Sunday, January 13, 2013

Planning: January 13 - 21, 2013

There's been another death.  J's dad died this past weekend, and we're off next weekend to help clean out the apartment and have a celebratory dinner.  Yup, it's a dinner only.  I'm somewhat conflicted about what's happened in J's family about this.  Having settled things with my dad so recently, this has been odd.
We're fine, our friends have been wonderful, and I have Roots of Empathy this week before.  I get to hang out with a baby and talk about feelings and development.  Yup, that always makes it a good week.
As a result of all this, J and I are off again for a longer period of time than we'd really like to be, and I'm not making as many things as I'd like to.  Bleh.
To go with this, I've come up with 12 things from the Jan/Feb issue of Everyday Food.  At some point, I need to start making these recipes.  I'm not sure it will be this week.  Ah well.  There are a lot of recipes using buttermilk and lemons.  Hopefully, we'll get to those soon.
As well, I've been a pinning fiend on Pinterest.  I have so many things that I  want to make.  I just need the time to do so.  As a result, I really have no plans for this week.  I do need to go to the store because we are running out of the makings of food:  things like orange juice, eggs, and milk.  There is also very little in terms of lunch-type items.  I'm making chili tonight (which will be lunch for the next couple of days for us) and candy cane ice cream.  Tomorrow, off to the store and 4 nights worth of dinner!
This is a long way of saying that I have no idea what we're eating this week.  But here's a list of what I will be making in the next little while from EDF:
1.  Chocolate Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
2.  French Onion Soup
3.  Baked Sole with Lemon Butter
4.  Lemon Curd Tart
5.  Cornflake-Crusted Chicken
6.  Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
7.  Vegetable Burritos
8.  Frosted Buttermilk Cupcakes
9.  Spinach Dip with Pita Chips
10.  Buttermilk Thyme Biscuits (wish I had everything for these to eat them with the chili)
11.  Fish Tacos
12.  Lemon Parsley Pork
So, no plans, but lots of food.  Let's see what happens.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Addictive: Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes

Sunday of the weekend where we made things with what was in the house, I made these.  In the process, I finished the yeast, the Frank's Buffalo Sauce, and the shredded cheese in my fridge.  Perhaps I should have these kinds of weekends more often, where J and I spend time together, eat our meals at home and leave the car in the garage.  Living intentionally is HARD.
But getting back to this recipe, I pinned this not that long ago.  J and I both love Buffalo chicken, and these looked intriguing.  They reminded me when I made them of pinwheel rolls I make with bacon, green onions and cheese.  Those are good too...and I haven't made them in a while.  How can you go wrong with bacon?  or Buffalo chicken?  Knowing that this is a recipe that uses pantry staples (for this house), it wasn't too hard to make these for dinner with carrot and celery sticks and ranch dip.
I present to you now Doughmesstic's Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Asian Inspired: Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

This is from the same weekend as the cake - my quest to make things while waiting for my paycheque and quickly running out of ingredients.  Yep, get ready to see what kinds of substitutions I can make!
I love to read the blog Budget Bytes.  I think I found her originally through Pinterest and a pin for black bean quesadillas that I have yet to make.  I used her refried beans in the crockpot recipe when I make them and discovered how easy it is to make beans in the crockpot.  I spend lots of time reading, but I don't always get around to cooking.
I did, however, read her Top 20 for 2012 with interest, and saw the quesadillas that I need to get around to making.  This recipe was also in the list, and looked intriguing and simple.  Everything in them is a pantry staple.  It also gave me a reason to use my food grinder.
I grew up in a house with a Spong food grinder.  I remember helping my mother make quiche by grinding leftover ham to use in the filling.  I never really saw the point of having one.  I didn't make quiche.  What would I want to grind?  While the name brand is fun to say, you don't need to own one to do so.  Then my uncle went into a retirement home, my parents cleaned out his apartment, and my mother presented me with his food grinder that appeared to never have been used.  It then sat on my shelf for 2 years.
Seeing as I wasn't buying anything this weekend, I suddenly needed a way to produce ground chicken.  I found one.
I present to you now Budget Bytes' Teriyaki Meatball Bowls:

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pintertest Kitchen: Cinnamon Roll Cake

I have a confession to make:  I'm not particularly good with money.
Sure, one of the duties of my job is to oversee the spending for a building and make sure that I don't go in the hole, but the way that I do that is by telling my staff that there's no money.  Okay, that's not totally true.  We still have a photocopy budget, and we do some special things.  But at home, well...let's just say that Dave Ramsey wouldn't be thrilled.
J and I have taken steps to get ourselves on the right track; and I'm much better than I used to be.  But by the same token sometimes the money just runs out.  Like this past weekend.  Through a glitch in payroll, my pay isn't coming through until Monday.  This left J and I with about $25 to our name that wasn't spoken for.
Unlike many, the biggest change in our plans was that we wouldn't be going out for a meal this weekend and the cat tree we'd planned to buy got waylaid until next week.  As a result, I was left to figure out what we were eating with no trip to the grocery store.
Our church has been doing a series about letting go of our stuff and how we allocate our resources.  One thing that has rung very true with me recently is that we as North Americans feel poor:  like there's no money, we can't afford things and what a misnomer this truly is.  We are encouraged to live simply and share our resources, demonstrating God's love for those around us.  Heavy stuff, but an important reminder.  This weekend really made me think about this - we can't afford to go out to eat.  So what?  We go out for the entertainment of it.  I started combing my cupboards for what to make while we stay home.  The next few days will be posts from that weekend.  We ate really well while having no money.  I need to remember that.
It's a little embarrassing what lurks in my cupboards.  We spent the weekend eating recipes that I wanted to try from Pinterest that I just hadn't gotten around to.  I pinned two very similar cakes that I combined into this one with a couple of substitutions based on things I'd run out of.  Here are the pins:
I present to you now a hybrid of Cookin' Up North and Six Sisters Cinnamon Roll Cakes:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Brunch: Baked Egg Boats

Yesterday was New Year's Day, a day on the mountain where J and I wear pajamas all day, eat yummy things, pack the Christmas decorations, and watch college football until our eyes fall out.  Did I mention that there's too much to eat?
This year, I planned to serve brunch, a baked cheese dip mid-afternoon, and black bean and steak wraps for dinner.  The wraps were the healthy part of the day with trimmed sliced steak, homemade unfried refried beans in whole wheat tortillas.  The brunch part of the day, not so much.  I planned to serve fruit with these boats, but I didn't wash it so we didn't eat it.
The boats, however, disappeared quickly with cups of coffee from my new Keurig, a Christmas present from J.  I liked the idea of quiche in bread.  I made another quiche filling that was delicious.  I also learned that I am a poor judge of when eggs are cooked in the oven.  Sigh.  We start, however with this
How can you go wrong when there's bacon?  I present to you now spoon fork bacon's Baked Egg Boats:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013: A Year of Possibility

I've been toying with a cookbook challenge for this year.  While I have cookbooks, I don't have *that* many.  That is, I don't have 12 that aren't community fundraiser cookbooks and the like.  I also don't think my autographed copy of Death by Chocolate should form the basis of one month.  Although there are lots of ice creams in the book.  Hmmmm....
I spent time flipping through some of the others that I have.  I own Eat This Book by Tyler Florence.  I made it half way through before I decided that I could eat the book, thinking the paper the most appetizing thing I'd considered.  I should sell my copy.
As well chronicled, I own Looneyspoons and The Looneyspoons Collection.  I'll cook out of these no matter what the challenge is.  The recipes are great, and simple.  There are lots of things I still want to make from both.  I'm sure to talk more about what I make this year from these two.
I would also like to spend more time in Choice Menus.  I've made a couple of things, the egg pockets by far the best of what I made.  One of the goals for both J and myself this year is to eat more healthfully.  I'm once again toying with giving up pop which is really liquid candy.  I have found that one change in the past has made my clothes looser.
My last 2 books will not help in that regard.  I own Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and La Vraie Cuisine Francaise.  J might hate me after a month of French cooking. 
What I do have is more magazines than I know what to do with.  I'm thinking of a magazine challenge:  Pick a year of Everyday Food, use the month's edition and cook from it.  I'm thinking 6 recipes in the course of the month.  That's just over 1 a week - leaving lots of room for other things.  I like it.  I've decided to go back to the first full year of Everyday Food that I have - 2005.
I have pulled out the January/February edition, realizing that I need to make 12 recipes out of this one magazine.  Yikes.
So to recap, here's what's in store for this year:
  • More Looneyspoons and Looneyspoons Collection because they're yummy
  • 6 recipes per month out of 2005's Everyday Food from the corresponding month's issue
  • Continuing Pintertest Kitchen Challenges, because they're just fun; and I'm not giving up looking at Pinterest Food boards
  • Continued cooking adventures
Let the fun begin!