Thursday, December 27, 2012

Birthday Challenge: Results

Well today is the day…I am now 28 years old (why does that seem so much older than 27?).  I had a goal for this birthday. Did I make it? Not even close. I can be disappointed and mad, but instead I am gracious and excited that I didn’t gain any weight over the holidays! Most people probably can't say that. No weight gain, that should be rewarded right? Maybe it was too much to expect a weight loss during the feeding frenzy that is Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
Christmas 2011
This time last year I was 24 weeks pregnant, trying to manage gestational diabetes with diet and exercise (which I was able to do through the whole pregnancy). I was barely able to enjoy ANY of the holiday indulgences and had to test my blood 4 times a day. At times I felt so deprived, with very strict limitations on my carb intake. I was determined to have my natural birth with my mid-wife and feared being transferred to an OB. Everything worked out perfectly, but not without a lot of work on my behalf. So perhaps I shouldn’t have had any expectations this year and just have enjoyed all the food and sweets? What and gain the usual 10 lbs? No…that would have just made me feel REALLY bad about myself. Christmas 2012
I am happy with how it all worked out. I was able to maintain my weight and enjoy the holidays with my family! I can now start the new year out feeling good and ready for the BODY TURNAROUND CHALLENGE (more info to come in a few days!!).  Shaklee 180 is transforming me into the BEST me. 2013 is going to be the year!!! I have started a good foundation these last few months to really (for real this time) transform my life into everything I have ever dreamed. What are your plans to make 2013 the BEST year?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Potato Corn Chowder

The other day I was CRAVING some chowder. It was a cold and windy day and it just felt like I should be eating soup. I love making big batches of soup that last can be divided and frozen for later or used for lunches/dinners during the rest of the week. Luckily, we love left overs and have no issue eating the same thing a few days in a row.

What could I make using items I already had?

Potato corn chowder!! I remembered that my grandma has a chowder recipe that I love (and didn’t have many ingredients) so I called her up to get it.

Like most of her recipes, it was mostly “Oh I just throw this in a and then a little of that and then some of this…and sometimes I add this but not always”. This was one of those dishes that allows for improvisation and still turns out amazing!
So I gathered my ingredients and went to work. In less than an hour I had this YUMMY hearty chowder.
  • Bacon or Ham steak (I love having a freezer full of meat!)
  • 1 onion
  • 4 celery stalks
  • One bag of deiced frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 2 cans of condensed milk
  • 1 can of cream of corn
  • Small can of diced green chilies (gives a little heat and great flavor)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
 Cooking Instructions
  1. Dice the ham/bacon into small cubes. Using medium heat sauté in pot until golden and crispy, releasing all the hamy goodness.
  2. Chop onions and clergy, add to ham/bacon mixture. Sauté until onions are translucent.
  3. Add bag of frozen potatoes, cream of corn, drained can of chilies and condensed milk to pot. Make sure to stir really good to combine all ingredients.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 min or once potatoes are heated through.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Ok...this picture is a bit deceiving. I didn't use the bag of frozen corn and I used 2 cans of milk and only 1 can of cream corn.

While the soup was simmering, I whipped up a batch of corn bread muffins. They only took 15 min to cook and were ready when the soup was done. 

This was an easy and pretty fast dinner to throw together on a week night. We had enough left over
for lunch for the next two days.

What is your favorite winter soup or chowder??

Monday, December 3, 2012

Meal Planning

Do you meal plan? Or do once a month cooking? I have tried both. I love the idea of it, but I have never been organized or motivated enough to do it. I think it has to do with planning ahead and sticking to a schedule. Which shouldn’t be that hard for me since I love planning (wedding, baby, trips, etc), but something about making a weekly food plan and then actually making that meal on the designated day, just is hard for me to do.

But I have to make a change! I am determined to get on the bandwagon and start meal planning. Not only to save money, but also to reduce my time grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning!! It is one of my goals for 2013. But first, before I can (or want) to go head first into meal planning, I need to eat up the food we do have.

I made a quick inventory of our deep freeze and found about a dozen frozen meals. A handful are from a co-worker who made them for us at the end my pregnancy (I was suppose to use them while I maternity leave), a few I have made through out the year (doubling dinner) and then a few pre-packaged meals from the grocery store. I would like to get these eaten up this month to make way for the new and fresh meals (things don’t stay good forever in a deep freeze you know!). Hopefully this will also free up some money in our monthly food budget, so I have some extra cash for Christmas.

I would like to spend the next month planning and taking inventory of our pantry and freezer, while also collecting a large list of recipes to choose from.


I have a few other sources I will be pulling from too. Once a Month Mom is an AWESOME resource, along with this cookbook I picked up on Amazon. But hands down I have found Jamia at Ring around the Rosies to be an incredible inspiration and motivation for meal planning. She was the first to inspire me to do freezer meals.

So watch out for some meal planning here at Happy Hill Homestead!

What is your favorite freezer meal?

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