Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another Lunch Post

There may be another snow day tomorrow.

*Insert sound of crazy person screaming.*

In denial, I packed their lunches anyway. I prefer to call it unbridled optimism.

Starting from the top left and going clockwise: organic potatoes, pan fried in some olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, ketchup, steak baked in the oven with some bbq rub seasoning on top, homemade cashew nut butter cookies, and fresh organic orange slices.

And, if school doesn't happen, then their lunches are ready for them. Once I break up whatever fight is inevitably going to happen when they get on each others nerves. Again. Just like last week.

Did I mention I hope there isn't another snow day? Why can't we have Mommy Goes to the Spa Day? How about one of those?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Organic Olive Tapenade

While, technically, a tapenade has capers in it, capers are not one of the foods on my Mellman plan. So, I improvised.

I have a mini-cuisinart, which was perfect for this little spread. I put the following ingredients in the bowl: a can of organic green olives, a couple of tablespoons of the olive juice, the zest and juice of one-half of a lemon, 1 teaspoon of salt (a little much, I'd do 1/2 teaspoon next time), 1 teaspoon of pepper, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

I pulsed it on low until it was the right consistency. There were a couple of whole olives that escaped the blade, but they didn't escape my mouth.

I put some goat cheese and the tapenade on a rye cracker and made a perfect little snack. The tapenade was the perfect blend of salt and tangy, but still very light at the same time.

The tapenade would be delicious on fish or instead of pesto on pasta. Or, just as a dip.

Thank God School is Back in Session Lunches

I was ever so grateful to be packing lunches tonight. Seriously. Like, really really thankful. I'm pretty sure I'll have to restrain myself in carpool tomorrow morning. I might just hop out and give the teachers a huge hug right before I jump back in my car and speed off. Just kidding. Sort of.

4 snow days in row? I'm done.

My son's is on top: Organic apple slices, a packet of Justin's honey and peanut butter, organic parmesan cheese from Texas Daily Harvest, some mixed nuts, organic apple sauce with cinnamon sprinkled on top, and a couple of mini chocolate peanut butter cups (non-organic, totally disgusting).

My daughter's: roll-ups made with Applegate Farms turkey and mustard on Whole Foods southwest tortillas, organic parmesan cheese, the mini peanut butter cups (she probably won't eat them, honestly), organic apples sauce with cinnamon, organic apple slices, and mixed nuts.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bread Machine Peanut Butter Rolls

I was experimenting again with the bread machine. This time, I made these peanut butter rolls. I have to admit, my first attempt was a miserable failure because I tried to substitute the chocolate chips with carob powder.
Not a good idea. At all.

This is attempt number two. Instead of chocolate chips, though, I used some of the chocolate nut mix from the Whole Foods bulk bins.

These seemed to be well received. They didn't last very long, anyway.

Comfort Food

Today we got slammed with at least six inches of snow, maybe more. That translates into comfort food.

I made the Whole Foods hamburgers and served them with the organic potato chips. The grill is out of commission, so I baked them instead. They were a hit. There will be leftovers, so either someone can eat hamburgers for lunch this weekend or I can use the beef in something else.

I found out today that the Texas Daily Harvest delivery has been cancelled, so that amount ($41) will go into next week's budget. I'll have to run to the store tomorrow to pick up a few things. No big deal. I'll be way under budget this week. Next week? It's an Urban Acres week, so I'll probably be on the upper end, if not a little over.

Aside from a trip to Colorado in 1995, I haven't seen this much snow since my high school days in Canada. I'm totally over it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snowed In Menu Planning and Weekly Budget Review

We are heading into our fourth snow day in a row. In Dallas this is unheard of. My kids are going stir crazy and, truth be told, so am I. I relish my time at home with my family, but I am one of those women that needs to work. Not just to contribute financially, but as in, I NEED to work.

Stephen and I have been taking turns going into our (closed) offices this week. We have to get stuff done. He goes in the morning, I go in the afternoon. I ran by the grocery store tonight on my way back home.

I didn't plan, but had some of my coupons with me. On the fly, I came up with this menu for the upcoming week, which I am sure will be tweaked. Part of it was the special deal Whole Foods was running which I will detail below:

  1. Beef Chili
  2. Hamburgers, homemade french fries and sliced fruit
  3. Vegetarian Sloppy Joes
  4. Steak, fruit and vegetables
  5. Tilapia, fruit/salad and vegetables
  6. Quesadillas and Soup


  1. Turkey or salami sandwiches on homemade bread, organic potato chips, fruit
  2. Wrap sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, hummus with carrot and celery sticks, fruit
  3. Homemade pizza rolls, homemade apple chips
  4. Spaghetti with butter and parmesan
  5. Leftovers from dinner

I will be cooking slightly different meals for myself since I'm on Mellman, so I'll be eating more buffalo and fish.

We'll be getting a delivery from Texas Daily Harvest on Saturday. I spent $41.49 on a gallon of milk, 1 pint of cream, 8 oz of Colby, 8 oz of Mozzarella, one pound of pasture fed ground beef and one pound of pasture fed strip steak.

I spent $81.55 at Whole Foods. They were having a special: if you purchased their hamburger patties, you'd get hamburger buns, potato chips and smoked sausage for free. The free items were worth $10.98 and I had $6 in coupons. Here's what I got:

  • Sloppy joe mix, $2.79
  • 2 small containers of strawberry yogurt, $.79 each
  • BBQ sauce, $2.50
  • Rye crackers, $2.69
  • Organic potato chips, $2.00
  • Kashi cheddar crackers, $2.99
  • 365 Peanut Butter cereal, $3.49
  • 3 boxes of Arrowhead Mills Cereal, $4.39 each
  • 2 boxes Kashi Cereal, $3.39 each
  • 3 cans of organic beans (kidney, red and navy), $5.00
  • Sweet german pork sausage, $5.99
  • 365 Goat Cheese, $6.99
  • Gourmet beef burgers, $14.14
  • Tazo Chai Tea Concentrate, $4.49
  • Applegate Farms Genoa Salami, $2.25
  • Applegate Farms Oven Roasted Turkey, $4.18
  • Hamburger Buns, $2.99
  • WF Tortillas, $2.49
  • Organic Cameo Apples (2.48 lb), $3.70
  • Organic Lemon, $.79
  • Clean Eating Magazine, $5.99 (technically not groceries, but included in the total)

We were out of cereal, so I used coupons and stocked up. I still need to get some more Soy milk and, likely, eggs. But I'm well within the budget this week.

I made a lemon cake treat that I'll be posting about later and I'll be whipping up some of my nut butter cookies. It's gonna be a great week.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dinner for the Fam

This was a super quick dinner. Last night I had cooked the steak, so it just had to be reheated. (I put a ginormous steak in a casserole dish, covered it with some sort of memphis seasonings rub, put the lid on and baked it in a 350 degree oven until it was done.)

Tonight I made a quick salad with our Urban Acres produce and some almond slivers (is that a technical term?) and heated some frozen organic corn from Costco. Add that to the beef and you're done. Eating in about 15 minutes.

Playing in the Kitchen with Fillo Dough

I got some organic fillo dough at the store and knew I wanted to experiment.

I kept coming out of the kitchen and putting plates in front of Stephen. Try this. Now this. And one more. He liked all three. The kids, well, not so much.

First, I made some fillo wrapped chicken nuggets. These are the ones they weren't as crazy about.

Next came the pizza rolls. These they liked.

Finally, something sweet. Little fruit tarts. Inside were apples, blackberries, cinnamon, sugar and then, of course, butter.

These weren't Mellmanized, so I didn't eat them. They were easy to heat up for a fast weeknight dinner, too, although they are definitely much better right out of the oven.