Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chugga chugga chugga

This is a very cute book, by the way. But mostly, I just feel
like a train chugging slowly up hill.
I'd like to start this post by saying thank you. A gigantic thank you to my dear husband who put me to bed early last night after he put the baby to bed. He also did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen for me. Apparently he knew I needed to sleep for 10 hours. <3

Our apartment is a disaster because all of the things maintenance was supposed to do on Friday didn't get done. They only did about half of what I had written down and I came home yesterday evening to find our bathroom in shambles. The good news is they are finally making the repairs we've been asking them to for months. I am ever so grateful for that. Though, I'd really like to take a shower. Anyway. I have lots to do over the next couple of days so the upcoming posts I told you about last week are just going to have to wait a little bit longer. And I'm rethinking the cornbread post all together because to me it's more of a discussion than a post of me prattling on about my opinion. Though, I have eaten cornbread in several different parts of the country...I don't know. MY BRAIN IS OVERLOADING WITH LISTS AND INFORMATION SEND HELP! Or coffee. Chocolate is nice, too. Or hugs. Do you like rocks? My cat is snoring. The Cardinals are losing the World Series to the freaking Red Sox right now; it's awful! Hi!

I need to make it through Halloween and Calvin's 2nd birthday, then maybe I can breathe for a week and get some real writing done before our trip to Williamsburg and Thanksgiving and the holiday madness that is bound to take place. Deep, cleansing breaths.

As usual, I'm running behind. But here's our menu. My budget is tighter than a corset on a drag queen this week because it's the end of the month and we had to prepare for the little dude's birthday. So this menu involves many potatoes. But we like potatoes around here, so that's okay. Again, I don't assign and meal to a day or a day to a meal because that's crazy talk.

Pot Roast
Rice and gravy
Carrots/winter squash

Roasted red potatoes
Veggie of some kind

Loaded baked potato soup
Side salads

BBQ Beef (didn't get made last week)
Corn bread
Sweet potato fries

Garlicky chicken kabobs (with chicken and veggies)
Whipped sweet potatoes with coconut and ginger
Fresh fruit

Other things that will get made this week:
caramel apples (Trunk or Treat)
Rice Krispie treats

Calvin will probably have birthday pancakes on his birthday (Friday), so one of these meals may not happen. Trunk or Treat is Wednesday at church. We're taking Calvin Trick or Treating at the downtown shops and stores so Charlie can actually be there for it.

What are you having this week?

Photo credit: http://www.betterworldbooks.com/chugga-chugga-choo-choo-board-book-id-0786807601.aspx

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Happy National Nut Day!

Ahahahaha! Yeah, okay. I can't keep that up without making some juvenile joke about nuts, so I'll just say that this is actually a thing and you can read about it here if you'd like- National Nut Day 2013. If there is a national day of something, I'll find it. But I can't guarantee to take it seriously or not giggle profusely. Which I still am, by the way.

Onward! I'm about 2 days late posting our meal plan, so I'll tell you what we've already had as well as what I still have planned out. As usual, I don't assign a day to each meal because life is crazy and I'm not about to make it any more so by making fresh pasta on a day where everything has gone wrong. That's just...nuts. *snerk*

Our menu:
Fancy schmancy grilled cheese sandwiches
Oven fries
Fresh fruit

Apple-cinnamon pancakes
Fresh fruit

BBQ shredded beef (made in the slow cooker)
Homemade mac'n'cheese

Pasta with homemade alfredo sauce
Sauteed chicken
Salads/wilted arugula

Sweet potato fries
Baked beans/veggie sticks/fresh fruit

Chicken tacos
Pinto/black beans

Other things that need to be made this week:
Regular loaf bread and soft rolls
24 red velvet cupcakes with white chocolate tiara thingies (library function)
Rice krispies treats, Halloween edition
Halloween cookies

What are you having this week?

In other news, I have 3 posts that I'm researching for and am in the process of writing. I'd like the have at least 2, if not all, written and posted by Sunday. But we'll see. The topics are cornbread, pumpkin pie, and apple sauce pancakes. If any of those things interest you, please keep checking back with me as I'll have some recipes to share that I hope you'll enjoy.

And now, I leave you with this: The most hilarious creep in the world. And you're gonna love his nuts.

Photo credit: http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/05/studies-continue-to-say-nuts-are-good-for-you.html [This is also a great article, not just a pretty picture.]

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy National Dessert Day!

Novemeber 1st, 2012- Calvin's first birthday and real taste of
Or Columbus Day (even though you're not supposed to celebrate that anymore). Or, if you're Canadian, Happy Thanksgiving!

As an American and a person that chooses not to bicker about ridiculous political and social...stuff, I'm celebrating desserts. Everyone okay with that? Good! Besides, why in the world would you not want to celebrate dessert? I mean, really. In culinary school, my favorite class was the plated desserts class. It was the one course I took where we had a lot of freedom to be as creative with flavors and designs as possible. Plus, I have an insatiable sweet tooth. To me, ice cream is great year 'round. I enjoy a well made cake and while I don't like that they are so flippin' trendy right now, cupcakes make me happy in the silliest of ways. I like pie; of course apple and pumpkin are popular this time of year. I like more complex desserts like bavarians or ultra flaky pastries. A good Italian-American Spumoni is *amazing*. But one of my favorite things in the whole wide world is a butter yellow cake with fudgey, chocolate frosting. It's the absolute best to me. How are you going to celebrate National Dessert Day?


In other news, I've got our meal plan for the week ready to go. We're having chicken and dumpling soup tonight since I didn't get around to making it last week. As usual, I have not assigned a meal to a specific day because...I don't wanna. I'm a free woman and you can't make me!

cornbread "casserole"
cheese/green onion/sour cream for topping

homemade pierogi

Teriyaki chicken
stir fry veggies
steamed rice

Pork roast
**whipped sweet potatoes with coconut and ginger
squash/applesauce/green veggie

Homemade meatball subs
side salads

Some kind of fancy grilled cheese that Charlie hasn't decided on yet
oven fries/veggie sticks

Other things to be made this week:
pickled carrots
Pumpkin pies (2)- never got made last week
Halloween cookies!
Biscuits- for the freezer

*The idea to have chili was totally yoinked from a good friend of mine. Also, at her suggestion, I will be researching the subject of corn bread. It's a truly American food and each region of the country has it's own opinion on it. If you happen to have an opinion on cornbread and wouldn't mind helping me with my research, send me an e-mail. Tell me how you prepare yours or how you like it to be prepared (and if you don't mind sharing what region of the country you're from, I'd appreciate it. You don't have to be terribly specific if you don't want to.) Email: ellebelle.kol@gmail.com

**I'm trying a new recipe from this month's Food and Wine mag (pg 190)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bed vs. Stove

If you're looking for some kind of housewares show down, I'm sorry but you'll have to Google that. And I think you're a little weird. But I am too. Let's be friends, k?

I just got the newest issue of Food and Wine magazine in the mail today! And while Calvin was napping, I had a blissful hour or two of almost silence and peace to flip through it. I stumbled upon an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat, Pray, Love. While I'm sure there is some political, religious, feminist, or hipster reason my peers would give for not liking her and her writing, I do. So neener. I really enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love. I wouldn't mind reading it again, actually. And I'm looking forward to hopefully getting a chance to read her newest release, The Signature of All Things. There is a slight good chance I want to read it just so I can shout, "ALL THE THINGS!" without warning while reading it. But on to the point! In this "getting to know you" style interview, Ms. Gilbert was asked, "What's more important, the bed or stove?" Her response: "Stove. You can sleep on the floor. You can sleep in an easy chair, you can sleep standing up, but food is definitely, obviously the most important. What kind of night's sleep or sex are you gonna have if you're hungry?" AMEN, SISTER!

We went to stay with my grandmother for a few weeks after my grandpa Joe passed away. Every time we left the house, we came home to something else a friend or neighbor cooked for us in the fridge. Cooking food for someone is a very common way to show comfort and support in times of grief in our society. Cooking for people can also be a way to show that you like them. In other cultures, cooking for guests and visitors is a sign of utmost respect. Families will go a week without food of their own just to cook for and show respect for a guest. We bake cakes for celebrations. We have potlucks and dinner parties just to get together and catch up. Dinner clubs are really coming back into style. And as for me? When I'm nervous, I bake. When I'm grieving, I cook. When I'm frustrated, I cook.I made the best Hollandaise of my life when I was angry with my husband. If you come visit me, I will try to feed you. I don't care if you're hungry or not, I will still try to feed you. I get that from my mother who's mission in life is to feed the entire world. And honestly, it's my mission too.

While this is not the case for all of man-kind, food a huge part of our lives. We can sleep when we're dead.

So in the battle of Bed vs. Stove, Stove wins!

Photo credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c4/Eat,_Pray,_Love_%E2%80%93_Elizabeth_Gilbert,_2007.jpg

Monday, October 7, 2013

Someone has a case of the Mondays...

No really, I do. It poured rain last night. Which was actually pretty great! We have needed the rain. But the excitement of all the rain, among other factors, caused me to have a serious brain fart. I forgot to roll up my car windows, so now everything is soggy. Then, mine and my husband's tempers decided to not get a long this morning. Calvin has selective hearing issues today along with an apparent need to perfect his whine. Now it's noon and I've done nothing so far today. All I want to do is nap. Uhg. So today I am without my typical cheer and wit. I'm just, here. And at this point I'll take it.

The boys and I went grocery shopping last night and we have our plan for the week. As usual, I have not assigned a meal to a particular day. We'll just see where the week takes us...

Steak quesadillas
tex-mex bean medley

Baked chicken parmesan
rotini pasta
side salads with homemade vinaigrette

Chicken 'n' dumplings soup

Ham steak
homemade potatoes Au Gratin
peas for the boys and some other green veg for me

oven fries
veggie sticks
deviled eggs

Other things that need to be made this week:
Rice krispies treats
Biscuits [to be frozen]
Ratatouille [can you believe I didn't make this AT ALL over the summer?!]
pumpkin pie [one to freeze and one for Charlie to share with his co-workers]


Oh! Before I forget...We had calzones last night for dinner. I couldn't find a pizza dough recipe I was particularly happy with, so I made one up. It was WONDERFUL! I wrote it down last night after dinner. I think I'll test it one more time to be certain it wasn't a fluke, then I'll share it. The dough comes together easily, but the method takes a little patience. Also be on the look out for a pumpkin bread recipe that is just a bit different.

What are you having this week?

Photo credit: http://bbsimg.ngfiles.com/15/22462000/ngbbs4d5a1994bf7ba.jpg