Tag Archives: Products

Beef Stew A-La-Package {Picture Tutorial}

2 Feb


Ok, foodie friends… I have a question: Would you consider it cheating to use a pre-packaged seasoning packet? {for say, chili or stew} I’ve always thought of those packages as all your spices rolled up into one so you don’t have to spend $30 buying all the full size spice bottles that you may only use once in a blue moon. {mmm, blue moon. I need a beer. It’s been a long day} Anyhow… if you consider it cheating, I cheated. I however, think I’m a smart domestic maven who just saved herself a boat-load of money! {although the spice cabinet will continue to lack at this rate}


First of all, I don’t have a slow cooker or crock pot, so this whole “bag” idea is perfect for me! {just perfect} Wait until you see how this whole meal comes together in a bag!! It’s pretty impressive for whomever invented it!


Beef Stew a-la-package. Your cast of characters …


{Not pictured is the second package of meat I used & the flour which the package calls for}


My Irish ancestors are rolling in the graves … stew, from a package?!


This whole meal is pretty straight forward. Cut up some potatoes, celery, onion, and baby carrots. {I’m in a house with carrot-haters, so I added some peas for their liking} Season meat with salt/pepper. Mix the seasoning package with some flour and water. Throw all the ingredients in the really cool plastic bag. Pour the seasoning mix over the ingredients. Tie the bag, cut some slits, and bake for an hour and a half.




Are you not just utterly amazed at the coolness of this plastic bag… and the fact that it isn’t going to melt away into my potatoes? Love it. Without further delay .. I give you my From a Plastic Bag, Make your Ancestors Roll in their Grave, Save you $30 in spices, Beef Stew a-la-package!  Enjoy!!!


Le Creuset Ecstacy!

12 Jan


I think I may be on domestic overload. Not only did I get a stand-up mixer for my belated Christmas from “Santa,” but today I found out the set of Le Creuset pots that my grandmother “didn’t bring with her when she moved from Canada to the States” exist. THEY EXIST. And, they are currently IN MY KITCHEN! I just inherited two dutch ovens and a sauce pan!



Imagine the quality of these pots. My grandmother got these in the 70’s – they are older than me – they have lasted over thirty years! They also have a lifetime warranty so, the fact that the saucepan is unfortunately missing its handle may not be too bad. I think they may actually replace it {I’ll keep you posted} And, I can buy some new lid handles right off their website! … Now, the big question is … what … am … I … going … to … cook … FIRST! Holy excitement!

Le Creuset: The Louis Vuitton of Cooking

26 Dec


I wish I knew about these before Santa came to visit:


Le Creuset just launched these as s new product. They are mini-cocottes and come with the cookbook you see in the picture, which gives you recipes specifically for the small pots. Things like individual lasagna, chicken pot pie, molten chocolate cake, and french onion soup. I’m in heaven. They are so adorable and perfect for making ‘small’ dinners for two. {I always seem to make WAY more food than is necessary for two people, probably because I came from a family of 5 and don’t have a grasp on portion sizes}


I was reading more about Le Creuset and think I will aspire to own some of these one day {perhaps a kitchen full} … From what I’ve been reading, they are incredible. Like the Louis Vuitton of cooking. Beautiful and colorful enamelled cast iron pots. They have been produced in France since 1927, and are said to be the highest quality in cookware. {Sign me up!} I found out today that my grandmother had an orange set {the color I want} back before my family immigrated to the states from Ireland. SO JEALOUS. My mothers exact words “they were heavy and grannie burned a lot of stuff!” Funny, they are said to distribute heat really well .. I can’t imagine you burning something .. but then again, I’ve seen my grannies cooking!


I’ll take one of each, thank you!


Or a kitchen like this would do too!


If it is possible to dream about pots and pans and kitchens tonight, I’m pretty sure that is what I will be doing! Night Ya’ll!

Meatballs in Sunday Sauce

22 Dec


My pain has lessened somewhat – although, I spent most of the day with either a Bengay patch or a hot compress on my neck. I’m such a weakling. I also took some Motrin throughout the day, and am now enjoying the relaxing effects of two glasses of wine. {Delight} It is funny how when your neck is in pain, the rest of your body seems to follow. I find myself moving extra slow, positioning myself just right on the couch, and being slightly more ‘needy’ than usual! And, although I could probably heat up the hot compress or pour a glass of wine on my own –  it is much more fun to use big puppy dog eyes and ask for help! {tisk tisk} Perhaps my neck will hurt for a few more days!


We tried something new for dinner tonight: Mama Mancini Meatballs in Sunday Sauce:

And, to tell you the truth, it was quite delicious. One box contained 6 large meatballs and ‘Sunday Sauce.’ I would say you need two boxes for 3 or more people, but one box is just the right size for 2. {Simply because it’s all meatballs and little sauce} But, the sauce is GREAT. It has a great texture, not too thick and not too thin, and has just the right balance of sweet vs. acidic. We made a little side salad and heated up some french bread and it was the perfect meal.


From what I understand, the story behind this company is quite inspiring as well. The owner took his grandmothers recipe {which she served on Sundays} and made it the flagship for his company. The meatballs are 100% real beef and are formed by hand, just like her grandmother would have done. And the sauce is made from pure Italian plum tomatoes cooked for several hours – all brought to us, and ready in 20 minutes. It is very simple – just heat and serve with the noodles of your choice. You can click here to see the owner appear on the Martha Stewart Show.


Anyhow – they are only found in certain grocery stores and when I looked on their website tonight, the price is outrageous for the two boxes they want to sell you. And, while I can’t remember what we paid for ours – it certainly wasn’t that much. I’m nuts, but not that nuts. So, if you find them at your grocer and they are reasonable – I’d definitely say scoop them up for dinner! And, as always, let me know how they turn out! Night ya’ll.

More on Eggs

21 Dec


Ok, more on the Poach Pods. I got a pair of Pods about two years ago now, and they are simply wonderful. They are very simple to use – just a dribble of evoo smeared around the inside of the pod, put your egg in, and then place in a sauce pan with about 2 inches of boiling water. Let them cook at a slow boil for a few minutes, and then cover with a lid to let the top of the eggs steam cook. Depending on how runny you want your egg, they usually cook for 5-6 minutes or so {probably less}. They are made of silicone, so with that dribble of evoo, the eggs come right out when you are ready to serve by sliding a spoon around the edges. I do some salt and pepper after they come out & put them on a toasted English Muffin. Yummy!


There is a website here that has a cute video about the Pods, and you can order 2 for $10.00 from this site. You can also get them at some grocery stores {Earth Fare} and I’ve seen them at Bed Bath and Beyond. Wouldn’t they make great stocking stuffers for the “cook” in your house?! The only downfall, they only come in green.



I also found a really great recipe for some Cinnamon Honey Butter on another bloggers site: {Fly Through Our Window}. I haven’t tried it yet – but it looks like such a cute idea for an inexpensive Christmas present. Perhaps for clients or neighbors, or family who would understand being broke and needing to be creative with gifts {hint} … Perhaps that will be my next project. I thought the little jars and tags were just adorable and so creative. Reminds me of when I was little, my mom would bake miniature cakes for my teachers and we would wrap them up in cellophane with ribbons and bows. We always got rave reviews! {perhaps it was the whiskey}


Alright, Ya’ll. Enough blogging for tonight. I’m quickly becoming addicted, and feel it is just wrong to go to bed without putting some  kind of thought out into the blogosphere! Night ya’ll!



Can I have eggs for dessert, please?

20 Dec


There may be something wrong with me {you are laughing, because you already know that} … this morning, I baked cookies at 10am. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, except I then turned around and made breakfast at 2pm. I don’t see anything wrong with eating a few Oatmeal Raisin cookies for breakfast and following that up with poached eggs and hash browns for dessert. Clearly – there is nothing wrong with that!


A few things to note: These Sun Maid Raisin Oatmeal Cookies turned out great and are actually soft and chewy like they said they would be. A good buy if you ask me.

Also, if you love poached eggs as much as I do… then you need to invest in some Poach Pods. They are a great invention and are really easy to use and to clean up. Nothing is better than a poached egg on an english muffin! Delish!  

Ok – so those are my ramblings for now. I’m sure after dinner {which may be grilled cheese & tomato soup} I’ll have more to say about something … Enjoy your evening!

Blizzard, Brains, and Organic Cows

19 Dec


Since I don’t get to take part in the “Great Blizzard of 2009,” I spent the day stretching my brain to its capacity and doing laundry. Joy. Why don’t I get any snow? Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time I saw snow. {I take that back, I think it was a trip to Boston circa 2005 ‘ish} … How nice would it be to have a white Christmas? I don’t think that will be happening anytime soon for this Southern girl. Ugh. But, I am very anxious to travel home and see my mom’s house beautifully decorated and full of love and cheer. She does such a good job making the house feel so inviting and full of Christmas spirit without a single cheesy Christmas embellishment. I guess you could call her style: Classic Christmas Cottage. And, I’m looking forward to it.


Well, nothing else too interesting to tell you. Dinner was french bread pizza and big glasses of milk. Speaking of which – I used to HATE {loathe} milk, until I found Stonyfield Milk. I don’t know what it is about it … to me, it tastes less milky try explaining THAT! Also, it lasts forever! I picked some up the other day, and it doesn’t expire until mid to late January! I found this great article that explains why this is: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=experts-organic-milk-lasts-longer. Turns out it has nothing to do with the fact that it is organic! Ah’mazing Anyhow, perhaps you have a milk-hater who would like to try this kind out… let me know if you do, and how it goes!