Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Beef Stroganoff...for picky eaters!

My family is not a big fan of mushrooms...they do however love the Hamburger Helper version of Beef Stroganoff...this is my "In Between" recipe!
1.5 lbs Beef (I use stew meat) cut into cubes
2 T. Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic finely chopped
2 Sprigs Thyme, 1 Sprig Rosemary-Strip leaves and chop finely
1 med sweet yellow onion
1/3 c. Bourbon
2 Cups Beef Stock (Low Sodium)
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 heaping Tablespoons of Light Sour Cream
1 T. Spicy Brown Mustard (optional)
Salt and Pepper
1 lb.  pasta of your choice cooked and drained.

In a large skillet or dutch oven heat olive oil and add meat, browning on all sides.
Add finely chopped, garlic, rosemary, thyme and onions and saute for a few minutes until onions are translucent.
Add Bourbon and simmer for about 5 minutes to cook off alcohol.
Add Beef stock, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer, partially covered for 45 minutes.
After stock has reduced to a sauce add Cream of Mushroom soup, Mustard and sour cream.  Stir to combine let cook for about 5 min.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over your choice of pasta!


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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Finding Balance and a Confession

Life is crazy, busy, exciting, fun...and I am constantly striving for a balance.
I give the illusion of being Super Mom...
I have set up schedules for myself, mentally and on paper. I have countless lists.
I try to eek out time to complete all of my tasks in a timely manner
I have plans...
Meal plans
Housework plans
Date night plans
Blog plans
Plans to go to the gym
 Plans to read smart girl books that make me more worldly
Plans to finish my knitting projects

I try to focus on completing the necessary tasks that make my life run smoothly....
...and then sometimes....
I sit down and read 3 of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels, back to back on my 2 days off and get nothing else done in my life...
Then I spend the next few days feeling guilty that I have neglected all of my other obligations  and rush around trying to get everything done.
This failure compounded by a lack of sleep due to a few crazy work nights leads to me in full on cranky pants mode....
wondering why my family did not pick up the slack in my book induced absence
 squeezing into pants that sort of fit for work because all my other pants are dirty
Ignoring the meal plan and ordering Pizza for dinner
You get the drift.
Then I go on a rampage...meticulously getting everything back in order, setting up new plans and goals so I will not get off track...
All the while giving sideways glances to the 4th novel sitting on my bedside table aching for me to pick it up and not put it down until I have devoured it cover to cover.
I try not to beat myself up too badly.....

What are your strategies for keeping balance in your life?



Monday, March 11, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Meal Plan Monday 3/11 thru 3/17

Lots of nights off this week, which I am super excited about but still a crazy week.
Hubs starts his basketball league this week, one of the daughters has epic play practices, then a play then the postponed Father Daughter dance rescheduled from last Friday's "Saturn" storm..
Also I have a big Trader Joe's trip planned for me and Mom on Saturday so this week is one of those "use up what ya got" weeks!   I will make a small trip to the grocery store but mostly we will be cleaning out the fridge, freezer and pantry....
Monday: Roast Pork Loin, Ready Rice, Salad
Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner...Pancake Muffins, Sausage, Fruit, Scrambled Eggs
Thursday: Roast Chicken, Lemony Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Honey Dill Carrots
Friday: Leftovers!
Saturday: Pizza
Sunday: Spaghetti with Crock pot Meatballs and Sauce



Friday, March 8, 2013

Lavender Coconut Oil Body Butter



Lavender Coconut Oil Body Butter

Original Pin here
Sort of...
I actually couldn't find the original pin LOL
My gorgeous friend Brandy got me hooked on Coconut Oil over a year ago
I put a tablespoon in my coffee in the morning.
I use it as a hair mask once or twice a week.
I use it on dry patches of skin.
I haven't used it for cooking yet but that's next on my to do list!
After reading the ingredients on a body butter I almost bought in the store I decided to try making my own!
I combined about 4 tablespoons of coconut oil (not melted)
2 Tablespoons of Shea Butter
1 Tablespoon of Jojoba Oil  (I got mine at my local health food store!)
I threw it all in my kitchen aid stand mixer and whipped it up for about 10 minutes, stopping at intervals to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Then I threw it in a jar and I keep it in the bathroom and slathered my body in it after my smells amazing and absorbs great and my skin was silky smooth.
You can make this with just straight Coconut Oil if you don't have the other ingredients on hand..there are tons of recipes out there!



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sinful Buffalo Chicken Snack

On most days I eat healthy and I try to eat clean...but lets face it....Sometimes you  just need to eat something really bad for you...something that tastes soooo goood...Finger lickin' good!

I had a craving for Boneless Buffalo tenders last night....I gave up fried food for I hadn't had these in ages...

I whipped up this indulgent snack last night in less time than it took for the chicken to cook!

This sauce was AMAZING...I'm not a straight up buffalo gal....I can hang with the best of 'em if need be, but if I had the choice I would always sweeten it up a little....

I almost always have a bag of chicken tenders or nuggets on hand for the kiddos and the hubs.

I threw 10 of these Tyson Popcorn Chicken in the oven.

Then I threw about 3 tablespoons of Frank's Red Hot Sauce, a dash of Sriacha, 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon of butter and approximately 2 Tablespoons of Sweet Thai Chili sauce.

I put it in the microwave for 30 second increments stirring in between for a total of about a minute and a half.

After the chicken was cooked I tossed it in the sauce and served it up with some Buttermilk Ranch dressing.....So bad for me but SOOO delish!!!!

What are some of your favorite sinful snacks?


Monday, March 4, 2013

Healthier Egg Salad


Healthier Egg Salad

This yummy egg salad is made healthy by adding Greek Yogurt, Mustard and Dill for tons of flavor.
I boil up a bunch of eggs as part of my food prep at the beginning of the week to keep on hand for a quick snack or to whip up this delicious egg salad.


6 Hard Boiled Eggs
1/2 t. Baking soda
Greek Yogurt
2 T. Olive Oil Mayonnaise
1 t. Dill (You might want to start with less and add to taste I LOVE DILL!)
1 T. Whole Ground Mustard
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Place eggs and baking soda in a pot of cold water, make sure eggs are covered with water.
  *The baking soda makes the eggs easy to peel
Bring water to a boil and remove from heat, cover and let sit for approximately 13 minutes.
Immediately remove eggs from hot water and submerge in and ice water bath.
  *The Ice water bath helps to prevent that green layer around the yolk


While the eggs are cooling whisk together mayo, Greek yogurt, mustard, dill, salt and pepper.
After the eggs have cooled, gently remove shells.
Chop Eggs (I use my handy dandy Egg Slicer)
 *To make this Egg Salad even more healthy you could eliminate 3 of the yolks at this stage.
Combine Eggs and yogurt mixture. 
Refrigerate for 1/2 an hour.

I have mine for lunch stuffed in mini whole wheat pita with baby arugala blend!

This egg salad is great served with avocado slices and a tiny bit of shredded cheddar cheese in wraps or sandwich thins...or even stuffed in a lettuce wrap! One of my kiddos is in love with recipe and eats it straight!

What are you favorite egg salad ingredients?



Meal Plan Monday


Meal Plan Monday 3/4 thru 3/10

Another busy week...lots of nights at work, Father Daughter Dance on Friday=Lots of easy recipes!
In other news I am eagerly awaiting the spring thaw so I can break out the grill!
I have some great cedar plank recipes to share once that warm weather comes around!
Monday: Crockpot sauce, ziti, garlic bread
Tuesday:  Honey Bourbon Crockpot Chicken (don't worry no Bourbon in this recipe!) and I'm taking a stab at Risotto! with Honey Dill Carrots.
Wednesday: Parmesan Crusted Haddock, Rice Pilaf, Steamed Broccoli & Asparagus
Thursday: Roasted Pork Loin, Oven Roasted Potatoes, Salad
Friday: Chicken & Shrimp with Tomato, Garlic Cream Sauce (NEW RECIPE!) over Tortellini!
Saturday:  Homemade Hamburger Helper My recipe is loosely based on this one!  I hope to have it up soon!