Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Better Baker - Leader Enterprise - January 2010

Happy 2010! 

I am thankful for new beginnings and another opportunity to start over and attempt to be a better person.  Whether you’re trying to improve your eating or spending habits,  or just cultivate your lifestyle over all,  I do hope you’ll set some goals to reach for in the new year.  The little things really add up to be the big things,  so remember-if you are running a marathon,each mile is run one step at a time.  

I love our DVR - we can rewind and watch something again.  But we can't go back and recapture a day.  We only get one at a time, so let's give it our best shot.  As Eleanor Rosevelt once said "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why its called the present."

I have always enjoyed sharing tips to make life easier. Hope you’ll consider these for use in your household management and maintenance.

Maximize your cleaning time by using versatile products like glass & multi-surface cleaning wipes-they can be used from surface to surface,and room to room.To save steps as you clean,keep a plastic grocery bag with you to carry items that belong in other rooms.

Free up closet and floor space by storing occasionally-used items like seasonal clothes,wrapping paper or keepsakes in plastic tubs under your bed. Use the perimeter of your bed to store shoes or use shoe racks in your closet.

Do you have clutter throughout your home? (Who doesn’t, right?) Choose one task everyday-a cluttered drawer or a messy desktop-and spend 10 minutes putting things in their rightful place. All those ‘little’ spots of time add up, and make things seem more manageable. Enlist your children to help put things away. It’s important for them to have responsibilities too.

Purchase a few inexpensive baskets or plastic tubs to get yourself organized. I have many smaller tubs in my pantry and cupboards so I don’t have things falling on top of each other. It makes it much easier to find that bottle of salad dressing or envelope of seasoning that I’m looking for.

Get rid of worn, or duplicate kitchen utensils, and clothes that no one has worn for some time. The less you have, the easier it is to keep things under control. Get rid of those appliances that don’t get used often, or atleast move them out of the kitchen. You can help someone less fortunate by giving those things away.

Keep a running list on front of your fridge to write down items as they run low, or run out.I taught my children to do this for me, and I didn’t always have to be looking over their shoulder.I  also begin writing the list at the bottom of the page, instead of the top. That way you can write out 3 or 4 items, and tear off the bottom of the page, instead of using the whole page for a few things on the list. (Some have told me it’s a left/right brain thing!)

If you haven’t done so, decide to become a recycler. I’m amazed at how many garbage bags of plastic, cardboard and cans I fill in a month’s time! Create a box or bag to place those items in, and make it easily accessible so all family members can contribute to the process. You’ll not only reduce waste, but it will help keep things more organized around the home.

Since I’ve climbed back on the ‘diet wagon’ this month,I  am sharing some favorite healthy recipes.Y ou don’t have to be diabetic, or even be dieting ,to enjoy these yummy dishes.

CARAMEL APPLE SALAD
20-oz. Can crushed pineapple in own juice, slightly drained
1 (4-serv. Size) pkg.Fat-free, sugar free butterscotch instant pudding mix
3 large apples, cored and diced
8 oz. Fat free whipped topping, thawed
2 Tb. Chopped peanuts

Mix pineapple and pudding mix together. Fold in apple and whipped topping. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with chopped peanuts. Yield: 6 servings--Calories per serving: 185; fat: 2 gr. Fiber: 3 gr.

It's important to eat breakfast.  I love this next dish because it is not only tasty, it can be made ahead of time,and warmed up just before eating.  I made this recently and threw in some blueberries - make it your own by adding something that you would enjoy - apples, nuts, etc. You can use 2 cups of oatmeal if you don't have the oat bran.

BAKED OATMEAL
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup oat bran
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup skim milk
1/2 (one half)cup egg substitute (or 3-4 egg whites)
1/2 (one half)cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup Splenda
1 tsp.vanilla extract or maple flavoring
2-3 tsp.cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.Spray an 8"X8" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.Combine wet ingredients and add dry ingredients.Stir until blended-pour into pan and bake for 35 minutes.Serves 6-Calories:153;fat:3 g;fiber:5 g.