Easy Beef & Brocolli Stir-fry

Today was our big grocery trip. Grandma P came in last night and she came with us.  Trying to find the healthiest options was a little hard, but after we finally checked out, I felt great about our choices.  Our goal is too save money by not eating out.  Our hotels are going to have a microwave and fridge, so this helps a lot.

Since our goal is to eat all the food that will go bad in the fridge before we leave, I wanted to use all the leftover brocolli up. Remember Rodney brought home about 5 pound of brocolli last week. Ya, it's been fun trying to think up recipes on how to eat this pretty tree as Sunny calls it.

Sunny is so excited about Disneyland and the beach. I am so glad we are celebrating her 3rd birthday there this week. What a memory for all of us.  I love seeing the excitement through a child.

Sunny is mellowing out big time. Sure, she has her days, but my goodness, what a breath of fresh air. Turning 3 and she is changing. She was such a hard baby and hard toddler, up until now.  Someone told me something very interesting and I so agree with it.  She said that those who have really mellow babies end up having harder toddlers, and those with harder babies end up having more mellow 3 and 4 year olds.  This makes me feel so great!

Here is a great recipe for a busy weekday or weekend.  Brocolli has never tasted better, besides adding it to cheesy soup, it really is delicious!


    • 1/2  cup soy sauce
    • 1 T. sesame oil 
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
    • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
    • 2 or more T. cornstarch
    • 1/4 c. beef broth or stock
    • 1 pound boneless sirloin, tri tip, flank or skirt steak - sliced into 2 x 1/2 inch strips
    • About 2 c. fresh broccoli florets
    •  vegetable oil


    1. Whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic and ginger.
    2. Place the beef in a Ziploc bag (or glass bowl), pouring in half of the sauce mixture to coat the beef. Marinate for either 20 minutes on the counter or covered overnight in the fridge.
    3. Whisk the cornstarch and hot beef broth together and add to the remaining sauce mixture.
    4. Heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat, add 2 teaspoons oil and add the beef. Cook for 4 minutes and remove beef to a clean bowl.
    5. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan and cook the broccoli for 2 minutes.
    6. Add the beef back into the pan. Make a well in the center and pour in the sauce. Cook until the sauce is thick and everything is heated through, about 2 minutes.
    7. Serve over rice.\\
    8. Recipe Adapted from  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/beef-and-broccoli-stir-fry


Pregnancy Goals

I have set a lot of goals for myself this year. I am terrible at following them, yet remembering what I set for myself in the first place.  However, since being pregnant, I realized I have not set any new goals.  Pregnacy is a whole new ballgame for me.  The goals I set for myself not pregnant do not always apply when I am pregnant, so here are my new goals and an explanation of why I am choosing these goals.

1.  Eat less sugar. I am the worst at this. I have the world's worst sweet tooth.

2.  Improve my posture so I don't have to return to the chiropracter so often. The chiropracter is expensive, even the tiny bit that insurance does pay!! The last three times I went to the chiro, I felt it was a total waste of money.  I am not going to say who it is, but my gosh, the guy charges an arm and a leg and does nothing but run this dull device down my back.  He invests in no new equipment either and I get the impression he thinks people are idiots and don't know the difference. Believe me, people know!

So my posture is bad. Horribly bad. I have a curved spine thanks to horrible genetics and it takes more effort and thinking to remember to stand up straight. It does not come naturally to me at all. My mom has the same problem.  Not only is bad posture horrible for your health and well-being, but it's so unattractive.  During pregnacy I suffer worse from bad posture. I am making a conscious effort to stand up straight and tall no matter what.

3. Continue to go to gym and fitness classes.  Pregnancy makes me tired and lazy. Taking care of a busy toddler doesn't add more energy.  Going to my classes often only helps me sleep better at night, but helps me improve my eating habits.  An added bonus is it's such a social place. I love running into so many people I know, making new friends there, and just having adult conversation for once.

4. Stop Self-criticism. I have to improve on this. I thought it was only a high school and 20's things, but I am a married with a child, and this needs to stop.
I over- analyze everything and it's a negative trait I wish would end.

5. Finish a task, stop procrastinating!  I love working on house projects, particularly, but I often start many of them and leave them uncompleted, which only bugs me more.

6.  Spend more time outdoors.  Sunny loves to be outside and I know it's good for both of us.

That's all I can think of for now. I am sure I will think of others later.


Brocolli & Cheddar Soup

One of my pregnancy issues is not being able to stomach vegetables. They are extremely hard for me to eat.  However, this soup was no problem for me. It was so rich in flavor with hints of chicken stock and butter flavor and loaded with sharp cheddar cheese and veggies. This soup didn't just have brocolli. It also had celery, onion and carrots. Everything blended so well. The toasted sour dough bread soaking in the warm soup was the best part.

I didn't even mind the small peices of glass found in my soup. It was a bit uncomfortable I must say, but it didn't keep me going back for seconds.

So how did the glass end up in my soup and Rodney's.  It started with Sunny grabbing a chair like she always does, trying to help make dinner, her reaching for my favorite Pioneer Woman Glass water mug, taking a drink, and then slamming the mug down as hard as she could. Glass shattered everywhere. My poor favorite mug I just bought.  I admit I did lose my cool.

Water and glass was everywhere, dinner prep was put on hold, and the stove was pulled out so water would be soaked up with towels.  Bits of glass was everywhere.

The only good that came out of this was I got to see how much crud was underneath the stove.  After sweeping and mopping and putting the fan out, it was finally done and clean!  Phew!

I decided to put myself in time out and just collect my thoughts. Sunny is getting to be a handful lately, reaching and grabbing for everything.   As I sat there, all mad over my mug, I fell asleep.  It's only a mug afterall.

So, back to the soup.  Sunny of course wouldn't touch a drop of it, but Rodney and I had no problem finishing it off.  Now Rodney is baking away as he does on Sunday. making a peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake.  We eat A LOT of sugar on the weekends!


5 T. Butter
1/4 c. onion, chopped
2-3 T. flour
1 cup half and half or milk (not skim)
1 1/2 c. chicken stock or broth
1 carrot, chopped fine
1 celery, chopped fine
2 c. brocolli florets, chopped
1 1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter in large pot.  Add onions and saute until tender, Then whisk in flour.  Add celery and carrot and cook on low medium for about 3 minutes.  Add chicken stock and brocolli and bring to boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until veggies are tender.
Add half n half or milk last and allow to simmer another 5 minutes.  Add cheese and stir. Serve.
Note: If soup is too thick, add about 1/2 c. of liquid and this will thin it out. Also, if you want to double this batch, increase your liquid and cheese amount.

Source: Allrecipes.com  Recipe by Sandy Lafleur


Mango Salsa (see January archive on right for recipe)