Tuesday, December 6, 2011

T'is The Season....

.....to be BUSY!!  Hi folks!  How is everyone doing?  Are you all caught up in the craziness that is December just like me?  Between work, Christmas shopping, hockey, dance and the end of Sarah's volleyball season I've barely had time time sit at the computer, which I am sure is the case in general.  Instead of posting here I decided to use that time to continue reading all your blogs.  I haven't been commenting as much, but I have been keeping myself up to date with you guys!

On Sunday Noah's hockey team had a game in a border city.  Whenever we play there I plan a quick trip across the border for a little shopping.  This time we only hit Target because it had been raining pretty heavily all day and we were afraid it would freeze before long.  Getting stuck in the States wouldn't be such a bad thing; just extra money for us that could be used in other areas right now.  :)  We actually went to Panera first because, as is the case more often than not lately, Noah was starving.  That kid eats more than me these days and is still only weighs 59lbs at almost 10yrs old!  LOL  Because I'm pretty much gluten free, sandwiches were out for me.  I went with the Chopped Chicken BBQ Salad with a side of potato chips:

This was delicious!  I already used some of the ingredients in this as an idea for dinner.  More on that to follow...I pretty much found everything at Target that I wanted to.  I can't post everything, though, because some of the items are gifts!  Here are the edible goodies I bought:

Anyone know how to rotate photos in blogger?  I don't have WLW at work and can't figure out how to do it!  DOH!!  If you can help leave me a comment, please & thank you!  Jason LOVES the Archer Farms corn & black bean salsa!  I've had to hide those Mounds bars and Fage yogurts from my son...AKA...bottomless pit!

I also managed to stick to my meal plan last week.  Monday was pizza night.  While the fam had some oven ready pizza, I made a pizza for me using Udi's GF pizza crust.  I've never tried it before and really enjoyed it!  My toppings included a (leftover) GF hotdog, spinach and cheddar cheese.  I used salsa as my sauce:
Next time I will cut back on the baking time.  The crust got a little too crisp for me, but that was my fault, not the product. (*note: I bought these Udi's pizza crusts on my own).  Here's a picture I took of the leftovers that I enjoyed for lunch the next day:
Tuesday we had a FREE night!  I took the opportunity to roast a chicken with onions and garlic for dinner.  I also made steamed broccoli & quinoa to go along with it.
That's mango chutney on my plate beside the chicken.  ;)  On Wednesday we were out of town until 7pm.  Knowing this would be the case I made and baked off meatballs Tuesday for subs.  All I had to do when we got home was heat them with tomato sauce, toast the buns and melt the cheese.  The fam had sub buns while I ate mine on a GF burger bun:
Thursday was quick and simple; turkey sausage, brown rice & peas;
The plan was to have chicken stir fry on Friday, but we ended up at Boston Pizza after a bit of Christmas shopping.  I went with a personal Szechuan on GF crust.
I took one bite of this and realized that instead of the Szechuan sauce that's suppose to come with this pizza, it was plain old tomato.  Instead of sending it back and waiting for another pizza, I just had the server bring me a ramekin of the sauce and I put it on myself.  :/  Seeing as I already had the chicken out of the freezer, we enjoyed our stir fry Saturday night!
As you can see, there is some rice spiral pasta on the side there.  I also made sure I got more veg than chicken.  I'll leave the fam to the meat!  LOL  And that's that for my "meals of the week"!  I gotta admit, I can't wait to get some natural light again at dinner time!  All my pictures look so blah.  :(

I don't really have a set plan for this week.  From Sunday to Saturday Noah is on the ice every night but Thursday, so I'm kinda winging it.  I have a loose idea of what I'll be making each day, but don't want to commit to it.  I'll leave you all with a photo of the kids school pics!

Man, they are growing so FAST!!  One last little thing!  I tried to post this yesterday, but Blogger was behaving badly!!

Bye for now!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Back in Action...

Oh my goodness friends, it's been a while!  When I posted last Noah was home sick with the flu.  That stuck with the poor kid for 2 days.  Then Sarah got it, then I got it.  UGH.....fun times were NOT had!  We all seem to be back on track now, though.  Needless to say, my meal plan pretty much went out the window last week. So did hockey games, dance class and Zumba.  Eeek!  Looking through the photos on my camera I seem to have some from last week and all from the week before so this will be a bit of a hodge podge post.  So 2 weeks past the plan looked like this:
Turkey sausage, sautéed red peppers, green beans and millet.....
Roasted turkey breast, peas, polenta ans some smoky peach chipotle dipping sauce......
Lasagna, for the fam.  I had eggs on toast with mortadella.....
Thursday was pork chops, corn and basmati rice.....
And Friday was baked salmon fillets with broccoli and quinoa...
Pretty good week!  I've got to admit, I don't eat pork chops much and Thursday's dinner reminded me why.  I just don't like them!!  Guess I thought I'd give them another shot, but I won't be eating them again any time soon.

I don't even remember what last week was suppose to look like!  Here's what I got pictures of:
Noah had an out of town hockey game on Tuesday and I always try to get some sort of pasta into him before a game.  This is brown rice pasta which is always what I prepare for myself.
Whoa....dark photo!  This was Wednesday's dinner, which we ate late.  Well, 7pm is late for us!  We were out for this again...

 ....but over my lunch hour I put chicken thighs, sliced mushrooms, 2 chopped red bell peppers and a can of tomato sauce in the crock pot on low.  When we got back the kids ate theirs over leftover pasta while Jason and I had ours over quinoa.  It tasted SO much better than it looks!  I'm certain we had turkey sausage again on Thursday, but there doesn't seem to be any photo evidence!  Friday we decided to go out to dinner, but my camera was sitting pretty on the dining room table.  DOH!

I got some cool mail last week, too!  First up we have some Method dish and hand soap:
I haven't tried either yet, but I can't wait to get them started.  Method is one of my favourite brands of hand soap and I'm eager to try the dish soap.  These have seasonal scents, too!  Frosted Fir and Candy Cane!   Thank You, Method!!!  I also received my FREE Gevalia coffee for our Tassimo.

Somehow I managed to get to their Facebook Page before supplies were out! Too bad I'm blogging from Blogger right now and can't figure out how to rotate this picture!!!  Anyhow, this coffee is STRONG, but good.  I'll definitely buy more when I run out.

So, I think that's all I've got for now.  As always, you can check my meal plan out on my Facebook Page.....What's your favourite meal been this past month?  Or is it something that you will be eating over Thanksgiving?

Bye for now!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kitchen Aid Food Processor Winner

Hi!  Just popping in to announce the winner of the Kitchen Aid 13 Cup Food Processor.  The lucky number is 25!

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...
Just posted a link on my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/frenchfriestoflaxseeds

CONGRATULATIONS, Marianne!   Please email me you addy and phone # and we can get the wheels rolling on your new food processor!!!!

Bye for now!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Polenta Fries

Happy Friday!  I'm home from work this morning with a sick boy so I thought I'd post a recipe for polenta fries that I've been meaning to do for a good month!  Polenta was a staple in my parents diet's growing up and my  Mom continued the trend with us.  When my Dad was a kid back in Italy polenta was often served at the breakfast table as well as at dinner.  My Nonna would make a big batch and spread it out on a baking sheet.  Once it was set she cut it into strips and grilled it until crisp.  The next morning she would cut it up and serve it with warm milk.  A typical meal for lean times.  Although we never ate it for breakfast, we did eat lots of it! Mom served it mostly as a base for stews and cacciatore's.  Every now and again she would grill the leftovers on the BBQ which was my favourite way to eat it.

Before I get started on my "story" here's how to make a basic batch:

  • 1 cup of liquid (I usually use 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup milk)
  • 1/4 cup dry polenta
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Bring liquid and butter to a gentle boil
  2. Turn down heat and slowly whisk polenta in
  3. Stir, stir, stir until thick, about 5ish-mins (this is important or it will get lumpy on you)
  4. Stir in cheese until melted
At this point it is ready to serve as a side.  If you're making a batch for fries pour contents onto a greased baking sheet and refrigerate over night or until set.

Not so long ago I found myself with a good portion of leftover polenta.  I decided to chill it in the fridge overnight in a square-ish container that I lightly misted with EVOO.

When it came time for dinner the next day I popped it out of the container on to a cutting board:
I cut it into strips (this is VERY easy to do when the polenta is cold):
While I was doing this I had a pan heating on the stove with approx 3 tbsp of EVOO.  Once that was good and hot a gently set the fries in the pan:
Sorry for the icky picture, but it gets the message across!  :)  I let each side get a crispy layer before turning them over.  This doesn't take very long at all.   I should mention that you don't have to use EVOO.  Whatever oil you have on hand would work perfectly as well as melted butter, coconut oil, coconut butter.  Basically, whatever floats your boat!  :)  Once crispy all over I place the fires on a paper towel covered plate and lighted dust with salt:
DELICIOUS!!!  The kids put these back like it's their job!  Actually, now that I'm looking at these pictures I feel inspired to make more this weekend!  Have you ever had polenta fries??

Enjoy your weekend!  But beofre you do, if you live in Canada PLEASE check out the awesome giveaway that I'm hosting.  **hint hint**  It's for a FREE Kitchen Aid 13 Cup Food Processor!!!!

Bye for now!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Menu Plan Flop

Seeing as I barely followed my menu plan for last week, hence no post about it, I decided to do a "what I ate yesterday" type post for today.  But back to last week for a second.  I managed to make 2 out of the 5 meals I had planned for the week.  Poor planning was the issue here.  LOL  I totally discounted the fact that Monday was Halloween and the kids really had no interest in eating much so instead of pork chops we ate egg sandwiches.  Noah had an out of town hockey game on the Tuesday so oven baked pizza for the road it was in place of the planned turkey sausages.  Wednesday I DID bust out the chicken I had planned.  Once again I stuffed the breasts with mozzarella cheese, basil pesto and roasted red peppers.  For a side I sautéed a package of sliced mushrooms with garlic then added 1 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of quinoa, covered and cooked it for 15 mins.  Voila!

I also made Thursday night's pasta dish.  Elbow rice noodles, homemade marinara and sliced chicken breast topped with smoked chipotle Tobasco sauce and freshly grated Parmesan cheese:
I had a touch of stomach upset Friday so while the fam ate their burgers, I had poached eggs on toast.  That's my #1 go to when I'm not feeling 100%.

On to yesterday's eats.  I bought some GF cinnamon raisin bread from the bakery over the weekend so I toasted up a few pieces and topped them with almond butter:
I'm on a late lunch hour this week (12:30-1:30) so I knew I'd need a little protein to get me through the morning:
I've still been going the the gym over my lunch, but on Tuesday there is a yoga class in there so I went home instead.  Once again, I was feeling some eggs!  I made 2 over easy eggs and popped them on top of GF bean bread and a slice of mortadella:
SO GOOD!  I really think I could eat eggs at least once a day and not get tired of them.  :)  Dinner was as per the menu plan; turkey, polenta & peas.
No natural light by the time we ate!  HAHA!  We had nothing going on last night so there was ample time to roast up a turkey breast for supper.  The polenta was super easy; 1 cup water, 1 cup milk, 1 tbsp butter....bring to a boil then whisk in a 1/4 cup of dry polenta (cornmeal).  Stir until thick, about 5ish minutes.  I also stirred in about a 1/3 cup of grated Parm  at the end.  And there you have yesterday's eats!  I also have a photo of today's breakie; 2 Nature's Path GF wildberry waffles topped with peaches that I sautéed with a little honey and cinnamon:

***To all my Canadian readers: CLICK HERE to be sure you don't miss out on your chance to win a brand new Kitchen Aid 13 Cup Food Processor!!!!  If you DO NOT do the facebook thing, never fear! Just skip those steps and answer the 2 questions in the comments section.  Make sure to leave a separate entry for both!!***  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Want a New Kitchen Aid Food Processor???

Me, too!  You guys won't believe what I have up for grabs.  This month, KitchenAid is launching its newest food processor.

Isn't she a beaut??  This is a 13 cup food processor and is is truly a culinary necessity when it comes to food preparation.  An externally adjustable sliding blade coupled with exceptional performance ensures controlled and precise slicing, chopping and pureeing to help create a meal experience that brings the whole family together.  Here is some key information you may find handy:

• New external adjustable, stainless steel slicing disc provides ultimate versatility
• Dual shredding disc easily flips the disc from 2mm to 4mm to achieve ideal slicing thickness
• Large 13-cup (2.75L) leak-proof work bowl, plus chef’s bowl and mini bowl to efficiently
• Ultra Wide Mouth Feed Tube™ adjusts to 3 different sizes to accommodate foods of varying sizes, including whole potatoes and cucumbers
• 17 precise food processing options for speed-controlled slice, shred, chop & puree functions plus three maximized slice, shred and puree/chop blades and bonus dough, egg whip & Julienne blades
• 4 speed-controlled functions
• Comfort design side handle allows easy viewing while the food processor is in use

The Kitchen Aid 13 Cup Food Processor comes in 3 colours; silver, white and black and also includes the following:

• New stainless steel multi purpose blade
• Maximized S blade for exceptional performance
• Dough blade
• Dual stainless steel shredding disc

This product retails for $399.99 CDN.  Here are 2 recipes you could make with this appliance:

Holiday Slaw
This crunchy slaw with its sweet and tangy vinaigrette is a delicious and refreshing accompaniment to serve with turkey and trimmings. Using your food processor makes the preparation very easy and this salad can even be made days in advance.

½ large green cabbage, cored
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed
8 large red radishes, trimmed
6 green onions, trimmed
1 green pepper, cored
1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries
½ cup (125 mL) white wine vinegar
cup (75 mL) each oil and maple syrup
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
¾ tsp (4 mL) salt

1. Cut the cabbage into 5 or 6 wedges. Position the adjustable slicing disc in the work bowl and, using the thin setting on High speed, push the wedges through the feeding tube. Transfer to a large bowl. Switch to the coarse side of the reversible shredding disc. Cut the fennel into quarters. Push the fennel and radishes through the feed­ing tube; add to the large bowl.
2. Cut the green onion and green pepper into chunks. Use the multi­purpose metal blade to chop finely. Add to the cabbage mixture. Combine the cranberries, vinegar, oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, mustard and salt in a small saucepan set over medium heat; bring to a boil. Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Chill for at least 1 hour or up to 4 days. Makes about 12 cups (3 L).

Stuffed Turkey Breast with Sweet & Sticky Glaze
Easy to carve and serve, this delicious turkey breast is a stress-free alternative to the traditional whole bird. Although perfect for a small cozy family gathering, this recipe can also be doubled or tripled to serve a crowd.

½ French baguette, about 5 oz (150 g)
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1 cup (250 mL) cubed, aged white Cheddar cheese, about 4 oz (125 g)
½ cup (125 mL ) dried apricots, pear or apple
¼ cup (50 mL) each dried cranberries and golden raisins
2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme leaves
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter, melted
1 boneless, skinless turkey breast, about 1 kg (2 lb), butterflied (see Tip)
½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
½ cup (125 mL) melted apricot jam
2 tbsp (30 mL) each brown sugar, who­legrain Dijon mustard and cider vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Meanwhile, position the multi­purpose blade in the work bowl. Tear the bread into large chunks. Add to the food processor along with the onion, cheese, dried apri­cots, cranberries, raisins, rosemary and thyme. Pulse until crumbled but still chunky. Add the egg and butter; pulse just until the stuffing comes together uniformly.
2. Spread out the turkey breast and sprinkle both sides evenly with salt and pepper. Arrange the stuffing on one side; fold over the other side and tie with kitchen twine to securely enclose filling. Transfer to a rack arranged on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet.
3. Using the mini bowl and blade, blend the apricot jam with the brown sugar, mustard, vinegar and remaining rosemary on low speed until combined and smooth. Brush ¼ of this mixture evenly over the turkey breast. Roast, basting liberally with remaining glaze, for 1½ hours or until an instant-read thermometer, inserted into individually into the meat and the stuffing registers 165°F (74°C). Let stand, tented with foil, for 10 minutes before slicing. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Tip: To butterfly the turkey, lay the breast flat on a clean work surface. Cut almost all the way through, from one side of the breast so that opens like a book. Or, to simplify preparation, ask the butcher to but­terfly the breast for you before purchasing.

So how you you like to have one of these show up on your doorstep?  If you live in Canada, November might just be your lucky month because Kitchen Aid will be sending one of these 13 cup food processors to you, for FREE!  Here's what you need to do to enter this here giveaway:

  1. Tell me why you would like to own the new Kitchen Aid 13 Cup Food Processor
  2. What would be the first recipe you'd make if you won?
  3. Post this link to your facebook page
  4. "Like" Krista's Kravings on FB.  (My badge is along the right side of the blog.)  Let me know you've done this in the form of a comment.  If you already like my page just let me know in the comments)
  5. Please link this to your next post and let me know that you did in the comment section.
 This is such a BIG giveaway for Krista's Kravings!!  Be sure to leave a separate comment for #'s 1-5 which will give you up to 5 chances to win.  You DO NOT need a blog to enter.  I will leave this open until midnight on November 13 and will announce the winner on November 14 using the random number generator.  That's one week to get the word out!  If you have any questions you can email me at kristaskravings@gmail.com.

Good luck, everyone!!!

Bye for now....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fun with Halloween Costumes...

Happy Wednesday!  I wanted to pop in with a quick Halloween recap for you.  First off, did you all enjoy Halloween in some shape or form?  Maybe you had little ones trick or treating or went to a party?  This was the first year that my kids went out separately, with friends, on different sides of town.  Kinda sad in a way because they're *almost* to the age where they're too old to go out for candy.  Actually, Sarah wasn't even going to go this year until a few girls decided to get together and go for it.  Sigh....

Moving along, the kids aren't allowed full face masks at school so Noah decided to dress up as a hockey player for the day.  Go figure, right?  He donned his stinky hockey equipment then asked me for a black eye and stitches.  An everyday request, yes?  :)

His REAL costume, as he puts it, looked like this:

Rumour has it that the mask lasted about 3 houses worth of trick or treating before he pulled it off.  Jason said he wore it the rest of the night!  Miss Sarah, who usually loves to dress up scary, opted to reuse one of her hip hop recital costumes instead:
She was none too impressed with me when I insisted she wear a sweater, but I'd rather her mad than sick.  Call me crazy here, if you want.  ;)  I'm pretty sure she forgot all about it once her and her friends got going. Or she took it off as soon as I backed out of the driveway.....Here's a shot of the 2 of them together.  They were raring to go and barely stood still long enough for the camera to focus!

I turned my attention to the cats once I had the house to myself.  Little did they know it was dress up time for them, too!  LOL  Pepper is a little chubber so I was barely able to button up the costume, but after a few wriggles, I got him in:

He was SO embarrassed, I tell you!  I could not get him to look directly at the camera.  I only got that first shot after following him around the deck for 5 minutes.  There were many butt shots along the way!  He pretty much forgave me as soon as it was off, though.  Octavius, on the other hand, shot me dirty looks the rest of the night!  I guess that's what dressing up a 16yr old cat gets me!

Fun times!  Do you, or have you ever,  dressed up your pets?  I always do at Halloween and Christmas.  When I was little I used to dress our cat in my doll clothes.  I just think it's SO freaking cute!

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this little recap!  Enjoy the rest of the week and I'll be back on Sunday!

Bye for now!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Four Meals In, One Out

Hi everybody!  How did your week go?  I see that some of you have snow already!  YUCK!  I sure feel for you.  I haven’t seen any white flakes yet, but I’m sure it won’t be long now.  Did anyone attend a Halloween party this weekend?  My kids are excited for the “big” day tomorrow.  I’ll be spending part of this evening getting their costumes ready for school tomorrow.  Noah’s class is having a little party and Sarah (being in grade 7) will be going to an afternoon dance at the school. 
I wanted to make sure I popped by to post last week’s meals.  Can I just day that I’m SO glad I got back into planning dinner for the week?  It’s one less thing to worry about each night when I get home.  Two thumbs up, for sure!  So Monday was soup & grilled cheese night.  I made the broth in my crock pot using the chicken bones that I have from our beer butt/roasted chickens so all I had to do when I came home from work was strain it into a pot, add a can of diced tomatoes (with the juice) and chicken from the bones.  Instead of grilled cheese I toasted a slice of rice bread for dipping.IMG_6536
On Tuesday I had the time to roast a chicken which is a rarity through the week at this house!  I also made peas and quinoa to go with it:IMG_6538 Can I just say that it’s getting dark so much sooner lately?  Good thing next Saturday we change the clocks!  On Wednesday I grilled turkey sausage with bell peppers and onions.  I also sautéed mushrooms, garlic and Mache as another side.  Quinoa made another appearance on my plate while the fam ate mac n cheese with theirs.IMG_6540 Thursday was another busy night so I dug into the freezer for some pulled pork that I had made in the crock pot previously and froze without sauce.  I just warmed it in a pan with a bit of broth and hickory flavoured BBQ sauce.  It was delicious served over a toasted rice bun smeared with avocado hummus:IMG_6541 We went out with friends for dinner on Friday, but no pictures.  It was a real informal meal of burgers and salad.  Perfect for the end of a busy week!  Some of the leftovers were eaten as is within the next few days while some were transformed a bit.  I used some of the roasted chicken to make an awesome sandwich with vegetable antipasto, Mache and cassata cheese….IMG_6539 Some of the (sauce less)  pulled pork went back into a sandwich with roasted red pepper, basil pesto and mozzarella cheese:IMG_6532 Delicious!!  On Saturday we went to Subway for lunch.  It’s the first time I’ve been since going (mostly) gluten free.  I went with a turkey sub in salad form which ended up being fabulous!IMG_6544
And lastly, tonight’s dinner.  I baked salmon fillets and served them with brown rice and mixed veggies:IMG_6545
A lovely Sunday dinner, even though it’s not pot roast!  HAHA!  Check out next weeks plan over on my facebook page……
Have a great week, everyone….
Bye for now!!