Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Simplifying and Decluttering

The accountant will attest to the fact that I hate clutter. Especially clutter without a purpose...but I am and always have been a clothes horse...or at least I was until today. I can now say there is not one item in my closet that does not fit!! I have been reading about decreasing consumption and getting rid of those items in your life that hang over you like a cloud. For me it was all the clothes I wanted to keep because I just knew I would fit into them again one day. I had reasoned that I was saving money by holding on to them just in case they fit. Then there were the items with sentimental attachment, did I mention I had a lot of them? So I spent all day today decluttering my closet. I am not done. I still have drawers to go through but here is my progress so far!

As you can see there is a lot left! Tomorrow I am tackling the shoes, purses...and other items. I gave three large bags of clothes to my sister and there is still a lot left. I must admit I had a really really hard time parting with the 100 dollars skirt I bought at Nordstroms and wore twice, but I did it and I feel SO much better. I feel cleansed.

So, clear out the clutter! More is not better. We all fall into the trap. we all have more than we actually use, need or even want. If old clothes, kitchenware, toys, magazines, knickknacks, and so forth are crammed into your closets, piled in your garage or basement, it's time to give yourself a little breathing room. All that clutter is cluttering up your life.

How I attack clutter:
One area at a time.  Cleaning out one drawer or closet at a time prevents me from feeling overwhelmed.

Questions I ask myself:
  • Have I used this in the past year ( or if you were pregnant, the last 18 months)?
  • Realistically will I use this again. Not "CAN" but "WILL" ?
  • Do I LOVE this?
  • If I think I might need it again what will I use it for?
  • What would be the worst consequence if I never saw this item again?
I will post finished product pictures of my closet tomorrow. I am planning a clothing swap!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Brown Rice Pasta with zucchini, fresh tomatoes, and beef

Well it's the end of the month and the fridge is getting a bit bare...yeah for payday tomorrow! Here is a simple quick pasta recipe that can be varied in so many ways!

Serves 4. Time including prep 45 minutes. Cooked on cook top. Remember to start boiling water for your pasta in the beginning. I used a pot for pasta. A medium stainless steel fry pan for veggies and a dutch oven for cooking my meat.

First distract baby

Penne pasta of your choice ( I used brown rice pasta which they sell at trader Joe's)
1 lb Grass Fed ground beef ( Snohomish Farmers Market)
1 Organic Onion, diced
4 Tomatoes, diced (mine were garden fresh from a good friend),
2 medium organic zucchini, thinly sliced (Trader Joe's)
salt and pepper to taste ( I use Himalayan salt from Trader Joe's, it has a good taste.)
1-2 tsp of cayenne ( depends on how spicy you like it)
4 cloves of garlic
A bunch of fresh basil (from my friends garden)
1 cup of mushrooms of your choice sliced
Oil for cooking ( I used 3 tablespoons of organic extra-virgin coconut oil)

Place 1 Tablespoon of oil in pot on oven. Place ground beef, garlic, onions, cayenne, pepper and salt in on medium heat. Cook until meat is light brown then add chopped tomatoes. Cook on low for 5 more minutes. 

Meanwhile in a frying pan on the cook top place 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil, mushrooms and zucchini. Cook on medium heat until zucchini is soft.

When your pasta is done cooking according to instructions on packaging. Strain the pasta then place in a large mixing bowl. Combine all ingredients together in the bowl. Stir together and serve. If you do not have a dairy allergy Parmesan cheese tastes good as a topping. The accountant ate with cheese. I without.

Enjoy! Don't you love how you can do anything with pasta!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Minted Lamb chops with zuchinni and potatoes, sauted

Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon with friends just hanging out and letting our children play. It was so fun to watch and relaxing just to talk. I have come to appreciate "adult" talk! On the way home I stopped at Trader Joe's because I was driving by and needed some cereal for my husband. While perusing the store I found grass fed lamb! Now I hardly ever cook lamb because it is usually too expensive and not grass fed. This seemed like a great deal. Don't get me wrong at 6.99 per pound it wasn't cheap but it wasn't expensive either. It was a nice middle ground treat. The meat was thin enough I decided sauteing it on the cook top would be good. Here is what we had:

2 grass fed lamb steaks (Trader Joe's)
2 Tablespoons of nutiva extra virgin coconut oil (amazon.com)
2 medium potatoes (mine were purple from a local roadside farmer)
3 small organic zucchini's (Trader Joe's)
1 Tablespoon of water
3 Tablespoons of fresh garden mint
salt and pepper to taste ( I used Himalayan salt from trader Joe's it is all the health rage right now, and black pepper from Costco)

Place 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan on the cook top that can easily hold your two lamb steaks side by side. Then place your potatoes thinly sliced in the pan. Cook on medium heat til both sides are browned.  Then remove from pot the potatoes and place in a bowl to the side.

Now granted the lamb was not "local" it came from New Zealand. BUT it was grass fed!

Next take the lamb and place in the same pot as the potatoes were in. Place the other tablespoon of coconut oil under the lamb. Cook the lamb on medium heat (about 8-10 minutes per side) until both sides are slightly browned. This should leave you with medium rare meat. Place on a plate and put in oven on lowest temp possible to keep warm.

Remove fat from pan. Then place one tablespoon of water in pan along with thinly sliced zucchini. Cook until lightly browned on both sides (takes about 4-5 minutes total)

Next cut up your fresh mint and add the mint and previously cooked potatoes to the pot.

Salt and pepper to taste

Place a lamb steak on plate. Then top with the minted potatoes and zucchini. Eat with side of your choice.

Mmm...says the accountant!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Roasted Italian chicken sausage with potatoes

So I had the wonderful idea of menu planning for this week but life got in the way and I never did go shopping for all the appropriate ingredients. So I am eating out of my pantry again tonight. I usually stir fry my sausage and mix it with rice but I wanted something different tonight. This is what I came up with.
Roasted Italian Sausage with potatoes. The dish itself is very quick to make. Total prep time with baking was 40 minutes. Serves 4- 6 people.

You will need:
salt to taste
2 tsp of black pepper (more if preferred)
1 yellow onion
1 organic green bell pepper
5 organic humanely raised nitrate free Italian chicken sausages ( or sausages of your choice)
1 organic tomato
6 small organic red potatoes ( I used purple potatoes from a local farmer up the street)
3 Tablespoons of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (purchased at Costco)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Cut up potatoes into fourths. Place in pan as below

Cut the remaining ingredients onions, green bell pepper, sausage, and tomato into bite size pieces and spread throughout pan.

Sprinkle black pepper and salt over ingredients in pan then drizzle Olive Oil.
Place in oven and cook 30 to 35 minutes until potatoes are tender to a fork and sausage is brown. Stir once about half way through the cook time.
My husband was fascinated by the purple potatoes. The dish was delicious. A side salad would have been a wonderful addition. Yummy!

" Mom, where is mine?"


Related Posts with Thumbnails