Monday, February 22, 2010

In Need of Prayers

My father has been in the hospital since last Wednesday.  I probably won't be blogging too much until he gets better.  He needs all of the prayers he can get right now. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Tip for Salty Shoes

After all of the snow that we've had, my black shoes were looking pretty sad.  They had so much salt on them.  I tried wiping the salt off with water, but it didn't work.  Finally, I tried getting the salt off with vinegar, and it worked.

I love vinegar!
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Cleaning Granite Countertops

What's the best way to clean granite countertops?  This is a question that come up a lot.  And, truthfully, I'm not really certain about the answer to the question.  About two months ago, I started doing research and I came up with a lot of conflicting information.

Because I'm a saver, I decided to try cleaning the countertops with a combination of alcohol and water.  After using this combination for several weeks, I've decided that it's a great method.  It's simple, and the alcohol in the solution disinfects the countertops.

I also bought some special granite polish spray that I use about once a week.  It was really expensive, so I'm glad I don't have to use it every day.  After I use the polish, the countertops look really nice.

Here's some more information I found about granite countertops if you're interested in exploring the issue further:

Cleaning countertops with a concoction of alcohol and Dawn dishwashing detergent is highlighted here.

This site ranks the best ways to clean granite countertops.

A lot of the information on the internet is complete non-conclusive.  Check out the article here to become even more confused and frustrated.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Is the Cleaning Necessary?

I've been using my cleaning lists for a while now, and I've realized that I'm wasting a lot of time spinning my wheels.  I'm so obsessed with sticking to the lists that I'm not being smart about my cleaning.  If something's not dirty, I shouldn't be cleaning it!  However, if my list tells me to clean something, I do it. 

It's madness!

So, I've decided to start slacking a bit in my cleaning.  If something is clean, I'm not going to re-clean it.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Weekend To-Do Report

Phew!  What a busy weekend!  Even though it seemed like we didn't do much, we got a lot done. 

1.  Plan menu for next week - Done.  Click here to see the menu.

2.  Trip to Sam's Club - Done.  I was a bit disappointed that they didn't have any organic meat or Alaskan salmon.  But, I ended up spending $100 and came home with a lot of healthy stuff.

3.  Regular Grocery Shopping - Done.  I ended up shopping on Monday morning, and it was so nice.   No crowds.  Everything we needed was in stock.  Heavenly!

4.  Laundry - Ugh.  There's still a load running in the dryer. 

5.  Order new running shoes - Done.  More Saucony Stabils are on the way.

6.  Color hair - Done.  Thank goodness!

7.  Make a nice dinner for my wonderful husband - Done!
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu Plan for the Week of 2/15

After planning the menu for this week, I'm ravenously hungry!  I've been struggling with menu planning variety for a while, but that's changed since I got my new cookbook.  Most of the dinner recipes this week are coming from Cooking Light's Superfast Suppers.  Page numbers are included in case you happen to own a copy of the cookbook.   I hope the recipes I picked for this week are as good as last week's:

Sunday - Leftovers buffet + WINE + Caramel Apple Cranberry Crisp (thanks to Mere for the recommendation)

Monday - Roasted Asparagus on Parmesan Polenta with Roasted Pesto Tomatoes (p. 220)

Tuesday - White Bean Tomato Pasta (p. 209)

Wednesday - Out to eat!

Thursday - Chicken Picatta with Garlic Basil Pasta & Steamed Green Beans (p. 188)

Friday - Shrimp & Feta Scampi (p. 127)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

To-Do List - Today!

I've been in hibernation/slacking mode for a long time now, hence the need to make a massive to-do list.  Here it goes:

  1. Plan menu for next week - this should be easy because we have a lot of dinner dates with friends and family this week.
  2. Trip to Sam's Club - I'm on a quest to find meats and fish that don't have a lot of nasty chemicals in them, and I'd like to buy them in bulk.  Sam's Club isn't close to home, so I hope this trip will be worth it.
  3. Regular grocery shopping - I'm slightly obsessed with coupons, so I'll also be scouring the internet and newspapers for good deals before heading out.
  4. Laundry - This has gotten out of hand.  I have NOT been doing my load of laundry each day like a good girl.
  5. Order new running shoes
  6. Color hair - I have some majorly gray roots
  7. Make a nice dinner for my wonderful husband!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rave: Superfast Suppers from Cooking Light

Cooking Light Superfast Suppers: Speedy Solutions for Dinner Dilemmas
I've been having a really tough time coming up with good menu plans lately. And I've been really complaining about it.  After reading Jillian Michael's latest book, Master Your Metabolism, I'm really trying to do a better job of eating cleaner.  Having that as a goal, and only having my limited recipe arsenal as a resource for dinner ideas, I was quite stumped.  Luckily, my husband is a total angel, and he bought a copy of Cooking Light's Superfast Suppers: Speedy Solutions for Dinner Dilemmas.

At first I was skeptical.  I've always thought that the Cooking Light recipes had too many ingredients, and I didn't want to spend an hour each night preparing dinner.  Surprisingly, this cookbook completely rocks. Considering that I'm a very, very novice cook, the recipes in this book have turned out wonderful.  A lot of them taste like something from a restaurant, which in my book, is a great thing.

Here are a few of the recipes we tried last week:

Pan Roasted Brocolli  - delicious!
Basil Scallops with Spinach Fetuccine - wonderful!
Sesame Garlic Brown Rice - okay
Microwave Green Chile-Chicken Risotto - tasty and totally easy

I also finished off my bottle of salmon marinade from Whole Foods for an easy salmon dinner.  We also bought a rotisserie chicken for one of our meals, and then used the leftovers for the chicken risotto recipe.

So, overall, I'm very pleased.  And I'm happy that we're eating healthier.

Stay tuned for more recipe reviews from this great cookbook!