Jul 22, 2010

What happens when friends are in town...

Remember the last post where I cooked that big ham the first weekend Mike's friend was in town? Well ever since then we really haven't done much cooking cause Mike's buddy wanted to go out to eat all the time and try all these places around Tampa Bay, which was cool and all, but really draining on the bank account and our home cooking time.Unfortunately, Mike's friend has finished his rotation and left town. He will be back again, but probably not till next year. Gives us time to save up some more money :)

One of my bosses at work transferred to a new clinic, so on her last day I made some low fat, cholesterol free chocolate cupcakes (with little powdered sugar butterflies):
 I think I got the recipe from my low fat, low cholesterol cookbook. Anyway, they were super moist and gone by the end of the day.

A few days later, on the 12th, I had Mike cook up some stir fir veggies that we picked up at Aldi's. I just wanted to share Mike's plating with you :
For being from a bag ( with no preservatives, additives, or fake sugars) it came out really good.

 As with every post, Mike craves pizza sometime during the course of the week, so he made some on the 16th:
I think it was olive and spinach pizza with basil. Now you may be asking were the spinach is? Well Mike mixed some of it in with the crust. It was good but I think he over did it on the fresh basil. We have a lot of basil growing in the garden and I just think he wanted to use as much as he could.

On one of my recent trips to Borders, I found this book in the bargain section for only $7.99:
I love her shows on Food Network and The Cooking Channel ( even though we don't have cable any more). Granted a lot of the meals in here are designed for holidays or entertaining there are some easy, 2 person week night meals. I got a deal on bone-in pork chops so I made her crispy pork chop recipe. She asks you to pound them thin before frying, so they are pretty much like pork cutlets:
Look how big that pork chop looks! And I paired it with sweet potato fries (per Mike's request) and the last of the corn on the cob. I know it's a really odd combination, but it worked. Even though the pork isn't that healthy (breaded and pan fried in peanut oil), it is homemade and it didn't cost us that much money :) And here is my wonderful mess :
I have a love/hate relationship with cooking with oil and so does my stove.

Until next time please enjoy this link (I know, a link, not a picture, crazy!).  I saw this in a catalog we got and I am totally going to make some thing like this when I have kids some day (and I mean some day way, way, way, in the future).

Jul 8, 2010

Slightly backed up....

I am still getting used to blogging on this new computer (my sweet old tablet sort of kicked the bucket). Plus Mike's buddy is in town for the month for one of his rotations at a local hospital, so we have been going out to eat a lot. Shame on us.

Traveling back to Saturday, June 26th. I worked the close shift again and Mike wanted to try out some new fish breading that we picked up at the store:
 He pan fried it and paired it with our favorite potato fries. It was okay. Maybe it was the breading because I know Mike knows how to cook fish. At least the fires were super!

 A few days later, on June 29th, I had a meeting after work so Mike made himself a pizza:
I think it was onion and olive. I didn't have any fresh pizza, but I had some the next day and it wasn't that bad. But Mike always makes wonderful crusts :)

The following night, I had the time and the energy to "cook" dinner:

Nothing fancy. Now why did I say "cook". Well I boiled the pasta, baked the turkey meatballs I picked up at Aldi's, made some of my easy sauce, and picked some fresh basil from the garden. Pretty easy. For some reason I felt the need to try and plate my food in an appeasing way. It appeased Mike.
I also picked up some angel food dessert shells from Aldi and "made" dessert:
Desserts shells filled with thawed strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, and topped with fat free whipped topping. So good. And not too heavy or calorie rich. I wish I was good at making angel food cake.

Mike's buddy was coming to stay with us for the weekend and I knew he was sort of on a diet, so I decided to try these cookies :
 They are just peanut butter ( the all natural kind of course, none of that added oil crap), sugar, egg ( I used one whole egg instead of 2 egg whites) and vanilla extract. They were sooooo yummy! You wouldn't even guess that they were made without butter or flour!

 Later that night, while we were waiting for Mike's buddy to show up. I decided to try out a recipe I found in the copy of Cooking Light I picked up at the airport. It was the spicy soba noodle bowl with chicken. The whole thing cooking:
Why would I pick something as obscure as soba noodles? Well we actually had some that we had bought back in Ohio at one of the Asian markets and they needed to be used up. This sounded simple enough. The finished bowl:
It was very nice. The sliced jalapeno gave it just the right amount of heat, and broth was excellent. I definitely need to try more recipes with soba noodles in them.

4th of July was my turn to make dinner for Mike's buddy (after going out to dinner a few times). I decided to make the 8lb honey baked ham that I bought at Aldi's about 2 months ago for $4 off (so it was like $7 for 8lbs!!!). With the ham we had, you guessed it, our wonderful potato fries, only this time I added some chili powder to see what it would do. And we also had salad with some fresh tomatoes from the garden and cucumber. We even used the fancy wooden salad set Mike's Mom sent us:
Boy, was that a lot of ham, but it was very good ham! It came pre-cooked, I just had to re-heat it and add the glaze. I made way too much because we had enough leftovers to feed a small army. I will also need to add more chili powder to the fries since I didn't get much of a kick from them.
Dessert that night was a special treat. I found this recipe while looking for something else. Look at what tofu can do:
Ta da! A berry tofu pudding pie. It was soooooo good for being tofu! I have made a chocolate tofu pie before that also turned out really well. The only thing I think I would change for next time would be to use a graham cracker crust. The plain pie crust tasted sort of out of place.

And finally, on to tonight. I bought corn on the cob last week at Aldi since they had some already. And when I saw this recipe I knew I had to go buy some feta cheese. And, to make it a very healthy meal, we also had turkey burgers with fresh tomatoes from the garden:
I never would have thought to mix feta cheese with butter and herbs and then spread it on corn (and a little on my burger). It was delicious! I made extra butter so I am going to try it on a lot of things in the coming week.

Until next time, please enjoy this photo of the new guardian of the tomato plants:
I don't know what kind of spider it is, but it was about 3 inches long and had huge fangs. Scared the crap out of me!