I made Cincinnati chili last night, and the bambino refused to eat his 3-Way. Jay asked why, and the bambino said “Chili too hot, Daddy.” Jay pointed out that by the time he left the table, the chili was cool enough for the bambino to eat. The bambino looked up at the ceiling for a minute and said “No, not hot…Chili too…’picy. How ’bout French fries instead?” I’d been planning on making a Weight Watchers Greek-style lemon chicken & potato dish, but when I asked the bambino if that was okay, he repeated his request for French fries. So I obliged. I did homemade chicken tenders to go along with my homemade fries, although since Jay & I don’t mind spice, I tossed ours in buffalo sauce. Yum. Here’s all I did:

For the fries, I peeled & sliced my 3 remaining organic Russets, then tossed them in about a tablespoon of olive oil & some seasoning salt (McCormick, I think). Then I spread the in a single layer on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper, because I am lazy & didn’t want extra clean-up), and popped them in a 400°F oven for 45 minutes (tossing them after about 20 minutes):

For the chicken tenders, I sliced up 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, soaked them in milk, then tossed them in a bag with about 1/2 C of flour, some garlic salt, onion powder, black pepper, and some paprika. Then I fried them in canola oil:

I heart my cast-iron skillet for such meals.

After they were done (about 4 minutes per side, since I’d sliced them a little thick), I drained them on paper towels:

Like the BBQ Meatballs the other night, at this point, I wanted to sample them. And since I’m always paranoid that I’ll somehow undercook the chicken, the bambino & I did a couple quality checks on some of the smaller tenders. I kept them warm in the toaster oven while I mixed up the buffalo sauce:

2 tablespoons of butter, and probably 1/2 C of the wing sauce. Mmmm…buffalo sauce….And by that point, the fries were done, so it was time to eat:

And yes, that is my Spock Burger King glass in the background. I don’t know why (other than the obvious fact that Spock is awesome, and my favorite Star Trek character, next to Bones, and Capt. Picard) I am hugely possessive of that glass, and I get rather annoyed when I find that Jay’s gotten to it before I have once it’s been washed.

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I have to go into work for a couple hours tomorrow, so I left a couple hours early today. My boss will generally give me the option of leaving early or getting some OT, and after some irritation with some things yesterday, I decided to take this afternoon off. I figured I’d get the grocery shopping out of the way, even though I could very easily have done it Sunday before Meet the Press (which I’m not even sure I want to watch, as Rep. John Boehner from my home state of Ohio will be on, and any time that man opens his mouth, my blood boils. I am done talking politics now, otherwise my head will explode.). But it was nice having an afternoon off.

We didn’t need a whole lot at the store this time–The usual bananas, milk & yogurt was all we really needed. I did have to get more pork chops, as Jay is an awful lot like Homer Simpson in the aspect that both of them would live off pork products alone if allowed. I did also stock up on laundry stuff, as Seventh Generation stuff is on sale this month, and I had some coupons. And Organic Valley butter is also on sale. I did something a couple weeks ago that I regretted–Horizon Organics has butter that is now being stocked in my Hy-Vee, and because it’s about 2 bucks cheaper than Organic Valley, I bought 2 lbs. I won’t be doing that again. I swear the stuff is already rancid, and it’s been in my freezer since I bought it. I hate to waste food, when we’re already on a tight-enough budget, but I’ve been waffling on whether or not I want to throw it out. I stopped buying anything from Horizon Organics a couple years ago, once I learned they’re basically a large factory farm that pretends to be organic. But for right now, the butter is still in my freezer.

I did also need some potatoes, because the bambino has been requesting the Pioneer Woman’s BBQ meatballs, and since I had the time this afternoon, I obliged him:

They’re a little time-intensive, but very well-worth the effort. They go from this:

To this:

(At this point, raw in the center or not, I had to restrain myself from popping a couple into my mouth)

And finally:

Obviously, Ree’s pictures are far better than mine, and I did tweak her recipe only slightly. Both the sauce and the meatballs call for chopped onions in her recipe. As I cannot stand onions (it’s not the taste–I love onion flavoring, but I can’t handle the texture. It grosses me out, the same way the texture of coconut grosses me out.), and my husband doesn’t care for them either, I used a heckuva lot of onion powder instead. They were delicious enough that Jay had 3 servings, and I’m hoping that the 4 that are left are still waiting for me when I get home from work tomorrow (although I’m pretty sure that’s extremely wishful thinking on my part!).

The first day back to work after Daylight Savings Time always drags. I spent most of the morning wishing for 5 o’clock, then got busy enough that around 3, I was wishing that the clock on my phone was correct, and it was the clock on my computer that was incorrect (someone forgot to update the clock on the phones until after 4 this afternoon). I was pleased to discover when I got home that I still have a back yard, and that there is greenish grass underneath the melting snow and amid the mud.

I also discovered that Popchips are evil. Kendra was kind enough to get me a subscription to the Weight Watchers magazine for my birthday last year, and they occasionally have ads for Popchips. Living in Nowhere, SoDak, they don’t carry them anywhere around here, but I did find them in the Sioux Falls Target last evening when we were there. So I bought some. Big mistake. I held off on opening the bag until this evening, then proceeded to eat 95% of it. There’s still a handful of crumbs left, and the bambino had a couple little-man handfuls, but I pretty much cleaned out the bag on my own. I have a bag of salt & vinegar ones that are taking all my willpower to stay away from. I’ll probably stuff those in my craw tomorrow night while I watch The Biggest Loser.

In between shoveling in Popchips, I made a nice dinner. A take on grilled cheese & tomato soup, but a little fancier, if you will. Beefy Tomato Pasta Soup:

(This is before I tossed a large handful of croutons on top)

And grilled cheese panini (No recipe here–Just a couple slices of homemade bread and a slice of organic cheddar; slather both sides with butter, and grill on a panini press):

Thanks to the Popchips, I was only able to eat half of it, and left a bit of pasta in my soup bowl. Despite the bambino taking 2 microscopic bites from his sandwich and zero bites of his soup, it went over well-enough, as Jay ate my other sandwich half along with his whole, and cleaned out his soup bowl. For whatever reason, I felt I needed some hot cocoa after all was said and done, and I am now here at my computer regretting it. Good thing I’m already in flannel elastic-waist pants!