June 21, 2010

At least we get to eat

Ok, so, as promised, bright side. Pity party time is over. Switch on the ugly lights and pay the violin band. Ain't gotta go home but ya can't stay here... Important stuff to do.

Like, solving the calorie problem for the next four days. We may not have money, but surprise! We do have food. I made a careful inventory of the cupboards Saturday night and it turns out, at least we ain't going hungry. Here are some highlights.
  • Proteins: chicken breasts, pork chops, ground beef, tuna
  • Carbs: flour, sugar, pasta, rice
  • Fats: mayo, butter, peanut butter, and about 5 kinds of oil

  • Other: beans, eggs, onions, garlic

We've also got some American slices and shredded cheddar cheese. And of course there's my considerable stash of herbs and spices. I'm pretty confident I can squeeze eight meals out of what's here. We've already had some fried rice, pancakes, and buttery noodles. (Not together. That's disgusting.) It'll be good for me, having to get all creative. Kind of an at-home edition of Chopped.

I foresee chicken quesadillas, red beans and rice, and tuna pasta salad for sure. Beyond that? I'll be winging it. There's a big pile of change on the dresser where Doug always empties his pockets. With that I'm pretty sure I can get a half-gallon of milk, which opens up some shells and cheese possibilities. That'll be yummy.

And yeah, I know, there aren't any veggies on that list. What can I tell you? This is when buying fresh bites you square in the ass. I haven't bought canned vegetables in ages. And since it's summer I don't have any frozen stuff on hand either. I found a bag of salad greens and some croutons. Make a little dressing and we're good to go.

Simple Italian Dressing

What I used:
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp shredded Parmesan
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp each of salt, sugar, and Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp each of paprika and black pepper
It doesn't get any easier than this. I have a cruet specifically for salad dressing, but any ol' bottle will totally work. Dump in everything, shake well, and pop in the fridge for at least an hour. Taste and re-season to your personal preference. It's probably worth mentioning that I'd ordinarily use 1/2 tbsp each of Parmesan and Romano, but that would violate the rules of my at-home Chopped challenge.

Tonight I'm fixing a couple of pork chops and some garlic cheddar mashed potatoes. That, with the salad, ought to make it feel like we're not broke at all. *Fingers crossed*

So it's looking to be a lively week here on Popcorn. Invent-a-meal seems like a fun game to play on the interwebs. This blog brings me a lot of joy. Do y'all realize that? I thank you for reading along with a crazy lady's ramblings.

Edited June 22: I wrote this up yesterday while the dressing was still chilling in the fridge.

Dude. Just check out that color!

When I took it out to taste it, I decided it was just too heavy, and a little too sweet. This is no doubt a result of using a fancy cold-pressed olive oil and that strong tasting red balsamic. I ended up adding about 1/4 cup of water, and a little more salt before serving.

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