Freezer meal

Make Warm Memories

On January 7th you can remember the warm, cuddle ups from yesterday. Today you can add even more of those warm memories.  January is National Soup Month, National Slow Cooker Month, and National Sunday Supper Month.

You can enjoy soups, stews and many other great dishes by doing some meal prep and slow cooker days. Nothing is better at the end of a long day in the cold than coming home to comfort foods like Beef Stew, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, Everyday Beef Stew, Beef Pepper steak, Minestrone, White Chicken Chili, and even regular Chili. Did I mention lots of these are good for game days as well.

Best of all you can do the prep ahead of time and put it in your Crockpot. Imagine a warm hearty comfort food hot and ready to eat after a long day.

Reynolds Metals Slow Cooker Liners 13"X21" - 3 Pack (12 Liners Total)

by Reynolds Wrap
Reynolds Metals Slow Cooker Liners 13″X21″ – 3 Pack (12 Liners Total)

by Reynolds Wrap


Freezer meals and a crockpot should be among some of your best friends. Any of these family-friendly meals will definitely make National Sunday Supper something to look forward to. These are some of the favorites at our house….

Shepherd’s Pie
Greek Turkey Burgers
Greek Turkey Burgers
Mom’s Pork Roast Dinner


Starting a new semester?  Save big on the textbooks you need.
Starting a new semester?  Save big on the textbooks you need.

Minestrone Soup

I make a double recipe, as it not only disappears quickly but hopefully enough to freeze for a Crockpot dinner. (May have to triple it, as last time it only made it through 1 meal.)

3 lbs ground beef or round
2 pkgs Bear Creek Minestrone soup mix (it has everything in it)
1 can or frozen pkg mixed vegetables
1 can White beans ( like Navy)
3 cups water
Black pepper or red pepper flakes if desired.
(You can also add Kale, and well washed chopped leeks for more flavor, taste, and quantity. )
10oz of Kale and or two well washed chopped leeks.

NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY DAY, January 6

National Technology Day on January 6th recognizes the way technology changes the world and looks to the future of technology. From the wheel to smartphones, each year the day honors technological achievements made that impact our daily lives.

Imagine the world without technology.  In our daily lives, we can’t take a step without coming into contact with a form of it. The world is abuzz with technology.

Shop Amazon - Get the New Kindle Fire HDX Tablet
Shop Amazon – Get the New Kindle Fire HDX Tablet

Outside of the healthcare sector, tech jobs are one of the strongest and fastest-growing divisions.  And let’s face it, technology is at the center of most jobs these days.  From agriculture, healthcare and fitness to entertainment, food service and security we use technology to keep us organized, connected, healthy and safe. One area of the tech world that continues to advance and affect our lives is apps (short for applications).  With the advent of smartphones, apps are way more than just games or photo editing.  If you haven’t made any resolutions yet, resolve to check out these trending apps:

  • AXEL – Files move or stream from one device straight to another. No stops along the way and no uploading. Removes the middlemen.
  • Circle of 6 – When talking about personal safety, this is a tool you might consider having.  It’s designed to quickly and discreetly get help in dangerous situations.  By simply tapping twice, pre-written messages are sent to designated recipients, GPS location included.
  • Zombies, Run! – Exercise as a game. And zombies. It’s a zombie exercise game.  If nothing else motivates you, maybe this will.

HOW TO OBSERVE #TechnologyDay

Use #TechnologyDay on social media.  Talk to someone about your technology ideas or try to find a way to bring your idea forward.

NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY DAY HISTORY

AXEL, a technology-based company headquartered out of Las Vegas, founded National Technology Day. The Registrar at National Day Calendar declared National Technology Day in 2016.

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Shop Amazon – Hot New Releases – Updated Every Hour

NATIONAL KETO DAY

On January 5th kick off your New Year’s resolution with The Keto Diet. The easiest change, and best thing you can do for you and your family.

Okay we’ve all made those resolutions about diet an exercise, now what? I know there are a lot of choices out there. Me I’m staying with what works the best and easiest for me. I lost over 150 lbs after back surgery. My Dr loves this diet now, as I have not only lost weight it keeps my diabetes under control. My husband also a diabetic for years has shown the clinical proof to his Dr as well.

Introducing Prime Pantry - Everyday Essentials Delivered to You
Introducing Prime Pantry – Everyday Essentials Delivered to You

While we are usually, more low carb than strict Keto but so many of the products and recipes work for both. According to the blood work it keeps our overall cholesterol down, bad cholesterol even more and good cholesterol goes up. Blood sugar numbers drop significantly and stay down. In my case it has reversed my type 2 diabetes. Not forgetting the weight loss. One quick note there is a big difference between types if diabetics so please be aware of what type you are, and consult you dr. What works for type 2 could produce bad situations for type 1.

DIRTY, LAZY, KETO: Getting Started: How I Lost 140 Pounds Paperback – September 4, 2018

by Stephanie Laska  (Author), William Laska (Editor)
DIRTY, LAZY, KETO: Getting Started: How I Lost 140 Pounds Paperback – September 4, 2018

by Stephanie Laska  (Author), William Laska (Editor)
Kodiak Cakes On The Go Cups -Variety Pack 12 Different Cups - Try Them All - Plus Unique Magnet

by Kodiak Cakes
Kodiak Cakes On The Go Cups -Variety Pack 12 Different Cups – Try Them All – Plus Unique Magnet

by Kodiak Cakes


So here’s the good news.  You can have things like chicken, steak, eggs and cheeses, some types of vegetables,  even dairy and things like Dark chocolate.  The bad news is just say “no”, to most breads, pasta, sugar, cake and cookies.  There is a small selection of convenience foods out there.  Here in the south one of the biggest complaints is no macaroni and cheese.

With recipes like Garlic Butter Steak bites, and tons more, chances are they won’t be missed as much as you thought. Even Lasagna can be converted to low carb and Keto Friendly. Veggies like cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, take over for potatoes and pasta. Be sure to check My Recipes Page often for new culinary creations.

As we do a none strict version we have learned to change out certain ingredients to make them more friendly. Buy Yukon gold or red potatoes instead of Idaho russets, whole wheat pasta for spaghetti, and with store like Amazon Fresh Groceries we are no longer limited to only what’s on your local shelves.

My best secret is join some groups who share their tips and recipes. Choose the version of Keto that works best for you. Your family will join the bandwagon without major tribulations. Most children only notice the absence of sugary sodas and snacks. Best of all these changes will set them on a path to a much healthier, happier life. Try one of our family favorites and start changing your health. Check out some of the great foods now stocked at Walmart.  Zoodles, Whisps, Veggie Tots by Green Giant, Sweet Potato Fries, Kodiak Frozen Waffles and Pancakes, Crepini Egg Thins Cauliflower, Caulipower Frozen Pizza.

I suggest these groups on social media. Some of my favorites on Facebook: Keto for Beginners, Keto for Women Only, Keto Recipes for beginners, and lots more just search for them on your favorite platform.

Find these and other great meals on my Recipe page. They are not all Keto diet but if you just have to cheat or treat yourself you can find a great one here too.

Mushroom Swiss Chicken
Mushroom Swiss Chicken
Garlic Butter Steak bites
Garlic Butter Steak Bites
Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs
Jen's Easy Chili
Jen’s Easy Chili

Information provided by National Day Calendar. Check out this and other great holidays throughout the year.

Two of the most significant perks seen with the keto diet are weight loss and healthy blood sugar support. In fact, studies have shown improved glycemic control for those with type 2 diabetes while adhering to a ketogenic diet.

Other health benefits of a keto diet may include healthy cholesterol and blood pressure support. It may also be beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

National Day Calendar
Benefits

Two of the most significant perks seen with the keto diet are weight loss and healthy blood sugar support. In fact, studies have shown improved glycemic control for those with type 2 diabetes while adhering to a ketogenic diet.

Keto Plan

How does the diet work? By eliminating carbohydrates, your body will use up its store of glycogen first. Then it will move into ketosis and begin burning fat.

Primarily, a keto diet consists of healthy fats, like eggs, avocado, olive oil, and sustainably-raised meat. Nuts, seeds, dairy, and low-carbohydrate vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, and green peppers are also easy to incorporate. Coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and ghee add fat and flavor to a keto diet. Occasionally, small servings of berries are added to the menu.

Eliminate these foods if you are considering a keto diet:

  • sweets, sugar, sodas, baked goods
  • grains, whole grains, and starches
  • fruits, starchy vegetables
  • hydrogenated oils, vegetable oil
  • diet foods, including low sugar, sugar-free, low-fat foods

Common Sense Day

Are you familiar with the saying “common sense is not that common”? Celebrate this rarely used quality on November 4, Common Sense Day.

My favorite saying is

Common sense is a flower that does not grow in everyone’s garden.

Common Sense Is that Flower That Does Not Bloom In Everyone's Garden: Lined Journal: The Thoughtful Gift Card Alternative Paperback – May 22, 2019

by Pink House Press  (Author)
Common Sense Is that Flower That Does Not Bloom In Everyone’s Garden: Lined Journal: The Thoughtful Gift Card Alternative Paperback – May 22, 2019

by Pink House Press  (Author)

As you watch the news, surf the internet, or simply read the latest Google headlines, I’m sure most if us have shook our heads, laughed, or the phrase “Really” a utured out loud. Common sense has become both more talked about and something becoming more lacking in encounters every day.

Growing up this skill was taught along with lots of practical skills for life. Our parents taught us about real world living do we could grow and mature into responsible adults. Today the news is filled with stunning examples where for some reason this was missed. Is it because we’ve become more focused on technology? I’d like to think no, however the wealth of young adults lacking these skills that are entering the world should give serious reservations about humanities future.

While this is meant to be a fun holiday, recognize that these skills are being lost at an alarming rate. Have you ever worked with someone who threw away an article of clothing because it’s missing a button? I have.

Common Sense, Thomas Paine
Common Sense (Books of American Wisdom) Hardcover – July 1, 2002

The date coincides with the birth date of actor Will Rogers who was thought to have coined this phrase.

How to Celebrate?

  • Well, what can we say? Use your common sense to celebrate this unofficial holiday.

Most important try to teach it to those around you. They may not say it today, but their future selves will likely thank you for it.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

With the fall season change, we get cooler temperatures and football.  We also get cold and flu season.  At some point in your life, I’ll bet you’ve heard chicken soup is the popular choice when a cold or flu comes home with you. Turns out there are health benefits to this comfort food that can help you recover. Cozy plush warm robeI recommend making your own and stocking it in the freezer. As my husband is both diabetic and on a low salt diet, it’s easier to control the ingredients.  It’s great on a just a winter evening or battling a bug. So here is my favorite recipe.AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Blue  by AmazonBasics  AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Blue

by AmazonBasics

Homemade Chicken Soup

2-3 lbs chicken breasts or thighs

2 tsp olive oil

3 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
3 tsp grated ginger
1 medium onion diced
1 cup diced fresh carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes if desired.
2 cups uncooked egg noodles (use low carb options here if prefer)

Optional ingredients are 1 cup mushrooms, 16 oz fresh spinach, 2 cleaned and chopped leeks, 2 tsp turmeric, and 16 oz white beans.  I only add some or all if making a more hearty main dish. Stick with less if using for cold and flu.

  1. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch cubes.  In a Dutch oven add 2 tsp olive oil and chopped chicken.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat until chicken is seared.  (I like mine golden color for flavor).
  3. Add onions, garlic, and ginger.  Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Add carrots, Italian seasoning, celery, and both black pepper and red pepper flakes if desired.
  5. Cook about 10 minutes stirring frequently.
  6. Add chicken broth.  Reduce heat to low and cover.
  7. Simmer on low heat for about 30 – 45 minutes until carrots are tender.
  8. Add cooked pasta. Cover. Let simmer 10 minutes.
If freezing put in yogurt cups or red solo cups on a sheet tray in the freezer. Once frozen remove cups and put in a gallon freezer bag. Now it’s perfectly portioned for single servings.Make extra soup, then ladle it into red Solo cups to freeze. Grab one or two cups' worth to defrost anytime you need a quick dinner.  Make extra soup, then ladle it into red Solo cups to freeze. Grab one or two cups’ worth to defrost anytime you need a quick dinner.

Beef Pepper Steak

Ingredients

2 lbs sirloin steak sliced ultra thin
2 medium bell peppers
1/2 onion cut into strips
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup beef broth
4 cups cooked rice
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in waterCalphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Deep Skillet, 13-inch, Black  by Calphalon  Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Deep Skillet, 13-inch, Black

by Calphalon

Directions

  1. Once steak and veggies are sliced heat medium skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Add steak. Cook 3 – 5 minutes.
  3. Add peppers and onions. Cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add soy sauce and beef broth.
  5. Add cornstarch and reduce heat to low.
  6. When sauce thickens serve warm or cool and freeze for an easy weeknight meal.  We serve over rice. Or cauliflower rice for a low carb, keto, option.
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