Showing posts from December, 2012

Handmade Holiday Gift Exchange

I participated in the Less Bitching, More Stitching Handmade Holiday Gift Exchange this year. Due to our travel plans and our mailperson's either thoughtfulness or annoyance (jury is still out on that one), I didn't receive my gift until yesterday.

I'd placed a hold on our mail while we were out of town for the holidays, and the mail was delivered again starting on the 26th. That day, we had about 2-3 inches of snow, plus a lot of sleet. I don't know if our mailperson didn't want to leave our packages (there were 4 for us) in that sort of weather or if she simply didn't want to be bothered dealing with our driveway in that weather. I'm hoping it was that she was being nice and simply was afraid that things would get ruined.

This meant that it was like Christmas when I came home yesterday, as there were 4 packages. One was a gift that I'd ordered for someone, and was supposed to be shipped to them, but Barnes & Noble screwed up that order, two other…

Dream Dinners Review--Chicken Mirabella

When I asked Mac about trying Chicken Mirabella, he wasn't thrilled, so I ordered a 3-serving of it, and a 3-serving of the Penne with Chicken and Peanut Sauce. I cooked a stir-fry freezer meal for him last night. It was one of those, "Just Add Meat," meals, and I used two mule deer steaks for the meat. While that was cooking, I prepared the Chicken Mirabella for me. To prepare this, you place the chicken in a greased 9X9 pan (for a 3-serving), add the sauce, and then bake covered for 45-50 minutes.

I gave the first bite to Mac to try. Apparently, boneless chicken didn't mean boneless! In the first bite, he found what I'm assuming was a rib bone. He didn't break it or choke on it, but it was a bit disturbing that boneless wasn't boneless!

The chicken had a unique flavor. It was a bit sweet and tart at the same time. It was almost like over sweetening lemonade. I'd probably do another 3-serving of this sometime, as Mac didn't like it, but I though…

Dream Dinners Review--Creamy Tortellini with Bacon

I made it to the doctor's on Tuesday and started antibiotics for my sinus infection. After my appointment, I napped for a few hours, until Mac came home. Our dinner choices were:
Chicken MarsalaMule Deer Stir Fry for Mac/Chicken Mirabella for meCreamy Tortellini with Bacon. I opted for the Creamy Tortellini with Bacon, as the mashed potatoes for the Chicken Marsala were still frozen in spots and cooking two meals just seemed like too much work.

The Creamy Tortellini with Bacon was extremely quick to prepare, as I simply heated the sauce, boiled water, stirred in the cheese, peas, and bacon into the sauce, and then cooked the tortellini. The bacon added a nice hickory/smoky flavor, and the peas added a tender texture. The tortellini cooked in less than 5 minutes. The flavors blended well together, for a very enjoyable and simple meal. If this week wasn't so crazy, I'd probably try to pick up another meal of this, but between my Christmas party tonight, plans with a friend wh…

Dream Dinners Review--Test Recipe Red Chili Pork with Confetti Corn Bread (Southwest Pulled Pork w/Confetti Cornbread)

I'm slacking on blogging this week. I'm blaming my sinuses, since I've had a sinus infection and have been pretty much down for the count since Monday evening. Through it all though, Mac has expected that I cook dinner. Well, perhaps expected is too strong of a word. Requested, maybe?

I'd already planned on trying my latest Dream Dinners Test Recipe, which was Red Chili Pork with Confetti Corn Bread on Monday, and Monday night, it was really all the more I could do. It was incredibly simple! Preheat the oven, bake covered from frozen for 1 hour, 15 minutes, remove the lid, bake for another 10-15 minutes, and serve. I took care of getting removing the lid, and then when it was ready, Mac took care of dishing it out, and served it to me in bed. Yes, I was that miserable that I didn't even get out of bed to eat dinner.

It had a nice spice to it, and a very nice flavor. The cornbread was a nice touch, and was cooked through, but not dry. I really, really enjoyed this m…

Liebster Award!

Wow, thank you Erin, from Less Bitching, More Stitching, for awarding me the Liebster Award! I first started reading Erin's blog when I noticed it in one of her posts on FlyerTalk. She's far more creative than me. :)
"Liebster" is a German word meaning "dearest," "favorite," or "beloved." Liebster Awards are given by bloggers to other bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers to spread the word and help newer bloggers gain wider recognition. Here is how it works:
Choose five bloggers with fewer than 200 followers to whom you would like to give the Liebster Award.Show thanks to the blogger who awarded you the Liebster by linking back to their blog.Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers to whom you are giving awards, with links to their sites, and comment on their blog with a link back to your blog to let them know that you have given them the award. Here are my picks:
Bullets and Biscuits--I stumbled across her blog while reading …

Dream Dinners Review--Cheddar Filled Mini Meatloaves with Potato Pancakes

I prepared the Dream Dinners Cheddar Filled Mini Meatloaves with Potato Pancakes on Wednesday night. For some reason, I thought that I needed a mini loaf pan, when it called for a muffin pan. :) So, we improvised! We had 8 mini meatloaves, made in my mini loaf pan. :)

Attractive is not how I'd describe the end result, but then again, I typically wouldn't describe meatloaf as attractive! I flattened out 8 meatloaves, placed them in the greased loaf slots, topped with cheddar cheese, then topped with a thin layer of meat, smashing it down so that it attached to the meat already in the pan. I then topped them with the glaze and baked them.

The potato pancakes were easy to prepare, although a few fell apart in the bag, and as such, we had some odd shaped potato pancakes! The dipping sauce had a very unique flavor, but was very enjoyable. Since Mac is a potato pancake person and I'm not, I actually used the sauce to top the meatloaf a bit. Yes, I'm odd!

The meatloaves baked…

Dream Dinners Review--Monte Cristo Chicken

Last night's dinner was the Dream Dinners Monte Cristo Chicken. As it was already in a pan, and simply got baked, I knew it would be perfect for last night. I had a very important proposal due at work, and didn't know how late I'd be there, so I knew Mac could easily handle baking it!

It turned out that I was home before he was anyway, so as soon as I got home, I turned on the oven to preheat. While that was preheating, I cleaned out our fridge, since someone left one of the doors open overnight on Monday night, and therefore, most of our dairy items spoiled. Plus, we had lots of leftover leftovers, if that makes any sense! Our garbage goes on Fridays, and I typically don't get up early enough on Friday to deal with cleaning out the fridge then, so I tackled it last night. Yuck! Remains includes: a slice of pork roast, two bowls of antelope chili, a bowl of broccoli cheese soup, and a few other things. Of course, while I was cleaning out the fridge, I had to juggle the…

Dream Dinners Review--Chicken & White Bean Chili with Corn Fritters

Mac and I were at the Steelers game on Sunday, so I knew that yesterday, I wouldn't feel much like cooking. So, I pulled out the Dream Dinners Chicken and White Bean Chili with Corn Fritters, as I could toss the chili in the crock pot to cook. Once I added it to the crock pot, I knew I needed to add water, as my crock pot has a tendency to burn things if there isn't enough water in it.

When I got home from work, I removed the lid and turned it to high from warm, which is where it had defaulted, after cooking for 8 hours on low. I allowed it to cook on high for an hour or so, hoping that some of the excess water would cook off. I then started cooking the corn fritters. Mac ended up cooking most of those, as he's better at cooking them and flipping them than I am.

We added cheese to our chili, and ended up tearing the corn fritters into pieces and adding them to the chili as well. The chili had a nice taste, but the bleu cheese and onion in the corn fritters was a bit odd. I…

Dream Dinners January order--WW point values

WW point values for my January Dream Dinners order are:
Kung Pao Chicken with Jasmine Rice (12 points including 1/2 cup of rice)Outlaw Chicken Sliders (15 points for 2 sliders)Meatloaf Milano with Mashed Potatoes (13 points for meatloaf and 1/2 cup mashed potatoes)Cranberry Buttermilk Chicken (4 points)Pacific Rim Glazed Steak with Wonton Crisps (7 points for 1 steak and 2 crisps)Coconut Mahi Mahi with Jasmine Rice (11 points including 1/2 cup of rice)Parmesan Crusted Chicken (5 points) The Kung Pao Chicken is a 3-serving, for Mac.

I've already decided on my portion of the February menu. I'm just waiting on Tiff's portion, and then that will be finalized as well.

My meals, with WW point values are:
Crispy French Onion Chicken (6 points)Buffalo Ranch Chicken (4 points)Arroz Con Pollo (11 points)Cattleman's Pie (10 points)Terracotta Chicken with Pita and Hummus (10 points)Cola and Lime Tender Pork Roast (8 points) I was slightly surprised by a few of Mac's choices. I t…

Dream Dinners Review--Slow Cooked BBQ Beef with Baby Bakers

I saved the Dream Dinners Slow Cooked BBQ Beef with Baby Bakers for Saturday. I figured that I'd get it ready in the crock pot Friday night, and that Mac could turn it on once he got home from hunting on Saturday morning. I knew that Saturday, after the Dress for Success Professional Women's Group workshop, I wouldn't feel up to cooking, so I thought this was a great way to still have a nice dinner, while not going back out after getting home from the workshop.

We had a rifle shipped to Cabela's in Hamburg, and we had until Wednesday, December 5 to pick it up there. We wanted to pick it up by Tuesday, December 4, because of a coupon offer they had, where you could save $20 on a $150 purchase. We planned on heading there on Sunday morning.

Saturday morning, Mac and I went hunting, before the workshop. Yes, I went hunting in business attire, with a blaze orange coat and hat added to my outfit. Dedicated, right? I then headed to the workshop, and still managed to arrive b…

Dream Dinners Review--Chicken & Pasta with Lemon & Artichoke Sauce

Friday originally shaped up to be a mildly crazy day, but manageable. I was going to work my normal hours, then cook an early dinner of Dream Dinners Chicken and Pasta with Lemon and Artichoke Sauce, then have a meeting to discuss a presentation for the Dress for Success Professional Women's Group workshop on Saturday, then head home to relax for a bit, assemble thank you gifts for the coordinators, and then get to bed fairly early.

I really should know by now that the day before the workshop will never quite work out as planned. It looked like it might be even better, since the meeting was cancelled, as we were able to discuss everything via email. Then, I had to stay at work late, which pushed dinner closer to 6:30 or 7 PM.

Once we ate dinner, I selected my outfit for the next day, assembled the baskets, and couldn't fall asleep!

Dinner was easy and quick to prepare. I baked the chicken quickly while the pasta and sauce were both cooking, and Mac took care of draining the …

Dream Dinners Review--Chicken with Honey, Garlic, and Orange

I prepared the Dream Dinners Chicken with Honey, Garlic and Orange a while ago, but for some reason, forgot to add a review of it. It was very easy to prepare, like most of the Dream Dinners meals are, and I enjoyed the taste. It was another Chinese-type meal, which is always welcomed in our house!

The sauce was a bit sticky, but that's to be expected with the honey. It was a bit difficult to get everything out of the Ziploc bag, but we did have plenty of sauce, so it wasn't a big deal.

I love how quickly most of the meals go from stove to table. Like most of the meals with rice, that took the longest amount of time to cook, and that's 20-25 minutes, once it starts to boil.