Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Inadvertant Hiatus

Back in November I bought my first smart phone, thinking that if I get one at least it will still fit in the pocket of my Levi's as the phones were trending toward bigger being better. My phone barely fits in that front-pocket comfortably but it doesn't matter because I can't stop fiddling with it.

It started with Words with Friends, I couldn't stop playing! Then I accidentally hit an ad for Game of War and I figured, "eh, why not give it a whirl?". Needless to say, I'm a junky. It's at a point now though that  I think I'm about over it. Real life has to continue but I won't make a guarantee...

I guess my point is that when I cook a frozen pizza for late dinner tonight, I will be capturing photos. Eventually, it'll get posted and hopefully that pizza, if it's any good, won't be discontinued by then.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Grocery List, 121513

Honey Roasted Chicken and veg cakes out of Cooking Club this week. And beef sandwiches!

  • chocolate chips: $8.99
  • whipping cream: $3.85
  • maple syrup: $13.09
  • organic chickens: $21.69
  • brown sugar: $2.53
  • TOTAL: $50.15
Grower's Direct:
  • navel oranges (2): $1.22/1.54 lb
  • russet potatoes (3): $1.09/2.23 lb
  • carrots (2): $0.23/0.47 lb
  • swiss chard: $1.39/bunch
  • garlic: $0.61/0.16 lb
  • basil: $1.71
  • thyme: $1.29
  • C'est Si Bon rolls: $2.25
  • sharp cheddar: $4.19
  • TOTAL: $13.98
Smart & Final:
  • vanilla ice cream: $3.99
  • Hershey's dark cocoa: $3.29
  • baby arugula: $2.99
  • TOTAL: $10.27
Grand Total: $74.40
Total for the year: $1922.22

Friday, December 13, 2013

Cost of Take-Out Lunch, Week Ending 121313

The lunch coworker is out of the country. I'm goin' solo this week. Well, most of the week.

  • Monday: Carl's Jr on that coworker
  • Tuesday: Subway Chicken Club: $5.40
  • Wednesday: Subway Spicy Italian: $3.75
  • Thursday: Jack in the Box Chicken Fajita Pita combo: $6.79
  • Friday: roast and veg
Total: $15.94
Total for the year: $1556.97

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Spice-Crusted Cross Rib Roast

This was supposed to be a sirloin tip roast but I bought what I thought was the closest thing to it, a cross rib roast. I've never used a cross rib roast before so had no freaking idea what was going to happen with this recipe. The only thing I was sure of is that the spice mixture sounded wildly fascinating. Cinnamon and crushed red pepper together? I don't think I've had that yet.

Spice-Crusted Cross Rib Roast
adapted from Cooking Club, Winter 2014
click to print

2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed (I used 2 tsp ground coriander seeds)
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 lb. beef cross rib roast, patted dry

Heat oven to 350ºF. Line small rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Combine spice mixture ingredients in small cup.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.

Cook beef 5 to 6 minutes, turning to brown all sides.

Place roast on baking sheet. Sprinkle spice mixture over top of roast; pressing to adhere.

Don't forget the temperature probe.

Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until internal temperature in center of roast reaches 135 to 140ºF for medium rare. Cover loosely with foil; let stand 15 minutes before thinly slicing.

The roast reached 135°F in 60 minutes.

So incredibly easy to make! Even though my roast stood for an hour while the vegetables roasted, the juice leaked out everywhere while on the baking sheet and more leaked out on the plate; I thought for sure the beef would be like pink jerky, but it turned out to be nice and juicy and tender anyway. I'm mystified by that. The spice mix was excellent! I'll have to do another cross rib roast sometime in the future. Sandwiches are in my future and I bet they'll be awesome.

  • extra-virgin olive oil: $0.09
  • 3 lb. beef cross rib roast: $9.30
Total: $9.39 but I'll round up to $10 to include the spices, making each of six generous servings about $1.67.

Red Pepper-Onion Roasted Potatoes

Peppadew peppers, apparently found wild in Africa late last century, are supposed to be found pickled in jars or cans, maybe even in bulk in the deli case. Mild to hot, I guess they look like a cross between a red bell pepper and a cherry tomato. I searched the canned fruit/vegetable aisle, the end-caps of the big bins of the fruit and vegetable stands in the produce section, and in the condiment section amongst the pickles and pepper rings of three different grocery stores and came up empty-handed. If you plan ahead, you can order them. I executed the following recipe and simply omitted the six Peppadew's called for.

Red Pepper-Onion Roasted Potatoes
adapted from Cooking Club, Winter 2014
click to print

6 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick)
1 large sweet onion, cut into 1 1/4-inch wedges
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Heat oven to 425ºF.

Combine oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Toss potatoes, onion, and bell pepper in oil mixture.

Arrange on large rimmed baking sheet.

Bake 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender, lightly browned and peppers are lightly charred.

As with any roasted vegetables, tossing them in salted/peppered olive oil before spreading them across a big sheet and cooking at high heat yields tender, slightly sweetened, delicious veg. I didn't miss the Peppadew peppers but did wonder what they'd bring to the table. If I come across them in the future, I'll try this again.

  • Yukon gold potatoes: $2.50
  • sweet onion: $0.95
  • red bell pepper: $1.50
  • extra-virgin olive oil: $0.14
Total: $5.09 or about $0.85 for each of 6 servings

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Grocery List, 121113

Keepin' it simple this week with some simple meat and potatoes.

Spice-Crusted Sirloin Tip Roast
Red Pepper-Onion Roasted Potatoes

  • canola oil: $2.59
  • garlic powder: $1
  • gold potatoes: $4.99/5 lbs
  • red bell pepper: $1.50
  • sweet onion: $0.95/0.64 lb
  • Hansen juice: $4.49
  • cross rib roast: $9.30
Total: $24.82
Total for the year: $1847.82

Monday, December 9, 2013

Caramel-Apple-Ginger Bread

This bread caught my eye and dragged me 15 feet. Of course, when Emo Philips said that he was walking down a street of Downer's Grove talking about "something" while I was finger-walking through a magazine.
Regardless, I just had to do it, I had to bake this bread.

Caramel-Apple-Ginger Bread
from Cooking Club, Winter 2013
click to print

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c sour cream
2 eggs
1 1/2 c finely chopped peeled apples (Braeburn, Gala or Honeycrisp)
1/3 c chopped crystallized ginger

1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c unsalted butter, cut up
1/4 c heavy whipping cream
1 tsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger

Heat oven to 350°F if using a metal pan, 325°F is using glass dish. Spray 8.5x4.5" pan or dish wtih cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, allowing paper to extend over sides. Spray paper with cooking spray.

Whisk flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.

Blend brown sugar, oil, sour cream, and eggs in blender 1 minute or until smooth.

Make a well in center of flour mixture. Pour in egg mixture; whisk until moistened.

Stir in apples and crystallized ginger; spoon into pan.

Bake 55-60 minutes or until wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean but slightly moist. Cool in pan on wire rack set over sheet of waxed paper 10 minutes.

I opted to put the pan over a small baking sheet. While I did have to wash it later, I didn't contribute unnecessarily to a landfill.

Meanwhile, bring all glaze ingredients to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.

Remove bread from pan; remove parchment. With wooden skewer, poke holes in top of bread every inch, inserting skewer all the way through bread. Spoon 1/4 c of the warm glaze over hot bread, allowing glaze to seep into holes. Cool completely on wire rack.

Gently warm remaining glaze just until spreadable. Spoon over bread, allowing glaze to drip down sides. Let stand until set.

Oh yeah, this bread is oh-my-effin'-good. It's sweet but not crazy sweet (even with the glaze), and it has the zing of ginger, plus the little chunks of sour-sweet apple. Win!

  • all-purpose flour: $0.14
  • brown sugar: $0.42
  • canola oil: $0.21
  • sour cream: $1.10
  • eggs: $0.95
  • apples: $0.49
  • crystallized ginger: $1.87
  • unsalted butter: $0.10
  • heavy whipping cream: $0.98
  • light corn syrup: $0.04
  • fresh ginger: $0.12
Total: $6.42 or about $0.54 for each of 12-slices.