Archive for the 'Food' Category

Healthy Eating–Meal Delivery Service

So, recently I went to the doctor. Yeah, crazy I know. But I did. And while I was there talking to her about other things, I asked her to redraw for the lab work I had done about 24 months ago. I was not happy to find out that despite a 30 pound weight loss, my cholesterol levels were still elevated. How aggravating is that? Well, if you’re me, pretty darn aggravating!! She advised me to “continue working on my nutrition”. Sigh. Yeah, I will look into how to make my one meal a day more healthy. 😈

Which brings me around to a site I spent some time exploring this evening. Now, it’s a bit of a pamper, really, but Healthy Chef Creations does have some awesome looking food. Food which they prepare from organic sources and then deliver to your door. Yes, I said deliver. As in a meal delivery service. That oughta bring a smile to your face.

Now, if you are used to cooking at home, from standard grocery store fare, you may find the menus a little spendy. Breakfast runs around 10 bucks, lunch will set you back 11 or so and dinner is about 17. That’s about comparable to a midrange restaurant, though, and you don’t have to go out 3 times a day to eat good, organic food. And you get options, lots of them. In fact, they even offer diet food delivery. Just for giggles, I selected a full week of food and calculated the price. I was expecting around $450 or so, for 3 meals a day, plus desserts, but the total for one adult was just $259.95. Not bad, considering the only time I’d have to enter the kitchen would be to heat up already cooked food and grab a soda from the frig. Oops, I maybe shouldn’t mention soda in the same breath as organic food, but you guys know me well enough to know that I’m not giving up coffee, tea or cola anytime soon. Especially since my sugars are fine, LOL!

I mentioned delivery, right? Well, they also use recyclable containers. Organic food delivery in packages that are good for the environment. Nicely done!

Dessert Fourplay

Today, I am drooling over Dessert FourPlay Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef by Johnny Iuzzini and Roy Finamore. Just the cover, with it’s lucious delicacies and that handsome face could do a girl in, before she ever opened the book. Just sayin’ Dare to open it, though, and the problem just gets worse!!

9780307351371 So here’s the premise: instead of one large dessert, Johnny gives you recipes for four complementary desserts which are meant to be served together in smaller portions. Now, I am going to tell you straight, the play on words in this book’s title is well earned. For a foodie, looking at the array of possibilities here is gastro-orgasmic. Let me give you an example–he has a section on strawberry and rhubarb and it includes strawberry-rhubarb consomme, fromage blanc panna cotta, pink peppercorn meringues with white chocolate ice cream and rhubarb sorbet, and rhubarb flan tarts.

And, uh, did you know you can make dessert from tomatoes? Yeah, you can, combined with figs and and cherries!

The book is broken down into five chapters: one for each season and then chocolate. Each chapter contains three fourplays. In the back is an extensive section of recipes for sorbets and cakes and cookies and such, which can be served with the recipes in the fourplays, or stand alone, or be used as he suggests for garnishes and extras and such.

The thing that makes this book so very dangerous, though, is the pictures. I mean, if were just a pictureless book of recipes, I’d be safe, but the pictures, they are all so luscious looking and the presentations are so lovely that I have invited a friend over to cook with me. That could be interesting indeed!

Book Review: Robin Rescues Dinner by Robin Miller

So, I think I may have shared here, but maybe not, that I am not doing a whole lot of cooking these days. I mean, it’s not like I need a Garmin GPS to navigate my kitchen, but with me working now, and three other people in the house who are capable of putting a meal on the table, I have slacked off a bit. OTOH, I am still on the lookout for new recipes, because I like to learn new techniques, and also, they think Hamburger Helper is an adequate meal, which it is occasionally, but not every day. I’m thinking this book will be a big help in that regard.

First, the recipes are fairly simple. Second, they are mostly quick to prep and cook. Third, they rely on ingredients that are actually available here in BittyBurg. Robin Rescues Dinner is a clear winner in these three areas. We’ll probably be cooking our way through it, at least partially. There are lots of full color pictures, and each week of recipes begins with an optional prep session that you can do to help save even more time during the week. There are also hints on cooking a bit extra of this or that ingredient to use in other recipes for other weeks, and tips on how to use leftovers in the same way.

I just have one complaint about this book and it is relatively minor and petty. The cover says that there are over 350 recipes in the book. Being a great mathematician, when I picked it up, I expected to find seven dinners times 52 weeks. No, not so much. What we do get is three great looking main dishes, and some sides to go with them. It’s all good, just not what I expected. OTOH, I wouldn’t be as likely to actually cook my way through the book if it told me what to cook every. single. night.

All that said, you could easily use this book, and the week or so of menus in every month of Rachel Raye’s magazine to cook for a full year and never have to come up with a single idea of you own. Or eat Hamburger Helper more than once a month 😉 That’s a winner, ladies!

Cass in the Kitchen: Weiner Schnitzel

:kitchen: Today, instead of telling you how to make something, I am asking for your help. I want to make weiner schnitzel like I had so long ago in Germany, and more recently at HofBrau Haus in Las Vegas. Now, I have some porkchops in the freezer that I can pound thin, and I know I need a mushroom and onion sauce. Beyond that, though, I am asking for your tips. This is what I want it to look like:

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Can you tell me how to get there? Pretty please?

Awesome Steak Burger Deal

I got a great deal tonight, and I want to share the goodness with you. The fact that I will get an egift card when people participate has very little with my pleasure in sharing my good fortune. Ok, maybe a little bit, but only a little, I promise.

First, go here. Set up an account. You don’t have to love the gecko, or even give him money, you just need the account. After you register, you will eventually get an email. It will have a link to a $25 gift certificate to Omaha Steaks. Go pick up that number, but be aware it can take up to several hours for the email to arrive.

Once you have that number, go to Omaha Steaks and enter your email address. In turn, they will give you 12 free burgers with any order. Click “Redeem here” under the picture of the burgers on that same page, and start shopping. I ordered 12 more four ounce burgers for 14.99. Then I applied my $25 gift certificate, and paid a whopping $3.98 by paypal, (shipping is crazy high, so use that gift certificate to cover it) and I will have 24 hamburgers on my door step next Wednesday.

Let me do the math real quick….. 24 burgers, $3.98, that’s less than 17 cents each, roughly four and a quarter cents per ounce. Go get yours before they wake up!

Cass in the Kitchen: Ember Orlando

:kitchen: Well, once again this week, I am not going to tell you about something I cooked, but rather about something I ate that someone else cooked. Slacker! It’s not that I don’t cook anymore, but rather that we are so busy with sports right now that I am relying on quick and easy instead of “blog worthy” to feed us. However, when I was in Orlando, there was no sports practice, and there was Ember.

Marisa and I spent a lovely day at Universal with Colleen, Trevor, Andrew and John Chow. After Universal though, it was just me and her. Andrew and Trevor had both left Universal early, John had plans, and Colleen was on her way home. We attempted to go to a Cajun place recommended by Trevor but they were closed. By the way, on the weekend, there is one word for downtown Orlando, and that word is CLOSED. Behold:

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See, closed. All closed.

Except for Ember. Ember had opened on Friday night, so we got to be one of the first patrons, and we got plenty of individual attention, since the place was not hopping. After our, experience, though, I have no doubt it will be! We enjoyed the food and there was plenty of it. We each started with soup. I had the potato and cheese:

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Ohmyword good!

We shared appetizers, and I seriously wonder about the size of the entrees after sampling the appetizers. Look at this:

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Hummus and vegetables

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Buffalo chicken–there were EIGHT pieces of chicken there, people.

And the place is just lovely, inside and out.

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The outside bar

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And the music is good, too! We heard Kenny Chesney and Madonna and a whole bunch of others while we were there. You just don’t get much more eclectic that that, ykwim? About halfway through the meal, I looked at Marisa and said, “we have to tell Ted about this place, it would be great to have a party here during IZEAfest next year”, and then I got up to take pictures of the place. And doncha know, before I could get this post typed up, he and Tara had already found it? Hope you guys enjoyed it as much as we did, Ted!

Oh, one more thing, a gratuitous still life, because I want to be just like Alli when I grow up.

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Cass in the Kitchen: The Let There Be Cake Edition

:kitchen: Today, I am not going to give you a recipe and I am not going to review a cookbook. Instead I am going to tell you about two cakes I have eaten lately. Yes, [tag]cakes[/tag] from the store, not from my kitchen. First up is the new [tag]Golden Sponge Cake from Weight Watchers[/tag].

fauxtwinkiesAs you know, I have been trying to diet lately, with more or less success depending on the day and my motivation, so I jumped at the opportunity to test these. Now, if you are a twinkie fan, this is your cake. It is the epitome of the twinkie, and that was my first thought when I bit into it. My second that was “ewwww’ because I am one of the 14 Americans who detests twinkies. Sorry. Please don’t judge me, and I won’t judge you. I will admit that I did eat a second one a couple of days later because I needed something quick and easy, and I didn’t shudder, so maybe twinkies grow on you or something. At only 80 calories, it’s a nice treat, though, and it’s small enough that I would even let the kids have one for snack. The regular twinkies are just way more junk food than I want them to have an hour before dinner.

IMG 1030The next batch of cakes, I would have been way calorie-smarter to not even taste. [tag]Downey’s cakes[/tag] pack about 400 calories per serving, but they are so good. My friend brought them over to taste test, and be assured, there is nothing twinkie-esque about them. No, no, no. There are six varieties and we tried the three you see above. (Click to embiggen.) We both preferred the Lemon Vodka cake over the others. It was so moist and so lemony, and I plan to try to re-create that one here at home. After I lose a bit more weight. The very best thing about these cakes is the cost: at around $4 for a single serving, they are way spendier than I deem appropriate for every day consumption.

So, now that you have read about my cakes, tell me about yours. What is you favorite store bought cake?

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Cass in the Kitchen: Clear Glass Jars

:kitchen: As you read this, I am most likely winging my way toward Orlando. I came very close to just NOT posting while I was gone, and then I remembered that there are folks who come here just to read the series posts, and that skipping both of them this week was probably NOT the best option. So: here I am on Tuesday, typing to you for Thursday, and today my topic is clear glass jars.

You know, as a mom, there is just a comforting feeling about walking into my kitchen and seeing food there. It’s a … good feeling, like warm cookies. And I think food is pretty to look at. So, now on my counters instead of regular canisters, I use these:

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I bought one as a cookie jar (currently empty), as you may recall, and then a month-ish ago, I decided I really wanted to use them as useful decor in my kitchen, and determined to by one now and again until I had enough. And then, the miracle of freecycle happened. A lady announced that she had several “glass food storage jars”. Emails ensued, and eventually my husband picked up her jars, and they are exactly like the one I had purchased and intended to buy more of. Let me take a minute to remind us all that God said He delights to give us the desires of our hearts. :)

Do you like your canisters? Are they clear or fancy? And what do you keep in yours? Will you show us?

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