Archive for April, 2010

Mindful Menu: 25 April – 1 May 2010

25 April 2010

SundayPB&J Oats (Was gonna have this for breakfast, but had cold pizza instead, so it’s been pushed to dinner.) 🙂

Monday: Kraft Chicken Pot Pie I love this recipe! I found it a few years ago in a “Food & Family” magazine and have made it loads! It’s never disappointed!

TuesdayFruit & Nut Coleslaw, homemade veggie burger (maybe this recipe?)Last Tuesday I ended up NOT having my veggie burger, so I’m recycling that meal to this week.

Wednesday: WINNER WINNER APPLE (& chicken) DINNER! In honor of my friend @Gregz‘s contest with the tagline “winner winner Apple dinner” (instead of “…chicken…”) I’ve added in a chicken and apple dish to the menu this week: Skillet Apple Chicken The reviewers of this recipe on AllRecipes.com said that they had to tweak the spices quite a bit for it to suit their palates – particularly the salt. I’ll be keeping this in mind when I make it.

Thursday: I didn’t get around to making Basil Shrimp with Orzo last week, so it’s making an appearance again this week!

Friday: Pasta con Broccoli. This will be my take on my favorite dish from The Pasta House Co. I worked there as a server during my senior year at Missouri State University, so PHC will always hold a special place in my heart. 😉 I REALLY wish they existed in the KC area! (are you listening Kim Tucci and Joe Fresta?!) 😉

Saturday: Veggie Pizza on a whole wheat crust (all from scratch!)

To see more Mindful Menus, check out http://blog.chivetalkin.com. 🙂
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Clay Achin’ Gardening*

21 April 2010

I swear that my flower bed is a potter’s dream – I don’t know that anything would have to be done to purify the lumps of clay which are in my garden!

Clay soil is great for some things – like making bricks, but for other things, it’s not so great – like gardening. Sure, there are things which grow well in clay soil – but it sure is HARD to prepare for planting. I spent  2 hours in the garden yesterday trying to clean it up and prepare it to plant a few potatoes and cloves of garlic and today my hands and back are really achy and bruised! If you saw the tiny little patch I did manage to till, you’d laugh that it caused so much distress! (image)

I can have the patience of a saint, but when it comes to me being able to do things, I have to be able to do it NOW! I have no patience for myself at all! I’ve never been a gardener nor particularly green of thumb – and one glance at my flower beds will prove it beyond a doubt!

We bought our house in July 2003 – in the middle of a heat wave and drought. Our house had been vacant for a while, and by the time we bought it, the garden was a right mess – which is not ideal for a beginning gardener. Almost 7 years later, the garden is green, but overall not much better than it was when I inherited it. 😦

Inhabitants of Good Soil

Though our garden is laden heavily with clay, it is teeming with multi-legged and no-legged creatures, which I read is a sign of good soil – so there is a silver lining! What to do about the clay-iness of the soil though? Unfortunately, it’s not a process which results in immediate gratification – but it is possible to reduce the overall clay-iness of the soil through soil improvement.

A quick Google search of “improving clay soil” brought me to a number of helpful sites:

Fine Gardening

About.com

Gardening Know How

University of Missouri Extension

(image)

I think my garden is pretty much hopeless for the current season, but I am adding these to my Gardening Reading List and plan to do a complete overhaul on our garden when I winterize and prepare it for spring 2011.

Good thing I’m easily overwhelmed by things like this, huh? o_O

(*post title inspired by Peter Johnson, a classmate of mine from Lincoln Prep)

PB&J Oatmeal

21 April 2010

When did I go from the girl who religiously grabs a bowl of cold cereal for breakfast to the one who craves stovetop oats? It’s been a really slow transition, but one I’ve just recently realised.

Today, I went into the kitchen to fix something for my first meal of the day (it was noon, could I call it breakfast?). I debated a bowl of cereal, pancakes, eggs…nothing sounded good. So, I decided to make oatmeal. I’ve never been a huge fan of oatmeal, but after reading katheats.com daily for the last couple of years, oatmeal has snuck its way back into my breakfast repertoire. 🙂 and I must say, that after reading her inspiring Oats recipes, I’ve grown a whole new set of Oatmeal Tastebuds. 😉

Today’s bowl was (is!) pretty darn good if  I say so myself.

PB&J Oats
PB&J Oats

I am almost out of my regular old-fashioned oats, but I have some quick oats I need to get rid of. 🙂

This bowl is:

1/2 cup quick oats. 1/2 cup water. 1/2 cup milk. liberal splash of vanilla. liberal sprinkle of cinnamon. heaping tablespoon of chunky peanut butter and less heaping tablespoon of huckleberry preserves.

mmm…mmm….

Mindful Menu: 19 April – 24 April

19 April 2010

I’ve not been very good about menu planning lately, and I’m not 100% sure why. Perhaps part of it has to do with the change of season, so I have to look for different fall-back recipes as well as being inspired by all of the new produce in the store. Perhaps part of it has to do with the fact that I am still unemployed and the frustration is really taking its toll. Whatever the matter, I’ve gotta break my funk…it’s not productive, obviously!

So, without further ado, let’s get to my menu for the week.

Monday: Sausage Potato Casserole. I used Turkey smoked sausage (7g fat/serving) rather than regular smoked sausage (15g fat/serving) and skim milk to lighten it up a bit.

Tuesday: Fruit & Nut Coleslaw, homemade veggie burger (maybe this recipe?)

Wednesday: Lemon Pepper Fish

Thursday: Basil Shrimp with Orzo

Friday: Whole Wheat Penne with Parma Rosa Sauce, Chicken and Vegetables

Saturday: TBD – movie night with a friend

If you want to join up with the Mindful Menu challenge, check out http://blog.chivetalkin.com/

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Westward to Weston!

18 April 2010

Today is so gorgeous – totally appropriate weather for Spring in Missouri!

Today started off slow, bowl of cold cereal and finishing up the book I’ve been reading – Barack Obama’s Dreams from my Father (which is awesome, by the way), but the day got, if not faster, more social!

Weston Bend State Park

Lovely day for a walk

Our friends J & N came over, and they, husband and I all drove the 15 miles or so over to Weston Bend State Park and walked the 3-mile paved trail. All four of us are rather out of shape, but working on getting into better shape. 🙂 This 3-mile trek was full of lovely trees and HILLS! Fortunately, the hills were either steep or long, and none of them were both steep and long – I don’t know if we would have made it!

Overall, it was such a perfect day for a walk – about 64F and not at all humid – and we were walking with good friends – so the 3 miles went by fairly quickly. 🙂  I don’t know how much fun it might have been doing it alone or in warmer and more humid weather – I definitely would have been using those benches I saw along the way!

I logged my walk on Dailymile.com and I saw that in the last week I’ve done about 10 miles! wow! granted, it’s not been all walking – I did 2 miles on the elliptical and 4 miles on the stationary bike Tuesday at the gym, but I’m still rather impressed with myself! I really like this site for logging my workouts. 🙂

Now that I’m home, our friends have gone home and husband has gone to work, I’m feeling a little lonely after an active and social couple hours with them! Not that I really ought to be bored – as I have plenty to do (find a job, do the dishes from last night’s impromptu dinner party with mom, aunt and nephew…).  Perhaps I’ll start with a nap though. 😉

the first post…

16 April 2010

I’ve had a blogger account for a long time now – but I think it’s time to move on. Although I should probably go ahead and set this one up before I start using it, I’m not going to. 😛

so, be forewarned that there are going to be lots of changes on this site in the next few weeks – and please, feel free to give me constructive criticism. I admit, I totally don’t know what I’m doing – just learning as I go along.