Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Blah Blah Blah and Goings On...

It's been a blah few weeks, nothing exciting going on, not too much baking or creative cooking. I was def in a rut for a while but we have come up with a couple of good ideas for April's menus so food things are looking up.

I was forced into doing spring cleaning. Forced? Yep. We had bed bugs...for those who don't know what they are- be thankful- they are nasty. They were apparently in the wall nearest our bed and when we couldn't figure out WTH KC was allergic to (he had a rash on his arms because he sleeps with them under his pillow), we found them...pouring out of the outlet when we pulled the plugs out. Needless to say, even tho we are bug free now, that outlet is taped up and will never be used again for sheer grossness. We had 3 exterminators come in and a ton of stuff to do , to get rid of them. EVERYTHING cloth you own needs to be washed and plastic bagged before they will even come spray. Our realty company, as is the case in too many in NY, was less than helpful and we had to harass them into sending us exterminators. When I informed them that the neighbors in the building who share a wall with us need to be informed (as per the exterminators) they didn't comply, just told us lie after lie. So i took matters in my own hands and left notes for my neighbors. I got a great phone call the next morning, but the neighbors knew! If it was me I would have waned to know. I can deal with the cheap companies, crappy living conditions but lies- nope!  So we spent over 8 hours doing laundry, bagging up our belongings and then rearranging EVERYTHING to be sprayed down. Then you are exiled from the house for about 4 hours....then they do it all again 2 weeks later. We lived out of plastic bags for 3 weeks. The day we were supposed to have them come we both came down with a stomach virus. 3 weeks of plastic bag living practically drove me crazy.

But we haven't seen a single bug, and believe me i check ...often. No more rash for KC, and we are sleeping better to boot. BTW we also bought a whole new bed and threw away a ton of stuff, just in case! So it took close to a week to really get everything reorganized. We went through everything we owned. We did end up getting rid of a bunch of stuff, deciding on some stuff to sell and have a large bag of clothes to donate. Now i have to find a place that does donation pick ups, but thats another story.

Since I have all kinds of back problems (herniated disk and sciatica) it took forever to do it all and then making dinner  didn't seem like a priority. So we ate a lot of eggs and sandwiches over the past week or so, even tho thats not what was on the menu plans.

This weekend we are headed to Boston for PAX East. I m kinda excited, mostly to get away. I just want a break from life and thats the answer, a quick getaway fr the long weekend. KC & I are going with our BFF Andy and it should be a great time. Now I need to pack , because that would probably help.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cranberry Honey Oat Bread

Today's baking excursion...since the Peanut Butter Banana Coffee Cake was less than stellar. KC's office loved it, I did not, needed more flavor. But this bread I have made before and I really like it. The measurements are kinda weird but I scaled down the original from 2 loaves to 1. 

Cranberry Honey Oat Bread

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup craisins 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan(s).
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and oats.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together honey, vegetable oil, eggs, and milk. Mix in flour mixture until just moistened. Stir in cranberries and walnuts. Put into loaf pan(s).
  4. Cook for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the loaves comes out clean.

When Virus' Attack

SO much for the menu planning....a weird stomach virus decided to put a damper on those plans. Last Wed I got insanely sick and spent all day in and out of the bathroom (Ew I know). It was really bad for me because I HATE to throw up and now, as far as I am concerned, have filled that quota for the next several years.

Then 2 days later, KC got it too. He ate the rest of a sandwich I couldn't eat and we think thats how it got to him. So this went on for days...5 as a matter of fact. I didn't eat anything other than toast or a bagel for several days, living mostly on gatorade. It was ugly.


One good thing came out of the whole mess. I think I finally have a handle on something that I felt was a big obstacle for us, portion control. We tended to eat too much and too few times a day. My tummy still does not want a lot of food so a small portion a few times a day is much more comfortable than eating 2 big meals a day. I am just hoping we can keep it up. We have had plans for making some changes, making better food choices and getting more active. The nice weather thats peeking into the world should also help.

Tonight I am making some roasted chicken and probably just a little rice, maybe a veggie if I can find something decent at the corner market later. I am looking forward to eating better and feeling better about eating.

I am also looking forward to the weekend, we are going to try rearranging the furniture and FINALLY we get to stop living out of garbage bags and put our closets back together, in perfect time to get the spring stuff out!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dinner Impossible.

I feel like I am stumped in dinner making. I make good food but I keep feeling like we eat the same stuff over and over. There are a few meals that thats ok for, but I want variety. I can't seem to find anything that interests me in the magazines I have saved, and am not seeing anything great on my cooking show watching either. I dunno.

Tonight we are having veal, for the first time. It's different I know, but I didn't prepare it any differently than most things. I put it in the crock pot with Apricot Preserves and let it cook, then shredded it. It tasted yummy (we had to try some on the way to the Tupperware) but it's not getting my creative cooking juices flowing.

I get countless newsletters everyday with recipes in them, yet I still feel lost for ideas. We bought a bunch of stuff for the whole month and I have yet to organize it into our monthly menu plan. I have the papers all printed out and ready to go, but ideas are just not coming to me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Biscotti Quickie Style

This past week I made Biscotti. I can't even remember where this recipe came from, but I have made it several times, in several different flavors. It is SO EASY it's crazy. It made enough so that KC & I both had a couple for breakfast every morning for most of the week, dipped in coffee, of course!

I have been trying to bake one thing a week, usually on the weekends, so we have something homemade and tasty for breakfast during the week. I should also mention that usually I don't do box mixes, I can make from scratch anything I can find in a box, but this is so good and easy I keep a few random cake mix boxes in the cabinet for just this reason.


1 Box Cake Mix (I used marble cake mix this time)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 stick butter, melted
any mix in (I used 4 Oreo cookies crumbled up)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix everything but your ad-ins together until combines. Dough will be like play dough, very stiff. Fold in any mix-ins.

Divide into 2 loafs, shape into 2 8 inch logs/loafs. Place loafs on lined baking sheet, flatten.

Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool 5 minutes.

Transfer to cutting board, slice into 3/4 inch slices with a bread knife.

Put slices cut side down on the same pan as before and return to oven.
Bake 10-20 minutes more, or until to desired crispness. Cool and enjoy!