Archive for the ‘Recipes/Cooking’ Category

When Only a Sandwich will Do

April 30th, 2017

Happy Sunday y’all.. Things have been a bit like a roller coaster here- up and down- mostly with ups- but I am ‘still’ waiting on my laptop to be returned to me. I did see that the Toshiba site said they were finished with it- so I’m waiting to hear more. Hopefully I’ll have it soon, then comes the task of getting it back in order with installing everything etc..

The weather has been great this weekend, which means some time spent outside. I’ve also been adoring the new (to me) Marco Polo app. Do y’all have it? If not- look it up and check it out- because it’s a great way to keep in touch when you want to say something short (or not) but don’t want to type it all out.

Yesterday I was home alone and despite having leftovers- I was craving a sandwich, so that’s what I made- a bacon spinach tomato and avocado sandwich. Tomatoes aren’t in season, so cherry and grape tomatoes were the flavor of the day- I toasted the bread and added Sriracha garlic mayo .. to knock it out of the flavor park. It was delicious.

What are y’all eating this weekend?

Easy Brunch

February 22nd, 2017

Some mornings I’m not feeling the urge to eat when I first get up-   so rather than eat because I’m ‘supposed’ to, I wait until I feel a rumble in my stomach and then I eat.    Today-  I had quite a few things to check off my ‘to do’ list-  One of which was finalizing my business tax paperwork so it could be taken to the accountant, plus some cake prep for an upcoming order.

I have been trying to keep the protein on the higher side-so I decided to opt for some Greek yogurt, a few raspberries, pepitas, almonds and a few cacao nibs for a little something special.  You know-   give it that indulgent feel without being indulgent.

It was delicious-  sans any sugar except the natural sugars in the raspberries.   It kept me full until dinner time, which was my goal.

Now the taxes are dropped off-   I have the evening to myself, so it’s time to take a hot bath and curl up with some good TV.

Favorite Products- Bobs Red Mill

January 25th, 2017

If you know me in my everyday world- then you know what a HUGE fan I am of Bob’s Red Mill products. It started with me when I tried their steel cut oats. I was so impressed with the quality and flavor that over the years I’ve tried SO many of their products, I’ve lost count.

BRM-00882-7I’m also a big fan of one-stop-shopping and / or ordering, which is why iHerb is one of my favorite places to order from. Their customer service is second to none (which makes this chick extremely loyal), plus they have a vast assortment of Bob’s Red Mill products (including gluten-free flours). I also ordered freeze-dried fruits from there (great for baking and other projects), supplements, and even my favorite soap.

This morning I had an email that they were having an additional 5.00 off every order until the end of January, so I cashed in by ordering this 7 Grain Pancake and Waffle mix, along with a few other items on my list.   I can’t wait to try this-  It’s one of the products from BRM that I haven’t tried, and it will be great (I think) to use in my new waffle maker that Santa brought me.

Oh and did I mention there is free shipping on all orders over $40, plus no sales tax!  Yep, you read it right.   Don’t Miss out on the 5.00 extra savings until the end of the month, plus the free shipping-   visit iHerb and check out the savings for yourself. You can thank me later.

Meal Planning- Thanksgiving

November 15th, 2016

It’s hard for me to believe that since I last posted here, a majority of the leaves have given us a beautiful show of color and fallen to the ground, leaving barren (yet beautiful in their own right), trees.

As I type this-  the greyness and drizzle of rain has settled into the day.   The view from where I sit, I can see several naked trees swaying to-and-fro to the rhythm of the wind.

Some years I’m unable to spend the holidays with my parents, but on those years we usually do something with friends.    This year-we’re having a small celebration with friends the weekend after Thanksgiving, so I’ve been browsing recipes of something ‘new’ to make.

While browsing, I came across this recipe from Southern Living for Easy Butter Rolls & I’ve decided to make them as one of my contributions.

It makes me smile to think that it was a few short years ago that the idea of making bread in any sort of fashion would be highly intimidating for me, but in that time, I’ve learned a great deal from several inspiring people.

Our gathering will only be five adults and two children, but the idea of spending time together with people who bring joy to my heart, makes me smile.  I’ve offered to bake the turkey, a small ham, now these rolls, plus I’ll whip up a dessert of some sort, and make an Autumn salad of some sort.    A good healthy balance of ‘real’ foods,  shared with friends.

I’m grateful to be able to do that.

What about you?  How will you spend your Thanksgiving?

In Full Whole 30 Swing

August 31st, 2016

We are on day 18 or 19 of Whole 30.  It’s round 2 for me0  round one for my guy.    This time has been more of a challenge for me, as I spend a lot more time in the kitchen making breakfasts and lunches for my husband- since he’s so used to having a sandwich of some sort every day.  Whole 30 breakfast On the days he works early in the morning- I’m left to my own vices for breakfast-   which today was a vice of mashed sweet potatoes, bacon, avocado mash, and scrambled eggs.   I added a little pepper to add a kick, oh and a few pumpkin seeds.    It was delicious & simple.   Two things I can really get behind when I’m doing Whole 30, or anytime, really.

Dinner tonight was another simple fare-  chicken breast that had been seasoned and grilled,  roasted eggplant and zucchini-  alongside a few browned potato slices.     I kept the potatoes at a low-  but again, an easy meal.

What’s your favorite ‘go to’ healthy meal?

 

Summers Bounty- Roasted Tomatoes

August 19th, 2016

There is something about a good farmer’s market that brings me joy. Local fruits and vegetables, providing great produce to cook along with each season. Right now, tomatoes are in abundance & if you have never tried a fresh from the vine tomato, you’re missing out on something special. (Unless of course you hate tomatoes, then that’s a horse of an entirely different color.)

tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, healthy, seasonal cooking The only thing even better than a farm fresh summer tomato is roasted farm fresh tomatoes. They are SO easy to make and the depth of flavor that they add to pretty much everything is beyond comparison. They are great pureed in soups, eaten on salads, added to quiches or other dishes, or tossed on hot pasta. I keep mine in a glass jar in the fridge and we’ve been eating them on everything.

Plus the bonus is that tomatoes are extremely healthy, so you get a flavor win and a health win.   That’s something to celebrate!

Want to know how easy they are to make?    Want no more— Here I used various cherry & grape tomatoes, but you can use ANY tomato you wish.

 

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

  • 1 pound (or more) fresh tomatoes of any sort, or a mixed variety- washed
  • sea salt- to taste
  • pepper- to taste
  • garlic powder- to taste
  • italian herbs (optional) – to taste
  • regular olive oil or grapeseed oil  (I switch between the two- usually whichever I grab)  I often will add a little more of the ‘good stuff’ EVOO when they are done before I store them in the glass jar.     As far as amounts-  I  drizzle what looks good to me-  a few tablespoons to a 1/4 cup depending on how many tomatoes it is.

Preheat oven to 375-

  • Rinse tomatoes and add to baking dish
  • sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, fresh ground cracked black pepper (or whatever you prefer), italian herbs.
  • Stir with wooden spoon to incorporate everything evenly.
  • Put in middle of oven and bake until desired doneness.

As you can see I bake mine until they start to pop and then also begin to brown on top-   Depending on your oven that could be between 25-40 minutes.    I start checking mine at 20 and then again every 10 minutes after that.   I pull them from the oven when they are my personal desired doneness and then leave them on the counter to cool if I’m not using them for a specific dish at that moment.    Once cooled, I transfer them, juice and all to a glass container with an airtight lid.  They also freeze well for a quick pasta or soup dish.

 

If you make these tomatoes, I’d love to know how you used them.  I’m always looking for some new cooking inspiration.

 

Happy weekend!

Whole 30- Day 5

March 19th, 2016

Well, I’ve made it to day five.  In fact, I can say I not only ‘made it’ to day five of Whole 30, but I rocked it thus far.   I’m taking things one day at a time and seeing what each day brings, but today brought me a WHOLE lot of happiness.   I’m generally a pretty happy person anyway, but the lack of energy I’ve been dealing with for the last while has left me pretty deflated.    This morning when I woke up, I felt pretty much like I feel every morning, but I didn’t have that feeling of wanting to spend another hour in bed.   That was the first thing I noticed.

I got up and did my morning routine of drinking a huge glass of water-  followed by a green tea- and then a coffee.  Somewhere in there I had breakfast-  repeat performance of the last couple of days.    (As mom would say-  “Don’t fix what isn’t broke!”)

Yesterday I talked about my overall feeling of tired and weakness, and the lack of energy.    I couldn’t attribute it to the Whole 30 process, because I’d been feeling that way since I had the flu not so long ago.    Today I planned to get out, and get some things done, but even getting ready, I already felt much better than yesterday.   We went to the weekly Farmers type market- to get fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and olives.    It doesn’t mean a lot of walking, but it does mean a little, so off we went.   I felt fine.   Not much dizziness, no achy arms, no general feeling of tiredness.

We came home- and after I put everything away, we went to visit our neighbors who had a little one about a month ago.  We’ve been planning to go over and take a gift, so today we did that- plus we were able to meet the little guy- who is absolutely adorable!

IMG_1032I still felt great, but I also knew I needed to eat something, and I didn’t plan well on that front-    OOps… So I grabbed a little of this-and-that, and turned it into lunch.

In this case, this-and-that ended up being half of a Granny Smith apple, and a ‘throw together’ salad with a half can of tuna in water-  1/4 avocado, some beets  marinaded in Balsamic vinegar, some olives that I’d bought at the market, plus a couple of Brazil nuts.  Oh, and a drizzle of olive oil.

 

Since I really want to start ‘doing’ more in terms of exercise and building my stamina up again, we went out for a walk with the dog.   It wasn’t that far-  probably 1/2 mile or so, but it was something, which is more than I’ve been doing as of late, simply because I didn’t have the energy.

Since I ate a late lunch-  I wasn’t overly hungry come dinner time.IMG_1034    Again, because we were running here and there today, I didn’t feel very prepared for dinner either, so I ran with what felt right for me at that moment, while remaining Whole 30 compliant.

What felt right-  was 12 shrimp that I cooked in a tiny bit of oil and seasoned with garlic, pepper and a few other spices, plus a zucchini that I sauteed and cooked with garlic and spices.   I drizzled with a tiny bit of olive oil- plus added a few cashews (4), because I wanted the extra flavor.     It was very simple, but also delicious.

So tonight I am celebrating the victory of having energy again.  It’s not boundless energy, but it’s MUCH more than I’ve been having, and my heart is doing a happy dance.

Tomorrow is a new day, and I know that each day in the beginning can vary soooo much, so I’m not expecting anything, but seeing what each new day brings.

Today, it brought energy-  tomorrow?  Who knows-   Stay tuned to see.

 

Knife Shopping

February 25th, 2016

Earlier this week I found myself bitten by the flu bug.    I had prided myself on not getting sick all winter long, and BOOM-   I started feeling a little blah Sunday evening and by Monday it had hit full on.   The result is a forced ‘slow-down’ and four days spent mostly in bed, with the exception of making myself a huge pot of chicken soup that we could eat for several days.

Since I’m not one to sleep during the day, that has meant much time to browse websites, scour Pinterest and Facebook, plan trips, do some online ordering, plus do some research on chef knives.

I have knives– I married into these particular knives, and I like them Ok.   They are Henckels, and haven’t failed me, but as I’ve continued to learn and grow in my foodie life- I’ve wanted to expand my knife horizons.   I’ve browsed quite a few top cooking stores in our area, held a few-  some which felt great in my hand, and others not-so-much.    I realized just how much of a personal journey finding a knife is, but I’m also curious what others like and why.

Being sick allowed me to do some browsing for that particular subject-  something that had I not been under the weather- would have probably kept flying under the radar in the recesses of my mind on the ‘when I think about it’  list.

I’ve become very interested in the Wusthof 7-inch, and while it isn’t the ‘best’ out there, I do think it’s a good starting knife for me.   Has anyone used the Wusthof brand?  If so- what are your thoughts on it?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Simply Salads- Roasted Butternut Squash with Quinoa and Baby Kale

January 25th, 2016

IMG_9851Over the weekend I was thrilled to find the baby kale that I love so much back in stock at my local market.     It’s one of my favorite greens, and the plus being that they’re so healthy.   A win-win situation any way you slice it.

Not too long ago I also happened to be perusing Pinterest and I came across a kale and butternut squash combo which sounded delicious.    I happened to have some butternut squash that I’d picked up at a local farm towards the end of the year, and Saturday I sliced it in half, discarded the seeds and roasted it in the oven until it was done.

In the meantime- I whipped up some quinoa to cook, but thought a touch of cinnamon in the water that I was going to cook them in would be a great combination beside the butternut squash.    (Boy was I ever right on that one.)

For the salad-  I added two handfuls of baby kale, a handful of arugula, about a half cup of quinoa (you could add as much or as little as you’d like),   some cubed, roasted butternut squash.      I toasted some pumpkin seeds, sprinkled them on top-  and added a slice of roasted turkey breast I’d cooked in the crockpot.  I also added a handful of dried cranberries.    The dressing wasn’t really a ‘dressing’ per say-  but a drizzle of Vanini Osvoldo Olive Oil that I picked up when I was in Lenno, Italy this past fall,   plus a drizzle of champagne vinegar and cranberry balsamic.   I added crushed black pepper to taste.

 

It was easy to prepare, and really out of this world good, plus filling AND healthy.      I was celebrating the fact that I actually have leftovers, because it’s the best salad I’ve had in a while.

 

What’s your favorite salad?

Simple Comforts- Spaghetti Squash with Black Truffle Oil

January 5th, 2016

IMG_9552Yesterday I remembered that I still had two spaghetti squash that I’d picked up a while back, but still hadn’t cooked.  I wasn’t exactly sure what I would do with it, but I knew since I was feeling a little under the weather, that it would be something simple.

I started with roasting the squash-  which was as easy as turning the oven on to 350- cutting the spaghetti squash in half-   removing the seeds from the middle, leaving on the fleshy squash behind.    I turned it flesh side up in a roasting dish-   added a little garlic and into the oven it went.     I’d love to be able to tell you that I timed the exact process, but I’d be lying.   I did check it after about 40 minutes-   decided it could use a little more time-  and left it in 20 or so more minutes, again checking it with a fork for its ‘shredability’.   Once I felt it was the doneness that I wanted (ovens vary- so check to see what works best for you and your oven), I proceeded to use a fork and shred it out of the skin into a bowl.

I added some garlic, chives, a little chipotle chili powder, a touch of salt-  then shredded approximately 1/4 up Asagio cheese on top that I brought back from our trip to Italy-     I drizzled the top with about a 1/2 teaspoon of my latest flavor obsession-   Black Truffle infused olive oil and a few chopped walnut halves for the crunch.

It was simple, but the flavor was out of this world.    Black truffle anything takes everything to the next flavor level of decadence.    Lucky for me, I have the other half of the squash left, so leftovers are the order of the day.   You won’t hear me complaining.    This is a delicious and healthy comfort-food meal and with our cold weather- it’s perfect.

 

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