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 🙂 ).


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 as  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!


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.


Pineapple cheese ball/spread

Still going through folders of recipes and food I have already made and taken pictures of but haven’t posted yet.

This one I did a while back, it brings back memories of my childhood, especially around the holidays. Someone in the family would always make this cheese ball (this is back in the 1980’s when it was en vogue for cheese balls) and bring to the Christmas holiday party or 4th of July picnic.

I made it as a spread mainly because I knew I would be the only one eating it and I didn’t need it to be pretty. I just wanted it for the taste. Spread, sha-meer it on bread, crackers, bagels, rice cakes, whatever it is oh so good.


  • 8oz. softened cream cheese (full fat or not it’s up to you)
  • 2 Tbsp of minced green onion
  • 2 Tbsp of minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp of season salt
  • 1-2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • small can of crushed pineapple, drained and squeezed as dry as you can get it


P1040027 P1040028

Mix all ingredients well in bowl and enjoy! Or you can let it set in fridge for 30 minutes let flavors marry, the more it sets the better it tastes.

Now if you want o make this into a ball, you will also need 2 cups of finely chopped (I use a food processor to get them fine; I can remember using my mother’s nut grinder with the handle you turned to get them fine—–still looking to get one of those). After you have the cheese mixture incorporated, get a piece of plastic wrap and dump onto. Using the wrap form a ball, cover with the wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to set it up.

Then you will just roll the ball in the nuts till is is covered. You can also add some of the nuts into the cheese ball if you really want to, I personally do not like them in the cheese ball just on outside.

If you want to add a little spice to it, add in 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper.


Breakfast Tacos

Breakfast is my least favorite meal. Ever since I was little, breakfast is just something I have to shove into my mouth. My mother is the same way, so I guess you could say “I get it honest” (Oh and for you who aren’t from below the Mason-Dixon Line that means it’s hereditary).

I can remember sitting at the kitchen table in elementary school as my mom would make cinnamon sugar toast or scrambled egg with slice of American cheese on top and literally forcing myself to eat it. As I got older it would be something like pop tart in the car on the way to school. And sadly Gina has inherited this trait as well.

So when it comes to breakfast foods, well if it isn’t already made then I pretty much don’t eat. I know, I know breakfast is the most important meal. I get that. With me not eating wheat, things like toast with peanut butter are no longer an option. I have never been a cereal person (but my hubbs and children could eat it 24/7). I have been trying to keep things like wheat free muffins or coconut flour brownies made so I can nibble on something with my coffee. But alas I ate the last of these items last night.

So after dropping off my little devils, Oh I mean darlings, at school today I decided it was time to make some eggs.

I have left over steak and mushrooms/onions from dinner the other night and a can of green chili’s (my new obsession) so I whipped up some egg steak tacos (with left over eggs for another morning).


  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup of leftover steak chopped
  • S&P to taste
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 heaping Tbsp chopped green chilis
  • 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 Tbsp half and half
  • leftover sauteed mushrooms & onions
  • 2 corn taco burritos (the little ones)

In skillet melt butter, add steak, mushrooms & onions. Let them warm through.


In bowl whisk together eggs, S&P, half and half, and green chili’s.


Pour into skillet, cook to desired done-ness. I personally like mine firm, but go with what you like.

While eggs are cooking warm up corn burrito shells (I used my stove top, but you can do in microwave). When they are warm put on plate, add half of cheese on each shell, then spoon on some eggs.

There ya go! No options are endless here, leftover meats, saute up some veggies (I almost added green onion but didn’t feel like cutting them up), any kind of cheese you want. Also you could add some salsa, sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado or guacamole. Just make it your own.

***I have to admit this because I am a dork, some how I have lost all but 2 of the pics I took of this post. I do not know where they went, I did exactly the same thing I always do when transferring pics from camera to computer, but right now I can not find them. If my hubbs can find them I will edit this post. SORRY!!!  Your friend the computer NOT-Savvy pantry sleuth (who also makes a poor blogger, guess I ain’t winning any awards)

%d bloggers like this: