Tag Archives: Review

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!!!

 

You Look Nice … Jump in My Cart!

22 Jan

 

Portion Control. Do you know anyone who actually looks at the suggested portion sizes? And, for that matter, who has enough self-control to follow the portion control suggestions? Growing up, there were always five mouthes to feed at dinner .. that meant loads of potatoes, cans or bushels of veggies, and pots large enough to serve an army. Only having to cook for two now, is quite difficult. I still end up with potatoes for a week! But, I may have a solution … well at least when it comes time for dessert:

 

 

Ben and Jerry’s miniature cups. Hello Heaven. You know, I was a Marketing major in my day. I wonder if it is good or bad that I’m wildly attracted to things in pretty packaging … {hence the bounce bar, the 20 bottles of shampoo/conditioner in my shower, and now the miniature ice creams} … I can’t help but wonder if it is healthy to put something in my cart based on pretty packaging before I even know what the product is! Needless to say, these little Ben and Jerry’s are big winners in my book! Cute packaging, great contents, and to top it all off: a built in spoon! Mmmm… I’m in love.  I will say, however, that I only buy these when they are 5 for $5 otherwise, I’m not spending my money. And, yes, I could go and buy a huge carton {or two} for the price I’m paying for the little, cute ones.. but if it means my arse doesn’t grow to the size of Canada because I have no self-control or general idea on portion control and these things can help … then I’ll keep buying these little suckers. Enjoy, Ya’ll!

{Update} Buh Bye Bounce Bar

20 Jan

 

Back in January, I bought a Bounce Bar. You know, the new and exciting bar that you stick inside your dryer and supposedly takes the place of having to remember to throw in a dryer sheet every time you dry a load of clothes. Umm… yeah, great idea! And, I’m tempted by pretty packaging {marketing major} so I scooped this one up fairly quickly. It claims to last two months … or until the fabric softener bar starts to ‘melt’ away and reveals a “time to replace” icon. Well, ladies and gentleman, its been one month and 8 days … my clothes are full of static, and there is no smell anymore. {and it isn’t even telling me to replace it yet} I loved it at first, because it gave my clothes an overwhelming fabric softener smell .. which I adore … but, I’m just not as excited about it now, despite the fact that I don’t have to remember to put in a dryer sheet. {or use 10 per load like I usually do} It’s just not THAT useful. I think I would rather go back to dryer sheets where I can regulate how many I put in at a time …

 

Just my thoughts. I can’t sleep and realized I had left you hanging about my Bounce Bar {I know you were waiting on pins and needles to hear the results} … Now, I guess the next report will be how easily it comes OUT of my machine! Anyone else tried out this contraption?

My First {and Second} Domestic Purchases

4 Jan

 

My family thinks that we should schedule and exorcism because {clearly} some domestic goddess has taken over my body. The last two days, I’ve felt like I could really get the hang of some of this domestic stuff. Between my broccoli {onion} Quiche and my bacon, egg, and toast pods – I’ve been doing pretty well! But then Sunday rolled around… the day of laundry. I loathe laundry. Not the whole process, just the folding. I loathe folding. Two years ago, I bought {splurged on} my very first washer and dryer. I did loads of research {no pun intended} and finally decided on the Whirlpool Duet Sport.

This was one of the best investments I’ve ever made. {And, my first real domestic purchase} Washing time cut in half. Saves water and electricity. Uses less soap. And, I swear the clothes are cleaner! Oh, and the ‘whitest whites’ cycle … Ah’mazing! I just wish someone would invent a folding machine. That would make my Sundays much more enjoyable. My only ‘complaint’ about the Duet Sport is that there is always some water left in the machine .. so, if you don’t leave the door cracked when you aren’t using it – or, if you don’t use the cleaning solvent once a month or so – than you get a smell that could very easily pass for rotten eggs. I hear that this is not a problem specific to the Duet, but to most front loading washers. Perhaps they will find a way to solve this too.

 

While we are on the topic of domestic purchases I should tell you about my second ever domestic purchase. The Dyson Animal Vac (DC14).  At the time of purchase, we had two dogs {one who seemed to shed her entire coat daily} and were sold when we found out the vacuum was intended specifically for animal hair.

 

 

I’m telling you, if you have a dog {or several} this is the machine to go with. When I got home with the new vacuum, I decided to vacuum first with my old one and then go over it with the new one. This thing is so powerful, it was sucking up carpet fiber! About six months later, we moved to a loft that didn’t have one bit of carpet {brushed concrete floors}. I was bummed because I really loved using my vacuum. To my surprise, it worked great on the concrete floors too! So, it was a great investment after all. Nearly two years later .. and I’m still in love! My only complaint: It only comes in purple.

 

Well, thats all for tonight. Tomorrow, I’m going to attempt another Quiche {ham and swiss this time} and hope that it comes out tastier than my onion conglomeration. Don’t worry thought, I’ll have my camera in hand to document the whole thing! Night Ya’ll

Midnight Snack: Bacon, Egg & Toast Pods {amazing}

3 Jan

 

I’m not too sure what has gotten into me today. I feel like some kind of domestic goddess has jumped inside me and is rattling ideas around in my brain. While reading another blog {Annie’s Eats}, I came across this super cute idea for bacon, eggs, and toast. Mind you, it’s nearly midnight… but I literally jumped up to see if we had some bacon! Much to my dismay, the only bacon we had was frozen. Nothing a little water bath in the sink can’t thaw out {hooray!} So, off to the kitchen {armed with my camera} for a midnight snack!

 

Bacon, Egg, and Toast Pods {so cute, and really easy}

{Source: Annie’s Eats}

{Yields: Four Servings}

 

You will need:
4 pieces of bread

4 eggs

4 slices of bacon

Shredded Cheese

Butter

Salt and Pepper

Large Muffin Pan

 

Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pan with butter. Cut out 4 slices of bread into circles {I used a drinking glass and it was perfect}

 

2. In a fry pan, cook the bacon slices until they are almost cooked fully. You don’t want them to crisp too much in the oven.

 

3. Remove bacon from fry pan to a plate with paper towels to soak up the grease. Next, take the bacon and lay it around the perimeter of the muffin well. Put the bread in at the same time… so the bread is helping hold the bacon in place.

 

4. Add a small bit of shredded cheese to the center of each piece of bread. Then, crack an egg, removing a little bit of the white, dropping the remaining white and yolk onto the bread. Repeat for all cups.

 

5. Bake in the oven for approximately 6-10 minutes, depending on how runny you like your egg. I found the best way to remove these from the pan is to take a knife around the edge and then lift them out with a serving spoon. Salt and Pepper to taste.

 

These really turned out amazing and were amazingly simple to make. Perfect for my midnight snack .. or for when you are serving several people at once. You don’t have to slave over the stove making sunny-side-up eggs for everyone individually. Throw these babies in the oven .. and you’re set! I hope that you all try these! And, of course, if you do – I’d love to hear how it goes! 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!

Quick Thai Fix …

16 Dec

You know, the Phad Thai packages from the ‘ethnic asile’ at the grocery store really aren’t that bad. For those of you who don’t know – Phad Thai is basically a Thai stir-fry dish made with rice noodles {that are gluten-free btw}, eggs, bean sprouts {look yuck, taste great}, chicken, shrimp, or tofu, and seasonings. You could buy the Phad Thai sauce and rice noodles separately – but these all-inclusive boxes work great. They look like this:

There isn’t much involved in cooking it. You basically get the noodles ready by letting them rest in some boiling water (removed from heat), scramble one egg and set to the side, cook some chicken/shrimp/tofu {I use fresh chicken cut into very small chunks}, add the rice noodles and sauce, saute for a bit … add the egg back in, add the bean sprouts … and Whala! Done. When you serve it, you can garnish it with some crushed peanuts and a wedge of lime. And, no – unlike most Thai dishes, these prepackaged dinners don’t really have too much spice to them – so they appeal to the masses.

 

Hope you take me up on the suggestion. Really simple and easy. Oh, but bean sprouts don’t last that long in the refrigerator – so don’t buy them too early! Enjoy! And, as always, let me know how it goes!