10 September 2009

Something NEW

No - none of us SAHMs have time to cook. Somehow we manage to get it done, though.

OK - even though I really need to revisit all the great recipes, dos and don'ts, success stories and disasters from the holidays, I'll save that for a few weeks / months from now when we all might need a tip or two or ten....;-), I'm going to highlight one of my "go to" favorite recipes - Chili - quick and easy - smells great - can be altered to heat preferences - carnivore / non-carnivore, etc.

2 lbs ground beef, ground turkey or meat substitute (measurement on the latter will vary depending on source)
4-6 cloves of garlic - chopped roughly
One big onion - chopped roughly
splash of vinegar (red wine or balsamic)
1.5 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock
Half cup of red wine
28 oz. crushed, whole or diced tomatoes - drained
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Chili pepper (and - really - pick your heat - add some cayenne, adobo - whatever - as well)
Sugar (tablespoon at first - as it cooks, add to taste)
Salt (2 tsp - though may need to add later)
Dash of pepper
Oregano (pinch or two - powdered or fresh)
Sage (pinch or two - powdered or fresh)
2 bay leaves (if they are really pungent - just one)

Cook protein(s) in large pan with a splash of olive oil. Cook it through (brown meat, etc.). Add garlic and onions - cook until soft. Add in tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, stock - mix well. Add chili, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, sage and bay leaf. Mix up - taste - adjust a bit. Cook 30 min. - taste again - adjust seasonings - cook another 30 min. (low simmer). 10 min. prep - cooks and smells good - tastes great!

Back to School Retail Experience - The Good and The Bad
Happy to find: That Nordstrom had Polo shirts on sale for 70% off (uniform hunting) - that kid Pumas are only a little over $20 - lunch boxes at Target with my boys' favorite Cars, Transformers, etc. were only $6 - our haircuts were free cuz it turns out.... I can cut my little guys' hair - I had saved sooo many little girl things from my oldest that my toddler is set for the fall - Horizon chocolate and vanilla milk "cases" were advertised for $13 and $14 at Giant Eagle and Whole Foods, but I got them at Costco for a little over $10 (every penny counts, right?) - There's more, but these were my trivial highlights....

Unhappy to discover: That my oldest daughter needs new bedroom furniture - that none of her uniform skirts fit her from last year - that my boys prefer light up sneakers to my choices of Converse or Puma or Vans or Adidas ... something that doesn't light up, basically - that my van went in for a cracked windshield repair and inspection and we had to spend $1,000 on it - that my budget for a new shirt or pair of shoes for fall for myself went elsewhere .... Oh well.....

Have to Rave About ...

This is way too expensive, but....I just found a bag at Anthropologie. $150, but... can be evening bag, cool day bag, diaper bag, airplane carry-on bag - whatever. Simple .... chunky ..... pretty.... I just like it.... Called the Long Journey Bag...


A couple other bags for UNDER $100 there (odd for them). And... some VERY cool wedge ankle boots - with buckles and chunky heels, etc. Worth checking out.....

There's nothing new about this, but... it works for me ....

The Beaba Babycook does make my life easier - makes tasty, easy, adult-worthy (by that, I mean, baby food is so tasteless sometimes) purees, etc. I steam chicken, parsnips and potatoes together - puree - add butter, salt or just water - and I have a healthy meal or side dish for my daughter. I know it is intended for infants, but it also works for fussy toddlers. Quick note: a while back, there was a controversy about what the basket was made of (did it contain a chemical not claimed by the company or one of the retailers - Williams Sonoma - ??? Has been cleared and reviewed :-). Also, it is expensive - jury is out on whether it is actually worth. For me and some others I know - yes - all in one - cooks, mixes, etc. all at once (and I REALLY don't have time for sleep or sitting down to eat myself these days, so... every time saver helps).


I'm not organized this month, but I am clean ....

Ten tips for keeping it clean (it being the house, that is :-):
1. Sweep or damp mop hard wood floors at least once a week.
2. Take the feather duster to your shelves, photos, etc. once a week.
3. Mop the kichen floor with like a Swiffer (something easy to manage) on Monday - spot clean rest of week.
4. Also on Monday, go through fridge - get rid of nasty leftovers, organize what is in there - make sure you're using produce that can go bad quickly.
5. Make the beds daily or at least pull up the covers.
6. Pick up toys and clothes in all the rooms either at night or in the morning.
7. Quick vacuum carpets and wipe baseboards as you go.
8. Use an environmentally-safe toilet bowl cleaner once a week - every bathroom.
9. Open your mail over the recycle bin or shredder daily.
10. Wipe down bathroom counters as you brush your teeth daily - clean shower while you're in it - wipe kitchen counters after each food prep (particularly important this flu season).

Something cool for kids...

Cupcakes at Vanilla Pastry Studio in East Liberty (here in Pittsburgh).


Something cool for adults ...

Lollies (and other treats) at Vanilla ;-). As I get into my family's birthday season, this is my place to frequent!

Until next time...... enjoy the photo of me and my little one (yes, my hair looks orange - and, yes, she's so little - it was a few months ago, but.... we both look happy.... oh the little things). Next time, I will have played with new designs and formats and promise a more user-friendly experience. I'm thinking once every two weeks.....

1 comment:

Kim said...

I like your consumer tips! So, I may have written an insightful blog entry the same day, but it doesn't mean I have achieved selflessness! Anyway, back to the tips...we love chili around here, so I will be trying that recipe. Got one of those lunch boxes at Target today! What's not to love about light up shoes (at least if you are a boy, ages 2-8)? I appreciate the websites for shopping since I am always looking for a way to keep up with my growing kids and still treat myself to new stuff now and then. I've found that cute beaded necklaces can make me feel like I have new clothes on, even if it is an old favorite t-shirt. :)