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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Easy and Budget Friendly Menu B,L,D, Snacks + LInks! 2/7-2/13, 2016

Last week I seemed to have a wee-bit of "Spring Fever" and made a tons of Mediterranean meals, this week it seems to be a bit Mexican inspired!

Pic Credit

I don't know how your family responds to Mexican food, but mine are SOO happy when they smell the meal cooking!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Meal Prep: Drinks Version- Coffee Version with TRADE SECRET FLAVOR ENHANCERS!!!

Cold Brew Coffee

A must have in a meal preppers wheelhouse! 

In actuality you are making an infusion of coffee, by steeping it overnight using time versus heat to extract the coffee bean's essence- it's essential oils.

I love brewing coffee this way, because:

  • The flavor profile is much smoother because, the grounds aren’t exposed to the bruising heat of boiling water, essentially lowering                                                                                                  the acidity of your coffee. 
  • Lower acidity creates a smoother cup that’s less upsetting on the tummy. 
  • By the same token rapidly cooling hot coffee will also cause a slightly bitter taste. 
  • Cold brew’s lower acidity creates a naturally sweeter taste.
  • DOUBLE the caffeine! Funny that while caffeine  extracts more easily at higher temperatures, cold brew’s high bean-to-water ratio and longer brew time give your cup of Joe more zip to your do-da. 

If lookup "Cold Brew" you will read a variety of recipes ranging from 1/2 C coarsely ground coffee beans to 1 Cup beans in a 32 oz container, basically, it is to taste. No matter how much you use steep coffee for 12 hours in the fridge.

I figured out if you use 1 Part Coffee to 4.5 parts water you can convert the recipe to any sized container you want!

I am not a fan of strong coffee, so here's my recipe:
  • 1/2 C coarse ground medium roast coffee placed
    Best French Press Ever!
    in the bottom of a 32 oz French Press (This is a great one, it includes three screens eliminating the need to double strain!)
  • Pour filtered water overtop of grounds to fill halfway and give a stir to fully moisten the grounds. 
  • Then fill the volume of the container to the line of French Press with filtered water and gently top with lid. 
  • Allow to steep 12 hours and depress the plunger, and pour concentrate into a lidded glass container. I add 2 droppers full of liquid stevia and around 6 ounces of creamer.
  • Will keep for 2-3 weeks, HA! mine lasts a few days...
  • To drink the beverage iced, fill a 16 oz glass with ice and use 2 oz of concentrate and fill with cold water
  • Or 1 part concentrate to 3-4 (Depending on taste) parts filtered water or you can even heat filtered water and add concentrate.

Click Here

Wanna hear some super sweet trade secrets to awesome flavor?
  • Add 1- 14oz can sweetened condensed milk to your concentrate, YUMMY creamy goodness to enjoy for pennies on the dollar.
  • Add a couple cinnamon sticks to coffee grounds while steeping overnight.
  • Add other spices to Concentrate while Steeping: Smashed Cardamom Pods, Scraped Vanilla Beans Pods, Grated Nutmeg, Cloves, Grated Hazelnut, Peppercorns, Ginger (Think Marsala Chai Spice!!)
*Posts may contain affiliate links to items I and want to share with you!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quick, Easy, Healthy and Budget Family Friendly Meal Plan 1/31-Feb 6, 2016 B,L,D, Snacks +Links!

February always brings hope to me; winter is nearly halfway over, the days are getting a little bit longer and Valentine's Day is around the corner...

Sorry Punxsutawney Phil, I watched the
1934 version of Jack Frost

 when i was kid, AND I KNOW you have a deal 

with him and winter in Northeast Ohio is NEVER 

over before April 24th!

This week we are Mediterranean dreaming, even if we are ankle deep in snow our pallets can be transported to the sunny Greek Aisle!

Breakfast Options:
Chocolate Mousse w/Fresh FruitFried Egg Quinoa w/Garlic KaleQuinoa Banana SmoothiesWarm & Nutty Quinoa BowlBottom of the Box Cereal CakeMYO Hot/Cold Overnight Oatmeal Add-Ins; Cold Cereal; or Avocado Overnight Oats, Toast Mashers

Lunchtime Offerings:


Cheesy Polenta & Kale w/Fried Egg
Spinach, Sausage, & Cheddar Quiche w/Chopped Salad
Gyros w/Quinoa Greek Salad

Snackie Treats:
Open-Faced Peanut Butter Toast w/Blueberries; Hard-cooked Egg w/Green Apple Slices; Avocado Toast Mash w/Fried Egg, Roasted ChickpeasHoney Coconut Roasted AlmondsPumpkin Pie Smoothie; Yogurt; String Cheese; Freeze Dried Peas, Veggie Chips w/Hummus, Carrots w/Hummus; Popcorn; Banana Toast Crunch {sprouted wheat bread with ½ tablespoon almond butter, ½ tablespoon peanut butter, ¼ sliced banana and 1 teaspoon chopped walnuts on top — with an optional sprinkle of cinnamon and drizzle of honey}; Cherry Coke Salad; Greek Yogurt w/1/2 Scoop Protein Powder, Chai Seeds & Fresh Fruit; Roasted Sweet Potato w/Greek Yogurt Cinnamon and Maple Syrup; Roasted Sweet Potato- smashed and drizzled w/maple syrup; Oatmeal Cake Bars; Cheese Plate; Kieffer; Chai Tea Smoothie; Water Essence

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Meal Prep #3: Stocking your freezer and Fridge

Let's do a checklist first! 
  • Comfy shoes on (check)
  • Plan of action ready to go (check)
  • Recipes gathered & you have previously shopped for all ingredients (Check, Check)
  • You have them all laid out on the counter and grouped together according to types
  • Dishwasher &/or strainer is emptied and sink is filled with HOT sudsy water 

(Check, Check, Check & Check!!) 

You are NOW ready to proceed with your plan!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Healthy, Quick, Easy, Family & Budget Friendly Menu Plan- B,L,D, & Snacks w/Links Included!! Jan 24-30, 2016

Winter is Here!! Funny living in Northeast Ohio we JUST started getting winter-like weather. A bit to the north of us in the snow-belt regions were hit a few months ago. 

But, in my area we forgot we lived in Ohio with all the 50+ degree days, sunshine, and zero snow. I was ready for it in theory...

Our menu this week is filled with soul-warming recipes, that "stick-to-your-ribs" (Not to your waistline or ehemm, other areas!!), a little comfort, a little traditional, and whole lotta LOVE!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Easy, Quick and Budget Friendly Meal Plan + Links... January 17-23, 2016

We are week 3 into January, how's it going, have you been able to maintain your goals for 2016? Were the goals attainable, realistic? 

If you can't honestly answer "Yes", then simply take a step back, get perspective, and adjust. Maybe it's just me, but once I set a goal it's "Set in stone" and I feel this incredible guilt if I don't attain it, I have to tell myself, "It's ok to readjust". If that's you, take another look at your goals, and if some adjusting needs done give yourself some grace and adjust to a more attainable and realistic goal or mini goals that lead to the bigger picture.

This week I have saved my family time and money while creating fantastic, healthy, and filling family meals. How? Cook once and eat 3 times!! Yep, you heard right, I made bolognese sauce this week and that only gets more depth with time and it is perfect for this type of meal plan.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Meal Prep: Iced Chai Tea Concentrate Recipe

It is super helpful "prepping" your daily beverages, and having drinks ready to go starting off an extremely busy day in the right direction!! Not to mention only helpful, "MYO" is soo economical! Check out these numbers:

  • 1 box of tea $3.00-$4.50/box (Depending on sale prices & brand, I prefer Yogi) 
  • Go even Cheaper and spice your own loose black tea with this MYO Masala chai Tea Recipe or This one is becoming one of my favorites! I will create a post about these recipes soon!
  • I use 2% Milk for my creamer and Liquid Stevia, 2 full droppers for my concentrate, the cost is so minimal I haven't figured it out, like under $1.
  • 1 Box of tea makes 1 Gallon of tea concentrate, that will make 1 Gallon & 32oz of Chai Tea heaven!
  • The cost of Commercially prepared equivalent: $27-$69! No joke, price compare here!
  • The cost of adjusting the taste, ingredients, and no added preservatives?  PRICELESS!