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Friday, October 23, 2009

My newest addition to the kitchen

Would be this or for those of you who HATE to click on random links, it's the Vidalia Chop Wizard.

My g/f loaned me hers to try out. Then I decided I HAD to have one of them since it does a nice small dice on stuff. Woohoo. $19.99 with my $5.00 off $15.00 purchase at Bed Bath & Beyond ... not a 'bad' price in my opinion.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Flu Shots

All that is in the news this morning is the flu shot vaccine has arrived in South Florida.

School districts are offering the vaccine to students.

92,000 dosages have arrived. Given to the highest risk category, including students. Pregnant women. People who work in school. Those with chronic illness.

Chronic Illness. Huh. Yesterday, front page of the Sun Sentinel newspaper was an article how they would start to move those who had minimal chance of recovery off ventilators to put those who had a better chance of recovery in the event of a mass flu outbreak. Huh. I wonder who makes that decision? Take a guess. It's not you or a loved one.

That makes me wonder ... alot of things.

So, if you were given the opportunity to have your kid vaccinated, for FREE, at school, would you?

Sonny Boy is not in line.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Roast Pork Loin - Puerco Asado

I do not speak ONE word of spanish, but I so love my Memories of a Cuban Kitchen cookbook ... this is one of the recipes that is just perfect ... may seem like a lot of work but it's not ... try it!

5 lb bonless pork loin (I generally will use 2 of the tenderloins I get from costco), scored
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup dry red wine
2 bay leaves

Make a paste out of the garlic & oregano (mash the heck out of it, or if you have it, put it in a magic bullet - JK)

Rub roast with garlic paste, salt & pepper. Place in glass dish or ziploc and pour all remaining ingredients over the top and toss in the bay leaves.

Refrigerate (cover if in dish) and let sit for at least 2 hours, turning over occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350. Remove roast from juices, pat it dry, fish out the bay leaves and toss them aside, but keep the marinade.

Place meat in roasting pan & cook for 2 1/2 hours or til it reaches internal temp of 165 degrees. Halfway through the roasting time, pour the marinade over top of roast and baste frequently with pan juices.

When cooked, transfer to serving platter, cover with foil & let sit for 15 minutes before carving in thin slices.

Serve with black beans & rice. I cheat & use the Vigo brand "authentic" black beans & rice in the bag, top with finely diced onions & lime juice.

Menu Plan Monday - 2 week plan again!

We got back from Fort Leonardwood on Friday and were just plain exhausted. It was so very nice to be back home, sunshine and hot air. It was drizzly rain & no matter what time of day, 45 degrees the 3 days we were there. No wonder the state is nicknamed "misery". Princess and about 150 other soldiers were put on greyhound buses and bussed to Fort Huachuca AZ ... talk about a LONG ride. Whew. But she got some great pictures, such as the Walmart in Roswell NM, instead of the smiley face outside, it was an alien face. Funny. And I am so very pround of that girl, she is amazing in what she's accomplished so far! Anyways, back to the menu:

Friday - ordered pizza. Really planned to make SOMETHING but just didnt' happen that way
Saturday - friends over, made blackened chicken sandwiches
Sunday - planning on chili for our first cold front but most likely to be a fryer night
Monday - black bean soup & cheesy quesidillas
Tuesday - chili cheese dogs with fries
Wednesday - leftovers or salad & sandwich
Thursday - spaghetti & garlic bread

Friday - cuban pork roast with black beans & rice
Saturday - out or with friends
Sunday - lasagna
Monday - soup & sandwiches
Tuesday - mini meatloaves & crashed taters
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - burgers & shark fries

And then it's Halloween time! Woohoo! My favorite holiday & then the rest of the year comes crashing to an end for me (I dread November & December) ... oh well, deal with it, right??

And if you are looking for some more ideas for menus & recipes check out here

Monday, October 12, 2009

I live in Paradise

Or, so most people say. However, it's been FREAKIN hot here. Like 90's. Like, the ultimate October sunburn on Saturday. Like, my air conditioner on the one side of house froze up. All day long while at work. All the way from the air handler, out to the other side of the house (exact opposite sides). Like, it says its 84 degrees on this side of the house ... ick. And of course, that makes everyone a little 'testy' to say the least. I've got tons of clothes to wash. And dry. And THAT room is on this side of the house. It's HOT over here! The cat seems to be the only one that doesn't mind it. Probably because the floor doesn't feel like it's 20 degrees now.

Menu Plan Monday 10/12

So really, because I've been doing my menus for 2 weeks at a shot, the last one ended on Friday so I'll pick up from Saturday ... Saturday ... long day on the boat and too much sun, tacos and chips Sunday ... ravioli and leftover chicken Monday ... pizza using the b1g1f boboli crust and the Presto Pizzaz cooking thing Tuesday ... leftovers, clean out the fridge, soup & sandwiches if nothing substantial to be found Wednesday ... dinner with Princess in Fort Leonardwood Thursday ... farewell and celebratory dinner with Princess in Fort Leonardwood Friday ... back home, have no clue what we will have to eat that night ... will have to check out the Menu Plans of others at the organizing junkie :) As you can see, a real boring plan for the week as we fly out early Wednesday to go see Princess graduate from basic training on Thursday morning. I am so dang excited to go see her ... I really really miss that girl! When we get back, I will shop for a few things (primarily milk, produce, bread) and continue my quest to whittle down my food supply a bit ... really do feel like I'm making progress as there is some space in the freezers. Most likely will go through them when we get back on the weekend as I need to get them better organized now that there is some room to move around.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Food - Hoarding or Stockpiling?

Has anyone seen this show about Hoarders? I find it a little repulsive (ok, a lot, it scares me) but when they show the food hoarders, I get really freaked out because I can really see how that can happen! Then the good ole pioneer woman got eaten up by her pantry in which I could totally relate to. I had just cleaned out the bottom shelf of my pantry, and much to my dismay, I had 15 bottles of A1 Steak Sauce. We don't even really use that stuff! And some of it had a sell by date of 2007. Which of course, I insisted must have been past it's date when I purchased it because I CAN NOT imagine that I purchased it over 2 years ago. Ugggg. Currently, I am on a self imposed limited shopping plan. My freezers (all 3) are bulging. I have NO room for anything. Sure, with the limited shopping, I have made little nooks & crannies to stuff little things into, but don't be buying no 10 lbs of chicken or any solid hunk of frozen something as there is NO room. My pantry and overflow cabinets (in guest kitchen) are stuffed. Granted, I am starting to see some space open up now. Thankfully. But that snack shelf has really gotten out of control. I don't understand how that could be. Anyways, back to the title of this post. Is it hoarding? Or is it stockpiling? Really, what's the difference? I like to think of it as stockpiling, but the A1 Steak sauce made me re-evaluate the term. Yikes. Of course, the little voice in the back of my head says "hey! Wait! what if there's an emergency? What if you lose your job and you've eaten all that food you stockpiled? Hey! Don't do it!" ... to which I tell myself, "those pills were suppose to take care of these things..."

Monday, October 5, 2009

A New Toy

Which hubby insist is frugal in the long run ... We got a Cuisinart small fryer. $49.99. Used by 20% off coupon & got it for $42 after tax. Used my gift card from work which essentially made it free. We've been wanting one but didn't want a big bulky one but also wanted one with a temperature control. I then spent $15 on a gallon of peanut oil and if you fry alot with a fryer, I highly recommend it. I just strain it with my fine mesh strainer & put in jar for next use. I suppose I will know when it's too 'dirty' to reuse any longer. We made mozzarello sticks. Steak fries. Regular fries. Onion rings. Stuffed shrooms. All from the frozen food section. Told hubby and sonny boy that we were going to make it from scratch from here on out. So dinner plans were rearranged a bit. Saturday was still steak but no taters as we had lots of appetizers. Sunday we had burgers and fries. Yummy.

Chicken Noodle Stir Fry

1 pkg ramen noodles 1 lb b/s chix breast, cut in strips 1 tbs oil 1 cup brocolli pieces 1 cup cauliflower pieces 1 cup sliced celery 1 cup chopped cabage 2 medium carrots, thin sliced (or large shred) 1 onion, cut into thin wedges 1/2 cup bean sprouts (I never seem to have these) 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce, divided 1/4 cup peanuts or cashews, rough chop Cook noodles as directed, discard (or save for other use) season packet In large skillet, stir fry chicken in oil til no longer pink. Stir in 2 tbs teriyaki sauce during last couple of minutes to glaze. Add veggies, and stir fry 5 minutes or til crisp tender. Drain noodles, add to chicken & veggies with remaining teriyaki sauce & nuts. Stir well & serve. *You can serve over rice to spread it along. *You can just use a bag of frozen veggies if desired! Makes it easier as far as all the chopping & cutting goes when time is short!

Teriyaki Chix Thighs

I can't believe it but I've had this recipe for 2 years. To actually hold on to the paper that long ... wow. Originally came from FoodTv - Ellie Krieger but of course, modified to suit our taste. 1/2 cup soy sauce (I use the super thick stuff) 3 tbs brown sugar 4 tbs sherry 4 tbs rice wine vinegar 1 tbs sesame oil 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped 1 large piece (about the size of the garlic)ginger, grated dash of red pepper flakes (to taste) sesame seeds (optional) 2 pks of b/s chix thighs (I use costco brand and there are 5per pack) Mix marinade all together, pour over the top of chicken in baking dish. Let marinate in fridge for 1 to 8 hours. Heat oven to 375, bake covered for about an hour (we like our chicken well done, and thighs really do need to cook longer). Take foil off around last 15 minutes, sprinkle with sesame seeds & cook til chicken & seeds are golden (don't burn the seeds!) Enjoy