Change can be a good thing

After receiving some positive feedback, I’m here with blog #2! As you can tell, I’m still very new at this and I will try my best to make these posts interesting and full of yummy recipes. But for those of you that are reading this AND are interested in other useful information, I have something to share before I get to the recipe part.

My fiancΓ© and I decided one year ago that we would start saving all of our change. Twoonies, loonies, quarters, dimes, ALL of it. Instead of using our change for coffee or a little treat at the store, we started throwing everything in an empty orange juice jug (it has a cover and is shaped in a way that discouraged us from dipping into our stash). We even threw in some bills when we had extra cash, and added the American money we had left from our camping trip to Bar Harbour. Sadly life happens, and a few times we had to dip into our “jugs” for various reasons, but we always tried our best to keep the original plan.

Last night we finally decided to dump out all of our change and count it. I won’t say exactly how much we ended up with, but it’s enough to make a nice dent in the wedding/honeymoon costs πŸ™‚ So it just goes to show that even if you have a hard time saving money or can’t really afford to put away a part of your pay check every month, you can still save a little extra cash. We don’t realize that a few loonies and quarters here and there can really add up to something big! It also helps if you set a goal to works towards, it can be a trip, a new pair of shoes you’ve been wanting or that big screen tv that you’ve been contemplating.

I know this strategy may not work for everyone, but it worked wonders for us. We deposited our savings into the bank today and we will be starting round 2, and we are hopeful that we will able to save even more this time around. Just remember to save your change next time you break a 5$ bill πŸ˜‰

Ok, now on to the food! I’m really excited to share this slow cooker recipe I found a few months ago. The one type of food that I LOVE and have never really been able to recreate at home is Chinese Food. I’m a sucker for fried rice, chow mein, noodles, and especially beef and broccoli. There is a Vietnamese restaurant around here that makes the best b&b, hands down! I order it every time we go there and I can’t seem to get enough. So naturally I tried MANY times to make this dish at home, and every time it was edible but very disappointing. The beef was always a little tuff and the sauce was all wrong. Until I found this recipe on Pinterest (this site will be mentioned frequently), I’ll admit when I saw “slow cooker” in the title I was a bit skeptical. But my slow cooker has not let me down so far, so I thought it must be worth a try. And it was delicious!!!! A real game changer, I can now honestly say that I can make homemade beef and broccoli that can rival any Chinese food place and now you can too πŸ™‚

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

– 2 medium sized marinating steaks cut into thin strips
– 1 cup beef broth
– 1/2 cup low sodium soya sauce
– 1/3 cup brown sugar
– 1 tbsp sesame oil
– 3 garlic cloves minced
– Fresh broccoli florets (as many as you like)
– 1 medium onion diced
– 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
– 1 tsp cornstarch

In your slow cooker mix together beef broth, soya sauce, sugar, garlic and sesame oil. Add beef strips and cook on low for 5-6 hours. During the last hour to 30 minutes of cooking time add broccoli, carrots and onions. You can also lightly steam your veggies before hand and add them to the slow cooker near the end. Once everything is mixed together, take about 1/2 cup of the sauce from the slow cooker and mix it with about 1 tsp of cornstarch. Add this mix to the slow cooker and it will help thicken up the sauce a bit. Serve over steamed rice or noodles, I like using spaghettini or vermicelli noodles.

And voila! Homemade beef and broccoli that tastes better than the restaurant and is healthier πŸ™‚ I love this recipe because the beef is super tender and the sauce is very flavourful, again you can add lots of different things to make this more to your liking. Maybe some hot sauce or chilli flakes to add some heat or some fresh ginger to make it a little more tangy. The sky is the limit my friends πŸ™‚

Like the potato patties recipe from my last post you can find the original recipe in my ” I pinned and I made” board on Pinterest. Here is the link http://m.pinterest.com/janol83/i-pinned-i-made/

Have a great weekend!

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