Thursday, September 8

Fresh Fruit Smoothie

Another good recipe I threw together this morning. It was just the right amount of sweet and the banana helped balance out all the seeds, I barely noticed them.

1/2 Banana
1/4 C blueberries
1/4 C rasberries
4 or 5  med. strawberries
Splash of milk
1 C plain greek yogurt

Monday, August 29

Surprise Surprise

As I was trying to clean out the pantry I discovered what a great meal I actually made tonight. All I had was a jar of spaghetti sauce and some pasta. All I could think about was how I didn't have anything to put in it such as chicken, ground turkey, mushrooms, or any other veggies. Alright I'll go vegetarian tonight with some elbow noodles and sauce.

Well I surprised myself, in a few ways. First, after mixing the cooked pasta and sauce I decided to bake it to get some texture and brown the parmesan (okay mozzarella too) on top. Second, I sprinkled on some red pepper flakes just to give it a kick. Third, those red pepper flakes helped with my portion control because as it was delicious I just couldn't take any more heat.

Monday, August 22

5 Ingrediant fix

Once again Ive found a great dinner recipe from the Food Network show "5 Ingrediant Fix." I stumbled upon the episode where she makes really quick recipes, my kind of cooking. I actually wanted to try making some rice with chicken broth and make it a little more interesting. I did try it on my own and it didnt turn out to well. I think its because Im still adjusting to brown rice, turns out the day after I screwed up my rice I watched the show and voila I had a great new recipe to try.

Baked Shroom Rice

Recipe courtesy Claire Robinson, 2010



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Over moderately-high heat in an ovenproof saucepan, melt the butter until the foam subsides. Add the mushrooms and saute until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir constantly until the rice is coated and lightly toasted. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and bring up to a boil. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook on the middle rack in the oven until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 17 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

BYOC: Want to get more whole grains in the kids? Try doing this with brown rice and add a little more chicken stock and a little more time.

Turkey Robinson

Recipe courtesy Claire Robinson, 2010


  • 2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag triple washed spinach
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
  • Brown rice or pasta, for serving


Heat the oil in a large skillet over moderately-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the ground turkey and, using a wooden spoon, break up the clumps and cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the stock and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring up to a boil, and then let simmer until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cannellini beans and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over brown rice or your favorite pasta.

BYOC: Try adding some red pepper flakes to the turkey for a little spice and finely grate some Parmesan cheese to serve.

Monday, August 8

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Lee and I recently celebrated our second wedding anniversary with a trip to Orlando. We haven't traveled much together yet so we have fun going anywhere we can relax. I wont make this a sappy romantic post but rather how much we love to eat!

I find myself thinking differently about what to order because I love to get ideas from restaurants.  I don't like ordering something that I can whip up at home and was a little bummed because I felt like I could make the majority of what we ate. With the exception of the mahi mahi, sushi, french onion soup and all the cocktails, I think I could make everything we ate. We did eat a lot of bar food like chicken nachos, cheese dip, quesadillas, and sliders. All delicious and gave me ideas of how to spice up my own at home. Things like green onions, red peppers, and using multiple cheeses. A new challenge I guess, and maybe I'll attempt our favorite french onion soup one of these days.

Wholly Gaucamole!

One of my favorite things I found at Sam's Club (Ive seen them at Kroger too) are 100 calorie packs of guacamole. I love me some GAUC, but I don't like to make it because it goes bad so quickly. Yes, Ive heard those tricks about leaving the pit in but these packs are so easy! They are great for dipping chips or veggies in or even a healthier substitute for mayo on your sandwich.

Not gonna lie Im excited to bring them to work for lunch
I confess, I saw them on a biggest loser commercial first
I mixed in some mango salsa with 2 or 3 packs for some company

Sunday, July 24

Poached eggs with pasta and asparagus

This is super simple, I promise! I cant remember where I got this recipe but Ive made it twice now and it always makes me feel fancy. I would love to make this for company because I feel like it would be an easy, impressive thing to make.
3 eggs
1/2 lb linguine
3 C asparagus, chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 T butter
parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Boil the pasta as usual and save about 1/2 C of the water before draining. While that is cooking heat the oil in the pan over medium heat. Add in the garlic and asparagus until soft and browned. This takes about 6-7 minutes and set aside.

Using the same pan, fill with hot water and bring to a simmer to poach the eggs. I didn't get a chance to snap a picture of this part and I'm kind of bummed so I decided to attach a website for you. I learned online and was excited that it is much easier than I thought. Don't be intimidated, eggs are cheap so practice on a Saturday morning.

After you drain the pasta throw it back in the pot with the excess water and add in the asparagus with a little bit of butter. I usually would leave out the butter but I figured a little bit wouldn't hurt this time and it was worth it.

Definitely use a slotted spoon for the eggs so you can just transfer the eggs straight to the top of you pasta. Sprinkle with some salt, pepper, and cheese. I think next time I will used shaved parmesan because I just think it looks even fancier, however it was still delicious!

Monday, July 18

Turkey burgers

I dont have a grill and I still wanted to attempt some burgers this summer. I only had feta cheese and lets face it you cant eat a burger without any cheese, especially a turkey burger. So I grabbed some of my neighbors fresh basil chopped it up and threw it in a bowl. I added some ground turkey (about a pound), feta, one egg, salt and pepper.  I was excited how easy it was and how juicy they turned out.  I did have to make them in a pan but I think they turned out just fine. So fine Ive made them twice in two weeks.

Wednesday, July 6

Chicken salad

This recipe is also from "5 ingredient fix." I love how I watched the show for ten minutes and came up with two great recipes. This is a healthier version of a typical chicken salad. I was pleasantly surprised with swapping mayo for greek yogurt. 

3 C chicken (chopped)
1 stalk celery (chopped)
about 12 grapes (halved)
1 C non fat plain greek yogurt
salt and pepper
1/4 C craisins (Ill put these in next time)

Everything mixed together

Scoop a small amount on one side

Fold the sides in to keep everything together

Cut it on an angle to make it fancy

Monday, July 4

Chocolate peanut butter banana chips

Flipping through the channels on a lazy summer morning I stumbled upon "5 ingredient fix" on the Food Network. The simplicity of the Memphis Banana Bites inspired me to give it a go. 

All I did was melt semi sweet chocolate over a double boiler and mixed in some peanut butter. While that is melting, I layed out the banana chips over some wax paper on a plate or cookie sheet. When the chocolate mixture is smooth, I poured it in a large plastic bag and cut off a small corner. Make sure you snip off a corner AFTER the mixture is in the bag. (I fold over the edges of the bag just in case the mixture hits the sides of the bag on the way in.)
A double boiler uses the steam from the boiling water below so make sure you arnt boiling your glass bowl.

 In the Food Network recipe she makes little banana sandwiches but I had to adapt because my chocolate mixture was too warm. It wouldn't stop in between each chip and was looking really messy. So I decided to just smother it over all of them, put another layer of chips on top and drizzle (with a heavy hand) on some more chocolaty goodness. 

A thank you to my sister for letting me use her kitchen and a shout out to girls nights!

Saturday, July 2

Sweet summer time!

I recently discovered a delicious new

cocktail and I thought I would share

it with you. Its a perfect drink for

the summer time and I will be

taking full advantage of that

for the next few weeks.

Mmm it tastes like

a creamsicle!

Saturday, June 4


My Dad called me this morning and really put me in a good mood. We talked for awhile and as I got off the phone I realized that I was just so excited for the day. I haven't had one of those days in awhile with all the busy parts of life lately. Ive had soccer, Lee has been working, not to mention its the last few weeks of the school year. For those of you who don't know kids are bonkers right about now. They are like monkeys in a cage, I was teaching kindergarten yesterday and I had kids climbing up the fences out on the field. They just run around like chickens with heads cut off. Okay maybe not chickens but defiantly monkeys in cages.

My Dad is coming to my soccer game today and that just reminds me of old times. I had a soccer tournament over the holiday weekend and one night about 30 kids were out in the parking lot playing capture the flag and I just had to join in. It was just a great mixture of two childhood memories. One being going to soccer tournaments with my Dad and the other being capture the flag with the neighborhood kids in the summer. When did I get so old? I guess 25 isn't old, but its not running around the neighborhood barefoot either. Kids that are 10 years younger than me have already had a different childhood than I did. Pros and cons of the internet I guess.

Anyways, today's going to be a great day! I finally have time to go the gym, get the house back in decent shape, get some coaching in, but my favorite part is spending time with my family. Last night we finally got to see some of Lee's family and that's always a good time. I'm really lucky to have such great in laws. (and they don't even read this I don't think so they really are that great) Now I will see my Dad for a bit at my game and then its girls night.

I cant help but post about the fact that my "girls" are my family and I know that wherever life takes me they will always be apart of it because that's how family works. I always knew that my sisters would be my best friends but I never knew that my '7 years older than me cousin' would be too. You see my Mom past away when I was younger and we spent a ton of time at my Aunt and Uncles and my two cousins played with us a lot. I was 0-4 years old when she was sick and I only remember bits and pieces but its fun to hear them tell me everything. Seven years is a big age gap, that means when I was in Kindergarten she was in 6th grade. I love to think who would have ever thought we would be so close today... maybe my Mom.

Wednesday, May 18

5 Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas

Well its soccer season so that means I am a busy bee with no time to blog, or cook dinner. I decided to share some of my quick fixes that Ive been loving.  All winter I have had a really hard time eating salad and Ive finally gotten the summer itch and this dressing has me eating salads everyday. Which explains why the bottle in the picture is empty.

#1- Ideally, I would precook chicken for the week but I'll be honest and say that it doesn't happen. So I buy a bag of precooked chicken at Sam's Club and its been awesome for quick and easy lunch and dinners. Last night I threw a bunch of lettuce, chicken, pepper, parmesan cheese and caesar dressing in a bowl, tossed it and then wrapped in in a whole wheat tortilla.

#2- Tortillas are something that Ive been eating a lot lately too. Whenever I need to curb my fast food craving I throw a tortilla in a pan and sprinkle on some cheese, chicken, hot sauce, and a some drops of ranch and its just like taco bell. Mmm.

#3- Cereal has also been on the dinner list quite a bit lately, Multi-grain Cheerios to be exact. Along with cheese, veggies, and/or crackers. I really like the laughing cow garlic and herb for only 35 calories a wedge.

#4- I really think that I honestly made a dinner in less than 8 minutes the other night and 6 of them I wasn't even in the kitchen. I threw some salmon on the George Foreman grill and sprinkled on some Mrs. Dash seasoning and let it cook, put it on a bed a lettuce to finish it off. Easy peasy.

#5- Lastly, my fellow teachers and I are eagerly awaiting summer vacation and with this weather I think we feel like we are coming out of hibernation. So some of my dinners have been at happy hour and not gonna lie I cant wait for more free time with my coworkers!

Cheers to Oberon!

Thursday, April 28

Tropical mango smoothie

I thought I didn't like mangos but they taste good in a smoothie. I find it odd that some of my favorite smoothies lately are with fruit that I thought I didn't like.  I found this on and I'm pleasantly surprised. My alterations are in green, and I added the yogurt for the protein.

1/2 cup(s) pineapple juice, chilled                 1/2 C pineapple juice - I had
                                                                        fresh pineapple in the fridge
1 cup(s) diced mango                                         1 C frozen mango
1  banana, sliced                                                 1 banana
2 teaspoon(s) fresh lime juice                           1 squirt of lime juice
1/2 teaspoon(s) grated, peeled fresh ginger       dash of dried ginger
3  ice cubes                                                       1 cup peach greek yogurt

Wednesday, April 27

Beef Stroganoff

This dish is one of our favorites by far! I'm sure I will be making this for a long time. I tried to lighten it up a bit and swap out some things for healthier ingredients. I'm still getting used to the whole wheat noodles so I decided to mix both together and it was definatly better than just all whole wheat. They do have lower sodium cream of mushroom soup but honestly it was just something I couldn't swap. It ruined it last time.

1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
1/2 C light sour cream
1/4 C skim milk
1 onion chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 C mushrooms chopped
16 oz whole wheat egg noodles
1 package (1.25 lbs) ground turkey

Looks gross but its SOOO good!

Boil egg noodles and start browning your meat. Season with pepper and add in the onions and mushrooms. Once the meat is cooked add in the cream of mushroom, sour cream, soy sauce, and worcestershire. Add milk to your desired thickness. I always add a little more soy or worcestershire to my liking. That's it! Super easy!  

Tuesday, April 19


I thought my smoothie kick was wearing off until I discovered what was missing. I didnt have any bananas left and was making smoothies without them. The smoothies were fine, just not that yummy. Really the bananas were making that much of a difference so I bought one bunch of yellow and one of green banay-nays so I wouldnt run out again. My new favorite is blueberry banana. I dont even really like blueberries but Im really diggin the smoothie.

This time I measured it for you!
1/2 C plain yogurt
1/2 C skim milk
1 Banana
1 C blueberries

As you can see I gave the Magic Bullet another try (I was too lazy to wash the blender) and I found that it doesnt work as well with frozen fruit. Ive also noticed with the blender that the milk and the yogurt need to start on the bottom and then it can get mixing. As you can see with the Magic Bullet I put the frozen fruit on top and it did a much better job.

Monday, April 18

Stuffed Peppers

Well soccer practice got cancelled so I had plenty of time to make dinner tonight. Ive been waiting to use my Jennie O hot turkey sausage and decided I wanted to make something with the bell peppers I had in the fridge. I did my normal ingredient search and didn't really find anything so I went on and found a stuffed pepper recipe that I used as a guide. I was really excited because I have never made them before.

  • Four Six bell peppers, any color or a combination
  • 2 teaspoons garlic-infused or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 package JENNIE-O TURKEY STORE® Sweet Lean Italian Turkey Sausage
    • JENNIE O HOT Lean Italian Turkey Sausage
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Italian-style or regular tomato sauce
  • Tomato paste and can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves 
    • Frozen basil
  • 1 (16-ounce) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice

Cut peppers lengthwise through stems keeping stem halves intact to hold stuffing. Discard seeds and veins. Cook in boiling salted water 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Set aside.

 Remove the sausage from the casings and crumble in a skillet for about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, basil, and cooked brown rice and simmer.  Rinse and add beans and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.  I added tomato paste to thicken the mixture. I was quite proud of myself because I came up with the tomato paste idea all on my own.

 Before and after adding the tomato paste

Scoop the mixture into the peppers and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes.

    Saturday, April 16


    I can remember doing dishes when I was younger, we would have a scrubber and a loader. I always wanted to be the loader so I didn't have to dive into the sink of eight family members after dinner. I look back and I'm actually glad that we had to do chores all the time. I like that it taught me how to do a TON of things to take care of where I live. Some of my "favorites" (or shall I say the ones that I thought were easiest) were always washing the windows, cleaning the bathroom (I know but it was one of the quickest choices), dusting, and unloading the dishwasher. I'm sure my Mom would find this amusing but I'm glad that we were taught how to do a lot of things. Even though we had 3 girls and 3 boys Dad tried to get us outside as much as he could. The girls inside boys outside trick didn't work all the time. We dreaded going outside, ugh those Saturday mornings. I will say though that I now know how to plant flowers, weed, cut the grass, clean the pool, weed whip, use the edger...snow blower... leaf blower... the list goes on in that giant back yard! I chuckle as I write this because we hated doing all of this stuff.

    It took Lee and I awhile to figure out housework routines and what not but now its not too bad. I think living in an apartment helps. Ive realized that not everything has to be done the way I was taught, like if the cups face up or down in the cupboard. Everyone has their own way. Lee always found it annoying that I would scrub the dishes clean and then put them in the dishwasher and I always hated unloading unclean dishes. Well I found another one of my favorite things, Cascade Complete! I barely have to scrub anymore, I guess the commercial was right when it said powers away 24 hour stuck on food. Its the little things in life! Ha!

    Thursday, March 31

    Pasta with asparagus and egg

    I got this recipe out of Martha Stewarts Everyday food April 2011 issue. I just thought it looked simple and elegant. As well as something a little different, vegetarian.

    Salt and pepper
    1/2 lb linguine (I only had angel hair)
    1 large bunch asparagus
    3 T butter
    1/4 C Parmesan cheese
    2 eggs

    Cook pasta according to package, adding the asparagus in the last minute of cooking. Drain and return pasta and asparagus to pot with butter and parmesan. Toss until coated and add a little pasta water to create a thin sauce. Meanwhile, in a large straight sided skillet, heat 2 in water over medium until a few bubbles rise to the top. To poach the eggs crack each egg into a small bowl and gently pour into skillet. Cook until whites are set, about 4 minutes. Be careful, I overcooked mine and didn't have much a runny egg. With a slotted spoon, transfer eggs on top of pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan if desired.

    Salmon patties and brussel sprouts

    Im not sure what sparked my memory but this recipe is from my childhood. Im sure my mom loves that Im trying to make things that she always used to make us. I invited both of my sisters over and told them that salmon patties and brussel sprouts were on the menu. When I told them that they both thought they were being punished or something. But I made believers out of them. I do have to give Lee the credit for making me even try brussell sprouts in the first place.

    I cut off the ends of my little cabbage patch brussel sprouts (thats what they remind me of) and then cut them in halves. Peel off and discard any yellowed or browned leaves. Dont throw away the yummy green leaves that fall off while trimming though, they are my favorite part. I threw in some baby carrots for fun and sprinkled with EVOO, salt, and pepper and popped it in the oven at 375 for about 30 minutes.

    The picture doesnt do them justice. The black looking pieces are your loose leaves and are crispy pieces of EVOO and salty goodness. Yummy! 

    Now for the salmon patties. I cant decide how often I will make these, they were just okay. I think with more practice and tweaking they will be better. Its hard to taste because the mixture has raw egg in it so its a guessing game. 

    I mixed 3 cans of salmon, 2 eggs, 1/2 C breadcrumbs, and 1 T chopped garlic and formed them into patties. I used too much oil and wish I would have just coated the bottom of the pan.

    I heated the oil to medium heat and made sure it was bubbly before dropping them in. I just waited until they were golden brown before flipping them, about 3 minutes a side. 

    Mango, Orange and Banana

    Finally a smoothie thats not PINK! 

    2 C frozen mango
    1 banana
    1 large orange
    1 C chobani non fat plain yogurt
    1/2 C milk

    Wednesday, March 23

    Spicy Meatballs

    Ive discovered that I'm often inspired by date night dinners. Lee and I went to Buca di Beppos and we had spicy chicken rigatoni. Yum! Ive been trying to play with more flavors in efforts to get away from all the salt and cheese. Roaming through the grocery store I noticed some spicy ground sausage on sale. I picked it up and threw it in the freezer for a rainy day.

    My sister bought me the coolest Christmas presents. A year subscription to Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine. Picking through my April issue inspired me to follow half of the 'Siracha marinara and meatballs' recipe and be inspired from our rigatoni. I followed the recipe for the meatballs swapping the ground pork for hot sausage.

    1 lb ground HOT sausage
    1.25 lb Jennie O ground turkey
    2 C fresh spinach chopped in processor (or 10oz frz)
    1/3 C dried bread crumbs
    2 large egg whites
    3/4 tsp dried oregano
    salt and pepper
    cooking spray
    Sauce- can of crushed tomatoes and
    1 jar Prego veggie smart smooth and simple sauce
    1lb pasta (your choice)

     Place pork, turkey, spinach, breadcrumbs, egg whites, oregano, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper in a large bowl. Get your hands clean and ready to get messy. Meanwhile, start cooking your pasta.
     Roll into 1 in balls and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until golden brown, 10 minutes, rotating sheet and meatballs halfway through.
    Simmer the tomatoes and Prego sauce and then add the meatballs to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.

    Strawberries, Peaches, and Bananas

    Ive been trying to recreate the kind of smoothie that I would buy at a fabulous Jamba Juice or somewhere amazing like that. This has been the closest thing and I'm quite proud of how tasty it is. I also bought this fancy $7 reusable cup for my morning smoothies. I make it the night before and then I am good to go. Smoothies can also last up to 2-3 days in the fridge so its been a good plan so far.

    2 C frozen peaches
    2 C frozen strawberries
    2 bananas
    1/2 C low fat milk
    16 oz chobani nonfat vanilla yogurt
     (I never really measure things so this is me estimating)