Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Still no Pop and Treasure Trove of Local Saving Websites (local to MN)

These are some local websites I subscrbe to or check often for local deals. I really don't know what to call them but "Savings Vouchers" but as far as I know, I have three radio stations that do their own version of them. Since doing my post way back at the start of my blog, I have since learned that Hutchinson MN's KARP radio station also does these vouchers (though as of right now there is no way to "subscribe" to the website, grr). I hope to add these to my sidebar at some point ---->

Savings Voucher websites:
St. Cloud, MN's Spirit 92.9 radios' Shop N' Save
St. Cloud, MN's WJON radios' Value Connection
Hutchinson, MN's KARP radios' Wheeler Dealer
(in order of user-friendlyness)

Other Local Coupons:
(which seems good to me because you can see what my local flyer drawer looks like below!)

National Websites with Local Deals: (this site is new to me - but you can browse local flyers by zip code and get restaurant coupons, etc)

(my restaurant flyer/phonebook/household phonenumber book/church directory/community ed directory/school information drawer) -- I could do without all those pesky restaurant flyers with the microscopic expiration dates - I'm sure I have some from last JUNE in there...)

If you aren't local to central MN, maybe these websites can give you ideas as to where to look and what to look for in your area. Feel free to send me links!

Oh, and I've now gone FOUR months now without pop! (Yes, I know I said "pop" and not "soda", you'll have to deal with it :) ) It took 2-3 weeks of headaches (I quit cold turkey) and a while of craving it every day, then only when I saw it, and now pretty rarely. I miss it to sip on when watching movies or scrapbooking. I encourage anyone to try quitting-even for 2 weeks or a month, to help you figure out WHY you drink it. I realized I'd drink it for any of these reasons: tired, headache, thirsty, I "deserve" it, too hot, bad taste in my mouth --even to help open up my bronchials when really my athsma was bothering me and I should take my albuterol!! Obviously, it has helped me get to the root of my habit on WHY I drink it and more pro-active ways to deal with the root of the craving.

I have taken to instant English Toffee cappiccino mix or chai tea, but were getting there. (I have NEVER been a coffee drinker - in fact when I was still drinking pop, these cappiccino mixes would be too coffee-y for me). I guess since I'm almost 30 now, it was a good time to get old and drink "coffee", lol. The holidays were hard since that was about all that was served at people's houses besides black coffee and water (and you hated to interfere with the cooks to find a glass and fill it with water and be in their way) but I did it.... by drinking some water and eventually a wine cooler, lol. Maybe now that it is the new year, I'll allow myself a glass/can of pop during these times - especially when it feels the only alternative is alcohol. It seems silly to stick to the pop rule only to drink alcohol (not that I have a problem with an occasional adult drink--when I actually WANT one!). I keep telling myself that the only opinion on this no-pop subject that matters is my own personal convictions -- unless I start drinking 32+ oz. a day of regular pop again, that is.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Steamed Winter Veggies (and an update!)

(Recipe is below)

Wow - it's been a while since I've posted! Since I've posted last, I've been cooking from scratch more - I made a quadruple batch of sweet potato pancakes for the kids to toast for breakfast during the busy Thanksgiving - Christmas stretch (we'll address the gallon of syrup used another time!). Can you tell I've been perfecting my batch cooking technique?

I've also been perfecting my home made bread recipe and adapting it to a loaf pan instead of using the bread maker.

We had a crazy Christmas getting snowed in at our in-laws (we left home a day early to avoid the weather and came home to THIS!)

See? That's about a foot and a half of snow. At least. Even the snowplow driver got in the Christmas spirit and left us a 3 foot tall present! I bet he enjoyed delivering those gifts Christmas morn! All I can say is thank you Lord that the 20+ year old snow blower worked! (it didn't last snowstorm)

I spent the last 2 days archiving my 2009 photos (I always seem to get duplicates when I'm downloading batches) and went through and deleted over 400 of the 1300 pictures I took (wow!) - that includes some duds, too. But I came across some pictures of recipes I intended to blog about months ago but never did - like this one!

My blog friend, Erin, started her $800 Annual Budget again for groceries/eating out this year. And she stocked up on some winter veggies to get her started for this year. So I thought it would be a good time to share it (finally!)

Steamed Winter Vegetables (I can't think of anything more creative for a name, sorry! ...I usually refer to these as my "steamer mixed veggies" or "steamed veggies"...real specific, I know!


Potato, unpeeled
1/2 onion (baseball sized)
handful of baby carrots (these were frozen but can be fresh)
1-2 TB water (depending on how wet the veggies are)

Season with your choice of rosemary, 1 TB butter, seasoned salt or regular salt.

Sometimes, if I'm eating this as a meal, I'll double the ingredients - they cook down quite a bit.

I got a Pampered Chef 1 qt. steamer (gulp!) 10 years ago as a wedding shower gift that sat practically unused until I started making this a few years ago - and now I bought the 2 qt. steamer to go with it! If you don't have one, you could probably just use a covered casserole dish - just check the liquids 4-5 minutes into cooking it.

I just chop these veggies into bite sized pieces and toss with some rosemary (fresh from my garden in this picture!) or dried. Pearl onions are really good in this as well - frozen ones are your best friend! (no peeling tiny onions!)... If you don't have the rosemary you could also use Italian seasoning. Or you could omit the herbs and just use some seasoned salt. Then throw in a pat of butter and a pinch of salt and some water. I then snap on the lid and give it a shake (while holding it over the sink to catch any drips) to combine. I then microwave on 70% power for about 5-7 minutes.
There - now can you really call that a recipe? This is one you write down just so you don't forget about it. I've made this as a meal for myself many times. I may today to update the title picture. It's yummy! Enjoy!
ETA: Had some today with the pearl onions - and got a better picture of the finished dish!

disclaimer: I have no idea why Blogger makes it such a pain to format posts. Sorry, but I'm calling it good!