Weekly Meal Sharing…..Continue or Discontinue???

With the arrival of Spring I am hoping to begin sharing more outdoor adventures with you all. Although, with that being said, I also know many of you enjoy the weekly meals I share that we enjoy….which I write about to give you all inspiration to cook instead of go out/order out/consume convenience food. However, I am debating discontinuing this weekly post since many of us, including myself, don’t really have the extra spare time in the warmer months as we do in the colder months to read blogs/social media and such.

So I need to know and ask that you please leave me a quick comment…..do you wish to still read and see what I prepare for my family or would you prefer this weekly posting on meals to be discontinued until it gets cold once again in the later part of the year?

And of course, like always, if you have any suggestions on what you would like to read about, shout them out….I would love to hear some suggestions

Thanks

Painting, Planting, Planning

We spent the weekend working….to put it mildly. Being a home owner is not what I would call rainbows and cupcakes all the time. Yes, it’s a great investment for your future IF it does not consume all your time repairing, remodeling, and reinvesting more money into that so called future investment.

We started this weekend with a simple room painting of our son’s bedroom. Not so bad right…..until it was time to install the new ceiling fan since his was making some kind of weird noise. Still not so bad, $100 later and the new fan was picked out ready to install. Well, that is where things went completely wrong. Now, being the person I am, I do not know the technical terms for any of this building stuff, but whom ever built our house years ago really half assed a few things and we are slowly finding them throughout the 20 years we have lived here. And believe me, when you have a husband who knows a lot about technical/mechanical things…..it makes him livid which then inturn makes a 1 hour job into a 3 hour job. It then makes me question, once again, why we ever thought buying a house is something everyone should do in their lifetime. And it also makes me very thankful my husband can fix almost anything.

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While all this repainting and repairing was going on in one end of our house, I spent time in the other end meal prepping for the week and planting some herbs to enjoy cooking with in the next few months. Fresh herbs add such a wonderful flair to dishes and I am so looking forward to having them freshly available.

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I also did some experimenting with brewing coffee in our tea/coffee press. We are  seriously thinking of taking this with us camping for fresh, non instant coffee and I had never made coffee in the press before only tea. So today was a good day to try it out. Impressed I was after we both tried a cup and now it is officially added to our list of camp supplies we will need in the next few weeks.

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Add in two trips to the gym, a haircut I had to give to my husband, and numerous other home chores, I would say we had an extremely productive weekend. I am glad we finished these big jobs before the upcoming nice weekends we are hoping to have are here. There is nothing worse than having the sun shining brightly and us stuck indoors working.

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Cinnamon Raisin Overnight Oats

For this last overnight oats recipe I kept it pretty simple. Most families will have all these ingredients in their homes which is always a bonus.

I just want to add that you should really get creative when you try these recipes. Kids may love mini chocolate chips added to their oats. Adults may like more bold spices in their mixtures. You will never know what works until you try it, so just go with it and see what happens.

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Cinnamon Raisin Overnight Oats

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

sprinkle of cinnamon

1 TBSP raisins

1 tsp. ground flax seed

1 TBSP. brown rice syrup or honey

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Mix your dry ingredients all together and put them into your jars. Add the almond milk, shake and refrigerate overnight. In the morning heat the mixture for 1-2 minutes and enjoy.

Pull Apart Cinnamon Rolls

Years ago our son  became friends with a classmate which resulted in our families becoming friends all through their school years together. He once visited their home and they had this recipe while he was there. He raved about it for days which made me finally ask for the recipe. Now, every Christmas morning this is our breakfast. It has been for years, and I hope maybe someday he will keep up this tradition with his family.

I will warn you, this is far from a healthy breakfast, although it is cream cheese free:) This is what makes it all the more special. It’s the one day a year I make it and enjoy it and don’t worry about what’s so bad about it.

Pull Apart Cinnamon Rolls

2 loaves frozen bread dough

1/2 c. butter(1 stick)

1 cup brown sugar

1 lg box cook n serve vanilla pudding

2 TBSP milk

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Defrost the bread for 1 hour so it is easy to handle and cut. Cut each loaf into 4 parts lengthwise then cut into 1 inch pieces.

Grease 9×13 cake pan and put the pieces from one loaf in a single layer. Melt all the other ingredients together over low heat until smooth. Pour this over the bread pieces. Next, take the pieces from the second loaf and fill in the spaces. Let it rise for about one hour.

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Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

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Let it cool for about 15 minutes and turn it over onto a large plate.

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Enjoy the ooooy gooooy yumminess with your family.

Crock Pot Beef Stew

I have the perfect beef stew recipe for those nights when you need dinner fast. You could even chop all your veggies the night before. Then before you leave in the morning simply toss them in, mix up the sauce, pour it over the ingredients and your done.

Here you go, give it a try and see what you think.

Crock Pot Beef Stew

1-1 1/2 pounds of beef stew meat

1 cup of frozen peas-thawed

4 large carrots

3 medium potatoes

1 medium onion

1 tsp. of your favorite grill seasoning

1 can tomato soup

1 can golden mushroom soup

Spray your crock pot with non stick cooking spray. Prepare your veggies by washing them and peeling the potatoes and carrots. Cut all the veggies into stew like chunks.

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Layer the beef first in the crock pot. Next the veggies. (NOT THE PEAS)

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Mix in a small bowl both cans of soup together along with the seasoning. Pour this over the top of the beef and veggies. Cover and set on low for 6-8 hours. A half hour before your ready to serve add the thawed peas.

So super easy. This recipe also freezes well if you have leftovers.

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Enjoy!

Getting Your Significant Other On The Healthy Bandwagon

Whether it be your husband, wife, or significant other, if one part of the pair is trying to be healthier, I think it’s only normal to want the other part of you to be healthier also.

The big question is, how to make this happen? Honestly, you can’t unless they are ready willing and able. Sometimes just you being healthy and them seeing the benefits of your progress is enough to persuade them to give it a try. If they see the rewards of you feeling better, having more energy and even losing weight,they may be more apt to giving it a try.

When I first started to change to a healthier lifestyle, my husband was not into any changes what so ever. After a few months, and a not so great doctor appointment, he came home and said we needed to change some things with him. By this time, I had already lost a good amount of weight and had started walking for exercise. We agreed that he would start walking with me twice a week for two miles. We also agreed that we would not cut red meat totally out of his diet, but would have it no more than twice a week. As far as the snacks that my husband loved, they almost all changed. Chips turned into baked chips, ramen noodles were banned from the house, he rarely had the pleasure of cookies being in the house, and eating an entire frozen pizza was never going to happen again. Oh, and his beloved deep fryer went to the city dump.Ultimately, he adjusted fairly good to all these changes.

We added more veggies to our meals and had healthier snacks readily available to grab and go.

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Today he is walking with me almost on a daily basis and if we are not walking we are doing some other activity. I still to this day ask him to join the gym I belong to, but so far he continues to turn me down. That’s alright though because we have accomplished what we were trying to do which is making our family healthier.

Now, there are a few tricks that you can try if your significant other is picky about what they like to eat or do for exercise.  You can easily bake things only using egg whites and not the entire egg. If you need something crunchy, try panko crumbs and baking the items instead of breading and deep frying. In some recipes applesauce can be substituted for the oil that’s called for in the recipe. Substitute ground turkey for ground beef. It is very easy to hide veggies in casseroles like spinach or zucchini in lasagna, finely chopped carrots in chili or a thin layer of hummus in wraps, etc..

When suggesting exercise, don’t suggest it during his/her favorite television show or when it’s 90 degrees outside.  Suggest it at a time when nothing else is really happening, you have a better chance of getting a positive response. Make exercise more fun than actual exercise. Suggest trying a new sport like tennis, bike riding, find a pool with open swim times in your area, go hike and area trail, learn to geocache, try basket ball at a near by park with hoops, try frisbee. There are so many things you could do and all the while be getting exercise.

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Concentrate on starting out slow and don’t force them to do it, because they will never stick to it. I will admit, I was pretty lucky, both my husband and son just sort of followed along when I decided to make my lifestyle change. We have learned so many new sports and activities, and are so much happier because of our new way of life. Not everyone is going to feel this way at first. That’s ok. You do what you need to do for yourself and if they like the change they see in you maybe they will follow along for the adventure.

Zucchini Bread

Garden harvest time is the best time in our home. One of the highly requested recipes for breakfast, snack or honestly anytime is my zucchini bread, with a little added surprise, pineapple.

Whip up a batch and give it a try.

Zucchini Bread

2 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp. vanilla

3 cups all purpose flour(1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all purpose work well also)

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 (8oz) can of crushed pineapple, undrained

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla together. Combine the dry ingredients, and stir into the egg mixture.

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Do not over stir. Fold in the pineapple and zucchini. Spray two loaf pans and divide the batter between the two.

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You could also make muffins with this batter if you wish. I made both this time, one loaf and one batch of mini muffins.

Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes for loaves, 30-40 minutes for muffins. Cool in the pan, before removing to a wire rack.

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This recipe freezes well.