February 28, 2010

French Onion Soup

What a deal we found at the supermarket.

A two pound bag of onions for fifty cents.

And there were five bags of them on the shelf.

My husband and I looked at each other, and at the same time we said it: French Onion Soup.

Add some beef broth, water, red wine, and some garlic - all stuff we already had at home.

Toast some french bread, top it with provolone cheese and float it in the soup.

A perfect meal for several nights - and oh so delicious - all for a whole $2.50!

February 25, 2010

Home made Spaghetti Sauce

an ice drop on a rose hip

It's always such a big job.

Cutting all the veggies, preparing the sauce, and making the meatballs.

We watched the sales and slowly picked up all the ingredients needed.

Everything was on sale - the veggies, the pounds of sausage, and more pounds of ground beef.

The meatballs are the most time consuming - rolling and cooking four pounds of them is a lot.

But they are well worth the work.

The sauce was all put together yesterday and after hours of simmering, it had to be chilled.

The chilling part is the finishing touch - it just tastes so much better after it has been in the fridge.

All the work will yield a couple of dinners this week and several more over the next couple of months as we pull a bag of sauce out of the freezer.

I first made this sauce when I was thirteen, and there has only been one change in all these years.

Right after I got married, 27 years ago, my husband requested hot Italian sausage to be added.

The sauce has always been made from scratch, and I remember one summer when the kids were young.

I had grown everything in my garden to make it - including the garlic and basil.

It was an experience and I am glad we did it, but all in all, it was a pretty expensive sauce once you count in all the work.

The best part though was we knew exactly what was in it for chemicals - none.

I would like someday to get back to that way.

February 21, 2010

A Cold Walk

an ice drop on a rose hip

To look out the window, one would think spring is on the way.

Drips from the roof from the melting snow.

Bright sunshine - much stronger in the sky than it was a month ago.

Longer days - the light sticks around until almost six o'clock now instead of disappearing at four.

The cat was lounging on the porch - the sun warming his thick fur.

I almost didn't take my gloves.

And I almost wore a lighter jacket instead of the heavy winter one.

But the wind gave a big gust as I opened the door and sent me back inside.

To change into that heavy jacket and get those gloves.

The scene outside the window almost convinced me, but good thing I had that reminder before I actually left.

It was a downright cold, windy walk.

But well worth it - next month at this time the calendar will say it's spring.

Can't wait!!

February 12, 2010

The Importance of Exercise

a weight used for exercising

There has been a lot of talk this past week about our children and the overweight problem this nation is facing at such a young age.

The first lady is taking this seriously as she helps to encourage our young people and get them moving.

When we were youngsters, it was just a part of everyday life to spend time outdoors - after school, in the summer and winter alike.

Except for rain, no weather was off limits to spending time in the backyard with a ball or riding a bike up and down the road.

I can remember when the sidewalk was freshly tarred - what a treat that was for the roller skates. Spending hours on that sidewalk was great!

My children were brought up much the same way - time spent outside running and playing was a natural thing - and they looked forward to it year round just as we did.

As it was being discussed on the radio a couple of days ago, they mentioned something that I never even thought about.

Exercise produces endorphins.

Endorphins make you feel good.

When you feel good, depression has no chance to take hold, and an overall feeling of well being keeps everything running smoothly on the inside.

And we all need these good feelings - especially these days.

It is way too easy to get caught in the daily cycle and putting it off until tomorrow.

But those endorphins are waiting for us to kick them in gear - and it doesn't cost a cent, just a few minutes of time.

And feeling good is certainly worth that!

February 8, 2010

Keeping up the Walking

In my last post, I mentioned about making my steps count for the Beewell Miles program.

So far, so good in keeping with the walking.

Each day I log in my mileage, and there is a facebook application that automatically posts it to my wall.

Hopefully it will inspire some friends to join the program too.

To my friends who are already participating, I have a question.

The beewell site has a "buddies" link, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out how to search for anyone or add them to my list.

So if any one has any idea of how to do that and would share the procedure, I would be most appreciative!

February 1, 2010

Making Those Steps Count

walking down a country road in the spring

Last year I participated in a program where my walking counted.

That program was the BeeWell Miles that was sponsored by Bumble Bee Tuna.

Last year they donated .10 cents for each mile walked to the
Breast Cancer Network of Strength.

This year they are donating .15 cents per mile, and I have already started logging my steps.

The program runs through October 31, and they are hoping for a total of one million miles from all the participants.

My sister also participated last year, but due to health problems, she didn't think she would be able to do it this year and was quite upset about it.

But after checking more on the site, it is not only steps that are counted by walking. Running and cycling are also on the list.

Being the thoughtful and determined person that my sister is, she purchased one of those pedal exercisers that you can use in a chair.

Now, I figure, if she can do this, there is no reason why the rest of us cannot due our part.

I am so proud of her, and my niece too - she signed up this year for the first time.

It's free to sign up and the program is a great motivator to get and keep walking.