The Cat Ate My Plant

Musings from a woman, wife, and mother

Changes Are A-Coming! August 6, 2012

Filed under: Baking,Deal Shopping,Goals,kids,Meal Plan Monday,recipes,What's for dinner — thecatatemyplant @ 2:08 pm

In addition to moving, there have been a lot of other things going on in our lives. I’m desperately trying to finish a Medical Transcription course so that I can finally start working from home (for reals, not that mothering/housekeeping stuff j/k)!

There have also been quite a few diet changes. Shortly after I moved, I joined (well, re-joined) Weight Watchers (WW). I lost the weight that I put on while pregnant with C pretty easily, but I’ve been carrying around an extra 50lbs that I gained shortly after I was married…10 years ago. I figure it’s time for it to come off once and for all. So, I’m trying. And since most fruits and veggies are ‘free’ on WW, we’ve been eating a lot more. Probably something close to what MyPlate.gov would recommend. Making Michelle Obama proud!

In addition to WW, we ran out of meat at our house. And by meat, I mean the beef we purchased in the fall. We’ve got a few months before our next share of beef is ready and I really didn’t want to spend a lot of money on meat.  I was able to convince Hubs that we would go mostly meatless! Shopping for organic, humanely treated, locally raised meats when we can fit it in our budget, and the rest of the time getting our protein from other sources. This has been very challenging for me!!! It has to be in my cooking skill level (low, unless there is a microwave involved) and it has to taste good for my meat-lover hubs. HELP!

Also, we are preparing for my mother to move in with us. We haven’t lived together for 12 years! I’m nervous about this. Excited, scared. A whole plethora of emotions. Of course, the last time we lived together I was a teenager so I also appreciate that this is going to be wildly different. Have you ever dealt with this? Tips? Advice? Feedback? Should I buy stock in Patron now or later? 🙂

And finally, Hubs and I have decided E is ready for some pre-schooling. We’ve been flirting with this for months now, doing things here & there, but he’s definitely craving more! So, I’ve got one month to plan a curriculum and then we are off! Wish me luck.

 

What’s For Dinner? The 12/10/11 Edition December 10, 2011

Filed under: Baking,What's for dinner — thecatatemyplant @ 10:27 pm
Tags: ,

Do you remember the red sauce I made a while back? Well, today I decided it was what’s for dinner! A simple dinner of pasta, sauce, salad and garlic bread. I toyed with making this a meat sauce, but in all honesty, I don’t know that the richness of the meat would have complimented the sauce. So, I skipped it. But man, was it delicious!

I followed it up with some peanut butter friendship bread with chocolate chips. YUM. I made the recipe without the POM juice (because I didn’t have any) and without the standard sugar & cinnamon coating around the pan. I don’t get the cinnamon and peanut butter combo. I did leave the 1tsp. cinnamon in the recipe, but I would take that out next time. It overpowered the peanut butter. I also melted the peanut butter before I mixed it so that it was easier. I’m not 100% sure it helped, but I’d like to think it did.

What did you have for dinner?

 

Apples! December 4, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Fall — thecatatemyplant @ 8:06 pm
Tags: ,

Here, we love apples. Fresh, frozen, saucy, you name it! Because of this, every fall we visit a local apple orchard and load up on apples. It’s always nice to get ‘fresh’ ones from the store out of season, but they just don’t taste the same! This year I bought 10lbs. So, delicious.

The Setup

 

This is how we setup camp. That lovely thing peels, cores, and slices the apples. The only problem is, our table is too thick for it and our kitchen counters are too unstable. We ended up using the bathroom vanity. Worked great! You can see a bag of delicious Jonagold apples in the background. We had a hard time freezing all of them.

Action shot

They don’t always stay together.

action shot!

This one did so you all get to see it.

We then quartered the apples and put them in 4C and 2C bags. The 4C will be great for pies, crisps, and applesauce, the 2C will be great for mix n’ match muffins! I could really go for some apple cinnamon muffins.

 

 

What’s For Dinner? The 11/26/11 Edition November 29, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Fall,recipes,What's for dinner — thecatatemyplant @ 9:50 pm
Tags: , ,

Catching up! I’ve been in a turkey coma the past couple of days. I may go back. It’s been delicious!

Saturday’s dinner was phenomenal. I was looking for something new to do with turkey because we have a lot of leftovers. And, you can only do so much turkey, stuffing, and gravy casserole. I have my limits.

So, when I found this recipe for turkey pot pie on Life As Mom, I got giddy.  I’m not lying, absolutely giddy. It sounded delicious and I had been making a lot of crusts for my mini-pie adventures. Oh, mini-pies. But I digress…

So, I made the turkey pot pie with my yummy lard & butter crust. I skipped the peas, but only because I forgot. With the lard, butter, and gravy, this dish needs peas, green beans, and a weight loss program.

turkey pot pie: action shot!

before baking

I brushed the top with olive oil to make sure it became golden brown. I also added some leaf cut outs because I was feeling crafty.

so.worth.it

A tender, flaky crust that stood up to all that gravy. It was so delicious, so comforting, so coma inducing. Too bad I had a hockey game to go to that night! I figured the cold would help me work off the calories, but I don’t think it did enough, so I skipped the nachos, splurged on a $3.50, 12oz Diet Coke and called it a night.

Is it sad my exciting girls night involves Diet Coke and college hockey? I hope not; it’s what I got!

What have you been eating?

P.S. I was going to show you what the inside looked like, but suffice it to say, the pieces we cut didn’t last that long.

 

Mini Pies!

Filed under: Baking,Fall,random musings,recipes — thecatatemyplant @ 9:48 pm
Tags: , ,

I have a thing for cherry pie. That’s how it started. Hubs doesn’t like cherry pie, and I can’t/shouldn’t finish a whole one by myself. Though, some days I want to!

So, a few years ago I got this genius idea to make mini pies. I used muffin tins to bake them and the first time I made them I made grasshopper, banana cream, and cherry. They did not last long.

It became a new passion of mine. They were the perfect size for someone trying to lose weight! Just 3-4 bites and your craving is gone. But, you can end up eating the whole batch anyways: dangerous! So, I leave a few out and quickly freeze the rest.

This year I decided to make cherry pomegranate, pumpkin, and apple cranberry mini pies. I’ve so far only made the cherry pomegranate and pumpkin. Apple Cranberry is on deck!

I used the cherry pomegranate recipe from The Frugal Girls.

pomegranate seeds

Hubs de-seeded the pomegranate. He’s never encountered a pomegranate. He said they looked like corn kernels. I can’t say he’s wrong!

pies with cherries

I was able to put 7 cherries plus some sauce in each pie.

pomegranate seeds: action shot!

I then sprinkled a generous portion of pomegranate seeds on top. It went something like this…

Some for the pies

Some for me

repeat

plain pomegranate & cherry pies

Then, I got all crafty. And made leaves to go on top.

cherry and pomegranate pie!

And, finally, just before I devoured it…

nom nom nom

And, just to be fair, here’s the pumpkin.

pumpkin pie

I’m not a huge fan. Can you tell? But, Hubs likes them. So, I make him a pumpkin pie once a year. Or mini pies. And sometimes, I get crafty and put a pumpkin on the top. Side note: I pureed that pumpkin myself. I’m hardcore! ha ha

 

What’s For Dinner? The 11/14/11 Edition November 15, 2011

It’s Meatless Monday! We usually have some version of rice & beans on Mondays. The hubs is more of a meat & potatoes kind of guy so this has been a big change for him. Actually, eating with me in general has been a big change for him! Have I mentioned that when we first married, he didn’t eat vegetables? Not. One.  Not even the tiniest pieces of mushrooms from a can of Cream of Mushroom soup. Ridiculous! So, I set out to show him veggies weren’t so bad. Nine years later, he enjoys salads and is slow to start picking apart the veggies from his foods.

That being said, he is still sad if more than 2 dinners are meatless in a week.

Meatless Mondays also tend to have a Mexican theme. We love our Mexican food! Mexican food and Mexican tequila. Margaritas in fact. But, I digress. Back to dinner.

Meatless Monday

It’s pretty basic and almost always thrown together last-minute. I combined 1 can of Ranch Style beans with 3C cooked rice. I also added corn & peas from the freezer as well as 1/2 can of diced tomatoes for color & veggie content. Finally, there is homemade Taco Seasoning & salt. I used the recipe for the seasoning from here.  Don’t forget when you cook with this seasoning, that there is no salt in it unlike the pre-packaged stuff. The first time I used it I couldn’t figure out why it was so under seasoned. That’s why!

For dessert we are still working on some of the Amish Friendship Bread from my recent baking storm. I’ve got another one of those coming up in 2 days.

What did you have for dinner?

 

Amish Friendship Bread: Update November 11, 2011

Filed under: Baking,What's for dinner — thecatatemyplant @ 6:06 pm
Tags: , ,

I’m not sure that I ever posted a proper update to my previous post about this little bit of awesomeness. I went on my baking marathon and switched up the varieties I had planned on trying.  Partly because of taste, partly because of available ingredients, and partly because of a whim and a fancy.

Traditional Amish Friendship Bread

I ended up making two batches of Pumpkin Spice flavored bread, Nutella cupcakes, the traditional cinnamon flavor, and double chocolate.  I got all of my inspiration from this great website, Friendship Bread Kitchen.

I did make some modifications though.
Pumpkin Spice Bread: I actually had butternut squash freshly roasted and pureed, so it’s technically Butternut Squash Spice bread.
Nutella Bread: I made these in to cupcakes, and instead of swirling in the Nutella, I put 1tsp in the middle of each cupcake and covered it with batter. YUM!
Traditional Flavor: This was made as-is. Can’t go wrong with the original!
Double Chocolate: This recipe was actually for chocolate peanut butter bread, but I didn’t have peanut butter chips. I used chocolate instead and I also didn’t have chocolate pudding so I used vanilla and added an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder. Tastes great!

Double Chocolate Friendship Bread

I’ve frozen a lot of the bread. There is no way I could eat all that in 10 days! There’s no way I should eat that in 10 days! But, it is all delicious, and I’ve kept a starter out. Stay tuned!