Showing posts from August, 2012

Color Me Rad--post race

My sister and I participated in the Color Me Rad 5K in Pittsburgh last weekend, even though I was still fighting a sinus infection (which has now progressed into a sinus infection with an ear infection).
Traffic was horrible, both getting there and leaving, as the fairgrounds and township police were completely unprepared for the number of people. I think I heard something about 8,000 participants.
The course was challenging for those of us who aren't in top shape and especially those of us who have knee issues. However, it was gratifying to participate, and was tons of fun! There were a lot of runners who were encouraging others to keep going, and it was a great excuse to get covered in color.

We wore white t-shirts, and they're covered in colors--pink, purple, yellow, green, blue, and red/orange. It took 2 showers to remove most of the color from my arms, neck, and hair, although even after that, I had a lot of green and blue on my back, since it's tough to really scru…

Dream Dinners Review--Pub-Style Chicken

I prepared the Pub-Style Chicken Dream Dinners entree on Tuesday. It was extremely easy to prepare. I simply placed the chicken breasts in a 9X13 pan, covered them with a ranch sauce, baked it for 20 minutes, sprinkled cheese and bacon on top, baked it for another 15 minutes, and it was ready to eat. I did have to heat the mashed potatoes that were with it in a pan on the stove, but that was easy too!

The pub chicken was tender and very flavorful, with a heavy bacony taste. As Mac and I both enjoy bacon, this wasn't a problem for us! The marinade gave it a nice, smoky, bacon flavor, and the cheese added a nice layer of flavor.

The mashed potatoes were your standard frozen, pre-cooked mashed potatoes, although my one gripe with this meal was that even though it had been thawing in the fridge for a day, and then in the sink for 8 hours, the mashed potatoes still had frozen chunks until I started cooking it.

Overall, I wouldn't order extra of this entree, but I'd definitely m…

Dream Dinners Review--Spitfire Beef Roast

The Dream Dinners Spitfire Beef Roast sounded rather appealing, and since it had 2 baking options, I opted to try it. It was to have a horseradish crust, which sounded very appealing.

I prepared it in the crock pot, and followed the directions. I added the marinade and water, then topped it with the horseradish crust, before cooking it.

By the time we were ready to eat, the crust had lost most of its flavor, and the meat was so tender, it was falling apart.

The meat had an interesting flavor, almost like a lot of pepper, with a hint of horseradish. I ended up with the leftovers, as Mac really didn't like it. The mashed potatoes were surprisingly good for frozen and reheated mashed potatoes, although I did add a bit of butter and pepper to them.

I wouldn't order this again, as Mac didn't like it, I wasn't a huge flavor, and I was rather disappointed with it.

Dream Dinners Review--Central Park Garlic Chicken

Last weekend, while I was rather sick with a sinus infection, I opted to cook the Dream Dinners Central Park Garlic Chicken. It was easy to prepare, even if Mac balked at it. We cooked it for lunch, and it was ready in 20 minutes, if that.

It was very flavorful and delicious, with a great garlic taste. If you enjoy garlic, opt for this! I love garlic, so I really enjoyed the flavor. The panko bread crumbs and parmesan cheese added a nice crunch to it as well.

This month has been very crazy, but I think I'm going to try to get back in there and make another meal of two of it. The local Dream Dinners store has sessions for August through September 1, so I think I'm going to try to get there on Saturday!

Dream Dinners Review--Pesto Cheese Ravioli with Chicken & Walnuts

I'm allergic to nuts, but decided to select the Pesto Cheese Ravioli with Chicken and Walnuts as one of my Dream Dinners meals, in part because Mac loves pesto. We figured he could prepare it one evening when I was out of town or not home for dinner. Since I was facilitating a Dress for Success Professional Women's Group meeting last Tuesday, he opted to have this for dinner.

Mac heated water, added olive oil, tossed the ravioli in, and while that was cooking, heated the pesto sauce with chicken in a skillet. He said it was easy to prepare, although he was slightly annoyed that it required 2 dishes, not simply 1 to prepare.

Once ready, he topped with walnuts as directed, and enjoyed. He said it was good, but could've used more pesto and less cream sauce. He was hoping for more of a fresh pesto taste, and said this tasted like the pesto was watered down. He said it would've been better if it was pesto, and not pesto cream sauce, but that it was good and he would eat it …

Dream Dinners Review--St. Louis Smokehouse Ribs

I prepared the St. Louis Smokehouse Ribs on Thursday for an early dinner. We headed out to Philadelphia for the Steelers-Eagles game. That was an experience, just trying to get there, with the Turnpike closed in several areas. The stadium layout is so disorganized, and you have to go down to the lower level to get to various "sections" of the upper deck. Horrible layout and experience!

Anyway, back to the ribs... The Dream Dinners ribs were easy to prepare, as I only needed to open the packages, wrap them in foil, and bake them. I used additional BBQ sauce, and served them with cole slaw. Mac and I split a rack of ribs, and kept the other rack wrapped in foil, in the fridge. He prepared those for lunch the next day, although he didn't bake them quite enough to heat them. Such is life!

The ribs were very meaty, with minimal fat, and had a nice flavor, although the extra sauce was definitely necessary to add a bit of extra moisture to them. As Mac mentioned, they'd pr…

My recent travels

My travels out to Minneapolis and home were quite enjoyable, at times an adventure, and reinforced how much I love Kimpton and to travel in general! We left early on Friday, with Mac dropping me off at the airport, after a quick breakfast, and an adventure trying to find an ATM.

The flight to Chicago departed a minute or two early, and I had a pre-departure beverage of coffee. Once in-flight service began, my coffee mug wasn't permitted to remain empty. As Mac said on one of his flights, "They kept offering another drink, and it would've been rude to refuse it." I also enjoyed a fresh, warm, cranberry scone as a snack.

In Chicago, we landed, made it to our gate with over an hour to spare, so we opted to have a snack at Goose Island Brewpub. Granted, it was only 9 AM or so, but I opted to have 2 beers. It's one of the few times I'll drink early in the morning, so why not take advantage of it?

We then returned to our gate, and boarded our flight to Minneapoli…

Dream Dinners Review--Chicago-Style Chicken (Chicken Vesuvio)

Last night's dinner was "Chicago-Style Chicken with Red-Skin Potatoes, aka Chicken Vesuvio. Mac was so unimpressed with it that not only am I not to make it the next time it appears on the menu, but it's my lunch for the rest of the week, not his. He'd rather eat the Rigatoni, Sausage, and Kale from Eat Now, Eat Later, than this Dream Dinner, which says quite a bit!

The potatoes definitely needed salt. Otherwise, they had no flavor. The chicken would have benefited from being marinated in the sauce and garlic for a day or two before baking, rather than just topping with the sauce, as it lacked much flavor. The only way the chicken had any flavor was really if one ate a baked clove of garlic with each bite of chicken.

It didn't even look that appealing, as shown below.

It was definitely disappointing. Oh, and yes, the horror!!! We had red skin potatoes and broccoli with rotini as sides, in addition to the Light Caesar Salad.

Dream Dinners Review--White Chicken Lasagna

I've neglected updating this for a while! Oops! I'll have several posts today I guess. I prepared the White Chicken Lasagna from Dream Dinners last week, and was so rushed by everything, I failed to even take photos of it! The past few weeks have been so crazy, I can't even remember which day it was that I prepared this!

The lasagna was enjoyable, but was rather bland. It needed something to spice it up, be it additional veggies or additional seasonings. It was also fairly liquidy. I did add a bit of extra cheese, but just a touch, at the end of the baking cycle.

I'd suggest adding some crushed red pepper, or perhaps some sliced or diced peppers to this recipe, and scaling back on the amount of liquid used.

Mac is finishing the last of this for lunch today.