Monday, July 27, 2009

Hit and Run Zucchini

By now you are probably wondering what to do with all that zucchini and yellow squash your neighbors keep leaving on your door step. This was actually a problem when I lived in Iowa! A human can only be expected to eat so much zucchini bread in their lifetime. That's when I started grilling it. Kids who previously would turn up their noses at squash, were now requesting it for dinner! We prefer it the simplest way, cut in half length wise, toss with olive oil, salt (Kosher works well) and pepper, then grill. If you have more time you can sweat the squash first so the end result is a bit less "watery". Cut in half, lay on a cookie sheet cut side up then sprinkle on a generous amount of salt. The salt will draw out moisture. Let stand for about 1/2 hour, rinse well, dry and continue as stated above. What to do with leftover grilled squash? Chop, then toss with bow tie or penne pasta, cooked chicken and Italian seasonings to make it a meal. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What A Life They Will Have

Have you seen this wedding video? If they put that much joy into their marriage, it will be quite an adventure!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Better Burger

Tired of the same old fat laden grilled burgers? John, over at Patio Daddio BBQhas a great post about Barber Food's Chicken Grillables. He not only discusses some nutrition facts about them, but also has some really kicked up recipe ideas for them! If you click his find a location link and then "special Offers", you will get a $1.00 off printable coupon. I'm heading to the store!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Time to get Real

I strongly believe one of the most frugal things you can do is take good care of yourself. It cost a lot of money to be sick. I have put on some serious weight over the years and a few months ago I finally had enough. I had reached a number on the scale I NEVER thought would be possible. I was at that weight for exactly 1 day. I immediately joined a gym and got some personal trainer sessions. Hmm, well that doesn't sound very frugal. I figured if it gave me the push I needed to start taking my health serious, it is very much worth it! I have a family history of diabetes and cancer. At 43, and with menopause right around the corner, I felt I was way over due with getting serious. It's not that I don't know what I should be doing, I am just not doing it. We have always eaten fairly healthy. We not only eat a lot of salads, fruits, and veggies, we also eat tofu and soybean products. We eat meat, just not every day. None of my kids are over weight, they hardly ever get sick, and I have only been sick twice in the past 10 years. My problem is lack of exercise, eating too much, and snacking.

Well, I have been working on this for a few months now. Although, I have fallen off the wagon a few times, I am down 16 pounds and a few inches here and there. I have been reading up on some of the latest breakthroughs with natural remedies and will be posting about some of them.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Utility Bills

I never would have thought I would be able to achieve utility bills approximately the same as I had 10 years ago. Our local gas and electric company is notorious for it's sky high prices. (As is most everything else in the great state of New York!) I know quite a few folks who live over the border in Pennsylvania and are willing to drive the extra half hour/hour a day because they save thousands a year on their overall cost of living. About two years ago I started making small changes which included replacing almost all light bulbs with CFLs, unplugging infrequently used appliances that draw vampire energy , and most importantly, vigilantly turning off anything not in use. That is easier said than done with 4 kids in the house! We have also replaced most of the major appliances in our home. Some, like the hot water heater and the deep freezer, because they were so old. The others because they were old and broke! Remember that washer?! Well, I think the LG front loader has really made a big impact. Our last 3 bills have been under $150. For a family of 6 that's just unbelievable. In 11 years that had only happened a few times - years ago! I strongly encourage anyone to start making small changes every month and see if they don't have a big impact.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I am very good at being nice to strangers. I let people go in front of me in line. I say excuse me. I try very hard not to get upset when someone cuts me off in traffic, because after all, I have done it my self.

I'm pretty good at being nice to friends and acquaintances. If they need me to do something for them or give them something, I do if at all possible.

I'm not always so good at being nice to my family. Sometimes they annoy me, they get on my nerves. (like I don't bug them as well!)

I have a very good friend who makes me feel WONDERFUL every time I see her or talk to her. She exaggerates complements, and she complements often. She does it in a sweet, funny way that makes me feel fantastic.

I want to make my kids feel like that all the time. How do I balance making them responsible, keeping them in line, and holding them way up high at the same time? I want to be nice, really nice.

I pledge to try hard every day to be a nicer person to the world and the ones that matter most in my life.