Wednesday, February 25, 2009

That's a Wrap

I'm a bit of a sandwich snob. I had a lot of ham and cheeses on plain wheat bread growing up, and I only started to appreciate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the last few years. (I'll take mine on toast, with strawberry preserves and crunchy peanut butter, please.) So it's little wonder that I don't take a sandwich to work everyday. I usually rely on leftovers from the night before, or in a pinch, a Lean Cuisine.

I guess I'm sick of the leftovers route, and I KNOW I'm dreadfully tired of the Lean Cuisine. (Which isn't so much cuisine as it is frozen food that often tastes like the box its packaged in) I did find a pack of wraps at the deli last week, and decided to play around with them. I stir-fried some cabbage, carrot, garlic and ginger marinade and chicken together and made an awesome sandwich. And today I served it up with chicken salad with pecans and dried cranberries, topped with a few goat cheese crumbles. Mmmm....not your average lunch! Hooray for innovation!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Smoothie Heaven

Normally, I only drink smoothies in the summer. But I found myself at a coffee shop, not wanting coffee. I tried something called a "Sweet Dream" smoothie. It consisted of milk, mocha, banana and peanut butter. I'm more of a strawberry-banana girl myself, so I decided to drink out of my comfort zone. That was two weeks ago....and I've been craving one like mad ever since!! I've purposely stayed out of that part of town when doing errands, because I know once I get another one I am going to want it on a regular basis! good!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Simple Roasted Chicken

On Sunday nights, I like to make something that has some leftovers for Monday lunch or perhaps a quickie dinner. Roast chicken is a good way to ensure a hearty dinner and enough left over for a repeat performance or perhaps some chicken salad!

This is a basic recipe, you can jazz it up with different herbs and spices, or stuff it, or put some sauteed veggies (onion, celery, carrot...) for aromatics.

This method never fails...Basically, get a small whole chicken. Be sure to remove the bag with the innards!!! Smear it with some butter or spread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and some herbs if you feel like it. Tonight I used a little Italian seasoning, and I also cut a lemon in half and put half in the cavity and squeezed the other half over the chicken. Roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, turn down your oven to 375 degrees and let it roast for 45 more minutes. Take it out of the oven, and tent it in foil for about 5-10 minutes. Then cut into pieces with an electric knife. Everyone gets the part of the chicken that they like best! Mmmmm..........

For the chicken salad, I dice up some breast meat and add a little mayo, chopped celery, pepper, thyme and chopped walnuts. If I'm taking it to work for lunch, I don't add the mayo until I'm actually sitting down to eat the sandwich, then I spread the concoction on two pieces of toast. Perfect. (sigh)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stick with the Original!

We've been eating an incredible amount of junk lately. With both Mom and Dad putting in extra hours at work, well....most nights Mom and Dad are just too tired to put any thought into dinner. Will still eats like normal, but we have been lapsing into takeout mode for many nights in the last few weeks. I keep menus stashed in a cute takeout box that I got at Christmas Tree Shops a long time ago, and I've seen it a lot! Brian and I did make blueberry pancakes one night, but dinner was at 9:30! The only exception were the soft pork tacos that he made tonight, which were great.

Anyway, I don't find myself to be a half-way kind of person. Either I don't do something at all, or I go whole hog. Since we've been eating a lot of crap for dinner (chinese takeout, burgers from the 99, pizza, etc...) I crave junk during the day as well. So when I found myself pumping gas at a Mobil on the Run today, I thought nothing of going in and perusing the snacks. I found it hard to choose between Hostess Cupcakes and this new kind of Dorito, "Sweet and Spicy Chili." I ended up leaving with the doritos and three bags of mini Chips Ahoy. (Ask my co-workers, I'm nothing if not generous!)

Anyway....I don't know why I allowed myself to get sucked into buying the Doritos. Anything other than the original, stain-your-fingers-orange nacho cheese, really aren't good. I'm not advocating Doritos as something people should always buy, but why do the folks at Frito-Lay have to constantly re-invent themselves? Chili Lime, Monterey Jack, Fire Chips??? And if I want to taste buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing, I won't be looking for Doritos to satisfy this craving. I'll be hunting for wings!!

We honestly have too many choices when it comes to Doritos, and none of them are really that great. I just want to keep it simple!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This Cake ROCKS!

Someone brought this cake down to the office yesterday for the office staff to share. All I can say is OH. MY. GOD!! This cake is soooooooo good. A luscious, velvety chocolate cake, with creamy coconut and walnut filling and finished off with a thick fudge-y frosting. Simply to die for! I brought home a piece for Brian to try, because I know how much he adores chocolate and coconut together. It took all of my willpower for that slice of precious cake to make it home!!

This is not my recipe. I can't lay claim to it in any way. And you eat at your own risk...I am not responsible if you take a bite, then suddenly snap to attention an hour later only to discover you have eaten the entire cake!! And when you make this recipe remember....calories be damned! :)

Chocolate Mound Cake (by Dot)

1 c. chopped nuts
1 c. coconut
1 stick butter or margarine
1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar
1 German Chocolate Cake mix
Can of chocolate frosting (or your own recipe)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Mix nuts and coconut, spread into bottom of cake pan. Make cake mix according to the directions on the box. Pour into pan over nuts. Melt butter and cream cheese, and whisk together with the box of powdered sugar. Pour sugar/butter/cream cheese mix evenly over the cake. Bake 40-45 minutes. After cake is cooled, frost with the chocolate frosting.