Tips for Organizing and Recipe for a Lean Beef Stroganoff

Ah, thank goodness for January! Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but there’s just something about starting a brand new year. A fresh new calendar, a chance to start over. My favorite “New Year’s” activity is to organize and eliminate everything that will prevent me from achieving my goals for the coming year.

Here’s the catch. When there’s so much to do and the days go by quickly, it can seem like one hill too many to climb. You’d think I’d start with a list of all the cleaning and organizing that needs to be done, but I’m not, because that list would get me right into next year!

So here’s what I’m doing: I’m just getting started. Read that if you want, I’ll wait.

When you start your decluttering, you only need three stacks: Keep, Bin, and Charity (and/or Sell if you want to recover some of the Christmas expenses).

Something that will help pass the time is putting on some high tempo CDs or the radio. Having noise in the background makes work less stressful and I definitely get more done by switching to a classic 80s hit.

I will walk into a room and not leave until that room has been decluttered and reorganized. I also often take before and after photos. It’s just because when it’s all put away it might look like very little has been achieved, but the before and after photos are proof that the junk drawer is now definitely functional and there’s no no more dried up pens on my desk. !

Another approach I have is to start with the smallest or least messy room in the house. If I manage to fly through three or four rooms quickly, that makes me think the playroom is totally manageable!

Having two kids at home is tricky when I want to tackle toys and I’m sure there are more of us than that. That’s why after Christmas can be a good time to get into it. They’re usually so distracted by new stuff that they’re less likely to miss damaged coloring books or broken crayons!

I’ll usually try to do one piece a day until every piece has felt my wrath, then it’s off to the charity shops with New Year’s haul. For me, the more organized and uncluttered I start the new year, the more productive I am. I even find that I sleep better when I know everything is tidy.

If you feel like you really need to declutter and get organized, but aren’t sure where to start, here’s a great way to take those first steps:

Set an alarm for 15 minutes. During these 15 minutes, you are going to do as much as you can without stopping.

Once the alarm goes off, no matter what, you stop. Do this once in the morning and once in the evening. When you are used to it and you feel less overwhelmed, you can extend it up to 20 minutes and so on. It can also count as a bit of exercise, especially if you sweat!

Alright, I’ll tackle my wardrobe next. For some reason a lot of my husband Peter’s old clothes magically disappear at this time of year… weird!

Wellness advice: Try something completely different and new. That class you’ve always wondered about is the time to lean into something new to recharge and reinvigorate yourself.

Movement of the week: Set this timer for 15 minutes and do as many chores as you can, make sure to sweat it out. Do this twice a day during the week. Feel good and do some cleaning!

Lean beef stroganoff

recipe from:Derval O’Rourke

This recipe was given to me by Patricia O’Flaherty from A Touch Of Magic at Carrigaline

Preparation time

5 minutes


  • 1 large onion, sliced ​​and diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (use a grater for speed!)

  • 400g lean beef or beef medallions, thinly sliced

  • 50g sliced ​​button mushrooms

  • 400ml beef stock (or 1 stock cube dissolved in 400ml boiling water)

  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme or use ½ tsp dried thyme

  • Salt & pepper to season

  • ½ teaspoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • 90g plain 0% fat-free yoghurt (brought to room temperature before use)

  • Spray oil


  1. Prepare all your ingredients for this recipe.

  2. Add thyme to the beef broth and allow to infuse for a few minutes before you begin to sear the beef — give the thyme… time!

  3. Spray a non-stick skillet with a little oil and once it’s hot, sear your beef until it starts to brown, remove and set aside.

  4. Add your onion, mushrooms and garlic and sauté for just under a minute over medium heat, you don’t want the garlic to burn as it will leave a bitter aftertaste. Once softened, add a few tablespoons of your beef broth and increase the heat, as the broth begins to reduce, keep adding more and more, until you have approx. ¼ of the broth. As you reduce the broth, you intensify the flavor.

  5. Then add the tomato puree, paprika, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar.

  6. Return the beef to the pan and toss with all the delicious sauce, simmer for a minute for the beef to mix with the rest of the ingredients, turn off the heat then stir in your yogurt.

  7. It’s delicious served with rice, cauliflower rice, potatoes or mixed with pasta.