About Abigail Sharpe

Writer of passionate, playful contemporary romance.

Note to Self: Rice

Crunchy Rice

Crunchy Rice

Dear Self:

When cooking a meal that calls for the

Cooked Rice.  Muuuuuch better.

Cooked Rice. Muuuuuch better.

rice to be cooked as part of the dish, like red beans and rice, make sure you check the time on the rice package on how long it should cook, not the recipe.  Crunchy rice is gross.

Love, Me

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I did so well this week!

Okay, first, I joined Weight Watchers.  Seeing my flabby arms in pictures at the RWA conference made me go… hmmmm.

So I planned all my meals this week (and by this week, I mean Sunday through Wednesday), including chicken strips and antipasto and tacos and hamburgers.  And we had leftovers last night.

But last night … I completely forgot about dinner.  So we had Chinese takeout.

Now, I did get the diet dish of steamed chicken and veggies.  But I also had an eggroll.  And lo mien.  And some fried rice.  And a piece of honey chicken.  And more lo mien.

Good thing my week restarts on Friday, right?

Antipasto is so easy.  Pasta.  Meat.  Cheese.  Veggies.  Dressing. Voila!  Here’s mine:

Yummy!

Yummy!

1 box of ronzoni garden harvest anything.
1 (or more or less, depending on how long the slice) thick slice of deli turkey (like, a quarter inch thick), chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 (or more or less, depending on how much you like cheese) thick slice of provolone cheese (or your choice of cheese), chopped into bite-sized pieces
Mini Turkey pepperonis.  I tried salami, but it didn’t have the kick I wanted. These already come in bite-sized pieces.
Italian dressing.  I’d be extremely impressed if you were able to cut this into bite-sized pieces.  I’d also want pictures.
Vegetables, chopped into … right.  Bite-sized pieces.  Cucumber and tomatoes are my staples.  I also add artichoke hearts and hearts of palm.  Sometimes I add red pepper.  Heck, you could even add fruit if you want (and purists everywhere, who were mostly okay with the pepperoni, now full-out disagree).

One thing, though.  I hate olives.  HATE THEM.  With the passion of a thousand burning suns.  So you won’t find them anywhere near my recipes.  Or even in my house.   And I’m certainly not suggesting you add them to your meal.  Even if you do chop them up into bite-sized pieces.

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Mix it with some dressing so it doesn’t get sticky, then put it in the fridge to cool down.  I usually do this the night before.

THEN – add everything else and mix it up good!  Add more dressing as you see fit.  Eat and enjoy.  I think one cup of it is maybe around 12 points.  Which is kinda a lot, but my breakfast and lunch are usually light on point values.

… yeah, I got nothing by way of questions for you.  What did you have for dinner last night?

 

 

 

Pizza Night in the Sharpe Household

I’m not as cool as Carla – I don’t make my own crust.  But let me tell you, the Sharpes know how to top a pizza!  Mostly.  🙂

When I told The Things we were having homemade pizzas for dinner, they thought it would be cool to have funky toppings. So, I thought, why not?  Continue reading

You know what I hate?

I hate when you cook a meal with the intention of taking pictures of it for Chicklets – and then you FORGET and EAT IT and all you can do is snap an image of a half-chewed sandwich, which, if you want my opinion, isn’t all that pleasant to look at.

To make it all up to our faithful readers (and those stopping by on a whim), I’ll give away an ecopy of Who Wants to Marry a Cowboy? to a ransom someone who responds to this post by 11:59 EST Sunday night.

I know this has happened to all the Chickets, but what about you?  Have you ever done something with a purpose in mind, but forgot to do that purpose?  Forgetting items at the grocery store doesn’t count.  🙂

A real “duh!” moment

There are several meals my kids would eat all the time if I let them.  My chili is one.  Meatball subs is another.  Both are super easy to make, but both take a little bit of time (browning the meat and simmering for the chili, and the rolling for the meatballs).

And the other day, I had an AMAZING idea.  Why don’t I make TWO batches every time I make the meal?  That way, I only have to make it ONCE!

Plus, if I poorly plan a meal for the week, I’ll have something in the freezer ready to go!

So I did.  And it was BRILLIANT!!!   I put the meatballs in a freezer bag, and then popped them out when I needed something fast.  The chili takes a bit more planning, since it also requires Abigail’s Awesome Guac.  But still – going to the grocery store for a few items is a lot easier than planning an entire meal.

Meatball sub recipe coming next time I make it so I can take some pictures.

Do you ever make double-batches of a meal?  Tell me all about it.

I’m having a dinner party… WHEN???

The women in my neighborhood play Bunco once a month, usually on the first Tuesday or first Thursday.  Bunco is a dice-rolling social game and gives us time to chat away from the kids and husbands.  Hostess duties rotate every month, and the hostess does EVERYTHING.  That way everyone else gets a night off from providing food or drinks or whatever.

I volunteered to host for May, thinking that the first Thursday was May 9.  Because the first Tuesday was May 7, and Thursday comes after Tuesday.  Therefore – May 9.  On the night of May 1, an email came through that said, See you guys tomorrow.

Panic.

My house wasn’t clean.  I didn’t have a dinner planned yet.  I couldn’t go grocery shopping that night because it was after 10pm and that’s when the stores close.  And it didn’t matter even if they were open, because did I mention?  I HAD NO DINNER PLANNED.

I spent Wednesday night cleaning and dusting and planning on what to do with the crap that covered most surfaces of our home.  Our bed would bear the brunt of it.  Husband would understand.  Even if he didn’t, he would.

I decided on chicken and beef tacos, both hard shell and soft, with oreo brownies for dessert (Carla posted the recipe – you put oreos in a muffin tin, then cover them with brownie batter.  YUM).  I went to work the next day and left a little early to do some shopping, then came home and set the kiddies to work cleaning while I cooked.

Dinner started at 7pm.  So of course my bell rang at 6:45, while I was making a mess with brownie batter.  Other guests arrived on time.

The food cooked and served, it was time to put the brownies in the oven.  And about five minutes after that, the power went out.

The power FREAKIN’ WENT OUT!!!

Seriously?  Because my evening wasn’t hectic enough?

I had some candles, so we stayed around the table and played Apples to Apples instead.  But it was starting to get hot, even with the windows open.  And dark, even with the candles.  And I’m thinking, WHHHHHHHHYYYY MEEEEEEEEEEE???

Finally, FINALLY, after about two hours, the power came on again, the house cooled down, and I baked the brownies.  A good time was had by all, but I’d rather it happened to someone else.  And thankfully I won’t have to host again for another year.

Any dinner party disasters you want to share?

 

Guest Chicklet Kate Meader is HOT IN THE KITCHEN

Kate Meader

Kate Meader

Abigail here!  I’m so excited to host Kate Meader on her blog tour of Feel the Heat, the first book in the Hot in the Kitchen series. YOU can win Feel the Heat swag by going to her blog and entering the Rafflecopter giveaway. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Continue reading

Kale, Kale, the gang’s all here…

But first…

YUMMY Burnt Hot Dogs

YUMMY Burnt Hot Dogs

Dear Self:
When cooking hot dogs, it would be a good idea to keep your eye on the pan instead of talking to your neighbor about your upcoming release.

 

 

Announcing Kale Week!

Eait it up!

Eait it up!

Next week the Chicklets are all going to cook kale in some way shape or form.  Will it be kale chips?  Soup?  Sauteed and stuffed into hamburgers?  Or a boycott of All Things Kale?

Tune in next week to find out.  And there might even be a cookbook in it for you if you comment.