Wednesday, January 30, 2008

And for a Repeat Performance!!!!

Ok, so I am making it a day early (I realized that I since the recipe is a bit more time involved, it would go better today than tomorrow where there's a chance that I might be home late tomorrow), so tonight's dinner is finishing in the oven as I type. It's one we've had before, and I can't wait! It's Mediterranean-Style Baked Lima Beans from Veganomicon. I am really surprised that no one else has really written about it. Doing a quick google, the other person that wrote about it, didn't have mint and thought it was ok (and yes, I think that does make the dish, and I just use dried and it works fine for me). I forgot to pick up pitas and I don't have time to make any right now. I am not feeling so great today, and ended up taking like a 4 hour nap today! Good thing I cooked the dried (soaked) limas in the crockpot. Because of the previous nap, my limas got a bit over cooked, but they still look great. AND I even have some soy feta to put on them (Sunergia) brand.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Note to self:

Next time when you decide to do your mile walk with Miko and want to do it at a faster pace than the normal leisurely and without the normal stop and smell everything that sticks up that Miko normally does: make sure you're not wearing the pants that are now two sizes to big that you have to hold up, because they are hard to hold up while walking fast AND holding a leash at the same time.

Misc stuff

So, the fudge turned out fine, except that it ended up being too warm in my my sister's kitchen and we had to scoop it out anyway. Oh well, warm chocolate isn't a problem :) The rest of the food was yummy, and it's been a while since I've had sauerbraten. But, as hubby said, we've had our meat quota for the month. We've really pretty much gotten off the red meat train, almost. It's hard to be totally off of it at this moment when I'm trying to eat from the freezer and that's what is mainly in there since we don't eat it that much and that's pretty much what my sister gave me. Poor hubby. There's not much other meat frozen in there, and I'm really trying to use it up and I think hubby's trying to call a truce. I'm not really sure what to do. Doesn't help that I want more sauerbraten either. I almost wonder if hubby did better on the vegan diet (he has IBS), with occasional forays into meat instead of meat with occasional forays into vegan. I've tried to ask him, but he doesn't really answer me, probably because he doesn't pay that much attention to it.

I had a bit of a ....well...went off my spending plan a bit. I stopped at B&N. *hangs head in shame* I bought some magazines. *doesn't look anyone in the eye* Cooking magazines, and one knitting one. *stares intently at her shoes* I wasn't horrible mind you, but still. *sigh* I originally went into town to return a candy thermometer that I had bought at Target that was just way to big and I ended up not even opening up the package. I know, I know, I should have just waited until I went into town for WW, but I wanted to get it over with before then, because I hate fighting the lunchtime traffic to get there, since I go to the WW meeting that is right before lunchtime and when I get out, everyone is out on the roads for their lunch and it's a madhouse. I realized that I really get stressed driving around to run my errands, and it makes me dread doing my shopping.

As I pulled into my parking space between two HUGE SUV's I look over to notice that the one on my right is a brand new Suburban. (I think that's the name) Either way, the sticker's still on it. It gets 14 city/19 highway miles to the gallon with an estimated yearly gas cost of over $2, 600 !!! WTH would someone buy a car that gets lousy gas mileage like that? It's just stupid! And you know the gas estimate was before the gas prices started going up. Course that's kinda like the people that drive Hummers in Richmond. You don't need a Hummer in Richmond, it's FLAT people!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Some help with my grocery savings

I've been checking out websites, reading along for a while before deciding to jump in and do a freezer/pantry challenge of sorts. I've always kind of menu planned, but it was usually what we felt like eating and what recipes interested me, not necessarily what I had on hand. It's a bit different for me to to it this way. I thought I might list a few blogs that I've been using to help me. Eventually I'll sit down and get them migrated over to the side and actually make them as links too [once of the drawbacks of dial-up is that it takes so gosh-darn long to do things that it takes longer than Flylady's 15 minutes to do one thing sometimes]. I've just recently found this blog, and she mentioned earlier this week that she was going to have a thrifty recipe on Friday (last) which got me thinking. Thanks to Gayle and going through a pile of old recipes, I found two recipes that I loved and realized were thrifty (Lentil with Greens Soup and Curried Celery Soup). This one not only helps with my clutter (like FlyLady but different) but it's the place for Menu Plan Monday. I've been reading it for quite a while now, but actually participated for the first time (as in sent in what I planned) today. It's a bit scary since they usually have over 200 people doing it! It's a good place to get ideas! This is the home for the Dollar Stretcher I had been reading their for a long while, and love the website and they even have forums now! Because well, it's cheap, healthy and good food. What more can I say? :) I am lucky that I learned a lot of stuff from my mom, but I didn't get to take this in school, actually we had to fight for me to be able to even take band since I was on the college bound courses, which left me unable to take any other thing besides a foreign language *sigh*. I really wanted to take Home-ec even though I knew how to sew and cook and all that stuff anyway. I really wanted to take some shop classes and stuff, but there was no way that school would have let me do that. This site gives you some hints for lots of stuff! A great bit of everything really. I unfortunately am unable to have kids, but after reading how much Crystal has to do, there are days that I don't have to. I must admit, I wonder with my ADD how adding a child would make my life, would it force me to become or organized, or would I just deteriorate? Anyway, she's always got such great ideas, and I downloaded her Supermarket 101 Course and it's given me a place to start with coupons. I wish I had thrift stores around here like Meredith has! The ones around here aren't that great, and the consignment shops usually charge too much for me. But I still go in, trying to keep her tips in mind. She's got a great eye, and such great tips! Even if I do suffer a bit of the green-eyed monster while reading about her great finds, I always come away with a great idea to keep in mind while looking at what I want to do with my house while decluttering it. Tammy just had a new baby girl (Welcome Ruth!), so things are going to be a bit quiet on her site for a bit I'm sure, but she's had some great recipes! She's stocked up a bit before hand, and has a great treasure trove of recipes on her site already. I love hearing about how she teaches her two young sons to help her around the house, and how they enjoy helping her cook - or spray the dishes. ;) She always gives such great ideas on how to freeze or can those surplus foods (pumpkins or bananas anyone?). And one of these days we'll try her homemade pepperoni. OK, this doesn't outright help with grocery savings, but in essence it does because it helps to keep me from buying STUFF. Because if I think about the impact of what I buy on the environment, then I think about do I really need this in the first place. Hubby and I aren't all "Hippy, crunchy granola" type people, but we are trying to be gentler on our world. After all- it's all we've got, and who else will?

OK, last one for now. I've been reading Trent for a while now too. He's another one that makes me think about STUFF. Helps me to keep me from buying it, and helps me to focus on where we want to go with it. He's also starting to get into cooking and I'm looking forward to when he comes out with his cooking blog too!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Menu Plan for this week

We're still trying to mostly eat out of the pantry this week.

Monday: Buffalo Chicken Wraps with Mrs. T's Pierogies (using leftover buffalo chicken chunks: going to chop smaller, mix with some wing sauce since the Shake & Bake stuff wasn't all that, put in a tortilla with some salad mix [on sale this week], some carrots and celery and blue cheese dressing and bake the pierogies)

Tues: Rice with beef - I pulled some unlabeled cooked rice from the freezer. Not sure what actual flavor this rice is, but it should be fine with some cooked ground beef added to it, if not I'll add some beans to it instead. :) Either way, we'll live. Salad on the side.

Wed: Spicy "Chicken" (Bean for us) Tortilla Soup - recipe posted earlier

Thurs: Mediterranean Baked Lima Beans (from Veganomicon)

Fri: Southwest Stuffed Turkey Burgers (my sister gave us a few of these made from turkey when she gave us a bunch of frozen foods when we were really low on money: it's from the Kraft foods Magazine. They were so good, we're making more and will be freezing our own this time. (edited to add the recipe since I can't find it on their website anymore)

Southwest Stuffed Burgers

Not all smart burgers are the same. Ours has a taco-flavored filling sandwiched right in between the two patties

1 1/2 lb extra lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
1/4 cup Kraft Light Mayonnaise, divided
1 pkg (1 1/4 oz) Taco Bell Home Originals Taco Seasoning Mix
1/2 cup Kraft Natural 2% Milk Reduced Fat Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese Crumbles
1/4 cup Taco Bell Home Orginals Salsa, divided
6 Lettuce Leaves
6 slices tomato
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split

Preheat greased grill to medium-high heat. Mix meat, 3 Tbsp of the mayo and the seasoning mix; shape into 12 thin patties. Combine cheese and 2 Tbsp of the salsa; spoon over 6 of the patties. Cover each with one of the remaining patties; pinch edges together to seal.

Grill 7 minutes on each side or until cooked through (160 F) Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 Tbsp salsa and remaining 1 Tbsp mayo.

Place lettuce, tomatoes, and burgers on bottom halves of buns; top with salsa mixture. Cover with tops of buns.

Makes 6 servings, 1 burger each.

Extra lean ground beef: cal 340, fat 13 g (sat 4.5g), chol 75 mg, sod 830 mg, carb 26 g, fib 2g, sugars 2 g, prot 30g
93% lean ground turkey: cal 360, fat 17g (sat 5g) chol 95 mg, sod 870mg, carb 26g, fib 2 g, sugar 2g, prot 28g

Make ahead: Stuffed patties can be covered and refrigereated up to 4 hours before

[EDITED TO ALSO ADD: I'm joinig I'm an Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday after reading it for ages!!!! Go check out some other great menu ideas, theres usually over 200 other people participating!]

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Got this from my sister today. Her whole family likes it (her kids are pretty picky and she doesn't make it too spicy for her kids, and her kids like to use it more as a dip since she pretty much blends everything (but the chicken) and they just put what they want on top and dip the chips. I am thinking of leaving out the chicken and putting beans in it. I might even throw in some of the dried refried bean mix (I think it's by Fantastic Foods - at least it used to be I get it at the HFS in the bulk bins) to thicken it up instead of the flour mixture and I will have to add less of the cumin/chili powder too. I got all excited the other day to find out not only is our local food store (FoodLion) not only carrying Better than Bouillon now, but it is also even carrying the fake chicken flavored one too! Yay! Anyway, here's the recipe. It came from one of those checkout booklets from Prevention for Preventing Diabetes.

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

15 oz diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1" pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 jalapenoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14 1/2 oz) reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
4 oz reduced fat tortilla chips, crushed

In food processor, combine tomatoes with juice, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper. Process to smooth thick consistency and set aside.

Warm oil in large pot over medium high. When hot, cook chicken, onion, jalapeno, and garlic, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and onion is softened. Reduce heat to low, add tomato mixture and broth and simmer, uncovered 15 minutes.

Meanwhile in small bowl, whisk flour and water until smooth paste forms. Add to soup and raise temperature if necessary to keep soup barely boiling. Simmer 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add sour cream and stir until well blended. Stir in cilantro and garnish with tortilla. Serve.

Makes 8 (1 cup) servings
190 cal, 22 g carb, 3.5 g fat, 2 g fib

Hamburger Pinwheels

This is from the Hot Meat and Poultry Snacks section of "Mary Margaret McBride's Encyclopedia of Cooking" It sounds quite interesting, although I think I would add some sauerkraut and mustard to the corned beef pinwheels - although the sauerkraut might make them hard to cut nicely. These would be very easy to make veggie too, and I think would be great made with some leftover roasted veggies too!

Hamburger Pinwheels

1 small onion, minced
2 tbsp butter
1 pound ground beef
1/4 lb pork sausage
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 recipe baking powder biscuits

Cook onion in butter until tender but not brown. Add meat and cook until browned. Season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

Roll out biscuit dough into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick. Spread meat on dough and roll jelly roll fashion. Cut into slices about 1 1/2 inches thick.

Place cut side up, on greased baking sheet and bake in hot oven (400 F) about 15 minutes. Serves 8.

Ham Pinwheels: Use chopped ham and hard cooked eggs with sweet pickle and mayonnaise instead of beef mixture. Bake as above.

Corned Beef Rolls: Blend 1 12-ounce can corned beef with 3/4 cup evaporated milk. Use instead of beef mixture.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Some older appetizer recipes...

So, this week has been a bit stressful,and I haven't been doing Weight Watchers so well. That's ok. I'm still doing it, just not as well as I should. The fact that I didn't plan is really biting me on the behind, and that's my problem. I expect a slight gain this week. It also doesn't help that I've got a migraine (and felt kinda crappy) thanks to the weather all this week too (I think the Topamax will have to be increased by another pill).

On Sunday we're heading back to where I grew up for my my mom's belated birthday dinner. My mom requested Sauerbraten. My sister is handling that bit, along with a cake - probably angel food and the veggies. I'm making rolls (and some Pumpernickel bread since my SFiL has never had it) and fudge. I've never made fudge. My mom and sister love fudge, so that's why I'm making it. That way it's not sitting around their house. I have my grandmother's cookbooks. She wasn't a cook by any stretch of the imagination, my great-grandmother was (Nana). BUT she loved desserts. And the cookbooks where there are fudge recipes are all dirty. :) So that's the recipes I'll use. I need to go buy a candy thermometer. The last time I made candy it was hard candy and I was living at mom's still. I hope I don't end up with Chocolate soup! Anyway I am going through a few of the cookbooks (one of them is a set of 'encyclopedia of cooking' types. The one most of these recipes is coming from: "Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking"). There's some interesting recipes. Sauerkraut Cocktail anyone? I thought I'd post them here so I can hopefully remember them - Not all of them I actually want to make, some of them are just...odd. There's a whole section on Party Sandwich Loaves. Those Sandwiches that where sliced or hollowed out and filled with usually savory fillings and then put back together and frosted with usually a mayonnaise based "frosting" to look like a cake along with "pies" that were made with round loaves of bread too. Like this one:

Canape Pie

1 round loaf of rye bread
1/3 cup softened butter or margarine
1/4 cup mayonnaise
sieved egg yolk
cream cheese
sardine paste
shrimp paste
salmon paste
pickled onions

Cut a slice horizontally (1/2 inch thick) from the widest part of the loaf of bread. Trim off the crusts.

Mix the butter or margarine and mayonnaise and spread generously on the slice of bread. Mark the slice in concentric circles, using cutters and bowls of various sizes.

Fill the center ring with caviar, marking the center ring with a sieved egg yolk. Fill the next ring with cream cheese pressed through a pastry tube. Fill the next rings with sardine paste, shrimp paste and salmon paste, separated by cream cheese.

Pipe an edge of cream cheese around the outer edge. Line the rim of the plate with tiny pickled onions.

Cut the canape in wedges like pie. Serve cold.

This one actually sounds pretty good:

Caraway Cheese Custard

1 1/2 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 medium sized onion, minced
3 Tbsp sour cream
3/4 cup finely shredded Swiss cheese
3 eggs, well beaten
1/2 tsp salt
dash of black pepper
1/2 tsp caraway seed

Put bacon in frying pan and cook until lightly browned but not crisp. Add minced minced onion and cool. Add sour cream, cheese, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Line an 8 inch pie pan with pastry having top crust come just to edge of pan. Pour in filling and sprinkle with caraway seed (or ground caraway).

Bake in moderate oven (350 F) until custard is set.

Cut into thin wedges when cool and serve as an appetizer. This is an appetizer that requires plate and fork and usually is accompanied by wine.

There is an unusual fascination with hot dogs (frankfurters) and this cookbook is dated 1958. There is even a canape topping of mashed baked beans, topped with sliced hot dogs and stuffed olives. But this recipe I might actually make, it's basically Cheese Biscuit covered hot dogs, kinda like a homemade hot pocket I guess. It's odd to me in that it contains oatmeal.

Hot Dog Round-Ups
1 1/2 cups sifted enriched flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 c uncooked oats
1 cup finely grated cheese
4 Tbsp shortening
2/3 c milk
6 frankfurters
Barbecue Sauce:
2 cups cooked tomatoes
1/4 c ketchup
1 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp salt

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder; mix with rolled oats and grated cheese.

Cut in shortening until particles are size of rice grains; add milk and mix just until dry ingredients are dampened.

Roll out on lightly floured board to 1/8 inch thickness; cut into 6 rectangles, about 6x4 inches.

Wrap each frankfurter in biscuit dough, sealing edges with tines of a fork. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in a very hot oven (450 F) 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with hot barbecue Sauce.

Combine all barbecue sauce ingredients and cook for 15 minutes.

Ok, that's all for now...or at least as much as my headache will allow me to type.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Two Cheap Recipes

Well, since hubby's got to have some dental work done (root canal and a cap put on) and I go to the dentist on Friday and I think I have a cavity, we're trying to do a bit of eating out of the pantry. We had Lentils with Greens Soup last night. I found it in a Family Circle magazine and I still have the page, it's dated '98. It makes quite a lot, and we love it. The most expensive part is the sausage- but it only uses 1/2 lb enough that you can either double (and freeze some) or freeze the extra sausage, both of which I've done. I usually use a block of frozen chopped spinach too (10 oz) and change the way I make it - my notes at the end of the recipe.

The other recipe is one I'll be using later, especially since I've got a bit of celery that is getting a bit limp. It's vegetarian, and actually, vegan without any changes. I know I also got it from one of the women's magazines, but I didn't write down from where. It's for Curried Celery Soup. I usually just throw everything into a crockpot and use my immersion blender and blend it all together right before serving. It's just so much easier! And I usually just use dried herbs - especially in the winter.

Lentils with Greens Soup

1/2 cup dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
8 cups water, divided
1 lb escarole or spinach
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 lb Italian sausage, casing removed
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 tsp chicken broth granules
1/8 tsp hot pepper flakes
4 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Combine lentils and 4 cups of water in saucepan. Simmer, uncovered 20 minutes or until just tender. Drain.

Meanwhile, cut out and discard escarole stems; separate leaves. Rinse. Chop coarsely.

Heat oil in a 4 quart pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook, breaking up any clumps with a wooden spoon, for about 3 minutes or until no longer pink. Add onion and escarole; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 4 cups water and broth granules. Bring to a boil, lower heat; simmer, covered 15 minutes. Add lentils and pepper flakes; simmer 3 minutes more. Ladle into 4 bowls. Top with cheese.

HOW I MAKE IT: Saute sausage and onions, breaking up clumps of sausage, until no longer pink. Add 6 cups water, lentils, pepper flakes, 10 oz box frozen chopped spinach (still frozen) and bring to a boil. Lower heat; simmer, covered 20 minutes until lentils are tender. Ladle into 4 bowls and top with cheese.

Family Circle Magazine 2/1/98 244 cal/12 g fat/6 g fib

Curried Celery Soup

2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, washed and sliced (or 2 cloves garlic, minced)
1 1/2 lbs celery, chopped
1 Tbsp curry powder
8 oz potatoes, washed and diced
3 3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 stem parsley, for bouquet garni
1 stem thyme, for bouquet garni
1 bay leaf, for bouquet garni
2 Tbsp mixed herbs, chopped fresh for garnish
celery seeds & leaves, for garnish

Cook onion, leek and celery in oil, covered, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add curry powder, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, stock and bouquet garni. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Remove and discard bouquet garni and set soup aside to cool slightly. Puree. Add mixed herbs and season to taste. Return to pan to warm up.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A few weeks ago, one of hubby's tooth cracked. It's now started to hurt and he's finally made an appointment with a dentist. He hasn't seen a dentist for as long as we've been married, and I don't know when he last saw one before we got married. I can't say that I've been much better, I've only seen one once so far during that time. Mostly because we haven't had dental insurance with our jobs. Anyway, we've got some insurance now, and a need. He's found some one and he's got an appointment on Monday. We are both hoping it's not going to be too much money. So in preparation for this, we're eating out of the pantry/freezer this week, and maybe more. This means I can buy fruit/veggies, and some deli meat for him and milk this week and maybe even for a few more weeks. It'll make Weight Watchers intersting, and if it goes on for long enough, could make dinners interesting. (Oh, speaking of WW - I lost 2.2 lbs last week. Yay!)

Anyway, the first dinner this week is: Swiss Steak. I have some Cubed Steak in the freezer that was given to me by my sister when she had to clean out her freezer when her new "shipment" of her part of butchered cow was coming in. This recipe is from "Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook" and I make it all the time. The book automatically opens at this page actually. I like it because it contains no cream-of soup and it's different since it contains dry mustard. Today we're trying it with Hunt's Fire-roasted tomatoes, but I expect it will be tasty. Since the meat wasn't thawed I skipped the dredging and browning and just threw everything into the crockpot. I also added a cup of beef broth (leftover from roasting the hunk of beef last week that I had frozen) so we'll have more juice that I can make into gravy to serve over mashed potatoes (of which I actually only have 3 real potatoes but plenty of dehyrated type since I bought some from Costco a while back and made potato bread using it but still have a bunch left. It's not as bad when you use buttermilk to make it instead of milk It's also good when you're sick and hubby doesn't know how to cook *grin*.). Anyway, without the extra cup of broth it still makes enough sauce, I just wanted extra. This will probably fall apart, especially since it's using cube steak- but since this is from a butcher it's not formed ground beef it won't be quite so bad. I will probably even have enough leftover since there's just the two of us to make either a small cottage pie (shepherd's pie) or a pasta sauce.

Swiss Steak
From "Fix-It and Forget-It: Feasting with your Slow Cooker by Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good"
Recipe contributed by Marilyn Mowry, Irving, TX

Makes 4-6 servings

3-4 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 -2 lbs round steak
1 cup sliced onions
1 lb carrots
14 1/2 oz can whole tomatoes
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine flour, salt, pepper, and dry mustard

Cut steak into serving pieces. Dredge in flour mixture. Brown on both sides in oil in saucepan. Place in slow cooker.

Add onions and carrots.

Combine tomatoes, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Pour into slow cooker.

Cover, cook on Low 8-10 hours, or high 3-5 hours.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Excuse me, but is that a water bottle in your tea?

I bought one of those new Lipton Pyramid teas a while back. I know Lipton teas aren't the best teas around (fannings and all) but there are times when I'm not really picky. And the one I got on sale with a coupon was the Black tea with caramel. Caramel people! :) Anyway... I opened the box the other night and was disappointed in the bag that the pyramid is made of. I don't think the actual bag is compostable - something we do out here at ComfortHound Corner. We have a green Rubbermaid thingy just for it. Anyway, I went on Lipton's site just to look up what the bags were made of without being able to find anything on the box or on the site. I sent off an email. Got this back the next day:

"Hello Jennifer,

Thank you for writing.

The translucent Pyramid tea bag is made of PET, the same food grade material clear water and juice bottles are made of. As with any plastic, it would not be considered biodegradable. PET is completely safe and is 100% recyclable within the plastics waste stream."

Great. We've stopped drinking bottled water for a while now just so we wouldn't add to the stream of plastics added to the landfill. In Louisa, plastics aren't recycled, just paper, cans and glass. As it is, I don't even like getting all my prescriptions refilled because I end up with all these prescription bottles (and no, they won't re-use the bottles, I asked). Luckily I like our water (it's well water) and we have plenty of containers to carry around water if we go somewhere.

The long and short of this post: I won't be buying these tea bags again, even if they were worth it. At least I have plenty of other teas, including loose that I like.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Roasted Brussels Sprouts!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts! I love Brussels Sprouts. I always have, even though I never got to eat them much as a child since my mother didn't like them. And yes, I even liked them boiled. My mother didn't over-cook them. I always asked for her to make me "those little cabbages" and most of the time she made a face and told me no. I just keep forgetting about them now that I'm older. Well, the other weekend we had PBS on, and the RealSimple show was on. They had a recipe that had Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Salmon. I was more interested in the Sprouts and since hubby eats most anything I asked if it was ok if I made them. He said sure. I picked some up yesterday. I should have picked up two containers. I basically used the recipe from Veganomicon, although I roasted at 450 since the other recipe I made (a fish recipe) was cooked at that temp. It worked out fine, was just cooked for less time. It's a good thing that hubby walked in the door soon after they came out of the oven, because there may not have been many left. Course we were both picking at the pan while I finished cooking up the rest of dinner (mac & cheese). We probably would have been happy with just the roasted Sprouts. And they were actually the first things to be finished. YUM!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cupcakes

originally uploaded by dibranchia.
Made these on Friday for Jennifer's Birthday from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I just dipped the tops in the Melty Ganache instead of drizzling. They turned out well. I would have more to say about them, but well, I must admit I am one of those people who doesn't really like peanut butter. But Jennifer is, and that's why I made them. It helped me to stick to my diet though. :)