Posts Tagged ‘convenience foods’


Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

They’re back.

I’ve missed them so.

Never leave me again, Morningstar Farms Veggie Corn Dogs.


Seriously – they’re a little high in sodium to eat every day. There are a lot of ingredients involved in making fake meat, so the ingredient list is sort of intimidating. They have both egg and milk, so they’re not vegan. They’re also around $5 for 4, at least at my local Albertsons, which is a little pricey. (I’m going to go look at Target later this week to see if they’re cheaper there). But? But? The outside is crunchy and the inside is appropriately hot dog tasting and they’re SO GOOD. They were missing from the stores for almost a year for reasons that I believe had something to do with corn prices or only getting GMO corn or something, but now?


Never leave me again, corn dogs.

P.S. Those things on the sides are slices of champagne mango, not fries. I realized after the fact that they look like they might be the grossest fries ever, and I wanted to clear that up. Not gross fries: mango.

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

I’m not usually one of those people who rags on Mondays. Monday is just a day, man. It’s trying.

Yesterday, though. Yesterday morning may have been enough to turn me forever.

I had this huge project due yesterday at noon, and due to my illness and general slackerness, it wasn’t done when I woke up yesterday. I made his and hers smoothies and dived right in – only to not have it completely done when I left for school.

Cue: nervous breakdown while driving.

Then? My parking lot was closed because they’re digging a hole. What is to be put in said hole? Who can say. A mystery for the ages.  I got the project turned in and sat through class, then headed to my office to do some work. (Why not to run? I think it’s a combination of the quasi-South Beach thing and the cold – I haven’t run in like a week. I intend to try to get in a mile or two today, if at all possible, just to prove that I can.)

When I arrived at my office, I realized that my nervous breakdown had apparently precluded my lunch packing.

Fortunately, I took a couple of these from the Marriott when I was there last week. A Super Cookie, yo.

Basically a sugar bomb, but the food you have on hand is better than no food at all. Plus it was made locally, and I find that sort of charming. (Although why I should find a small business in Denver more appealing than one in Austin or something, I have no idea. It’s not like I know either owner.)

It wasn’t bad, but it was definitely more of a snack than a meal.

I spent two hours in my office working on my National Science Foundation grant application, which is so much fun you have no idea. (SARCASM.) Fortunately I had Monk to keep me company.

Perhaps there is something to this sugar high-low thing. After that cookie, I needed more sugar. Moooorrrreee. So I bought a pumpkin latte. Because, yum. I only drank half on the way home, and I stuck the other half in the fridge.

I know I’ve said this before, but my drive could certainly be uglier, eh?

On my way home, my mom buzzed me and mentioned that one of my aunts and two of my uncles were at her house. They’re all in town emptying out my grandma’s house, which is up for sale after 51 years. (That short lady in the middle is my mom. Apparently there were two different strains of genes in her family, because those two guys on the ends are her brothers.)

I stopped by the library because I’d returned a book without an included CD, and I finally checked out the damn South Beach book. Perhaps an understanding of why I’m doing this will encourage me to actually do so (i.e. no more Super Cookies).

Of course, I don’t understand yet… so I had a Guinness when I finally got home.

Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Monday.

Thursday. A day of reckoning.

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

I had two things to do yesterday.

1) Homework.

2) A meeting to help form the Colorado Computer Science Teachers Association.

I am not a computer science teacher. I can’t even call myself a computer scientist at this point. However, my school is helping to form this, and the grant I’m working under is sort of related, so bing-bang-boom. I was expected to attend the meeting, which was four hours long and forty five minutes south of my house.

What does one need to start a day with SO MANY RESPONSIBILITIES?

Coffee and a cherry smoothie, of course.  (Cherry smoothie: Grape Nuts, milk, yogurt, frozen bananas, frozen cherries, and sometimes about three drops of almond extract.)

Is it weird that smoothie isn’t spelled smoothy?

You’ll notice that my smoothie was enjoying in the same location as my dinner last night – in bed. Maida, my puppy, was keeping a close eye in case I spilled any – isn’t that just the sweetest most food grubbing thing you can imagine. To reward her, I took her squirrel hunting.

Don’t worry, I took out the boring parts for you. Read: trunk. Nobody likes a trunk.

On my return to the house, I deflected homework by deciding what to make for lunch.

Raw chicken? NO. If I wait, that chicken will be miraculously cooked when I arrive home, thanks to the miracle of the slow cooker. (The lightning is warning me not to lick the barbecue sauce off the chicken, even though it’s delicious).

The barbecue sauce is delicious, not the raw chicken.


Barring that, my choices were falafel or… falafel. A couple of weeks ago Crockett and I went to Costco and I bought this huge two part package of falafel balls (heh – balls), along with a family sized tub of hummus and some nifty cook-em-yourself flatbreads. I froze half of each, but I’ve since worked through the unfrozen halves of everything but the hummus. Forty thousand pounds of hummus goes a long way, turns out.

Please note the yellowish cast of the flatbread. As I said yesterday- not-quite-florescent lightbulbs of death are to blame for that. But lookit how pretty the lunch came out! Please note that in this case, the chocolate chocolate chip pumpkin muffins I made on Wednesday are in fact cupcakes, because I’m eating them for dessert. Today, they are muffins again. You’ll get the hang of it, don’t worry.

After the meeting (which involved construction paper and scissors – AWESOME), I met Crockett and his buddy out for pizza and beer.

I kept it light, don’t worry. My stomach is still running at about 70%.

Crockett had a head start, but I had a Guinness that it took me a full hour to get through. Moderately interesting side note: did you know that Guinness is in fact sort of a light beer? It has roughly 15% fewer calories than something like Coors.

We shared two pizzas: duck confit and smoked mozzarella.

That’s right, y’all. Duck confit on a pizza. What’s duck confit, you ask?

Duck cooked and stored in its own rendered fat.

Rendered. Fat.

After one piece of each, I retired to let the boys watch hockey in peace and finally tackle my homework.

How was YOUR Thursday?

what’s eventually accomplished Wednesday

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Yesterday had the potential to be a complete bust.

First, I went to the doctor.


That’s really what it looked like.

If you’re out there saying ‘Em, you may be getting too Halloween-effect happy on Picnik‘, to you I say – PSHAW. That’s really what it looked like! (Fine. My hours of medical treatment may be clouding my vision, but that’s what it looked like to me and that’s what’s important.)

I did manage to walk the dogs today, which was a step up from the past few days. They’re so patient and loving that sometimes I forget… I’m sorry, I just choked on my own hyperbole. They’re gigantic pains in the ass. They are. I love them anyway.

Even when one of them (cough*Cloey*cough) sleeps in the garden that I’m sure would totally be carefully tended if I had the time and the inclination and my dogs would stop sleeping in it.

I fully intended to nap, because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you have perhaps-appendicitis and a fever. I was interrupted by a man who does not have an iPhone 4.

It seems that there’s a beta program that allows people to use their computers to FaceTime.

Thank god, because prior to this I knew 2 other people with 4′s, and we mostly just talked on the regular phone. However, since I positively love to look at Crockett, I’m going to embrace this whole iPhone/computer interface.

As long as it doesn’t interrupt my naptime, that is.

Finally, in a burst of homework-avoidance and badly timed energy, I made two very simple recipes and dealt with a third I’d made several days ago.

It’s sepia for two reasons. Reason 1: baking more than one thing at a time always makes me feel like some sort of homesteady wheat grinding bread making bonnet wearing … woman, and you know everything was sepia in the olden days. Reason 2: my kitchen is a really pretty green color, with really unhappy lights that aren’t quite fluorescent – those combined lead to a nasty yellow tinge that even my mediocre photo editing skills can’t eliminate.

(Sepia) apple and cheddar scones. Deb ain’t lying, y’all. Fall in a handheld pile of yummo.

Chocolate has the power to overcome all evils. Including the evil of not-quite-fluorescent lights in a kitchen. Seriously, apparently chocolate chocolate chip pumpkin pie muffins can ward off the power of the yellow photo – who knew? These, because I’m sick and because the scones were fun and totally homemade and because sometimes cake mix is ok - are a six ingredient recipe.

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 can pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
As many chocolate chips as you damn well please

Mix together everything but the pumpkin and the chocolate chips. Add at least half a cup of water and the pumpkin – if it sucks to stir it up, add up to a cup of water total. When it’s all combined, stir in your chips. Add nuts, coconut (OMG how good would that be – someone do that and let me know how it is), whatever rocks your socks.
I used cupcake tins without cupcakes papers – I just buttered the bottoms of the cups. I feel like, for whatever reason, I lose a lot of good muffin to papers, so I avoid them whenever possible. This made about 16 muffins, baked at 20-22 minutes at 350.

Yes, I’m going to insist they’re muffins, even though they start with cake mix.

As an ex-pastry chef, I have to admit it took me some time to acknowledge that there are times in which convenience baking items come in handy. I’ve since embraced it, because if you’re short on time, money, ingredients, or confidence, muffins that come out of your oven that started with a mix are still going to be tastier than no muffins at all. (I have not extended that ruling to refrigerated pie crust. That stuff is not ok.)


Falafel salad and white wine.

In bed.

So, I did eventually accomplish some stuff eventually… eventually. And for a Wednesday that could have been a total bust? I’m calling it a win.

Friday lunch

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Scavenger style- it’s amazing what you can find free in the break rooms in corporate America. Croissant, some egg and crouton casserole, and fruit salad.