Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fabulous Fresh Fruit

I love fresh fruit. Whether it's a side of fresh pineapple to go with a lunch plate, fresh orange slices on an entree luncheon salad, or fresh fruit salad for a dessert, there is hardly anything as sweet and refreshing as fresh fruit.

Grown Ups Gourmet Mac & Cheese

I made up a new recipe tonight. We liked it. All the ingredients just happened to be around. They included:

-1/2 box whole wheat rotini pasta
-2 Tb butter
-1/2 stick cream cheese
-1 can evaporated milk
-cornmeal (for thickener)
-grated Parmesan cheese

Rustic Spicy New England Clam Chowder

Today's lunch plan- use up the spicy potatoes left over from a few nights ago. I decided to combine them with a can of New England clam chowder I had gotten for sixty-two cents at Rite Aid. I thought I'd add some fresh onion as well. The green olives that were with the spicy potatoes would be a nice asset to the soup as well. I just needed to chop up the huge potato chunks, dice the olives and onions, and get things cooking. I thought about adding some celery but didn't want to overkill. Somehow chopping a couple random leftover ingredients and combing them with a couple other miscellaneous ingredients reminded me of one of Anthony's and my favorite TV shows on the Food Network- Chopped. On the show, each chef is given a basket with four ingredients in it. The chefs must prepare something for the judges to eat using each of the basket ingredients plus whatever they want from the pantry.

In the end, Anthony and I loved the rustic spicy New England clam chowder that I came up with. It reminded Anthony of his childhood. He said his family would make corn chowder and sweet potato biscuits sometimes. He always enjoyed that meal.


Clemson Parade

Anthony invited me on a date to the parade. We had a lot of fun. It was the first Clemson parade that either of us had been to. I hear there's going to be a big game tomorrow.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sticking With Our Food Budget

I'm a stickler for goals and budgets (so glad Anthony doesn't mind). My plan lately has been to go grocery shopping every two weeks, and we are at the end of the second week. Sometimes my stubbornness with a food budget leaves a few things to be desired in the kitchen. Today for instance, we had some leftovers in the fridge however Anthony and I are both sick of those at present, and we are out of eggs and about out of milk.

We may have been short on a few ingredients but I could still make a frappe. I decided to make a mocha frappe for us for a snack before dinner, but at the last minute, I remembered seeing a pumpkin spice frappe on Pinterest that I've been wanting to make. I decided to do that instead. I put some leftover coffee in the blending cup, ice, pumpkin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, powdered sugar, and the end of the milk. I couldn't start the blender, but Anthony was kind enough to help me. Did I mention it was the very end of the milk? Maybe an 1/8 of a cup. We tried the concoction. Hmm. It was a little strong. We drank a little more. I exclaimed, "Nasty! Not going over well with this pregnant lady. I think I'll stick with mocha frappes for now." I did actually pour the rest down the sink. I may stick to my budget, but I don't torture myself with nasty food or beverages. We would just have to forgo a frappe this afternoon.

"Now what to make for dinner," I thought. I couldn't make pancakes, no eggs or milk. "Biscuits? Pumpkin biscuits?" And that is what I made. I followed my biscuit recipe but substituted pumpkin for milk. The biscuits were soft and flavorful. On my first helping, I spread honey nut cream cheese on my biscuits, and poured maple syrup over them. On my second helping, I spooned homemade peach butter from Anthony's family. "Yum . . ." Food budgeting can be rewarding and delicious.

Fried Noodles Du Jour

Anthony was home for lunch today so I made fried noodles du jour. Some people have a sandwich for lunch every day. Why not noodles? The ingredients I used today were:

ramen noodles
beef seasonings
vegetable oil
Worcestershire sauce
1/2 a vidalia onion
2 gourmet cucumbers
1 can yellow sweet corn with liquid
whole cashews

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Love Chinese Architecture

We also climbed the Linggu Pagoda while we were on Purple Mountain in Nanjing. What a picturesque pagoda. It was fun climbing the stairs. The interior was painted flamboyantly. It was there that I learned my Chinese numbers 1-10, including hand symbols. Some of our Chinese friends were so kind to teach us a number each flight of stairs/floor.

Mountain Top Tourist

The first place we toured in Nanjing was Purple Mountain. We went to Dr. Sun Yatsen's Mausoleum. It was quite the complex of buildings and stairs. Very beautiful and impressive. Very popular tourist site.

Pasta Primavera Casserole

I combined last night's leftovers from carbonara light with steamed vegetables leftover from a couple of nights ago and let them heat up on the stove. I broke up tortilla chips on top for a layer of crunch. Not bad.

Mocha Protein Power Shake

I asked Anthony what he wanted for dinner, pasta primavera or potato corn chowder. He said maybe something cool since he was really hot from walking home from grad school. I suggested a smoothie. He said "yeah, and then maybe we can have dinner later." I got the blender out, I poured leftover coffee in it, then I got the milk and chocolate syrup out of the fridge. I reached in the freezer for ice. Whoops, the ice trays had water in them. Plan A was to make a mocha frappe. I decided to change that to just a plain cold mocha. I blended one. Then I thought, hmm, it would be nice if this was thicker. I reached in the cabinet and pulled out the cashews. After integrating them into my mocha the result was nothing short of a mocha protein power shake!

Shopping Day

One day Anthony and I went maternity clothes shopping for me at the Xinjiekou metro stop in Nanjing. We had a lot of fun at the designer shopping malls. And of course we had to stop at my favorite restaurant Pizza Hut. I've always been partial to Pizza Hut stuffed crust. We also stumbled upon a cute company to get smoothies from- The Happy Lemon. Anthony was pretty good at navigating the metro and bus systems. Oh, and I found some cute maternity clothes!