Monday, July 16, 2012

How Do You Like These Apples?

This week I purchased a 5lb bag of Spartan Apples. It's really hard to eat that many apples when there are only 2 adults in the house, so in order to make sure none of them go to waste I devised a meal plan for the week that guarantees that I'll use them up, as well as the rest of the fruits and veggies in the house! Here it is:

Monday: BBQ Pork Back Ribs w/Homemade Spice Rub, Balsamic Quinoa Salad. Dessert: Ricotta & Chocolate Quesadillas w/Raspberry Coulis
Tuesday: Cheddar Tarragon Pancakes w/Pineapple Apple Maple Salsa, Veggie Omelets
Wednesday: Chicken w/40 Cloves of Garlic, Spinach, Apple & Avocado Salad (The chicken recipe is one out of Anthony Sedlak's best selling cookbook. RIP, you truly showed the world what passion about food really is)
Thursday: Spinach & Bell Pepper Quesadillas, Tuna Pasta Salad. Dessert: Apple & Rhubarb Crisp
Friday: Out for dinner

Also, I am pleased to announce that my little girl is going to be initiated into the world of solid food for the first time this week! I have chosen to start with avocado, and sweet potato. Here's hoping that she'll end up loving food as much as her parents do!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Last 3 Course Meal in Chateau Holyantle

Well, this is it-the last night in our townhouse. Since my husband has been working overtime with his job and then coming home and packing, I wanted to surprise him with an easy 3 course meal to thank him for all his hard work that's also easy on our bank account. So I came up with a 3, possibly 4 course menu that is themed seafood:

Optional Course: New England Clam Chowder
Assorted Sushi Rolls
Pasta Tuna Alfredo
Maple Tartlettes

Wine Pairing: A Sauvignon Blanc called Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush-the wine is straightforward, as the name of the wine is what you'll find on the bouquet. A good Sauvignon Blanc at a great price!

Due to time constraints with our move, I can only make the main course myself. However, this 3 course meal shows that anyone can make up a 3 course meal with ordinary products found in the pantry and fridge, and that you can do it on a fixed budget too! Here are some of my tricks:

-Our local Wal-Mart clears out their baked goods that are coming up on their "best before" date. I like to go first thing in the morning so I get a variety of things to choose from. There are some deep discounts on some good stuff with the added motivation of eating it quickly!

-One of our local liquor/wine stores (Superstore) has a section of wines that are priced at $10 & under. There are some decent wines on that shelf; don't assume that all the good wines cost a fortune!

-I read the weekly flyers and make use of the weekly sales! There have been many times I've come across some great deals on produce and made new meals based on those ingredients! Websites like have a function where you can type in ingredients you have on hand and they recommend some recipes you can make. This has become a go-to for me!

-I sometimes jazz up food I have in the pantry by using various veggies, herbs and spices or using them as part of a bigger recipe. It's amazing what you can do with a can of soup! Check out the brand names' websites and they can recommend recipes based on products you have.

Tonight's dinner cost me $2.49 for the dessert, $3.20 for the pasta (it wasn't on sale), and $10 for the wine and $7 for the sushi (but I count that as more of a thank-you present for hubs!) everything else I already have on hand.

I'm glad I was able to come up with something good for our last meal here. Our kitchen was fun to cook and bake in and I learned a lot here. Although I will miss living here, I can't wait to start cooking in our new house! First up: homemade burgers!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bring on the BBQ Season!

The senses of summer are finally in the air! The sights and sounds of kids playing in the playground close to my home, the smell of a fresh spring rain, the feel of a warm breeze against my cheek, and the best one: the smell of my neighbors' barbecues cooking up steak, chicken, all kinds of tasty foods! All of this has inspired me to cook up a great meal for my husband this week in lieu of his recent promotion! The menu:

  Spinach & Garden Vegetable Salad
Grilled Pork Ribs in Apple-Lemon Barbecue Sauce
Corn on the Cob
Bell Pepper & Balsamic Quinoa
Rhubarb Cherry Crumble

Wine Pairing: I have half a bottle of Mission Hills 5 Estates Pinot Noir remaining from a recent tasting that might pair well with the smoky flavor of the barbecued pork. It didn't pair well with salmon in a cherry balsamic sauce last week, so I wanted to see if it would pair well with a more robust meat and smokier flavor.

My goal for the summer is to learn to grill meats as good as my hubby does. This will be a great start, and I plan to try 'cue-ing some steaks later this week if the weather permits.

And while I'm thinking about Pinot Noir, another project post will be coming out shortly!