February Resolution Update

I cannot believe that February has come to a close. I ended up getting extremely sick the first week of the month (and even needed to go to the ER). It was rough and I never quite got caught up until these past few days. Ugh. Here are the embarrassing results:

1.Contact a different friend or family member each day. I did not complete this goal. I spent the first week of the month sick and then spent the next week recovering. I just wanted to hide away and not talk to anyone!

2. Increase my daily steps using my FitBit- February: reach 5,000 steps five days a week. Not even close! I only reached 5,000+ steps 13 days the whole month! My goal for March will be to attack this goal again!

3. Host one get-together a month at our home. Check!

4. Get my teaching certification in Maryland. I have all the paperwork sitting on my desk ready to be brought to the post-office!

5. Start ABC Jesus Loves Me Homeschool Preschool with Cupcake. We started this month and it has been a blast! Cupcake is learning so much. She can count to 10, name so many of her shapes, and is picking up new skills each and every day! I LOVE this curriculum!

6. Return to the FlyLady Cleaning Schedule. No. Just no. I just. No. I only was successful this week. Blah.

7. Meal Plan each week. So, if the month of January was the month of Whole30, February was the month of eat-all-the-food. Seriously.

8. Breastfeed Cupcake to 2 years old. Check! I cannot believe she is going to be two next month! I haven’t even thought of what comes next in our nursing relationship. Ah!

9. Increase membership in my local women’s auxiliary by 25%. Still maintaining the 6% growth. We should get a large influx of potential new members at the end of March, so I am feeling optimistic!

10. Short-term goal of the month- Create a gallery wall in my living room! The materials are bought, but nothing is hung. I did manage to get all of my new pictures ordered and I have a layout I think I want, just no time or energy to put it together. My goal for March is to create an inventory of the items in our pantry and try to use them up! I figure it will not only save money, but also help me with my meal planning.

11. Post progress each month. Check!

-Lindsay

Sausage and Peppers Pasta

My sweet husband loves sausage and peppers. It is one of his favorite meals. Since it is his intern year of residency, he has been working an insane amount of hours and we rarely get to eat dinner together. Most of the time, he gets home well after Cupcake is asleep. I always leave him a plate in the refrigerator, but it definitely is not the same. So when I realized that he would be home tonight for dinner with us there was only one option!

As I was starting to pull out the ingredients, I found a half filled container of kale from my most recent kale chip adventure. If I knew it didn’t have much time left so I threw that in. The small amount of kale looked silly so I added in some spinach, too. When Chris walked in, he was so excited despite having just come off of a 30 hour shift. Success!

Ingredients

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1/2 c kale

1 c spinach

2 T olive oil

1 t minced garlic

1 lb pasta, cooked according to package

Directions

1. Add sausage links to pan and cook over medium-heat until cooked thoroughly.

2.  In a seperate pan, add olive oil, garlic and salt over medium heat. Add onion, peppers, kale and spinach and saute until greens are wilted and onions/peppers are tender.

3. Slice sausage into bite sized pieces. Add to vegetable mixture.

4. Serve over pasta .


Domesticated Momster

Hot Cocoa Brownie in a Mug

One of my favorite features of our new place is our pantry in the kitchen. I like being able to stock up on items we need ahead of time. It brings me comfort to know we have most of the essentials on hand. Every month I go through the pantry to make sure I am not letting anything go to waste. Foods that are nearing expiration are quickly put into the line-up.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered an unopened box of Swiss Miss, set to expire in just a few short days! Now, I usually like to eat pretty cleanly and quite honestly, this does not fit the bill. I typically prefer to make my hot cocoa from scratch. We received this as a gift and Swiss Miss always reminds me of my childhood. I was so excited to use it!

Except, I had less than a week to use it. During a heat wave. In July. Not ideal hot cocoa time. So, I started wracking my brain for different ways to use it when a huge brownie craving hit. It was also late and I didn’t have the time or patience to sit around for the oven to preheat. I had made cake in a mug before, so I decided to attempt brownie in a mug. The first time I made it, I sort of just threw ingredients in the mug without any measuring and stirred until it looked right. I also ate it all without abandon and didn’t take a single picture.

So, because I know you all need them, I had to suffer through a second night of brownie in a mug to get the measurements and take pictures. The things I do for you all.


  
  
  
 Hot Cocoa Brownie in a Mug

Ingredients

1 package instant hot cocoa (1 oz.)

3 T flour

1 T canola oil or butter

2 T water

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients in a microwave-safe mug. Stir until hot cocoa powder is dissolved.

2. Microwave on high for 60 seconds. Continue cooking for 10 seconds until brownie is complete. It is ready when the edges are cooked, but the center will still be gooey.

3. Let cool for 2 minutes.

I still have quite a bit of hot cocoa to use up. Do you have any fun recipes I should try? Leave them in the comments section below!

Domesticated Momster

Black Bean Brownies 

Since we will be moving in a short time, I have been trying to clean out our pantry. I have been saving a lot of money by not buying new groceries, but I have been missing baking quite a bit! When I looked at my pantry, all I saw was rows of beans. What on EARTH am I going to do with all those beans? 

I had heard that some crazies thought of the idea of turning black beans into brownies. I don’t know what possessed the first person to try this, but I had to know for myself. 

Let me warn you, if you are looking or the most delicious brownie recipe in the world, this is not it. However, it is a decent substitute for when you’re craving brownies while also trying to eat more healthy. The secret to this recipe is to make sure your beans are rinsed well and to not short-change the chocolate chips. This will make the difference between a brownie substitute and an odd chocolate bean salad. Trust me. 

Ingredients 

15 oz can drained and rinsed very well

2 T cocoa

1/2 c oats

1/4 t salt

1/3c maple syrup

1/4c coconut or veggie oil

2 t vanilla extract 

1/2 t baking soda

1/2c chocolate chips 

Directions 

Mix all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in food processor until smooth 

Add chips and stir

Pour batter in greased 8×8 pan

Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes 

Clean Your Pantry- Chili Pasta

March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb. Unless you live in New England, like me. Then, you’re just stuck with that lion. 

This is today’s sky:



Yucky days like this always make me crave something yummy and warm. When trying to figure out what to make, we had 1 lb of ground beef, which usually would be plenty for our small family. However, we were having guests tonight and 1 lb wasn’t quite enough. 

I went down to the pantry to try and see what I could start clearing out. We have a TON of canned beans (thank you ShopRite can-can sale) and a TON of pasta. Immediately my brain went to work. Chili is one of my favorite “go-to’s” when needing to stretch meat further since the additional beans make the meal last longer. I decided I’d attempt to create a hybrid meal and it was gooooood! All of us had multiple servings and we will probably be making this again within just a few days. It was that good. 

Ingredients 

1 lb ground beef (or turkey) 

1 small onion, diced

1/2 c chopped celery 

28 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained

2 15 oz cans beans (kidney or black beans work great!), drained and rinsed well 

1 c uncooked macaroni (elbows, ziti, whatever you have in your pantry!) 

1/2 t garlic powder

Chili powder to taste (I used 2 t, but we like a bit of spice) 

Sour cream or shredded cheese for garnish 

Directions 

1. Add meat, onion and celery to a medium pot. Cook until meat is browned and veggies are tender. Drain fat. 

2. Add canned diced tomatoes with liquid, beans, uncooked macaroni and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.

3. Cook for 20 minutes, or until macaroni is tender, stirring often. 

4. Serve in bowls topped with sour cream or cheese! Or, if you’re dairy-free like me, as is! 



Try this recipe and let me know what you think!