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Author Archives: yfuerst

The Lazy Cook – Shabbat Meal in an Hour

I recently realized something about myself – I am lazy. It isn’t pleasant to acknowledge this. I have to fight my tendencies on a daily basis and when I don’t fight it, well then things build up to even more work for me at the end of the road.

And when it comes to cooking I think I take the prize. Therefore, as Shabbat is rolling in I’m thinking – what if I could make really easy healthy-ish Menus for those who are just as lazy as I am when it comes to cooking?

So here’s my menu:

Dinner –

Starter: Bought salads such as: Chummus, Eggplant, Matbucha, etc.

Soup: Chicken Soup

Main:

  • Baked Grilled Chicken
  • Salad
  • Antipasti
  • Sweet Potato
  • Broccoli

Dessert: Fruit, Whole Wheat Muffins or shamefully store front goods.

Lunch –

Everything we had for dinner but the soup.

Added bonus – Cholent made by husband

Not to be overlooked and is essential to getting everything done as fast as you can – the Cooking Order:

1. Chicken Soup – Even though there is “a lot of work” for this dish I find it worth the effort since it makes for a very good leftover for weeknight meals when DH comes home starving and I have no intention of making dinner.

Chop onions, carrots, zuccini, potatoes, sweet potatoes, leek – whatever else you like. Fry a bit with olive oil. Add chicken pieces and cover with water. Bring to boil then add: Hawaij , 2 TBS soup mix, S+P, parsley. I then like to add Kube (Dough stuffed with meat). Lower heat and let cook for an hour.

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While this is happening I make my Antipasti Stick it in the oven for about 20-30 min.

2. Antipasti – Cut up whatever veggies you love, garlic cloves, a little olive oil, salt + pepper, if you really want to be fancy you can add thyme.

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3. Sweet Potatoes – I love love love this dish. Especially good when you heat up next day and it gets a little burnt and glazed and it’s just delish.

Simply peel and cut sweet potatoes, a little olive oil on top and rosemary.

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Stick in oven on rack under Antipasti. Switch to top when Antipasti is done.

Sweet Potato takes a while to bake so now you have time to prep your Chicken and stick some Broccoli into microwave as instructed on bag for cooking time.

4. Grilled Baked Chicken Breast – Now I can’t claim to fame this recipe.

I got it from http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/baked-chicken-breast/ and it looks amazing at the end (don’t you hate it when recipes don’t live up to their pinterest pic?)

Once Sweet Potatoes are done, stick the Chicken in for about 15-20 min on high heat.

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OK ALMOST DONE!

5. Dessert: For the finale I make my special whole wheat muffins.

Mix: 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 Tsp Baking Soda, Cinnamon – as much as you like, 1/2 cup sugar

Then add: 1 cup water, 1/2 cup oil, 1 egg and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (more or less as you like).

mix together so all ingredients are blended but be careful not to over mix. If you see the consistency is very thick add a little more water.

Put in muffin tray, bake at 200 F for about 20 min.

And that’s it!

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Now it’s time for the REAL challenge to (groan) clean dishes…

Salad I usually make after candle lighting, leaving me time to write this post now….

Hope this was helpful!

If you have any recipes or menus that are fast and easy please post here to share!

 

 

 

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A Different Mind

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My friend told me the other day that she wants to make a big purchase in 4 months time and was wondering out loud if the place would let her make it in payment installments.

I quickly suggested that since she is planning her purchase ahead of time she might as well divide that amount into 4 and put aside that money for the purchase she wishes to make. Not only will she not have to pay interest on payments later but she might even get a reduction in price for buying in cash.

After years of ingrained behaviour it can be very difficult to ‘flip a switch’ and start thinking differently, to not buy things we cannot afford, even if we do actually NEED them (and not just want).

I wonder what our financial behaviour would be like if we didn’t have things like credit cards which give us a false sense of “money in hand”.

And now the secret to successful budgeting – spend less money than you make.

 

 

Second Chances

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So my efforts in creating more income have shifted gears this week as I plan ahead for some big expenses in the coming year. While having a ‘day off’ with a sick kid at home I was finally able to begin (again) some of my sewing projects which have been neglected for months (if not some years).

Our couches were a gift a few years back, and while I am super grateful for them and they are fabulously comfortable, they did look very used, especially with a dog and two toddlers with sticky hands. We (DH and I) have been debating for a while if we should try and sell them and buy a new one ($$$$) or reupholster ($$$$) and since both include spending money eventually – I have been dying to DIY something myself.

And so I present to you our “second chance” couches:

And then a light bulb appeared over my head (well not literally) – If I can do this for ME, then surely I can do this for OTHERS ($$$)!

So I am very excited to start my ‘Second Chances’ business and already have a meeting with my first client tonight – wish me luck!

All the Single Ladies (and guys)

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I am the eldest in my family with quite a large gap between me and the second born. This naturally put me in a position where I was the first to get married and start a family. Now I get to watch my siblings enter early to mid-adulthood and try to “warn” and guide them to financial balance.

It’s quite interesting to watch them make different financial decisions than me and each other since we all grew up with the same “teachings” and habits we saw our parents making.

One of them thinks about today and plans only for the immediate future, while the other looks further ahead and is safely putting his money away when he could easily spend it on exotic vacations and car payments. While some may think it’s shameful to be living with your parents during your mid 20’s, it is perhaps the wisest financial decision if you have a goal in mind and minimizing expenses is what you need to do for this to happen.

Obviously it’s much harder to get through to the one who has a shoe and bag addiction and doesn’t know the first thing about creating and setting a budget. But maybe one day…

I wish I knew then what I know now and had safely put some money away while I had fewer expenses then I do today. If you are single – what do you spend most of your money on that can maybe take a “budget cut”? Do you put some aside for a rainy day? If you are parents to teenagers and young adults are you doing your best to make sure your children are able to stand on their own two feet and plan ahead for whatever life holds in store?

Family Budeting: Are you left Wanting?

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I’m sure many articles have been written on what we think we want and what we actually need.

Sometimes I can be very hard to tell the difference. I guess it’s easier if we were to compare it to dieting and brand our desires as food. Do I need that chocolate cake (new car-even though my old is fine and running) or do I just want that pizza (new bag)?

My children need an education – does it have to be at the most prestigious kindergarten or will cheaper daycare suffice for a 1 year old? You may find that this can be an area where you don’t wish to compromise and that is fine. For us – we decided that this was a priority and opted for the more expensive facility.

We need food – do we need that special bread or will regular bread be just as fine? Cookies, cakes and frozen products are often cheaper if we make them ourselves or buy them fresh.

As you can see there are many areas where you can distinguish between your wants and needs.

Where do you draw the line? What are some of things you absolutely need and if you can admit to yourself – what are the things you spend money that you actually only want?

The Payment Trap

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In my country there is a very “clever” system to teach you that you can have what you want now and pay for it later –  Splitting your purchase into payments.

This is not only harmful in planning and keeping to your budget on a monthly basis but it also nourishes the need for immediate gratification.

Instead of learning to save for what it is you wish to buy, it teaches you to buy now and think later about how you’re going to pay for it.

For example instead of saving an x amount each month for something you want to buy (TV, computer, speakers, vacation, shoes, etc…) and then having the option of paying for it in cash which more often than not usually gives you bargaining power or some sort of discount, you go out and purchase your item and pay for it in payments. While this might not seem like the most tragic thing you can do it can be very hard to keep track of what you actually spend a month on certain categories. Most often I find people forget how many payments they actually have and just keep adding to them.

For me this issue really comes home when after the credit bill is paid, I start the month with hundreds if not thousands of $ already “spent” on the card (in payments) and if I add to that all my regular purchases and expenses it adds up to quite more than I budgeted for.

There are some cases where you have no choice but to pay in payments, mostly in cases of emergency. Which is why it’s always a great idea to have an emergency fund.

Unfortunately for me I am still in the first steps of covering and eliminating debt so more on the savings and emergency funds tips to come in the future (hopefully near).

Are you guilty of splitting payments? How do you battle the urge to spend money in hopes of ‘making up for it’ in the future?

Thank you my fellow blogger!

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Thank you to Bettina for nominating me for the:

She is a courageous individual who was brave enough to follow her dream and move to the other side of the world – please check out her journey.

In order to spread the love here are 15 great blogs who deserve nomination:

1. Momasutra – A great blog on motherhood and thoughts

2. Going Green – Because we only have one world to live in (for now 🙂

3. Crafterhours – If you love crafting this is the site for you

4. Modernminis – Who doesn’t love miniatures??

5. Bits of Becky – Brilliant play kitchen design

7. Bake or Break – Warning-If you are dieting don’t click – you will surely ‘break’.

8. Anna White – My DIY IDOL!

9. I heart Organizing – another DIY IDOL

10. Rachel Coleman – The brilliant mother behind the singning time brand – she is amazing, if you didn’t check her blog out you would be missing out.

11. Dana made it – wish I had!

12.Yeladisco – This blog is in Hebrew so I hope you can view it properly (maybe with google translate?) A lovely design site.

13. Get Rich Slowly – Great blog for great finance and budgeting tips and advice.

14. Craftgossip – Adding to my endless list of projects I wish I had time to do

15. Emily Henderson – I love Design Star and I love her!

For those I’ve nominated – consider widnening the circle and choose 15 of your favourite blogs for your readers to check out.

Below are the winners’ guidelines:

Versatile Blogger Award – Rules for Winners

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog.
2. Choose fifteen blogs to nominate and let them know by leaving a comment.
3. Request that the chosen blogs pass on the award to their favourite fifteen.
4. Copy and paste the award on your blog post.
5. List seven things about yourself.