Tuesday, October 6, 2009

When He Fends for Himself - "The Snack Dinner"

Welcome back to the latest and greatest edition of "When he fends for himself." Today's edition introduces the world to a favorite of mine. It's a meal that is looked down upon, that is thought to be a lazy and unhealthy way to eat, dine, and live. However, all of that can not be further from the truth. In actuality the meal I will describe is a guilty pleasure that we all turn to from time to time.

Presented here is "The Snack Dinner"

I came home to an empty house with all the intention to grill up some bison medallions the wife got for me at Whole Foods. I really like bison meat, but the wife is a little cool to it, so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to make it for myself. However, once I got home, checked my e-mail, and sat on the couch to see what was on TV, my motivation escaped me and I needed to change to Plan B.

That meant that a formal dinner was out the window. Instead I opened the fridge, checked the pantry, and started to scrounge for food. I've been dining on the snack dinner for years and have realized that it is very important to start with your go-to snack. For me, it's a chewy peanut butter granola bar from Kashi. I go through about a box a week. If I'm on the run, on the golf course, or on the prowl for food, it usually hits the spot.

After my appetizer I turned on the TV and checked to see what was on for a couple of minutes. Then, it was time for round 2. Every time we go to BJs we end up by a 6 pack of canned olives. When the wife is making dinner, she likes to open one up for an appetizer for us to munch on. Since we are usually well stocked, I end up having a full can to myself from time to time.

Now, eating a can of olives in one sitting sounds disgusting and even to me, not appetizing. Because of this, I spread out the olive consumption over the period of an hour. I grab a few from the kitchen, eat them in front of the TV, and at the next commercial break I go back for more. It really spreads out the snack dinner and makes it a full evening of enjoyment!

After the olives, I was in a little bit of a bind. There wasn't anything quick and easy I could munch on. Available to me were chips without salsa, plenty of spreads with no bread, and some dry goods, like pasta. The snacks on hand didn't have their complements and the pasta was out because the purpose of the snack dinner is to do absolutely no cooking.

So I was forced to go the healthy route. At a last resort, I opened the fruit and veggie drawer in the refrigerator and and found my next snack: grapes. The problem I have with grapes is, once I start I can't stop. I can pick at grapes all day and won't stop until they are all gone. And that's what happened.

About 10 minutes later, I was mildly full and looking for another course. Since it was getting late I started to think of dessert. Luckily, the wife had whipped up a batch of the apple kugel muffins that were waiting for me on our counter. I took one (OK, maybe 2) and quickly finished off my meal.

About an hour and a half after I started, I was finished with my 4 course dinner and full. Not only that, I didn't do any food prep, cooking, or cleaning. It's not textbook, but on this night, it worked for me.

I hope I've been inspired others to try this every once in awhile. It's not endorsed by the wife, but it gets the job done. And desperate times call for desperate measures when you're fending for yourself.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Night Dinner - Time to Catch Up

Friday night dinners are pretty low-key here at the Good Cook Doris house. We usually have something quick and easy, or if we're feeling especially lazy we'll go out for Indian or sushi. Last week's Friday night was the former.

We picked up some bagels, cream cheese and lox at the store. We had eggs and some parsley in the fridge for omelets. I thinly sliced up some red onion and cucumber to complete the lox platter. On the side was our typical Thursday and Friday reading - US Weekly, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly and ESPN Magazine. By the end of dinner our heads were filled with a lot of useless pop-culture and sports information, and the knowledge that some people just wear it better than others (you US weekly fans will understand).

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

When He Fends for Himself - Breakfast Edition

One of my favorite things about the weekend is that the hubby likes to make breakfast. His specialty is pancakes and French toast. He purchased an egg beater (two beaters with the hand crank) and enjoys mixing up the batter. I've had these photos of recent breakfasts and haven't had a chance to post them yet.

Since he's started experimenting more in the kitchen, he feels more confident in coming up with new flavors and twists on the standard pancake batter and egg-mixture for the french toast.

For the pancakes, he mixed in some vanilla extract for the twist. The pancakes were well done on the outside, but still nice and fluffy on the inside. A great breakfast served with warm maple syrup, a cup of coffee, and the Sunday comics.

The French toast was delicious. I had recently stopped into a local Brazilian bakery and bought something that looked like challah. It had a sugar glaze on top and we decided it would make great French toast. With the eggs, the hubby mixed in some vanilla and almond extracts and soy milk to give it a "nutty" (his words) flavor. The result was a sweet, almondy, well-cooked breakfast treat! We'll be adding this to the regular breakfast rotation.


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