Tuesday, January 3, 2012

At home does not always mean homemade

If this is going to be an honest blog about what really gets cooked over here at the Drosche house, I need to lay all my cupboards bare.  :)  Yesterday for dinner, it was one of those get food on the table in 30 minutes or less kind of nights; I know you have them too.  I had leftover spaghetti and meatballs in the fridge and some hunks of leftover pot roast.  Spaghetti did not sound good at all.  So I grabbed the leftover pot roast, shredded it, threw it in a saucepan and flavored it up with a bottle of barbeque sauce from the pantry.  I know, I know, I could make a homemade sauce and it would probably be uber delicious, but it was definitely a get it done and get-to-the-table kind of night.  I cringed as I read the first ingredient on the label of the barbeque sauce which was high fructose corn syrup, but then I thought about what the first ingredient in McDonald's chicken nuggets might be and I let it go. So just a few minutes later, with barbeque beef on the buns, some frozen french fries (gasp), and apple slices on the plate, our family was sitting down to eat.  The truth is that I'm not going to be able to make everything from scratch everyday; it's just never going to happen.  So I'm going to be honest about these quick, throw-together meals that hit the menu (whether planned or unplanned) here at the Drosche house.  Maybe they'll help you in your get dinner to the table on those 30 minutes or less kind of nights.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Chocolate glaze

My mom has been out of town for the last week, dropping my little brother off at college in Nebraska.  My brother, Adam, is nine years younger than me, and I love him so much!  He was accepted this fall into the business program at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.  He's going to do a fantastic job, but we're all going to miss his, ah wit and charm, so very much.  To welcome mom back, we picked her up from the airport and had a delicious dinner ready for her.

We tried out a new chili recipe (post coming later) and made a yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  Yummo!  Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is my absolute favorite.  But truth be told, the cake came from a box, but I still count it as homemade because I had to mix and bake it myself.  :)  I didn't want a ton of big, puffy, chocolate frosting so I went searching for a simple chocolate glaze to cover the cake.  This recipe came together so easily and was super delicious!!!

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation Instructions:
  1. In a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water, combine chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup. Stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.  Then add vanilla.
  2. Spread warm glaze over top of cake, letting it drizzle down the sides. 
  3. Add sprinkles!!!  Because no cake is complete without sprinkles.  :)
  4. Hide from your husband - mine kept trying to convince me to cut him a slice of the cake before dinner so that he could assure quality control.
From an All Recipes recipe found here:  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/satiny-chocolate-glaze/detail.aspx

New Year's Resolutions

Ok - to be perfectly honest, I'm not a huge New Year's fan.  I don't like to stay up late.  I'm terrified of sparklers.  And I hate making New Year's resolutions.  But, I totally appreciate setting achievable goals and well, Dusty's been bugging me about them so I guess I'll jump on the band wagon.  :)  My cooking, grocery shopping, and budget-maintaining responsibilities in my house give me a ton of satisfaction so I'm going to center my goals around that. 

  1. Try a new recipe each week.  I like routines and predictability but sometime that means that the food at our house can get boring.  I can get new cookbooks on my Nook super cheap and I've found a ton of other food blogs that I love (Pioneer Woman, Two Peas and their Pod, and Taking on Magazines one Recipe at a Time to name a few).  I'm going to set a goal to try a new recipe each week.
  2. Have a plan.  Although I try to be organized, sometimes I totally miss the mark (we all do, right?).  Either I haven't planned meals for the week, or thawed out meat, or scheduled my time well.  I going to set a goal to write out a meal plan each week on Saturday and get organized for the coming week so that meal time isn't stressful and I'm totally organized.   
  3. Eat out less.  I really want to eat out less.  Nothing against eating out, but we usually fall back to fast-food or kid-friendly restaurants when I don't have a plan.  If we're going to eat out, I want it to be for a special occasion not because I didn't have my act together.  So for this year, I really want to keep the eating out to once a month or less.  
  4. Use coupons.  Coupons are like free money.  Yes, it takes some organization and little bit of extra effort, but the savings can add up super fast.  We are already staying away from the boxed/prepared foods (think inside aisles of the grocery store) and I know a lot of coupons are for those items.  But there are a ton of great coupons out there for cleaning and paper products, meat, cheese, fresh produce, and health and hygiene items.  I know some people the can figure out these deals on their own but the Grocery Game (check out the link below) makes it super easy for me.  I'm going to set a goal to keep up with the Grocery Game for the entire year (sometimes I get lazy and jump off the coupon train) and keep track of my savings.  
Alright, I think those are four great and achievable goals.  And I'll keep you posted through the year on how it's going.  :)  Oh, and Happy New Year everyone!!!!