Sunday, July 18, 2010

So what's for dinner?

Apologies for the unannounced hiatus, sometimes life throws you a couple of curve balls and it takes a little while to come back from it. Anyway, lots to talk about this week so let's get started:)

First, I found a new website that though it definitely needs some tweaking, has lots of potential! It's called Dinner Tool and I found it via one of those ads that hangs out along the sides of your Facebook page. It's geared towards the busy mom but basically if you're usually too busy to cook or are tired of standing in front of the fridge and staring endlessly at the contents trying to figure out what you're gonna make for dinner only to throw up your hands and run to the nearest fast food joint, this is the site for you. You can log in either with or without your facebook account, then you can make up the menu for the week or just set it up one day at a time. You can enter an ingredient (say you wanna make chicken but chicken and what?) and you have boxes to tick off (or not) of whether you want the recipe(s) to be easy, fast, budget, healthy and made ahead and drop down boxes with dietary restrictions like gluten free, low carb, vegan etc. and another drop down box asking which of 16 cuisines you prefer (if any) ranging from African, English or French, Latin American, New American (whatever that is) and Thai. Once that's done you get a list of main dishes, sides and desserts or meals which include the other three lists. My one complaint about this is that should you see a meal that you want you can't just click "drag to menu" like you can with the other tabs. Instead you have to click each course in the meal, drag that into the menu and hope you remember to click "search results" instead of back or you lose the whole thing and after to start all over! You also have to remember to save every time you add to the menu or once again back will clear everything out.

Now if you're not picky or don't have any allergies to worry about, clicking the "I'm Hungry" button is like activating the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button on Google. Do this and your whole week is planned out for you. Once you have your week set up, click shopping list and it exports your menu to a neatly arranged list according to section (dairy, baking, grocery etc.). The recipes are very good too and only as elaborate as you'd like them to be. Because I like a challenge I refuse to click fast and easy and so far my two favorite meals are the Jamaican Jerk Pork Roast which I've made both with Gingered Sweet Potatoes and with yellow rice and it's just phenomenal although a word to the wise, if you don't like much spice or heat I suggest dramatically reducing the amount of spice the recipe calls for. Lightly dust it rather than coat it. If it's still too spicy, a tall glass of milk or a bowl of ice cream will easily extinguish the flame:) The other recipe I'm in love with is the Grilled grouper with orange ginger glaze and roasted asparagus only I substituted salmon for grouper and it was excellent! The Pasta Sauce with beef ribs and cinnamon gave hubby and I indigestion which we usually don't get and I think next time I'll just stick with my old faithful Ropa Vieja recipe. Anyway, I've only used the site for about a week and a half and as i mentioned before it's got some real promise.

Businesswise the shop is starting to pick up as my Christmas in July sale winds down and my Back to School sale starts up (courtesy of Etsy's Team Homefront) I've started working on my Fall and Winter candle line.

The fall candles are available now, the winter candles become available in September but here's a sneak peak:

Nice aren't they? Anyway, that's about it for now. Who can believe July is nearly gone already? Have a good week everyone and stay cool!