Sunday, May 22, 2016

Find your moral compass - and use it

I have been a fan of simplifying my life ever since my absolute melt down about ten years ago, trying to "do it all" and still keep a clean house.

I can't do either. At least, not while I have active teenagers and a husband who insists on helping out around the house (a blessing, I know).

I am hopeful that some of you have been entertained and were able to find some solace in our commiseration about the woes and woahs of parenting, married life and trying to make sense out of the jumbled world that started with the first diaper change.

I have published two books, under the name De Austin, and I hope to do more of that. I also want to finish painting the inside of our house, start a garden, and clean up the landscape around our home, and one day, empty that dirty laundry basket.

Guess what? That means some things have got to go! Bye, bye, blog. You've been good to me.

I can still be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter in case you'd like to keep up with the Austins.

If I could impress upon you anything that may make a positive difference for you, then what I would say is this:  we all must make choices that support our souls, and our family. Find your moral compass. Embrace personal rules that you pass onto your children and you model in your daily life. Seek these rules out, create them with your children, adapt them as needed with honesty and humility.

Think: Does working extra hours to make more money serve your children or does it take you away from your children? Does worrying about the cost of a birthday party overwhelm you? Then, my friend, that birthday party has cost you more than money.  The world we have is only temporary; the world we create within and for our families is forever. Know your limits, accept your responsibilities, use your talents to do good. The mistakes you make are the memories which will sustain you. Laugh often.

Be well.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Meatball Stroganoff Lives On!

This is easier than you think.

Crumbled bread crumbs help to stretch the ground beef plus make for a lighter, not so heavy, meatball.

Roll in onions, garlic powder, salt, pepper,  celery salt (optional).

Pan fry with more diced onions and chopped mushrooms. The cream of mushroom soup is on stand-by.

After stirring in the soup, add a little beef broth to thin it somewhat. Lastly, add a generous dollop of sour cream, stir in, just before serving.
Ready to be served with your favorite pasta or rice!

Tah dah!

Beans, beans, they're good for your heart!

Boiled pinto beans can make a nutritous inexpensive, side dish. They will look like refried beans, but, technically speaking, since they won't be refried, they aren't.

This is closer to Frijoles de Olla, or "bean of the pot" stew. You need to start this in the morning if you want to eat them for dinner.
Pour some beans into a pot.
Cover them with at least an inch or so of water.
Soak'em for a few hours until the beans have swollen up. It might be 2-3 hours. I never pay attention. I'm doing other things like laundry or playing Boom Beach.
Boil'em. (Yes, I switched pots.) 
Now, some sources say drain after soaking and add new water. The reasoning is that pre-soaking removes the gassiness BUT only if you throw out the soaking water (which apparently now contains the leeched fart makers). 
I do a combo - part fresh, part beef broth. In my family, one pre-soaked pot of beans won't solve the problem, regardless. 
These look mashable.

They are.

Adding the ever-present bacon grease for a little flavor.

Salt, pepper, garlic & onion powders, cayenne pepper, maybe a dash cumin to taste.

Tah dah!

Beans combined with rice make a perfect protein, so I hear, thus a cheap meatless plate is created for this Lenten season.


Friday, January 1, 2016

Hangover Helpers for the New Year

Ouch! If you drank a little too much, you may instinctively reach for coffee and a sweet muffin to help you out of your daze. It’s not the best choice because your body’s sugar levels are all over the place and a stimulant like caffeine is only going to leech your body further of the all important water that it desperately needs right now.

Here are some better alternatives: