Quinoa Salad and 1st Grade

Gina had her first day of First grade this past Tuesday. She got to ride the bus, for the 2nd time, as she kept telling me, because she took it to see a play in kindergarten. She also kept telling us “I didn’t think 1st grade would be so short”. I guess in a 6 year old’s world that is a good thing. I believe Gina will be like me, I always loved school and looked forward to going back at the end of the summer.


Casey starts preschool this coming Tuesday so maybe end of next week I will post his picture. (I know you are holding your breath šŸ™‚ ).


And for your eating pleasure I have whipped up a quinoa salad. I believe I will name this one Summer Quinoa salad. The hubbs and I have been trying to cut down/out sugar in our diets, increase good carbs and protein. Quinoa is the only grain I believe that is full of protein, a super food as it has been labeled. It is easy to make, just like rice, it has texture of pastina (little pasta balls) cooked very aldente, and can soak up any flavor.

I have also been trying to go through my recipes and give gluten free ones to one of my best friends mother, who has arthritis, and has cut all gluten from her diet. Which as I can testify to does lesson the pain from arthritis. So Cindy, this one is for you!



  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water/broth
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of veggies of choice (meaning each veg was 1/2 to 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • S&P to taste

First rinse your quinoa (mine was organic from a local & cheap whole food type store). I read on line this is to take a bitter flavor it may have away.

IMG_1298Put 2 cups of broth/water in pot and add in rinsed quinoa, cover, bring to boil, then lower temp to simmer for 15 minutes or till all fluid is soaked up. (I used beef broth and added enough water to make 2 cups).

IMG_1299 IMG_1300

Once quinoa is cooked the rest is simple. Cut up whatever veggies you want. Today I used mini sweet peppers, cucumber, left over zucchini, and onion. I added in the left over basil/tomato salad from last night’s dinner (which had a balsamic vinaigrette on it). Then I added in a little more fresh tomato, basil, and parsley. A pinch of salt, few cracks of pepper, the olive oil, and finally the balsamic vinegar (Oh and some roasted garlic cloves I found in fridge too). Mixed it all together well.




IMG_1315I also added some feta cheese and chopped olives to my plate, but not to the salad asĀ  a whole seeing as I have a cheese and olive hating hubbs.

I am looking forward to see how much better it will be tomorrow. Tonight it was darn tasty!

Super easy to make. Enjoy!


Lighter tomato pie

I have posted before I am not a huge fan of tomatoes, however I do like yellow tomatoes. Well tis the season round here and I have bought some fresh locally grown tomatoes. I decided to make a tomato pie. Now here in Eastern PA, Philadelphia area, tomato pie is actually a pizza with fresh (or sorta) crushed tomatoes, basil,Ā  and garlic, with no cheese (sometimes places will put like grated Parm cheese on). But down south (like Paula Deen area)Ā  it is an actual pie, with crust on bottom.

I had seen Paula Deen make her version, and Bobby Deen made a lighter version on her website. Well seeing as how I am constantly trying to lose weight, or at least not gain anymore…. I decided to go with Bobby Deen’s recipe.

As you all know who have read this blog before I don’t always go with exact recipes, unless it has to do with baking (even then I might stray). So this one I may not have done exact, but will put a link to the website with the exact recipe.


Ok so here is the actual recipe from Paula Deen’s site….



Here is what I did…


  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 3/4 – 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup green onions
  • 3 strips of left over bacon, crumbles
  • 6 leaves fresh basil
  • 3 yellow tomatoes, sliced thick
  • one frozen deep dish pie crust
  • 3-4 dashes of hot sauce
  • S&P to taste




Mix mayo, cheese, basil, bacon, onions, hot sauce together.

IMG_1286Put about half maybe little more of your sliced tomatoes into pie shell, sprinkle with S&P.

IMG_1288Sprinkle this layer of tomatoes with basil and about half of your cheese (this is why I use about a cup of cheese), top with remaining tomatoes, and little bit more S&P.



Now gently spread mayo mixture on top of tomatoes, but do not take the mixture all way to edge, leave space it will melt to crust.



Bake 400 degrees till cheese is bubbly golden and pie crust looks done. I of course didn’t get a final picture as per my usual. It was tasty!! And even better the next day.

Options: I would totally add in crumbled sausage, either breakfast or Italian and make it a whole complete meal package. Add in jalapeno peppers or green chili peppers to give it a kick would be good too.


Oatmeal muffins

Howdie all! It’s been a while since my last post. I have a great recipe for ya. This one I have made a couple times now and it turns out great each time.Ā  I found it on Pinterest and have made a couple different versions.


  • 2 1/2 cups Oats (I used quick recipe calls for old fashioned, I assume for more nutrients?)
  • 1 cup plain low fat or non fat yogurt (I used greek more protein) *I didn’t have enough yogurt so I added in apple sauce; also you can use a flavored yogurt I did that too
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey (I use local raw)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp flax see (mine is already ground but won’t matter you will see why)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray your muffin tins generously.

Put oats into blender (I guess you could use food processor too). Blend till is like flour, you will see flakes still, blend about 30-45 seconds. Add in remaining ingredients, blend till smooth.

Pour into muffin tins.

Now here is where I changed it up a bit, I added chocolate chips in a batch, dried cranberries in a batch, and fresh blackberries in a batch. I just dropped them on top of the muffin batter in the muffin tin. I also poured the batter into a separateĀ  bowl and mixed in chips.

Bake 15-18 minutes. Turn out to cool completely put in air tight container.

Options: I have been toying with the idea of using grated zucchini and herbs for a savory muffin, maybe adding in cheese.


This is the blended oatmeal and honey, I had already started when I remembered to get the camera!

IMG_0116 IMG_0117

View from the top, all remaining ingredients.



Now this is NOT the muffins. This is my first attempt at a pound cake for Gina’s school pet show tomorrow. I have said it before and I will say it again, I am not a baker!!!


Needs a Name….

I am trying to spring clean, not only my house, but freezer and pantry. I found some beef chuck cubes in the freezer and while I wanted to use them, I didn’t want to make soup. Which is what I probably bought them for, that and it was on sale. So I looked in the pantry to see what else I could use with them. I found a can of fire roasted tomatoes and great northern beans. Now as you may or may not know chuck roast needs to cook low and slow, so I decided to make a quick like beef shred. (Hey maybe that could be the name of this recipe?)

So help me with a name for this recipe……


  • 2 lbs cubed beef chuck steak
  • 1 can fire roasted tomoato
  • 1 can great northern beans
  • 1 onion chopped
  • S&P
  • 2 Tbsp home made Taco seasoning mix (that recipe will come at another post)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp EVOO




Heat dutch oven or oven proof pot add in EVOO and chuck steak. Season in pot with S&P, stir to brown as much as you can. Add in onion, then tomatoes, and chicken stock. Cover and put into 275 Degree oven for about3 hours. Check and make sure it doesn’t burn, mine almost did, I let the liquid cook out almost to burn.


P1050045The way to see if the meat is done is to take your spoon and smoosh the meat, if it shreds then it’s done, if not then keep cooking, adding water or more stock if looks dry.

Smoosh the meat and stir with spoon then add in can of beans, I did not rinse but you could if you want to. Add in the taco seasoning mix, if you don’t have any homemade than add in packet, just be careful amount of salt will be a lot higher.




Warm it all through and serve on rice, mashed potatoes, grits (cheesy or not) in tacos, quesadillas; with a side of corn, green beans; over lettuce/salad green.


Reubens and memories

Since tomorrow is St. Patrick’s day the grocery stores have all the “Irish” fair on sale. Now I decided to not make a boiled corn brisket this year, since I have a perfectly good, needs to be eaten chuck roast in fridge. But today I found myself going on an unexpected trip to the grocery store for Gator Aid and saltine crackers, as Casey boy has got a little stomach bug. So having given the weekly grocery store ads the once over I decided on a store, mostly because of the sale items.

I was craving a good Reuben sandwich (which usually is made after the corn beef brisket dinner with the leftovers) and decided to just buy some deli corned beef, some rye bread, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut. After getting home, and making the kids their soup (alphabet for Gina and some Disney cartoon for Casey) I made myself my sandwich. *OH did you know that they now make mini Saltine crackers in a box? I had to get them, and the kids thought they were “so cute”.

So here is my sandwich, and the reason the title says memories is because the first memory of having a sandwich like this is at my Uncle Ronnie’s house. I don’t know how old I was, but I remember sitting in his kitchen and him cooking this sandwich. We would often stop by his house for brunch after church on Sundays, as we had to drive right by his driveway. This was one of the many sandwiches he would make for my family and his wife and daughter, others were sausage biscuits with miracle whip and yellow mustard (don’t knock it till you try it) and Aunt Jo’s favorite, BLTs.

For this blog I am not doing the ingredients list, just step by step pictures for ya. You can handle it!

Rye Bread, swiss cheese, corned beef.


Warming up some canned sauerkraut, to be honest with you this is the reason I love Reuben sandwiches, not the 1000 Island dressing like everyone else. I pile on the kraut!


Dressing (my hubbs calls this Russian dressing, guess it’s a Philly thing) and butter for the bread.P1040915

Slather one piece of bread with butter pop in hot skillet top with cheese first so it melts and is ooey gooey good.P1040916

Top cheese with as many slices of corn beef as you wish.P1040917

Top that with as much kraut as you wish….mmmmm…..P1040918

Drizzle on dressing.P1040919

Top all with another buttered piece of bread. P1040920

Warm through, flip over to toast up other side, slice open and eat. I also put little dressing on side of my plate, cause I am a dipper!P1040921

You can make this with turkey, but this is the real deal. And my hubbs likes whats called a Rachel, which is creamy coleslaw instead of kraut.


P.S. Here is picture of Gina from last night, went to a Me and My guy dance for girls scouts. It was a 1980’s theme. She chose her clothes, I did hair, pretty proud of poof since with my curly short hair I didn’t really get to have one.

P1040909P1040910And her is Casey in the toilet box from couple weeks ago when the hubbs replaced their toilet.


Enjoy! Hope you get a visit from the lucky little Irish one!

1 year ago on the 11th

Well it has come to my attention that a year a go on March 11th I started this thing called a blog. I know I haven’t been the best at it, or the most kept up with it (that can’t be proper grammar). I had every intention of blogging more recipe posts, really I did, and still do. However, life just gets in the way. I forget to capture whatever it is I made for dinner or lunch or breakfast on camera. And lately haven’t been in the mood. I am trying to start spring cleaning, and to get over these winter blues, called Cabin Fever.

I will be posting my quilt soon, as I am 99.5% done, and am quit proud of it. Of course there are the spring planting in milk jugs again, and we will be taking more outings as spring is in the air and outside is the where. Sorry been reading too many Dr. Seuss books to Casey.

So for all that have “followed” this blog, I can’t promise that there will be more blogs on recipes, but I will try. I can’t promise I will blog on all the spring activities, but I will try. I can promise that whatever I do share, it is with all my gratitude that you choose/chose to even look to see what ever it is I put out there.

Here are some pics from a year ago for ya…..


Playing outside, soon we will be doing this again.P1020831


Pictures of my old fashioned iris, my Easter flowers are coming up, so soon pictures of those. And finally the picture that started this all, or rather the recipe that started it all….Spaghetti (Pizza) Eggs, posted on March 11, 2012.




chicken strawberry poppy seed salad

I have all these folders on my computer of pictures of food that I have made. Now as you know I am an admitted horrible blogger, as I break just about every “bloggie” rule I have seen. My main thing is just sitting down and doing it. So thus today while Casey is napping and Gina is watching Brave for the millionth time I thought I would look to see what I have.

I believe I made this for lunch back in the beginning of January, when the strawberries were just starting to come from Florida. But then again I could be mistaken about that. Anyway, it’s simple and delicious.


  • left over chicken breast chopped
  • bag of salad mix
  • 16 oz or so of strawberries
  • poppy seed dressing and left over balsamic dressing
  • feta cheese


Oh and Gina doesn’t have black and blue eyes, she was playing with some makeup eyeshadow she had received from Christmas.


I only had a little bit of both so I used them.



Here is gets really tricky, so watch carefully….

Put your greens in a bowl, top with chicken, strawberries (sliced if you like), feta cheese, dressing and mix well.



P1040762Here are the kids tasting…

P1040761P1040760Yes my children adore salads, they are weird but hey I will take it.

P1040757Bubba just chilling, sitting on sit and spin the wrong way and getting yelled at!

Options: Add in bacon, raisins, almonds, croutons, other vegetables, actual poppy seeds. I personally like it the next day when things are kinda wilty, but that is cause I am weird too. Guess my kids get it honest (southern saying).


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