Monday, March 29, 2010

CRAZY FOR CASSEROLES

Well hello there everyone. How are you doing this morning? I hope you are well. I am tired. I was cleaning and painting and trashing quite vigorously yesterday and so I am quite sore. But I made a lot of progress really. I got my pantry reorganized and cleaned out, 2 big bags of trash out, 4 boxes sorted through and put or thrown away, cat litter changed out, kitchen cleaned up, dinner cooked, and I started working on my desk area. On my breaks where I had to sit down I cut some coupons, planned a few meals for April, and sorted some receipts. I stayed busy!



Another thing I did was decide what theme I wanted to redecorate my kitchen in…. and its LEMONS! I absolutely love lemons! The bright yellow is cheery and fresh & Clean feeling, the smell is crisp and clean, and its fruit so its healthy LMAO! I got inspired for the lemon theme actually when I was looking at the refurbished armoire craft yesterday. They had redone one in a lemon theme and it was bright and happy and just wonderful! Isn’t that picture just the cutest thing? They did the inside for a bedroom, but it can easily be adapted to a kitchen. However I am just gonna use the painting idea and the lemon cut outs in my kitchen since I don’t have an armoire to refinish. Next I have to find a lemon fabric I like for the curtains, potholders, etc. I also found a lemon kitchen timer, a clock, and a few other things that are just absolutely adorable! Since it is kind of expensive to redecorate a room, it will be a work in progress LOL.

I want to talk about all the skuddlebutt my blog caused yesterday for a bit. Some people thought I had an attitude, some people were very supportive, and some people sent some actually very vicious emails. My blog was not intended to ruffle anyone’s feathers or make you pick sides, etc. It was just a general vent. When you live under the stress factors I have and you see issues that have some way touched your lives, you tend to get annoyed. All that bottled up tension gets to you and eventually you explode. I’ve personally seen my family and friends go through a LOT of trials and turmoil and when I see it I get (excuse the language) PISSED! It’s a normal human reaction. I chose to vent here, where I felt safe, so that others could see a bit of the wrong that is taking place. But also that way I didn’t blow up on anyone who didn’t deserve it. Sometimes the best way to relieve our stress it to write it down. Have you ever written a letter you never intended on delivering, but it felt so good to get it out in some way? It’s the same concept and totally a normal thing to do when you have no control over something. I do not censor your comments, so please don’t feel like you must try to censor mine. Let’s just agree to disagree or be supportive of anything said here. This blog is your haven (and mine) to exercise our freedom of speech, ok? No more nasty emails telling me to leave the country, dropping F bombs on me, etc. PLEASE. I do care for you all and want you happy and healthy. Now let’s get back to having some fun around here!

To Susan- are you doing alright with that bun in the oven? Did you ever tell me what we are having or when you are due even? LOL… I want to say you have but I can’t remember… I’m sorry. Now to answer your questions… first off the key lime cheesecake bars have been called tart by some. If you want really tart, zest some lime into the batter, squirt more juice when you are eating it, etc. There is a lot you can do to alter to your liking. But I am glad I was able to kill 2 birds with 1 stone for you LOL! As for the healthy slow cooker ideas… I will work on that for you and then share them soon!

Now about what to offer your kids in the summer. Milk contains lactose and bacteria which do not “play well” with the heat. Remember our mom’s telling us not to drink milk in the middle of the day and go outside? Well being that I am lactose intolerant, I was forced to learn all this stuff about milk LOL and I found out mom was right! The sugars in the milk (lactose) do not break down properly and the bacteria begins to irritate the stomach, giving us the nauseous feeling. However, most dairy products, cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, and some ice creams, have most of the lactose processed out… explaining why those do NOT make us ill. However, there are tons of good healthy things you can offer your kids for hydration during the summer! There are so many natural ingredients which are excellent coolants. But what are the best summer drinks? Here is a list of drinks that you can offer your kids in the summer:



Watermelon juice: It is wonderful thirst quencher which contains all the minerals required for the body. It has low sugar which does not disrupt a diet program or increase your weight. It contains magnesium, phosphorus, iron and beta carotene. You can even make ice lollies with watermelon juice. However, avoid using bad quality watermelons as it might upset your stomach.



Papaya juice: It is wonderful digestive aid and can be consumed by everyone. It is great for people with weak digestion, non-vegetarians and for those who need enzyme supplementation to improve the digestion of proteins. It is good for detoxification and for people who want to improve liver function. However, pregnant women should avoid papaya juice in large quantities or taking it regularly.



Lemonade: Lemon is a good source of vitamin C. It improves immunity in the summer and is excellent as a thirst quencher due to its cool nature. One should always add a pinch of rock salt and cumin powder to enhance its taste. However, drinking concentrated or large quantities of lemon can cause an uncomfortable acid kind of sensation in the stomach so be careful.



Butter Milk or Lactaid: Very cooling in nature and is available all over the country. It is a good source of calcium, protein and very filling in nature. However, people of certain constitution or blood group may feel uncomfortable with dairy products and if milk is making you or your kids ill, try a lactose free milk (I use Lactaid) and only drink it first thing in the morning or after sunset.



Mango Juice: It is made with raw mangoes which have a cooling effect on the body. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which are needed by the body to fight against diseases. Mangoes are good to eat either ripe or unripe. The ripe mango is excellent for toning up heart muscles, stimulating appetite, and improving the skin's texture and appearance. It is also antiscorbutic, diuretic, laxatic, and invigorating. This tropical fruit is also helpful for people who have liver disorders. It's also high in calories and carbohydrates which are needed for those who are trying to gain weight. Ripe mango is a good source of beta-carotene and is good in the prevention of various Vitamin A deficient disorders. Mangoes are also found to have powerful antioxidant and anticancer properties as well as helpful in treating acidity, poor digestion, and anemia. Drinking mango juice is also believed in improving the memory, concentration, and great in preventing mental weakness. Mangoes also contain Vitamin E which helps in the better functioning of hormonal system-improving the sex life. The amount of Vitamin C and calcium found in mangoes prevents internal hemorrhage also.



Rose water: Rose water has rose as a base which lowers the aggravated pitta. It can be added to any drink to enhance its aroma and flavor. Pitta dosha governs all transformations in the physiology, from the digestion of food to the metabolizing of feelings, emotions and sensory perceptions.



Smoothie: A smoothie is a blended, chilled, sweet beverage made from fresh fruit. In addition to fruit, many smoothies include crushed ice, frozen fruit and vegetables and frozen yogurt.




Coconut water: It is very refreshing natural drink and takes care of mineral requirement in the summer when the soaring temperatures deplete all the water and salts from the body.



Khus sherbet: Khus (poppy seeds), according to research, decreases the temperature of the body and aids in cooling the body. It is also supposed to be a good blood purifier and good for calming the nerves.



Ice tea: Though too much of tea is not good for health but a refreshing ice tea in the evening can be very invigorating. Try to drink the tea with limited sugar to increase the healthiness of the drink. Also if your feet won't stop sweating during the summer, soak your feet in tea! The antioxidants close the pores of your feet so they won't sweat as much (and with my son's foot odor... its a blessing! LOL).



Thandai: It consists of almonds, milk, rose petals all of which have a cooling effect and is absolutely fabulous in taste.

And finally a little bit of advice; avoid those fizzy, carbonated drinks that you see all around you. Although they are easily accessible, they're just filled with empty calories, artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors which do you no good at all. Kool-aid, sodas, gatorades, etc. are ok once in a while, but if you are trying to get back into a healthy regime I would recommend all natural. Maybe even invest in a juicer and make it totally pure. You don’t need an expensive one. I know Black & Decker makes one fairly inexpensive and it works just as good. Let your kids help you make the juice even. Teach them young and they will carry it with them the rest of their lives!

Water is good yes, but watch that too! There IS such a thing as too much water believe it or not! Drinking too much water can lead to a condition known as water intoxication and to a related problem resulting from the dilution of sodium in the body, hyponatremia. Water intoxication is most commonly seen in infants under six months of age and sometimes in athletes. A baby can get water intoxication as a result of drinking several bottles of water a day or from drinking infant formula that has been diluted too much. Athletes can also suffer from water intoxication. Athletes sweat heavily, losing both water and electrolytes. Water intoxication and hyponatremia result when a dehydrated person drinks too much water without the accompanying electrolytes. So get back to natural, homemade and healthy drinks and have a great summer. Cheers!

Well, I am slowly digging my way through the chaos that has consumed my living room. I have found numerous different crafting items, so when I can find that corner of the world, its going to get a brand new organization system LOL! But to hold you over for some big projects, I found a little idea to recycle those old bottle caps! They would also make unique earrings!



Bottle Cap Key Chain

Supplies:

cotton swab
rubbing alcohol
1 bottle cap from a glass bottle
jump rings
1 large split ring
craft drill
medium craft drill bit
craft pliers

Instructions:

1. Using the cotton swab and rubbing alcohol, clean off the bottle cap.

2. Next, use your craft drill and drill a hole through the bottle cap. Start at the back of the bottle cap, under the ridge, and drill all the way through. You will have to use some pressure.

3. Slip a jump ring through the hole and close it with the craft pliers.

4. Make a chain of jump rings as long as you like and attach it to the jump ring you put through the bottle cap. Make sure to close all of your jump rings!

5. Attach a split ring to the last jump ring on the chain.

Aren’t those cool? Alright… the kids are off to school and I’m hungry. I’m thinking about dinner already but not sure what I want to make. I was thinking last night that I want to make this week CASSEROLE week! Casseroles are easy one pot wonders that feed an entire family. Last night I made the Mexican Shepherd’s Pie and they ate it up! So today I am gonna share the Mexican Pie with you and then I will give you a new casserole recipe everyday this week! I think this is gonna be fun!



Mexican Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
garlic powder to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes or rotel
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup hot water
1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8.5 ounce) package corn muffin mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives (optional)
1 can black beans, drained
Sour cream to garnish

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Place the beef and onion in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until beef is evenly brown and onion is tender. Drain grease. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix in the tomatoes, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and continue cooking 5 minutes, until thickened. Mix in black beans and corn. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

3. Prepare the corn muffin mix according to package directions. Spread evenly over the top in the baking dish.

4. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until puffed and golden. Garnish with olives, sour cream, and cheese.

Okie dokie kids, I am gonna get off here and go fix me some breakfast. Then I guess cleaning and such are in order? LOL or not… not sure yet… All I know is the sounds of the birds chirping and the cat scratching and no kids bickering is so wonderful this morning… it truly is a Folger’s Morning! LOL… See ya tomorrow! HUGS!

3 comments:

  1. Gee I go away for a few days and look at the trouble you have gotten yourself into LOL.Just kidding , I'll never understand those who feel the need to tell you when they don't like something on YOUR blog .Ignore them ,you have to be yourself ,I for one enjoy your blog .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Debbie "MOM"March 29, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    Good easy blog today! Isn't it funny how so many people can get their panties in a bunch over nothing. I find it quite a study of human nature myself.
    Casseroles are the answer to a lot of families meals these days. And there are a multitude of kinds of casseroles out there. I personally like ones with lots of veggies in them! And casseroles dont have to cost a lot either.
    I received my free seeds from Wintersown and you were right! I got lots of wonderful flower AND veggie seeds from them. If my plants grow up good and strong I will probably collect some of the seeds and donate them to their site. Thats what makes the world (and the seeds) go round.

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMGoodness, Renee' i missed yest blog.. my GD is with me,,, but i am speechless which is something in itself..... people are something else..... just ignore.. i enjoy your blog. always have ...always will....so there to all the nasty people LOL lol
    jean

    ReplyDelete