This past week has been quite… eventful.
Obviously I’m talking about Christmas, but for many of us in the mitten state, it was eventful for additional and altogether different reasons. See, last Saturday night (December 21st), much of the Michigan area was hit with the Ice Storm from Hell. I assure you that that is not an exaggeration. It really was the Ice Storm from Hell. Maybe some of you have been hearing or reading about it in the news. For those of you that haven’t yet, just let me explain.
It all started with rain. Rain that was freezing into ice before it even hit the ground. As a result, it coated pretty much everything it fell on in a thick sheet of ice; trees, roads, cars, roofs…and power lines.
The result of all this: numerous trees collapsed under the weight of the ice, falling on cars and damaging the windshields, or even on roofs and damaging homes. The roads were a skating rink; there were some pretty bad car pile ups and accidents. But none of that is too unusual in Michigan- we can deal with that. The real problem was with what the Ice Storm from Hell (I’ll just call it the ICFH from now on) did to our power lines.
Short answer: carnage. Pure carnage.
We had hundreds of downed power lines, and 40,000+ people that were left without any power. Even worse yet, our local power company had severely limited resources that quite frankly, couldn’t properly deal with the amount of repairs that had to be done. Keep in mind folks: this was December 21st- 4 days before Christmas. You see where I’m going with this?
Fortunately, my house was not one of the ones affected by the downed power lines. But there were many, MANY of my neighbors, and loved ones that were. I’m not just talking electricity folks. I mean people left in the dark without power or heat…when the temperature was dropping to lows of 10° at night. The mayor advised all affected people to seek shelter in hotels or local specially designated warming centers. It was pretty awful. One day went by, then another, and another, and another…
Yeah. There were thousands of people both in and outside of my town that were left without ANY power or heat on Christmas Day. If that doesn’t suck, then I don’t know what does. As for my crew, we were a very crowded, rather cramped bunch on Christmas- but although the inconvenience to my family was present, it was VERY minor in comparison to others who didn’t have relatives homes they could go to stay in, money for a hotel, or even a Christmas Dinner to enjoy.
It’s now seven days after the ICFH hit, and though the majority of people here that were affected have now regained their heat and electricity, there are still too many others that have not. They face the possibility of spending both their Christmas AND New Year without being home, or in a home without heat or power. It may sound like a minor inconvenience, but anyone who’s lost their power for an extended period of time knows that it’s not minor- especially in the dead of winter at the Holidays.
This week taught me a very valuable lesson guys: I learned the importance of being thankful for everything I have. We were crammed together on Christmas- but we were together, with electricity, heat and a wonderful dinner (cooked almost completely single-handedly by yours truly, by the way). That’s something that thousands of people around me couldn’t say.
I’m not trying to preach a sermon or anything at you guys, but…I really just want everyone to try and take a moment to stop and think about the things you have in your life to be grateful for, particularly at this time of year. Don’t take them for granted- they’re not small or insignificant. They mean a whole lot.
Okay, I’m done. Back to the food.
I’m sure that all of you cookletes out there have a small arsenal of recipes that you can bust out at anytime, throw together in a pinch, and guarantee that it will be a big hit with the members of your household. I’ve got several of my own in my back pocket, and I decided the last time that I made one of them that it was silly for me not to put it here on the blog.
So ladies and gents, boys and girls: I give you…fajitas.
The best fajitas I’ve ever had- and that counts restaurant fajitas too.
The original version calls for steak to use as the protein. I’ve done that before, as well as using chicken and steak together, and the results have been fabulous with every version. Me and my family just LOVE this recipe. It’s simple, but so flavorful. I love red peppers and onions, so that’s what I used, but if you’re a fan of more variety then feel free to use green, yellow, or orange peppers. They’re delicious too. Fajitas are meant to be put into tortilla wraps, but this recipe is good enough to eat straight with a fork all on its own over rice.
Until next time guys. Remember: try to be grateful for the little things. They may not be as little as you think they are 😉
- 3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 flour tortillas (8 inch/20 cm)
- 1 -2 onion,
- 2 small sweet peppers, of your choice (green, red, or yellow)
1. Slice chicken into thin strips.
2. In bowl, mix together 1 tablespoons olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, hot pepper flakes, black pepper & salt.
3. Add chicken strips and stir to coat, set aside.
4. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.
5. Cut onions in half lengthwise and slice into strips, cut your peppers into strips.
6. In large non stick skillet over medium high heat, heat remaining tablespoons of olive oil.
7. Add onions & peppers stirring for 3-4 minutes, until softened; transfer to a bowl and set aside.
8. Add chicken to skillet, cook, until no longer pink.
9. Return onions and peppers to skillet; stir for about one minute.
10. To serve, spoon a portion of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla, top with your desired toppings , fold bottom of tortilla up over filling, fold the sides in, overlapping.
- Phat Chick Fridays: Chicken Fajita Salad (phatchickfitness.com)
- Baked Fajitas (fightingfrazzled.wordpress.com)
- Your Not So Average Chicken Fajitas (giuliaandchild.wordpress.com)
- Chicken Fajitas (theculinaryjourneymadesimple.wordpress.com)
- Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas (maggiechoosefit.wordpress.com)
- Quick, Easy, Loved-by-all Fajitas! (crazyfreegf.wordpress.com)
- Steak and Mango Fajitas (favoriterecipeideas.wordpress.com)
- Chicken Tortilla Soup (somethingsplendidblog.wordpress.com)