Quest For Less – Christmas Decos

                         After

In preparation for possibly selling my house, I sorted and purged  my Christmas decorations. 

Wow   Really?!? 

Did I really haul that around through at least six moves and every year up & down steps?!? Carrying all those boxes?

It is amazing how I mindlessly chose to spend my energy. 

  • Emotional energy – storing ornaments that meant nothing emotionally and then being overwhelmed by too much that my precious ones didn’t even get put on the tree. (My tree had zero ornaments this year.)
  • Physical energy – Just thinking about how long I’ve had the excess and remembering where I lived when I bought it. Oh man, how much energy I could have saved if I hadn’t moved it and packed it.
  • Financial energy – There was some I bought but not much. Most of the ones I am donating were gifts (Really were more emotional energy –  because I felt bad just because they were a gift! )

Five boxes and a giant Christmas tree REDUCED TO two boxes and a small tree. 12 feet of floor space REDUCED TO 3 feet of floor space.

I had kept my mom’s old tree and her cardboard ornament box from when I was little. I am 53. Really!?! 50 years!?! Yes, it was time to release that energy back into the world.

The things I kept had a theme. Three small pieces from my childhood and the rest were memories that the boys and I made after I healed from the divorce. They support me, make me smile and remind me that I created a good family. 

Going forward I feel empowered. I am storing my boys’ best memories instead of drowning in feelings of what could have or should have been.

(PS – yes, the “snow” under the tree is just pillow stuffing that the dog destroyed the other day – lol)

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Weekend Cooking – Why?

I am on a mission to make my life simpler and my family’s memories stronger. My Monday -Friday business is getting ready to swing into high gear and I need to get this cooking thing under control. I have always cooked on the weekends but am typically trying new things that don’t translate well to keeping food on the table the rest of her week. 

Without sacrificing creativity – cooking, baking and prepping need to do double duty. Stress relief and function.

The recipe part of Weekend Cooking blog posts are not about how to boil & peel an egg or if I prefer Hellman’s to Miracle Whip, it’s a reminder of the quick ways I put food together. These are the foundations of meals that my kids will remember. My son’s will be able to take the basic premise and recreate my flavors, while learning to make it their own.

 Next week will be my favorite Sloppy Joe’s recipe – equal parts ketchup, BBQ sauce and brown sugar added to leftover ground beef and served on old hotdog buns from the freezer. (How very 1960’s lunch!) What does the essence of that recipe say?  Sweet! That is the WHY FACTOR that made my Mom’s Sloppy Joe’s  not like my friend’s mom. My gift to my kids is for them not to wistfully remember my cooking, but to be able to recreate it and the memories behind it. (And to NOT remember everything as perfect – I served old hot dog buns, but I served them with love! πŸ’œ)

Weekend Cooking blog posts will also be about My Future Self πŸ’œ. When I open the fridge Monday – Friday I want to look in there and be grateful that I took the time to be kind to the Future Me. I usually leave Future Me lots of to-do’s. Having ground beef in the freezer for Tuesday night tacos is not the same as taco meat, prepped, and ready to heat up. 

SAMPLE FROM NEXT WEEK – 

Sunday Breakfast – Toast & Egg Salad– Homemade artisan white bread, lightly toasted with egg salad, thinly sliced fresh from the garden tomato & a turn of black pepper. My Egg Salad is mayo, yellow mustard, s&p and mashed with a fork. I LOVE onion in it, but have discovered I don’t like onion breath at 7am.“Every type of salad says something about the person eating it” Food 52 article. Guess I’m a throw it in a bowl & mash it with a fork kind of person! 

Weekend Cooking – πŸ“ Roast Chicken

I have never had a fresh chicken. My girlfriend orders eggs, hatches them, raises them and kills them. And I was the lucky recipient of one. 

Waaaaay  better! I’m going to have a hard time using up the rest of my stinky store-bought chicken now. 

If you are a fan of beautiful golden skinned roast chicken you should use my BFF Julia Child’s recipe. Trussing, oiling, herbing, basting & high heat create French perfection. My version is called….hmmm?…lazy. 

I gave the chicken a quick rinse, didn’t even oil the roaster and threw it in the pan, unsure if breast or butt was pointed up. My only goal was to get it in with the least amount of raw chicken juices splattering in my kitchen. Sprinkled on some generic poultry seasoning, put on the lid and roasted until the meat thermometer was close enough.

Lazy Perfection!

Saturday Lunch – Chicken Salad – mayo, grapes, celery, almonds & a tiny dab of whole grainy mustard.

  • Sat Prep – cut up all veggies in the fridge & stored them in individual containers while listening to podcasts.
  •  Sat Prep – big batch of plain rice
  • Sat Prep – Chicken Stock  – boiled carcass with wilted celery scraps, strained, picked chicken meat off bones & threw the whole pot in the fridge. Love those podcasts!

Saturday SupperOrange Chicken  – stir-fried carrot, celery, red pepper, broccoli. Added equal parts BBQ sauce and orange marmalade plus a squirt of Sriracha and heated to boil. Added almonds & chicken and served over rice.

  • Sun Prep – boiled eggs, drank coffee β˜•while writing blog posts πŸ“and playing with picture symbols πŸ’Ÿ. 

Sunday Breakfast – Toast and Egg Salad 

Sunday LunchSloppy Joe’s – leftover ground beef, equal parts ketchup, BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Sweet! Yep, we like it sweet. Served it on old stale hotdog buns from freezer. Tastes like my favorite lunch from the 1960’s. 

Sunday Supper – Popcorn