My Intense Dislike of…

Welcome Yesterday I shared some words that sort of peeve me. Today, I’m going to share another thing that I strongly dislike. And like yesterday, I’m sure many people would simply say I’m overreacting. So what is this intense disliking for? Read on to find out. Hopefully, you will stick around to the end because our Wellness Wednesday recipe is for Blackened Chicken and Vegetables.  Note–I may receive a small compensation from advertisers or affiliate links seen on this blog. For further information, please see my terms and disclosure page.

Food For Thought  So what is it that I’m so worked up about today?  Well, it’s a day on the calendar, but that day changes each year.  The day occurs in November.  The day is always on a Friday.  Have you figured out what I’m talking about yet?  It’s Black Friday.  And yes, I know there are die-hard fans of this day that may very well be offended by my words regarding this “new tradition.”  My sister-in-laws love Black Friday, they know my opinion, and we agree to disagree, with love in our hearts!  Can you believe that I have NEVER been to a store on the Friday after Thanksgiving?

Simply from a comfort stand point, I don’t like the idea of this experience.  There is no way I’m going to be in line at a store at 3:00 AM in the cold with crowds of shoving, rude people.  With an extra day off on the calendar I want to use it for sleeping and being tucked in cozy, warm blankets in a comfy bed.  Then I want to be lazy in my pajamas for awhile, watching some football and eating Thanksgiving leftovers.  If my family happens to be feeling particularly ambitious we will start decorating for Christmas on this day.

But my dislike (again, it is just my opinion) is not only about my comfort and how I choose to spend my time off, although that’s enough for me.  I have a personal aversion to the corporate greed that has taken over the spirit of giving during the holiday season.  I assure you we give gifts at Christmas and I can also shamefully admit that our household has been sucked into the secular and materialistic side of the holidays.  But just because advertising and media claims that our holiday is  incomplete without the gift of “excess” and massive credit card debt doesn’t mean we have to fall into that trap of lies.  I hate to break it to you, folks, but all of those stores don’t care if you save one single cent.  In fact, with their slick sales pitches and claims of massive Black Friday “deals,” the American consumer is being lured into overspending on items they never intended to purchase otherwise.  Just because an item claims to be at its “lowest price guaranteed” in the Black Friday sales flyers doesn’t mean you, or a loved one, has to have it.  I also noticed a few years ago that I got the BEST deals by waiting until the last couple weeks before Christmas to buy items, especially toys and clothing.  Stores begin to panic that they didn’t move enough seasonal merchandise and THEN they start to mark down big-time!  My husband and I have spent time comparing some prices and unless you “need” a new television or video gaming system, you are probably not truly getting the lowest price on the item.  A few years ago we decided that our Christmas gift to each other would be a new television.  But we didn’t buy it until January and actually got an AMAZING deal because it was “last year’s” stock.  And spending that much on ourselves was easier to do at that time because it didn’t compete with what we wanted to spend on others in December.

Then a couple of years ago, something came along that I like even LESS than Black Friday!  The new trend started for stores to actually open on Thanksgiving Day to begin their sales.  What?!?  A day that is supposed to be focused on family time and gratitude became just another day for Americans to express their greedy ways.  That’s right, I said greedy!  And store employees have a right to spend the holidays with their families too!  Unless it is medicine or diapers or formula, there is NOTHING you need to go out for on Thanksgiving Day, in my opinion.  It’s beginning to feel as if Thanksgiving is just becoming a day to celebrate shoppers and spending money, like Dear Macy’s, we are so thankful for this chance to spend money we don’t have on stuff we don’t need!  No offense to Macy’s, it’s just a name I think of with Thanksgiving, with the parade and all.  In our household, we adamantly refuse to shop on Thanksgiving or even on Black Friday.  We also like to recognize Thanksgiving as the holiday it was intended to be.  You will not find any Christmas decorations on display during our Thanksgiving meal.

I realize some people reading this are going to think I’m completely crazy, or at least overreacting.  That’s okay.  If you choose to spend your day off fighting with other people so you can save a couple dollars on some flannel shirts or a set of pots and pans, go ahead.  I’ll be drinking my cup of hot cocoa and eating a leftover turkey sandwich while watching some football with my family, and being thankful that I won’t have to worry about all of that debt come January.

Today’s Scriptures  I realize that my words today might seem a bit “preachy” to some.  And again, I’m sharing my opinion about shopping on Black Friday or Thanksgiving.  But I do want to share some verses from scripture that I hope you will at least contemplate during the next couple of weeks.

Luke 12:15  “The he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Hebrews 13:5  “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

1 John 2:16  “For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.”

Today’s Recipe  It is Wellness Wednesday, so I usually try to offer a healthier option here in the middle of the week.  Today I have a Blackened Chicken and Vegetables dish.  When a dish is referred to as “blackened” it has to do with the heavy spices and smokey marinade used, usually for the protein portion.  In this case, I made my own spice blend and marinade for the chicken.  After cooking chicken in the skillet, the vegetables were sautéed in the drippings and “yum yum bits” in the bottom of the pan.  The chicken is best if it can marinate for 8-24 hours, so plan accordingly.  This is delicious served over pasta or rice!

 

Look at all the colors in those vegetables…that’s what nutrition looks like!

Blackened Chicken and Vegetables

  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 1 TBS onion powder
  • 1 TBS dried thyme
  • 1 TBS dried oregano
  • 1 TBS smoky dark paprika
  • 1/2 TBS nutmeg
  • 1/2 TBS allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 EACH red, yellow, and green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 large onion, sliced into strips (like you would for fajitas)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
In small bowl, combine all of the spices with a whisk or fork.
Add olive oil and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.
Place chicken in sealable container and pour in marinade. Cover and refrigerate 8-24 hours.
Place 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil in large skillet. Heat on medium-high until butter is melted. Add chicken and reduce heat to medium. Cook 7-8 minutes per side, depending on the size of your pieces, or until chicken is well-done.
When chicken is cooked completely, remove to cutting board to rest.
In same skillet, add all vegetables and saute 3-4 minutes. Add chicken broth and stir, scraping the bottom of the skillet to incorporate the flavors of the blackened bits from cooking the chicken. Place lid on skillet and continue cooking until vegetables are at desired doneness (I like a little crisp left in my fresh veggies.)

Slice chicken and serve with vegetables and this makes a great low-carb dinner.  You can also serve over cooked rice or pasta, if desired, and garnish with a little chopped green onion and shaved parmesan, too.

Recommended Products  I love my silicone cutting mats for slicing vegetables and meats, each with their own designated mat to prevent cross contamination and encourage easy clean-up.  I also love my Calphalon self-sharpening knife set, with knives to tackle any job in the kitchen, and they’re always sharp and ready to use!  Since this is a one-skillet meal, I can’t do without my Calphalon Every Day pan with its nonstick surface.  Interested in purchasing the products I use and recommend?  Click the links (verified on 11/8/17 at 1:40 p.m.) below.