I'm not the biggest of cooks. Most people know this. I'd rather spend my time outside the kitchen. But I do try and I do want to be and do better.
This year Sam and I have vowed to be more conscious of what we buy and what goes in our mouths and the mouths of our children. More good and less bad. We have already made great strides, replacing many boxed and canned items with healthier options and homemade recipes. That's not to say I won't be baking any cookies or will forgo the bacon. I love cookies and bacon. I do believe in treats in moderation. I just mean that we need to focus more on getting in more good, and limiting the bad; with eliminating certain bads all together. Like canned spaghettios, ramen noodles, and Tim's favorite fruit snacks. Sorry, Tim.
For us, being more conscious means weekly solo trips to the grocery store for Mama. This way we can keep a constant flow of more fresh fruit and veggies in the house, as well as give me time in store to research and read labels and ingredients without screaming children rushing me. You know you're really in for a good time when you spend 10 minutes reading the back of every brand of salad dressing on the shelf.
I have decided to make more of an effort and be in the kitchen more preparing meals and homemade snacks for my family. That's not to say everything I make will be a million times healthier, but it does mean I know exactly what is going into our mouths and will have a more informed choice of ingredients. You have to remember, I'm not the greatest of cooks (Sorry Mom, it's not your fault, you tried!). My skill set in the kitchen is pretty limited. The interest has just never been there for me. But now it is and this is all a learning experience for me.
I have also decided to work on a cook book with Mama do-able recipes and make a monthly meal plan. With this done, I know exactly what we are eating weeks 1-4 and my weekly shopping list reflects only needed ingredients for those meals, fresh fruit and veggies, and other staples. No frivolous spending.
Which brings me to our next vow....spend less, save more.
I'm proud to say that we have come up with a financial plan we are happy with. In one month, I will have my card payed off. In 1 year, our car will be payed off. And in 2 years, Sam's card will be payed off. Of course, if all goes right and we stick to our plan.
Aaahhhh yes, there are many good things to come in this new year. I can feel it.
With all this said, I wanted to share with you a few new recipes I have made for dinner recently.
Click on the link to be taken to the source.
One Pot Wonder Southwest Pasta by The Wholesome Dish.
I followed the recipe exactly. Served with a side salad.
Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwich by Rachel Schultz
I used whole wheat buns, and Walden Farms Caesar salad dressing. Served with Broccoli.
Mexican Chicken Casserole by Myrecipes.com
I added diced tomatoes to mine. Next time I make this, I will add in some sour cream and some spice as I think it could use a bit something more. I will also leave off the chips on the top as that didn't really do anything for me; I could do without. Served with Broccoli.
Feta and Spinach Stuffed Shells by Rachel Schultz
I followed the recipe exactly. The sauce had some kick...perfect for Sam and Grandma, a wee bit too much for my taste, as well as for the kids. Perhaps next time I will leave the sauce off some for the kids and I. It was most delicious, my favorite so far out of all the new recipes I have tried. Served with cauliflower.
Remember those energy bites I made? You can view that HERE. I've found a few other different recipes and tried two of them. I hope to share those with you in the next few weeks.