April 20, 2010

Our first month together.

Today marks one month in California. It's been a good month. It's been a fun month. It's been a month full of new experiences. From living with a boy to shredding lettuce, I sure have learned a lot. And I think I can speak for him to say that he has too. I love being married.

We spent the weekend decorating our house. It's looking better. It's not done yet so I don't want to post pictures. But I promise I'll do my best to get this place looking good and post pics very soon.

Scott had his first field operation this past week. He was gone Tuesday morning through Thursday night. He loved it! He got to sleep outside and shoot guns. Every boys dream. Since he wasn't here I didn't cook as much. But I will show you what I did make:

Here is dinner Monday night.
Farfalle with roasted garlic, nuts, and raisins. This is from Get Cooking.
Homemade salad with homemade croutons. I think homemade salad is so neat. I'm so used to the bag stuff. But you can make it on your own! And you can put whatever you want in it!
I also made Italian breadsticks from $5 Dinner Mom! Scott said they tasted just like Olive Garden's. They didn't taste anything like Olive Garden's. But they were still good.
These are Pioneer Woman's Mocha Brownies. But I don't like coffee. So they're minus the mocha. I made them while he was away. Comfort food.
Friday night we had Anthony over! He is the nice neighbor who helped us move in.
I was there too.
We had PW's Cowboy Calzones. Minus all the cheese. Scott LOVED them. I'm not a big fan. If you make these, don't take out the cheese. This picture is pre-cooking.
And post-cooking.
While we were enjoying dinner we noticed the room filling up with smoke. Don't worry, I was just making PW's Pineapple Upside Down Cake. We took off the smoke detector and kept baking. I was determined to make that cake.
And it turned out great! This is right side up.
And this is upside down!
I like this cake, A LOT.
Saturday morning I made PW's Sour Cream Pancakes. But Scott doesn't know there was sour cream involved. Don't tell him.
He really liked them! Don't worry, I won't show you his underwear this time.
While we cleaned/hung stuff Saturday afternoon we made smoothies. I took all of your suggestions and carefully considered them. This is what I came up with...
I used milled flax seed, frozen and not frozen bananas, frozen and not frozen strawberries, and a cup of expired strawberry yogurt.
We put it all in the blender, (this was taken before we put in the yogurt and flax seed) and mixed it all up.
It helps it blend nicely if you put on bunny ears and sing.
And if you do a little interpretive dance along with it, it gives your smoothie just the right texture.
And of course, if all else fails... mash it.
They were awesome. Really. We loved them more than Smoothie King. I think flax seed is the secret ingredient. Try it!
And this was Sunday night. I wanted to make Carl's Jr. hamburgers. We don't have Carl's Jr. in Texas but it is amazing. Best hamburgers ever. I tried to re-create them at home. It wasn't as good as CJ but it was still tasty.
These are Angus pattie's. Did you know that Angus beef is beef from black cows? I learned that at the farmers market.
These are homemade hamburger buns. I like making those.
And this is all the lettuce we had left over. And a tomato.

So, that was our food this week. I got to check another off thing of the 101 list!
97. Perfect a smoothie recipe that Scott loves. Done!
And as of today, I get to check off 42. Don't buy any clothes shoes or accessories for a month. Also, done!

I have been making friends. As soon as I'm close enough with these friends to take their pictures I will post pictures of them. Hopefully, that will be soon. One of these friends is from Napa Valley! She's gonna get me the hook up on 89. Go to Napa Valley.

I finally got my camera to the Canon place. I will get it back in 7-10 business days. I don't think I've gone 7-10 days without taking a picture in the past year. It's gonna be tough.

This week will be a good one. Scott's 22nd birthday is on Friday! I'm gonna make him calzones, butter noodles, and a cookie cake. Pray that those things turn out great. It would be disappointing to mess stuff up on his birthday.

Thank you all for the support and answered questions. I love you guys so dang much.

April 13, 2010

Tricia can kinda cook: Meal Planning

As I said in my last post, I've been reading cookbooks. And one that has really taught me a lot about the planning/shopping/couponing part of cooking is the 5 Dollar Dinner Mom Cookbook. If you go to her website you can even download a weekly or a monthly meal planning sheet. I have both, see:

If you'll bear with me I'd love to go through our week and show you everything I've made!

First, let me say this. Not everything turned out well. And there's gonna be some blood, animal and otherwise. That was your warning. You can turn back now or you can brave this post and see how good(ish) I'm doing!

Oh yeah, the angles and focusing of the pictures aren't very good. My camera isn't working right and lighting isn't great in out kitchen so I had to do some weird things. But I'm working on it. And hopefully next week I'll have some better pictures for you. For now, I think these will work. Just don't judge me.

Rigatoni al Forno with Roasted Asparagus and Onions from Get Cooking. Topped with homemade bread crumbs...

and the leftovers are labeled and dated, something I learned.
And we also had Romaine lettuce with homemade Ceasar salad dressing.
Here's my plate. That's Sprite in that wine glass and the bread is store bought. Give me a break, it was my first night!

Fish Tacos from $5 Dinner Mom. The fish are whiting fillets, whatever that means...
Something cool about her cookbook is she tells you what to make with each main dish. Tonight's dinner was titled "Fish N' Chips". Here are the chips, which are actually fries. These are made from potatoes and I made them myself!
We had shredded lettuce to put on our tacos.

Wednesday: Oh Wednesday...
If you read my meal planning sheet Wednesdays are supposed to be Crock Pot night but I forgot to thaw out our roast. This was before I learned that you could thaw things in the microwave. So, I decided to make Thursday's meal on Wednesday. Bad idea.
First, the garbage disposal broke. I always break garbage disposals. Someone tell me how to work them! Really, how?
The meal was supposed to be Roasted Chicken, Spiced Carrots, and Mashed Potatoes all from Get Cooking.
Here's the chicken, it's the temperature that she said it should be at! But apparently that was not enough...
Here are the carrots that I cut and peeled and spiced. But forgot to cook thoroughly. We had crunchy, cold, cinnamon carrrots. Yuck.
And the potatoes with waaay too much milk. They were more like undercooked grits.
I thought the chicken looked great but as I picked it up to transfer it to the table I noticed some leakage...
lots of leakage.
As I further investigated this is what I found:
THIS WAS NOT IN THE RECIPE! Somebody help me. Really, what is this that I found in my chicken? Chicken is Scott's favorite meat. I have to know how to cook it.

Pork Roast with Apples and Pears from $5 Dinner Mom. YUMMY!
We had it with asparagus (because she told me to in the book).
And HOMEMADE French Bread. I learned that I love making bread! And Scott loves it when I make bread.
This meal was special for 2 reasons.
1. It was my first cooking injury!
And 2. It was the first time I got to use my SUPER COOL NEW MIXER!!!!
It made the dough perfectly.

I have another question. I thawed out all of the roast in the microwave. But we only needed half. So, I put the half that I wasn't going to use for dinner that night back into the freezer. Is that ok? Is it ok to re-freeze already thawed out meat? Please let me know before I serve it to my husband and give him salmonella.

Ok, for this you're going to need to know what a leek is. This is a leek. I would not have known that if the grocery store didn't label things so nicely. Do we have these in Texas?
And we had company! Meet Benjamin. He goes by Ben. That's his "slave name".
It was pizza night. I forced them to make Pioneer Woman's Potato-Leek Pizza.
And they had pepperoni pizza.
PW's pizza had 3 types of cheeses, Scott wouldn't come anywhere near it. He was especially repulsed by the goat cheese. But Ben, he's brave...
He tried it!
And then he tried to be nice and say it wasn't that bad but for the rest of the night he went on and on about how bad goat cheese is. They're boys, they don't know anything. I liked it.
And for dessert... mush. This was supposed to be PW's Chocolate Sheet Cake. I mean, it still is. It's just undercooked and mashed. I later made cupcakes that were much better. But for that night, this is what we ate.
Is was so rich it literally made you curl up into a ball after about 3 bites.

Pioneer Woman's Homemade Glazed Doughnuts!
They don't have to be hearts, I'm just a really sweet wife. And I don't have circle cookie cutters.
This was right before he tried them...
...and this was right after. I think he liked them.
I gave him more! He was satisfied.
For dinner on Saturday we all went to Ruby's Diner at the end of the Pier in Oceanside.
By "all" I mean our friend Ben. Who helped with the pizza.
Our friend, Drew.
And me. Scott was there too, he was just taking the pictures.
Off the pier they were shark hunting! Scott says this isn't a real shark. I say it is.

Saturday night the boys spent the night. Drew is on that far couch, you might not be able to see his buried face.
For breakfast, I made PW's "Egg-in-the-Hole". But for some reason we forgot to take pictures.
For dinner, I made Pioneer Woman's Comfort Meatballs.
And cauliflower from Get Cooking. I felt like we needed something healthy. Did you know that this is what cauliflower looks like when you first buy it? It even had leaves and roots on the bottom but this was taken after I cut them off.
You have to cut it up into pieces like this to eat it, crazy.
Here are the finished meatballs, they were delicious.
And this is the finished cauliflower. In Get Cooking, she has a "get creative" list next to all of her recipes with different things you can add or subsitute. I decided to add sea salt and Basalmic Vinegar, I really liked it!
Here they are! I am so glad you boys came over to hang out with us. And that you let me take lots of pictures of you. And that you are so nice. And that you compliment my cooking.

He does the dishes every night. Best husband ever.

That was our week of food. I hope this week goes just as smoothly! Feel free to send me recipes or cooking advice! I'd love to hear it. I need it.