ate, we went to meet the people transporting the puppies to Newburgh. We were surprised to find that they had a total of 7 dogs in the van. It turns out we were meeting in Newburgh because that was the exit they needed to take to catch Rt 84 headed towards Connecticut and Rhode Island where the rest of the dogs were going. The puppies had scars on their backs that we were told probably were from a cheap flea medicine.

We took the puppies on the leashes and let them play in the grass a little bit before we loaded them in the back seat. I was hoping they would wear themselves out a little and also go to the bathroom. As I mentioned earlier, I’m so glad we stopped at Petsmart for the water repellent car hammock. Just a few minutes into the drive somebody got a little excited back there. After about half the trip, they settled down.

The people picking them up in Coxackie were just a few minutes behind us. They told us a little about the puppies and showed us pictures of what they looked like when they first were taken in by Out Of The Pits. They also told us that only one was currently spoken for and that the other male was available. We have an older female Pit Bull (Mugsy), who doesn’t always get along with other dogs. They said that a male puppy probably wouldn’t be considered a threat and might work. We are considering the possibility of taking one in, but we need to think about it more.

Chicken and Brown Rice – A Quick Healthy Meal

In today’s busy world, it can be difficult to find time to make a good, healthy meal. Far too often, we have found it easier to resort to fast food for times sake and ease of cleanup. That’s a pretty unhealthy trade-off. Worse yet, it’s one you don’t need to make. And here’s why.

Par-boiled chicken and brown rice.

Boil up several pieces of chicken and a pot of brown rice. I usually try to do this over the weekend when I have more time since this is the only part that really requires any serious prep time. Then I bag up them both separately and stick them in the fridge. The chicken will keep for several days so you don’t need to worry about having chicken too many nights in a row.

There are so many ways you can now prepare a quick, healthy meal from the chicken and rice. This is the one I do most often.

When you get home from work, simply take out some chicken and cut it up into bite size pieces and toss it in a skillet. Then add brown rice. Usually, I figure a half chicken breast and one cup of rice per person, but you can pretty much use as much or as little as you like. Now add a vegetable. I generally go with corn, peas, or broccoli – or some combination of them. Next pour some soy sauce into the mix and add some black pepper to taste. Don’t overdo it on the soy sauce or it gets very salty. On occasion, I will add a small amount of chili powder to the mix as well. It only takes about 15-20 minutes from the time I pull things out of the fridge until I have a plate of delicious food sitting in front of me.


I’ll discuss some of the other ways you can use the par-boiled chicken and brown rice to make a quick healthy meal at another time. For now, you can always change up the vegetable and seasonings to make the dish fresh so you don’t get bored with it.

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