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Friday, April 22, 2016

Intimacy Part II

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mexican Pulled Beef

Seriously, this IS CRAZY good!! 

I am waiting for "the faja" to return home from work, and we all are just about salivating because of the incredible aroma wafting through the house right now. Poor guy might have to eat dinner by himself tonight!!

We typically make this in the crockpot, but because of the snowstorm we had today, I decided to roast it in the oven using my trusty heritage cast iron dutch oven. I perceived it would help warm us all up when we came back in from shoveling and playing in the snow!

When I use the cast iron cookware my mom and grandmother passed down to me; I envision anything I make in it is creating a legacy of memories for my children. Perhaps one day they too will create a much-anticipated meal for their brood in one of my cast iron collection and think of this snowy day celebrating winter with me?

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.

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!

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!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Quick & Healthy Meal Plan Jan 11-17, 2016

Sooo...How was your first full week in the new year and that resolution to "clean up" your family's eating? 

Here is what I find happens to me nearly every year: I get extreme, eliminate all "unhealthy" food and snacks from the menu, pantry, fridge... and by the second week someone is "hoarding ho-hos" or sneaking in a trip or two a week to a fast-food joint!!!

This year I decided that to help my family succeed, I am including a few days a week for "comfort meals". My plan is to go minimally processed as possible and since I must watch my carbs if I included high carb side- I will double up on veggies and lean protein for my portion.

My plan for the next month is to include as much " #mealprep" as possible for lunch, breakfast and snacks. I have planned for dinners in this manner since 1996 so I will continue what works for my family in that area. Currently, I am doing a "theme" planning for dinners as follows:

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Meal Prep: #1- Review 3 Vital Questions to Ask Yourself

I have "Meal Prepped" since 1996, it was called Once a Month Cooking or OMC, Batch/Bulk Cooking, Freezer Cooking, and a myriad of other terms back then. 

At that time, we were renting a huge 1940's 2-story house that ironically had a ridiculously small kitchen with only 2 cabinets, 1 cupboard, 2' counter top, and a vintage fridge from the 60's. 

You know the type of "dorm or RV-Type" that has one long door and the freezer is this itty-bitty compartment- like an afterthought, above the very minuscule refrigerator space? Well, our first apartment fridge 2 years earlier was identical to this one below, then the house we rented was just a smidge larger than this one! If this is you, don't despair, I will post a link on how I did it here soon.

Picture Credit
I used TNT recipes that my family already enjoyed and included tips for freezer storage found in such books/Web Sites/Yahoo Groups/E-mail Newsletters as OMC, 30 Day Gourmet (I feel like Carol & Nancy are my friends!), Freezer Friendly Yahoo Group...  

Monday, January 4, 2016

Easy & Budget Friendly Menu Plan Jan 3-10, 2016

Healthy, Budget-Friendly, and Easy

Check, Check, & Check- this week's menu ticks all the right boxes! I recently discovered 2 incredible ladies and their blogs; Amelia Winslow of Eating Made EasyAnjali  of The Picky Eater - these ladies share an incredible vision of healthy living and have created awesome recipes that look delish! I can't wait to start off this new year with some of their best recipes! 


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Easy and Quick One Pot Unstuffed Stove Top Cabbage

We LOVE stuffed cabbage! 

Once the leaves start to change outside and the weather gets cooler, this dish is on our menu at least once a month. 

I don't always have time to do all the necessary prep steps, so when the time is of the essence I make this budget and time friendly alternative in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed, large skillet. Though it is a quick fix "weekday meal" the flavor boasts the complexity offered by its slow cooked counterpart!

Pic Credit