Thursday, June 05, 2008

Thursdays In the Kitchen.....And Other Stuff...

Good Morning All!!!

In an effort to be more organized (especially with being consistant with my posting), I want to set up a day for my kitchen thoughts, recipes and such. I just thought it would make it easier to post as I at least had an idea one day a week of what I was going to do!!! LOL

As I shared with some good friends recently, we are making an effort to get on track with our finances and budgeting. A big part of it for me is reigning in the flood of money that flows out of our house for fast food. But if I am going to cook more meals here (which I do enjoy)....I just don't always have the time to do alot of planning and then the shopping for what is needed.

For the last few weeks, as I have been driving home from Chattanooga, I have been listening to the Dave Ramsey program...and yes, he has been kicking my behind about the whole budgeting thing. But he has also talked about E-Mealz. It sounded like what I have been looking I checked it out and signed up. I don't want this whole post to be an advertisement for E-Mealz...but it is just what I was looking for. Menu plans using the grocery of your choice....the menu, the shopping list and the recipes all together. You can even chose for your size family, and even if you are on a diet or vegetarian. The link for it is at the bottom of the page here...check it out for yourself. Yes, I do get credit it you sign up with my email....but that is not important to me. If you think it could help you....go for it. OR I know there are others out there, just do your google search. For me, it is a $15 very well spent for 3 months of time saved in the planning and searching for a menu, and all that goes with it. (Now, I just want to save up for that personal chef!!! LOL)

Even with the menu plan....I am always on the lookout for good recipes, especially side dishes. Seems like I always fall into a rut with those. How about sharing some of your favorites??? I would love to see what works well with your family. You can share them by hitting the "comment" word at the bottom of this post and then type in your info... I just think this would be a fun way for all of us to get some ideas for our summer menus.

This weeks theme: Side Dishes!!!!
Let me share one of our favorites around here.... I like to start the week out with some basics that I can use for any meal or just a quick lunch. For us, it is great to have a basic salad on hand.

The usual for us is:
carrot (I get them already cut into matchsticks...saves time!)
green onion
red pepper

While I am cutting up the veggies for this...I go ahead and divide everything except the lettuce into two bowls. In the second bowl, I put together an easy pasta salad. For it, I use bow tie pasta prepared per the box (I use the entire box).....add the cooled pasta to the veggies (remember all except the lettuce). Then salt and pepper to taste and add your favorite dressing to coat well. I LOVE to use the Litehouse Salsa Ranch dressing. This makes a quick side dish for alot of our meals that are made on the grill....and I just love to have it alone for a quick lunch.

Another favorite is the Crunch Salad:
2 bunches fresh broccoli (broken in small pieces)
1 head cauliflower (broken in small pieces)
1 red onion, chopped
2 c. cherry or grape tomatoes (cut in half)

1 c. mayonnaise
1 T. vinegar
dash of salt and pepper
1/2 c. sour cream
2 t. sugar

Combine dressing ingredients, mix well. Toss with vegetables. Serve well chilled. (This looks great in a clear glass bowl for company!)

I hope you enjoy these recipes...and I hope you will share some of your own!

(PS...I have had requests for info on the belly dancing class in Dayton, TN....I have some of the info, but I am having trouble getting the website addy I have to work....let me figure out what is wrong and I will post the info tomorrow!!!)

Have a great day!!

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