Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What I Want to Be When I Grow-up....

I know that my blog has mostly turned into my waxing lyrical about my meal plan, dinners, and recipes..... but I wonder - do you ever wonder what you want to be when you grow-up? I do, even though I'm sliding into 42 really hard.

When I was 17, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be an "accountant". I had taken high school accounting and "got it", even more than some of my really smart friends - the ones that were pulling A's & B's in advanced placement calculus and chemistry (which by the way, I wasn't even taking! LOL). I begged my parents for a typewriter (remember those??) when I was a freshman. I "knew" what I wanted to be when I grew up.

And I was... I'm not a CPA nor do I even have a BA in accounting, but I was an awesome bookkeeper, office administrator, financial administrator for an awesome boss & company for 19 1/2 years.

Then... I lost my mom on this day 6 years ago. Then 2 1/2 years later I lost my dad. Than I lost my awesome job. Granted, at the time I thought it was going to be step-forward, a chance to re-group. It hasn't quite turned out the way for me.... and now on this anniversary of one of the worse days of my life - I find myself asking "Is this really what I wanted to be when I grew up?"

How about you?

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall is arriving!

I must say, fall has a tendency to make me a little sad - wishing for the warmer days of July. Our September has been very warm, but I think that is about to change - I can see leaves changing and it gets dark much earlier.

I'm going to try and change my sadness at the changing of the season by making some soups and comfort food faves.

Monday - SS asked for her favorite to be on the meal plan this week - Spaghetti and meatballs. I'm still liking Kittencal's Marinara from Recipezaar. I like it so much, I haven't been searching for anything new. VERY unlike me! Her Italian Meatballs are fantastic too. I drop them into the simmering sauce for an extra boost of flavor to both!

Tuesday - And our busy week starts. KK has a volleball game at 4:00 and I thought "SOUP" would be a nice thing to fill up her tummy after working so hard. This is a 2-hour crockpot recipe from the WW board. I think I will probably make it up Monday night or before work Tuesday and just reheat on the stove for dinner.

Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Soup


2 spray(s) cooking spray
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 medium onion(s), chopped
1 medium stalk(s) celery, chopped
1 pound(s) uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cup(s) canned chicken broth, divided
1 cup(s) low-fat evaporated milk
8 oz Kraft Velveeta Light Reduced-Fat Pasteurized Processed Cheese Product, or similar product, cubed
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
24 item(s) baked low-fat tortilla chips, crumbled

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds. Add garlic, onion and celery to skillet; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Coat a 3-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray; spoon in vegetables.

Place same skillet over medium-high heat and brown beef, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 6 minutes; pour off any liquid and add meat to slow cooker.

In a small cup, combine flour and 1/2 cup of broth; stir until lump-free. Pour flour mixture into same skillet; add remaining 2 1/2 cups of broth. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits in bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon, and then pour into slow cooker; stir in evaporated milk, cheese, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 2 hours. Serve soup topped with crumbled chips. Yields about 3/4 cup of soup and 3 tablespoons of chips per serving.

Wednesday - I have gotten my "Gem" to take Sami to piano lessons the past two weeks while I've been extra busy at work - but my time has arrived, and that means it is my crockpot is gonna save me again. I got some frozen boneless chicken breasts on sale at Safeway last week - and I stocked up early in the season on some Kraft BBQ sauce when it was on sale too. (I can never make BBQ sauce that I like as well as the cheap stuff. It makes my culinary self kinda sad on occasion! LOL) So, it's time for some Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken BBQ. I like it on baked potatoes. Give it a try instead of a bun.

Thursday - KK has another volleyball game, and again - the crockpot is going to save me. Another simple one from the Weight Watcher boards:

BEEF TIPS WITH ZIP!/slow-cooker
by Linda Wilson

2 lbs lean cubed round or sirloin steak
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
*1 can low-fat cream of mushroom soup, undiluted* use wpa for SFT
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup sugar-free lemon-lime soda

Turn slow-cooker on low. Place meat and mushrooms in cooker. In a mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients until well blended and pour over meat and mushrooms. Put cover on slow cooker and cook on low approximately 8 hours.
Serve over brown rice or ww egg noodles.
Friday - The family favorite. You guessed it - Shake N' Bake pork chops. We'll try to spruce it up a bit with a an exciting side dish. Probably a veggie casserole.

Saturday - Burgers of some kind. I'm on the look out for something new and exciting. Suggestions are welcome! I might (might) get excited enough to try to make my own buns. Maybe. Don't hold me too it! LOL

Sunday - The flu has already started in our schools. The chickies and I got our Flu Mist doses last week, but I thought this weirdly name soup would be good to have on hand in the freezer for the winter. Per usual, I have whole chickens I've gotten sale roaming wild in the freezer.

I'm glad I had time to post my plan this week - it is so much easier for me when I post it, then I don't have to remember what I did with the paper I wrote it on.

And.... if you got a second, click on one of those annoying google ads. LOL

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Friday, September 11, 2009

My World - My Dinners

Can you believe it is the middle September already? WOW! We just have the usual on tap for this week. Work, school, volleyball, piano, Weight Watchers.

Monday - I'm remember really liking this Crockpot Chop Suey from April. It made great leftovers for lunch the next day too.

Tuesday - The chickies were gone all last weekend, and that caccitore is STILL in my freezer. I have decided that I want to try my hand at some polenta to serve with it. I haven't quite settled on a recipe.

Wednesday - Piano lessons means crockpot again. I'll use one of my Costco pork roasts for these Sweet Pork Tacos from my cooking friend, Dishy's blog. I made them once before and seriously good.

Thursday - Weight Watchers weigh-in. I really really really really want to get to my 30.0 lb. mark today. I'm only .2 away and I want it sooooooo bad!

Friday - This Mexican Lasagna has been declared the winner over the AR recipe. SS asked for it specifically to be on the meal plan this week.

Saturday - I have been asked to give a cooking demonstration at our local supermarket, Harvest Foods, in honor of their 35th anniversary! I'm so excited, another of my cooking friends, Granny, turned me to these cranberry-feta pinwheels and these green chile pinwheels. After the demonstration we are off to a birthday party for my friend's baby boy. I'm sure she will be feeding us some seriously yummy food with along with a Tres Leche Cake.

Sunday - I have been dying to try yet another cooking friends' tartar sauce. I think the favorite Oven-Fried Catfish will be just the vehicle for that! Maybe some sweet potato fries? YUMMY!

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New Reviews

Another few reviews:

Mexican Lasagna from AR *** 1/2

It might not be fair to only give it 3 1/2 stars, because I forgot to layer the beans, and just put it on top - but it was very soupy and the flavor just wasn't there. The chickies liked the one with tortillas a million times better.

Real Louisiana Red Beans & Rice - *****
I made this recipe instead of the one I posted on the recommendation of my cooking friend, Lobs. It was quite tasty and very healthy! It definitely needs to be served over rice though. The leftovers without did not float my boat near as much.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Rest of the Week

Wasn't a 3-day weekend just glorious!?!!? I didn't accomplish one great thing at all. Now, it's back to the grind and my meal plan is very boring this week.

Tuesday - I didn't get the Chicken Tiki Masala made last week. No naan today, but maybe next time!

Wednesday - "Snobby" Joes. I like to use my favorite recipe and just substitute cooked brown lentils for the ground beef. Last time, SS declared them just as "delicious" as the regular.

Thursday - Weigh in day. Last week was a busy Thursday and we still didn't get to the Pho place. This week for sure!

Friday - I think we need some red meat. That Pioneer Woman made this blue cheese onion sauce look to good not to try! I will use fat free half and half instead of heavy cream. The chickies will not like it for sure, but I'm dreaming of it with my baked potato!

Saturday - That chicken caccitore is still in the freezer. It's coming out this weekend for sure!

Sunday - It is suppose to be really warm again this weekend. I'm fairly sure the chickies are gonna go boating with their dad for a last hurray before the fall descends in earnest. So, I'm going to have fried chicken livers with onions. It is something I never cook for them ('cuz come on... they are pretty adventurous eaters, but I doubt this is trip they are gonna take!), but love myself.

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