Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Really Good Orange "Chicken" at Home...Line Dancing

This stuff is so delicious it deserves its own post,
but here it is nonetheless.
It's the Mandarin Orange Soy Chicken from Trader Joe's.
Just yum. That is all I can say. It is rediculously good.
I ate it along with the brown rice mix also from TJoe's.
It's really easy to make. Just bake the chicken bites
and toss with the sauce that has been heated up.
The calorie content isn't awful, but remember it's
prepared food so technically cheat day food.
If you don't eat it on cheat day you will be compelled to to work it off.
Speaking of working it off...
Fun exercise....
Another way to sweat off the pounds
or just calories if you are already at your goal shape
(i cant say weight since i refuse to weigh myself until
im sure ive lost more weight) is to dance, or
more specifically line dance!

Dr. Dance an uber famous line dance instructor in my area held a free dance class at the Mellon Park Tennis Court. It used to be an outdoor court, but one winter the rich people decided they wanted to play tennis on an outdoor court withouth actually being outdoors. Thusly, the giant white bubble tent was born. At first a temporary thing for winter, the tent became a permanent fixture. There is heat in the winter and cool air in summer. Very nice indeed!
Random Snackage.....
Terra Exotic Harvest Sweet Onion Kabocha, carrot and blue potato chips.
Longest named snack ever. :-)
These bad boys were tasty, but be warned they are very crunchy.
And aggressively seasoned, but that is right up my alley,
so I really enjoyed it.
In other snack news... 
Turns out some of the Popcorn Co. flavors are veg-friendly, non dairy and gluten free.
The flavors I personally can enjoy include:
Salt and Pepper
Salt and Vinegar
Movie Theater Butter (yum!)
Kettle Corn
Completely off topic...
What is it about a chalk board menu that just gets to me?
Is it the transient in me?
Is it the old fashion, small town girl in me?
Is it the taste of chalk?
 I hope its not the last one.
And don't look at me like that.
I know you tasted chalk when you were a tot.
Growing up we had a giant classroom sized chalk board
in our family room.
It came in handy for so many things.
Keeping score on game night, chore lists,
who's on punishment lists,
impromptu games of hangman,
and that game where you draw something that looks vaguely like something else.
You know which one Im talking about...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Under $20: Tea Party Edition

Entertaining does not have to be expensive.
There I said it. And I mean it too.
Especially if you are anywhere in the vicinity of a Trader Joe's,
but even if you dont you can have a party for 4 for under $20.

Step 1: Make a guest list
Step 2: Make a menu
Step 3: Go shopping (be flexible)
I put together a last minute Tea Party Luncheon a few weekends ago.
It always pays to be high on creativity when you are low on funds.
Creative cha-ching!

One of the best things about Trader Joe's is that they have one type of item in a variety of prices points. Or in other words 3 kinds of grapes at three different prices depending on your taste preference and budget. Love it!

SO, since I already had the guest list together (me, cuz and baby cuz) I made up a menu (Chicken Salad Sandwiches, potato chips, Thomchord grapes, cookies and baby carrots) and then went to Trader Joe's. Lo and behold there was none of the chicken salad that i wanted to serve. Argh!

Thinking as quickly as possible(I had to shop and get to the bus stop in 5 I brainstormed a new idea. I improvised and bought one of their prepared salads (Avocado, Feta Chicken Salad with honey mustard dressing, pistachios and cranberries $4.99) and some flat breads. My thought was to buy the salad and the bread and turn it into wraps.
When I got to the fruit section I noticed the adorable champagne grapes were only $1.99 (and did I mention adorable?) so I got those instead of the Concord Thompson blend ones.
Also on the list: Baby carrots ($2), plantain chips (under $2),
chewy chocolate chip cookies (around $3) and SnaPea Crisps (under $2).
My total came to $17 and some change. Score!
 And that total included some extras I purchased.

Everyone had fun and enjoyed the food and tea (Peach Mango White Tea).
That's what it's all about...
hokey pokey!

What it looked like:

choc chip cookies, plantains, carrots, grapes and chicken wraps

SnaPea crisps! And decorations.

That's my Greek White Bean and Tomato wrap on the back plate.

All the yummy on one plate.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tofu Scramble Remix Number 3,089

How could you ever get tired of tofu scramble?
There are so many variations.

Savory, sweet, and pretty much any cultural adaptation
you can imagine...

I don't eat tofu (or any soy products) often,
but it's nice ot have a block
on hold in the freezer for the occassional cravings
and for a quick breakfast or dinner.

I just drain it of any liquid its packed in, rinse it
cut the block into four and then freeze.

No other prep needed. And freezing it makes
the tofu chewier in texture, so it doesnt need
to be cooked as long. Just flash fried (cooked in
a very hot skillet) to brown it.

If you have any questions about Tofu feel free
to email me or put it in the comment section in below.

How much do you love it when the mushrooms are fried?

Tuscan Scramble
1/2 block tofu crumbled (mine was frozen but nuked to thaw)
1/2 c frozen kale, thawed
1 cup sliced baby bella
1/4 c onion sliced or diced
1 t salt
1 T trader Joe's 21 seasoning mix (or any mix you like,
of course Italian would make it more Tuscan..)

Heat some oil in a pan then toss in onion.
When they starts to wilt throw in mushrooms.
Sprinkle in the Tofu then the seasoning mix and let it brown.
When its halfway there throw in the kale.

Have you tried this?

The new Uber line from Lara is super tasty.
I wouldnt say it taste like its name as much
as the original line does, but they are
delicious none the less...

Super dense and flavorful!
Great desk munchie killer......