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.

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What’s For Dinner? The 12/4/11 Edition December 5, 2011

Filed under: recipes,What's for dinner — thecatatemyplant @ 8:46 am
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Tonight’s dinner was an impromptu surprise. We had purchased some meat from a company called Direct America a while back and I was trying to use it up. There were four Teriyaki chicken breasts left and 4 people eating (my mom is visiting) so I figured it was a sign. Or, coincidence…either way!

The original plan was to make these chicken breasts, figure out some kind of rice pilaf and then peas or green beans for a veg. Boring, but passable. Well, about 10 minutes before I was to start dinner, I decided I wanted to make fried rice and sautéed green beans just like you get at your local Chinese restaurant! Oh, boy. I’ve attempted Chinese food before and it’s always OK, but never great.

Since the breasts were pre-seasoned and sauced I didn’t have to do anything. The magic came with the rice and beans. I used this recipe from Allrecipes.com because it looked quick and easy. It definitely was! I didn’t add the chicken since this was going to be a side dish, but I did add grated carrots (we still have a lot to use up). I treated the carrots like I would the onions and sautéed them in the butter. It was so great!

Then, I sautéed the green beans in 1T garlic and 1T soy sauce. I only used about a cup of frozen green beans (the ones from our garden) and I’m thinking next time I could halve my ingredients. It was really good, but I still smell like garlic!

What did you have for dinner?

 

What’s For Dinner? The 12/3/11 Edition December 4, 2011

Filed under: Deal Shopping,recipes,What's for dinner — thecatatemyplant @ 7:34 pm
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Dinners have been pretty boring over here. Not only a lot of repeats, but a lot of leftovers!

The other day, I was watching The Chew on ABC and Michael Symon made something that really caught my eye! He called it Bacon Noodle Surprise and I thought anything with bacon can’t be so bad!

The nice thing was that the ingredients I needed from the store just happened to be on sale! Cabbage for $0.39/lb and sour cream and pasta for $1 works for me!  I will say I didn’t use bacon because I was out, but I figured ham would be an acceptable substitute. I’d say it was! I used about 1/2C of ham and if I did anything differently it would be to use more ham. The recipe calls for 1/2 package of bacon and I’m pretty sure that’s more than 1/2C. Just sayin’…

It turns out this was a hit with everybody but Hubs. He’s not a huge fan of cabbage. He said he’d eat it if there wasn’t cabbage in there and I said what’s the point? But E (my two-year-old) and my mom who was visiting all thought it was delicious. Mark that one in the WIN category.

What did you have for dinner?

 

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
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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
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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 11/19/11 Edition November 20, 2011

Filed under: recipes — thecatatemyplant @ 11:57 pm

After last night’s dinner, I fell asleep in a food coma. It was wonderful. There wasn’t anything super special about dinner, it just hit the spot. We had baked ham, cheesy potatoes, and peas. For some reason, the peas were what really called to me. A little salt, a little butter, a lot of deliciousness!

The cheesy potatoes were pretty awesome too. I made my own hash browns! I used up potatoes that we had received from our CSA and went to Heavenly Homemakers for their recipe on making your own hash browns. Did I mention we had the traditional white, and purple? Yeah, purple potatoes. It’s pretty awesome.

Once the potatoes (a whole 2lbs) were made, I threw them in a bowl with:

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of celery soup

1/2C sour cream

1/2C cream

8oz (or more 🙂 )  of shredded cheddar, Monterrey jack or a combination of both cheeses

1/2tsp garlic salt

a dash of garlic powder

1C onions sautéed in 3/4C melted butter*

*I use about 1T of melted butter rather than a full 3/4C, but you’ll have to do what you like.

Put all of this in a 9×13 pan. Cover with tin foil and put in a 350′ oven for 45 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Note: I got this recipe from my mother-in-law and she actually doesn’t mix everything together, but puts the potatoes straight in to a 9×13 pan. Then, she mixes everything together, pours it on top of the potatoes, and uses a fork to poke down some of the mixture. I haven’t noticed a difference, but I tend to not notice certain subtleties 🙂

What was on your plate?

 

 

Popcorn November 16, 2011

Filed under: random musings,recipes — thecatatemyplant @ 8:52 pm
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I’m finishing up the last items from our CSA, but we have something that has completely stumped me. Popcorn. Like, not in a bag with chemically created ‘butter’ popcorn, but still on the cob real deal popcorn.

Real Popcorn

My only problem is, I don’t know what to do with it! I can make a mean bag of microwave popcorn, and I saw my mom once pop corn on the stove, but…this might be beyond my areas of expertise. And I’d like to try it! Do you know what to do with this?