Category Archives: Food and drink

Live Flavors

As you know, I love food. I love to talk about food. I love to make food. I love to help people find foods that they enjoy. Right now, I am in love with researching different ways in which foods are processed and how that processing affects the flavor and/or nutrition of the food. I do this for no other reason than it interests me. I don’t get paid to do this. It is something that I enjoy learning about and I love passing on new information when I learn about it. Most recently, I have learned about a processing method that does not apply heat, helping to maintain the integrity and the flavor of the original food. Keeping the flavors alive is important in food. Am I wrong? I dare you to tell me I’m wrong. (I know I’m right. 😉 )

Case in point:

Evolution Fresh

There’s a new juice on the block these days. It’s from Evolution Fresh and when I did a side-by-side taste comparison of their orange juice with another brand of high-quality orange juice, I was impressed. (And it takes a lot to impress me where orange juice is concerned because, well, orange juice does not impress me. Juice in general does not impress me.) The first juice was…juice. It tasted just like most any orange juice I have ever had. It’s just juice. And then I tried the Evolution Fresh juice. It was a classic double-take reaction. I did not expect what I tasted. What I tasted was real. It was fresh. It was like the juice my son labored over for 30 minutes one morning, squeezing every orange in the house, just to serve me freshly squeezed orange juice. At the first sip, I had to know more. How did they do it? How did they make this juice that was like actually biting into an orange?

The answer is simple. They don’t heat it. Never. The fresh juice is cold pressed from the fruit, and to process the juice for commercial packaging and sale, it goes through High Pressure Processing. The juice is never heated. And the heat is what kills the vitamins, the enzymes, the FLAVOR of your foods and juices.

I have tasted several more of these juices now, and each one, even the Essential Vegetable, had such an explosion of flavor that I knew I had to make sure people knew about this new company and the amazingness they have to offer.

I really could go on and on about this. But I’ll save it for another post, another day. If you have a chance to check out Evolution Fresh in your neighborhood, you really should. I want to know what you think!

*This is not a paid advertisement. This is just me, really excited about a new thing I tried, and new information I’m learning! 🙂

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Fortunate

“Kung Hee Fat Choy” (or Happy New Year… Chinese New Year, that is!)

I am fortunate enough to have been able to share a blessed Chinese New Year dinner with my 2 favorite kids. I hope you will all benefit from this fortune cookie message in this Year of the Rabbit: “You will enjoy peace and harmony in your home”

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Super Bowl Food!

It’s the Super Bowl! And that means FOOD! Too much food, in fact. LOL
 
I threw together a quick veggie tray with just the veggies I had for packing in lunches. Broccoli, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms and sweet peppers…. and of course my ranch dip 🙂
 
My John made his new fave, pulled pork tacos. Maybe someday I’ll type up the recipe… (Nevermind…. Real Simple has it on their website: Pulled Pork Tacos ) We used fresh salsa, not the jarred stuff. And this time, we drained the excess juice out of the salsa so it wasn’t as runny…
Here’s a pic from when he made it a couple weeks ago:
 
We also had Jerk Chicken Salad, and I made my baby sis’s Crab & Shrimp Salad and Pico.
 
There’s plenty leftover for lunches this week. YAY!
 

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Beautiful Roast Dinner!

We had a wonderful Pork Roast for dinner this week. It was a joint effort in cooking. I sliced into the roast and shoved garlic cloves into the holes, then rubbed it down with thyme and onion powder. MMMMM That roasted while we prepared the red potatoes. Cut in half, then boiled for 10 minutes. While I was at soccer practice with kiddos, My John tossed the potatoes with olive oil, thyme, dried chives and chopped garlic, then added them to the pan with the roast. I also had a pan of veggies ready for roasting. I sliced some acorn squash and tossed in some broccoli & cauliflower to roast in the oven.
 
It all turned out wonderfully, and the leftover roast wil become BBQ Pork sandwiches for tomorrow night’s dinner while we watch the Seahawks game (yes, even with the season they are having, we are still watching…..)
 

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Saturday Date Night

Yesterday was a blustery, rainy, stormy day. We started with soccer games in the morning, where we barely escaped the storming. The rain started to come down at the end of Haden’s game. So we sat in the car for the 20 minutes before Felicity’s game began. The rain stopped before her game started, so YAY! We didn’t get soaked by rain.
 
After the games, My John & I headed out to the store for some snacky foods and a few things for weeknight dinners. (The kids are with their dad this weekend…) We grabbed some cheeses for the evening’s date night/movie night. We also got some things for dinners this week…. that will be in a post later….
 
When we arrived home, we sat and visited for awhile, dreamed a bit about the house we’re trying to buy, and watched the storm roll through again. It was a good downpour of rain off and on for quite a bit. I ended my day at Sister Moon Spa for a massage, using a gift card My John got me a couple months ago. I went at 4 for my foot soak, then an hour massage, ending with a steam shower. MMMMMMM And there’s enough on the gift card to go back again. 😉 So I’m going to see if I can squeeze it in while the kids go to their dad’s wedding reception next weekend (yes, he got re-married. They went to Hawaii for the wedding, so are having a reception here. A friend of mine is taking the kids, so I’ll have a little free time next Saturday, too…)
 
On my return from the Spa, My John & I enjoyed a nice tray of cheeses, fruits and salame, along with a nice glass of wine, while we watched movies. A great evening of relaxing, just what we both needed!!!
 

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Tacos to Straw hats

Tacos became Straw Hats…. that’s just taco meat on top of Fritos corn chips, sprinkled with shredded cheddar cheese.
 
The thought of the saltiness of it all was making me feel ill, though…… the family loves it, so I go along with it every now and then. I put a couple spoonfuls of the taco meat on top of my salad, instead of the Fritos. A little kick to the salad.
 
A lot of salads lately. I’ve noticed some extra weight sneaking onto my waistline recently. I’m determined to not have to buy new clothes, so I need to get my health back in check. Sitting at a desk all day leads to snacking all day… which means a few extra pounds…….. so, I’m eating salads and veggies for my snacks, and paying attention to everything I eat. The things I love and won’t give up are my coffee and chocolate. The coffee may be innocent enough, but the flavored cream makes it not-so-healthy. And I drink a lot of it, with a lot of cream…. my chocolate habit isn’t too bad. I eat 2-3 pieces of Dove dark chocolate a day. 5 peices is a serving size, and 210 calories, so I think it’s a "cheat" I can afford to not give up.
 
Really, my problem is in portions….. and eating when I’m bored…… I need to drink water….. and I need to eat more slowly….. I’ve been buying a lot more fresh foods lately. Trying to avoid pre-made items, if I can make it myself. One thing I’ve noticed with a lot of items that are lowfat, is they are higher in sodium content than the full-fat versions. I’ll take more fat over high sodium, any day. And just pay more attention to how much I eat of it…… I just can’t deal with a lot of salt in my diet.
 
Ah well. While I learn to eat healthier, I’ll bring the family along on my journey. Now, I’m not making promises of all home-made, no pre-packaged foods. But where I can, and where it’s feasible, I will keep it more natural and homemade 🙂
 
I’m ready for Chef Salad tomorrow! A trip with my boss, who wants to get back early to take his wife out for a Birthday dinner. So, I’ll be home earlier than usual, and can have a relaxing evening with the family.
What’s fo dinner at your house this week?

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A Summer Salad in January ;)

We’re eating our way through leftovers and our freezer and pantry. Tonight’s dinner was inspired by the leftover Tri Tip roast that we had grilled last week.
 
So we had a grilled steak & veggie salad! We re-heated the roast on the grill, and I made some Italian Balsamic Dressing. I brushed the dressing onto some bell peppers and crimini mushrooms and tossed them in my Grill Pan. On my Large Square Platter, I lined a Spring Mix salad down the middle and surrounded it with tomato wedges, hard boiled egg wedges, sliced cheddar and Crimson Fire cheese and cooked shrimp. The salad was topped with the sliced roast and sliced grilled veggies.
 
It was a huge hit with everyone tonight!!!!
 

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Cool Weather Cooking

Tonight was a perfect match for the cool weather Navy Bean Soup that I made today. The day started out nice and ended in rain, perfect for a nice warm soup. And this afternoon I dropped by to see Mom & Dad, just before Dad took 2 loaves of bread out of the oven! He gave me a loaf to bring home. And I have to say… his is WAY better than mine! This Mama’s gonna have to go back to bread bakin’ school, and hope that Daddy will be the teacher! LOL

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Trying Again…

I have become very "lazy" in my shopping and menu planning. This means I’m spending way more at the grocery store than I should be, and I never know what we’re having for dinner. So I’ll be working on getting my coupon file back in order, menus planned out for the month and a routine to my grocery shopping. I bought the Sunday paper this afternoon to get the coupons and sale flyers. Some pretty decent coupons in there this week! I’m hoping some of the sales will match up with the coupons in the next couple weeks!
 

Tonight’s Sunday Dinner was Mo’s Java Pot Roast! MMMMMM I just love this roast! It takes the cheapest, least tender chunk of meat and makes it moist, tender and oh-so-enjoyable!!! For dessert, the kids were happy to eat up the rest of the Jello and fruit that Haden put together last night. Simple enough  
 

 
Preparing for future meals!
While the roast was simmering on the stove, I took the stew meat that I got for a great deal and sliced it up into tiny pieces. When I cut it up tiny, it stretches a lot further for soups and chili. So I have 2 packs of meat in the freezer that are ready to go into the oven or crockpot for a quick throw-together meal! Half the battle is in the preparation, so if I have it prepped, I’m more likely to make the recipe!
 

 
Well, wish me luck in getting back to my old ways of shopping the sales and using my coupons and planning my menus. Soccer starts soon, so it’s going to be a MUST to be prepared for some easy weeknight meals!!!
 

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Fresh Food!!!

Well, I guess it’s been nearly forever since I posted! I have NO IDEA where the time went. It’s summer… and I’ve been terrible about cooking. The kids are finally home, and I am sick and tired of junky food!!!!!
 
So today I stocked up on some produce and am beginning to take stock of the freezer and pantry. The time is here to get my menu plans back on track, and STOP OVERSPENDING at the grocery store. My local grocery store choice is terrible and overpriced. Since I’m now working closer to good grocery choices once a week, I’ll be able to save a little, I hope…. and with a good menu plan, I should be able to stop my last minute runs to the store that always cost me more than they save me!
 
Tonight I had some shrimp to use, so I tossed it in the stir fry skillet with some butter and garlic and added tomatoes, mushrooms and green onions and tossed it all together with linguini. I also used up some cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with a quick Caprese Salad.
 
I’ve got a huge Basil plant sitting on my kitchen counter that I’ll need to find some more uses for. My friend, Janet, said it’s good on sandwiches, so I’ll try that tomorrow afternoon for lunch.
 
I’ll be working on menus again, too. I’ve started by making a list of our faves and stand-by recipes. Tomorrow I’ll work on taking a better count of the freezer and see what I can do with it over the next couple weeks. I want to thaw out the freezer while the weather is nice, so I need to clear it out and get it used up!!!
 
Tomorrow’s dinner will be Mo’s Java Pot Roast.
 
What’s For Dinner at your house? 

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