Tag Archives: salad

Anatomy of a Lazy Dinner

When you’ve spent all day watching football

(and seeing your team lose!)

Then doing electrical repair, painting. , and making multiple trips to the hardware store…

You need a lazy dinner.

Which is what we did tonight.

I’m aware that I’m following up a post on homemade yogurt with an ultra lazy meal.  It’s ok.  I’ve said it before, I’m vast, I contain multitudes.

Step 1:

Buy this sauce at Costco.
It’s the best sauce ever.  It’s twice as much at the grocery store.  Costco stopped having it for a while, and we pouted.  A lot.  Because no matter how delicious it may be, we can’t handle dropping $10 on a single jar of sauce.

Step 2:

Buy these meatballs at Costco
(notice a theme in my life?)

They’re delicious.  My husband has told me I shouldn’t try and make meatballs, because compared to these, anything I made would probably be disappointing.  They’re amazing for lazy dinners (we do them with sweet and sour over rice too)

Step 3:

Boil some pasta
Whole wheat of course.  Negates the fatty meatballs, I promise.

Step 4:

Toss some spinach on a plate
(I added some olives post-picture cause I was feelin’ sassy)

Step 5:

Pasta goes on plate
Step 6:

Eat.  Then open some wine.

The closest I came to making anything myself with this meal was pouring the oil and vinegar on my salad.

I’m ok with that.  You can’t be Little House in the Big Woods every day.

Besides,  I followed this up by making a themed veggie platter for my husband to take to work.  Themed.  Veggie.  Platter.

Not kidding.

Pretty sure those balance each other out.

What are you loving at Costco right now?

(You really do need the sauce,  I promise.  )



This weekend wasn’t just a visit from Baby Brother.  It was also his first trip to Portland where he was 21.

Clearly, this meant he needed to visit some breweries.

When I first moved to Portland the beer selection was terrifying.  I was used to pitches of Bud Light.  Or Miller High Life if I was feeling klassy (it is the champagne of beers after all)

Here there are about 34998098 beers and breweries.  We tried to hit up the basics for Baby Brother.

First up was Widmer
Widmer is everywhere.  We’re pretty sure there must be some sort of law about having their Hef on tap because seriously it seems like 90% of places do.

We shared a pretzel
And I had chili and a salad
Salad is good for you.  Even when it’s coated in dressing and accompanied by a beer.

We then hit up Cascade Brewing’s Barrel House
They’re new and specialize in sour beers.  If you’re not a beer lover you should give sours a shot-they’re almost like delicious soda.  But with alcohol.

I read somewhere that sour is the new hoppy.  I have high hopes this is true.

We tried some samplers of their ish
I think this is far more my style than the husband or Baby Brother’s.  But seriously, give sours a try if you’re not a beer drinker.  You could be ahead of the cool kid curve.

We also hit up Bridgeport, where I failed to take pictures.

Bridgeport isn’t my favorite, but you do have to love their $3 happy hour beers.

We also found a Ben and Jerry’s

And we had to do Burgerville.  It’s sustainable, so it must be good for you.

I had the grilled cranberry chicken sandwich
Baby Brother had a cheeseburger
What are your thoughts on beer?  Love it?  Hate it?  Totally indifferent?

Like I said, pre-Portland, I was indifferent.  I have a long standing distrust of IPAs because when I first moved here IPAs looked all nice and light, like the ambers and goldens I would drink.  I’d get one and BAM mouth full of hops.  No hi.

Teenage Dream

I’m going through a bit of a second adolescence right now.

I cut my knee while shaving

Seriously, who manages that at 25?

I might currently be rocking out to Nelly like I’m 16.

And changing birth control has led to me breaking out like it’s 9th grade.

It’s only a matter of time before my blog starts to talk abut how I need to grub it tough.

(grub it = eat.  tough = adds a degree of urgency or importance, can be used to mean things like “really”.  so grub it tough = really hungry, more or less. )

I’ve never been the biggest on breakfast foods.  In high school one of my main breakfasts was rice.  Usually with peas and parm.

Totally normal.
Honestly, there are things about me that haven’t changed since I was a teenager.  I’ve always been an eater

Fried foods takes priority over how hot I look in my bikini
(and i cannot for the life of me use chopsticks.  Then or now.)

I love to bake

(although I don’t bleach my hair, rock abercrombie shirts, wear a size 4, or have my cookies make statements-that one was called “industrialization”.   it’s a house, crushing a tree).

And, I still eat some weird breakfasts.

Today, I was in the mood for salad.  Thankfully, Fresh Express sent me some coupons for FREE salad as part of the Foodbuzz tastemakers program.

I remember going to Safeway in high school with friends and getting their salad kits (you know, with the dressing and croutons and things) and eating it out of the bag as dinner when we’d stay late for stuff.

I feel like most kids didn’t do this.  But don’t lie-it’s smarter than the big macs you’d pick up before play practice.

I decided a BLT-ish salad would be a great breakfast.

Bacon is a breakfast food.  Croutons are like toast.  It’s reasonable.

I make my own croutons because I’m weird like that.

Melted butter + bread = happy.

While the bacon cooked and the croutons crisped I made some ranch.

Ranch is one of those things you shouldn’t make on your own because you realize just how gross it is.  Not that it stops me from making it but seriously, it’s a mix of this

Weird.  But tasty.
I started with the Fresh Express Hearts of Romain Photobucket

And added on the croutons, bacon, tomatoes, and some mushrooms for good measure.

Assembled salad


(deep bowl = looks like it’s just toppings and dressing it.  there is lettuce)

And Fresh Express was nice enough to send me a ton of salad coupons, so I’m going to share!  Just leave a comment with a food you loved  in high school to enter.  I’ll pick two winners on Saturday and send them each two coupons for free Fresh Express salad!

We HAD to

We were in Bend while they were having their Oktoberfest.

Since my husband loves beer AND making inappropriate comments about sausage we HAD to go.

Had a few drinks, plus a brat and beef stew

And had another beer.  Because when faced with a dozen microbrews?  You HAVE to try more than one.

And we wandered around downtown. Very cute.  Our favorite find?
A candy store.

We’re mature.

But seriously, it had a SODA FOUNTAIN

We HAD to get something.  How often do you find soda fountains?

We shared a ginormous sundae.
With caramel and fudge and chocolate almond ice cream?  Yes please.

After breakfast at our hotel we went on a run.

Yeah.  On vacation.


Well…. when normally you run on a high school track because you live somewhere with a lack of sidewalks and streetlights

And instead you can run on a path by this?
Do you have a choice?

No.  We HAD to do it.

(Fun fact-that is Mirror Pond-like the beer.  The husband had just complained about how the name was deceptive as it was not mirror like as I took the picture.  We were looking right in front of us focusing on how up close it was murky, rather than checking out the big picture of the lake.   I’m sure there’s a deep life lesson in there.)

For lunch we realized we HAD to make a stop at Deschutes.  I mean, if you’re in Bend, you just have to.

I had a Benderweisse, which is a Berliner weisse style sour beer.  I like sours.  They’re like soda that gives you a buzz.
Best part?  See the red and green things next to it?  Raspberry and Woodruff syrups to flavor it with.  I had no clue what woodruff was, so I stuck with raspberry. But adding sugar to my beer amused me.

When we looked over the food menu we saw one of your side choices was sweet potato fries.  The husband HAD to have those.  There’s a chance I HAD to steal some of his.

He had the fries with a pulled pork sandwich
And told me my pulled pork was way better.  I’m going to pretend he doesn’t HAVE to say things like that, and I just cook better than restaurants.

I saw a roasted garlic burger on the menu, and knew what I HAD to order
With a salad.  Life is about balance.

Then we headed home.  Since I’d just downed a beer and a glass of water I HAD to pee about five minutes into driving.

We ended up stopping in Sisters, which was so cute I had to take a picture
Adorable.  Probably a total tourist trap too.  But whatevs.

Now I’m excited for a few weeks where we HAVE to be home-in just over a month we’ve went to Mt Hood and camping and the coast and Bend?  I need a vacation from taking vacations.

Plus we HAVE to watch football on the weekends.

What’ve you HAD to do lately?

Hot in Herre

Lordy friends.

Summer has hit Portland.

And by hit I’m talking we just got punched in the face by heat.  Teach us to complain about the lack of summer.

We deal with heat in different ways.

Lots of salad
Grilling dinner
(weird but true:  I was hardcore craving beef, but not bread.  Hence the bun-less burger.  Sometimes, I get a little anemic, and crave beef and/or spinach.  My body.  It knows.)

Enjoying food from the garden

(when you realize how many peas you get out of a million pea pods it’s a little sad)

(Seriously. We ate a bowl of cold, cooked peas the other night. It was amazing.)

Eating cold breakfasts
(That looks gross huh?  Yogurt + grapes + walnuts + honey + lemon juice.  I like it.)

And some days, drinking breakfast
The cat hasn’t realized it’s too hot to cuddle, and instead sprawls like this
“I must be with you!  But not touch too much!”

She’s advanced for her age.

And, most important to beating the heat?

Not sweating when you find this
In your bangs.


It’s my third one.

Not that I’m counting.

What’s your favorite meal to make when it’s hot?  I’ve had a big ol salad for lunch every day this week.  Anything else and the warm food + warm weather means I can’t sit on the deck.


I love that I’m not the only weird breakfast eater!

As a lot of you pointed out, breakfast foods aren’t always the best things to start your day with…

I’ve been ending my days in some tasty ways lately too.

The fiance was craving stuffed peppers, and I’m never one to turn down meals that involve browned cheese, let’s be honest!
They had rice, tomatoes, and spicy sausage inside.  Tasty!

I’ve gotten absurdly obsessed with pickled beets lately too.  Which has been leading to concoctions like this
Apple and pickled beet with balsamic?  Almost disgusting but I liked it.  (I like apples on salads too… So it made sense to my tummy)

We busted out a cheese plate before dinner lately

Sad fact-I think there’s pretty much nothing we like more than Tillamook Cheddar.  Kinda lame, but true.
I made leftover pot roast into soup
I love soup.  So so much.  I should make it more… It goes well with the rain here!

We had some cookies from The Beaverton Bakery

Cookie that looks like beer, that’s frosted in chocolate (not chocolate frosting, straight up real chocolate)?  It’s like it was made just for me!
And last week for the first Friday of Lent we picked up what was always a lenten staple at my house

Papa Murphy’s veggie pizza.  It has spinach, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, zucchini, tomatoes, and I added olives.
You’ll be shocked, but the fiance didn’t have any.  Which is weird since it’s so full of things he loves.

My teaching adventure this week has been two days of Russian Immersion.

Which I am clearly vastly qualified for, what with ability to say three things in Russian (Hello, I don’t know, and OK)

Being a sub means you get to teach lots of things you’re totally not qualified to teach… I’ve done tech, PE, art, been the counselor, and special ed.

(Once, before I was a teacher, I taught Special Ed.  In Spanish.  For a week.  I don’t speak Spanish.)

But I had a blast with the kids-I taught in English and when it was worksheets in Russian I’d let someone read what they were doing. It worked…

So, I know a lot of my blogger friends are Catholic…. What was a friday dinner staple in your house?

Oh, and I am about a million years behind on the curve, but I made a formspring.

You’ve Got Fail*

*someone found my blog googling that.  I’m kinda sad I didn’t think it up.  Ok, really sad.

I’ve been a slacker blogger lately.  I’ve been doing things like working on the yard and teaching children

and drinking.  Let’s be honest here.

Our yard is coming to life.
Which is fantastic.  Since we bought in the fall and it was a foreclosure what would pop up in the spring was a mystery.

The less fun mystery?  Turns out when it rains our yard becomes a swamp.

No, seriously.  We’re working on building a drainage ditch.  The hole isn’t too deep yet and check this out
Yup, it’s a moat!

Oh, and inside our house we’ve been having fun too.  Remember that leak?  Yeah, turns out it’s behind the shower.  Which means that we had to remove some of the tile

We could’ve paid the plumber for this part.  But doing it ourselves cost less.  And also required the fiance to buy a Dremel.

I’m fairly sure getting to buy the dremel was the main factor in him being excited to do it.  His favorite part of owning a home is power tools.

Because I’ve been working a ton, I’ve been going to town in weird weird ways for breakfasts on the days where I am home.

In the past two weeks I’ve made chocolate chip pancakes
(There are chocolate chips both in them and on top.  HEALTH FOOD)

An omelet
(This is actually a super weird breakfast for me.  I hate eggs most days.  But I cook ’em for the fiance’s breakfast sometimes and it just sounded so dang good…)

And yesterday I busted out all this
To make this
Salad.  For breakfast.

Normal eating?  You’ve got fail.

Does anyone else eat non breakfast foods for breakfast?  In high school one of my favorite breakfasts was rice with peas and Parmesan cheese.  Which isn’t weird at all.