Sunday, June 30, 2013

Spotlight Sunday ~ Organization and Housekeeping

Since we've moved into this new house, I thought this would be a great time to spotlight my "Organization and Housekeeping" Pinterest board.  I found some great ideas that I'd love to try!  These are the first five projects I simply must do!!!

It's beyond time to get my measuring cups and spoons out of the drawer.  This idea from Infarrantly Creative is just what I need!

I've been using a menu planning paper pad each week.  I found them several years ago at Michael's in the dollar bins.  I'm almost out and I think it's time for something a little more permanent.  I like that this idea from All Things Beautiful includes cards for each meal.  I'll be able to add meals that we like that don't have a full recipe card.  

I've been seeing this idea all around the internet.  I like the candy idea, but I'll use it for cotton balls and cotton swabs in the bathroom.  I might even make a second set for the guest bathroom.

Plain and simple, my garbage disposal stinks.  I was talking to a friend of mine about it and she said hers is the same way, so she buys the tablets at Target.  I was scrolling through my Pinterest board and found this.  I had pinned it forever ago, but forgot all about it.  Turnstyle Vogue also tried the store-bought tablets, but these are natural, DIY and cheaper!  Yay!

I've tried the DIY shaving lotion.  I really like it, so when I saw this, I pinned it and put it on my to-do list.  The Mister doesn't like the normal fabric softener that I use.  He says it irritates his skin.  This idea from Fabulessly Frugal uses hypoallergenic conditioner, so hopefully that won't be an issue!  

Do you have and organization or housekeeping Pinterest board?  What are some of your favorite pins?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Family Fun Friday ~ June 28, 2013

I was trying to find something fun for a playdate this week, so off to Pinterest I went.  I was scrolling through my Little Man board and found this idea.  I'd pinned it forever ago, but never actually did it (as with most things, it seems).  It was the perfect idea for a playdate!  

I went to Target and grabbed a giant bottle of bubbles for $2.99.  I already had a box of food coloring that I bought at Walmart awhile back.  I found that the liquid food coloring works better than the gel stuff.  I also already had some paper bowls on hand, so that part was easy.

First the boys had some fun blowing bubbles at each other.  Then they tried to start catching them.  That turned into a bubble war.  Boys will be boys...

The actual project was super easy.  I poured a little bubble liquid into each bowl and added some drops of food coloring.  It took about 10 drops for each color.  The boys dipped their bubble wands and blew away!  As soon as the bubble popped on the paper, it left a perfect little firework shape!  

Unfortunately, the picture of their final products won't upload.  :(  They were cute though!  We ended the playdate with popsicles to cool off on that hot afternoon!  They liked this playdate enough that we will be having an encore on our next family night!

Happy playing!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Cozy Recipe ~ Tuna Noodle Casserole

I'm on a roll!  My second recipe this week with calculated Weight Watchers Plus Points!  :)

I absolutely cannot remember where I originally saw this recipe.  I've tried tuna noodle casserole a variety of ways.  After a *few* (meaning about 10) attempts, I think I finally have it!  

Again, please ignore the terrible pictures.  I found my camera and my battery is charging.  Unfortunately, it still wouldn't turn on when I was ready to take these pictures.  

So ... this recipe is one of the few that The Mister asks for regularly.  I made several adjustments to make it just a smidgen healthier than my previous versions.  In this version, I used whole wheat noodles instead of egg noodles, and I left out the butter.  It's not as heavy as some other casseroles I've tried, but it's definitely just as filling.  Not to mention ... these portions are HUGE!

I served it with a simple bag of iceberg lettuce and carrots and Kraft Green Goddess dressing.  Super easy, right?  I thought so.  

Tuna Noodle Casserole
serves 4

1 can cream of mushroom soup (I used reduced fat.)
1/2 cup skim milk
2oz. jar chopped pimientos, drained
1 (15oz.) can green peas, drained
3 (6oz. each) cans solid tuna, drained
2 cups uncooked whole wheat pasta (I used rotini.)
2 teaspoons celery salt
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Boil the pasta.  Drain and mix all ingredients except for the bread crumbs in a 9x13 pan or casserole dish.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Top with bread crumbs and bake for another 5 minutes.  

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
365 calories
5.6g fat
46g carbohydrates
6.5g fiber
36.6g protein
8 WW+ points

Happy eating!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What We Read Wednesday ~ June 26, 2013

In keeping with the Pinterest schedule that I shared with you a few weeks ago, Little Man and I have been enjoying Time to Read Tuesday.  We've been going to storytime at the local library.  Today they had a special visitor.

Again, please ignore the terrible iphone picture with a scratched lens.  The Mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie came to act out the story with us!!!


I'd say Little Man was excited!

We have two books to share with you this week.  First up is Little Man's favorite for the week!

Tuck Me In! by Dean Hacohen and Sherry Scharschmidt is a super cute bedtime story.  On each page, a different baby animal needs to be tucked in.  Little ones get the chance to turn the page and tuck each one in with a special blanket.  It ends with the chance to tuck in your own little one!  So sweet!

Last week I read the second book in The Selection trilogy.  

The Elite continues the story of America Singer as she continues her relationship with Prince Maxon and deals with her conflicting feelings about her secret love for Aspen.  The Rebels from the North and South create distractions and the necessary drama for the story.  It's a romantic, quick read and I can't wait for the last novel next year!

Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Cozy Recipe ~ Mushroom Bacon Quiche

This was the very first quiche I ever made.  For some reason, I always thought they were hard to make. Wrong!  This is a super yummy, super filling recipe.  And the best part...?  It's only 6 Weight Watchers points!  6!  That's less than most of the lunches I eat!

Please ignore the *terrible* picture.  I know I've said it before, but I am NOT a photographer.  I was using my iphone to take a quick picture, and my camera lens has gotten scratched, so it came out blurry.  I tried to use the framing feature to hide it, but it didn't work.  I'll use my regular camera from now on.  Note to self, phones without cases should not be dropped (repeatedly).  Also, holding them in my lap while driving tends to lead to phones falling out when I stand up and forget it's there.  :(

Anyway, food talk....  When I originally found this recipe, it called for canned mushrooms and bottled bacon bits.  I love the smell of pretty much anything sautéing on the stove.  Mushrooms are no exception!  I tried the recipe straight from the book when I first made it, but then I made a few adaptations to make it more "me."  

Mushroom Bacon Quiche
serves 6

1 9-inch frozen pie crust
1/3 cup evaporated milk
3 eggs (using egg white equivalent)
1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar
6 slices turkey bacon (cooked and crumbled)
3.8 oz can sliced black olives
8-10 oz sliced baby bellas (chopped into small pieces)

Preheat the oven to 325.  Saute the chopped mushrooms in olive oil until thoroughly cooked (almost carmelized).  I used the microwave to cook the bacon and I did that at the same time.  When cool enough to handle, mix all ingredients (except for the pie crust) in a large bowl.  Stir until well-combined.  Pour into the pie crust and bake for 35 minutes.  

The beauty of this recipe is that ingredients could easily be swapped, added, or left out.  As is, this recipe completely fills the pie crust to the point that it almost looks like it will overflow.  Next time, I want to try adding spinach instead of the bacon... with maybe some feta???

Nutrition Facts
Healthy recipe fail.  I completely didn't think about writing out all the individual facts.  However, I did calculate it enough to determine the points plus value.  If you cut the quiche into six equal slices, then each slice is worth 6 points.  I served it with mixed fresh fruit and a baby spinach salad with fat-free French dressing, which made the whole meal only worth 7 points.  

If you try this recipe, I'd love to know what you think!

Happy eating!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Menu Plan Monday ~ June 24, 2013

It feels so good to be cooking again!  As we speak, I have a quiche in the oven and it smells delicious!  I've decided that I'd like to figure out the Weight Watchers Points Plus values for the recipes I post.  I've been making the same recipes for quite some time now, but I've never figured out the points values.  That starts this week!  :)

Here's the plan for this week.

Fresh Fruit Bowl
Mixed Greens

Tilapia with Romesco-Style Sauce
Long Grain and Wild Rice
Green Beans

Whatever Wednesday

House Salad

Chicken with Cremini Mushroom-Port Sauce
Green Beans
Dinner Rolls

Steamed Carrots
Mashed Potatoes

Slow-Cooker Sunday
Bavarian Pork Chops
Slow-Cooked Sauerkraut
Mixed Vegetables

Happy eating!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Menu Plan Monday ~ June 17, 2013

The Mister is out of town on a business trip this week.  So what do we do?  We paint the house!  :)  I promised the Mister that I would try my very hardest to finish the unpacking and paint the last few rooms while he was gone.  I was hoping it would be a great surprise to come home to on Thursday.  

However, as far as meal planning is concerned... we are having some *very* kid-friendly meals this week.  There will also be two nights this week that I have plans that don't involve cooking at home.  Don't expect much from this week.  :)

Spinach Mushroom Pizza 
House Salad

Chili Dog Casserole

Pinterest Party
*Be prepared for a new recipe!*

Monthly Moms Dinner Out

Chicken Croissants
Green Beans

Mushroom Bacon Quiche
Chef Salad

Slow-Cooker Sunday
Game Hens in a Red Wine Sauce
Mixed Greens

I'm linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Happy eating!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Cozy Recipe ~ Crockpot Caramel Corn

I'm loving this summer schedule I found on Pinterest.  I feel like it's definitely the way to go as we're trying to plan playdates and outings and whatnot.  We're making memories and I don't feel completely overloaded with activities.

Today was What's Cooking Wednesday.  During my regular weekly menu planning, I try to do Slow Cooker Sunday.  I was browsing through my cookbook and found a section of kid-friendly recipes.  When I saw Caramel Corn, I was intrigued.  The recipe was simple enough for Little Man to help, and it wouldn't take all day.

I made a few changes to the original recipe, which can be found in this cookbook.

Caramel Corn with Peanuts
6 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used light syrup)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 bag unsalted popcorn, popped (I used light butter)
2 cups peanuts

*You could easily replace the peanuts with any other add-in.  The book suggests using coconut flakes, chocolate chips, or almonds.

Heat the butter, brown sugar, syrup, and vanilla in the slow cooker on the high setting until melted.  Add in the popcorn and peanuts and mix well.  Cover and cook on high for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Uncover and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Spread onto a greased sheet to cool.

We starting cooking about mid-morning.  We timed it to finish right after lunch.  It cooled during naptime and made a delicious mid-afternoon snack!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Menu Plan Monday ~ June 10, 2013

While I don't always remember to post, I do remember to plan!  That's the important part, right?  We finally got *almost* all the way moved in to our new house, so I can finally start really cooking again.  I freecycled so much of my stuff, including my pots and pans, so cooking was a bit of an issue.  I'm excited to say that we have pans again and I can definitely put them to great use!

Here's the plan for this week...

Slow-Cooker Sunday
Cherry Pork Chops *
Long Grain and Wild Rice
Green Beans

Turkey Stroganoff
Mixed Greens Salad

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans

Whatever Wednesday for Dinner
Crockpot Caramel Corn * for What's Cooking Wednesday

Spicy Italian Sausages
White Beans and Arugula

Pork Loin
Cherry Arugula Salad *

Lime Shrimp
Coconut Rice
Mixed Green Salad

*denotes new recipe

Happy eating! 

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