If you were born before 1980, you probably have one of these

Believe it or not, kids, there was a time when Pinterest didn't exist. A time when google meant the googly-eyes you stuck to a fuzzy pencil topper. A time when you couldn't ask Alexa how to make buttercream frosting.

born-before-1980_If you wanted a recipe you had limited options...
1. call mom
2. buy a cookbook
3. tear the recipe out of a magazine

And tear out those magazine recipes I did.

Because today I usually rely on old favorites, Pinterest, or google for recipe help, I rarely go into the cabinet that houses my binder of handed down family traditions (including the BEST snickerdoodle, rice pudding, and stuffing recipes) and countless torn out magazine pages of "try this!" ideas.

Until I opened Pandora's box yesterday and my daughter caught a glimpse of the ridiculousness.

blog-recipesIn truth, I'm tucking in a little of my crazy, so this is only part of the stack.

I know. I should've just recycled the whole lot, hell, I can find anything I want online. But, flipping through them I found some great ideas...and would I ever think to search online for "Tangerine Beef Stir-Fry with Scallions, Chiles, & Snap Peas?"

Would "Chicken Banh Mi with Apple-Kale Slaw" even cross my mind when planning dinner?
How could I have gone another summer without making a "Frozen Orange-Vanilla Pie?"

Granted, even if I "pinned" all of these, they'd likely end up in some file. I don't need any more clutter- electronic or otherwise.

Though I have zero interest in attempting Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," I am inspired to tackle the craziness in my cupboard.

Challenge accepted.

In the past I...

  • attempted a year without buying anything made in China (that lasted 6 months until my son needed a helmet and there were no other options- safety trumped challenge).
  • went a year shopping ONLY small businesses (that was awesome! see how it started here)
  • tried a weekly Pinterest project (too many "fails" to keep my mojo going)

But, this? Delicious, simple, real food recipes begging to be tasted? This I can do.

Clearing a shelf of paper clutter is an added bonus!

After sorting them into categories- and tossing the what the hell was I thinking pile (pasta with blue cheese and walnuts? I hate blue cheese and walnuts)- I'm left with 84 entrees, 36 sides, 43 snacks, and 56 desserts.

Don't judge.

So, here's my new challenge...

I'm making 5 new recipes every week: 2 entrees, 1 side, 1 dessert, and 1 snack.

Since I know you're always looking for new dinner ideas or something different to bring to the next get-together, I'll share the hits...and misses...with you.

I let my kids pick the first round, so next week's menu includes: Chicken & Spinach Tortilla Bake, Bowtie & Spicy Broccoli Rabe with Crunchy Crumbs, Scallion Sweet Potatoes, Apple Pie Cereal Bars, and Sugar Cream Pie.

Who knows, maybe I'll find some new favorites. I'll definitely eliminate a crap-ton of paper clutter, and possibly this challenge will even get me to use the pasta maker that's been unopened since our family pasta making class years ago! If nothing else, we'll add a little variety to our menu rotations.

Ready to learn more simple ways to live a healthier lifestyle? Excited to hear about cool small shops & see if my weekly Pinterest task was a success or fail?

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