Thursday, May 28, 2009

Making the most of Convenience Foods

I have really been making an effort that last few months to cook more from scratch without using prepackaged convenience foods. It is hard but I feel has really been worth it, especially in the flavors and being healthier.
But.... what to do when the groceries are running low and you have to put something together from what you have in the freezer and pantry?
Well, here comes about Cashew Carrot Ginger Stir-fry.
The soup base is a great soup from Costco that is all natural and organic. It really livened the meal up healthily.
It really was a super healthy and flavorful convenience meal. From start to finish took about 25 minutes which was great, and only used 1 pan, and then a pot to cook the rice.
What are some of your guys' favorite convenience type meals?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Central Park Burger

I know I said last week that I was going to be a better food blogger, but that didn't happen
Oh well... here I try again
Has anyone ever eaten at Central Park Burger? When my husband and I first met and got married 10-11 years ago we used to eat at this little burger joint all the time. it is just a drive through window, you can't eat in the restaurant, but really good. They would do these specials on chili dogs where you could get a bunch for really cheap and the fries were so good. Well they all closed down and I haven't had one in about 8 years. Well yesterday I had to show vacant land in another county and we decided to continue the trip up to the idaho border and buy lottery tickets. And every time we go buy lottery tickets we pass through a town on the way home that still has a central park burger.
It was dinner time and I remembered all the glory of the old days and we decided to stop there..
I was sooo dissapointed! It did not live up to my remembrances at all!
good Points: It was still cheap. You can get a hamburger meal with fries and a drink for $3.84.
Bad points: They made the hamburger then waited for the fries to cook. The fries were scalding hot and the hamburger was cold. (it tasted decent, but still!)
Also the fries were about half gone, when the husband decided to tell me that the last fry he ate tasted wierd and really bitter. I joked that it was probably a rat's leg, and that kind of ruined the fries from there. The rest went uneaten.
I think it sucks when you build something up in your mind for so many years and then it is so dissapointing. That is one of the reasons I don't want In-and-Out burger to come to Utah. It is such a treat when we are going through Las Vegas or California to get one, I don't want to be dissapointed when it can be every day life...
Our other quest is to one day have a real White Castle burger. The only one I've ever had is the little frozen ones you can buy at the grocery store, and I'm guessing they aren't nearly as good.
What about everyone out there in blog land. What is your food quest that you have never tried but really want to?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Garbanzo beans

I have had a recent fascination with garbanzo beans and am wondering what everybody else likes to do with them. I usually use them as a topping, in salads, or have made a lemon salad with garbanzos as the base, and yesterday I had them for the first time hot, in a sausage black bean dish. They really do blend well with just about everything. I have made Hummus also. What does everyone else out there like to do with garbanzo beans?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm not a very good blogger

I've come to realize that I don't think I am a very good blogger! lol.... seriously... I get so busy and forget to take pictures, or even post.... but I am going to try harder!
It has been a lot of eating on the run the last while...... Literally, I fed the kids leftovers from Olive Garden for dinner last night, and I had some crackers and hummus....
Yesterday was laundry day, and being that there is less then 2 weeks of school left I decided it was time to get the summer clothes out (4 kids=about 9 totes of clothes brought up from the basement)
add that to the 10 loads of laundry I did it was a busy day! Plus in doing the summer clothes I had to clean out all of their drawers and closets to put the winter clothes away. So that has been occupying my time.....
Peanut butter toast and coffee for breakfast. I have no idea what is coming up for lunch or dinner....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm exaughsted!

I am so tired! Been going since 7 this morning non stop. And I am NOT a morning person! lol... I hope my husband appreciates all this birthday stuff...
After I posted breakfast, I headed out to pick up my mother-in-law. We went to a specialty pastry shop about 45 minutes away from my house to pick up my husbands favorite cake. Chocolate rum cake. It is soo good, and had rum balls on the top. Then we went to a restaurant called Village Baker to pick up a sandwich for him (I know what you are thinking, sandwich for his bday?) But trust me. They make all their bread fresh and their sandwiches are a treat! I got him roast beef on wheat, and I had veggie and provolone on squaw bread.
Now we had to take all this stuff to my husbands work, because he can't leave for lunch, and has to work until 8 o clock tonight.
So after that, I headed home to pick up kids from school (i did have half of them with me) and ran back to the grocery store to get a few items for a surprise dessert for my husband.
Got home and fixed split pea soup (a favorite of his, and I have some saved for when he gets home, and his special dessert, caramel drop cookies. These are slightly time consuming, so I don't make these very much, but these are his favorite cookies from growing up, so I tried to at least make them for his birthday.
Now the question for all of you out there in blog land, is, how do I go about turning a cookie recipe into bars? I am thinking these would be much easier to make as a bar style cookie with all of the icing and everything. Any suggestions?

Caramel Banana French Toast

I have been so Busy! And in that have had to take a few days off from blogging.....
Today is Josh's birthday so I made a special breakfast. I adapted my Creme Brulee French Toast recipe and made it into a banana caramel one.
The Recipe
This is actually the first time I have made it with bananas, and it turned out pretty good, but I think that I perfer it without.....
Also, for mother's day my mom brought me a pretty calla lily. That is the picture of the blooming pot.... The other's are bulbs that I transplanted from my Grandma's garden. My husband and I did yard work yesterday for her and accidentally dug up those with the weeds, so we transplanted them. We will see how they do.... They were looking pretty sorry last night...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Good Old Fashioned Spaghetti

What a week it has been already! The real estate market in Utah has really started to pick up and I have been busy!
Hmmm.. let's see.... yesterday's menu consisted of just coffee for breakfast, and lunch was a big beautiful salad. It was a simple one, I didn't want a bunch of overdone ingredients like I normally do, so it was spring greens, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, a SMALL handful of faccacio (sp?) croutons, and light ranch. It was delicious and filling, but I was starving by the time I got home from work.
Husband was on dad and dinner duty while I was gone, so when I got home about 8:30 the spaghetti was long overdue. Just jarred sauce (but we doctor it up with ground beef, and added veggies) and plain old white pasta. I forgot how good it is. We have been buying whole wheat and grain pasta for so long I was used to it, but a nice white pasta was so good for a change.
I don't have pictures, but I could share a picture of the dirty dishes that are still sitting out from it....
Another busy day ahead of me. I have to show more houses in between school drop offs and pickups, so I don't think there will be anything to exciting on the menu. I am really craving a chickpea salad, but don't know if that will make it into the mix today...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Birthdays and Sliders

Well I have no pictures because my husband had control of the camera snapping pictures of the birthday boy!
Yes my last baby, my little boy, turned three yesterday. His request for dinner was hamburgers. My mother in law had the fabulous idea to do a slider station. It was perfect for me, because I got to have two different hamburgers without overdoing it. I had one with guacamole, cheddar cheese, and bacon. Then the other with sauteed onions. It was really good. Served with corn on the cob, potato salad, and a veggie tray.
And birthday cake of course.
His lunch request was macaroni and cheese so we went to Ikea for lunch. Josh and I split their Salmon. We love eating at Ikea!
Also had a fun item yesterday. We were at Target and noticed they had the new Pepsi "throwback" on sale. If you haven't heard of it they have Pepsi and Mt. Dew made with natural sugar instead of corn syrup. They were good, and it was definitely a different kind of sweet. But oh man, am I going to have to stay away from those. Soda is a definite weakness of mine and we usually don't keep it in the house because of this reason, these are higher in calories then regular soda. The Mt. Dew had 170 calories, and the pepsi 150! Horrible!!!!!
Just goes to show that all natural doesn't mean it is better for you.... sometimes worse....