Chicken Primavera over Rice

Chicken Primavera is a delicious and heart healthy family dinner that combines seasonal vegetables, lean chicken and a base of brown rice.This was the third time my husband requested that I make, “that thing with the chicken strips and vegetables.” I looked at him like he’d grown an extra ear. I mean, the vegetables aren’t even hidden in the dish. They are right out there in the open.

When I met him, my husband’s idea of vegetables was the pickle on his fast food burger. Now here he was requesting real garden fresh vegetables for his dinner … again.

The dish, which I refer to as Chicken Primavera, is extremely versatile. It is healthy, adaptable to any special dietary needs, and makes great use of seasonal produce. Each time I make it, the result is a little different due to the available vegetables we have on hand. If I don’t have fresh produce, I use frozen with equal success. [Read more...]

Why I Fired My Kid

It is challenging teaching a kid to have a good work ethic. This is so important as it carries through to all aspects of life. How I got my teen to focus.Last week, I fired my kid from the window trim painting project. Over the course of a couple days, I had gone from enjoying teaching him new skills and seeing him beam with pride, to becoming frustrated with his lackadaisical attitude and having to redo his work.

So, I told him he was fired.

That got his attention back. [Read more...]

Compare and Cut Your Grocery Budget

Comparing your grocery budget to another person's is like comparing apples and oranges. Is there a better way to use this information to lower food cost?Comparing my grocery budget may be bad for my health.

I bite my lip as I watch the numbers rising on the register. It’s grocery day and I am holding my breath, waiting to see the total.

$104.00

I read it to myself like an indictment, a judgment of my skills in meal planning, shopping and saving money.

I feel let down. Really? Over a hundred dollars and I barely got anything. I’ve already pared the list down to the most basics.

When I get home and go on the computer, I am jeered at by articles boasting how someone feeds their family on $40 per week. Another has a stockpile that will last them longer than 4 years. [Read more...]

Where’s the money? Sharing Financial Information

An important part of planning for emergencies is sharing information about how financial information is organized and bills are paid.Well, I’ve fallen behind on my own “6 Month Family Document Challenge.” There, I said it.

Between the technology disaster last month and not feeling well the past few weeks, I just haven’t had the extra oomph I needed. The nice thing is that since it is my idea, I get to make up the rules. Bwahaha! (I wonder how well that translates for some of my readers.)

So, Rule 1 is that if you get behind, or haven’t even started yet, it’s ok. Just start where you are at. The main point is to commit to getting the tasks done so you can have peace of mind and a great system for keeping your family’s information organized. [Read more...]

Are You Parenting from Guilt?

You may be Parenting from Guilt without even realizing it. I sure didn't until one day it hit home: I was keeping my son from becoming an independent adult.I’d be the first to admit that I was parenting from guilt for years.

I did so unwittingly, trying my best to raise my son on my own the best I could.

Not the type to give in to whining or attempt to buy his love, I didn’t get what I was doing wrong for a long time.

Then one day, I was watching a program on TV that discussed how parents can do things that are harmful to the development of their children, out of their own guilt.

For example, a parent that is not home much may allow children to break the bedtime routine every night they are home. Or a parent scolds their child too severely, and then buys them a treat to make up for yelling at them. [Read more...]

How to Revive a Frozen Roast

Somewhere in the very back of the freezer is a roast that has been forgotten. Can this frozen roast be salvaged and transformed into a delicious dinner?Somewhere in the depths of your freezer is a roast. At the time of purchase, it seemed like a great deal — “buy one get one free.” One was cooked for your family dinner, fresh and delicious. The other one, shoved into the freezer, unlabeled, has been forgotten until now.

When you look for something to make, you pass by it because it seems like too much to bother with: the thawing, cooking up a big meal. It gets passed over in favor of easier fare like raviolis or chicken breasts.

Well, in order to get the freezer organized and maximize space, you now need to do something about the roast. [Read more...]