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Thursday, January 7, 2010

730 in 365 can you rid yourself of so much?

Amy over at The Finer Things in Life is having an internet challenge. Declutter 730 things in the 365 days of 2010.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy for me anyhow! I have tons to declutter and to free our house of the excess will be well so freeing!

My rules:
  • real trash doesn't count. 
  • food doesn't count
  • magazines - they are trash, and do not count
  • toys, well little bitty McDonald type toys - don't count unless it is in groups of 10. (I doubt I have too many of these anymore.)
  • I need to rid myself of this stuff responsibly - goodwill, Church rummage sale, pass on to a new home.
  • Clothing counts, but it can't be the bulk of the count - things need to go also!
I also don't want to bring in 730 things this year, so one of my goals is to stay out of Target as much as possible, I am like a moth to a flame with their clearance endcaps. It is where I get a lot of the "good stuff" that I will be ridding my home of.

So MUCH LESS IN and LOTS OUT will be my mantra!

 I am really excited to see how this changes the feel of my home. I grew up in a house that had has so much beautiful stuff - very elegant, magazine worthy stuff - my mother is a wonderful thrifter/repurposer/fabulous decorator. I didn't get the gene and so it seems I am always buying stuff to try and recreate that feel. I know that it is so wasteful, bad for the enviroment, and clutter when you don't have the knack. I am giving myself permission to be free of these thoughts and desires. Simple is best for me.

What about you? Why do you keep buying stuff that is really just clutter?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Not so Sloppy Joe's

I found the best sloppy joe recipe here.  Go check out  her recipe first and then come back and see how I changed a few things because, well that is how I roll. Below is how I made it.

Sloppy Joes

1 small onion--cut into fine dice ( I am out of onion so I used onion pdr - but will certainly do it right next time)
1/2 carrot-peeled and shredded.
1/4 red pepper--diced fine
2 garlic cloves--pressed
Couple TBS tallow
1 lb ground buffalo
3/4 tsp fancy schmancy salt (as in Celtic Sea Salt)
1/2 tsp black pepper
7oz jar tomato paste
1.5 Tbs worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs brown sugar--packed (dark or light)
1 tsp vinegar (white or cider)
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp prepared mustard (optional) (I opted out this time but who knows so I am leaving it here just in case)
salt and pepper to taste
1 bag frozen black beans - rinsed. I would guess a small can would be about right.
1 cube frozen kale, 1 cube frozen butternut squash, 1 cube frozen acorn squash (I cook, mash and freeze in icecube trays)

Saute onions, pepper and carrot on low heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and stir until it begins to soften. Add meat and kick up heat to medium. Let cook until meat is completely cooked through. Add salt, pepper, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, frozen cubes, beans and water. Stir until it is all mixed in and begins to create a nice sauce. Add the brown sugar and vinegar and prepared mustard if using. Cook for about 5 minutes allowing all the flavors to meld together. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Then, if you are amazing put on homemade buns, if not buy some better, heavier buns than the nasty white stuff and pull out some of the bread to make a pocket, put your sauce in there - then it is NOT SO SLOPPY!

It was a little watery so I let it cook for like 30 minutes to reduce. This is so yummy. Never again will I buy sloppy joe mix in a jar, can or bag!

So, do you change every recipe too? Why? I do it mostly because of food allergies and to eat healthy.

Submitted to Real Food Wednesday! and Beauty and Bedlam's Tasty Tuesday also the Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life as Mom and Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday. Go check out all the wonderful links at these blogs.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Crab - even better the 2nd time!

I had a party Saturday Evening to celebrate the Epiphany. It was wonderfully fun and there was tons of delicious food. Because of this abundance of food - brought by dear friends - I have a lot of leftover crabmeat dip. I don't think I could eat it all if I tried and my kiddo's are not dip people unless it involve cheese, salsa and chili.

I decided to make ragoons out of the leftovers and they were surprisingly good. The original dip recipe called for cream cheese, real crab, sour cream, yellow peppers and chives and hot sauce. I put a little bit in wonton wrappers and deep fried them.

If you have never made ragoons before here is my real recipe that makes the best ragoons in the world. Seriously. These are definatly my 2nd favorite and I may just make this dip more often so I have to make ragoons!

Crab Ragoons
2 containers real cream cheese - softened
1 bag imitation crab meat (chop up small)
Tbs. of garlic - minced
1 bunch of green onions sliced, use almost all
1 pkg wonton wrappers - or eggroll wrappers, cut in half.
oil/lard/tallow to fry these babies in! get nice and hot.

put a tsp or so in the center of a wonton wrapper. Get your finger wet (I use a small bowl of water for this) and get the edge of the wrapper wet so it will stick. Fold in half so that it sticks. Put one or two in the oil and cook for just a minute or so, until the wrapper gets a little brown, turning once. Be careful, after a bit they brown really quickly.

These were good but what I did next was sheer brilliance! I made crab cakes, oh the yumminess!

Crab Cakes
I added 2 eggs and crushed stuffing mix leftover from Thanksgiving stirring well to incorporate. I fried them in tallow until each side was nice and brown. We ate them dipped in ketchup. I suppose I could have added some panko breading to the outside before frying, but really I think it would have been overkill. They remind me of salmon patties.

I am linking this to:
11th Heaven's Homemaker Monday
Works for Me Wednesday
and the BSI ( blogger secret ingredient) Roundup - Leftovers!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Goals

I have been doing some serious thinking about goals/resolutions/plans for the coming year. Do I really want to make any? Will it just be a blog post so I can link up here? Or will this truly be something that I will work on throughout 2010?
I know myself, it can't be too detailed or long. It must be doable, and there must be some fun built in. I want to end 2010 feeling better about a lot of things than I do at the beginning. That being said, here are my goals:

With God:
To begin my day with Him. To offer my day and my life to do His Holy Will. I want to prayer to be an integral part of my life.

With Myself:
To lose the excess weight that is holding me back from so very much. I want to exercise more, eat less. That is the plan.
To take some sort of continuing education class having to do with technology or cooking.

With my husband: I know what will make him happy, so just do it.

With my family:
Daily to hug each one, to tell them I love them, to care for them as I should. The Blessed Mother is my example.

With my friends:
To call, to care, to step outside of myself, to weekly do SOMETHING with a friend.

With my home:
This is my job, to treat it as such and to keep up to date on nutrition and health through blogs like this one.

Financially: Read Dave Ramsey's Book. Save for next Christmas so I can pay in cash. Pay all bills in full and on time.
For Fun:
To try ONE new recipe and week. (Got my inspiration here)
Buy a couple cows to raise for meat.

I linked to The Happy Housewife's 2010 Goals Link Up .... there are some great posts linked - very thought provoking! Frugal Fridays at Life as Mom is also talking about 2010 financial goals.