Friday, May 29, 2009

12th Night

Last night my kiddo graduated from Kindergarten, sniff.  She is such a big girl these days.  To celebrate we went to Pizza Crossing for dinner.  It is her favorite, and they know her order.  Personal pepperoni pizza, side of cold mushrooms.  

We shared a pizza with hubby's parents.  

I will update later on tonight with the new turkey burger recipe we are trying.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

11th Night

Finally, a true home cooked meal for our family.  I have been thinking that I should take pictures of our meals.  Unlike many food bloggers that I read, I A. do not have a fancy camera, B. am a point and shoot kind of girl, C. have a simple old kitchen (i.e. no dishwasher, no fancy granite counter tops etc...) and D. I am not good with presentation.   I can cook a mean meal, but it is rarely pretty.  Do you really want to see pictures of my red Paula Deen cookware, which by the way is not all it is cracked up to be!  So maybe I will start small, but don't bash me if they are not the beautiful images you see on other websites.  

Tonight's dinner was a adaptation of a recipe that Pioneer Woman shared a few weeks ago.  Hubby and kiddo were both turning their noses up as I was preparing dinner.  You can check out for the original recipe.  I made ours with low fat ingredients and with chicken.  

Tonight's Meal

Lemon Pasta with Chicken
3  Larger Chicken Tenderloins
Lemon Pepper, I used McCormick that I swiped from our neighbors cabinet.  We were out.
10 oz thin spaghetti
2 lemons
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup + light sour cream
Fresh Parmesan Cheese grated (I got mine from the salad bar at Giant Eagle, saved lots!)
Flat leaf parsley if you feel adventurous

Coat chicken liberally with Lemon pepper.  Saute on medium for 4 to 5 minutes on medium.  Boil Spaghetti to package instructions.  Zest 1 lemon. 

Melt butter in skillet, add olive oil and garlic.  Simmer for a few minutes.  Add the juice of the lemon you zested.  Simmer for another minute.  Add the sour cream. Add zest.  I used a little over one cup, it just did not seam creamy enough.  This also took several minutes to combine thoroughly.  Be patient.  

Drain Spaghetti, make sure your chicken is not burning.  Add spaghetti to sauce and mix well.  I planned on serving it like this, but hubby was in the shower so I put in a casserole and baked it for about ten minutes with the chicken sliced on top, at 350.  

Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with cheese and sliced parsley. Squeeze lemon juice over top.  Serve hot.  

Opinion:  This was soooooo yummy.  Rich, yet light.  Hubby was surprised and loved it.  The lemon flavor was mild. I could have done without the parsley.  Lots of leftover pasta.  Hubby thought the sauce might be good with green onions added to it. 

Kid Opinion:  She ate it, but I could tell she was not in love with it.  Shockingly she ate the chicken, which had a dominant lemon pepper flavor.  

All in all a good meal that I would at to our occasional list.  

10th Night

I can not tell a lie.... 

this night was not a meal night for our family.  Kiddo wanted to swim right after school today, and we stayed until it was time for me to get ready to go to my class.  Daddy fed her Easy Mac, and then they needed to run to the mall.  They came home with pretzels from Auntie Ann's.  I had a pretzel and some kettle corn popcorn for dinner.  

I would love to report a great recipe for today, but I would rather tell the truth.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

9th Night

We went to my dad's for a Memorial Day cookout last night which presents a new obstacle to this situation.  Our goal is to not eat the same meal twice for 30 days +.  Well if you know my father, you know he eats the same meals over and over again.  His favorite grill fair... steak burgers and over sized hot dogs.  

Tonight's Dinner
Steak Burger seasoned with salt and pepper and Open Pit BBQ sauce
Over sized Hot Dogs
Cole Slaw
Mesquite flavored potato chips
Nana's Apple Cake

Opinion:  I had a steak burger with muenster cheese, pickles, and yellow mustard and a serving of cantaloupe.  My dad loves pre formed steak burgers and buys then from a restaurant supplier. 

Kid Opinion: Kiddo ate 1/2 of  a hot dog, a whole bun, and a serving a cantaloupe.  

Sunday, May 24, 2009

8th Night

Another busy day at our home.  We had a t-game this afternoon.  It was very muggy.  We came home and made our first trip to the pool for the summer.   Hubby and kiddo were in the pool for all of about 35 minutes, then came the thunder.  We came home.  Hopefully we can make it back out tomorrow.  Kiddo's swimming skills came back to her quickly. 

Tonight's Dinner

Chef Salad

Ingredients: 1 head of lettuce
Cubed chicken (we used leftovers from last night, and a little from the Giant Eagle Salad Bar)
Cubed ham
2 Roma tomatoes sliced
2 slices of Swiss cheese sliced
A couple of green onions

Mix all together in a big bowl and serve with your favorite dressing.  We used Kraft Ranch with Bacon tonight.  I am normally not a huge fan of ranch, but it was pretty good.  We also usually put green peppers and a hard boiled egg in this salad, but alas we had no peppers, and did not feel like waiting for the egg. 

 Opinion: We all really liked tonight's dinner.  Kiddo was a clean plate kid.  I know for me this is a good way to get fresh veggies without feeling like I am just eating lettuce.  Using the salad bar for some things has proved to be a money saving idea for us.  One pack of the precooked salad chicken is over $3.  The serving that we purchased for quick use off the salad bar was $1.25.  

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Seventh Night

Wow! We had a busy day today.  We went south and spent some time in Hocking Hills State Park.  We packed one of our favorite picnic lunches that I will share with you.  

Today's Lunch

Turkey Roll up's
Sliced Oranges
Dried Pineapple
Pita Chips

For the Turkey Roll Up we spread a thin layer of low fat cream cheese on a 6 in tortilla, we used plain today.  Then two slices of thin deli turkey, and cranberry honey mustard.  We use Woeber's brand cranberry honey mustard.  Woeber's has the best customer service ever!  We had a problem a few months back with our favorite honey mustard and they replaced it!  What company still does that?  Anyway, roll up like a pinwheel, wrap in plastic wrap and chill.  We love these, they travel well in a cooler, and there are endless possibilities!

Tonight's Dinner

Chicken Tenders with dip
Rice Pilaf

I am a huge fan of flash frozen chicken tenders.  They are super for late nights like this and they cook quick.  I will not lie, we cooked ours up tonight on our first generation lean mean grilling machine.  Kiddo ate hers with some Ken's Ranch dressing, and I had mine with Woeber's honey mustard.  Hubby will have his with Buffalo wing sauce.  

I would love to tell you that I made the Rice Pilaf from scratch, but I did not.  Rice a Roni has been my favorite non vegetable side dish since I can remember.  I make it with Olive Oil, so less fat.  One of my goals is to learn to make it homemade soon.  

Opinion:  This is one of Kiddo's favorite meals.  Nothing spectacular or interesting, but she eats without complaint. 

Tonight's Dessert... Amaretto Sour.... obviously kiddo has a few mini cocoa cookies instead.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sixth Night

Tonight was t ball night.  Our game was right at dinner time so we opted to eat afterwards.  Mistake....  We ended up watching an older friend pitch and it was 8:30 before we left the ball park.  Tonight's dinner was suppose to be homemade pizza, but we opted for Papa Murphy's instead.  

Mmmm... pizza.  

I had two pieces.  It is all about the portions!  

If you have not tried take and bake it is very yummy.

Life will be back to normal tomorrow.  Hubby shopped today and I have 14 different meals planned for the next fourteen days.  Stay tuned!

Becky.... thinking of the dietary limits in your household has made me realize we eat A LOT of cheese!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fifth Night

Did I make rules for this mission?  I think I did in my head, but in that case we cheated tonight.  Hubby went to his parents for the day, so kiddo and I went out.  What makes it worse is that it was the holy grail of bad fast food... McDonald's.  Since the glass is half full these days that just means no Micky D's for quite awhile. 

Tonight's Dinner

Me: Cheeseburger, small fry, coke
Kiddo: 4 nugget happy meal, apple dippers, and Hi-C orange

Opinion: We both enjoyed dinner.  It was nice girl time.  

Kid Opinion: Alert! Alert! Major breakthrough tonight!  Kiddo tried a bite of my cheese burger.  She has not swallowed red meat in years.  While this is scourge of the earth red meat, it is meat none the less.  And, she liked it, she really liked it.  

Hubby picked up dinner from a Sheets on his was home.  Turkey Sub, Giant Mt. Dew, and cookies.  Hubby has an eating problem, so I will not include portions.  I will add his dinner was probably was being served were he was :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fourth Night

What a beautiful day today!  

We had t ball practice tonight so dinner is just now getting started.  Busy nights call for simple meals.  

Tonight's Meal

Pretty simple and quick.

San Giorgio Brand Spaghetti, boil like the side of the box instructs you.

Classico Brand Caramelized Onion Spaghetti Sauce.  This stuff is very yummy.  I save up coupons to purchase Classico.  I love their products.  

No sides tonight.  This is usually a filling meal.  

Opinion:  We love spaghetti, not much else to say!
Kid Verdict: She only eats the noodles, no sauce.  I asked her why, she just does not like it on noodles.  Crazy Kid.

Sorry if you were expecting so fancy meal... not tonight.  Check back with me this weekend! We are trying out some new choices!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Third Night

I was not home tonight.  I was off serving in my teacher role for my preschoolers graduation.  They did a great job, and were super cute as three and four year olds should be. 

In my stead hubby made a nutritionally void meal of hot dogs, sliced oranges and marshmallows.  What made tonight's dinner special?  They cooked it around a fire.  Yes, folks, a real city fire.  In one of those nifty little fire bowls.  They smelled like a camp out, but they had fun.  Hubby just corrected me, the oranges were healthy! "and marshmallows aren't that fatty" 

Sometimes you can overlook healthy for fun. 

Kid Verdict:  She liked the oranges and swallowed the hot dog.  Apparently processed meat is okay to swallow. 

My opinion:  I hate a cold hot dog when I got home.  Then they told me it had fallen on the floor!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Second Night

As I type I am listening to hubby and daughter play hide-n-seek in the back yard.  I love spring evenings.  

Hubby feels that a year is a rather lofty goal.  We have agreed upon 30 days.  After those 30 days we will review and see if we can go another 30.  

Tonight's Dinner
Grilled Shrimp and Honey Glazed Carrots

I purchased marked down shrimp already on skewers from Kroger and froze them but any garden variety shrimp on a skewer would work.  I think it is easier to grill shrimp attached to something!

I seasoned the shrimp with Chesapeake Bay style seasoning, Kroger brand again.  This would be the same as Old Bay... but I am cheap!

Grill shrimp on each side for two to three minutes.  Serve hot.

For the carrots I boiled 1/2 bag a baby carrots approximately six minutes. The phone rang so give or take a minute.  They would have been better steamed, but a las I do not have a steamer.  
For the sauce melt one teaspoon of butter in a sauce pan, add three tablespoons of honey and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Mix well.  Drain carrots and mix sauce with carrots. Salt and Pepper to taste. 

Outcome:  Hubby and I really enjoyed this less than thirty minute meal.  Easy preparation, easy clean up.  We even dined outside. 

Child's opinion:  Said child felt the shrimp were a little spicy.  She wiped the seasoning on her paper towel, ahem napkin.  She did eat three servings of the carrots, a new record.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

First Night

I created this blog because my family is in a food rut.  We pish posh about what to eat regardless of the fore thought and planning put into our meals.  We are a family on a budget, a tight budget.  We are a family of three.  We are a family of two people who are overweight, and one who we never want that to happen to.  

About me... I am a mommy, a wife, a full time college student, a preschool teacher, an aspiring politician, and a home cook. 

About hubby.... hubby is a fabulous daddy, good husband, patient t-ball coach, and currently unemployed.  If you are seeking a college degreed account manager with 9 years experience in the grocery account management industry, he is your man.  He has really honed his cooking skills since the big let go!

About daughter.... Angelic picky eater.  A vegetarian when it suits her.  Super student, and all around good egg. 

The mission of this blog.  To force ourselves to be more creative with food, to push the limits, and to not eat pizza two nights a week! I am going to try my best to not have a repeat for an entire year!

Tonight's Dinner

Maple Mustard Bone in Pork Chops
Tomato and Mushroom Salad

3 pork chops
2 table spoons Dijon mustard
2 table spoons REAL maple syrup
one small handful of spring onions
salt and pepper to taste
Marinate pork chops for at least three hours.  Grill to your liking.  I did six minutes on each side. 

1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1 container of button mushrooms sliced in thirds
1 package dry Italian dressing mix
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
fresh ground pepper
(this is a variation from the Lady and Son's Cookbook.  Must give credit were credit is due)
Place veggies in bowl.  Mix other ingredients, pour over veggies.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours.  Serve. 

The outcome:  Pork Chops delicious.  Made extra sauce to dip in.  Tomato and Mushroom salad is a household favorite.  

The kid's opinion:  She was unable to swallow meat again tonight, but ate two helpings of the salad.  The meat issue is common at our home.