Welcoming 2016

Happy New Year!  I absolutely love this time of year, for me it has always been about fresh starts and new beginnings.  I don’t usually do “New Years Resolutions” because I generally set myself up for failure.  But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a time to start fresh and a time for thinking ahead to what we can accomplish in the new year.

This year we are looking forward to many things, particularly finding a place to call our “home”.  And we have certainly started off the year full force ahead!  We visited 8 homes today.  Talk about exhausting!  In the meantime we have major budgeting goals and will be starting to put into place the debt snowball method.  We haven’t checked out Dave Ramsey’s book yet, but if you are interested in learning more about the Debt Snowball Method I would recommend checking out his book: The Total Money Makeover.

In addition having relocated Simply Living to this location, and finally purchasing our own domain, is a big New Year step!  Out with the old and in with the new!  I’m excited for the potential that this new location has to offer us and I’m excited that you are all along for the journey!

And now, here is how we ended 2015…

Homemade Donuts!
Homemade Donuts!

That’s right…we made homemade donuts!  It’s been years since we’ve done a NYE party, and tend to prefer staying in and enjoying each other’s company instead.  So this year we decided on games and appetizers, and then to try a new recipe for dessert.  Gotta check off another month, if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, check out my Ravioli post where I talk about my birthday wish.

The best part is how easy this recipe was.  You would never be able to tell based on how amazing they tasted.  We only needed to purchase one ingredient, we already had the rest in the kitchen, and it took less than 20 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients needed:

  • Pillsbury Homestyle Biscuits
  • Melted Butter (about 1 cup)
  • Cinnamon and Sugar mixed together, use judgement, we mixed until light brown.
  • Oil for frying (We used vegetable Oil)

That’s it…told you it was easy!

Step 1:

Cut the donut hole out with a cookie cutter.  We didn’t have a circle, so we used a star, and it was straight up adorable.

Star donut holes, because, why not?!
Star donut holes, because, why not?!

Step 2:

Warm oil in pan on medium high.  Add biscuits and brown on each side.  The middle still seems gooey, but I promise that will make them soft and delightful.

Brown biscuits in warm oil
Brown biscuits in warm oil

Step 3:

Dry and cool fried biscuits on a plate with a paper towel.  We fried 4 at a time, so we cooled 4 while we fried the other 4.

Cool on a plate with a paper towel. This will also absorb excess oil
Cool on a plate with a paper towel. This will also absorb excess oil

Step 4:

Once all biscuits are cooled, dip one side into melted butter.  Drip off excess butter and dip into cinnamon sugar.  Repeat on other side.

Donuts and Donut holes dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar.
Donuts and Donut holes dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar.

Step 5:

Enjoy!  OH wow they were SO good!  So good that I need to emphasize with all caps!  They were unbelievable warm, but were still soft and yummy the next morning.

Homemade Donuts!
Homemade Donuts!

I would absolutely recommend this recipe.  Not only are they delicious, but they are super easy.  They made the perfect dessert with our sparkling apple cider on NYE, but they would also make a wonderful addition to a breakfast or brunch.  No messy recipes, no deep frying, easy peasy and YUM!

What are your plans for the New Year?

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Cabbage Soup Diet

Well, it was around this time last year that we were in the middle of our Girls Weight Loss Challenge.  That was fun, but took a lot of work to organize, so I decided to do one on my own this year.
Being the year of our wedding, I’ve already been hitting the gym, mainly doing weight training.  The cabbage soup diet is only a week long low fat, high fiber diet.  You loose a lot of weight quickly, but then after the week you have to work to keep it off!  I think it is just the kick in the pants I need…
I started cooking my soup today, and will start day 1 tomorrow.  I got the recipe from Catherine, who also had lots of good tips on her website, check her out!
I started with all of the ingredients:
Cabbage, green pepper, onions, diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, bouillon cubes, and water.  (I left out the mushrooms, but you’re welcome to add them!)
The colors looked amazing while they were starting to cook:
I had read in multiple places that the soup is very bland, but that it is ok to season it, just without salt.  This will probably be my biggest downfall…I’m a huge salt fan!  I don’t like anything too spicy, but I did add a little curry powder for some flavor.  Along with some parsley, basil, garlic and onion powder.  Here it is simmering away…
Tomorrow marks Day 1, so I’m allowed to eat as much soup as I want along with as much fruit as I want, minus Bananas.  I’ll come back and let you know how it tastes!
Since I knew I would be starting this cabbage soup diet Monday, I made a special very unhealthy dessert Friday:
Tastes as good as it looks…if you want the recipe, go check out Quick Dish. And, it’s gluten free, for those of you with special diets!

Are any of you trying new diets this year?