Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crispy Baked Pork Egg Rolls

I love Chinese food, but hate that it's almost always fried.  And egg rolls are super yummy.  This recipe combines the yummy taste of restaurant style egg rolls with out frying.  They were also easy to make.

Crispy Baked Pork Egg Rolls

1/2 large head of cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, grated
1/4 cup onion, diced
5 white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium left over pork chop (you could use any leftover meat) about 3/4-1 cup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
egg roll wrappers
2 tablespoons flour + water to form a paste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Clean cabbage and shred or dice finely.  Place cabbage on a 9x13 pan and roast for at least 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, clean carrots and grate.  Dice onion.  Thinly slice mushrooms.  Remove cabbage from oven and toss.  Place carrots, onion and mushrooms on top of cabbage and return to oven; roasting about 5 more minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes.  Blot with paper towels to soak up extra moisture.  Move veggies to bowl and season with soy, garlic and ginger.  Stir in meat.

Lay egg roll wrappers out one at a time with a corner facing you.  Use 1/3 cup to measure out filling.  Put in center of wrapper and fold bottom corner in, then tightly roll from left to right finishing with pulling top corner down.  Seal with a little flour paste.  Bake on greased cookie sheet at 425 degrees for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through.  Broil 1-2 minutes, but watch closely as they can brown quite quickly.  Serve warm with dipping sauce.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wholesome Wednesday: Quick Coffee Cake

Today's Wholesome Wednesday creation is a quick coffee cake.  I was amazed that it actually was super quick to throw together.  We're talking just a few minutes.  Made a very thick custard like dough that was easy to spread in the pan.  I'm thinking that nuts in the topping would be a good addition.  This makes a moist airy cake.  It rose a lot, more than doubled in size while baking, so if you wanted it could probably go in a larger pan like a 9x13 and still make a great cake.

Quick Coffee Cake

2 eggs
6 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder

Beat eggs until light.  Add the sugar gradually while beating.  Add the melted butter, while beating.  Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl, whisk.  Add the flour and milk alternately to the first mixture.  Dough will be very thick and custard like.  Turn into a greased 8x8 pan, if you want it tall like mine.  Brush the top lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with topping*.  Bake at 350 degrees, for about 30 minutes till toothpick inserted comes out clean.

3 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs (I used panko)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix in bowl.  Sprinkle on coffee cake.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ducks always mean spring to me!

I know these aren’t the best pictures, but I have to share this with y’all.  Every spring when the weather changes from cold to warm and rainy a pair of ducks shows up.  Saturday morning I went to take Rosie out and there they were in the neighbor’s front yard.  Although this year there was the pair that always shows up along with an extra male.  I haven’t seen the extra male since Saturday afternoon though.  I’m always thrilled to see them because it means spring is really here to stay. 

They’re also adorable.  The male always keeps a watch on the female while she spends her time looking for bugs.  They also end up swimming in my backyard, and no we don’t have a pool.  Before the houses were built here in the 60’s, a natural spring used to run through the backyard area.  So when it rains we do get standing water in the backyard.  And the ducks swim in it, in the middle of the grass in the backyard.  It looks like they are swimming in the grass. 

Mr. Seven also thinks the ducks are amazing.  I don’t think he quite understands what they are, but he finds them fascinating.  The ducks normally hang around for about a month going all over the block.  When they get closer to the house, I’ll take more pictures to share.  I just had to share because it always makes my day to see them.  :)

New Chapter Organics

We have two kinds of New Chapter Vitamins, Perfect Energy and Perfect Calm.  Al would have tried them except that they contain fermented soy.  She has a soy allergy, so I got to be the guinea pig.

I started out taking the Perfect Energy.  They are a typical size vitamin only instead of one you take three at a time.  The package didn't actually say, so being lazy I took all three at once.  Nothing seems unusual about them, except that they are obviously tan colored with dark flecks, so they certainly appear to be organic compared to the average vitamin.

I have to say that the Perfect Energy works really well.  Almost too well, I probably shouldn't have taken them around lunchtime the first day.  I'm on day three and my sleep schedule has been altered.  I was too energized to fall asleep and my sleep schedule has shifted about two hours.  I'm thinking that the Perfect Calm will help me return back to normal.  I was feeling really out of it today until I took them.  Not sure if it's just because I didn't get the regular amount of sleep.

After five days of them, I can say my sleep schedule was out of whack because I had too much energy at the end of the day.  I suppose if I had planned it, then I wouldn't be having a problem.

Sadly, the perfect calm did not have the desired reverse effects.  Even though I know that the ingredients should have made me feel calm and sleepy including things like lavender and lemon balm, but no such luck.  I could not feel any noticeable differences.  My sleep schedule remained off even with the perfect calm.  So, while it may have a different effect for someone else it didn't help me in the way I had hoped.

I certainly recommend the Perfect Energy if you need an energy boost.  Just be sure to take them in the morning or risk becoming a night owl.  The Perfect Calm did not seem to calm me much.  Neither one had any side effects unless you consider too much energy a side effect.  They work just as regular vitamins.  I only took five days worth, so I can't entirely know how they would affect you long term, but they seem to be harmless.

*I was sent these products for review.  All opinions are my own*

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Almost Paleo Chocolate Chili

The concept of a Paleo diet is extremely fascinating to me.  I already don't eat a lot of bread but have found it hard to give up other grains.  I found this recipe in the new Well Fed cookbook.  I've never made a chili with chocolate in it before but it sounded good so I had to try it.  I did change some things in the recipe to make it more to my family's taste.

Almost Paleo Chocolate Chili

2 tablespoons coconut oil (I used Tropical Traditions)
1/2 cup diced onion (rinsed with water)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 can (14.5 oz.) fire roasted, diced tomatoes
1 can (10 oz.) rotel tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans
14.5 oz. low sodium chicken broth

Use a large deep pot over medium-high heat, then add coconut oil.  When the oil is melted, add onions and stir, cooking till translucent; 3-5 minutes.  Add garlic and as soon as fragrant (about 30 seconds), crumble ground beef into pan.  Cook stirring often till browned.

In a small bowl, mix all seasonings with a fork and then add to pot, stirring like you mean it.  Add tomato paste and stir till combined, about 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes, broth and beans to pot, stir, bring to boil and simmer about 45 minutes.

Serve with spinach in bottom of bowls and top with some cheddar cheese.

There is a referral link for Tropical Traditions in this post.  If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

Remnant By Roland Allnach

This is a three part anthology.  All three parts in the same binding each can be considered a novella while the whole thing is only about two hundred pages.  I was intrigued by the tag line “When all that’s left is broken, which piece do you pick up first?”  The kind of question that makes you curious to figure out how it will be answered which is one of the reasons that I love science fiction.  We get answers to questions that I never thought about before. 

The first part “All the Fallen Angels” focuses on Jansing Stohko who is trying to make ends meet.  He has an outdated ship and trouble finding customers.  He has been in jail and wants to leave that part of his life behind him.  Only no one else wants to forget that he is a criminal.  He takes the job offered to him which is shady and dangerous.  He ends up stranded and meets people that helped put him in jail.  Stohko has a chance to re-evaluate his choices and actions.  His questions are answered as he unravels the conspiracies.  I think it deals with what happens when other people break everything you have and Stohko is in that position.  He has no way to change what happened to him and has to find a way to live with his altered circumstances.  I was surprised a little with the outcome but Stohko earns his ending.  You might not realize that you internalize other people's attitudes towards yourself.  I am slightly more aware of this after reading.

The second part “Enemy, I Know You Not” follows a platoon with two men capable of leading them.  Hovland is surprised that he is not in charge of the new recruits.  Ellister is.  Yet, when everything turns to the chaos of war leaders can’t fix it.  This part deals with the completely broken, what can you do in a situation with no winner?  Can you survive such an ordeal? Hovland may have experience but it only takes one challenge to erase all you know.  I have a slight military/action bias, but this took place in a simulator which is a nice twist.  A good insight into what it might be like to survive under the conditions of war created chaos.  The problem lies with the aftermath there is a story unfolding even at the end of the book but with a sense that things will work out well.  

The third part “Remnant” is the struggle of Peter Lowry.  He has survived a pandemic plague killing most humans.  After surviving on his own, he is faced with visitors.  How will he deal with a broken world?  How can you live when you are broken?  He has a past to deal with and must decide on his future.  This was my favorite of the three.  I always like survival stories and this one changed it by having the single person doing well on his own and deciding to trust others.  Plus I can picture myself in his shoes acting in a similar way when being completely alone for a long period of time.

I would recommend Remnant to those that also like science fiction.  The main theme is to deal with situations you can’t escape from and figuring out how to adapt.  The narratives are compelling as the main characters are complex living in extreme circumstances.  Allnach's style truly is conversational to the point that I got in the zone.  I didn't necessarily notice I was reading.  Another unconventional book to add to the pile which leaves me as a satisfied reader. 

Author's Bio: 
Roland Allnach, after working twenty years on the night shift in a hospital, has witnessed life from a slightly different angle.  He has been working to develop his writing career, drawing creatively from literary classics, history, and mythology.  His short stories, one of which was nominated for the Pushcart prize, have appeared in several publications.  Writing aside, his joy in life is the time he spends with his family.  

You can find out more at his website:

We're also giving away a copy of Remnant.  To enter leave a comment below telling me why you like reading science fiction books.  To get a second entry, just follow the blog.  :)  Contest will run through April 8. 

I was given this book to review.  All opinions are my own.

$.99 lb Corned Beef @ Mariano's

This afternoon we ran over to pick up a few odds and ends at Mariano's in Arlington Heights.  Back by the Alcohol section of the store, there was a butcher case with cuts of corned beef for $0.99 lb.  Lee was back there packing it up.

This is absolutely an awesome price for corned beef.  I got about $10 worth to throw in the freezer.  I'm not sure how much longer they will have it.  So I'd head over and pick some up!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mariano's Fresh Market Match-ups March 22 - March 31, 2012

Here are the best deals March 8 - March 21, 2012

Double Daze

Every Wednesday you can save 100% more on manufacturers’ coupons.  The manufacturer gives you a deal, and we double it.  Redeem up to 5 manufacturers' coupons worth up to $1 each and spend a minimum $25 in a single transaction, and we make those 5 coupons worth $10. That’s 100% more savings.

Mariano's Fresh Market Coupon Policy

Best Deals
·       Organicgirl Quick Cook Greens 12 oz. $2.99 Print $1 here, Print $1 here (exp. 3/31)
                     Final Price as low as $.99 during Double Daze
·         Barilla Pasta 12-16 oz. $.99 3/18 SS, Print $1 off Pasta and Sauce here, Print $1 off Pasta and Sauce here
o   Final Price Free during Double Daze
·         Barilla Pasta Sauce 24 oz. $1.99 3/18 SS, Print $1 off Pasta and Sauce here, Print $1 off Pasta and Sauce here
o   Final Price as low as $.99 during Double Days

·         Roundy’s Large Eggs 1 Dozen $.99
·         Blue Bunny Ice Cream Treats 6-16 ct. $2.99 Print $1 here
o   Final Price as low as $.99 during Double Daze

·       Large Artichokes $.99 each
·       Strawberries 1 lb. 2/$4
·       Organic Strawberries 1 lb. $2.99
·       Broccoli or Cauliflower $.69 lb
·       Organic Broccoli $.99 lb
·       On the Vine Cluster Tomatoes $1.29 lb
·       Organic Beefsteak Tomatoes $1.49 lb
·       Red Grapefruit 3/$1.98
·       Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet Pinapple 4.5 lb $2.88
·       Red Bell Peppers $1.29 lb
·       Red, Gold, Purple or White Bite-Size Potatoes $1.69 lb
·       Infinite Organic Culinary Herbs .75-2 oz. 25% off
·       Whole or Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms 8 oz. 2/$3
·       Gourmet Mini Cucumbers 6 ct. $2.49
·       Organicgirl Quick Cook Greens 12 oz. $2.99 Print $1 here, Print $1 here (exp. 3/31)
o   Final Price as low as $.99 during Double Daze
·         Bell & Evans Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts $3.99 lb
·         All Natural Fresh Pork Baby Back Ribs $3.88 lb
·         Fresh Atlantic Cod Fillets $9.99 lb
·         All Natural Fresh Ground Sirloin $4.69 lb
·         USDA Choice Black Angus Beef Boneless Top Round Roast or Steak $3.99 lb
·         USDA Choice Black Angus Beef Boneless Ribeye Steak $9.99 lb
·         Perdue Fresh Ground Turkey or Chicken 16 oz. 2/$6
·         USDA Choice Black Angus Beef Pinwheels Regular or Stuffed $5.99 lb
·         Old Fashioned Applewood Thick Sliced Bacon $3.99 lb
·         Mariano’s Market Fresh Steamed and Flavored Shrimp 26/30 ct. $13.99 lb
·         Raw Tiger Grilling Shrimp 8-12 ct. $14.99 lb
·         Fresh Live Mussels 2 lb bag $4.88
·         Jumbo King Crab Legs 12-14 ct. $19.99 lb
·         Wild Salmon Burgers 4 oz. 2/$4
·         Fresh Farm Raised Tilapia Fillets $6.99 lb
·         Fresh Farm Raised Steelhead Fillets $7.99 lb
·         Polpo Baby Octopus $5.99 lb
·         Colossal 8-12 ct. Peeled and Deveined Cooked Shrimp $17.99 lb
·         Italian Seafood Salad with Crab Meat $6.99 lb
·         Greenridge Farm Village Ham $4.99 lb
·         Premium Choice Roast Beef $7.99 lb
·         Dietz & Watson Black Forest Turkey $5.99 lb
·         Colby or Colby Jack Cheese $3.99 lb
·         Parmesan Peppercorn Salad $3.99 lb
·         Broccoli Cheese Salad $5.99 lb
·         Athenos Hummus 7 oz. B1G1 Print $.75 here
·         Tiffany Box Cake $8.95
·         Fresh Made Donuts 2/$1
·         Strawberry Rhubarb or Blackberry Pie 8-inch $3.95
·         Asiago Cheese or Jalapeno Cheddar Bread $4.25
·         French Bread (White or Wheat) 16 oz. $1
·         Pinna Imported Pecorino Romano Cheese $4.99 lb
·         Saint Andre 75% Triple Cream Cheese $14.99 lb
·         Prairie Breeze Cheese $10.99 lb
·         Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve Cheese $19.99 lb
·         Carr Valley Menage $12.99 lb
·         Crave Brothers Ovoline Fresh Mozzarella 12 oz. B1G1
·         Roundy’s Premium Orange Juice 64 oz. $2.79
·         Roundy’s Shredded or Chunk Cheese 5-8 oz. $1.99
·         Roundy’s Fries, Tater Puffs or Hash Browns 16-32 oz. $1.89
·         Roundy’s Ice Cream 48 oz. $2.99
·         Roundy’s Root Beer 4 pk. $2.49
·         Roundy’s Purified Water 35 pk. $3.99
Natural & Organic
·         Roundy’s Organic Salad Dressing 12 oz. $1.79
·         Hodgson Mills Bread Mix 16 oz. $2.79 Print $.60/2 here (zip 77458)
o   Final Price $2.49 each
·         Schar Gluten-Free Pasta 12 oz. $3.89
·         MorningStar Farms Meat Alternatives 5.25-14.5 oz. $2.99 Print $.75/2 here
o   Final Price as low as $2.24 during Double Daze
·         Roundy’s Organic Raspberry or Strawberry Preserves 10 oz. $1.79
·         Lifeway Low Fat Kefir Cultured Milk 32 oz. $2.99 Print $1/2 here
o   Final Price as low as $1.99 each during Double Daze
·         Barilla Pasta 12-16 oz. $.99 3/18 SS, Print $1 off Pasta and Sauce here, Print $1 off Pasta and Sauce here
o   Final Price Free during Double Daze
·         Barilla Pasta Sauce 24 oz. $1.99 3/18 SS, Print $1 off Pasta and Sauce here, Print $1 off Pasta and Sauce here
o   Final Price as low as $.99 during Double Days
·         Arnold/Brownberry Dutch Country or Italian Bread 20-24 oz. $1.99
·         Hellmann’s Mayo 22-30 oz. $3.49 Print $1/2 here (Savings Club Members)
o   Final Price as low as $2.49 during Double Daze
·         Knorr Pasta or Rice Sides 3.8-6.4 oz. $.99
·         Kraft Sizzling Salad Dinner Kit 12 oz. $1.89
·         Kellogg’s Cereal, Pop-Tarts, Bars or Eggo Syrup 4.4-23 oz or 5-12 ct. $2.79 ¾ RP, 3/11 RP, Print Kellogg's Coupons here, Print Kellogg's Coupons here (Savings Club too)
·         Roundy’s  O’s Cookies 18 oz. $2.29
·         Folger’s Coffee 22.6-33.9 oz. $8.99 3/25 RP
o   Final Price $8.74
·         Simply Asia Noodles 11 oz. $2.49
·         Skinny Pop Natural Popcorn 4.4 oz. $2.99
·         Ritter Candy Bars 3.5 oz. $2.29 Print $1/2 here
o   Final Price as low as $1.29 each during Double Daze
·         Academia Barilla Olive Oil 17 oz. $8.99
·         Quilted Northern 12 Double Roll $6.99
·         Brawny 6-8 Roll Paper Towels $6.99 ¾ RP, Print $.75 here (Savings Club Members)
o   Final Price $6.24
·         Puffs Facial Tissue 3 pk. $4.48
·         Roundy’s Greek Yogurt 6 oz. $1
·         International Delight Flavored Coffee Creamer 32 oz. $2.79 Print $.55 here or blinkies @ Dom’s
o   Final Price $2.24
·         Minute Maid Premium Orange Juice 59 oz. $2.79 Print $.75 here
o   Final Price $2.04
·         Heluva Good Dips 12 oz. $1.49 1/22 RP, Print $.50 here
o   Final Price $.99
·         I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter 7.5-16 oz. $2.49 Print $1.25 here, 3/25 RP
o   Final Price $1.24
·         Roundy’s Large Eggs 1 Dozen $.99
·         Duffy’s Crumpets 8 oz. $1.99
·         Lia Marie Garlic Spread 12-14 oz. $2.99
·         Bay’s English Muffins 6 ct. $1.89
·         Clear Value Milk 1 Gallon $1.99
·         Oberweis Milk 64 oz. $2.49
·         Kraft Shredded, Chunk or Crumbles Cheese 5-9.6 oz. $2.79
·         Roundy’s Grated Parmesan Cheese 8 oz. $1.99
·         Kraft American Singles 16 oz. $2.99
·         Eggo Waffles or Pancakes 8-12 ct. $1.79 3/11 RP
o   Final Price as low as $1.04 each during Double Daze
·         Home Run Inn or Gino’s East Pizza 27-33 oz. $4.99
·         Tombstone or Jack’s Naturally Rising Pizza 18.1-30.5 oz. $3.29 Print $.50 here
o   Final Price $2.79
·         Healthy Choice CafĂ© Steamers or Complete Selections 10-12.5 oz. $2.19 Print $1/3 here, Print $1/2 here, 3/25 SS
o   Final Price as low as $1.19 each during Double Daze
·         Farm Rich Appetizers 20-30 oz. $3.79 Print $1 here, Print $.75 here
o   Final Price as low as $1.79 during Double Daze
·         Mrs. T’s Pierogies 12.84-16 oz. $1.99 ¾ RP
o   Final Price as low as $.99 during Double Daze
·         Bertolli Meals 24 oz. $4.99 Print $1.75/2 here
o   Final Price $4.12
·         Birds Eye Steamfresh or Freshlike Classic Vegetables 10-16 oz. $.88 ¾ RP
o   Final price as low as $.22 during Double Daze
·         Marie Callender’s  Meals 10-19 oz. $1.99 Print $1 here if Multi-serve bakes are included
o   Final Price as low as Free during Double Daze
·         Hot Pockets Snackers 10 oz. $2.29 Print $1/2 here
o   Final Price as low as $1.29 during Double Daze
·         Hot Pockets Snacks 30 ct $4.99
·         Minute Rice Steamers 10 oz. $.99 1/29 RP
o   Final price $.49 here
·         Doreen’s Gourmet Pizza 24-28.5 oz. $4.99
·         Blue Bunny Ice Cream Treats 6-16 ct. $2.99 Print $1 here
o   Final Price as low as $.99 during Double Daze
·         Gardein Protein Meat Alternatives 9-10.5 oz. $2.59
·         Nature Made Vitamins or Supplements 12-500 ct. B1G1 Print Coupons here
·         Gerber 1st or 2nd Foods Baby Food 2 pk. 2-5-3.5 oz. 10/$10
·         Huggies Jumbo Diapers, Slip-ons, Pull-ups or GoodNites 12-50 ct. $8.48 limit 1 3/18 SS
·         Depend Adult Undergarments 14-52 ct. $10.98 limit 1 3/25 SS
o   Final Price as low as $8.98 during Double Daze
·         TRESemme Shampoo, Conditioner or Styling Products 4.2-32 oz. 2/$7 3/18 SS
o   Final Price $3
·         Dove 6 pk. Bar Soap or 18-24 oz. Body Wash $6.49 3/25 RP
·         Irish Spring 2.7-3 oz. Deodorant, 15-18 oz. Body Wash or 8 pk. Bar Soap $3 3/11 SS (exp. 3/31)
o   Final Price as low as $1 during Double Daze
·         Ivory 10 pk. Or Zest 8 pk. Bar Soap $4 ¾ PG, Print $1/3 here
·         Dove Shampoo, Conditioner or Styling Products 7-12 oz. 2/$7 3/25 RP
o   Final Price as low as $1.50 during Double Daze
·         Alvin and the Chipmunks Chipwrecked DVD Available 3/27 $16.99
·         The Muppets DVD $17.99
·         All Theater Box Candy 2.83-7.8 oz. 3/$3 wyb 3 or more