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Minding the perimeter

April 27, 2009

Can I brag on us for just a little bit? Sure? Thanks.

Rations were running low at our house so we hit the grocery store yesterday to stock up. And for what I think is the first time we did something we had always heard was the best way to shop. We filled our cart with things that they keep on the perimeter of the store. The odd thing is, we didn’t plan on doing it that way. It’s something that just sort of happened.

It was fruits and vegetables first and we bought lots of those. Gina is afraid we may have bought too much, and I understand that concern. She doesn’t want us to get to next weekend and be throwing out broccoli crowns. I don’t either, but I don’t think we will. We’ll eat all of this.

Next was meats and fish. They were having a great sale so we bought enough to last about four weeks it seems. This is where we are going to have to make sure we use all of it.  We have a plan and most of  it involves me and the grill. But that’s fine, I like doing it.

Next was dairy. We bought cheese and yogurt to snack on. Gina is really opening up to trying different flavors of yogurt. She seems to be leading toward the tangs of the lemon and limes. I am a berry man, myself. But it’s good to see her give more flavors a chance. I am proud of her.

We finished up with some nuts and granola but that was it. We never ventured into the frozen foods or processed stuff. I think the only thing we bought from the middle were some marinades for all of the meat.

We had read and heard people say that the healthiest way to shop is just buy form the perimeter, but it never seemed realistic, at least not to me. There are too many things we like there in the middle aisles. And I am not saying we won’t ever shop there again, but yesterday we didn’t and I think we both left the store feeling good.


Secondhand review: KFC’s new grilled chicken

April 21, 2009

Our collective ears perked up when the wife and I saw celebrity chefs G. Garvin and Sandra Lee plugging KFC’s new grilled chicken. We didn’t know KFC was offering such a thing. Seeing Sandra giving it the old thumbs up, even if it’s a paid endorsement, made us think it may be good. And it may be. We haven’t tried it yet. But this reviewer has. Here’s a snippet.

The Kentucky Grilled Chicken is marinated and seasoned with a blend of six secret herbs and spices and is slow-grilled. Its appetizing smell was similar to other grilled chicken I’ve had before. The meat was juicy, tender and really tasty. It doesn’t taste like any of the KFC fried chickens, instead it tastes more like roasted or rotisserie chicken.

Nutritional info is at the bottom of the complete post. This looks to be good and good for you. It may work its way into our weekend lineup when we don’t want to cook anything.

A pizza primer

April 18, 2009

The Rachael Ray’s barbecue chicken pizza review has quickly become our most popular post. We are still enjoying the leftovers. At the bottom we mentioned that we’d like to try the recipe with some variations. This article from Web MD gives some tips on how to build a better pizza. It’s worth a read.

Menu planning

April 17, 2009

Here’s something we struggle with and hope someone out there, or several someones, can give us some help with.

Each Sunday we sit down and figure out what is we are going to eat for dinner that week. We usually plan three meals a week. There are only two of us so what ever is left become lunches throughout the week. I am sure that’s not something that is unusual.

Here’s our problem. It seems that most nights, when it’s time to make whatever meal it is that we have planned, we never seem to want it. In fact, it’s the last thing we want to eat.

If any of you are menu planners, how do you handle it when you don’t want what’s on deck for that night? And how do we plan meals that we are going to want?

Any help anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.

Recipe: Rachael Ray’s Barbecue Chicken Pizza

April 14, 2009

One morning — and I can’t remember when, but it was recently — Gina and I happened to be watching Rachael Ray’s talk show and she had a couple of women on competing in some sort of recipe contest. One lady was putting her white chicken chili up against the other’s barbecue chicken pizza.

Both of the recipes looked simple to make and tasty to eat so we grabbed them from the Rachael Ray web site. Since it’s too warm here for chili we decided to put the pizza into this week’s list of recipes. Tuesday night it got the call.

Our verdict, not bad. Gina said that as certain as she was that she wasn’t going to like it, she actually thought it was good. I did too. It didn’t taste like pizza, but a saucy barbecue chicken sandwich. That’s not a bad thing.

The ingredient list was short the way we made it. Crescent rolls for the crust. Sauce for the well, sauce. Pre-cooked chicken strips to go on top. Some real bacon bits from a jar and then a bag of cheese.

In terms of simplicity, putting this together couldn’t be much easier. The hardest part was baking the crust. Just do that according to package directions. Top the pizza with the sauce, chicken, bacon, and cheese. Stick it under the broiler for three or four minutes until the cheese melts and browns. Remove. Cut. Eat.

Here is an official list of what you’ll need and what you’ll need to do with it. The official Rachael Ray recipe is a bit different. This is our take. This is what it looks like before.



  • 2 tubes of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 1 1/2 cups of barbecue sauce
  • 2 packages of pre-cooked chicken strips, chopped
  • real bacon bits
  • 2 cups 2% milk cheddar cheese


  • Roll the crescent rolls out onto a cookie sheet. Pinch the sheets together. Bake about 10 minutes on 375 degrees until golden brown.
  • Spread the sauce over dough. Add chicken, bacon, and cheese.
  • Place under broiler for three or four minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

And this is what it looked like after on my plate. Hate to say it, but I had a third piece.


We both were happy with the way the rolls worked as the crust. We went with the reduced fat crescent rolls and saved calories there. The cheese was also low fat so we saved there too.

After we ate we talked about a couple of ways to tweak the toppings. The only thing we didn’t get was the satisfaction of eating pizza. But we did enjoy this and there are plenty of leftovers. I have a feeling that variations on this recipe could be making some appearances here.

Grubgrade gets a makeover

April 13, 2009

We have published a couple of Secondhand reviews from the good folks over at posts are actually two of our most popular.

Looks like hey have a snazzy new site. Looks good. Go check it out. And, if you are like me, spend a few minutes being jealous that you don’t have some of the restaurants they visit near you.

Our traffic milestone

April 9, 2009

We, somehow, got seven visitors here today. They looked at a couple of our secondhand reviews. Not sure how they found us, but their visits took us over the 100 visitor mark.

“Well, gee, that’s not too many,” you say.

“True enough,” I respond. “But it’s still a significant number.”

It’s 100. It’s a threshold. And considering we have done next to nothing to promote ourselves and let people know what we are doing over here, we are  going to let the fact that we went over the 100 visitor mark in less than a month give us good feelings, at least for a little bit. Then we have to get back to writing because the posts don’t compose themselves, you know.

So, thanks to everyone who has stopped by.  Please do come back. And by all means, feel free to say hello in the comments while you are here.