Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yummy dinner that you should make!

I made this for dinner tonight, and it's DELICIOUS. Very simple, but the flavors are out of this world! Brian liked it, and he's not even real big on spinach. Give it a try!

Beans with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Becky

It's Becky's birthday today. She'd be 26, so it's her golden birthday. I miss her so much. I'm having a few beers and painting my toenails and remembering all of the great memories that we made together. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Need a new name for Menu Plan day

My menu plans are returning! However, since I've started a new position with different hours, it's not necessarily getting done on Saturday morning any more, and I'm no longer doing all the cooking! Brian's getting his turns at least twice a week now too. So I'll update them as often as possible, and they won't necessarily always be for an entire week. I think I need a new catchy name for my menu plan posts now though, since I can't really use "Menu Plan Saturday" anymore.

Anyways, here's my current menu and grocery list:

Monday - Salads (I know, original, right?)
Tuesday - Salsa Chicken
Wednesday - Fettuccine with zucchini (Brian's cooking)
Thursday - Soy sauce wings and fried rice

My list this week also included supplies for making sandwiches, as I'll be bringing my own lunch the next couple days, and a few other items that weren't necessarily "needed" for those 4 meals.

Deli sliced ham (Market Pantry) - $3.49

Romaine lettuce - $1.99
Alfalfa sprouts - $1.99
Green onions - $1.19
Zucchini - $1.07
Radishes - $.99

Muenster cheese (Market Pantry) - $2.29

Shelf-stable foods:
Honey (Market Pantry) - $3.19
Western salad dressing - $2.03
Instant rice (Market Pantry) - $3.39
Bread (Sara Lee) - $1.99

Grand total: $23.61

Now, I'd love to tell you that that's all I bought. But that would be lying to you. My actual total came to $70.70. I also bought a couple shirts and a few pairs of undies, and Coke products were on sale, so I got some Diet Coke for me and Caffeine-free Coke for Brian for $3/each. We're also complete Reese's fiends, so I got a huge bag of the mini Reese's cups. However, I did find out that you can get 5 cents off your total if you use a reusable bag! I was pretty psyched about that. And tomorrow, Brian will be getting more ground beef and chicken wings from Costco, which will tack even more onto the total. So don't let that piddly $23 fool you, that's just the actual meal food that I got from SuperTarget.

Notes from this week:
1) Salads might seem like a cheap idea, but they can add up, especially if you prefer store-bought salad dressing (which my husband does, I might be trying some homemade stuff). They are great if you're keeping them basic and you already have some of the toppings to go on there. (We already have diced ham in our fridge, as well as some Salad Toppins and a few different bottled dressings.)
2) I will probably be trying to bring my lunch more often, at least on the two days a week that I work until 8. I brought my lunch to work yesterday, but it was a pretty small portion and I was starving, so I went and got Chipotle instead. Mental note: when packing my own lunch, make sure to bring enough food!
3) As much as I love to cook, I'm really enjoying having Brian take on some of the cooking responsibilities too. He usually has to pick what he's going to make, and he's been finding some good recipes. Tonight he made a really rich cheese soup in our slow cooker. He is becoming a serious pro at the slow cooker. I think he'll do really good making the Fettuccine with zucchini on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ultimate Fail Bread

The best way to kick off a new blog is with an embarrassing story, right? So why don't we start there?

Today, I got the crazy bug up my butt to bake some bread. Now mind you, I've done very little bread making in my culinary career, but a friend posted a nice easy no-knead bread recipe on her Facebook page. Can't go wrong with that, right? Right? ....RIGHT?

I got going on it, and within minutes, I was mixing up my batch of bread. My first mistake was not mixing it long enough (which I didn't realize at the time). The recipe called for it to be baked on parchment paper, but I don't do much baking, and as such don't have any parchment paper in my house. I found a package of waxed paper that said "Great for baking!" on it, and figured I'd be alright.

(Now, at this point, some of you might be snickering that I'd make such a rookie mistake and can already tell what's coming. If that's the case, quit laughing, keep reading, and stop being an asshole. Kthxbai.)

So I lay out the waxed paper, and shape my loaves of bread on top. Let it rise for 20 minutes, then pop those bad boys in the oven! I go back into the computer room, and within seconds, I smell something that reminds me of my Grandma's house at Christmas. (No, not my mom's mom, that makes the greatest food ever; my dad's mom. The one that makes sauerkraut hotdish for every holiday and burns dumplings. Yeah, that Grandma.) I race back out to the kitchen and see smoke pouring out of the oven. I pull the door open and yank out the pans, one of which has very obviously singed edges all over the waxed paper. Before I can get the fan going and the windows opened, the smoke detector in the hallway starts beeping, soon followed by the one in the bedroom. Dammit. I got the fan turned on, the smoke detectors turned off, and went back to my lumps of dough. I sprayed the pans with Pam and flopped the "loaves" back onto the pans and peeled the waxed paper off of them.

"Still good! I can work with this!" I thought. I popped them back in the oven, and baked them for the remaining time. At the end of the baking time, I pulled them out of the oven....and I had bricks. More fail. I tried everything I could to make them edible, but it wasn't going to happen.

I will definitely try this recipe again, and learn from my mistakes this time, but this particular instance was just reeking of baking FAIL.

Here I am!

Well, here I am at my new home over here at Blogger. I have a few reasons for making this switch, but the biggest one being that it's next to impossible to get non-Xanga readers to read a Xanga blog. It's a lot easier to hold yourself accountable to regular posting if you know you're being read, and as much as I love my Xanga readers (who I very much hope will follow me over here!), I think I can expand my audience a little better in this venue. You'll see a lot of the same kind of stuff I was posting before my hiatus, cooking, photography, random home improvement projects, and other inane tidbits from my life. I'll do my best to make this blog as interesting as I possibly can, and hopefully that will keep me posting and you coming back. :)