Roasted Green Beans

Today it dawned on me that not everyone roasts their veggies. In our house it’s the main way I cook almost all of our veggies. We grow  green beans our garden every summer and they are a favorite in our house. I’ve always known we could roast fresh ones but I recently tried roasting frozen beans and they turned out great! I prefer to eat fresh veggies when we can but it’s nice to have a couple frozen things on hand as well so these are a great way to cook up frozen green beans! I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

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Ingredients:
3 cups of frozen green beans
1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional but so yummy!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5 teaspoons minced garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil. Put the frozen green beans on the cookie sheet pour the oils and remaining ingredients on top of the green beans and toss until they are all fully coated.  Bake for 15-17 minutes or until slightly crispy & brown.

Tips:
Buy your green beans at Costco! they are cheap, delicious and organic!

One of our favorite veggies to roast is broccoli. If you have never roasted broccoli before check out this recipe it is AMAZING!!

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Goals for 2016

Well it’s 2016 already! Where does time go??

A couple of weeks ago my sister-in-law posted on Facebook asking people what their resolutions or goals were for 2016.  In the past I’ve not really been a resolution maker. I’ve never really felt like it was something I needed to do, but this year her post made me stop and think about it. So I actually came up with a few goals for this year and thought I’d share them with you!

1. Open my home up to friends and family more. This one might seem like a no-brainer but for whatever reason we just don’t have people over often. To be honest a lot of the reason is that it’s expensive. We live on a tight budget and I always feel like if we are going to invite people over we should provide the dinner.  But I’m going to move past that. We have been blessed with a wonderful place that we call home and I want it to be an inviting place that we can enjoy with our friends and family! So my goal this year is to have people over! It may be for snacks, or a potluck or just dessert but we are going to have our people over!

image12. Be healthier then I was last year. For the last year and a half I’ve been on sort of health/fitness journey. I’m trying to find my groove. I want to make exercising and eating healthy just part of who I am. I’m not trying to join some fad diet or just make a new years resolution because that’s what people do but I truly want to figure out a maintainable way to live a healthy lifestyle. I want to be here for my family and my kids. I want to be an example to those around me. I want to feel good in my own skin. I’m currently eating clean and am part of an online fitness community called Fit By First. This group has totally changed my approach to working out and the need for community to keep you accountable and to be an encouragement. If you want more info on these challenge groups check out this website (I don’t get anything thing for promoting this – I truly just love this group!).
FullSizeRender(1)3. Make time for creativity. I love to be crafty, I love photography, I love redoing furniture but last year didn’t allow a lot of time for the creative things I love. I want to make sure I make time for some of those things, the things that are just for fun. I think so often as mom’s we get so wrapped up in all that goes on in our house that we forget to do the things that bring joy to our lives. Taking time for ourselves is so important.

4. Be more intentional about praying. There is so much power in prayer I believe that with every fiber of who I am and this year I want to be more intentional about who I’m praying for. I punched a hole in all my Christmas cards and tied them together. They sit next to my bed and each week I pray for one family. I pray for the things I know are going on, and for the things that are unseen. God knows what they need but I still want to be faithful to lift my friends and family up in prayer.
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When I look at all my goals I see a trend – being intentional. Goals give us something to work towards and that is why I set a few this year. The older I get the more I’m learning that without direction we just sort of float through life. I don’t want that. I want to make an impact on this world. I want to look back on my life and feel like I lived it!

Cheers to a new year and fresh starts! What are your goals for 2016?

Post Christmas Trip – Leavenworth

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Ours was great but SO busy. Why does Christmas time have to be so dang busy?? I love christmas but all that goes into it can just be crazy. This year we decided we wanted to spend some time in Leavenworth around Christmas. The little town is so beautiful in the winter. They put up so many lights and it’s only a 2.5 hour drive from where we live. In the greater Seattle area we hardly get any snow. Leavenworth is generally covered in snow around Christmas so we soaked it all up this year!

2 days after Christmas we loaded up the car and took off! We rented a little cottage that had the perfect sledding hill right in the driveway and also had a hot tub! I ended up being pretty sick the whole time we were there but we still had a good time. Board games, hot tubing, sledding, and family time were the only things on the agenda. It was perfect.

I think this may be a new family tradition! Getting away is one of the only ways for me to get a chance to relax. Mom’s you know what I mean! There is always so much to be done so a couple days away is always nice!

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas season. We will do this again. Hopefully next year! It was the perfect way to end the holiday season.

My Perfect Potato Bread

Over the last couple years I have been making all of our bread in my bread machine. When I was a kid my mom did this and I hated it. I wanted store bought white bread (which was totally off limits – and now I know why). I make our bread for a few reasons….It’s cheaper, healthier and yummy! I’ve been perfecting our recipe for the last year and this has become our go to sandwich bread.
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I started with a recipe called Linda’s Easy Potato Bread from the book “Bread Machine Magic“. This book is great and has a lot of yummy recipes! It has options for small, medium and large recipe so it’s great for any size machine! I tweaked the recipe to work for us.

Ingredients:

1 cup water
1 cup milk
3 TBSP Olive Oil
3 cups bread flour
1 cup white whole wheat
2 TBSP Honey
2 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
5 TBSP potato flakes

Follow the directions for your bread machine (mine is liquids first, then dry ingredients on top) and bake.

Tips:
Let the bread cool completely before cutting.

If you are planning to make homemade bread on a regular basis I would recommend buying an electric bread knife. I found one at a thrift store for $7 and it’s worth every penny. It allows us to cut the bread much easier than using a normal bread knife.

If you aren’t eating your bread up quick it will mold. Homemade bread doesn’t contain all the preservatives like the store bread do. You can cut the loaf in half, wrap half in plastic wrap then place it in a freezer bag and freeze. We try to eat the bread within a week so it doesn’t dry out.

I hope you enjoy this yummy bread!