12.18.2010

Pancakes and Syrup

Hi, I have discovered this and decided it's worth sharing.

This morning I really wanted pancakes but we had no pancake mix or syrup in the house.

Well, I know you can make pancakes from muffin mix. So, I made blueberry pancakes.

You may be saying "Yes, Bridget everybody knows that."

(In case you do not know this. I used this recipe but added lots more water. I couldn't tell you how much. Add is small amounts until it's thin but not thin as water.)

Ok, ok but did you know that you can make pancake syrup from jelly?

Yup, if you are like us we seem to have lots of jelly even though I don't buy it and we don't eat it.

So, I found this recipe where Sandra Lee made grape pancake syrup from jelly. Now, I don't really want to eat grape pancake syrup on blueberry pancakes but I do like the idea of strawberry syrup on blueberry pancakes.

I made strawberry syrup. I followed Sandra's recipe but added a lot more water.

I have to warn you that my syrup was VERY thick. Very tasty and in my opinion worth it but very thick. It wasn't jelly consistency but it was thick like real maple syrup is thick. I have two thoughts on this. 1. I only left it on the stove for 5 min because I was hungry and the pancakes were already done. So, extending the time on the stove may help. I honestly don't know. 2. I used earth fare jelly. Earth fare jelly is very thick because it has no high fructose corn syrup. So, you used smuckers or something more traditional I suspect it'll work better.

12.15.2010

Crockpot Veggie Stew

So, I said we'ld be talking about holiday food but you can't only eat cookies. We'ld all like to but I don't think it would fly. So, here is a healthy, easy recipe that can accompany your fudge that you'll still feel good about yourself the next day.  With the crockpot during the holiday season it'll free you up to do all of your baking and still eat semi healthy.

1 TBSP minced garlic
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 onion
1 can of diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted but I bet you can use any kind).
2 cans of water
2 chik'n bullion cubes
1 can beans drained (I used pinto but bet any kind would work).
1/2 cup dried brown lentils
3 new potatoes
2-3 carrots
1 bell peppers
2 stalks of celery
1 can of peas
2 cups of rice

Chop all veggies in bite size pieces

Put all ingredients EXCEPT rice in crockpot.

Stir together.

Set on low for 6 1/2 hours.

When timer is done add 30 more minutes and add rice. If you add the rice too early it'll dissolve and be disgusting to eat.

When it's done enjoy!

*This recipe is 100% Mr. C approved who remember is not a veghead. So, it's approved by herbivores and omnivores alike!

12.13.2010

Classic Cheeseball


This is my cheeseball. I made it on Thanskgiving and didn't get a chance to take a picture before some people got a hold of it. It's not usually in our Thanksgiving celebrations but my uncle used to make one for Christmas every year and I was really missing it. Sadly this is not his recipe but mine but it's still good.

1 1/2 packages of 8 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
1 package of lipton onion soup mix
2-3 TBSP of Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP of minced garlic
2 green onions chopped
1 bag of finely shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 tsp  of paprika
salt to taste

chopped nuts (I used flavor groove cashews but i think pecans are more common)

In a mixing bowl combine cream cheese, 1/2 of Mexican cheese blend, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, Lipton onion soup mix, paprika, onion, and garlic.

*I did this with my immersion blender and it worked wonderfully. I think an electric mixer would work too but it would just take more time and effort.

If its too thick try adding small amounts of milk to make it easier to work with. I added milk but I'm not sure how much. It did work well.

If it's too bland add salt or more paprika but beware the soup mix will add lots of flavor while it's setting up.

Once it's at the right consistency mix the rest of the cheese in. I added it separately because my immersion blender dissipated the first half of the cheese. If you are using a hand mixer this step may be unneccesary and you can add all the cheese in the beginning.

Next chop your nuts. If you have a food processor or a mini chopper put them in for a couple of seconds.

Put nuts on a baking pan and roll your cheese ball in them until fully coated.

Wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and let set overnight.

Serve with crackers and veggies! Enjoy.

Happy December!

It's not christmas yet so I'm going to tell you Merry Christmas as it's not quite Christmas yet. Although, I have been already listening to my new christmas glee CD.Which my husband hates because it's not Christmas yet.




Now, I don't know about you but I have a bunch of random things I need to go this holiday season. And, I always struggle with what to bring. Yes, I like to cook but you know I work full time and am preggers so anything easy is a-ok with me. So, over the next couple days/weeks I am going to provide you with the easiest recipes I know that are crowd pleasers.

11.23.2010

Thanksgiving traditions and pimento cheese

I LOVE pimento cheese. LOVE it. I have always loved it. Of course Mr. C can't stand it.

One of my family's traditions is eating pimento cheese on celery with Thanksgiving dinner.

Does anyone elses family do this?

I doubt it seriously. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't think it's strange.

Well, this is the what we eat with the "relish tray."

The relish tray is basically the celery/cheese, black olives, green onions, and gerkins combo. (Now real Henderson style is also pickled okra, green olives, banana peppers, and dill pickles. All of which I have eliminated because I don't think anyone in my immediate family eats.)

This is something that my mom insist us having and Little J and I both try to manipulate my mom into assigning the other person it because it has no real cooking to it. 

It's sort of funny we try to assign the person the who is the worst cook it. When we were younger and tried to help mom and aunt cook we would always be assigned the relish tray and doing the dishes. I think eventually I wised up that if Little J did the relish tray and dishes I could do real cooking. I think this worked for approximately one year and she wised up too. My mom however if you still go into her kitchen to try to cook she'll have you doing the dishes.

Anyway this year I decided to go ahead and volunteer for it because I wanted to make homemade pimento cheese. We usually always buy the pimento cheese. I didn't even know it could be made until fairly recently. Well, when I did finally have the real stuff no store bought would be ok again.

So, I made it. And it's yummy. I kinda made up the recipe which I do alot and this time it worked out. It's not rocket science.

Bridget's Pimento Cheese:

1 package of cheddar cheese. Mine was 8 ounces and kraft.
1/2 c Mayo
1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice (it sounds weird but don't leave it out. I think it's key ingredient for making the whole thing come together.)
2 ounce jar of pimentos drained
Pepper to taste

Mix all together. Chill well for flavors to meld together. Enjoy, maybe even on some celery.

*I'll add a picture on Thursday so you can see a real and proper relish tray

By the way up next tomorrow is my Aunt Margie's Broccoli Cheese Casserole.

11.22.2010

Happy Thanksgiving Week

Hello, neglected blog friends! I have missed you. Honestly the pregnancy has been a bit of a bugger recently. I have done no running and no cooking that anyone would blog about (boxed mac'n cheese, salad, frozen pizza, you get the picture). But of course this week is Thanksgiving! One of my favorite holidays because it can't be too commercialized (until black friday of course) and Mr. C's least favorite. Of course I love thanksgiving because it's all about the cooking. YUM. So, this year I am bringing to the perspective families:

Turkey cake x 2

relish tray (This is one of those my mom insist on but I could do without. I don't really feel it's a holiday food but if she wants it she gets it.  There's no cooking excepting I'm going to make homemade pimento cheese, double yum, and maybe deviled eggs)

broccoli and cheese casserole

maybe a cheese ball with veggies and crackers.

homemade rolls =( yup my breadmaker died yesterday and i know bread can be made outside of it but i'm just not that skilled. i guess it's store bought for us this year.

Obviously these are not outlandish holiday foods but they are my family's favorites. I'll post pictures and recipes as I go throughout the week.

What are you cooking this year?

9.26.2010

What I'm Reading

Honestly, not much reading is going on around here.

I do have Your Pregnancy Week by Week that my Little J bought for me.  I really recommend this book if you are pregnant. It's informative and has pictures of how big is baby each week.

Also, Here's a ton of discounts on Real Simple "The Best Bargains You've Never Heard of..." Honestly, I had never heard of some of them.

Cleaning out your dishwasher. Who knew?

9.20.2010

The last of the CSA

Well, last week is the last week of our CSA for the year. It's always a little bit sad for me but especially for this year. We're not a 100% sure but with KJ planning on coming the end of march I don't think we'll be able to do the CSA next year. It's sad but it takes a lot of time to cook all those veggies and I have a feeling we might be busy. Also, with me feeling under the weather most days I have not been doing much cooking. We still have lots of veggies. My goal this week is to try to use up what I've got left over try to put a dent in what we've still got. Looking at it we have a lot! 

Especially these, I didn't even know what these were. I had to google it.


Apparently it's delicata squash. It's a winter squash that is supposed to be sweet and nutty. It reminded me of butternut squash. I honestly don't know if we didn't get this last year or just threw it away without knowing what it was. Since it reminded me of butternut squash. I think I'm going to try to make this soup and substitute the two different squashes.

What we'll be eating this week:


Peanut noodle salad

Jambalaya

Delicata squash soup in the crockpot

Calzones with homemade pizza sauce


Small meal plan right?  Yeah, and I think it works for us. With my long work schedule we eat leftovers plenty of nights and we like it just fine. I'll post if any of my experiments are winners.

=) Bridget

9.13.2010

Hello long lost friend...

I have been MIA from here lately. Maybe you noticed? Maybe not.

Well, this is because our life has been in somewhat of food chaos. You know, not real chaos YET but I'm more than embarrassed to tell you what we've been eating around this house. Let me just leave you with this... I have eaten ramen noodles twice since we last talked. I do not care for ramen noodles. Hate is a very strong word but I would almost say I hate them. But Mr. C offered and I was so weak.

So you say "What exactly have you been doing with your time? Have you been running?"

No, since we last talked I have not ran one lick. I have been sitting on the couch getting fat. But, it's ok. Don't worry. I have been doing a whole nother type of cooking.

I have a bun in the oven!

Yup, it's true. There's going to be another person in our family soon enough. (Soon as in 6 months.)

I'm now 3 months pregnant and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Man it's hard in the beginning but the internet said that usually second trimester you become a person again. I totally believe this. We went hiking on Saturday and I've been cooking again this weekend. It's crazy Saturday morning I woke up without any little desire to vomit and I had energy. I'm not 100% better but I'm better.

So, I'm back. I'll start blogging again maybe not every week but again.

8.25.2010

Great Fandango Deal



I haven't been so great about posting deals. Really, I gave up I think it was a waste of time. I was the only person using them. Anyway, this deal is too good not to post. Today Groupon has Fandango ticket for $4 a person. Now that is a super cheap movie! So, if your interested use this link only (i'm not sure why but I purchased this morning and it's legit.) Also, the city says orange county but it can be used across the whole US. It looks like you have until Sunday to buy the ticket. The only bummer is that you can only buy 1 ticket.

=) Bridget

Pick Me Up Wednesday


I know, I know, more animal pics? But look it's funny because it looks like this guy is eating my hair! Don't worry. He did not and I'm fine. =)
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8.18.2010

Pick me up wednesday

Looked rupert is a foodie too! Really there is nothing cuter than puppy pictures and this guy was one cute puppy. Oh, they grow up so fast. Happy pick me up Wednesday!
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8.15.2010

What's cookin' this week?

Well, Let me first tell you that Thursday I forgot to take a picture of my box! I don't really know what I was doing but I just forgot, more pathetically I think Mr. C reminded me and I didn't follow through. I swear I would lose my head if it wasn't attached.

So, in the box this week (I think, I'll have to guess we still have lots of veggies left over from last week): okra, green tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, peaches, eggplant, squash, purple hull peas

Also, I'm changing the way I plan cooking. Instead of giving a meal to each day I am going to list what I'm cooking for the week. This may help me follow through better with my cooking plans. Honestly my meal plans are very hit and miss.

This is what I'm contemplating this week:

Minestrone soup

Tacos

Calzones

Gumbo

Mac n cheese muffins

Skillet green beans and potatoes

I also found this dessert I might try. AND I am making a cake for my nephew and brother in law's birthdays. My adorable nephew is now 2!

Happy Cooking =)

8.11.2010

Pick me up Wednesday





Happy Wednesday! I hope it's as good for you as it is for Lulubelle.

8.10.2010

What I'm Reading.

Here's what I'm digging around the blogsphere this week.

Stuffed Corn Tortillas- need I say more?

Homemade oatmeal cream pies I love these things. I remember being young and visiting my grandparents in West Texas and eating these. I think I'm the only person in my family who loves these like I do.

Many uses for salt. Did you know you could use salt to get stains out?




How to dry plastic bags. I've always thought it would be smart to reuse plastic bags but never thought about how to do it.

8.09.2010

What's cookin' this week?

In the box this week: squash, okra, onion, blueberries, tomatoes, peppers, acorn squash, cherry tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, and eggplant.
Sunday: Mr. C is out of town.
Monday: Stuft Shells made with Fresh & Easy Spaghetti Sauce and green beans.
Tuesday: White bean and Cherry Tomato Salad
Wednesday: Mr. C is making homemade tofu chili.
Thursday: scrounge
Friday: Burgers and fries.
Saturday: We are going to Nashville to see a couple of my favorite people


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8.02.2010

BBBBQ pizza

I love pizza. It really is one of my favorite foods. It always has been, always will be.

Mr. C doesn't like pizza. It all started in elementary school. Remember when everyone's favorite food was pizza? Well, Mr. C says it bugs him that elementary school child's favorite food is pizza by default. Like if you wanted to be cool you had to like pizza. Well, it has never been Mr. C's favorite food. Mr. C's favorite food is artichoke. He has never told me this but I suspect that maybe he was ostracized for his unlove of pizza. It's so sad. He also doesn't much care for barbeque but that's another story. So, don't ask him what he thought of this.

I loved this.  I loved this so much I just had to share it. Also, I have been promising to give this pizza crust recipe to Laura, Mr. C's sister for a while now. This is the perfect excuse to blog about it.  

This was SO yummy. I think the perfect combo is feta and barbeque sauce. I got that idea from Fairhope Foodie. I would have never thought to combine the two but I'm glad she did.

What you need:

-Pizza Crust homemade or store bought. I make my own using this recipe. The only thing I change is I add extra honey and do half wheat/half white flour.
-Your favorite barbeque sauce. I used kraft. It's not really my favorite. KC is but Kraft is what we had in the fridge.
-Feta Cheese
-Mozzarella Cheese
-Onion
-Red Pepper
-Bacon
-Boca crumbles
-Coconut oil
-Mushrooms

*FYI- I have no idea how much you need of each of these. I just added whatever amount looked about right.

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

2. Chop onion and pepper.

3. Stir fry with coconut oil until tender but not super cooked.

4. Roll out dough.

5. Pour barbeque sauce on dough.

6. Spread mozzarella and feta cheese.

7. Add onion, mushrooms, and peppers.

8. Very carefully put bacon on half and boca on half. Don't let the bacon encroach anywhere near the boca side.

9. Cook at 475 for

7.29.2010

It's not like somebody else can run a marathon for you. It's all you out there. Finishing means you can say, "There's not a lot I can't do."

Kenneth Feld, Owner, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus



Say prayers to the big man for us. Little J and I head off to Chicago tomorrow for the Rock N Roll half on Sunday. Which is also our run for autism.

Good reads

I read a lot both books, audio books (not technically reading but sort of right?), and blogs.  Sometimes you can learn really cool ideas or tricks you didn't already know or think of. Here's what I think is cool this week:


Regrowing celery that you get at the grocery store. Interesting, I never knew. I might have to try this.

Making cardboard castles. This might be super fun and therapeutic for me to do at work.

Christmas in July?!?!? I guess it's a good time to start thinking. 

Summer Squash Bread Sounds yummy and a good way to use up the lotsa squash we've got.


I am also reading "It's not about the bike."



It's a biography about Lance Armstrong. It's really good and with no disrespect I have absolutely no interest in biking.

7.28.2010

What's cookin this week?


I am really slacking on my blogging this week. I am a bum. I don’t even have a picture to post. I think it’s because I am going to CHICAGO to run for autism this weekend. =) Oh, my. Anyway this is what we are eatin' this week.

Sunday: Hibachi with the families for birthday celebrations! Both Mr. C and Mama C.
Monday: BBBBQ pizza (boca/bacon barbeque pizza) with corn on the cob.
Tuesday: summer veggie pasta  
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday Chicago bound (Mr. c will be eating chili he makes himself and whatever else he can find himself. I fear it’s a whole weekend of Pasta Roni ahead.)
Friday Chicago
Saturday Chicago


Pick me up Wednesday



Yup, we're in a guillotine. But don't worry we didn't lose our heads. This was taken in Bermuda, the last vacation we went on with the Bailey family and where we got engaged. =) Isn't it funny? Of course I'm happy and Mr. C is looking at me crazy. Yup, that's most of our life. Happy Pick Me Up Wednesday!

7.21.2010

Pick Me Up Wednesday

Isn't it pretty? This is where Mr. C and I got married. Happy Pick Me Up Wednesday!
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7.20.2010

Happy Birthday Mr. C



(Blogger and I are not friends today. Now lets try this again.)

Happy birthday Mr. C!

Yes, it's my wonderful, loving, enduring husband's birthday.

Look he got into this silly birds nest because I think it's funny. He's so wonderful to me. I am truly blessed that God created him. =)

Today we are both not going to work so we can spend the day hanging out with each other. I am making waffles for breakfast and sushi for dinner. We are going to see the Sorcerer's Apprentice at his request.

=)bridget

7.19.2010

In the box this week



Oops, I forgot to add the pic of the veggies to the menu. Don't they look yummy?

Mega Krogering Again

Once again Kroger is doing the buy 10 items get $5 off. I looked at the sneak peak for the publix ad on Iheartpublix and nothing is too exciting at Publix. I will be Krogering this week. Here's what are good deals with printable coupons. The prices here are after the extra $5 off but before the coupon. FYI when the ring up they will ring up regular price and then at the end you will get the $5 off. Also, you can do more that 1 Mega deal as long as it rounds out to 10 for each.

Kroger Mega Event:

Kraft Miracle Whip or Mayo 22-30 oz $1.69 ea = Mega 1
-$1 off Miracle Whip printable ($.69 after coupon)



Idahoan Potatoes 49¢ =Mega 4 (buy 3 to use the coupon)
-.75/3 Idahoan product printable (makes it $.25 ea)

Red Gold Tomatoes 14.5 oz., 46¢ = Mega 7
-.75/3 Red Gold Tomatoes printable (makes it 21¢ ea)


Nabisco 100 Calorie Snacks $1.99 = Mega 9
-$1/2 Nabisco Multi-Pack Products printable

Oscar Mayer Deli Creations $1.99 = Mega 10
-$1 off Oscar Mayer Deli Creations printable (makes it 99¢)


Spaghetti O’s 14.75-15 oz 49¢ ea = Mega 12
-.50/2 Spaghetti O’s printable (makes both FREE)


Philadelphia Cream Cheese 5-8 oz 99¢ ea = Mega 17
Buy 5 + Kraft Cheese & Dairy items get $5 off your next order Catalina*

(makes 5 FREE)

 Breyers or Private Selection Ice Cream 48 oz., or Novelties $1.97 ea = Mega 18
-$1 off Breyers Smooth & Dreamy bars or sandwiches,
printable


Tombstone Pizza 16-29.5 oz $2.49 ea = Mega 19
-$2 off Tombstone Pizza printable (facebook coupon, play game)
(makes it 49¢)




Dannon Yogurt 4-6 pk $1.79 ea = Mega 21
Buy 2 Dan-o-nino, get $1; Buy 3, Get $1.50; Buy 4+, get $2 off your next order Catalina*
-$1 off Dan-o-nino printable
-Print 2 coupons and after the catalina it's $.29 each


Lysol Cleaners $1.99 = Mega 22
-.50/1 Lysol All Purpose Cleaner Pourable printable
-.50/1 Lysol All Purpose Cleaner Trigger printable
-.50/1 Lysol Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner printable
-.50/1 Lysol Bathroom Cleaner printable
-.50/1 Lysol Disinfectant Spray To Go printable
-.50/1 Lysol Disinfectant Spray printable
-.50/1 Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaners printable


Boulder Canyon Chips 5 oz 99¢ ea = Mega 24
-$1/2 Boulder Canyon Chips , 5 oz + printable


Q-Tips 375 ct., $1.50 = Mega 25
-.60/1 Q-tips Cotton Swab, 285 ct + printable


Dove or Degree Deodorant 2.6-3 oz $1.50 ea = Mega 26
-$1 off Degree Women’s product printable (makes it 50¢)

Soft Soap Body Wash $1.89 = Mega 27
-.75/1 Softsoap Nurti-Serums Body Wash printable


Midol 20-24 ct., $4.99 = Mega 28
-$1 off Midol 20 ct. + printable
-$2 off Midol Product, 20ct+ printable


Palmolive Dish Soap, 20 oz., $1.49 = Mega 29
-.35/1 off Palmolive Ultra Dish Liquid printable



Advil Pain Reliever 20-24 ct or Motrin PM Pain Reliever 20 ct $2.50 ea = Mega 30
-$2 off Advil PM Product printable (makes it 50¢)


Also if you don't want any of these items you can mix and match. You can also do multiple Lysol cleaning products or 2 litres of Pepsi products are still on sale to substitute if you would like.


- Don't forget about the cheap school supplies to pick up for donations.

* A catalina is a coupon that prints out at and can be used off any purchase the next time you come in. 

Thanks to Southern Savers for all of the coupon match ups and to see the full ad. Check here. 

What cookins' this week?

Sad, sad news last week you know I had a HUGE grillin' week planned. Well, last Sunday I decided to take the initiative and clean the grill since I hadn't in about a bazillion years.

Well, Since it had been a bazillion years it fell apart.

That was the end of grillin' week. =(

And all cooking went out the window at that time. I'm embarassed to even tell you what I fed Mr. C but it includes ramen noodles, tombstone pizza, and cereal for dinner. So, needless to say nothing to blog home about.

The only bright-ish spot is that I crockpotted Baba Ganoush it was amazing! Although I also attempted to make falafel and it was a total failure, which doesn't make much sense b/c I've made it before successfully. But anyway back on the saddle again this week.

Side note, I had a really hard time getting into the routine of doing a weekly menu and matching it up to what's available initially. But let me tell you last week I was lost. Hence why Mr. C ate junk food all week. It makes dinner so much easier.

What's in the box? squash, eggplant, corn, blueberries, peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes. Further my coworker gave me a HUGE bag of squash from her garden. So, this is squash week.

I already used the eggplant for baba ganoush. It's so tasty and I put the calories into Livestrong (my calorie counting website) and it's less that 100 calories for a serving. A serving is a super generous portion. I was happy.

Sunday: Oven Garlic Chicken/Tofu with saute squash and cheesecake. Oven Garlic Chicken is one of Mr. C's family recipes. He told me on Sunday is his favorite and he would really like for me to make it for his birthday. I had never heard of it before, further he never request foods so I jumped on it. It was tasty even though I'm pretty sure I messed it up. The cheesecake is for Mr. C's birthday but I couldn't handle it and sushi on the same day.

Monday: I am making Squash Parmesan. You know like eggplant Parmesan but with squash. I'll let you know the verdict.

Tuesday: Happy birthday Mr. C! To celebrate I am making sushi. This is an all day event and I'm not really even that good at it but Mr. C LOVES it and told me it's the only thing he wants for his birthday.

Wednesday: Scrounge

Thursday: Scrounge part 2 (I think we'll have plenty of leftovers.) Also, Happy birthday Mama
C!

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Heading to Nashville to celebrate birthdays.

=) Bridget

7.18.2010

Back to School







Don't you just love back to school season? I know I do. All of the kiddos come in and pretend that they are so sad summer's coming to an end but love the idea of new teachers, friends, and even some a new school. Don't you remember the beginning of your Freshman year? Scared and intimidated about "seniors." Good times. You know what one of the things I loved? School supply shopping and new clothes. Wearing a new outfit on the first day of school but also trying to look "cool" by not making it look like a whole new outfit. Or going school supply shopping and begging for Lisa Frank. I remember Little J and I used to fight about Lisa Frank. Man, that stationary was so cool.

You say "Yeah, Bridget, that's fun and all but what's your point to all of this?"

Well, my point is even though I have the great memories of consumerism before the school year many kids do not get that excitement of purchasing new school supplies. With budget cuts we are no longer talking about a new binder and a couple of pencils. Now the list are 50+ items long. The list of required purchasing now is INSANE. That stuff can add up quickly. Lots of families struggle just to make ends meat much less buy $100+ in school supplies. It's totally ridiculous. And these families could use your help. If you look around many stores have amazing deals right now just to get you in the door. If you are smart about it you can easily pick up some stuff right for little to no money. Lots of places have deals so when you are shopping this week pick some up. Here some of the best deals.

Last week Kyle and I did a deal (that is still good) that if we purchased certain items we would get a 100% rebate back from Office Max HERE. So, we were able to get 125 folders and 2 packs of notebook paper to donate for free plus free shipping! (You first have to register for a Max Perks Card and wait about a month to get the rebate. We do this and then buy printer ink since we go through it so quickly.)

Southern Savers has a deal from Office Depot where you make money this week and still donate lots you can check it out here. After coupons and rebates you actually get $6 FREE!

My Kroger ad has Crayola Crayons $.25, Oxford folders $.15, and Papermate pens for 3 for $1

Publix right now has:

Crayola Crayons, 24 ct., 24¢ 
Dixon No. 2 Wood Pencils, 10 ct., 34¢ 
Top Flight Standards Subject Notebook, 1 ct., 34¢ 
Paper Mate Flexgrip Elite Ball Point Pen, 2 ct., 50¢ 
Paper Mate Write Bros. Ball Point Pen, 10 ct., 50¢
Elmer’s Glue Stick, 3 ct., 67¢
Pilot Pens 50% off
-$1 off Pilot Pens printable (makes it FREE)

Also, you may ask "But Bridget what do I now do with my fabulous finds?" Well, I know we are gladly accepting donations to distribute at my work. So, probably also your local mental health center is as well. Additionally, our church is having a drive and I even saw at the Publix I shop at this weekend a donation bin. Really, I'm betting most anyone who works with kids would love to help out.

7.15.2010

Fresh & Easy Spaghetti Sauce


Tomatoes are in season here in AL. I love when tomatoes are in season. We have been getting them for a while now. Finally, I have managed to resist eating them to save up and make crockpot spaghetti sauce. I love homemade spaghetti sauce. I think you can definitely taste the difference. I'm not sure how I came about this recipe. I think was over reading lots of other recipes and trial and error (there was quite a bit of error in the beginning). This is simple and easy but definitely tasty.


What you need:

7 large tomatoes
3 heaping TBSP of honey
1 can of tomato paste
Oregano to taste (Not sure exactly how much I had it from my garden but my guesstimate is about 2 TBSP)
Basil to taste
1 onion
4 TBSP of minced garlic
1/2 c of water
3 TBSP of salt

Put tomatoes first and then all other ingredients in the crockpot. Try to put the others over the tomatoes. With tomatoes don't worry about cutting or dicing. just wash and cut off tops. Let cook for 6-8 hours on low (this is very forgiving if it overcooks it's no big deal). When you get home very carefully scoop into blender or food processor and blend. I used my immersion blender. It worked very well. Except for the part that I had it on the highest setting and sauce went EVERYWHERE, oops. Enjoy. Also, this easily can be frozen and eaten for later and it still taste good. Lots of people will freeze it in ziploc bags and throw them away when they are done. I freeze it in plastic containers so I can still reuse it again when I'm done. Just defrost the night before you are ready to use it.


****Update it's crockpot week at Ultimate recipe swap. So, I am adding this recipe. If you love your crockpot like I do. Check out others HERE

7.14.2010

Pick Me Up Wednesday

The idea of hula lamps being fine art just makes me laugh! Happy pick me up Wednesday. =)

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7.11.2010

I'm going Mega Krogering

Publix's sale is puny this week. So, I'm going Krogering. Here's what's on sale with printable coupons that will definitely be worth making a trip. I think they have a really good sale this week. It's called the mega event. The mega event you buy 10 items on the approved list and get $5 off. It's kinda complicated but it can be figured out. I don't actually know what happens if you only get 9 I've never been brave enough to try it. Here's my idea of printable good deals.

Mega Event:


Welch’s 100% Grape Juice 25.4-64 oz, or Sparkling Juice $2.49 ea = Mega 1
-$1 off Welch’s Juice, 64 or 96 oz printable (makes it $1.49)


Lean Cuisine or Stouffer’s Entree 5-21 oz $1.69 ea = buy 2= Mega 3
-$1/2 Lean Cuisine Entree printable (makes it $1.19)


Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers Vegetables 12 oz $1.49 ea = Mega 4
-.50/1 Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers printable (makes it 49¢)

Boulder Canyon Chips 5 oz 99¢ ea = Mega 5
-$1 off Boulder Canyon Chips, 5 oz + printable (makes it FREE)


Aquafresh Premium Toothpaste $2 ea = Mega 6
-$1 off Aquafresh Extreme Clean product printable (makes it $1)

Dove or Degree Deodorant 2.6-3 oz $1.50 ea= Mega 7
-$1 off Degree Women’s product printable (makes it 50¢)

Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Lunchmeat 7-9 oz. $2.49 ea= Mega 8
-$1 off Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh meat printable (makes it $1.49)

International Delight Coffee Creamer $1.99 ea= Mega 9
-.55/1 International Delight Creamer printable (makes it $1.44)

L’Oreal Vive or Studio Shampoo, Conditioner or Styler 1.7-13 oz $2 ea= Mega 10
-$1 off L’Oreal Studio Line or Vive Pro Glossy Style Styling Product, printable
(makes it $1)


*If you don't like any of these pepsi 2 litres are also on sale so you can substitute those as much as you want to make it to 10.


Other good deals that are not on the mega event:


Silverbrite Salmon Fillets $3.99 lb
Milk gallon $1.98
Tyson Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, $1.99 ea   
Peaches 88¢ lb
Strawberries 16 oz., $1.68 lb
Zucchini or Yellow Squash 99¢ lb
Kroger Value Russet Potatoes 10 lb bag,$2.47 ea

To see the full list of coupons and deals go to Southern Savers. This is where I get the match ups. Thanks to southern savers for doing all the heavy lifting.

What's grillin' this week?


It is SO hot here. I actually have no idea of how hot it is as I never keep up with the weather but it feels like 100 degrees and it doesn't help that all the kids want to go outside to play while I'm bundled up for the artic inside my office. I don't know maybe I getting old because in the past I never really was bothered with the temperature and would cook elaborate meals despite the 100 degree heat but now I cannot stand the thought of cooking and I love cooking but it's just too hot. So, you may notice but this week my theme is "avoid turning the oven on" (except of course Monday which is my cooking extravaganza.) It's my personal mission to use the grill, crock pot, or microwave all week long. And that's just what I'm going to do.

What's in the box this week? Peaches, blueberries, blackberries, October beans, tomatoes, eggplants, squash, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, potatoes

Sunday: Hot dogs with mac 'n cheese and grilled tequila peaches.
Monday: Green tomato pie (I never made it last week) with green beans. This is my one exception to using the oven.
Tuesday- Scrounge. I am going to yoritas (yoga + margaritas) at one of my work friend's house. I'm sure neither of us will starve.
Wednesday: october beans (in the crockpot) and cornbread (in the bread maker)
Thursday: Grown up Grilled Cheese (eggplant and shrimp, feta, spinach, tomatoes, homemade bread, grilled onions) with fruit salad
Friday: squash quesadillas
Saturday- Grilled pizza, maybe. I have put it on the list many times but never made it. Well, since it's grill week I've got to include it. But, Mr. C is going to poker with the men from his work. I might go too depending on my mood. If I don't go I get bored without him here. If I go I get antzy and get to a point where I just give up. There's really no pleasing me.
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I'm linking this post up to Ultimate Recipe Swap BBQ edition!

Lotsa Cookin'

I am in the middle of a super long weekend. Because I work 4 days a week I got Friday off to celebrate the 4th of July. I celebrated by cleaning the house, my mom will be proud, I'm not the best cleaner in the world but anyway. As part of my super long week I will be doing a semi big cooking day on Monday. I've blogged before about how I really like to take a day a month and do a LOT of cooking. I do this so that I can have some quick foods here that I can grab at. Normally I cook a whole chicken and shred it up but we still have plenty from 2 weeks ago. Ditto on beans. I normally cook dried beans in the crockpot and freeze them for the month but right now we are a ok. I also normally make breakfast items for the month. I will be doing this. I have some mango and kiwi in the fridge that i'll be flash freezing and making smoothies. We have some fresh blueberries so, I'm thinking of making breakfast cookies. I'll also be making home made pizza sauce. Trying my hand at hamburger and hot dog buns and sandwich bread again. I have really been craving granola bars so I might try some from Heavenly Homemakers that i saw. I'll make ice cream like i do every week. Also, we have a good supply of potatoes. I'll make fries and freeze them for later. I would like to make more spaghetti sauce if i can get a hold of some inexpensive tomatoes. Finally, I'll flash freeze some veggies.

7.09.2010

Coffee Creamer Ice Cream



I've had a revelation! Just now and it's amazing. I've been wondering if this is possible for a while now. It made sense to me. I looked all over the internet to trying to find a recipe but with no luck. I was unsure about it but decided to try anyway. Basically, I took a whole bottle of Bailey's Coffee Creamer and dumped it in my ice cream bowl for the kitchenaid mixer. I set it to churn for 25 min and tadaa! See it's that easy. I'm sure if you want to get fancy you can add other ingredients but you don't have to. See, it's the easiest homemade ice cream ever!

7.08.2010

Growin' on up

Look at my watermelon. How it's grown! I'm happy to report that my oregano, mint, and basil are doing well, too. My tomato (that's one tomato off of 4 vines) is hanging in there but pathetically. My pumpkin vines are surviving but not doing much growing. I guess I need to fertilize them. I was trying to avoid using chemicals but i guess I'll have to break down. My watermelons are growing with just water, sun, and love.

7.07.2010

Pick Me Up Wednesday

 
I promise not to only put animal pics on pick me up Wednesday but I just couldn't resist! Last year Mr. C and I went to Birmingham for one of his friend's wedding. Since I have an obsession with zoos we went to the zoo down there. Here is a mama and baby beaver that we saw and look they are "kissing." So cute!
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7.06.2010

Eating Locally

I have 2 best friends from high school. I love these ladies like they are my sisters. Heck, we've known each other so long I feel like we practically are. Well, one of my BFFs is a blogger too! She's just not a food and running blogger, she's an environmentalist. She's a scientist and likes to really analyze everything out there. Well, recently she wrote a review about local food. Now, I'm not entirely on the same page. I am a big fan of local food but she poses some interesting points. Check it out HERE and let me know what you think!

Saving $$$ 7/7/10

Here's what is on sale starting tomorrow (Wednesday) at Publix that has printable coupons and I'll be buying!

Nature's Own Bread, 100% Whole Wheat, 20 oz loaf, BOGO $2.85=$.67 after cpn
-$.75/1 Nature's Own (zip 23322)

Glass Plus Glass & Multi-Surface Cleaner, 32 oz bot, BOGO $2.49= $.25 after cpn
-$1/1 Glass Plus Cleaner ($.25 after coupon)

Cascadian Farm Frozen Vegetables or Potatoes 7.4 to 16 oz pkg, 2/$4= $1 after cpn
-$1/1 Cascadian Farms Product

Athenos Crumbled Feta Cheese, Traditional , Garlic & Herb, or Basil & Tomato, 6 oz cup, BOGO $4.59= $2.30
*no coupon but I NEVER see Feta on sale. 

Propel Water Beverage Mix, or Powder Packets, or Gatorade Thirst Quencher or G2 Gatorade Powder Packs, 8 or 10 ct box, BOGO $2.99= Free after cpns. You can use both coupons on one item b/c the target one is a store coupon and the other is manufacturer (publix takes target as a competitor)
-
$2/1 G Series Pro Gatorade Product
-$1/1 Gatorade G2 8pk/20oz TARGET coupon


7.05.2010

Free Canned Veggies!

Libby's is giving away free canned veggies. Just go here and print. You can print two of them. And to make it even better I think Libby's has an organic line. YAY!

Thanks to Amanda at A Few Short Cuts for this deal!

7.04.2010

Saving $$ 7/4/10

Here's my first post. I think's it's simple to follow. I'm only planning on running to Publix this week. This is what I'm getting that you can get VERY easily too! These deals end on 7/5/10 and Publix starts it's new ad on 7/6/10.

Publix:

Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo, BOGO $1.99= $1
-$1/1 Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo Yellow Adv Buy Flyer (at the front of the store. It's yellow. Pick it up tear out this coupon and you have free Mayo)=Free

French’s Classic Yellow Mustard, 14 oz., at $1.79 (89¢)
-.50/1 French’s Mustard printable =Free

Yoplait Fiber One Yogurt, 4 pk., at $2.50 ($1.25)

-$1 off Yoplait Fiber One Yogurt Multipacks printable (makes it 25¢)

MorningStar Farms Entrees, 5.25-12 oz., at $3.99 ($1.99)

-$1 off Morningstar Product, any printable (makes it 99¢)

Breyers Smooth & Dreamy Light Ice Cream Bars, 15-21 oz., at $4.29 ($2.14)

-$1 off Breyers Smooth & Dreamy bars, (register) printable (makes it $1.14)

Bic Surestart Utility Lighter, at $3.49 ($1.74)

-$1 off Bic Multi-Purpose Lighter, SS 5/23, 6/06 or printable (makes it 74¢)
Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil, 12 in., 35-75 sq. ft., at $4.35 ($2.17)

-$1.25 off Reynolds Wrap Wrap Non-Stick Foil printable (makes it 92¢)

Washington State Sweet Cherries, $2.49 lb.

Sara Lee Desserts 7-30 oz., 50% off

-$1 off Sara Lee Desserts printable

I got my match ups from Iheartpublix and Southern Savers. Thanks to these ladies. They really did all the work.
BOGO-buy one get one free, you don't have to buy 2, if you buy one it's half the price. that's the final number there.
*Blue color after coupon is what you pay after sale and coupon price.

Saving A Little Money

So, my mom asked a while back why I don't blog about coupons. It's totally the hip thing to do these days. I feel like it's a new industry for women that has really exploded. I also feel that there is no need to do it because honestly there are lots of really good blogs already out there. But as I reflect on it I wonder if my family and friends really have time to deal with all of that. I have some busy and powerful women in my life I'm not sure they have time to do all of the clipping, hunting, and matching up that it requires to live on a $30 a week (or less) grocery budget like Mr. C and I do. But even if you don't really want to got to the extreme that we do you can always still save a little money. Really who doesn't want to save money? It's a lot easier than it used to be. Now it's SO simple. I heard that Publix recently reported a 150% upswing people who use coupons in the last year. I think the key to this is printable coupons. Printable coupons are coupons you find on websites that you can print out and use them just like coupons from the paper. There is no getting the paper, clipping, and organizing involved. You just print and take to the store. This is easy couponing. I was thinking "Well, I already make my grocery list and it has the match ups attached so I can just post it and if you want to use it it's easy peasy." So, I usually shop between Kroger, Publix, Target, and Earth Fare. Earth Fare is a regional chain and that no one who reads my blog has an Earth Fare. I won't bother listing that list. Now, I don't grocery shop every week, especially in the summer when we have the CSA. We get so much fresh produce that we don't always need to go. Also, with my bread maker I make all of our baked goods so I rarely buy those but I'll post great deals I see. I also don't go to all four of those grocery stores every week. I usually shop at Publix. 1. It's the closest thing to us and on my way home. 2. They have amazing deals usually. There's a Kroger by the library so I go there every couple weeks. Target I shop at sporadically. The problem with Target is I rarely go there and only get what's on my list. I end up coming home telling Mr. C I accidentally spent $150 because of all the "deals" I found and totally mess our budget up for the month. Which really sucks if it's like the 2nd of the month and I've been know to do this before. Anyway, I think I've got onto a tangent. So, I will start showing you the easiest way to save money at the grocery. You wont save the most money but you will save some. It's a start.

Oh, and I don't buy everything that's on sale. So, I won't post every deal available. If you are really wanting to look at more serious coupoing I suggest I Heart Publix, Southern Savers, and Organic Deals and Coupons.

7.03.2010

What's cookin' this week?




We have tomatoes galore! Look at all of those. I even have quite a few left over from last week. I think this calls for homemade spaghetti sauce. YUM. And potatoes. We haven't had potatoes in a long time around here. I was initially disappointed by our box this week (it wasn't all the way full) but now as I gaze upon all my favorite veggies. I know exactly how to cook all of these.

Sunday: Happy Birthday USA! I'm not cooking any major cooking. We'll be in Nashvegas. I will be making 2 dishes for the places we are going. I don't yet know what I may be taking. I'm waiting on inspiration to come upon me. Any Ideas?

Monday: Stuffed peppers (using peppers, onions, and corn). I never made them last week. I've been a cooking bum but we did finally purchase a new fridge. =) (Actually, "purchase" is a very loose term as my wonderful inlaws gave us the money for it because they are wonderful and supportive like that. Thanks guys!) No more water leaking all over the kitchen floor. YAY.

Tuesday: scrounge


Thursday: scrounge

Friday: Green tomato pie. (I have no recipe I'm just going to make it up. I'll post if it's a winner.)

Saturday: Grilled pizza. I've seen many forms of grilled pizza wandering around the blogsphere. Well, I'm jumping off the cliff too. I'm going to try it but I admit I have my doubts. I'll report back.
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6.30.2010

Pick me up wednesday


I fully believe on Wednesdays we all need a little pick me up. Today that cuteness will be provided by Lulubelle and Rupert. They say please get back to work so you can come home on time today! =)

6.29.2010

What's cooking this week?



Oh my, my post is late. Yesterday Little J came down and we did 6 miles in 90+ degree heat. Man it was hot. I think I'm just now recovering. We were super stupid. We headed out around 9am and got back to the house at noon. We are not doing that again it was just so hot. Although we did have a good time and we went to Big Spring Park and walked around downtown Huntsville. Afterwards we ate a "healthy" lunch at Earth Fare.
In the box: peaches, onion, October beans, beets, cucumbers, bell peppers, green beans, corn, eggplant

Look, peaches, yum. I love peaches. I love peaches so much that we pick up the box on Thursday and the peaches are already gone. =)

Sunday: Grilled eggplant and corn with skillet green beans.

Monday: eating out at Rosie's while we hunt refrigerators. (I can say about 99% sure we actually found one.)

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Stuffed peppers

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: fiesta taco salad made with October beans (those white beans that are spotted)

Saturday: Eggplant grinders with cucumber salad and mac 'n cheese

Look, It's a bird! It's a plane! No, It's a watermelon!

6.25.2010

The joy of cabbage

Before I started CSAing this is what I associated with cabbage.

1. My favorite doll when I was young was a cabbage patch kid. Man did I love that doll. Mine had red hair and Little J's had yellow. She used to try to steal mine and call it hers. I remember that it owned clothes but it never wore them. I think she was just like this:
















2. Coleslaw and a bucket of chicken. When I was growing up my family had a boat. We used always get a bucket of Mrs. Winner's chicken with mashed potatoes, biscuits, gravy, and coleslaw and eat it on the lake. I didn't much care for the chicken, coleslaw, or mashed potatoes but man I loved the biscuits and gravy (this is a deep insight into my food psyche) and going to the lake. Tubing and eating biscuits are happy childhood memories for me.

So, you can see I didn't grow up in a cabbage loving family.

Now that I tried to be more educated in my food I have learned to tolerate enjoy cabbage.

Here is what I have learned about cabbage:

1. It is amazingly versatile. You can it raw or cooked. It has a mild flavor that be added to lots of different dishes.

2. It is cheap. I think around St. Patrick's day (cabbage's day to really shine.) I got it around $.19 a pound. And now St. Patty's day has passed it's still pretty cost effective.

3. It is very low in calories. Green cabbage has 22 calories in a cup. A whole cup for 22 calories! That must be why there is a whole diet dedicated to it (the cabbage soup diet.)

4. It comes in a whole slew of varieties. I think we've only had green and white cabbage but I'm sure purple would be delish too.

5. It stays good in the fridge for a long time. I'm embarrassed to tell you how long it's hung around my crisper but I can assure you it's hardy.

A couple of tips:

1. Always remove the core. It's just not enjoyable at all and it's really hard to chop. Simply cut up into the cabbage around the core and pull out.

2. Stray away from crock potting it. I've tried a couple of different recipes and unless you are making the cabbage soup from the cabbage soup diet I think the crockpot destroys it.

If you are leery start out stir frying it. Just chop it up to bite sized pieces and stir fry with onion in oil. Once it's just about cooked add Asian salad dressing, and if you are on omnivore, and chicken. Serve with rice. Easy and tasty.

If you want to be more daring here are our favorites:

1. Cabbage rolls.

2. Asian Salad.

3. Moo-shu chicken.

4. Homemade egg rolls. (I baked these in the oven instead of frying them. They were very good that way.)

The joys of ...

Ok, since I have now been participating in a CSA now for 4 years I have finally began to learn to use CSA foods. From my pictures you can see that each week Mr. C and I are given some strange veggies. We just hate to waste them. However, we do tend to eat a normal american diet. Usually CSA blogs and cookbooks are not normal american diets. I think it's worth blogging about how we have learned to use those unusual foods in a tasty way. So, I am starting a regular "series" about those totally unique CSA foods.

First up...cabbage.

a face lift

I really want to change my name because I don't want to only talk about running and cooking. I love both of these subjects but i want to be more well rounded than this. Therefore I don't love my name but i've been waiting for inspiration to hit me with something new. I ran about 1,000 ideas by Mr. C but he wasn't in love with anything. I wanted something cutsy but not too cutsy. So, I'm keeping it simple. I'm thinking about "Attempting to balance life." My current feelings about it, meh. What do you think? Do you love it? hate it? have a much better idea? Give me a shout out I'm totally open for it.

6.22.2010

Attack of the watermelon (plants)!




I was worried about my growing but no blooms. But, LOOK, lots of blooms and lots more vine. Now, I can just protect my precious baby from Mr. C killing it with the lawn mower. =)

6.21.2010

CSA week 6

What's in the box? green beans, cabbage, green tomatoes, eggplant, corn, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes


I wont lie. Of course I like the box but it's not necessarily the best one yet. It feels a little sparse. I will probably cook everything in it this week with nothing to freeze. Last week my beetnik cake came out so good i was actually looking forward to getting some more beets to bake with.


Monday: "fried" green tomatoes, grilled corn, black bean burgers/turkey burgers and home made buns.


Tuesday: leftovers


Wednesday: Thai cabbage salad.


Thursday: leftovers


Friday: Pasta with eggplant, onion, tomatoes, and shrimp


Saturday: Date night out to Toy Story 3.

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6.20.2010

Stuft Shells

When Mr. C and I started dating one of our favorite foods was buying the Marie Calender's stuffed shells from the grocery (usually Walmart, we were so broke and naive back then about the evils of walmart). It was easy and tasty. I think it's one of his all time favorite foods. He has an unnatural obsession with pasta. Well, now I still know how much he loves them and how terrible they are for us. Here is my attempt at a more nutritious version (this recipe totally throws my vegan attempts out the window.) These were SO good. They were more of an experiment than I've been doing lately but they were totally worth it. Cooking the greens before hand totally mask the pungent taste you usually get with greens. These are an excellent way to hide that bitter taste.


What you need:

Jumbo shells

spaghetti sauce

1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese

a bunch of greens (I used beet greens but you could use spinach, kale, swiss chard, really any greens)

1/2 cup mozzarella + enough left to cover when done

2 TBSP oregano

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 TBSP garlic

salt and season to taste


1. Cook shells according to package directions minus a couple of minutes. Set aside when done.


2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


3. Chop greens. If you use anything other than spinach take the stems off. They are where the strong flavor is coming from.


4. Put greens in glass bowl in the microwave covered with water (so you don't die of scary plastic toxins) and cook for about 4 min.


5. While both of those are cooking mix all other ingredients minus spaghetti sauce together.


6. Put thin layer of sauce at the bottom of the pan.


7. Drain water out of greens. Chop finely. I actually just added to the mixture and used the immersion blender to mix everything up. It worked amazingly but if you don't have one I'm sure you could do it by hand it'll just take longer.


8. If doing by hand, add finely chopped greens to cheese mixture.


9. Put shells open side up in the pan.


10. Dollop cheese and greens filling inside shells.


11. Cover with another layer of spaghetti sauce.

12. Sprinkle dish with left over mozzarella cheese.


13. Cook at 375 for 20 minutes.


14. Serve with french bread and broccoli to your loving husband who has been doing manly work the garage this whole time while you are in the air conditioned house. =)

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6.17.2010

10 ways to increase motivation


I love running. Love, love, love it. It makes such a difference in my life. Even my husband notices. If I come home grumpy or stressed about my job many nights he suggest that maybe I should go for a run. When I return I come home transformed. I leave the house a pit bull and come home Labrador, smiling and singing (yes I sing way more than I should). I think I've even noticed this as well with Lulubelle. If she's being overly aggressive with Rupert if you let her out in the yard to run around a couple times she comes back all smiling and tail wagging. This phenomenon of course is biological. I even know this. I tell depressed kids/teens this constantly. I beg, plead, cajole them to go outside to raise those serotonin levels. Sunlight + movement= Smiling faces. So, I clearly know this and preach this on a daily basis. But even I struggle with motivation. It's hot in the Alabama summer and I work LONG hours. I can only imagine all of you other Americans who are overworked and underpaid (Little J included) struggle probably more than I do since you don't get to play Candyland all day or talk about running. So, Here are some things that help me stay motivated. Maybe they will help you too. I don't always do all of these and all of them don't always work but they do help.

1. Some days I just straight up tell myself "You need to go workout."

2. When do art therapy in sessions draw pictures of rolling hills and stick figure girls running. I tell my clients it's what makes me feel happy.

3. I surround myself with running reminders. I have a sticker about running on my car. I have pictures of past races on my screen saver. I have my Disney metal hanging from my rear view mirror. These are little daily reminders to keep it fresh in my mind.

4. I have people that keep me accountable even if they are not quite a zealots like me. I call Little J and chat about it. I tell Mr. C about my intentions to run and I know from experience he will ask me about it and talk about it if I don't.

5. I block off time in my schedule on Mondays to do my long runs. I actually write it down on my Monday to do list and check it off when I'm done.

6. I facebook or blog it. I don't always facebook it but sometimes I do and I know they will keep me accountable.

7. I subscribe to the Runner's World daily kick in the butt. HERE. It's emailed every morning and really is very inspirational.

8. I read John Bingham's blog HERE. John Bingham is one of my favorite runner's. He champions people like you and me who run but will never be Olympians. He is funny and insightful and I admit I teared up over some of the stuff he says.

9. I look at my calendar and schedule out my races just enough to keep me moving year round. I can never slow down because I'm always training for something. Before I even run a race I pick out my next race to always keep me moving.

10. Recently I find causes I believe in and run for them. It really changes your perspective if you are doing it for something bigger than yourself. I've blogged a lot about my upcoming autism run and just today Ron (my father in law) has sent me another one I'm not likely to miss for Mercy Ministries.

So, you are probably not going to sit around and draw pictures of you running but if you are feeling low on motivation try to incorporate a couple of these things and see how they can help. =)

6.13.2010

csa meals week 5

(First, I don't know what happened but today I'm having problems with picasa. Please excuse my pic and meal plan being in different posts.)

Look at that box! EGGS, yes EGGS that are local and organic. I know I say this every week but we have never got a box this good. I honestly believe this year is way better than last year and last year wasn't bad.

Well, we've already eaten the lettuce, cucumbers, and bell pepper in salad. Squash, zucchini, and green beans I'm going to flash freeze for winter. Last year we ate most everything and winter came we didn't eat too healthy. This year we are being good squirrels and I'm going to put away a good amount of food for later.

Sunday: church picnic. we are bringing some twice baked potatoes I have in the freezer I made a huge batch of and then Mr. C decided he didn't really like them. The fine folks at The Brook will get the pleasure of enjoying them.

Monday: Haluski with oven roasted chicken and beetnik cake. (cabbage and beets)

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday cauliflower curry in the crockpot

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Stuffed shells filled with ricotta and beet greens 

Saturday: gone to Nashville to visit our dads

CSA week 5

6.08.2010

Meal plan week 4

What's in the box this week: 1 head of cabbage, 4 beets and beet greens, a head of lettuce, cauliflower, 4 cucumbers, 3 squash, green onions, and green beans.

We have already eaten the squash, lettuce, and the cucumbers.


Sunday: Leftovers

Monday: Mr. C has requested wonton soup with moo shoo chicken/seitan (cabbage and green onions)

Tuesday: Grilled steak/tofu, skillet green beans, and cauliflower salad.

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday:Mexican night(ish) with roasted beet salsa and tacos.

Friday: Hot dogs

Saturday: Homemade pizzas

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