Saturday, June 26, 2010

Baking Day 6/26/10

Happy Saturday rockers! It's been a busy week here at the Headbangin' Household. What can I say? Summer is here!
I managed to get all but two items on my baking list done today. One was Whole Wheat Cinnamon Cookies. I really meant to get these done for Hubby's lunches, it just got too warm before I could get them done. The only other item was Smoothie Popsicles. Now, these still make get done...that is, if I can find the pitcher to my blender. I just used the thing a few days ago. Apparently, the pitcher has sprouted legs and vanished. I hate when that happens!
Here's what I did get finished:
A double batch of rice to be frozen for later. There's a couple Broccoli, Rice, Cheese Chicken Casseroles in our near future. Having the rice already cooked makes it go so much faster.
I also baked up a bunch of potatoes for the week. I plan on making a big potato salad for a cheese burger night.
Since I didn't get the cookies done, I made a quick batch of Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats. I made up a batch of Strawberry Muffins. This recipe came out of another one of my mom's old cookbooks. They are crazy simple, and also almost gone. Note to self: make a double batch next time. We have a few birthdays this week, so I wanted to make something special. Since I haven't made them in a while, I went ahead and made some Cake Bombs. I picked these because they freeze and travel well. They take a tiny bit of effort since you have to dip them, but it's totally worth it. Good luck just eating one! Finally, I made Apple Pie with Struesel Topping. Just Kidding! That's actually a little recipe called Zucchini Pie. I used the struesel topping that one of the reviewers recommended. Please, please what ever you do, don't tell my boys there is zucchini in there! This was the experiment of the week since zucchini is starting to go crazy in the garden. I read about it last season, but was too afraid to try. Now, I'm kicking myself for not trying it sooner! It tastes just like apple pie. I don't even know how to stress that enough. I fooled everyone who tried it. Everyone! It's the best darned apple pie recipe I've ever made. There you have it rockers! I'm off to go locate that blender top. Have a great rest of your weekend! Until next time, rock on my friends!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Clean the Fridge Stir Fry

Hey rockers! It turns out cell phone pictures aren't that great, but try to ignore the blur, alright? In my quest to make the most of the garden and what we have on hand, I wanted to give you a better look at our Clean the Fridge Stir Fry. I talked about it over here a few weeks back, in case you missed it. After last weekend, our menu for the week is all about makin' due. The cool thing is, makin' due doesn't have to suck. This recipe never turns out the same way twice, which rocks because we never get sick of it. Since we'll have an exploding garden soon, this'll be a weekly staple. I don't follow a recipe anymore, but here's what I did this week: Cooked up a pound of linguine (the kids prefer it over cooked ramen noodles, whoops!) Then, I cleaned out the produce drawer in the fridge. I found celery, carrots, red and green onions and a couple zucchini from the garden. I also ran out back and found a yellow squash, a couple handfuls of green beans, one bell pepper, two jalapenos and three cherry tomatoes. I rinsed, peeled and sliced everything and threw it in my biggest skillet. I sauteed it all up with a couple tablespoons of olive oil until it's cooked to our preference. If I'm adding leftover cooked meat, I'd add it now, but didn't this week. I did however misjudge how much the veggies would cook down, so somewhere in the middle I added a bag of frozen broccoli to the mix to make sure we'd have enough for leftovers. Once it was all cooked up, I mixed two beef gravy packets and about a tablespoon-ish of soy sauce in two cups of cold water and dumped it in the pan. Then, just stirred until the sauce was thickened which only takes a couple minutes. Serve over the pasta. It's really that simple. On a side note, I only put it on the platter for the picture. In reality, the skillet and pasta pot would have been on the table :) Since I was curious, I added up an estimated total cost of this dish and came up with around $3.61. For five people, guys. Plus leftovers! We may just make it through the week after all! I'd love to hear if any of you have a "clean the fridge" dinner of your own. I'm always on the lookout for cheap cheap meals that rock. These recipes definitely make makin' due suck a lot less. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Monday, June 14, 2010

We Blew the Budget, And I Sooo Don't Care!

The recovery from this weekend's road trip is coming along slowly. Everything hurts, we're broke until payday and as twisted as it sounds, I don't care! Saturday night, before the Korn show, we all sat down at Johnny Rockets to have some cheeseburgers. We were already hungover and moving slowly from way too many cocktails the night before. As we half finished our dinner, we tried to give each other pep talks of encouragement. C'mon man! Korn's playing in an hour! We can do it! But as excited as we were for the show, sleep kept screaming at us. We were a bunch of tore up metal heads, let me tell you. Then, all of the sudden, my girlfriend's eyes literally bulged out of her head. She was looking at something behind me, but I was too tired to bother turning around. "LOOK, LOOK LOOK, " she whispered. I turned, but didn't see what she could possibly be looking at. Nothing over my right shoulder was close to being that interesting! Her eyes moved over to my left side. She looked like she was about to have a heart attack. "LOOK, LOOK, LOOK RIGHT THERE!" I could tell she was afraid to point, so following her eyes and checked over my left shoulder, half expecting to see the world's largest mohawk. Instead of a mohawk, though, I saw a dude with dreadlocks walking next to our table. I couldn't see his face at first and wasn't even sure if I was looking in the right direction, so I glanced back at my friend for confirmation. She was scrambling for her phone like a mad woman. I can see that now, our friend sitting next to her has "deer in the headlights" eyes. What am I missing here? Mystery dreadlock dude sat down at the table across from us. I gave him a quick peek, but I was interrupted by my husband's elbow in my ribs. I shot him a look that ensured paybacks to come. He said, "Look! It's f*ckin' Munky!" WHAT!!!???!!! I looked over at the table again, actually paying attention this time, and as realize I'm looking AT MUNKY, I suddenly felt my stomach flip. I had to feel my chin to make sure it wasn't sitting on our table. Our friend had successfully found her phone, and tried unsuccessfully, to sneak a picture without Munky noticing. He noticed. We were all so worried that we'd tick him off, which is not something you want to do when someone from KORN sits next to you. He didn't get irritated, though. He giggled with us and posed for the picture above. We asked if, after he ate his dinner, he would mind signing a couple things for us. He said it was no problem. We didn't mind waiting. At all. I sat back in my seat, realizing that I still had half of my food on my plate. Everyone else at the table was texting wildly to all of our people at home. All of the responses were either disbelief or pure anger. As the texting died down, we all stared at each other. No one could eat. We were determined to sit at that table the entire night if that's how long Munky wanted to take to finish his meal. Then, a funny thing happened. Almost all at once, we discovered we weren't tired anymore. We weren't hungover anymore. Apparently we all received a much needed shot of adrenaline that would carry us through this night. We giggled like a bunch of school girls as we thanked the Big Man Upstairs for this amazing surprise. Nothing was going to top this. At this point, the show was a bonus. As promised, Munky took our tickets and things to sign, gave hugs and shook our hands. After we thanked him, he quickly and gracefully disappeared into the crowd. Such a nice guy. Seriously. We celebrated at the bar for a bit and toasted to great friends and adventure before heading into the theater. We laughed at all of the star struck silliness that none of us knew we had inside of us. We asked each other, countless times, "Can you believe that just happened?!?" As I said yesterday, the weekend was historical. Sometimes we all get so wrapped up in our own personal realities that we forget to just go with the flow and have some fun. We forget to stop sweating the small stuff. So yeah, we blew our budget and I so don't care. I'd do it all again exactly the same tomorrow if I had the chance. We laughed until we cried, created secrets, and "inside jokes," broke down walls and strengthened friendships. For everything we gained, I think a busted budget was well worth the price. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Menu Plan Monday 6/14/10 Oops Edition

Happy Monday rockers! Amazing isn't a big enough word to describe the weekend we had. I can't think of many things better than a weekend road trip with best friends. The whole adventure was historical, and while I feel like I could sleep for a week to recover, I can't wait to do it again. Korn absolutely rocked. The venue was so small that there wasn't a bad seat in the place. The pit was insane and the energy all around it was contagious and addictive. Saturday night was one of the best heavy metal roller coasters I've ever been on! I wanna go again!
So here I am, on Monday morning, trying to figure out the menu for the week. Somewhere over the last couple of weeks, with everything going on, we forgot to make time for grocery shopping. Oops!
Somewhere over the weekend, we also managed to completely blow the budget for the week. Oops!
I feel alright about it, though. I've already paid the bills for the month and I have a freezer full of food. The garden is also finally starting to give more. I know we'll need to go pick up some milk and eggs, but we can make do with what we have for the rest of the week. Irresponsibility is totally acceptable in our house as long as we are responsible first. This week is a perfect example of responsible irresponsibility.
So what the heck are we eating this week?
Breakfasts: Baked Oatmeal, eggs and toast, cereal, and bagels.
Lunches: Sandwiches, cheese quesadillas, corn dog muffins and leftovers.
Dinners: Tamales (from the freezer) with beans, rice and salad.
Rotisserie chicken, baked potatoes and steamed veggies from the garden. I'll baked a bunch of extra potatoes so we can also have Bacon Cheddar Baked Potatoes the following day and then we'll also have hot dogs and potato salad later in the week. I'll also steam extra veggies so we can have Clean the Fridge Stir Fry. I'm hoping to try Vegan Fajitas this week, too. I may end up adding some leftover chicken to the recipe just because it sounds good. Finally, we'll have breakfast for dinner which will be pancakes, sausage, eggs and apple salad.
Desserts: (Man, my brain and back are screaming REALLY!!!????!!!) Smoothies, ice cream and any cookies that are left in the freezer.
There you have it! Not a bad menu for the week, considering I'm running on auto pilot :)
Don't forget to check out Menu Plan Monday this week!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Baking Day 6/12/10

Yay for me! This is my last baking day off for a few weeks. We're out on a road trip without the kids for a much needed weekend with great friends, lots of booze and a KORN CONCERT!!! I'll definitely be back to baking next Saturday, but this week, I've traded my apron for my favorite boob shirt. I hope all of you have a great weekend too! Maybe I'll see some of you metal heads at the show. For all of you that couldn't make it out, here's a recipe to try: Down-In-The-Dumps Pudding Beat together: 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 4 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt and 4 Tbsp. cocoa. Stir in: 1 cup milk, 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 2 cups chopped nuts (optional, and I leave them out). Spread mixture in an ungreased 9x13 pan. I also put the pan on a cookie sheet. I've had this rise up and over flow a bit in the oven and make a big, big mess. Blend in a small bowl: 2 cups brown sugar and 1/2 cup cocoa. Sprinkle over the top of batter in pan. Pour over all: 3 1/2 cups hot water. DO NOT STIR. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. This is my daughter's favorite dessert. She even asked for it instead of birthday cake last year. It's a gooey, chocolaty, mess but it'll fix even the worst sweet tooth. Alrighty rockers, enjoy. I'm going to get back to my mini vacation. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

First Garden pick!

You know how it goes. You plant seeds and starts, you water, you weed, you fertilize. Wash, rinse, repeat. For months. MONTHS! Starting the garden in March sounded like a great idea at the time. We had gotten lucky with some nice weather and thought if we got everything into the ground nice and early, we'd see an early harvest.
Meanwhile, back in reality, Mother Nature had another plan. Apparently she thought it's be just hilarious to give California a long winter. Lots of rain. Sun, not so much.
(This week, I can't complain. I finally got to run around barefoot most of the time. That's just how I gauge the weather. If I can run barefoot all day till bedtime, it's officially warm. Anyhow, back on topic.)
So, summer, or spring maybe (?) finally showed up this week. Finally, the garden has produced something. I couldn't wait to show you a picture! We got a couple handfuls of sweet peas, a strawberry, two raspberries, I think 8 blueberries and a whole whopping orange cherry tomato. Can you believe it? I know, it's not exactly enough for a meal yet, but it's a start!
I can't be the only metal head with a garden. How are your gardens growing?
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Got Cereal Bags?

Alright, so I was in the middle of making a batch of Chex Muddy Buddies for my daughter's last class party of the year. Her class loves the stuff and they're so easy to make, I thought it would be no big deal. I get it all mixed up and bend down to grab a big plastic baggie so I can shake the powdered sugar to coat everything. Except there was one problem. I only found an empty box that used to contain my big baggies. Great! I can't run to the store since the chocolate will harden by the time I get back. So now what? That's when I had my "Ah Ha!" moment. I didn't have any more baggies, but I did have a big plastic cereal bag sitting empty on my counter. This could work! I started to spoon the chocolaty cereal mixture into the bag. Visions of powdered sugar clouds coating my kitchen ran through my head as I poured some sugar into the bag. I told myself to fold and hold extra tight. I realized I had closed my eyes as I started shaking the bag. Afraid to look, I peeked one eye open. Hmm...all clear? Sure enough, it worked. It worked like a charm! Now I can't help but kick myself knowing how many plastic baggies (and money) I could have saved over the years. I also keep asking myself how many other ways I can use cereal bags. I'll have to start purposely keeping a few of them on hand to experiment. I just had to share my accidental woo hoo with all of you. Have a great day! Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Baking Day 6/5/10

Happy Saturday rockers! I am happy to report that there is no baking going on in the Headbangin' Household today. None what so ever. Instead of baking yummy cookies, breads and lunch goodies, I'm probably floating down the river in our raft that we've lovingly named The Big Floating Turd. (Yes, really.) As much as I love baking, I'm so thankful for the break. So, I hope you're all enjoying your Saturday. If you're missin' the baking too much, here's one of my favorite recipes you may want to try. How about Latte Bars? Just kidding! :) Zucchini Bread 3 eggs 2 c. sugar 1 c. oil 1 Tbsp. vanilla 3 c. flour 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. baking powder 1 Tbsp. cinnamon 3 c. grated zucchini In a large bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. In a smaller bowl, combine remaining ingredients except zucchini. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and blend until smooth. Add grated zucchini and mix by hand until zucchini is evenly distributed. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans and bake at 350 for about an hour, until toothpick tests done. Enjoy! Until next time, rock on my friends!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Good Deal Alert!

There's nothing worse than finding out that your favorite band is coming to town, but the service fees cost more than the actual tickets! Well, it turns out that for the entire month of June, Live Nation is waiving the service charges for all tickets purchased for events at Live Nation owned amphitheaters. Awesome, right? Hello Mayhem Fest 2010! There's an amazing selection of participating venues. Go over to Live for all the details. Have fun! Until next time, rock on my friends!