Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Broccoli, apple and cranberry salad

I love salads.  Any kind.....but the best ones I feel are those that are loaded with veggies. At two large bunches for $5.00 I couldn't resist buying a bunch of broccoli and a head of cauliflower.  Perfect as a side.....or more.  LOL I love this salad. YUMMY!

My perfect salad is one that has less lettuce and more of the very good veggies. This is definitely one of my favorites.

Using more yogurt than mayonnaise cuts some of the fat from this recipe but doesn't cut the flavor.  Delicious and filling served alone or along with a turkey sandwich might be my perfect lunch.  Sensible eating in moderation.

1 large bunch broccoli, cut and separated into florets
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup thinly diced red onion
2 apples diced...I used Honey crisp but they were expensive so buy a reasonable crisp apple 
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts(optional)

Salad Dressing:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp. sugar
pinch salt and pepper

  1. In a large bowl combine broccoli, carrots, red onion, apples, pecans, and dried cranberries.  Set aside. 
  2.  ****To make the dressing: Whisk together mayonnaise, greek yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat. Note: I tossed the salad with my hands to get the salad dressing to coat the veggies well.  Chill until ready to serve.


Monday, May 2, 2016

One, two, three Coconut Cream Pie

What do I do when I feel a little better?  I bake and cook.

Today I made meatballs and a pie.

 I am Freezing the meatballs for another time and because I wanted something sweet but easy to make I made a coconut cream as easy as one two three pie. 

Both were a breeze for me to make and I like having my own homemade meatballs handy to grab for sauces and soups.

The pie was a second thought. The other day at the grocery store I decided to pick up a graham cracker pie shell. I had  nothing in mind to make but today it hit me that I had all the ingredients to make a quick pie and also that my milk was about to expire tomorrow.  I try really hard not to waste so that's how this easy as one two three coconut cream pie came to be.

Quite honestly I try most times to make my own custard or pudding from scratch.  It really is the best but sometimes you have to go for easy and quick and this was the solution.  Enjoy!  Make a pie!!! 

I + cup coconut (oven toasted)Use a little more if you like coconut
2 pkgs. vanilla instant pudding 
3 cups whole milk 
1 - 8 oz Cool whip topping thawed
1 large graham cracker pie shell
Refrigerate several hours 

Toast coconut in oven carefully watching it as not to burn. (I've done that before so that's why I warning you)  Set it aside to cool.

Whisk together vanilla pudding with milk, add cool whip and toasted coconut making sure to blend pudding and cool whip.   Fill crust and top with extra toasted coconut.

Yummy! My first slice!  There was NO NEED for a garish of cream.

Happy Baking from my kitchen to yours,

Italian Meatloaf! Tonight's easy meal :)

 Today I am trying to be very good in my food choices again.  I know I tend to repeat myself in that area. lol.  In a effort to take off a few pounds I am trying very hard to cut back on carbohydrates.  They are my weakness!!! I am going to cut back and but not eliminate them. Makes sense to me, hopefully you too!

I added some fresh strawberries to our salad for a summer flair.

Happy Cooking!

Italian Meatloaf!

1 lb. + beef, pork, veal or meatloaf mix** (this time I used more veal and pork and a little beef)
1/2 cup Progresso Garlic and herb breadcrumbs(love them)
*note other breadcrumbs can be substituted
1 tsp. salt
pinch pepper
1 large clove garlic minced
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup good quality Italian cheese grated
2 T olive or canola oil
1/4 cup marinara sauce for topping
The night before why not prepare mix and wrap to be prepared for your next day lunch or dinner.

Fork in center told me my meatloaf was cooked properly.  Juices were clear.

Mix using your hands above mixture adding water as you mix to incorporate ingredients. I suggested 1/4 cup but depending on your meat you may not need as much or maybe a bit more.  Judge by how easily the ball forms.  You do not want it to be dry .  Form into a ball or loaf size.  Place in a slightly greased (canola or olive oil) baking dish and bake 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour or more.  Test center with fork to see if juices are clear. I did not cover my meatloaf and I used a convection oven so ovens vary.  My meatloaf was slightly over 1 lb.

About 15 minutes before serving meatloaf I topped the meatloaf with marinara sauce.  **Ketchup can be used as a substitute.

Serve with a tossed salad or seasonal vegetable.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sliced round steak w/ peppers, sweet onion, spinach and snow peas!

I love using things I have in my freezer and adding some things I have in my refrigerator.  I think it totally makes me feel like I can create a meal and not waste anything. Does that make sense to you?  It does to me.  Note:  I imagine you could use any seafood mix to compliment this dish instead of steak!  Hmmm!!

I had about a pound of round steak in the freezer, so I took it out and let is thaw in refrigerator overnight.  If you notice I did cut the steak into strips for easier eating and also it stretched it nicely with the veggies.  I didn't cut the steak until after I had browned it!  Notice illustration below!

Happy Cooking from my kitchen to yours,


The snow peas give it and added crisp touch. Wonderful!!!

1 lb. round steak slices (thick)
1 chopped sweet onion
1 large clove garlic chopped
1 red pepper sliced
1 yellow pepper sliced
1 orange pepper sliced
1 can 15 oz. Hunts sauce
1 can water
1/2 bag baby spinach cleaned and stems removed
1/2 bag snow peas
3 T olive oil
90 second Balsmati Rice  or rice of choice

Saute steak in oil oil until it starts to brown.  Add onion and peppers and cook until lightly browned. Add garlic, sauce,1 can water, pinch of salt and pepper.  Cover and allow to cook until meat is tender and peppers soften slightly. Approximately 30 minutes.  Add cleaned spinach and snow peas and allow to cook for several minutes or until spinach has wilted. A great meal while using meat and veggies on hand.  Yum!

Serve over rice!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Copycat recipe Zuppa Toscana

Hi everyone:

This is another copykat recipe I wanted to try.  I adapted it to what I had in my frige and pantry.  It was really good and hubby ate two bowls and raved about it.  It's the Olive Garden copykat recipe.  

I am posting it as is and I'll make note to my changes.


Note:It is a thinner type broth. So good you want to get every spoon of the broth.  I'd suggest making the potato cubes a little smaller than mine and I used Swiss chard instead of kale.  I was concerned it may be too chewy. I didn't want to use spinach for fear it would be to grassy if you can understand.  Swiss chard is very mild and I found it easily at the grocery store. They only had red Swiss chard so it did give it a bit more color.  I also added 1 can rinsed and drained northern beans for texture and more protein.  

I used ground sausage.  I browned it slightly along with onion in the oven for a few minutes until it wasn't red. I added the garlic right into the broth.  Mincing it is a good idea. The finer the better.  Actually the onion and garlic I used the finest grater to grate them both.

I had chicken broth but not enough as the recipe called for so I used Chicken and Beef Broth and I think it added to the awesome flavor of the soup.

The recipe didn't call for cheese but you guys know me and a handful of my favorite Pecorino Romano added at the very end along with the heavy cream made it even better in my opinion.

Hoping your enjoy it as much as we did.  :) 

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 3 russet potatoes, sliced into wedges then halvedo
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups kale or Swiss chard, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • cannellini beans(optional)  I added them as to thicken the broth and I was a good choice for protein.
  • Pecorino Romano cheese (optiona)(I love cheese)


  1. Brown Italian sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes. Drain and discard fat.
  2. Combine all ingredients except cream and kale in slow cooker. Cook on low 7-8 hours, or on high for 4-5. 
  3. Add cream and kale to slow cooker, stir, and cook until leaves are wilted and warmed through, 20-30 minutes.
  4. Ladle into bowls, serve immediately and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Somewhat Simple

Happy Cooking,