Friday, February 5, 2010

Impending storm~WHAT TO COOK?

Forecast: Snow
I knew we would be getting another snow storm. In mid-Ohio we usually get a big one in February & March. I love the excitement that builds when a big snowstorm is forecasted, in advance. I find myself asking everyone, "Are you ready for the snowstorm?" "Do you think that they will send the kids home early?""When do you think it will start snowing?" I love to get everyone's reaction! That's the best part. Yesterday, I got a voice mail from a friend saying she was preparing for the storm. What exactly was she doing to prepare? I haven't heard back from her yet, so I will let you know what she says.

My storm preparation: stock up on a few warm, yummy meals. It makes the time spent cooped up with family more enjoyable. This is a recipe for goulash. I love it because the ingredients are so simple that you can remember them while standing in a packed grocery store. Also, many of these items you probably already have at home!

As a kid, my Dad made the goulash, but I have adapted his recipe to my own after experimenting with what I like!

Cathy's Goulash
1 lb. hamburger (I use ground sirloin)
1 box rotini noodles
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can green beans
salt, pepper, parmesan cheese

Brown hamburger, drain, set aside. Cook rotini noodles & drain. Mix together all ingredients & cook, while stirring till hot (about 5 mins). Serve hot & top with parmesan cheese. This is a great leftover. This is also delicious if you want to cook it ahead of time & then keep it warm in a crock pot! Isn't that easy? Enjoy!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


February can be so cold in Ohio! Since we just received a whopper of an electric bill, I decided to turn down the heat. Now my house is a little less comfortable than usual. This morning I heard my youngest & she was doing something in the laundry room. She came out wearing her North Face jacket & gloves & snuggling her blankie. I guess she was a bit cold & not used to the new temp in our house. She looked so snuggly that I had to get a photo of her. Don't worry, she didn't take the blankie to school. She asked me if I would put it in her room for her! Yesterday I was privy to a conversation at the hair salon (tried a new place & new stylist & I am "oh so happy"!) Two stylists were talking about their kids & breaking them of the bottle & their pacifiers. They each had a great attitude and had decided that this process would happen & that their kids wouldn't be lugging their bottle & pacifiers to kindergarten. Yep, I can agree with them, and they probably won't be taking the blankie to first grade, either! I loved the upbeat parenting attitude of these two stylists. Here is a picture of Miss Snuggly before heading out the door to school:

I am in full cleaning mode now folks! If you read my last post you will know that I was struggling to get motivated (Florida dreaming!) Now I realize that if I don't get going I will be filled with regret! Also, it helps that I have finalized our travel plans. Yesterday I was able to get my laundry room cleaned, as well as the pantry. I have put off the cleaning of the pantry for about 2-3 months. Let's put it his way, you could not even walk inside it, let alone try to get to the vacuum cleaner, or anything else for that matter! There is still one shelf that needs organized, but I am just thrilled that I can open the door & walk in.

There were two tricks that got me motivated to get these things done in a timely manner. The first trick was to use my "egg timer". I LOVE this thing! I purchased mine from the grocery (under $10) & here is what you will need on yours: a clip, ability to put in minutes or hours & a magnet. I put in the amount of time in which I would like to accomplish the task & then clip on the timer. It really helps to keep you focused on how much time you have. I also use it for the kids for piano practice. They put in their 10 minutes & start practicing. That way I don't have to keep asking "did you practice long enough"?

The second trick was that I had to take the day off from the computer on Wednesday. My hours online reading blogs, researching items (spring shoes, flights to Florida), & checking Facebook were really adding up. The homily at church on Sunday was all about addictions. Of course I sat there thinking that I was doing pretty well, with only a morning addiction to coffee. (Yes, my addiction to Hazelnut Creme coffee cannot be broken!) But then when I searched my soul I realized I was lying to myself. So my goal was to not even touch the computer on Wednesday. Well I cheated 2 times, but briefly. We will see how I do next Wednesday! But seriously, by taking the day off from the computer freed me up to tackle some other tasks. So I guess you have to decide what is holding you back from achieving one of your goals? Yep, that's right you might have to get out from under that cozy comforter!

The end result:

I hope you are starting off your February with a fresh attitude. We are expecting a winter snow storm in the next few days, so there will plenty of snuggling & drawer cleaning & probably a fresh pot of homemade soup. I will keep you posted:)