Category Archives: Food/Diet

Exploring different yogurt options

We just got back from the grocery store a few minutes ago…and I made the mistake (?) of totalling up what we spent on YOGURT.

We bought:

8 chobani yogurts @ $1.19 a piece

5 Fage greek yogurt, 2% milk fat @ $1.79 a piece

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for a grand total of…. $18.47 FOR YOGURT. Ummm…. seriously?

How is it that expensive??!!!
Let me take a second & back up here. As most of you know, Steve & I try to buy mostly organic, natural, and local food. AND I’m trying to cut down my simple sugars to keep gestational diabetes at bay… here enter chobani (no high fructose corn syrup or other artificial sweetners/aspartme) for Steve & Fage greek yogurt (no sugar added) for me. Do you know difficult it is to find wholesome yogurt? It’s tough, even with the incredibly large selection that most stores offer.

Anyway, I digress. $18+ is WAY to much $$ to spend on yogurt for a week. So next week I’m going back to making my own plain yogurt. I have an awesome yogurt maker that my folks gave me a little over a year ago. When we moved here, I was just aghast at the price of organic milk… so I stopped making yogurt. But now that I see how much yogurt costs, I think I’m giving the homemade variety another go!

I’ll let you know how it works out!

If you have any grocery store crunching tips, I’d love to hear about them! πŸ™‚

picture credit: healthycoconut.wordpress.com & foodmayhem.com

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Filed under Athens, Food/Diet, Musings

Real Sugar or Fake Sugar?

The things you hear in the grocery store these days…often scare me.

I got back from the local Krogers a few hours ago. While I was there, I was just struck by one guy’s question to his significant other. He was standing near the sodas/pop and said “honey, do you want real sugar or fake sugar”. I had to look over to see what he was talking about. I can only guess that he was referring to the throw back Pepsi with REAL sugar vs. the regular Pepsi with high fructose corn syrup or maybe the Diet Pepsi or Pepsi one with aspartame or splenda.

Her response… “Fake sugar”~ so he picked up the Pepsi One.

Just blows my mind. In a day where we have all of the education in the world available to us, people choose to purchase “fake sugar.” Don’t get me wrong. I love a diet pepsi every once & a blue moon (well I used to anyway! :)) But still… to actually have a conversation about it and then say ~ “I want to eat something that I know has been processed and created to give me sugary flavor from chemicals” I just don’t know if I could do it.

On a semi-related note, I was a bit frustrated today to find that the store was out of organic chicken breasts or tenders. Just out. You couldn’t buy them. They did, however, have whole pieces of chicken (bone in) and legs (organic). They also had whole organic chickens. I bought both. Looks like I’ll be spending a bit more time cooking this week than initially planned. Looks like I should have gone to the farmers market today! Next week.

Tonight I’m making a whole roasted chicken for dinner. I’m following this recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out.Β  Hopefully it will be YUMMY! It’s my first time making a whole chicken… I’ve done many many turkeys…so I figure, how hard can it be? Fingers crossed that there is a successful result.
Off to finish cooking/baking & then watch the PACKERS play. Go Pack Go!! No matter where I live, I’ll always be a Wisco girl at heart… or better yet, a cheesehead to the core!

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Filed under Food/Diet, Musings

Thanksgiving 2010

I ‘heart’ thanksgiving!! I literally can not believe that it’s just right around the corner.
I still need to buy the turkey! YIKES! Time to get on that πŸ™‚

LOTS of food on the slate… ehm ehm… plate! for thanksgiving this year~ it’s so nice to be friends with folks who are foodies πŸ™‚

We are cooking/baking up…

  • Turkey & Gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cheese potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Cinnamon pecan cranberry sauce
  • Bavarian peach jello salad
  • Dinner rolls/bread

Depending on time I might also make…

  • Grandma’s apple pie
  • Carrots with butter & brown sugar
  • Squash

Other folks are contributing…

  • Deviled Eggs
  • Broccoli/Cheese/Rice Casserole (2 versions: Traditional & gluten free)
  • Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Adult Beverages
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Cranberry Salsa over cream cheese w/crackers
  • Sweet potato dish
  • Stuffing
  • Orange/cranberry dessert
  • Christmas punch (non-alcoholic)


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Thanksgiving Menu

Steve & I are hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow and I am STOKED! I really love cooking/baking for others~ and doing so on the holidays makes it even more special. This post is for you Jen πŸ™‚ Hope your sweet baby girl shows herself SOON!!!

Here’s whats on the slate for this year~

I’m making….

  • Turkey & gravy: this year we got a 20.5lb turkey, butterball. I always cook the turkey in a Nesco Roaster (which is pretty much an “oven” you put on your counter). It’s amazing. We stuff the turkey into a turkey bag & let it cook away for HOURS. We’ll cook it at the temp on the turkey for as long as it requires and then 3-4 more hrs on low … till it almost falls off of the bones! Mom taught me a great trick a few years back… To make the gravy, take a large tupperware or jar & put flour in it (as the thickening agent for the gravy). Add cold water to the mix & shake until well combine. THEN add that mixture to the hot turkey drippings to make the gravy. Doing it this way elimantes the possibility of having clumps of flour in the gravy πŸ™‚ Good call mom!
  • Cranberry sauce: I’m using my friend Lacy’s recipe. It is SO amazing… pretty much cranberries, orange pieces/zest, sugar, water, cinnamon, & pecans. SO good!!!Β  My mom always says that cranberry sauce reminds her of her grandmother… so now it reminds me as well πŸ™‚ Steve doesn’t eat this, but I always still make it.
  • Stuffing/dressing: When we lived in WI, we always made basic bread dressing (which was good). When we move to Texas, we had the opportunity to try cornbread stuffing… OH MY. It is so amazing… and we’ve never looked back. From now until forever~ we’re cornbread stuffin’ folks. I’m planning to bake the corn bread today to make tomorrow’s task a bit less daunting.
  • Broccoli corn bake: This is one of the classics in my family. It’s my grandma Rugotska’s recipe. Very basic, but delicious! It’s one of those recipes that we’ve had at every holiday since I can remember. Just making it makes me think about all the good holidays we shared as kids.
  • Pecan pie: This is also grandma Rugotska’s recipe. YUMMO! This one always reminds me of my dad b/c he is just a big pecan pie fan. Love it. Crust will be from scratch as well… wish me luck!
  • Appetizers for the PACKER game: marble cheese, summer sausage & crackers, french onion dip & pretzels, and cheesy sausage biscuit balls.
  • Dinner rolls: I have to admit, I just bought some Hawaiian sweet rolls… but I think I might also make these. They look just FANTASTICALLY yummy.
  • Bavarian Peach Salad: Jello salads always remind me of my grandparents & this recipe is no exception… once again, this isΒ  grandma Rugotska’s recipe. She actually gave me this one for my bridal shower. We did one of those fun games where you mail the recipe cards out with the invitations to the shower and then they guest bring them back filled in πŸ™‚ This was the recipe grandma chose to include. It’s pretty much a blend of peach jello, peaches, and cool whip which turns into this amazing orange fluffiness when mixed & chilled. YUM! It’s suppose to be made in a jello mold… but I can’t quite bring myself to do a jello mold. So I usually just sick it in a pretty glass bowl. It has the same effect in my personal opinion.

Other people are bringing:

  • Pumpkin pie
  • Apple pie
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Salad

This year we’re skipping:

  • Squash…. I tried to find some acorn squash at the store to no avail. I’m not a huge butternut squash fan… and spaghetti squash isn’t very “thanksgivingish” so I figured I’d pass this year.
  • Green bean casserole… I figured we had enough veggies with the broccoli corn bake, the sweet potatoes, and the salad.

That’s what’s on the slate for this year. We’re really looking forward to celebrating the day with friends tomorrow….and most especially…. we’re looking forward to giving Thanks to the One who made us & saved us.

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Super Nachos

Steve & I went out to a coffee shop/restaurant to celebrate his birthday πŸ™‚ We just got drinks, but noticed a few others in the room snacking on some of the food that the place had to offer. One of the menu items was called “Super Nachos.” When I hear super nachos I think one of two things…

1. Wisconsin super nachos:

These nachos are made with chips that have been really really deep fried. I mean, these babies are crunchy! And they’re not going to get soggy any time soon. They are topped with either diced chicken, ground beef, or both. Tomatoes, olives, and melted shredded cheddar cheese. Served with salsa & sour cream.YUM.

2. Texas super nachos:

These nachos usually come with more delicate, fresher chips, that likely WILL go soggy if you don’t eat them quickly b/c of course, they are doused in Queso. Hmmmm queso. I miss queso. These nachos usually have all of the veggie fixings mentioned above. They also may have some type of pulled beef or chicken on top, but you’ll see that less often than in WI. Texas nachos are always served with guacamole as well as homemade salsa (and usually sour cream as well). But it seems as though purists usually leave the white stuff on the side & go green πŸ™‚

…. Now to Norway super nachos.

Plain tortilla chips in a basket with salsa & sour cream on the side in tiny ramekins…

…For $13.00

It made me long for free chips & salsa @ Hula Hut!

Cheers πŸ™‚ Hope this made you smile!

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Filed under Austin, Food/Diet, Norway

Brunost: Brown Cheese

Steve and I have developed a liking for a common Norwegian treat! It’s called brunost (according to the internet) or brown cheese.

News Flash, Steve & Brittany love cheese. Okay, so maybe not a news flash. Being from WI we love most types of cheese… hmmm cheese curds… But this cheese is very different from anything we’ve ever tried before.

It’s this nutty, mild, almost sweet, melty cheese. YUM! Norwegians typically eat it on thin waffles (see a picture below… this was also taken from a website) with strawberry jam on top. SO good! The waffles can be warm, but they don’t have to be. Often, we’ve seen this in cafeteria style lunch rooms & at hotel breakfasts. It’s pretty much everywhere. I have to admit, the first time I saw this…I was a bit skeptical. However, with Jan’s prompting, Steve & I split a waffle w/the cheese & jam. It was FANTASTIC! The cheese & jam have become staples in our mini fridge(…which btw, looks like it’s a cooler for cold drinks…kind of like dorm room fridges!…anyway, I digress.) We usually eat the cheese & jam on thin slices of bread since we don’t have a waffle maker, but it’s almost as good πŸ™‚ When we’re at school, we’ll buy & split one for lunch, the traditional way.

I’m actually sad that we won’t be able to get this when we get back to the states. And unfortunately it’s probably illegal to transport it back into the US from Norway. I guess we’ll just have to enjoy it while we’re here!!

3394248-Waffle_with_brunost-Norway

The information below was taken from http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/878cd/6f/2/

“The Norwegian Brown Cheese is made from whey – most water from the whey (which is a by-product from making ordinary cheese) is boiled out, and what’s left is shaped into a compact, brownish cheese that tastes quite sweet and caramel-like. Many varieties of brown cheese are made, by mixing in cream or goat’s milk – or both. If the brunost contains much (or only) goat’s milk, the flavour gets sharper. Prim is a soft, mild, spreadable brown cheese. The brunost should always be eaten in very *thin* slices – and never be cut with a knife, a cheese slicer (invented by a Norwegian, and another typically Norwegian product) is essential. Brunost is eaten on sandwiches, waffles or pancakes – it can be used in cooking, and tastes great in various sauces. Brunost is probably the most “Norwegian” of all foods, and should of course be tried during your visit to Norway.”

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Filed under Food/Diet, Norway

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

So as many of you know, I am not a huge fan of peanut butter. I don’t like the texture, it’s all sticky and gummy. I don’t like having to scrap it off the roof of my mouth. Ugh. Yuck. In fact, I think the last time I ate an entire PB&J sandwich was probably when I was 6 or 7 yrs old, at a friends house b/c I didn’t want to be rude! Looks like my mom taught me well.

Anyway, today Steve and I were sitting around in our ‘living room’ and Steve mentioned he wanted a PB&J. For some strange reason I started singing, the “Peanut, peanut butter, and jelly” song. At that point Steve jumped into action, ripped the Mac from my hands and pulled up this youtube clip. I just had to share b/c it’s too funny to keep to myself.

I don’t know what was funnier, the fact that my honey KNEW this clip existed, or the fact that he proceeded to ‘dance?’ with the music when it was playing. Either way, I hope it cracks a smile on your face!

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