Tag Archives: cooking

Happy Valentines Day…

DSC00928 I have been looking forward to making these for weeks.

Somehow Rice Krispie treats cut into heart shapes and dipped in white chocolate scream “I love you!”


I called our son and asked if wanted to come over and help me make Valentine treats.  When he told me his girlfriend loves rice krispie treats, I knew he would be here.

I gathered all of the ingredients;

1 Box of Rice Krispie Cereal
1 Pkg of  Miniature Marshmallows
Heart Shaped Cookie Cutters
White Chocolate
Cello Treat Bags
Valentine Stickers


I called him at least twice to confirm we were still on…I’m not exactly sure why I was so excited about making these simple treats…I think it may have had something to do with the fact that I have never made rice krispie treats in my life.

The heart-shaped treats were cut out, dipped in white chocolate, placed in cello bags and sweet Valentine love notes placed on each one.  I hope his girlfriend enjoys getting them as much as we enjoyed making them…


Happy Valentines Day!


Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, Pinterest

No Bake Cookies…Measure…Stir…Drop

It’s time to get your bake on…or at the least it’s time to make no bake cookies… measure, stir and make drop cookies.  My first cookie exchange of the season is this week and I am not baking.  Now I know the rules of engagement for cookie exchanges…do you?  You are instructed to bring 3-4 dozen of the same cookies.  They must be homemade.  No store-bought prepackaged cookies are allowed.  I have checked around and there is no set rule that says you have to actually bake the cookies.  Therefore…I will be making drop cookies, or at least that’s what I call them.

What’s on the wax paper…Peanut Butter Clusters!  Do you have a favorite “No Bake” cookie or treat?


Filed under All Things Foodie, Christmas Traditions, postaweek2011

Healthy Eating…Oven Fried Chicken

My husband has been talking about fried chicken for a couple of months.  We spent a few days in New Orleans and all he talked about eating was  fried chicken.  You are probably thinking New Orleans is known for its wonderful creole seafood.  Yes it is!  It is also the home of a little restaurant known for its fried chicken.  Unfortunately time did not allow for us to make our way to this gem of a place.  So my husbands craving for fried chicken continued. 

You may also be wondering why he doesn’t just go and buy a bucket of chicken from one of those greasy fast food places or stop into a diner an order up.  Well recently we decided to make healthier eating choices

My husband and I embarked on a healthier eating lifestyle in June.  We gave up foods with processed sugars, pre-packaged foods, bread and pasta and yes fried foods!   The most difficult part has been finding healthy versions of our favorite foods.  

The Ingredients for oven fried chicken

My husband is a thinker and a planner.  He shares his thoughts and plans with me from the minute he wakes up in the morning until he heads off to bed.  So if he has something on his mind, he shares it.  He continues to talk and share until whatever it is becomes a reality.   He knows how to make me smile and even roll my eyes from time to time. 

Cornflake & Flour Oven Fried Chicken Coating

Because he has been talking incessantly about Fried Chicken I decided to give him the healthy version in hopes that it would ease his fried chicken cravings.   The basis for this recipe comes from the Weight Watchers cookbook but there is also a version on the side of the box of Cornflakes. 

Oven Fried Chicken right out of the oven

There isn’t much he doesn’t like when it come to food.  He used to be less adventurous but not so much anymore.  He is willing to try just about anything, once!

I can tell when he likes what I have cooked because he stops talking.  And then the true test…he goes back for seconds.  Mission accomplished!

My plate of oven fried chicken!

I also made oven baked sweet potato fries and herbed quinoa for our sides.  The sweet potato fries were tasty but not crispy.  Come to think of it I don’t think I have ever had a crispy sweet potato fry.  Hmmmm?  The herbed quinoa was also a recipe I found in the WW cookbook.  It was interesting…I think quinoa is one of those foods that will take sometime getting used to the consistency.  I will keep trying different versions before scratching it off of my list of pantry items.

Just between me and you…I was needing my own fried chicken fix…I am looking forward to having leftover oven fried chicken for lunch!


Filed under Eat to Live, postaweek2011

Food Network Fall Lineup

 This hungry City Girl living in the Country is in Foodie Heaven!

I enjoy watching the Food Network any chance I get.  Although I rarely prepare the recipes I do take away helpful hints and tips and incorporate them into my own recipes.  I especially enjoy watching, The Barefoot Contessa and Giada at Home. 

This Foodie wanna be is thrilled that there are two new shows making their debut this weekend.  It is the first real sign that this incredibly hotter than hell Texas summer is on its way out.  Just to be able to use the word “FALL” in a sentence brings to mind cooler temperatures, football season, pumpkin patches and delicious warm comforting recipes coming to life in the kitchen. 

Hungry Girl airs Sunday at 10/9c on the Food Network.  Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillien, is a typical woman struggling with the same food issues as most women.  What started out as a daily email amongst friends has grown into a nationwide phenomenon. 

Pioneer Woman airs Saturday 11:30/10:30c on the Food Network.  Her name is Ree.  She is an incredibly popular blogger, a self-proclaimed desperate housewife and she lives in the country.

I will be programming the DVR for the next several weeks so as not to miss a minute of a single episode. 


Filed under All Things Foodie, postaweek2011

Hummus Chicken Salad…

This whole eating healthier thing is a struggle in today’s fast- food pre-packaged eat on the go lifestyle most of us live.  So when I find a web-site, internet article or health and nutrition blogger sharing a good idea I just have to share it.  I know I am not the only person struggling with the concept of  eating to live.
I have been following Michelle Myers on twitter for about a month.  However, I had not visited her blog until she twitted about checking out the healthy recipes on her site.  Well I jumped over there just as fast as my browser would go and lo and behold, She was true to her tweet. 
I am learning that eating healthy does not require me to go without my favorite foods, it just requires a little recipe tweaking.
Here is a an old favorite with a new twist.  I made it for lunch and it is delicious.  If you try it you are sure to like it!
Hummus Chicken Salad
2 cups skinless boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup of hummus (use your favorite)
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 small apple, diced
1/4 dried cranberries (or fresh grapes)
pepper to taste
Thanks to Michelle and others like her, I will learn to eat to live instead of living to eat….I’ll Get By With a little help from my friends…
In the words of the Beatles tune from 1967 Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band..
 Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends
Yes I get by with a little help from my friends
With a little help from my friends


Filed under All Things Foodie, Eat to Live

cooking on my day off…summer squash soup with brown butter

There are many things I have to do on my day off.  Some days are spent running errands to the grocery store, the pharmacy or doctor’s appointments.  Some days are spent on a little “me” time and personal pampering.  However, there are days when I just want to hang around the house watching the food network or work on future blog posts.  Then there are those days when I decide to cook… on my day off. 

There is such a sense of accomplishment. 

The discovery of the recipe. 

 The gathering of the ingredients. 

 The slicing and dicing and the measuring,



the ingredients are simmering on the stove, the aroma fills the house and I am cooking on my day off and enjoying every minute of it…especially when its time to eat!

Summer Squash Soup with Brown Butter

1 cup thinly sliced leeks
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
3# of summer squash (patty pan)
3 Tblsp Canola Oil
4 Garlic Pods Smashed
4 Cups of Vegetable Broth
1 Herb Bouquet(thyme, parsley and bay leaf)
3 Tblsp Butter unsalted
2 Tblsp Honey


Slice patty pan and brush with canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place small sage leaf on each patty pan and roast in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until fork tender. 

Meanwhile, dice remaining squash and set aside.  In large dutch oven saute leeks, shallots and carrots in remaining oil.  Add diced squash and smashed garlic stirring often to prevent garlic from browning.  Add vegetable broth and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add herb bouquet. 

When roasted squash is ready remove the sage leaves and dice the squash and add to pot.  Continue simmering for another 30 minutes. 

Remove from the heat and discard herb bouquet.  Blend ingredients in small batches in a blender.  Store in separate container in the fridge until ready to heat and serve.

Reheat the soup mixture slowly and gently.  Just when the soup is hot, melt the butter until foaming subsides, add to soup.  Sprinkle a bit of nutmeg to pot.  When soup is served drizzle with a little olive oil. 



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Filed under All Things Foodie, Home Sweet Home, postaweek2011

Mom and Me…in the kitchen


Usually when Iam in the kitchen with my Mom she is whipping up something incredible and I am watching in amazement as she moves around the kitchen.  She rarely refers to a recipe or uses exact measurements.  If you ask her for a recipe she can rattle it off the top of her head.  The funny thing is she has more than one version of every recipe.  So I was completely surprised and totally excited when she decided to compile her recipes into a family cookbook.

 My most treasured possessions are the two cookbooks given to me by my Mom.  The first one was given to me almost 20 years ago. It is made up of 3×5 handwritten index cards stored in one of those little photo albums you slide your pics into.  The second one is a bit nicer and was done on the computer.  Each recipe is printed on pretty paper and it is in a beautiful red book.  I love them both, but the first one is a true treasure because it is written in my Mom’s own hand.  She has beautiful handwritting!

Having these treasures close at hand is almost like having Mom with me in the kitchen.  Almost! 

When Mom and I are in the kitchen together we have a good time.  We laugh and reminisce about family memories,  Sometime she will tell me an old family story that I have never heard before or we will re-tell one that makes us laugh every time.   These are my other most treasured memories of Mom and Me.

Almost every picture taken of my Mom is of her in the kitchen.  It seems like that is where we are all the happiest.  Sharing life while we slice and dice and mix and measure.  Creating sweet and savory concoctions!


Here’s to you Mom, Happy Mother’s Day!!!

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Filed under family, Life..such as it is, postaweek2011


 Easy breezy…corn pudding casserole (aka moist cornbread)!!!

This is one of those easy recipes you can whip up at a moments notice.  It’s a nice compliment to Bar-B-Que, Fajitas, Chili or a Fish Fry. It would be a great side dish for just about any picnic or pot luck you are invited to attend.



1 box of Jiffy cornbread mix
1 can of whole kernel corn
1 can of creamed corn
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 stick of butter, melted

Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased 9×11 backing pan. 

 Bake @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown. 

Cassarole is done when a toothpick is inserted into the center and it comes out clean.


Filed under All Things Foodie, Blogging Challenges, postaweek2011

S is for…Slow-Sauteed Squash…(a-z challenge)

Small pattypan squash, each the size of a golf ball, can be halved and sautéed very slowly to make them especially sweet-tasting.  Because of their small size and high skin-to-flesh ration, they hold their shape better than other squash.  You might think that the onion would overpower the delicate sweet flavor of the squash.  However, the low and slow cooking process caramelized the onions which is the perfect complement to the squash. 

Serves 4 as a Side Dish

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive OIl
1 Medium Onion Minced
1 1/2 Pounds Small Pattypan Squash, Halved
2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley Leaves

 1.  Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add the onion and saute over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the squash and stir to coat well with the oil and onion.  Sprinkle generously with salt.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.

2. Cook, stirring occasionally until the squash is tender and golden brown in spots, 20-30 minutes.  Stir in the parsley and adjust the seasoning.  Serve immediately. 


Filed under All Things Foodie, Blogging Challenges, Blogging from A-Z April Blogging Challenge, postaweek2011

(d) is for decorating (a-z challenge)

I enJOY making things look pretty!  Decorating our home or the bookstore that I manage or simply arranging the buffet line in the church cafe gives me a great sense of accomplishment and JOY!  It is my happy place!!!

This past weekend my husband and I hosted a birthday party for his mother.  She celebrated her 75th (B)irthday

  I had the pleasure of spending time in the kitchen with my Mom prepping and cooking the appetizers and desserts for the party.

  While my mom was whipping up the italian creme birthday cake, carrot cake cupcakes, oatmeal cranberry cookies and chocolate dipped strawberries. I was working on the crunchy veggie dip, texas caviar and antipasta salad.  

 When all of the food was ready I was able to focus on the one thing I have a knack for… decorating.


I have linked up with Tossing it Out who is hosting the Blogging from A-Z April Blogging Challenge.  It’s a post a day for the month of April excluding Sundays.  You can learn more about it by clicking on the “A-Z Button” in the right side bar. 

I am linking up with Tablescape Thursday hosted by Naps on the Porch


Filed under Blogging Challenges, Blogging from A-Z April Blogging Challenge, Home Sweet Home, postaweek2011, Snapshots of Life