Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Meal Plan - March 22 - 28

Safeway meal night
- Chicken breast, Potato wedge, greek salad, Fruit Salad

March 23:
- Chicken Curry (with chicken, peppers, onions, tomatoes, mini corn on the cob, and pineapple)
served with Brown Rice

Tuesday, March 24:
- Planned: chicken, pasta, and veggies
- actual: cashew butter and jam sandwhich, apple with cheese slices, fruit salad (grapes, strawberries, pineapple, orange and grapefruit)

Wednesday, March 25:
- Planned: Meatballs, pasta, broccoli and beans
- Actual: lasagna, corn, fruit salad

Thursday, March 26:
- Planned: Cod, potatoes, beans and corn
- actual: tortellini, meatballs, corn and broccoli

Friday, March 27:
- Planned: Pork stir fry (with chow mein, bean sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, carrots) served with Brown Rice

Saturday, March 28:
- Planned: chicken dumpling soup or chili depending on the activities of the day

food log - March 25

- 1 necterine
- 1 container sliced strawberries
- 1 hard boiled egg

- 1 plum
- 1 pear

- cob salad (lettuce, green pepper, cucumber, sliced ham, cheese, egg)
- 1 peach

- 200 g NSA strawberry and vanilla yogurt (70 cal)


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One Week (Long Post)

So as mentioned I went to see the movie "One Week" staring Joshua Jackson (no I am not a huge fan of his from Dawson Days for reference that is as much as I know). I wanted to see the movie because I extremely intrigued by the concept of the movie. For a long time I have questioned mortality and our place on the planet and movies like this one and "The Bucket List" speak to me on a deep level.

I mean I have spent a vast majority of my life trying to get somewhere in my life where I could truly "live" my life instead of being a passenger along for a ride on the train. Now saying that you would think that I have not done much in my life but that isn't really true either. My first large adventure that I remember was when I was 8. My parents took my brother and I to the mountains. We camped and stayed in Banff and Japser. We walked up trails, when horse back riding. Truly the only thing I remember about this trip is a picture of me sitting on top of a large rock pretending it was a horse. I think the picture was taken when we were at Lake Louise.

At the age of 12 I was extremely privileged to spend 6 weeks in Europe meeting my extended family and seeing many things. Much of this trip influenced who I am today. For example, I go to visit the city of Ypres where there is huge monument to the soldiers that died there including many many Canadians. I go to see the trenches that are still left that the soldiers lived in for many weeks. I got to stand in the middle of a cemetery where the military were dead. I remember asking my family about the cemetery and why it was placed in a valley. They told me that it was not a valley is was a partially filled crater from a bomb that had been dropped. I heard stories of the actions that my grandfather and his brothers took against the invading Germans. I saw the fields where the soldiers walked into their town and saw the house in which they hid my great-grand father from the army. The stories and experiences shaped my and changed me in ways I cannot begin to describe. This experience really opened me up to the idea that the only way I can truly change myself and understand the world around me was by visiting places, listening and learning through interactions versus reading about the experiences in books. Even seeing the Mona Lisa and Nepolian's tomb was largely significant for me.

From my early teenage years until I was 18 my parents would take us west every winter, if not more often, to Ski in the Rockies. It was during this time that I started turning away and not recongizing the experiences and opportunities that I was being presented with. I spent much of one trip studying my Physics correspondence course becuase it was SO important for me to take physics along with all of my normal courses at school. I even had the opporutnity to travel to Comox BC to attend Cadet Camp for two summers and spent much of mine focusing on the details rather than the experience.

once I started university it was about finishing my under graduate degree and then my professional degree. I almost stopped traveling exclusively at this point, got married and made the decision to have a my daugther. then something sparked in me and I convinced my husband to take a trip to the Dominican. Again, on this trip I found myself focusing on the uterly unimportant things. However, I did manage to have some of the most amazing adventures on the trip. Snorkeling, taking public transportation (the gua-gua's) with the locals. Since this trip in 2006/2007 I have an unstopable urge to travel.

Since that time I have been to Cayo Coco, Cuba; Varadero, Cuba; Puerto Plata, Dominican, Victoria, BC; San Francisco, CA; New York, NY; Washington, DC. and we will be traveling to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico shortly.

Each of these trips has had different significance.

Our trips to Cuba have been about the culture, the experience and traveling with family. Our trip back to the Dominican was to visit sites that we did not visit the first time. Victoria was to pursue a schooling course that I was immensly interested in. To say that the two courses I took changed my life is an understatement. These courses hit at a deep level and influence who I am and who I practice in my career. While in Victoria the opportunity presented itself to travel to San Francisco presented itself and I ceased it. I was a wonderful opportunity. We did many things, like ride one of the only boardwalks open all year in Santa Clara, showed my daughter the ocean for the first time. It all made me think about how small and insignificant I am in this world and that humbled me. At the end of the trip I go to take the train back to Seattle and then to Vancouver. Again something I have never done and always wanted to do.

Then the movie "Bucket List" came out and it made me think of all of the ideas and places that I had swirling around my head. One of the things I have ALWAYS wanted to do was to visit New York city and to be in Times Square on New Years Eve.

** unfinished**

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

food log - March 18

Breakfast (315 total)
2 large eggs (160 cal)
1 ancient grain toast (120 cal)
1 tsp low fat margarine (35 cal)
5 pieces of pineapple chunks (?? cal)

total: 315 total

morning snack (109 total)
168 g peach (66 cal)
98 g nectarine (43 cal)

total: 424 total

lunch: (227 total)
63g Crab meat (fake stuff) (64 cal)
~1 tbsp sea food sauce (25 cal)
134 g sliced red apple (33 cal)
1 banana (105 cal)

total: 651 total

afternoon snack (134 total)
124 g sliced orange (58 cal)
73 g shredded cabbage (21 cal)
37 g diced red pepper (10 cal)
65 g grapes (45 cal)

total: 785 total

supper (1140 total)
Yes I know I had McDonalds for Supper
Diet Coke (2 cal)
Big Mac (540 cal) (probably slightly less as I take out the middle bun...not much but hey)
Snack wrap (240 cal)
Cranberry orange muffin (360 cal)

huh - the funny thing I just checked and the muffin has the same calorie value as the fries the only savings really comes in on the amount of fat. 
total: 1925 total

calories confusion

Ok so me more than anyone else knows it is not ALL about calories it is about the quality of calories consumed which goes hand in hand with the idea of fiber, fat, carbs etc. that makes a diet healthy.

MY problem is I would like to use calories as a rough guide to assist in my eating habits (combined with making healthier choices that combine with the above) ... how shall I say use calories as a restriction generally giving more overall thought to the other items.

Looking at my list from yesterday there is a STARK lack of protein *ouch* need to up that (legums and such here I come!)

but my general problem is how many calories is reasonable for me to consume??

based on one calculation I need "You need 2307 calories during a typical day"

based on another estimate I need 3500 calories a day
(wow that's a LOT)

and I've seen as low as 1900 calories recommended.

BASED on my education I know that anything below 1500 is dangerous and below 1200 should ONLY be conducted under the careful direction and monitoring of a doctor.

MY problem I I know that to take off 1 pound you need to burn off 3,500 calories or roughly 500 calories in a day.. I could simply eat 500 calories less (however I don't think that is sustainable for the long term) or I could eat the same and burn 500 calories more a day for 1 pound a week.

Or the average eat less and burn more but really this seems a lot like a guessing game to me right now.

Matters get worse when I start trying to figure other things in like how much fiber? carbohydrates? fat? protein? baaah (I think this is why Weight Watchers is a good system based on what I have read...however I've spent way too much on my education hehe all 9 years of it) not to be able to research and figure this out on my own. *le sigh*

and for the inquiring minds:
Meal planning when sharply downhill a few weeks ago when husband was out of town. Since then he has had an unpredictable work pattern in the evenings making my life a mess. This lead to eating out WAY too much as well - so much I'm too ashamed to even post here how much. I might add that this was also influenced by friends and sushi/lunch dates! (you KNOW who you are!)

I'm back on the home cooking this week after a stark realization at the restaurant the other day that (a) I can cook WAY better than places like Applebees, Montana's, Boston and (b) I can cook the food I am ordering there for less money and more creatively than some packaged crap they are just reheating anyways *rant over*

So monday night we had tortellini and meatballs with sauce, broccoli and corn with a 7 grain salad.

Tuesday night (yesterday) I made the Thai Curry with Shrimp, chicken, mini corn, broccoli, red pepper and served with brown rice *yum* and we added pineapple to boot! It was tastie enough that husband said I can even make it again (note: he HATES curry as it gets into everything!)

Tonight I'm not sure I am thinking Tuna or salmon for supper as it is just kidlet and I.

I will say that I have found that I am LOVING my salmon (if you know me I only eat salmon raw) but I have learned how to cook it well on the stove (in a non-stick pan with no added oil or anything). My key UNDERCOOK it (yes I know not good) but I cook it so it is falling apart but just pink on the inside and then I find the taste isn't really strong.

As for running - well I must say that last week was the last week of class (yippy!) and was hectic although I did get a few days in but I definitely need more! I am finding that I'm not a huge fan of the c25k program. Instead the last thing I did was run 5 walk 5 run 4 walk 4 and then just ran a minute past where I thought I could and then walked for the same amount of time. It was great I managed to do a mile in under 20 minutes (big as I normally only get to the mile mark at just around 30 minutes).

Back at it this week and more information on the Trip to mexico coming soon!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

food log - March 17

In a pitiful attempt to figure out what I am eating and how to make it better I want to keep a food log (also the thought of publicly posting what I consume scares the crap out of me... so keep me honest people..)

ANYWAYS here is the food log for today:

(177 total)
3/4 cup rice crips (GF) (110 cal)
~1/4 cup 2% milk (40 cal)
85 g strawberries (27 cal)

total: 177 calories

am snack (62 total)
1 gala apple x 120g (62 cal)

total: 239 calories

lunch (468 total)
191 g banana (170 cal)
149 g strawberries (48 cal)
1 tomato soup (170 cal)
Cabbage salad (?? max 25 cal)
1/4 red pepper (~10 cal)
1 tbsp dressing (45 cal)

total: 707 calories

pm snack (200 total)
171 g grapes (118 cal)
97 g nectarine (43 cal)
101 g peach (39 cal)

total: 907 calories

supper (600 total)
Chicken & Shrimp Curry
(Large shrimp, chicken, pineapple, red peppers, broccoli, green curry sauce)
served with Brown Minute Rice

(I guess probably at least 600 calories)

Total: 1507 calories

evening snack
(345 total)
3 sugar free jub-jubs (45 cal)
1 garlic cheese bun (150 cal)
1 microwave brownie (150 cal)

total: 1852 calories

Sunday, March 15, 2009

One Week Thoughts

I saw this movie and it has inspired me ... this is my short post as I'm still working on my longer post inspired a lot.

I want to know the answer to the question: 
"If I had one week to live I would"

my short answer - If I had one week to live I would really live like I had no limits

I have heard the phrase "we are all living on borrowed time" now at least 10 times in the last week. I started to question what I have really done in the last week? 

Friday, February 27, 2009

Wear Sunscreen

In order to keep things in perspective for the day I want to post a copy of a song that a friend posted on my message board that I haven't listened to in a while. 

The only other news is that I'm sick (likely bronchitis or strep throat) but I did manage to get my new runners today. I will get around to posting my daily pictures *including* my POD today of my new shoes!

Wear Sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas
the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand
the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years
youll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you cant grasp now how
much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
Youre not as fat as you imagine.

Dont worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying
is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your
worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.


Dont be reckless with other peoples hearts, dont put up with people who
are reckless with yours.


Dont waste your time on jealousy; sometimes youre ahead, sometimes youre behind
the race is long, and in the end, its only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing
this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Dont feel guilty if you dont know what you want to do with your life
the most interesting people I know didnt know at 22 what they wanted to do with
their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds know still dont.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, youll miss them when theyre gone.

Maybe youll marry, maybe you wont, maybe youll have children,
maybe you wont, maybe youll divorce at 40, maybe youll dance the funky chicken
on your 75th wedding anniversary.
What ever you do, dont congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either
your choices are half chance, so are everybody elses. Enjoy your body,
use it every way you can dont be afraid of it, or what other people think of it,
its the greatest instrument youll ever own..

Danceeven if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you dont follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when theyll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and
the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get,
the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard;
live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander,
you too will get old, and when you do youll fantasize that when you were
young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their

Respect your elders.

Dont expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Dont mess too much with your hair, or by the time its 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling
it for more than its worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday Accountability

So I haven't posted in a little bit and figured that I need to post to be accountable.

I have started as I previously posted the C25k program and I'm very excited by it but have had a few set backs (as expected).

RUNNING - so I am working on the first week but I am calling it pre-week. I ran on Saturday and was all geared up to run on Monday but was so exhausted from a long night of work caused by procrastination... anyways I did not end up running. However, on Tuesday night I did go for a run but I ended up getting a massive blister on the back of one foot and then dropped a weight on my other foot with 10 minuets left so I had to stop.

So my set backs:
First - blisters and my shoes - I need better shoes I have been running on/off since September of 2007 and I have been using the same shoes. I LOVE them but it is high time that I get new shoes. The blister on the one foot is caused by the wearing out of the shoe.
Solution - I will be going to the running room soon to get fitted for a new pair of shoes.
Second - I LOVE watching good movies or watching TV while I run. I makes my mind go numb after a long day and totally allows me to decompress much easier and faster. However, since I have moved my treadmil out into the family room I can't listen to the TV full blast. WE had rigged up the TV to broadcast using a wireless FM transmitter. However, the dollar store tuner I bought was terrible. I would spend almost as long trying to get it to work and stay working during a run then I would actually run.
Solution - I went to walmart yesterday and picked up a FM tuner, small, sleek and only $8. I also picked up an MP3 player that can FM tune. However, for $35 it is going to stay in the box until the other tuner is tested. I am hoping that the cheaper option works much better. Although, I am told that you can purcahse an FM tuner for my iPod and then listen to the radio broadcast that way.

So those are my main set backs right now and that is how I plan to deal with them. OH and for the record the BEST movie to run to is "The Devil Wears Prada" the music mix in the movie is GREAT!

Last night (so Wendsay) I was watching the Top Chef Finale and didn't think I wan't to take a run (because of the foot) so instead I hopped on and did a nice walk through the entire show. The Tuner that I picked up on Tuesday worked fantastically!

Tonight is going to be walking through Hell's Kitchen and then back to the C25K program.

Tomorrow I will likely walk through Grey's Anatomy and ER while watching them online!

NOW as for the food issue
Well that has been going downhill. We ate out or had take out for the last three nights and honestly I feel just SICK from it and I have no idea why I keep doing it. Tonight I have Marinated Baked Salmon on the menu for the kidlet and I. I am looking forward to it. It is a receipe I stole from the website of Dr. Gillian McKeith (host of "You are What you Eat") I love that show.

Books and reading
I have been causally reading roots but just haven't managed to keep up with my readings and have really stagnated. However, this is my last weekend of having assignments for my course (YIPPY!) so I am hoping that with the dawn of the new spring, a new life and a NEW JOB coming up that I can continue on this momentum and migrate part of the time I had spent on assignments to reading.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


So I know that I have my goals and that I haven't been posting at all about my running. Well I'll use the life has been hectic excuse but I'm getting back into it slowly have had a few set backs.

I did my walk/run/walk/jog yesterday (I don't want to say just running because I found early in January that after being away from it for some time I am definitely not where I was and need to build back up. that being said last week I did do every other night for the whole week *yippy*

I have decided that I am going to go with the Couch to 5 Km Program which helps train the body to be able to run 5 km over the span of 9 weeks.

The program has you run every other day with a rest day in between. However, I have decided that I want to return to a schedule similar to what I had a couple of years ago when I made real progress. I went to aqua size four or five times in a week (for a one hour session however I sometimes managed to go through two sessions at once).

I love being in the water and feel so at home there. However, given my current situation (where I live and the kidlet) I know that making those trips will be extremely difficult. As such, I am thinking that I am going to do the following:

Sunday: Aquasize at the pool
Monday: Run (c25km)
Tuesday: 30 min walk/30 min strength
Wednesday: Run (c25km)
Thursday: 1 hour walk/30 min strength
Friday: Run (c25km)
Saturday: Rest

Or at least that is going to be my goal!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pork Stew with Rotini

We tried the Pork Stew with Rotini from Company's Coming book "One-dish meal" (page 68)

Also if you notice my pictures aren't that great these past couple of days it is because I can't find my camera and have been using my blackberry to take pictures :( pray for it's safe return!

I really like this dish but would make some modifications next time.  Also I did fry the pork off in a  frying pan but then threw everything in the crockpot instead because I don't have a lid for my large frying pan AND I didn't have a dutch oven yet...however I have solved that problem :)

I would like to introduce my new kitchen friend. I got it on sale at Canadian Tire today ($49.99 at 50% so I am happy although I would never ever pay full price for anything from there again because this very item was on sale 65% off in the beginning of January...)  I am very excited and can't wait to try this!

Pork Stew with Rotini

Ingredients (my modifications are in italics)
  • Oil
  • 1 lb. Pork roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Salt & Ppepr
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cups sliced carrot (1/2 inch pieces)
  • 28 oz Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Tomato Juice
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 2 medum zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/2" think pieces
  • 3 cups Rotini
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp basil
1. Oil in non-stick frying pan. Add pork and saute until it has some nice color. I also make sure that I coat it with some S&P to flavor before cooking and browning. (about 4 minutes)
2. Throw everything else EXCEPT the pasta until the crockpot. Then add the pork.
3. Turn on low and look cook all day.
4. About 20 minutes before you are ready to serve supper add about 1 cup of hot water to the slow cooker and add the pasta. Stir well and cover until pasta is tender.

I use a 3 quart crock pot to make this and I served this with Polenta instead of bread to help with the tomato sauce on the plate and it was delicious!

Garden Vegetable Frittata

So I decided to try Garden Vegetable Frittata from Company's Coming 30-minute weekday meals (page 83).

I leave it up to you but the comment has been made that this is an glorified omelette!

Garden Vegetable Frittata
  • Oil
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini (peel on)
  • 1 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto (i used a new President's Choice product as was impressed)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup grate Asiago cheese (or whatever is on hand)
  1. Heat some oil in a non-stick the medium frying pan on medium high heat.
  2. Reduce the head to medium and add the Zucchini, mushrooms, red pepper, and green onion.
  3. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until all liquid is gone 
  4. Preheat the broiler.
  5. Beat eggs, pesto and pepper with wisk in a medium bowl until well combined.
  6. Pour over the vegetables.  Stir well and spread egg mixture evenly in pan.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes until bottom is golden and top is almost set. the remove from heat.
  8. Sprinkle with cheese and broil for about 4 minutes until the frittata is set and cheese is golden.
Before doing this make sure you have an oven safe frying pan that you are using!

Picture of the Day - February 7

Friday, February 6, 2009

Picture of the Day - February 6

So this is a new PC product that I have brought home and decided to try.  seems interesting - fresh and chopped for you. Just keep it frozen.  I will update and compare it to the tubes!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Picture of the Day - February 5

So OUCH - I suppose I should not be allowed to use sharp objects!

I was trying to cut C's pictures out for her birthday and it was a little tough...I pressed a little to hard and *SNAP* I look at my finger and I have a blade stuck in it OUCH! Then I proceeded to get blood on the carpet downstairs...had to find tweezers upstairs while not leaving blood everywhere. Moral of the story - leave these things for someone else to do that is less accident prone these days ;)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Black Bean Soup and Monte Cristo Sandwiches

Black Bean Soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
  • 1 4-ounce can diced mild green chilies (I use a few diced pickled jalapeños - it's cheap!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño chili (I remove the seeds to cut the heat)
  • 1-tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 red pepper diced 
  • 1 to 2 cups of frozen corn
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, undrained
  • 2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 8 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla chips 
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Taco Seasoning
1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. 
2.  Add onion, green chilies, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, celery and red pepper. Sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. 
3. Add beans with juices and broth. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until flavors blend, about 15 minutes. 
4. While the soup is simmering brown the ground beef and break it up. When it is browned mix it with the Taco Seasoning. Add the beef to the soup once it is pureed.  
5. Puree 3 cups soup in batches in blender. Return puree to same pot. 
6. Mix in 6 tablespoons cilantro. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Add the frozen corn and cooke for a few minutes longer.  
7. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro. 

Ok when pureeing in  a blender I have an important..... lesson for you - don't use the high speed. Rather use a slow speed and pulse until it is well pureed. ALSO I would take the little piece out of the top of the blender. if not you are likely to suffer the same fate as me .... being covered in yummy soup and having your kitchen covered in yummy soup.

Here is the soup all mixed and pureed.

We also added some frozen veggies at the end to kick up the veggie and health factor!

We also had Monte Cristo Sandwhich (taken from RR on Food Network  however I use a different black bean soup recipe.
  • 8 slices white sandwich bread
  • 1/2 cup hot pepper jelly or: chili sauce, tomatillo or tomato salsa, taco sauce – whichever you have on hand
  • 8 slices honey baked ham, from the deli counter
  • 8 slices Pepper Jack cheese, from the deli counter
  • 8 slices smoked turkey, from the deli counter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • A splash of milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter

1. Spread bread with a light layer of pepper jelly then build sandwiches using 2 slices each of ham, cheese and turkey per sandwich. 
2. Beat eggs with milk and 2 teaspoons hot sauce and season the eggs with a little salt. 
3. Heat a griddle pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt butter in skillet. 
4. Dip each sandwich in egg coating and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side to melt cheese and warm the meats through.

This is the spread I use and I LOVE it. I also is really good on wraps with ham and cream cheese!

However some people in our house do not like this and prefer a sweet chili sauce.


Picture of the day - February 3

So I kept seeing the commercials for these on TV and never really wanted to buy them. However, I needed cilantro for one of my recipes and the store was plum out. My only option was the tube or go to another store.... since they were on sale I ended up buying one.

Well I would probably keep some of these in the house for herbs that I'm likely to use infrequently enough that buying fresh is counter productive. This particular tube is good for the next two months so that is good in my books.

I still prefer fresh herbs however I definitely will consider these in the future!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Picture of the Day - February 1

Meal Plan -February 1 - 7

Here is the plan for the week!

Sunday: Black Bean Soup, Grilled Monte Cristo Sandwhiches 
Monday: Pubhouse Halibut, Rice, Broccoli, Peas
Tuesday: Pork Stew with Rotini
Wednesday: Garden Vegetable Frittata with Tuna 
Thursday: Polenta Wedges, Tilapia, Broccoli & Beans
Friday: Spaghetti, Meatballs, Corn & Broccoli 
Saturday: Salmon Steaks, Rice, Beans and Broccoli

Picture of the Day - January 31

This is the little girls new bed...hard to take a picture as it is a big bed in a smallish room....

But the cool part you can see reflected in the mirror - it's the Castle (or fort depending on the day) under DD's bed.  It now has Red LED Rope Light under neath and her toys.  what a great bed!

Easy Jell-O Cheese cake

Easy Jell-O Cheesecake
  • 1 pkg Jell-O (in the desired flavor, and we use Sugar Free)
  • 1 pkg of Cream Cheese
  • 1 tub of Whip Cream
  • Graham Cracker Crumbs or Oreo Cookie Crumbs
  • Sugar (or splenda)
  • Butter
Crust Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Cover the bottom of the dish with about 1/4" or more of the cookie crumbs. (I use an 11x13 cake pan).
3. Sprinkle sugar over the cookie crumbs until there is a thin coat over all of the crumb. I use more for Graham Cracker Crumbs and much less for Oreo cookie crumbs.
4. Melt some butter (start with 1/4 cup) and then pour over the mixture. Stir until well mixed. Add butter until all of the mixture is moist, clumpy but not wet. 
5. Pack the crust down with a fork or flipper until well packed and solid.
6. Place the crust in the oven for 5-10 minutes, remove and let it cool.

Filling Directions
1. Add the package of Jell-O to 1 cup of boiling hot water.
2. Put the Jell-O into the fridge until it gets a soupy consistency. Don't let it set and it can't be liquidy.
3. Mix the package of cream cheese with the Jell-O. (easier if the cream cheese is at room temperature).
4. Once the Jell-O and Cream Cheese is thoroughly mixed fold in the tub of whip cream.
Place the final mixture over the crust.
5. Put the final product in the fridge over night. 

If you want to add a little more to the final cake then you can add fresh fruit to it.

What I do is add about 1/4 of the filling to the pan first, or until it thinly coated. Then I add some fruit (thinly sliced strawberries, or blueberries, or raspberries). Then I add the rest of the mixture.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thai Noodle Salad

Thai Noodle Salad
  • 1 pkg shredded cabbage
  • 1 pg Ichiban noodles, broken
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 pkg bean sprouts
  • 2 cups chopped green onions
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ pkg chow mein noodles

  • 1 soup seasoning from ichiban noodles
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 – 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt and Pepper

In a large bowl, mix the first 9 ingredients until they are well blended. In a jar, mix the next 7 ingredients, shaking very well. Pour dressing over vegetables in bowl and toss them thoroughly to make sure all vegetables are coated. Refrigerate until needed. Toss gently before you serve. 

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fried Rice and Easy Chow Mein

So tonight was Fried Rice and Easy Chow Mein!

(I would call this a very very easy meal!!)

Fried Rice
  • 2 cups Brown Rice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 cup Frozen Corn
  • 2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Egg - beaten
  • Salt & Pepper
1. If you think of it a head of time cook the rice the night or two before. After cooking it try to leave out with a lid off while it is cooling down to dry out the rice.

2. Melt the butter in the oil a medium or large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the sliced green onion and diced white onion. Cook until the white onion is soft. 

3. Add the rice to the pan and cook until golden brown. 

4. Add the frozen veggies (and meat if you choose), Soya Sauce and steam for 2 minutes.

5. Beat the egg in a container with salt and pepper.  Pile the rice in the center of the Pan and then stir in the egg. Make sure that you stir the rice while adding the egg otherwise you will have scrambled egg.

Chow Mein
  • 3 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 can water chessnuts (drained)
  • 19 oz bean sprouts
  • 1 can Mini Corn on the Cob (drained)
  • 1 can Mushrooms (with juice)
  • 2 cups Cooked Meat (chicken/beef/pork)
  • 2 cups Chopped Celery
  • 1 cup Diced Onions
  • Fried Noodles
1. In a 10-cup Microwave Safe Dish dilute the cornstarch in Soy Sauce and the juice from the can of mushrooms.

2. Add all of the remaining ingredients into the dish.

3. Microwave for 10-12 minutes.

4. Let Stand 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Slow Cooker Beef & Chickpea Curry

So tonight we did the Crockpot Beef Curry stolen from "Definitely Not Martha"

I really liked this recipe and agree th
at it is truly very easy!

In attempting this recipe a LOT of people I spoke to are very anti-curry. Upon furthering questioning the reasoning was usually how spicy curry is, the smell or the general taste.

Well in making the recipe I used Patak's Curry Paste however - I used the Most mild one that I could find.  Surprises of surprises our house did not stink, the taste was rather mild and it was not spicy. In making this again I would do a few things differently:

  1. Use more curry paste (if using mild) or use a medium heat one;
  2. I would skip the nan - don't get me wrong I LOVE naan. I even bought a Tandoori one that tasted amazing. However, they were roughly 300 calories per piece, and the wraps are also high in calories. So in the future I would serve it with brown rice. It tasted amazing!
  3. I would NOT use the juice of a whole Lime.  Either because I am really good at squeezing fruit juice (not likely) or I had an abnormally large lime (this) the sauce was overwhelmed by the lime flavor. 

I won't post the recipe here so check out the other blog.

Here are my pictures!
Right out of the crockpot:

Here it is finally all boiled off (it really only took 20 minutes and it took that long to prepare the rest of the food anyways!)

Here is the delicious supper!  As you can see I am having it with the Thai Noodle salad!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Quiche Lorraine-ish ... or something along those lines anyways...

So I decided I wanted to make Quiche this week. Why? because last time I tried I failed miserably AND I had an extra pie crust left in the freezer...yes I don't make my own yet I buy frozen... (Tenderflake - trust me they are the best.)Unfortunately I decided I like two different recipes and wanted to see if I could combine parts from both..the result was LOTS of quiche but it was VERY tasty!

Quiche Lorraine-ish (enough to make two pies worth - or one large)
  • 10 slices pre-cooked bacon
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 2 leeks, diced
  • 8 large eggs
  • 12 oz milk (I used 2% because that is what I had)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dash of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (only because I had it...)
  • 1 frozen pie crust (although in hind sight I should have had 2)

1. Take the frozen pie crust out, and place it on the counter for 10-15 minutes while you get everything else out.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

3. Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork (for those who don't know - like all over the place) and place it in the oven for 10 minutes. take it out when done and set aside.

4. Place a medium skillet on the stove over medium heat. While it is heating throw the bacon in the pan to crisp up and get warm. Once done remove the bacon, set it aside and drain any oil from the pan.

5. Throw the diced onion and leek into the skillet. Give them a good amount of salt and pepper.

6. Stir until nicely soft and almost caramelized.

7. In a bowl beat the 8 eggs and then add the milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and then the finely grated cheddar cheese (we didn't finely grate it and I would suggest it would work better).

8. Now in the bottom of the pie crust add some bacon and the leek and onion mixture.

9. Add the egg mixture until it is almost at the top of the pie crust.

10. Place in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the center is firm.

11. Remove from the oven and let stand about 5 minutes before serving.

NOTES: So I ended up with a lot of egg and onion mixture and not enough room for the pie crust - so if you are lazy (like me) and don't want to handle the pie crust, or you are looking to cut carbs, or just plum forgot the crust... you can try doing what I did: I just got out a small glass pan (about 6 x9) and made sure it was greased (rub it with some butter). Then i just added all my ingredients without a crust (I could just say it was my gluten free recipe which it is but this was rather just a fluke...)
Anyways - this was kid approved! My daughter ate almost a plate full! I mean if your kid likes bacon and/or eggs this is a great meal item! You could also change up the veggies in it if you wanted to (I forgot because I was more panicked about having extra egg and no where to put it...)

Alternatives: leave out any bacon, or make it in a spring form pan so you can skip the crust and just make one larger dish.

Final thoughts: Quiche is not a quick thing to make - so I would probably not do it again on a week night. However, I am told that it reheats really well - so it might be a good weekend make& save (meaning make it on a sunday and then use it during the week as a meal saver).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shepard's Pie

SO one of my favorite meals from being a kid is Shepard's Pie.

I still love it to this day for several reasons:
  1. it is super easy to make;
  2. it has all the basic components (veg, meat, starch);
  3. it freezes very very well so good for extended meal preparation;
  4. it has many ways to add more veggies to it!
It is really easy to double, triple or even quadruple the recipe for future freezing

Shepard's Pieingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion diced
2 stalks of celery diced1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp minced ginger (in the jar if you have it)
Dash of nutmeg
Salt & Pepper
2 tbsp flour
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp of beef bullion powder (alternatively use stock instead of the water and mix)
3 cups of frozen corn (or peas, broccoli or anything really - even a mix)
6 medium potatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 (unless you are preparing this for freezing)

2. Put a medium pot of water on the stove;

3. Peal the potatoes, and quarter them, then place in the pot on the stove;

4. Add a few pinches of salt to the water;

5. Heat a little oil in a medium or large skillet on the stove over medium heat (or use non-stick);

6. Dice the onion and Celery and put them in the hot skillet - give them a good dose of salt and pepper;

7. Cook the onion and celery until soft;

8. Add the Garlic and Ginger to the skillet and give it a good stir;

9. Put the ground beef in the skillet and cook until brown making sure to break up any clumps of meat. I also add more salt and pepper at this point and any other spices you want for a kick (e.g., thyme, oregano) (NOTE: if you
 are using frozen meat and don't want to defrost it - put the meat in the pan first and break it up then add in the onion and celery).

10. Add the bullion to the boiling water (or heat the stock) and then whisk in the flour until mixed well and not clumpy.

11. Add the flower, and stock mixture to the frying pan. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer until it is a very thick gravy like sauce.

12. Once the meat mixture is simmering (or before if necessary) check the potatoes and once they are soft, drain them.

13. Add some butter, salt, pepper and milk to the potatoes and mash. You don't want the mixture to be too soft - you want it a little bit on the dry side as they will get softer from the moisture during cooking.

14. Once the meat mixture and potatoes are ready place the meat mixture in the bottom of a glass pan (I use a lasagna pan 8x11 I think) and then put the frozen veggies on top of that. Then layer with the mashed potatoes.

15. I then add a little bit of pepper to the top.

16. Pop in the oven for 50 minutes and serve!

TIPS for freezing: potatoes usually never freeze well (or so I'm told). I have frozen them when preparing for my daughter to be born and found that the best way to have them hold up is cook them a little harder then normal and then if making something like mashed potatoes keep the mixture much dryer than you normally would. Then when reheating you can add a little butter or milk ontop and they will get a nice texture.

Alternatively you can also make a cauliflower puree to go on the top of this to keep it healthier. Also you can add more veggies to the meat mixture - like mushrooms, green pepper, diced carrots. The key is to keep them on the smaller size (think the size of a kernel of corn or smaller).

Lastly, if you don't know how to make mashed potatoes let me know and I'll actually measure what I use and then post the directions on here!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Picture of the Day - January 24

I am exploring Wine these days! I found this one and tried it... apparently you can't go wrong with a blush and well it's true!

More adventures in Wine to be coming!

Meal Plan - January 25 - 31

Here is the plan for the week!

Sunday: Shepard's Pie
Monday: Quiche Lorraine-ish
Tuesday: Crockpot Beef Curry stolen from "Definitely Not Martha"
Wednesday: Fried Rice and Easy Chow Mein
Thursday: Cod, fried rice, broccoli, and corn
Friday: Take out pizza and Salad
Saturday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with beans and broccoli!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Messy Giuseppe

So according to my goals and meal plan we tried a new Rachael Ray recipe "Messy Giuseppe"

We chose this recipe on this day for several reasons:
  1. it was new,
  2. it is basically sloppy joes and I LOVE sloppy joes,
  3. my daughter was with my parents for the weekend so no worry about sloppy food + kid scenario....
  4. fairly basic ingredient list with nothing too unusual or foreign
Messy Giuseppe
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Red Pepper flakes
1 lb ground beef
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
5 large garlic cloves, chopped
a D
ash of freshly grated nutmeg
Salt & Pepper
1 cup sliced & diced mushrooms
1/2 cup red wine
3/4 cup beef stock
1 - 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped

Butter topping
6 tbsp butter
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
4 buns
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Preheat the broiler

2. Meat sauce: heat a deep skillet over medium heat. add the oil, pepper flakes and ground beef and break up the meat.

3. Add the green pepper, onions and 4 cloves of garlic, nutmeg, salt & pepper to the beef and cook together making sure you break up the meat.

4. Add the mushrooms
 and cook for 5 minutes.

5. Add the wine and cook for 1 minutes.

6. Add the beef stock and tomatoes. 

7. Bring the mixture to a bubble, reduce the heat to medium low and gently simmer for 10 minutes.

8. Finish it by stirring in the chopped parsley.

9. While the meat is cooking, combine the remaining garlic, soft butt
er, chopped basil and salt and pepper.

10. Split the rolls in half, pressing them open and slather the insides with the garlic butter and toast until golden brown under the broiler.

11.  When everything is ready - top the garlic buns with the meat and sprinkle with some of the cheese! Pour a glass of wine and enjoy!

My thoughts: I really liked it, it was fairly easy to make (save that husband started to make it before I was even ready or knew where all the ingredients were even ready...) so my advice - make this recipe, do not leave the man unattended in the kitchen with a cook book and make sure that you have everything ready to go right off the hop because it is quick and certainly easy.

My other thoughts: I really need to start drinking more wine for various reasons which means I should be cooking with them WAY more often :D - so I've decided that I am going to try some new wines and add that to my list of things to blog about!

SO at long last here are pictures and recipe:

(side note: also ensure that you have a cork screw in the house... we have ONE just one and the last time we tried to use it - it took me and two desperate wine seeking friends to open it during a fondue party...the pictures that ensued were definitely funny unfortunately I couldn't find the cork screw tonight when making this. HOWEVER never fear a well prepared individual I am I have a trust swiss army knife!)
Unfortunately the swiss army knife proved unless I mean - seriously how are you suppose to open wine with that?! I was about to break the glass itself to get at the good stuff *just joking* when the hidden location of the said missing cork screw was discovered and saved the day.

(the wine was a California Merlot)

After all that effort I needed a drink of wine and I also had to ensure that the wine tasted good for the meal - so I happily poured myself a glass and it was delish!

Note to self: BUY a good cork screw that actually works!

Picture of the Day - January 23

SO funny story.... I'm trying to figure out how hot different curries are.... and I spent 15 minutes looking at the jars and was CONFUSED... a nice lady passed me in the store and looked concerned about me staring at this jars. She asked if she could help and I kindly explained my problem and she pointed out the little chili pepper's on the side of the jar. SO that is my picture of the day

Thursday, January 22, 2009

#07 Shopaholic & Baby (2007) (Kinsella, Sophie)

#07 Shopaholic & Baby (2007) (Kinsella, Sophie)
Summary: Becky’s life is blooming! She’s working at London’s newest big store, The Look, house-hunting with husband Luke (her secret wish is a Shoe Room)...and she’s pregnant! She couldn’t be more overjoyed—especially since discovering that shopping cures morning sickness. Everything has got to be perfect for her baby: from the designer nursery…to the latest, coolest pram…to the celebrity, must-have obstetrician. But when the celebrity obstetrician turns out to be Luke’s glamorous, intellectual ex-girlfriend, Becky’s perfect world starts to crumble. She’s shopping for two…but are there three in her marriage?

Taken from the Author's Website

Pages: 368 pages
Rating: 5 out of 5
Comments: I love this book. I am very sad that it is the last book that has been published in this series... I hope that there are more to come. I would admit that some things seem like they are going to play out one way but then they move in a different direction.  I love the characters I love the trouble that she gets into but the fact that she always seems to pull it off. 

It is a fab book!

A small day of failure...

So we had a slight failure today in plans.  I managed to leave work early today! However, I realized that I had forgotten to take out fish for tonight and with the absolutely amazing weather we are having I really wanted to go outside with C. 

So I gave in to the mighty "hot and ready" and picked up a pizza on the way home C was absolutely thrilled by the idea!  (for a note to make it some what healthy I did also order a salad and ate it BEFORE I filled up on pizza - so points for that!) 

ANYWAYS... a small failure - but much better because before this adventure I would have probably failed yesterday and today!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Picture of the Day - January 20

My New Favorite Spice!

More yummy food!

So tonight was a success!  According to my Daughter it was both Tasty and Delicious (the highest rating from an almost three-year-old I assure you!)

The meal plan for the evening was "Shrimp, brown rice, Broccoli and Peas (maybe this will be a stir fry type thing)"

However since it is only me and the munchin I didn't want to do rice and peas... I much prefer corn!

So we did shrimp, tater tots, broccoli and corn.

Here is a bad picture (*sorry* and everything is in one pan at this point...)

So Tater Tots (a moment of weakness in the grocery store..)

here is the stack up:

Regular Potatoes (Baked with flesh)
3 oz serving

Calories 79
Total Fat 0.1g
Total Carbs. 18.1g
Dietary Fiber 1.9g
Sugars 1g
Protein 2.1g
Potassium 455.8mg

serving Size 3 oz (85.0 g)

Calories 150
Total Fat 7.0g
Sodium 200mg
Total Carbohydrates 20.0g
Dietary Fiber 2.0g
Protein 2.0g

hum.. think that this will be the last attempt at Tater Tots. PLUS I did them in the frying pan (my favorite non-stick with no oil) and unfortunately they don't hold up at all when you try to eat them. 

You'll also notice that the picture of the day today is my new FAVORITE spice from Club House.

It's GREAT I use it in so much!  (I use it for my lunch in my Tuna salad instead of salt or pepper, I use it on my fish and then cook them, we've used it in the 4-bean salad! ) I would definitely list it as a MUST BUY

#06 - Shopaholic & Sister (2004) (Kinsella, Sophie)

#06 - Shopaholic & Sister (2004) (Kinsella, Sophie)
Summary: What’s a round-the-world honeymoon if you can’t buy the odd souvenir to ship back home? Like the Chinese urns and twenty silk dressing gowns Becky found in Hong Kong…the five kilim rugs from Turkey…the splendid hand-carved dining table (and ten chairs) from Sri Lanka…the, um, huge wooden giraffes from Malawi (that her husband Luke expressly forbade her to buy)…

Only now Becky and Luke have returned home to London and Luke is furious. Two truckloads of those souvenirs have cluttered up their usually immaculate loft, and the bills for them are outrageous. Becky’s even maxed out on her second secret credit card, and she doesn’t have a new job yet!

Luke insists she go on a budget. And worse: her beloved best friend Suze has found a new best friend while Becky was away. Becky’s feeling rather blue—when her parents deliver some incredible news. She has a long-lost sister! Becky is thrilled! She’s convinced her sister will be a true soulmate. They’ll go shopping together, drink cappuccinos together, have manicures together, and watch their favorite videos together.

Until she meets Jessica for the first time and gets the shock of her life. Surely Becky Bloomwood’s sister can’t…hate shopping?

From the Chapters website

Pages: 352 pages
Rating: 5/5
Comments: LOVE this book! Although some parts are a little predicable I appreciate that the author adds a unique twist to them. Although, at some points the book is certainly taking the believable about the character to a far edge I like the escape from reality!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

#05 Shopaholic ties the Knot (2003) (Kinsella, Sophie)

#05 Shopaholic ties the Knot (2003) (Kinsella, Sophie)
Life has been good for Becky Bloomwood: She’s become the best personal shopper at Barneys, she and her successful entrepreneurial boyfriend, Luke, are living happily in Manhattan’s West Village, and her new next-door neighbor is a fashion designer! But with her best friend, Suze, engaged, how can Becky fail to notice that her own ring finger is bare? Not that she’s been thinking of marriage (or diamonds) or anything . . . Then Luke proposes! Bridal registries dance in Becky’s head. Problem is, two other people are planning her wedding: Becky’s overjoyed mother has been waiting forever to host a backyard wedding, with the bride resplendent in Mum’s frilly old gown. While Luke’s high-society mother is insisting on a glamorous, all-expenses-paid affair at the Plaza. Both weddings for the same day. And Becky can’t seem to turn down either one. Can everyone’s favorite shopaholic tie the knot before everything unravels?

Pages: 416 pages
Rating: 5/5
Comments: um.. is it bad that i started this book and kept reading and reading and reading until It was done? I Love these books such a great and easy read. The story keeps you moving.

Picture of the day - January 18

Throwing snow around!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Picture of the Day - January 17

The tiny bowler!

Pulled Pork (yup again!)

So as you may recall I posted earlier about Pulled Pork that we made in the slow cooker. (It is wonderful, feeds a large crowd and is SO easy to make that you can't not make it!)

The recipe I posted earlier but didn't get any pictures but I did this time.

Here it is once it is all pulled! 

From the start to the end of my actual cooking process it took about 20 minutes!

(I had the onions pre-diced from earlier in the week)
Just put those in the frying pan until they were slightly soft, added the ginger, garlic, chili powder, chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, pepper and everything else.

We are contemplating trying the same thing with Beef to make a pulled BBQ Beef so my husband decided that we should try adding some molasses.  IT WAS WONDERFUL!  It made it have a very BBQ taste and quality!  Also added to the sweetness.

Now again, we pulled the meet and then added a couple of spoons of sauce instead of shredding it in the sauce because of our daughter. We then kept the sauce for the side to pour over ours!

Then we were going to have Potatoes for supper and I wanted something more exciting so we decided on having potato skins (ok not so healthy but very tasty and makes me feel like we were having a take out meal!)

Potato Skins
4 medium potatoes (use red or white, but try for oval and long vs. round shaped ones)
4 slices of precooked bacon
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Sour cream.
  1. Was the potatoes very well, then prick with a fork.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Pop the potatoes in the microwave on High heat for about 10 minutes.
  4. Dice the slices of bacon.
  5. Carefully remove the potatoes and slice them in half (along the widest part).
  6. Use a melon baller and scoop out the insides but be careful to enough enough potato attached to the skin to be able to pick them up.
  7. Sprinkle some Olive Oil on the potatoes, and some salt and pepper.
  8. Place the Potatoes on a cookie sheet skin side down.
  9. Sprinkle the diced bacon and shredded cheese on the potatoes. 
  10. Heat until the bacon becomes crispy, the cheese is melted and the potato is sufficiently soft.
  11. Serve with some sour cream! 
We use the insides of the potatoes to feed our daughter - other wise you can keep them for making mashed potatoes or other things!

Here is our supper!  (the corn and broccoli is missing from the plate but basically here you go!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

#04 Shopaholic takes Manhattan (2002) (Kinsella, Sophie)

#04 Shopaholic takes Manhattan (2002) (Kinsella, Sophie)
Summary: With her shopping excesses (somewhat) in check and her career as a TV financial guru thriving, Becky’s biggest problem seems to be tearing her entrepreneur boyfriend, Luke, away from work for a romantic country weekend. And worse, figuring out how to pack light. But packing takes on a whole new meaning when Luke announces he’s moving to New York for business—and he asks Becky to go with him! Before you can say “Prada sample sale,” Becky has landed in the Big Apple, home of Park Avenue penthouses and luxury boutiques.

Surely it’s only a matter of time until she becomes an American TV celebrity, and she and Luke are the toast of Gotham society. Nothing can stand in their way, especially with Becky’s bills miles away in London. But then an unexpected disaster threatens her career prospects, her relationship with Luke, and her available credit line! Shopaholic Takes Manhattan—but will she have to return it?

Pages: 400 pages
Rating: 5/5
Comments: I love this books - the story gets even better and I look forward to reading more of these!

The Meal Plan (January 18 - 24)

Here is the plan for the week!

Sunday:Herb roasted chicken, potatoes skins, Corn and broccoli
Monday: Sushi (*happy dance!*)
Tuesday: Shrimp, brown rice, Broccoli and Peas (maybe this will be a stir fry type thing)
Wednesday: Cod, brown rice, peas, and beans
Thursday: Rotinni, Meat balls, beans and broccoli (this is a Dad and daughter only night so I figured things should be easier for them!)
Friday: "Messy Giuseppe" (Rachael Ray "Express Lane Meals" p. 182) potato skins, corn and broccoli (basically this is suppose to be like sloppy joes!)
Saturday: Dinner & a movie (thanks to M&P for taking the kidlet for the night!)

Plus for the week we are going to be adding the following side dishes and salad:
- Linda's Thai Noodle Salad
- 4-bean Salad

*Yum* Grocery shopping was such a breeze this week! made it really easy I sat down looked at the weeks events, planned our meals and wrote down anything I didn't have in the house on the list and off I went.

Unfortunately, I found it difficult to come up with new ideas for meals. However, on the back of the grocery list I started writing down ideas for the future weeks as inspiration hit me in the store! I'll keep a master list in my binder then can refer back to it as we go on!

Ah yes, the binder. I keep a master binder of all my recipes - everything is in it, and it has a master index at the front, dividers and subdivisions to keep things organized (but I'll post more on that later!)

- UPDATE: only one problem has arisen now with the above. Apparently someone will be away Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week *sigh* however, it seems that the meal plan will be easy enough to adapt! Thank goodness for that.

Now I just need to find a few vegetarian items to try in the next couple of weeks!