Sunday, December 1, 2013

Leftover Turkey & Rice Soup

Every Thanksgiving I am so happy to make lots of stock with my turkey carcass. I always wind up with some extra turkey meat from the process, which I love to use in this soup. This is a sort of "throw it together" type of soup, so if you find you prefer more or less of any ingredient, go for it until you find exactly what you like best!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sourdough Dinner Rolls

I have this lovely sourdough starter from Cultures for Health that has been living happily on my kitchen counter for the last month providing me with countless pancakes, some dense bread (darn it, still haven't found my "go to" recipe yet), and some absolutely wonderful buttery rolls.

You still have time to make them before thanksgiving and they are pretty easy with minimal fuss. They are really delicious! It is easy to keep a sourdough starter (I promise)! - please check out my Quick Start Guide for more information.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Alfredo Sauce with Mushrooms, Leeks, and Peas

I think pasta is a food of the gods. How could it be more perfect? Sauce, little tiny bits of cooked dough in pretty designs and shapes, sprinkled with cheese, delicious with any food added to it or alongside any main dish. I love love love pasta!

Now, with all that being said, I (sadly) mostly gave up pasta years ago when it became known to me that white flour was the spawn of Satan, ruining my health and my figure. Sigh.... I saved it for special occasions and visits to my grandma, which are special occasions.  : )

That was until I heard about Jovial Foods! They offer a line of whole grain Einkorn and brown rice pasta (gluten-free) that actually tastes good. This stuff is great. If you are looking for a better choice pasta then you should definitely give it a try. I have tried many alternative pastas and most are pretty gross, but in all seriousness, Jovial's line is really good.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Maple Caramel Pecans

Those of you real food blogging "old timers" may remember a website called Real Food Freaks, which was an awesome resource for recipes and healthy living. The authors have since moved on and the blog/ website is no longer active (unfortunately)!

My absolute favorite recipe from Real Food Freaks was a snack that involved pecans in a maple syrup caramel sauce, but the recipe was lost forever (ok, maybe I'm being a little dramatic) when the site was deactivated.

My recipe below was developed to try to capture the taste of the original recipe by Real Food Freaks. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Aloo Poori

Aloo Poori is a popular North Indian breakfast dish that is a fried stuffed bread. This version is fairly simple to make and very delicious. Aloo Poori basically translates to Fried Bread (Poori) stuffed with Potato (Aloo). It is traditionally served with curd (yogurt) or Aam Ka Achaar (Mango Pickle), or you can serve as part of any meal. The recipe below is adapted from this one by Funwidfud.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vanilla Extract

I use a lot of vanilla and so it was only prudent to start making it myself, considering the price of the organic version I was buying. It is very easy to make, but there is actually a lot to consider during the process. I believe I've covered many of the questions you might have below. By the way, this is SUPER EASY! You definitely want to start making this yourself too!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mint Extract

My great grandma grew a row of mint along a fence which separated her property from the neighbor's. When I was little, I remember seeing that mint growing there every summer and when my parents purchased their first home, my mom transplanted some of that mint from New Jersey all the way to our new home in Kansas.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Caramel Sauce

You can use this sauce for so many things--drizzle on pancakes or waffles or use as a dipping sauce for apples or other fruit. Try it in these AMAZING cooking bars from Taylor Made It Paleo - Triple Layer Cookie Bars with Chocolate Caramel Topping - or drizzle over popcorn for an easy and quick snack.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Yellow Squash-Zucchini Fritters

As you can tell, I am definitely on a squash/ zucchini recipe "kick" since I have so much to use up from my CSA box. We have made these fritters several times now and they are husband and kid approved. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Caramel Apple Oatmeal

For me, fall is all about apples. The cooler weather and the seasonal decorations get me thinking about all kinds of wonderful apple recipes and cool weather foods.

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. --Martin Luther
I have been on a serious caramel kick lately too. I've been making it to dip everything into and especially apples. We really love homemade caramel apples in the evening for a quick snack and that craving basically inspired this simple and delicious breakfast.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Red Beans and Rice

With the weather getting cooler, my mind turns to soups and other comfort foods. This recipe for Red Beans and Rice is really delicious and it makes enough for leftovers or to freeze for future meals.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Grape Jelly (No Added Pectin)

My husband planted a purple grape vine the year before we were married and we harvested a ton of grapes this year. It was a lot of work, but really great to get all these delicious grapes from our own yard. I believe it is a Concord grape vine, but not positive about that. The plant yields small, round, dark purple grapes with one or two seeds. The grapes themselves are sweet although the skins are a bit tart.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Summer Squash Couscous

I have been searching the internet for squash recipes this month to try to find ways to use up all the squash I've gotten from my CSA box. Even after giving some away I find myself with an abundance and a need for new recipes. This light summer dish is really wonderful.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Yellow Squash Crustless Quiche

We have lots of yellow squash showing up in our CSA box and while we do love Dilled Yellow Squash as a side dish, we just weren't eating enough of it to use up our supply. This recipe came along with one of our deliveries and we made it with some minor modifications. The result was very good, a crustless quiche with a rich, buttery flavor.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ground Beef and Cabbage

Have you ever had one of those days where you decide what you're going to make for dinner 5 minutes before you start cooking? Well, I have them all the time! And this recipe is one of the success stories. Now it doesn't sound like much, but I hope you'll give it a try because it is surprisingly delicious and so easy to make.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Blackberry Cobbler

About four years ago, when I married my husband, we planted a single blackberry plant in our backyard hoping for blackberries each year. The first few years, we were thrilled to pick anywhere from 5 to 20 blackberries in late June and July. However, this year, we were so excited to have lots and lots of blackberries. Besides eating them right off the plant we made blackberry pancakes, blackberry waffles, used them in smoothies, and this cobbler.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Natural Treatments for Black Spot (on Roses)

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”
Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib

One of the first things I did when I moved into this home was purchase several rose bushes to plant in the garden. Now, at the time, I was extremely inexperienced with gardening and had no experience with roses, but just decided to dive right in. The house already had several climbing rose bushes and a few other plants and I figured, what the heck, how hard can it be??

Ha ha ha ha... well, several years later I am still inexperienced but I know enough to know that growing roses can be a bit challenging. In my experience, they prefer morning sun, thrive with plenty of water (soak the ground, not the plant), and do their best in well-drained soil. I formerly selected my roses based on how pretty the blooms looked. But, that transitioned to include fragrance and then finally disease resistance.

Very fragrant, small purple roses after pruning away diseased leaves

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hamburger Skillet (Easy & Flexible)

I have a confession... my husband and son love hamburger helper. LOVE IT. Before I married my husband, it was one of his regular meals. Now, when I am away for work sometimes I will come back and see the boxes in my cabinets. I have a fit. They thinks it's scrumptious.

I have never eaten the stuff. I think it sounds terrible - I mean you can't hardly get much more processed than hamburger helper.

So anyway, all that being said, and with love for my family and a desire for this journey to be easy for them (and a reason to throw away that last box of hamburger helper peeking out from behind jars of pickles) I thought I would try to make something reminiscent of hamburger helper without all the nastiness in the box version.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Creole Shrimp

It's that time of month again when I peruse the pages of my recent Cooking Light magazine and re-vamp one of their recipes for my dinner table. I really enjoy this magazine for the new ideas it inspires, but don't necessarily agree with several of their ideas of "healthy" foods  (often their elimination of butter or healthy fats of any kind as well as subsitutions with low fat or no fat milk and their use of "fake" foods like margarine). However, these types of ingredients are easy to replace with more nourishing options.

In their latest issue, the June 2013 magazine, I found a wonderful shrimp recipe that my family thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, it was so good, it will likely be on the regular rotation and I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did. Here is the link to the original recipe. I've changed it up a bit below.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Quinoa-Bean Salad

You will really enjoy this versatile dish, which makes enough for lunches during the week and a dinner side dish too.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dover Sole Francese

It turns out that there is not a lot of variety in recipes for sole that are easily found online. So, when I found this recipe I was eager to give it a try. The family loved it and asked me to please oh please oh please save the recipe and make again. The original recipe is from, but I've changed it up a bit.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lemon Butter Sole

Dover sole is a wonderful fish for those of you "on the fence" fish people or children who are not super crazy about a strong fishy fish. It has a light flavor, like tilapia or trout, but I think even more mild. It is also a very thin filet, which means very minimal defrosting time for those of you, like me, who often have to throw together a last minute meal.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Stout Mac and Cheese

Every month, I am excited to receive the new issue of Cooking Light magazine for the new dinner ideas I find after perusing the pages of this magazine. I usually have to "real foodify" the recipes, but that's ok by me! My family enjoys the new ideas that wind up on our table. This recipe is one from the April 2013 issue, which I've switched up a bit.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Escarole and Beans

For those of you who regularly peruse my blog, you know that many of my recipes are from my grandma - traditional, Italian cooking that not only tastes delicious, but is incredibly nourishing.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Seven Layer Dip

My husband loves this dip, which we make at least once a year for the Super Bowl. But, it is so easy and so good, I think I will start making it more often.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

To Bra or Not To Bra: D+ Reviews

After reading all the wonderful reviews on my first two posts (To Bra or Not To Bra Part 1 and To Bra or Not To Bra Part 2), I realized I had a huge gap in information related to wireless bras for those with a larger bust. However, I am very lucky to have a few girls that are willing to fill in this gap and share their reviews on this blog. This post will include supplemental reviews of wireless bras with cup sizes larger than a D. **If you are interested in cup sizes D and less, please check out the reviews in this post: To Bra or Not To Bra Part 2.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Balsamic Reduction

My super awesome friend, Missy, invited us to dinner at her house a few weekends ago and we really enjoyed her bacon wrapped shrimp appetizer.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


This is one of our favorite meals and one of the reasons is that I am ususally just a "helper" as this is my husband's recipe and, in fact, one of the things he made me before we got married (like, to "woo" me, and I guess it worked!).

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Coconut Shrimp

This is a super fast recipe with really delicious results. Note gluten-free version if you use the coconut flour.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

To Bra or Not To Bra - Part 2

My first post on this topic explored the idea that there may be a connection between bras and cancer due to constraint on the lymphatic system, which in turn causes toxins to build up faster than they can be eliminated. Please follow this link to read this post, which discusses the book Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras by Sidney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer.

One of the best parts about this post is all the wonderful comments so I hope you will check it out and be sure to take the time to read the comments too.

Part 2 presents reasons to stop wearing your underwire bra or stop wearing a bra altogether in a fun (but informative) Top Ten List format. There are also a few bra reviews following the Top Ten Lists. Enjoy!

So, without further ado, here's ten reasons to ditch the bra altogether.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Party Appetizers

Whether you're having a big party, inviting over a few friends, or simply spending time by yourself or with your family, it's always fun to have a few appetizers around. The following recipes are great - nutritious and delicious and generally pretty easy to make. Enjoy!

Click on the names below.

Brie with Carmelized Onions & Raspberries

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Amaretto Pears

I was so lucky to receive a gift of Amaretto Pears from a friend of mine last fall. I think she gave me five or six jars and I went through them really quickly, they were so good! In this recipe, I've tried to re-create the flavors of that delicious gift from my friend.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

To Bra or Not To Bra

I'm pretty "old school" in this regard, and when I say old school, I am not talking about the 1960s "bra burning era". You see, I come from the time period where bras with underwire were the way to go - I guess my generation has Madonna and Victoria's Secret to thank for that (sigh). 

And so here I am, and all my life I've been bound up in this incredibly uncomfortable contraption with an actual metal wire in it. I mean who the heck thought this was a good idea? Sure, let's pinch off the circulation in my chest under my heart and near my lymph nodes with a wire and wear this thing up against one of the softest parts of my anatomy as often as possible to make sure that when I'm 90 years old I won't have saggy boobs (sigh).

So, was that really the motivation....? Like I'm going to really care when I'm 90....

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Treats

If you are looking for a quick and easy snack, look no further. These little treats are super fast to make and will satisfy any "snack" craving.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ham and Beans

You can probably tell we have a ham to use up from New Year's Day. This ham and bean soup is delicious and would be especially yummy served with cornbread, like this pumpkin cornbread.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

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