Quick, before I get Sidetrack'd

Archive for posts tagged with ‘Good Eats’

Getting UNREAL

Thoughtfully penned on October 13th, 2012 and generally concerning Good Eats, Reviews

As most of you know, at the beginning of this year our family made some significant changes to the way we eat. One of the things that had to go (much to the dismay of our children) was candy. When you are avoiding high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors, it’s hard to pick up candy at the grocery.

When I was presented with the opportunity to try Unreal candies, I was intrigued. Unreal has made it their mission to “unjunk” junk food. Their mission statement says, “We believe that all junk food can be made differently, with better ingredients, without the junk, with great taste, and at the same price.”

Unreal makes candy with real cane sugar, real milk, more cacao, and more protein and fiber; and WITHOUT corn syrup, artificial preservatives, hydrogenated fats, and artificial colors or flavors.

But how does it compare to the “real” stuff?

As the host for an in-home party, I was able to put my guests to the test…the taste test. (My kids loved this part). Everyone took a blind taste of “real” thing and then a taste of the Unreal thing. Unreal definitely held its own, and even surpassed the “original” in a lot of cases.

Because of the higher amount of cacao, the Unreal chocolate has a darker chocolate taste (where the usual grocery store fare is milk chocolate). That was really the main difference noted by the taste testers. You can definitely taste the real ingredients in Unreal. One big difference was the size of the peanut in the candy coated chocolate with peanuts. The “original” has a peanut “chip” where Unreal has an actual, whole peanut. Definitely better!

Overall, Unreal got great reviews. Everyone said they would definitely pick it up in stores (it’s available at many national and regional retailers). I enjoyed the opportunity to share better junk food with my family and friends. And I am thankful that I now have an option to give my children a treat that is easily accessible and doesn’t contain HFCS and artificial colors!

And now for the disclaimer…I received product to review and share with my friends and family as well as monetary compensation for my participation in this campaign. The money did not have any bearing on the words I wrote. This stuff really is tasty and better for you (although, still junk food). I just have to make sure you now I was paid. But, whatever, you need to try it.

Menu Plan Monday ~ October 23-30

Thoughtfully penned on October 25th, 2009 and generally concerning Good Eats, In the kitchen, Menu Planning

A new week begins which means it’s time to post another menu plan and join in the Menu Plan Monday carnival at orgjunkie.com. Somehow our menu last week got all wopsidoodled, so there are several meals this week that are carry-overs.

Here’s what we’re eating this week:

Friday – frozen convenience meals (grocery night)
Saturday – lunch: turkey sandwiches on croissants, chips / dinner: eat out
Sunday – lunch: fend for yourselves / dinner: Fallapalooza (church Fall festival)
Monday – baked potato soup, homemade bread
Tuesday – soup leftovers
Wednesday – King Ranch chicken, mexican rice, black beans
Thursday – leftovers
Friday – meatball stew and grilled cheese sandwiches

Last week’s pot roast with maple sweet potatoes and cider gravy was very good. I had to cook the roast for about 3.5 hours instead of the 2.5 hours in the recipe, so I ended up a little short on liquid when I went to make the gravy (I supplemented with additional cider and it was fine). Everyone in the family enjoyed the meal, so it’s a keeper. However, next time I will probably use some sweet potatoes and some white potatoes since Matt isn’t a big sweet potato fan.

For more menu inspiration visit Menu Plan Monday. Have a great week!

Menu Plan Monday ~ October 16-22

Thoughtfully penned on October 18th, 2009 and generally concerning Good Eats, In the kitchen, Menu Planning

I’m back from vacation and feeding my family again. :-) We had a great time on our trip (more on that to come later in the week), but it is wonderful to be home again and I’m looking forward to some home cooked meals this week (even if I am the one who has to cook them).

Fall is in the air around here with temps mostly in the low to mid-sixties for the next week; I’m excited to add soups to our menus again! Here’s what we’ll be eating…

Friday – frozen pizza (grocery night)
Saturday – lunch: chili dogs & tater tots / dinner: beef pot roast with maple sweet potatoes and cider gravy
Sunday – lunch: pot roast leftovers / dinner: loaded baked potato soup & homemade bread
Monday – leftover potato soup
Tuesday – taco salads, tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole
Wednesday – meatball stew & grilled cheese sandwiches
Thursday – leftover meatball stew

The pot roast is a carry-over from a couple of weeks ago because I forgot to thaw the roast; I was quite disappointed because I’ve really been looking forward to that meal. The two soups are new-to-me recipes as well, so I’ll let you know next week how those turned out.

I’m also planning to do some baking this weekend – homemade bread, apple cake, and maybe a few loaves of heavenly banana bread with bananas I have in the freezer.

For more menu planning and meal inspiration, visit Menu Plan Monday at orgjunkie.com

Happy Monday, and happy eating!

BTW – I’m hosting a giveaway for a Temple Touch thermometer check out my review and enter to win!

Menu Plan Monday – October 4-10

Thoughtfully penned on October 5th, 2009 and generally concerning Good Eats, In the kitchen, Menu Planning

Let me just start out by saying that I feel like a blogging failure these last couple of weeks. My SIL has posted every day while I’ve struggled to get a MPM post up each week. And she has a NEWBORN! It isn’t about a lack of blogging fodder, just a lack of desire and willingness to take the time to post. Oh well, I’ll get back to it eventually.

Anyway, it is Monday (afternoon) again, so it’s time for Menu Plan Monday at OrgJunkie.com. The kids and I leave on Thursday for a vacation in the mountains with my parents and nephews, so Matt will be on his own for the weekend and the first of next week. Here’s what we’re eating until then…

Sunday – lunch: sandwiches & chips / dinner: tacos
Monday – taco leftovers
Tuesday – Beef Pot Roast with Maple Sweet Potatoes and Cider Gravy
Wednesday – roast leftovers

For more menu inspiration, check out Menu Plan Monday at orgjunkie.com.

Happy Monday!

Menu Plan Monday – September 14

Thoughtfully penned on September 14th, 2009 and generally concerning Good Eats, In the kitchen, Menu Planning

The other day when I was trying to make the menu plan and grocery list, Matt and I discussed how useful it would be to have some of our past menus to look back at for meal ideas. So, in an effort to do just that, I am going to try to start participating in Menu Plan Monday again on a regular basis.

We shop on Friday evenings or Saturday mornings, so our menus run Friday through Thursday. Here is what we’ll be dining on this week:

Friday: take out or something from the frozen food section

Saturday: lunch – turkey sandwiches on croissants, chips / dinner – pizza for Matt and the kids (girls’ night out with my two best friends for me!)

Sunday: lunch – mexican-style ravioli, salad / dinner – chili dogs, tater tots

Monday: pizza pasta bake, salad

Tuesday: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green peas

Wednesday: breakfast for dinner – eggs, sausage, homemade biscuits

Thursday: leftovers night

Looks like I’m all about comfort foods these days. I’ll blame that on baby girl. :-)

For more menus and meal ideas visit orgjunkie.com.

Happy Monday!

Menu Plan Monday – Week of April 19

Thoughtfully penned on April 20th, 2009 and generally concerning Good Eats, Menu Planning

I was a bit scarce last week as I dealt with kiddos, life, and plans and prep for the boy’s first birthday party Saturday night. Now, another Monday is upon us ushering in a new Menu Plan Monday. Here’s what we’ll be dining on at chez Sidetrack’d this week:

Sunday – lunch: leftover pizza / dinner: chicken salad sandwiches

Monday – leftover chicken salad, chips, raw veggies & dip, fruit

Tuesday – grilled brats, beans, and fries

Wednesday – salads with chicken (chicken, mac & cheese for the kiddos)

Thursday – Awesome Turkey Sandwiches, raw veggies, fruit

Friday – tacos, chips & cheese dip, rice, black beans

Saturday – lunch: pizza / dinner: leftover taco stuff

For more menu inspiration, visit I’m an Organizing Junkie.

Strawberry Cake, yum!

Thoughtfully penned on March 23rd, 2009 and generally concerning childhood, Good Eats, In the kitchen

I’m a girl of many flavors – chocolate, peanut butter, caramel. Depending on the treat and my mood I’m pretty flexible with the whole sweets thing (as long as there is something sweet to be found). But when it comes to cake, strawberry is my favorite.

And of strawberry cakes, the one my Mema made when I was young is the one I always fall back to. Maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe it’s not having tried the “best strawberry cake ever” yet, but this is the cake I choose.

Every year I bake my own birthday cake, and I bake it from this recipe. If you try it, I hope you like it, too.

Mema’s Strawberry Cake
1 box white cake mix
1 pkg (3 oz) strawberry jello
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sweet milk
4 eggs
1 cup angel flake coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup strawberries

Mix all ingredients by hand. Bake in 3 layers at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Strawberry Frosting
1 box confectioners sugar
1 stick melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together and spread on cake.

Notes: I usually leave out the coconut and pecans (just because I’m weird like that). I also generally bake the cake in a 9×13 and ice it in the pan (just because I’m lazy like that). And be aware that the icing has always turned out quite thin for me (more like a glaze).

Menu Plan Monday – Thanksgiving style

Thoughtfully penned on November 24th, 2008 and generally concerning Good Eats, Menu Planning

I’m joining the Menu Plan masses this week, and, if all goes as planned, I’ll be cooking like crazy.  In addition to our normal meals, I will do some baking and make our Thanksgiving meal.  This year we are doing Thanksgiving at home for the first time.  We will have our Thanksgiving feast on Friday so we can celebrate with my parents.

So, here’s what we will be eating…

Monday: taco soup, tortilla chips

Tuesday: chicken alfredo over linguine, broccoli, garlic bread or breadsticks

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: beef and parmesan pasta with zucchini

Friday: Thanksgiving meal – turkey, gravy, cornbread dressing, hashbrown casserole, green bean casserole, broccoli salad, homemade rolls, and dessert

Saturday: leftovers

I also hope to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, blueberry muffins, cinnamon rolls, and bread this week.

I hope everyone has a great week and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Menu Plan Monday – week of January 14

Thoughtfully penned on January 14th, 2008 and generally concerning Good Eats, Menu Planning

I’m running a bit late publishing my Menu Plan Monday post. At least it’s still Monday!

Having my menu planned and posted really did help last week. We went through the whole week without eating out! (Well, except for the two days I stopped and got me and Little something for lunch – still working on the lunch thing.) Anyway, here is our menu for the week; there are breakfasts listed for the weekend because we will have company.

Monday – burritos, black beans, chips & salsa

Tuesday – ravioli casserole, corn on the cob, bread

Wednesday – leftovers

Thursday – baked potatoes with broccoli & cheese

Friday – order pizza or eat out

Saturday – breakfast: biscuits, eggs, sausage, gravy (assuming it turns out edible) / lunch: sandwiches, chips / dinner: chicken & rice casserole, salad, crescent rolls

Sunday – breakfast: cinnamon rolls, fruit / lunch: leftovers or eat out / dinner: Life Group meeting

Hope you have a great week filled with good eats!

Menu Plan Monday – week of January 7

Thoughtfully penned on January 7th, 2008 and generally concerning Good Eats, Menu Planning

It has been months since I’ve participated in Menu Plan Monday (hosted by Organizing Junkie). With the new year upon us and the increased instances of dining out lately, I think it is time to join in again.

So, here is our plan for the week:

Monday – salad with grilled chicken, crescent rolls

Tuesday – meatball subs, salad

Wednesday – potato soup, bread

Thursday – leftovers (meatballs or soup)

Friday – baked potatoes with chili

Saturday – lunch: turkey sandwiches, chips & salsa / dinner: crock-pot roast with potatoes & carrots, biscuits

Sunday – lunch: roast leftovers / dinner: Life Group meeting

Hope you have a great week!