Archive for ‘Food’

December 7, 2010

Moving day!

December 6, 2010

Meals this week: from noodles to hazelnut cookies.

This will (I promise) be the last post before the redesign. Here’s a sneak peak:

What is that?  That’s why they call it a sneak peak….  get stoked.

In other news, I actually went grocery shopping today with a real live grocery list. For a real live meal plan.  It’s apparently Smitten Kitchen week in my kitchen — I asked Eric to find food he wanted to eat, and he went to Deb’s site exclusively.

Monday:  Peanut Sesame Noodles (this recipe only minus cucumber and hot instead of cold)

Tuesday: Stuffed mushrooms from Savor Washington, recipe re-posted here on our total failure at a newlywed blog.

Wednesday: Baked rigatoni with mini meatballs

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Pizza and stuff.

Baking agenda:  Hazelnut chocolate thumbprint cookies. I think it’s safe to say these are what I’m most looking forward to this week.


I will also hopefully be cooking up a cycling cap (with ears!) for Eric in the near future out of a blue flannel shirt.

Look for the redesign in the next day or two!


November 9, 2010

Dessert is better than dinner

..which is why I made SK’s apple cheddar scones again today and Joy of Cooking‘s awesome scotch shortbread a few days ago.

This evening I put away a trunk full of groceries and started some chicken stock.  It’s simmering away, looking (I’m pretty sure) like chicken stock should look…

Hopefully, this stock will become a delicious chicken soup; if it’s not good enough to be soup, it will become a more flavorful substitute for water in things like rice. :)

Here’s a short and sweet summary of what we’ll eat this week: chicken noodle soup, garlic and gruyere sausage links, steak salad, and quinoa salad.  This will be my first time cooking quinoa.  I’m pretty excited!

Want to know the awesome reason this post is rushed?  It’s because I’m going to write 2,000 words tonight as soon as I post this and boil some water for tea, which I will enjoy with my third scone of the day.  Yep.

November 2, 2010

Cooking with books.

I’ve grown used to meal planning by scouring a few favorite websites:  Cooking Light, Epicurious, the Food Network, Smitten Kitchen, and some others.  But last week my lovely Nana blessed me with a new Alaskan cookbook and I gained a renewed appreciation for the talented Ina Garten (of Barefoot Contessa fame), whose cookbooks (2 of them!) I happen to own thanks to gracious bridal shower attendees.  Ina, like Deb at Smitten Kitchen, often focuses on making basic-sounding foods really good.  Yesterday my sister-in-law Rebecca gave me another great book as a birthday gift — The $7 A Meal Healthy Cookbook.  Thus, this week, I’m going to focus on a) cooking food from books, and b) cooking healthy food.  We’ve had a little too much Halloween candy and a few too many baked goods this week.  Here it goes:

Monday: Instead of cooking and planning I hung out with Kristen, and we bought a rotisserie chicken at the store.  But we also made baked sweet potato “fries” from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics and garlicky green beans sans recipe.  The fries did not turn out crispy like we hoped. :(

Tuesday: Dinner Spanakopitas from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, with salad.

Wednesday: Parmesan Shrimp & Vegetables with Fettuccine from Alaskan Cooking.

Thursday: Flat Iron Enchiladas from The $7 A Meal Healthy Cookbook.

Friday: Pizza!

Weekend: Leftovers/easy.

Have a lovely Tuesday.  I’ll pick the thanks back up next Monday or Tuesday.


October 26, 2010

What we’re eating this week.

Last week’s meal plan was…. not really a meal plan now, was it?  But I promised pictures of anything fun, so here are the meals I made an effort with:

Grilled teriyaki shrimp kabobs:

Goat cheese, caramelized onion and artichoke heart pizza (thin, whole-wheat crust):

And the actual reason this became a thin crust pizza…. my utter failure at pizza dough:

The story is…. I created this lovely dough (which really was lovely) the morning of, not sure if I’d be rolling it out that night or the next day.  I suspected we’d be waiting, so instead of letting it rise on the warm counter top, I put it in the fridge to rise slowly.  Only we did end up wanting it that night, and it didn’t rise.  I read some articles online that told me I could speed up the process by microwaving at a very very low power.  Well, that definitely didn’t work, and I ended up with a mostly cooked dough ball aka GIANT, tough yeast roll.  So, so sad.  So I thought quickly and prayed vigorously and made Smitten Kitchen’s Really Simple Pizza Dough, subbing half whole wheat flour and adding a little squeeze of honey, and skipped the rising, which turned out a really tasty thin crust with a great texture.  Definitely recommended for quick pizza in a bind.  If this is even more awesome with rise time, it will be my go-to pizza crust recipe.

I also tried out her zucchini bread recipe this week, and it was killer.

For the shrimp kabobs (above), I marinated shrimp with some variation on this recipe from Bobby Flay (I think) — I added pineapple juice, didn’t use peanut oil, and changed some other stuff, so I can’t even say I used his recipe. Just a guideline. I cut up onions and a green pepper and skewered them with some canned pineapple chunks (so much cheaper I couldn’t resist).  Since I didn’t count out pieces per skewer I wasn’t sure about proportions, and I just went ahead and grilled all the shrimp together and the veggies together.

Today I’m trying out a different teriyaki recipe: oven-baked basted teriyaki chicken, using Ellie Krieger’s highly-rated teriyaki chicken thighs recipe.  I am following reviewers’ recommendations and doubling marinade, boiling and basting the chicken with it as it cooks.  Hopefully this turns out okay since we’re feeding it to people other than our family!

This week, my meal plan isn’t exciting, other than learning how to make teriyaki sauce from scratch and hoping it’s as good as I think it will be (review later!).  But it’s not because I’m lazy — it’s because dinner food just doesn’t sound that good.  Why make a well-rounded meal when I could make Rosemary and Thyme Candied Pecans, and Easy Pumpkin Cheese Danishes, and Apple and Cheddar Scones??  Why??  Expect some baking to go down this week in between my bottled marinara sauce and very Americanized “Mexican” food.  (For sure on the agenda:  Mrs. Fields Peanut Butter Dream Bars, secret recipe from my mother-in-law!)

Monday: Teriyaki chicken thighs, brown/white rice, broccoli

Tuesday: Butternut squash soup (using up half a squash… this might end up being a side dish.)

Wednesday: Chicken Parmesan

Thursday: Soft tacos.  Because refried beans make me happy.

Friday: Pizza! (Because we must have this at least once a week. Maybe I’ll make it fancy for you.)

Weekend: Leftovers, simple pasta, Halloween candy.


Happy eating this week.  And please leave comments with any awesome recipes I should try. :)

October 18, 2010

Lazy food…

Today I am acutely aware of how little I have to do.  The unemployment bit is beginning to get very boring, although I really do appreciate the time I have to myself and the abundant time to get things done.  Thankfully, my efficiency was put to the test late last week, so I know it’s still working:  I cranked out application essays, work samples, photo sorting for a friend, two short freelance articles, and an in-depth lesson plan.  On top of that I dedicated a whole day to observing at a school, another half-day to teaching at said school, and three hours of my Friday evening to interviewing.  Everything went fabulously and I felt I did as well as I could have, but I came in second to someone with more experience.  I’m disappointed, but not angry.  God will provide. :)

Had I gotten that job, my week (and months to follow) would have been an insanely hectic whirlwind of planning, executing (plans and probably children), grading, playing catch-up, and stressing every evening and weekend moment.  Although I was up for the challenge, I have to also be thankful for the relief from such stress and anxiety and for the opportunity to rescue my home from the tornado that hit it while I was focused on the process.  And by the way, our food supply pretty much consists of bagels at this point.  Good thing we love bagels.

As far as meal planning this week goes, we were blessed with some leftovers (we “won the leftover lottery,” as someone said) after a newcomers lunch at the church we’ve been attending, but other than that I’m looking forward to doing some more cooking.  My plan to save money on groceries last week worked, but mostly because of a lack of time to make meals.  I’m ready to put in a little more effort to feed us a bit better.  But since I’m feeling ADD about finding ACTUAL meals, here’s the compromise:  I will give you a vague outline, and then I promise to blog in-depth about anything spectacular.  Sound good?

Monday: Leftover church pasta/salad

Another day: Shrimp something, probably broiled with low-fat spices fried with butter and garlic.  Actually, some good shrimp tacos sound fantastic with cilantro and limes and white sauce…

Another day: Pizza – GOURMET!!  I’m thinking whole-wheat crust, very thin red potatoes, pears, figs, delish cheese or something else super fancy.

Another day: Something with lots of awesome vegetables, like fresh veggie-stir fry.

And on boring/lazy days: Leftover chili, more leftover church pasta, leftover frozen various soups.

I have a confession.  I really, really am not a huge fan of the vast majority of leftovers.  It’s not that the food actually isn’t good.  There’s just this little something that goes off in my mind and convinces me that it isn’t.  That something new would be better.  I clearly need to get over this and be more efficient/cost-effective, blahblahblah.  Hopefully I’m going through a weird food phase.  After all, when I’m busy I tend to be more in “shove this in my mouth so I don’t starve” mode and less in picky mode….

All this continues to support the idea that I need a job and/or children, which Betsy so lovingly pointed out yesterday do NOT help you save any money (*that was a joke anyway).  Please hire me, or at least let me take your children to the pumpkin patch. I’m not creepy, even though that sounded very very creepy.

Here’s what I kind of wish I was doing right now:

Eating this (via Kam Family)

Playing here (via Kam’s World)

Tickling these (*awkward/amusing idiom), via [Nati]


It’s another GORGEOUS cold sunny fall day here in Portland.  Keep it coming.

October 11, 2010

Meal plan…

I’ve got to make this quick, as I cannot believe it’s already almost 1:00!!!

Last week’s meal plan went fairly well.  We had some excellent salmon, and though I overestimated the amount of cooked spinach one bag of fresh would produce and nearly cried over my overcooked potatoes, the meal wasn’t entirely unsuccessful. (Old, cheap white wine always helps.)  I quite liked the goat cheese/squash pasta we had, too.  Although the day after I bought my squash, I discovered that the same store lowered their sale price by another $0.50 per pound.  We didn’t make it to the chili for various reasons, and did purchase a GIANT stuffed Papa Murphy’s pizza with a coupon ($10 for any pizza, any size!) instead. Since I bought fancy things like salmon and goat cheese last week, this week’s dinners will be more economical.

This week at the King house…

Monday: Chili (planned for last Friday… or was it Thursday?)

Tuesday: Un-fancy chicken/veggie stir fry (chicken and veggies from freezer)

Wednesday: Spaghetti and meatballs (meatballs from freezer)

Thursday: Some variation on this (will use up extra butternut squash), or might just do simple squash soup depending on how industrious I’m feeling.

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Linguine with shrimp, leftover Chili, other leftovers. (shrimp from freezer)


Love <3

October 4, 2010

No more leftovers!!!! (Meal plan.)

Okay, just a few.  But October has finally arrived, and a slough of amazing-looking fall recipes has taken over every food blog.  Squash.  Chili.  Creamy pasta. Rich cold-weather foods to give us some insulation for the coming months of hibernation (perfect!).  I have loved taking advantage of the warm weather we’ve had — I even read outside last week.  In a lounge chair!  At the POOL!  WEARING SHORTS! This week will be similar, although we’re out of the 80s. promises high 60s/low 70s weather this week, which I think allows for some fall foods, even if it doesn’t demand them.  (They also will let us sneak some late tastes of summer, like the basil/tomatoes that are STILL ripening outside.)

So I’m stuck.  I’m craving these amazing seasonal foods, so close to fully embracing fall, but also knowing that in Portland fall doesn’t last long and soon I’ll be in the middle of our dreary monsoon season that doesn’t end until, oh who knows, JULY? (This year anyway.)  Here’s my compromise:  I’ll eat these foods that tempt me, but I won’t wish the weather was colder, or wetter, or windier.  I can dip apples in caramel even if it’s 74 degrees outside, right?  Because I’m a total sucker for food that looks good online, and because I am planning while hungry and wanting to eat every single one of these things, this is a link-heavy plan, so you can even almost follow along if you want to! Without further ado, in rebellion against the last few weeks of really boring/non-existent meal plans, I present…..

The [much more exciting] King family dinner plan 10/4-10/10

Monday: The last of the chicken, rice, and zucchini casserole.  (Booo!  Anticlimactic, I know.)

Tuesday: Broccoli chicken over rice.

Wednesday: Rigatoni with roasted pumpkin and goat cheese (subbing butternut squash).

Thursday: Seared salmon with creamed spinach and mustard roasted potatoes.

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Leftovers, Pizza, happy hour.  Oh, and beef chili with sour cream and cheddar biscuits.

[photo credit]

Happy October and Happy Monday! :)

September 21, 2010

Challenge: Leftover meal plan.

Ah, macaroni and cheese.  One of my favorite budget meals.  We like to stir in a can of chili or chopped up hot dogs.

This has been a bizarre month, budget-wise.  In order to compensate for all our weird expenses with getting to Spokane and back at the beginning of the month, I cut about $75 off our grocery budget.  I went grocery shopping yesterday and spent the last $40.  I could cut into other budgets because I may have gone a little crazy cutting back, but we can make it — and I like the challenge.  So here’s this week.

Tuesday: Wil and Kristen are coming over to make fancy fried chicken with for us! (Who am I kidding?) We bought the chicken on Sunday but realized when we were making dinner that there was no way we could eat fried chicken AND pulled pork sandwiches, especially after a big delicious lunch of  shredded pork and chicken burritos.

Wednesday: Leftover pulled pork and fall minestrone.  If we end up eating those for lunch, we’ll do breakfast for dinner — we have bacon and sage sausage to use up.

Thursday: Chicken, rice, and zucchini casserole, made and frozen a couple weeks ago.

Friday: Sandwiches on the road — headed to Sisters for the weekend!

Saturday/Sunday: We’ll be with Eric’s parents, who graciously bestow gifts of awesome food on us.  Sunday night we’ll probably eat at home, though, so leftovers/various it will be (see Monday).

Monday: Leftovers/various.
Quick options: Annie’s organic macaroni and cheese, quesadillas, grilled cheese with tomato soup (cheese theme?), more breakfast for dinner, pizza (leftover dough in the freezer).  Or there’s always frozen chicken breasts with frozen veggies and a grain from the pantry.
Less quick options (i.e. probably will never happen):  Take inventory of fridge, pantry, and freezer.  Match ingredients (more or less) to recipes.  Create something magical out of seemingly nothing.

Pschh…we got this.

[photo credit.]

September 20, 2010

Weber kettle as smoker. (+1000 gifts)

This weekend was FOOTBALL-FILLED!!  I’m not sure if I can handle this the entire fall, but it was a lot of fun.  Our friends Mac and Mikaela offered us tickets to the OSU-Louisville game, so on Saturday we journeyed down to Corvallis to watch the Beavers take on the Cardinals.  It rained all day.  I was, coincidentally, wearing my only rain-proof gear:  a bright (cardinal-colored) red jacket.  Eric was wearing a bright yellow (rival Duck color) jacket.  Hopefully my orange rain boots were enough to hint at my loyalty.

On Sunday, Wil and Kristen both had the day off, a rarity, and they came over to watch football and help us on our first meat-smoking adventure.   Thanks to some research and Wil’s foodie expertise, we had an awesome dinner of pulled smoked pork, swiss chard (*which barely resembled a vegetable after cooking it in bacon fat and white wine…mmmmm), and black beans.

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