Saturday, January 30, 2010 but enjoying being "stuck" at home.

It started coming down early yesterday (Fri.) morning--huge flakes. It would snow for a while, then sleet, then rain. Thankfully, neither of us had to work. Paul got a good bit of homework done, but, for the most part, we had a pretty lazy day. This morning it looked like it had snowed a bit more, and everything was frozen solid. Some people have lost power; thankfully, we have not. We are watching State play LSU right now, and, out the window, I can see the icicles beginning to drip, so maybe we are beginning the meltdown... It's always fun to have a snow day, or two.

Getting ready to do a little much needed cleaning and then cook Italian Meatloaf for dinner (another covert try, so keep your fingers crossed.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2 for 3

So as of tonight I'm 2 for 3 on my covert kitchen ops success. 1) Tacos (with tomato & carrot puree) were a hit. 2) Today we both only worked a half day so when I got home I made chicken nuggets for lunch. The delicious deception came in the batter: first I dipped them in an egg and sweet potato puree mixture then tossed them in a bread crumb, flax seed meal, parmesan, paprika, garlic, & onion powder combo. Then I pan fried them in olive oil. Paul loved them--crispy & flavorful. I think the parmesan gave the breading that extra good something. 3) Later this afternoon I was craving a little snack and had a couple of bananas that needed to be used so I decided to make some banana bread. The secret veggie addition was 1/2 c cauliflower puree. I admit I was pretty skeptical. However, I thought it turned out great. It was really moist, and although there was a faint smell of cauliflower, I truly couldn't taste it. BUT, Paul was not too impressed. He said it wasn't sweet enough. It did only have 1/2 c of light brown sugar in it, but he is used to eating the Martha White banana bread packaged mix which is pretty sweet. So I guess I've got a lot of banana bread to eat this weekend. Nevertheless, I'll take 2 for 3!

Correction: 3 for 4! I forgot I had made Turkey Chili. I added carrot puree and a can of whole kernel corn. The beans were also pureed since Paul hates those too. It turned out really well...especially garnished with a little shredded cheddar and sour cream (only for me, of course)!

Monday, January 18, 2010

covert kitchen ops

It's no secret that Paul despises fruits and veggies. Besides the occasional teaspoon of green beans or corn, his diet consists only of meat and mashed potatoes. Well, thanks to my precious friend Emily McG. and her gift of a little book by Jessica Seinfeld (yes, she's Jerry's wife) called Deceptively Delicious, his picky eating habits are about to change, albeit through some covert measures on my part.

When I opened the package, Emily had added a little sticky note to the the cookbook's subtitle: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids [or husband!] Eating Good Food.

I was beyond excited and immediately began reading it. It is chock full of easy-t0-understand nutrition info about various fruits & veggies [did you know that Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C and may help our bodies fight certain cancers?] which further convinced me that I should at least try my luck with this loving deceitfulness :)

So after making a grocery list that would all but clean out Kroger's produce section, I headed to the store early Saturday morning. I returned with 11 different fruits and veggies--Paul's expression as he helped me unload the car was priceless. Then I spent the rest of the day making great friends with my blender.

the Method:
1) steam vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, & cauliflower. roast things such as sweet potatoes and butternut squash. simply wash and peel (if you want) the fruit.
2) use a food processor or blender to puree everything. sometimes i added a few teaspoons of water to get a smooth texture.
3) portion the purees into freezer bags and freeze so you can just
pull them out as needed for recipes.

By Saturday afternoon, I had pureed & frozen: carrots, avocados, broccoli, butternut squash, cauliflower, spinach, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, & blueberries.

Let the delicious [healthy!] deception begin!

the Result:
Paul says, "Tastes like tacos to me!"
For lunch I used one of the recipes to make tacos--just add a can of crushed tomatoes and 1/2 C carrot puree to the meat and seasoning and voila! tasty and nutritious tacos that Paul had to admit were yummy.

I hope this success will continue! We shall see...Chili with some secret ingredient is next.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

all things new...

January--a month that brings lots of things NEW...of course, it brings a brand new year [and this year, a brand new decade!] and the ever infamous "New Year's Resolutions." No official new resolutions for me this year, but 2010 has brought a few new changes in our life so far:

1. this new blog: I've been debating creating one for a while now--thanks to Jenna & Emily for the final inspiration! Don't hold your breath for anything spectacular, but i just want this to be a place to share what is going on with us/random projects/thoughts/etc.

2. new j-o-b: I started my first "real" job this week working as a tutor at the Bowie Reading & Learning Center in Memphis. I'm only part-time and this is most likely a temporary position--still looking for something full-time and something I'm really excited about waking up for--call me a dreamer, but I'm determined! :) In addition, I still independently tutor the 3 students i have had since December via an ad I placed on craigslist.

3. new school for paul: Today, he hit the books again in pursuit of his bachelor's! Online classes through Fort Hays State University (in Kansas). Goal is to finish in 1.5-2 years. will have a B.S. in Technology Leadership. I am SO proud he is taking this next step, and I think he is excited about it, too.

4. new Bible study: Tonight we are starting a study at Central on developing a deeper relationship with our Savior through learning to have a meaningful (i.e. UN-hurried), consistent (i.e. Daily) intimate time with Him. SO excited we are doing this together and looking forward to what God is going to teach us. Just talked to a friend this afternoon who said, "we can't grow closer to the Lord and stay the same." so true! How thankful I am for this promise: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

so, there it is--for better or worse--my first blog post :)
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