Category Archives: Foodie

Food is my Favorite

Things have been hectic recently. Over Christmas break, Mr. A was home and I was working a lot, so we had a lot of pizzas and frozen things.

Then, I was working and trying to apply to grad school, which meant lots of library time to work on a paper and such, so lots of fast food.

And then last week happened. Which involved a lot of eating  out and junk food. We hadn’t gone to the grocery store in nearly two weeks, and with Mr. A’s limited diet last week, eating out was kind of our best option.

And when we got married, I was trying to cook more and work on my less than desirable skills in the kitchen.

So this week, I’m trying to get back to cooking more, eating more at home, and trying to be more domestic.

Sunday: I didn’t cook. BUT, my favorite brand of store bought garlic bread (Cole’s), has an entire meal in a box. Different pastas, sauce, and garlic bread. Was out of a box, but actually really delicious. You can’t really go wrong with cheese tortellini. 

Monday: Valentine’s Day!! I said it on Twitter, but our dinner was fantastic. We has baked asparagus, salmon pinwheels (one with lobster stuffing (AMAZING), the other with spinach and feta (VERY GOOD)), and then we had a French baguette with dipping oil. For dessert, Mr. A’s favorite, blackberry pie. We opened up our favorite bottle of wine from a local winery and it was a perfect dinner at home. The pinwheels may have been made from the seafood counter and all I had to do was bake it, but I cooked it and it was delicious.

Tuesday: Tonight we are having beer-braised beef, mashed potatoes, and broccoli. I found the recipe here and it looks pretty delicious. Also, we had some steak that needed to get used, so this was the way to do it.

Wednesday: I work until 6, so we’re just going to have spaghetti with spicy marinara sauce. Mr. A makes a fantastic sauce, so he gets to make that.

Thursday: We are having DuolyNoted’s bruschetta because it is absolutely wonderful. Favorite recipe we’ve found. We’re also having these stuffed crab shells from our grocery store. They are super cheap and delicious. They coem frozen, so we buy them and then just keep them in the freezer for an easy dinner. Yummmmmm.

Friday: Mr. A’s stepmom gave us her chicken and rice recipe. I’ll have to type it up for you all. So delicious. Basically chicken, rice (we use brown), cream of mushroom soup, broth, and some vegetables and you bake it. So delicious.

Saturday we will probably go grab dinner just because one of our favorite things to do is to go out to eat, we just need to do it WAY less often than we have been.

What are some of your favorite dishes? Any new one’s I should try?

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Good Eats

Last week, I asked on Twitter if anyone had done the South Beach Diet or knew anyone and what they thought. The responses were very mixed. Some said they had done it or someone they knew had with great results. Others were vehemently against it, or any type of “diet”.

However, my mom has started this and it has done some wonders. She doesn’t follow it 100%, but in two weeks she’s already gone down a pants size and her energy level has gone through the roof. This is the woman who would want to go to bed at 7:30 each night and still not really want to wake up each morning. She now wakes up early and is active all day and doesn’t go to bed till 10 or 11. She seems happier and is looking much better.

So, this is what I’m doing. I’m going to follow the first two weeks 100%. This means no bread, potatoes, rice, sugars, etc. I’ll be having lots of salads and turkey wraps and tuna in various forms and such. Then, after two weeks, I can start introducing some of those things back into my diet.

I know I know. I should just eat healthier and move on. But you don’t understand how atrocious my eating habits can be. My mother, who had the metabolism of a racehorse until she reached the age of 45, could eat anything she wanted, no matter the fat or butter or salt or sugar content and she wouldn’t gain a pound. This then became how she let my brother and I eat. Only, my brother inherited her metabolism and was athletic, and I did not. I had all of her sisters’ genes which means I gain weight super easily.

And I’ve been working on my eating habits and working out, but french fries and pizza and chocolate call my name on a daily basis. And telling myself to just eat better isn’t cutting it.

Also, my mom has said that after the first few days, she hasn’t craved sugar or carbs at all. She doesn’t put sugar in her coffee anymore and she doesn’t crave bread and pasta like she used to.

Umm….if I can quit having these cravings, then after these two weeks, eating better will be a million times easier. This is also forcing me to figure out healthy alternatives and how to make the food delicious for me. I am not planning on sticking to the SBD after these two weeks, but eating more vegetables and fresh foods and less processed crap and insane amounts of sugars. The book has some good recipes and I have no problem making those and using some of it’s tips, but I don’t want to feel tied to a diet for the rest of my life. I want to learn to eat better and to enjoy the foods I’m eating.

So that’s where we are. Yesterday was day one of this cleansing, as I’m calling it.

Mr. A is going to try to do this with me, but with his stomach issues he will have to be careful about what he decides to completely eliminate from his diet. Yesterday he ate a sandwich on white bread and I just wanted to steal his sandwich and eat it. White bread is yummy. Haha

But to help me, he cute up all the vegetables for me in snack sizes so if I’m hungry, I can go grab some red pepper strips or cucumbers or celery.

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I even put all my vegetables and healthy things up front in my fridge so when I’m browsing for food, I see those things instead of pudding or something else I shouldn’t eat. And yes, that is a box of wine, but the Bota Box is delicious. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

However, seeing as I’ve had one day, I’ve made some pretty delicious things.

For lunch, I made delicious lettuce wraps with smoked turkey, low-fat shredded mozzarella, red peppers, and a tiny bit of dill dip spread.

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Ummm…holy crap these things were yummy. You wouldn’t believe how delicious and a tiny bit of dill dip goes a long way since it’s so flavorful. I made two and had some green pepper strips and celery on the side. I also added a handful of pistachios for a little salt and crunch to my meal.

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I mean, if all the healthy stuff is going to taste this good, then I shouldn’t have any problems.

Tonight, I’m making red peppers stuffed with tuna salad with very little mayo, diced up peppers and onions and celery and a spinach salad. There is a restaurant where we went to school and they have the BEST salad dressing and all it contains is olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Mr. A is going to make a batch tonight and then I will have ready to go salad dressing for the week.

Also, this week:

Tuesday: steak salads with seared steak strips and low-fat bleu cheese crumbles

Wednesday: Sarah’s homemade tomato basil soup

Thursday: Roasted chicken with cauliflower mashed “potatoes” and sautéed asparagus

Friday: Turkey bratwurst and salads

Saturday: Omelets with veggies and turkey sausage

Not sure about everything else yet, but I have some delicious snacks to keep my hunger down and I’m still working out. I’m actually pretty excited about this and ready to see some changes, not only in my pants size, but also in my food mentality and desires.

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I sure do love food

food-photo (Source)

I wish I could be a food critic, but there are certain foods and types of food that I just won’t eat, so there goes that job.

Last week or so I cut back on new recipes. I was getting a little burnt out and things were hectic and I didn’t feel like spending hours on new recipes or anything.

Basically, I was being lazy. Oh well.

This week isn’t all new stuff, but I have a TON of baking to do for my little family trip this weekend and I didn’t feel like baking all day Wednesday and Thursday and then still having to try a new recipe.

Cooking is hard.

But, here’s a little rundown of what’s to come.

Tonight (Sunday) we had our FAVORITE spicy turkey sloppy joes. If you have not tried them, you must. I know sloppy joes sounds like crap food, but these are spicy and smoky and pure awesomeness. Go make them. Now. You won’t regret it.

I also made this cannoli dip. Umm….delicious. A friend had made something like this for our Superbowl party and it was so yummy. We dipped teddy grahams and pecan halves in it. Yum yum yum.

Monday, we are having slow cooker cheese steaks. They sound delicious and super easy. But since they take 4 hours, I hope I remember to put it in around 4 so we’re not eating at midnight.

Tuesday we’ll probably have little smokies wrapped in crescent rolls and soup of some kind. Mr. A LOVES the little smokies this way, and since I’m leaving him all weekend, I’m trying to make up for it.

Wednesday we’ll probably have leftovers or a hodgepodge of stuff. Wednesday I will be making chocolate chip pumpkin cupcakes and peaches and cream cupcakes for the weekend. The pumpkin ones I won’t be using their frosting or making them look like witches, but they reviews rave about them, so I hope they turn out well.

For this weekend, everyone gets assigned food to bring and somehow I got put on the list for cupcakes and either cinnamon rolls or cinnamon bread. I have the greatest homemade cinnamon roll recipe, but they’re kind of tedious and it’s easier for me to transport homemade cinnamon swirl bread, so that’s what I’m going to make Thursday.

Thursday night we will probably go out to eat since I’ll be leaving Friday.

Looking at this, I make a lot of sweets and not a lot of real food. I promise we don’t only eat cakes. Promise.

Thursday I will also be making Sarah in the City’s super easy chocolate pie for Mr. A since I’m making all these yummy things and he can’t enjoy them.

Next week, because I promised Mr. A I would, I’m also making Sarah’s homemade basil tomato soup and homemade pimento cheese sandwiches. I personally can’t stand pimento cheese, but it’s one of his favorites and he can take the leftovers for lunch, so I’ll go for it.

What are you making this week? Any new recipes I should try?

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Menu for the Week

First off, thanks for the support from the last post. I feel like some of these issues are just at Mr. A’s schools and others are universal. We’ll get through it, but I appreciate the kind words on the subject.

So for last week’s meals:

Sunday: Use leftover chili to make chili-mac and I made The Bread

***The chili-mac was delicious. I thought the bread was good, but Mr. A started to not feel very good from all the butter. May try it again and just use a little less butter.

Monday: Borrowing a couple recipes from Duoly Noted. We’ll be having her bruschetta and her linguine with clam sauce that is apparently “to die for”.

***I know I mentioned this in another post, but please make her bruschetta. We didn’t use plum tomatoes because we couldn’t find them, but this was so delicious. Even if you don’t like tomatoes, try this. I usually hate tomatoes, but I could eat this all day. Add a little more salt to the tomatoes and you’re set. Yum yum yum.

Tuesday: Fried round steak and mashed potatoes and green beans.

***This was so delicious. Wow. Obviously not the healthiest option, but man it was delicious.

Wednesday: Hot dogs and homemade mac and cheese. Nothing fancy but Wednesday is usually Mr. A’s late night, so this should be easy and can be made whenever he makes it home.

Thursday: Outback’s coconut shrimp with spicy orange sauce, grilled vegetables, and fingerling potatoes. We received a cookbook with restaurant “secret” recipes and I have been craving coconut shrimp for a while.

****These turned out really well. I had a little problem getting the batter to thicken up and stick, but they were still so yummy. And I used peach preserves instead of orange for the dipping sauce and it was perfect. It was also really good on vegetables as a dipping sauce.

 

So this week, I’m taking it easy. I didn’t put together a bunch of new recipes. Husband is going to be very busy and getting home later, so I’m not really trying anything new. I’ll get back to some new and delicious recipes next week.

Monday: Frozen lasagna and salad

Tuesday: Bruschetta and asparagus

Wednesday: Chicken and rice bake

Thursday: Grilled Cheese and Soup

Friday-Sunday: We will be at my house and eating all sorts of delicious things. There’s a huge food festival in the city this weekend, so I’m excited for food and food demonstrations from famous chefs and wine and good company. Sunday, my uncle will be in town from Colorado, so we’re doing BBQ and watching football. I’ll be cheering for my city’s team, especially since they won yesterday, which is a HUGE deal for our team.

So what are you cooking this week? I need a yummy and easy dessert. What are your ideas??

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This New Hobby

With all this time on my hand, I decided that I needed to find a hobby that would benefit the husband and I.

I have started scrapbooking, but that is more for me and the husband doesn’t get so much out of it.

So I’ve been working on my previous lack of skill in the kitchen. I had started this little endeavor a while ago, but I would only make like one thing new and the rest came from a box or Mr. A made it.

My new favorite thing? Meal planning.

It makes everything so much easier.

I used to go to the grocery store and just buy random stuff with no clear meals in mind. By Wednesday, we were out of main course food and just had a lot of side dishes and snack food. I love mashed potatoes as much as anyone, but I can’t shouldn’t live off of them.

So now, during the week, I start looking online for new recipes to try. It has been so much fun to find either new things to eat or recipes for meals I already like.

My favorite places to look are The Pioneer Woman and Tasty Kitchen. I just love the Pioneer Woman’s sense of humor and love her pictures that go along with her amazing recipes. I have also found a lot of recipes from other blogs. You guys sure are crafty in the kitchen!

From last week’s meals:

Sunday: Grilled chicken

             Spinach salad with dried cranberries, pecans, and strawberry vinaigrette

             Brie and peach biscuit bites from ARealLifeWIfe

***I think I just don’t like grilled chicken by itself. The salad was amazing, as were the biscuits, but the chicken was just blah. Anyone know a good grilled chicken recipe?

Monday: Turkey sloppy joes (spicy)

             Leftover salad

****Amazing! I got the recipe here. They were so yummy and definitely not the blah sloppy joes you had as a kid.

Tuesday: Stuffed crab

               Baked rice

****The stuffed crab we buy at our grocery store and it is so delicious. The rice? For being as simple as it is, it was yummy. It was full of flavor and I could have eaten it every night.

Wednesday: Frozen lasagna from MIL and garlic bread

Thursday: Turkey Chili

****I got the recipe for this here. One of the best chili I have ever had. I didn’t follow the directions exactly. I added a pinch more heat to it and a whole can of corn, a huge onion, and instead of the smelly juice from the canned beans, I used some chicken stock and some water for the liquid. It was spicy and delicious. Add some shredded cheese and sour cream and you’re set!

Friday: Leftovers or go out to eat

Last week’s meals all turned out pretty amazing and better yet, no one got sick!

So this week, this is what’s ahead:

Sunday: Use leftover chili to make chili-mac and I made The Bread

Monday: Borrowing a couple recipes from Duoly Noted. We’ll be having her bruschetta and her linguine with clam sauce that is apparently “to die for”.

Tuesday: Fried round steak and mashed potatoes and green beans.

Wednesday: Hot dogs and homemade mac and cheese. Nothing fancy but Wednesday is usually Mr. A’s late night, so this should be easy and can be made whenever he makes it home.

Thursday: Outback’s coconut shrimp with spicy orange sauce, grilled vegetables, and fingerling potatoes. We received a cookbook with restaurant “secret” recipes and I have been craving coconut shrimp for a while.

 

These meals are a little less healthy, but I have been working out more, so I’ll go for it.

I’m also planning on making a derby pie tomorrow. This is a chocolate nut pie with some bourbon. Mr. A loves bourbon and being from the state he’s from hopefully he will love the derby pie. I have a recipe that I’m not crazy about, but if you have one, please share!

I’m pretty excited about these upcoming meals. I hope everything turns out well, especially the shrimp. I can’t believe I have to wait until Thursday!

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So I Love Food

I’ve had some free time.

Lots of it. Enough to share.

I’ll give it to you. For free. Just give me something to do.

But since no one seems to be offering time consuming activities, I have taken on the hobby of cooking.

I feel like I’m falling into the stereotype of the new wife presenting her husband with burned food and he eating it just to make her happy. This might be more true than I want to admit.

I’ve dabbled in a couple “real food” recipes, but my favorite thing to look for is desserts. I love desserts. Always have. (Why didn’t I inherit my mother’s super genes and triathlon metabolism? My brother gets all the luck.)

A few weeks ago, I made this beauty:

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Blackberry Cheesecake courtesy of The Pioneer Woman. Delicious. And blackberry is Mr. A’s favorite. He’s so spoiled.

I also made her cinnamon roll bread.

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Homemade people. Not in a bread maker. Completely from scratch. I know you don’t know me personally, but this is insanely impressive for the girl who used to only make things that came in a box with directions on the side. I added raisins, per Mr. A’s request. Toast is and add a little butter….yummmmmmm. Almost makes all the trouble it took worth it to make this weekend. Almost.

And then……

Root Beer Float Cupcakes.

For starters. I love root beer. Add ice cream to this and it’s just heaven in a frosty glass. Now that I can drink caffeinated sodas, diet root beer is pretty much my only way to get my soda fix.

So I figured these would be amazing.

Not so much. At least not in my opinion.

For one, I think I goofed on the amount of root beer flavoring. The recipe called for root beer extract, and after searching and seeing that Hobby Lobby had root beer candy flavoring, I went and bought it. I didn’t, however, see that it said “4 times stronger than extracts.” So the 2 teaspoons of extract I needed? I did the same amount of flavoring. Which I think was too much. Also, I didn’t make the frosting the recipe calls for because Mr. A and I don’t really care for whip cream frosting.

Mr. A loved them and I sent them with him to school today. He claims the others loved them as well, but he would say that to me anyways. So who knows.

And then the cake pops.

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These are actually Bakerella’s cake pops, but I followed Beach Bum and Baby’s directions. I have seen other people blog about these and how they only got like 6 to turn out correctly. I was nervous, especially after I didn’t like the cupcakes, so I went into this little project today having realistic expectations. I figured most would crumble or something wouldn’t go as planned, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I only had 2 fall apart. And this made about 30 or so pops. Delicious cake on a stick covered in chocolate. How can you NOT like these?

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I do have a couple tips for these.

1. You are supposed to grease the bottom of the cake pan. While letting my cake cool overnight, I left it in the pan I cooked it in. The greasy pan. This made the bottom of the cake moist and when I was crumbling it into the finest pieces possible, some wanted to clump together because of the moisture.

2. Mix the cake and frosting together by hand. Yes, it’s messy. But I couldn’t get it all to mix with a spoon or spatula. My hands, however, did a great job.

3. My cake pops wanted to crack a little. (This was after the stick was in, before dipping in chocolate.) I have no clue if this was due to not enough/too much frosting, temperature, or what. If someone figures this out, let me know.

4. I had to re-melt my chocolate about halfway through. It started to get thick, so I just put over heat again. Also, use Beach Bum’s tip of adding a little vegetable oil to thin it out if necessary. It helped a ton and didn’t change the flavor, at least as far as I could tell.

I’m planning on making these for Mr. A’s family Thanksgiving. Being from KY and all, they seemed to be easily awed. Haha. (Nothing against them. I love them. They just don’t branch out much…)

Another tip, Hobby Lobby has melts in EVERY color. And most are just vanilla flavored. Mr. A doesn’t like the flavor of white chocolate ( I have no idea what is wrong with him) so the vanilla flavor was perfect. Also, with the colors, you can make them more decorative, swirl color, make for any occasion.

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Unfortunately, we can’t live off sweets.

So i also attacked the project of meal planning. Having NO experience in this, it was a little difficult at first. But thanks to some fellow bloggers, I have all the meals planned for next week. I found all sorts of fun and yummy recipes, and mostly (fairly) healthy. Hopefully neither of us get food poisoning next week.

Sunday: Grilled chicken

             Spinach salad with dried cranberries, pecans, and strawberry vinaigrette

             Brie and peach biscuit bites from ARealLifeWIfe

Monday: Turkey sloppy joes (spicy)

             Leftover salad

Tuesday: Stuffed crab

               Baked rice

Wednesday: Frozen lasagna from MIL and garlic bread

Thursday: Turkey Chili

Friday: Left overs or go out to eat

 

I hope it all turns out well. I’ll keep you updated.

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