Friday, April 27, 2012

Live Below the Line

As an agent for BzzAgent, I am sometimes offered free merchandise to review and coupons to share. With the current campaign that I am privileged enough to be a part of, I am going to challenge myself and my family to live below the poverty line and eat and drink on a budget of $1.50 a day for 5 days in the beginning of May.

The reason I’ve decided to challenge our family to live below the line is to understand wholly what 1.4 billion people worldwide endure; who have no choice, but to live below the line every day and have to make $1.50 cover a lot more than food.  Think about that figure, 1.4 BILLION!  That's over 4 times the population of the United States, living every day in extreme poverty.

 Through the understandings gained over the 5 days, Live below the Line is assembling a movement of people passionate about eliminating extreme poverty. Through partnerships with various charities, the movement raises both awareness and critical funds. I have united with Shot@Life which helps ensure children have access to life-saving vaccines.

Please support me and my family as we live below the line by donating now – your generous support will go towards fighting extreme poverty and ensuring children have access to life-saving vaccines.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

French Onion Soup, French Dip Grilled Cheese!

Tonight I made the concoction Rob and I dreamed up last week. IT WAS AMAZING!!! We love french onion soup and we love roast beef sandwiches; so this marriage of the two was divine. The longest part of the cooking process was caramelizing the onions. This may be time consuming, but necessary for the taste of french onion soup. This isn't a throw it together grilled cheese. This is a grilled cheese for those nights you want thing grown up yet comforting like a hug from your mom.

  • 3 softball sized onions
  • 1 tbsp of canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp of thyme
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • a splash of beef broth
  • 1/4lb Swiss, Gruyere or whatever cheese you like
  • 1/2lb roast beef
  • butter
  • artisan bread or any hearty crusty bread
Thinly slice the onions and caramelize in oil for 30 minutes, then add the thyme and salt until very brown and soft. At this point add the sherry to deglaze the pan, cook off the alcohol then add a splash of the beef broth. Set aside until cool. Once the onions are cool process into a spread with either a food processor or milling with a knife. (Doing this step now avoids crying like a baby from cutting raw onions :)

Smear the onion mixture on the inside of both slices of bread. Then assemble the sandwich. I like cheese, meat, cheese, but that's my preference. I feel it helps keep the meat in place, butter the outside of the bread and grill like a regular grilled cheese.

I warmed up the remaining beef stock for us to dip our sandwiches in just like a French Dip. 

I like to put my heartier grilled cheeses in the oven on 200F to warm the sandwich thoroughly so it's gooey and delicious for about 15 minutes. This works out well in our house, dinner is ready to serve as Rob walks in the door. 

As you can see, Maddie loved the concoction.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Meal plan 4/23

It's feels like its been quite a long time since I've written a post. I haven't really been in the mood. Our family had a rough week last week. We decided to put our dog, Sam down. He was my dog for 15 years. He was having lots of issues for months and was in pain. It was an awful decision, but I feel at peace knowing he isn't suffering anymore. 
He was such a good sport!

This week for dinner:

Monday- chicken saltimbocca with sautéed spinach
Tuesday- French onion, French dip, grilled cheese with a salad
This is an idea Rob and I had. I'll let you know how it goes and a recipe to boot...
Wednesday - pasta with spinach in a roasted pepper pesto
Thursday- roasted chicken thighs, broccoli, and rice
Friday- mushroom barley risotto
Saturday breakfast- sausage strata
Saturday dinner- leftovers
Sunday- Alfredo pasta with tomatoes and chicken

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Menu Plan 4/2

I really can't believe it's April and Easter for that matter. I feel like it was just September and Maddie was going into her four year old preschool program; now I'm closer to her entering kindergarten than I feel comfortable with. Really?!?! I just gave birth to her. I think it's time for another baby. I'm slightly jealous of the women around me who are pregnant. I'm not sure if that means I really want another baby or I just want the one I have to stay young.

I have has lots to do this week, appointments with doctors who will hopefully give me clearance to Zumba, class parties, and prepping for Easter dinner and my mother in laws birthday. It should be a fun filled week, which will go too quickly. Next time I realize how much time has passed and the quickness of said time, it will be Labor Day.
Mon Apr 2 
Salmon, asparagus, rice
Tue Apr 3 
Stuffed shells and salad
Wed Apr 4 
Pork in a mushroom sauce and noodles, broccoli
Thu Apr 5 
Shrimp tacos with citrus slaw and black bean salad
Fri Apr 6 
man pleasing chicken, rice, and broccoli
Sat Apr 7 
Pork roll, egg and cheese sandwiches
leftovers This recurring event is part of a series.
Sun Apr 8 
Ham, asparagus, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs,, birthday cake