Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Food" for thought...

Haven't been blogging as much as I would like lately...sorry about that. Here you'll find just a few ramblings and food related thoughts I have been having lately so you will know what kinds of food fun I have been up to.

1. I made the Fettuccine Alfredo e was AMAZING!! I will tell you that I made a few recipe alterations...just so you can note them and use them if you would like. First, when I cooked the salsiccia, I added a little bit of minced garlic. I was kind of shocked there wasn't any garlic in the recipe (I mean it's alfredo for cryin' out loud) so I added a little her...not a ton, just enough for flavor. I also dumped the entire cup of cheese into the sauce, which made it incredibly thick and I added another splash of cream and it was just perfect. I also added mushrooms (sauteed them while the butter was melting in the first step). I also added a little bit of that California onion powder I use so often's delicious. Lastly, I didn't have fresh parsley so I just used a little dried parsley and made sure to stir it into the sauce right before I added the pasta. I'm sure it would have been great without all these additions but they just upped the ante a bit. :)

2. Cake decorating class starts back up next week...I can't wait! My friend and coworker, Rose, and one of her friends are coming too! So much fun!

3. I'm getting ready to do some more Homemade Gourmet recipe experimentation in the next couple weeks so get ready for all that excitement...yumm.

4. Speaking of HG...I have some upcoming events so you can come visit me at Chesterfield Elementary on November 7th or Meramec Bluffs on November 21st!

5. Can't wait to start thinking about Thanksgiving...wait. Scratch that...loving currently thinking about Thanksgiving and all the wonderful foods that come along with it! Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, the list goes on and on...what are some of your favorites?

6. Tomorrow my nephew turns one...time flies huh? (Happy Birthday Ryan! Aunt Lauren loves you!) This means I get to put my cake decorating skills to good use again...but this time it's in a slightly different way. You see, I'm teaching a couple techniques to my sister so she can decorate her own cake. As a matter of fact, I'm supposed to be over there giving her a lesson right now...guess I should stop blogging.

Until next time, think yummy thoughts and send me some "ask Lauren" questions! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We've got to clean out the freezer...

That's right folks, we're on week 3 of meal planning from the freezer! Thank goodness this is the last week cause it's starting to look a little empty! This has taught me a really great lesson, though. I've had to be more aware of what's actually in there and teach myself not to just buy meat for the heck of it (meat can get expensive!) but rather, to always have a specific plan for it. I think this is where combining the use of grocery ads with meal planning could really come in handy in the long run. Check the ads, what's on sale, what can I make from what is on sale....and go! I think my pocketbook is going to like this. Anyway, here's what's left in the freezer for the final week...the "stragglers" as I like to call them. :)

2 lb. beef roast ( was in the it's in the slow cooker for tonight's dinner)
2 chicken breasts
2 links salsiccia
4 oz. pkg. of mini scallops
a medium-sized container of chili I froze from the amazing pot I made last weekend

Here's how the meal plan for this week is working out...

Monday: Chili mac
Tuesday: Homemade Gourmet Chicken and Biscuit Casserole (made with Grandmother's Sunday Roast Seasoning)
Wednesday: Fettuccine Alfredo e Salsiccia (found this on and couldn't pass it up!)
Thursday: leftover HG Chicken and Biscuit Casserole
Friday: Parmesan Crusted Broiled Sea Scallops (another tasty find on

So when are you coming over for dinner? :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Meal Plan...well, sort of...

This is one crazy week full of all kinds of fun...but not so many dinners at home. Check it out!

Monday: "Dinner Club" at my high school friend, Jenny's house (She's serving Italian food...I'm in heaven!)
Tuesday: HG team meeting (all kinds of goodies to eat there!)
Wednesday: Baked tilapia, angel hair pasta tossed with parmesan cheese and tomatoes, mixed veggies (yay! a meal at home!)
Thursday: HG Party at Gina's (yummy goodies here too!)
Friday: Trivia night=eating there!

Like I said, not much of a week for meal planning but next week is looking much better! Stay tuned....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Carolina Pulled Pork

Wowee...just had an awesome dinner at my Mom and Dad's and decided I couldn't leave their house without the recipe. It was too good to not share with all of you. Hope you enjoy this tasty dinner item...I know I did! (Thanks Mom!)

Carolina Style Pulled Pork Sandwich

(serves about 20)

Pulled Pork:
2 onions, quartered
2 Tbls. light brown sugar
1 Tbls. paprika
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6 lbs. boneless pork butt
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. chopped jalapeno pepper

Barbeque Sauce:
1 cup prepared mustard
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 Tbls. chili powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
2 Tbls. butter
1 Tbls. liquid smoke

20 buns
coleslaw (for topping, if desired)

1. Place onions in the crock pot.
2. Combine brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper; rub over the roast.
3. Place the roast over the onions in the crock pot.
4. Conbine the vinegar, worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, garlic salt, and cayenne; stir to mix well.
5. Drizzle about 1/2 of the vinegar mixture over the roast and cover. Refrigerate the remaining vinegar mixture.
6. Cook on low up to 18 hours but at least 12 hours (overnight). Drizzle the other half of the vinegar mixture over the roast during the last 1/2 hour of cooking.
7. While the meat is cooking, prepare the barbeque sauce. Mix all ingredients except soy sauce, butter, and smoke. Simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 more minutes. Set aside to cool.
8. Remove the meat from the crock pot and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.
9. Remove the onions and chop to a fine consistency.
10. Pull apart the meat with a couple of forks. Meat should have a shredded look.
11. Mix chopped onions and shredded pork along with a little bit of juice from the crock pot to taste. Add sufficient barbeque sauce to the mixture to achieve desired taste. Meat should have distinctive barbeque flavor.
12. Serve with additional barbecue sauce and slaw on top of pork. Keep lots of napkins handy.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. It's definitely something you have to plan ahead for because of the overnight cooking time required but it's absolutely worth it! This is only the beginning of all the wonderful things we'll be making in the slow cooker this fall and winter so strap on a bib (or a drop cloth) and let's eat!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Nothing makes me happier on a cool, fall day than a big pot of chili. I just threw a pot together to let it simmer for a while and figured we could talk chili for a bit.

As the International Chili Society says "Never has there been anything mild about chili." I think that about sums it up. Chili is one of those foods that everyone seems to love, and everyone seems to have a different way of making theirs. There's your traditional chili (usually beef with red kidney beans), chili verde (usually pork with jalapenos and tomatillos in the sauce), white chili (usually turkey or chicken with white kidney beans), and who knows how many other kinds of chili. Today we're just gonna talk good ole traditional chili. :)

The funny thing about chili, is that it never seems to come out tasting the same way twice. At least not the way I make it. You see, I don't really measure any spices when I put them's more about looking and smelling and tasting...and letting it simmer! I think that's one of the hardest things to do with a pot of chili. Once I get everything in the pot, especially on a week night, I have a hard time keeping myself from diving right in. But it's my belief that the chili isn't truly ready unless it has had at least an hour to simmer. And the longer you can stand to let it simmer, the better it will taste. Everything you put in needs time to blend together so you don't ever taste specific flavors in your chili, but rather have one uniform, delicious pot.

*hold please...I need to stir mine*

Ok, where was I...ah yes. Many people comment that their chili is better the next day. I have two theories for this.

1. You didn't let it simmer long enough on the first day. You probably still had a good pot of chili, but once it had a chance to sit in the fridge overnight, the flavors really got to "harmonize" if you will, and your chili will be even better than before.
2. You didn't have to cook it this time. :) I think that's one of the biggest reasons I love leftovers of any kind: I didn't have to cook that day but I still got to have a delicious dinner. Kind of makes me appreciate the work I did the day before even more.

So what's my secret to a great pot of chili? Experimenting. I put different things in my chili every time and I have yet to end up with a bad pot. Look at your spice rack, what's there? Anything sound like it might go great in a pot of chili? Give it a try!

Here's what's simmering in my pot tonight...

Lauren's Easy Fall Chili

1.25 lbs. ground turkey (you can substitute beef if you'd like)
3-4 Tbls. chili powder (remember I don't measure so this is estimated)
2 tsp. California style onion powder (estimated)
1/2 Tbls. red pepper flakes (estimated)
1 tsp. cumin (estimated)
1 tsp. oregano (estimated)
1 tsp. basil (estimated)
1-10 oz. can mild rotel, undrained and 1-10 oz. can original rotel, undrained (why one of each? well, that's what I had in the pantry!)
1-40 oz. can Brooks chili mild beans
2-10.75 oz. cans tomato soup
1 bay leaf

Cook turkey over medium high heat until is it crumbled and cooked through, drain, add seasonings and cook for 1 minute while stirring to blend. Add remaining ingredients (don't forget the bay leaf), bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for at least 1 hour. Remove bay leaf before serving. Enjoy with any (or all) of the following...macaroni pasta, oyster crackers, crusty bread, cheddar cheese, mexi cheese, onions, or anything else you might like!

This simple chili recipe has LOTS of flavor thanks to all the seasonings but is super simple since it uses so many canned ingredients instead of using fresh peppers and having to do lots of chopping. If you're up for a slightly more complicated recipe, break out the food processor and the cutting board and try this one my mom found a few years ago that is absolutely amazing...

Whiteface Mountain Chili

2 Tbls. veg. oil
2.5 lbs. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 large Spanish onion, quartered
4 medium stalks celery
2 medium carrots
2 green bell peppers, seeded and quartered
1 -28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup medium salsa
1-15 oz. can tomato puree
1-10 oz. can chili sauce
1 Tbls. chili powder, more or less to taste
1/2 Tbls. cumin
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 Tbls. chopped jalapeno peppers
2-15 oz. cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1-15 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat until nearly smoking. dd sausage and saute until it resembles a coarse crumble, about 10 mintues. Meanwhile, place the onions, celery, carrots, and green peppers in a food processor and pulse until very finely diced. Add veggies to sausage and saute another 6-8 minutes, or until soft. Add diced tomatoes, salsa, tomato puree, and chili sauce. Stir and bring to a simmer, then cook 10 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, white pepper, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, garlic, bay leaf, and jalapenos. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 25 minutes. Add the beans and simmer another 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serves 8-10.

Well, my pot of chili is just about ready so I'll have to share more delicious recipes with you another day. Until then you can check out this website for more award winning chili recipes!

Famous Chili Recipes

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cleaning out the fridge and freezer...

So this week, I decided it's about time I take a good hard look at what's in the fridge and freezer and get it cleaned out! Here's what's on the menu for this week after my observations....

Monday: We had leftover HG deliciousness...mmm Skillet Beef and Cornbread
Tuesday: General Tso's chicken, brown rice, and broccoli (had everything I needed already!)
Wednesday: HG Enchilada Pork Chops, spanish rice, and mixed veggies (have everything!!)
Thursday: leftovers from Wednesday (I have 4 pork chops all ready to go)
Friday: We're going out with the money we saved on groceries this week!

That's right...didn't need to go to the grocery store for dinners this week! Still needed to pick up some fresh produce, milk, and deli meat for lunches but that was no biggie. Not having to buy anything for dinners this week was amazing!

Can you do dinners for a week with what you already have in your fridge, freezer, and pantry? I bet you'd be surprised! All it takes is a little creativity...or a little help from or! (Remember the August post that talked about these helpful sites?)

I'm thinking I might even be able to pull this off two weeks in a row...only problem is I'll only be home for dinner one night next week...hmmm. I guess Tom still needs to eat. :) And maybe that even means I can make it THREE weeks like this...I sure do like a challenge!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate...

...boy oh boy do I love chocolate! And now I know where I get it from! (Not that it was ever that big of a mystery but now it has definitely been confirmed) :)

So in the past week, we celebrated 3 birthdays and an anniversary in my family...more accurately they happened in the last 4 days but we all got together last night for the big celebration. Since I took cake decorating class last month, I felt like I should try to flex my decorating muscles (they need a little toning) and see what I could come up with for the official celebration dessert. Mom's birthday was the closest to our celebration date, so I let her pick what she wanted for dessert. Her request: chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.
Hmmm....So I did a little searching. Sure I could whip up a chocolate cake with some chocolate pudding for the filling and chocolate icing.....boring. This needed to be something special. And who is my new, latest favorite person to turn to for baking ideas...Bakerella, of course! Cake pops were the first thing to cross my mind but then I decided not to get too crazy since I haven't attempted these yet. I need an opportunity to mess them up once and not worry about it...maybe I'll attack those soon. BUT I did find some interesting cupcakes on her website that got me thinking.
So I started with some basic devil's food cake cupcakes.

The cupcakes that inspired me were a little crazy for my taste...goat cheese icing on chocolate zucchini cupcakes. However, the chocolate ganache filling sounded divine! Now I've never filled cupcakes before so this was new to me but I figured I could make it work and cover up and "uglies" with some chocolate icing. Yumm? You bet.

Here's the recipe for the ganache...

Chocolate Ganache from Bakerella

2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped in chunks
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup confectioners sugar

Place chocolate and whipping cream in the microwave. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Blend thoroughly. Add sugar and stir until thoroughly combined. Pour ganache into a disposable decorators bag (I used Wilton tip #12), insert tip into center of cupcake and, using gentle pressure, squeeze filling into the cupcake until you start to see it coming out the top.

Here I am filling the first time I want to follow the step-by-step directions in the link above instead of using a decorator's tip cause I have lots of extra ganache that I'm now trying to find a use for.

Here's what they looked like after being filled...yummmmmmmmmmm! See the little glossy spot at the top? That's the ganache! Peek-a-boo!

Then a colleague of mine, Tracy (thanks Tracy!), sent me a new baking website (well, new to me anyway) for The Cake Mix Doctor and I was able to find the inspiration for some amazing chocolate cream cheese icing. Holy smokes it was good...the only change I plan to make next time is just to use 1/2 tsp. of almond extract. I think the 1 tsp. the recipe called for was just a tiny bit too much and you lost a lot of the cream cheese flavor.

Here's the recipe for the icing...

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing from the Cake Mix Doctor

Makes 4 cups, enough to frost a 2- or 3- layer cake
(or in my case, 12 cupcakes with a bunch left over) :)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure almond extract (I'm using 1/2 tsp next time but go with whatever you like)
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1. Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Add the cocoa powder, extract, and confectioners' sugar and blend with the mixer on low speed until the ingredients are moistened, 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is fluffy, 2 minutes more.

I'll be honest it took a little bit of extra mixing to get it to "do its thang" and become icing, which kind of freaked me out at first. It looked like dry little hunks of chocolate dough for the first 30 seconds or so (which felt like an eternity while I thought I had somehow messed it up) and then all of a sudden it turned into beautiful, creamy, fluffy icing...delicious too!

Another decorator bag came out, this time with Wilton tip 2D and voila! Finished cupcakes!

Here's a close-up to really get you drooling...

Thank goodness I made them the same day they were to be served to the family or they might not have made it to the party! And sharing them with family turned out to be the absolute best part...just ask my niece, Haedyn. She started out with a fork....

...but quickly ditched that... you think anyone noticed?

Nah. :)

Who knows what I'll be up to next but tonight I'm taking the night off from cooking and enjoying the last of our Homemade Gourmet leftovers from last week. Then I'll need to figure out what's for dinner for the rest of the week so check back later tonight for the meal plan!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Portabella (in review)

Last night gave me a rare opportunity to see a couple of my friends from graduate school...luckily all of these get togethers involve good food. This time around we were off to Portabella in downtown Clayton. None of us had ever been here to eat, but ever since I tried their "kick-ass fries" at the St. Louis Art Fair a few years ago, I hunt their booth down annually at this event and more recently at the Taste of St. Louis to have some. They call these fries "garlic-asiago fries" on the online menu but on their menu at the restaurant and their food booth at events call them "kick-ass fries." Kick-ass is definitely an appropriate description...these bad boys are phenomenal! I suppose they could call them "phenomenal fries" but it wouldn't have quite the impact as the current name.

We had reservations but it seems we didn't need them...only a few other tables in the restaurant were taken on this particular Wednesday night. Wine list by the bottle was nice but by the glass was a little skimpy, I have to admit. Only one cab? Oh well. The food and the service absolutely made up for it!

First of all, our waiter, whose name is escaping me right now, was wonderful. Sure he forgot to put in our order for kick-ass fries until I asked him about them a little later on but this was possibly the best service I have ever had, anywhere, ever. He wass absolutely dedicated to making sure that everything was exactly the way we liked it. He talked to us about customizing our dishes and changing things any way we wanted to make sure we got exactly what was best for us. For example, I ordered the Chicken Milanese but I'm (surprisingly) not a huge fan of marinara, which is on the side of pasta. Our waiter explained that the chicked comes on top of the side of pasta with the pasta tossed in marinara and marinara over the chicken. Oh, well marinara on the chicken actually sounded good but I'm still more of a cream sauce person (imagine that). So cream sauce went on my pasta and marinara stayed on the chicken...ended up being a really nice contrast. The pasta was just tossed in cream sauce, not drowned in it, and it wasn't too heavy or anything. And the portion sizes were huge! I barely made it through half of mine before having to box it up. I was one satisfied girl. :)

So here's how I rate Portabella in full:

Setting: 3.5--Downtown Clayton is a really neat area. However, parking was terrible (even on a Wednesday night) and with 40 still partially closed it was tricky for some members of our party to get there.
Ambiance: 4--A little too dark for my liking but it didn't feel too stuffy like some places can when the lights are that low. I think it would have been even better if it had been a little bit more crowded...seems strange to say but I think I would have gotten a little better feel for it that way.
Service: 5--I was really impressed with the service if you couldn't tell already. I wish I could remember our waiter's name...I would tell you all to sit in his section.
Food: 5--Everything I had was awesome and it sounded like everyone else was really enjoying theirs as well. Even Audrey, whose pasta was too spicy, loved it once our waiter brought her a small dish of marinara to mix in with her "spicy marinara" to tone it down....again with the awesome service. And while there were options above $20 most entrees were in the teens.
Drink: 3--Like I said, I was disappointed with the lack of variety on the "by the glass" part of the wine menu. They were a bit overpriced, too, in my opinion. I would love to see more selection, especially some more reasonable choices.

Overall...I'd give Portabella a 4. I would absolutely go back...just might sneak a bottle of wine in with me. ;) Just kidding! (maybe)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Special K Challenge

Let me preface this post by stating that I am not a nutritionist, doctor, or anything else along those lines. I am a food-lover. That being said, you should always consult your doctor concerning any weight-loss plan you may be interested in before beginning. Disclaimer over.

Last spring, my place of employment had a "Biggest Loser Challenge." I actually ran it and it was a lot of fun! I felt like I got to know a lot of my coworkers better and finding ways to motivate our group of 28 participants on a weekly basis was challenging but motivating for me too! I started off with the Special K challenge and working out with friends after work, either walking or doing exercise videos and the pounds dropped off. I was absolutely amazed when I finished the Special K challenge (only 2 weeks) and had lost 7 pounds. When I started, I was working my way out of my current pant size into the next bigger but at this point my pants were not only comfortable again, but some were even a bit loose. I have never experienced anything like this so I was a bit amazed.

I continued losing weight until the end of the BL in April and ended up coming in second, losing a little over 14 lbs. I haven't felt that good in a long time and was looking forward to keeping the weight off.......and then came summer. Once BL was over, I didn't really have much motivation to work out and slowly I went back to my old eating habits. Before I knew it (last week) I was popping clasps and buttons off my new "skinny pants" and slipping, comfortably, into my old "fat pants." I have regained 9 pounds of what I lost and I am not happy about it.

Unfortunately, BL doesn't start up until January again. However, a few of my colleagues have decided to have a little challenge of their own and I was lucky enough to get in on it. So, starting Monday (two days ago) I went back to the Special K challenge. I figure it got me jump started last time so hopefully it will do it again. Here's how it least for me. :) (I tend to modify)

Breakfast: Bowl of Special K cereal with skim milk (They say you get 2/3 cup of milk but that's waaaay too much milk for me.) Most of the cereals only give you 3/4 cup serving so the milk to cereal ratio is crazy. I just splash a little on.

Morning Snack: That's right, I get a snack in the morning....I wouldn't make it to lunch without it. I usually grab a Special K cereal bar but sometimes I have a piece of fruit.

Lunch: Another bowl of cereal with skim milk, and as many fruits and veggies as I want. Today I packed a small salad, some peppers with fat free ranch dressing (it's only 15 calories for the little bit I use), and a banana to go with my cereal.

Afternoon Snack: Usually a serving size (17) of Special K crackers (they have a crazy tomato herb flavor that is just delicious!) but sometimes a cereal bar or another piece of fruit.

Dinner: Whatever I moderation. :) They say to eat your third meal as you normally do and I take that to heart. I just try to be more careful about portion sizes now, especially when I'm eating last night! I try to eat at least one or two big portions of veggies and then a small amount of lean meat and maybe a I really have to keep reminding you how much I love carbs?

I try not to snack after dinner but we still have cake in the house so that's tough sometimes. I really like to keep the Skinny Cow 50 calorie fudge pops around even though they are a little pricey cause I figure I can always fit in an extra 50 calories if I really need something sweet at the end of the day.

Do I ever cheat? Well, yes, it happens. Take yesterday for example--we had a meeting after work and I was in charge of snacks so I brought my delicious spinach-artichoke dip. Even I can't resist that. And then today at lunch I had to help finish it off...couldn't let it go to waste now could I? I mean really.

So that's it...I haven't really started working out much yet so I doubt I'll see quite the drop I did last time unless I can get my act together. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This week in the ads....

So this week I was really searching for something to get excited about in the ads (I think I need to find a new place to focus my hunt)'s what I found!

Schnucks: Schnucks' big advertisement this week is focused around their 10 for $10 sales featuring Michelina's entrees, Fresh Express Salad mixes, Barilla pasta, Rotel, and Blue Bunny Personals ice cream, to name a few. However...down at the bottom of the page is what I really got excited about...boneless bottom round roast for $1.99/lb.! Last week I picked up a couple of chuck roasts at Shop 'N Save for $1.89/lb. so for $0.10 more...I'll take bottom round this week! Special K cereal is on sale 4 for $10 (usually in the $4-$5/box range so that's a good deal!) and since I just restarted the Special K Challenge yesterday, I'll have to swing by and stock up on that. (More to come on the challenge in a future post...)

Shop 'N Save: I see $1 Duncan Hines cake mixes on page 4!!! Thank goodness cause I only have one mix left from my last big $1 cake mix stock up about a month ago...yes, I know...I make a lot of cakes. (My pants already reminded me.) I'll need sour cream to make the spread for those salmon burgers and at $1 for the 16 oz'll have plenty to spare! Lastly, I have to give a little plug for the new Bud Light Golden Wheat...on sale for $5.47/6 pack this week. If you haven't tried it yet you's really rather tasty!

Dierbergs: Uh...Dierbergs is having a buy one get one free meat sale. BOGO meat? I am definitely enticed but since it doesn't list the original price for one, I'm not sure how great of a deal I'd be getting. And it's only on select items...though BOGO pork tenderloin sounds pretty good. :) They also have my favorite Pictsweet frozen veggies on sale 2/$2...awesome! And for all you bakers out there, Dierbergs butter is just $1.68. That's a pretty sweet deal for your sweets! And look at that, right next to Skippy peanut butter we have flu shots and shingles vaccines...yikes. Rounding out this week's deals is Campbell's tomato or chicken noodle soups (perfect for this time of year) 10 for $6! Though I do have to admit that the marinated salmon skewers at $2.99 each look delicious as well.

So there ya have it folks...happy shopping!

In the meantime, I'd like to know what you think. Is anyone actually using these grocery ad reviews or should I scrap em? Don't get me wrong, I love cracking my BOGO meat jokes but if you would rather I shared more recipes then I should be spending my time on that! Input is welcome here! :) Thanks!

Monday, October 5, 2009

I think I've died and gone to heaven...

...and you will too when you see what the Pioneer Woman is giving away on her website tomorrow morning! Ree Drummond is at it again but this time with a 90th anniversary Kitchen Aid mixer....boy oh boy do I want one of these bad boys. At $350, I think it's a bit out of my league. Unless I am lucky enough to win it!!

Check out her still have a little over an hour to enter if you're interested. I only ask that you let me borrow it once in a while if you win. ;)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tootin' my own horn....

Please forgive me for a moment while I share with you my latest accomplishment in the food world. In the grand scheme of things it's a small accomplishment but in my book....well, I couldn't be more proud!

So what's goin' on you ask? Well, I submitted a recipe to Homemade Gourmet a few months ago that I thought was really great (original recipe that uses two HG mixes in the recipe) and have been waiting and waiting to hear if it made it past their executive chef in the test kitchen. Today I was on the website looking for things to make for dinner this week and decided to peek....and there it was!! Not only did my recipe make it into their recipe database, but they even put my name on it and complimented it (they called it "great") AND I got three, count em, three exclamation points! :)

Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself....

Salmon Burgers with Lemon Dill Spread

In honor of this...I'll be making them Tuesday night. It's been a while since I've had them so they were due for an appearance. Speaking of eating this's what's cooking in my kitchen! It's an all Homemade Gourmet week!

Monday: HG Jalapeno Ole Soup
Tuesday: Salmon Burgers with Lemon Dill Spread (my original HG recipe)
Wednesday: I'm out with some friends, Tom can have leftover Jalapeno Ole Soup!
Thursday: HG Skillet Beef and Cornbread
Friday: Leftovers from Thursday

Oh buddy is it gonna be a good eats week at my house or what?! Jealous? ;)