Friday, January 29, 2010

Orange Chicken, twice

It is on the menu, just not like this.  Because I didn't buy the meat and come up with something for dinner last night, hubby requested Panda Express.  I bought it.  We'll have Orange Chicken again tonight when I make it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shopping Today

Today I went shopping.  About half grocery, half impulse/need for other things.  I bought fabric.  So excited to make a blanket for my soon-to-be new nephew!  Bought enough to make a matching nursing cover I think.

First Walmart:  I always go to Walmart for canned goods unless the grocery stores are having a major sale. Cans of most thing at Wally's are around $.88, even brands like Campbell's, which I prefer to generic soups.  For those of you living in more reasonably priced places than the Bay Area, cans of things like cream o' soup at the regular grocery store are usually closer to $1.50.  Dry goods, cereals, etc. I only buy on sale, so today I didn't pick up any of those.  I also bought a set of cooling racks for cookies.  I have some really old, really small ones and it limits me.  I don't appreciate limits in my kitchen these days.

Second: Costco.  Love Costco.  Wanna Marry it some days.  Yes Hilary, they sell the stuff for Orange chicken, they were even demo'ing it today.  It is delicious and you do need it.  I believe I will no longer be able to survive without it.  Also bought a couple of whole chickens for $.99/lb.  So many options there.  Plus, it gives me a chance to use my new roasting/serving dish from my mother in law.  On a completely unrelated note to groceries, I bought a rather expensive pair of jeans here, expensive by any standard, and am sad to find that even at my pre-baby weight, my waist size is never going to be that small again.  We'll be returning those promptly.

On the menu today, Beef Stew.  Not happening.  Didn't find the right meat at the right price, so I'll be making some other kind of dinner.  Stay right there on the edge of your seat.  I'll fill you in when I've decided what that other kind of dinner will be.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday Menu

Thursday - Beef Stew and homemade rolls
Friday - Orange Chicken w/ rice (Costco sells Panda Express orange sauce)
Saturday - Chicken dinner (since I never got around to it last week)
Sunday - Chicken & Dumplings w/ extra chicken from Saturday
Monday - Tostada Pizza w/ shredded beef
Tuesday - Chili from scratch (dried beans and all) w/ Easy Cheese Bread
Wednesday - Leftovers or Pasta and fruit salad

Goals for this week: serve one fruit and one vegetable with every meal

Last week synopsis: Broccoli Cheese soup ended up being potato cheese soup with broccoli and chicken.  Pretty tasty!  I'll write down the recipe and store that in my brain for later.  Chicken dinner didn't happen.  We added an activity for the girls on that night, and ended up making quick breakfast burritos instead.  Made sour cream chicken enchiladas instead of trying the new recipe on Monday.  Forgot to start the chicken in the slow cooker in time.  Dinner with friends was great on Sunday, although the meat was probably under-done and we'll have to get a good thermometer for next time.  Good friends as they are, they didn't complain.  Using leftover dough from Sunday's rolls to make cinnamon rolls to eat during the basketball game tonight.  Mmm...

Basically, I wasn't nearly as prepared as I should have been and didn't check my menu every day so I would have things ready when I needed them.  This week I'll do tons better!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Menu

Ok, it's actually Thursday, but at least I made a menu this week.

Thursday - Broccoli Cheese Soup and homemade bread
Friday - Sweet & Sour Chicken over rice
Saturday - Chicken Parmesan
Sunday - Filet Mignon, green beans, sweet potato casserole and dinner rolls (having company over)
Monday - Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Tortillas* (two pans, one for a friend)
Tuesday - Whole chicken, sausage rolls, mashed potatoes, steamed veggies
Wednesday - leftovers

Last week we had some fun meals.  Sweet and Sour chicken was a hit, making it again on Friday.  Made Enchiladas twice, corned beef hash was interesting, lettuce wraps were good (next time remember the cucumbers.)

Also planning to make cookies for our neighbors (who always leave their trash can out, maybe they'll stop if they like me better.) Probably a few Valentiney desserts with the girls as we figure out what to make for their annual Valentines party with friends.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Three Layer Chocolate Cake

I wanted to make a boxed cake that I bought at Safeway.  Dark Chocolate Mint Cake.  Then hubby asked "could it be made with milk chocolate, instead of dark?"  So I tried to come up with my own, saving the box for a time when I was alone and could enjoy it's decadence by myself.

I used the measurements for liquid on the box, then substituted with a chocolate cake mix from my cupboard (when Target has cake mixes for $.79 I can't help myself.)  Spread onto parchment paper in jellyroll pan, and bake 15 min.  It wasn't very even.  The liquid was less than the box called for, and therefore the mixture was very thick.  Hard to spread evenly.

Still, I cut into three bricks, the short length of the pan, and cooled.  I made chocolate icing from my Hershey cookbook and topped with Andes Mint pieces.  Yum!

Once again, I couldn't get to my camera before hubby took a test bite (or three.)

What to change:
1. More careful about spreading mix evenly before baking.  Would have laid out more nicely.
2. Just use the box, it came with everything, and hubby really wouldn't have noticed
3. Keep camera handy so he can't bite into the corner before I get a good picture

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My holiday baking/cooking summed up in photo

Here's the only post I'm going to get for the last few weeks.  I thought about writing a little blurb for each one, but I can't.  Because I really don't want to.  Two kinds of pot pie, a birthday cake, and a smores cookie bar.  I cooked/baked a lot of other things, but the camera wasn't handy.