Summer Break....and singin "back in the saddle again"

I never was one for continuity.  It is something I strive for everyday.  I suppose it is good to know your weaknesses, as well as your strengths....I think I'm revamping my goal to AMAP (as much as possible).  And in the same breath, I'll consider how human I am and call it great!

That being said, it's Tuesday, gloomy, and there is impending doom (yet again!) for our region.  I think tonight I'd like a low-key dinner...definitely with a fruit salad (it's like Chiquita Banana had a fiesta in my pantry with her fellow party-goers Dole-Man and Del Monte).

On a side note, I'm thinking that I'm going to have to sell a kidney to keep up with the super-inflation of food.  It's coming, for those of you who feel's coming.  Check out the price of corn...and watch the documentary Food, Inc.....then freak out a little bit;) 

Can I say how thankful I am the farmers markets and CSAs available to us?  I'm not much of a gardener, so yes...thank you to all you who are good stewards of the earth!

What's cookin' on your stove tonight?


Mar 21, 2011---Back from Eating-in Vacation

So we went on vacation.  We ate out a ton...gained a we're back to revel in our gluttony (or writhe away).  We did get to eat at a Marie Callender's, a Mexican restaurant,a  bar-b-q, and a bar-b-cue, a fresh seafood joint,  a few fast food joints, some picnic lunches and a ton of hotel breakfasts.  Given, we could have eaten in some...but it was vacation. 

We came back and decided we missed having more veggies.

I think we definitely had our fill for quite a while.  Only problem today is we need to go grocery shopping!!!!  Maybe we'll walk to the grocery later on today (I'm glad we came back to beautiful weather).

Excited to be back Eating in...


March 3, 2011---Still here....eating in....with cheer?!?!??!

I'm a poet.  In case you didn't know it.

So, we're still eating in.  The past couple of weeks would have been part of the perfect storm enabling me to go on a fast-food diet, however....we stayed true to course.  I did choose some lazy meals (i.e. frozen pizza) to help me cope with less hours of being able to don my frilly apron. 

But, perhaps I'll be able to start writing of my adventures again regularly (as I do enjoy it---a la Doogie Howser-style). 

Tonight's fare was a delectably seared pork loin with red potatoes and "other" vegetables.   Oh, and lemon pudding.  Delicious lemon pudding.

'Til we meet again....


Feb 18, 2011---Giving up pop and other triumphs

I have drank pop for the longest time.  I remember in college drinking my Dr. Pepper between classes in the basement of an almost-parking garage.  I remember working and having my can of Diet Dr. Pepper to my side.  I even remember pleading with my doctor while I was pregnant for information to "what was a safe consumption level."  And now, I have been pop-free for 4 days.

I gave it up cold-turkey only because I have a clean-plate mentality; if it's in my fridge or on my table I will drink it.  No self-control---I must have missed that gene (along with a few others).

I was drinking 2-3 8 oz glasses/day.  For kicks I googled reasons why pop is atrocious for the human body, but came to the resolve that's not good for costs me will cost me more money over the long-run if I continue drinking it....and ultimately it's not worth telling my kids why they can't have any and I can. 

But, here's the kicker.  I've tried to give up pop before.  I know it's not good for me, but it kept finding it's way back into my life because I'd be at a restaurant and want my pop.  McDonalds maybe horrible for you, but they are masters at marketing.  Ever since they placed a drink, a fry, and a sandwhich together [with a discount], the world has never been the same.  So this time (although I suffered from caffeine headaches still), my change to a pop-free existence has been relatively temptation free. 

So, yippee for eating-in. 


Feb 17, 2011---Slow..slow....quick quick

No, it's not another dance step: it's my combo method for dinner tonight.  I had a feeling dinner needed to happen quickly upon demand, so when crunch time came I spent a whopping 15 mins on dinner.  I figure that was drive time to/from a fast-food at least I'm coming out even.  If I figure out dinner cost (which was ridiculously low tonight---thanks to super-on-sale chicken) then I totally stomped my goal for eating in.

So, I crock-potted some chicken.  When dinner-prep came, I started my brown rice to boil, then shredded chicken, chopped up some mushrooms, threw the mushrooms in with some frozen broccoli and threw that mixture in the your-crowave.  By that time my rice was done, then I threw everything together in a pot with some all-binding cream of chicken soup.  Voila.  Dinner was done.  Oh, and I opened some mandarin oranges for good measure.

Quick.  Easy.  Kids fed.  Kids happy.  Success.

If you feel inclined to do the 15 minute dinner dance, please be sure to insert the red rose you got from Valentines Day in your mouth. 

And for the time I saved on making dinner?  I went grocery shopping [it is Thursday after all].  I kind of love these kind of trips---in and out and "saved" 50%. 

And as for me and my fam...we're still eating in. 

Feb 14, 2011---Yeah it's that one holiday....again

Well, it is another VD day.  Some of us are showered by their lovers with delectable chocolate truffles and dozens of red long stem roses---the lucky few.  For those of use who aren't as lucky, I present a delicious, inexpensive, dessert that makes eating-in quite enjoyable.

We aren't going out on a hot-date tonight, and honestly I'm just fine about it.  But, I did make this to celebrate.  It's a heart-shaped, red-velvet, torted, single-layer cake filled and frosted with cream cheese frosting (and crumb covered with red-velvet cake crumbs).

And to all those that celebrate, I hope you have a great day!


Feb 13, 2011---Time to make the...Bagels

What else to do on a day off from school? 

Bake a little?  Of course!

I made these more into the "mini-bagel" size, which proabably is more of a real serving. 

BTW, don't feel prompted to eat these straight out of the oven.  As my mouth can attest, burned tissue isn't pleasant.

For those of my fans wondering....I used a bread machine recipe and bread machine.  For this recipe, you make the dough, then you take the dough, manipulate it into little baby bagels, let them rise 10 more, boil the little suckers for 3 mins, glaze them with egg (add topping if desired), and bake 'em for 20-25 more.  Not bad. 

Try it Mikey, you'll like it!


Feb 10, 2011---Umbrella Day (and long days and short nights)

This week has been rather a blur, however we are still here. 

And still eating in.

Tonight's fare included crockpot Italian chiciken, sauteed bean beans (or green beans fo those of you who don't know how to speak toddler) with mushrooms and garlic, and a bit of psghetti with sauce.

And so it continues.

I did get Fannie Farmer's cookbook from the library the other day.   I have strange desires to try my hand at  puff pastry and madeleines and other bits of deliciousness.  My husband was teasing me when I told him that I perhaps wanted a madeleine pan.  He tried to use my blog against me and reference the moment when I momentarily referenced my collection as carp.

And now I want another cookbook.  She has EVERYTHING in it...from coffee to veal (not that I have a desire to cook veal) and she makes things sound so simple!  Ahhh new fodder .

Oh, and so far everything is laced with butter and bacon!  She's my kind of woman!

To honor my new book, I even bought some good ol' fashioned Brer Rabbit Molasses.  My kids were with me and they were asking what I was buying.  As I had to enunciate, I could only laugh at the joke inside of my head [insert mole-asses joke here].  Of course I didn't share the shady joke with my young impressionable children....I will remove that metaphorical umbrella another day.



Feb 8, 2011---Delta Delta Delta can I help help help ya?

Still on track with eating in, even though I'm not on track to track it.  Briefly, it's because of cruddy snow days filled with lotsa kids and not a lotta me-computer time. 

On other notes, our house was deliciously Greek tonight.  Tempted by ads of a new restaurant in town, and fond memories of my youth, I wanted Greek fare.  So, I totally took the bull by the horns and made some great happy-belly making food:

Homemade pita bread (yes, you can think I'm an over-achiever now...until you realize I'm a slacker and used my bread machine)
homemade hummus (easy peasy beany squeazy)
fillins for the gyros
sauteed green beans with feta and walnuts
homemade tzatziki sauce

Did it take forever?  Not so much.  Everything was 3 ingredients or less (except the pita bread, but I just dumped it in the machine and took a nap)  Was it delicious?  Ohhhhhh yeah!!!!  This probably was one of my faves so far.  Was it cheap?  Cheaper than if I would have gone out, definitely!   The only thing I missed was kafteri (methinks that's how you spell it)...but I was quite pleased nonetheless!


Feb 2, 2011--Groundhog Day and other farces

Whatever.  Phil can suck dirt.  Has he noticed that blizzard thing?  And no, it's not a recent bit o' take-out from the DQ, but rather an impressive bit o' snow that has rendered our school bags useless.

We're still eating in.  In fact, I've been trying to keep the cool in my house by adding a little variety from the kitchen.  I've dehydrated apples, made ice cream, blueberry compote, waffles, deep dish pizza, whipping cream (ok, that one was easy peasy), made homemade brownies, and tomorrow is chili.  My dh made "happy meals" last night while I was shoveling.  Mostly, it made me happy that I didn't have to cook.

Now, school has been called off until next week. 

And....I might increase my weight by 10% or so by next week  (especially if I keep sampling my delicious delights of the kitchen).  Luckily, shoveling burns how many calories?

As tomorrow is chili day, I need to find my corn bread recipe.  Alas, mine is special:)  Insert cheese, cottage cheese, and spinach!  I don't remember where we acquired this recipe, but it's quirky and tasty.  If I find it, I'll post!

Happy (yet another) Day off from reality!