Archive for January, 2020


3 bean chili with smoked chicken

It started out as a quick search on the Instant Pot app for chili, Have plenty of dried beans in stock, a quick pressure cooker meal means I didn’t have a long soaking and boiling process ahead for a meal within an hour. I found a recipe for a 3 bean chili jar recipe. Remember when the jar recipes were all the rage for gifts ! Still easy to do for your own meal kits.

Pinto, white and black beans, like maybe a 1/4 cup each ,a can of chopped tomatoes, some tomato paste and a bit over leftover condensed tomato soup. The spice list was long, cumin seeds, coriander, dried hot peppers just to name a few. Chopped onions and garlic, celery and carrot to round out the flavor and a toss of frozen corn . Saute as usual add all else. Top off with veggie stock. Seal, set and be back later.


about 50 minutes later


start the plate with a layer of smoked chicken thighs 


add the 3 bean chili…


top with shredded cheese and chips,


a glass of dark home brew, next time a real light or a lime hard seltzer would be better fro contrast, or possibly a fruit shandy . The chili and the smoked chicken was fantastic. 


smoked chicken salad

Just chronicling some recipes….

made with smoked chicken thighs




smoked chicken thighs

According to my Google photos January 12th , a warm weather day to get out do a bit of yard work, and some smoking. Since I had some chicken thighs, a no brainer. I can always used smoked meat in a few recipes. lump charcoal with a cup or so soaked mesquite wood pellets.


just a bit of rub before smoking.


the smoking is done, stir up the flames to grille up some chicken  breast for the Boss Lady (was that a coincident that the spell checker suggested a different spelling?  i won’t reveal the wording!)


getting towards sunset


chicken breast complete


smoked chicken thigh sandwich


like they say, “You eat with your eyes first ! “



meatball enchilada

left over meatballs, mind you, a ground chicken blend with sauce already a bit spicy from my heavy hand on the red pepper flakes.  Pasta, noodles, gnocchi  ??  Take two, Wraps ! going towards the Mexican style.

Step one make some white floured tortillas , cook in the trusty cast iron skillet with a touch of oil brushed on. (I won’t bore you with the recipe for flour tortillas, a bit of bacon fat mixed into white flour and water is all it takes)



there is something about having a tortilla (or flatbread) puff up like this, a sign of good luck?


chop or slice the aforementioned meatballs


keep it simple with a few ingredients like shredded mozzarella, finely processed broccoli, meatballs and sauce. 

lay down some sauce, meatballs, broccoli and cheese


roll up, closely nestle in a pan, a bit of oil in the pan before placement


top with sauce, cheese and broccoli, I don,t go wild with the sauce like traditional enchiladas, I like the wraps with a bit of crunch and the ability to be eaten like a wrap.


bake the babies till heated through, cheese melted, crunchy edges, flame them under the broiler if desired.


MMMMMMMM… not overly sloppy


were just about done here….  

beverage suggestion ?

Thanks for stopping by !!!



Take out, or take away

Recent from the Sunshine Express


new fridge



perhaps the most important kitchen appliance requirement that we have

A posting review copy from the GE website for a recent appliance replacement

For some acclimating to a new fridge after 20 or so years with a favorite appliance takes some adjustment and change, the milk is in a different place and the shelving and placement of items is not the same as the old fridge. But that soon dissipates.


The first and foremost consideration is whether the appliance will properly fit. Outdated kitchens sometime do not mesh well with newer appliances. Height wise I had to modified the cabinets above the GNE21FSKSS. luckily as they were built they were easily converted to a lesser height by some trimming of the lower part of the cabinet and doors and relocation of the hinges and bottom, accommodated the GNE21FSKSS. The depth is also a consideration as with the new GNE21FSKSS the storage in door gives a greater door thickness so the GNE21FSKSS will protrude further out compared to the one it’s replacing. As with most manufacturers concise dimensional blueprints can obtained at the manufactured website and use to confirm the fit and location of electrical and water connections. Also don’t scrimp on the recommended clearances, that may shorten the life and proper operation of the appliance.

Other impediments can include your home’s entry door width and interior door dimensions. It may be necessary to remove the doors from the fridge when transporting to fit but be forewarned new fridges with door mounted accessories like ice and water dispensers, doors are not easily removed. So consider the above if you are going to DIY deliver and install this appliance.


As more consumers purchase items online sight unseen, It’s also worth mentioning that ergonomically considerations could be considered with household members that may be challenged height wise or may have limited mobility, motor function and range of movement. this GNE21FSKSS could be deeper, taller or require different positional movement to access the bottom freezer, than your present model. The bottom freezer with the upper sliding shelve give somewhat easy access to he frozen items. The sliding separator can be useful if your living in a multi generational or shared living space household and something that could be applied to the main box shelving for easy food item separation.

A large amount of food storage of the main box is in the doors is easily configured bins. These clear plastic bins are placed as desired on the inner portion of the doors , in our case french door configuration. At first glance I though that the bins had been cracked, all in the same place, until after closer inspection the cracks were molding lines in the plastic. Compared to our old fridge that due to overloading and subsequent failure of brackets, these door bins of the GNE21FSKSS appear that they will hold up well. Some family members questioned the longevity and durability of the plastic freezer components. The glass shelving was also an upgrade from our former wire shelving of the Roper (Whirlpool) and the plastic bottom shelve and bin. The glass is much stronger but be careful when landing heavy glass containers like growlers in the fridge.

The digital control function setting are a definite upgrade for the old analog knob style of set and check till it to your liking. even though they are rarely accessed once set, I worry about the long term function as the similar touch control panel of our dishwasher is sometime unresponsive.


The fridge performs it’s function efficiently and practically silent. intermittent noises are of the filling of the ice maker ( fill solenoid,water flow,  and shutoff operation), occasional repositioning of a flapper for air distribution (similar to a stepper motor sound ) and the dropping of the ice from the ice maker to the bin The plastic ice bin being of plastic construction can be a bit noisy when getting your cubes and we use a repurposed measuring cup as a ice scoop. I’ve considered a silicone mat at in the bottom of the bin to muffle the sound. The large ice bin makes a large quantity of ice available for distribution when entertaining but will take up freezer space, in our case not a consideration as we have used in the past up to 6 ice trays for ice production in our old fridge. The GNE21FSKSS is our first bottom fridge design to replace and aging side by side Roper that gave us many many years of service. The GNE21FSKSS selected didn’t have the external door ice and water dispenser and has a sleeker look, most others persons with the feature of water in the door dispenser reported that in a few short years these dispensers malfunctioned even to the point where the water dispensers flooded and caused damage to their homes. Not exactly something you would consider when purchasing for convenience, but having a water supply with no drain in the kitchen, this could happen.

The stainless front and black sides is a clean look and a frequent less considered point is whether the front and side will support fridge magnets. the GNE21FSKSS has enough metal in the stainless  to allow the use of fridge magnets if so desired. Selecting a fridge can be a long drawn out decision. Most appliances today after viewing choices and narrowed by budget, fall into a certain category and some appliances are simply bulk manufactured and branded under different labels. Persons who have seen our fridge have the same exact style under a different badge. Also the choice is narrowed by the bells and whistles added of simply efficiently cooling and freezing foods. Most fridge purchases only happen once every 10 or more years. to be fair in this report the cost was subsidized by a utility company for an energy conservation program.


Water filter is recommend to be changed at 6 month intervals, some reviewers also mentioned measuring the TDS of the water to verify that the filter needs replacing , a gallon meter would be a more accurate indicator of replacement frequency. What the cost of filters over the life span of the fridge is to be considered in the operational cost for this appliance if you are budget conscience.

I purchased the recommended stainless steel cleaner and polisher, the handles of this GNE21FSKSS seemed to show more residue of handing in our active kitchen than our old fridge. The metal seemed to soak up the cleaner polish so after several applications the door and handles look extremely clean and flawless. As with our old fridge I clean the condenser coils religiously. On this fridge as with our old one this requires rolling out the fridge and removing an access panel to get to he coils and vacuuming and brushing out the accumulated dust. This is often overlooked and a cause of early failure or reduced cooling, increased energy consumption or compressor or other component failure.


The only way i could give this appliance a 5 star rating would be possibly after 10 year of use. We realize that in today’s world an appliance is often obsolete before it’s failure and the energy use and convince upgrade may be the determining factor of replacement rather than the forced purchase due to failure. (note:this is not a “smart” as in connected by wireless/app  etc. fridge”) A prudent consumer would have a timeline to replace an major appliance depending on it’s expected lifespan


Apple chocolate chip muffins

I believe this is from Bake or Break website , recipe modified



added some fresh ground spices not listed of course !



ground spices added



my new grated i was gifted for Christmas








not exactly a light muffin, the apples have a lot of moisture , but I needed some chocolate and fruit for dessert.





OK …..i made dough also, bread and rolls BC you can live on muffins alone !




January 2020

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