Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

BBQ Dinner

This is what we had for my birthday dinner 2 months ago . . . wow, I have been meaning to post this for a long time!  Grilled marinated chicken, grilled zucchini, grilled corn, and potato bread.  It was a great meal!

Hunk of Meat Mondays

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Meal Planning

I am a planner.  Almost every weekend I sit down with my calendar and plan what we will have for dinner each night.  I do this because I was tired of asking Michael what he wanted for dinner and getting the same reply every time; I don't care.  Then I would say ok, how about ___?  No, not that.  Then, how about ___?This would go on a few times and I would wait a while until I was really hungry and we would end up eat something unhealthy that I may or may not have had to make a trip to the store for.  So, I decided to plan it all out on the weekend, get everything we needed and be set for the week.  One less thing to worry about when we both get home exhausted from work!
I write on a calendar what we plan to have for dinner on each night. 

Make the grocery list to go with the recipes.

Get out the coupons I need and go to the store. 

The idea of scheduling what we have for dinner each night may sound a little crazy to you but I love it because I don't have to think about it after work.  Michael doesn't complain about what is for dinner and we eat a healthy meal each night.  I also don't have to go to the store in the evening to pick stuff up for dinner.  If we really don't feel like having mac and cheese on Thursday then we don't have to - we can switch it with another night or go with something different we have in the freezer.  But, usually we stick with the plan and I LOVE it!!

How do you plan weeknight meals?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - getting started

I bought my first canning supplies on my last grocery trip - I plan on getting more the next time I go.

I am following Canning Week hosted by From Mess Hall to Bistro and A Latte' with Ott A, are you? 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Breaded Cod

The boyfriend went fishing in Fort Bragg and came home with lots of cod.  So, we decided to freeze most of it and fry some up for dinner.  My mom came over and helped so all I had to do was take pictures and enjoy the food - that is my kind of cooking!!

Slice the cod (we used 4 fillets) into bite sized pieces.

Dip in egg mixture.

Dip in bread crumb mixture (or flour mixture).

Get pan with oil hot.

Drop breaded cod in hot oil. 

Turn. Repeat until all the cod is cooked.

We made two types of breading - bread crumbs and seasoning (on the left) and flour and seasoning (on the right).  We liked the flour mixture more than the bread crumb mixture. 

That was it!  Pretty simple and make for a quick dinner! 
What are you having for dinner tonight?

Hunk of Meat Mondays

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In Love . . .

Today I had a great shopping trip!  I bought 2 shirts, a dress, a pair of flats, and the most beautiful cake stand ever!  Now, you may not think my shopping trip was that great but I rarely find 1 shirt that I like and fits me correctly so to find 3 in 1 day is a great day!  But, anyway - on to the cake stand.  I LOVE cake stands - I wish I had a collection of them!  I never see them on trips to Ross or Marshalls (or to thrift stores) so on the rare occasion I do see them I get excited! 
It is just beautiful - square and detailed but still very classic.

I had to buy it - it was only $14.99 which is a good price.  I LOVE it!!  Now my 'collection' of cake stands is up to two!

What do you think?  Do you like cake stands?  Is there something that you look for whenever you are shopping?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - fishing

Even though I had a million things to do a few Saturdays ago - the boyfriend took me fishing.  We didn't catch anything . . . we didn't even get a bite.  But, is was BEAUTIFUL and relaxing and amazing.  I wish I was fishing right now instead of at work!  Enough words . . . here are some pictures.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Easy and Healthy Lunch

I bring my lunch to work every day (I have to - they is no time to go somewhere and get lunch) and I need something that is simple to make, healthy, and inexpensive.  So, a salad it is!  I try make lunch for the boyfriend and myself
I wash the lettuce (I am a lettuce snob and only use red leaf), tear it then spin it dry.

I only have 4 containers (and 3 lids but that is a story for another time) so I always make salads 4 at a time.  This will last us 2 days so I only have t make lunches 3 times a week - which is great!  Someday I will buy more containers and only make lunch on Sundays.

I add the toppings - always cheese and carrots but sometimes I have other things like cucumbers and mushrooms.  Anything works on a salad as long as it will last a few days in the fridge.

If I use anything juicy I put it in a small bag and put it in the container with everything else.  I also like to add a hard boiled egg or meat we had left over for some protein (I put those in bags too).

I then get the dry toppings together.  We always have bacon bits (the boyfriend only likes the fake bacon on his salad), sunflower seeds, and raisins.  Sometimes we have dried soybeans.  I put them in the small blue container and put that in the container with the salad.

Then I put our dressing in another container - we use ranch.  I like to have a bottle at work (with my name written ALL over it) so when that happens I can skip this step.

I just place them in the fridge and it takes us less than a minute to grab then on our way out the door in the morning. 

What do you take to work for a quick healthy lunch?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - ducklings

Proud mom and dad.

A little shy.

Proud papa!

So stinkin' cute!!
Five of the most adorable ducklings hatched last week at my mom's house.  They are adorable!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Making a Bouquet Last Longer

I love getting fresh cut flowers - especially when they are California grown!  I find that I emphasis certain things in my classroom that I don't really mean too - 100% juice and CA Grown labels are two examples.  When a student brought me a bouquet of flowers the last day of school it was a nice surprise but when I said that I especially love them because they are grown in our state (and pointed to the 'CA GROWN' label) he smiled really big and said "I know how much you like those!" it was an even better surprise!

When you receive a mixed bouquet some of the flowers last longer than others so instead of throwing the entire bouquet out you can follow these simple steps to get a few new bouquets of of one old bouquet.
Here is the bouquet after two weeks of sitting as my kitchen table centerpiece.  You can see some of the flowers still look great while others are drooping.

So, I sorted them.

I placed the yellow flowers (are these some kind of daisy?) into a white pitcher.

Didn't like it so I took the candle out of the candle holder and put the flowers in - love it!

I put the orange gerbera daisies into a bud vase (a tall shot glass would work just as well).  I decided to experiment and see if they would perk up again since I cut the stems.
And within a day they perked right back up!

Lastly, I bunched all of the red gerbera daisies . . .

then put floral tape around the stems.  I used the floral tape since the stems didn't hold up too well in the original bouquet. 

It worked quite well and I placed them in the white pitcher. 

I used ice cubes to help them stand up straight in the pitcher and just an FYI . . . that is a BAD idea when you place said pitcher full of ice and water on a summer day on a wood surface.  It is all so clear to me now but I guess I wasn't thinking at the time!  I no have some water damage on the lazy susan . . . oops!

There was how to make a two week old bouquet last another two or more weeks!  Do you have an tips for making bouquets last longer?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - sunflowers

My sister and her hubby are growing sunflowers for seed this year.  Here is one of their beautiful fields (the heads are turned the wrong way, but you get the idea).

See the bee in the middle?

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hunk of Meat Monday: Tenderized Round Steak

I have never cooked a tenderized round steak but I have been selling them at the market so my sister sent me home with some try figure out how to cook.  They sat in the freezer for a while until the first squash came out of the boyfriend's work garden (yes, they planted a garden at his work).  I decided to make fajitas. 

You may be thinking 'She is going to make fajitas with squash? Squash doesn't go in a fajita!' Well, that is what the boyfriend thought too (but he didn't tell me until after I made dinner).
So, onto my idea of fajitas . . . gather the ingredients (tortillas, onions, bell peppers (red and green for color), squash (zucchini, yellow, and crook-neck), tenderized round steak, fajita seasoning, and some cheese.

Cut up the squash.

Cut up the onions and bell peppers.

Get the tenderized round steak out . . .

Notice the 'cuts' in the meat - that is tenderized.  I don't know why the color looks so funky, but I assure you it wasn't this weird color in real life.

Cook the tenderized round steak. Put in the seasoning.

Remove from pan and cut into strips.

Put back in the pan and continue cooking with the seasoning.

Meanwhile . . . cook the squash.  I cooked the squash first with a little water at the bottom.

And cook the bell peppers and onions (I don't like bell peppers or onions so I cooked them after the squash and did not mix them with the squash).

Serve with warm tortillas.  This is my plate - I tried the bell peppers and onions and just to let you all know I still don't like bell peppers or onions.

That was simple enough right?  Well, I was not impressed!  If I do this again I would marinate the meat before I cook it and cut it up smaller.  Does anyone have any great ideas for preparing tenderized round steak?  I would love try something different next time!