Thursday, January 17, 2013

Recipe and Review

As part of my annual fresh start to the year, I’ve been trying new recipes and attempting to eat healthier. Not an easy task I might add. I’m a junk food junkie, this time of year hubby feels tubby and starts his rant about eating fewer carbs (while I could live on pasta alone) and three kids = at least one picky eater per meal.

Fipping through my “Light” Recipes cookbook I found a stuffed shell recipe that I thought I could pass by my critical crew.

Here’s the recipe…

You’ll need

1 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms

½ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 T margarine (I used butter)
16 oz. fat-free cottage cheese
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
½ egg beaters (I used 1 egg)
24 jumbo pasta shells cooked and drained
1 jar spaghetti sauce

Sauté the mushrooms, onion and garlic, season and remove from heat.

In a bowl, mix cottage cheese, spinach and sautéed ’shrooms n onion mixture then pour beaten egg over the mixture and blend together.

Now spoon the mixture into shells. Cover the bottom of a baking dish with sauce then fill with stuffed shells and cover with the remaining sauce. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until hot.

Here’s the review…

Easy enough to make. About 30 minutes to prep the dish and the 30 to 40 for it to bake.

I got a few eye rolls and a little grumbling as the kids sat down at the table. Once they got past the first bite it was all good. 2 out of 3 gobbled it up, the oldest is not a fan of sauce or of mushrooms. Hubby came home with sushi (here’s why) so He didn’t want any shells (Until he saw the “I worked at a meal and you’re not going to eat it!?!?!?” look on my face).

Overall, everyone gave me the approval to make it again. Next time, I would use fewer mushrooms and chop them smaller. It was a nice filler to the mixture but the texture was a little distracting.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Organization...Is it real?

It’s the start of a year so I’m still going strong XXXXX. (Insert the sound of screeching brakes here)

No, I’m desperately trying to hold on to what motivation I can find so I can accomplish my goals.

As usual organizing is on the list. I look at my office and I think Huh, this has been on my “to-do list for two years now. I’ve tried a few times but the size of the job is so overwhelming that I become frozen. I have no idea where to start or more appropriately, how to get the job done. I even took “before” photos last year so I could write a blog post and show you all, the wonderful job I did. That went well. Not sure I can find the before pictures which is ok ‘cause the office is in disarray again…. (still).

I’m feeling the need to have a major, post holiday, purge.

I know how to organize. I’m actually very good at organizing. The root of my problem is a space issue. Or as my Grandfather would say, “It’s like trying to put ten pounds of sh** in a five pound bag.” He had such a way with words, don’t ya think??

So since I’m not getting more space added to my house, I better look at what can let go of.

When I thought about listing what needs done, I realized it ALL needs done. The kids closets/dressers, My clothing, Hubbies clothing, the toy bins in the living room, the play room, the pantry, the bathrooms, even the basement storage and laundry room need purged. Every little nook and cranny has “extras” shoved into what space can be found. Closets, drawers and cabinets are all busting at the seams.

I envy the people who claim to live a minimalist lifestyle. (To a point anyway). As I think of organizing, I think of what product, container or bin I should get to help sort my stuff. So not only is it a need to keep or hold onto everything. It is also a desire to be a consumer.

I need to take a step back, stop myself from running away from the job (shopping for more stuff) and find a way to get my home in order.

I’m going on a journey to find elbow room in my house. A few basic rules I’ll need for survival:

When something comes into my house, something must go.

Don’t over stock pantry. Donate old clothes when new ones are purchased. (Gasp) Don’t start a new decorating or jewelry project until some pending projects are complete! (Ouch, that’s going to be a hard one.)

One piece of paper is the beginning of a stack.

Look at the paper, form, note or mail and then categorize its placement right away, not later, not tomorrow. Now. File it with papers to keep, place it in the bill folder, copy the pertinent info down to a calendar and pitch it!!!!

Create moments of success with small accomplishments.

Loosing motivation can be crippling for me. Then I tend to go in a downward spiral. I need to break things down into small jobs that I can finish in a short time to keep a hold on my motivation. Stop looking at pinterst for organizing ideas and just GO DO IT!!!!

Wish me luck on my quest.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year Everyone!

I’m sure you’re shocked to even see a post from me. I wanted to get off to a good start this year but I’m not making any promises of maintaining a blog schedule. I will say that I am going to try to make several changes in several areas of my life this year. So with that said, Blogging is on the “to do” list.

I know I was a bit lax this past year with a decreased number of post in each month and even missed a few months altogether. I think I feel I should keep my mouth shut when I have negative feelings. Not sure if that’s good or bad.

So as we say good buy to one year and hello to another year it’s always a good time to take a look around and reassess things. I look back at a year and think about what I did and how I feel about myself and the events in my life. 2012…Not a bad year. BUT… not a great one either. I struggled some, through the year but mostly the last quarter or so of the year. I think I can put my finger on most of the root causes and from there I know where to go to make improvements.

I have my list of goals to work on and hopefully that will keep me in check better this year. I know I didn’t really set any goals last year and that was a big part of the problem.

They are all in the standard goal categories; cook healthy/eat right, work on home projects/clean the house better, resolve/improve relationships and career goals.

Each of those has sub-categories that may prove to be quit challenging. So as a rule I re-examine goals regularly and make sure they are realistic and achievable.

The overall theme I’ll be focusing on this year is to be more “glass half full”. I really try to be that way, but the big problem is when I see that glass half empty, I dwell and spiral in that direction. Then I feel guilty about that and end up feeling even more negative about myself.

So here’s to the right foot forward and all things positive. One of my friends made a statement that really made sense to me. Rather than “Resolutions”, she is planning a year of “Intentions”. So for today at least I will be intentional!!!

I hope you all have the best 2013 you can!