Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Dish Hoarder vs Realistic Minimalist - You Can't be Both!

Wow, September has been such a busy month!  I have been really distracted and unfortunately have been working on things that just aren't interesting enough to blog about!  I can only do so many posts about cleaning out our 'storage rooms' - we had 2 rooms that were full of things we haven't gone through since we moved into our house 4 years ago.  I was bored even thinking about it lol.  We also had a houseguest for a week, which is why we were doing so much cleaning!  It was a lot of fun having my dad here for a week, but we mostly played video games, watched movies and ate junk food!  My kind of vacation (and luckily his too).  And then I was feeling sick for awhile so I wasn't even making anything fun to eat - unless you want to hear about my bagel consumption??  Lol, but now I'm hopefully back on track!

Today, I wanted to talk about an idea I've been twirling around in my head - I saw this great video about someone who is trying to live a minimalistic lifestyle and as part of that has reduced their daily dishes to 1 per person.  At first I was ready to jump up and do it - that would reduce my dishes to almost nothing and I doubt it's a surprise to hear that I hate doing dishes.  Then I realized that having just 2 of everything would mean I would have to hand wash dishes between every meal...wait I would definitely hate that!  Lol

So I've been trying to figure out what would be more realistic for us.  I think I've decided that 6 of everything would be more realistic - then I could go an entire day without having to do dishes and could just run them each night.  Hopefully putting all of my extra dishes in the pantry will kind of be 'out of sight, out of mind' and I can keep from just getting more out.  As you can see from the picture above, I have plenty of 'more'...and I just can't seem to get rid of any!  I really need to figure out what I need to keep vs what's ok to give away!  All the dark blue dishes are from our wedding...I literally have enough serving dishes for a WEDDING!!

Besides dishes, I also need to work on figuring out what I actually need prep wise.   For example,  I've reduced my mixing bowls but I still have 4 glass bowls, 4 metal bowls, plus 2 large metal bowls - and this doesn't even include my tiny bowls (I have at least 30 different bowls that hold less than 1 cup) or my Tupperware bowls (I have 3 large drawers full of plastic containers)...this is AFTER I went through everything and got rid of what I didn't think I needed!!!  I think I have an addiction!   So yeah,  I'm going to have to go through it all again and really make some hard decisions - I don't even use the smaller metal bowls but I just can't convince myself to get rid of them!!

So my goal in the next few weeks is to take a hard look at my kitchen and work towards being a Realistic Minimalist.  We are only 2 people - I don't need enough dishes to feed an entire football team!!

I'll post about my progress when I've got my cabinets organized!  Wish me luck, there may be some crying involved. :)

Have a great day!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Blueberry Muffins

I'm back! Yay! I have been really absent! I just haven't had time to tend to the blog, that will all change now. I'm getting into a routine now that my big boy is in Kindergarten...yeah that happened! I was stressing out, mildly! I had no room in my head to post. He's all settled now. Love his school and his teacher, I'm so happy! On to the recipe!

This has some sour cream, it sure does help keep it moist and tart. I have blueberries in the freezer that need to be eaten.

I bought another cookbook, shocking I know! I like to keep tabs on my favorite chef/TV host cookbooks and I clicked (ebook) on one that had a similar name that I look for. Once I realized I kept browsing because it had brunch in the title. I love breakfast foods, I really like brunch too. I purchased it and started flipping through and bookmarking almost every recipe. It's so good!

In the front of this book was a blueberry muffin recipe, I had to try it. I'm so glad I did!

This makes 24 muffins. You will need 2 muffin tins, greased or with liners if you want. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. *Bring 4 large or 3 extra large eggs to room temperature.


2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
12 Tablespoons unsalted softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
*4 large eggs at room temp
1/4 cup half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour cream
2 ish cups frozen or fresh blueberries

In small bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. In a large bowl combine butter and sugar beat for 3 minutes on high until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, add half and half, vanilla and sour cream. Add flour mixture, mix until just as you see no more flour. Fold in blueberries and using a scoop fill your muffins wells. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Now mine took longer, I think my oven is breaking. Just bake until the edges turn golden brown.

I really hope you try these, they come together quickly and they are scrumptious!

Adapted from Bubby's Brunch Cookbook

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese...kind of

Wow!  I can't believe how quickly it feels like Fall around here!  For some reason,  Fall always makes me want to get out my slow cooker.  I know most people like to use them during Summer to keep the stove off,  but I don't have to worry about the heat so for me it's Fall!!  Luckily, Felicia agreed and our Cookbook of the Month is for Slow Cookers!  Unfortunately, I won't be using a recipe from there this week - I wanted to make mac & cheese, but their recipe called for condensed cheese soup.  I understand why - the cheese sauce tends to get grainy in slow cookers - but if I'm going to use something like that I might as well eat Kraft (which is my favorite even though I get told how awful it is everytime I tell someone I still eat it - it's my go to when I'm sick)...

Since I was thinking about making (and eating)  mac & cheese for hours, I really wanted it!  I decided to try making my own, since there are lots of people who think it turns out fine.  I tweaked the recipe enough that it's definitely my own, and I like it enough to use it again (but it's still not Kraft...)

3 cups milk
Sprinkle of garlic powder, paprika and pepper
4 cups of shredded cheese (I used the Mexican 4 Cheese kind)
3 cups pasta, your choice, uncooked

Butter your slow cooker.  Add all of the ingredients and stir together.  Set it for low heat, but it will only need to cook for about 2- 2 1/2 hours.  I stirred mine every 30 minutes until it was thick and creamyish, and the pasta was cooked.

So, yep tasty but grainy...hmm but I had an idea!  I put some of the mac on my panini press and grilled it (I usually like to fry it in a pan, but it was easy and I was hungry)  and I feel like it was totally worth making now.  So I'm going to put the rest in the fridge, and fry it up for lunch tomorrow (and maybe a few days after - there's a good amount).

Have a great day!
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