Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. We did! Although I really need to make mayo. Sometimes I can't even look at another piece of plain chicken with olive oil. LOL.

I wanted to talk a little bit about prep time when it comes to cooking. I've been getting a little more adventurous in the kitchen, and I've realized the value of prep.

You know how when you watch a cooking show, everything is measured out ahead of time in cute little bowls? Veggies are chopped and ready to go, and eggs are pre-broken?

Well I learned there's a reason for that! :)

For some recipes, you do need to do actual prep. It makes the cooking process go much more smoothly. I can't even tell you the times I was sweating that I wouldn't have enough time to chop up the chicken before the onions burned. It was a very "duh!" moment for me.

But don't worry! It's not hard, and I promise you don't need a cute little set of matchy bowls to do it. So if a recipe requires prep, I will describe the best way to go about it.

Plus I have a willing sous chef... my son! His auntie Cathy bought him his very own Spongebob apron for Christmas, so he's ready to go in the kitchen this year!

We'll talk again soon. Promise. :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Long time no post and cooking marathon!

I actually wrote this post a few weeks ago. I apologize, as my life seems to always be crazy.

I'm going to spend some time evaluating the blog while I'm on vacation. I really do want to keep up with this more, but making it a priority has been a challenge... especially when you read the rest of this post!

I hope you're all doing well and having a good holiday season. :)


My husband and I own a pretty large and successful podcasting company and so occasionally we go to comic conventions to promote said company. Since my son and I are on SCD, you can imagine this complicates things.

Not only do I have to bring food to the convention, but I have to have things sufficiently prepared so that we don’t starve for the week following said weekend. With no cooking time for most of the day Saturday and Sunday, things have to be planned in advance.

So Friday I needed to take the day off from work because I had to get all the food together for the weekend and upcoming week. I started cooking a little before 8 a.m. I put carrots on to steam, butternut squash in the oven, and a large beef roast in the crock pot. The squash would take over an hour, so I wanted to be sure that it would be done before we started running errands.

Once the carrots and squash were finished, I left them to cool and we went out. We went to a couple of other stores and then Costco. First we got gas for the car and then went in to get a few things, mainly for Jeffrey although I needed some of Costco’s awesome organic eggs and fresh pineapple as well.

Got back home, put the food away, and had lunch. I also managed to make some script edits I needed to make for one of our podcast productions.

Back out to get an oil change, and then we went to Jons, which always has incredible prices on meats. I picked up nine pounds of bone-in chicken breasts for 99 cents a pound, and I got six pounds of ground beef for meat loaf as well. I don’t know how much I paid for the beef but it was under 2.99 a pound.

Back home again, and I put the chicken in the oven. I knew it would take about an hour, maybe longer, and I was starting to worry because it had to be done, cooled and put away before I left at 5:20 p.m. The chicken was done a little after 4 p.m. and it was cool enough for me to pull all the meat off the bones at 5 p.m. So I managed to BARELY make this deadline.

My husband also managed to chop up the peppers I wanted to put in the meatloaf during this time. Yay. So those were chopped and put in the fridge for later.

I turned off the crock pot just before we walked out the door since I knew it would take hours for the roast to cool off.

Off to my son’s school, where I volunteered for the fall festival from 5:30 to 7 p.m. My son had a super time! I had fun too. :)

Back home! I asked Jeffrey to help me mix the meatloaf because somehow I’d managed to cut my thumb on something and having an open wound with raw meat didn’t seem like a very good idea. :/ He concurred and I measured out all the spices and got the eggs for him and such.

So we got the meatloaf in the oven right after getting back home. I knew it would take an hour. It was done just about the time my son had to go to bed. I pulled it out to cool and I knew I was out of time as far as cooking went, because nothing else would cool off in time. While it cooled I put the beef roast, carrots and butternut squash away. Yes, I left the carrots and squash out all day. Yes, they’ll be fine. Really. I do it all the time. :)

Saturday was crazy because I had to pack up our meals for the convention AND get myself ready within an hour, and I got confused and thought I would have more time to do it. Sigh. I don’t know how I managed to get everything done within an hour, but I did it! We were gone all day as the convention was from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. I went to panels, networked with people, and chatted comics and podcasts, which is exhausting in its own way. I brought enough food for lunch and dinner for both me and my son and it worked out pretty well.

After getting home and going through all the bedtime routine stuff with the kid, I made brownies because there was no other time for me to do it.

Sunday we were gone all day again, but the convention ended at 5 so we only needed to bring lunch. There was plenty of food in the refrigerator when we got back, so while my son had dinner, I put the pineapple in as soon as we got home because again, there was no other time to do it really. It takes 90 minutes to cook pineapple so it was done and cool by bedtime, which is when I asked my husband to please put it away because I was so tired of messing with food. He did so cheerfully. LOL.

And now it’s Monday and I’m at work, and next weekend is another convention so we’re going to do it all again.

But because of my planning, we have brownies and pineapple done for the week, plus beef roast, chicken and meatloaf – which should last us through Friday.

Of course the food will be running out by then. I have half a day off on Friday, but no car, so I’m going to have to work out what my husband will need to pick up for us before then…

Onward. :)