Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin crêpes/Lessons learned from Le Creuset

A while ago I made regular crêpes with pumpkin-maple filling and pumpkin-butter sauce. Those were incredible, but very rich.

I had pumpkin in the fridge, that I hadn't done anything with... so I thought pumpkin crêpes.

I took my crêpe recipe and removed one egg and replaced it with about four heaping tablespoons of pumpkin. And this is what it looked like once modified:

Pumpkin crêpes:
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1.5 cups soymilk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 heaping tablespoons pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon oil* (upon later reflection on my handwriting I am fairly certain this is supposed to be a teaspoon)
  • pinch iodized sea salt
Whisk vigorously until no lumps exist.

Now, here is where the experimenting began. I opted to use my new Le Creuset skillet, and I knew it would cook faster than my cheap-o cookware. It also said in the manual to have some butter or oil in the skillet when preheating it. So, I added a little bit of butter. I was concerned it was too little, so I added a teaspoon of oil. The result ended up being WAY too much.

By the third crêpe, I had a sliver of butter in the pan for every two to three crêpes, and the heat reduced to almost medium, on the low side, and the crêpes were cooking just as fast as they did in my old frying pan if not faster.

For filling, I mixed some cloves, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon (or did I forget the cinnamon?) in with the last cup of pumpkin. We're talking about a 1/4 to a 1/2 teaspoon of each depending how much you like that spice. I then added 1 tablespoon real maple syrup.

They turned out very fluffy. And tasty.

Lessons I've learned from my Le Creuset skillet:
1. A little 'fat' goes a long way.
2. The heat needed to cook food is significantly lower than with my no-stick pans.
3. The handles gradually get hot. The little one first, then the big one.
4. My pot holders and oven mitts are so old and worn they don't protect from heat.

Almond Sunset 'Kid' tea

My daughter tends to get obsessive about drinks. Apple juice for weeks on end. Chocolate milk next. (Which is why I usually buy chocolate soy milk-- it doesn't have high fructose corn syrup.)

Last night my husband and I tried the new Le Creuset tea pot. It has the least obnoxious whistle of any tea pot I've ever heard. We had the organic black currant decaf tea that I survived on during my business trip to Pittsburgh.

Today apparently, my daughter could be bribed to eat her breakfast with a glass of 'dessert tea.' So, to the teapot I go. I believe I mentioned this tea once before, but it has become such a favorite (which I did not expect) that it should be mentioned again.

Mommy's special dessert tea is actually Celestial Seasonings Almond Sunset, a decaf herbal dessert tea of "roasted carob, roasted barley, roasted chicory, cinnamon, orange peel, natural almond flavor, blackberry leaves, and anise seed."

And this is how I make it:

  • one tea pot with water
  • one expresso cup/ demi-tasse
  • soymilk
  • honey
  • one teabag (Celestial Seasonings Almond Sunset)
  • one baby or sugar spoon

and when pleasing children, scale and details are important.

As water heats, prep demi-tasse with about 1/2 teaspoon honey, either in the bottom or along the side. When the water boils, hold the teabag with one hand against the side of the cup and pour the water over the teabag into the cup. Fill the cup about 3/4 full, then dip the teabag several times into the water until it turns a rich orange-brown. Then remove the teabag. (This keeps the tea from getting too strong.) Stir with the tiny spoon to dissolve the honey. Add an ounce or two milk, in my case plain soy milk, and stir again. Serve with the spoon inside so little hands can stir and sip.

Friday, October 30, 2009

We didn't eat this week.

Would you believe me if I said we didn't eat this week? I didn't think you would. It's been hectic. Work. School. Volunteer commitments. Everyone wanted a piece of me this week.

Early in the week, I made that homemade crust that my husband and daughter made into a pizza and my daughter and I made those apple/pancakes. Mixing those up as leftovers got us a few more meals and Wednesday night my husband went to a local pizzeria at 9 p.m. and bought a pizza with pesto sauce and fresh sliced tomatoes that tided us over another day. For dinner that night we had had my husband's superloaded baked potatoes.

Today is our ten-year anniversary and yesterday my daughter started to cry uncontrollably in the car because she was worried about one of her little friends in kindergarten, so I took her to Friendly's (we had a coupon anyway). And then today we were SUPER BAD.

We went to the movies (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) and to Sonic for dinner. But wait, that's not all. I received a $5o gift card from a friend so I applied it toward a large Le Creuset skillet from Williams Sonoma. Azure Blue. Oh, but that's not all, I also bought a new teapot to match. $217.

That's almost a month's groceries. Gone in an instant. But we've all had some overtime and it's our big ten-year-anniversary and I had wanted to go to Paris but admitted that would be too much. So this skillet is my indulgence. Look for new fun with cooking, renewed interest in sauces. Vive la France!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wraps and fries

We're having my husband's special homemade French fries and salad wraps for dinner. He sliced the potatoes when he got home from the store Saturday and froze them, so all we had to do was arrange them on the cookie sheet. But he forgot the cooking spray, so we had to fight with them in order to flip them... prying them off the cookie sheet.

Apple Pancake Wraps with sausage

It's a rainy day. I love hot food on a rainy day. I love comfort food on a rainy day.

I love yummy, easy food any day. And I have to keep a small child occupied on a rainy day.

Enter Apple Pancake Wraps with "sausage."

I got this recipe from Parenting, and will attempt to recall the process from memory. Prepare pancakes (or use prepared pancakes from the frozen food aisle). Slice apples, sprinkle with cinnamon if desire, and warm in microwave until apples soften. Put prepared sausage link (I use Morningstar vegetarian sausage) in the middle of a pancake, surround with apples and wrap like a burrito. Top with real maple syrup and serve.

My previous entry on pancakes:

So, this should come as no surprise to my regular readers, but I can't follow a recipe, nor can I make the same meal twice. I made pumpkin oat pancakes, and the yield was only six, but the contents were hearty enough that I was happy serving one with filling to each person for lunch.

  • one egg, whisked (preferably by a five-year-old)
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
For the 'filling' (my pancakes weren't big enough to roll) cook in a skillet until the apples are soft:
  • 2 apples sliced (again, put the child to work)
  • sprinkle liberally with cinnamon
  • 2 Morningstar sausage patties cooked and broken into bits (to make them go farther)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
I was almost out of maple syrup so I added the syrup, butter and the sugar to the apple mix so I could avoid serving with syrup.

Crazy breakfast

I thought I posted these, but I can't find the entry. My husband made these "sandwiches" for my daughter for breakfast...

From left: Graham cracker, nutella, count chocula;
Graham cracker, peanut butter, count chocula;
Graham cracker, peanut butter, raisins...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin lattes

A friend forwarded a link to a gluten-free, crock pot cooking blog:

Quoted from the blog:
Skip the coffee house today and make pumpkin spice lattes at home. This recipe really does taste like the real thing----even though it doesn't leave a fluorescent orange stain when you dribble it down your sweater.

updated 11/23: I just learned that the coffee house Pumpkin Spice Lattes are not gluten free. Yet another reason to make them at home!

The Ingredients.
adapted from Taste of Home's Halloween 2008 edition

--2 cups milk (I used 1%)
--2 T canned pumpkin
--2 T white sugar
--2 T vanilla (not a typo. it asks for tablespoons)
--1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
OR: 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cloves, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and a teeny tiny pinch of ground ginger
--1/2 cup brewed espresso or 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee

--garnish with whipped cream (optional)

The Directions.

This will make enough for 2 people to have a big mug with a bit leftover. If you are having friends over, adjust the recipe accordingly. I used a 4-quart crockpot, but as small as a 1.5 quart will work with these amounts.

Add the coffee/espresso and milk to the crockpot. Whisk in the pumpkin, spices, sugar, and vanilla.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours if everything is cold. Whisk again.

Ladle into mugs, and garnish with whipped cream and additional cinnamon. I added a cinnamon stick to be fancy.
(if I rinse it off, can I re-use it? It seems wasteful to toss.)

The Verdict.

Adam and I really enjoyed these. We had them for breakfast yesterday, and the kids were jealous.

It would be fun to put this out for the adults at a Halloween party, holiday gift-wrapping party, or to serve guests while you're waiting for the turkey to cook.

I'm thinking of making some pumpkin cookies with the leftover canned pumpkin.

What I did:
Angel's pumpkin butterscotch lattes

In the crockpot, on high, whisk:
  • 1.75 cups unsweetened soymilk
  • 2 cups decaf coffee
  • 5 tablespoons solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons butterscotch
  • 4 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch ginger

Broccoli pasta dinner/ Husband does groceries

My husband went grocery shopping. I haven't looked at the receipt, and the kitchen looks okay. At least there's food...

For dinner, I'm making a broccoli pasta dish. We had some fresh broccoli that's been in the fridge for a week.

So, in a saucepan I combined:
  • Four or so tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • One clove fresh garlic
  • One tablespoon butter
Heated that. Added fresh broccoli, two smalls heads, cut bite sized and blanched in the microwave. I sprinkled about two tablespoons lemon juice over that and sautéed while the pasta cooked (whole wheat penne and some white wagon wheels, it's what was there) and since no one bought sprinkle parmesan cheese, and we're not very hungry because we've been eating a lot of junk, voilà, dinner.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Odds and ends

Last night for dinner, I served spinach nuggets and leftover spaghetti which my daughter got to enjoy with a caramel apple from her trip to the corn maze for girl scouts.

Breakfast for her today was Greek yogurt and Booberry.

For lunch, my husband made tuna sandwiches on homemade bread with carrots and "dippins" (ranch dressing). With some chocolate chip cookies I brought home from my business trip.

Hopefully, it will rain and my dad will have us over for dinner. If not, I took chili out of the freezer.

Interestingly, we haven't had any juice or milk since I returned home (and it's been almost a week, am I lazy or just busy?)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Good morning, World

We started bread this morning... some honey-wheat French-style bread to lift our spirits. My husband and daughter had his mom's apple pie for breakfast (I'm saving my slice for this afternoon). It's now snack time, otherwise known as Mommy's breakfast time. My daughter and I split a Nature Valley almond granola bar (and I should have a nice plate of scrambled eggs but I'm not). I might make scrambled eggs for lunch, especially since my daughter is currently enjoying some strawberry-blueberry-raspberry no-sugar-added applesauce right now. I'm trying to keep her vitamin C levels up since the school is experiencing its first wave of serious illness. Plus, my college has swine flu going around. Fun.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Veggie Patch Apple 'Sausages'

For breakfast, we had toast.
Then my daughter had a bowl of Greek yogurt with Count Chocula on it (we ran out of milk.)
For lunch, my husband and daughter had "bug sandwiches," peanut butter on Ritz crackers with raisins surrounding all the edges.
For dinner, we had Veggie Patch vegetarian apple sausage with mixed vegetables and cheese sauce rolled up (i.e. overstuffed) in a tortilla shell.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Please don't expect much from my blog for a couple days. While I was in Pittsburgh, my husband's grandmother passed away. Today was the funeral. We had spaghetti for dinner. Hopefully I'll find my groove and start cooking again, but preparing meals is a sign of happiness for me and I'm having trouble "facing" the kitchen right now. Especially since Memmy made pies... the best pies... and I never asked her to teach me to make her famous pumpkin custard.

For the record, we have spent $150 on dining out so far this month and $115 dollars on groceries... Now I know for a fact we will have to go to the grocery store before the end of the month. So, I blew the budget again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Angel's Absence

Angel is currently on a business trip and asked me (her husband) to fill in for her while she was away. I'm not as avid a blogger as she, but I figured I had to chime in at leas once to allow you all to judge how well the family fended for sustenance without her.

Wednesday night: Dinner out with my parents. Our daughter insisted on having pepperoni pizza. I ate spaghetti with sausage. Mmmmm.
Thursday was a rush breakfast. The kid slept in, of course, since we had to be at the car dealership at 7:30 for an oil change. A bit of Booberry had to suffice.
Thursday 10:00 snack. Back from the oil change, it was time for a real snack. I made us yogurt aliens. They consisted of about two tablespoons of All Natural Chobani Greek Yogurt (Vanilla) as the body, a sheet of graham crackers snapped into its 4 separate segments for arms and 1 banana halved as the antennas. Okay, so it was a weak gimmick, but it worked.

Thursday (man, we ate a lot today) Lunch: This came about an hour after that huge snack so I just made peanut butter and jelly on a blueberry bagel and served with a side of grapes.

Thursday dinner: "Thank you" dinner for those who helped with the local Library book sale. This consisted of pizza (plain and pepperoni,) roast beef sandwiches, cake. there were cold salads that neither of us was interested in. My daughter had a pickle too.

Okay, that brings us up-to-date... just in case she checks in. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Egg wraps and moo milk

I'm in the midst of getting ready for Pittsburgh, we had scrambled egg wraps for breakfast to help fill my belly pre-plane ride. My daughter had a bowl of Booberry when she first woke up, and we all had a round of that banana MooMagic in our milk. Lunch will be leftover broccoli pot pie, and then after school my in-laws are taking my family out to dinner. I'll be back Sunday. We'll see if my husband makes any guest posts in my absence.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Broccoli pot pie

While we were at Girl Scouts, I assigned my husband the task of combining a big bag of Hanover "silver line" premium broccoli, Campbell's broccoli cheese soup and Pillsbury ready-made pie crusts into a pot pie. We came home starving, so we had a bowl of cereal to tide us over. Count Chocula and Booberry again.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Beef cutlets in port sauce

My vegetarian friends will hate me tonight... We're having some cheap cuts of top round beef tonight, that I got at Wegmans for $2.50 (with one of their coupons for the meat department). In a skillet, I started a sauce of approximately the following:
  1. 2 tablespoons butter
  2. 1 teaspoon four color organic peppercorns
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. between 1 and 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  5. About 1 tablespoon port
I have the meat cooking over medium, trying to slowly cook the meat. I'm thinking of serving with potatoes.

I only had two potatoes left, so I chopped them and tossed them in boiling water. I opted for Green Giant Immunity Blend steamed vegetables: cauliflower, orange and yellow carrots, and cranberries in a light butter sauce (which I thought could also lubricate the potatoes).

Oeuvo Diablo

A long time ago when I was still a reporter on the beat in Phillipsburg, we used to have breakfast at The Mercantile. Vito made a scrambled egg and cheese wrap with a sour cream/dijon/dill sauce to die for.

Today I made something reminiscent of that dish, with tomato soup, for lunch.

I toasted my tortillas in a skillet, with olive oil and some garlic pepper. I scrambled the eggs and cooked them with frozen parsley from my garden. Then, I placed the eggs in the wrap with a sprinkle of garlic pepper and a sauce 3 parts ranch dressing to 1 part horseradish mustard, well stirred.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cheesy bugs and spinach nuggets

For dinner I made Back to Nature Organic Macaroni and Cheese with bug-shaped pasta, water, Veggie Patch Spinach Nuggets, and Whitehouse No Sugar Added applesauce Superfruit Fusion with Guave and Acai Berry.

I love Veggie Patch Spinach Nuggets. I sautée them in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and serve with a side of ranch. On the package, they had a recipe for spicy ranch dip that was two tablespoons ranch dressing, one teaspoon dijon mustard, and a splash of chipotle pepper sauce. I made some for me that was ranch, horseradish brown mustard and a generous splash of Frank's Buffalo Red Hot Sauce.

The mac and cheese was an expensive whim ($1.69 for the box) but the bug shapes cracked me up and I thought we'd try it.

The applesauce was an add-on, and it tasted weirdly like eucalyptus.

Tuna bagels

We only had toast for breakfast this morning, and then my daughter and I went off on an eight-ish mile bike ride... When we got home, my husband had prepared tuna on bagels with melted cheddar (daughter got half a bagel, husband and I got 3/4 each). After that and some water, we had bananas and I had a cup of tea.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Family grocery outing

I leave for my business trip in several days and there is not much food in the house. I figured I would stock some easy to prepare stuff for while I'm gone. I spent $70, much better than I expected, but I didn't get as many staples as I normally do.

Here goes:

  • In honor of Halloween, an annual indulgence, one box of Booberry and one box of Count Chocula, $1.99 each.
  • Safflower (vegan) mayonnaise, $3.19
  • LaChoy chow mein noodles, $1.49
  • Cherry Coke Zero 2 Liter, $1.34 (total whim. Not something I'd normally buy)
  • Earthgrain 7-grain bread, 24 ounces, $2.49
  • Campbell's Soup, vegetarian vegetable (I think it was the last can in the store) $1.09
  • Campbell's Broccoli cheese soup, $1.33
  • MooMagic Banana, 10 packets, $2.49 (it's supposed to be a mix to add to milk, like Nesquik, but superfortified with vitamins and I have a love of banana milk. I'm disappointed because it has asparatime. In my label reading, I somehow missed this)
  • Giant brand southwest salsa, $1.59 (Daddy doesn't like the mango salsa from wegmans)
  • 14 ounces of Giant brand instant brown rice, $1.69
  • Sliced potatoes in the can, 2 cans at 65 cents each
  • Nature's Promise Wisconsin Cheddar and Shells dinner, 2 boxes at $1.25
  • 8 ounces of water chestnuts, 89 cents
  • 14.4 ounces of honey graham crackers, $1.49
  • 16 ounces of wagon wheel pasta, 2 boxes at 95 cents each
  • 3 tiny cans of no salt added tomato sauce, 35 cents each
  • Organic Mac and cheese dinner in funky bug shapes (again, a whim) $1.69
  • Halloween plastic flute, $1.99 (can I count this as a household expense and not a grocery)
  • Bananas, 55 cents a pound, $1.37
  • Dole baby lettuce, five ounces, $2 (tortoise food)
  • Watermelon slices (five), $1.61
  • Spinach Nuggets, two packages, reduced to $2.99 each
  • sliced apple vegetarian sausages, $3.59
  • Green Giant vegetables with cheese sauce, 24 ounces $2.99
  • Green Giant vegetables, 7 ounces, with cranberries and butter sauce, $1.59
  • Hanover broccoli florets, $1.79* (except trainee cashier charged me TWICE, grrrrr, and I didn't notice until now)
  • Italian blend mixed vegetables, 16 ounces, $1.19
  • steam-in-bag stir fry vegetables, 12 ounces, $1.49
  • Silk soy milk, $2.85
  • 32 ounces of coffeemate, French vanilla, $3.09
  • 18 count of eggs, $1.59
  • Chobani greek style yogurt, vanilla, 16 ounces, $2.79 (I've heard a lot of people rave about this yogurt and though it's twice the cost of the yogurt in the 32 ounce tub-- even compared to Stoneyfield-- it's got half the sugar, not artificial sweeteners and significantly more protein per serving, so I figure we'd try it)
And for dinner tonight, we had MooMagic banana milk, Booberry, Count Chocula and watermelon.

Cauliflower and exploding pyrex

I started a lovely lunch today, with a base of instant brown rice that I cooked in water where I had placed about a tablespoon of parsley from my garden that I had stowed in the freezer. I made some Green Giant frozen cauliflower in cheese sauce, planning to serve that on a bed of rice, with some slices of Morningstar vegetarian Italian sausage. I started the tea pot for some almond tea as a beverage and while I began to assemble the final meal...


I had turned on the wrong burner and my large 11 x 7 pyrex dish exploded all over the kitchen. Thank goodness it narrowly missed the food...

Brownies.... for dinner

Our entire family had a bad day yesterday, even down to the five-year-old who got yelled at by a substitute in her kindergarten class. So I warmed up some Duncan Hines brownies I had made for a last minute event wednesday night, topped with vanilla ice cream and dark-chocolate dusted almonds... and served for dinner.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chicken Rice Soup

I'm not good at soups. So my attempt to try and make a soup out of the chicken leftovers is a feat. I poured the leftover Thai chicken in broth with brown rice and peas into the crockpot. I added some basil and some garlic powder. Then I tossed in the last of the mixed Italian vegetables with the green beans, lima beans, zucchini and such. I added a glass of water. And the crock pot didn't look very full. I added a can of chicken broth. I really wish I had an apple... I think that would give it a superb flavor... but I don't have an apple...

Last night for dinner we had spaghetti and vegetarian sausage.

Update: 11 a.m. Soup smells incredible and the broth tastes fantastic.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thai chicken?

I'm feeling lazy so I took the chicken breasts in the fridge and sprinkled with curry powder and organic four color peppercorns. Then I poured Wegman's Thai Culinary Broth on it and baked it in the oven for about an hour on 375. At about 45 minutes in, I added instant brown rice, the rest of the container of broth and peas.

Garlic Bagels

I had no ideas for lunch when I left to take my daughter to her kindergarten class. When I returned, my husband had come home from work and made garlic bagels with cheese and veggies. He had gone to the bagel deli over the weekend and he thought we hadn't had garlic bagels in a while.

So he toasted them in the toaster, then layered with colby jack cheese and sprinkled with mixed vegetables and garlic pepper. The mixed vegetables were carrots, green beans, lima beans and zucchini, odd for a bagel topping but hot and edible.

And to top it all off, he kissed me afterwards! Garlic or no.

Boring food

Yesterday I made the little one caffeine free almond tea with milk and honey. For lunch she had leftover pizza with her dad. I packed the leftover brioche and some coleslaw from a meal out we had on Saturday. Our daughter had her applesauce as a morning snack (also leftover from the decadent meal out when we were supposed to be buying someone's girl scout uniform. Bad Mommy! But I had to try the raspberry lambric from Belgium.)

Last night we had nachos with stale chips, the last of the Velveeta-ish cheese, black beans, mango salsa (from wegmans), plain organic salsa and sour cream.

This morning we had pumpkin roll for breakfast (frozen from Gayle's fundraiser). For a mid-morning snack my daughter and I split a Nature Valley granola bar (almond flavor) and had more tea.

For lunch, she's having the last slice of pizza, hopefully the rest of her applesauce and some juice.

As for me... who knows.

Dinner looks like chicken of some sort.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pizza night

We made one of our homemade whole wheat, unbleached white and rye flour pizza crusts and topped it with some fresh broccoli we feared would go rancid soon, some black olives hanging around, the leftover Wegmans tomato soup and some of the velveeta-style american cheese Gayle gave us. It was hardly gourmet, but it was hearty.

Chocolate crunch brioche

Cross your fingers. I found a chunk of brioche dough in the freezer. Freezing brioche dough does not seem to work for me. Patricia Wells, author of the Paris Cookbook, a cookbook I depend on for my brioche recipe, says you can freeze the dough for a month. My response is sure, you can freeze it, but don't expect it to rise.

Freezing finished brioche works much better.

But I regress... This brioche dough was from July. One of my best batches ever. Wells claims the dough can be frozen a month. It's been two. So I thawed the dough in the fridge, as directed, and plopped it in large balls in my pyrex dish (totally expecting them not to rise).

Now, I had my daughter slice some butter, about a pat for each ball. I took my chocolate crumb topping leftover from the chocolate almond streusel muffins and rolled each brioche ball in the topping and set it on top of the pat of butter.

My hope is that the very sticky brioche dough will keep hold of those crumbs that refused to stick to my muffins last week.

The problem is: I have no idea if bread and crumb topping *go.* We'll see.

That's why I say fingers crossed.

Recipe for the muffins and the original brioche can be found via the links.

Note: Hub and I loved them. Child preferred without crunchies.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Soup and munchees

Oh my goodness. Our meals today came out of BOXES. We had those delicious Amy's Organic Pockets for lunch. For dinner, we had Wegman's bisque-style cream of tomato soup in the aseptic container. And Health is Wealth Spinach Munchees.

This was the first time I ever had this particular soup. Previously, the only tomato soup I would eat was Pacific Foods Cream of Tomato but I can't find it anymore. I detest the Campbell's condensed. But Wegmans had the most intense flavor I have ever tasted in tomato soup. And it was chock full of vitamins A & C. And sodium, but you can't have it all.

Odds and ends

Starting Wednesday night, I've been working evenings to train my staff. My mother-in-law made chili for the whole family, which we ate for lunch yesterday.

Last night, my husband made fish sticks, leftover mac and cheese (the velveeta stuff he made) with peas and broccoli, and frozen broccoli with cheese sauce. I think he's trying to overdose on broccoli and cheese. Look at what he's having for lunch with Little Miss: Amy Organic pockets. And the child picked: Broccoli and cheese!

My husband's been eating a lot of peanut butter and crackers, voluntarily. He's been craving them.

Tonight we're thinking scrambled eggs, spinach munchies and maybe soup. Because it's cold and we want something quick and quasi-comforting. It's been a long week.

For the record: I spent $200 on groceries this month and $120 on dining out.