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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Freezer Cooking- Coming Soon!

I got the most useful gadget for Christmas, a freezer bag holder! This thing is amazing!  It has a rubber grip on the base to ensure it doesn't slip while your trying to fill up your bag, and the green clips are adjustable so you can use any size bag! (Want your own? Go HERE)

So today I decided to put it to use. I've spent the morning making all sorts of freezer dishes and taking photos! So I will be creating my first Freezer Cooking post very soon! (I'm super excited about this! Freezer cooking is one of the best things I started doing.)

What is freezer cooking? Well basically you just make dishes for the sole purpose of putting them in the freezer. One of the easiest ways to get started is to simply double your dinner. Make twice the amount of whatever it is your making for dinner, and put half in a freezer bag and freeze it for later! Simply label with the cooking directions and date. You now have a meal ready to go whenever your short on time or if you forgot to take something out.

I went to the grocery store and found some great deals. Now my fridge is packed and the food is just asking me to make something with it! Look for Part 1 of freezer cooking within the next week! I'll be sharing tips, techniques, and some yummy recipes! Below I've complied a list of everything you'll need to do your own freezer cooking!

Getting Ready for Freezer Cooking

STEP 1- The most important step in freezer cooking is knowing what your going to make! Have all of your recipes ready to go.

STEP 2- Make your grocery list! Go through all of your recipes and make sure you have everything you need. The last thing you want to do is stop your day of cooking to have to run out to the store (or send your fiance and his little brother like I did!). Then go shopping!
*Tip- I normally pick up a chicken to throw in a pot. I use it to make stock, then shred the chicken up and put it in the freezer for whenever I need it!

STEP 3- Gather your supplies! What you'll need:
- Freezer Bags
- Sharpie
- Freezer Labels (If your bags don't have a spot to write)
- Cutting Board (s)
- Sharp Knives
- Bowls (Many sizes)
- A skillet or two

And that should get your ready to start your day of freezer cooking! If you have any questions or tips for freezer cooking leave a comment, I would love to hear them!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hanging Reusable Paper Towels

I'm sure many of you have heard of reusable paper towels, you can even find them in my shop The Green Haven. They come in whatever fabric you could possibly want with a matching terry cloth backing. And they simply snap together and roll up on an empty paper towel roll! Its a great way to save paper and money. If you are anything like my family, you fly though paper towels. I can't believe how much these save us, and can only imagine the paper towels were saving.

Well I got this idea a little over a month ago to hang a single towel in convenient spots. I kept one hung right at my table in my sewing room, and made one for the kitchen stove. But they can be hung anywhere! I hadn't even thought of putting these in my Etsy shop, just thinking they were convenient but that was what regular towels were for.

That all changed when one of my friends saw them! She sucked all the air out of the room exclaiming "How cute! What are they!" After I explained she quickly asked if she could get one and get a couple more to give for Christmas gifts. Of course I said yes! Then she went on again to ask if they were in my shop. When I told her no, her response once again shocked me. She looked at me, with are you kidding me look, and asked me why the hell not! So after a short, fairly one sided conversation, we decided it would be a good idea for me to add them!

So why the story? I'm curious to what you all think. If I list these in the shop they will be sold in sets of 2 with a hanger of your choice (I have the hangers already listed on Etsy). Do you all think its a good idea? I would love it if ya'll left comments with what think about them!

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Day of Sorrow

I must admit when I woke up this morning, I like many, expected this to be just another day. I'd get up and do my usual, take my final, make up a quiz, packages a few orders, and just go about my day as normal. I had the morning news on when I heard of the tragic shooting in Connecticut today. I was utterly stunned. I am in school now to become a kindergarten teacher, where I hope to help many young children. I could not believe someone would bring any harm to children of such a young age, certainly not twenty of them. I still can not quite understand what a child could do to you to deserve such a fate.

This is one thing we may never fully understand. For those of you with children of your own, I can only imagine the effect today's events have one you. Cherish your child, no matter how old they are, and take a moment to let them know they are safe and the things you do to keep them that way. Remind them you hold their hand when they cross the street, or that you buckle them up when they get in the car, just remind them and try to help them understand what has happened.

I once again began my routine, when my fiance and I received a phone call. It was fairly late and certainly not a time we expect calls. We were alerted a dear friend, a family member, was being flown to shock trauma at Hopkins. He is a young man, only 17 years old. He was the passenger in a car that proceeded to roll multiple times before hitting a tree. Both boys had to be cut out of the car before being flown out.

*Update- He is now in stable condition, with quite a few broken bones. But is expected to recover fully.

This day has reminded me that any day can truly be your last. Take a moment to tell someone you love them, or to go visit a friend or relative you have not seen in a while. Just take a moment to truly enjoy your life. And remember all the things in life that you are thankful for!

I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. I will certainly be sending thoughts and prayers to the families, friends, victims, and school personnel effected today, and I hope you take a moment to do the same.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pierogi, What's that?

As I was making lunch today, which happened to be a few pierogi's, I couldn't help but be reminded of the first time I served these to my fiance. Not long after we first started dating I made him dinner and I was ecstatic to be having pierogi as a side. But my fiance just looked at me like I had 2 heads, he had no idea what I was talking about! I was stunned! That's when it occurred to me that many people, not just my fiance, might not know what a pierogi is. So I decided I would share my knowledge with you.

I grew up with many Polish and Czech influences. Dinners could be pork cheeks and potato dumplings (YUM!), kielbasa, or a dessert of kolache! Which some of these may also sound quite foreign to some of you. But they are all so good and were certainly staples in my home growing up. So it never crossed my mind that I may be introducing someone to these foods.

Now what is a pierogi you may ask. Well a pierogi is basically a dough filled with some sort of potato filling. The dough is usually the same, or quite close, from one pierogi to the next. Its the filling that make them unique. The most common filling is probably potato and cheese. But you can get just about any filling you can think of: potato and bacon, potato cheese and onion, potato and broccoli  you can even find meat pierogi's. The best part is they are sold at most local grocery stores, but they are oh so simple to make at home as well.

Plus there are just as many ways to cook them as there are fillings! I prefer to saute mine in a skillet with a little butter and oil. They get nice and crispy this way. But you can boil them, microwave them, stick them in the oven, etc. And to be honest, they are good no matter how you cook them! Oh and toppings! My favorite is a little sour cream, with some green onions and parsley, perfect! But you can top them with sauteed onions, salsa, pasta sauce, melted butter, pretty much whatever you want!

I encourage you to go to the store and buy a box of these yummy treats. Or maybe try making a batch yourself! I would love to hear about your experiences!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Little Slice of Life sat here yesterday contemplating starting a new blog, you may know me from Life is Green. Well that blog is dedicated to all the Eco friendly, reusable and Etsy related aspects, mainly for my shop (and is successfully neglected most of the time!).

I wanted something more. A blog that would cover every aspect of our lives, were I can share anything and have it fit. Me (Megan) and my fiance (Brian) have decided to start a new chapter in our lives, we want to be healthy. Its a great goal, and something I would love to achieve. But this will not be easy! Not only do we deal with the everyday hardships of getting healthy (and loosing weight) such as motivation, big problem for us, but we are also college students, with no jobs and Etsy as our only source of income. So we are on a VERY tight budget. But I think we can do this, we just have to stick to it and roll with the punches so to speak.

Now don't get me wrong... this blog is not just for that. I actually have an idea for a how to make your own stock post brewing! And of course I'll share recipes, photos, and heck even some tutorials! But enough of my ranting... We would love to have you follow along our journey!

This should be fun!