Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We interrupt this [not so] regularly scheduled food blog...

...to talk about something that has been on my mind today.

First, any other moms out there feeling like everybody needs something from you ALL THE TIME?  Sometimes at the end of the day, I feel like there is nothing left. Seriously, kids are draining.
(I know, have another! Feeling uneasy about this now.)
Second, my second born was a total monster today. I canceled soccer practice for him because he was so bad. And by bad, I mean he was throwing food on the floor at dinner and refused to pick it up until I physically made him all the while he was laughing hysterically...until I popped him on the bottom. That is just one example, it would take days to list on the shenanigans he was up to today.

Third, in the midst of playing my metaphorical violin, my third born brings me one of my favorite pairs of shoes that someone (and I am suspecting number 2) broke. Ripped the strap right off of one side. And of course no one is talking.

So everybody had to go to bed at 5:56 p.m. I am going to finish the kitchen, finish the laundry, pick up all the crap that is strewn about, and eat a giant bowl of plain salted popcorn all by myself.

Heaven, help.

In the meantime, I added this to my recipes list. Looks perfect for fall!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ready, Set, Chili Season!

photo from here

 I am sorry to say I am still lurching whenever I pull up my food blog. All my foodie magazines are lying un-opened on the counter and I'm still making my family eat turkey sandwiches for dinner most nights. Oh, and I did eat almost a whole bag of chips with french onion dip by myself. It was awesome, because if you know me, you know I don't really indulge in such things. My husband was mortified and I had killer heartburn later. Whoever had heartburn at only 8 weeks? I thought there might be twins swimming around in there, but it was confirmed on Monday that there is only one. A girl-type one??

But, I did make chili last night which I thought was a pretty big feat. And although I could  only eat a couple bites along with a whole sleeve of saltines, it was pretty good. I only have a few more weeks to go before the sickness {hopefully} starts to fade.

You'll have to forgive me for lack of photos. Our computer crashed and I haven't gotten the Kodak stuff installed yet on our new one. But, since chili season is right around the corner, I'll give you my go-to recipe for it...

We like thick, chunky chili with no pasta. The great thing about chili is that there is a million variations. My mom always puts little macaroni noodles in hers and I've always hated it, we like a most basic recipe. And, it's good, so no need to change it. I do make a black-bean chili, too. I've posted that recipe before.

1 pound hamburger
1 onion, chopped
chili powder, to taste
salt and pepper
2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes, UN-DRAINED
2 14 oz. cans dark red kidney beans, drained
red pepper flakes, to taste

Cook the hamburger and onion over medium heat until the hamburger is browned and onions become translucent. While cooking, season with chili powder, salt and pepper. I really like a lot of chili powder and sometimes use a quarter of a shaker, but use however much you want...but, just so you know, I always get really great compliments on my chili, so you might want to use the same amount I do...just saying...anyway, drain the meat and onions, set aside.

Pour the cans of un-drained tomatoes and drained beans into a stockpot on high heat. Add the meat and onions and mix well, letting the chili come to a boil. I boil for a little while and turn off the stove, cover with lid and just let sit until ready to serve.

We serve our chili with either cheese and crackers, crumbled tortilla chips or Fritos corn chips with shredded cheese and sour cream, or plain with a peanut butter sandwich. My favorite is the crumbled up chips, cheese and sour cream.

Oh, yum. Now I'm hungry. Think I can make it?? I doubt it.

In case you are trying to vote for me for the Food Blog Contest...I have no idea where I am, either! I cannot find my profile, which makes me think I did something wrong when submitting my first entry and got automatically counted out. Thanks for trying, though, and hopefully you'll find some yummy recipes on the foodbuzz website, anyway!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Project Food Blog #1: Why I Am The Next Food Blog Star.

I have to cook, everyday. I chose this, along with 25 million other things, as my day job when I took the role of "stay-at-home-mom". I am responsible for the nourishment of my three little children for a couple of reasons. First, if it were up to them they would eat candy bars and popcorn for each meal. We actually like our kids and want them to grow up into healthy adults, so this doesn't work for us. Second, my husband is a busy one. Not that he doesn't spend time with us or ever do any chores around the house, because he does. (But currently, because he is running a campaign to become our next prosecutor, he is BUSY and I am in single parent mode.) But, if the meals were up to him, they would most definitely consist of steak and potatoes every night of the week. Also, not an option.

So it's up to me. I love to cook. I love to be in the kitchen. I love making yummy treats and savory sides that my kids lap up. But, I'm not going to lie. I don't love it every day and most of the savory sides get the thumbs down anyway.

I read several foodie blogs and foodie magazines. I'm constantly looking for new recipes or ideas to try. This is NOT why I am the next food blog star, but there is a connection here. I often find myself looking at recipes that I cannot pronounce or ingredients I have never seen on the shelves of my local grocery. Sure, the meals look amazing (sometimes) and the technique of some of the recipes is something that can only be perfected by the most skilled cook (not always), but who has time for any of that?!

I noted that I am "the everyday cook". That is what I am and THAT is why I am the next food blog star. I didn't go to culinary school. I can't make souffle from scratch (without the recipe, of course). I haven't traveled to Tahiti to dine on their local fare while sipping wine under a veranda looking out over the ocean. I cook for my family because I have to and while I'm at it I'm determined to make good, healthy, fun meals.   Meals that you can make in under an hour and require only ingredients that you will find in any grocery store. I want to specialize on my blog, recipes, reviews, techniques, suggestions, ect. that anyone would find appetizing, easy, and if they find they are hard-pressed for time, they can still make a family dinner and have time to sit around the table. Because, really, that is what it is all about. Right?

**Voting starts tomorrow, September 20th! There will be a link for you to click on to take you to voting.You will need to register with foodbuzz.com to vote. (I KNOW.) Remember, each time you vote for me, be sure to leave me a comment telling me you did so. If I win the grand prize, you will be eligible to win $1,000!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Small Little Problem for a Big Contest.

Around June-ish/July-ish this little blog was selected to be part of a Featured Publisher program with Foodbuzz. Which isn't nearly as exciting as it sounds, but I was automatically entered into this contest that was to start in the Fall and was way excited about it. You may have seen my Official Contestant Widget on the side ------------ > over there. But if not, here you go:


Go ahead, click on it.

Anyway, the contest is to find the next food blogging star, and it is called Project Food Blog. We have several challenges we have to complete and then the community (OR YOU!) can vote for me to move on to the next round. The winner will receive a feature on on Foodbuzz for one year (which is what I really want)...but you also get $10,000, and I won't lie, that sounds pretty good, too.

For the first challenge, I have to sell to the masses why I am  the next food blogging star, which for some reason makes me think of American Idol after they've narrowed down the top 12 and do individual interviews of why THEY are the next American Idol. Why am I the next Food Blogging Star? Well, let me tell you.... Weird, huh?

Again, I am not going to lie. When I first signed on to do the contest, I thought I might have a shot at this. But then, the contestant profiles started rolling out and it became quite evident I was a very small fish in this sea of foodies. There are actual chefs that went to culinary school and own their own restaurants competing against ME. Now, I kind of feel I have absolutely no chance. Chefs? Come on.

Oh, and the little problem. A couple of weeks ago I took a test. This taste proved to be absolutely positive that baby # 4 is on it's way. Hooray! (...I mean, right in the middle of an election, right before my big break into foodie stardom, but whatever.... we are actually pretty thrilled!)

The problem actually lies in the fact that I've been making my family eat PB & J, soup from a can, fast food,  cereal,  yogurt or instant oatmeal for TWO WEEKS NOW. I can't even think of any kind of food or eat any kind of food, especially not look at or smell any kind of food, or even walk in my kitchen without also thinking about throwing up. Yeah.

But, I want to compete. Even if I only make through the first round (which everyone gets to do), I still want to do it. So, I am going to need some help--from you, from the Lord, from friends of friends and from strangers. Seriously, there is no way my little food blog can even compare to some of the contestant's out there. And there is hardly a chance I can come up with any good recipes at the moment, but I am going to do it anyway.

Why do you care? If I win $10,000. I will share.  Become a follower < ---------- over there. Every time you vote for me, leave a comment telling me you did so. I am not clear on whether we can vote as many times as we'd like or just once, but whenever you do vote and leave a comment, you will be entered to win $1,000 dollars of my $10,000. So if you vote for me 3 times in the course of the contest, you will have 3 entries, ect. Pretty freaking cool of me, right??  :)

The voting doesn't start until September 20th. I will write my post about why I am the next food blog star sometime before then and give instructions on how to vote. In the meantime, tell your friends. Post this on your Facebook. Twitter about it....and let's see if I can ground those chefs into pepper. Or, whatever. I'm still learning the foodie lingo.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Crystal Light Pure Fitness: A Review


For years my mom has asked me why I don't keep anything to drink in the house. She thinks it's weird, but I think it's just healthier. I always have cold water in the fridge. We always have a couple of gallons of milk and O.J. and occasionally I will buy apple juice or soda.

But, we pretty much stick to water.

My sister-in-law came by a few weeks ago with a box of Crystal Light Pure Fitness. I was hesitant at first because last time I checked Crystal Light was loaded with aspartame, a yucky artificial sweetener that has been linked to a whole host of neurological problems.

But Crystal Light Pure Fitness has none of that. It's naturally sweetened with a mix of Truvia (stevia-based) and cane sugar. It also has no caffeine, no artificial preservatives or flavors, and is gluten-free, too!

One little package of this stuff just contains 30 calories, and the taste is really quite good. There are three flavors: Grape, Strawberry-Kiwi, and Lemon Lime. I tried the Grape and Strawberry-Kiwi, both were delicious.

While most times we are going to stick to our boring and weird water, I am going to start having Crystal Light Pure Fitness on hand, if anything just to keep my mother at bay.

*Some information from here.


*Photo from here.

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