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  1. Friday, May 30, 2008

    Roadtrip! Iceberg Shakes!

    Even though I don’t cook when I’m traveling, I eat. And I eat well…too well. And usually I’m totally disgusted with myself by the end of the trip…after all, my unhealthy vacation eating habits are documented for posterity. Oh well. Here goes…

    Iceberg Drive Inn is one of those places I associate with my childhood. They have such good ice cream shakes. I haven’t gone there in years and years and years…so I made sure to stop in last night. These shakes are so big Cate, my sister and I could not finish two. Alright, Cate probably could have, but I didn’t let her. And at less than $3.50 a pop, it’s a pretty good deal too. Oh, did I mention they are DELICIOUS?!?!

  2. Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    Free Giveaway! Deadly Squire Serving Tray

    Time for a random free giveaway, don’t you think? Remember those wicked awesome hot pads I found at the Modern Economy sample sale in San Francisco? Well, they are made by Deadly Squire, a fun company with super hip stuff you’ve gotta check out.

    Deadly Squire is giving away an ultra cool small serving tray (a $75.00 value!) to one lucky TWFD reader…and the winner can choose the pattern, which will be a tough choice for sure!

    How to enter:
    – Post a comment on this post by Midnight, Wednesday, June 4
    – You can write anything, just make sure there is a name somehow associated with your comment so I can identify the winner

    That’s it! The winner will be announced on Thursday, June 5! And don’t forget to check back next week to see if you are the winner!

    Good Luck!

  3. Sunday, May 25, 2008

    Week 70 Menu

    I either like torturing myself (i.e. 2 kids, 1 car, 1 mama, 800 miles) or Willie got in my head…either way, the girls and I have taken to the open road in search of a land called Utah. Which means no menu…but perhaps some fun Roadtrip food posts to share this week!

    Since I’m not cooking and providing any help with your menu planning this week, please peruse old menus and definitely post your own! You need to inspire one another while I play hooky.

  4. Friday, May 23, 2008

    The Perfect Picnic

    It’s Memorial Day weekend, which means BBQs and picnics galore! Reader Kiasa emailed asking me for some picnic ideas, specifically:
    – Not-so-typical sandwiches
    – Salads sans mayo
    – Desserts that travel well

    Here are a few of my ideas…and please leave a comment with your own ideas! If you have specific recipes for the above, that would be great, but I’m sure Kiasa (and everyone else) would love any great picnic ideas you might have!

    My ideas are yummy yummy, but I’m also suggesting things that are easy to prep and carry. I’m all about EASY.

    Caprese Sandwich: Slice a baguette, sprinkle with a bit of olive oil (not too much so you don’t get soggy). Top with sliced fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, sliced tomatoes, salt & pepper.
    Turkey Boursin Baguette: Slice a baguette, spread with Boursin cheese, top with sliced pepper turkey and leaf of romaine lettuce (or spinach for more vitamin punch)

    Alfredo Tortellini Salad: My friend made this for an outdoor party once and it was AWESOME. She used jarred Alfredo sauce from Trader Joe’s, cheese tortellini (cook & drain), sliced and cooked zucchini, mushrooms and onions. Mix all together and serve cold. You could throw in whatever vegetables you like!

    Chocolate Oatmeal Coconut Cookies: I know, cookies don’t seem all that inspired, however these cookies are AMAZING and cookies travel well, so it fits the bill!

    If I were packing this picnic today (I wish I was!), I’d also throw in a bag of chips and some Hansen’s sodas and call it a day.

    Time for your Perfect Picnic ideas!

  5. Monday, May 19, 2008

    Kitchen Tips: Pizza Cutter Is Back…But Not for Pizza

    Since I rendered my pizza cutter useless, it’s been relegated to a spot in the back of the utensil drawer. And there it remained until just a few days ago, when I discovered the best use yet for a pizza cutter (and no, it’s not for pizza)!

    I love Jon & Kate Plus 8. It cracks me up (and makes me eternally grateful for my relatively simple life!). Apparently there was an episode where they showed Jon cutting up the sextuplets’ pancakes with a knife and fork, which took forever. Ever since it first aired and every time since, Jon & Kate get emails telling them to use a pizza cutter to cut pancakes, which they now do.

    What an ingenious idea! Seriously, I LOVE IT. I used my pizza cutter (now pancake cutter!) this weekend and it was awesome. It would be especially awesome with 6 toddlers. 🙂

  6. Week 69 Menu

    Don’t you just love it when cherries are on sale?!?!

    – Pasta…boring, but it’s a busy day tomorrow.

    Texas Pulled Pork sandwiches

    Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

    – Leftovers

    – Grill night – hot dogs & hamburgers
    – Baked beans
    – Fruit

    – Eat out

    – I really want to grill some steaks…I think we should!
    Homemade fries
    – Veggie

    SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT, FOLKS! Remember, ANY kind of menu, fancy or no, I love ’em all!

    Make sure you read the post about meal planning if you didn’t catch it earlier this week…and share your ideas if you haven’t already!

    And thank you for your bran muffin recipes!! Can’t wait to try them. While we’re here, I’m going to make an addendum to my request…any BANANA bran muffin recipes out there? If YES…click here and please share!

  7. Friday, May 16, 2008

    Fab Faves Friday!

    No food today, friends…but some seriously great websites with some seriously fun names for you to visit!

    I like Evite as much as the next person…but I’ve found something much better. Actually my wonderful friend Christy found it. You are SO going to thank us…check out Pingg. Amazing functionality and, my favorite part, everything looks sooooo good. I’m really excited about this site…you HAVE to check it out!

    Next on the list…Blurb. Ever want to publish your own book? Now you can with a few clicks and at a great price. I’m so excited about Blurb!! Seriously, there are so many cool things you could do…make your own cookbook, publish a short story, create an amazing family photo album. I’m planning on using their software that works with blogging websites to create an album based on our family blog each year…all that journaling and photo-ing I do online can finally be “printed” easily, and in a beautiful format no less.

    Last, but certainly not least, is Kirtsy. Remember Sk*rt? It has a new name! Same great site, awesome new name! Make sure you update your bookmarks…and if you’ve never visited, get over there now. It’s like Digg but for women, so it’s automatically more fun, right? Sorry boys!

  8. Thursday, May 15, 2008

    Call for Recipes! Bran Muffins

    This is a sad little bran muffin. He tastes okay, but knows he could be MUCH better. Please help him! Please share your best bran muffin recipes so this little guy can live up to his potential!!!

    I won’t tell you what recipe book I got this muffin recipe from because normally that book is no-fail. But these muffins just did not cut it…and I really want some yummy bran muffins right now! I know I can just walk to Starbucks and get one, but I’d rather make it myself so I can get one hot out of the oven. Can’t wait to see what you got!

  9. Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    Meal Planning 101

    Every once in a while I just feel like talking about meal planning with you. After all, it IS the crux of this blog, right? Today we’re going to discuss why it’s so EASY. I’m also going to share a few strategies you might find helpful. This is a long post – SORRY! I promise there’s some good stuff in here, so keep reading!

    Let me preface this post by saying, I’m a slacker at heart. Before this blog, most days you would find me around 4:30 pm each day lamenting the fact I had to cook dinner, with no idea what that dinner was going to be. For some reason I thought planning a weekly menu was annoying. Then I started this blog (if you want the story behind THAT, click here!) and everything changed.

    PLANNING MEALS IS EASY! Yes, people, it is. I know many of you who visit this site do so because you ARE planners. In fact you are probably way more organized than I am. But I also know many of you out there are not planners and don’t plan weekly menus. I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, she’s just organized. I’m not like that.” If you know me at all, you’ll know that I am not an organized person. If I can do it, so can you!

    WHY should you plan a weekly menu? Honestly, it makes cooking dinner so much less stressful every day. Grocery shopping is SO much easier. And you spend less money. It’s awesome. Trust me, 10 minutes of planning will save you bucket loads of grief for the rest of the week!

    Okay, off the soapbox. Time to share some cool menu planning strategies. And these strategies are not mine…my strategy is pretty much sit down on Sunday, browse through the blog for ideas, randomly select meals. That’s not so helpful or interesting…Ruth and Elizabeth have much better things to share…

    My good friend Ruth does the following, with an 8-week rotation of tried & true meals that she uses for each slot:
    Monday: Mexican
    Tuesday: Italian
    Wednesday: With Rice (Indian, Stir-fry, Red beans & rice, Pad Thai, etc)
    Thursday: Try new things or Leftovers
    Friday: Fast food (homemade fast food items: hamburgers, grilled cheese, pizza, baked potatoes, etc.)
    Saturday: Fancy Meals (salmon, coq au vin, stuffed shells, etc.) or Eat Out
    Sunday: Soup & Salad

    One of Ruth’s daughter’s friends comes over regularly on Tuesdays. One day she said, “You guys eat pasta a lot!” Pretty funny…little does she know how amazing a cook Ruth is!

    Elizabeth Harris wrote a post a few months back about her quest to plan meals and “reclaim” dinner. You should definitely click over to her post…she writes some great things about the importance of family dinners. Here is Elizabeth’s weekly strategy in a nutshell:
    – One crock pot meal (for the busiest day of the week)
    – One night for leftovers
    – Tuesday nights are usually quick and easy (like breakfast for dinner) because of late meetings
    – One new recipe each week

    There are of course many meal planning websites out there. I’ve gotta tell you, though, I think it just boils down to making a list of things you like and are willing to cook, then developing your meal plans from there. And if you are not planning, hop to it! You’ll thank me later. 🙂

    Time for all of you to share your strategies! How do you go about planning meals? What motivates you?

    You may be wondering what the white trash dinner pictures are up here for? To take the pressure off those of you who think your meals aren’t FANCY enough to post each week. This is honestly what we ate on Friday for dinner. I’m not kidding when I say I love reading your menus, fancy or not! All of your ideas are super! 🙂 Meal planning does not equal fancy food. Especially in my house…

  10. Monday, May 12, 2008

    Week 68 Menu & HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

    Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there! I hope your day was filled with flowers, chocolate, clean dishes and, most importantly, necklaces made out of plastic wrap and Starburst candy!

    I’ve got lots and lots of carry-over from last week’s menu. Honestly, what are we eating around here? All I know is I didn’t have to cook tonight because of this great holiday (I can’t change that diaper, it’s Mother’s Day! I can’t do dishes, it’s Mother’s Day!), so that’s one carry-over item. There’s no way I’m cooking on Mother’s Day!

    ANYHOW…SHARE YOUR MENUS! Seriously, it does NOT need to be fancy!!!! Of course it CAN be, but I like ’em when they’re not, too! 🙂

    Orange Chicken (great recipe – click through!)
    – Rice
    Carrots (click & scroll to the bottom for a “recipe”)

    – Hawaiian Pizza on Trader Joe’s pizza crust (you can find it in the reefer section, yeah you heard right. I overheard the TJ’s guys talking about the “reefer” over and over one day…it was so funny. They realized I heard them and explained it was the “refrigerated” section, which is not nearly as interesting)

    Chicken Tostadas (see Chicken Tostada Goop recipe)

    – Leftovers

    – Grill night…hamburgers? chicken? we shall see…

    – Eat out

    – no idea…give me a break, it’s mother’s day…I’ll do some planning later. 🙂