Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Recipe: Pineapple Casserole

Okay, I know what you are thinking.  Pineapple casserole?!  WHY would I want to eat something like that??  I know you are thinking this because it is what I was thinking when my mom announced it was on our Memorial Day menu.  It's also what I think when she suggests pineapple and cheese sandwiches. 

But like almost everything, I have been proven wrong, and my mother has been proven right.  Pineapple casserole is delicious.  Pineapple and cheese DO go well together and when topped with buttery crackers...yum.  I have no other words.  Other than you might want to find your big girl pants after this, 'cause it ain't light.  It's a true Southern dish. 

{Image from Food Network}
Pineapple Casserole
Print this recipe!

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I like a combination of white and sharp cheddar)
6 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
2 (20 oz) cans of pineapple chunks in juice, drained*
1 sleeve of butter crackers (like Ritz), crushed
1/4 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine the flour, cheese, and sugar.  Stir in the pineapple until evenly coated.  Spread evenly into the prepared pan.  Top with the crushed cracker crumbs, and pour the melted butter over the top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until gold and bubbly.  Serve as a side dish for pork or ham.

*Some recipes call for crushed pineapple, but my family likes the texture of chunked pineapple.  It's really up to you.

-Adapted from Apron's Simple Meals

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday, Delicious Dishes, and Tuesday Night Supper Club

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The ABCs of Me

I found this over at Homeowner by 30! and I just had to do it too.

Age: 25

Bed Size: Queen

Chore You Hate: Vacuuming.  I really, really hate doing that.

Dogs: no dogs, but I do have a cat.  You probably knew that already. :)

Essential start of your day: Hitting the snooze button at least once, followed by trying not to fall down the stairs as the cat plays her favorite game, let's trip Mommy.

Favorite color: Depends on the day, but usually blue or red.

Gold or silver: Silver

Height: 5 feet, 6 inches

Instruments I play (or have played): I can't play anything.  I can sort of pick stuff out on the piano, but that's super limited.  I do sing quite well (if I do say so myself) thanks to 7 years of school choir.

Job title: Medical librarian

Kids: Hopefully lots someday.

Live: In the Heart of Dixie

Mom’s name: Susan

Nickname: E or Lizzie

Overnight hospital stays: Surprisingly none

Pet peeve: Ill behaved children in public places.

Quote from a movie: "Nobody puts Baby in a corner".  I know a lot more but that's just the first one that popped into my head.

Right or left handed: Right.

Siblings: None; I'm an only child.

Time you wake up: Well, the alarm goes off at 6:15, but I don't normally get out of bed until 6:30.

Underwear: Yes.  At all times.

Vegetables you dislike: Beets, turnips, collards, kale, cooked cabbage, lima beans...I think that might be it.

What makes you run late: Life.  I'm almost always late, especially if it's a morning event, probably somehow related to me oversleeping.

X-rays you’ve had done: Let's do this chronologically: shoulder/collar bone, wrist, wrist again, other wrist, foot, ankle, other ankle, neck, and then multiple sinus and dental ones.  I'm a bit of a mess and a little accident prone. :)

Yummy food you make: Too long to list.  Just go here.

Zoo animal: Lions were the first thing that popped into my head, so if we are going for stream of consciousness, then that's it.  But I'm also a fan of polar bears and penguins.  Oh, and all the other big cats.

That was fun!  You should do it to!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blog Maintance

The blog is going to be down today, and possibly tomorrow, for a little (okay maybe a big) face lift.  Check back tomorrow afternoon for the big reveal and a giveaway!!

June Goals

1. Budget - Work on my grocery spending.  I need to take a long, hard look at what I'm buying at the grocery store because I'm overspending by at least $50 a month.  I started with $25 a week in my budget, and now I'm up to $50 and am still somehow over spending.  Sometimes I overspend when I stock up (this week I stocked up on SmartOnes and butter, last week it was Coke products), but that shouldn't account for me spending so much.  I'm going to compile all my receipts and see where the money is going and how I can cut back. 
2. Food - Use a cookbook once a week.  In March I set a goal to use my cookbooks more, but in keeping with my new theme of setting SMART goals, I'm being more specific.  I have TONS of cookbooks, and many recipes earmarked, but I never try them and I would really like to.
3. Blogging - Learn about advertising.  I would really like to have my blog generate some sort of income, but I don't know how.  I want to take some time this month, talk to some different bloggers, and figure out what I can be doing to help my blog grow and make a little money.  Any suggestions?
4. Social - Entertain at home.  I find that I tend to go out to dinner, or to the movies, or to a bar when I want to see friends.  This month I would really like to have people over.  I'm not sure if that means I'm having a dinner party, or if I'm just inviting people over for pizza and beer, but I would like to rely more on hanging out at home than going out and spending a lot of money.
5. Personal - Stick to my housekeeping list.  In January, I bought a Motivated Moms Chore Planner.  I know I'm not a mom, but the daily chore check list was a huge draw for me as I had just bought the house and had no clue as to how I was going to keep it up.  I really like the planner and when I use it, I feel way more organized and my house is very clean and tidy.  I haven't been using it lately, so this month I want to get back in the habit of checking the list and completing the tasks.

What are your June goals?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May Goal Review

1. Budget - Put money into savings.  Done!  I transferred money into two of my savings accounts.  If I can just keep this up, I'll be well on my way to meeting some of my savings goals!
2. Food - Cook more.  If I'm counting correctly, I cooked 12 dinners this month.  Not bad considering I was out of town for almost an entire week.  I did feel like I was cooking more than I had in a while, and I only got stressed about cooking once.  I also baked muffins for breakfasts twice this month, but I only baked bread once.  I need to get bake into the swing of making all of my own breads.
3. Blogging - Blog. Period.  Counting this blog post, I have blogged 26 times this month, up from 20 in April.  I did some scheduling in advance and took the time when I could find it to at least get something down.  There were very few days when I felt stressed about not having anything posted.  I'd really like to keep this up because it's a great feeling!
4. Social - Maintain a balance.  This was hard this month because I was traveling for almost a week in the middle, but I think I did pretty good at the beginning of the month.  One of my closest friends is finally home from school (she just graduate law school - congrats Laura!!), so I see lots of outings in my future.  I need to try to keep up a balance between being at home and being out, for both my budget and my sanity's sake.
5. Personal - Organize my office.  For the second month in a row, I have failed on this goal.  Oops.  I realized my reason though, when I was writing my guest post for the blog swap.  I didn't set at SMART goal so we can blame my laziness on that, right? 

Did you set goals this month?  How did you do?

Recipe: Ricotta and Zucchini Galette

I love how I can turn anything into an adventure.  Or a disaster depending on how you look at things.

Take making this simple dinner for example.  It started last week when I realized I had some ricotta cheese in the freezer that needed to be used up.  I had recently pinned a new dish from Smitten Kitchen and decided that now was the perfect time to try it.  I bought the zucchini and the puff pastry (what, you think I'm going to make my own dough?  Yeah, right.) and put the galette on my menu plan.

Something nagging in the back of my mind told me to check the ricotta cheese the day I was planning on making the dish.  I can't remember if I was checking it to make sure I had enough or checking to make sure it hadn't gone bad.  Either way I ended up with well over a cup on ricotta cheese growing pink mold.  Oops.  Not okay.

So I made a mad dash to the store after work to pick up more ricotta because I HAD to make this for dinner (why I couldn't keep the pastry in the freezer and use the zucchini in something else I don't know.  My mind wasn't working like that on this particular day).  It turned out to be delicious and an excellent dinner decision.  However, now I'm stuck with ricotta cheese that needs to be used up before it too grows pink mold.


Ricotta and Zucchini Galette
Print this recipe!

1/2 box of frozen puff pastry (1 sheet), thawed
2 small zucchinis, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
I garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Spread the zucchini out on several layers of paper towels and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Let it drain for 30 minutes then gently blot the tops with more paper towels.  Meanwhile, mix the olive oil and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.  In another bowl mix the cheeses, 1 teaspoon of the garlic oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 400.  Roll the puff pastry dough out (on a floured surface) into a 12-inch circle or square (I have zero patience rolling already square things round, so I went with a square) and transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Spread the ricotta mixture out evenly, leaving a 2 inch border around the edges.  Top with the zucchini in an even, single layer.  Drizzle the rest of the garlic oil evenly over the top.  Fold the border over the filling as far as it will go.  It should really just form a crust, not cover the whole top.  Brush the crust with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water).  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Top with the fresh basil, cut into wedges, and serve. 

-Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday, Delicious Dishes, and This Chick Cooks

Monday, May 30, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Since I've been out of town all weekend visiting my best friend, I'm getting around to planning my menu a little late today.  Since I had such a bad food waste week last week, I'm trying to keep things a little simpler this week to (hopefully!) prevent that from happening again. 


Monday: Memorial Day dinner with my parents - ribs (made with our favorite pork marinade), Asian coleslaw, pineapple casserole (no recipe just yet; if it's good I'm sure I'll be posting it!), BBQ bread

Tuesday: Out to dinner with a friend

Wednesday: Creamy Caprese Pasta

Thursday: Grilled chicken salad with lemon vinaigrette

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: TBD

Breakfasts are toast (trying a new bread recipe!) and yogurt, SlimFast, and frozen breakfast sandwiches.  Lunches are leftovers or sandwiches.  I think I might make a pan of blondies for dessert this week.

What's on your menu this week?

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday

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