- 1 package fresh cranberries
- 1 granny smith apple
- Red Pepper
- Red onion
- Apple Juice
- Green Chiles or jalapeño
You may be asking, why spaghetti squash mash? Isn’t there already the classic mashed potatoes and the alternative cauliflower mash? Yes, yes there is.
However, on my journey of reducing the amount of carbohydrates and sugars in my diet, I’ve been seeking vegetables that give a similar flavor and texture of traditional vegetable dishes, but provide reduced carbohydrates.
I’ve been trying different recipes with a spaghetti squash like stuffing them with meat, sauce and cheese or using the scraped out squash as noodle.
Then I saw a beautiful “plated” Instagram photo a while ago and the base of the dish was “spaghetti squash mash”. So I immediately clicked on it and saw the simplicity of it (especially since I had a spaghetti squash in the pantry).
I made it and I was hooked! The texture is a little thinner that mashed potatoes, but the richness of the squash with the flavor of the parmesan will surely delight your tastebuds.Continue reading “Spaghetti Squash “Mash””
When you think of a casserole dish, you think of a protein and pasta, amirite? I usually do, too. Until for a health concern I needed to reduce the amount of carbs and sugars. But what would I do without all my creamy, cheesy pasta favorites?
Enter my new favorite vegetable friend – the Cauliflower. This little gem is so versatile! It can be a substitute for rice, potatoes and did you even know…pasta?! That’s right – it tastefully replaces pasta in this dish. You won’t even know it.
Who doesn’t love dinner done quick? With busy schedules and tired end-of- the-day bodies..this dish will go together quick and easy and be oh-so-pleasy for the family! And it can be done in one skillet.Continue reading “Cheesy Chicken Verde Enchilada Skillet”
My girls just love strawberries. They can gobble them up all year long. And isn’t a treat that they are shaped just like little red hearts? They make for the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day.
Pair strawberries with Angel food cake and it’s like a little slice of heaven. Each time I make an Angel Food cake (which isn’t very often), I always question myself “why don’t I make this more often”. And that is echoed by my two girls. I have no answer for this. Note to self: Make more Angel Food Cake!
Before you dive into a treat of strawberries and Angel Food Cake, let’s make this a little more fun. Let’s make this a portable treat and drizzle chocolate over it. YES!!!
You need 4 things to complete these tasty skewers
Can it get any easier? Simply make or buy your Angel Food. I can’t resist making one when I have the time. I’m glad I look at the directions as I tend to forget it requires 3 hours to completely cool. That could really throw timing off if you tend to take these to an evening party and start too late in the day.
Next, you have to let the cake cool. Everybody cools theirs on a Kahlúa bottle, right?
Isn’t there just something dreamy and magical about Angel Food Cake?
Once your cake is cool, turn upside down and start making your slices. You can get up to four cubes when you slice a nice thick cut. I may or may not eat a few imperfect pieces. Quality control.
So for this set of skewers, I used a pre-made Angel Food Cake from the store. It came in a loaf style and was super easy to cut and assemble. This is a great time saver if you don’t have time to make an Angel Food cake and let it cool (up to 3 hours).
Another tip if you would like a smaller serving, use a smaller piece like a flat popsicle stick. It’s about half the size and doesn’t require as many strawberries or pieces of angel food cake.
Check out this tip! Dip a whisk into the melted chocolate the “shake” over your treat while moving hand back and forth and you will end up with lovely drizzles. Be sure to do this over wax paper not your pretty platter. The paper will catch all the drizzles, not your platter!
Enjoy these at your next get together!
Oh, welcome Fall! The smell of rain and spices are in the air. And in my kitchen, I desire the smells of the hearty flavors of one of my favorite fall dishes. Quick and Easy Beef Rouladen!
Traditionally, rouladen is thinly sliced meet (most likely originally veal or pork), wrapped around pickles, mustard and bacon. Well, onions are in some traditional ones, but we don’t need to go into my dislike for onions (although, I must admit, I am slowly making progress after many decades). Then its served with potato dumplings or noodles and pickled cabbage.
I love making spätzle, so I will share that recipe with you, too! It’s super simple and is a quick and easy noodle dish that consists of flour, eggs and milk.
This dish can sometimes take hours to prepare, slow roasting the beef. But for you, my friends, I’ve got a version for you that is less than 45 minutes! So go to your Spotify and while you prepare this savory dish, let me suggest you put on an Oktoberfest Playlist.Continue reading “Easy Beef Rouladen”
I’m not sure about you, but when it comes time to get dressed in the morning, I’m only about half awake. In the closet, everything is a blur. And OK, I’ll admit I’m not winning any awards for putting clothes away. And my family, bless them, tries to also help by putting away my clothes when helping with laundry. So here is it, let me air my (not so dirty) laundry. Here is a peek at my closet getting at it’s worst!
But I’m already a grumpy morning person and it makes me more grumpy to search and hunt for the pair of pants or jeans I want to wear. So I had to come up with something that made it easier for putting away my pants so I could easily find them before my morning coffee. And secretly, to help my family when they put away my jeans that I can find them every time I go to the closet, even if I wasn’t the one to put them away.
Probably like you, I have several different pairs of similar colored jeans. When hanging in the closet, they all look the same. Problem is, one is skinny, one is crop and one boot cut. (Or whatever the current fashion that is coming back that I swore I wouldn’t succumb too). I never seem to guess right when selecting the dark denim. Then for some reason, it doesn’t set my mood right for my day. So this system works smoothly to make my morning brighter so I can be a better person to the people I get to encounter and be with the rest of the day. Seems like a little thing, but it’s amazing taking a little simple task and making it more organized can make 0r break a mood.
So I had to make a plan. Off to the craft store I went. On my list was tags, twine and most definitely new hangers. I found just what I was looking for at Michaels. I really like their Recollections Line. (Go to Michaels and search Recollections)
Here is how I organized my pants in my closet.
First, I had to make a list of all my jeans. This also allowed time for me to go through each pair of jeans, try them on, deicide if these are still my fit and style or if they needed to be donated or altered. You can’t tell, from the photo, but I had to bring my phone back for some tunes! I turned on my favorite Spotify playlist for the task. (ahh, ya, I took it back to the early 90’s for this one).
After my list was complete, I wrote the names of each pair of jeans on each tag. Make sure the tags are all facing the same way so when you’re scanning your closet, you can easily read each tag.
This system works! Like all things getting organized, this takes time in the beginning to get there. But once this simple system is in place, it just works all on it’s own. Looking to put away that pair of jeans from the wash? No need hunt down that random hanger. It’s the one right there. The empty one that you properly labeled. This is an inexpensive and simple solution. And it lends itself into the saying “loving what you have & having what you love”.
Ever notice how much we rely on our smartphone these days from everything to scheduling to organizing to entertaining our lives these days? Back in the day, we would have to have a separate device, appliance or piece of technology to accomplish our tasks and keep our hobbies in check.
Remember all the gadgets we had to have around us just to keep us on time, organized, up to date on current events and entertained? This image is just one image that tells the tale of how technology and gadgets have been replaced on one piece that travels in our pocket or hand everywhere we go.
Now we use our smartphones to research, shop, purchase, plan and entertain us from music to audio books. I’ve put together a favorite list of mine that helps keep me entertained and sane. There are more I could list, but here is my top 10 (in no particular order).
Do you have a library account? If you do, then you need this app! Hoopla allows library patrons to download or stream media content free of charge! You can subscribe up to 6 different media sources. Hoopla provides digital books, audiobooks (my fave!), music and video.
This is such a great go to tool! For days when I am doing chores, running errands or traveling, I can download a book – I really enjoy the audiobooks – and escape.
Simply log into your log into your library account and search Hoolpa to see if your library offers this service. From there follow the set up and log in requirements. Finally, download the app onto your device and log into your account. Now you are ready to search books, music audiobooks and videos. You can borrow up to 10 titles in a month.
Again, I ask – Do you have a library account (if no, why not?!). The library offers so many free services, especially in this ever changing digital age. And Zinio is a digital platform to checkout magazines via your local library…for free!
On a weekend getaway or for the days relaxing by the pool, I enjoy catching up on the latest magazines. The whole range from family fun, Hollywood gossip, and food.
Zinio allows you to check out digital magazines to read from your personal device. I love to save this app for my iPad so I can keep the feel of the larger size, not my smaller screen. Then I can simply swipe page by page. And if I want to read up on an article? I can enlarge it to suit my eyes. I also screen shot ideas like food or ideas for around the house or for my family.
First you will need to log into your library account. Search for Zinio to see if your library offers this service. Set up an account with Zinio.
Important to know: When you want to search for magazines on Zinio, you will have to search in a web browser, not the app! Simply log into your Zinio account and you will see a screen similar to this:
You will have access to a drop down menu for different genres your library offers. You will see large thumbnails of the current magazine cover. Once you click into a magazine, you will also have access to a few back issues and here you can ‘checkout’ the magazine.
When you select check out, you will have an option to stream the magazine or to download it and keep browsing.
Now you are reading to head over and open your Zinio app! Select the ‘Read’ option and here you magazines will appear. The new ones will have to be downloaded from the cloud to your device. You will see the little icon below the magazine. Click on it and it will take a few minutes to complete the download.
Also, there is a feature of ‘Shop’ where you can set up subscriptions or purchase magazines from a much larger selection, but I’m much too frugal with my time and money, but it looks like a great service if this is more of your style.
Waze is a community and traffic based navigation app. Ever take off on your trip, following the navigational directions and next thing you are sitting in traffic? Well, Waze will look ahead for you at all the possible routes and take you the fastest way, avoiding accidents, back ups and anything that could delay you. You will even get updates while traveling along the interstate about a disabled vehicle along the side of the road!
How do they compile this information? From users in your community. One time while traveling with the Waze App open, we came upon road construction that we were not alerted to. While we were stopped, a message popped up “We notice you have been stopped a while”. We were given options to report back our lack of progress on the route. We clicked road construction and realized this info will be relayed on to the next user and they will be alerted and/or rerouted on a different route. While traveling, pop ups will appear that other users have alerted as hazards. You will have an option to thumbs up or down if the distraction or occurrence is still happening or if the hazard has cleared.
Also there is a fine selection of voices. I personally have opted with the Boy Band last trip. I mean, why not? It was a little comical being sung to ‘in 1000 ft, turn left”. On a recent trip the kids and I changed dad’s voice to Mr. T.
Food trucks have been one of the greatest trends! I love exploring different eats and bites around town. But sometimes it’s hard to hear about a new food truck find until you see a friend check in with a photo of mouthwatering food. Some cities have a designated area where food trucks have to be, but in other towns, food trucks can park where they can find the best location. And sometimes they can move around. How do you keep up? Look in the App Store or Google Play with key words like ‘street food’ or ‘food truck’. You should find one for your city.
This is great way to keep up to date where your favorite food truck is. They will provide info weather they are open or closed, location and hours. And also a link to their menu. And if your lucky and know they can get busy, a way to call or message your order for pick up when you arrive.
There is both a map view (like above) or a list view. Both show food trucks that are currently open (green) or closed (red). Both have clickable links that will open to a page with more information about each business. The businesses can provide a description of the cuisine and detailed lists of times and locations of the truck. Additional info each business can provide are phone (perfect for those phone ahead orders for busy days and busy food trucks – no line waiting!), website with full menu and links to their other social media apps.
OK, there is really nothing must have about this – this is just purely for pleasure! We have a vacation coming up and it’s easy to get excited about it – to count down with the kids by the day, hour, minutes and second! Last day of school countdown!? Big birthday bash coming up? How many days to Christmas? You can choose from many stock photos ranging from all special occasions or simply choose from one of your own.
Have you ever been out with friends and spend time trying to split the bill? Some of you have cash and others have credit card and someone pulls out the calculator to divvy up the bill. Or you decide to go in on a gift for someone and everyone is pitching in $5 and you just don’t have cash on you at the moment. Better yet, get home from a great date night out and it’s time to pay the babysitter and…you have no cash! Yikes.
This app is a game changer!
Venmo is a mobile payment service that allows users to transfer money to those in their social network (P2P – Peer to Peer). It’s owned by PayPal (and uses same security and safety measures) and debits or credits your linked bank account.
Of course with any other electronic payment system, do your own research and only do what feels right for you. I would advise to only use Venmo with those in your close social network. I personally would not use this to pay the complete stranger you buy a piece of exercise equipment off Craigslist or OfferUp!
Here is a screen shot from the fun feed with Venmo. You can also see all the transactions of friends in your personal network are exchanging. I didn’t want to screen shot as it is more private, but I have some pretty humorous friends! When you make a payment, you can add a note about the transaction. With emoji’s or with simple words.
One reason I also wanted to share this particular screen shot was that I learned something from a making a payment to a friend that I thought was on Venmo. I found her name on the list but didn’t look closely enough that she actually hadn’t registered. So it was my hairdresser and after I left, I realized I can’t talk and calculate a tip at the same time and that I didn’t leave enough of a tip. So I went to make a payment with the caption “because I can’t add ??”. But a few days weeks later when my account was being reconciled, I got a notification my account had been reimbursed that payment with the explanation that the user was not on Venmo. The explanation did not come through the app, but in an email. The time may have been longer that necessary, but at least I know that I’m not just sending my money off in the world wide web and it not landing in the appropriate place. It was being looked after and rightfully returned because of my careless mistake.
With all the social media platforms out there, we have extended our “friend” circle quite large and seem to always be wishing someone a happy birthday! And as quickly as life seems to be flying by, when it comes time to plan for get togethers and parties, stopping by the store or ordering invites and mailing can sometimes slip through the cracks.
This is why I love Red Stamp. They have digital cards you can customize with or without photos. You also have the option or order cards or just say “it’s a digital” day.
I love the simplicity of creating a card or an invite with a few swipes and clicks on my smart phone. And there are options to add photos to personalize your card.
Also, if you are a consultant for companies like (Arbonne, CAbi, Jamberry, Limelight, Stella & Dot…just to name a few of the 32 from the list), they have custom templates sending out announcements and invites.
I know everyone knows that Redbox is easy breezy to search for a movie in a kiosk near you to reserve and pick up, but the reason I want to highlight Redbox is because the ease of gift giving you can do with this app downloaded to your phone!
Weather you are looking to give a teacher gift, a figt for a babysitter or your kids need a quick gift for a friend, you can down load 5 – 10 (or more!) promo codes to give as gifts in less than 5 minutes!
Select the DVD & Blu Ray option and scroll down the e- gift cards to PROMO CODES. Select Promo Codes.
When it comes time to select your promo codes, you can send them all to a friend or the trick I use is to send them to myself. I am then sent via email 5 codes that I can use how and when I choose.
I then get on Pinterest and find a cute free printable that I can hand write the code into and send on its way! I’ve used these cute ones from A Southern Mother. They are FREE cute ticket stub printables!
You are on your amazing vacation and looking for that perfect postcard to send back to the friends and family back home. And then finding a postcard stamp – or just a stamp itself!? Or you have captured a keepsake photo and wish to capture it and send to a long distant loved one.
How about mailing a personalized photo OF YOU?! And adding a personalized message. And the photo can pop out for a keepsake. All from your phone, at only $1.99. Yes, please!
Here is a reoccurring moment in my everyday life: I am doing something “busy” like driving or prepping a meal or using the bathroom (eh, hem) and I have a thought of something I REALLY need to do. Like text someone or call someone or pay that bill or make an appointment. All of those life daily tasks that you mean to do and forget to do and think of doing at the most inconvenient time when you don’t have your planner or your “to do” list and paper handy. I usually have my phone on me on most occasions (yes, even sometimes in the bathroom. No judgy eyes!).
I love this app for the ease of entering a task. It has
There are so great apps out there to make life a little more manageable and to keep you chugging along about your day. I hope you find some (or all!) of these useful to add to your daily family routine.
Mornings are busy, am I right? It’s too easy to grab a granola bar and begin your regular routine. But that isn’t doing your body good. Below are a few of my go-to, quick and easy high protein breakfast ideas I can whip up and get going. Some, like a hash or scramble can made to last for a few days. So make once and the consecutive days are even easier! Others are broiled in the oven and ready in less than 5 minutes.
I hope you find this is a good variety of sweet and savory. I like to have several different options as I will grow tired of the same breakfast day after day. Then I get bored and tend to find myself biting into something not as healthy or as intended for my day. And these are all family friendly. Some even the youngest can easily scoop out some yogurt or cottage cheese and if there is fresh cut fruit on hand, they can easily help make a nutritious breakfast.
I also enjoy making and eating eggs differently. Sometimes I really crave the runny yolk with some veggies and other times I crave the texture of fluffy eggs with a hint of salt. And I hope these ideas are just a spring board for you to take what you love and add to and create your own.
I would love for you to share some of your creations in the comments. I love being inspired and trying new twists to a favorite stand by!
Cottage Cheese has about 14g of protein per 1/2 cup, which is just about what you need to make 2 slices of cloud toast. And I love this Trader Joe’s cottage cheese as there are only 3g of sugar.
If you have 10 minutes, you can make, eat and clean up your breakfast. Start to finish. Not too bad, and you will feel full and satisfied and ready to conquer your morning.
*This one is my youngest daughter’s favorite! At 9, she is even helping get it ready for the oven and she loves using a pizza cutter to cut this into bite size pieces.
Take 1-2 slices of whole wheat or whole grain bread and place on baking sheet (I used the Pampered Chef stone pan) Scoop 1/4 cup of cottage cheese (low in sugar) and spread over each piece of bread. Sprinkle with Cinnamon.
Turn oven onto High Broil. Keep racks in the middle location! Broil 4-5 minutes, keeping a close eye on your oven. Cottage cheese will be slightly melted and edge of bread toasty.
Eggs have around 6g of protein each. Avocados have almost 3g per cup. This is a fun version of ‘egg on toast’. You still get the ooey gooeyness of the runny egg yolk to sop up in the toast when you cook it in the center of your bread.
Preheat oven to 325°. Place 2 slices of bread on baking sheet. Use a cookie cutter or even the rim of a glass to make circle or cut out shape in your whole grain bread. Crack on egg in a small bowl. Check for shells, then pour into cutout. Repeat if you are preparing 2 slices.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. If egg is not completely to your liking (too soft or runny), then broil for 1-2 minutes longer.
Season with salt and pepper. Place on plate over bed of spinach or softened kale. Garnish with slices of avocado. Drizzle with a little splash of EVOO.
Chicken Sausage has between 11-13g protein each, depending on brand. Sweet potato has about 3g per cup.
This breakfast is great for a “clean out the fridge” morning. Any veggies you have left on hand can go right in. Peppers, mushrooms, sweet potato – I even went out and tried a new veggie for the first time…parsnip! So good. If you like onions, ya, that can go in yours. Just don’t invite me to share this dish with you! I love making loads of this at once. Then I have portions for a few days, which make the following days super easy!
Lately I’ve been feeling the effects of too much tennis, although is there really such a thing? But in all seriousness, I’ve had knee issues, toe issues…and I’m sure you experience your own aches and pains from osteoarthritis or joint pain or just growing older each day. I take a daily does of liquid Glucosamine as well as trying to sprinkle some turmeric into my dishes (not my families!) when I can.
Turmeric, in the fresh root form, looks like ginger. Just a more burnt orange color. It can be hard to find the root and it can get expensive. I pick up a root or two at a specialty grocery store when I can but I always have a jar of ground turmeric around. I put it in smoothies, on dishes and I even did a grapefruit and turmeric Kombucha last year that I am soon making again. (As with any other supplement, check with your physician and do your own research for what is right for you. For example, if you are on a blood thinner or you are monitoring your blood sugar levels, taking turmeric may cause adverse affects).
Pull out and cut up all your sausage and favorite veggies. The options are limitless on this. Just start with the veggie that is the most firm and needs more pan time first. Spread a little EVOO around a warm pan and add veggies and the sausage until completely cooked and veggies are nice and tender. Season with salt, pepper or other spices. Place in bowl.
Meanwhile, poach an egg. In a small pot, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. Crack an egg into a small dish. Turn heat down to a low boil/simmer. Use a wooden spoon to stir the water in one direction and pour your egg while water is still swirling. This will help the egg gather into itself for a nice oval shaped poached egg. Simmer for just under 3 minutes for a firm white and a nice runny egg yolk. Place on top of your hash. Season!
Store remaining hash in airtight container. Heat up breakfast serving the following morning(s) and top with a poached egg. Breakfast left overs done in 3 minutes!
This dish is another breakfast to make a big batch to have portions for days. Eggs have 6g of protein each and when you load it up with veggies it’s a great source of protein and you can keep it lean and green!
Start by removing the stem from the kale. Chop and sauté in a little EVOO until softened. Chop up a sweet potato into small bites and sauté with the kale. Add your other favorite veggies and cook until softened. Mean while whip 6 eggs and pour over veggies over medium heat. Let set for a few minutes and slowly start folding the eggs from the outer edge to the center, folding in the veggies. Season and cook until eggs are firm and a bright glossy yellow.
This one packs a protein punch! Your egg has 6g of lean protein and the corned beef has up to 15g per 3 oz! Swiss cheese has 8g per slice. This meal will fuel you with nearly 30g of protein!
I came up with the breakfast treat after St. Patrick’s Day. We had plenty of corned beef left over and already had the sauerkraut on hand (as a staple in the pantry as well as to go with the corned beef for Reuben sandwiches we planned on with leftovers). St. Patrick’s Day just happened to fall on a Friday so that left a rare Saturday morning I had fresh corned beef left-overs.
My husband is not very good and taking time for a decent breakfast, and granola bars don’t count, as many times as I keep telling him. I usually get my weekend mornings where I am the first to wake, so I do a little clean up in the kitchen and catch up on a TV show the rest of the family doesn’t enjoy. I was deciding what to make for breakfast for myself before the whole crew woke up.
Next thing I knew after pilfering the fridge, I came up with this creation. And I made enough for the hubs! It’s a new favorite.
Grab a few slices of bread, marbled rye of course would be awesome! Turn on oven to High Broil (with rack in middle). Warm up the corned beef and sauerkraut in microwave until chill is off, between 15-30 seconds.
Place the bread on a baking sheet and layer with: first corned beef, sauerkraut, slice or shredded swiss cheese. Broil for 3-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, poach an egg. In a small pot, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. Crack an egg into a small dish. Turn heat down to a low boil/simmer. Use a wooden spoon to stir the water in one direction and pour your egg while water is still swirling. This will help the egg gather into itself for a nice oval shaped poached egg. Simmer for just under 3 minutes for a firm white and a nice runny egg yolk.
Place poached egg on top of your Reuben toast, season and enjoy!
I love the cottage cheese from Trader Joe’s! I’m sure there are other great brands out there, but this one 14g of protein per serving and only 3g of sugar!
Easy peasy – place a scoop of cottage cheese (about 1/2 cup) into a bowl. Dice up fresh fruit such as melon, pineapple or peaches. Sprinkle with Cinnamon. Simple, yet SO satisfying!
*This is so good with chia seeds, hemp seeds and ground flax seed.
My best find for Organic Greek Yogurt is at Costco. It has 23g of protein per 1 cup and only 6g of sugar! So good in smoothies or to enjoy in a bowl when you don’t have to take it on the run in a cup but can savor the bites with a spoon.
Scoop out a cup of yogurt. Top with fresh fruit – I tend to keep my fruit to one or two, not to mixed. I don’t really know why, just something I’ve noticed about myself.
How would you create yours? Mixed berries? Go with the tropical blend? Blueberries and strawberries are always a winner! Try different toppings for a crunch like toasted coconut, chia seeds, granola or help seeds.
An egg has 6g of protein. Feta cheese 4g per ounce. Avocados have almost 3g per cup.
This is so quick and easy! Pop a slice or two of bread into your toaster. Meanwhile scramble two eggs to your liking. Spread over your toast. Chop up some avocado and sprinkle some feta. Enjoy.
I look forward to hearing from you about your favorite breakfast ideas. Please leave me a comment and share what you love to make or what you love to eat for breakfast!