Giving Thanks for Giving Contest

The holidays are upon us, Folks. Cue the Pinterest DIY decorations, the recipe testing, and gift giving.

I'd like to add one more thing to your list, something that is sure to make you smile.

This holiday season, I am teaming up with Cooking Planit to celebrate the Givers in our lives and communities. We would like to recognize those who give to others without looking for rewards or even recognition.

Here is where YOU come in. Tell us their story. Share their inspiring story to the world. In a place that is full of hurt, we need these stories to inspire others and give hope to those who might need it.

As a bonus, 5 stories will be selected for a $250 reward. And the Grand Prize winner will win $1,000 for the charity of their choice. How amazing is that?

Story Guidelines:

  • In 300 words or less, recognize an individual who is making a difference in the lives of others in your community, whether it be by donating their time, energy or love with a focus on helping others without necessarily thinking of themselves.
  • Provide details on how and what they are doing to imporve or impact the lives of others.
  • Enjoy writing your story.
If your inspiring person is chosen, they will receive a $250 gift card to help them celebrate the holidays and you will receive $100, as our way of saying Thank You.

How to Enter:
As for my unsung hero, I have to recognize my fellow teachers and my nurse friends. Hands down, the hardest jobs out there. Most of the teachers and nurses that I know chose their profession with their hearts. It wasn't about the money, but instead it was about helping others in need. Teachers and nurses are witnesses to some of the world's saddest stories and most beautiful miracles. A mark of a great teacher or nurse is having the ability to care for their student or patient. Yes, their job is to take care of them, but it's their knack to CARE FOR them that makes them great. Unfortunately, these heroes are the ones that hear THANK YOU the least. So, to all of the teachers and nurses out there, Thank you for all that you do.

Now it's your turn. I can't wait to read your stories.

Filipino Picadillo

I finally got a new memory card for my fancy pants camera. I haven't been blogging because, well, you see... I sort of snapped the other one when I impatiently yanked it out of the camera slot.

Whoops. Did I do thaaaat? (Name that show)

So, all is well in the world again and I can take pictures while I cook. That's what normal people do right? Take pictures while they cook? Hmm...didn't think so.

Taking pictures is one thing, but finding time to blog is another. Hey look! I'm blogging right now and I'm feeling semi-coherent enough to tip tap my thoughts. Sure, it's 11:00 pm and I'll regret this the moment my 5:50 am alarm starts to blare, but that's the life of a wannabe food blogger.

Tonight this wannabe food blogger threw together one of the easiest dishes she knows.

Filipino Picadillo.

More specifically, my mother's picadillo...which in turn is THE best on the planet. Today's rainy gloomy weather called for something hot, beefy, and filling. Tis' perfection.

It starts with the onions. Sauteed to poifection.

Add some ground beef and let the aroma take control. Throw in some colorful bell peppers.

I used to add tiny cubes of potatoes but I'd like to try and be as healthy as possible so I threw in some healthy zucchini instead.

Oh, I forgot to tell you I had a Cinnabon this week. It was dreamy.

Add your soy sauce, salt, and pepper to taste and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate this adorable salt bowl I found at Target? It comes with a widdle spoon! I couldn't resist.

Some recipes call for olives but I hate olives. Instead, I use raisins to add some sweetness. I'm all about the salty and sweet.

Tomato sauce tops it off for an extra hearty feel and taste.
I like to serve this with white rice but since I'm trying to be healthy, I used quinoa instead.
Oh, did I tell you that I had a PB & J filled Glazed Donut this week? How healthy of me, huh?
 This meal is definitely one of my go-to meals. It's quick, simple, and filling. Love it.
Filipino Picadillo
Prep time: 5 minutes 
Cook time: 20 minutes
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 lbs. of ground beef
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup of raisins ( I put more because I LOVE them!)
3-4 Tbs. of soy sauce
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1. Saute onion until soft. Add the beef and let brown.
2. Add the bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes on Medium. Add the zucchini, raisins, and soy sauce.
3. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
4. Add the tomato sauce to finish.
5. Salt and pepper to taste
6. Serve with white or brown rice or quinoa.
p.s Save the leftovers for the next recipe!