Showing posts from September, 2013

Dream Dinners Review - Fully Loaded Chicken & Potato Soup with Breadsticks

For dinner on Wednesday, we tried the Dream Dinners Fully Loaded Chicken & Potato Soup with Breadsticks. This week has been crazy at work, and looking at the cooking instructions, I knew the soup wouldn’t take long to prepare. I simply preheated the oven to bake the breadsticks, heated the bacon until it was crisp, tossed the soup base (mashed potatoes and other yummy things) into a stock pot, allowed that to boil, then added the chicken and potatoes and allowed those to heat. Once it was ready, I topped it with cheese and bacon, and dinner was served!I did add some black pepper to the soup as it was cooking, and Mac added a bit more once he’d tasted it. This was great comfort food, and it was so easy to prepare! I’m hoping this makes it back to the menu in December or January, so I can pick up a few orders of it. It would be great for a snowy day, especially if I had time to allow it to simmer for a while.Dinner last night was the Old Fashioned Meatloaf with Twice Baked Potatoes.…

Dream Dinners Test Recipe--Sicilian Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burgers

My test recipe was the Sicilian Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burgers, served on pretzel rolls. I prepared this for dinner last night, and took the requested survey after we cleaned up from dinner, so that everything was fresh in my mind. Mac and I were underwhelmed, and without changes, wouldn't order this as it currently is prepared.Preparation: The ground turkey was actually individual patties, but when it thawed, they congealed together. This worked just fine, I guess, except that it was rather messy, because I needed to place the meat and spice mixture into a bowl, mix it, then form patties, add the cheese, reform patties, and then cook the burgers. While I realize it would take a bit of time at the store, I'd rather bag each patty individually, add the spices and cheese, and then be able to mix that patty in the bag, so I'd not need a mixing bowl. I'd also not get cheese all over, trying to stuff it into patties. When mixing and forming the patties, my hands became cover…

September Dream Dinners Session

Mac came with me to my Dream Dinners session on Friday. We had other errands to run out that way, so he agreed to join me. We arrived at 9 AM, which was the start time for the flex session. Mac jumped into preparing the Cattleman's Pie, while I prepared the Crispy French Onion Chicken. As we discussed later, we should have swapped meals!While we were preparing the cooking instructions cards and getting our drawer and freezer space, I was asked if I wanted to try a test recipe. Mac agreed that we should try it, so that was placed on our shelf. I won't spill on that quite yet, as I'll wait until we try it! I love the test recipes, as they are so unexpected, and it really made my day! We'll have that next week, once Mac is back in town.Preparing the meals was easy, as usual, and the session wasn't very busy, so it was nice. Mac and I could work together to prepare the meals. I love that he'll be working on assembling part of a recipe while I'll be working on a…

Balancing Volunteer Hours and Working Hours

I've been volunteering with an organization for years, and have enjoyed it quite a bit, although at times, my volunteer and work activities seem to clash. I've been swamped at work. I've been working overtime and on weekends, and quite frankly, am looking forward to only having two rescue transports, a wine tasting and pig roast, rehearsal for Eastern Star, and lunch with a friend this weekend. I should add that I'm taking Friday off, as I needed to try to squeeze in Dream Dinners at some point and I simply could not find the time in the next week or so to do that without taking Friday off from work!I'd expressed my schedule to those in charge at the volunteer organization, and had been assured that they understood that work was my first priority. Unfortunately, no one there seems to recognize this, as they keep asking me to do things, and then only after I've completed it and pointed out that I've been swamped, have I received the response of, "Oh, we…

Dream Dinners Asian Barbecue Braised Ribs

I decided to try the Dream Dinners Asian Barbecue Braised Ribs for dinner on Thursday. They were easy to prepare, as I simply placed them on foil, doused them with pineapple juice, foiled the foil over, and then baked them for a while. After baking them for 50 minutes, I removed them from the oven, opened the foil, and added the sauce, then allowed them to broil for a few minutes.The result was lousy. The sauce was very odd, did not go well with the pineapple flavor, and was in no way, shape, or form, reminiscent of barbecue. As I took care of ordering pizza for dinner, Mac deboned the ribs, rinsed off the sauce, and packed them in a storage container. We're hoping that we can add some standard BBQ sauce and salvage them for dinner tonight.

TODAY Show video clip

Check out 2:25, you can see portions of me playing with big Cole. :)

I stumbled onto, a website that offers a service very similar to Dream Dinners, except that it's a weekly menu, and rather than have to go to a store, they ship the food directly to you. It does cost more per serving, but because I found a promo code, I figured I'd try it. I do like that the price/serving is the same, whether you order chicken, shrimp, fish, or steak. I ordered four plates of shrimp tacos with grilled Mexican corn. My order should arrive next Tuesday, and I think I'm simply going to cook it for dinner Tuesday night.Should you want to try it, you can use my referral link to receive 2 free plates (pay $10 for shipping), and you can try to stack it with the promo code of FIRSTPLATED for 4 free plates.

Dream Dinners Review--Rio Grande Chicken Fajitas

I'll admit, when preparing the Rio Grande Chicken Fajitas at Dream Dinners, I was a bit annoyed by the directions. I was instructed to mix a marinade, and then pour half of it into a Ziploc bag with the chicken, and the other half into a bag with the peppers and onions. I can about guarantee that one bag had more than the other. I'd have preferred that I mix 2 batches of the marinade, or that all of the marinade go with the chicken, as the peppers and onions, when thawed, don't really need a lot of extra liquid.In cooking these, I appreciated that it only required one pan, plus baking the foil wrapped tortillas. I also appreciated that the number of tortilla made sense. I may have added extra chicken to each tortilla, but it seemed like there was far less chicken than what was needed for all of the tortillas. That said, next time, I'll cook some refried beans and some rice as well, and that will stretch the chicken.Mac and I both really enjoyed this meal although it wa…

Dream Dinners November Order

In light of it now being September, I’m trying to finalize my November Dream Dinners order as well. My order for November (although I don’t have a date set yet), and the WW points: Meatloaf Milano with Mashed Potatoes—13 WW points Sherry Cream Chicken—6 WW points Creamy Chicken Chipotle Ravioli—13 WW points Kentucky Pork Chops—6 WW points Outlaw Chicken Marinara—14 WW points French Tarragon Chicken with Redskin Potatoes—7 WW points Chicken and Pasta with Lemon & Artichoke Sauce—13 WW points Baked Potato Chicken (I’m ordering two of this, so I can try it with the different cheeses)—10 WW points Fiesta Fajita Shredded Beef with Tortillas (1 tortilla)—11 WW points

Dream Dinners October Order

I just placed my October Dream Dinners order. I feel all out of sorts, as I usually have my monthly order placed two months in advance! My order for October, and the WW points: Chicken with Honey, Garlic, & Orange—5 WW points Parmesan Herb Crusted Chicken—5 WW pointsCheddar Filled Mini Meatloaves with Potato Pancakes—15 WW pointsLayered Ravioli Bake—12 WW pointsTerracotta Chicken with Pita & Hummus—10 WW pointsCreamy Chicken Florentine Tortellini—11 WW pointsChicken Bacon Ranch Stuffed French Bread—12 WW pointsChopstick Chicken with Peanut Sauce over Rice—11 WW pointsThe Chopstick Chicken is for Mac for one evening when I have a dinner appointment or some such.

TODAY Show, Weekend Edition

In June 2012, a crew from the TODAY Show filmed a two-day rescue transport for which Mac and I drove one leg. I’ve not seen the segment, so I don’t know if we’ll be in any of the footage that airs, but it airs on Saturday, September 7th.

Have you ever had one of those days???

Where it seemed that everything that could go wrong did? That describes my day yesterday. I broke the dryer in multiple ways--I dropped the lint basket behind the dryer, and in trying to retrieve it, pulled the vent tube away from the vent area in the wall, dented the tube, and then in trying to reattach everything, pulled it away from the dryer too. Then, in sliding the dryer back in place, I broke the dryer door latch. I then made the mistake of cooking dinner, which was really lousy. So, I cooked something else, and overcooked that dinner.I opted for bed before I could ruin anything else yesterday.I guess the positives in all of this are: We've now cleaned out the vent portion of the dryer, which we should do occasionally.I have a reason not to deal with laundry until we get the door latchI ate less than I would've had dinner been wonderful.