Sunday, November 22, 2009

Do I Have to Make Dinner? Meal Planning Success Story. 4 pm rolls around and it's time to think of something for dinner. Ohh the dread. I forgot to thaw out anything, we are out of pasta, soccer practice starts in an hour, I've got to come up with something new, yada yada yada...lets' just grab something quick at Chili's.

Up until a few weeks ago this is how my late afternoons went down. I finally did some surfing and found these two great websites that have made my life way more enjoyable in the "dinner" department.

This one is hands down my favorite thus far. If you are a family of five+ this is the way to go! There are enough portions here for all of us and them some leftovers. I love the way the grocery spread sheet is layed out complete with each ingredient check marked under its dish. This plan even includes side items such as salads and fruit. The most fabulous part, however, is that when I go to make a meal every night ALL the ingredients are present in my HOME!!! Each and every single last one of them down to the onion (I just never seem to have onions on hand).
When you sign up for this one you get:
A spreadsheet with a grocery list for the week emailed to you on Sun.
All the recipes for the week with marvelous instructions also emailed to you on Sun.
Extra cooking tidbits and recipes

This one I have less experience with, but love the pictures. Yes, I do judge books by the cover.
When you sign up for this one you get:
A weekly newsletter with recipes and pictures (which is always nice)
A grocery list in a list form
Weekly snack and dessert recipes

Believe it or not meal planning has not only simplified my evenings complete with yummy meals, but has become an enjoyable event. I never thought I would say that.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Whine Cake or is it Wine Cake?

I swear I don't remember anymore. There is so much whine in this house. Living with three whiners is obnoxious. I am constantly in a state of tripping over my own two feet (or trying to break the record time in "how fast can you fill a sippy cup") in an effort to stifle the whining as fast as humanly possible. They beg, they ask, they complain all while raising their voices eight Mariah Carey octaves unnecessarily high.

It usually sounds something like this (insert whiny voice here):

1 year old "diiii, diiii, diiii (by this point add some tears) diiii"
Translation= milk, milk, milk or water, water, water, just get me something wet lady

3 year old (add a little hostility in this voice) "I don't (sm. pause) want to take a bath"
Translation= I am in control here and if I want to sit around and eat candy all night and remain a sticky mess of filth well that is what I will do

12 year old (this one would not be complete without some raw negative emotion) "Can I have a sleepover, why?, do I have to do the dishes first? and clean my room? (eye rolling), what do you mean watch the attitude? Uurgh fine."
Translation= I think the age speaks for itself

Fortunately, this wine cake doesn't leave a bad taste in your mouth after all is said and done.

Wine Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 box vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. Port wine (stick with the cheap stuff)

Mix: All above ingredients. Place in a bundt pan and bake at 325 for 1 hour.

1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
2 oz. Port wine

Combine: Butter, sugar and water in a saucepan. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Then add the wine. Poke holes in the cake with the end of a utensil of some sort (fork, spatula, whatever your toddler left on the floor) and pour mixture onto cake. I do this while the cake is still warm and in the bundt pan.

Topping: Real whip cream with about a 1/4 c. sugar added to it while beating. This must be strictly adhered to as it is not the same cake without the real stuff.