Showing posts from July, 2012

Dream Dinners Review--Mesa Grilled Pork Roast

On Thursday, Mac and I prepared dinner. He started it, I finished it. I worked late, as I had deadlines for things and wanted to be sure everything was finished, since I was on the road Friday, on the way to the Dress for Success Success Summit.

Mac took care of placing the Mesa Grilled Pork Roast into the oven, and when I did finally get home, there were only about 20 minutes left. I started on the side dishes (roasted red skin potatoes with green beans, in a cream sauce, and brussels sprouts).

The pork roast was incredibly tender and flavorful. The marinade was very yummy, with a nice salsa verde flavor. I have an email in asking if I can order 2 of those as well, and pick them up on Thursday.

CNN iReport

My CNN iReport on Firearms

Dream Dinners Review - Chicken Carbonara

On Sunday, I cooked the Dream Dinners Chicken Carbonara. Since I didn't thaw it in advance, I followed the "When frozen" cooking instructions. It was easy enough to toss it into the oven, and while I'm glad I placed it on top of a cookie sheet, I no longer have that cookie sheet. Apparently something leaked onto the bottom of the pan before it made it home. That residue baked itself onto the cookie sheet, and it was so difficult to remove that we trashed the cookie sheet. Not a huge loss, because it was an old cookie sheet. In the future, I guess I'll line the cookie sheets with foil, just in case.

I didn't top the Chicken Carbonara with additional cheese, although I did think about it. I think additional cheese probably would've helped a bit, as it wasn't very cheesy, and I like cheese. It did seem to be a bit cooler than most of the other oven-baked meals, but I'm guessing part of that is having cooked it while frozen, rather than allowing it to…

Cheese Ravioli Eat Now, Eat Later

We tried the Cheese Ravioli from Eat Now, Eat Later last night. Well, Mac tried it. My tummy wasn't happy with me, so I didn't even eat anything. As Mac said, it was barely edible. The sauce congealed a bit too much, so there was no liquid. The sausage tasted like sand, and, while Mac ate ravioli and saved the ravioli, figuring we'll add more sauce, we fed the rest of the sausage to the dogs. The dogs didn't seem to mind its flavor, so I can't complain.

Tonight's dinner was a new take on the Texas-style casserole. I used shredded hash browns, added corn, green peppers, onions, egg, and ground chorizo. The chorizo and green peppers definitely helped, but the next attempt will include jalapeno peppers and/or crushed red pepper.

I've still not changed my mind that Eat Now, Eat Later just isn't worth it.

Dream Dinners-Kentucky Pork Chops Review

Dinner last night was Kentucky Pork Chops from Dream Dinners, served with green beans and Omaha Steaks' Twice Baked Potatoes.

Lesson 1: Don't overheat olive oil.

Lesson 2: If you do overheat olive oil, don't drop cold items into the olive oil without using a spatula or otherwise protecting your hands.

I now have a really nice burn on my arm from the hot olive oil splattering my arm when I placed a cold pork chop into the oil. I'm dealing with it. It's not fun, but...

The Kentucky Pork Chops were, once again, very easy to prepare, assuming you don't burn yourself. First, you dip the pork chops in the rub, and then place them into the frying pan. Once they're cooked (flip them to cook both sides), you top each side with a bit of the sauce, and then cook each side another minute. You then remove them from the pan, toss the sauce into the pan, cook it until it thickens. You then top the pork chops with the sauce. I complicated things by burning myself.

Mac step…

Dream Dinners Review--Pork Burritos

I prepared the Dream Dinners Pork Burritos last night, and wow, were they easy to prepare and rather yummy. When you prepare them at the store, you place them into a foil pan. To cook them, you simply remove the lid from the pan and bake in a pre-heated oven. After allowing them cook for 25-30 minutes, you're then supposed to cover them with the enchilada sauce provided and bake for another 10 minutes. I opted to use salsa verde instead, and also covered them with a dusting of cheese.

I served the Pork Burritos with Spanish rice, refried beans, and Southwest salad. The meal was extremely yummy! The burritos had a nice flavor, with a touch of BBQ sauce, and the corn added a hint of sweet. While they contained black beans and rice also, I supplemented our meal with refried beans and rice, in addition to the salad, in part so we'd have extra leftovers.

The clean-up was extremely easy. Once we packaged up the leftovers, the foil pan was tossed in the garbage, and Mac washed the di…

Dream Dinners, July experience

Tiffany and I headed to Dream Dinners early on Saturday, for our July meal prep experience. We arrived a few minutes late, but it wasn't a big deal, since this time, we knew exactly what we needed to do. We divided up our cooking instruction cards, and jumped into preparing the meals. I did customize my first meal, which was the "Chicago Style Choice Cut Chicken with Red Skin Potatoes." I added a bit extra to the sauce, as when I cook it, I'll simply add extra chicken breasts for extra leftovers.

I had a few small issues with some of the meals this month. One was that for the pork burritos, I ended up with extra burrito filling, as if I filled them with the quantity they specified, I couldn't get them to roll without the filling leaking out of the shell. The other issue with it was that the shells tore a bit a few times. The third issue involved the Ziploc bags for most of the meals. I had multiple quart bags tear above the zipper. Nothing major though.

When I ar…

Steak Salsa Verde--Dream Dinners

I spent yesterday afternoon transporting two dogs on their journey to new homes. Both were very sweet, but a bit timid. As such, when I got home, I didn't want to put much effort into dinner, and didn't want to go to the baseball game.

Mac and I went to the grocery store to pick up fruits and veggies for a few days, and once we got back, I cooked the Steak Salsa Verde from Dream Dinners. The Steak Salsa Verde was an impulse buy when I was there preparing my extra servings of Mango Chutney Chicken. It sounded good, in part because Mac loves green chile. It was one of their Chef Touched entrees, where it's already prepared, minus the cooking, and you just grab it from their freezer.

I used our George Foreman Grill, and cooking was an adventure. Apparently, other than the fridge and the stove, we have 2 circuits in our kitchen. The microwave is on one, and the toaster and toaster oven are on the other. I plugged in the grill on the same circuit as the microwave, and then, wh…

my upcoming flights

I love FlyerTalk! Thanks to a nice arrangement, three of my four flights to Minneapolis at the end of the month have been upgraded! The fourth is waitlisted. I love this!

next visit to Dream Dinners

My next visit to Dream Dinners is tomorrow morning. My selections are:

Santa Fe Shredded Pork BurritosKentucky Pork ChopsBoston's Chicken CarbonaraChicago Style Choice Cut Chicken with Red Skin PotatoesSt. Louis Smokehouse RibsMesa Grilled Pork Roast
I've asked Mac to work with me to select dinners for the next week, between what we still have in the freezer and these meals. Our menu options, in addition to the above, for next week are: White Chicken LasagnaCheese Ravioli, Kielbasa Peppers and OnionsRigatoni w/Sausage and KaleHungarian GoulashChicken Teriyaki I'm guessing that he won't want the Chicken Teriyaki, since we just had that a few weeks ago. I'm trying to only serve 1 meal with pasta each week, because while he was in Saudi Arabia, he consumed a lot of pasta. I did suggest that we try the ravioli, since that's a crock pot meal, and my week looks like it may be a bit crazy.

We're eating out on Monday (baseball game), so we'll only need meals for …

Dream Dinners Lemon Chicken Piccata Review

I prepared the Lemon Chicken Piccata with Fettuccine Dream Dinners last night. It was very easy to prepare as well. Basically, I heated water to cook the fettuccine and then cooked the chicken in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil. Once the chicken was browned on both sides, I added the sauce, cooked the pasta, and then it was ready.

The sauce had a lot of artichokes and capers, with just a few tomatoes. It did have a nice lemony taste to it, and the meal was very enjoyable. The next time it's on the menu, I'd definitely make it again, although I'd probably scale back on the capers and add a few extra artichokes and tomatoes, just due to preference.

While this meal wasn't on the table in 20 minutes, it was probably on the table in half an hour. There were leftovers for lunch today, although there wasn't quite enough pasta for 2 lunches. I'd consider supplementing this meal with extra chicken and pasta from home, if I created a bit of extra sauce at Dream Dinn…

Mexican Beef with Dumplings/Eat Now, Eat Later

Last night's dinner was the third Eat Now, Eat Later meal. The quick summary was, according to Mac, lousy. Edible because we added cheese and sour cream, but otherwise, lousy. I ate about 4 bites and then decided that dinner would be a few crackers instead.

I probably knew deep down not to get my hopes up after two things happened yesterday. The first was that yesterday morning, when I stumbled into the kitchen to start the coffee, I noticed a pile of liquid by the corner of the fridge.

Cobaka has had a few bladder infections, and when she has one, she'll sometimes potty near there, since she can't hold it then. She's also been known to go there when she's jealous that Geno has the prime real estate on the bed. Since he'd had the prime real estate on the bed that morning, I assumed she'd expressed her displeasure. I cleaned it up, and wasn't very happy. I then opened the fridge and found that there was pink liquid throughout one side of the fridge. The …

Summertime Pasta with Chicken

I prepared the Summertime Chicken with Pasta last night. It was extremely easy to prepare, and I doctored it a bit to suit my tastes. When it was almost ready, I tossed some mozzarella cheese and allowed that to bake on top of the pasta. I also prepared garlic bread, and added a bit of cheese to that as well. Yes, we like cheese in our household.

I started to bake the pasta when Mac called to say that he was almost to his Turnpike exit after his Abandoned PA Turnpike hike. I knew he'd want to shower, eat dinner, and then relax, so my goal was to have dinner ready by the time he was out of the shower.

The sauce for the pasta was a light, olive oil and garlic type sauce. It all ended up at the bottom of the pan, and was rather difficult to scoop out onto the pasta until you cleared out a portion of the pan. It seemed like all of the peas ended up at the bottom of the pan as well. As you can see, there are very few veggies on the top of the pasta in the pan. The green that you can s…

Color Me Rad

So, I don't run. I have a lousy knee that hurts when walking, let alone when running, so I don't run. My sister convinced me to register for Color Me Rad. It looks like it'll be an interesting experience, and it benefits charity, so why not? Besides, I figure it'll be a great excuse to get covered in colors, and look and act silly. Sometimes, I think we all need to remember how to act like kids!

Outlaw Chicken Sliders and Summertime Pasta with Chicken

I prepared the Outlaw Chicken Sliders from Dream Dinners on Tuesday. We had a baseball game that night, so we needed something quick, especially since I'd been dealing with my car issues.

Mac was out cutting the grass when I got home, and I told him that I'd get dinner started. In my rush to prepare dinner, so we could make it to the game, I forgot to prepare any of the veggies I had for dinner. Oops!

The Outlaw Chicken Sliders were very easy to prepare. The biggest delay was in waiting for the oven to preheat. To prepare them, you simply preheat the oven to 400, spritz a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray, place the chicken patties on the cookie sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. While those are baking you slice the rolls, wrap them in foil, and bake them for 5-10 minutes. Once you pull the chicken patties out of the oven, you place a slice of Swiss cheese on each patty, and then place on a bun, topping with french fried onions and their spicy mayo spread. They don'…

It Can Only Get Better, Right?

Heard from the shop. Yes, it's the a/c compressor. They wanted $1,000 to replace it, in part because they were marking prices on parts up between 65-100%. The parts store is literally across the street from their location. Don't tell me it costs a tech $100 to walk across the street. They finally came down to $800, but not without a lot of yelling, bickering, and general surliness on my part.

I'm now waiting for them to complete the work. I'm getting grumpy about it too. :) We know what that means...

One of those days...

Last night, as we were leaving the baseball game, my car sounded horrible, like it had a bad bearing. We drove it home, and I did a bit of research this morning. It sounds like I have a bad bearing in the a/c compressor. To avoid potential problems like overheating and such, they'll probably need to replace the a/c compressor.

The car is in the shop, and I'm waiting to hear from them as to if it is the a/c compressor, or if they were able to find something else. Grumble, grumble, grr...

The only good news is that if they can't fix it today, we have a few days leeway, since Mac is on vacation this week.

I'm now at work, without a vehicle, and he's at home, with his car. If necessary, he'll pick me up tonight, and then we'll run an errand or two, and then head to the baseball game, postponing our Outlaw Chicken Sliders as dinner.

I forgot about the holiday...

I forgot that this week, we have a holiday in the middle of the week. That changes the menu a bit, since I'll be home all day on Wednesday to cook and bake. I think we'll do the Outlaw Chicken Sliders on Thursday and the Mexican Beef on Wednesday, since I'll have the time to cook. Although, I'm debating if I want to prepare something else on Wednesday, since I'll have the extra time. I need to go grocery shopping tonight, so I should probably determine what our Wednesday dinner will be before I get to the store.

I never did remove the Summertime Pasta with Chicken from the freezer last night, but you can bake it when it is still frozen, so I'm not too concerned about that. I should probably pick up garlic bread to serve with that, but I won't need veggies, since it contains a lot of veggies.

My grocery list thus far includes:
Frozen veggies (lots of them)Garlic breadSliced Cheddar CheeseEgg whitesFruitWater I'm picking up the cheese and egg whites as I&…