Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Road Trippin' Day 5 - Play Ball!!!

The boys finally got to play some ball last night!!  Woot woot! They also won both of their games! Double woot woot! It was a chilly night but we braved the weather to watch our boys play their first games of the trip.  It was a sunny day yesterday and since the boys didn't have a practice until 2:00 we were able to go see the Gateway Arch!  We unfortunately didn't have time to take the tram up to the top as it was only10:30 yet the next available tickets or a tram was 12:30.  We needed to be back to have lunch before the boys left for practice.

It looks like we will be able to see some sights in the mornings then make it to practices and games in the afternoon and evenings.  Not too bad at all!

We started with a nice sunny walk along the mighty Mississippi.

We stopped at the Gateway Arch for a few photos.  We went inside, but as I said it was too long of a wait for the time we had but we looked around the shops for a while.

We went back to the hotel for a spaghetti & salad lunch.

The boys got in some batting practice at Balls & Strikes indoor facility. This was quite the neat place!
The team then stopped at a Denny's to eat before the game...I had breakfast for dinner!

Then the boys played ball!!

We didn't make it back to the hotel until 10:30 so I took the pastrami sandwiches I had originally made for dinner at the park and grilled them! Grilled pastrami and cheese sammies and fruit hit the spot! I was too cold and tired for food pictures but the boys raved about them.  After a good night's sleep we are all ready to do it all again today, as long as the weather holds up!

Until next time, stay warm and eat well!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Road Trippin' Day 4

Well the snow finally stopped and is almost all melted already! The boys were able to practice at one of the local high schools today and if the weather holds up, they will get to play their first double header of many tomorrow night!  Horay!!

Hubby and I managed to do a bit of shopping again sticking to the shops we don't have back home!  This means Williams Sonoma, Dick's Sporting Goods, Trader Joes, and Target! (Eeeeeee)

I have never been to a Williams Sonoma before.  I frequent their website and have friends who have picked things up for me but this was my first time.  The Williams Sonoma trip involved their Stars line that I didn't already have at home and new Wustoff chef's knife!!!  (EEEEEE)  Dick's Sporting Goods involved baseball gear.  We really don't have too many stores with a wide range of baseball gear back home.  The choices really are limited so we save up for trips to the USA.  The Boy will have to come with us to the Sports Authority to try on cleats though.  Pants and sliding shorts I can manage without him but cleats he will have to try on!

I have never been to a Trader Joes before.  I have friends who rave about this store and one of the parents on the trip wandered into one.  When he was telling us about this Trader Joes store, he wasn't impressed.  I however could have spent so much more time there.  I bought some salt grinders and vitamins but if I was closer to home....it could have been ugly wonderful.

Tomorrow (or later in the week) I will be going to Penzeys Spices!!  I have a list of places to go and this is one of them.  Even if I don't buy anything there, I just want to go!

Enough chit chat, what have we been doing for food? Well let me tell you! We are lucky enough to have a kitchen in our room! I think it may even be bigger than the Little Kitchen, and it has a dishwasher! Yesterday afternoon I made a bolognase sauce for quick lunches.  We just have to boil up some pasta! (Of course I didn't have my new chef's knife yet and suffered with the wimpy knife here, but I managed) We also stopped at the grocery store and loaded up on fruits, veggies, and sandwich fixings.
Even made Hubby's favourite chickpea salad!

Last night,since it had been snowing all day, we organized a pizza and salad dinner in the meeting room at the hotel.  We ordered from a local place called Racanelli's.  They came highly reccommended and it was very good.  Pizza and salad for 50 people is no small order but we had a nice time visiting with the other players and their families last night!
Tonight we all went as a group to the Delmar Loop. This is a neat shopping and restaurant area.  We all stopped for a bite to eat at Blueberry Hill, a St. Louis hotspot for music and food. I actually wasn't too hungry but the chicken fingers I had were delicious!  I didn't hear anyone else complain about their food at all!

It is quite unusual that we have so much time to shop and relax (and blog) but with the snow and rain the fields are just too wet.  The boys have had at least one practice a day since we arrived and we are told that tomorrow's scheduled games are on!  I hope to have baseball pics tomorrow!!

Until next time, stay warm and eat well!

Friday, March 25, 2011

On The Road, Again: Road Trippin' Day 2

So we woke up after a decent night's sleep in Omaha to this:

The exact stuff we drove some 10 hours to get away from....sigh....while it still is warmer than home and some things are looking green, there is still snow.  Apparently St. Louis is expecting more snow this weekend!  I wonder if the baseball tourney is still on? The lovely people here in St. Louis have arranged for the team to have an indoor spot to work out tomorrow morning!

In other happenings in the wonderful world of road tripping includes this:

That's right....the check engine light!  Really??  At first we assumed we hadn't tightened the gas cap enough so we tightened and shortly after the light went out....then it went back on and has stayed on.  There is a dealership close by so we will have it checked out.  We have a long drive home and we don't want anything to go wrong. Perhaps they just need to re set something and that's all....I am keeping my fingers crossed.

It rained off and on for the bulk of the drive into St. Louis.  It kind of felt like a longer drive today, but it wasn't really.  Rita (our GPS) took us on an interesting route that wasn't an Interstate....We're not too sure why she chose this route, but she did.  The traffic once we got back onto the I70 was enough to drive me absolutely insane.  Cars kept braking and even came close to a stop....for no reason! Enough about the weather and the long boring drive!  What did we eat today????

Breakfast was a nice (and free) breakfast bar at the hotel.  It was quite the all inclusive type of thing with everything from waffles, oatmeal, toast, yogurt, fruit, cereal, and even eggs, sausages, and potatoes.  All the various fixings for each of these items was available as well!  We also were able to nick a couple of granola bars for the road! Sweet deal I tell you!

At lunch we pulled into a Sonic drive in.  Once I was able to read through the menu, I went with the basic burger and fries.  Hubby had a burger on Texas toast...it looked good but was so large, he couldn't eat it all.  After this quick in-car meal, we got back on the road!

This Texas toast burger was huge! Hubby didn't even finish it!

Dinner tonight was the California Pizza Kitchen....sorry folks, no pictures of that meal but it was soooo good.  We split a Cobb salad and a Sicilian thin crust pizza.  Very tasty indeed!

Until next time, stay warm and eat well!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

On The Road - Day 1

After a long day of driving, we made it to Omaha, Nebraska! We spent pretty much the entire day in the car....really, we did.  Approximately 960km or almost 600 miles. The I 29 just seems to keep going South! Our first stop was in Grand Forks at the Jimmy John's for sandwiches.  We don't have a Jimmy John's back home and when we are on the road we like to stop at the places we don't have at home.

Therefore, our first road meal of the day was sandwiches!  BLTs to be exact!!

We lucked out when we got to the hotel in Omaha tonight there was a Culver's practically in the parking lot! Another restaurant we do not have back home.  I completely forgot the camera in the car but by the time we got to eat, we were pretty darn hungry!  I went with a salad tonight so I could splurge a little and try their deep fried cheese curds....wow! The cheese was tasty, so was the chicken cashew salad.
Back on the road again tomorrow!
Until next time, stay warm and eat well!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Three Cheese Jalapeno Biscutis and a Horror Story

Yesterday I made some oh so tasty baked sweet potato fries with a sriracha mayo dip....they were so yummy.  I took photos like you would not believe.  One of the things I have been working on is trying to get baked sweet potato fries nice and crispy on the outside. This was the batch that was going to work, I could feel it.  After writing a lovely post to go with the photos, I opened the little window that houses the memory card......a scream and some expletives escaped my mouth......there was no card in the camera.  The card was still sitting in the card reader of my laptop.  AHHHHHH!

My apologies, I will remake the fries and actually put the memory card in the camera.

The Little Kitchen is in cleaning out the fridge mode as we gear up for a trip South to St. Louis Mo.  Why St. Louis? The Boy and his team are heading there to play ball, that's why.  For baseball players to get a chance to play this early outside on real diamonds, we need to South; there is still so much snow on the ground here! We are so excited! So much to do, cleaning, packing, lists to make so I can pack.... we didn't go grocery shopping this weekend, save a few fresh items.

What do you make when you are trying to use what you have and not go grocery shopping?  Well, sometime you get inventive and sometimes ideas just happen. This weekend I picked up a rotisserie chicken from the store, knowing I had the veggies needed to make a chicken pot pie!!  I didn't however feel like making a pie crust so I went with biscuits instead...go figure, they probably take the same amount of time and work.  I guess I just felt like biscuits.

Hubby was washing some dishes while I was measuring out the dry ingredients for the biscuits and a discussion regarding what was left in the fridge ensued....to make a long story short, we banded together to make 3 cheese jalapeno biscuits to go with the pieless chicken pot pie (which is essentially a stew).

Fabulous things can only happen when you add cheeses and jalapenos to something...it is just magical!

The biscuit recipe I use on a regular basis now is from Stumptown Savoury....it is the perfect recipe.  I have altered it somewhat to make these biscuits, but you should check out his post for the original recipe here.

I must admit to attempting to double the recipe by memory but failed to double the baking power, soda, or the buttermilk....strangely enough, the biscuits still turned out wonderful!
3 cheese jalapeno biscuit with crustless chicken pot pie

3 cheese jalapeno biscuits
  • 2cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cup pastry flour (trust me, this makes it so much better)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • handful grated cheddar
  • handful grated smoked gouda
  • handful grated parmesean
  • 2 jalapenos, diced small
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 tsp lemon juice with enough milk to make 1 cup)
  • 1 cup butter, frozen then grated
In a large bowl, stir together the flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

Now Gareth likes to freeze the butter then grate it...I agree. This works wonderfully.  However if you are strapped for time or don't have butter stocked in the freezer (which by the way works wonders if butter is on sale). You can cut the butter into cubes and use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour.  Just make sure to chill the dough for about 1/2 hour so chase away the warmth from your hands.

Once the butter is all small bits rubbed into flour, pile in the cheeses and the jalapenos and stir those in.

Add the buttermilk and stir.  It won't come together as a dough so don't worry about that here.

Dump the mixture out onto the counter and start folding and patting....just like this:

Keep on with the patting and folding until it comes together nicely.

You can either cut it into squares or use a biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits.

Bake in a hot, pre heated 400F oven for about 12 minutes, until lightly golden on top.

Don't burn your tongue, let them cool a bit!

I will do my best to send out a few messages and posts during our baseball filled trip. 

Until next time, stay warm and well!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sandwiches are Beautiful

Tonight's dinner was and simple spaghetti with a spicy mushroom bolognase sauce....sooooo yummy.  I really wasn't planning on posting anything about it.  I didn't take any photos of the process but then the Boy came in from the kitchen with his plate of food.  You may remember me mentioning before about the Boy's love of all things sandwich...he loves sandwiches.

Tonight the Boy made a spaghetti bolognase sandwich!  Oh yes he did....it actually looked really, really good all snug in between two thick cut slices of crusty French bread.

Yup, there it is....the spaghetti sandwich...This kid is so opening a sandwich shop one day....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ricotta Cookie Re Mix: Changing Things Up

I have a confession to make! I am addicted to the Ricotta cookies!  So much that I am mixing things up a bit and baking new flavours.  The first time I add 2 tbsp of cocoa powder to help a much needed chocolate fix.  This time I went with peanut butter.  I do love peanut butter, it is one of my favourites.

That's the 2 kg jar of peanut butter!
After the first batch came out of the oven, they looked just the same.  They didn't spread at all.  I figured that the peanut butter probably doesn't spread the way butter would to I squished the rest of the cookies with 2 fingers before baking the rest of them.

They still tasted amazing....
 These cookies are a hit!  The peanut butter flavour isn't overwhelming, but just enough.  I may add more cocoa powder next time for more of a chocolate hit.  The white chocolate chips however where so nice in these cookies.  I highly recommend these cookies....go make them!!   Right now!!

Ricotta Cookie Re-Mix – Chocolate Peanut Butter White Chocolate Chip Ricotta Cookies
  • 1/3 Peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg (or 1/2 a banana, thoroughly mashed and 1/4 tsp baking powder)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (minus 2 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chips
In a bowl mix together the peanut butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup white sugar until creamed together and fully combined. The mixture will look damp and will stick together when pressed.

Add 1 cup ricotta cheese, 1 egg, and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla and continue mixing until well combined.


In a separate bowl whisk together 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Little Kitchen confession: I sometimes add all the dry ingredients to the same mixing bowl on top of the wet ingredients, mix with a spoon, then mix the dry ingredients into the wet....just to save a bowl!)

Add the flour mixture into the mixing bowl and mix to completely incorporate the flour.

Stir in 2/3 cup (or more) white chocolate chips.

Scoop 1 tbsp portions onto a lined baking sheet, flatten slightly with 2 fingers and bake at 350F for 10 minutes.

Of course I still had some of the delectable Swiss meringue butter cream left over....sandwich cookies are in order!! I wonder if I should try these with a peanut butter frosting??

Until next time, stay warm and eat well!