30 June 2011

To Go Please

This post will not come with the enthusiasm of previous posts. Simply because I have tried for two days to get this post done. Day one came with getting home too two came with Google not cooperating...I couldn't save my post or add pictures. To me half the FUN is the pictures. I had most of the text done and I tried to add the pics and poof, it disappeared. We've all jackled thrown our fists up at the computer screen once or twice in our lifetime, right? OK, end of the whining, beginning of food fun!

Let's face it. I like to cook...and grill...and bake...and eat!!! But most days don't allow me the luxury of time to stand in the kitchen and cook. Tuesdays and Thursdays have been designated soccer practice days for almost 6 years now. Since Jennifer has taken up her first official summer job providing child care for an energetic 5 yr old, we must pack lunches and sometimes dinner with us in the morning when we leave at least twice a week. If we EVER had lazy days of summer, they are gone now. Welcome to life, right? Everybody who's anybody knows that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and that these two ladies don't do mornings well. Getting vertical, dressed and out the door is enough of a mountain to climb without throwing meal planning and packing into the deal. Yes, I know I can do it the night before and plan meals ahead but that's not how I usually roll. I'd like to, I just usually don't. That being said that weather I like it or not we end up stopping somewhere to eat more often than Dave Ramsey would like me to be. In my defense, I can't eat peanut butter sandwiches since I can't have the bread and gluten free bread is outrageously expensive not always affordable and it makes good toast but eating it right out of the bag like fresh, real bread is not gonna happen for this picky eater. I'm not that hungry. Jennifer is usually a lightweight and she can't eat much of anything within about 3 hours of practice or she tastes it more than once  doesn't feel well. That being said she'll eat a late lunch or snack and go to practice and I'll be ready to chew someones leg off be hungry right about the time she begins practice. Tuesday I decided that the stash of cashews I have in the van wasn't going to cut it so I made a run to my favorite decent take out food place...

It's a bit of a cruel joke to walk into a place that sells oodles of fresh bread products but I take the plunge just to get to the register and order my favorite salad. Fuji Apple Chicken...

Isn't she beauuuuutiful! Ok, so it looks and admittedly tastes better when it's on a real plate. Say what you want but I believe in the whole idea of serving food on real plates (the nicer the better!) makes it taste better. It's actually been proven (or so "they" say) to be a good dieting strategy...that you should slow down, put your food on a real plate and enjoy the experience. I'm going to go ahead and say that this is only the second time I've ordered it to go in one of those flimsy plastic containers. It didn't rock my world like it usually does...the substandard plastic fork didn't help either. Ugh! Next time I'll just be the sad person sitting by myself eating my salad inside, but at least it will be enjoyable and worth the eight bucks. Imagine the fun I had trying to cut dried apples and walnuts with a plastic fork (insert sarcasm). Yes that is a real french baguette on the side. Their apples (which are your other side item choice) usually taste like poo are not my favorite. I have discovered that if I eat 3 bites or less of something with gluten in it, I can pretty much get away with it with minimal affects. Jennifer can benefit from the rest of what I can't eat AND this time she also got a chocolate croissant. I got Mother of the Year for that one (that was her dinner). Until someone tells me I'm going to ruin my insides (which is what celiac disease does) then I'm going to gamble and get away with what I can. Turning down gluten based products has been my personal hell very difficult. Thumbs down for the dirty looks they give me when I ask them about making a gluten free line of breads. I'm not being foo foo like I've been accused of, I just can't eat it. Hats off to Panera Bread for their delicious salads and quality ingredients. Yes, I know the salads are cheaper at McDonald's but they don't even ask you if you want a real plate and fork with your iceberg and processed chicken...that's not gonna work for this girl!

25 June 2011


It's not often I have an unplanned Saturday to do pretty much what I want. What I didn't want was to start the day not having any hot water. Boo on having to deal with the "man" stuff especially before noon. Anyone that knows me, knows that I'm not a huge fan of mornings but I don't like to waste them either. Apparently the family gene has carried on because I saw daggers shooting out of Jennifer's eyes this morning too. I started the day by taking her to teach some U11 girls the ABC's of soccer. She was nervous but she did a phenomenal job. The afternoon rounded out by some time at Prairie Days (a small, but local fair). We were also moral support for Keahna at 2 basketball games. A thought consumed me at the end of the afternoon that I seem to not only have suffered the loss of my marriage, but some friends too. Relationships have changed weather people admit it or not. I'm told that's the natural evolution of friendships since we all seem to socialize with people that are like us. Although it wasn't my choice, I'm not like them  anymore. Boo, that hurts. What better way to soothe the soul than to set something on fire  start up the grill.

I look in the freezer. The marinating skirt steak calls my name. Right now while I have the freezer space I buy meat at Costco, individually wrap it in "press and seal", then I put all the portions in a gallon freezer bag and identify it by cut and date. Anything I am motivated to make a marinade for gets zip locked in it's "bath of yumminess" so all I have to do is pop it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight and bam, it's ready to cook.This marinade wasn't my favorite marinade but it was acceptable. AND as if you don't have enough of an imagination to figure out what that looks like, I took a picture since I have not mastered the timing of cooking with being able to determine what I "need" a picture of for my blog...and since I took it an uploaded it, you get to suffer through obnoxious amounts of stupid photos. (Hence the picture of burning coals too).

A year ago I wouldn't have even considered fajitas without the tortilla (blasphemy I'd say!) but I haven't even entertained the idea of making gf ones so tonight I go commando on the wrapping. If and when I find the motivation to try and make some, I'm sure you'll hear about it. I won't bore the snot entertain you with the picture of the ridonkulous amounts of onions and peppers I sauteed to go hand in hand with chunk of love I call fajita meat. First I must say that although I never minded grilling, it wasn't usually my job, so as much as I enjoy it, I'm by no means proficient at it. A lot of the times when I cook, grill or bake I just cook it till it feels right. So now, in fear honor of people asking me questions like "soooo, how long did you grill it" I looked up the appropriate amount of grilling time. Epicurious said 1 to 2 min on each side if you like it medium rare. I kept in mind that my slab of meat wasn't completely thawed and I kicked up the time. I let it set when I took it off the grill and I gave it a slice. The first bite was like a fiesta in my mouth...the second bite was way to raw for my liking so back onto the grill it went. THEN I grilled it till it felt right, let it set (to seal in the juices) and sliced that baby up. . It was done to perfection. Here's the result.

Again, I kinda failed on my idea of excellent presentation but oh well. My belly won't care. I couldn't help but to top it off with salsa and a side of sour cream. I guess if I was a real party girl I would have taken the time to make some kinda of pretty mixed drink but tonight, milk sounds great. It was also a precursor for dessert. My old standby and author of my last 10 pounds, the gf chocolate chip cookie.

One day I'll do a "feature" article on my love affair with them. But for now, we are on the down low...yeah, right. Well, the budda is full, the dishes are done, my girl is home and Netflix is callin my name. I'm outta here. Cheer-eee-oh!

24 June 2011

I'm Hungry!

Story of my life,'s 10pm...I was tired two hours ago and I shoulda gone to bed. But such is the busy life of a Mom. I love it but it sure leaves me short on sleep and bigger than I'd like when it comes time to shop for jeans. A few months ago I discovered I am gluten intolerant. That has thrown a monkey wrench into my love affair with food. But alas, I can fight a good fight :-) I try as hard as I can, when I can, to avoid it like the plaque. Soooooo...a few nights ago I was trying to figure out what I could eat with minimal preparation time, no gluten and the meager ingredients left in my fridge and cabinet. I fell back on one of my go to, inexpensive, self packaged little spheres...

Yes, the incredible, edible egg. Chicken eggs in case you questioned what poultry I "violated" to fill my belly. Give 'em to me hard boiled, soft boiled, poached, deviled, scrambled, in a quiche, omelet or cookie. They fill the gap, have plenty of protein, longevity of freshness and come in fun colors if your lucky enough to know some folks that have laying chickens like myself. Anyhoo, meet what my late night snack craving got me a few nights ago.

I'm not looking for oohs and ahhs over the presentation here but lemme just say, this was NUMMY! I sauteed some peppers, fresh mushrooms and onions in some EVOO then I scrambled the eggs right in the pan (don't forget salt and pepper!). I like hot and cold combos on food so of course I had to add my favorite salsa - peach and pineapple from Safeway (a staple in my house). God was good to me and I scored a bag of avocados from Costco earlier this week so what better way to add some color, nutrition and flavor to an already delicious meal snack. I seem to have gone overboard and somehow ended up with a meal but in my defense, ever since I have gone gluten free my three main foods are rice chex, salads and cheese. Sometimes I just gotta have something hot and I tend to be hungry more often. As I continue learning about eating gluten free and experimenting with more foods I'm sure my menu will grow again but for now, this is it. Bon Apetit!