The Sweetest Thing.

" I feel there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people" ~Van Gogh

No Spending Month. May 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 6:00 am

I’m a bit of a self improvement junky. This is not to say that I am not happy with my current self/life, just that I think there is always room to grow. Self evaluation is an ongoing past time of mine. I just want to be sure I am living my best possible life. Healthy living & weight loss are a part of that, but not my entire focus.

For the month of May, I have decided to focus on finances. I suck at money. I am great at paying bills and having what I need and many little things that I want, but I am not good at saving for bigger purchases or emergencies. We seem to live both beyond & below are means. Beyond in the sense that we are often living paycheck to paycheck & using our excess income to fulfill immediate desires and below in the sense that if we could just conserve funds for a few paychecks, we could afford some of the bigger things we actually need- like new furniture or travel. It is frustrating and I want to break the cycle, so I have declared May a no spending month. Bills will obviously be paid and I will buy the necessary cleaning and paper products for the house. For food, I will buy items to go along with what we already have in the house. Things I will not spend money on include- coffee out, meals out & ordering in, entertainment, new clothes or anything else I don’t actually need. Instead, I have been inviting friends over for coffee in my backyard, experimenting with new recipes to keep eating at home exciting as well keeping some healthy quick options in the freezer for when I don’t want to cook. For entertainment, we have been watching movies on Netflix, playing games and using the library. I did buy the new David Sedaris book for my kindle because it is our book club selection for the month & i need/want to read it. I debated this purchase but since another bill was less than expected, I just used the “extra” for it. Pinterest fashion searches have inspired me to rethink outfits from the extensive collection of clothes I already own.

Instead of just buying whatever I want, I am trying to think about what I can use in place of something or if I even really need it. It actually feels really good. I have been keeping a list of things I have thought about buying but decided I did not really need. The hope is that some of the habits stick around long after this month and that I can build on those.

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Caramelized Onion, Cremini Mushroom & Spinach Quiche. May 7, 2013

Looking back at the few recipes I have published on this blog so far, I see quite a few of them are egg recipes. What can I say? Eggs are cheap, delicious and a great source of protein! I will often make my egg dishes without a crust to keep them healthier for everyday eating, but once in awhile, usually for dinner or Sunday brunch, I indulge. For some reason, quiche used to seem fancy to me & I assumed it was difficult to make. It is not. This combination is a favorite of mine and made from household staples but you can put just about anything in quiche, so adjust to your tastes or what you have in the house to use up.

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Caramelized Onion, Cremini Mushroom & Spinach Quiche

1 pie crust (your favorite recipe or store bought)
1 Tbls Olive Oil
1 large red onion, sliced thin
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 large handfuls spinach
4 oz cheese of choice, shredded (cheddar & Swiss are both delicious)
6 eggs
1/2 c milk
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Press rolled pie crust into bottom of deep dish pie pan.
2.  Heat olive oil  in large frying pan over medium heat, add onions & cook until caramelized, stirring as needed.
3. Once onions are caramelized, add sliced mushrooms & cook until browned on both sides.
4. Add handfuls of spinach & heat until wilted & bright green.
5. Add veggies to pie crust.

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6. Mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper & half off the cheese together.
7. Pour over veggies.
8. Top with remaining cheese.
9. Bake at 375° until firm in center & golden brown around the edges (about 40 minutes)
10. Cool slightly before eating
11. Enjoy!

 

Catching Up & a Meal Plan.

Filed under: Meal Plan — Jessica @ 12:03 am
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So, it’s been quite awhile since I have posted anything & all I really have to say about it is, life happens It has been good. May marks the month of both my Dad’s birth date and the date of his death, so it can be a rough one. I have been taking the time to care for myself, body & soul. With the nicer weather, there have been lots of walks and lots of time lounging in the backyard. I have started my gardening for the year and read a lot of books that inspire me in some way or another. Entertaining is also easier in the sunshine and I’ve been having people over. Yesterday I had a Cinco de Mayo celebration (just for fun). I made a chicken & bean enchilada casserole, margarita slushies and the most delicious churro flavored cupcakes! This Sunday, I will be celebrating the awesome mom’s in my family with a Mother’s Day cookout!

I have actually not been cooking a ton lately. Not because I don’t want to, but because we can only eat so much…. I tend to eat a big salad for lunch everyday, so leftovers end up being dinner several days a week.

Monday- Leftover meatloaf (made with 90% lean, organic ground beef), fresh green beans
Tuesday- Leftover enchilada casserole, green smoothie
Wednesday- I will be attending a gardening workshop & I am going to pack a sandwich picnic for a friend & I before the workshop
Thursday- Baked Parmesan Tilapia, green beans,  baked sweet potato
Friday- It is the honey’s bday so her meal of choice is homemade eggplant parmesan, salad & garlic bread
Saturday- Leftovers
Sunday- Mother’s Day cookout

My baby girl will be turning 11 on Thursday! I am going to make her a steak!

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