Chicken Bacon Sandwiches…

Tonight’s dinner.  Family favorite around here.  It’s pretty easy but a smidge time consuming if you cook a lot of bacon for a lot of people without using the oven.  I haven’t mastered oven bacon yet.

You’ll need:

A couple of chicken chests.  I use an entire package and then save the leftover meat for salads and such.
Enough Hoagie/Sandwich rolls for your family (Takes 2 packages of six each for ours)
One package of bacon for each  package of rolls that you bought.  (Seems to be a good rule of thumb but you can get away with a little less
A bottle of herb & garlic marinade (or a good recipe for one and make it yourself).
“Salad Greens”  (I just use bagged salad greens on my sandwiches and then make a salad on the side.  Yummy– especially if you have hard boiled eggs for the salad.  Just sayin’)
Honey mustard (most of the family doesn’t use it on theirs.  I think it’s amazing.)

Ok, so you take the marinade and pour it over your chicken chests.  I use a 13×9 pan.  Cover with aluminum foil and pop in the fridge for the rest of the day.  Needs at least 2 hours.  I tend to do 4-6 or even more.

About one and a half hours before dinner, put the whole pan in the oven, turn onto 350, and let it cook for about an hour and fifteen minutes (that’ll make up for the lack of preheating).

While that is cooking, cook the bacon.  If you do the oven method, make sure you do it before you bake the chicken or bake the chicken early enough to have the oven free for bacon cooking).

Now, if more of us liked it, I’d grill us some onions for the sandwiches right now.  Just use a couple of teaspoons of butter or olive oil in a nonstick pan and add sliced and/or diced onions.  cook until translucent and getting brownish on the edges.

When the bacon is done, butter each of the rolls and cook on a griddle.  We like ours brown.

Take the chicken out of the oven, slice into 1/2 x 1/2 x 3″ or so pieces and pile on the bread.  Add a few strips of bacon, some freshly washed bagged salad (I like spring mix… just sayin’), and squirt with honey mustard.  Add onions if you made them.

Serve with salad.

Salivate.  Eat.


Cinco de Mayo

Photo, property of Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Ok, so I had grand ideas for this day.  I mean, come on.  What a perfect day to have Chipotle knock-off lunch, right?  Of course, right!  One little problem.  Today is Morgann’s Spring Awards Ceremony.  She’s up for several things, I can’t remember them all, and so guess what?  We’ll either have a LATE Chipotle lunch, or they’ll eat fun stuff while I’m gone and I’ll try to figure out how to make it in small quantities for ME.

What do I plan to make?  Well…

Beans-  black beans with garlic and green chilis added.  YUMMY.  Since it’s just a lunch, I’ll probably just buy a small can and use canned beans this time.  To get the right texture, I’ll also rinse them to avoid the slime that comes with a can.

Rice-  It’s pretty simple.  You use six teaspoons of lime juice to replace six teaspoons of the water in the rice when you make it.  Add cilantro when it is done cooking, stir, and let sit to absorb the cilantro.  DON’T USE TOO MUCH CILANTRO!  You’ll regret it.  When it comes to cilantro, if you have to go too much/little, go too little.  Well, that’s my approach.  Not everyone agrees, but I’d rather have a hint of the flavor than to have it overpower the lime and other great seasonings.

Meat-  Ok, I have to choose between chicken and beef.  Since I have some beef scraps left over from pepper steak,  I’ll slice it into small strips, cut into 1″ pieces, and saute with taco seasoning, and voila.  It’ll be perfect.  My mouth is watering just thinking of it!

Pico de gallo-  I’m going to cheat and buy pico de gallo if I can find some somewhere.  Otherwise, I’ll make it.  Don’t wanna.  Just sayin’.

Now trust me, if we had one of these anywhere near here, I’d ABSOLUTELY just take everyone and we’d eat there.  However, since we cannot, I’m making my knock-off meal.  YUM.

What are you doing for Cinco de Mayo?  Anything?

Waste Not~

Photo compliments of I buy all my photos from Istock.

Wasted food is probably the biggest budget buster in our house.  We waste an obscene amount of money in many areas, but I think food is the largest percentage.  To that end, I keep trying to make changes that solve the problem, but they’re only band-aids.  I need sutures and possible cauterization.  The wound is gushing dollars and cents into our garbage cans.  I’d like to staunch that flow.  Kind of a revolting metaphor when you’re talking about meals.  Oh, well, I’m too lazy to find a less gruesome one.  If it causes indigestion, well, it should!  When people are starving in all parts of the world, you can’t help but think that kind of consistent waste should make you a little ill–revolted.

Some things I’ve been doing to help are simple basic things that most good home managers do, but I’m going to mention it anyway because frankly, I used to forget consistently.

Rotisserie Chicken- One of my favorite “quick meals” is a simple solution.  Dash over to Stater Brothers and buy a pre-cooked (hot and tasty) rotisserie chicken and serve with veggies.  Fast, easy, and much cheaper and healthier than fast food.  Tastier too.  however, we don’t pick the bones clean.  So, there’s a lot of meat left, but it gets put in the fridge and promptly forgotten.  One day I opened the fridge after a night of “rosemary herb rotisserie chicken” and saw the little plastic containers (with 10-11 people here, we buy two).  I sighed.  I could see another meal sitting there and knew it wouldn’t happen.  Then I got mad.  When I get mad it isn’t always a pretty sight, but sometimes good things come from it.  Like really good soup.  Yep, I took those chickens, popped them in the Dutch oven, barely covered them with water, and started boiling.  I let them suckers simmer on low for hours.  Then I drained the broth into a container, picked the bones out of the strainer, dumped the meat into the container, and popped it in the fridge.  Two days later, we had the best chicken soup I’ve ever made.  Yum.  Two meals for the cost of one and a tenth (had to add a bit of veggies and dumplings on top!)

Browned Ground Beef- It’s terrible, but I’ve actually had this go bad.  Why?  Because it gets browned by someone else and I don’t remember it’s in there.  Sure, the easiest solution is to brown it all myself and then there’s no hassle, but the problem is I am too lazy.  I prefer the help.  There are several solutions to it.  The easiest solution is to make Sloppy Joes at lunchtime, but you have to have the buns, the mix (no I don’t make my own.  I LIKE the canned stuff)… Enchiladas are a good option, but you have to have the ingredients in there first.  I finally realized that there are two things we ALWAYS have the right ingredients for– Chili and Hamburger soup.  So, I really am trying to make those meals a priority during those times.

Chicken Chests- Whenever we make something like Lemon Pepper Chicken, Almond Chicken, or our other chicken recipes, we open a 3-5 lb. package of meat, use about half, and then boil the rest.  Generally, those chests become chicken soup.  However, let’s face it, you can only eat so much chicken soup before you get sick of it.  So, I look for other ideas.  I do plan to use chicken pockets soon, and you can do chicken and broccoli (which my husband tolerates on rare occasions), but after a recent idea of my son’s, we’ll be adding BBQ chicken sandwiches to that list.  It was fast, inexpensive, easy, and yummy.  I have a couple of children who don’t care for barbeque so I won’t do it so often as to exasperate them, but the rest of us do so they’ll have to suck it up sometimes.

Leftover Roast- We always have roast left over when we make it, and I tend to forget about it.  The dog loves that, but still… he has food.  We need to keep on target!  Obviously BBQ sandwiches would be another option, it could be shredded for enchiladas, soup is always an idea, but I could use other ideas for that.  What do you do with your leftover roast meat?

Vegetables- I love vegetables.  I love to make zucchini and tomatoes, saute crookneck squash, Braelyn bakes amazing asparagus, and if I didn’t know it’d get forgotten, I’d buy turnips to eat with onions.  However, almost every time I buy these foods and others (eggplant, artichoke, cucumber, tomato, etc.) I forget about them.  Then they become a liquefied soup in the bottom of my crisper drawer.  I can buy onions, carrots, celery, and bell pepper and I almost NEVER toss those.  Once in a while, a piece of fruit flies under the radar and becomes compost fodder for the landfill, but otherwise those foods get consistently eaten.  I want to enjoy these foods, but I need SOME kind of reminder to retrain me to think about those foods.  It’s time to get with the program.  I LOVE good food.  I need to eat more.  I just simply forget to eat, forget to make food.  I need that change, but I have no idea how to do that.

So… how do you ensure you don’t waste food?  I’m all ears.

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving

Day 30:

Leftovers.  Today as I try to figure out how to use up the leftover Turkey, I realize just how grateful I am that we can afford to buy enough food for leftovers.  Can you imagine what it’s like to live where the idea of having more food at a meal than you can consume is absolutely foreign?  I can’t.  My problem isn’t that I don’t have enough food. No, our problem is the obscene amount of food that we waste.  You know, I’m not a big doom and gloomer.  I know things can and probably will go south in this country.  How far south is anyone’s guess.  However, I tend to live on the, “The Lord has it all in hand” camp.  No, I’m not especially spiritual.  I’m more of a, “You can’t change what is going to happen anyway, so why get worked up about it” type gal.

However, I CAN do something about the amount of food we waste, and I CAN be grateful that we are (at least for now) blessed with an abundance of it.  So, today I’m working to use up our leftovers.  It’s gonna be yummy.  I’m even thinkin’ about maybe making some rolls to go with the turkey soup.  That sounds pretty delicious too.

A Week in the Life of the Havig Kitchen~

So, last night I woke up from an impromptu nap to see that the roast I’d tossed in the crockpot was done, tasty, and the green beans were all gone.  Havig kids LOVE green beans.  Frozen, cooked, doesn’t matter.  So, today, I go to the store and buy groceries.  I do that.  Why?  Well, the fact is, people around here have this insane idea that they’re supposed to eat on a regular basis.  So, dinner’s gonna look a little like this for the next few days…


Image courtesy of Istockphoto

Lasagna and salad


Image courtesy of Istockphoto

Chili and cornbread.  (I’m salivating already)


Image courtesy of Istockphoto

Chicken “alfredo” with vermicelli or angel hair (can’t remember which I got).  Salad.  Yum.


Image courtesy of Istockphoto

Scotch Broth and rolls


Image courtesy of Istockphoto

Chicken Bacon Sandwiches & Ranch Style Beans


Image courtesy of Istockphoto

Pepper Steak, rice,  and green beans

I’m looking forward to this week already.  Yum.

Not All Tacos Are Created Equal…

I met her in the sixth grade.  I don’t know how long it took us to become the crazy duo but we did.  Then, on her birthday, she invited me and another friend to her house for her birthday.  Her mother made tacos.

Tacos.  Let’s just say you’ve never had tacos that tasted quite like this or quite so good.  They were delicious.  No, that’s an insulting understatement.  They were the most incredibly marvelous things I’d ever eaten and my mom is an amazing cook… takes a lot to get me to even hint that anyone can beat mom at anything.  These tacos did it.  I craved those tacos.  I dream of those tacos.  There is nothing on this earth that is even remotely as impressive as those tacos.

I spent a lot of time there… and we ate tacos.  The church had a dinner… and we had tacos.  I went to her wedding… and we had tacos.  She had a birthday party for her eldest child… and we had tacos.  Oh those yummy tacos.

Then she started making them for a private school.  I convinced her to come to a craft fair we have here every year.  She came.  She served frijoles, arroz, and yep… tacos. (Ok, she also sold nachos, apples with caramel over them, churros, and fruit smoothies.)  The town went wild.  She was the hit of Ridgecrest.

She moved.  I haven’t had her tacos in ages.  And then… she decided to share them with the world.  So, without further ado, I give you the best tacos on the planet that you can now make in your own home (it’ll be an awfully close second to the original!!!)


Chicken “Salva-veggie”

I usually call this dish “Triscuit Chicken” but honestly, the point of the Triscuits is to mask the veggies for a certain male in my life who loves Triscuits and doesn’t care much for stir-fry vegetables.


Main Ingredients:


2 cooked chicken chests, chopped to bite sizes.  (Hint:  technically it’s one full chest instead of 2 parts)

1 bag frozen stir fry veggies.  (no sauce or glop… just the veggies ma’am.


Mix in buttered dish.  Add a sprinkling of garlic power, diced onions (either fresh or dried) and Lawrey’s Seasoned Salt.



In a sauce pan:


Melt half a stick of butter.  Add the juice from the cooked chicken and/or chicken broth/bullion added to water.  You need somewhere around 3 cups.  Add 3-4TBS of cornstarch to 1/8-1/4 cup of very cold water and stir fast.  When mixed, add to sauce pan (it should be close to boiling or at least very hot.  Stir until thickened.  Put a bunch of pepper in.  Like this



Pour over the chicken veggie mix and stir.  Layer with Triscuits. 


Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for about 30-45 minutes.  Remove aluminum foil  and top with crumbled ones (if you want a crunchy top)   Sprinkle heavily with parmesean cheese (If you use the kind from the CAN like some of us do… snort)  Otherwise, wait’ll you add it to plates before you use any parmesean.


Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.  Remove.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Serve.








This is a real treat around here because I’m too cheap to spend the money on Triscuits.  But, occasionally I do it as a way to suck up to the male who would rather never see another snow pea or water chestnut again.


Oh, and while it’s baking, if you’re a gal like me who likes WOOD *gasp* cutting boards and refuses to get into the plastic/corian craze, then maybe it’d be a good time to bleach and season your board!  Just thought I’d remind you.  They last a lot longer if you keep them seasoned!





Fried Okra~

It’s quite simple to make.  I don’t know why I don’t do it more often.  Well, I lied.  I do know.  I always assume it’s more work than it really is.  So, here is Fried Okra in all it’s simple glory.




1 Bag (or 2 or 3) of Frozen Cut Okra now defrosted.  (It helps to use defrosted okra rather than fresh so you can help the coating stick well.)

Pour into a gallon sized zip lock bag…

1/2 cup of cornmeal

1/4 cup of flour  (to be honest, I  just pour some of each  and try to get twice the cornmeal to flour)

A few shakes of salt

A few shakes of pepper.


Zip and shake.


Add the okra.  Zip and shake again.  Lay aside.


In a large skillet with a lid, heat a small layer of oil  (fully covered bottom plus a smidge).  When the oil is hot, scoop the okra out of the ziplock bag with a slotted spoon.    Cook until one side is browned and crispy, turn over.  Keep the pan covered except for the last 5 minutes or so.

Kringler: The nearly sugar free pastry


Pastry base:

1 c. all-purpose or unbleached flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 tbsp. water


1 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1 c. all-purpose flour or unbleached flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 eggs


1 c. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. half and half
1 tbsp. butter
2 to 3 tsp. almond extract

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl, combine 1 cup flour and 1 tablespoon sugar. Using pastry blender or fork, cut in 1/2 cup butter until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle flour mixture with 1 tablespoon water while tossing and mixing lightly with fork.

On ungreased cookie sheet, form dough into 2 (14 x 3-inch) rectangles. (or spread out on a pizza stone.)

In medium saucepan, heat 1 cup water and 1/2 cup butter to boiling; remove from heat. Add 1 cup flour; stir until smooth. Beat in 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Spread topping mixture over base. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned.

In small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Drizzle glaze over slightly cooled Kringler. (also is really good with sliced or slivered almonds on top)

Yield: 20 servings. (Tiny ones anyway)

Zesty Zucchini


2 Zucchini

1/2 onion

2 cans stewed or diced tomatoes (I prefer “Italian style”)

Sprinkle of salt, pepper, and garlic.

Chop the Zucchini into bite sized pieces

Like This

Place in medium sauce pan

Add chopped onions...

Add the tomatoes

Let stew for a while and then Voila!  Yummy!

Let stew for a while and then Voila! Yummy!

Chicken Pot Pie~

So I’m working on dinner right now.  Chicken Pot Pie. 




3 cooked and chopped chicken chests

3 medium sized potatoes  (5 of the smaller red potato kind if you prefer)  chopped into bite sized pieces.

2 stalks celery chopped into bite sized pieces.

2 carrots chopped into bite sized pieces.

1/2 onion chopped finely

1 cup frozen peas

Liberal sprinkling of dill weed

(small can/jar of mushrooms if you like em!!!)


Grease a 13×9″ glass baking pan (or your favorite casserole pan approximately the same size) and pour the above ingredients in.  Mix together.




3/4 stick of butter- melted

3/4 cup of flour

Liberal sprinkling of Lawrey’s Seasoned Salt

Liberal sprinkling of pepper

Liberal sprinkling of garlic powder or a few cloves minced garlic (2 TBS or so if you buy it minced)

2-3 cups of chicken broth


Melt butter in pan, stir in flour until pasty, slowly pour in broth, and then add spices as it thickens.


Pour over pan of chicken mixture.  Stir.


Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour.


Then, cover with pie crust, cut off excess, and bake at 400 for 25 minutes.


I’m serving with salad and our favorite zucchini dish.



Oh.  And Lemon pie.  Yum.

Egg Salad-

So I was talking to Cecelia and mentioned I needed to go make egg salad for lunch.  She asked how I  make it and then asked me to take pictures as I did it.  Now, I’m not exactly sure why or if I’m crazy for doing it but I thought, “why not?” and went to town.


Now one thing you  must know is that I don’t really use recipes.  I’m more of a “dump some here and plop some there kind of cook so I’m guesstimating.  I’m no Ree and wouldn’t try to be.  But for Cecelia, I offer you, Egg Salad.


Egg Salad


10 Eggs (or 8 or 12 or even an odd number like 9!)

2 large cooking spoons full of mayo (or three or one…)

1 large eating spoon full of dijon mustard (or a healthy swirl over the eggs)

1 large eating spoon heaped with relish

Salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)

Parmasean  Cheese (a bunch… like maybe oh… four or five shakes)

2 TBS  (or a couple of big pinches) of Dill

1/4 Onion (finely chopped.  I love green onion best but rarely have it.  Purple is GOOD.  White works.)

2 full stalks of celery.   Or three.  Or maybe 1… depends on the eggs.

PS… sunflower seeds are good in there too.  I rarely have them.



1.  Peel the eggs.  Put in bowl. 



2.  Squirt the mustard.  You’ll cut it later.  Sorry, couldn’t resist.



3.  Parmesean.  I usually like more but it was clumpy and I didn’t feel like getting a knife and chopping it up.



4.  Add the mayo, relish, dill, salt, and pepper.



5.  Chop the celery and onion.  I didn’t need this picture but I thought it was pretty so I took it.  I get to do that.  Cook’s perogative.



5.  Add celery and onion



6  Mash well with potato masher.


Eat on whole wheat, sourdough, dill, or rye breads.  Also excellent on pitas and wrapped in tortillas.  For low carbers, wrap in a cabbage leaf.  It’s yummified.

The Mayhem-wich

Those who are familiar with he Confessions of a Pioneer Woman blog  should be familiar with Marlboro Man’s Sandwich.   She’s kind of famous for it and rightfully so.  It is a huge favorite of all of us here in the barren blistered end of creation and with my geek computer scientist of a husband as well.


No, Kevin doesn’t wear chaps although the ladies at our old church used to oggle his legs at softball games.  Instead of chaps, he dons cycling shorts and rides 20 miles at 20 mph in hundred degree weather, sometimes up a VERY steep hill all in the name of fun.  I think that sounds an awful lot like guys who ride crazed calves for fun or at least it does in a geek-cowboy comparison way.


As for Mayhem, well, that was Kevin’s High School and College nickname.  No, he’s not a total crazed lunatic of a geek.  He’s the typical quiet shy one… but with a name like Havig… and considering the first time I met him I went home and said, “Mom, guess what, there’s a guy at church whose last name is Havoc!!!”, it isn’t surprising that they took a spin off of the mispronunciation to give him as a nickname.  Well, that and guys like to do silly things like call big huge giant of guys “Tiny” and skinny guys “Chubbers.” 


Anyway, we love this sandwich.  It’s good stuff.  Very good stuff.  There is only one tiny flaw in it.  The cubed steak.  You see, cubed steak is expensive.  It’s 4.00 a pound.  We need 5-6 lbs. of meat for our crew.  That’s 24.00 just in meat.  Then there are the three packages of rolls (Two is usually great but if we’re sharing at all, we really need 3.)


So, our family, in an effort to be frugal, would buy 1.77 lb. London Broil, or 1.99 lb chuck steaks and pound them to death for two hours before time to eat.  We’ve all developed biceps in our right arms and nothing in our left (Kind of like that guy in Lady in the Water.  But, considering it cuts the cost in half, we figured it was P.E. and gave the kids credit if they helped, not many thought it was worth it though.  They kept volunteering to ride with daddy on his next bike trek.  Whatever.


Today, I was wanting these.  I stood at the meat counter and drooled over raw beef.  London Broil stared back at me mocking.  I could hear it.  “Neener, neener, neener… You’ll have to beat me… lit-er-all-y.”  Then it turned blood red when it realized what it was saying but a thought occurred to me.  It grew.  It blossomed.  I jumped for joy.  Ok, actually I just put 12 lbs of that stuff in my cart but when you consider my lack of affection for shopping as is evidenced by today’s earlier blog, it’s the same. 


This is the new and revised lazy mom’s way of making the mahvelous sandwich.


Ingredients:  (Which Ree charmingly calls “cast of characters”… maybe because she’s such a character herself.)


Beef.  However much you usually use pound-wise for Ree’s Authentic Marlboro Man’s Favorite Sandwich.


Crockpot:  Put half a stick of butter in the crockpot.  Put the meat on top.  Sprinkle liberally with Lawrey’s Seasoned Salt and Worchestershire Sauce.  Cook on high for like 5 hours.


When meat is done, do what she does… chop the onions etc.. 


I tried using less butter… and only one onion…



But it didn’t work…



So I added more.  (I thought about takign my own step by step thingies… but I changed my mind)



So you take the beef out and shred it.  But upon reflection, next time I’ll do it in the pan.  Add to pan just like she did the raw beef but be prepared… dinner is almost done.. you don’t have to cook it so it’s time to work fast.  Add more and more Worchestershire sauce until it tastes “right” and voila!




OOPS!  Should have shown the big cooked piece to show how it flaked.  Oh well…




Pour that over it too… cause it’s good that way.



My apologies Ree… I know it’s not authentic… but it’s REEal good!   Thank- you for making both my family AND my budget happy… even if by proxy on the budget portion.

Oh It’s Nothing but a Trifle!

Seriously.  It isn’t!

See.  Toldja!

It’s the easiest thing in the world and is SO GOOD.

  • Bake a white cake
  • Mix a large box of vanilla pudding
  • Wash and drain 6 packages of your favorite berry.  (We used blackberries)

Then it’s just a matter of slicing cake layers, swiping with pudding layer, positioning berries.  Sprinking with a smidge of sugar.  And then……….

WAIT!  Let it all soak together in excellent yumminess.

fills one trifle dish or two straight sided glass dishes (like I used)

Gotta get me a regular trifle dish when my kitchen’s done.

After Scotch Broth, we’re having TRIFLE!

White Tie Dinner~

Otherwise known as, “The Desperate Housewife’s Meal Salvation.”  Desperate as in, otherwise we don’t eat, not as in Hollywood’s vile version.  Thought you ought to know.

Cooked chicken chests.  Say… 2?

Bag of bow tie noodles.

Bag of stir fry veggies

Stick o’ butter

Onion Powder

Garlic Powder

Lawrey’s Seasoned Salt

Rice Wine Vinegar (or something like that)

Sesame Oil

Chicken broth (from can, bullion, base…. you name it)

 Half & Half if you have it.  Totally not necessary as is half the stuff up there.

Boil water and cook noodles like you’re supposed to.  This isn’t rocket science.

Chop chicken if you haven’t yet.

Melt butter in frying pan

Stir in chicken, broth, half and half, stirfry veggies… oh phooey, just stick it all in there.  Shake the onion and garlic powders to taste.  If it’s not a “Throw it together” dinner, use fresh.  It’s better but the other stuff works.

Cook until veggies are how you like them or the noodles are done or both.

Drain noodles, top with veggie/chicken mixture, and serve.

YUM.  Particularly yummy with croissant rolls.  Thought you oughtta know.