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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

I microwaved scrambled eggs for the first time.

Seriously, where has that been all my life?

I’m always a bit hesistant to cook eggs in the morning because it’s such a hassle.

But microwaving?  What a life saver!

I’ll be the first to admit that microwaved scrambled eggs are NOT as good as stove top scrambled eggs.  However, it’s a quick and easy way to get some eggs for breakfast.

I scrambled two eggs into a microwave safe bowl.  I added some Lawry’s season salt for taste.

Then, I popped them into the microwave for 30 seconds.

At that point, only the outer edge of the eggs are cooked, so I stirred it all up and added another 30 seconds.

Stirred that up again and did another 30 seconds.

By then, most of the eggs are cooked, only a small amount of liquid is left.  I mixed that around and found that they remaining liquid cooked itself as the eggs were sitting there and mixed.

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And there they are in all their microwaved glory.  Now the consistency is much firmer than eggs I normally cook on the stove top.  I supposed microwaving them for less time, or adding some milk could soften the consistency.  However, I didn’t mind the firmness at all.

In fact, I believe that the firm consistency is the reason K liked them so much.  She usually spits out my stove top scrambled eggs.  I think it may have something to do with the slightly mushy texture it leaves in her mouth.  But these eggs were a hit!

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And here is a very blurry shot of the action.  (Yes, we were eating breakfast in the living room on the couch.  Sometimes, we like to live on the wild side.)

I can’t wait to experiment with some add-in ingredients to make these eggs more exciting and yummier!

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If you’ve followed my blog for a long time, you will know that after I got married, I struggled with finding effective ways of meal planning and grocery shopping.

Search grocery shopping and you’ll come across several blog posts about my struggles.

#thestruggleISreal

Here’s the new system I’ve implemented and it almost seems like something that should have been easy enough to implement from the beginning.

While planning the week out in my planner, I take a moment to write out five dishes that I think I can make for the week.  Why five?  Because I usually end up making more than we need and end up with leftovers that we can carry over into another night’s dinner.

I don’t assign a specific night.

Easy peasy.

Then, I take that list and shop accordingly.

It’s like a light bulb moment.  It’s a low pressure system.  I still get the freedom of cooking whatever I want, when I want, just based on the list of foods I set for the week.  Why did I make it so hard on myself before?

The only difficulty I have is picking the five meals.

To fix that, I am going to list ALL the meals that I have cooked, I can cook, or would like to try and cook.  As recipes get tried and approved, I will add them to this list.  Then, I will have a master list of foods to choose from so I don’t have to wreck my brain trying to think of five different dinners.

We’re on week three of this system and it’s been working.  Grocery shopping has been fast and easy.  Food wasting has been the lowest it has been in a long time.  This system also pushes me to really try those recipes that I have been dreaming of testing.

Looks like it’s time for me to resurrect the Joe, Party of 4 food blog!

What’s your meal planning/grocery shopping system?

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M has been pretty obsessed with hot cocoa lately.  She saw it on one of the TV shows she likes to watch and has been asking for it for awhile.

Last year, we tried to buy her a hot chocolate from Starbucks to try, but she just wasn’t into it.  So this year, I was a little hesitant to let her try it.  However, it’s been a year.  A lot can (and has) change in a year.

Hubby came home one weekend morning from running errands and treated M and I to some Starbucks in bed.  I got a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and M had a kids hot chocolate.

She LOVED it.

Those kid’s hot chocolates are so small and the temperature was just barely warm enough that she ended up guzzling the whole thing within minutes!

I knew she was hooked.

I’m all about making things at home now without having to rely too much on mixes or overly processed items, mainly because of her peanut allergy.  It was relieving to see that the can of baking cocoa that I had in my pantry had a hot cocoa recipe.

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Hot Cocoa

1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of baking cocoa

A tiny splash of milk to mix it into a paste.

1 cup of warmed milk to mix into the paste.

Super simple, right?

Everyone’s microwave is different, but I warm up M’s milk for about a minute and half, while I warm up my milk for 2 minutes.

She loves this.  It’s not too sweet at all.  The sugar can be adjusted to taste also.  You don’t have to rely on those packet mixes that can be too sweet.  This one is just right amount of chocoately sweetness.

I bought my baking cocoa at Sprouts, but I’m sure you can use any brand of preference.

It’s the perfect drink for these cold winter days and nights!

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I’m always on the look out for a good chocolate chip cookie recipe.  M wanted some chocolate chip cookies with m&ms baked in.  I found a recipe on the bag of m&ms, but wanted to see what else what out there.  The recipe I used was found on the back of a bag of Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips.  I will type out the recipe below and then tell you what sort of modifications I made at the end.

2 1/4 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 C (2 sticks) Butter, softened, not melted
3/4 C White Sugar
3/4 C Brown Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
2 C Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375deg F.  Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside.  Beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy.  Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing on low-speed until incorporated.

Gradually blend dry mix into creamed mix.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

My modifications:

  • White and brown sugars – When using my 1/4C measuring cup, I under-measured each 1/4C increment.  It wasn’t drastic, but I know I put less than what the recipe was asking for.  The result was a cookie that wasn’t too sweet.  The m&ms compensated for a lot of the sweetness.
  • m&ms – Because M was asking for m&ms in the cookies, I started off by putting 1/2C of m&ms, then 1/2C of the chocolate chips.  Then I just eyeballed adding the more m&ms or chips to my liking.
  • Chilled dough – The recipe didn’t require the dough to be chilled, but in my previous cookie baking experiences, I’ve had better results when I let the dough sit and chill in the fridge.  I would make the dough in the morning and bake the cookies after lunch or during nap time.  That gave the dough about 3-4 hours in the fridge.
  • Baking time – I baked my cookies for 10 minutes.  They seemed a bit undercooked, but leaving them on the cookie sheet for about 5-10 minutes cooks them the rest of the way through.

My thoughts?

I really loved this cookie.  It’s soft and stays soft after it cools down completely.  The actual cookie part isn’t sweet at all.  The chips and m&ms add enough sweetness without being overkill.  M LOVES these cookies straight out of the oven while the chips and m&ms are still a little melted.  I’ve made these cookies twice and have had successful batches every time.

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Fresh baked cookies anyone?!

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