Monday, November 9, 2009

Lazy Weekend

Well, not so lazy, but I was being lazy about not posting. So quick recap (only gonna do dinners since I can't remember any of the other meals!):

Pizza!!! I was lazy and didn't feel like cooking so we got some Papa John's pizza with the super amazingly delicious garlic sauce! Oh yeahhh..

Don't remember. And neither does Tim. Maybe leftovers?

Leftovers.. According to Tim.

Chicken Soup! Well, as Tim describes it, vegetable soup with a little bit of chicken. He would rather have his soup be all chicken and noodles and no vegetables, but I would much rather have more veggies! Me and my friends Michaela and Beth also made cupcakes! They did a great job since I mostly just stood there. I also made Banana bread in the morning that I tried this morning for breakfast and it was really good. It rose a lot! My mom's usually doesn't rise and the center can be gooey sometimes. I dunno why. But mine was like coming out of the pan (well, not really, but it rose higher than the lid of the pan!). I think it had to do with me whisking the dry ingredients to mix them well, which added air to it.

Not gonna calc time or cost or ratings. I'm too tired and I will do that another time.

Breakfast: Banana bread, warmed with a little butter, glass of grapefruit juice.

Snack: None. Had PT this morning. My leg can now go to -4 degrees! (that's 4 degrees of hyperextention)

Lunch: Ham, Cheese and Pickle Sandwich. Tim's specialty. He made it for me since I was running late.

Snack: Granola bar.

Dinner: Steamed Halibut with Veggies in a Soy-Mandarin Sauce. My special creation. I was not too fond of it. I think it would have been better with salmon. It smelled like cat food to me, but my senses have been off lately (just the other day I took a sip of water from a just-opened bottle and it tasted like coffee. I dunno what's wrong with my taste and smell!) I basically just chopped some cabbage, piled some onto a sheet of parchment paper on top of foil, put halibut on top then added some matchstick carrots and sliced zucchini. I showered each parcel with a sauce that was the juice of a mandarin plus 1/4 c soy sauce plus 1 tbsp rice vinegar. Then I closed the parcels and baked them for roughly 20 minutes. During the last 3 minutes I opened the parcels. Then I took them out and let them rest for a few minutes.

Time: about 45 minutes

Cost: .22 for mandarin + .68 for zucchini + .75 for cabbage + .34 for carrot + 7.79 for halibut = 9.78/2 = $4.89 per serving. Not my best :(

Me - 2/5, didn't like the flavor that much, but it was sure easy clean up!
Tim - 3.8/5

ok dobrou noc!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Soup to Make the Worries Go Away

I made soup today. Well, a bisque, technically, but it was soup. And very yummy soup. I was kinda worried it wouldn't turn out well, but it was good enough. I feel like typing out my frustrations, but I'm too tired. And I'm gonna be up till midnight tonight, so I dunno. Anyways, maybe at the end.

Breakfast: Toast with orange marmalade, grapefruit juice

Snack: None

Lunch: Herb baguette with butter and ham. Yum! I also had some juice.. didn't eat my apple today.

Snack: Peanut butter chocolate bar thingy. It was good, but at the same time bad.

Dinner: Shrimp Bisque from Barefoot Contessa at Home, page 52. I hadn't cooked much seafood since I moved in, so I thought shrimp would be a good place to start. I kinda fudged the recipe (used vegetable stock instead of seafood stock, used gluten-free flour instead of regular flour), but it still turned out fine. I served it with some herbed baguette slices.

Total cost = (3.49 for baguette /2 since only used half) + (3.25 for veggie stock /2 since only used half) + (7.50 for shrimp) + (0.97 for leek) = $11.84 /3 (since there was enough leftover for lunch tomorrow for one) = $3.95 Not bad..

Yum factor:
Me - 4/5, could have been better if the tomato paste dissolved better. It kinda stayed in clumps in the soup. I think if I would have put it in the hot broth to dissolve at the beginning of the recipe, then I think it would have been better.
Tim - 4.5/5, great flavor, good texture

Anyways, I don't feel like typing much more. I'm kinda bored. I think I might go turn on Tim's computer and play TF2...

Dobrou noc.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Counter Protector

So I bought these skimpy little "flexible cutting boards" to use at Tim's apartment so I could have my little cutting board at my dorm last year and now that I have my own real cutting boards I didn't really have a use for them. But now I've figure out a few good uses!

1. Use as a counter protector for cutting apples (and other fruits or veggies that only need a paring knife or something). Just rinse after cutting, dry and put back into place!
2. Use as a crumb catcher when making a sandwich or slicing bread (although Tim just uses the counter no matter how many times I've told him not to.. and he always makes a mess since he's a boy). When finished, just fold and wipe the crumbs into the garbage or sink.
3. Use as a place to put utensils while cooking. Tonight while I was cooking, I had to rest my tongs to stir the rice and didn't want to rest them against the pan or on the stove top, so I put them on the flexible cutting board next to the stove. I also put the wooden spoon I used to stir the sauce on there while it was simmering. After I was done cooking, I just ran a soapy sponge over it, then rinsed and dried. It was really quick clean up. And nothing stuck to it!

So that was my aha! moment for the day. Anyone else have any good uses for those flexible cutting boards?

Ok so on to my meals for the day:

Breakfast: Last cranberry muffin :( and a banana and some grapefruit juice. I sure love my grapefruit!

Snack: None

Lunch: Leftovers from last night's dinner (see previous entry). Yum! Oh and I added ketchup this time. Tasted better.

Snack: White Winter Pearmain Apple slices, and a few (more like 5) of the rolly chocolate things. The apple was good tasting, but it was very waxy and it wasn't as crisp as I like my apples.

Dinner: Pan Seared Steak with Marchand de Vin Sauce from Mastering Beef and Veal page 82. Served with Brussels Sprouts and Wild Rice Pilaf (courtesy of Rice a Roni). Covey Run 2004 Cab/Merlot used in recipe. I really liked the sauce, especially over the brussels sprouts. I didn't get the right cut of meat (well, it was the right cut, but it was thin sliced) so it wasn't exactly like the recipe. And I had to cut the sauce ingredients in half, so it wasn't perfect. But I liked it. It was a good dinner. And (not including the 1/2 hr simmering for the rice) it only took about 20 minutes to make.

Cost = ((4.06 for steak) + (1.87 for brussels sprouts) + (1.59 for rice))/2= $3.76 per serving.

Yum factor:
Me - 5/5, I really enjoyed this meal. It was simple, yet satisfying. I loved the taste of the sauce, although I could have added that extra tablespoon of butter to make it creamier, but I didn't.
Tim - 4/5 good texture, but not a whole lot of flavor (I beg to differ, since he didn't use the ladle properly and therefore got mostly shallots on his steak instead of the sauce)

Ah.. I'm tired. Did a lot of.. nothing today. Well, sorta. I slept in and didn't go to lab since I woke up with a stomach ache and figured I could skip a day since I'm a day ahead anyways. I slept till 10!! (Most days I get up at 6 and on weekends I only sleep in till 8) and then got up and made breakfast, folded laundry, emptied the dishwasher, kinda cleaned the kitchen, worked on my menu project, attemped hw, made lunch, worked more on my menu project, went to physical therapy, came home, made snack, attempted some more homework, got headache, made dinner, ate dinner, actually worked on homework, and now wrote this.

Ok off to play TF2, if Tim will let me :)

Dobrou noc!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Apple Tasting

At the local store I shop at, they had a bunch of heirloom apples on sale, so I bought one of each to try. I actually cut up the first one today. I don't remember what it was named, so I need to google that. Ok so it's called Cox's Orange Pippin. There's the wikipedia for it.

I liked it, it was sweet and yummy, but I was not particularly fond of the texture. It wasn't as crisp as I like them. And it wasn't super juicy either, which is what I like.

Ok so I guess I should move on to what I had for meals today and what I made tonight. It was inspired by another recipe, but speeded up because I had a bazillion other things to do and was very hungry!

Breakfast: Two cranberry muffins and some grapefruit pieces. I have found that peeling a grapefruit and then taking the extra skin off the sections is a very exhausting task, but you get so much more grapefruit out of it and it's so less messy to eat. No juice... had to go to the store to get more.

Snack: Chewy Granola Bar. I'm not really a fan of them, but that's ok. I'll still eat them.

Lunch: PB&J, Juice box. Usually I bring leftovers (I have an awesome round, squatty, thermos-like thingy that keeps soups and other meals warm till lunch. It's pretty awesome!) and fruit but I didn't have any leftovers and we were out of fruit except a pear and carrying a pear in a backpack with books is not a good idea. Unless, of course, I want to get pear everywhere.

Snack: None.

Dinner: Modified Choucroute Garnie from Complete Seasons Cookbook, page 242. In the recipe, they call for cooking the sauerkraut with onions, bacon, white wine and lots of spices but I just didn't have 2 hours to let it simmer. So instead, I added some wine to a large pot, heated it slightly, then added the jarred sauerkraut. I let that heat for a little so the sauerkraut could absorb some of the flavor from the wine, then added a pinch or two of caraway seeds. After that, I added two yellow potatoes that I cut into sixths and the polish sausage. I let it simmer for about 20 minutes, until the smaller potatoes were done and the sausages were heated through. The larger sectioned potatoes didn't fully cook by the time we were ready to eat, but I let them simmer a little longer.

We had a ton left over though, probably enough for two lunches and two dinners. So with 6 servings, the total cost = (2.49 for sauerkraut * .5 since only used 1/2 jar) + ( 5.99 for sausage) + (1.00 for potatoes) = 8.235/6 servings = $1.38 per serving.

Yum Factor:
Me - 4/5, yummy but would have been better if I would have made it like in the cookbook. I love sauerkraut and potatoes and sausages and caraway, so it's as good as a 5/5 except it can't come close to zelí, knedlíky a pečený maso (sauerkraut, dumplings and roast pork), which is my favorite meal of all time. So therefore it had to be a close 4/5.
Tim - 4/5, good taste, good sausages, but potatoes were a little dry and bland.

Ok, gotta get back to school work. Maybe. I might just work on my menu project or one of the other bazillion projects have.

Dobrou noc!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

After ACL

Well, it's been an awfully long time since I've posted on here. I've finished my second to last year of school, started my last year (YAY!), worked as an Intern at Boeing, and gotten my new ACL! So I'm finally off crutches and out of my brace and I think it's time for me to start eating well again and to start exercising! So I'm going to start this again. Except I'm going to use it as like a meal diary thingy. Not like I did before, anyways. I started this project where I am sorting my recipes (since I have roughly 50 cookbooks) by season (and then eventually by main ingredient(s)) so I can cook healthier (since cooking in season is better, and not to mention cheaper!) and actually try all my recipes. I've only tried probably less than 2% of all my recipes.

In here, I'm going to write what I had for each meal, like usual, except I'm going to also write my comments about the stuff I made, what book its from, pages numbers, time it took and cost also. I'll also add if I made any changes and what happened (oh goodness, I sound like a chemist!). I wish my camera worked, but it eats batteries like a monster so there won't be any pictures for a while. Hmmmm.. maybe that's what I should ask for christmas....


Since I probably won't remember most of the other days, I'm just going to start with today. Maybe another night when I don't have a midterm the next day and two homework sets I'll go back through the recipes I've cooked and added my comments. Maybe.

So for today:

Breakfast: Cranberry Muffins from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, page 115. Gotten these down pretty good so only about 30 min total. Rough cost = (4.99 bag cranberries * (used 1/3 of bag) / 12 muffins = 14 cents per muffin (flour, sugar, milk, eggs, etc... negligible since bought in large quantities and I don't remember the price.. oh goodness now I really sound like a chemist!) I increased the flour from 1.75 cups to 2 cups. Seems to make them rise better and be fluffier. Also had an apple juice box.

Snack: none

Lunch: Cup o Noodles and a Pear

Snack: Piroutte stick thingys. My grandma gave me a box and I'm addicted. I ate like 5 in one sitting. And a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte, which was more like a Cinnamon Spice Latte since I don't have ground cloves and my mom still has my nutmeg.

Dinner: Rosemary Thyme Lamb with Parmesan Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower. Veggies from Barefoot Contessa at Home, p 146. For lamb, rubbed with dried rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper, then "grilled" in my cast iron grill pan (that I love to cook in, but hate to clean!). Total time about 45 min (thermometer wasn't working right, showed temp at 140F, then 110F). Could have been closer to 30 if thermometer worked. Total cost = ((4.06 for lamb)+(1.53 for cauliflower) +(0 broccoli (free from my grandma))/2 = $2.80 per serving. Parmesan cheese negligible because off large block and cannot measure exact amount. The recipe for veggies only called for cauliflower but I though broccoli would be good too. It tasted really good, but the broccoli didn't look to good. So if you don't care about looks, add the broccoli for color, but if want it to look good, add your color elsewhere.

Dessert: 1/2 pomegranate and a s'more!

Exercise: Cleaning. I got a new vacuum so I was cleaning lots today! And I did about 6 loads of laundry :)

Now that I think about it, a good thing to add would be a Yum factor, rated by both me and Tim. Hmmm.... I'll add that later. Ok adding it now.

Me - 4/5, forgot to add the extra 2 tbsp sugar, so a little sour. would have been better with orange zest.
Tim - 4.5/5, yummy, good texture, great taste, good size, sometimes cranberries a little too tart

Me - 3/5, good flavor, tender, a little chewy in spots
Tim - 3.8/5 - good texture, but didn't like the rosemary

Cauliflower and Broccoli:
Me - 4/5, yummy, very yummy but would have just done only cauliflower for first 10 min in oven, then added broccoli so the broccoli didn't look so yucky.
Tim - 4.8/5, delicious, tasty, good texture

Doubrou noc!

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