Monday, January 31, 2011

Home Run Recipe

I am not a great cook.  I'm getting better and I should probably cut myself some slack!  But I did have a home run tonight and I thought I would share what I did to make a healthier version of Chicken Fried Steak.  It's not really a recipe but more of a method (as Rachael Ray would say)

Cube Steak
Egg Whites
Panko Bread Crumbs (Japanese Bread Crumbs)
Sweet Paprika

After you separate the egg white from yolks, beat the egg whites with a fork until foamy.  Set up an assembly line.  1st bowl:  Flour, Pepper, Salt, Sweet Paprika.  2nd bowl: egg whites.  3rd bowl:  Panko bread crumbs. Take the steak and dredge through each bowl.  You can press extra bread crumbs into meat if needed.  Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 425 till golden brown.  This probably took about 20 minutes.

Now, I also made a gravy for it that wasn't so healthy but was SOOOOO good!  I was just using what was in my fridge.
2 T butter
Half and Half (or milk)
Sweet Paprika

Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium fry pan.  Saute garlic and shallots in butter.  You can use onions if you like, but I like a more mild taste.  Add 2 T flour to pan and stir together to make a roux.  Add cream and mushrooms.  Cook down.  Watch it so it doesn't burn.  If you use milk you will have to simmer it longer.  You can also use less cream and add beef stock.

If you make this, I sure would like to hear how it went.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Swap Meet at Sew Many Ways

I peruse A LOT of blogs!  Most are good, but occasionally I find one that is GREAT!  Sew Many Ways is one such blog.  Karen is hosting a Swap Meet!  Pop into her blog and check out the stuff other bloggers are wanting to swap!  Maybe there is something there that you've been looking for.  She just started it this weekend, so it's very new, and there aren't many swappers yet.....but give it time.....I'll bet there'll be a bunch of stuff within a week or two!

My favorite part of her blog is her Tool Time Tuesday.  She goes to the hardware store to find items for her sewing room.  Love it!

Ok, so here's what I'm hoping to swap with someone!  A personalized laptop monogram!

You chose the middle letter!  Leave me a comment if you want to swap from Sew Many Ways!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pictures for New (ad)Venture

I had quite a bit of interest in my reusable snack bags!  YEAH!  Here are some more details:
-They are 'sandwich' size but can be used for snacks too.
-They are sized about 6 inches by 7 inches when flat and have a 2 inch flap.  They are plenty big enough for 'hearty' bread size sandwich's
-The flap is like the sandwich bags we had back in the 70s and 80s.  I have never had a problem with food falling out.  I've used them in lunch boxes and in the car as a 'to-go' snack.  I tried some with velcro but felt like the food sometimes got stuck in them.
-When you are finished with using it, turn it inside out, throw it in the wash and the dryer.
-I've even used them for grapes and carrots.
In the picture below I wanted to show you the size sandwich that is in the left bag (hence the bread on the IKEA plate).  Also, there is a pencil below the bags to give you a size idea.
The more you buy the more you can save!
1-4: $3.00 each
5-9: $2.75 each
10-14: $2.50 each
15-19: $2.25 each
20 or more: $2.00 each

I have lots of different fabrics and can even hunt down a specific theme for larger orders.  So if you are trying to 'go green' or you just want a back up for when you run out of plastic baggies, then my snack saks are for you!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Possible New Venture

Sometimes it's great to be a woman.  I mean, we can reinvent ourselves throughout our lifetime.  Maybe we color our hair, maybe we go back to school, maybe we change careers.  The point is we can do all of this.  Guys don't tend to do this.  Yeah us!

Well, in the spirit of reinventing ourselves, I'm dabbling in a few new ventures.  I will probably eventually open an ETSY shop, but in the mean time it made more sense to come straight to you my readers (who let's face it, are mostly my friends in real life!).  

The first thing I want to offer are awesome vinyl decals.  You've seen these all over.  They can be used on wall, frames, decorative objects, and furniture.  I have the ability to cut these now and I have been using them all over the house!  I'll get around to posting pictures soon.  If you have something that you have wanted to turn into a silk purse, email me and we can work something out!

The second thing I am thinking of offering are reusable snack bags.  I have made these without velcro or closures.  Just simple snack bags that get thrown in the wash.  My son uses them for school and I have to tell you I LOVE not buying plastic bags!

Let me know what you think!  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Reflecting on Christmas

Ok, so I'm sure you have put away the Christmas decorations and don't want to even THINK about Christmas again for another 10 months or so.  Hang with me for a minute.  We are one month out from Christmas.  Can you remember every single thing that you received or gave?  Probably not, right?   Well, let me tell you what I learned this Christmas.  LESS IS MORE!

Typically, each year we save a little each week toward Christmas.  I highly recommend this!  It keeps the charge cards at bay.  Of course, this year we had to use the Christmas savings for other expenses.  That left hardly anything for Christmas.  Here is my recipe for how we still had a great Christmas:
#1.  I had stocked away some gifts.  I pick up toys and trinkets throughout the year that I find on clearance (usually from Target).  I had some of the things for 2 years, just waiting for when we needed them.
#2.  I had a specific list that I used when relatives asked what the kids wanted for Christmas.  I kept track of who said they would get what.  This cut down on duplicate gifts and helped tremendously with some of the kids wants.
#3.  I made A LOT of the kids gifts.  Even if you aren't crafty, you CAN do this!  I'll show some fun items in future posts.
#4.  Look for the extra-ordinary.  I found an old finance book with beautiful binding at Goodwill for $2.  My husband, who is a finance guy, loved it!
#5.  Have FUN!  Per my post on complaining, Christmas should not be stressful.  Making it simple really helped make it less stressful.  We looked at lights, a lot.  Went ice skating, saw Santa (NOT at the mall), bakes a lot of cookies, watched parades, and drank LOTS of hot chocolate.

So make a 'resolution' to plan to make Christmas less stressful this year.  (I'm writing this more as a reminder to myself!)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trying to come back

Did ya miss me?  It's ok if the first thing that popped in your mind was "I didn't notice you left."  That's what I always think when people comment on their lack of posting, especially since I read my blogs via reader.  It there isn't a post, I don't think much of it.  But if you did miss me, then thanks for noticing!

It's been a rough 6 weeks of so.  I won't go into it all but let's just say this terrible sinus bug worked it's way through the whole house and this Momma got the worst of it!  I am finally feeling better.  I actually cleaned house today.  And you know that's the LAST thing a sick momma wants to do.  So, maybe I'll get around to posting more now.

But I do need to give props to my wonderful husband!  He took care of me, the kids, and even managed the grocery store and laundry!  WAY TO GO!

Have you thanked your husband lately when he went out of his way for you?  If not, go do it!