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!