Monday, April 17, 2017

Will Always Amaze Me

Today my daughter turns ten, the big 1-0. With it, comes a sense of reality of time, confusion of emotions and the perpetual worry. Growing up I never really saw myself as a mother due to some personal experiences. My goals were not family oriented, instead I buried myself in books, hid in them to escape the world. When I went to college, again burying my nose in books and rarely taking interest in men, I suddenly looked up one day and there was a man. A man who was interested in me. Over time, we fell in love and got married.

When the test revealed we would go from a family of two to three my world was filled with confusion. Would I be a good mother? Would I have it in me to be responsible for another human being and a tiny one at that? The night she was born, during the delivery, I kept saying "I can't do this." But I did. She was placed in my arms, so tiny, so precious and I became scared, anxious that this was real.

The years past as she grew and grew, amazing me at every turn. Her first word. Her first laugh. Her first boo-boo I could make better with a hug and a kiss. When she was seven, I found myself thinking again "I can't do this." as my husband left and now I was a single mother. He would be a part of her life, but not on the day-to-day. That would be on me. Could I do this?

Here we are, three years later. Her and I have shared tears, laughs and cultivated some hopefully great memories. She's ten. She's my world. A world I didn't think I could do. A world that scared me. She still reaches for my hand as I walk her to school, still snuggles up during a movie, still loves her mom's cheeseburgers and will always amaze me.

Happy Birthday Alexis!


Monday, April 10, 2017

Slow Cooker Fall Soup



Recently, I posted a video about the following recipe (click here) and realized I should have it down in written form as well.

You will need: 
  • A slow cooker (crock pot)
  • 1 small can beef broth (preferably with reduced sodium) 
  • 6 frozen meatballs 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 to 2 cups butternut squash cut into chunks
  • half a small zucchini cut up
  • half a yellow squash cut up
  • 2 Roma tomatoes cut up
  • half a small onion chopped up
  • 2 stalks of celery cut up
  • a couple dashes of McCormick Perfect Pinch All Purpose Salt Free Seasonings
  • a little butter
  • dash of pepper
Procedure:
  1. Place broccoli, celery, zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash and frozen meatballs in slow cooker.
  2. Add the can of beef broth (do not add water)
  3. Cover and set slow cooker to cook on low for 8 hours. (Soup may be done before then)
  4. At about 3 hours in, remove meatballs and cut into fours then place back in slow cooker. 
  5. Saute onions with a little butter and a dash of pepper in a pan on the stove.
  6. Uncover slow cooker and add the McCormick seasonings, onions and cut up tomatoes. 
  7. Recover slow cooker and continue cooking for two hours. 
  8. Enjoy with pasta, rice or on its own. 
*If you want more "broth" you can add a can of water to it at the beginning. 

Single Serve Roasted Potatoes


You will need:
  • 7 small yellow potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper seasoning
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasonings
  • Dash of Salt


Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut up potatoes into either halves or quarters.
  3. Place potatoes in a bowl
  4. Add 1 tbsp Extra Light Olive Oil
  5. Toss to evenly coat potatoes
  6. Add 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  7. Toss to evenly coat potatoes
  8. Add 1 tsp Italian seasonings & dash of salt
  9. Toss to evenly coast potatoes
  10. Bake for 25 minutes--making sure to rearrange potatoes at 10 minutes
  11. Serve with a side of light ranch dressing 
  12. Enjoy!




Don't forget to share the recipe with your family and friends!



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Spring Cleaning: Laundry Area

Part of spring cleaning for me was tackling the spot above my washer and dryer. It was just a mess to me and I have made it a goal that throughout 2017 I would finally get my home in order. The process is to start small and tackle a section at a time. This was an area I felt I could do quickly.


On my washer, which you can't fully see, were more items, some of which I had stored on the shelf as well. I had been eyeing these pretty blue bins from my local Dollar General for a couple weeks. They cost $4.00 a piece and I finally conceived myself to buy three since they obviously "spoke" to me.


The end result is one I am very happy with. Each bin has a label to let me know what I am storing in there. I used name tag holders I had on hand which I can easily switch the yellow tag (which is a post-it) out if I change up items stored.

The plan is to keep the tops of the washer and dryer clutter free by only keeping what I need to access when doing laundry: laundry detergent and dryer sheets. I make my own laundry detergent which lasts a very long time, anywhere from 6 to 12 months, and costs under $20.00 to make.

I purchased a small flip top storage container to hold the some of the detergent on the dryer and stored the rest in one of the bins. For now, I store tissues and cough drops in one bin, paper towels and miscellaneous in another and the final bin contains the extra laundry items.

Some of the items originally on the shelf have been re-purposed elsewhere in my home and others have found their way into either the donate pile or tossed.

What are your plans for spring cleaning?
If you are looking for motivation check out the following Youtube Channels which have and will help me on my journey to being more organized.


Now onto the next project!



Friday, April 7, 2017

Shaved Steak Hoagie



Ingredients:
  • 1 pound of beef pub style extra lean shaved steak
  • 1 cup College Inn beef broth
  • 1/2 cup of sweet petite baby carrots chopped
  • 1 cup of a green pepper chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of dried onions
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian Seasonings
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of seasoned meat tenderizer
  • 1 - 4oz can of sliced mushrooms
  • Sub or Hoagie Rolls
  • Cheese (I choose Provolone) 
Directions:
  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl
  2. Place green pepper, carrots, mushrooms and garlic in a bowl
  3. Heat a big frying pan or skillet over medium high heat
  4. Once heated, add meat and dry ingredients
  5. When meat is almost all the way cooked add the veggies and garlic. DO NOT ADD BEEF BROTH YET
  6. Cook veggies to desired constancy (I like a little crunch still left on mine.)
  7. Add the beef broth, cover and simmer for 10 minutes
  8. Uncover and continue simmering for 5 minutes. 
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. Assemble your hoagie roll with your choice of cheese and any dressing you choose. Add mixture and enjoy!
I topped mine with a little ranch dressing.