Showing posts from January, 2012

Chicken Lettuce Wraps - a Hit!

I love when I try a new recipe and its spot on the first try with my modifications ... it does something for my self esteem :-D This one is definitely staying in the kitchen ...

Chicken Lettuce Wraps (but it's not chicken!)

20 oz package of ground, lean turkey. Um, do NOT buy the roll stuff, you know that's all dark turkey stuff, very little lean meat, right?
handful of green onions (cut right out of the glass on counter), diced
8 oz can of water chestnuts, drain and rinse well, diced
6 sweet mini peppers, diced
1/3 cup of soy sauce
3 tsp hoisin sauce (it's a miracle, I had it in the pantry!)
2 tbs dry ginger (I don't have fresh)
1 1/2 tbs water
3 tsp sesame oil

Brown the meat. Because mine was super lean (93/7), I added a little bit of olive oil to the bottom of pan since I wasn't using a nonstick pan. Chop it up as it cooks and drain if necessary when done. I didn't as it was pretty lean. Chop up even more now as you want it to be a fine ground. I've got…

Covering Large Bowls

I hate plastic wrap. It's a pain in the neck, you know? I was using Stretch Tight which is the BEST one I've used ever, but still, annoying to deal with and never even 80% cooperative.

Then you can buy them little bowl covers at the dollar store, and others too. But those need to be cleaned, and really, do you know what they remind me of?

Glorified shower caps.

Yeah. Shower Caps. And THAT, my friends, is exactly WHAT I use to cover my large bowls and any other containers, plates, pans, trays, you name it.

Hubby travels frequently and I always have him bring home the shower caps (and lotion, those get tossed in my purse and desk at work) ... Did you know that only about 60% of the hotels he's stayed at have shower caps?

You can buy an 8 pack of cheap plastic shower caps at the dollar store for, oh, ONE DOLLAR. I've had a hard time finding them so I think maybe, just maybe, I'm not the only one who uses them for this purpose...

On a side note: I've tried to use …

Menu Plan Monday - Week 5

There are SO many recipes I want to try ... I've started creating a folder for each month to bookmark what I want to try when just to try and keep them in some kind of order. I have a serious love/hate relationship with Pinterest lately ... way too many things to try!

But alas, reality sets in and I realize that even though I'm a fairly accomplished cook (so I tell myself), there are still some things that are just beyond even MY skills :-\ ... not to mention, I'm not all about the food being pretty, although I am starting to get a little more focused on that end (started with that green smoothie thing with nutella) ...

AND then you have February's challenge. I am having such a difficult time with the Year of Zero, like seriously, lets just call it the Year of Excess at this point (ok, not that bad, but bad enough for me to feel like a complete failure, 29 days in) ... and even though I've got a fairly well stocked pantry and 3 stuffed freezers, I know that I do n…

Appreciating What You Have

I've been in a little funk lately, which made me switch out the flatware ... shop at Costco and now opt to try some new recipes. I've had a little more stress than I'd like to admit, and frankly, I've not always been a joy to be around. When you realize that, you know it's bad.

So when Hubby told me Saturday morning to be "sportin' a bikini" within the next 30 minutes for a ride on the boat, I was less than pleased. I had laundry to do. I needed to finish up the menu plan for next week, clean the kitchen, mop the floor, wash the rugs, re-work the budget and so on. You know, a woman's work is NEVER done.

But as he went about happily getting everything ready for a little ride on the boat (seriously, no such thing as a 'little' ride on the boat, it's a production and generally 4 plus hours of time), I figured, the heck with it. Sunshine, salt water and just clean, fresh air would be nice.

So I got a bikini on (which totally motivates me t…

Friday Night Happy Hour

Ok. I'll be perfectly honest, I needed a Happy Hour Friday, trust me. What a week. My dad was back in the hospital yesterday for what he says is a stroke, my brother says its a stroke, but the nurse says NO stroke. TIA. Kind of like a stroke, but not as damaging. Whatever. I hate being so far away and not quite on the same wave length as the brother and wife.

Regardless, it's FRIDAY!

I'm having Bud Light. No big deal, actually, I'm a little surprised at myself, thinking I'd crack open a bottle of wine or something but remembered, I'm putting myself on a very limited grocery budget for February so need to conserve the wine (don't ask about the will come out eventually, I'm certain of it...before February 28th.

But the beer is not what I'm so excited about.

I'm excited about the hors d'oeuvres. I've prepared (and waiting not so very patiently for Hubby to get home from the gym, clean up and join ME)

Chicken and apple hot do…

Conserving Ink

*This is a reprint of a post I did a few months ago and just a friendly reminder that YES YOU CAN save on ink ...

I'm fortunate in that one of the attorney's in my office has asked if I'd like to do a little side work for him at home.

Sure! It's the Holidays approaching, Sonny Boy is in school, extra rent being paid for him, plus his ordinary living expenses (trust me, he's NOT living high on the hog by any means!), real estate taxes coming due and so on.

So I am getting about $400.00 extra a month at the moment doing searches and reports for him.

Of course, it's a LOT of printing so I'm thinking I should look into a new printer. He's offered to buy me a new printer, which I just sort of looked at him like, "Huh? Why would you do that??" Really, that's too generous and I will not allow that. Sorry, my friend.

Then I started to notice these "XL" ink cartridges first. You know, the ones that say "Up to 3 X More Pages"?

Sharing With Friends

A while ago,  I picked up all this stuff at Whole Foods thinking me and Hubby could have a nice stroll to the beach on a date night and share some good wine with some equally good cheese and crackers. Never happened, so I ended up sharing with friends and it was just as good! This was not recent, but withing the past 4 months or so.
A nice assortment of fairly expensive cheeses (ok, it's not $3.99 cheddar, ok?) ...

Add in some crackers or flat thingys

And then slice up some heirloom tomatoes

And you have a feast to share with friends...

Linking up with Ultimate Recipe Swap

Chicken and Veggies = Stirfy

It wasn't really on the menu plan but somehow, it happened at the last minute no less, on Friday.

I had to re-package the chicken (time was running out!) to freeze and though, hmmm...these little pieces could be used for a cream chicken pasta like dish easily. Then, I said NO, a stirfry.

I love my Kindle Fire (shameless, aren't I?) and fired up The Pioneer Woman right there in the kitchen! (Which makes me ask, what the heck did we do before laptops, WiFi and The Pioneer Woman anyways??)

My recipe is really really modified and I will modified it even more next time but man, so easy, even a Caveman can do it!

Here's how I did it:

3 b/s chicken breast, cut into smallish pieces (mine were chunky so ended up cutting more after cooked)
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tbs sugar
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tsp corn starch
1 onion roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic finely minced
8 cups of wonderful frozen stirfry veggies from the freezer (carrots, broccoli, shrooms, water chestnuts, green beans, etc…

Grocery Round Up

Well, here's how I did at the grocery store THIS week:

Publix (Monday), needed milk and coffee cream. How is that I got more?
1 qt milk $1.85 (to tide us over til Costco trip)
2 small international coffee creamers $1.67 each (seriously, not a flavored coffee person at all)
1.5 lbs of fried chicken tenders @ deli $8.67 (doh, I had a $1 off coupon and forgot to use!)
8 oz deli potato salad $2.99 (had thought it was $1.99)
Grand total $17.52

And then ... well, I needed to get to Costco. I had a list, cash, my coupon booklet AND the American Express card since I was getting gas too ($3.35 per gallon for regular, GREAT DEAL!) ... ummm ... yeah, it's ugly. But in keeping it real, here you go:

Butter Lettuce $4.59 (I'm hoping to make chicken lettuce wraps next week)
*Romaine lettuce $4.29
*Organic spinach $3.99
*2 2 lb packages of deli thin turkey $8.39 each plus $2.25 off each $6.14 each which is $3/lb)
3 dozen xlarge eggs $3.69 (price is down again!)
large bag of baking soda#5.…

Changing the Silver

You know that I'm doing a Year of Zero, right? And it has NOT been going as well as hoped, nor anywhere near as planned. But I keep plugging away, and every morning is the start of a new day, so I keep chugging along.

Because I've been feeling slightly deprived (which really, I don't understand WHY, it's not like I shop just to shop) .... I've been CLEANING ... yikes. You know, decluttering sort of. But not quite. Just seeing what I have that I've forgotten about. Is that cryptic or what?

I came across 2 silver flatware sets this morning, under the guest bed. Ummm, isn't that where YOU keep spare dishes and stuff?

I opened them up and admired them yet again. These were Hubby's grandmothers and we opted to keep them after she passed, thinking we will give a set to each kid when THEY get married. I still have those intentions, I think. :)

So I pulled the cases out and washed every last piece. Ummm, they are 8 and 16 piece settings. That's alot of silv…

Menu Plan Monday, Week 4

Week 4 of the New Year. Heh. What do you make of that? Time sure does fly!

Anyways ... this is going to be an EASY week as Hubby will be in Detroit Monday and returning on Thursday. Can you say Nachos and Steak Salad on a daily basis?

Nah. I can't do that ... although I'd like to! Since I'm hoping to make it to class 3 times this week, I won't be home until 8ish those nights (unless I get to the 5:30 class instead) ... so a lot of these might be swapped for the Smoothie and then just eat the dinner ideas for lunch at work ...

Sunday - Hubby's choice (which ended up being leftovers due to an emergency vet visit .. farewell Gman - the party continues for you elsewhere)

Monday - Chicken Pasta Cesar Salad ... Hubby was kind enough to cook up some extra chicken breast for me on Saturday

Tuesday - Chili (leftovers from the freezer)

Wednesday - Steak stirfry (using the pre-cooked steak and veggies from freezer and maybe some of the rice too)

Thursday - Hubby home! Subs ba…

Making Do and Doing It Yourself

Yes. That is my new motto.

At least, I keep telling myself that!

So. What am I making do with and doing myself, you ask?

Facial cloths ... makeup remover pads, just plain ole face wash.

I don't wear a lot of makeup. Mascara, eye liner, eye shadow once every few weeks. You know, basic stuff. No foundation, blush, primer, all that other stuff. That would just consume too much of my morning routine and heck, I dont' know how to use that stuff anyways.

But I do wash my face. Every morning. And every night. And sometimes at lunch. Not that I have oily or dirty skin, just like the feeling of a nice clean face. Makes me feel refreshed.


I do NOT buy those make up remover pads, or the face wash cloths. I DO buy baby wipes and will use them on my face and neck immediately AFTER working out (just because, I can't stand sweat and hair on my face ::shudder::).  But when I saw this and this, I thought, hey, this would be a good experiment to try for the morning washing of the …

Mango Salsa

I posted another Mango Salsa a while ago ... remember, I spent like $7 for that little container at Whole Foods? Yikes.

This one is an accompaniment to the pork loin I made on my day off.

I used canned mangos. I know. But it's all I had and there way no way in hell I was going to a store JUST to buy a mango. We all know how that works out.

Here you have it ... and let me tell you, canned or not? It was delicious!

1 can of mangos, drained well (get rid of that icky light syrup)
2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro (this guarantees that Hubby will not eat it but it's ok, he's not a fan of mangos either)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed and then diced small (I love my jalapeno tree - the thing grew huge)
juice of one lime

See, canned mango isn't really all that bad

I mean, it's already cut away from that horrible pit and peeled too!

And I bet that can had enough for TWO mangos. Chop up the mangos in to bite size pieces.

Mix all in a bowl

Add a touch of s…