Creamy Rice with roasted shrimp Wednesday, Sep 30 2009 

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I decided to branch, I decided to try something new. I decided to make rice outside of the rice cooker. That decision was a mistake.

I was looking forward tothis recipe. I love all things seafood, I love carbs. Whats not to love about this? The shrimp and tomatos turned out yummy, the rice turned out hard. I even added water at one point trying to get it to cook. No help. So the moral of the story is stick to the rice cooker.

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Pork Chops with Garlicky Broccoli Tuesday, Sep 29 2009 

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I should have known this was going to lack a bit of flavor. The pork chop that is. Salt and pepper is not enough for me. I need a rub or a marinade (which is why I don’t need lots of salt Liz 😉 ). The broccoli was awesome though. I did not add the extra olive oil when cooking it and it still turned out great. Eleanor was sucking the broccoli dry before eating it. She must be an egg like me 🙂 Soy sauce was her favorite part of the meal!
I think I will make this again sometime but marinate the pork overnight in black vinegar and soy….or something like that.
I left out the rice as I went waay over on my weekly points. I can take or leave rice and knew I could get full on the dish without it. Sorry carbs, I do love you so.

Week 2 Monday, Sep 28 2009 

On to week 2 of the Real Simple meals for a month. This week I am worried if I will get everything made, it is a busy week. I did move a couple things around to put the higher point items at the end of the week. The only real change I have made so far is to skip the baguette for the omelettes. Omelettes are filling enough, I don’t need the empty points. I am debating on skipping the rice on tomorrows pork chops and just making more broccoli to fill up on, depends on my need for carbs when I get home from work ;-). The grocery list was easy and the only items we did not have were the vegetables, which cost around $10. So not only have the meals so far been easy to make, taste decent, and are low in points, I also think we have saving quite a bit of money in the grocery dept.

Spaghetti with sweet potatoes and ricotta Monday, Sep 28 2009 

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This recipe had promise, good bones, but turned out bland.  I had some spaghetti looming in the back of the cabinet that was not whole grain that I needed to use up. Since swtiching to whole grain I don’t care for regular pasta for the most part. So I think this recipe would have tasted better with whole grain or even spaghetti squash. I did really enjoy the sweet potatoes, I will remember that part of the recipe to use as a side in the future. I did like the ricotta as well, it added a good flavor.

So that raps up week one. So far nothing is really turned out bad, three out of the five I would make again. Not too shabby 🙂

Roasted Pork with Brussel Sprouts and Apricots Thursday, Sep 24 2009 

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Eleanor and I would like the world to know…..brussel sprouts are gross. I honestly don’t remember ever trying them before this recipe.  They were very filling and the dried apricots made them bearable, but I don’t belive in eating something you don’t like just because it is good for you or your waistline.  So they probably won’t make another appearance in the Robert’s household.  The pork tenderloin was really good, so the meal was not a total waste.  I highly recommend Costco’s tenderloin!

Spicy Orange-Glazed Drumsticks With Green Beans Thursday, Sep 24 2009 

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As you can see I used chicken breast over drumsticks to make this recipe. It knocked it down to 4 points by doing that. Since I was headed to book club I need the extra points for wine! I really enjoyed this, though I think I would use a bit more sauce next time. I improvised the chili-garlic sauce with a mix of hoisin and sriracha, worked well. I was really glad I followed the recipe and added butter to the beans. I usually would have used PAM, but they tasted soo much better with just a small amount of fatty goodness.

Pumpkin Pound Cake Wednesday, Sep 23 2009 

It’s that time of year again 🙂  In celebration of the first day of fall I decided to make something involving pumpkin for tomorrows book club.  My mom had bought me a pumpkin/hayride shaped loaf pan last year at the end of the season on clearance I was dying to try.  I was a bit nervous about this as I have cake pan issues.  I have never been able to get the cake out of the pan in one piece unless I am using an angel food pan. I was detemined to make a cake or a bread in this pan and have it turn out.  I have a “pumpkin” tag in my google reader (if you recall I made a ton of pumpkin puree last fall) with a few recipes I still had not tried.  My friend Jules had made a pumpkin pound cake in a loaf pan and since this pan is really more of a loaf I thought it would be perfect.
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Yeah, it does not really photograph well and the glaze makes it hard to see the pumpkin design.  But the most important thing is that it came out of the pan in one piece!

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I used the leftover batter to make a couple cupcakes for the kids to enjoy without the glaze.   I think it is funny that Jules mentions hers took longer than 55 min to cook, mine took only about 40 min for the loaf pan and 25 for the cupcakes.  I do have a convection oven though.  Of course, I won’t cut into the loaf until book club tomorrow so it could still be gooey in there! 

Oh, and book club girls…..you must eat all of this tomorrow night, I cannot take this home with me.  Help a dieting girl out 🙂

Beef and Bok Choy Stir Fry Tuesday, Sep 22 2009 

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While making this I realized I had never cooked with Bok Choy before.  I think it may have been my favorite part of the meal.  Otherwise this dish was just so-so.  I felt that the beef did not have enough time to simmer in the sauce so it did not have enough flavor.  I will probably make it again another time and let the beef simmer in the sauce before removing it for the bok choy.  Again, a super fast meal to make.  The rice cooker was what took the longest.

Tilapia with Peppers and Olives Monday, Sep 21 2009 

This was a very yummy way to start off my week meal plan. If you like tilapia than you must try this. The only change I made was to use capers over olives (I know, a caper is an olive, you know what I mean). It was very good and the peppers, capers, and onions really paired well with the tilapia. The best part? It took me 15 minutes to make, and that was with a baby trying to scale my legs! Perfect basic meal to make on a weeknight!

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Week One Sunday, Sep 20 2009 

We went to Costco today and bought all of the meat we would need to make all four weeks of meals. My freezers are both exploding! This weeks menu is pretty simple and I did not have to tweak much. All the meals are 6 points with the exception of Wednesday which is 4 points. That is perfect for me as Thursday morning is my weigh in so I like to keep my dinners light on Wednesday. I did change Wednesdays meat from chicken drumsticks to chicken breasts in an effort to make it healtier and I cut out the cornbread. I am not anti-carb and may whip some up that day for the kids to enjoy, but cornbread is not really worth the points for me without a lot of butter, which puts it too high. I also may end up replacing the pitted olives in the tilapia dish for capers as I already have those and forgot olives at the store. I am very excited!

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