Friday, March 9, 2012

Food Friday

Would you look at that?  Food Friday 3 weeks in a row?!?  Who am I with all this regular blogging stuff?!?

I'm going to get right to the point (*Updated:  yeah right) because I am suffering severe sympathy soreness this evening.   GI Joe is on his second month of this INSANITY workout program and it's umm, well, INSANE.  I sweat and nearly have a heart attack just watching him.   But apparently this second month stuff is even more ridiculous because my very fit and in shape husband is hobbling around here like an 80 year old man who's been hit by a bus.  Then mysteriously, today I woke up achy and sore as if   had done the Insanity workout with him, and we all know that did NOT happen (and will NEVER happen just so we're clear, I'll stick with my Zumba thanks).  I did my normal old lady gym stuff yesterday just like every day which never causes soreness so it has to be sympathy soreness.  That's a real thing right?   It's the only explanation.  Oh and one more thing while I'm getting straight to the point (not), I'm gonna tell you a little secret, it's actually Wednesday night.  I know, Food FRIDAY is such a scam!  But I'm otherwise engaged tomorrow night to with Trace Adkins. Ok,  GI Joe and I are just going to his concert so I won't actually be getting engaged to Trace, (he's happily married and so am I, remember?)  but it will take me away from blogging, so I'm being proactive.  It's like I don't even know who I am anymore. 

Without further ado and rambling I present to you this week's features.

My dear friend Cheri has been a long time source of fabulous recipes.  Even though we're both very cool, or at least we like to think so, women in our early 30's, when we get together we might as well be at the senior center in our housecoats because we talk about Tupperware, the latest recipes. restaurants, board games, rummage sales, and what so and so has been up to, and then we laugh loudly and uncontrollably about things no one understands but us.   It is delightful and so so good for the soul.  I hope you all have a friend like that.  Anyway, I love my Cheri and I'm about to share with you 2 of the many reasons why.


Many, many years ago Cheri had a group of us over to her house and served this salad.  I promptly got the recipe and have become somewhat famous for it among my family, coworkers and fellow churchmembers.  It's totally fine because Cheri did the same thing with my Baptist taco salad.  This was inspired by a restaurant we have here in Des Moines but I'll just tell you right now this version is better!  And so easy!  And yes, it warrants TWO exclamation points in a row!  Oops, 3. :)

Noodle Zoo Salad
by the lovely and talented Chef Cheri

1 bag romaine lettuce
16 oz pretty pasta
1 bottle Peppercorn Ranch
1 bag or container of shredded Parmesan cheese (not the dried kind in the green can, the refrigerated kind)
1 bag of croutons

This is really hard so pay attention.  Cook your pasta according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Mix lettuce, pasta, cheese, and croutons in a large bowl.  Pour dressing on top, (you may not use the entire bottle, just make sure you use enough to coat it nicely without drenching it), mix well.  Taste it to make sure you used enough dressing everything should be touched by the dressing, add more if necessary.  Serve immediately.  And THAT'S IT.  You will not believe how good this is.  Seriously.  If you really want to get crazy, you could even add grilled chicken to the salad and make it a meal.  Now go forth and carry on this salad legacy. 

Cheri who now lives 3 hours away (boo) came to town on Saturday night and while we were eating dinner she could hardly contain her excitement about her latest recipe find.  And I could hardly wait to pick up the ingredients on my way home and try it for myself.  It's another super complicated one so try to stay with me. 

3-2-1 Cake

1 box Angel Food Cake mix (this is the staple of the recipe)
1 box any other kind of cake mix you want (chocolate, funfetti, yellow, cherry chip, the sky is the limit!)

Pour contents of each cake mix box into a large Ziploc bag or Tupperware container, mix and shake well so they are completely combined.  Store that bag or container of goodness in your cupboard.  And when you get that after dinner craving for something sweet every night (oh wait, that's just me? weird) do this:
3 T. cake mix
2 T. water
Mix together in a small, cereal sized microwave safe bowl.
1 minute in the microwave
Get it?  3 Tablespoons cake mix, 2 Tablespoons water, and 1 Minute in the microwave=3-2-1 CAKE!   It comes out of the microwave a light, fluffy, airy cake without the eggs or oil. It has the texture of an Angel Food Cake but the flavor of whatever other cake mix you use.  We have no idea how this works but it does.  I was going to do the math and figure out just how many calories are in it because it can't be many since there aren't any eggs or oil and you're only using 3 T. of cake mix. But that's a lot of math and it kinda started to make my head hurt.  So I'll just say this, it's A LOT LESS calories and fat than eating a Reese's egg or a bowl of ice cream for your after dinner snack.  I mean, it's practically like eating green beans, zero everything, right?!?  Right.  Listen to me I'm a doctor....of Looooooove.  We have been making this little treat every night this week and I don't feel the least bit guilty about it. The kids think it's the coolest thing that they can whip this up themselves.  They think they're all Paula Deen and stuff making a cake by just throwing a few things without even a recipe.  I'm gonna have to draw the line though when they start telling me they're going to "kick it up a notch!"  But until then I'm just gonna let them eat cake and continue to make ME cake.  A cake so easy that your kids can make it for you allowing you more time to feed your Pinterest addiction?   BEST THING EVER.   We started out with Funfetti but next time we're going to try chocolate cake mix, I think it would be wonderful.  You can add a dollop of Fat Free Cool Whip or some fruit or something to top off your cake once you take it out of the microwave but it really doesn't need it, it's stand alone good.  I will tell you though that any caloric victories won by making cake without the eggs and oil are lost if you top it with a spatula full of homemade buttercream frosting.  Not that I would do such a thing, I'm just sayin'.  Make this your skinny jeans will thank you.  If you try it, let me know what cake mix flavor you used and how it was.  Do it in the name of scientific research. 

Have a great weekend and remember, "Keep Calm Eat Cake"! 


  1. I will have to try the Noodle Zoo Salad-sounds good!
    So does the 321 cake & Cake Batter Muddy Buddies~I have those 2 pinned on my Pinterest but have only made 1 thing from my ever growing food list on there to make!!

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