Time for Real Blogging

I said I was going to transition into more personal blogging a few blog posts ago, but that was also a few months ago. I’ve been thinking more about it and hope to add more updates on life. Most of the pictures I’ll add will be simply phone pictures, and completely unedited, but I’m sure that will bother only me!
My most recent focus has been on entertaining and budgeting and meal-planning/trying new recipes. I don’t plan to be a blogger who shares new creative recipes.. I’m not the creative cook, I just like exploring other people’s flavors. I can’t help but make a few adjustments, but that’s typically to make the meal easier or faster. The first thing I want to share is my favorite app that I have been getting more and more use out of every day: Pepperplate.

www.Pepperplate.com

Ok, since I don’t remember how to do a screen shot of the website, the link is the best I can do right now. :) (I love my mac, I just forget how to use it occasionally)… Regardless, click, look, try.. it’s completely free, and while it takes some time to set up, once you are set up there’s no going back. There’s a website version, and app versions for both Apple and Android, so I have access any way I want. I input all my recipes and can cook with my iPad beside me using the timers or changing the ratios, I can make a meal plan for the week or a menu for an important event, and I can add whatever recipes I plan to make to the shopping cart, quickly go through and check off the things I already have, sync it with my phone, and have a quick touch-screen checklist in my hand at the grocery store. The only thing it doesn’t do that I wish it did was add up the items at the store for me so I knew how much my grocery bill was at the end (the only app for that is called a calculator). You can also input categories for your recipes. Mine, for instance, include things like “fast”, “grilled”, “dessert”, “gluten-free”… label it as many ways as you like, in the end you can filter your recipes by a certain category and narrow down your options.
It’s genius, really. At least I am happy. It is currently helping me out with a few projects: trying new recipes, trying to cook healthier, and trying to keep in a budget. As I sit down on Saturday morning and pick the meals for the week (which now takes all of 5 minutes) and plan my shopping list, I can actually buy things that makes sense together and save some money.
I get it, most of you have done this for years. I’m a slow learner.
Whatever, in the process I’m rocking some pretty awesome meals. Tonight was this Chicken Pita with Tzatziki.. Mmm. (Or to see it in Pepperplate form, click here).Getting my husband to eat cucumber is tough. This was filled with it and he was a happy camper.

Even this guy liked it:

 

Speaking of my husband’s dislikes, we have had several break-throughs. Somehow, believe it or not, he is not a fan of pork chops. But last night we had this:

http://www.recipegirl.com/2011/06/06/chili-rubbed-pork-chops-with-grilled-pineapple-salsa/

I didn’t manage to take a picture but man, was it good! I happen to love pork chops anyway, but he was pleasantly surprised, which is a big win in my book! There’s a saucy chili rub that gives it a smoky, rustic flavor, and then it’s topped with sweet pineapple and lime juice. Weird mix but heavenly.

Of course it was coupled with grilled corn on the cob and leftover sweet potato casserole which I made for our Gospel Community group. The theme for food that night was a favorite dish that has a story. Nate always begs for the casserole and he swears the first time he had it he knew I was the girl for him. Funny how food can be such an emotional thing!

On another note, anyone know how to get the allspice seasoning out of this tree? It’s an incredible-smelling allspice tree (yes, allspice IS a real spice not a mixture of spices, if you didn’t know. A replica can be made of a mixture, but allspice is a legitimate spice, named so because it was such an amazing combination of smells like cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves. How convenient that it blooms in the fall!). Last year I didn’t do anything with it but this year I’d like to make the most of it. If you want a little jar of it, message me!

 

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