• Personally speaking….

    Just the thoughts and cookings of a software engineer that likes to make foodstuffs from time to time in the bay area of California.
  • Previously spoken….

    April 2008
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At least the rabbits are eating healthfully tonight….

Little bunny frufru So. Yeah. Since I knew I’d be packing for the trip tomorrow and finishing my project before I leave, I stopped off at the local grocery store and picked up a …. pizza. What! Don’t judge. And since I cleaned up the fridge of veggies that meant no salad even! But when I emptied the trash as the oven preheated, I ran into two rabbits.

After conversing a bit, I went back inside and grabbed my camera. They munched away happily on the plants and let me photograph them though I didn’t get as close as I was when I took out the trash. I want them to continue to live there. Last year, I had a lot of rabbits in the yard and would love to have a family again.

I’m sure my neighbors thought I was nuts since I was taking pictures of my yard from the side and making little reassuring noises. Maybe that’s why the rabbits didn’t run — they thought I was nuts and were entertained.

Little bunny frufru After snapping pictures of the two, another appeared from under my shed. Three rabbits! He or she slowly joined the other two and I tried to get closer. I guess I got too close and — WHOOSH! Talk to the tail!

So. Yeah. I fixed pizza. I ate pizza. But at least someone in the “household” eat healthfully. Rock on, bunnies, rock on. You’re an inspiration.

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Hot to trot tilapia, nummy mushrooms and mean green beans

Where's mine?Since I noticed a chicken pattern, I decided to go for another meat. I took photos but tried a different way of importing from the camera. It seems one should increase the autosleep mode on the camera when importing to iPhoto. Ah well! Live and learn. Better to have just lost a few photos of the meal than a bunch of zoo pix! But I couldn’t leave this post without some sort of imagery, so behold the cat! He didn’t get any tilapia and that’s his sad face.

Dinner: April 28, 2008

  • Blackened Tilapia
    I cooked it straight from frozen and wish I hadn’t. I also used olive oil instead of vegetable oil and wished I hadn’t. Since I used a non-stick pan, I cooked it at medium to get the ‘blackened’ look and then turned it down to finish cooking while I had tended to the other pans. I didn’t use celery seed or the lemon and doubled up on black pepper instead of using white.
  • Last Minute Mushrooms
    I didn’t use the white mushrooms that I bought so tossed this new recipe in with the mix. They tasted fantastic! But how can you go wrong when butter is involved?
  • Garlic Green Beans
    Another awesome new recipe that’s going in regular rotation! I love green beans and usually serve them dry or with some paprika. But the olive oil and garlic was awesome. Next time, I think I’ll do it in a saucepan instead of a skillet to save room on the stove.
  • 5-Cheese toast
    I heard my name coming from the freezer and there it was! These heat up beautifully in the toaster oven.
  • Strawberries
    Sliced some strawberries up for plate presentation. I liked the sweet to help with the heat of the fish.

Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, garden salad

Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, saladI’m seeing a chicken theme here. Bwok? I do eat other things, really! But for .69/pound (.20 off per pound), I got a roasting whole chicken and looked for something to do with it that would be at least a little different than the other birds that have fallen on my plate recently. I wrapped it up in plastic last night and checked the potatoes. They felt neglected and started to expand their family by growing. But it’s not that hard to pop out the eyes — how barbaric sounding! — and make some mashed potatoes. The other side was hard to choose though. A quick check on the fridge yielded the answer in leftover salad bits. “Eat us!”

Dinner: April 27, 2008

  • Roast chicken
    I’m seeing a chicken theme here. I do eat other things, really! But for .69/pound (.20 off per pound), I got a roasting whole chicken and looked for something to do with it that would be at least a little different than the other birds that have fallen on my plate recently. I did a rub and wrapped it up in plastic last night and checked the potatoes. They felt neglected and started to expand their family by growing. But it’s not that hard to pop out the eyes — how barbaric sounding! — and make some mashed potatoes.
  • Mashed potatoes
    De-eyed, peeled, cubed, boiled some Yukons. I guess I should have realized by their low price (.80/pound) that they weren’t going to be much longer for this world. The chicken left some liquid in its pan, so I whipped up gravy (I use cornstarch).
  • Garden salad
    Leftover boiled eggs (white only), tomato, romaine, cucumber, celery and Good Seasonings Light Greek Vinaigrette.

Kitchen Sink Salad

Organic Produce I stopped off at Walgreens and Food Lion on the way home. Walgreens to buy the non-food items to see if I really do save. That and they have the eye drops I need for my Lasik healing. I then went to Food Lion to wander the aisles a little but mainly went to pick up mushrooms and bacon for a recipe I saw.

I looked in the organic section to see what was available and how much it’d kill my budget. The local farmers markets aren’t open all the time yet nor are they stocked with all I need, of course. Boy were those prices high! But, I focused on the “dirty dozen” to get the most green benefit from my green. I picked up a few organic apples.

While there, I stopped off to look at one of my latest addictions: strawberries. They were cleaned out. Seems they’re having an unadvertised special on strawberries for 1.33 a pound. Yep. That’s dirt cheap. But then again, strawberries are one of the “dirty dozen” so I hesitate to buy too many “dirt cheap” strawberries. I, at least, try to buy ones grown and processed in U.S.A. Since they were out and I already had a little tub in the fridge, I didn’t pick any up. I wanted to use up the strawberries I do have so that I can buy more (and maybe check out one of those you-pick farms). I don’t have much time before I leave for Orlando for a week so want to clean up all the produce in the fridge.
kitchen sink salad

Dinner: April 25, 2008

Kitchen Sink Salad

That’s really all I can figure to call it. I had some produce in the fridge that I needed to either eat or throw away and I hate to throw stuff away. I sliced up a golden delicious apple, a hot house seedless cucumber (I love those cause I don’t have to peel them), romaine, spinach, boiled egg (only the white part), strawberries, and bacon (center cut). I drizzled it with about 3 tablespoons (I measured to see how much dressing I use to count points) of Newman’s Own Light Balsamic Dressing. Thoughts: Well, while I knew apple, spinach and strawberries would do well with balsamic, I didn’t like when I’d get a combination bite of strawberry and egg. So, I basically had two salads. I thought the egg, spinach, romaine, bacon combination was fantastic as seen in that recipe. I also liked the combination of strawberry, apple, spinach, romaine, and balsamic. The cucumber didn’t do much except blend into the spinach.

Update: I broke down and walked to Food Lion today to get some strawberries. They are from U.S.A. but not many left for $1.33.

Oven Fried Chicken, Avocado Greek Salad

Avocado Salad

Dinner: Oven Fried Chicken and Avocado Greek Salad

  • Leftover Oven Fried Chicken
  • Avocado Greek Salad
    So with the sale on chicken, there was a sale on avocados. I grabbed one and had no idea what I was going to do with it. A previous boss used to rave about this Greek dressing and avocado. So, I put together some torn romaine, quartered tomato and half the avocado. Drizzled with a little Greek dressing and enjoyed! The only problem with the dressing is that it’s about 3 points which is a bit high. It’s very delicious though.

Time to panic? Food Shortage

Food prices have risen 40 percent on average since mid-2007, and have led to riots in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. – Seattle PI

image by litherland on flickr

image courtesy litherland

Seriously? I know it’s gone up but 40% in a year?

The price of rice has more than doubled in the past five weeks, she said. The World Bank estimates food prices have risen by 83 percent in three years. – Seattle PI

Rice. The article goes on to talk about the staples being snatched up like bread when the news talks about snow around here. (For those not around here, snow is maybe max of an inch. We are not New York. We just panic a wee bit.) Alright, fine, I’ll go with an increase in food prices. I’ve seen it though didn’t document it. I’ve only been doing that price sheet for a little while now. But if people buy lots of rice and flour and oil, what’s that do? Rice and flour goes bad after a while. I’m surprised there’s not a huge shortage of canned goods. That, I thought, lasts longer than rice. Maybe if the rice were sealed in smaller containers? It would make storage easier. Just. Odd.

But if there is a shortage coming on flour, rice and oil, then I should be fine here. I don’t cook rice that often. Flour is the Devil. And the oil I most prefer is olive oil. If I didn’t have that, then I would be a sad panda but I know oil will go rancid. I’m only cooking for one or two. I won’t use it quickly enough to do a run on Costco. I do not like the idea of those in poverty being even worse off. If staples are going to be too expensive to buy then what about silly things like vitamins or vegetables? Sigh.

This does poke the part of my brain that’s been churning the “I need to try a garden again” idea. I even saw in a recent article by the local paper about container fruit trees. My backyard isn’t ready for permanent trees yet. It still needs a new storage building and fencing.

Honeyed Chicken, Roasted Butternut, and Strawberry Salad

In my effort to try and live mo’ bettah, I cooked last night and tonight. It’s hard though. I get off work around 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. Commute is not long but still puts me in the kitchen around 6:00 – 6:15 p.m. usually. Then there’s prep and cooking, so I’m not eating till around 7:00 p.m. or so. I want to exercise when I get home but if I did that, then I wouldn’t eat till closer to 8:00 p.m. Insane. Oh and another thing about eating last is the craptastic light I have to work with if I do photograph. I apologize for the blur. 20080423 Dinner

Dinner: April 23, 2008

  • Honeyed Chicken
    Used up the rest of the drumsticks that were dirt cheap that I bought yesterday. Didn’t use my locally bought honey because I didn’t have enough but will next time. I did use my own grown chives from out back instead of green onions. Measurements were eyeballed but used basically the rest of the recipe sort of. You know how it is.
  • Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Strawberry Salad
    This was a mixture of torn romaine lettuce, baby spinach and sliced strawberries. They’re in season, y’know. I drizzled on top of it some bottled Light Balsamic Dressing (Newman’s Own). This was my first time making or eating a strawberry salad and I liked it. Next time maybe I’ll add nuts.