Hey friends! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve been really anxious to get back to blogging land, so I’m jumping in quick with a super fast and easy recipe for Sweet Chili Orange Chicken & Rice, plus an update on the craziness that is my life.
Back in October, I posted about my new job as the event manager at our local zoo. I decided to cut back on my freelance work and get a “normal job” for the first time in 20+ years – you can read about it in more detail HERE.
While it’s true I’ve been my own boss for much of my adult life, I welcomed the idea of working for someone else. Owning your own business often means you are consumed by work – you are never really “off”. There were lots of reasons for making the switch, but a big one was because I wanted to be able to work my 40 hours and then leave the job at my desk at the end of the day. I had planned to phase out most of my freelance work and free up some brain space for this blog, which had been growing at a nice pace all year.
Well, a funny thing happened….
A couple weeks into the job my boss put his notice in. So we started having conversations about me taking on more responsibilities. A few weeks after that the chef put his notice in. And about the same time some staffing issues came to light. And all of the sudden my 40 hour a week job that I could leave at the door didn’t really exist – it turned into a whole different beast.
We are restructuring literally everything about our department, which is cool and challenging and awesome, but holy moly…not at all what I signed up for.
I’m still taking care of a couple of my freelance clients, so the upshot of all this is that I’m working 12+ hour days most of the time – and I’m TOAST at the end of it, with literally nothing left physically or mentally.
I’m slowing dropping projects that don’t make sense anymore, and I’m sure at some point I’ll have some kind of reasonable balance in my life. In the meantime, I’m just doing the best I can. I know there are a lot of bloggers who juggle a full-time gig with blogging regularly and I am in awe of you ladies.
One of the things I’ve been working on to make my life easier is streamlining my dinner routine. My repertoire leans to “fast and easy” anyway, but since I’ve discovered this whole new level of exhaustion, I’ve been simplifying it even more.
One of the best things you can do for yourself to make it easy to whip up yummy homecooked meals is to do some prep on your day off. I cook up a family pack of salt and peppered chicken breasts, shred them, then divide into Ziploc bags with 2 cups of chicken in each one. They all go into the freezer and I can pull them out as needed.
I’ve discovered that most skillet chicken recipes calling for cutting up raw chicken and cooking it in the pan can easily be adapted for the pre-cooked shredded chicken.
I don’t know about you, but dealing with raw chicken and cooking it just seems like a giant pain in the ass at the end of the day, you know?
You can’t view it online unless you have a subscription, unfortunately.
The recipe was already pretty speedy, but instead of cooking the chicken breasts in the pan per the original recipe, I simply heated up the sauce, added my shredded cooked chicken and added a little crushed red pepper for heat. I was AMAZED and how good it turned it out and it’s definitely in my regular rotation now.
If you want to add some veggies, simply steam a bag in the microwave and toss them in when you add the chicken. You can have it done start to finish in 10 minutes or less. How cool is that?