Sunday, December 29, 2013


Part of this getting back to healthy eating is trying new recipes. Many of my old standards don't meet all my current nutritional desires. I recently got a new cookbook from Costco, CookingLight Way to Cook Vegetarian. I LOVE this cookbook!  There are wonderful pictures and easy to follow instructions.

No pictures from today's meal, but it is a keeper. I'm now writing notations IN my cookbooks so I know what everyone thought of the meals. Tonight's dish was "Polenta with Spinach, Black Beans, and Goat Cheese". My husband loves polenta and spinach, but isn't too crazy about sun-dried tomatoes (and this dish had a good amount). The kids have never had polenta and I've never cooked it, so we were in for an adventure. First, the whole meal, including prep, took less than 30 mins. Great for a Sunday evening in our house. Second, it was easy to modify for my bland eaters. I just served them the polenta and then something else on the side. And third, it is pretty healthy. I prefer us to eat mostly non-meat proteins and this hit the spot (13.8 gm per serving).

Opinions:  My oldest and youngest tried the polenta without the other stuff. My youngest wasn't a fan, but she's feeling moody today and I wasn't pushing it. My oldest really liked it with a little salt. My middle girl liked it. She loved the sun-dried tomatoes and beans. My husband liked it a lot, but wished there was a little less of the tomatoes. I liked it just the way it was written.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Back on track! Meal planning and a new recipe.

I've been lazy and got WAY off track food-wise these past few weeks. I've been eating so many things that really I shouldn't be eating and it shows.

So, time to get back on track.

I have found I don't do really well with walking into the kitchen/house with just an hour or less to plan for dinner. I do MUCH better with a plan, even if it's a pretty simple one. In the past, when I do my planning, I will write it on a pad of paper and then try to keep track of it. This doesn't work so well for me.

I'm scattered at times. I have ADD tenancies that make it near impossible for me to keep track of that pad of paper and even remember to look at it. I know that sounds bad but it's true. I will forget to look for the paper until I'm hungry. Never fails I had to start making something earlier those days. So, I'm trying something new and I'm going to really try to stick to it!

I use Google Calendar. I have to put everywhere I need to be on this. If it's not there, I probably won't make it on time. I love the Google Calendar because I can access it anywhere. No more excuses. I access it on my phone and on any computer. Also my husband can access it from work or on his phone (no more of that "what are we doing tonight?" questioning). We have our calendars synced so I can see what he enters on his and he can see what I enter on mine. I look at it several times a day.

Which led to the idea of putting my meals on the calendar and an approximate meal time. Eventually I'll get good enough to put the cooking times on there for myself because prep always makes me later than I planned. I also can put a reminder on there for stuff I have to do in the morning/afternoon (crock pot meals). AND, my husband knows what is for dinner every night :) I put the meal in the title and the location of the recipe in the comments.

Which leads me to tonight's recipe. I recently bought the book Fresh & Fast Vegetarian  on ebay. It arrived damage and the seller offered me it for half price. Turns out, this is a great book - even more-so for under $5! Tonight's dinner was "Bulgur pilaf with roasted vegetables" (pg 112).  My husband loves grains, especially rice and the nuttier flavored hearty grains. I love roasted vegetables. It seemed like it was made for us. Basically it's oven roasted veggies (peppers, red onion, carrots, zucchini) and bulgur cooked with onion and raisins. It turned out to be a very yummy and filling meal.

Christmas Cake

Christmas eve is our more serious Christmas celebration day. We hang out together and attend church. We always end the day with a family dinner and cake to celebrate the birthday of Jesus. This started long ago when my oldest was little and asked why Jesus's birthday was the only important birthday we didn't celebrate with a mommy-cake. Very true.

This year I made a simple cake with a twist. The kids didn't help me make it this year, so I decided to make it a surprise and swirl it red and green inside. The red came out a little pink, but it was still fun.

I made white cake like I normally would. When I got to the step where I would pour it into the pan, I separated it into two bowls and colored the batter with food coloring (and left a little natural colored). Then poured the green into the pan and then the red - kind of making color splats. And into the oven it went.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Crazy craft season

I know my fellow crafters feel the crunch.

These are the weeks when we have to get down to business and get some crafting done!

My to-do list:
1-3 more Christmas dresses for my little one.
a holiday season skirt for myself
finish crocheting wrist warmers for dd1
headband for dd1 (or two)
sew up totes for all the teachers (with 2 kids in middle school this has become a major project!)
sew up/craft something for dh's bosses

today! --- finish up ornaments to hand out to people at our church event tonight, buy something to become a centerpiece for the table, make sure the boy gets some school work done :) , Christmas shopping, and shower!