Dinner has become one of the daily rituals I look forward to the most. Cooking a meal allows me to get a little creative, have a little fun and unwind from a long day. My mind gets to let go and focus on a fairly conquerable challenge. And once at the dinner table, the beau and I get to share our days, sometimes over a glass of wine. But, planning and making time for dinner can sometimes be stressful. With all of our life commitments, making a fresh and healthy meal every night can be tricky. That’s why I’m slowly but surely developing a stable of tried and true healthy yet easy weeknight dinners that I can turn to when things get crazy. And I’m hoping you can enjoy them too!
Here are three that meals that I’ve been making lately:
Pork Tenderloin, Mashed Cauliflower, and Carrot Salad
- Marinated Pork Tenderloin from Market District (Tuscan Herb); cook according to package instructions
- Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower from Skinny Taste (Add 1/3 cup of cheese to make them cheesy)
- Tangy Carrot Salad from Skinny Taste: peel 3 to 4 carrots into ribbons, add kosher salt, pepper, 4 teaspoons of olive oil and 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Zoodles
- Roast shrimp with olive oil, minced garlic, pepper, salt, and tomatoes at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes
- Use spiralizer to make zucchini noodles and saute for about 3 minutes
Tilapia, Quinoa Salad, and Brussels Sprouts
- Season tilapia with salt and pepper and coat with flour; saute for 3 to 4 minutes on each side
- Roast Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes
- Cook quinoa using package directions; mix in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, 12 cherry tomatoes and 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley
Are you feeling the love this Valentine’s Day or are you boycotting it this year? We don’t usually make a big deal out of the holiday, opting to spend our money on travel and other experiences throughout the year. We’ll be making dinner at home, including this Chocolate Fruit Dip recipe. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to wear something romantic. I got this super cute skirt at Loft right before Christmas for 40% off. Talk about love at first sight! Loft has had great skirts lately and this one has the perfect shape for twirling. What are your plans this year? Wearing anything special? Sending lots of love your way and hoping, no matter how you celebrate, it’s everything you want it to be!
Valentine’s Day always seems like the best time for handmade gifts. What better way to pour your heart out to the ones you love than with a creation all your own? Here are three things I’ve been working on this year that are so easy and cheap, they don’t even need a tutorial. And I think the simple sweetness of each speaks for itself.
I bought the supplies for these handmade cards at Michael’s for maybe $5 including a coupon. The only thing I had on hand already was the paint. These blank cards with envelopes are available in packs of 10 and come in a few different colors. I thought the brown would give these cards the rustic, handmade feel I was going for.
To make the shapes, I found images in a Google search, put a piece of paper on my computer screen and traced the shapes with a pencil. I then cut them out so I could use them as a stencil for drawing them onto the cards or for cutting out shapes with the fancy paper. You can buy individual sheets of the sequin paper and the lace paper for a nominal value. For the lace card, I just cut off the lace edge of one of those sheets of paper and glued it on with my glue gun. I painted the heart and lips using my water colors.
Bow Hair Tie
This craft only cost me a $1.50 because this velvet ribbon was on clearance at Michael’s. I tied a bow and pulled on the ends and the loops of the bow until it was the size I wanted. Then I cut the ribbon still attached to the spool to match the length of the other side. I glued a hair tie to the back center of the bow with my glue gun. To make it look a little more polished, I wrapped a shorter piece of the velvet ribbon around the center (and over the hair tie) and secured it with my glue gun.
Do you ever start crafts that you don’t finish? Me too! It is my goal this year to finish this heart wreath that I started a few years ago. I started it by bending a wire hanger into a heart shape using pliers. Then I cut thin strips from a yard of cheap red fabric. Using the end of the wire hanger as my needle, I poked a hole through the center of the fabric, essentially threading the wire through the fabric accordion style. I still have a long way to go and I need to buy more fabric, but until then I actually think this looks kind of artsy and cool.