Inside Projects

Pantry Organization – Take 2

I think anyone who has been to my house on a regular basis will tell you I am a grocery hoarder.  I have lots of groceries in my house – and my pantries (yes I said pantries) are out of control.

I generally have to tear them apart and put them back together a few times a year.

The hot mess below is my kitchen pantry – before I cleaned it up.

Pantry Organization Tips

I was running a system where I put ONE of something in my kitchen pantry, and the rest in the storeroom pantry under the stairs.  Here’s the problem, I always forgot to look in the storeroom before I bought more.  I ended up with 4 boxes of Special-K and thought – “Enough is enough….time to change!”

So yesterday I tore them both apart and wiped down the shelves.  Here is how I got organized: Continue reading “Pantry Organization – Take 2”

Everything Else

30 Day Challenge – Change is good!

We’re going to deviate from the norm here for this post.  I’m not going to talk about making a bag or some new recipe I found.  I’m going to talk about me, bear with me – I don’t write about myself often, but I think this post might be a good one to share.

I watched a TED talk with Matt Cutts from Google about 30-day challenges and stepping outside your comfort zone.  It was amazing…and I was inspired.

So I decided to figure out what I could do to change my life in 30 days.  It takes about 30 days to build or change a habit, so the experts say, and I have 2 habits that drive me crazy and need to be changed

One – I’m pretty lazy.  I get things done, dont get me wrong, but when it comes to getting my butt off the couch for a walk or some exercise…I can come up with an excuse faster than a big league pitcher can get the ball across the plate.  That needs to change.  So what am I going to do about it?  I started the Couch to 5k plan 4 days ago.  So far so good. It’s a pretty gradual plan, which is what I need – because I can’t sugar coat it, I’m in TERRIBLE shape.  I have a feeling a whole host of things are going to improve for me once I feel better about myself and my fitness.  Now to stay motivated for the next 26 days.

Along with building my stamina and fitness, I need to make some eating changes.  Workong on those slowly.  Summer is easier because of the abundanceof fruit and veggies.  Looking forward to some vegetairan or low-meat dinners and cutting down on fast food.  To be honest, I probably need to do a 30-day challenge to wean myself off fast food and diet coke….diet coke is probably one of my biggest weaknesses.

Two – I bite my nails.  Its nasty, it hurts, but I just couldn’t seem to stop.  I haven’t bitten a nail in 9 days.  I’d post a pic, but after 35+ years of biting, it’s going to take quite awhile for them to look decent.  They’re very thin and brittle and even though I’m not biting them, they break really easily.

So I’ll be periodically chronicling the changes I make and how it’s going.  hopefully I’ve built a few great habits by the end of the 30 days and gotten rid of a few terrible ones.

Outside Projects

Landscaping Project

I am a reluctant landscaper.  I LOVE how it looks when things are all done, but the getting ready and DOING the project take so long, I’m more likely to procrastinate than anything else.

It was time for a backyard transformation though. We had looked at the ugly long enough.  Here’s how it looked in the end:

But it took us awhile to get there………

Continue reading “Landscaping Project”

Light and Healthier, Recipes, Veggies and Fruit

Carciofi Ripieni – Stuffed Artichokes Recipe

I love Food Network – its an addiction, almost as strong as my addition to recipe & food magazines.  Yes, I know I can find all of the recipes online, but holding that color photo of yummy food in my hand and curling up on the couch with my notepad and endless possibilities is so comforting.  Heck,I could be addicted to something more expensive, like Prada or Hermes….

Maddie and I were in the grocery today and they had some nice artichokes.  Maddie said “Lets make artichokes like Mario Batali.”  Challenge Accepted.

2 things – 1) I wasnt turning the oven on today – it was hot and 2) I had no fresh parsley….its okay – we improvised with the grill and some dried herbs – they were amazing!

Here’s the Recipe:

Continue reading “Carciofi Ripieni – Stuffed Artichokes Recipe”

Menu Planning, Recipes

Weekly Menu – May 19 through 25

We’re out of town for Memorial Weekend, so we’ll have meals through Thursday planned.  We’re going to our cabin and I might precook and plan meals for that, so will post another set of “transportable” foods for the weekend.

Saturday – Grilled Pork Chops, roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts, blackberry or peach cobbler with homemade cinnamon ice cream for dessert

Sunday – Grilled Shrimp, Roasted Corn Salad, Baked Beans.  I found a crock pot beans recipe I want to try and freeze the rest.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Monday – Breakfast casserole – this is really different from anything I’ve done before but it looks yummy!

Tuesday – Bacon Cheeseburgers

Wednesday – Spaghetti & Meatballs, Fresh Salad & French Bread

Thursday – Pizza – white for me and pepperoni for the kids & Todd.  I LOVE pesto pizza with mozzarella, artichokes, and spinach – yummo!

Menu Planning, Recipes

Weekly Menu May 14 to May 20, 2012

We’ve been crazy busy, and I haven’t been helping myself out and creating menus.  Time to get back on the wagon!  Here’s what we have planned for this week:

Monday – Got some nice Ribeye at the market – will pair those from the grill with brown rice and quinoa stuff I found at Costco (easy and tastes pretty good) and salad and corn.

Tuesday – Grilled pork chops, leftover quinoa, salad and assorted veggies

Wednesday – OMG Chicken.  My good friend Danielle pinned this recipe to my shared wall on Pinterest.  I have some leftover greek yogurt and a big pile of grated parmesan, so I’ll give this one a try tonight.  I have a head of green leaf lettuce from my Bountiful Basket and some tomatoes and peppers, I’ll make a salad and maybe bake or roast some potatoes on the grill.

Thursday – Sloppy Joes – Believe it or not, we love Manwich here.  I’ve made them from scratch, but the kids really only like Manwich, and its cheap, so I’ll give in on that convenience food.  I have some Alexa Sweet Potato fries in the freezer to pair with this.  Will make a salad or steam up some frozen veggies, too.

Friday – Breakfast night!  Pancakes, bacon and eggs – easy peasy.  I usually buy pancake mix, but I doctor mine up with a splash of vanilla extract and some cinnamon.  I have strawberries in the freezer so might make some strawberry syrup for these.

Saturday – We MIGHT play poker Saturday, if so I generally just make a few appetizers.  I want to try something new, so I might try these spicy shrimp and avocado bites that my friend Erin pinned to my board.  They look yummy!

Sunday – Lazy day I think, will be warm so grilled Nathan’s Famous with mac and cheese sounds awesome.  We’ll see if that mac and cheese is homemade, or not…..sometimes you want the neon orange stuff, its comfort food 🙂