Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fresh Eggs

 Contrary to popular belief, brown eggs are not "healthier" than white eggs. White eggs come from white chickens and brown eggs come from brown chickens. It's as simple as that.

Those of you who know me really well, go ahead and make sure you're sitting down.  What I'm about to say is something I never thought I would wish for.  Are you ready?

I would like to live on some land and own a chicken.

You there still?  Laughing?  Choked on your food yet?

That's right folks, this city girl who probably dislikes animals more than I should ever admit wants a chicken and some land.  Allow me to explain...I want land so I can have a fabulous garden.  Again, if you know me, you also know I kill any plant/growing things at rapid speed so that will be interesting.  Can you hire garden people? 

As for the chicken, well, I don't want it for a pet, duh!  I want it's eggs!  Seriously, my aunt (shout out to Aunt Brenda-THANK YOU!) gave me two cartons of FRESH eggs from a lady she knows and they are fabulous.  The yellowest-it's my blog, I'll make up words if I want-tastiest scrambled eggs ever.  (And, I don't even like scrambled eggs that much)  It's amazing the difference in taste when you attain the freshest ingredients.  Furthermore, it's much healthier when you get it straight from the source.  Would anyone think it's weird if I drove to Kansas City once a month for my eggs?  Ha ha...just kidding.  Sort of. 

The point of this post is to encourage you to buy eggs at the farmer's market, from someone who has a chicken, or worst case, spend the extra few bucks at the store and get the farm fresh, cage free, hormone free eggs.  It's worth it!  Or, better yet, somebody I know should get a chicken so I don't have to. You know you're thinking about it now...

Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday Food

I love everything about Thanksgiving and Christmas.  All the traditions, the food, the lights, the gifts.  But, really, what I love most, is when everyone slows down from the busyness and gathers around the table.  I've mentioned it in my blog before, but I'm a stickler for sharing meals around the table and not in front of the television.  Something that once was the norm, has now become a rarity in many homes.  It's an extra special meal when the whole family is under one roof and can share a meal filled with food and laughter.  I have my parents to thank for instilling this in me and I know I am also fortunate to have a family that gets along and really enjoys each other's company.  And, let's just say, my mom sure knows how to make the table inviting!

Thanksgiving table
We each had our place assignment with a pumpkin.  Loved it!  My mom even got Josh his own wine for the meal too!

This next picture is probably not exactly what you thought of when I titled my post "Holiday Food".  However, this deer that my mom and I found hanging from the back deck after Black Friday shopping (you never know with those three boys) was the meat in a few of our holiday dishes.  And, although I didn't have a lot of it, I was happy to eat some of it sparingly.  I mean, let's face it, that's about as fresh and the least amount of processing you can get!  I was excited to take several pounds of ground deer meat home and it's in our freezer.  Our weekly spaghetti nights just got a little fresher!

Moving right along to Christmas.  Well, it just isn't Christmas in my book until I've seen the plaza lights in Kansas City.  Our first stop when we got to town was to head that way and see Josh's sister's new apartment and take her and her new fiance out to celebrate their engagement.  We went to a new place I wanted to try called Gram and Dunn.  The restaurant is beautiful on the inside and the service was fantastic.  The menu is a little or rabbit anyone?  They have "normal" choices as well and I went for the Porcini Risotto. (Three mushroom risotto) I am ashamed to confess I ate the entire thing.  I loved my entree, but I think the rest of the table would agree it was alright, but nothing special.  However, Kelsey's fiance, Dustin and I got the best choice of the night in our drink selection.  You'll see in the picture, but that's a fresh sprig of rosemary frozen in my ice cube.  I thought that was pretty cool.  It's called The Smoking Dun and here's the description: Templeton rye, Rothman and Winter Cherry, hickory smoked ice, rosemary simple syrup, lemon juice. Don't worry, I don't know what most of that is either.  What I do know, is back when I ate meat I loved it when my dad would smoke meat.  You vegetarians out there-go right ahead and order this drink.  The smoky flavor is fabulous!  I'll be honest, I think it's more of a "manly" drink, but I can't stand sweet, fruity drinks so I went for it and loved it.  Will we be back to eat?  I would, but for the price there are probably other placed on the plaza I'd choose first.  However, their patio is the bomb and I will for sure be back when the weather is nice and order another Smoking Dun!  It's a locally owned restaurant after all and I always like to support those.
Here's the whole family right before Christmas Eve dinner.
Bin 36 was a wine we carried in our restaurant and we all loved it.  We haven't been able to find it anywhere since.  Finally, I decided to get serious about it and learned it is not licensed to be sold in Kansas liquor stores anymore.  I didn't let that stop me though!  A little research on the world wide web and a phone call to the Chicago restaurant it comes from and I had a case delivered to my doorstep.  My dad was pretty excited and we all enjoyed it with our Christmas meal.

Just in case you're wondering what a football player eats this would be part of it.  His rib eye took up the entire plate and he ate it all.  Then he went and got some leftover turkey.  It was disgusting.

Tyler's girlfriend is from Ukraine and she came over for Christmas Eve dinner and brought us Russian candy!  I think it's so interesting to learn other traditions and customs.  It added to the great evening!
The 4th annual Tannahill gingerbread contest came to a close with Tyler getting the trophy.  He won last year as well.  You just wait until next year-I'll get it back!
This  pic has nothing to do with food, but when you've been married 6 1/2 years and don't have any kids yet...well, it's time to get creative.  I mean, there are only so many pics of just me and Josh we can send out each year as a Christmas card.  Thanks to my goofy husband and my creative photographer friend Katie, we got a good one this year.  :) 
Coming up next-my post on what I did on the most depressing day of the year. 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Panera Breakfast

Maybe I've been blind when I look at the breakfast menu, but until my most recent visit to Panera, I never noticed steel-cut oats as an option.  Before this awesome discovery I really struggled with what to order for breakfast at Panera and finding a healthy option.  Bagels, not good.  Muffins, even worse.  Pastry, no way! 

Risking you thinking I'm a total lunatic, here's the conversation I would have with myself as I stood in line.

Do I really want to eat a bagel that is horrible for me?  Furthermore, will the person I'm having breakfast with think I'm weird when I scoop out the insides to cut down on the calories and carbs?

That souffle was so tasty when I tried it last time, but I thought it was just egg and didn't realize it was a pastry.  Now, I know...shame on me if I order it again.  I DID work out this morning though, so...

I suppose I could get a breakfast sandwich with only egg and cheese, but then I get bread and I'd really rather eat some pita and hummus later...

I should just get a cup of coffee.  The hazelnut is so good.  I'm not that hungry anyway.  Wait, breakfast IS the most important meal of the day.  Something bad is better than nothing at all.

Perhaps I shouldn't share my "craziness" with you, but indeed, Panera has been cause for concern for me in trying to eat healthy at breakfast.  Well, problem solved!  I have enjoyed the steel-cut oats twice and they are fantastic!  The only downside is they charge $3.99 which is a TOTAL rip-off, but it does come with fresh strawberries and pecans so I'll deal with it.  (You can also choose cherries and almonds if you prefer) The only suggestion I have for you is to ask for it with the cinnamon-sugar crunch on the side.  Plain steel-cut oats will start you at 150 calories; add pecans, strawberries and cinnamon/sugar and you're up to 320.  Which, is a great option to start your day.  However, if you've read my other blog posts you know I'm most concerned about my sugar intake.  No cinnamon/sugar crunch and you're at 4 g of sugar.  Add it, and you spike to 16 grams!  I still add some of it, but if you just add half of it you make a huge difference.  By asking for it on the side, you can really control your sugar intake.  Kudos to Panera for adding this the menu.  Or, kudos to me for finally noticing it.  Either way, enjoy!