Yeah, about that salad ...

>> Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When we last talked I mentioned something about some free salad - so if you commented on that post send me your address ( I'll send you a coupon. You know, in a month or two. I know I've said it before, but blogging is hard you guys!

1. sketti and meatballs
2. broccoli

I've had better and that's about all I want to say about that.


Just When I Think I Got It

>> Thursday, October 21, 2010

I don't.

Ms. Ambitious (that's me) made not one but TWO lunches today. One for me, and one for my much loved assistant. Who called in sick. Figures. Oh. Did I mention the lunches were actually frozen? Yeah. I hope my husband doesn't read this. I don't think I can live with the gloating from Mr. Letsbuyanewfridge. Not sure which is worse - him being right or me being wrong. Whatever. Bygones.


Mmmmmmmm, ham. Salty fatty oh so good goodness. If you're ever near South Mountain and have a burning desire for a ten dollar ham sandwich you gotta go to the Farm. It's so sweet it'll make your teeth hurt. The Farm I mean, not the sandwich. The sandwich itself isn't sweet.

Know what else is sweet? Free salad. Want one?


Salad for Me and Salad for You - Cake for Me and None for You

>> Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I got an offer that I just couldn't refuse. Free salad. The only catch was that I had to eat it. And blog about it. Since I'm pretty damn good at one of those things and pretty, well, let's just say I do both of them. One more than the other. Anyway, I jumped at the chance. Imagine my disappointment when I did not in fact receive free salad delivered right to my door but instead a regular ol' envelope stuffed with salad coupons. Yeah, sad face. Then of course I promptly forgot about it 'cause that's how I am.

Tonight I was driving home from work repeating my mantra for the day dontforgettostopatwalgreensdontforgettostopatwalgreensdontforgetto hey I wonder what I did with those salad coupons? And the rest was, or is? history.

Here's what I did. I got a bag of the Veggie Lover (iceberg, romaine, carrots, pea pods, red cabbage and radishes) variety of salad and a rotisserie chicken. And some strawberries but that has nothing to do with this and everything to do with cake. Normally I avoid anything labeled "veggie" so I guess I wasn't paying attention when I grabbed it off the shelf but it all worked out in the end. I made some spring rolls with the salad, chicken, rice noodles and some mint because spring rolls must contain mint. It is written. Somewhere. Or just here. Anyway, here's what it looked like.

I love making these because it's a good vehicle for getting peanut sauce to your mouth but if you use a nice bold vinaigrette on your greens it'll even taste good without it. Not AS good of course, but good enough. Want a recipe? This is what I used to dress the lettuce tonight, and it was good enough to write down for next time.

Ginger Lime Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon of ginger from a jar (gingar?)
1 teaspoon each fish sauce, sugar and rice wine vinegar
3 teaspoons lime juice
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
pinch of salt
1/2 of a serrano pepper sliced super super thin

Dump it all in something with a lid and shake like mad. Done.

Here's a tip. If you want to make extra for your lunchbox tomorrow, and I know you do, wrap each roll in a damp paper towel and then seal them up in a zip bag and they'll keep very nicely in the fridge for a couple days. If you put them directly into plastic the rice paper will stick and rip and you will be mad and angry.

Also, Emma made us a cake!

If you'd like Emma to come to your house and make you a cake, I'm sorry, that won't happen.

But! if you act now! you could win your own FREE salad!

Please be aware that you will not receive an actual real salad delivered to your door. That would be silly. Just leave a comment with the word VEGGIE between now and Saturday night and I'll pick 5 extremely lucky people and mail them a coupon for a free salad.

Disclosure: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received Fresh Express salad for me and for you.


Ghetto Lunch

>> Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I made these lentils last night, and they just didn't turn out the way I expected. So this morning I was in a hurry and kind of irritated that I had made a Food Network recipe -again- that just didn't work and just not in the mood to waste any love on this crappy lunch.

Behold! The Ghetto Lunch

Inside the exclusive new WHITE Walmart bag I packed

1. Ikea container with leftover lentils
2. small bowl of yogurt with roasted chili, cleverly covered with cling wrap
3. Fresh & Easy garlic naan straight from the bag
4. a bowl

Three minutes in the microwave and this is what I had.

Guess what? You know how sometimes things taste better the next day? Well this is one of them. Only not like just a little, it was way better. Better enough that I might even make it again.

Mum's Everyday Red Lentils

Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeira, 2010

Lentils (Dal):

* 1 cup masoor dal red lentils, picked through for stones
* 2 cups water
* 1 onion, diced
* 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* 1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced
* 2 medium tomatoes, diced
* 1 serrano chile, sliced in 1/2, optional

Tempering oil (bagaar):

* 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
* 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
* Generous 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika or bafaat powder
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* Handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves


Put the lentils in a strainer and rinse them under running water. Add them to a bowl, cover with water and let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of water, the onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chile, if using, and the lentils. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim any scum from the surface. DO NOT ADD SALT YET; it will toughen the lentils, thereby lengthening their cooking time. Lower the heat, cover the pot with a lid and gently simmer until the lentils are tender, almost translucent, and almost falling apart, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Whisk the lentils, releasing its natural starch, and mash some them so the mixture becomes thick. Add salt, to taste.

Tempering oil (bagaar): In a small bowl, combine the cumin and mustard seeds. In another bowl, combine the spice powders. Have all the ingredients ready because this will move very fast!

In a small skillet, over a medium-high flame, warm 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add seeds and immediately cover so you don't get covered in spluttering oil and seeds! Add the spices. They should sizzle and bubble a little - that's the blooming and it's exactly what you want. Don't let them burn. The mixture should bloom for about 30 seconds, no more.

Pour the oil mixture into the lentils, standing back so you don't get hurt when the mixture splutters again. Stir to combine. Transfer the lentils to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro.

I followed it pretty closely except I doubled the quantities, optimistic I know. Also I cooked the onions first until soft and brown, then added the garlic and ginger and then when the garlic was soft added the tomato and lentils. Also I used ghee instead of vegetable oil. Oh, I also added about 1/4 teaspoon of super hot cayenne powder to the spice mix at the end to up the heat a bit. And a little garam masala at the end. What the heck is bafaat powder anyway? I asked Twitter and was ignored. I wish I had more Twitter friends. Will you be my Twitter friend?

OMG. I've just realized I'm one of those people that complain about how dreadful a recipe is and then reveal that they substituted hot dogs for walnuts and agave syrup for the sugar and halved the butter and added some vinegar but just can't understand what went wrong and why the cookies just didn't turn out the way they should have AND one of those people that beg other people to be their friend AND one of those people that write really long run-on sentences. I pretty much hate me right now.


An Exception for Every Rule

>> Monday, October 4, 2010

So what's the rule? If you (meaning me) don't post your lunch on the day that you eat it you don't post it at all. The exception? This post. And probably tomorrow's.

Hey, it's my rule, I can break it if I want!

1. peanut butter sandwich
2. plum jam
3. carrots
4. oreos
5. full fat milk

Looks like a pretty normal lunch, no? A veritable American classic I'd say, if not for that jam on the side business. Let me tell you about that. I -needed- PB&J because I'd already decided on the oreos and milk. Self-explanatory, right? So I started my sandwich and only then discovered that I didn't have an appropriate jelly. There was raspberry which of course can only be eaten on toast, and Seville orange marmalade. Uhm, no. What to do?

I know what to do. Grab a couple of plums off the counter and make your own damn jam, that's what to do. Or you could go to the store. But I didn't, I made jam. Felt like Ma Ingalls making-do during a long cold winter out on the prairie! (Except she probably didn't have plums sitting around. Or sugar.) And best off all it was the most delicious plum jam I've ever had the privilege to smear on bread.

Turns out plum jam is really easy to make, just chop up some fruit and cook it for 1/2 of forever with just enough water to cover and a little sugar to make it sweet until it gets sort of goopy, cool it and eat it. (Feel free to steal this recipe)

See? Look at it? Doesn't it just scream sweet/tart wonderfullness?

Of course the reason I was so dead set on my oreo and milk idea was because I made the oreos. That's right, homemade oreos. None of that nasty cake mix business either! I was inspired by @scatteredmom from Chasing Tomatoes who had been inspired by a recipe found on Smitten Kitchen. I wanted a dark, crisp, thin cookie and the third time was the charm. I was -really- happy with the way these turned out. Want a closer look?

I know right? Here's what I did:

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 stick softened salted butter
1 egg

1/2 stick softened salted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.

Stir the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar together then with an electric mixer add in the butter and the egg and mix until it makes a ball. Gently knead it a few

times until it turns into something resembling black play dough.

My small cookie scoop was too big for these (and don't even try a press - trust me) so I scooped out 1 teaspoon sized scoops, rolled them into balls and arranged them on a paper lined cookie sheet. I covered the sheet with waxed paper and smashed the balls flat with the bottom of a beer a glass then peeled away the paper. I ended up with 3 trays of 15 cookies each not counting attrition by tasting. I baked these on sheet at a time on the center rack for 11 minutes.

To make the filling just beat the butter and shortening together with the vanilla, add the sugar and mix on low until smooth, then beat a couple of minutes until fluffy.

Match up your halves for size and fill with a generous sploodge of filling (I used a pastry bag) then smash it down with the matching half.

Eat with milk!


Bad Cookie

>> Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I want your ugly, I want your disease ... I want your everything as long as it's free

Know what this is?

That is a BAD COOKIE. It's also the only one left. Apparently my family digs the Gaga AND bad cookies.

Had a sweet craving - saw a box of cake mix leftover from RumCakeExtravaganza09 - remembered some buzz about "cake mix cookies" and the rest? History.

Want to make your own Bad Cookie? Here's how.

1 box of yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
a couple of big hunks of dark chocolate chopped up
what's left in a bag of walnuts you come across while looking for chocolate

Mix it all up, roll into balls, bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Pile them up on a plate and watch as your family devours them two by two all the while exclaiming that these are the best! cookies! you've ever made. Taste a cookie and marvel at it's odd soft yet oddly heavy and crumb free texture. Enjoy the flavor of artificial yellow. Try to suck the coating off the roof of your mouth. Drink some milk. Kick yourself once (gently, but with feeling) for wasting good chocolate. Remember how excited they were to have McDonald's for dinner the night before. Remember how underwhelmed they were about your homemade oreos. Ask yourself why you even try. Turn up the music. Dance to forget.


Rarer than Rubies

>> Monday, September 20, 2010

A lunch without leftovers? I know! I couldn't help myself, dinner was a delicious sandwich from Flancer's and I ate every last bite! Can't remember the last time I had to pack a lunch without the benefit of leftovers.

1. somen noodles with boiled egg and chives (sauce in the bottle)
2. dumplings with dipping sauce in the panda
3. green beans
4. tomatoes
5. teeny tiny cupcake with a marzipan persimmon on top


When the Cat's Away

>> Thursday, September 16, 2010

The mice eat scallops!

With the spouse out of the country and girl insisting on salad (!!Iknowright??) it was a great opportunity to indulge in some expensive seafood. The boy was hoping for BACON wrapped scallops but honestly I don't know how you are supposed to get the BACON done without overcooking the scallops. Heck I usually overcook scallops without any complicating factors at all. But not this time. I cooked the BACON first, then managed to get a decent sear on the scallops without overcooking them at all. It was almost like a Christmas miracle.

The puree was an attempt to entice the Boy into loving squash by adding copious amounts of butter and heavy cream. Okay a little butter and a splash of half and half. Either way it didn't work. He still hates.

1. scallops with BACON
2. squash puree
3. some figs and a berry and dried cherries


Sometimes a Salad is Just a Salad

and sometimes it's a salad with a side of yogurt. Okay, not very often, but sometimes. And that sometimes may very well coincide with the sometimes that you really need to go grocery shopping. Sometimes.

1. lettuce
2. goat cheese
3. beets
4. Sporadic Cook squash
5. almonds

1. yogurt
2. dried fruit and nuts


True Blood Sunday Dinner

>> Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What kind of nerd plans a theme dinner based on a TV show? Well don't look at me, I certainly don't know!

Here's another leftover lunch.

1. fried chicken
2. coleslaw
3. fried okra
4. pickled beets
5. deviled egg
6. red velvet cupcake

Unfortunately I didn't have room for anything else in my lunchbucket, but this was also served at dinner.

1. Talbot


Tomato Farming and Sauce Craving

>> Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How was your Labor Day> As always we celebrated the holiday (any holiday) with food. There was ...

1. pulled pork
2. coleslaw
3. trailer park baked beans
4. and homegrown tomatoes

I made the 3 Day Slaw Julie talks about here and it was okay, but probably not my favorite. If I made it again I would use 1/2 the celery seed and maybe add some mustard seed. Also it was really, really juicy. I think you should either prepare the cabbage ahead of time and get some of the liquids out, or use less dressing, or both. And don't use red onion if you can help it. It made the color kind of off.

And those tomatoes? Grew 'em myself. Yep. Sure did. Here's another shot to give you some perspective.

Oh. By the way. That's the entire harvest. Anyway, moving on.

Good news! There is one thing that I can do better than growing tomatoes and that's making barbecue sauce. I was seriously craving a certain style of sauce. Memphis style sauce I guess it is. Vinegary and peppery and sweet. And guess what? I nailed it. Really! I did! It was exactly what I was looking for. I know sauce is a personal thing, but who knows? Maybe this one is just what you're craving. And if you make it with organic ketchup there's no evil HFCS! I know, right? I shall share.

Crave Sauce

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
5 drops of liquid smoke
1 cup ketchup

Mix everything except the ketchup in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the dry stuff dissolves (the onion powder takes the longest) then add the ketchup. As soon as it starts to bubble turn the heat all the way down and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir it pretty frequently and watch out for eruptions. You can eat it as soon as it cools down but it's better the next day.


Sad Giraffe

>> Monday, August 30, 2010

Another day, another dollar, another packed lunch. Work continues to kick my ass. I know, I know, it's called work for a reason. Nobody bitches about having to go sit on the couch, but good gravy it's just making me so sad. Of course it's not like I really expect it to be cotton candy fun, but I could sure use a break. Well, enough about me, let's look at what I ate!

1. tragically overcooked strip steak, sliced thin
2. smoked gouda
3. the sandwicheriffic Bagel Thins - speaking of Bagel Things, did there used to be something else called Bagel Thins that was most certainly not -these- Bagel Thins? I'll have to think on that for a while. Moving on -
4. tiny pepper stuffed with chive cream cheese
5. some maters
6. asianesque cucumber salad made with Soy Vay Island Teryaki because I am just that clever and also had no sesame oil
7. Maille whole grain mustard, and plenty of it
8. sad giraffe because I didn't have a tiny fork with a plastic representation of a crying baby Jesus which really would have been more appropriate


Bagel Thins - Not So Bad

>> Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not so bad. How's that for a ringing endorsement? Honestly I'm just not the sort of person that effuses too much about much of anything, much less a packaged bread product. I'll do my best.

But! These Bagel Thins things, not so bad! Not as good as a real bagel, but only like 1/4 the calories too - course that's because you only get like 1/4 the bagel (hence the THINS part). There's no need to be chintzy with the sandwich fixin's. You can pile that baby up and still be able to fit into your pie hole, no problemo.

And! It's the very best part of the bagel, the top, and the bottom. It did occur to me that I could just get regular bagels for about half the price and just cut a thin slice of each side and get pretty much the same thing.

Plus! The middles - I could make croutons. It would be like getting FREE salad accouterments! Then I remembered I'm lazy.

1. turkey and smoked gouda on a bagel thin
2. some other crap
3. a cookie! yay! cookies!

I get a little more enthusiastic about cookies. Clearly.


I Killed Mrs. Weaver

>> Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You know what happens when you send two guys to Costco right? Not only do you end up with 15 pounds of jumbo shrimp and 30 pounds of limes, you also get 9 pounds of shredded cheese.

Know what you do with 9 pounds of shredded cheese? You make a whole buttload of quesadillas. And when you tire of that, you make pimento cheese.

But maybe you don't actually use pimentos because you have peppadews on hand, and you like them better. And maybe you don't use mayonnaise because you don't have any store bought and you can't make any because you kid heard about the big salmonella egg scare of 2010 and threw out your eggs in one bold death-cheating move. But you might have a small container of greek yogurt, and you might have a jalapeno so maybe you mix those up. And then maybe you eat it on a cracker. And maybe it's good. And it is.

1. cheese spread
2. celery
3. little peppers
4. olives glistening with oil
5. crackers


Meatloaf. Yay!

>> Monday, August 23, 2010

I think I've only ever actively -wanted- to eat meatloaf twice in my entire life. The first was last night, today was the second.

1. meatloaf
2. frizzled onions covering smashed potatoes
3. ketchup. it's how I roll


Salsa, No Chips

>> Wednesday, August 18, 2010

There was some other stuff here too, some grilled halibut and green beans and rice, but the salsa was the star. You can tell by the way I only took a picture of the salsa. Okay, the real reason there's just salsa in the picture is because I inadvertently got some confidential work stuff in the frame. Yes, I am a star. And really, fish is fish, right? And that salsa was fabulous.

1. pineapple and peach salsa*

*Two small peaches, about a cup of pineapple chunks, a little red onion, some jalapeno and lime juice.


If You Give a Moose a Muffin

>> Tuesday, August 17, 2010

...that a mom bought at Wal-Mart, pretty much everyone involved will regret it.

1. inferior blueberry muffin
2. grapes
3. plum
4. magic disappearing chocolate


So two guys walk into Costco ...

>> Saturday, August 14, 2010

and you end up eating shrimp cocktail for a week. Moral? Don't send two guys to Costco to buy stuff for shrimp cocktail. Duh.

1. the last cup of shrimp cocktail
2. the next to last tostada
3. what should have been the last avocado two days ago


The Way I Like My Cars & My Women

>> Monday, August 9, 2010

Are you watching The Next Food Network Star? I am. And I'm totally in love with Aarti. And I love saying her name. With her accent. In my head of course. It would be weird to sit around saying her name out loud. Clearly. Anyway.

1. chicken curry
2. rice
3. my beloved mixed pickle
4. vat of yogurt

I used a new product for this curry - Kitchens Of India Curry Paste . The verdict? Not bad. Not bad at all. I added onions, because I think it's some kind of curry law that you must have onions, but that's really it. Fast and easy.

Oh my gosh! I didn't mean to say Aarti's fast. Or easy! What the hell do I know? I drive a Civic, and I never even ever had a woman! I blame the margarita.


A Bucket of Lunch

>> Thursday, August 5, 2010

Someone commented on my lunchbucket on my way out of work today, showing me her tote bag stuffed with empty storage containers. "That would -never- be big enough for me!" I just smiled, and walked on.

1. cheese sandwiches
2. bunch of baby tomatoes
3. almonds
4. plum
5. avocado and lettuce for sandwich enhancing
6. big chunk o' chocolate


The Way to My Heart? Pretzel Bread. And Meat.

>> Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I haven't been feeling well. The plague, clearly. Anyway. He went out to eat with a friend and asked if I wanted him to bring me something. I said that if they had a kid's meal slider on a pretzel bun special to get me one. I know you probably didn't understand that, but he did. And they didn't. But look what he got them to make for me instead! Filet sliders with ooozy havarti on pretzel bread breadsticks. The heart swoons does it not?

1. filet sliders on pretzel bread
2. hummus and pita chips
3. pickles and a plum


My Life on a Good Day

>> Tuesday, July 27, 2010

1. made a sandwich
2. remembered to take it to work
3. had time to eat most of it

Livin' the dream folks, livin' the dream.


Talkin' to Charlie Brown's Parents

>> Monday, July 26, 2010

Oh for heaven's sake no! I'm still not cooking. It's still too hot. A couple of months ago when He starting talking about replacing our AC I blew it off. I mean it still works, right? BTU, tons, seer, blah, blah, blah bah blah. And blah. Well guess who's sittin' up and paying attention now? I'll tell you who, me. Know why? Because I am HOT. And not in the good way.

1. cheater chicken
2. various vegetable type things
3. lemon, bread and a pickle
4. romesco
5. a plum

Oh. In case you need a romesco short cut, I got one. You know, cause it's too hot to be slaving over a blender. Just pulverize 1/2 cup of almonds in the blender, then dump in an entire jar (12 oz, DeLallo brand) roasted red peppers packed with garlic in olive oil. If it's too runny just add bread (baguette size) a slice at a time until you like the texture. EZPZ.


Keepin' My Day Job - For Now!

>> Thursday, July 15, 2010

A couple of weeks ago a particularly hateful unhappy camper suggested that since I wasn't very good at my job that I should consider getting a different one. Sounded like a jolly good plan to me. I immediately drafted a Potential New Career list.

Looks like I can strike SPY off the list. Also PHOTOGRAPHER. And COOK. Next up HOOKER and SHARECROPPER. Sorry Ms. Nastypants, looks like you're stuck with me - for now!

1. leftover pad thai
2. spring rolls


Summer of the Sandwich, in Continuum

>> Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I know continuum isn't the right word to use here but dammit people, I am TIRED. And hot. And also a spy. So about that job thing ... yeah. The soul-sucking continues. It's been so bad this week that we are being forced to combine sweet precious lunch time with, well, with work. I know right?!?!?

Today was a proud day though, know why? See that picture? I totally took it on the sly with my phone. What you don't see is that there were other people there, crowded around my desk, eating sad little lunches and talking about stupid boring work and then there was me, surreptitiously snapping away, documenting the Summer of the Sandwich. For you. I did it for you.

1. cucumber and cream cheese sandwich
2. blueberries and yogurt
3. pickle stabbed through with a festive drink umbrella


One Step from a Steak Smoothie

>> Wednesday, July 7, 2010

If you're lucky enough to have a boy that chooses to show his gratitude by cooking you a steak dinner there's no reason at all to scrape the leftovers into the trash. Just mix it all up together, throw on some sour cream,wrap that shit up and call it lunch.
After you add carrot sticks and tomatoes for color of course.


Fresh & Easy

>> Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I had to go to court this morning, looks like I'm going to have to shut down my escort service. It's just not fair, I'm a dancer!!!!

No really. I did have to go to court this morning and there was no way I was going to carry my lunchbucket around all morning in this heat. It's hot here you know. I may have mentioned... Anyway, stopped at F&E on the way to work and picked up some random stuff for lunch.

1. "Classic Olive Tapenade"
2. some Kashi vegetable crackers that had a little spice to them that I wasn't expecting
3. aged gouda
4. Black Velvet (trademarked I'm sure) apricots

I'd planned to get some goat cheese but aged gouda is my kryptonite. Well that and vodka. The goat cheese probably would have worked better with rest of the stuff but the gouda was really good, especially for the price, and had lots of those little crusty crystally things in it. Salt? Dried unicorn tears? Whatever.

The apricots are some kind of apricot/plum hybrid and if I'd been wearing socks they would've been knocked off. Sweet and tart and gorgeous with deep purple fuzzy skin and mango colored insides. And juicy. Like eat over the sink juicy. Like where have you been all my life juicy. I actually had an overwhelming impulse to share with my co-workers which is totally not my normal nature. Of course I regret it now.


That'll do, Pig

>> Friday, July 2, 2010

1. fruit
2. pastry

The only good thing about terrible horrible no-good very bad meetings is ...


There was nothing good about those berries though, they got tossed. And the pastry wasn't so great either but I didn't let that stop me. The pineapple on the other hand was perfect. And free. So I went back to the conference room for more, quite a bit more, actually, so much more that I would have been embarrassed had anyone seen me. But they didn't. I'm a ninja pig!


Is that a professional sandwich?

>> Thursday, July 1, 2010

What? This ol' thing? Why you flatter me Mr. Butler!

Sorry, it's the heat.

1. amateur sandwich with turkey, cheese and mayo on the most delicious sweet onion roll ever
2. grapes

I was about 1/4 of the way through this sandwich when a co-worker came in and admired it. That was a good reminder to take a picture. Blogging is HARD you guys!


Brown-baggin' It

>> Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oh dear. Looks like I'm late for the quarterly update! I blame the heat. It's really hot. Really, really hot. Did I mention it's hot? It is. Hot. I'm on cooking hiatus. And I'm blaming the heat. And my soul-sucking job. But that's a story for another day ... or month. Maybe when it's not so hot.

1. sweet potato and mozzarella sandwich on a tiny kaiser roll with fig jam
2. blackberries, straight up


Haiku that Blog! v1.05 And the Winner Is ...

>> Monday, February 22, 2010

The contenders:

John Deere Mom
Mama Drama Times Two
no link Lindsey

The winner:
w! of windiwinn - she likes stuff (and has junk in her trunk)

The haiku:

i just now real-ized
that ho-ho is on kai lan.
the soup name scared me.

The prize:

The coveted Pandapple lunch set!

Thanks for playing along. W please contact me (lunchbuckets AT your mailing address so that I can throw your package in my trunk with the rest of my junk and forget about it for a couple of weeks.


Haiku that Blog! v1.05 Pandapple Edition

>> Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's time for the fifth installment of Haiku that Blog!

This month we will be creating word art celebrating The Sporadic Cook. Nadia was the winner of Haiku that Blog v1.04 way back when but unfortunately she's gone MIA and so I've made the executive decision to pick on Julie 'cause I lurve her and I think you will too and also because it's my blog and I do whatever I want.

Here's what you have to do to have your own blog immortalized in verse -AND- win a cool prize.

1. write a haiku about Julie and/or her blog
2. post it in the comments on this post
3. wait to see if you win

Easy huh?

What do you mean you don't know how to write a haiku? Haven't you people heard of Wikipedia?

The winner will receive their very own Pandapple bento box, drink bottle suitable for sneaking adult beverages into work and a matching lunch bag! Wooohooo! The winner will also have the option of having their very. own. blog. featured in the the next edition of Haiku That Blog! If the winner does not have their very. own. blog. they will be strongly encouraged to start one. Failing that, the winner will be allowed to choose the next blog to be featured.

Entries will be accepted until midnight or so February 14,2010. Winner will be chosen by a panel of people and or animals who live at or are visiting or walking past my house. (Unless I decide to do a voting thing but since I've been meaning to look into the logistics of that for like 2 years and it hasn't happened yet it probably ain't gonna happen this time either.) Prize package worth less than $25. Anonymous entries have the proverbial snowball's chance in hell of winning, so please help me find you. Now get Haikuing!

Pandapple: 50%animal, 50%fruit, 117% awesome! Crappy picture though, sorry about that.


Green Chili Chicken Ehn-chih-LAH-dahs

>> Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm in love with my enchiladas. You know why? It's because they have BEANS in them, black beans, and CORN and not very much cheese. If my enchiladas were human they'd totally be my new boyfriend.

Now and Later Green Chicken Chili Chicken Enchiladas

2 chicken breasts about 12 ounces each, poached and diced (or use rotisserie chicken)
1 can of black beans rinsed (I prefer Goya brand)
1 bag of frozen corn
1 small white onion finely minced
1 can diced green chilis
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups of shredded cheese (I usually use 1/2 jack and 1/2 cheddar)
2 packages corn tortillas (24) total
2 19 ounce cans of green enchilada sauce (Las Palmas is the best)

This recipe makes 3 loaf pans of 8 enchiladas each. We eat one, save one for leftovers and freeze one.

Open 1 can of the enchilada sauce and divide it evenly between the 3 pans. Pour the other can into a mixing bowl. In another bowl mix the chicken, beans, corn, onion, chilis, half of the cheese and the salt.

Dip each tortilla in the enchilada sauce to coat on both sides before filling with about 2 generous tablespoons of the chicken mixture.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the three pans and pour the remaining sauce from the bowl over the pan you wish to freeze. Cover that pan tightly and freeze for up to a month.

Cook the other two in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until the edges of the tortillas start to brown and the sauce is bubbly. The frozen enchiladas will cook in about 60 minutes at 325 degrees.

Top with sour cream, diced tomatos and cilantro leaves.


This is the Best Thing You've Cooked in a Loooooong Time

>> Monday, February 1, 2010

Picture this.

Him: "Honey, that was delicious. I really mean it! That was awesome. That was the best thing you've made in a long time, in a looooooong ti ... "

Me: stare.

Him: " ... week or so."

Me: stare.

1. balsamic chicken with mushrooms
2. stewed vegetables


Questionable. W/Cheese

>> Thursday, January 28, 2010

1. quesadilla with chicken and carmelized onion
2. tomatoes
3. chopped roasted chili waiting to be stirred into sour cream

I think it's telling that spell check wants to change quesadilla to questionable and that's all I'm going to say about that. I will say though that I think it's high time for another Haiku that Blog!. It's been too long. Can't wait to see if I get any haiku'd spam.


Let This be a Warning

>> Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Forget to take your lunch? Don't. This could happen to you.


Don't say that later will be better

>> Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Now I'm stuck in a moment
And I can't get out of it

I may have mentioned that I'm stuck in a rut. Food wise. Or maybe not. I don't know. Like it matters. Anyway, it's not like I stopped eating or anything but the cooking mojo, she is gone. Or maybe just drunk in the next room. Like really really drunk. And maybe listening to old Smashing Pumpkins songs or maybe U2. Either way.

So this was something different! Something new! Something exciting! Something to frighten the children! Children who by the way are plenty damn old enough to stop sniffing suspiciously at things they don't recognize on their dinner plates. I mean if I was -gonna- try to poison them I would surely have done it by now.

1. grilled chicken kebob
2. Romesco sauce
3. saffron rice
4. grapes

The chicken and sauce were lifted directly from this post at Crepes of Wrath. Stop here for a second and say it with me. Crepes of Wrath. Is there a better name for a food blog? I. think. not.

The chicken was fine, it's really just chicken after all, and I've had it before. The sauce though, the sauce is a revelation. Now it's possible, maybe even likely that I'm ... shall we say ... out of the loop, but I've just never tasted anything like it and I pink fat pink puffy heart rainbow unicorn sprinkles loved it. On chicken, on bread! on my big fat finger; I'm just that easy.

There's a tiny bit left. I think I'm going to make it into a vinaigrette. I'll let you know how that comes out. Unless I just lick it out of the container.

PS. I did use significantly more olive oil that the recipe indicated I'd need. Also, toasted the almonds.

But wait! There's more! Order now and you'll also receive ...

This is Candied Pineapple Coconut Bread from Peabody. Now I'm not sure exactly what went wrong here but this bread, while delicious, is just tooth aching mouth sweating crazy eyed sweet. The only thing I can think of is that I might have inadvertently doubled up on the sugar. I was pretty distracted by trying to wipe out every last smear of Romesco from the food processor bowl you know.


Where the Deer and the Antelope Play

>> Monday, January 25, 2010

Unexpectedly ended up at home for lunch today, which explains the non-travel proof container.

1. onion soup
2. cheese toast floater

I made a gigantic vat of this soup the other day and it just keeps getting better and better. Wish I had some kind of magic bowl that would just keep refilling!

It was my first go at French Onion Soup and I followed this recipe from the kitchen sink almost to the letter using one red onion and the rest yellow. Except I forgot the bay leaves and I did take the onions a little darker than she pictures. It was also my first time using gruyere cheese. Now it's possible that I didn't have the best example of the type, but meh. Next time I think I'll just use jarlsberg.


Meatloaf Sandwiches

>> Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pretty much the only reason to ever make meatloaf.

1. meatloaf sandwiches
2. mashed potato with ginormous slab of butter

I bought a little potato ricer at IKEA the other day that I didn't honestly really think I'd ever use since I have a big crank one somewhere collecting dust. Julie didn't try to stop me though, so I went ahead and got it and now I'm really happy I did 'cause it is SO easy to make just one mashed potato with that thing!



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