Feb 28, 2011


I was looking for a good Sunday dinner recipe last week when I came across OrgJunkies Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe. It can’t get any easier than this recipe. You put all the ingredients in the crockpot and you let it cook. This recipe is super simple and super easy. Thanks for the great recipe Laura. CLICK HERE for the original recipe. 

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds beef chuck or stew meat, cut in 1″ cubes 
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper 
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 4 carrots sliced or baby carrots 
  • 2 cans of potatoes
  • 2 onions, chopped 
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
Directions:

  1. Place meat in cooker (no need to brown first). 
  2. Mix flour, salt and pepper and pour over meat; stir to coat meat with flour. 
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix well. 
  4. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high 4-6 hours. 
  5. Stir stew thoroughly before serving.

Feb 27, 2011



This is a really great recipe. There are so many things to like about it like the fact that it’s quick and easy and better yet it’s full of flavor. I love anything that you can roll into a tortilla and call it a meal.

Although my original recipe didn’t call for it I love topping my wrap with lettuce and tomatoes. Even a little avocado goes a long way too. It’s a great way to get some extra veggies in your diet. I am sure you could be creative and add some roasted veggies too. Wow wouldn’t that be good?

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of margarine
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 2 cups of pre-cooked chicken breast
  • 2 large cans of mushrooms
  • 1 cup of Marsala wine
  • 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese
  • 4-6 10 inch tortillas
  • Top with Lettuce and Tomatoes if desired
Directions:
1.     Add olive oil and margarine to a large skillet over a medium heat. Add onions and mushrooms and begin to cook for around 15 minutes or until you find the onions to be tender.
2.     Add your marsala wine and chicken and cook for 10 minutes until the wine becomes reduced. Add marsala chicken mixture to a warm tortilla and top with mozzarella cheese.

3.     Wrap up and serve. Top with Lettuce and Tomatoes if desired. 



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Feb 16, 2011


I took this picture while Kevin and I were driving from Kansas City to Minneapolis. This was taken someplace in Missouri. The fog was a nightmare and my poor husband was doing all he could do to stay focused. I on the other hand saw it as a photo op.

Feb 7, 2011

Money is always short in our family. I am a stay at home mom of four kids and my husband works too many relentless hours as a mechanic. We can always use extra money, and I am always in search of ways I can add additional money to our household. While searching on AllYou I can across this article that I found help. I hope it helps you too!! Elizabeth Prachaska Guest Blogger for Colie’s Kitchen grocerymoney@yahoo.com



Tired of turning over the couch cushions looking for loose change? These days it can be tough to find a 9-to-5 job, much less a convenient part-time opening with flexible hours. But opportunities do exist. Search through these suggestions for a part-time position that will work for you—and bring in some money:

Feb 3, 2011

If you hate dirty floors as much as I do you will appreciate this article. Before I had kids my carpet was cream colored. It was a delightful color. Once my daughter started puking, walking, and then of course add a dog, and my handyman husband the dreamy cream colored carpet was out, and dark gray was in. Although I don’t mind the dark gray at times I still miss the beauty of clean cream colored carpet. Here are a few tips for stopping dirt at the door. Elizabeth Prachaska Guest Blogger for Colie’s Kitchen grocerymoney@yahoo.com



1. Keep dirt on the mat
Actually, what you want to do is stop the dirt in your tracks – specifically, on the soles of your shoes. There are other ways that dirt gets in – and in particular, you may be thinking of dirt that comes through the air and open windows – but what you bring in on your feet is of far greater significance.
So use doormats at every entrance to your home, inside and out. Most of the grime in your home comes from the outside, the bulk of it coming in unnoticed on shoes that don’t appear to be either muddy or dirty.


2. Choosing the right doormat
Choosing the right doormat will reduce the time you spend cleaning and chasing down dirt. The key here is the size of your mat. For a mat to work thoroughly, it has to be longer than a typical stride. A mat should be long enough so that you can walk across with both feet before entering the house, with the width no wider than the door itself. So people coming into the house literally walk along it, shifting off dirt onto the mat as they do so. Acrylic with either a vinyl or rubber backing is the best choice for an indoor mat as you’ll be able to vacuum or shake it outside to get rid of the dirt. Buy one that will coordinate with your d├ęcor, but several shades darker. That way, it will hide the worst of the dirt. Mats for outside your door are usually made of rubber. If you live in the country, or have a driveway that gets very muddy, keep a wire rack underneath the mat. This will be handy if your family or guests need to scrape mud from their boots or shoes before they enter the house.

3. Floor mats also are a good idea
Floor mats also are a good idea near high-traffic or spill-prone spots such as the fridge, the bath and the toilet. However, you should always weigh up whether you might slip or trip on a rug, plus how you view its appearance. So most people choose not to have a mat in front of the kitchen sink. It doesn’t look good and there’s a risk you could trip, possibly when carrying hot liquids.

4. Doormats need minimal maintenance
Just take them outside occasionally and give them a good shake to remove the dust as well as a once-over with the vacuum cleaner now and then.

5. When mats are really grimy
When mats are really grimy, hose them down and scrub them with a squirt of liquid soap in warm water. Rinse and allow to thoroughly air-dry. If you prefer, upholstery shampoo is also fine. Make sure the mats are completely dry before you put them back on the floor. Moisture trapped underneath could damage your floors. Replace mats when they get threadbare, as worn ones are less effective at trapping dirt.

6. To reduce the dirt entering your house
To reduce the dirt entering your house, limit the number of entrances that are used. This way, you’ll cut down on the places where people and pets can walk dirt in. And if most people enter your house through a room that has an easy-wipe floor, most of the grime will never make it past first base and into the rest of your home.

7. Make your house a shoeless zone
Make your house a shoeless zone for everyone. Politely ask family members, guests and friends to shed their shoes just inside the entrance. Provide a decorative basket or some other receptacle where people can stash their shoes.

8. Design to reduce grime
It’s not every day that you buy new furniture or redecorate the kitchen or bathroom. But when you do, choose the fabrics and surfaces wisely. Always think as you buy, “will this increase the work I have to do around the home?”

Laminate and solid wood floors almost look the same, but only one needs waxing and refinishing. The laminate mostly just needs a vacuum. For kitchen worktops, you’ll find that solid surfaces – rather than tiles, and in particular, small tiles – don’t have grooves and indentations where dirt can gather. Over time, curtains and blinds can become magnets for dust and cobwebs. Instead of dust-catching materials, choose fabrics treated with a stain-and-dust-resistant finish, or treat the fabric yourself with a product such as Scotchguard fabric protector, following package instructions.

9. Close your doors
Dirt just likes to travel. It’s happiest when it can roam freely all over your home, hiding in nooks and crannies where it’s most labor-intensive to find and remove. So stop dirt at the borders. That is, habitually keep your doors, drawers, cabinets, wardrobes and other barriers closed. This will keep dirt out in the open, where vacuum cleaners and cleaning cloths will be able to deal with it more readily.
If you’re working on a messy, dust-producing project in the house, keep the doors to the room you’re working in closed. Better yet, hang plastic sheeting across the door and any air vents to confine the dust to one room. Periodically wash Venetian blinds and other dirt-trapping window coverings such as net curtains. Remember that dirt loves company and acts as a magnet for more.

10. Smart tricks for pets
Any pet with easy access to the garden will bring plenty of the great outdoors in on its coat and paws. Keeping your dogs and cats clean, and taking preventative measures when you know they have got especially dirty, will reduce the amount of dirt they can bring into your house.

  1. Keep a clean rag by the door that your pet uses so that you’ll be more likely to remember to wipe off muddy, wet paws and claws before your beloved animal makes unsightly tracks through the whole house. 
  2. Once a week, take your dog outside and give its fur a good going-over with the type of brush recommended for its coat. Do this well away from the house, so that the tufts won’t tumble back inside. 
  3. The miracle way to lift pet hair from furniture and other surfaces is to wipe with a damp sponge or cloth. The hair will gather in clumps, and onto your cloth. An excellent alternative is a lightly-dampened rubber glove, rubbed quickly back and forth. It will pick up bundles of hair. Or you could use one of those special rubber brushes with nubs on it that is intended for grooming cats and finer-haired dogs (available at pet shops). 
  4. Nothing beats your vacuum cleaner for pulling pet hair out of your rugs and carpets. If you have a number of pets or an animal that sheds a great deal, it could be worth considering a vacuum cleaner which has been specially designed to deal with fur. Typically they have greater suction power for sucking up fur and special filters for trapping potential allergens.
Original Article 

Feb 2, 2011


I am pretty sure I spend my life on a diet. I have had four kids, I am fat, and  I don’t know why I don’t just get over it and move on, but I don’t! I want to lose weight, and be healthy. I want to get back in those pre-pregnancy size 8 jeans, but I am not there or even close. Anyone who is on that constant dieting loop looks for anything that might be the next quick and easy way to lose weight, but let’s be honest with ourselves there is no quick and easy solution to losing weight. You didn’t get fat fast and you are not going to lose it fast and keep it off at the same time. Here are a few tips that I found helpful about those lose weight fast dieting myths. Elizabeth Prachaska Guest Blogger for Colie’s Kitchen grocerymoney@yahoo.com

Myth #1: Too much protein hurts your kidneys
Reality: Protein helps burn fat, build muscle, and won’t harm your kidneys at all
Way back in 1983, researchers discovered that eating more protein increases the amount of blood your kidneys filter per minute. Many scientists immediately made the leap that a high-protein diet places your kidneys under greater stress. They were proven wrong. Over the past two decades, several studies have found that while protein-rich meals do increase blood flow to the kidneys, this doesn't have an adverse effect on overall kidney function.

Put the Truth to Work for You: Eat your target body weight in grams of protein daily. For example, if you're a chubby 180-pound woman and want to be a lean 160, have 160 grams of protein a day. If you're a 160-pound guy hoping to pack on 20 pounds of muscle, aim for 180 grams each day.
Myth #2: Sweet potatoes are healthier than white potatoes
Reality: They’re both healthy!
Sweet potatoes have more fiber and vitamin A, but white potatoes are higher in essentialminerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium. As for the glycemic index, sweet potatoes are lower on the scale, but baked white potatoes typically aren't eaten without cheese, sour cream, or butter—all toppings that contain fat, which lowers the glycemic index of a meal.
Put the Truth to Work for You: The form in which you consume a potato—for instance, a whole baked potato versus a processed potato that's used to make chips—is more important than the type of spud.

Myth #3: Red meat causes cancer
Reality: Research says enjoy the steak!

In a 1986 study, Japanese researchers discovered cancer developing in rats that were fed "heterocyclic amines," compounds that are generated from overcooking meat under high heat. Since then, some studies of large populations have suggested a potential link between meat and cancer. Yet no study has ever found a direct cause-and-effect relationship between red-meat consumption and cancer. The population studies are far from conclusive. They relied on broad surveys of people's eating habits and health afflictions—numbers that illuminate trends, not causes.

Put the Truth to Work for You: Don't stop grilling. Meat lovers who are worried about the supposed risks of grilled meat don't need to avoid burgers and steak—just trim off the burned or overcooked sections of the meat before eating.


Myth #4: High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is more fattening than regular sugar
Reality: They’re equally fattening. Beware!

Recent research has show that fructose may cause an increase in weight by interfering with leptin, the hormone that tells us when we’re full. But both HFCS and sucrose—better known as table sugar—contain similar amounts of fructose. There's no evidence to show any differences in these two types of sugar. Both will cause weight gain when consumed in excess. The only particular evil regarding HFCS is that it’s cheaper, and commonly shows up everywhere from bread to ketchup to soda.

Put the Truth to Work for You: HFCS and regular sugar are empty-calorie carbohydrates that should be consumed in limited amounts. How? By keeping soft drinks, sweetened fruit juices, and prepackaged desserts to a minimum.



Myth #5: Too much salt causes high blood pressure
Reality: Perhaps, but too little potassium causes high blood pressure too

Large-scale scientific reviews have determined there's no reason for people with normal blood pressure to restrict their sodium intake. Now, if you already have high blood pressure, you may be "salt sensitive." As a result, reducing the amount of salt you eat could be helpful. However, people with high blood pressure who don't want to lower their salt intake can simply consume more potassium-containing foods—it's really the balance of the two minerals that matters. In fact, Dutch researchers determined that a low potassium intake has the same impact on your blood pressure as high salt consumption does. And it turns out, the average person consumes 3,100 milligrams (mg) of potassium a day—1,600 mg less than recommended.

Put the Truth to Work for You: Strive for a potassium-rich diet—which you can achieve by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and legumes—and your salt intake won't matter as much. For instance, spinach, broccoli, bananas, white potatoes, and most types of beans each contain more than 400 mg potassium per serving.



Myth #6: Chocolate bars are empty calories
Reality: Dark chocolate is a health food

Cocoa is rich in flavonoids—the same heart-healthy compounds found in red wine and green tea. Its most potent form is dark chocolate. In a recent study, Greek researchers found that consuming dark chocolate containing 100 milligrams (mg) of flavonoids relaxes your blood vessels, improving bloodflow to your heart. And remember: Milk chocolate isn't as rich in flavonoids as dark, so develop a taste for the latter.

Put the Truth to Work for You: Now that you know which "bad" foods aren't actually so awful, you need to know which deceptively dangerous diet-destroying foods to avoid. Check out our must-see slideshow of 25 "Healthy" Foods that Aren’t.



Myth #7: Gas station snacks are nutritional nightmares
Reality: Even at filling stations, you’ll find food that isn’t filling

Beef jerky is high in protein and doesn't raise your level of insulin—a hormone that signals your body to store fat. That makes it an ideal between-meals snack, especially when you're trying to lose weight. And while some beef-jerky brands are packed with high-sodium ingredients such as MSG and sodium nitrate, chemical-free products are available.

Put the Truth to Work for You: Sometimes, the service station is a healthier rest stop than a fast food joint. Heck, even pork rinds are better than you’d think: A 1-ounce serving contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams (g) of protein, and 9 g fat. That's nine times the protein and less fat than you'll find in a serving of carb-packed potato chips.




Myth #8: Restaurants comply with nutrition disclosure regulations
Reality: Most restaurants would rather load you up with additional cheap calories

Even though many restaurants offer healthy alternatives, you could still be at the whim of the kitchen's cook. A recent E.W. Scripps lab investigation found that "responsible" menu items at chains ranging from Chili's to Taco Bell may have up to twice the calories and eight times the fat published in the restaurants' nutritional information.
Put the Truth to Work for YouRestaurants run from us, but they can't hide. Discover their secrets every day by signing up for our free Eat This, Not That! newsletter or byfollowing me right here on Twitter, and you'll make 2011 the year of your flatter, toner belly! 
Myth #9: Sports drinks are ideal after-workout refreshment
Reality: You need more than that to keep your muscles growing

Carb-loaded drinks like Vitaminwater and Gatorade are a great way to rehydrate and reenergize; they help replenish glycogen, your body's stored energy. But they don't always supply the amino acids needed for muscle repair. To maximize post-workout recovery, a protein-carb combination—which those drinks may not offer—can help.
Put the Truth to Work for YouAfter you suck down that sports drink, eat a bowl of 100 percent whole-grain cereal with nonfat milk, suggests a 2009 study in theJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. A glass of low-fat chocolate milk is a good choice as well.

Myth #10: You need 38 grams of fiber a day
Reality: More fiber is better, but 38 is nearly impossible

That's the recommendation from the Institute of Medicine. And it's a lot, equaling nine apples or more than a half dozen bowls of instant oatmeal. (Most people eat about 15 grams of fiber daily.) The studies found a correlation between high fiber intake and lower incidence of heart disease. But none of the high-fiber-eating groups in those studies averaged as high as 38 grams, and, in fact, people saw maximum benefits with a daily gram intake averaging from the high 20s to the low 30s.

Put the Truth to Work for You: Just eat sensibilty. Favor whole, unprocessed foods. Make sure the carbs you eat are fiber-rich—that means produce, legumes, and whole grains—because they'll help slow the aborption of sugar into your bloodstream.
Myth #11: Saturated fat will clog your heart
Reality: Fat has gotten a bum rap

Most people consider turkey, chicken, and fish healthy, yet think they should avoid red meat—or only choose very lean cuts—since they've always been told that it's high in saturated fat. But a closer look at beef reveals the truth: Almost half of its fat is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid—the same heart-healthy fat that's found in olive oil. Second, most of the saturated fat in beef actually decreases your heart-disease risk—either by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, or by reducing your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (good) cholesterol.

Put the Truth to Work for You: We're not giving you permission to gorge on butter, bacon, and cheese. No, our point is this: Don't freak out about saturated fat. There's no scientific reason that natural foods containing saturated fat can't, or shouldn't, be part of a healthy diet.

Myth #12: Reduced-fat foods are healthier alternatives
Reality: Less fat often means more sugar

Peanut butter is a representative example for busting this myth. A tub of reduced-fat peanut butter indeed comes with a fraction less fat than the full-fat variety—they’re not lying about that. But what the food companies don’t tell you is that they’ve replaced that healthy fat with maltodextrin, a carbohydrate used as a filler in many processed foods. This means you’re trading the healthy fat from peanuts for empty carbs, double the sugar, and a savings of a meager 10 calories.

Put the Truth to Work for You: When you're shopping, don't just read the nutritional data. Look at the ingredients list as well. Here's a guideline that never fails: The fewer ingredients, the healthier the food.




Myth #13: Diet soda is better for you
Reality: It may lead to even greater weight gain

Just because diet soda is low in calories doesn’t mean it can’t lead to weight gain. It may have only 5 or fewer calories per serving, but emerging research suggests that consuming sugary-tasting beverages—even if they’re artificially sweetened—may lead to a high preference for sweetness overall. That means sweeter (and more caloric) cereal, bread, dessert—everything. In fact, new research found that people who drink diet soda on a daily basis have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Put the Truth to Work for YouThese days, the world of food is full of nasty surprises like this one, and knowledge is power. Check out Eat This, Not That! 2011 andCook This, Not That! for the best food, nutrition and health secrets, and avoidshocking waistline expanders with our slideshow of 20 Salads Worse Than a Whopper.


Myth #14: Skipping meals helps you lose weight
Reality: Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can make you fat

Not eating can mess with your body's ability to control your appetite. And it also destroys willpower, which is just as damaging. If you skip breakfast or a healthy snack, your brain doesn't have the energy to say no to the inevitable chowfest. The consequences can be heavy: In a 2005 study, breakfast eaters were 30 percent less likely to be overweight or obese.

Put the Truth to Work for You: The perfect breakfast? Eggs, bacon, and toast. It's a nice balance of all the nutritional building blocks—protein, fiber, carbs—that will jumpstart your day. The worst? Waffles or pancakes with syrup. All those carbs and sugars are likely to put you into a food coma by 10 a.m.
Myth #15: You should eat three times a day
Reality: Three meals and two or three snacks is ideal

Most diet plans portray snacking as a failure. But by snacking on the right foods at strategic times, you'll keep your energy levels stoked all day. Spreading six smaller meals across your day operates on the simple principle of satisfaction: Frequent meals tame the slavering beast of hunger.
Put the Truth to Work for YouMake sure each mini meal blends protein and fiber-rich complex carbohydrates, which will sustain the feeling of fullness. Check out our super-handy list of the best snacks for weight loss.


LOSE 15 POUNDS IN 6 WEEKS: Check out the Men's Health Diet!
EAT RIGHT RULE: If your food can go bad, it's good for you. If it can't go bad, it's bad for you. FOLLOW DAVE ZINCZENKO RIGHT HERE ON TWITTER and get FREE health, nutrition and weight-loss secrets like this one every day! You'll lose weight and get healthy faster than ever!
Check out these cutting-edge guides to fast and easy weight loss, the brand-new Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises and Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises.
Get more nutrition, health, and fitness secrets from Men's Health:Subscribe today with this special offer and save 50% off the cover price.

I love artichokes hearts, but I had no idea how you cleaned an artichoke! 
This is a great tutorial!! From Ciao Italia!

Feb 1, 2011

I have to admit I love this article because I am always looking for things I can use for multiple purposes. I have dryer sheets coming out of my ears thanks to a really great Snuggle coupon sale last summer. So what else can you use those dryer sheets for… hum who knew?  Elizabeth Prachaska Guest Blogger for Colie’s Kitchen grocerymoney@yahoo.com

Dryer Sheet as Iron Cleaner
Remove gunk from the soleplate of an iron. With the setting on low, rub the iron over the dryer sheet until the residue disappears, and you're left with a pristine press.

Dryer Sheet as Shoe Freshener
Roll up one sheet per slipper, sneaker, or loafer, insert, and forget about stinky shoes. (Bonus uses: Toss them in hampers, on closet shelves, in diaper bags.)

Dryer Sheet as Static Stopper
Stop static cling on clothes—or tame flyaway hair—by rubbing a sheet over the problem area.

Dryer Sheet as Sawdust Clearer
An easy way to keep the work area clean. Saw dust at a work station sweeps up so fast with one pass of a used fabric softener sheet.

Dryer Sheet as Thread Detangler
To prevent tangles, run a threaded needle through a sheet before you begin stitching.

Dryer Sheet as a Scum Buster
Remove obstinate soap buildup from glass shower doors by sprinkling a few drops of water onto a used fabric-softener sheet and scrubbing. 

Dryer Sheet as a Drawer Sachet 
If fabric-softener sheets make your clothes smell nice in the dryer, just think about what they could do in your dresser. Slip a few fresh ones between folded clothes.


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