Daily Archives: September 17, 2012

What’s for Dinner?

I’ve been trying to cook more.  I’ve been married for the last 7 years and Meanie was the one who really cooked.  I’m more of a baker than a cook but I can’t feed homemade cookies and cakes to my kids all the time!  Meanie would happily eat homemade cookies and cakes all the time but that’s not really a good idea.  I dabbled in cooking before but now I’m proud to say I cook more than Meanie! Hee hee hee.  My MIL (mother-in-law) came for two weeks earlier this year to help me out with BB when he was a few weeks old.  She also gave me cooking lessons!  Yay!  She taught me how to make simple and basic Vietnamese dinners – like Vietnamese egg omelette, baked chicken legs, chicken leg stew with peas (Hm, I should make that one of these days!) and her infamous chicken curry. (Which I DID try to make and I thought it was a fail. Certainly didn’t taste like my MIL’s! but it was good – my mom said – which is a RARE compliment).  Which brings me to a tangent…

Tangent:  Do your moms insult your cooking?  Is that an Asian mom thing?  I’ve mentioned earlier that I love to bake. I used to make Christmas cookies as gifts, when I had time (i.e., before kids).  My cookie bags usually contain the “Neiman Marcus” Chocolate Chip cookies, Holiday Biscotti (Giada from Food Network recipe), World Peace Cookies (Chocolate with Sea Salt) and something else I would throw in there. I’d slave away every holiday to make them cookies!  Everyone seemed happy with my cookies and I was happy to give them the cookies. Happy to slave away. Till one time, I had this conversation with my mom:

Mom:  So you bought the cookies, right?
Me:  ..What??
Mom:  You bought the cookies and dipped them in chocolate at home and told people you made them, right?
Me:  .. WHAT???
Mom:  What?  You didn’t buy them, like from a store?
Me:  I can’t believe you’re saying this to my face!  *so utterly insulted*

She said the same thing after I made Pork Belly Buns – she thought I bought them but then when I said I made them, she continued to insult them.  Ugh.

That’s just a typical conversation every time I make something.  Last time, I made cake balls from the Babycakes cake pop machine – She said they were “too burnt” and then went ahead and ate all of my red velvet cake balls (that I were going to dress in a Candymelt coating). What the heck?  Ugh, this deserves a whole blog for itself….one day.

End Tangent.

My weekend was productive.  On Saturday, I made a huge batch of baby food for BB – combinations involving sweet potato, broccoli, apple, carrots and pears.  About 24 little containers of baby food.  That should hold him off for a while.  My BB is nice and chunky.  I put him in 9-month old pants (He’ll be 8 months next week) and they were capri-length on him.  He’s a little happy chunker!  Well, most of the time – he’s teething and he’s a grouch a lot of the time, too. He’s sprouted his first tooth (bottom) and it’s still too little to detect in pictures because it just broke the gum line.


Sorry for the craptastic picture.
[I was taking this in a hurry and didn’t get a chance to retake it because CB managed to fall off his chair and started crying AND I was holding a screechy baby with my left arm]

Yesterday I made a huge batch of Broccoli and Cheese Soup (courtesy of Pioneer Woman – I love her and her recipes! I also DVR her Food Network TV show, too. Did I mention I love her?)  The recipe is awesome. It’s super simple to make. Had I known that this soup was that easy to make I would have made this long time ago instead of trekking to Panera Bread to get my fix!  I also finally busted out my immersion blender to blend it smoothly.  I’ve had that since I was married and just never used it till now. I will use it more regularly from now on.  I’m on a soup kick now that it’s getting colder.  I want to make Butternut Squash soup, Carrot soup and now my next project is Wild Mushroom Bisque soup.  Au Bon Pain has these soups in their soup line-up but the one closest to my work has closed down!  😦

I also made Banana Cake balls with the cake pop machine but I didn’t like how it turned out.  I’m sure my mom is munching on them this very minute and planning on insulting me about them later on.  *rolls eyes*

I was planning on posting all of my dinner options in this post but I realized it would be way too long of an entry so that will come another time.  Till then!

BzzAgent Review: Unreal Candy

[I am a BzzAgent (a word-of-mouth program) and was sent coupons to try out this product.  My reviews are my own and was not compensated in any way to state my own opinion.]

Unreal Candy was so hard to find!  I signed up for this campaign around the beginning of summer. My BzzKit was relatively small, compared to the other BzzKits.  I was sent a few coupons – one for myself to try one of the products for free and a few others to pass out to friends (buy 1, get 1 free). [PM me if you’re interested!]  I kept on looking at my local grocery for these chocolates but they never carried it. It finally dawned on me last week to check out the BzzAgent website on where I can find these products and the only stores on the list that were accessible to me were Staple’s and CVS.  I hit Staple’s last week only to come up empty handed but I struck gold when I went to a nearby CVS.  I finally found it!

At first I could only find these huge bags of the candy at $4.99 each – way too much for my coupons to take effect.  [And by the way, I had no idea that CVS takes manufacturer’s coupons! Learn something new every day, huh?] I finally staked out the counter and spotted the single-serving bags.  Phew!

I got the candy covered chocolates (like M&Ms), the peanut candy covered chocolates (like peanut M&Ms) and peanut butter cups (like Reeses).  I busted out the M&M like candy and put them in a bowl:

I’m not too fond of the colors.  I understand they want to look different from other types of chocolates but these colors are kinda unattractive to me.  For example, if I saw these out in a candy bowl, I don’t think I would have ventured out of curiosity to see what these were. They just don’t look attractive enough for me to eat.  Am I weird for thinking that?

Anyhoo, on to the more important part – the taste.  I thought they were good.  I preferred the non-peanut one.  They taste “healthier” than M&M’s but they were still good, in my opinion. The peanut ones were good, too, but I could slightly detect a very faint bitter taste from it.  I’m not sure if it’s from the peanuts or what but only people with highly sensitive senses of smell and taste could probably detect it.

I sat this bowl in front of Meanie who happily snarfed it down.  In fact, he had picked out all the peanut ones and left me the regular ones (he obviously doesn’t have a highly sensitive sense of smell/taste, lol).  I would say this is a good option for healthier candy.

I didn’t really eat the peanut butter cup but Meanie ate one.  He seemed okay with it. It’s not Reeses but it’s enough to satisfy your craving for a peanut butter cup. I had a little nibble and it was less sweet, less fatty tasting – you could tell it was healthier because it didn’t have that rich and creamy taste Reeses has but it was still good.  I would definitely get this if I just wanted to satisfy a candy craving and didn’t want to pack on the pounds.

Meanie was surprised that it was “healthier” candy – meaning less sugar, less fat, no HFCS, etc etc.  And it’s a good option for people who have high blood sugar, etc.  I would also feel a little better feeding this to my toddler who seems to have inherited Meanie’s love of chocolate. I would most likely purchase this in my near future.  I also want to try the other varieties – there’s a milky way like bar and some other peanut butter caramel nougat bar.  Yum!

I would recommend this to people who are watching their weight, are diabetic/have high blood sugar, more interested in eating healthier or to people with children.  Anyone interested in coupons?  Let me know! 🙂

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