Mesquite Grilled Breast with Sweet Chipotle-Hickory Sauce


Mesquite Grilled Breast with Sweet Chipotle-Hickory Sauce

Mesquite Grilled Breast with Sweet Chipotle-Hickory Sauce

Don’t fret!  This tasty, quick Mesquite Grilled Breast with Sweet Chipotle-Hickory Sauce recipe uses pre-grilled frozen breasts in a bag from Sam’s Club.  Bake it in the oven.  I guarantee you will love it.  However, you will need to make the Sweet Chipotle-Hickory Sauce first (about 15 minutes while the chicken is baking in your oven).

Where I Have Been


You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting near as often as I did before.

On October 1, 2014, I suffered a brain bleed (subdural hematoma).  I first realized I had a serious problem on September 30, 2014.  I was speaking to a friend at lunch, and the words coming from my mouth didn’t make any sense to me, and no matter how hard I tried, the words were in my head, but wouldn’t come out of my mouth properly.  Most of the words were composed of half of one word and half of another, and I could tell that, too, and the problem lasted for less than one minute..

When my friend and I got to her car, I told her there was something wrong with my brain, because this was a unique problem that I had never had before.  I was afraid I was having a stroke, but that’s not what happened.  For days prior to this, I had occasional numbness/tingling in my right arm and fingers.  I had visited a chiropractor for five adjustments over a 2-week period for a possible pinched nerve in my neck, and it was getting better.

The day my speech problems appeared, I called my doctor.  He saw me that afternoon, and when I told him I had three brief instances of speech difficulties that day, he told me to go to the imaging center immediately to have two MRIs on my head (with and without contrast) and one on my cervical spine (neck).  After the neck and head MRIs, the radiologist entered the room and told me that I needed to have someone drive me to my doctor’s office immediately.  I had driven myself to the imaging center earlier.

Of course, I didn’t have any idea what they saw on the MRI, but a little while later, at my doctor’s office, he showed me the MRI with the brain bleed on the right side of my brain.  He asked all the right questions:  did I remember hitting my head recently, or have I fallen recently.  I remember hitting my head on the trunk lid of my car a couple of weeks prior, and possibly hitting my head on the corner of a kitchen cabinet door a couple of times over the past several weeks, but the marks healed in a day or so.  Those weren’t things a normal person would be concerned about.

That afternoon, my doctor told me to have my friend drive me to the emergency room immediately.  He arranged to have the neurosurgeon on call meet me there.  The surgeon interviewed me and told me I had a brain bleed, and that he was scheduling surgery for the next morning.  He would cut a 2-inch rectangular hole in my right skull, drain the blood, replace the skull piece and add a titanium plate under my scalp.

I survived the surgery, and was in intensive care for 2 days, then spent a day in a regular room in the neuroscience department , where I had my first and only seizure, involving involuntary chomping in my right cheek and jaw.  At one point, there were 7-8 people in my room, including the hospital chaplain, who prayed for me and called my friend.  They thought I might be dying, and with the prayer, so did I.  After a CT scan that showed no new bleeding, and another two days in intensive care, I spent eleven days in a rehab hospital.

Upon my release, I saw my surgeon and a new doctor (neurologist), who prescribed a higher dosage of my anti-seizure medication that I was receiving in the hospitals.  He also restricted my driving for three months, which actually became four months because of his patient load in scheduling my follow-up appointment after my second EEG.  He said he was concerned, because the EEG still showed a possibility of more seizures originating from the left temporal lobe area, but because I hadn’t had any more seizures, he gave me the “okay” to drive.  To date, I have not had any seizures since the one in the hospital on October 4.  Not driving was the hardest part of all, because I had to beg my neighbors and friends to drive me for the simplest of things.  I also had to have a home health care nurse and physical therapist to visit 2-3 times a week for over a month.

My life had changed.  I lost interest in cooking and grilling for the most part, and until recently, had limited my cooking to simple foods in the microwave, oven, and stovetop.  It’s as if I lost interest in anything slightly complex.  I don’t even watch the same TV shows as before, and I have a new girlfriend.

I have problems now sometimes remembering last names of my neighbors, but that may just be due to my age.  I have begun to cook again in the past few weeks, mostly desserts and sauces, but I’m getting there.  I walk for exercise 3-4 miles a day, and am having issues involving a recent change in my hypertension medicines, but I am getting there.

Bear with me.  I’ll be back soon.  Spring is here, and my grill awaits.

Jim A.

How to Remove Tea Stains from a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker


Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker

Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker

Yesterday, my doctor told me to quit drinking so much tea and to drink water instead. Normally, I make 3 quarts of iced tea every day using my old Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker.  Before I put it away, I noticed the years of accumulated brown tea stains on the decanter and the tea bag basket.  Normal washing with warm water and liquid dish detergent has never been good enough to remove this stain buildup, and it looked really grungy.

Trying to think of something different, I wondered, “Okay, what would I use to remove tea stains from clothing?”  Answer:  a normal washing machine.

Next, I poured about 2 tablespoons of Arm & Hammer liquid laundry detergent into the bottom of the decanter, filled it halfway with warm water, and proceeded to rub the stains with a sponge.  Lo and behold, for the first time ever, those stains began to disappear, and before long, they were completely gone.  Next, I attacked the tea bag basket.  Using the soapy water in the decanter, I used a long-handled brush with a round head of stiff nylon bristles that I normally use to clean deep drinking glasses on occasion.   After about 2 minutes of scrubbing with this brush, the stains disappeared from this plastic basket, too.

Now I can store my iced tea maker on the top shelf, knowing that the next time I need it, it will look almost brand new.  I love Arm & Hammer laundry detergent!

Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent

Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent

 

Texas Hash


Texas Hash

Texas Hash

My Texas Hash will never win any prizes at the county fair with its non-descript seasonings, but if you’re looking for an uncomplicated, easy to prepare, and filling dish that satisfies a craving for food, this is the one.

I used to go camping almost every weekend in the 1970s, and this was very popular with all my camping friends.  After a hard day at play, this dish cooked on an outdoor camp stove was hard to beat for filling those growling tummies.  Most of the time, it was a one-dish meal, and we didn’t bother to cook any extras on the side.  It’s got beef, veggies (onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers), and rice.  After a short nap, we were ready to jump back into the lake.

Not bursting with spicy, strong flavors, but very palatable when you’re hungry for something more “normal,” this is sure to hit the spot whether you’re at home or in the woods!

Chunky Chocolate-Mocha Cookies


Chunky Chocolate-Mocha Cookies

Chunky Chocolate-Mocha Cookies

Inspired by my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, this Chunky Chocolate-Mocha Cookies recipe will delight you!  NOTE:  You will need a heavy duty stand mixer with dough beaters, such as my Sunbeam Mixmaster, because the final dough is too dense and thick for most hand-held mixers.

I used McCormick’s Coffee Extract in this recipe, but if you can’t find that, coffee liqueur or Kahlúa coffee liqueur (my favorite) will work just as well.

HINT:  If you’ve got some leftover cookies, but they’ve gotten a little hard, put them in a 800-watt microwave oven for 4-5 seconds each.  They will be warm and chewy, just like they were out of the oven!  You gotta love those chocolate chunks, too!

 

Easy Southwestern Grilled Chicken


Easy Southwestern Grilled Chicken

Easy Southwestern Grilled Chicken

A little of my newly-revised Southwestern Chicken Rub and Marinade, olive oil, boneless chicken breasts, and a grill are all you need for this delicious Easy Southwestern Grilled Chicken.  If you’re like me, you might like some of my homemade BBQ sauce on the side for dipping, too!

Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast


Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast

Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast

After butterflying large boneless skinless chicken breasts for my new Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast recipe, I rubbed them with some of my Southwestern Chicken Rub and Marinade, sprinkled some charcoal seasoning (http://americanspice.com) on both sides, and placed them on my gas grill.  I only recently started using the charcoal seasoning on various meats, and it really does increase the flavor of meats.

About two minutes from finish, I poured some of my new hickory bbq sauce on the top, and then served some additional sauce on the side.  This was so yummy!

Jim’s Hickory BBQ Sauce


Jim's Hickory BBQ Sauce

Jim’s Hickory BBQ Sauce

This sweet, tangy Jim’s Hickory BBQ Sauce is and attempt to create a new and different all-purpose BBQ sauce that was different from all my other recipes.  I believe I’ve achieved a new all-around all-purpose BBQ sauce that is good on all kinds of meat.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Inspired by my mother’s Toll House cookies, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe is my favorite cookie, and several of my friends and neighbors agree!  You will need a heavy duty stand mixer, such as my old-fashioned Sunbeam Mixmaster, some parchment paper, and at least one large insulated or air bake type cookie sheet.  Oh yes…don’t forget a large glass of milk to wash down these tasty treats!

Quick Caribbean Jerk Chicken Breasts


Quick Caribbean Jerk Chicken Breasts

Quick Caribbean Jerk Chicken Breasts

Similar to my original Caribbean Jerk Chicken Breasts recipe, this new Quick Caribbean Jerk Chicken Breasts is almost as tasty, without the waiting for hours.  If the grill is already hot, and you’re tired of waiting, try this method.  I think you’ll agree that it’s a welcome substitute!

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