Monday, September 28, 2009

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread


We tried this one this weekend, and I'm still a happy girl as of Monday night, because I had some more of this with lunch AND dinner. Sooooo good. I like this recipe as a combination of our favorite cheese muffins and cornbread, with a little kick in there from the jalapenos.

Now, this is an Ina Garten recipe. Which, in my experience, means it will be a lot like a PW recipe. It will be VERY good, and it will contain a LOT of butter. Both true in this case. If you're afraid of butter, run now! But seriously...this is too good to pass up. If you're running, turn around quick!

(Still here?)

Yeah, I thought so!! Whether we'll admit it or not, butter makes the world go 'round. Really. Don't believe me? Try going a day without it. You'll be sad!

Nah, just kidding. But really, I would be very sad!!

So here's a GREAT recipe to try with chili (as we did), burgers, soups...really just about any fall and winter food you feel like pairing it with. This one is worth trying very soon!!

Recipe is here.

My notes - this is called a cornbread, but really has more of a muffin texture. Crumbly like a cake or muffin, but the crust is deliciously crispy and buttery like a cornbread. Hubby liked it fine, but disagreed that it was truly a cornbread. LOL! I didn't much care what we called it; I just wanted to eat some more. Also, I doubled the amount of jalapenos and green onions, and it was perfect. I think next time I may try it with pepper jack cheese, as another layer of flavor (we like things spicy!)

Hope you enjoy!

For more yummy recipe inspiration, head over to Lisa's for Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!

Love, Dahrlin'

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Catch-up week - The New Car!

Okay guys, I know it's been forever since blogged regularly. I'm baby-stepping my way back into a good routine for fall, and in the meantime I'll be posting a few "catchup" items to let you know what's been going on around here.

First, a little background. Hubby and I tend to keep things until they wear out, only replacing stuff as needed. Hence, I've had the same car for 12 years. We've known for a while that my car would soon need replacing or else major repairs. We've been stalling on that for months, trying to see how far we could push our luck. But at the beginning of this month hubby declared, ever so sweetly, the news that I've waited several years now to hear:

"Honey, it's time we got you a new car."

Seems pretty easy, right? But no. Some of you know that hubby and I are both attorneys. And you just know that two lawyers can't agree on anything that easily.

Ready for the funny part? We had to argue , for days, because he wanted us to get the 2009 model, and I wanted the 2008. I knew exactly the car I wanted, but I liked the older body style, etc. and he wanted the deal we could get on the new year. I know, I'm bizarre. What woman wouldn't want a brand new car? We looked for a couple months for the 2008 TL (which body style I preferred) but could not find the color combo I wanted (no more black interior - too hot here in the South!)

Fast forward - hubby won. LOL! He correctly predicted that when I saw the package of technology goodies that comes on the '09, I would cave immediately. The 2009 has a, shall we say, bold exterior style that people either love or hate. I was in the latter group at first, but it's growing on me, and to keep it real - I really don't care, once I'm inside, what the outside looks like, LOL!

So here's a pic of the new baby. I will have to admit, I did not shed a lot of tears to say goodbye to my old car, though she took great care of me for many years!

I can wholeheartedly recommend the Acura TL if you're in the market for a new car. Any Acura, actually - this model year was the first time in history that the Institute for Highway Safety awarded its highest safety rating to every single model in a manufacturer's model year. Every 2009 Acura got the highest possible rating.

I highly recommend them!

So I hope everyone's having a GREAT weekend and I will be by to catch up and say hi!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Summer into Fall!

How is it Monday again already?

Fall is my favorite season and, therefore, always seems to fly by. I can't believe it's already the middle of September! Days are (marginally) cooler, nights are definitely cooler, and on weekend mornings I can have my coffee outside and actually feel a little chilly. That doesn't stop me from sitting outside, as I LOVE to feel the weather turning cooler. But hubby was actually shivering this morning! I laughed, because it was only 68, so I could not dredge up a lot of sympathy!

So, on to this week's menu plan. We are finally getting back to a more routine life, and this week is all about eating well and getting back into working out. We'll take advantage of some of the meal kits I made a few weeks ago, and I'm brown-bagging lunch each day except for Wednesday (standing lunch with friends). I'm also bringing out a few of our cooler weather favorites, and I'm culling through favorite recipes for cooler months to add to upcoming plans.

To help with eating well, I'm also going to post my breakfasts and lunches to keep me on track mentally. Here's the plan:

Dinner - Garlic Lime Chicken, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli

Monday (workout night):
Breakfast - Chocolate Protein Smoothie
Lunch - Pepper Jack Club Pita with Avocado; Grapes
Dinner - Chicken Broccoli Braid (a true one-dish favorite!)

Tuesday (cooking night):
Breakfast - Herbed Egg Omelette Sammy
Lunch - Same Pita as Monday; Peach
Dinner - Cajun Meatloaf (I literally crave this once a week now), Creamy Bow Tie Pasta (a new one to try), Garlicky Green Beans

Wednesday (workout night):
Breakfast - Smoothie
Lunch - with friends
Dinner - leftover Cajun Meatloaf and Pasta

Thursday (cooking night):
Breakfast - Omelette Sammy
Lunch - Meatloaf or Club Pita; Grapes
Dinner - Tilapia with Baby Limas

Friday (I need to workout, so let's call this a workout night too!):
Breakfast - Smoothie
Lunch - Honey Roasted PB&J; Peach
Dinner - Pepper Steak with Rice

Saturday: No idea what we'll eat for the day yet - but we're going to see Journey with some friends. Can't wait!!

Happy week to all, and for more menu inspiration, head on over to Orgjunkie!

Love, Dahrlin'

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Costco, I...

...sure do love you!

(sorry for the lack of photos in this post. I started prepping food right away when I got this stuff home, and decided later to blog about it!)

I went to Costco this past weekend to get some items for my freezer meal kits. It's the only place I can get, for example, 12 fresh chicken breasts at a time at prices that don't stop my heart (and for reasons having nothing to do with cholesterol!)

While there, I did manage to stick pretty well to my list, with only a couple minor detours into the champagne aisle. To be fair, I only paused briefly to pick up the gallon-sized bag of M&M's requested by hubby to survey items that I might need next week visit.

Although it never feels like it as I am paying the bill, this place really does save us $$ and is a big help with my freezer kit preparation. Some of their prices are truly awesome - for example, I got 5 lbs. of Cabot Pepper Jack Cheese (I like to grate my own for recipes) for $8 (sale price). For comparison, Publix's sale price on this cheese this week was $2/8 oz., which would have been $20 for the same 5 lbs. 3 lbs. of sour cream was only $3.79 (about the best price I find at Publix, with both sales and coupons, is 50 cents for 8 fluid oz., which is less than half a pound weight-wise). 3 lbs of almonds was $10.00 (this even beats Whole Foods' price).

Their produce is great, too if you can use the quantities (I usually buy mostly freezer meal items) - a bag of about 10 red peppers (usually close to $2.00 a piece at Publix) was $6.99. Gallon-size bag of sliced baby portobellos was 4.49. 5lbs. extra-lean ground beef: $14 (contrast $4.99/lb at Publix). I also find that their prices on condiment-type items are MUCH better - for example, I got a huge jar of sliced sundried tomatoes (equivalent to 4 of the size I usually get at Publix for $4 each) for $8.50. Three pounds of bananas were $1.32 (hubby is back to making smoothies and now I can't keep these in the house past about Wednesday each week!)

There were other deals too, but those were my favorites from yesterday. So all this to say, if you have a Costco near you and have been thinking of joining, I can recommend it wholeheartedly!

Happy Wednesday!

Love, Dahrlin'
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