Showing posts from November, 2012

Dream Dinners this week

With Mac out hunting until Friday afternoon, I'm not cooking until then. On Friday, I'm going to prepare the Chicken and Pasta with Lemon and Artichoke Sauce. It should be a fairly easy meal to prepare, and since Mac has a contact lens fitting Friday and I have an evening appointment, it should fit in very nicely.

On Saturday, I have the Dress for Success Professional Women's Group workshop that I'm facilitating, so I'm planning to prepare the Slow Cooked BBQ Beef with Baby Bakers, since it can be prepared in the crock pot. I'll probably get it ready in the crock pot Friday night, and will leave it in the fridge until Saturday morning. I'll ask Mac to start the crock pot around 9 AM or so, and then it should be ready when I get home from the workshop. That way, I can eat dinner, and then go to bed, since I'll have been awake since 5:00 or so that day, and it typically is very exhausting.

Thanksgiving weekend

Mac and I packed up the dogs last Wednesday and headed off to visit my parents for the Thanksgiving holiday. Since I was cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I purchased most of the groceries here, and we hauled those out to their house as well. They picked up a few odds and ends, primarily things that I figured wouldn't travel well.

Mac and I headed out around 4 AM on Thanksgiving to try to snag a TV at Kmart. We didn't make it more than an hour in line, before we found out that they'd run out of vouchers for the TV we wanted. We headed back to my parents' house, and napped. I got up around 8:30 and prepared the stuffing, then got the turkey into the oven around 9 AM, so we could eat around 1 or 1:30 PM.

I then mixed everything for green bean casserole and cut the red-skinned potatoes so we could have mashed potatoes. My mother prepared the hash brown casserole, while I prepared a dill dip from a local small business.

Once the potatoes were ready, Mac prepared the mashed pot…

Hotel Palomar Philadelphia

We headed to Philadelphia on Monday afternoon for the Mark Knopfler/Bob Dylan concert. Since we have two dogs, our choices were:
Drive out to Philadelphia and back immediately after the concert, leaving the dogs at homeBoard the dogs and stay at a hotel ($50-$75 to board the dogs for the night, plus a hotel room)Stay at the Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, and since Kimpton gives new meaning to pet-friendly, just pay for our room, no pet deposits. We opted to stay at the Hotel Palomar. The dogs LOVED it! When we arrived and walked into the lobby, one of the front desk clerks cooed all over both of them, and immediately knew their names. She kept them distracted while I checked into our room, a process that was complicated by a change in credit card, since I'd cancelled the card that I'd initially used to book the room. At check-in, we were given a sign to hang on the door that said, "Caution, pets at play" so everyone knew we had pets in the room.

We were upgraded to a one…

Dream Dinners Review--Old Fashioned Meatloaf with Twice Baked Potatoes

On Saturday, Tiff and I ran around Berks County, participating in the Berk's County Best Kept Secrets Tour. We had lots of fun, and when I got home, I decided to tackle the Dream Dinners Old Fashioned Meatloaf with Twice Baked Potatoes.

I mixed in the oatmeal mixture with the ground meat, and then placed it into one of my meatloaf pans. It filled the entire pan, almost overflowing, so in the future, I'd use a rectangular baker pan. I then prepared the potatoes, filling the shells with the potato mixture.

The meatloaf did not cook in an hour, like the directions said, so it went back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Not a big deal, since we had a late dinner anyway, and didn't have to be up for work the next day. I'm not sure if this was because it filled the entire meatloaf pan, but I was a bit grumpy about that.

The meatloaf did have a very nice tangy flavor, and once it was cooked through, it was very enjoyable. The potatoes would have benefited from extra cheese…

Rescue Transports

I've neglected to update my mileage log for all of the rescue transports I've completed since the beginning of October. I guess it's good that I save the emails, right? I first started doing this in April 2012. In the 6 months I've been driving rescue transports, I've driven over 3,400 miles, and have transported 37 dogs. A few have bunked with us for the night, but most have only spent an hour or so in my Jeep before being handed along down the road, or being given to their new parents. At times, with the number of dogs in shelters, I can't help but think that's just a drop in the bucket. I guess though that the more I do move, the better life is, at least for them.

Dream Dinners for the Next Week

Tonight, after work, I'm headed to get my hair cut to donate to Locks of Love, and colored. I'm trying Bernard's at Brighton, where we were last Sunday, for their Spa, Shop, Wine, and Chocolate event. We each received a $15 gift certificate, so I'll use that to offset the costs. I also won a door prize at the event, so I'll pick that up as well.

After that tonight, I'm going to cook the Dream Dinners Chicken with Honey, Garlic, and Orange, along with rice and broccoli for dinner.

After tonight, I'm not cooking again until Tuesday, for various reasons, in part that Mac will be at the Steelers game on Sunday.

On Tuesday, I'm going to prepare the Chicken and White Bean Chili with Corn Fritters. That will leave me with 3 additional meals from November to prepare, and those will probably be prepared in December, since Mac will be hunting much of the last week of November. I'll only be hunting for a day, but he'll be out in the woods for much of the…

Dream Dinners Review--Creamy Chicken Florentine Tortellini

I prepared the Dream Dinners Creamy Chicken Florentine Tortellini last night. Mac and I both really enjoyed it, although again, there were a few issues. The first was that I followed the baking instructions, but some of the tortellini wasn't quite hot. I'm guessing it was from the middle section of the pan, although the chicken, cheese, spinach, and sauce were all hot. The second was that liquid from the pan dripped down into the oven, and set off the smoke detector for a minute. The third was that I'd left the brownies that I'd cooked for Mac's homecoming in the oven to keep them away from hungry paws, and forgot they were in there when I preheated the oven. The brownies are fine. My Pampered Chef Mini Serving Spatula is not however!

The meal had a very nice flavor, with a nice balance of spinach and cheese. The tortellini was very delicious, and I typically don't care for most tortellini. I enjoyed that the chicken was cut into pieces, as it saved us from ha…

Foster Dog Bonnie

Our temporary foster dog Bonnie has made it safely to her new home. Her new owner called me on Saturday morning, and gave me a nice update on her. She sounds like she's settled in just wonderfully, and is definitely used to being a house dog and loves being there. She now sleeps in the bed with her owner, and is no longer eating anything and everything she can, which is great! I'm so happy she has a new home!

Dream Dinners Review--Dreamy Bocca Chicken

I finally was able to make Dreamy Bocca Chicken from Dream Dinners! I've been wanting to make this for quite a while. After all, how can one go wrong with something that includes bacon? I thought I'd pulled it out for a meal on November 5, but was confused, and forgot that we'd opted for the Mesa Grilled Pork Roast then. So, last night, I finally prepared the Dreamy Bocca Chicken!!!

I served it with red-skin mashed potatoes and corn. Mac and I both really enjoyed the chicken! I thought Mac and I were going to fight over the leftovers, but I had a buffalo chicken salad that I'd picked up for lunch for today, so he won the leftovers!

I initially sprayed a large pan with non-stick cooking spray, then while standing by the pan, wrapped each chicken breast with a piece of bacon and pinned it, using the toothpicks that were included. I did that so I could immediately place the chicken in the pan. From there, it was smooth sailing, as I browned the chicken on both sides, the…

Dream Dinners December Order

My December order for Dream Dinners is:
Cheddar Filed Mini Meatloaves with Potato Pancakes (15 points)Creamy Tortellini with Bacon (12 points)Monte Cristo Chicken (6 points)Penne with Chicken and Peanut Sauce (9 points)Bruschetta Chicken (6 points)Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms and Mashed Potatoes (10 points)Chicken Mirabella (9 points) You'll note that I'm ordering something with Peanut Sauce, yet am allergic to peanuts. I'm ordering this for Mac, and am figuring that at some point, he'll have that when I'm tied up with meetings or working late or some such.

The December session is typically made for you at no additional cost, but Tiffany and I have opted to make the meals ourselves, in part because we both like the ability to customize the meals as we desire.

Amber is also joining us at the December session! I think she enjoys it quite a bit!

We have our January order planned out as well, and my selections there are:
Kung Pao Chicken with Jasmine Rice Outlaw Chicke…

Dream Dinners for November

Last Saturday was my Dream Dinners session for November, and I'm a bit late in posting my November menu! It's been an odd week, with Mac in Philadelphia, attending some sort of electrical/automation trade show for work for two days.

Amber, one of the ladies who attended the Taste of Dream Dinners event, attended the November session. Afterwards, Tiffany, Amber, and I hit some of the stores on the Best Kept Secrets of Berks County tour. We had lots of fun, and are knocking out additional tour stops on Sunday! In addition to shopping on Sunday, we're also participating in a shopping and spa event in Lancaster!

Back to my November menu. It was:
Old Fashioned Meatloaf with Twice Baked Potatoes (8 points)Chicken and Pasta with Lemon & Artichoke Sauce (13 points)Slow Cooked BBQ Beef with Baby Bakers (9 points)Creamy Chicken Florentine Tortellini (11 points)Chicken with Honey, Garlic & Orange (5 points)Chicken and White Bean Chili with Corn Fritters (10 points) As I'd …

Dream Dinners Review--Crispy French Onion Chicken

I'd prepared the Dream Dinners Crispy French Onion Chicken from the Taste of Dream Dinners event while Mac was in Wyoming, and I really enjoyed it. I found it had a nice crunchy outside, with a nice balance of garlic and flavor.

Last night, I'd intended to make chicken pot pie, but due to an eye emergency, I didn't get home until almost 6:30, so we tried the Crispy French Onion Chicken, since it was quicker. Mac enjoyed it quite a bit, and I'll order it again, the next time it's on the menu. We did discuss that it tastes like a recipe from the back of a Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce bottle, and that I can probably make it just as easily at home. That doesn't mean I won't still make it at Dream Dinners, but simply that if I want it in between sessions, I'll probably try to make my own version of it at home.

I think I saw it in the WW community recipe section as well.

I'm going to apologize for the lack of photos for this meal. Less than 10 m…