Saturday, November 08, 2008

Is it Summer again?

The weather here is a little out of character but I'm not complaining too much. Because it was so nice this evening we drove down to Laguna Beach to enjoy the sunset. So much nicer than the Summer months when their are so many other people doing the same thing.

Today I received a message on Ravelry about a fun fiber day from a local source that looks like a given for me to attend. More info to come later. Thanks Rainy

Not much visible progress on the knitting, spinning or reading fronts but I'm feeling good about my effort.

Looking through the grocery store ads tonight was not as inspiring as it has been. Trying to come up with some larger meals that will result in a dinner and lunch. Looks like a Tri-Tip roast is a good deal this week. Have you seen the reduction in package size lately? The half gallon ice cream is history. The cereal boxes are 9 to 12 oz now for the same price. Instead of raising the price of the item, they reduce the amount for the same price and gain the profit without the sticker shock. The only way to combat this is to cook from raw foods. I'm trying to remove the processed foods and cook more like my Mom and Grandmother cooked. The whole act of meal prep for me is usually 30 minutes or less unless there is a casserole. Even so, the foods that go into the casserole is prepped and in the oven in 30 minutes. The hard part is creating dishes that we both enjoy. I'm a self proclaimed picky eater and that's one of the reasons I learned to cook 35 some years ago. I never realized that there was so much of a difference in diet from Southern Ca to the New England States. I'm from here and she was raised 3,000 miles away. Much more comfort foods there in the cold months where here their is a lot of ethnic influence. The Mexican caliente is ingrained in what I cook. Red Pepper flakes find their way into so many meals. Most of the meat is seasoned with garlic and onion. I have a favorite rub that has some pepper flakes and various seasoning all in one and it's a staple now. The wife is quite happy to have me make the menus and scour the papers for sales and coupons. I tend to grocery shop alone because I will sometimes hit up to 3 stores and spend a lot of time at the meat counter selecting the proper cut for a specific meal.

Two questions for all you lurkers.
  1. What is your favorite meal? It could be one you get at a restaurant, your Mom used to make it for your birthday, or it's one that you developed over time. Details are appreciated.

  2. Do you have a meal that you haven't had for a long time because it's hard to prepare or you just forgot how good it was? Is it seasonal?

OK enough rambling about nothing of any substance.

Life is Good


  1. I've always enjoyed cooking and really got serious about cooking "from scratch" when I was diagnosed with migraine at 30. I don't think we really have a favorite meal as we are all about variety and both of us cook a good deal. Something I haven't had in a long time is shrimp. It's one of my favorite foods but since I grew up eating Gulf shrimp in the deep south and I now live way up in Massachusetts I cannot get them anymore. I never realized that most of the US is apparently eating shrimp from Thailand and they are not the same. Maybe I can con Dad into bringing me some when he comes for youngest's high school graduation.

  2. CHICKEN TACO STEW!!! is my fave....

    easy crockpot recipe! from

    my fave...that I dont have any inkling to prepare are scallops! fried or baked...
    i usually "save" that as a TREAT for a restauranty outing.

  3. CHICKEN TACO STEW!!! is my fave....

    easy crockpot recipe! from

    my fave...that I dont have any inkling to prepare are scallops! fried or baked...
    i usually "save" that as a TREAT for a restauranty outing.

  4. Hey, I'm only a part time lurker :P
    Tell Laguna Beach I said hi... I went there gosh... 11 years ago.

    Favorite meal. I do love spaghetti... and my mom's wild rice. Not together mind you.

  5. Every year for my birthday I had my mom make me mac and cheese and tuna fish. recently I found a recipe for mac and cheese that is the easiest and faster than the box but way creamier and I have been doctoring it up to all kinds of different recipes. I got it from the New Best Recipe book from Amercia's Test Kitchens. Super easy and fast fast fast.

    1 can evaporated milk
    2 eggs
    12 ounces cheese of choice grated (the smoother and milder, the better but I have used all from sharp cheddar to fontina to provolone.
    1 tablespoon mustard powder.
    1/2 pound pasta of choice
    4 tablespoons butter (which I have skipped before)

    Prepare pasta per package directions. (I usually use more pasta than they say cause the sauce ends up too saucy for me.)
    Break eggs in a small ball and pour half the can of milk into the bowl and beat together. Stir together mustard and one tablespoon water and add to egg mixture. Drain pasta and return to pan on low heat. Add egg mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Stir occasionally so the eggs don't scramble. Add remaining milk and cheese and continue cooking until all is melted and done, about 10 minutes.

    This recipe is the creamiest dinner and I have used non-fat evap milk and added tuna, or grilled chicken breast, or anything. I have made with like alfredo with white cheeses and mixed it all up. It's very yummy and super easy.

    I hope I haven't bored you all but try this recipe! So so so so easy and very tasty!

  6. One favorite is fried chicken. Another is roasted filet mignon. Made that last night. Scored a whole filet for $3.99 per pound. Couldn't beat that with a stick! Rounded out the meal with home-baked bread, gravy, and a couple of steamed green vegetables and we were in business.

    PS - I freaked when I noticed that mayonnaise is not 30.x ounces instead of 32 and ditto on the formerly 18oz peanut butter and don't even get me started on the cereal aisle.

  7. Anonymous9:57 PM

    Well one of my favorites is Pot Roast. I know its not original, but if there is any roast left over, there are the sandwichs or I cut it up, throw some bbq sauce over it and you have Sloppy Joes. But what I miss truely is my grandmothers Fried Rainbow Trout. It would make your mouth water and it did not taste fishy as it was caught fresh and fixed the same day. Just thought I would throw that in....

  8. You are so right about the packaging. Chips/pretzels have been doing it for years. We have a garden. It is a beautiful thing, especially since we enjoy four seasons. Just about the time you get tired of it, we get a really good frost and everything croaks. Then you have all winter to forget about the labor involved and look forward to freshly picked veggies! We have also been eating a lot of rice. I keep a 25 pound bag of regular long-grain rice. It is good in so many ways, including pudding.

    Lasagna. It is my comfort food.

    Dump some jarred sauce in bottom of baking dish (about 1 cup). Begin layering:

    Layer one: combine spinich (frozen that has been thawed and squeezed dry), fat free cottage cheese, egg, garlic, mozz. cheese.

    Layer two: jar spaghetti sauce and fake meat (soy stuff). If I have veggies in the fridge, they go in the sauce too. Everything from mushrooms, to grated carrots and zuccinis. Also, lots of onion and garlic. And, if I am looking for a kick, I will add Italian sausage (cooked, drained and rinsed).

    Top with lasagna noodles.***

    Repeat until all the stuff is used up . . . I like about three layers of noodles.

    Top with more sauce, mozzarella cheese, cover and bake according to package directions (something like 45 minutes at 350 degrees), uncover for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes.

    This is especially good when I make two or three pans of the stuff. We eat one and I freeze the others.

    ***The no boil lasagna noodles (here it is Barilla) make it even easier and faster.


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