Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Despite the difficulty I have surprising her, food-wise Mama's pretty easy to please. She's a fan of most foods but is quite adamant about what she LOVES. One of those loves would be the lovely strawberry, so I wanted to take that love and create something different for her. Since she's always complaining that I never save her a portion of most of the dishes I feature on PGEW, particularly the crepes, I thought it would be nice to make her some fresh strawberry crepes. But you know me... why be ordinary when you can take things to a whole other level, right? Fresh strawberry crepes are all over the place, so I made them extra special for her by creating a fresh strawberry sauce and a special strawberry-goat cheese base to go along with the fresh strawberry filling. About the only thing that was completely berry-less on its own was the actual crepe! This was sinful but light, familiar but different, and I'm happy to report that Mama LOVED her birthday brunch!
Friday, April 23, 2010
Rice salads in general are awesome because you can get most of your basic food groups in one easy, tasty dish. They're quite easy to make and extremely economical, what with rice being a very inexpensive staple and the way rice salads make use of all those little veggie leftovers you may have hanging around in your fridge. Made with brown rice, you can up the nutrition factor of your salad with a higher fiber content and essential nutrients like magnesium & zinc. When you're really bare-bonesin' it because you're down to your last few dollars and bits of food, it's great to know that there are ways to pack in plenty of nutrition instead of falling into the fast food or processed food trap that so many succumb to. To ensure I could make a balanced meal out of this salad, I added some tuna for protein and some fun flavor & texture.
You can get as creative as you want with this one, which is yet another fun thing about rice salads. I've seen versions that include all sorts of random veggies, from celery to cucumber (and oh, how I wish I'd had a cucumber for mine!). I made mine with what I had on hand and it turned out just lovely. When it comes to the dressing, feel free to use your favorite bottled vinaigrette (I used my all-time fave, Wish Bone Italian) or make your own simple vinaigrette from scratch. Let's check out this über-quick & easy recipe.
Brown Rice, Veggie & Tuna Salad (makes 4 servings; total cost per serving: ~$0.85)
1 1/2 c cooked brown rice
1 can of tuna, drained
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
3 T your favorite bottled vinaigrette or quick vinaigrette (recipe below)
2 T olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
If making your dressing, combine all dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together until completely combined. Set aside. In a larger bowl, add the rice, drained tuna and all the veggies, and toss together with the dressing. If you have some time and want a richer flavor, refrigerate the salad for at least 1 hour to allow all the flavors to combine well; otherwise, serve immediately. Serve with some spring greens or baby spinach, and enjoy!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Just wanted to let you know about a fabulous wine tasting event that’s coming up next week! Next Tuesday, April 20th, the Paso Robles Wine Country Grand Tasting Tour will be stopping in Sacramento to showcase some of their winemakers’ finest work. From winemaker dinners pairing some of Sacramento’s best restaurants with winemakers from the area, to a Grand Tasting event featuring the best of what this the Paso Robles Wine Country has to offer, this event is definitely not to be missed! The best part is that portion of the proceeds will benefit an organization very near & dear to my Sacramento heart: Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.
Here’s the scoop:
Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Location: Sacramento Grand Ballroom, 629 J Street, Sacramento
Admission: $45/person in advance; $55/person at the door
To purchase tickets in advance (recommended), click on the following link. And to win tickets, keep reading! :)
Taking place at the elegant Sacramento Grand Ballroom, this event will feature over 150 wines from more than 30 wineries from the Paso Robles area. Appetizers will also be provided. In addition to this amazing tasting event, the following Sacramento restaurants are pairing up with the touring winemakers to offer special menu & wine pairings and give diners the opportunity to meet the winemakers from the Paso Robles wineries.
Grange Restaurant and Bar
As if all that wasn’t good enough already, there are also a couple smaller tasting events being held at retailers this week, in case you can’t make it to the Grand Tasting:
Retail Tastings – Friday, April 16
Beyond Napa Wine Merchants
2580 Fair Oaks Blvd., Sacramento, CA
Will be sampling Four Vines Winery
Time: 3 -7 p.m.
157 Main St., Woodland, CA
Will be sampling J.Lohr Vineyards & Wines
Time: 5 - 7pm
Now for the fun part! PGEW is helping one lucky winner receive a pair of tickets to the Grand Tasting event on Tuesday, April 20th!
One lucky winner will be selected at random. The contest ends Saturday, April 17th, so be sure to enter today! PLEASE NOTE: Due to the specific location of this event, this contest is only open to those living in Sacramento or surrounding metropolitan areas.
Good luck, everyone!
Monday, April 12, 2010
As you might have guessed, I fall under the 2nd category. Granted, part of the problem I had over the weekend (and the reason why I didn’t end up posting that one promised egg recipe I had in mind) was that I had forgotten my camera’s battery charger at work. Not being able to access all of the photos on my memory card or take anything new certainly put a damper on my weekend of what ought to have been blogging bliss. I suppose I could have posted the other recipe, as it’s a good one and the picture isn’t all that bad. But because I’ve turned into THAT blogger and I ended up making an even better egg dish over the weekend, I figured I’d wait and make everyone happy with a new recipe and a nicer photo.
On this weekend’s jaunt to Safeway for kitty food & other feline provisions, I managed to have enough change leftover for some baby portabella mushrooms and a lovely head of butter lettuce (both on sale!); and because produce in Poor Girl’s kitchen has been slowly dwindling, I figured I was worth these splurges. I had every intention of enjoying both together in a nice giant salad, but as I was slicing the baby bellas into these thick, meaty-looking slices, I began to imagine them in a steaming hot platter of fajitas. When the reality of not having tortillas for this endeavor broke through my fajita daydream, I switched gears and began to imagine the mushrooms in a nice cheesy omelette. That wasn’t going to work so well either considering the lack of cheese in my house, so I finally put both dreams together and decided to make a mushroom fajita omelette.
It’s an unorthodox food pairing but I must say I was quite pleased with the results! The flavors & textures played off each other nicely, and I didn’t even miss my warm flour tortillas (that much). This dish is hearty and tasty, and absolutely perfect for a breakfast for dinner night. And if you’re not an egg fan, the mushroom fajita filling is excellent on its own so definitely feel free to use it in the traditional fajita manner. Not much else to note on this one, so let’s check out the recipe!
Mushroom Fajita Omelette (makes enough filling for 2 omelettes; total cost for 1 omelette as written: $3)
3 large eggs
½ 8 oz. package baby portabella mushrooms (white button mushrooms work too), sliced
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
3/4 c red, yellow & green bell pepper strips (the frozen kind is fine)
1 t olive oil
1 t butter
¼ t granulated garlic
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1/8 t ground cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
Sour cream, salsa, and cilantro (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet and add the sliced mushrooms & onions and the salt, peppers, and cumin. Sauté together over medium high for about 2 minutes, add the pepper strips, and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until everything is heated through. Set aside.
In a separate skillet or pan, melt the butter and swirl until the entire pan is coated. Add the beaten eggs and cook over medium heat until the omelette is set and there is only a small amount of unset egg left. Spoon a generous amount of mushroom fajita filling into the omelette, fold in half, and cook for a few more seconds to allow it to fully set. Garnish with a couple of sprigs of cilantro, serve with sour cream, salsa, or whatever your usual fajita fixin’s may be, and enjoy!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
The first one is the Poor Girl Eats Well widget, which you can install practically anywhere. You can add it to your blog, share it on Facebook, or add it to your iGoogle page, so you'll always have the latest PGEW updates on hand. Just click on on the "Get Widget" button at the bottom of the widget that I have posted on the left sidebar, select which site(s) you want to add it to, and voila! Instant PGEW. :)
The second one is for all you iPhone, Android, and other swankyphone users out there. Though I know that PGEW loads just beautifully on these little devices, the print is a bit small and it can be a hassle to always have to increase text size, etc. PGEW Mobile not only allows you to view posts in a more user-friendly manner, but makes it easy to follow me on Twitter and includes the Tip of the Week feature, so you can make the most of your shopping dollar and the food you buy. I've implemented the mobile feature on the site so those of you who access the regular site with iPhones, etc. should be automatically redirected to the mobile version but if you're not, simply go to the following link and you'll be connected right away (I made my friend, Rich, be my guinea pig last night and he said it worked great, so if it doesn't we'll blame him. HA!).
Please let me know if you're having trouble viewing either of these gadgets, particularly the mobile site. Otherwise, enjoy the new stuff and be sure to spread the word!
Now, we all know eggs have gotten a bad rap in the past. I don’t think it was too long after The Incredible Edible Egg jingle that eggs were all of a sudden considered off limits and evil as they were packed with cholesterol and heart disease. Fortunately, research has come a long way and science has proven that the egg is not as evil and death-inducing as was once feared. But just like everything else, eggs should just be eaten in moderation to avoid any further health issues. I will admit that I try to eat egg whites more often than the whole egg because it cuts way back on the calories (unless I’m craving an omelette, of course), but even the egg yolk is remarkably healthy, as it’s packed with good-for-you nutrients like Vitamins B12, A and D, a generous amount of choline, and even iron and folate. And let’s not forget what an incredible source of protein eggs can be! Most of us know how important it is to get an adequate amount of protein in our diets, and eggs are an easy, tasty way to make that happen.
But enough with the health talk already! The bottom line is that eggs are cheap, delicious and ridiculously versatile, making it very easy to eat well when you’re strapped for cash. As illustrated in my last egg post, one could easily make 2 servings of the baked egg recipe and feed two people for $4 in a much healthier way than you would do if you went to McDonald’s for an egg & sausage burrito. That’s just 1/3 of your dozen eggs, the remainder of which can be used to turn into a couple of hearty omelettes. Can’t stay away from the breakfast burrito? Scramble a couple eggs & throw them into a tortilla like I did with my Hunger Challenge breakfast burrito. $0.65 v. $1 and change at McDonald's, plus you know it's got a lot less junk than the fast food burrito (all that extra butter, sausage, the processed cheese, etc). A dozen large eggs will run anywhere from $1.79 (yay, Trader Joe’s!) to $3.99 (for cage free, organic eggs), making your average dozen about $2.89 or so. And because one doesn’t use the entire dozen in one recipe (unless you have a small army to feed), it’s easy to stretch a dozen to make a few different dishes.