Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kraft is a beautiful thing!

I went through a phase about 10 years ago of boycotting Kraft....Because they are owned or partially owned by the Tobacco Industry (ie they own a large portions of shares in Kraft). And you know that sounds all nice and activisty and I felt like somehow perhaps I was doing my part. But really...I'm just not that bothered by it (which is probably why the phase only lasted a few months). Do I want to support the Tobacco Industry - well not particularly (not at all actually)...but does Kraft happen to make some really fab products - YOU BETCHA! And you know, they make sooo many products I just found it really overwhelming almost to keep it all straight. And let's face it - I like their stuff. And it's not like Kraft picks and chooses who buys their stocks. It's possible they would prefer it to be a different company/organization as well (although I have nothing to base that on) - but money talks....
So I guess I'll just have to use my efforts to promote and benefit other causes, that for me - at this point take priority. I think when it really comes down to it, so many of these large corporations are tied together somehow....I don't know that we can possibly get it straight. Does that mean it's not worth trying...of course not. But make sure it's something you truly believe in and have researched, not something you choose to do based solely on what you've heard from ONE person. Find a cause that means something to you...for some that will in fact be the boycotting of certain food products and companies.

For me....bring on the Kraft! I love their salad dressings. And while I really prefer to make my own, sometimes it's so nice to have something equally as enjoyable just waiting to be used. No work involved. I love making a hearty salad....full of veggies - celery, carrots, red pepper (I don't like green), mushrooms, green onion, purple/red onion, cucumber, sugar snap peas...and sometimes a chicken breast or leftover steak cut up or slices of lunch meat.

some of my favorite dressings are: Italian (interestingly the Kraft one is healthier than the superstore no name one! I like Golden or Creamy or Zesty), Catalina, Three Cheese Ranch (actually, Brent's favorite), raspberry vinaigrette (I LOVE vinaigrettes), and their Signature collection - Roasted Red Pepper and parmesan, Greek with Feta and Oregano, Creamy PoppySeed, and Sundried Tomato and Oregano. I will say I thoroughly despised their Mandarin Orange with Sesame dressing and ended up tossing the bottle. I was pretty disappointed because I thought for sure I would LOVE it....oh well, can't love it all I guess! :)

**Any in Purple I have used as a marinade for chicken (although fish I have heard is great too)...Any in Blue I am wanting to try and think would be great**

But my new favorite product of theirs is THIS collection:

They only have 4 kinds listed on the website but there are more. I have had the Pesto Parmesan which was really yummy on salad but even better as a chicken marinade. And I have the Fig Balsamic which is good on salad but also a GREAT bread dipper (like oil and balsamic vinegar with pan bread...although Brent wasn't too keen on the flavor, he prefers oil and balsamic vinegar....I'm happy with either). I also want to try the Raspberry Vinaigrette and the Greek Feta.

I can eat salad often - really everyday if I have enough variety. Or make a salad and throw it in a pita or a tortilla shell for a little more variety. I love alternating between homemade and store bought dressings...and the great thing about a pita or a wrap is you need just a small amount of dressing for a big punch of flavour. It's a great way to have a fresh and healthy meal that's filling enough to keep you going between meals! And is particularly delicious (I think anyways) in the summer when you don't want to be cooking anyways!

Kraft actually has some really great recipe ideas on their website....so check it out!

ENJOY! Let me know what your favorites are...how you've used them to cook...or perhaps some recipes you would love to try! You can e-mail me at skitalz@gmail.com with any recipes you have!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Toblerone FUDGE??

I don't like chocolate....it's true (and I was *almost* kicked out of Brent's family for it until I reminded everyone it meant more for them!!!). BUT this...THIS is divine!!!

Here's what you need:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 evaporated milk
400g Toblerone (large)

Combine the first 3 ingredients and bring to a boil (medium heat). Boil for 5 minutes, stirring the entire time. Take off heat and stir in Toblerone bar a few sections at a time. Pour into a pan (I'd say an 8x8 square pan) lined with parchment (you need to do this). Chill for at least 3 hours...cut into squares - and DEVOUR!!!

It's soooo good - and again, REALLY REALLY simple. Gotta love that!


oh the deception...

So I posted a while back about this *delicious* lemon loaf....I mentioned that mine never turns out the way my mother in law's does....about 2 months ago I found out why. SHE GAVE ME THE WRONG RECIPE!!!


So here is the real recipe:

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

1 yellow supreme cake mix (*sigh*)
1 lemon instant pudding
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup hot water
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Bake for 35 minutes (or until sides come away from the pan) at 350.

1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Mix together and pour on hot cake

I'm going to try this recipe this week and let you know it's seriously scrumptious rating...assuming of course she gave me the *right* recipe this time. *lol*

Meet me at the clubhouse...

It's kind of a tradition now...or was until Grey's ended for the season (oooo the suspense!)...every thursday night was girly/grey's night....snacks, good company, great show. I made dip once because well I pretty much had nothing else to offer and was too cheap (ie poor. lol) to go buy anything. It's a dip I've made for a loooong time now and just love it - with chips or veggies. I didn't know if anyone would eat it but I took it anyways....A friend had one taste and well, as they say, *the rest is history* LOL I'm sort of assigned to bring it every week. It's *seriously scrumptious* aaaand *seriously simple* - even better!!!

Buy this: Mix together 2 parts sour cream (remember it's 2 parts because it has 2 words...just an easy tip) to 1 part mayonnaise. I just sort of eyeball it and sprinkle in the dip mix to taste. I have never followed the directions on the back so have no idea how it compares....but to be honest, don't waste your time ;) There's no reason to - well in my opinion anyways!

This is a fabulous dip to take for bbq's or snack nights, etc. Like I mentioned, it's awesome for chips and veggies. So um, eat up and enjoy!


So while I was at the grocery store the other day I was looking at some of the other Club House dip mixes and thought I'd try this beauty: Well I didn't know whether to try it as a dip or a dressing but decided ultimately to go with the dressing (I followed the recipe on the back - just add vinegar and vegetable oil). I still had some of this tzatziki *dip* in the fridge so thought I should try something new! I've been back to eating my veggies wraps which I LOOOOOVE! So I put some of the tzatziki dip on the tortilla shell and then my veggies (carrots, celery, cucumber, red/purple onion, and red pepper) and some lettuce...topped it with a little bit of the new dressing and OH.MY.WORD. It was probably the most delicious wrap I've had in a looong time (or ever actually). In fact, the day after I had it the first time I made it for lunch again - my friend Jenn foolishly wasn't hungry but I gave her a bite just so she could taste it. She went and made one for herself :D I've pretty much had it for lunch (and a couple suppers) for 3 days....I love it that much. I bought whole wheat tortilla shells this time which I love. It really just tastes so fresh and healthy...and is delicious and filling. What more could you ask for??


Saturday, May 9, 2009

oh and...

just so you don't think I haven't been cooking at all (minus the chicken and hamburger helper nights), I did actually make a nice big roast dinner the other night, with delicious caesar salad, yorkshire pudding, and veggies (cooked in with the roast). Will blog more about that when I have more energy!

And I also made up some of my delicious fried rice last night so Brent and Trent could have a side dish to their BBQ'd chops (deer). Both the chops and the rice were super yummy! More on that when, you guessed it, I have more energy!

Off to bed I go...

back to it

I really need to get back to it....cooking...I've sort of dropped the ball a bit and gone the way of convenience and even *gasp* fast food (but doesn't it just taste soooo good!). When the weather gets warm (which it's not currently, but was) I sort of put other things ahead of cooking big meals and we end up eating whatever's around. But add to that a serious lack of groceries (I'm happy to reprort I've remedied that situation - and now have a lovely stock of fruits and vegetables) and we were in serious *trouble* (ie need for fast food. lol). I also was pretty sick for about 3 days and food just wasn't really appealling to me - why is it, that means everyone else has to starve?? *oops* (kidding...don't worry my kids were fed - thank heavens for an almost 5 year old that can help herself to pretty much anything. lol)

But I do still have a few things to blog about. First off, let's start with a new found quick meal that's really rather tasty! Thanks to my friend, Jenn we've enjoyed this meal more than once. It's quick and easy...and our kids love it too! I try not to buy hamburger helper meals because the salt content is pretty high and I'd rather make *from scratch* meals if I can help it. However, sometimes it's just nice to have something quick to throw together - even better if it tastes great too! So here you go....The first time I made them all up so all we had to do was grab one from the plate in the fridge and warm it up. Add some sour cream (really the perfect touch - but I LOVE sour cream. I've been known to make tacos JUST so I could have the sour cream) and salsa if you'd like (I prefer it without) and it's perfect. Add a salad and you've got a great and filling meal! The only thing I need is a non-stick pot - I must not stir it often enough because each time my pot gets a nice coating of stuck on rice *grr*

I know I didn't make it, but while I was feeling under the weather and really yucky (no, I'm not pregnant....and no I'm not trying...and no I'm not going to find out in a week that I really am like my cousin did after she expressed the exact same thing. LOL) the only thing I felt wouldn't really disrupt my stomach was a Subway veggie sub...seriously - divine...sometime I really do enjoy the meat ones (italian bmt for one) but more often than not it's the veggie one that just hits the spot. And, despite using Italian Herb and Cheese bread, I always feel healthier when I'm eating it. I always get the white cheese, lettuce, pickles, cucumbers, and onions (I detest tomatoes), a little mayonnaise, mustard, and pepper....and sub sauce (yep shot any chance of health there I know....added to the mayo - eeks!). Sooo delish....I never get them toasted - for some reason, to me only quizno's subs taste good toasted. wonder why that is??

Next....I made a meal one night that was just *okay*. Thankfully I have a husband who eats anything and everything and is happy doing just that. I took some chicken drumsticks (on sale again!!!) and cooked them sort of like I would a whole chicken. I sprinkled them with chicken oxo powder and seasoning salt....and pepper....and poured some water in the dish and covered with tin foil. Baked at 350 for close to an hour and told Brent to take the foil off for the last 10-15 minutes (I was out for the evening). It was *okay* - not great..not a make again...but it was sufficient. I really don't like wasting food, particularly chicken...so a few days when I realized the leftovers just weren't going to get eaten, I decided to try and salvage them. I baked them in bbq sauce (that I mixed with some brown sugar and water) for about 40 minutes...the result....AWESOME - Brent said. He got up and had seconds....HIP HIP HOORAY!! I love it when a salvage attempt goes so well. I absolutely love cooking for other people and when they truly enjoy and devour my efforts, it just makes me smile. I feel accomplished and valued - and THAT is something everybody loves! So an *okay* meal turned into an *awesome* meal - I may end up doing this first to chicken next time I want to coat it in bbq sauce. LOL

Ooo and a great lunch suggestion that I think is kind of fun for the kids...mini pitas. I absolutely love when I make the choice to buy them. The kids had chicken salad pits the other day for lunch and today had mayo and meat in them. Something fun - and kind of neat for the kids, particularly if you are having a larger pita for lunch. It's a great variation to a typical sandwich - and in my opinion is actually more enjoyable. I looooove pitas :)

Anyways - that's all for now. I do have some more recipes to post but as it's 1230am already I really should get to bed! Coming soon...pumpkin squares (I made them into cupcake/muffins this week), carmel popcorn (the best!!), pumpkin marble cheesecake, and some more dinner recipes I've been wanting to try!

And for anyone who has one - I'd love to get a bunch of chicken enchilada recipes in. My husband prefers the beef ones, but I'm determined to make some chicken ones he loves. LOL So send the recipes so I can look them over and try a few. (Auntie Glenda - if you're reading this....something tells me you have one...I keep remembering eating enchiladas when I was younger and for some reason I think it was at your house....would love the recipe to try!)