Day of Travel Food

Today was the day I flew to my Parent’s house.  I usually take food with me, but with the Christmas bonus lining my pocket, I threw caution to the wind and decided to buy my breakfast.  I actually could’ve gone to Five Guys, but I stuck to breakfast food at Jason’s Deli

20121222_Breakfast

The above cost 14 dollars 😮  I know, I know.  It was mostly because of the two drinks in the back.  I didn’t want a fountain drink and needed some water for the plane.  The sandwich was 5.75.  Seems expensive, until you see this:
20121222_CloseupSand

Oh yea.  Bacon, smoked turkey and cheddar on an everything bagel.  It was really, really good.  It was very filling, too.  Thankfully, because my brother picked me up hungover, so that meant that he had to go buy 35 dollars worth of food from Sheetz and deliver to his friends (facepalm), so it took 1.5 hours to get to my parent’s house.

My mom went out and bought a crapload of lunch meat.  I didn’t take any pictures of it, but I was about to chew off my arm.
20121222_Lunch

One baloney sandwich and one brunschweiger sandwich.  Both with brick cheese and mayo with a side of lightly salted chips.  The bread was pumpernickel from a local place called the Breadworks.  At least, I think they are local.  Yep, they are, I googled it 🙂  It was so good and tender.  Such a filling lunch at 3PM (thanks bro).  You can see that I couldn’t wait to start before I remembered a picture 😉

I decided to make dinner for my parents.  They had some breaded chicken breasts, pasta, sauce and cheese……I think you know where I am going with this 🙂
20121222_Dinner

Chicken parm with a side of garlic bread.  The bread is from the same place as the pumpernickel.  Again, it was great.  Fresh and even smelled wonderful when I cut the three slices for the garlic bread.

Not too bad for a day of traveling, don’t you think?

Bittersweet day

Today is my last day of work (at my real job 😉 ) before the New Year.  While I am looking forward to going back to my roots and seeing family and friends, it’s a bittersweet day.  My boss of two years – one of the best I have ever had – is leaving at the end of the year.  She shared this news with us last Friday and I have pretty much been in a funk since then.  It’s not any easier today.  She was always there for us, we knew that she always would stick up for us.  We would work late so that we could alleviate her stress some and have something good to tell in meetings about accomplishments.  We met every week as a team and it was like hanging out.  Not that she wasn’t boss-like, too, but her door was always open to us if we had problems at work or home.  Go from that to her boss who isn’t going to meet with us, but we have to “stop by” his office.  I am really anxious and worried about how this is going to work.  I even heard through the grapevine that he isn’t planning on getting anyone to replace her for a while.  Basically, two departments don’t have managers anymore.  I was going to be optimistic and give it until March before I start looking for something else, but I have a feeling it’ll be sooner.  I don’t think he realized how involved she was and I have a bad feeling we’re gonna drown.  I do wish her the best, though.  She saved me from a horrible job with a boss that was constantly trying to make it look like she was the one who was doing all the things I did.  I can’t wait to see where she is going and what she is actually doing.

Sorry for the downer, but I had to get it out.  Maybe now I will be able to sleep 🙂  I hope to be able to update with some food from home for all of you.  Nothing like some mom-cooked food.

Hope you all have a happy holiday whatever it is you celebrate 😀

Ham, Broccoli and Cheese casserole

Pasta.  I love pasta in all forms.  I saw this recipe and wanted to try it.  The only problem is that I was supposed to have sausage pizza this weekend and I didn’t want two meals with sausage in a weekend.  I was planning on using gouda for the dish and I had a thought – replace the sausage with ham.  I love the combination of ham and gouda.  I first had the combo when I was in caribbean.  They have these pressed sandwiches at the airport made with ham and gouda.  OMG – they are the best!  I even bought an extra one so I could eat it on the plane back.  Yea, the other passengers were jealous. 🙂

Ingredients – I thought there were a lot of items, but there really aren’t comparing to other recipes.  See that milk?  I didn’t think I had enough, but I forgot to check before I started the dish.  Luckily, I had just barely enough.  I didn’t use shell pasta as in the original recipe.  Instead, I used corkscrew pasta – I saw it and wanted to use it and that was it 😉
PG_Ingredients

Ingredients 2 – yea, I forgot some, but I remembered to add them in!!
PG_Ingredients_2

Cooking ham
PG_HamCooking

Ham and broccoli
PG_HamAndBroccoli

Mixed up
PG_Mixed

All sauced up.  I don’t have any pictures of making the sauce since it was quick and I didn’t feel safe to leave the stove while it was cooking.
PG_Sauced

Topped with the second ingredients up there
PG_ReadyToBake

All baked up.  Stop licking the screen!  This is not a view and taste website!
PG_Baked

Plated on my dishes that always seem to match the food I am cooking.
PG_Plated

It tasted so good.  I was so happy with the results.  I am definitely make this again.  It was creamy, filling and just such a good comfort food.  In fact, my mother told me that she is making a ham this weekend and the first thing I thought was that I could make this!!  They always seem surprised that I actually cook.  I can’t think of a single thing I would change…..besides what I already did 😉  I made this into 8 servings, but they just didn’t seem big enough, so I made it into 7 instead.  Yea, I know, weird, but I just emptied one container into the others evenly to make 7

Orzo, orzo, orzo. How I love you

Everyone is always on the look out for a good side dish.  I saw this was like “Orzo?  Cheese?  Sign me up!!”  I don’t have a lot of pictures because it was insanely easy from start to dinner.

Ingredients
CBO_Ingredients
Finished
CBO_Finished

Plated – served with teriyaki chicken.  All I did was put the teriyaki sauce in the bag with the chicken and let it sit while I got the side together.
CBO_Plated

I cut the broccoli as close to the top as possible since I am not a huge broccoli fan.  This way, there are no tough, gross parts.  Mine isn’t as yellow as the original recipe, but it probably has to do with the fact that I had pre-shredded cheese and she used block cheese.  I actually doubled the amount of cheese.  It didn’t seem very cheesy with just ¼ cup of cheese.  Again, I think it goes back to the cheese I used.  It was really good.  I added some pepper, too.  Just to give it a little kick and add an extra layer of flavor in the dish.  I wonder what adding a little hot sauce would do?

Regardless, I should have enough to get me through to the weekend.  I am trying to time it perfectly that I finish all the leftovers before traveling for the holidays.  Although, if I don’t, the little elf that will be checking in on my place will surely eat it 😀

Uncommon Ingredients – Update to the quest

Update!  I went looking for the ingredients I mentioned in this post.  I went to a different store than originally planned.  It is twice the size and has a lot more items in the store.  I got what I needed (almost) and extra 🙂

Here’s the whole haul.
UI_Haul

I got some frozen rice cakes.  I am hoping they will be similar to the noodles in chow fun dishes that I have had.  I love those noodles.
UI_RiceCakes

Udon and buckwheat noodles
UI_Noodles

Some sauces – to put on the noodles 😀
UI_NoodleSauce

And here is what I got for the recipe.  The Vinegar is different than described, but it said Red Vinegar and I was at an Asian store.  I went with it.  I had to get some bean paste, too.  I actually didn’t get the right one, but it should be a suitable replacement according to the cookbook.  Sad thing?  I think I actually had the correct stuff in my hand and put it back.  I recognized the name on this jar and grabbed it instead.  I have no idea where I saw the name, but I am glad I can still use it.  I don’t think I can take things back to the store.
UI_Target

I can’t wait to make the orange flavored beef now.  It will have to wait until I return from going home.  I’ll be there for a week.  I may not have much to post, but I will try.  If not, then you can look forward to the beef recipe 😛

Shrimp fail :(

I was in the mood for something different, so when I ran across this recipe, I decided to make it.  The link is to the original recipe.  The only difference is that the original uses 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and the one I found used 1/2 cup.  I don’t think the original would have been much different.  The only ingredients I had to buy were shrimp and wine.  I am one of those rare people that don’t keep wine on hand.  I was thinking of making Shrimp Scampi, instead, but I needed more ingredients.

Ingredients – yes, I had some wine first :).  The pack there is large shrimp in the shell.  I had to clean them before using.  I didn’t want to show you a picture of that – ew.
GBS_Ingredients

Ready to bake.  I had a picture of the shrimp laid out in the pan, but it didn’t look very appetizing.  Anything covered in butter bread crumbs look better 🙂
GBS_ReadyToBake

Done
GBS_Done

I served it with Garlic and Herb rice pilaf from Near East (I always call them Far East for some reason 😐 ).  I LOVE their boxed grain mixes.  I have had regular rice, pilaf and couscous.  I have never been disappointed with it.  I didn’t add any butter or oil to this and it was still good.  I know it is really good with the butter, too, but I was trying to save some calories since the shrimp had 4 tbsp of butter already.
GBS_Pilaf

Dinner plated ( I wasn’t sure which I liked better.  The second one is a little light, but I like the point of view.  The first has my funky finger in it – lol )
GBS_Dinner2 GBS_Dinner

I was really disappointed with this dish.  The recipe originally said to cook the shrimp for 15-18 minutes.  I have never heard of shrimp being cooked that long.  I cut it down to 10, but laziness turned it to about 12 minutes and my shrimp were overcooked.  I shudder to think what would have happened if I left them in for 15 minutes.  As it is now, I can’t reheat them or risk having shrimp that resemble rubber bands.  There really wasn’t much flavor to it despite the amount of garlic in it.  I think my only option is to heat up the rice and hope that when I mix in the shrimp, it will warm them.  I really wish I would have made the shrimp scampi instead.  Next time – go with my first instincts!!

Edit to add – I had this again the next day at work for lunch.  I did what I said and mixed the shrimp (cut up) into the rice to heat it without overcooking even more.  It turned out better than I thought.  Maybe even better than the first day.  I think it’s because it was mixed in with the rice which has a LOT of flavor to it.