Chinese Brown Sauce

Of course we all know that it is both healthier and cheaper to eat at home then eat out but when you are in the mood for certain foods it can be a bit temptation to go out. A nice lasagna just doesn’t taste right when what you were in the mood for was a nice Chinese meal. But the thing is when you are busy it isn’t always convenient to look up recipes and try to make an exotic meal for the first time. So I wanted to share a little trick with you. The key is learning at least one sauce recipe by heart and then when it comes to mastering a Chinese meal you will impress even the pickiest of eaters. This sauce that I am going to share with you is a typical Chinese Brown sauce. It is easy to make and the great thing about this sauce is that it can be added with any sauteed meat and/or veggies. Here is how I choose to serve it tonight.

Stir-fried Veggies over noodles in a brown sauce

1/2 cup of zucchini julienned
1/2 cup of yellow squash julienned
1/2 cup of carrots julienned
1 cup of string beans
1/2 cup of mushrooms sliced
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar

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Homemade Fruit Cups-A cheaper, healthier option for packed lunches

24 hours never seems enough time to get everything done in a day. I guess maybe if we choose to stay awake for all 24 maybe we could complete the to do list, but something tells me that wouldn’t be a great idea. Because of the time constraints of life we often find ourselves purchasing things that make our life a little easier. For example, when you make packed lunches individually wrapped items probably tops the list when it comes to trying to save time and effort. But the problem with those items is you end up paying sometimes up to double the amount then if you were to package it yourself. So I challenged myself to overcome this problem and find new ways to deal with it. One item that had become a staple in our packed lunches was small fruit cups, now fruit cup on top of being expensive for what you get are also not very good for you. So I purchased some small plastic containers and began creating my own fruit cups.

The great thing is you can add what ever fruit is on sale and pre-design it to your tastes. I usually prepare it on Sunday because I find that the rest of the week is too chaotic. I purchase the items and then set up two cutting boards, one for me and one for my husband. We either setup in front of the tv or just sit together at the dinning room table. Have the two of us tacked the fruit helps the task go by faster and to be honest I enjoy my husband and I’s fruit cutting time together. Sometimes life can get so busy that you don’t find the time to slow down and just do something together. I then fill my small containers with the salad and store them in the fridge. Then when it comes time to fill lunch boxes I am able to just grab a pre-made salad and focus on other tasks. I know it has helped make my life easier and I love that it is a much healthier and cheaper option for us.

Each fruit salad has been different depending on what I find on sale, this is my recipe for my fruit cups. Enjoy!!

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Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble

I think everyone needs a little sweet in their life. Obviously we never want to overindulge ourselves but I find if I never allow myself a little treat every now and then I am more likely to overdue it when I do eat sweets. So I decided to cook up one of my husband’s favorite desserts for our special treat, Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble. Not only does it taste amazing, it such a very easy dessert to make. And if you have never tried Rhubarb I want to encourage you to be adventurous and try something new.

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BBQ Chicken with a Spicy, Sesame Asian glaze

There is something about the smell of charcoal burning on a warm day that floods my head with happy memories of long Summer days as a child. There is something communal about a BBQ, more often then cooking in the kitchen people tend to hang out around the grill. And for me there you just can’t get better flavor in your meat then when you grill it. Everyone seems to have their own standard to grilling meat, their own secret recipe that makes it turn out just right. But for me I just can’t be pleased with one recipe I love experimenting way too much. So in preparation for a good-bye party for some friends I decided to throw in an Asian twist to my BBQ.

This BBQ sauce also makes a wonderful marinate if you want a really flavorful chicken.

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Small changes can mean big savings

At some point most of us have all come to a place where we found ourselves needing to watch our spending. So we find little tricks to help us trim the fat off our budget. Have you ever stopped to think about how much those tricks help you save? You might surprise yourself as to how much you are helping yourself out in the long run. What may seem like only fifty cents in savings can end up being so much more at the end of the year.

This year I aggressively took on our grocery budget to try and reduce what felt had become a very unnecessarily large spending hole for us. While there were some big changes I made there were smaller changes that had just as big of an impact. One of the big budget killers that I started to notice was buying drinks. You don’t really think about it because it doesn’t seem like much; buying a drink at the gas station for a road trip or Chris buying a drink at work, but I think if I actually figured out the total cost it would be embarrassing. I think if people actually sat themselves down and totaled it up they would find that the few dollars here and few dollars there adds up to a whole lot more then they bargained for. So one of my small change was to start making our own take away drinks.

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