Sunday, June 24, 2012

Recipe Review! Best Lasagna makeover

And totally healthy at that!

For ANY of you who really know me, you know I am a total pain in the butt when it comes to cuisine.  May even make you wonder how my family can survive healthy!

Well I am aware of my taste buds and I am trying to change that.  Since moving to Utah we have been so much healthier and I am learning how to prepare foods some foods super healthy.

For example this that I am about to share with you, with out my additions is only about 250 in calories and is SUPER healthy!!  With my changes, it only adds about 100=150 calories!!  And it is fulfilling.

The best part, my WHOLE family, from daddy who eats it all, to the K-bean who is still regulating herself, to the all mighty picky Lissy{no clue where she gets that from!?}, love it!!  Everyone had seconds!

I originally found the post on Pinterest.  The original is here, and she has very pretty pictures and step by step instructions if you want to check them out!  I am forever indebted to her for a recipe that provides health and taste!!!

The main ingredient, instead of noodles, is spaghetti squash!
So here goes:
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

3 cups spaghetti squash (2 medium ones)*
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup skim ricotta
2/3 cup browned hamburger
8 tsp Parmesan cheese
1 tsp pizza spice (or Italian seasoning)
1 clove minced garlic
3/4 cup finely shredded part skim mozzarella

Preheat your oven to 375

Take an 8x8 pan and spread a little less than half the sauce on the bottom.
Then add 3/4 of your squash.
Add half the hamburger.
Layer with all the ricotta.
Add half the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
Add remaining 1/4 of squash.
Add remaining hamburger.
Add other half sauce, other half mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese.

Cover tightly with tinfoil and stick in oven for 15-20 minutes.

A serving is ONE FOURTH of the dish!!  I was so excited about this because it really is a fulfilling portion!!  I started with about 3/4 a serving and that was enough for me.
Calories: 291 with out hamburger
Calories 428 with the hamburger


If you don't know how to cook spaghetti squash it is pretty darn easy, puncture it a lot maybe even a cut or two to let the air out, and microwave 8-12 minutes.  Let sit for 5 minutes after, then open, cut out the seeds and scrape out with a fork.  That's it!

Now this is the "good stuff"...

Some of the health benefits of squash are amazing too!!  As a matter of a fact I just shared it with my 82 yr old father who deals with many of these.

One cup of cooked spaghetti squash:  40 calories, 2 grams dietary fiber, 10 grams carbohydrates,only  4 grams sugar, 1 gram protein, very low-fat content and no cholesterol. In addition..

This is the amazing part!  spaghetti squash contains

 ~omega-3 essential fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. While the former is good for preventing heart disease, cancer and inflammation caused by arthritis, the latter promotes brain function.

~ It contains various vitamins and minerals, which are required for proper functioning of the body.

~Recent studies suggest that this squash is good for prostate health and it can also be used for treating benign prostate enlargement.

~It is very rich in beta carotene, which can prevent atherosclerosis and is also beneficial for people with insulin resistance.

~While potassium helps to lower blood pressure, foliate is good for preventing damage to blood vessel walls. Foliate is also beneficial for pregnant women as it can prevent some types of birth defects in the baby.

~Spaghetti squash is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C that are antioxidants, which can prevent cell damage. The B vitamins in spaghetti promote proper cellular function.

Please please, pretty please let me know if you intend on making this, and if you do, come back and let me know how it turned out!!!  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Don't leave a broken spirit...

In the wake of a broken treasure...

A bit of advice...

Your children are only so little for so long.  Make sure to not put material things before them.
This is easily said "I don't" when it is matters of purchasing things, or a job, etc etc.  However this lesson becomes a bit harder when said child breaks something of emotional and/or physical value of yours!

My mom told me, when I had my first daughter this lesson.  She said, "Don't make the same mistake I did, putting something of material value before you"

I learned what she meant by that statement today.  And I am proud to say, I reacted as she suggested, and I feel very good inside about it.

It all started with these cute figurines from Willowtree that my mother in law gave the girls when I had the K-bean.  They are sisters who hold hands, but them come apart.  They sit on their dresser, and they "touch/light play" with them from time to time, though I tell them they shouldn't.  Well with each baby I have had my mother in law has given me these precious statues.  So for me, they not only hold their material value, they are so sentimental special, they are from someone I love and they signify the birth of my children.

I have them sitting next to my TV in the fireplace room.  Alia came in while I was on the phone, looking a little impatient, or was it nervous.  Anyhow when I hung up I asked her what was up.  She beat around the bush for a good 5 minutes.  This was my first clue to something being wrong. "You know those pretty figures you have...", "Well I just love them so much and they look so neat...", and on she went.

Finally she told me that she had broken one of them.  And she started bawling.

My instant internal reaction?  To scream at her, to drag her in there and yell all the "I told you this is whys" at her.

Instead I calmly went into the room and examined the damage.  Getting a tiny big angrier when I realized it was several small pieces not just one.  I calmly picked them up, took the glue and went in my room.  I sat there thinking about the tears running down my sweet girls face.

Did she mean to do it?  No  Does any child ever mean to do it?  I doubt it.

I worked on  the figures and eventually they came back together.  Not perfect, but good.

I took this time to sit both girls down, but especially Alia next to me, to ask them why they think I make the rules I do.  She got it right, to not break anything and to keep them safe.  I told her I loved her, I was disappointed in how she knew better but acted anyhow.  She repeated how sorry she was.  She was afraid I wouldn't forgive her.

I explained to my sobbing daughter that of course I would forgive her, and reminded her of Jesus forgiveness.  How he died to forgive our sins.  So how could I not forgive her, when she was a gift from the very Man who taught all us forgiveness in the first place.

As a matter of a fact, I am in some ways glad that arm is  broken on that figurine.  It was to represent my children.  With out that imperfection right now, would mean maybe no children to create it in the first place.  They are my life, and that crack reminds me of the small life I am helping to develop.  The small live that God has entrusted not only her physical well being with, but her emotional, and most importantly spiritual well being with!  I look at it and know I have wonderful children to love instead of what I would feel is an empty life with out them.

Thank you God for not only lessons for my daughter but lessons for me.

Have you ever learned anything like this?  Especially as a parent?  Hope this can help you today!  :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DIY Quick and pretty Carnations ~ From Kleenex!!

I first stumbled upon these amazing flowers over at The Mother Huddle on this post.  She has some really amazing ideas!

A few weeks back Lissy wanted to give these to our neighbor for mothers day, and they couldn't have been more simple to make!!  And They were stunning!!

I have done the tissue paper ones before, so the basics are the same, however they turn out SO much more realistic and pretty!!!

I figured I would share with you since they were easy enough for a 5 and 7 year old to accomplish.

Kleenex Carnation's

Sharpie markers
Dollar store flowers (for the stems)
Duct or gardener's tape
Bobby pins

Getting Started:

First you want to take about three (double ply) tissue and lay on top of one another.  Then start to accordion fold them...

 Once you are done hold together in the middle...

Take your bobby pin and slide it in the middle to hold it all together...


Next you want to tear off the ends of either side.  the more you tear the smaller the flower.  A medium flower is about perfect...
Now is time to take your sharpie and color the ends on both sides...
Make sure to color the tip/ends as well, like such.
All that is left is to open your flowers up, one layer at a time.  Pull up toward your body, and as you add layers they create a carnation "effect"..

And here are your finished flowers...all that is left to do is pop the flower off your dollar store flowers, and tape your carnations on by the bobby pin sticking out

The end result?  A beautiful flower to put in a vase or to give as gifts!  Its that simple!!

So what do you think?  Hey if you try it out let me know how it turned out!  Thanks for reading.  Please come back soon as it is finally officially summer and I will be posting more!! What a concept!1  ;)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer Bucket List ~ DIY (Glitter) Slime!

What kid, girl or boy, young or old, doesn't love slime?! My girls needed a project to "sell" for school and this one was a HIT! You can totally customaize it how your kiddos want it. You can make it opaque and solid colors, or clear, girly and personal favorite. Either way SLIME is a easy way to pass time with the kiddos. It takes no more than 5 mnutes to make and probably cost around 5 cents to make! Go ahead try it! I originally found the recipe here, from where else but the almighty Pinterest...

SLIME (glitter)

1 teaspoon borax powder (best found at wal-mart in the laundry isle, its a box)
1 1/2 C water, divided
4 oz (1/2 C)  Elmer’s glue, clear or white
food coloring
fine glitter
1. In a small bowl add borax powder to 1 cup of water and stir to dissolve.  Set aside.  
2.  Pour glue into a mixing bowl and add 1/2 C water. Add a few drops of food coloring until desired color is reached and then stir to mix glue solution until smooth.  If you want glitter, I would get the real fine kind and add it now.
3.  Pour the borax mixture into the glue mixture and watch the solids start to form.  Make sure to let sit 3-5 minutes.
4.  Stir for a few moments and then use your hands to gather the mass.  The mixture will be very soft and wet. Kind of lumpy but not a firm lump yet.  

 Keep kneading until it firms up and feels dry.  There will be QUITE a bit of water left in the bowl.  Empty it, keep kneading and empty again.  
5.  Store in a ziplock bag or air tight container and the slime will keep indefinitely.  If it feels too hard, just wet your hands and touch it again.  A few drops does the trick.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Recipe!! These are AWESOME! Healthy Banana Muffins

Ever had a taste for something sweet and yummy but struggle with the battle of overloading on sweets?  I do it ALL the time.  I have a love hate relationship with my food, I LOVE to eat it and I HATE to give it up!!

I have come up with this recipe which is amazing. Which I don't mind saying so myself!  Did I just say that out loud?  Well its yummy, try it!  It is your mix of healthy with a  touch of sweets in it.  Yet it packs a punch with fiber (flax seed and apple peels) and wheat flour (which for your info I have never liked!) so not to worry you can't taste it!

Healthy Banana Muffins

  1 1/2 C Flour
  1/2 C Wheat Flour
  1 C Sugar
  1 C mashed bananas (aprox 2 bananas)
  1/2 C margarine
  2 eggs
  6 TBSP milk
  2 1/2 Tsp baking powder
  1/2 Tsp baking soda
  1 Tsp ground cinnamon
  1 Tsp Vanilla
  1/2 Tsp nutmeg
  1/2 Tsp salt
  3 TBSP Ground Flaxseed

  Chocolate chips 
  Apple Crumble topping (apple skin dried in oven 250 degrees for a few hours, sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon and sugar) butter and sugar (normal crumble topping recipe is fine, just add the apple to it)

Grease muffin pan
1.  In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and flaxseed and set aside.

2.  In separate bowl cream margarine, sugar, and eggs till smooth.  Stir in milk, vanilla, and mashed banana.  Mix well.

3.  Fold flour mix into liquid until well combined.

4.  Put in muffin tin 3/4 full.  Leave as is, or add crumble topping, or I add about 4-6 chocolate chips just to the top.

4.  Bake 350 for 20 minutes

Makes about 2 dozen.  Approx 150 calories for one with choc chips, or crumble.  About 125 calories with out.  Packed full of fiber and protein and vitamins as well!  Great on the go breakfast muffin.

So there ya have it!  Super easy, fast, healthy and YUMMY!! 

If you try this recipe, pretty please let me know what you think!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I am still getting those posts out...

But I had NO CLUE how busy you moms with school kids are at the end of the year!!  GOODNESS!  Its all done now!  Soooooooo hopefully I can get them out on schedule this week!