Building Memories: Baking with My Grandson

Oh how I love this Little Man. ā¤ My grandson is a big helper, and he has mad stirring skills! Just look at him. Little Man likes to help in the kitchen sometimes, so I asked him if he would want to help me bake some chocolate zucchini cake.

I needed to make some for my coworkers, and told him I’d leave a cake at his house as well. He was good with helping so, while his mom was looking for a job not long after they moved to the area, Little Man and I baked.

He was so good about washing his hands. I measured out all of the ingredients and he showed me his crazy good dumping skills.

Little Man was very impatient while spreading the cream cheese frosting. I’d put a scoop on the cake, he’d move the butter knife over it once, then stick his hand through the frosting and into the cake to taste it. What a goober! I had to finish that part on my own.

We chatted about a lot of things while we were making this cake, and we laughed so much. I’ll always cherish our baking time. The memories will, hopefully, stay with me forever.

Little Man is a hoot to bake with. We’ll be making a chocolate mayonnaise cake with peanut butter frosting next. I know these things are not healthy, but they are a nice treat once-in-a-while, and my coworkers appreciate a treat on occasion.

Shannon

I’m Picky about Cooked Veggies, But I Love them Raw!

Okay, I do like some vegetables cooked. Mainly things like peas and potatoes – of course, I like white potatoes raw as well as cooked. I’m aware that it is said to be, nutrient-wise, better to eat certain vegetables cooked, but I just can’t stomach most of them that way.

I can only eat carrots cooked if they are mashed in with white or sweet potato, or shredded into chili or meatloaf.

So, you see, I really am picky. But…

…I eat a lot of raw veggies. I do different things with them, so I’m not always eating the same things.

  • I make veggie jars.
  • I love salads.
  • I make wraps, veggie and otherwise.
  • I always get or make vegetable platters for parties.
  • I have always loved stuffed celery. My sister makes it for me, stuffed with peanut butter, for get-togethers – because she loves me. I also like them stuffed with almond butter.
  • I like to snack on raw cabbage. Just raw cabbage. Yum.
  • Pickled beats are amazing.
  • I like to add vegetables to smoothies. Not just greens. I’ve also put carrots, broccoli, celery, and cucumber in them. I’ll likely try other veggies in them as well.
  • I like to add extra vegetables to meals as well, such as shredded sweet potato to meat loaf or chili. Or making a shepherd’s pie by layering beef or chicken, peas, white potato, sweet potato, and squash. Sometimes I use fruits and vegetables interchangeably. They’re both so good for you!

I am aware that some of my tactics are a form of manipulation, and I think it is funny that I can do that to myself successfully. What can I say? I am good! LOL

Are you a picky eater? How are you getting your vegetables in?

Shannon

I’d Like to See More Foods Packaged for Singles

I don’t need family size packages of food now that it’s just me at home. An already refrigerated quart of almond or coconut milk would be perfect. A package with just four slices of cheese. One-quarter pound of pre-packaged ground beef. Just enough for one or two meals for one would be perfect, without the jacked up prices because you’re buying less.

There is a little of this going on, but at a cost greater than with the bigger packages. You can get three string cheese for $1.00, but you’re going to spend more per string cheese than if you bought a package of 12. Why? I won’t eat 12 string cheese quickly enough to warrant that purchase; some would go to waste.

Let’s talk spinach. It comes in a big package, and half of it goes to waste before I can use it all. Why not offer the single person half the quantity for half the price. Help a girl out.

Seriously. A girl could eat healthier more consistently if she could get half the amount for half the price. So she can have more variety. How about letting me choose how much fresh spinach I want to buy, like when I buy my cucumbers, apples, and pears.

But please, don’t make me have to pay more to get just what I need. If you can package three cucumbers for a dollar, why do I have to pay $0.68 cents just for one. I mean, it should be cheaper just because there is no packaging.

Just some ponderings from a girl who wants to save money on her grocery bill.

Have a great winter.

Shannon

Veggies as the Main Meal Component

Now that the holidays are over and our new year goals have been set, I bet I’m not the only one eating better than I was during the holiday season. One thing I’ve been considering is the amount of meat I eat during a meal. I can easily load half of my plate with meat, but I’m not sure that’s what we should be doing.

Not that meat is bad. I love beef, chicken, pork, and turkey. However, I think we are seriously lacking the nutrients we need from fresh fruits and vegetables. I want to be eating more fresh produce and less meat, so I’m going to be switching things up a bit.

My goal is going to get in more fruits and vegetables each day. To accomplish this, I’m going to make the sides the main part of my meal, and have less meat at each.

Protein is an important part of every meal, and I don’t want to skip on that, but I think I’ll get enough if I use vegetables that have the nutrient alongside a little meat. Broccoli, green peas, asparagus, cauliflower, black beans, and broccoli raab are just a few of the vegetables that contain protein. I figure, if I can pair a protein-rich vegetable with the little bit of meat cooked in a healthy fat, and then add more veggies to the plate, I’ll be doing good. What do you think?

Shannon

 

Happy New Year! I Can’t Wait to Share More with You

2018 went by far too quickly. Did you notice? I didn’t have time to do so many of the things I wanted to do. For instance, I wanted to add a lot more content to this blog, experiment with new healthy recipes, and rearrange my little area. It’s okay. I’ll be doing more of those things this year. Sometimes things just get away from you.

This year’s theme word, or word-of-the-year, is FOCUS – for me, anyway. So I’m going to focus on getting some things finished up and learning more nutritional stuff. I’m going to try out new recipes, and experiment with them, to create more menu ideas for myself. Obviously, I’ll be posting recipes and such regarding the new things I find.

There will be plenty of recipes, more quick tips, and other information you will find useful in the new year.

Thank you for hanging around!

Take a look at the three New Year Goal articles I posted earlier today:

New Year Goal: Try New Recipes (Mostly Paleo)

New Year Goal: Be Healthy

New Year Goal: A New “Kitchen”

 

Shannon

 

New Year Goal: A New “Kitchen”

Many of you know that I rent a room and, therefore, do not have an actual kitchen. Right now the picture to the top of this post shows my current “kitchen”. The food is in the closet, a setup that is no longer working for me.

I’m actually saving for an efficiency or one-bedroom apartment but, until I can move, I’m stuck with what I can do in my room. So I’ve decided to change things up a bit. My new “kitchen” will need to work better for me, so I’m working out affordable ways to organize things better, like repurposing a couple of old shelves that I have on hand. Really, the shelves need to be replaced. But I’m going to use them to set up a kitchen corner in the room instead.

There will be a little more space to move around as well, and I’m coming up with a plan to have a food prep area on top of one of the shelves.

Let’s see how I can make all of this happen. I’ll update you when my new “kitchen” is complete.

Happy new year! Feel free to share your kitchen and food related goals in the comments.

Shannon

New Year Goal: Be Healthy

Oh the things we lose track of, like our fitness goals. I’m so disappointed in me. šŸ˜¦ But, rather than dwell on the negativeness of this, I’m going to put my energies into staying positive and getting myself back on track.

What does this mean?

Through a combination of fitness, positive thinking and attitude, and getting back into eating healthy, I am going to get myself back on track. Not that I’ve gone back to all of my old, unhealthy behaviors, but some of them have seeped back into my life.

It’s time to rethink how I want to feel, and how I am going to get there and stay there.

Nutrition is a big part of this plan I have formulating in my head. So I want to expand my menu choices in order to give myself more options.

The basics of protein, a few fruits/vegetables, and healthy fat is great most of the time, but I think I need more of a variety so as not to get too bored. And I need to do something about what I’m doing with cravings. Rather than blow the healthy eating habits all together, I can lessen the impact by making healthier choices.

So, what do you say? Are you with me?

Let’s be healthier this year!

Shannon

New Year Goal: Try New Recipes (Mostly Paleo)

I wanted to do this last year, but never got around to it all. In all honesty, I got very bored with food prep and went for easy things to prepare. I’m now bored with all of that, and am looking to expand my winter menu.

So this year, I want to try to learn how to do a few new things.

  1. I want to expand my pizza options. I don’t want to go overboard with cheese, but I do like it once in a while. Pizza is one place where I just can’t let it go. This is why I don’t eat pizza often, haha. But I figure that, if I make my own, I have more control over how healthy it is. A nice paleo crust will be the base, then I’m going to play around a bit; come up with new options.
  2. Paleo versions of chicken or turkey pot pie. Small, single-serve ones because I have the cutest little Pioneer Woman mini pie pans I can use. (See the feature image!) I remember eating those little store-bought ones with my daughters when they were little.
  3. Paleo mini pies. Another excuse to use those cute little pie pans! And I miss pie.
  4. Mini paleo fruit cobblers and crumbles. And yet another reason to use them.
  5. Paleo bread. I have been craving tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. I need a paleo bread recipe so I can have the sandwich. And, then I can make other things, such as French toast. Yum.
  6. Paleo English muffins. Maybe I’ll make breakfast sandwiches. Not sure yet.
  7. Paleo pasta. Because, well, I miss pasta sometimes.

What new things do you want to learn to make?

Shannon

Frugal Recipes Happenings ~ Autumn 2018

Happy Autumn! It is my favorite time of year. Last night, Zowie and Devan brought my grandchildren for a Halloween visit. Little Man was a witch, and Little Miss a pumpkin. I made up treat bags for Little Man and his parents, and gave Little Miss (almost four months old!) a little stuffed witch. Before they got there, I watched old episodes of The Adam’s Family. Then, while they were there I played Double, Double, Toil and Trouble – the girls and I used to watch that when they were young. When they left, I watched Stephen King’s Sometimes They Come Back, and ate peanut butter cups. And I went to bed early. Not the grandest of Halloweens, but I was exhausted. How was your Halloween?

I’m so over horror movies for the year, probably since I’ve been watching them since the first of September, haha. I am still enjoying Riverdale, though, and started watching the new Charmed, and Legacies. During October I also enjoyed watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,Ā Castle Rock, and The Haunting of Hill House.

I love the chilliness in the air, watching the leaves change, the smell of the changing season, and I love to do more cooking this time of year: PineappleĀ  -keilbasa soup, harvest salad, chili, and more. And I drink more chai tea. Yum!

I’m very excited about Thanksgiving. Well, our early Thanksgiving celebration that Zowie is putting on for the family. We are using the community building where she lives, and my sister and I have both offered to go early and start the meal while Zowie works. Sheila has some foods she’ll be making, and I’m in charge of making cheesecakes. My daughter Skye, and her boyfriend Ryan, will be supplying some alcohol for the get-together, but no one will be drinking much.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Since I live alone, I no longer make an entire meal on the big day. Also, I’m usually working. But I do like to cook something to celebrate. I wanted to share a few recipes with you:

If I were going to make an entire Thanksgiving meal on my own, and if I had a real freezer and not just a dorm size fridge in the room I rent, I would plan for leftovers to have over the next couple of months. These recipes utilize Thanksgiving leftovers:

Enjoy the rest of autumn, time with family, and the delicious tastes of autumn.

Love and Light,

Shannon

Happy November & December! <3

Hello Everyone!

I wanted to check in with everyone, to see how you are doing and to let you know that I am taking a couple of months off from blogging and many of my other writing activities.

In November, I’ll be publishing my last fiction story of the year. I’ll also spend the next couple of months finishing up things from the 2018 to-do lists (a lot is behind-the-scenes blog stuff that I’ve been putting off), and spending time with family and friends. I may even be able to attend the Christmas Eve party my family throws, as I seem to have that night off from The Inn (so rare!).

And I’ll be planning. New material for the coming year! New goals and things to try. Fresh recipes and maybe some tricks to help you in the kitchen. I might even provide some downloadables for you.

I want each of you to enjoy the holiday season, and I’ll be back next year! And spend some time relaxing and taking care of you.

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Yule! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Warmest Wishes & Brightest Blessings,

Shannon