Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Last Day

YEAH for all of us. Today is the last day of the Eat at Home Challenge. I am so excited to eat out tomorrow. Although not as excited as I thought I would be. It is true that it takes about 3 weeks to form a habit. For the first three weeks of September it was hard. Hard to plan, hard to not give into it.... But in the last week it has been easier. I don't need to "plan" now or be conscious about not eating out.

There have been many benefits to this month. I have lost some weight (although that may be from breastfeeding) and saved lots of money (which I have enjoyed spending at Etsy). It's great because the whole point was to not lose weight or save money. The point was to see if I could do it. Could I go a whole month? And yes I can.

Tonight we had honey garlic chicken, teriakyi noodles and frozen vegetables. Chicken is just marinated in honey garlic sauce (I like the VH kind) Teryiaki noodles are just a Lipton sidekick.

Tomorrow I can't decide, Swiss Chalet or Chinese Food??


Monday, September 29, 2008

Day 27 and 28 at the Parks

Well on Saturday we had roast beef, which was pretty good, but as usual if I spend alot of time making something I forget to take it's picture.

Then last night we had shrimp and pasta sauce. With salad on the side. Darryl and I are kind of funny with salad. If I buy it, we usually will eat it with some of our dinners. But if I don't buy it, we don't eat it, and don't really miss it. Healthier to have the salad, but cheaper not too. Which one wins out??


I've found a few minutes to catch-up

I can't remember how far back I need to go...Hmmm...
Wednesday was leftover Mexican casserole. Thursday was soup and grilled cheese (Beaver night starts at 6 so it has to be quick and easy) Friday was perogies and sauerkraut I think. Saturday we had dinner at a lovely wedding reception. Roast beef, chicken with asparagus and hollandaise sauce, new potatoes...yummy! Sunday was leftover Rice a Roni from Saturday's lunch and
BBQ hamburgers but I think I'm missing the pic for that one.

Now that I've looked at the pics I realize that I forgot that Wednesday was the Lazy Lasagna recipe from the Big Cook. Everything else is a bit of a blur from this past week.

I'm counting down to the 1st of October


Friday, September 26, 2008

Eat at Home: Day 26

There is a little part of me that will always be Catholic. From about 12 to 18 I went to a Catholic church, we lived with my Grandma who was raised Catholic. I like to be on my knees if I am going to pray and I like to take communion if I ever go to church and I think fish on Fridays is a good idea. Tonight was fish and chips. My favorite brand is Haddock and Hops from Presidients Choice. I like the batter and the taste, plus there is not too much grease on the pan when they are done cooking.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day 25 at the Parks

Tonight we had our favorite salmon dinner.


Day 23, 24 & 25 at the Campbell's

On Day 23, we had breakfast for dinner. This is a regular meal for us with some minor variations. It included a special treat this time...peameal bacon. Yum. We also had toast with raspberry jam but I forgot to include it in the picture.

On Day 24 we made one of my all time favourite Kraft What's Cooking Magazine meals. It only takes 5 minutes to throw everything in the pan and then you can get on with other things while dinner cooks!

Easy Ravioli Bake

1/4 cup Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing
1 can of beef broth
1 can/jar of spaghetti sauce (680-700ml)
One 19 or 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
Two 350g packages of fresh ravioli or tortellini (we use one beef and one cheese & spinach)
1/2 to 1 cup mozzarella cheese

In a medium sized roasting pan or oven proof "dutch oven" (make just 1/2 the recipe if you don't have a pan/pot big enough), combine the first four ingredients. Add in the ravioli and/or tortellini. Voila! Cover with lid or foil and bake at 375F for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle cheese on top and place back in oven with lid off for another 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Tonight (Day 25) we had leftovers from last night. Only a few more nights to go with the Eat @ Home Challenge and what I've discovered most is that taking pictures, downloading them to the computer and creating my blog entries was actually harder than eating all of our meals at home! Jenn...I've always LOVED your blog and all of the wonderful things it has done for our long distance family relationship but I have a whole new respect for the sheer amount of work involved in creating it day in and day out. I can't thank you enough.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Day 24 at the Parks

6 More Days Left!! In a week from now I may be eating...... Wendys...... or Swiss Chalet...... or Chinese Food..... I've learned some things from this month, but more on that later.

Tonight's dinner was fajitas. There are a couple of things that "make" fajitas for me. The first is having good steak. I always like it if there is leftover steak. The other thing I quite like is Bullseye barbeque sauce. Our fajitas have beef, cheese, tomato, rice, black beans (if we have them around) and sour cream. Dad will also be happy to know I use whole wheat shells.

Now that the month is almost over I am getting good at remember to take a picture. Even Lucas is getting into it and wanted to include a picture of Nathans dinner.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Day 23 at the Parks: Sweet and Sour Chicken

Today Darryl made us grill cheese for lunch. Darryl asked which shape Lucas would like. Lucas was pondering between triangles and rectangles. Darryl asked if he would like a fish - Sure! Lucas said with lots of enthusiasm. So here's a goldfish grill cheese sandwich.

For dinner we had our favorite: Sweet and Sour Chicken (or pork)

If you are using chicken cook that first.
Add to the pan:

1/3 c of vinegar
1 can of pineapple
2 tbsp of ketchup
3 tbsp of brown sugar
Cold water mixed with cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

Cook till it's warm and thick.
Serve over rice.

I highly recommend it.


Day 22 at the Campbell's

Oops! Change of plans...we ended up having the other Delisio pizza that was in the freezer for dinner on Monday so that we could run out and complete some errands and a little visiting. This one was the 3-meat variety which wasn't as good as the Spicy Chicken one from Saturday night BUT.....after years of trying to convince Mackenzie to try sausage, she finally did and she liked it! So, overall it was well worth it.

Tonight (Day 23) will be breakfast for dinner. Peameal bacon, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns and toast. Yum.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Day 23 at the Beck's

Tonight was leftover Mexican casserole night. I did take a picture but I'm too tired to post it. I've been busy attempting to make 40 beaver scarves by Saturday. It's not going well. At all. I can foresee that we'll be having a quick and simple dinner tomorrow night so I can get back at the scarf making...shudder shudder...

Day 22 at the Parks: Chicken Chow Mein

Tonight dinner was me trying to blend a stirfry that we had at Lori's house and a recipie that I found online. Unfortunaly I couldn't find fresh noodles which would have made it better. But here is the recipie:


Stirfry together. Add 1/4 cup of oyster sauce, 2 tbsp of sesame oil and 2 tbsp of soy sauce. Pinch of ginger and garlic.

Boil noodles (or if you can find fresh noodles use those) add them to the dinner with 1/2 c. of chicken broth.

It was quite good. Even Mom and Dad enjoyed it ( I think, Dad was finished first)

For lunch we have our new favorite thing: Perogies

These are the no name Superstore kind with bacon and sour cream. Darryl jazzed them up with cheese today.


Day 20 & 21 at the Campbell's

On Day 20 (Saturday) we tried a Delisio Spicy Chicken pizza. Now, I have to say right off the bat that I'm not a fan of rising crust pizzas but we do try to keep one on hand for nights when we're in a hurry for dinner. We had never tried the Spicy Chicken one before and I can honestly say that it's totally changed my opinion...it was delicious!

On Day 21 (Sunday) we had our new favourite dinner...waffles!! (Thanks Jenn!) This time though, we had them with fresh strawberries, a sprinkling of sugar and whip cream. Have I mentioned that I LOVE WAFFLES?!!!

Monday night will be breakfast for dinner...pictures to come!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Day 21 at the Parks

Tonight we had dinner at our friends house to celebrate the selling of their house. Tammy made fetticine alfredo and blueberry pie for dessert, so I have no recipe. But because we were eating at someone's house I remember to take a picture.


Day 19,20 and 21 at the Beck's

Friday night we had the same old same old fish/orange recipe. Eventually I will venture outside the box and try some of your recipes. But, I hadn't grocery shopped so we made do with what we had. Basa fillets, caesar salad and steamed jasmine rice. I don't think I could live without my steamer. I bought the Pampered Chef microwave one but could never get the right time/measurements and it was always dried up into a rice cake looking thing so I went back to the tried and true steamer. It does take an hour but it tastes great and is

easy to clean.

I have no picture for Saturday because we didn't eat home cooked food. We were at a birthday party and didn't even stay for dinner. I had booked myself for something in the evening but Aaron seen how flushed I was and called crocket (that's code word for hometime) so I could have a rest first. That being said the Beck's had McDonald's for dinner and you know what?

1. The boys weren't even excited about the idea of a Happy Meal

2. Aaron and I had a hard time deciding what to eat

3. No one really enjoyed themselves.

That being said. It was totally not worth FALLING OFF THE WAGON!!! I hope Darryl enjoyed Phil's more than we enjoyed our McDonald's.

And tonight I tried another recipe from The Big Cook cookbook. It's a Mexican casserole. You mix cooked ground beef with onion, can of cream corn, can of tomato soup, can of red kidney beans, 1/2 cup of chilli sauce, 2 tsp chilli powder and a dash of worcestershire sauce. You layer this mixture with corn tortillas in a casserole dish and bake in the oven for about an hour. It was simply delicious! We served it with tortillas chips to entice the kids to try something new.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Day 19 and 20 at the Parks

So Darryl is totally off the wagon for the eat at home challenge. But I am still on and finding it easier and easier. Darryl's best friend (who use to live with us) is here and they went to our favorite breakfast place. Get your fill at Phil's. But I had already had breakfast and was not cheating when there is only 10 days left. What should we do for completing the challenge? Is there a big reward (although I have lost 5 pounds, that could be a good reward)

Tonight for dinner was steak, rice and asparagus. Last night was hamburgers and potato salad. No pictures of either. Maybe next months challenge would be to just take a picture of all the meals. =) We had asparagus tonight because we were discussing asparagus pee last night. Ahh stinky asparagus pee.

Till Tomorrow


Friday, September 19, 2008

Day 16, 17, 18 & 19 at the Campbell's

This week was a whirlwind of after-school and evening activity which is not typical for us but we managed to keep up with the challenge.

Day 16...The weather was beautiful: warm with a cool, autumn breeze. I took advantage of the weather so I could cut the grass and Mackenzie was kind enough to cook dinner. We ended up having Swanson Hungry Man "tv dinners" but they were prepared and eaten at home! Using the oven unsupervised is still a fairly new skill for Mackenzie so we're delighted whenever she helps out in the kitchen.

Day 17...I tried another new recipe from my Kraft What's Cooking magazine. This one was a winner!

Smarter Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken
300g fettuccine, uncooked
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut in strips)
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 tsp flour
1/3 cup (1/3 of a 250g tub) of spreadable light cream cheese
3 tbsp light Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta as directed. Meanwhile, heat chicken in non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Remove chicken from skillet, set aside. Mix broth with flour in the skillet using a whisk. Stir in cream cheese and 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese. Cook, stirring CONSTANTLY until sauce thickens (about 2min). Add chicken back in. Drain pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Pour sauce/chicken mixture over top and add remaining Parmesan cheese.

We made this without the nutmeg and added some broccoli as well. It was delicious and very easy to make this alfredo sauce from "scratch".

(This picture was rotated in iPhoto but refuses to import into Blogger in the correct orientation...Argh!)

Day 18 & 19...LEFTOVERS! We have had another night of fettuccine alfredo and spaghetti squares (mock lasagna) from Sunday night. So far, so good!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Day 18 at the Parks

There is no picture of dinner tonight, as I was having my hair done. Picture to follow on the other blog. But it was a cooking day.....

First my mother brought over some apples, so we boiled them and made some applesauce. No real recipie for it. Boil the apples with a bit of water
and run them through a "puree-er".
Voila, applesauce. I'm sure Nathan will be eating lots of it.

After that we made some of our "famous" chocolate peanut butter rice crispie square. Half for us and half to take to a neighboor who just had a baby.

Recipe for those are:

1/4 c. of peanut butter and 6 cups of marshmellows

On low heat mix those till the marshmellows are melted.
Take off heat.

Add 6 cups of rice crispies.

Put in a greased pan.

Melt some chocolate and pour on top. And voila! Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispie Squares.

Day 18 at the Beck's

Tonight we had Cheesy Chicken Penne. Fairly quick and easy - 2 pre-requisites here for most dinners it turns out.

Anyways, you chop up and cook some boneless chicken breasts, add 1 can of reduced fat Cream of Mushroom soup, 1/2 cup of milk and about 2 cups of shredded cheese. Cook it on the stovetop for about 20 minutes. Served on penne pasta with caesar salad on the side. Yummy!

We're still on board...I promise!

Hi there,
A quick update from the Campbell's. We are still doing great on the Eat @ Home Challenge and I do have pictures for this week...I just haven't had a moment to spare to get them uploaded to the computer and write my blog entry. We've been shopping for our daughter's first electric guitar (man, oh man...it's more complicated than we thought!) plus there have been football games at school, meet the creature night (Oops! I mean TEACHER) for the first time at high school and the return of some of our favourite TV shows so I'll have to make sure I get some computer time tomorrow.
I promise that before bed on Friday night, I'll get all caught up!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Day 17 at the Parks: Frittata

One of the recipes that I have been experimenting with and that is a good one for Meatless Monday is fritatta. Which is basically a quiche but with no crust. My recipie is:

6 eggs
Some milk (maybe 1/4 cup)

Whisk up those two things. Then add to a greased pan

Fillings: this can be anything you would put in an omelet. Ours usually includes spinach, cheese, tomatoes and mushrooms.

Add those things over the eggs (it will mix in that's good). Put in a preheated oven 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

It's a dinner that looks beautiful, tastes great and you don't have to worry about the flipping like an omelet. This would also be a good brunch. Usually it turns out like this:

Except tonight I did not have the best grip on the pan and it fell in the bottom of the oven.......

Damn the eat at home challenge. Now I have to find something else to eat for dinner. Luckily we did salvage some and fried it in a pan....


Day 17 at the Beck's

Tonight we went all out and had BBQ pork loins, I don't think they were the tenderloin but they were boneless. Anyhow, Aaron BBQ'd and I steamed some frozen veggies, made Chicken Rice-a-Roni and glopped on some applesauce to dunk my pork in. I am not a huge pork fan, can you tell buy my proportions?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day 16 at the Beck's

We've been cleaning out the freezer in prep for The Big Cook and I came across a hutterite chicken from my MIL so that was dinner tonight. I tried a recipe from The Big Cook book, I think it was Lemon Roasted Chicken. It was good but I overcooked the chicken so everything was a bit on the dry side. The chicken was so dry in fact that there was no freaking gravy. Therefore I skipped the mashed potatos. I baked a sweet potato but it burned on the bottom and didn't taste so hot so we did corn and caeser salad as a backup. Some days I think I'm just not meant to cook. These are the days where we would normally have take out. Aahhhh....these are the days of our lives aren't they....

Day 15 & 16 at the Parks

Yesterday was my birthday. Unfortunalty we didn't get a picture of the wonderful dinner Darryl made of steak, corn on the cob, potatoes and corn. But I did buy the ingredients for my favorite breakfast. This breakfast comes from our life changing trip to Europe Darryl and I took before Lucas was born. This is what we have for 5 mornings in a row. In Paris they also had delicious hot chocolate.

So my favorite breakfast is: crossaints with soft cheese (Vache qui rit) and jam. And yougourt with fruit. Crossiants and cheese, not the best for your arteries, but delicious!

Tonight we tried a new recipe. Beef and Broccoli Stirfry

I tried to find the jasmine rice that Lesley loves, but Superstore doesn't sell the Uncle Ben's kind. So I'll have to check at the other stores. This was quite a good. If you have Oyster sauce on hand I would recommend it.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Day 15 at the Beck's

This challenge has pointed out to myself that I am a very borrrrrrrrrrrring cook sometimes. Okay, almost daily right now.

Tonight was karate for the boys at 6:30 which I thought started at 6 so we had toasted bagels with cream cheese and veggie soup for dinner. That is indeed a Diet Dr. Pepper, I didn't even bother to pour myself OJ. Shame on me!

Day 13, 14 & 15 at the Campbell's

I'm quite proud of myself. We were on the run this weekend but I managed to try two new recipes!

Saturday (Day 13) was Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie from the new fall issue of Kraft's What's Cooking Magazine. It was pretty simply, very rich and very flavourful.
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream, divided
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
3 cups frozen mixed vegetables (thawed) or fresh veggies (suggestions: carrots, green beans, peas, corn, etc)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup all-purpose baking mix
3 tbsp milk

Heat oven to 375F. Mix & 3/4 cup of sour cream. Stir in cheddar, chicken & veggies. In a mixing bowl, combine baking mix (eg. Bisquick) with 1/4 cup sour cream & milk. Drop by tablespoons on top of chicken mixture. Bake uncovered for 35 min or until biscuits are golden brown and mixture is hot and bubbly. YUM!

On Sunday (Day 14) we tried another Kraft What's Cooking recipe called Spaghetti Squares. It takes spaghetti with meat sauce and makes it into a mock lasagna.

300g of spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 jar (700ml) spaghetti sauce
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter or margarine
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350F. Cook and drain spaghetti. Brown ground beef. Drain. Add spaghetti sauce to drained ground beef and heat through. Place cooked/drained spaghetti in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Toss with margarine, beaten eggs and parmesan cheese. (Note: if noodles have cooled, melt the butter). Spread the cottage cheese over the noodle mixture. Cover with meat sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese. (Note: we doubled the amount of mozzarella cheese).
Place in oven and heat for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

This was good but could have used some garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. The kids might think it's pretty fun but our family decided that for the work involved, we'd rather have real lasagna. It was good though.

Today, Day 15 will be left over day. We'll be cleaning out the fridge to make room for fettucine alfredo tomorrow (with shrimp or chicken...we're still undecided).

Days 11-14..... at the Parks

Don't Worry Lesley we have been horrible about taking pictures too. =). I did remember last night though becuase I wasn't making the meal. I am finding the challenge to be quite challenging..... Yesterday I had some retail therapy for my birthday and it took alot of restraint not to get anything. But I did it, and spent the money on clothes instead. =)

Friday's dinner was spagetti. Pretty basic, although my favorite Classico sauce is what makes good sauce to me. I add some garlic and mushrooms to it (along with ground beef).

Saturday was BBQ'ed chicken. I marniated the chicken with Orange Sesame Dressing. I bought the dressing for the commerical, thought it looked great. But it was not! Atleast not on salad, but it is quite good as a marinade.

Last nights dinner was Lamb, which my Mom made for my birthday. She buys the chops from Costco and just adds a little salt before BBQing. Mashed pototoes, carrots, BBQed cherry tomotoes and beets. Delicious! Beets are my new favorite vegtable. I'm loving them. So mom and dad were sure to get me a bottle for my birthday.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day 13 and 14 at the Beck's

I'm sucking at taking pics lately. Sorry but I just keep forgetting until dinner time is all said and done...

Saturday night I tried Janine's recipe for Honey Mustard Chicken, basically you heat up 1/2 cup of honey plus 3 tsp of mustard, mix it up and spread it over some chicken breasts. Throw it in the oven for 1 hour and voila! The boys weren't crazy about it but Aaron was. I, myself was at Tamara's stagette last night and the girls made some frozen pizzas and snacks to help soak up the shooters :o)

Today we had BBQ steak, mushrooms and onions and Greater Potatoes which are mashed potatoes, shredded cheddar, sour cream and steamed broccoli all mixed together.

We also went to Elbow something for a picnic lunch. It was Allen Pond I think but after the flood of '07 it became Elbow River or Elbow Falls.

I'm finding it easier and easier to skip the eating out ALTHOUGH Aaron and I have a wedding Sept 27th so we'll be cheating out that night at the reception for sure. I'll still skip the Happy Meals for the boys though.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Day 11 & 12 at the Beck's

Day 11 was Beaver night so it was a mad rush and we ended up with the boys having bologna sandwiches and after Beavers Aaron and I had soup: Last night was Bunco night which posed a slight problem. Part of our not-so-good babysitting routine is that if Aaron and I are going out the kids get Happy Meals. Coincidentally our fabulous babysitter emailed me in the morning to say she was bringing pizza fixings so she and the boys could make their own pizza for dinner. Problem solved! So, Aaron and I had rotini with homemade sauce and OJ:

Day 10, 11 & 12 at the Campbell's

Whew! I have some catching up to do.

Day 10 was nacho night. Certainly not a healthy meal, but definitely a fun one! We use Tostido small round nacho chips, ground beef seasoning with whatever brand of taco seasoning is on sale (tonight was PC Blue Menu taco seasoning), tex mex blend shredded cheese plus salsa and sour cream on the side. Ian also has green onion, green pepper and lettuce on his. He's a good boy who eats his veggies. We eat the nachos right off of the cookie sheet they've been cooked on & here's a picture of the ones Mac and I had. Ian's would have made a nice picture with all those veggies but I was too busy filling my face and forgot to grab the camera.

On Day 11 I needed to cook up some chicken breasts for a recipe we're trying this weekend, so tonight's dinner was a quick and completely uninspired grilled chicken breast and some Lipton Sidekicks Mexican rice. Ian and Mackenzie weren't too keen on the rice but I love rice any way I can get it and thought it was good.

On Day 12 we needed a quick dinner because Mackenzie had tickets to a concert at the fair with her cousin Alex. Home made egg "Mc Muffins" fit the bill. If you have egg rings you could cook the egg in a frying pan but we use a microwave egg cooker. This one also has real cheddar cheese (not a processed cheese slice) and ready-cooked bacon. We often use ham if we have it on hand, instead.

That's it for now! I'll let you know how we make out on the weekend...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Snack Time

Since I forgot to take a picture of dinner I'll mention our favorite snack. Our favorite snack food here probably chips. But second to that would be vanilla yogurt, fruit and granola. Darryl, Lucas and I love it. My favorite combination is raspberries (I buy the frozen kind and defrost a little eat time), peaches and vanilla yogurt. I buy granola in the cereal aisle.

Yummy! Going to have some right now.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Days 9 & 10 at the Beck's

Last night it was a Ukranian inspired dinner of perogies, sausages, sauerkraut and corn on the cob. Yummy!

Tonight we tried Lori's Italian Wedding Soup. I cooked the meatballs in boiling water and added them to the broth to keep the broth clear but I think I may have lost some of the flavour that way. But anyways, it was an Olive Garden inspired dinner of soup, salad and bread this evening:


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