Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kraft Helps Me Cheat in the Kitchen

I love to cook!
I am a foodie, if you will... a genuine "yummy, put it in my mouth now!" kind of person.

But more importantly, I'm lazy & cheap. I may like food, but I can't afford the finest cheese around and I sure as hell don't have time for 8 hour pot roast every Sunday.

What I can afford and do have time for is what I call cooking cheats. For instance, 8 hour pot roast takes an hour less when I use canned potatoes.
Is it the way grandma made it? No! But grandma was crazy, so that's a poor example.

And the best place to find cheap, easy recipes that I can steal... Kraft Foods!

Oh! How I love thee... and let's count the ways!
  1. They use basic, everyday ingredients.
  2. Most recipes can be done in 30 minutes or less.
  3. It's easy to substitute or find new ways to make it tastier (just read recipe reviews).
  4. The recipes feature products from Kraft, but it's easy to substitute off-brands of similar items.
  5. Wife tested... husband approved. Good recipes for families (a.k.a. hungry husbands).

Seriously, this place is the bomb. They use to send out a free magazine/cookbook every 3 months, but they started charging for that (and remember, I'm cheap). But you can still find all the old recipes and new recipes on the website for FREE!

So sign up... get yourself a virtual recipe box and start your ovens. You won't regret it.

I know it sounds fishy, but Kraft did not pay me to say all these nice things. 
I really do think they're awesome. 
And I'm gonna prove it by sharing one of my favorite recipes from the site.

What You Need
4 tomatoes (1-1/2 lb.), chopped
1 cup  cooked fresh corn kernels
1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
1/4 cup  chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeƱo pepper, chopped
1/4 cup  KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing 

Make It
COMBINE all ingredients except dressing in large bowl.
ADD dressing; mix lightly. 

Mara's Tip: I always use one can of corn instead of making fresh corn. It's easier. Go me!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Why Reveal All My Secrets?

Hubby & I moved from Nebraska many years ago and we did it for many reasons. The top three reasons are: we wanted a more exciting place to spend the rest of our lives (nothing against boring ol’ yellow Nebraska); we wanted to live around people that are more open-minded (my insincere apologies to small-town Nebraska); and I was sick of everyone knowing or thinking they know my business (damn gossip-hounds).

Nebraska... in all it's yellow glory.

After moving to North Carolina I became quiet & secretive. I lack a large number of friends... I keep in touch with some back home, but in general, I keep to myself.
And this is a no-brainer, but it’s hard to trust your inner-most thoughts with just anybody.
So I live the life of a loner (and I love it).

I just have to warn you... this next part is sad. It’s depressing. You might cry... I might cry. And you might feel sorry for me. But don’t... please. That always makes it worse. And I sure as hell don’t want you worrying about my mental health. That will just piss me off... and I don’t want to be mad at you.

Carrying on now...

Days became dark. Not because I was alone, but because I was diagnosed with severe infertility. Hubby and I wanted children, but couldn’t have them.

Expensive & failed medical treatments led to depressing thoughts of “what will happen to my legacy when I die?” It became all too real... when I die who will remember me? Who can say they knew me? Did I pass on any information? Who will make my favorite recipes? Who learned how to sew from me? Who was touched by my presence on this earth? Without children, who will carry on my name & heritage?

I only came up with one bleak answer... no one.

Now, listen up, I haven’t completely given up on having kids. I hope it will still happen, but I’ve decided that I’m too cool/awesome/bad-ass to go down in history as “just some lady... nothing to look at here... move along... just some dead lady.”

So why am I revealing all my secrets? Because I gotta tell someone... just in case.

Now stop your sniveling... we’re gonna learn how to make muffins or something.

Approximately 6.1 million couples in the United States have difficulty conceiving. That's like... a lot.

Rolling in Clover