Friday, December 19, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness Christmas Countdown...Week 3 Recap

It’s Friday!!! My last day of work for 2 count them 2 whole weeks!!! But it also means that it is time for a recap of Miss Charlot’s Random Acts of kindness for the week. I can’t even explain to you the joy this little project has brought to my life. I worried that I would mess it up or that we wouldn’t have the time but I will always make the time for this. And you can’t really mess up a RAOK, can you? Plus trust me if I forget to get things together or I haven’t helped her do the act she is reminding me!

This week has been especially fun because we have left treats for many people and that means we got to bake cookies!!! Yummy. Again I encourage you to try this with your kiddos. I know that Christmas is only a few days away but it RAOK can be done any time anywhere. Just think how awesome it is just to make one person’s day better!

So here’s our recap from last Saturday to today!

12/13/14- We rang bells for the Salvation Army. Oh the people of Walmart got quite a treat from my little one singing Jingle Bells for an hour. This is a tradition that momma Linda started with me long ago. 
12/14/14- Charlot had a little random acts kindness card that she gave to a lady and told her she could go in front of us in line at Michaels. The lady was so sweet and thanked her so much and told me that she thought I was an awesome lesson. It was good for momma’s heart.

12/15/14- Charlot passed out candy canes at our local nursing home. It was so much fun to see the smiles on their faces. There was a door there decorated with Minions (Despicable ME) so Charlot hung two candy canes on that door for “the people that live behind that cool door!”

12/16/14- We left treats for our mail lady. And our mail lady left us a sweet note in return!

12/17/14-We left treats for the trash men, they kind of have a thankless job and deserve a pick me up! Just think if they stopped doing their job, YUCK!

12/18/14-Our local grocery store is AMAZING and we are so blessed to have an awesome meat department there. The meat cutters are always willing to help and go the extra mile. So yesterday they got a plate full of Charlot homemade cookies! (I forgot to take a picture)

12/19/14- Today goodie bags were packed and delivered to my co-workers.

Hope you all enjoy these stories and that maybe it will inspire you! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Crockpot Beef Tips with Mushroom Sauce

Do you find yourself during the holidays struggling to get a decent meal on the table because of all the other things going on? Oh no you guys don’t oh well I guess it is just me! HA! This time of the year I find quick and easy meals that go in the crockpot in the AM and are ready when I come home in the PM make the most sense for us and today’s recipe does just that!

This rich, hearty and waistline friendly meal is perfect for those cold busy winter nights. Plus you can keep it really waistline friendly depending on what you serve it over! I served mine over a potato, parsnip, and turnip mash! Yummy! Give this guy a try and let me know what you think!

Crockpot Beef Tips with Mushroom Sauce
2 lbs beef chuck roast (cubed)
1 Large Onion Sliced Thin
1 Package Mushrooms Sliced
1 Can 98% Fat Free Cream Mushroom Soup
1 Packet Onion Soup Mix
1 Can Diet 7-Up
12 oz Beef Broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp Cornstarch (for thickening)

On the bottom of your crockpot place a layer of onions, then your beef season your beef, layer on remaining onions and mushrooms. In a small bowl mix mushroom soup, onion soup, 7-up and beef broth pour over you meat onions and mushrooms. Set your slow cooker on low and cook all day. When you get home mix cornstarch with a splash of water and stir to smooth, add in to the crockpot, and allow mixture to cook for additional 30 minutes to allow for thickening. Serve over mashed potatoes, noodles or whatever soot’s your fancy! Just enjoy this hearty flavorful dish! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Random Acts of kindness week #2

It's Friday so that means....RAOK recap! This little project is just getting better each day. Charlot gets so excited each day to open her envelope. And plus ok this is a proud mom moment, but her sitter told me that she asked the kids the other day what happens in December? My kiddo answers "Jesus's  Birthday!" Hooray! Then she proceeded to tell her Grandpa last night that Christmas is Jesus's Birthday and Jesus is so nice he lets us get the presents now on Christmas. 
I hope this project continues to bring her and others joy throughout the season! But mostly I hope this teaches Charlot how to lead her life the rest of the year. So here is our recap for the week starting last Saturday! Please feel free to join us in this project and share your stories with me!

Week #2-
This is her telling the lady at the window she wanted to pay for the car behind us

12/06- Paying for the person behind us at the drive-thru

12/07- Handing out candy canes at church and wish people a Merry Christmas (sorry no pictures) 

12/08- Calling someone just to say "I love you", she chose three people, grandma Linda, Mer Mer, and RaRa.

12/09- Picking out one of her toys to donate to the Holiday Project. She decided on two!

12/10- Taking a special treat to the pigs. Four legged friends need kindness as well.

12/11- Ding dong ditch someone and leave them a box of Ding Dongs!

12/12- Pack a homeless person snack kit, to keep in the car for when we see someone in need.charlot thought princess fruties were necessary. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Salted Caramel Cooked Apples

The above picture is the result of the below picture. Blue Bunny just knew when they put out a cinnamon ice cream I couldn't resist, and then Wal-Mart strategically placed it directly in my path to much healthier options so basically it just fell into my cart. Oh how I love cinnamon ice cream and the very first time I ever had it was served on an apple dumpling. The memories…

When I bought this over the weekend I knew that I didn't want to eat it all by itself and making apple dumplings seemed excessive delicious but excessive. Just a normal caramel sauce was considered but I needed to make it somewhat healthy right? That is where these apples were born! Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Cooked Apples
4 Gala Apples peeled and sliced
4 TBSP Butter
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
1 TSP Kosher Salt
Melt butter, sugar and salt in a skillet over low heat , add apples and simmer on low until apples are tender. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

15 Minute One Skillet Complete Pork Chop Meal

Now this is not much of a recipe more of a method a method I am sure many of you already do but I am typically last on the slow train so here I am introducing it today. I am almost embarrassed how easy this is, I mean I’m a blogger everything should be fancy nancy right? Well guess what I am also a momma who struggles to get meals on the table quickly some nights. So this will be one of my new go tos!

Four ingredients plus some seasoning and oil that’s all it took and man alive it was good. I used one of the Uncle Ben’s flavored rice mixes but you could use any brand or you could even use plain rice and add in your own seasoning. This is also super flexible with the protein and veggies I used boneless pork chops and frozen peas, but chicken breast and broccoli would be fabulous as well. I was really hoping that I had some of the flavored wild rice in the pantry but I didn’t because I know that would have been awesome as well.

Skillet Complete Pork Chop Meal
4 boneless pork chops
1 box Uncle Ben’s Country Rice (any flavor)
½ half Bag Frozen Peas
Salt and Pepper
1 TBSP Butter
Zest and Juice of One Lemon

In a large nonstick skillet (that you have a lid that fits) heat oil and butter over medium heat. Season chops with Salt and Pepper. Sear chops in the skillet for no more than a minute per side. You just want a little color. Remove chops. Add rice and ingredients it calls for minus the oil you already have that in your skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and carefully add your chops back in as well as your peas. Allow mixture to cook covered for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and chops are cooked through. Sprinkle on the zest and stir in the juice (you don’t have to do this I just think it brightens it up!) ENJOY!