Saturday, July 6, 2013

Chicken Salad with Mango Sesame Salad Dressing

I love salads in the summer.  You can combine so many flavors, and of course the summer makes you want to work with tropical flavors.  This salad does just that.  I added chicken to it, but you can always make this a meatless dish.  The dressing is oh, so good.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Coconut Breaded Chicken Salad with Pineapple Dressing

Still in "staycation" mode here.  I am also trying to come up with ways to make a meal go further.  For example when you mix chicken into a salad, 6 small chicken breasts, will be enough for 6 people.  The chicken can also be eaten plain unto itself, or maybe as sandwich.  You can always turn that Pina Colada Bread into rolls, for this.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pina Colada Bread

I don't like letting food go to waste, and I had leftover coconut milk from my Pina Colada Muffins.  I had had a pineapple coconut bread in a restaurant, so I thought I would just doctor up a recipe to try and recreate the recipe. 

This is a sweet sandwich bread, and will compliment a turkey or a ham sandwich.  This also made a great French Toast.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pina Colada Muffins

Summer is just around the bend, actually tomorrow.  With that the mind turns to summer vacations by the beach.  Not just any beach, but where the water is turquoise, and the light breezes lead to the rustling of palm leaves.  Paradise!  Okay, reality check.  You are actually at home with 4 off the wall kids, thrilled that school is over.  You are trying to figure out how to keep them occupied with summer activities until school starts up again.  How about some staycation recipes?  The next bunch of recipes are based on what I would expect to eat in a tropical paradise when I cannot be there.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pavlova- My New, Most Favorite Summer Dessert

             When my kids and I studied Australia we learned about it's national dessert, The Pavlova.  It was created for a Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova in the 1920's when she was on a tour in Australia and New Zealand.  There has been an ongoing feud between the two countries as to which one actually created this dessert.  After eating this dessert, I don't really care which country created it.  I am just so thankful for it, and thankful that I have a sister-in-law in Australia that honored me with her awesome recipe for it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Easy Homemade Vanilla Pudding

                 One of my favorite desserts as a kid was pudding.  It was one of the staples of dessert for me at my grandparents' house.  Actually my grandmother didn't make it from scratch when I was a kid.  I guess by that time, plenty of companies were putting out the refrigerated snack packs of pudding.  Nonetheless, those pudding snacks tasted great to my young taste buds.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Butternut Squash Coconut Soup

                      Butternut squash is still abundant in the supermarket.  It is an inexpensive vegetable as well, so it is a great go to food when you are looking to stretch your budget dollars.  I am also always looking for no meat meals for the week and it does create a satisfying meal.   The color is pretty too, and that can help with picky people.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dill Pickle Dip

                        There was a fund raiser recently for the school my girls get dance lessons at.  It was one where if you purchased a food product some of the proceeds would go to fund the dance team.  One of the items in the catalog was for a dill pickle dip seasoning pouch.  It actually peaked my interest.  Here's why: you know when you go to a deli or any sandwich shop that serves you pickles with your sandwich, you usually get potato chips(crisps) served along side.  Then the juice from the pickles seeps onto the chip and then the chip tastes so much better.  Just me?  Gosh I hope not, because then this post will be totally pointless.  Ok, just remembered that a chip company made dill pickle flavored potato chips, so it's not just me.  Whew, I feel better now!

                           I couldn't wait to go home and make my own dill pickle dip from scratch. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Balsamic Vinaigrette

                 What makes a salad come together?  The dressing of course!  Without dressing you just have some vegetables without guidance.  Dressings can give life to those mixed greens.

                  I also use dressings for other uses like marinades or toppings for sandwiches.  I of course stopped buying store bought dressings eons ago.  Why?  Due to the fact that one of the first ingredients is high fructose corn syrup.  Plus, making dressing is easy.  Throw the ingredients in a blender and within a minute you have your own fresh dressing that you should not have any guilt of putting in your own or your kids' bodies.

                   Here is a dressing that I think is similar to the one served at TGI Fridays, if you are familiar to that establishment.

  1. 1 Cup olive oil
  2. 1/3 Cup balsamic vinegar
  3. 1/4 Cup honey
  4. 1 clove of garlic
  5. 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  6. 1/4 tsp salt
Just put all of these ingredients in a blender and blend.

You now have a dressing that works for salad, a marinade, etc.

I recently used it to top a baguette sandwich that had roasted peppers and fresh mozzarella cheese that I had toasted.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Chewy Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

                      Whenever I bake cookies, they mostly end up including chocolate chips.  This tends to disgruntle my 11 year old.  Although she likes chocolate, loves chocolate actually, according to her they do not belong in cookies.  I do beg to differ, but I do need to satisfy her cookie need every once in a while to be fair. 

                       I created these cookies with her in mind.  She loves coconut so I wanted to make a coconut cookie.  I use rolled oats in the ingredients to add some whole grain.  I also use some applesauce to substitute for all butter.  This cuts down on some fat.  Of course there is sugar in these so I will not say they are healthy and go ahead and have about 10 in a sitting, you'll be fine.  I believe in moderation, so a couple with some milk will appease your sweet craving.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Baked Egg Rolls

               We are headed towards the end of a school year here.  I have been making sure that my kids are fulfilling all of the yearly requirements for my state.  I realized I have neglected this blog with all the goings on.  We have added more activities, like gymnastics, so that has taken from my time.  We also added two new puppies to our mix.  Crate training has been a joy.  So, these are some reasons why I haven't been posting as much.

              With that out of the way, I have an egg roll recipe to share. I bought on a whim, egg roll wrappers at the supermarket.  They had been sitting in my fridge for a couple of weeks.  I realized that I needed to do something with them before they spoiled.  I just didn't want to deep fry the wrappers.  I think I wanted to come up with something creative to do with them, but alas I realized that most of the time simple is the best way to go.

              Since I had a head of cabbage that didn't want to be turned into cole slaw, (yes, it told me), I realized it would find a good home in a wrapper.    (This is what happens when you deal with 4 kids and 5 pets everyday.)  Oh, I didn't mention we have 2 birds also did I?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sea Shell Craft

              How many of you in the Northern Hemisphere are as tired of the winter as I am?  I think it has been cold since October.  I am so ready for some warm weather, which I was hoping to get early since the groundhog said that it would be an early spring.

              Since it seems as if old man winter wants to hang around for quite a while more, (snow storm on the way), how about trying to bring the beach home?  I want to share a craft that we learned to do on a beach vacation last year.  It is fun for all ages.  Even my 2 year old enjoyed participating, with minimum mess I might add.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Strawberry Syrup for Milk

             Have you ever just gone to the supermarket, pulled something off the shelf that you haven't had in a while, something that you loved as a kid, brought it home, read the label and then yelled at yourself for not reading the label, and how dare you bring that home and put that in your kids' bellies?  Sorry for the run on sentence.

             I bought strawberry syrup for the purpose of getting a child of mine to drink milk.  Who doesn't like strawberry milk?  I remember the first time I ever drank a big food conglomerates strawberry milk.  I will honestly admit that it was so darn good.  I know some people who take the syrup with them on vacation overseas to keep their kids happy.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Broccoli Pesto

                    I've been finding myself with a lot of broccoli in the fridge lately.  I love roasted broccoli, but I figured it was time to find something else to do with broccoli.  I found a recipe for red pepper soup with broccoli pest trees on Food Network.  Broccoli pesto intrigued me.  I loved that it was a vegetable pesto that I had never thought of.  It automatically adds a vegetable to whatever you are using it with, whether it be a sandwich, a pasta dish, or a vegetable dish.  I also like that if you don't have that much basil on hand, which I don't since it's the winter and the garden is frozen over, you can supplement the basil by adding broccoli.

                    I didn't follow the recipe but if you want to take a look at it here it is.

Friday, February 15, 2013


                     Back when I posted my mango lime chicken fajita recipe, I made homemade tortillas with it.  It was my first time ever making homemade tortillas.  Although they tasted ok, the recipe I used created a disaster of me and my kitchen.  Flour was everywhere, my hands were a gooey mess with dough stuck to them.  I said I would post a tortilla recipe once I was able to succeed, which for me includes besides tasting good, not being a mess to make. 

                     I didn't go about trying a new recipe right away.  I needed to take a pause from the tortilla endeavor considering what my kitchen counters looked like after my original trial.  Now, the leftover tortillas I had that day, I stuck in the freezer.  I needed a really quick dinner one day when I was not in the mood to cook.  I had pizza sauce on hand.  I really didn't feel like preparing pizza dough.  I realized that I could just make a tortilla pizza.  It was successful in that my kids ate it all, even my picky kid.

                    Due to that success I knew it was imperative to find a great and easy and not messy tortilla recipe.  I found it and tinkered with it.  Best of all, you should have all ingredients on hand. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

                All the veggie dishes have made me realize that some sweets were in order.  I decided to make chocolate chocolate chip cookies for my chocoholic kids and myself.  Sometimes a chocolate chip cookie is not enough.  You need that extra kick of chocolate.  I did feel compelled to use some whole wheat flour though.   That just seemed to make me feel less guilty if I took two.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Pizza Sauce

                   Every family has a kid that is picky.  I realized a long time ago not to fight it, but just be sneaky on how you serve vegetables.  Then when they finish the food you say, "hey did you enjoy the zucchini?", or whatever vegetable you're hiding, they realize that it isn't so bad.

                   I created this pizza sauce with my dear boy in mind.  One of his favorite things to eat is pizza.  He also loves dunking bread sticks in pizza sauce.  I decided to throw loads of veggies into a sauce and see how it would go over.  There was no flinching when eating, no wrinkling of the nose, and so 3 slices later I realized I had a winner.

                    I would like to share this recipe to help those of you with a picky eater.  You can even add other veggies if you like, like carrots or summer squash.  I am sure they would go great.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Spanakopita Pizza

                  Greece was our country of study recently, so I wanted to make a dish to honor it.  I chose to make my own version of Greece's famous snack, Spanakopita.  Spanakopita, for a long time was the only way anyone could get me to eat spinach.  I remember eating it for the first time when I was young and still living with my parents.  We would go to a local diner, which was owned by a Greek family.  Every dish would come accompanied by a piece of Spanakopita.

                   Spanakopita is a spinach pie, in the odd chance you don't already know.  Now, I had never seen spinach served that way.  I only ever associated Popeye with spinach.  My mom never cooked it at home, that I recall.  So my vision of it was of Popeye popping a can of spinach and scarfing it down.  No matter how much I admired his cartoon strength, no way would I ever eat spinach.  So now this little pie is placed on a dish in front of me.  It is wrapped in phyllo, which I loved and associated with dessert.  I decided to try it because how bad could it be if it is wrapped in a flaky pastry.  I am so glad I did because that was when I learned to eat spinach, even though it was partially hidden with other flavors.  But if that was a way I learned to appreciate a new vegetable, there was nothing wrong with that.  Today of course I will put it in pizza and quiches.  No, can't eat it raw though. (A personal preference).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Roasted Broccoli

                     Here is a yummy way to eat broccoli and get some great health benefits as well.  You can read this article to learn some of the benefits of broccoli.

                     Roasting broccoli brings out a nuttiness in it.  It also retains a great dark green color that can get lost when boiled or steamed.  Roasting it for a proper length of time will prevent it from becoming mushy and help keep its health benefits.  Like cauliflower and cabbage, it also has anti carcinogenic properties.  So let's eat our veggies!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cauliflower and Cabbage Mash

                    It seems like I am on cauliflower overload with another cauliflower recipe.  I posted a recipe for bubble and squeak a little while back.  I thought I would share a low carb version that I made, which went over well.

                     If you are looking to reduce your carb intake, this is a new tasty side dish that won't leave you missing the potatoes.  Cabbage and cauliflower also have anti carcinogenic properties, which potatoes lack, so this is another benefit of switching out potatoes to cauliflower.

                     If you don't like cabbage, leave it out and use this as a recipe for mashed cauliflower.  The roasted cauliflower makes a great mashed cauliflower, and it tastes better than if it is steamed or boiled.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cauliflower Salad

                     I wanted to post another salad made with cauliflower.  This can be made with cooked or raw cauliflower.  I personally prefer it cooked, but my husband liked it raw.  Whether cooked or raw, it is another great way to serve cauliflower.  I always find it fun to serve up what seems like a boring vegetable, and present it in a different way.  It's also quick and easy and can be prepared a day ahead of time.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Faux Potato Salad

                With every January comes the old resolution of losing weight and getting more fit.  I don't know one person that has never made that resolution.  A good way to lose weight is to lower your carbohydrate intake.  A good article to read on why carbohydrates help you gain weight can be found here.

                 The next few posts will be low carb salads, so if any of you are looking to lose weight, maybe these will be inspiring for you to make.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ranch Dill Dip

                 I have a theory that says that dip was invented so that kids would eat their vegetables.  I actually do not know when the first dip was invented, but it did create a tasty way to eat raw vegetables, which is the healthiest way to eat them.

                 If you make your own dip from your own ingredients, you can make the dips a little more healthy than the store bought.  It will also have more flavor since the ingredients are fresh.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cheese Stars

                I hated baking when I was younger because I always seemed to get flour everywhere.  Watching me try to bake up something was like probably watching a bad comedy show.  I pretty much stuck to those boxes of Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker when I felt the necessity to bake up some brownies.  One bowl to clean up and baked goods in 20 minutes.  What could be better?  Well, maybe for starters how about no bleached flour, or artificial flavors, or soybean oil?