All posts by Busy Sawyer Gal, Actively Engaged in Life.

About Busy Sawyer Gal, Actively Engaged in Life.

I strive to live an Actively Engaged Life, not just a busy life. My blog is about getting organized, eating right and prioritizing goals so that we can make a difference.

BusyGals WOW Pot Roast

BusyGals WOW Pot Roast

1 boneless beef chuck roast

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3/4 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp salt

2 tsp canola oil

2 tbs tomato paste

12 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 1/2 cups dry red wine (It’s not an accident this leaves just enough for a glass while your cooking)

2 cups beef stock, you could increase this by 1 1/2 cups and eliminate the wine but trust me the wine make all the difference in the world when it comes to the flavor.

1 tbs AP flour

1 tsp sugar

1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes (I used Italian Style)

2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (less if you use dried)

4 carrots, cut in two inch pieces

4 fresh thyme sprigs

1 large sweet onion cut into large wedges

1 bay leaf

Preheat oven 300

Sprinkle beef with S&P and drizzle with oil. Rub it in, rub it in.

Heat your dutch oven over med-high heat. Add beef and sear on each side until beautifully browned. Then remove from pan, set aside.

Add tomato paste and garlic to pan; cook 1 1/2 min., stirring frequently. Add red wine to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 6 min or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently. Combine stock and flour in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add stock mixture,, sugar, and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil. Return beef to pan add rosemary, carrots thyme onions and bay leaf to pan. Bake covered at 300 degrees for 3 hours or until beef is tender when pierce. Remove thyme springs and bay leaf from pan; Place beef, carrots and onions on a platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Bring sauce to a boil over medium-high heat cook 5 minutes or until reduced to about 3 cups. Cut 12 ounces of beef about one-third of roast into large pieces. Shred the remaining beef; reserve shredded beef in separate container for later. Strain leftover sauce in separate container. Serve beef, carrots and onions over pasta or mashed potatoes.

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APPLE CIDER KALE SALAD

Servings: 6 Calories: 85 Fat: 4.3

Dressing-
1 Tbs Cider Vinegar
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Mix together and let flavors marinade together.

Dice 1 apple, 1 oz cheese (Cheddar or Colby )
And chopped 1 head of Kale.

Toss all together and drizzle with dressing. Yummy side

Stylish

busysawyergal-com

I love the changing of seasons, the promise of possibilities and swapping out the wardrobe!

“Finally, summer is over. I can start working on my sweater body”

I’m lucky enough to live in a place that welcomes the seasons with not so subtle temperature changes. The brisk morning air had me pulling out the boots this morning and while my mother would gasp at the fact that I’m wearing white after Labor Day I paired it with a grey sweater so I feel comfortable walking the line between a fashion faux pas and “stylish”.

I believe being stylish is wearing clothes that suit your age and body. We all have that one friend that when we see her we think.. hmm she’s got it together. For me it’s Holly. She has incredible fashion sense and I think it’s because she doesn’t pretend to be someone she’s not. She’s not 20, she’s not petite, she’s not single on the prowl.. She is a beautiful woman, with adult children and a powerful, inspiring career and she dresses the part.

One of my favorite shopping sites is Dress Barn. Hate the name, but love the clothes. They always fit my not so perfect body. With sizes 4-24 I can always find just what I was looking for even if I didn’t know I was looking for something.

Do you think about your outfit ahead of time or are you a spur of the moment grab and go kinda dresser? I’m a planner. I usually spend the first few weeks of a new season looking through the pages of InStyle magazine or Vogue sure they are way over the top but I look for patterns, hem length, and of course shoe style to get inspired for the new season. There is always a color that will dominate the pages of these popular magazines so when I’m shopping I’ll be on the look out for pieces in that color that I can incorporate into my wardrobe, making my outfit a bit more stylish and updated.  Then I move on to 512 search Fall Fashion and you will have hours of pinning ahead of you with great new looks that you can mimic. Some of my favorite pinners to follow are Stitch Fix  and Fashion over 40

My sister hates to shop, always has. I don’t understand this at all because shopping is on my top 10 favorite things to do list. But for her she’d rather spend her time doing just about anything else. However her corporate job requires her to look the part. I recommended StitchFix.com for her. It’s a personal shopping service. You set up an account, add sizes and your fashion needs and they will mail you items. Love it, keep it or send it back. Her only complaint about the service is the time it takes to set it up so that she actually gets what she needs. But hey at least it keeps her out of the stores. But her favorite option is calling me and we bring up another of my favorite online shops Cabi

I got hooked on Cabi about 4 years ago. My friend Tiffany held a party at her home where Jana Barr a Cabi stylist helped us shop for the perfect look. For me it was a real struggle to spend the money, I’m a very thrifty shopper, if it’s not on sale I don’t buy it. But the fit … oh the fit was so amazing that I splurged and bought a pair of pants. Over the next 6 months I wore those pants everywhere. They were so versital and came out of the dryer looking perfect every time. When I got my invitation to view the fall line later that year I played with my budget and allowed myself one more piece and that is how it continues today. Now I visit the site and mark all my favorites putting them on my wish list, ya know just in case I win the lottery. I then send a list of must haves to my sister and she calls her Cabi stylist and kicks starts her season with key pieces.

When my youngest daughter started planning her September wedding I knew I wanted to wear a fabulous hat. She was totally against it at first but I used my power of motherly persuasion on her and in the end I won and rocked the perfect hat, at the ceremony, that I found on Amazon . It was quite a stylish look if I do say so myself.

me

I want to look smart. I want to be taken seriously. I want to be comfortable. While fulfilling the last can be done easily with a pair of yoga pants and a comfy t-shirt I will not earn the others this way. So I shop and I shop and sometimes I score big.

The key here is confidence. No mater what you choose to wear, if you do it with confidence you’ll look stylish. Share with me… what is your definition of ‘stylish’

“Style is not a display of wealth, but an expression of imagination” Style Fluency

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Health Fair

Super excited to be hosting a booth at this years local health fair. Health Fair’s are a great opportunity to get a benchmark for where you’re at health wise. If you go every year it’s a quick and easy way to catch risk factors. At my Herbalife booth this year I’ll be sharing great ideas for using Herbalife products to get a strong and healthy body. Can’t wait to help people discover how great they can feel. 1

Répondez, s’il vous plaît, Yes It’s Important

I’m a busy gal, but I hope I’m never so busy that I overlook the common respect that goes with properly responding to an invitation. The etiquette faux pas that really erks me the most is the failure to RSVP. It seems that what was once deemed required has now been dismissed by entire generation. Does an RSVP matter? Yes!Untitled design

Consider it a cry for help from your host… Not every event is so informal that you just need to drop your tailgate and pull out a six pack to be part of the party. A properly planned and successful event takes a little preparation and on the top of the list is knowing how many guest to expect.

There have always been rules of courtesy to follow in civilization. I was taught the rules of etiquette, first by my grandmother, then learned by example from my mother. Among the most important, other than keeping your elbows off the table, is ‘please respond’which should be the easiest to comply with. Yet we often assume this as an option rather than a requirement.

It’s simple really, an invitation requires a reply. Untitled design-1The difficult part is making a commitment to attend. Let’s be honest here… why are you waiting to respond? If you really have a commitment that would prevent you from attending then responding no, should be quick and easy, unfortunately those who are dragging their feet are really just weighing their options. There is no quicker way to insult your host than delaying your reply because your waiting to see if you get a better offer. Your not fooling anyone, believe me your host is already going through the anxiety of ‘what if no one comes.’

As a host you must consider the fact that your  guests might not know what an RSVP is.  Remember, that generation gap. As a host of an event with guest of the millennial age group you might want to rephrase your invitation to something clearer such as ‘your reply is requested’  or ‘please respond’. If you do decide to go the traditional route and use RSVP on your invitation remember this term is derived from the French phrase, répondez, s’il vous plaît, which in English means ‘respond please’ so it would be redundant if you phrased your invite as  “please RSVP”

For a more formal event like a wedding, your host has already gone to great expense and effort to include a pre-addressed and often prepaid envelope for your response because they really want to know if your coming. All you have to do is decide yes or no, and then if it’s yes you might be asked to further your commitment by choosing chicken or fish. Believe me at $25.00 a head this can really add up quickly as a wasted expense for the bride and groom.

If the event is anything less formal an appropriate response can be as simple as connecting to the party website or sending an e-mail, even a text message is consider okay. Anyone who has ever hosted a gathering has experienced the frustration of not knowing who will be attending. An unanswered RSVP leaves a hostess with so many questions.  Should I plan on them or assume their not coming? If I assume their not coming what do I do when they show up? How much food should I prepare? Should I prepare extra in case some of the guests bring others? What about seating? Should I call them? Whether its a barbecues, office parties, weddings—you name it. Your poor host will be riddled with anxiety.

I’m not saying you have to go to every event your invited too, on the contrary I’m a firm believer in the word NO. In fact your not even obligated to explain the reason for not accepting an invite. A simple sorry, I will not be able to attend is perfectly acceptable. There is no need to go into great detail. Write a simple and polite note of regret.   What I’m advocating for is commitment. Make a decision either way and make it official by responding. Untitled design-2

No host want’s to be forced to call and beg for your response and doesn’t that put you in an awkward position as well? However, it is perfectly polite for hosts to call guests to ask if they plan to attend. In fact, as a host you often have no choice but to call if you want an accurate headcount. Responding to the RSVP in a timely manner, a few days after receiving the invitation is best, will make it easier on both you and your host.

What if I say Yes and then can’t go? The struggle is real, I get that. Once you have sent an RSVP for an event, don’t be a no-show. You’ll forever be remembered as that empty seat at the dinner table. However, if something unforeseeable does prevent you from attending, a phone call is a must. This is the time to speak directly with your host and express your regrets for not being able to attend. The earlier the better. Don’t wait until they have already confirmed the headcount with the caterer.  The same goes if you originally responded that you are unable to attend and then suddenly your schedule opens up. You must call and ask if there is still room for you too attend. It is impolite to just show up after saying you couldn’t make it.

Ok, you procrastinated in getting that RSVP completed and now you feel guilty so you delay even longer. Once again this can be quickly resolved by simply picking up the phone and sincerely apologizing for your over-site.  Keep in mind, if you received an ‘invitation’ your host wants you at their event. They have reserved a special place for you. It is an honor to be included and therefore deserves your attention. The reality is that by ignoring your host request you will often succeed in hurting their feeling and causing them frustration.

Any event, from a small dinner party to a large celebration, even something a simple as a product demonstration party requires planning, preparation, financial investment. Your host thought enough about you as a guest to include you in the festivities. This requires your acknowledgment of the invitation and a decision about whether or not you will be able to attend.

It’s all part of living an actively engaged life.

 

 

Ok sometimes you save up your calories for one amazing meal. Well this is it. Made these Pineapple & Pork Tacos and they were a big hit. Had a family friend just happen to stop by during dinner time…  and he loved these. It’s tough to say just how many this recipe can feed because even after we ran out of taco shells we kept eating it. So buy the large package of shells and go ahead and  chop up a whole head of cabbage you never know who will be popping in; especially if everyone knows what’s for dinner.

PINEAPPLE & PORK TACO’S

20 oz can of pineapple tidbits, drained reserving juice
1 tbs chili powder
1 pork tenderloin, cut into bite size pieces
1 can diced jalapenos
1 cup teriyaki sauce
½ tsp salt
2Tbs canola oil
Corn tortillas
¼ c fresh cilantro
½ head of cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup Mexican style cheese, shredded
½ tsp sesame seeds
Lime wedges, for serving

Combine reserved pineapple juice, teriyaki sauce, chili powder, jalapenos and sesame seeds. Place diced pork in zip top freezer bag and add ½ of marinade mix let rest in refrigerator.

In the meantime combine cabbage with ¼ of remaining marinade and toss with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a second bowl combine pineapple tidbits with last of marinade

Warm 1Tbs of oil and sauté pork in marinade until cooked through. Drain and set aside.

In the meantime, add last 1Tbs of oil to large nonstick skillet, heat med high. Gently fry corn tortillas until lightly browned and softened. Drain excess oil from tortillas on paper towels.

Set up a serving assembly line, limes, cheese, pineapple, pork and cabbage slaw and additional jalapenos. Serving suggestions: cabbage in the fold of corn tortilla, top with pork, pineapple and cheese. Squeeze lime juice and serve with tortilla chips. Be prepared, they will come back for seconds.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 944
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 39 g 61 %
Saturated Fat 12 g 59 %
Monounsaturated Fat 7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 12 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 151 mg 50 %
Sodium 5768 mg 240 %
Potassium 2808 mg 80 %
Total Carbohydrate 102 g 34 %
Dietary Fiber 49 g 197 %
Sugars 27 g
Protein 63 g 125 %

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

IMG_5465

Calories 428  Fat 19.2 Protein 34g.

I cut this recipe  out of one of my Cooking Light magazines but when I went to the website to link it here, I couldn’t find it. Hmmm It’s just too good not to share, so here is how I did it.

During any given week night, I don’t have a lot of time so I did all my prep work on Saturday. I made the meatballs, cooked them, cooled them and refrigerated. I also made the tangy sauce and stored it close to the meatballs. When I got home tonight I was already in the middle of a call with a volunteer, but that didn’t slow down dinner. I started my stock to boil for the Polenta and began heating the sauce and meatballs up. Once I was finished with the call I used both hands to chop an onion and began to sauté some baby spinach.

Ingredients:

3 c. chicken stock

1/4 kosher salt

3/4  c ground polenta

1 Tbs butter, unsalted

1 1/4 pd 93% ground turkey

2 tbs dark sesame oil

Cooking spray

1/4 c water

1/4 c ketchup, unsalted

2 tbs Sriracha (hot chile sauce)

1 1/2 tbs oyster sauce ( I used fish sauce because that’s what I had)

1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Addition to original recipe: 1 small onion, chopped, 5 c fresh baby spinach

Bring stock and salt to a boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually add Polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and Polenta is thickened. Add butter, stirring until melted.

Combine turkey and sesame oil in a medium bowl. Divide and shape turkey mixture into 20 meatballs. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add meatballs to pan; cook 6 minutes, turning  to brown on all sides. Remove meatballs from pan. Add 1/4 c water and remaining ingredients to pan, stirring with whisk; bring to a boil. Return meatballs to pan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until meatballs are done. Serve over Polenta.

I plated the Polenta, topped it with a little sauté baby spinach then added a few meatballs and drizzled the sauce over the top. This sauce kinda has a kick to it so don’t go crazy at first just in case. I loved the cooling effect the Polenta had with the Bam of the saucy meatballs but if the constant attention to Polenta causes you grief this would be just as delicious over rice, mashed potatoes, couscous, risotto; you get the point the meat balls just need a bed to lay on so they don’t roll off your plate.