My adventures in pregnancy, motherhood and beyond

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fails-Kitchen and DIY

Some fails. Don't worry, the last one has a happy ending.

I love buffalo chicken ANYthing. I think my love affair began with a buffalo chicken dip one of James' relatives brought to a party. I could have eaten nothing but that all night and been perfectly happy. Since then, I've been accumulating buffalo chicken recipes to try. I don't make it often since Hubby isn't a spicy-foods lover, but he relented and let me try a buffalo chicken mac'n'cheese recipe I found. I don't want to link to the recipe since I'm pretty sure the result was due to faulty ingredients.

The first thing you have to understand is that I never had Kraft mac n cheese until I was 13. My mom always made macaroni and cheese that was more like a casserole. She made it the way my grandma made it, and my grandma made it the way Papa's mom had made it. Cook the noodles, mix with some cheddar and bake in a casserole dish. If you're Papa, dad or me, add A1 (or HP) sauce and enjoy. Yum. This is one of my top comfort foods, placing second only to schnitzel. And now I lost my train of thought and want macaroni and cheese....where was I? Oh yeah, James doesn't fancy this dish as much as I do. He prefers a saucier dish, which I usually do too, so we've had to compromised and I've learned to accept (and maybe even like) Kraft mac'n'cheese and hotdog nights.

We halved everything since it was just the two of us, and it still made enough leftovers for at least another meal. There were some things I would have changed: it smelled delicious while cooking, but didn't have much spice or buffalo flavour, so I would probably double the sauce (and kill James, according to him). We also definitely skimped on the chicken, but I hadn't realized we only had one chicken breast left when we started cooking at 8:30, and didn't feel like running to the store. I left out the panko because I really don't understand that topping for mac'n'cheese, and had to leave out the blue cheese for obvious reasons :( It ended up alright, but it was mediocre at best. I also burned the butter when trying to make part of the sauce, so that probably didn't help.

The problem was the reaction we both had. My stomach ache yanked me out of a pleasant dream the next morning. Hubby said he thought he was dying in the shower. I thought it was just my tummy, since my digestive system is finicky at the best of times. I've just learned to accept that and deal with it, but James tends to have a cast iron stomach. I went over the recipe again, trying to see if it was something in it. If it had just been me, I would have assumed that I should have taken a lactaid, but there was nothing in there that should have bugged us; I'm relatively sure something was up with one of our ingredients or we did something incorrectly/undercooked something. It's unfortunate since the dish had some great potential. If you have a recipe for buffalo chicken mac'n'cheese that you've tried, please pass it along, because it still sounds delicious to me...though it might take James a bit longer to warm up to the idea of trying it again.

My DIY fail was spectacular. And no, there are no pictures. I read this blog post on Delighted Momma and was thrilled. Those of you who know me know that I have digestive issues; I've been to many doctors, had every procedure short of invasive surgery, and no one can figure out what is going on with my stomach. My symptoms match Crohn's, but no one can confirm it since no doctor has been able to see visual signs of inflammation. And my body decides to be normal when I'm having tests done. And since going off birth control last July, my skin seems to have reverted to the middle school complexion I never had. I can control it with benzoyl peroxide, but was told it wasn't safe during pregnancy. I figured I'd give this home remedy a whirl. After all, it can't hurt, right?

Wrong. I haven't had the guts to drink it as recommended, so I can't comment on the digestive properties Delighted Momma claims. I did find some organic, unfiltered (but not raw) apple cider vinegar at Trader Joe's and figured it should work as well. I was cleaning up the bathroom, so decided to sponge the vinegar on my face and set the timer for 20 minutes. My face felt a little flushed, but I wasn't concerned since that's par for the course right now. James came home 5 minutes later and I apologized for smelling like vinegar, but he asked what had happened to my face. I checked the mirror, and my face had turned BRIGHT RED. Worse than the worst sunburn I ever had. And it followed the line of where I put the vinegar, so around my eyes was still super pale. I looked like a bad tanning bed experiment. It was terrible. I immediately washed my face with cold water, but it didn't seem to help. My face had felt flushed, but not burning, not anything that would have suggested this level of reaction. I sponged some milk on my face, and that helped cool my face, but I'm not sure it had any reaction on the redness. I would have used yogurt, but I only had peach yogurt, and I didn't really want to experiment further that day. Within 20 minutes, my face was almost back to normal. I reread the post, and followed a link at the bottom about using the vinegar topically, and sure enough the mistake was my own. You're supposed to dilute the vinegar, 1 part to 3 parts water. I also decided I would find the exact brand in her picture (available at Fresh & Easy) just in case the non-raw thing had something to do with it.

I made up a batch and have been using it 1-2 times daily on my face and chest and it has definitely made a difference! My skin is softer, and my breakouts are fading and less red. I don't know if it's the vinegar, but I think it is. (I skipped a few days and noticed a change again--not for the better). All I know is that that one bottle will last me quite a while and I will continue using it. I'd rather use a home remedy like this than medications, pregnant or not. I would definitely recommend this for someone who has mild/moderate breakouts, but I would stress diluting it!! (Of course, my skin tends to be super sensitive, so *shrug*)

See, I told you one of my fails had a happy ending! And remember, if you have any buffalo chicken recipes, please share them with me! Or any recipe, really. I can't wait to cook more!

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