Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Much like the book was so important in The Devil Wears Prada, this is The Book around here.

My cookbook: Recipes Lee Likes

This is an important title because Lee is a Food A**hole (as coined by his sister). He will tell you right up if he doesn't like something, or if he loves it.

Loves it - makes it in The Book.
Hates it - we pretend it never happened and move on.

This is the cover. I think this is the 3rd binder, as I have to get bigger ones about every other year..

The Book has all kinds of stuff in it.

Magazine and Internet Recipes:I actually had him ask me one time "So is EVERYTHING we eat nowadays Pioneer Woman?"

No comment...

Some of these things are "oooh that looks good!" and I save it for just in case.
Some of these things are tried and true.

Some are family recipes:The little dividers I found have little help tips on them:I have it divided by "Sides and Marinades", "Beef and Pork", "Chicken", "Breakfast", and "Desserts."

Guess which section has the most in it....

I also made sure it had a flap in the back so I can stick freshly torn recipes out in there until I have time to try them or put them in a sheet protector. (sometimes I type them, sometimes I don't...)

What I like about having my own Book is that when making my weekly list, if nothing in my magazines stuck out, I know I have a place to go that has 100% Food A**hole approved food in it.

And sometimes, that's all you can hope for.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Grass fed beef - round 2

A few weeks ago, we tried grass fed beef. Without knowing anything about it, we cooked it like we normally do...

And it was not good folks.

A sweet gal named Kara (who I cannot link up to because her Blogger Profile won't let me see anything!) commented with a website all about grass fed beef and how to cook it! (you can check it out here)

Basically, we marinated it old school (Worcestershire sauce and Cachery's) and cooked it at a lower temperature for less time. Basically 5 minutes each side. Then we didn't cut into it for about 5 minutes.

On the side I served baby bok choy and Mushroom and Pea Orzo (Yay Giada!)

This week Lee is out at a conference, so I will continue my love affair with Peanut Noodles....

Friday, April 22, 2011

Meatloaf Birthday

Donald's birthday was on Wednesday, but since he has school, we had his dinner last night.

When it's your birthday, what things do you think of that you want to eat? Steak? Shrimp? Pasta?

What does DONALD think of when it's his birthday?


Mine to be specific.

So for his birthday I went ahead and made him 2 meatloafs.

On the side I served roasted baby red potatoes and Jimmy brought a very yummy corn casserole.
 I would put the recipe on here but... it's a bit of a secret. If you are really interested, shoot me an email and I will give you all BUT the secret... Sorry. The only other person that knows is my Grandmother. She is cool like that.

Donald was a little camera shy at first:

But after some wine...

He was a little more brave...

It also helped that I made fresh brownies and scooped some Baskin and Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream on top..

Happy Birthday uncle Bunny!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weeknight Tortilla Soup

Lee and I really love Tortilla Soup. However, most recipes are a little time consuming, so I didn't used to have the time to make it on weeknights. 

Then I took out a few different recipes, made some modifications, and turned it into a 30 minute meal. 

Easy Tortilla Soup

1 store bought rotisserie chicken
1 cup frozen corn
1 red bell pepper, sliced and seeded
1 teaspoon poultry season
1 teaspoon cumin
1 zucchini diced small
1 onion, chopped
3 gloves garlic, chopped
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and diced
28 oz can tomato puree
5 cups chicken stock
Tortilla chips
Shredded cheese
Avacado sliced
Sour cream

In the bottom of a large pot or dutch oven, drizzle a little olive oil and sautee onions and garlic, until onion gets soft. 

Add in vegetables and seasoning and peppers. Cook until veggies are softening. 

Add in tomato puree and chicken stock and bring to a bubble, simmer 20 min. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in a deep bowl with tortilla chips in the bottom, sprinkle cheese on top! Avacado and sour cream optional. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cupcakes are the cure...

This weekend, the stomach bug released it's grip on  me... so what did I do?

Made Cupcakes!!

 I was inspired buy Jenni @ Story of My Life and they were so yumm!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oh hi...

I am still here. and still cooking.

But there has been a snaffu. See - we started the organic deal on Saturday and I made a new recipe on Monday - then I hurled all day Tuesday (is it ok to talk about hurling on a food website? sorry.) So part of me wonders... the food? But Lee is just fine. Could be a random bug that just has really bad timing.

We have also found that the organic or "grass fed" meats are a little - tough? The chicken was a bit chewy. We had steak tonight and it was chewy and a little gamey. It wasn't the cooking because Lee rocks at grilling steaks.

For now we are still moving ahead organic on fruits and veggies and just as hormone free as possible on the meats and not near as big of portions of it.

Boo - no photos. Sorry.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Local and Organic

Lee and I have recently embraced organic. We have always wondered "Is it really worth it?" Yes. Yes it really is.

We started out the day going to the local Farmers Market. We have tried before and were a little let down with the selection. However when we turned the corner and saw the 40 white tents this time, we got pretty excited!

We strolled Logan around in his stroller and picked out lettuce, carrots, bok choi, cheese, yogurt, and even chicken.

We have decided, that if we are going to go organic, we will make it a lifestyle choice AND a way to lose a little weight. See, organic is a little more expensive, especially the meat. To help balance the difference, meat will no longer be the main focus of our meals. We will fill up on fruits and veggies with meat being more like the "side."

I am immediately hearing the mother on Big Fat Greek Wedding...

What do you mean you DON'T EAT NO MEAT!
Tonight I roasted a whole chicken (organic from the market) with carrots, potatoes, and onion.
I also roasted an artichoke (2 for $5 at Whole Foods!) and made a big salad.
First I cut up the veggies and put them in a pan with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then I salt and peppered the chicken and gave it some lemon implants:

 Ooh La La. What a preeeety chicken you are!

While that roasted I also had the artichoke going. Meanwhile it was Logan bath time and bottle time.

Once everything was out of the oven, I put together the salad and Lee made our plates.
There was also some pesto bread from the market that we heated up in the oven. It was a really wonderful meal.

So we ate half the chicken and saved the other half for another night. It's seriously crazy how small a chicken seems when it's organic and not hopped up on 'roids and stuff. We usually would have sat and ate that whole chicken but we made sure to fill up on the veggies instead.

I hope this becomes a lifestyle choice that helps us feel better and ingest less pesticides. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Guacamole and Fajitas

Last night I tried to make it easy. Fajitas. What is really easier than that?

Besides going out and getting them somewhere...

I have stuck to the same basic marinade since way back in college:

 There is no science to this at all. Put chicken in a baggie (Gallon sized) pour in dressing... refrigerate overnight.
You basically need enough dressing to totally coat the chicken. So the more chicken, the more dressing.
I think you can handle that, no?

While I waited on the grill to stop emitting mile high flames cool down, I whipped up a quick batch of guacamole:
I took about 6 avacados, 1 tomato, and a little shallot and mashed it all together. Then I added a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and some cumin, and a good amount of salt...
It was pretty awesome.

Lee STILL wasn't home from work (and the grill was still on fire) so I chopped up the veggies for the fajitas...
Taken by Donald...

By now you are wondering... what's wrong with your grill?

You see, Lee was working late so he told Donald, very simply to "buy some charcoal and start the grill." So Donald bought charcoal.
Poured the ENTIRE BAG of it in the grill
And lit it

Therefore it was a solid hour before we could even try to put the chicken on.

All in all the meal as great and we had a wonderful evening.
Logan especially:

Did the cute photo distract you from the fact that I forgot to take a fajita photo? 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fancy Schmancy Salad - that he hated

Last night I tried to make something healthy. I mean - short ribs and spaghetti aren't going to keep the baby weight off right?
So I tried to copy a salad I have had at a few places with chicken, walnuts, gorgonzola, and a vinigarette.

While I was preparing it, I sat out some hummus and pita chips. I am currently obsessed with hummus from Sabra that has flavors in it like roasted red pepper or spicy stuff.

Here is a shot of the ingredients - the chicken was in the skillet...
 We are trying our hardest to buy organic fruits and veggies because the pesticides are nasty and they literally do taste better.

Here is a photo of the final product:
 Lee took one bite... and I said "Well?" and he thought for a second and started with is questions:
Is this blue cheese? - kind of
What is this dressing? - vinigarette
What KIND? - sun dried tomato

So he didn't like it. He ate lots of hummus and chips.
I was out of wine so I had to actually deal.

I tried.
Next up - Fajitas!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I was featured today on For The Love of Blogs Tasty Tuesday! How exciting!
I hope everyone who stopped by is happy with what they saw. I recently got a new camera, which is clearly evident when scrolling back through older posts. I also took a small hiatus during my pregnancy but now I am back, cooking nearly 5 nights a week.

To see my feature, check it out here:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bring on the spring/summer!

There is something about the changing of the seasons that makes me want BBQ chicken.
There is something about the raging of my hormones that makes me want macaroni and cheese.
There is something about the guilt of macaroni and cheese that makes me want green beans.

So - that is what we had for dinner!

I used pepper-jack cheese to make the pasta and MAN, it was super yummy.
I have made this meal many times, last time using Kraft but let me tell you, this was just as easy. I used a basic mac n cheese recipe off Food Network.

Also - I fall prey to my ongoing spaghetti craving at least every other week. I made a nice hearty bolognese sauce last night...I really need to pull out that treadmill...