Friday, September 12, 2008

I"m so terrible at this

Terrible at not forgetting a day (of blogging) and terrible at $5 lunches.

Yesterday - lunch was $7 ($5.50 plus tax and tip). I had enchiladas, rice, beans and water.

Today - I waited too long to have lunch and I was starving and I needed something fast and I had a craving -- and why do I feel the need to justify? Because I had Mcdonalds. Something I only do maybe once every 3 months or so but there is a stigma to admitting you eat fast food isn't there? Although obviously many people do - since the fast food chains are thriving.

And if I say I ate McDonalds then I will be immediately classified - aah that's why she should lose a few pounds, she's not a healthy eater, she's a junk food addict. But as I say I maybe have McD's once every 3 months not every week certainly not everyday. Am I just being hypersensitive about this?

Even at McD's which is fast and cheap (right?) - I spent $5.05 on my combo - burger, fries, drink.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Over and Over and Over

Lunch today $5.92 at the cafeteria next door. BBQ chicken, mac and cheese and mixed vegs. Now I am sleepy. Shouldn't eat heavy stuff for lunch plus its raining.....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Overage and deliciousness.

Today lunch was $8 even with a coupon. I ordered a flatbread and got a salad - I guess the server at the ordering register didn't "register" flatbread as there is a salad with the same name (fiesta chicken).

The cashier didn't seem thrilled about the coupon either.

I made my first iced coffee today( thanks Deb!). It was delicious! I used vanilla soymilk instead of cream.

I also made the delicious Rocky road Candy that Jen gave me the recipe for yesterday. It makes a copious amount so I brought most of it in to share at work and it has been a big hit.

Rocky road Candy (from Jen via Mandy)
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons of butter
1 package of mini marshmallows
1 can of eagle brand sweetened condensed milk ( I used the fat-free)
2 1/2 cups of roasted peanuts (salted)

Melt chocolate chips and butter together (in microwave or stovetop), remove from heat and stir in condensed milk. Add marshmallows and peanuts, stir. Spread in a 9x13 pan lined with foil and cool. Cut into squares.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday success

Had a $4 lunch today! Woohoo! The coupon book I bought (from a school fundraiser) is really coming in handy.

Today I had a cheeseburger and fries and water. Went to a place called Andy's - I like their burgers because you can get mustard, chili, slaw and onion.

Afterward went to the Indian grocery and bought some ghee.

Then after work I went to the Yuppie-gro-gro and got a bunch of stuff I probably don't need.
Bought some sushi for dinner and it was yummy - never as good as the made right before you eat it because the rice is always hard but still it was fresh and I had a craving. Also, got a Mexican Coca-Cola in a tall glass bottle. Made with cane sugar instead of HFCS - this is going to be a special treat.

Right now I am roasting some beets so tomorrow I will have a roasted beet, spinach and feta salad.

Now I'm going to put on my jammies and watch a little teevee!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

day of dread

ha! Just the usual blahs of sunday night right now. Work tomorrow, weekend over, etc.

today i had a combined lunch and dinner (I didn't eat til 4:30). I had a mandarin chicken salad, baked potato and tea from Wendy's. Total was $8.59

So "lunch" was $4.30.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Free day

Today is very wet and windy from the effects of Hurricane Hanna blowing by. Attending the first NC State football game of the season (if the rain doesn't continue) - but our "tailgate" has been moved inside. We take turns providing the food for the tailgate and today is not my turn - so lunch is FREE. YAY.

We are having hamburgers, hotdogs and the usual traditional tailgate fare.

I've been looking for some recipes for Cubanelle peppers - anyone have any suggestions? So far most of what I've been able to find is to stuff them with various meats - chicken, sausage, ground beef.

For some reason rainy days make me feel like cooking, maybe I'll make a big pot of soup.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Day 5

Used a coupon and had a $5 lunch (yay) - unfortunately it was a table service restaurant so had to leave a tip - so total expenditure is $6.50.

$5.00 - iced tea, bbq, collards, fried okra, hushpuppies

$1.50 - tip.

I'm trying!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

day 4

i had a $5.38 breakfast (chik-fil-a) and then I didn't eat any lunch.

Now its 4pm and I am munching on some pretzel things from Trader Joes.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Day 3 - $5 lunch

well I went over today $0.38 cents. Sales Tax. I got a $4.99 meal - sandwich and 1 side from the work cafeteria. (BBQ beef and brussel sprouts).

I also had a can of Diet Coke (free - my boss brings them in and shares with the whole group).

It is actually good that I am doing this challenge because I have had a lot of unexpected expenses already this month.

Yesterday - I had to have a service on my home A/C - what? - you might say - it's September - who needs A/C? Well I do - here in NC it could be in the 80s through October. Today it is a "balmy" 90 degrees outside.

Also, I have my car at the shop for repairs (also A/C) and some regular maintenance - oil change, tire rotation, etc. Plus there was a recall on the windshield wiper motor and my airbag light keeps coming on while I am driving. It is easier as a single with 1 car to have everything done in 1 day rather than several trips, however, it is not easier on the bank account.

Fingers crossed that the rest of the month doesn't hold any financial suprises!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Attempting another blog marathon

Need something to kickstart me.

this months 21-day Nablopomo challenge is $5 lunch.

Yesterday (Day 1) - Frozen pizza and soda

Pizza $3.50 - Palermo supreme thin crust - purchased as a special 2 for $7
Soda (12 oz can) - purchased in a 12-pack for $3.99 = 0.34 per soda.

Total day 1: $4.08 (after tax)

Today (Day 2)
Subway 12 inch Tuna purchased for $5.39 ($5 for footlong plus tax)- ate half of sandwich for lunch
Can of sprite - purchased from overpriced vending machine $0.75

Half sandwich $2.70 + Soda 0.75 = $3.45

Perhaps tomorrow I'll be able to find something more exciting than a sandwich for lunch.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm such a blog slacker...

But I couldn't resist this meme from Jen

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. (I had to italicize)
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (does Alligator count?)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (not a cross-out, though I’m iffy on this one)
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill- only in desperation
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse (see #75)
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Which ones have you eaten? Which ones gross you out?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Breaking the silence

I know I've been quiet for ages. I went to Greece!

I've been eating out a lot.

I'm trying to get back on track which is a bit easier since I am participating in a CSA this year.

Last week I made Jen's orrechiette with sausage. A great way to use the spring garlic I've been getting each week. I did use tatsoi instead of Broccoli rabe -- trying to use the ingredients I had on hand.

Last night I tried Kale chips - I didn't use any vinegar but I will next time. (I just forgot..) Still they were crunchy and salty and its an interesting way to get your greens.

I still have some bok choy from last week's CSA so I may cook that tonight.

Friday, February 29, 2008

adaptation nation

sorry for the silence, I had to take a brief trip for work in which I ate dinner and slept in another city. Unfortunately the dinner was unremarkable but the sleeping (king bed at an embassy suites) was rather nice.

Before I left made a chicken noodle soup to help heal my friends of their stuffy heads and also attempted to make some homemade naan bread to appease my recent frequent craving for Indian food. At my neighborhood Indian restaurant last Friday I had the most delicious Vegetable Korma and I spent a bit of time searching for a recipe that seemed like it might approximate it. I did find one but due to my travels I have not had a chance to attempt the recipe yet.

Chicken soup -
I used a Deb's chicken stock recipe and a mishmash of Adam and Elise's chicken soup recipes. I used chicken wings for the stock and then shredded some of the meat off the bone for the soup. I also couldn't resist dropping in a few egg noodles although i was careful not to overdo it so it didn't turn into noodle risotto.

for the Naan I used this recipe which tastes delicious. However, I think I need to work on my rolling and cooking technique. Also, if you make this keep the dough balls covered with a damp cloth -- i uncovered mine and before i finished rolling and cooking them all the dough started drying out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Playing catch up (Ketchup)

After being sick last week I've been on a spate of eating out (I know --bad). I did make a pizza bianca with carmelized onions and gruyere. It wasn't exactly how I envisioned it but it was pretty good. Unfortunately a portion of it went to waste b/c it didn't seem like it would reheat well so I threw it away.

I attempted a barley rice salad which was good but not the sort of thing I wanted to eat more than once which leaves me again with a lot of waste -- which I hate.
I also made quick baked pasta casserole. I used elbow macaroni instead of spaghetti.
Quick baked spaghetti
1 pound spaghetti
1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and reserve.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
In a large skillet, brown ground beef until no longer pink; drain reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan. Set beef aside. In skillet saute onion, green bell pepper and garlic until just soft. Combine browned beef, ketchup, oregano, salt and pepper with onion mixture; mix well.
Pour mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish. On top of mixture, layer pasta and then sprinkle on cheese. Bake in preheated oven until cheese is melted.
(recipe from

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Plagued by the plague

I've got some kind of creepy crawly crud. I thought I had escaped...its been going around my office.

I haven't felt like posting about the "quick" lasagna bolognese I made from Cook's Illustrated. It only took a mere 3 hours to make using no-boil noodles....

hopefully I'll be feeling more "posty" later.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Going off the rails.

Tuesday I did manage to eat out of the pantry/freezer.
Here is my Tuesday dinner:
  • 2 morningstar farms spicy black bean patties garnished with some of the leftover date-chipotle chutney --- suprisingly delicious.
  • Steam fresh sugar snap peas, one of my favorite quick vegetables however I was disappointed at the number of sugar snaps that were "stringy", I hope this isn't a harbinger of a reduction in quality as the sugar snaps being already stringed and ends snapped off is one of the main reasons I buy the steamfresh.
  • Garlic fries from Trader Joes- disappointing. I can't quite put my finger on why I didn't like these --- possibly because the fries didn't crisp up enough or perhaps it was the slight metallic tinge I got from the garlic-herb garnish. also, these don't really work that well for a 1-person meal because you have to cook the whole bag at once. I ended up throwing the leftovers away.

Last night, I think I was fixated on ribs because I had read this earlier in the day. So I veered off the eat at home path to a local BBQ place that also has ribs. they satisfied my craving but I'm still dying to make the vietnamese version from the link!

Today for lunch -its chinese in honor of the Chinese New Year. Dinner is uncertain as I once again forgot to pull anything out of the freezer to thaw. D'oh!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

At last the pictures!

I feel kind of crappy today. I slept in a bit and came into work late. I did however remember my camera so I can show you pictures of my superbowl party offering.

Chicken for the bold. Chicken basted and coated in Chipotle-Date Chutney. It was very yummy.

Francesco Clemente’s Amazing Hot Sauce (Chipotle and Date Chutney)


  • 10 fresh or dried dates, pitted, cut into chunks
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded, with the juice squeezed from them
  • 13 ounces pickled chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Instructions:In a blender or processor, combine all the ingredients and
blend until they make a thick paste. Pour into a deep saucepan, and cook over
medium-low heat for about 5 to 6 minutes, adding 1/4 cup of water halfway though
and stirring. Cool and then store in an airtight glass jar.

This condiment will keep nicely in the fridge for a couple of months.

Makes about 3 1/2 to 4 cups

From Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet, published by Weinstein Books (October 2007).

Note: when I made the chutney I halved the recipe and I still had quite a bit left over after making the chicken below. So just wanted you to note that you will not use all the chutney on the chicken. Also I added a couple of additional dates to the mixture because I wanted my sauce a little sweeter and I used Kosher salt in place of sea salt.

Chicken for the Bold
1 -2 lbs of chicken drumsticks, thighs, drummettes or an assortment of any of these
¼ cup olive oil
About 1 cup of chipotle and date chutney (or to taste)

Heat oil in oven-proof skillet, brown chicken pieces, add chutney and cook until
chicken is done continuing to baste and turn chicken with chutney. Chicken should be well-coated with chutney. Once chicken is done, transfer to oven in
pan or on broiler pan and broil until skin/outside of chicken pieces is slightly
charred (5-6 minutes) on all sides (turn once). You can also baste chicken
with juices from pan again when you turn them.

Serve warm.

Note: I think I used too much oil (because I tried to halve
the recipe) to brown my chicken and therefore my chicken pieces may not have
been as saucy/sticky as they should have been. You can more chutney from
recipe above as add’l dipping sauce if you like.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

it's that kind of week...

The kind where my camera is still sitting on my kitchen counter. My dinner last night consisted of a leftover chicken-chipolte-date chutney drumstick, about 2 tablespoons of leftover tuna salad and some bugles and a cup of cereal(cinnamon life) with milk.

Today on the way to work I stopped at the grocery store and bought the following:

-1 cara cara navel orange
-1 minneola tangelo
-1 strawberry stonyfield farm smoothie
-1 south beach wrap pack (sesame chicken)
-box of 100 calorie ritz snack mix packs
-Healthy choice french bread frozen pizza
-pack of crystal light on-the-go wild strawberry

I think these are all better options than just stopping at Chik-fil-a for breakfast but I was tempted to do just that!

For breakfast I had the smoothie and a small piece of King cake (someone brought in a king cake for Fat tuesday). Just now for a snack I had a 100-calorie pack.

Who knows what I'll have for dinner tonight since there is a basketball game to go to at 7. I'm not looking forward to having arena food and its so expensive! Maybe I'll eat my french bread pizza before I leave work.

Monday, February 4, 2008

it's soooo Monday

I started out the day by oversleeping, then promptly spilling diet coke on my laptop. also i forgot my camera so all the lovely pictures I took of my "chicken for the bold with date-chipolte chutney" are trapped inside my camera which is on my kitchen counter.

in an act of desperation running out the door i ended up having 3 Kashi TLC Oatmeal Dark chocolate chip cookies for breakfast....

In more positive and exciting news I got my first recipe from America's Test Kitchen this morning to test! Yippee. It is Stuffed Portabellos. Bad news, is that all the ingredients will have to be purchased as I don't really have many of them on hand. This sets back my eating out of the pantry/freezer project a day or two but hey ---I'm testing a recipe for America's Test Kitchen!

I'll let you know how it turns out....

Friday, February 1, 2008


Here I plan to blog about what I really eat day to day. What I cook, the ingredients I use, the places I go and the perils and pitfalls of cooking/eating for one.

In general you probably won't see many gourmet recipes and although I don't endorese Sandra Lee (at all) you may see things appear here that are "semi-homemade". Frequently you may find mention of beautiful food found at other sites since I am an avid foodie blog follower.

One of the first challenges I plan to undertake with this blog is to make meals out of the things I have at home - you know the stuff --the things that languish in cans and bottles and the freezer. Perhaps they were bought on a whim or because they were on sale or with the intention of making a fabuloous dish that never came to fruition. In the next month I hope to to do some spring cleaning and create some meals out of my pantry with minimal purchases of new items. We'll see how it goes.

Your ideas and comments are always welcome.