Sunday, October 28, 2012

Money Can't Buy You Happiness...but it can buy you a new spice rack..

.....and a new spice rack can make you (really) happy!

You know your husband loves you when (hypothetically speaking) you wake up feeling like this:

And (being the awesome hubby he is--- or being the hubby that desperately wants a few hours out of the house & away from you and "your mood") he leaves to grocery shop and when he returns, he surprises you with this:

And that $30 gift makes you feel like this:

Here's why:

I (for the most part) really enjoy cooking.  I enjoy it a lot more than I used to now that our house has actual counter space and I'm not using the stovetop as a counter.  And while we still eat pasta occasionally, we've really been trying to eat more healthy meals at dinner-- and many (not all) of them are grain/ gluten free.  This usually involves reading a recipe and getting creative with spices to make some (rather delicious) sauces.

And while I love the fact that we have a cabinet that houses only spices and oils, it became rather cluttered and disorganized.  I attempted to organize it several times and ended up putting the spices in old deli meat containers.  Then I had to stack them on top of each other and rummage through them when I needed a particular spice.  (I would have taken a photo but honestly, I don't really want to remember what it looked like)  Add to this lack of organization the fact that I'm short (5' 4.25" on a good posture day) and usually a shorter person (around 3' tall) is tugging at my pant legs or whining for something while I'm trying to just make supper and my meal prep time turns from fun and relaxing into super stressful.

So when M came home with this spice rack the other day, I was thrilled.  I thought I'd clean out the cupboard and reorganize after C went down for his nap but I just couldn't wait.  I jumped right into the organizing and instantly felt better.  And that night, when I made these SUPER YUMMY meatballs, I just grabbed the spices and returned them in about two seconds.  I felt myself smiling while cooking and I hadn't even been into the wine yet.  Now that is amazing.

The "After" pics (sorry, no before pics)


Made for short people!!
The "drawers" pull out then fold down!

And this one SWIVELS!
So the next time you begin to doubt the health benefits of retail therapy, I urge you to remember how happy an inexpensive material possession can make you feel.

(Disclaimer:  I am not outrightly advocating for spending willy-nilly at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, or Lowe's Garden Center on a day when you are feeling extremely depressed.  I've done that and it just invites more clutter into your house and probably more frustration with having to put everything away especially when you have a kid begging you to be the caboose of a choo-choo.  But I am saying, go ahead and admit that yes, sometimes a little treat that makes your life a little easier can actually improve our spirits.  And since my family prefers to eat supper pretty much every night, this is a gift that keeps on giving.)

Super Easy Yummy (Paleo Friendly) Meatball Recipe:

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 T dried basil
1/2 T dried oregano
2-3 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat oven to 400.  Use hands to mix the spices into the ground beef & pork.  Form mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and place in 9x13 baking dish.  Cover tightly with tinfoil and bake about 25-30 minutes or until no longer pink in the  middle.

We poured marinara over gluten free spaghetti noodles and then topped with meatballs.  (C tried the meatballs but preferred a hot dog on his.  Whatev.)

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