One Pan Dish – Beef and Veggies in Sesame Garlic Sauce

Top sirloin beef and veggies in a tasty sesame garlic sauce.  Super easy one pan dish in a quick amount of time.

I have been making a lot of meat and veggie dishes as I am trying a new nutrition style.  Recently I found some grass-fed top sirloin steak on sale and purchased quite a bit so I have been doing a lot of beef dishes.  Doing Asian style dishes lets me incorporate so many different kinds of veggies.  This dish I used what veggies I had on hand.  I also used a bottled sauce that I found at Stater Bros market, it is organic and very inexpensive, so I thought I would try it.  It is their Full Circle brand, Organic Garlic Sesame sauce.  It is yummy.

  • Grass fed top sirloin 1-2 pounds or more for leftovers(I love Asian food the next day)
  • organic soy sauce about 4-5 tablespoons
  • granulated garlic
  • ground ginger
  • fresh ground pepper
  • chili paste – I use about 1/2 a teaspoon because I don’t do well with heavy hot, but I want a bit, so it is up to you
  • sesame oil
  • Broccoli
  • snow peas
  • fresh peas
  • water chestnuts
  • kohlrabi
  • fresh garlic
  • sesame garlic sauce, bottled

First I chopped up the meat, place in a dish or you can use a gallon storage bag, add soy sauce, garlic, ginger, ground pepper, chili paste, and sesame oil, mix it up and let it marinate in refrigerator for at least 20 mins, longer if you have time,  to infuse flavor into the meat.

While meat is infusing in flavor, prep veggies.  I use whatever I have on hand at the time.  This dish I used broccoli, kohlrabi, snow peas, fresh peas, water chestnuts, and chopped fresh garlic.  I had recently went to the farmer’s market and picked up some kohlrabi and fresh peas, not veggies you find in the store all the time, but they are a favorite of mine.  The water chestnuts are canned and can be found in the Asian isle at the grocery store.  I love them because they offer a great crunch and do not lose that crunch in cooking.

After meat has soaked up all that flavor, heat up pan, I use stainless steel or cast iron, toss meat in pan and cook on medium for a few minutes, then add veggies and the bottled sauce.  Cook till desired tenderness of meat and veggies.

I prefer my meat med rare to med and my veggies still having a crunch to them, however many people prefer meat cooked well and veggies soft, so it just depends on your tastes.

This is super tasty, inexpensive, and easy.  Oh and healthy too.  Hope you like it!!

Cheers,

Chris

 

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Clam & Bacon Chowder – Comfort Food

Bacon makes everything better that is why I put it in my Clam Chowder.  So warm and filling and it just makes ya feel good.

This post contain affiliate links. If you click thru a link to make a purchase then I will receive a commission or compensation of some kind.

 

This is how I like to make Clam Chowder with Bacon.

You will need:

  • 1/2 lb bacon, chopped or crumpled
  • 3-5 lbs of gold potatoes, diced, small pieces
  • 1 small sweet onion or 1/2 a large one, diced finely
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 3 cans of Snow’s Chopped Clams, retain juice you will use it
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 3/4 Cup of heavy cream or half and half
  • ground thyme, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, bay leaves, parsley

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In a frying pan, fry bacon until crisp, remove from grease, set aside on paper towels.

Next, in a stock pot melt about 1/2 stick of butter, add onions and potatoes and let cook till potatoes are done.  Open all 3 cans of clams and add just the juice from cans to the stock pot.  Take the clams and put in a strainer or colander and rinse them off, set them aside.

Back to the stock pot, add celery and Bay Leaves, I use 2.  Add seasoning, the parsley, garlic and thyme,  I add about 3/4 to 1 teaspoon each, salt and pepper I do about the same, but use your own discretion, some people don’t like heavy salt.

Add heavy cream or half and half and let simmer for about 10 mins, then add the cooked bacon, either chop it up or crumble it into the pot, lastly add the clams, stir gently and let simmer for about 7-10 mins, taste, add more seasoning if necessary, also remember to remove the Bay Leaves,  if not then it is ready to serve.  If you have leftovers, it is great the next day.  When reheating, don’t let it boil, just reheat on low to med heat and stir while reheating until hot.

This is one of my favorite go to meals when I am cold or having a bad day because it makes me feel good.  I hope you like it.  Thanks for reading my blog and checking out this recipe.  If you have any questions, just send me an email.

Cheers,

Chris

 

 

 

 

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How I Improved My Eyesight With Bilberry

How Bilberry improved my eyesight.

“The eyes are the mirror of the soul and reflect everything that seems to be hidden; and like a mirror, they also reflect the person looking into them.”  Paulo Coelho

 

Eyesight, like so many things, you really don’t think about until you have a problem.  Then the most common thing to do is visit the eye doctor.  You find out your eyesight is weaken and you need glasses.  Yes, this happened to me.  Here is my story and how I improved my eyesight and no longer wear glasses or contacts all the time.

In my early 20’s my eyesight became blurry, I could not see well far away.  So off  to the eye doctor I went.  The doctor told me I was nearsighted and that my right eye is much worse than my left eye.  He told me I would need to wear glasses.  So I started wearing glasses.  Every year I would go for a check up and found my eyes were a bit worse each time and needed stronger glasses.  After wearing glasses for many years, I decided to switch to contacts.

I was in my mid 30’s when I got pregnant.  After my son was born, I remember holding him close when I did not have my contacts on.  I could see his face and somehow it was different from when I was wearing my contacts.  It seemed more real.  Not sure if that makes sense or not, but it stands out in my memory, so it has meaning to me.

I started to be on the computer more because I was and still am selling on eBay.  I was having trouble seeing the print, especially if it was small.  So I went to the eye doctor thinking my eyes were worse.  He told me to try wearing reading glasses when I was on the computer.  So I tried that, then I got really bad headaches.  I thought to myself, this is ridiculous, I need to do something about this.

First thing I did was take off the reading glasses, then I took off my contacts.  I looked at the computer screen and lo and behold I could see it, it was not blurry.  Looking away from the screen was still blurry, but at least I could read the computer screen.  So while I was on the computer, I did not use my contacts or reading glasses, but I still needed my contacts otherwise.  Then I researched how to improve eye health and discovered Bilberry.

Bilberry – Botanical name: Vaccinium myrtillus

According to Gaia Herbs, “Bilberry is a shrub belonging to the Ericaceae family.  Bilberry is a perennial shrub native to Northern Europe, Northern America, and Canada. The plant produces a berry similar to the American Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), but the species myrtillus is more densely concentrated in the antioxidant pigments, and is a smaller fruit.

Bilberry contains a group of antioxidants called anthocyanosides. Over 15 different anthocyanosides have been identified in Bilberry. The research on these constituents has focused on their potential ability to protect tissue integrity within the eyes from normal age-related oxidative stress and to promote healthy visual acuity.”

I started taking Bilberry and my eyesight improved.  I was wearing my contacts less and less while at home.  After a few months, I was not wearing my contacts at all.  They had become too strong and I could not see well with them on, so my eye sight had changed for the better.  I still had trouble seeing at night when I was driving.  Lights would bleed together and would make it difficult to drive.  I had an older pair of glasses from one of my 1st prescriptions, so I decided to try them.  They worked well.  So I use these glasses when I drive at night.

For several years now, I have been able to see without the aid of glasses or contacts for the most part.  Is my visions 20/20?  No, I am still nearsighted and my right eye is still worse than my left, but I can see so much better than before and my eyesight is not getting worse every year like it was when I was wearing glasses and contacts.

Bilberry works for me and I still take it on a regular basis.  I believe that it has helped my eye health greatly.  I always try to find ways to improve my health and well-being in the most natural way possible.

In Good Health,

Chris

 

Please as always consult your doctor before taking any supplements of any kind.  The information in this blog is my personal experience and should be regarded as general information.  It is not meant to be medical advice of any kind as I am not a medical person.


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The Common Cold, What I did to survive it

The common cold, it is amazing how something so tiny can make a person so sick.  And what is more amazing is that there is no cure for this dreaded infection.  Having a cold means a virus has invaded your body because that’s what a cold is, a virus.  When a virus enters the body, it can wreak all kinds of havoc.  Then the body’s immune system goes to work and the battle begins.

Recently, I experienced one of the worst colds I have ever had.  It laid me out for over 2 weeks.  My body was weak, had a runny nose, but the worst was the cough and the issues the cough caused.  The coughing was horrible.  I coughed so much and so hard my abdomen hurt and I was in a lot of pain.  It gave me headaches and incontinence.  I was very irritable and grouchy due to lack of sleep.  Sleeping was very difficult because it seemed whenever I laid down, I would cough.

I tried various things to alleviate the symptoms and help my immune system fight this cold.  Some things were helpful, others set me back and made me feel worse.  I wanted to share this because maybe it can help somebody.  I have read so many blogs and articles about what other people have done or experienced and it has enlighten and helped me.  So here are my tips on how to survive having a cold.

1 – Rest

2 – Drink water

3 – Vitamin C

4 – Avoid dairy

5 – Hot Soup

6 – Hot showers

7 – Homemade helper for my cough

8 – Don’t overdo it

Rest, that is the most important thing you can do for your body when you are battling a cold.  The immune system needs time to do its job and fight that virus.

I believe that drinking lots of fluids helps to flush your system out.  Also, it helps thin the mucus.  Your body produces a clear mucus all the time, however when you get sick it can change.  It can become thicker and turn a yellowish-green color.

I am a firm believer that taking Vitamin C can boost your immune system and help fight off the virus.  Drink Orange, or take vitamin C supplements.

Avoiding dairy, fact or myth?  Well for me, it is a fact.  I was eating a lot of comfort food when I was sick.  I had a lot of soup including clam chowder.  Soup was beneficial, clam chowder was not.  I coughed more and it just seemed like I was more congested after having the clam chowder.  Then I had ice cream one evening to sooth my throat and that was also not a good thing.  I coughed more and had a horrible night.  So no dairy for me whenever I am sick.  I make a soup that I call, “make me feel better soup”.

Recipe for Soup:

  • Chicken stock/chicken bone broth
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • several cloves of garlic, chopped or minced
  • fresh ginger grated
  • salt, pepper, sage, thyme

Combine all ingredients in large stock pot and bring to a boil, reduce and simmer till onion is tender.

This soup helps make me feel better and warms me inside.  Onions, garlic, and ginger have many vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help the body fight the cold.

Taking a hot shower made me feel better and helped clear my sinuses.  When I was sick, all I wanted to do was lay in bed.  However, taking several hot showers was very beneficial.  I think you feel a bit better when you are clean.

I tried several over the counter cough syrups, but none helped.  Cough drops with menthol helped a little, but not much.  I looked up home remedies online and tried a few of those.  Here are two I found that were helpful:

  • Thyme tea.  I grow thyme in my yard so I had fresh thyme to make the tea.  Just snip a few sprigs and toss in water, boil and let seep for about 5 mins, sweeten with honey.
  • Honey, Lemon Juice, and Coconut Oil.  Combine 2 Tablespoons of honey, 1 Tablespoon of Organic, unrefined coconut oil, and 2 Tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice in small sauce pan, heat just enough to melt honey and coconut oil, remove from heat, let cool if too hot, but drink when still warm.  It is an interesting taste, but it seemed to help.

When I started to feel a little better, I started to do stuff around the house and overdid it and made myself worse.  It was like one step forward and three steps back.  So be careful not to do too much too soon when you start to feel better.

I try to do my best to avoid getting sick, but unfortunately it is impossible as far as I know, to avoid it completely because there are too many viruses out there and sick people who pass it on.  Common ways to reduce the risk of getting a cold, basically common sense:

  •  Stay away from sick people.  Indeed, logical but not very easy to do
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.  Now this is an easy one and very practical one.
  • Don’t touch your face a lot, especially if your hands are not clean.

Well that’s a wrap on this cold business.  I certainly hope I can avoid getting a cold anytime soon, never would be better, but I doubt that.  Having a cold sucks and I hope that sharing my experience may be insightful to others.

Stay healthy,

Chris

 

Please note medical disclaimer:  The information on this site and in my blog is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on this blog is for general information purposes only.

 

 

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How to Not Stress Out, 15 Ways I Use to Chill Out

Here are 15 ways that I use to deal with stress when life gets tough.

Stress is an issue that most people face sometime in their life and some more than others.  Stress can cause a host of problems, both mental and physical.

Being stressed out is something I am familiar with, just ask my husband or son, lol.  For me, being pre-menopausal, having a teenage son, and an adult child for a husband, is just the tip of the iceberg.  Then, adding in all the little things, I won’t bore you with the details, but so many are common issues that most everyone faces, like:  money issues, unemployment, health issues, lack of communication, and just trying to balance everything going on in your life.  It is like being a volcano, simmering on the inside, ready to blow.

Stress was causing me a lot of problems and like a pebble tossed in a pond, it caused problems all around me.  So I asked myself, why am I stressed out and how am I going to fix these issues.  Here are 15 ways to help deal with stress that I use and work for me.

1 – Realizing you need to “Just Let It Go”.  This is the biggest one for me, I would not let things go.  For example, I harbored much anger and hatred for a family member because of things that happened long ago.  I asked myself, why are you carrying this heavy burden, it is only hurting you not her, she is not even aware.  That made me realize that she was still hurting me and I was letting her.  Well, I decided it is time to let THAT shit go.  Look inside yourself, if you are holding on to old resentments, anger, hostility, or hatred, you need to Let It Go.  The only person it is hurting is You.

2 – Trying not to take things personally.  In this day and age, too many people take things WAY to personally that it is out of control.  In my little world, when the husband or kid go silent, I always thought it was something I said or did, and they didn’t want to talk about it.  I got so used to things being my fault that I thought everything was my fault, well I discovered, that is crap.  Most of the time it has nothing to do with me, so I just stopped thinking that it does.

3 – Don’t be overprotective.  This was a constant source of stress between my son and me.  My son would get pissed at me all the time and accuse me of being overprotective.  Yes, I was.  I would get so worried and stressed out every time he walked out the door.  Well that was ridiculous, it caused problems, stress, and yelling matches.  Time to change.  I needed to have faith in my son and trust that what I have been pounding into his head all these years would guide him to make wise choices and be a responsible person.  I think of the movie Footloose, where the Reverend is making a speech in church about trusting our children, “if we don’t trust our children, how will they become trustworthy?” Indeed, so I have learned to trust my son more and not be so overprotective, still protective, just not overly.

4 – Learning to Take Deep Breathes.  This really does work.  Just take deep breaths to calm down.  I take a deep breath in thru my nose and exhale slowly thru my nose.  I find this incredibly helpful.

5 – Finding humor in things, Laugh.  This may sound silly, but laughing is a great stress reliever, so is crying, but I would rather laugh.   Don’t take things so seriously that you don’t laugh.

 

6 – Making time to Unplug.  When I was a kid, there were no cell phones, personal computers, or all the electronic garbage that there is today.  Too much technology is unhealthy, in my opinion.  It can hurt you both mentally and physically.  You need to have breaks from all the electronics.  For example, sitting at the computer for hours is not real good for my physical health, I have to get up and move every 20 or 30 mins or my knees and back give me problems.  And what about kids today, it seems they cannot do anything unless they have a cell phone in their hands.  I wonder if they know how to talk face to face, lol.

7 – Spending time talking, Communicate.  This may sound simple, but it can be a real issue that causes stress.  Lack of communication can be a paramount problem, as I have seen in my household on a number of occasions.  Talk, communicate, know what is going on, don’t just assume.  It is vital, in my opinion, to have open lines of communication.

8 – Writing things down.  I needed an outlet, a way to get shit off my chest.  So I wrote it down, just let it pour out whatever had me so pissed off.  I also started a blog, that was another outlet for me.  It has been a way to share my experiences with others in hope to help them.

9 – Finding an outlet.  I read, it is probably my best outlet to escape.  When I read, I am so focused on the book that I don’t think of anything else.  There are lots of outlets.  Some people workout, run, cook, bake, meditate, and so many others.  Just find your outlet.

10 – Organizing clutter, getting rid of junk.  Every couple of months I reorganize.  I just get annoyed at all the clutter around my house.  I move furniture, throw stuff out, and  rearrange cabinets.  Too much clutter can be stressful, so just organize or get rid of it.

11 – Having quiet time.  Most households today are filled with electronics.  It can be very noisy.  Lots of noise can cause stress, especially on a consist basis.   Loud TV programs and the sound of machine guns killing zombies, or whatever is what I hear everyday, so quiet time for me is essential.

12 – Making certain you get enough quality sleep.  Sleep is vital to maintaining our body.  When we are sleeping our body repairs and rejuvenates itself.  I, personally am a very cranky person when I don’t get enough sleep.  The picture above is one of my cats, he sleeps so deeply, I had to take a picture.

13 – Hanging out with friends, socialize.  Humans are social beings.  We need to socialize.  After being out of the work force for many years and just being a stay at home mom, it seems like I just withdrew.  I stopped socializing, I didn’t go out, I didn’t do anything.  This was not good.  Socializing, just like communication, is so important.

14 – Don’t be negative.  Negativity can cause stress and it can compound into bigger issues.   It is a choice, you can choose to be positive or you can choose to be negative.

15 – Pray.  I believe in God and I pray.  It works for me.  If that is not your thing, that is OK.  I learned a long time ago it is not good to try to push religion on someone.  A lot of people believe in some kind of higher power or energy and that’s great, whatever works for you.  If you don’t believe in anything like that, that is OK too because it is your choice.  If all else fails, prayer is always there.

Trying to be stress free is probably close to impossible in the world we live in today.  However, how you deal with it is up to you.  Thanks for reading.

Cheers,

Chris

 

 

 

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Quick & Easy Skillet Meals with Chicken

Here are 2 Chicken and Pasta dishes that are quick and easy made in a skillet.

Short on time?  Here are some skillet meals that are simple and don’t take much effort or time.

My son comes home from school and says “Mom, I’m hungry.”  I ask, “What do you want to eat?”  And what answer do you think I get?  “I don’t know”, hmm yes, the famous I don’t know.  Ever wonder how “I don’t know” is made I do, lol.  So I make sure I have either leftovers or some precooked ingredients so I can put something together quickly.  Because naturally he wants it right away, if not he could starve in the next 30 mins ya know, lol.

I buy chicken in family packages, it is cheaper and we eat a lot of chicken.  I cook all the chicken in a large skillet or bake it in the oven so it is ready to go.  Like the picture above?, here is the recipe:

  • mini penne pasta, cooked as per package, in salted water, about 1/2 the package
  • cooked chicken, 1 or 2 chicken breasts
  • frozen peas, about 1/2 a cup
  • diced carrots, 1 smaill
  • diced onions, about 1/2 a cup or optional
  • salt, pepper, garlic, sage, to taste
  • heavy cream, about 1/2 a cup

In skillet, saute carrots and onions in olive oil or butter, or you can use some of the salted pasta water to simmer the veggies in, once they are cooked a bit, add the peas, simmer a min, then add heavy cream, stir and add in the cooked pasta, it will absorb some of the liquid, add chicken last because it is all ready cooked and you don’t want to dry it out.  Add seasonings, let simmer till hot and it is ready to go.

You can switch up veggies to whatever you have on hand.  I have used broccoli instead of peas and corn instead of carrots.  If you are cooking the chicken and making this, you can use the chicken juice to cook the veggies in.

Here is another idea, Spaghetti with chicken and broccoli in cheese sauce.

What you need for this recipe:

  • Spaghetti, cooked according to package in salt water, I used about 1/2 the package
  • cooked chicken, 1 or 2 chicken breasts
  • broccoli, cooked, I usually steam mine or you can saute it in butter about a cup
  • heavy cream, about a 1/2 cup
  • butter,  2 or 3 tablespoons
  • flour or arrow-root powder, about 1/2 teaspoon
  • onions, according to your taste
  • garlic, 1 or 2 cloves, or according to your taste
  • cheese, I use Asiago cheese, usually people use Parmesan, about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup

Begin by sauteing some onions and garlic with butter in a skillet until caramelized, remove from pan and set aside, now make a roux in same pan, meaning melt butter, when melted add a little bit of flour or arrow-root so that is becomes like a paste, then add in heavy cream, stir to incorporate, add back in the onions and garlic, then add in shredded cheese, stir to melt it.  Keep on low simmer, add in cooked broccoli, cooked spaghetti, and cooked chicken.  Mix gently to incorporate all ingredients together.  Once all ingredients are hot, ready to serve.

I look at these like base recipes that you can adjust to your own tastes.  For me, I add onions to just about everything, some people are not big fans of onions, so just leave them out.  I use Asiago cheese in the recipe above, it is a stronger cheese than Parmesan, but we like the taste however some people may not, so Parmesan is a milder cheese.

I think it is fun to play around with recipes and use ingredients that you like.  Hopefully these will be useful to you to make them as is or change them up to your tastes.  Thanks for visiting my blog and check out the recipes.

Cheers,

Chris

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9 Ways To Shop Smart and Save Money At The Grocery Store

Here are 9 ways that I use to shop smart, getting the most nutritional value, while trying to save money at the grocery store.

1 – Stock up when stuff is ON SALE.  Who wants to pay full price?  Not me, so when stuff I use often goes on sale I stock up.  For example, I use canned olives.  I like Lindsay Olives, but they can be expensive.   I have seen them priced at 2.99 or 3.99 a can at different stores.  I wait until they are on sale for .99, then I buy 6 or 8 cans.  Canned chili is another example,  my husband likes canned chili and it can be expensive for Hormel or Dennison’s chili, so I stock up when it is on sale.  Many canned, frozen, or packaged stuff like rice or noodles, can last several months, so stocking up when stuff is on sale is a great way to save money.  Especially when unforeseen things happen that cause you to put out extra money, your pantry will be full because you stocked up.

2 – Use Coupons to save money.  There are still a few coupons that come in the Sunday paper, for those who still read the newspaper.  There are lots of digital coupons out there on different web sites and most stores offer coupons too.

3 – Join the savings clubs to receive discounts.  It seems like every store has some type of savings or discount club.  Basically,  they want your info so they can send you advertisements and coupons.  So I give them my name and email and they give me discounts, not a bad deal.  I shop at Vons, they have a Vonsclub.  Free to join and you get lots of savings.  Plus, I get additional coupons emailed to me on the stuff I buy a lot with the Just 4 U savings with the Vonsclub.  I shop at Bevmo.  They offer a huge variety of alcohol, wine, and beer.  They have a club, it is free, join, and get discounts.  Why pay full price?

4 – Shopping at Big Box Stores is not always the best choice, in my opinion.  I am not a big fan of places like Walmart and do not shop there very often.  They don’t offer a lot of variety of different items, they are not always the lowest prices, and the quality of stuff is not the greatest.  Just because it is cheaper, doesn’t mean it is the best deal.

5 – Don’t limit yourself to one store,  shop around.  There are certain products at certain stores that I feel is the best product for the best price.  I shop at Trader Joe’s because they have stuff I like at a good price.  I try to buy natural and organic food whenever possible.  For example, ketchup and butter are two items I go to Trader Joe’s for because I love their product and the price is right  I shop at Sprouts, it is the only place I can get raw milk.  They offer many organic and natural products that I cannot get anywhere else.

6 – Buying Discount Meat is not a bad thing, in my opinion.  Meat is perishable, therefore the way it is packaged and stored is very important.  Meat usually has a “use by date”, which means it is suggested that you use it by this date.  Does that mean that after that date the meat is bad?  Not necessarily, nobody knows exactly when a piece of meat is going to go bad, it is a suggested date.  Meat that is within one or two days of the “use by date” may be marked down for quicker sale, so you can get a real good deal.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to pay some of these ridiculous prices for meat so buying discounted meat and meat when it goes on sale is the way I save money.  I also like to get meat that is vacuum sealed, it can last longer and easy to freeze.  The picture above is bacon that I purchased at a discounted price.

7 – Read Labels.  Do you know what you are eating?  Do you care?  I think you should, what you eat affects your health.  Processed foods are loaded with chemicals, refined sugar, and refined salt, they may be cheaper, but in the long run will end up costing you more.  Take a look around, there are a lot of overweight and sick people because of unhealthy foods.  For example, pictured above is the ingredients for Nutella.  Sugar is the main ingredient, that means sugar is the most of what it contains, bottom line, it is mostly refined sugar.  Next picture is JIF natural peanut butter.  Sugar is the 2nd ingredient.  Why is sugar there at all?  Peanut butter is made of peanuts and oil.  Think about it.  I believe reading labels will help you make smarter choices when purchasing products.

8 – Check out local farmer’s markets.  Depending on where you live they can be seasonal or year round.  I am lucky living in Southern CA, they are everywhere here.  Shopping at farmer’s market helps the local economy, which is important.  You can talk to the people, find out about the stuff they are selling.  Everything is fresh and local and usually cheaper than the store.  I fully support farmer’s markets.

COMMON SENSE

The dictionary defines common sense as: good sense and sound judgment in practical matters

9 – Use Common Sense, this is most important, I think.  Sometimes I think people don’t use their common sense or have been brainwashed into believing exactly what they are told.  For example, I personally know several people who pour milk down the drain when it has reached the date stamped on the carton.  Is the milk bad? How do you know?  Well you could smell it or taste it, that is what common sense tells me, if it smells sour or tastes bad, than down the drain it goes, but if it is OK, why waste it,  just because the date says so.  I have had milk go bad BEFORE the date stamped on the carton, does that mean I should still drink it?, Duh!  This is what I am talking about, common sense.  Most dates on food are a suggested use by date.

Use common sense when shopping.  Ask questions, read labels, compare products, that is smart shopping.

These are tactics and ways that I use to get the most value for the least amount of money.  I just want to share them with you because I want you to get the best value for your money.  I am not saying or suggesting that you do these things, only sharing what I do.   Thanks for reading.

Chris

 

 

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How to Make Lemon/Lime Desert Bars

Bursting with flavor and richness, these Lemon/Lime Bars are a sweet and tangy bite.

 

To make these you will need:

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter soften
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup regular sugar
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • zest of lemon or lime or both
  • 4-5 Tablespoons of lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, I use Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 2 eggs, beat first before adding to mixture
  • powder sugar for sprinkling on top

 

Heat the oven to 350 degrees

Mix 1 cup of the flour, butter, and powdered sugar.  Using a 8x8x2 or 9x9x2, press into ungreased pan, build up edges a bit.  Then bake just the crust for 20 mins.  When done, let crust cool down a bit before adding mixture.  I think letting the crust cool first makes a difference with color and texture.

Meanwhile,  mix regular sugar, 1/4 cup flour  juice and zest of lemon or lime, baking powder, and eggs with a mixer on high for about 3 mins, I have also mixed by hand and it comes out fine, plus I get a workout, till it is light and fluffy, them pour this mixture over the cooled crust.

Bake for 25 to 30 mins.  There should be no wiggly in the middle, once done, remove and it must cool.  I generally wait until it is cooled to cut away from edges, then I cover and refrigerate overnight.  They cut easier when cold and they taste better when cold.  Once cut into squares, bars, or bite size pieces,  then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

I have used this recipe with conventional limes, key limes, conventional lemons, Meyer lemons, and a combo of both.  The conventional limes had more flavor than the key limes and were much easy to use because they are bigger.  I love using Meyer lemons, they have a great flavor.  Also, combining both was good.  I have revised this recipe since I have been playing around with it to get more flavor.

Hope you like them.

Cheers,

Chris

 

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Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Bacon wrapped stuffed mini sweet peppers are packed with flavor.

 I just love mini sweet peppers.  They are fresh, colorful, crunchy, and bursting with flavor.  Stuff them and add bacon, because bacon makes everything better, and oh boy, what a yummy bite.  This has sweet, salty, crunch, and heat all in one bite.  These peppers are easy to make and you only need a few ingredients.  Great for appetizers, check it out.

You will need:

  • Package of Bacon
  • About 10-15 Mini Sweet Peppers
  • 3/4 to 1 pound of hamburger
  • 1/4 to 1/2 onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • Blue Cheese
  • Seasonings, Season liberally with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion
  • BBQ Sauce

Prepare peppers for stuffing.  Clean and chop off top, clean out the seeds and stuff inside and slice in half and set aside.  Finely dice the onion and jalapeno.  In bowl combine hamburger, onion, jalapeno and gently mix well.  Add 3 or 4 tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese and sprinkle in the seasonings, mix gently.  Take the hamburger mix and stuff inside the cut mini peppers.  Fill all the peppers then take a piece of bacon and wrap around the pepper.  Use a toothpick to hold together if necessary.  Depending on the size of the pepper you can cut a piece of bacon in half and on larger peppers you can use a whole piece.  I use parchment paper to line  the bottom of a baking dish or baking pan and a rack inside so clean up is easier and so the peppers don’t sit in the grease.  Place all peppers on the rack in the baking pan and cook at 400 degrees for about 35-45 min.  Bacon should be browned and crispy all the way around.

After about 25-30 min they should be browned and a little crispy on the top side, take them out and brush them with BBQ sauce and then turn them over so the underside can get done and crispy.  Back in oven for remaining 10 mins or so.

Remove from oven and brush again with BBQ Sauce and they are ready to go.  I hope you like them.  Cheers,

Chris

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BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with Coleslaw

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders, just in time for game day.  Who will be winning this Super Bowl Sunday?  The fans, because we get to kick back and eat, drink, and if you are like me, yell at the TV.  I love to make appetizers and snacks for Super Bowl Sunday, or any day really.  Pork Sliders are a favorite of mine, had them at a restaurant and decided to make my own.  The pork, BBQ Sauce and coleslaw are all homemade.

This post contains affiliate links and links to my eBay store.

This is how I make BBQ Pork Sliders with Coleslaw.  Hope you enjoy!

I make the pork ahead of time so it is ready to go.

  • Pork shoulder or pork loin roast 2-3 pounds
  • Seasoning: salt, pepper, granulated garlic I use Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Slider buns or hamburger buns

Place pork in crock pot, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Set to cook on low for about 5 to 6 hours.  When pork is done, remove pork and drain crock pot of liquid.  Once drained, place pork back in crock pot, then take fork and pull the pork apart.  It should pull apart easily.  Once all the pork is pulled apart, then add BBQ Sauce.

BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 24 oz bottle of Ketchup, I use Trader Joe’s Organic Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar, I use Bragg’s Organic with the mother
  • 1/4 cup Organic molasses
  • 1/3 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of hickory liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt, I use Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion(optional)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Butter, I use organic grass-fed butter from Trader Joe’s.  Do not use margarine or any kind of fake butter.  The butter is optional, I use it because it adds a rich, velvet like texture to the sauce.

Combine all ingredients in a medium size sauce pot and heat on low till warm to hot, no need to boil, heating only to combine the ingredients well.  I put the butter in last so that it melts well.

This is my version of BBQ sauce.  There are times when I have added real maple syrup or honey and reduce the amount of brown sugar just to get a little different flavor.

The best thing about making your own BBQ Sauce is that you have made it yourself and you know what you put in it.  If you read the labels on BBQ sauce in the stores, 90% of them have High Fructose Corn Syrup and that is not an ingredient I want to ingest.  HFCS is a sweetener made from corn starch.  HFCS has been linked to many health issues and it is generally a GMO, which is a Genetically Modified Organism.

Back to the Pulled Pork, so the pork is sitting in the crock pot, now add that delicious BBQ Sauce and gently mixed it in.  It is ready to eat, or put it away for later.  On to the coleslaw now.

Coleslaw

  • 1 small head of green cabbage
  • 1/2 large carrot or 1 small one
  • 1/4 cup onion, I use maui sweet or walla walla onions
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • dash of Sriracha salt
  • pepper

In food processor combine cabbage, carrot, and onion, shred to how you like it.  I do mine really fine so it is easier to put on the slider.  Place shredded stuff in bowl and mix in mayo and rice vinegar, then add Sriracha salt and pepper.  Taste to make sure you like it, adjust ingredients if necessary to your own tastes.

Now let’s put it together.  Take the BBQ pork and put on slider/hamburger bun, place some of the coleslaw on top of BBQ pork and enjoy.

or if you prefer the coleslaw on the side

either way is yummy.  I like to serve with chips, so you have a nice crunch.

Hope you enjoy this, Cheers

Chris

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