Spring is in the Air. . .

Spring in the air and front porch update

Spring is in the air and my front porch greenery needed an spruce up. We had a beautiful wreath on the porch last year and of course those hot days wreaked havoc on the wreath. Decided it needed some sprucing up for Easter.

My old wreath that needed sprucing up

My new wreath, OK my spruced up old wreath

Found my new flowers to add to the old wreath at Michael’s, it was a very inexpensive spruce up. I think they look lovely, let me know what you think.

Update on the Sourdough front. . .

Update on my sourdough. . . Made two loaves the other day that turned out beautiful. I do love King Arthur flour. These loaves turned out beautifully and had the best flavor. The hubbs enjoyed it with some pimento cheese.

Don’t they look fabulous?

I will be making some more this week.

Road Trip and a Little Lacrosse. . .

Road Trip. . .

The hubbs and I make at least two trips a year to see the boys play college lacrosse. Sprat graduated this year in May so this year we travel to see Big T. Big T is the face off guy for his team and has been really working on his technique. He kept telling us all week, Mom I have a new technique I am going to try in my next game. Big T was so excited to execute his technique.

Big T in White jersey and making his move

Big T again with the Win on face off.

Love Watching these kids play. . .

Love watching these guys play lacrosse, they have really come together as a team. So excited to be able to go visit with Big T and watch him play. We visited some new places to eat and went back to some old favorites. The lobster roll at Legal Seafood is a must anytime in Massachusetts. This time we tried Dave’s Hot Chicken a favorite of Big T. I do not eat a lot of meat when eating out but, you will love this, they had a cauliflower alternative to their chicken tenders and it was delish!! We will go back next time we visit for sure.

Stay tuned for more recipes and Lacrosse updates as the season continues. . .

A Little Sourdough and a Trip to Vermont. . .

A little sourdough. . .

A little sour tell about my sourdough. Decided to dive into a sourdough starter again. My sister is the sourdough, well anything baking, Queen. She inspires me with all that she accomplishes on the daily.

My sourdough starter consists of 3 T pumpernickel flour and 3 T of water (luke warm water). Mix and let set on your counter gently covered with plastic wrap. Day 3: 2 T pumpernickel flour and 2 T luke warm water and stir gently. Day 4: 2 T flour and 2 T luke warm water. Day 5: 5 T pumpernickel flour and 5 T luke warm water. Day 6 discard half of your starter and then feed the remaining starter 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup luke warm water.

Day one of my starter

I think this is day 3 of my starter and a picture of my pumpernickel flour I use.

you can see the bubbles

Making bread. . .

Made two different breads with my starter, I made two sourdough loaves and two white loaf/ sandwich bread loaves. They all turned out pretty nice the sourdough had a perfect crusty crust and soft inside. The loaf / sandwich bread was very nice, will have to wait to find out how it tastes Sprat and Sweet G took those loaves with them.

This is my rustic sourdough loaf. lol

Went to Vermont. . .

Went to Vermont this past week and visited the King Arthur Baking company. I love that place and love their products. Picked up a few things I was out of and enjoyed lunch too. It was a beautiful ride up the mountain.

Did get to see some snow on the way. . .

Stay tuned. . . more recipes and updates on the Lacrosse season. . .

How to Stay Healthy and Eat Healthy at Work. . .

How do we eat healthy at work. . .

How do we eat healthy at work? It is very difficult when you are surrounded by sweets, treats and quick grab vending machines. Being sent home to work remote was the best thing that ever happened to me. I am able to fix my own meals and I am not tempted by the monthly cake squares we used to get.

Meal prep is the key. . .

When I worked in the office, meal prep was the key. Fixing a few days in advance always helped me stay prepared to go to work. Working twelve hour days you cannot just take your lunch, you need breakfast and a good snack too.

This is a fabulous chicken and rice soup my hubbs made this morning.

One of the chicken pies the hubbs made too.

The Hubbs and his chicken soup and chicken pie. . .

We each have our own specialties and the hubbs is definitely his chicken soup and chicken pie. The boys love these especially the soup.

  • 4-5 Chicken breast
  • 2 large containers low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 T oregano
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • black pepper
  • 1 cup Jasmine rice

2 T Montreal steak marinade, 2T red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup water and mix that together and pour over the chicken and a little chicken broth and minced garlic cloves. Place Chicken and all of the above in the crock pot and cook on low for about 8 hrs.

After your chicken is cooked pull it out and shred about 3 chicken breast for your soup and save the other breast for your pies. Put your shredded chicken back in the crock pot with the above ingredients and cook on low for about 5 hrs, You can use your left over chicken to make pie or you can use it to pack your lunch with salads, wraps, or just over some rice.

Stay tuned for some more meal prep and healthy eating ideas from my kitchen to yours, until we eat again. . .

Chicken or Tuna? Which do You Prefer?

Chicken or tuna, which is your choice?

When it comes to chicken or tuna which do you prefer? At our house we eat mostly chicken, the hubbs and I like tuna every now and then. We add tuna to shake things up, it is also a good go to for a quick meal. I know I have shared the old tuna BBQ sauce recipe but I have another one that is really good with crackers.

Chicken? What all can you do with chicken?

I like a little saucy chicken, crock pot and enchilada sauce with some extra garlic powder, cumin, and some V8 juice. This cooks for eight or so hours on low and then shred it and it is great for tacos, burritos, or on a salad. That recipe is on the light side if you wanted something a little more decadent, if chicken can be decadent, add a block of cream cheese at the last thirty or so minutes of the cook. You can do this same recipe with BBQ sauce, even the cream cheese. The Greek cook is really good and lite also, chicken broth, lemon juice, whole garlic cloves smashed, rosemary, and oregano. This you can shred and add to chicken and rice soup or just serve it over rice.

Tuna ?

Since I have been eating clean these last several months I decided I would try to clean up my tuna recipe. The usual recipe: can tuna drained and flaked, mayo, mustard, boiled egg, garlic powder, dill weed, and vinegar or pickle juice and fork it all together. This is a very good tuna recipe. I shook things up this week with my tuna using plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo, used everything else and It was good. This tuna is good with crackers or over a bed of greens and with either the yogurt or the may you do not need extra dressing.

Some other yummy things I have found. . .

The smoothie recipe got kicked up a notch with unsweet coconut milk, which is surprisingly very tasty. Recipe: 1 cup coconut milk, 1 scoop protein and greens, 1/2 cup ice, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks, and some coconut water and blend. This was a really good smoothie add a little rum and you would swear you were some where tropical.

Stay tuned, I am changing things up in the kitchen these next months. . .

Are You Trying to Eat Clean this Year?

Are you trying to eat clean?

Are you trying to eat clean this year? Finding recipes should be easy, there is Pintrest and Facebook, but sometimes it can be challenging. I have also been looking at anti-inflammatory recipes along with Mediterranean recipes. You have heard me say a million times how much I love Mediterranean food and their spices.

Anti-inflammatory recipes. . .

I like the anti-inflammatory recipes for two reasons; I am prone to inflammatory response and I love the flavors and options. Eating for an anti-inflammatory diet is really easy. Cut out processed food, meat, and eat more veggies. That is a plan I can get behind for sure. I read a lot about different eating plans and I have found several books that I love discussing the anti-inflammatory way of eating. I hate using the word “diet,” I prefer to use “eating plan.”

My plan: Clean, Mediterranean, Real, and Anti-Inflammatory. . .

My goal this year for my eating plan is to eat real food and not processed food. I will be using my “100 Days of Real Food” book and my “The Complete Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Beginners” book. Sweet Potato Frittata was on the table tonight, this is a yummy recipe with sweet potatoes, onion, eggs, and some of my fresh herbs. We have some sweet potatoes left over from the hubbs harvest last year and they are so good. I have also been making sweet potato fries in the air fryer, these are a wonderful healthy snack.

Sweet Potato Frittata

Sweet potato frittata. . .

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 8 eggs beaten
  • herbs of your choice: thyme, sage, rosemary, chives. . .
  • 2 T olive oil

pre heat oven 375, place sweet potatoes, onion, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste toss and sprinkle your herbs over potatoes and onion. Place in skillet or stone in the oven for about 30 mins till potatoes are fork tender. Times will vary. After fork tender pour beaten eggs over potatoes and onion and return to the oven for 15 more minutes. This will keep in the fridge for a week.

Conclusion. . .

Stay tuned for more Clean recipes and fun alternatives for you meal plans. The hubbs is cleaning out the garden and plotting his design and yummy veggies he will be planting this season. Already on the window seal: spinach, broccoli, and pepper plants. Plans for carrots, beets, and lettuce of all varieties.

What are Your no Brainer Meals. . .

What are your go to meals. . .

What are your go to meals, those meals that you do not have to think about to fix? You may have several that you could make in your sleep and you always have those ingredients on hand. These are your quick, easy and maybe even a favorite recipe.

My favorites to fix. . .

One of my favorites to fix in a pinch is homemade alfredo sauce with angel hair protein pasta. This is a favorite for my family and I have to say it is really good. Eggs are also a go to for me in a bind, I can throw together an egg scramble with my eyes closed. We always have eggs in the fridge and with the Instant Pot you can fix boiled eggs in 7 minutes. Tuna is also a go to option for me, a little tuna and some crackers or celery is always a good option.

Alfredo. . .

  • 4 T butter
  • 3 T flour
  • 3 cloves garlic pressed
  • splash of white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese
  • 1 box angel hair pasta cooked to package directions

Melt butter over med low heat, add pressed garlic and saute till it smells yummy. Add flour and whisk to get rid of the lumps. Add your splash of white wine. Whisk and add your heavy cream. Slowly add your parmesan cheese and whisk to combine. Continue stirring, this will bubble up and become thick and delicious. I do not mix my pasta and sauce all together, I like to serve it kinda like spaghetti, this way your pasta will not get mushy.

My Infamous Tuna. . .

There are several ways to fix tuna; there is traditional with mayo as a salad but I found that sauteing with BBQ sauce is good too. My kids do not know this but when they were little I used to fix the BBQ tuna and tell them it was BBQ. I know, bad mommy for telling fibs. When the boys were little we really did not eat out that much and it was real work fixing things they would eat. My goal as a mother was to make sure my kids ate healthy and did not fall into the trap of quick and easy fast food garbage.

Tuna salad. . .

  • 1 can tuna
  • 1 large spoonful mayo
  • 2 T mustard
  • splash vinegar or pickle juice (your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Drain your tuna and flake it with a fork and add the above and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with crackers, cheese, celery or on toast.

What are Your Most Valuable Kitchen Gadgets?

What are your most valuable kitchen gadgets. . .

What are your most valuable kitchen gadgets? There are many kitchen gadgets that I love and could not do without but, my most valuable are:

  • Instant Pot
  • Opal counter top pellet Ice maker (makes the “good” ice)
  • French Press
  • Air Fryer
  • Good knives/cutting boards

The Instant Pot. . .

The Instant pot is a wonderful time saver and was recommended to me by my manager. She told me about this great little gadget that can make perfect potato salad in seven minutes, eggs and all. I make soups, stews, potatoes, eggs, and beans in my Instant pot. My husband says it is worth it’s weight in gold just because of the way it cooks eggs. Beautiful boiled eggs that peel like a breeze in just seven minutes.

Opal counter top ice maker. . .

The Opal counter top ice maker makes the wonderful soft pellet ice that you can find in some restaurants. I use this ice for my coffee smoothies and my water just tastes better poured over it. This little gem was a life saver during the Pandemic, we were not going anywhere so I could not get my “good” ice for my water or smoothies for work.

The Air Fryer. . .

Sprat turned us on to the Air Fryer, he loves it because he can do tater tots and chicken nuggets in no time. The hubs fell in love with it because it makes the best roasted broccoli and cabbage. I use it to make: sweet potato fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, and it fries bacon like a dream. Imagine making bacon without getting grease all over your kitchen. This is a much healthier alternative to traditional oil frying.

Instant Pot Recipe. . .

This is a recipe I made last week and it was really good. The hubbs and I like pintos but I wanted something a little different and without the fatback.

  • 1lb-1/2 lbs of pintos soaked for about 3 hours
  • 1 can coconut milk unsweetened
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp regular chili powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic mashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups water

Drain you pintos and combine all ingredients and seal your pot. Set to manual and cook on high for 25 minutes and allow natural release. This is a combination of two other recipes I found on the internet.

Stay tuned for more kitchen fun and recipes for good food and good health.

You are What You Eat?

You are what you eat. . .

You are what you eat, so what are you eating? I have heard that statement on more than one occasion relating to what I have been eating. Trying to think more about what I eat these days and keeping this statement in the forefront of my mind. There are folks that are vegan, vegetarian, and Keto each of these restrict the diet in some form or fashion. I do not want to restrict my diet.

Are you taking vitamins?

Are you taking vitamins, my mom and dad have always taken vitamins and supplements and they are 91 and 90 respectively. I am a firm believer in taking vitamins just based on my parents, they have slowed down in the last 10 years but are still pretty healthy. They do not require medication for blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes. Growing up mom always had a garden and some years we had three gardens that she tended. We ate what she grew and we rarely ate out, if we did eat out it was a special occasion and a treat.

Goals this year. . .

One of my goals this year is to eat healthy and to eat real food. Not going on a restrictive diet but I will choose real/ good food. Never really cared for meat much, though I did eat more meat when the boys were at home. I think I may steer myself away from meat and focus on the veggies, I like them best anyway. My focus is going to be; eat food that is good for me and adds value to my body. The other goal I have for myself is to stay away from medications, I hope that eating well will keep me away from the pharmacy. Hippocrates considered nutrition one of the main tools a doctor could use. “Let food by thy medicine. . . ” (author unk, thought to be Hippocrates).

Conclusion. . .

Check out some good reading: 100 Days of Real Food on a Budget by Lisa Leake

Happy New Year! Now What?

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Here’s to a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. I have never been one to make resolutions, I do resolve to be better this year than I was last. When you make grandiose resolutions, I feel like you are setting yourself up for failure. Nobody wants that!

Goals of the New Year. . .

I do have goals for the new year, I would not call them resolutions, merely goals for what I would like to accomplish or change this year. My schedule at work has gotten a little hectic again so I would like to get that under control. Trying to find a work/life balance is a big goal this year as well as getting into more of a routine with working out and work. There are several new recipes I hope to try out also. Looking forward to lacrosse season and traveling to see the boys play. The hubbs and I have some work we would like to do around the house this year, a few upgrades here and there. The house could use a good de- cluttering too, not sure if I am up for that or not.

Updates. . .

Sprat will be graduating in the Spring, he will finish out his last season of lacrosse and then off to educate our youth in history. Big T is completing his sophomore year and second season of lacrosse and has changed his major. Both of these kids have changed their majors at least twice and I believe Sprat did three times. That is what college is for though, to find your passion and figure out what your interests really are.

Conclusion. . .

It is my hope that the boys will go back to school and have a wonderful last semester and a great lacrosse season. I am very excited and anxious for Sprat as he completes his senior year of college preparing to go out into the world. He is going to be a great teacher, I know that deep in my soul. It is hard to believe that my baby is graduating college. Very proud of both of these boys for all they have accomplished, they each faced their own difficulties and soared above each of them.