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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tip of the day.....

DON'T throw away your stale bread! MAKE BREADCRUMBS




Pork Marsala and faux lemon herb risotto

This is something I threw together for a quick meal and it is BEYOND YUMEEE!!!!


4 THIN cut pork chops
2 turns of a pan of olive oil
1/2 cup whole button mushrooms or 1 small can
2 1/2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup HOLLAND HOUSE Marsala Wine


1/2 pint Brown Rice from the Japanese restaurant
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 capfuls ofLemon juice
2 tbsp Italian seasonings
2 tbsp garlic powder

Put brown rice in a small pot
Add chicken broth
Add Lemon juice
I don't usually measure seasonings but its about 2 tbsps of each. I sprinkle an ample amount to cover the surface of what I am cooking.
Mix and heat through
Lower heat to LO and stir occasionally


Add oil to the pan
Preheat the pan so when you put the pork into the pan you hear a sizzle
Brown each side and remove to plate
Add 1/2 tbsp butter to pan
Add Mushrooms and saute until soft
Remove from pan and add to pork plate
Add the rest of the butter and the flour to the pan
Melt the butter and mix the flour through.
Cook until a caramel color
Whisk in Marsala Wine
Bring to a slow boil to thicken
Add back the pork and mushrooms
Simmer COVERED for 6-8 mins

Serve with rice and Veg of choice --Broccoli goes well




New Year Resolution

OK i am not so great at the tip of the DAY, or week sometimes! The holidays made the days get away.

SORRY--My New Year's Resolution is to be more organized and that includes keeping up with the tip of the day!

What is YOUR resolution?



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tip of the day.....

OK I already screwed up the tip of the day but forgetting to post the last 3 days :)

puree food and put into ice cube trays to store.


butternut squash



Sunday, December 11, 2011


I have been trying to figure out what to bring to the family Christmas party when I found my double boiler in the storage closet. Chocolate dipped anything is SUPER easy to make.

Use a double boiler (you can make your own with a small pot and a larger metal bowl)

Add a small amount of water in the bottom pot of boiler. (Mine is small so 1/4-1/2 cup is MORE than enough.

Place top pot of bowl on bottom pot

Add MINI chocolate chips

Melt over LOW heat stirring occasionally

When Chocolate is smooth, let the dipping begin....

I dipped strawberries this morning --as a test run for Christmas --and mini pretzels --as a test run :)




Tip of the day.....

Shop Rite has a mini egg pan on the shelves next to the eggs. It makes the BEST egg ever--no breaking since it is non stick and small.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

dreamy short ribs

Check out this rich looking sauce to go with the ribs!

I made these last night and OMG!!!

1 lb short ribs bone in
1/2 cup flour
1/4-1/2 can of tomato paste (large can of paste)
olive oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 zucchini cut into 1/2 inch rounds (can use 2 if you want more veg)
1 carrots cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 onion julienned
15-20 springs of fresh thyme
1/2 cup Merlot or other red wine you like to drink
1 box of beef stock

Pour 2 turns of the pan of olive oil
Add chopped garlic
add onions, zucchini and carrots
add 5 sprigs thyme
saute tender CRISP
Set aside in a bowl

Pour 3 turns of the pan of olive oil
salt and pepper flour AND ribs
dip ribs in flour on all sides
place meat side down in pan when oil is hot
brown all sides then set aside

Add Wine
add tomato paste
whisk together scraping meat bits from pan
add 5 sprigs of thyme
Add Beef stock
whisk together
add 5 sprigs of thyme
Put ribs back into pan meat side down
I also added thyme on top of the ribs but that is up to you if you like thyme or not)
Cover and put on Low/simmer for 2 hours

After an hour and a half check liquid level, if it is too low add more stock to cover ribs 3/4 way. Cover and cook another 30-45 mins until meat is tender.

Add veg in at last 10 mins You want them to still be tender crisp at serving

I served over mashed potatoes and made sure I put some of the decadent sauce over them.




Saturday, November 19, 2011

Easy peasy lemon squeezy chicken

2 tsp olive oil
1 lb thin sliced chicken breast
1/4 cup flour
2 pats of butter
1/4 cup white wine
1 can of chicken stock
2 tbsp thyme

Prepare chicken with salt pepper and sprinkle of thyme.
Put Olive oil in pan and brown the chicken breasts, remove from pan and set aside
Make a rue ( put 2 pats of butter and flour into pan and cook until it is a caramel color)
Add white wine and whisk with rue and bits of chicken from bottom of pan
Add broth and salt pepper and thyme to taste
Add chicken back into pan and simmer for 7 mins

Serve over Brown rice.

I made brown rice made with chicken broth and when it was finished I added thyme pepper and 2 tsp of butter and mixed it together.




Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Butternut squash ravioli

2 cups of butternut squash roasted and cubed
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 julienned onion
1 pat of butter
1/4 cup of almonds or cashews
1 pkg wonton wrappers


1/4 cup flour
2 pats of butter
1 cup chicken broth
salt pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp thyme
1/4 cup white wine


put butter in pan
saute garlic and onions to tender crisp
add squash, onion/garlic mix, nutmeg and nuts to blender and puree

put 1tsp of puree inside of each wonton and wet edges of wonton with water
then fold over into triangles and press down edges--water will seal them

Cook like a regular ravioli


Make a rue---

put the butter in the pan and add flour--cook the flour until it is a LIGHT caramel color.
Whisk 1/4 cup wine with the rue
simmer 3 minutes
add chicken broth
add S/P/Thyme
add cheese
boil to thicken
When it is desired thickness remove from burner

Serve over the ravioli and garnish with some crushed nuts.

Serve with salad and bread




Friday, November 11, 2011

Super easy guacamole

2 avocados
1 plum tomato
1/4 onion
5 sprigs fresh cilantro
1 tsp lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Cut avocado in half lengthwise
Use knife to stab pit and twist it to remove
use knife tip to score large cubes in the avocado flesh
use a spoon to scoop out the flesh but putting the spoon in between flesh and skin
use a fork to mash to desired consistency--can leave it chunky or make it smooth

Dice onion, tomato in small dice
add to avocado, add lime juice and cilantro





One pot chicken and rice

made this on the fly this morning with the left over ground chicken from the empanadas.

1/2-1 lb of ground chicken
1/4 onion diced
2 tsp chopped garlic
olive oil
1 can mild pepper infused diced tomatoes
(or regular tomatoes with 1 small diced jalopeno
1/2 cup white wine (i used Pinot Grigio)
2 cups BROWN minute rice (ok you can use white but Brown is healthier for you)
1 can of chicken broth

Brown ground chicken with onions and garlic in a turn or two of olive oil
pour in white wine and simmer about 3 mins to cook out the alcohol
add can of mild tomatoes (tomatoes and jalopeno if cant find the premixed can)
add brown rice
add chicken broth
Cover and cook for 10 mins

DONE--Serve with salad and nice crusty bread




Sunday, November 6, 2011


ok here is what I came up with for empanadas.

I looked up a basic flour recipe for the dough.

The recipe below if from

Every empanada recipe starts with the dough. Here is a simple empanada dough made with flour, salt, water, egg, vinegar and shortening.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

3 cups flour (plus a little more for kneading)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water
1 egg
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 tablespoons shortening

1. In a bowl, beat the water, egg, egg white and vinegar together. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the 3 cups of flour and salt.

3. Cut the shortening into the flour mix with a pastry blender or two butter knives. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and pour the liquid ingredients from the first bowl into the center.

4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients with a fork until it becomes stiff.

5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.

6. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but never more than 24 hours.

Tip: If you want to keep the dough longer than 24 hours, you can freeze it.

Servings: Makes approximately 10 six-inch empanadas.

Here is the filling I came up with.

1/2 tsp butter
1 small diced onion
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 lb ground chicken
3 tsp thyme
1 tsp powdered garlic
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg

add butter onions and chopped garlic to pan. Saute to translucent

add ground chicken and all seasonings and brown.

remove from pan.


I made this dip for the side but decided it may taste great mixed in the meat so I made half the meat plain and half mixed in with the dip and it was YUMEEE.

1 small jalepeno pepper with seeds diced
1/4 small onion diced
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tsp spicy mustard
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

mix in simmer 5 mins

split mix if you choose to mix it with meat and double the recipe if you want to mix it AND
dip it.

After you take the dough from the fridge, break it into small balls--you can get about 10 if you make larger rounds I made some smaller for Sophia and some larger for me so I got 13. Use the rolling pin to roll them into small round somewhat thin circles.

Spray coolie sheet with olive oil pam.

Put one tsp or so of filling in each , I also added colby jack cheese--which is what I had on hand but a nice gyuere would be nice in this too. I also mix some of the meat with the dip.

Fold over the pocket and as sophia said she made russian skirts on the empandas.

Place them on cookie sheet and use an egg wash to brush over the pockets.

sprinkle thyme over wet pockets and place in oven

bake on 450 for 8 mins then FLIP

bake other side for 3-5 mins for brown color on the other side.




homemade breadcrumbs

ok this could not be any easier--save money and reduce waste.

I ALWAYS have bread that goes stale when I buy a nice loaf of Italian bread since there are only 2 of us. I always threw away the stale bread BUT there are ways to reduce waste and use that stale bread.

First, Look for the recipe for homemade croutons--uses stale bread to make them.

Second--Make your own Breadcrumbs!!

Put the bread in smaller chunks in a food processor, add the seasoning you want to season them with and grind to a fine crumb.

Use them as you would store bought crumbs.

This way you can also control the salt and other seasonings to your liking.




Tuesday, November 1, 2011

cool and easy cinnamon rolls

/great ideas BUT can someone give me time to do it?


Sunday, October 23, 2011

What to do with a butternut squash 1....

I have a butternut squash that is rather large for 2 people so I thought about what to do to make multiple meals.
The first recipe is an adaptation from Aarti party coconut soup.

1 butternut squash
2 empire apples
olive oil
garlic powder
stock of choice
heavy cream
creamed spinach--optional
homemade crouton --optional

Butter nut squash and Apple soup

Roast 1 medium to large butternut squash 45-60 mins on 325 degrees--until fork
sprinkle squash with olive oil and sprinkle on garlic powder, cinnamon and nutmeg

Roast apple with squash for 15 mins.
sprinkle apple with same seasonings

Remove from oven and allow to cool 15-20 mins.

put squash and apples into blender with chicken (or vege stock if you prefer) stock and blend until smooth.

Put into a pot, salt and pepper, and simmer for 15 mins. Gently add cream. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or I served it with a dollop of creamed spinach and homemade croutons.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Honey Mustard Chicken and Apple Pineapple chutney


4 pieces of boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded thin
1 tbsp honey mustard for each side of breast


1 chunky chopped empire apple
1/2 can of pineapple chunks with juice
1/2 diced red onion

rub mustard all over chicken
Put 2 tbsp oils in a pan heat and add chicken
brown and cook chicken remove from pan

add another 2 tbsp oil to browned pan and add apples and onions
cook about 4 or 5 mins then add pineapple and 1/2 can of the juice
cover and simmer for about 6-8 mins

Serve with brown rice or mac and cheese




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

String beans and potatoes

I learned how to make this from my very Italian neighbor growing up--she was like my little Italian grandma!

1/2 lb fresh string beans (cleaned)
6 slices of bacon
3 medium sized potatoes
salt/pepper to taste
2tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 large can crushed tomatoes (save the other half to make vodka sauce another day-YUMEEE) OR one small can of petite diced tomatoes
1/4 julienned onion
2 tbsp olive oil

In a pot cook potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices or quartered in lightly salted water --cook to slightly undercooked so they don't fall apart

put the bacon slices on top of each other and cut into 1/2 inch chunks

brown the bacon in a Deep pan or gravy pot until tender crisp then remove from pan

add 1 tbsp olive oil-string beans and onion and saute with 1 tbsp Italian seasoning and sprinkle of salt and pepper

Add bacon back to pot

Add crushed tomatoes (the mix should not be completely drenched in sauce so add a little bit at a time to your desired amount.)

Add remaining salt pepper and Italian seasoning, fold it into the beans and onions

Fold potatoes when tender crisp

Simmer for 30 mins. Add more seasoning to taste.




Sunday, August 21, 2011

Breakfast oatmeal cookies

These couldn't have been any easier to make.

Mash 3/4 of a medium size banana in bowl
add 1 of the presold applesauce cups
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
2 dashes of nutmeg
3 dashes of Cinnamon
2 tbsp of honey
1/2 tsp baking powder
mix together until the mixture is completely wet

mix in crasins or mini choco chips or raisins

fold mixture

bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 mins




Saturday, August 20, 2011

Veg Lasagna

put 1 tblsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp butter in a saute pan and melt
small chop:
1 SMALL zucchini
1 SMALL yellow squash
1/4 MED onion
1 handful of grated carrots
2 tbsp chopped garlic
saute until tender crisp

in a bowl:

Mix 1/2 large container of ricotta cheese
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
2 eggs
and saute mix
MIX and set aside


Sauce is red sauce without meat. Gravy has meat.

1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
5 basil leaves

simmer for 1 hour to meld flavors


put a layer of sauce on bottom of a baking pan
put first layer of BARILLA no boil lasagna noodles
cover the noodles with a layer of cheese mix
put a heap of shredded mozzarella cheese and spread out to thin layer
slice roma tomatoes in thin circles and layer them on top of cheese (use as many or few as you want)
put another layer of noodles, then sauce, then cheese, then Mozzarella, then tomatoes, then another layer of noodles.

I can only fit two layers in my baking dish--layer as high as you can.

On the top put a thick layer of sauce a few more basil leaves and sprinkle of Mozz cheese.

Bake 30 mins on 325 degrees.

I served with salad and bread.




Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Strawberry/blackberry/banana smoothie


1/2 cup each of blackberries and strawberries fresh of frozen work
1 banana cut in thirds
6 ice cubes
2 tbsp splenda
1 cup orange juice --may need more

add all into blender. Start with ice crusher button then liquify.

There will be seeds from the blackberries--it you cant deal with seeds, leave them out or replace with another fruit or be adventurous and add veggies!




Thursday, July 28, 2011

Apple Cucumber salad


I made this to go with steak tonight for dinner!

Cut one cucumber in half lengthwise and the into half moons as thin or thick as you like.

Cut one apple into chucks equal to the size of the half moons.

small dice a 1/4 onion

add 2 tbsp thyme

drizzle olive oil over salad

add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.

sprinkle blue cheese crumbles in salad.




Monday, July 25, 2011

Yumeee Gumbo

We went out to eat and the restaurant had Jambalaya. It was so delicious I decided I wanted to make some this week. First, I researched the difference between Jambalaya and Gumbo because though it was labeled as Jambalaya, I thought it was Gumbo. I was indeed correct. Jambalaya has only andouille sausage while Gumbo has a variety of meats.

Here is what I came up with:

olive oil and 1/2 stick butter

3-4 tbs chopped garlic

1/2 bag frozen okra

1 onion julliened

1 lb stewing beef --cut into bite size pieces

1/4 cup flour- i use whole wheat flour

4 tbs thyme

1tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

1 can of whole tomatoes--WITH liquid--chopped into quarters

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup water

3 medium sized andouille sausage

one dozen medium shrimp

hot sauce to taste

2-4 cups of brown rice

The prep was done on the stove but I simmered in the crock pot after that.

In a large pot put 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp butter

heat oil and melt butter then add onions and okra

add one tbsp thyme

saute until tender crisp

put into crock pot

add 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup flour-- melt and incorporate until a chocolate brown color and consistency,

add beef and brown

add one tbsp thyme

Put beef into crock pot

in large pot-add stock and scrape the piece from the bottom of the pan with a whisk

add water

add tomatoes

add 1 tbsp thyme, salt and pepper

add liquids to crock pot

add last of thyme

Stir and cook for 4 hours in crock pot on low

take off lid and add sausage and shrimp

Cook another 30 mins-- take out gumbo for children or people who do not like spicy and then add hot sauce to taste to the remainder. I used about 1/4 cup and added more to my bowl.

Serve with rice and salad.

I made Cucumber and apple salad--cut large chunks of gala apples and cucumbers, add 2 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.

very refreshing to the spice of the gumbo




Monday, July 11, 2011

Sausage and Peppers

1 package of sweet sausage
1 package of hot sausage ( if you dont like spicy, leave these out)
3 tbs chopped garlic
olive oil
1 medium onion
1/4 each of red yellow and green bell peppers -- more if you like peppers, i don't LOVE peppers.
1 large can tomato sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp italian seasoning

in a skillet brown the sausage on all sides in 2 turns of the pan olive oil. (will not be cooked through)
remove sausage to crock pot
2 more turns of oil
add chopped garlic, onions julliened as well as peppers julliened in thin slices. Thick if you like peppers.
saute to crisp tender
remove to crock pot
pour in tomato sauce and sprinkle a layer of garlic powder and italian seasoning over sauce.
stir cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Can serve with spaghetti or eat on sandwiches.




Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shrimp Alfredo MY WAY

I attempted alfredo once before and it was terrible but I was determined to try it again and this time it was INCREDIBLE.

2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour (i use wheat flour for anything and everything)
1-2 cups chicken broth
salt pepper garlic and tarragon --a sprinkle of each to taste
1 cup fresh grated parm cheese
1 doz-2 doz shrimp
1/2 bag MINI ravioli (boiled separate)

melt butter in saucepan
add flour
combine with butter and "cook" until it is a golden brown color.
add broth (adding more or less for preference)
whisk together
allow to low boil
when it is thickened and low boiling, add cheese.
put in shrimp -I used precooked shrimp so they just had to heat through for a minute.
add ravioli and toss with sauce and shrimp

Serve with garlic bread and salad




Monday, June 27, 2011

Herb chicken breast

I just posted a snack but couldn't wait on this recipe...

Dinner tonight is herbed chicken breast and I CAN'T wait for it to be finished cooking.

I mixed a tsp or garlic powder, 2 tsps thyme into 1/4 softened butter.

I trimmed open a pocket by cutting away the skin from the breast then I put two slices inside of the breast itself.

I took the butter on my hand and spread it inside of the pocket and outside on the skin.

I then sprinkled Paprika on the top of the skin.

bake 45-55 mins ( until moist but not pink) on 350 degree oven.

I crisp the skin on 450 for 3-5 mins.

ok, 20 mins left--my mouth is watering!




super yumeee Guacamole and salsa....

It costs a fortune to buy guacamole and salsa premade at the store and its cheap and super easy to make yourself!!


Cut one avocado in half lengthwise.

Pull out seed by gently whacking it with a knife and pulling it out.

Use the knife to cut lengthwise and across making small cubes inside of the avocado.

Use the knife to separate the flesh from the skin into a bowl.

do the same with the other side.

SMALL dice a 1/8 onion and add to avocado.

add 3-4 sprigs of fresh cilantro.

diced 1/2 plum tomato or use 1/2 tsp tomato paste add to avocado.

add 1/2 tsp lemon or lime juice.

mash avocado with fork until its desired texture. I like mild chuckiness.


small dice 1/4 onion

dice 3 plum tomatoes

add 3-4 sprigs of cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

extras--you can make it super chucky and add corn kernals and diced pepper. To make it hotter add 1/2-1 small chili pepper (poblano or pepperocini)

Mix together, chill and serve with tortilla chips.


Enjoy this healthy and delicious snack!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mango Passionfruit chicken burgers

I have come to love chicken burgers and have been trying them in a variety of ways. This is the newest:

1lb ground chicken
1 small onion or 1/2 a medium diced small
2 tbsp Thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup od DelMonte Mango and Passionfruit cup diced up
mix all ingredients together
form 4 patties

You know what's coming next! Cook them on the Forman Grill. :)

I made a new sauce to go with this because I wanted a little heat with my sweet.

BBQ Sauce

1 cup ketchup
1 small jalopeno pepper diced
1/2 cup Del Monte mango passionfruit cup diced
1 tsp black pepper
2 turns of a pan of balsamic vinegar

Mix all ingredients in a small sauce pot boil and LOW cook for 10 minutes.

I serve on potato rolls with a fabulous salad and corn on the cob for the season!




Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pineapple Chicken Burgers with Onion Balsamic bbq sauce

Made this last night and OMG I never cease to amaze myself! lol

1 lb ground chicken
1/2 can pineapple tidbits cut in half
1/2 onion chopped finely
5 sprigs of fresh thyme -leaves only

mix together.
You know I love my Forman Grill so I grill them until browned.

Onion balsamic BBQ sauce

other 1/2 onion
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1tbsp worcheshire sauce
1/2 pat butter

Put butter and onion in small pot
cook until tender
add ketchup, worcheshire and vinegar
boil then turn heat to low and simmer for 10 mins.

Serve on kaiser rolls with corn on the cob and rice pilaf



Monday, March 28, 2011

on the fly chicken dinner

Laying here in bed thinking of what i can do in the crock pot tomorrow. I came up with this.

4 chicken thighs, bone in
4 or 5 sprigs of thyme
garlic powder to sprinkle
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 can diced tomatoes

Sear thighs in pan with salt garlic and pepper on them
move to crock pot, add thyme, tomatoes and broth

12 hrs high or 6 hrs low.

cant wait to taste it tomorrow

Serve with butter egg noodles.




Monday, March 14, 2011

irish potatoes

I found this recipe on

Prep Time:
20 Min
Ready In:
30 Min

Servings (Help)
US Metric Calculate

Original Recipe Yield 5 dozen


* 1/4 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 4 cups confectioners' sugar
* 2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


1. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth. Using your hands if necessary, mix in the coconut. Roll into balls or potato shapes, and roll in the cinnamon. Place onto a cookie sheet and chill to set. If desired, roll potatoes in cinnamon again for darker color.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 59 | Total Fat: 2.3g | Cholesterol: 4mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database
Nutritional Information
Irish Potato Candy

Servings Per Recipe: 60

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 59

* Total Fat: 2.3g
* Cholesterol: 4mg
* Sodium: 20mg
* Total Carbs: 9.7g
* Dietary Fiber: 0.4g
* Protein: 0.3g


I cut the recipe in half. still worked




Sunday, March 13, 2011

Parm Risotto

I made risotto from scratch for the first time. It is SOOOOOO delicious.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup risotto (not precooked)
1/2 medium onion
1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
2-3 cups chicken stock --use veggie stock if you dont do meat
1/4 cup FRESHLY grated Locatelli Parm cheese

1 tsp butter (optional)

add oil to pot.

add risotto and saute to light brown color

add garlic and onions saute for 1-2 mins

add 2 cups stock stir and cook covered about 35 mins


Add more stock as needed if pot gets dry

After 35 mins add the cheese and stir in to melt.

cook until rice is tender--mine cooked about 45 mins total.

I did not add butter but many people like the taste of butter added at the end when serving.




Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pistachio crusted Tilapia

ok i have not yet made this but it came to mind last night and I want to make it tonight for dinner.

Pistachio crusted tilapia and lemon artichoke risotto

1 cup unsalted pistachios
2 egg whites
4 pieces of tilapia
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

use a food processor to crush pistachios and blend them with panko crumbs.
beat egg whites
make an assembly line to "bread" the fish.
dip tilapia in egg whites then coat with pistachio and panko mixture.

bake in oven for 8-10 mins until tilapia is firm yet flaky.


This is a spin on Rachel Ray's recipe

1 tsp olive oil
1 cup risotto
small jar of artichoke hearts
lemon--grated rind and juiced
1/2 medium onion minced
1 tsp thyme
2 cups of stock --- i like chicken but u can use vegetable stock.

toast risotto, add onion and thyme and lemon rind, in olive oil

when toasted, add stock and lemon juice.
cook about 15 mins, taste for seasoning. Add salt pepper and more thyme as necessary. then add artichokes for the last 5 or 6 mins.
mix gently

I will also serve this with broccoli. Let me know what you think




i could be the author of this, its so true to heart!

Thanks Eileen.

I could be the author of this, its so true to heart. Thalli wrote this in such a respectful and thoughtful way. I had intended to be a lawyer when I grew up. Throughout middle school and freshman and sophomore year of high school when you asked me what i wanted to be, the answer was a lawyer.
Once in high school they offered cosmetology classes and then I decided I wanted to be a hair stylist. I started working in salons and quickly realized, this wasn't for me, even though I was good at it. I started going to community college with no idea in which direction I was going. One day I went with my roommate to Camden to a Dr. appt. I waited in the car for her and while I sat there, I saw the most magnificent painting--on a wall of a building across the street. I sat there and thought to myself, "I can help children with this talent get into the correct venue for making art by becoming a teacher!"
I went back to my counselor at school and told her my epiphany. She then recommended some volunteer experiences at Camden schools. I was a teacher's helper in a classroom for 2 semesters. The first teacher asked me to sit one on one with a little boy who in retrospect must have been dyslexic. She wanted me to help him with scrambled spelling words. I sat with him and explained to him what they were and how to unscramble them. When we finished the first one, this child looked at me and said,"WOW, I GET IT."
Well from that moment in time, I was hooked. I always loved kids and this drove the nail in that I was MEANT to teach.

I have since been teaching 15 yrs and my life is now exactly what Thalli describes in the following diary. I am in awe that she has survived 35 yrs and can not imagine myself teaching another 20 yrs to match her. Please enjoy and UNDERSTAND the life of a teacher today.



Sat Feb 26, 2011 at 12:18 PM EST
I Don't Want to be a Teacher Any More
by thalli1

I’ve always been a teacher. Even before I received my teaching credentials 34 years ago, I was the one who Mr. Wells asked to help Kim Hull learn how to do his story problems. I always knew I’d become a real teacher some day because Kim told me I was the first one who ever explained it to him in a way he could actually understand.
Now, I wasn’t ever one of “those who can’t, who teach,” and I always knew it. My high-school guidance counselors had advised me not to go into education because I would be “wasting my brain.” They suggested that due to my 98th percentile math scores, I should go into engineering. But I was undaunted, because I knew that in reality I already was a teacher. I just needed to go to school to get a piece of paper to make it official so I could get paid for it. I was very clearly told that I wasn’t making the best financial choice that I could, but that didn’t matter in the least—I was out to change the world—one student at a time.
I finished college in three years, and began teaching third grade in 1976 at the age of 21, and I’ve never looked back. I found what all who become teachers know, that being a teacher is so much more than a job. It’s always been my passion, my mission, even my identity.
Being a great teacher came naturally to me. Now that doesn’t mean it’s ever been an easy job. I’ve always found it exhausting, challenging, frustrating, and very rewarding—in other words, a perfect job for somebody who needs their brain to be challenged in ways they could never imagine. I went from being able to focus on only one or two things at a time, to being able to easily manage twenty or thirty on-going projects or ideas. Over the years I’ve improved my creativity, flexibility, problem solving skills, and sense of humor.
I’ve taught grades three through six, and felt very lucky that I never felt I was in a rut. I knew people who got burned out, but it honestly never happened to me. I knew I was very blessed to find the perfect occupation. I’ve changed how I do things in my classroom many times, incorporating new ideas, trying new things, always learning, always changing, and loving every minute of it. I’ve always been told in every way that I’m a great teacher, but I honestly didn’t need to be told, because I could feel it. That is, until recently.

Things started to change in education in Oregon about ten or fifteen years ago with a number of tax measures that created huge budget cuts. I noticed programs such a band, art, and drug-abuse prevention being cut for lack of funds along with enrichment programs, swimming class, and all kinds of little things that we used to offer that could no longer be afforded. Class sizes began to grow, and my class size averages went from the low to high twenties and then eventually into the thirties.
All these things were sad and annoying, but they didn’t change how I felt about my job in the least. I just worked harder to make my lessons even more creative, and added in as much enrichment as I possibly could on my own to make up for the cuts. I spent thousands of dollars out of my own pocket to buy materials my school could no longer afford to buy. I wasn’t about to let a little thing like budget cuts stop me from my mission. The first time we cut school days in Oregon, and I had to take a several thousand dollar pay cut in the middle of a school year, it was a definite setback, but I never really thought it would become the norm.
As my class sizes increased, so did the needs of my students. Normally when I would teach something, I would have a handful of students who didn’t get it. I rarely had kids I couldn’t get to make progress. But as the classes got bigger, that began to change. More students with special needs were being mainstreamed into my classroom. I was getting kids in class who had been in America less than six months who spoke no English, with very little help or support. I crazily began to take all kinds of classes, do research on how to reach kids with autism, ADD, emotional disturbances, limited English proficiency—you name it, I studied the best ways to overcome disadvantages. I’ve always had a never-say-die attitude, so I worked my butt off to reach everyone in this increasingly diverse classroom with fewer and fewer resources.
I also began to notice that lots of things that never had been my job before were suddenly added to my list of responsibilities. A silly example, but very time consuming, was janitorial work. Due to limited resources and constant budget cuts, I now had to devote my time to things like cleaning my own classroom, doing clerical work that used to be done for me by the front office, planning my curriculum instead of just my lessons, so many things I began to have trouble keeping up. One year I started a list I called “Jobs Other People Gave Me,” but after adding 57 things to my list in less than a single year, I decided that it wasn’t really healthy for me to continue the list.
Now mind you, that through all of this I still actually loved closing my door and teaching. I continued telling myself that I had wanted a challenge, although at times I privately admitted to myself that maybe I would have liked a little less of a challenge. But I still loved my job, I still got glowing reports from principals, parents, and especially kids. That was what sustained me as things began to change.
When No Child Left Behind came into effect, it didn’t affect me that much at first. My class averages were always above where they needed to be, and I was still having good results, so I didn’t really worry about it much. Philosophically, I knew I didn’t agree with focusing so much on test scores, but I could still keep my students’ scores where they needed to be by focusing on what my experience as a teacher had taught me was best. I pretty much just worked on reaching each kid, pushing, encouraging, helping, inspiring, prodding, and let the test scores take care of themselves. I believed that great teaching overcame the over-emphasis on test scores, so I concentrated on great teaching instead.
One thing that did bother me during that time was that it became acceptable to bash teachers, schools, and education in the media. I wasn’t hearing it personally, but I didn’t like the way people were so ready to berate my passion. Maybe because I was hearing good things on a personal level, I didn’t worry too much about it. I just closed my door and taught my kids.
Then the past few years a few of the buildings in our district didn’t meet their AYP (adequate yearly progress.) The district began to look for ways to help these building to succeed. The focus on test scores escalated to a crazy level. The teachers in one of the elementary buildings in my district were told they could no longer teach anything besides reading, math, and science because those were the subjects that were tested. Our building wasn’t ever told that specifically, but it was understood that we were to focus on practices that would improve our students’ test-taking skills.
The district decided to implement required core instructional materials that were mandated to everyone. Suddenly, the creativity of the job was being removed. They wanted everybody to teach the same materials, the same way. I’ve never been one to buck the system, so I began to wrack my brain for how to use these new materials and still keep the lessons interesting for my students.
At the same time, class sizes and special needs were growing. The behavior classroom was closed and its students were mainstreamed into the regular classroom. I tried to become an expert on dealing with anger issues. I tried to learn how to help fifth graders with severe disabilities, limited mobility, and cognitive levels of very young children, all in my regular classroom now filled with 30-35 students. My job became an even greater challenge than it had always been before, but still my attitude was to think “bring it on!” I just couldn’t fathom the idea that my natural teaching ability wasn’t exactly what was needed to solve any and all challenges that came my way.
Never once in the past 34 years of teaching did I ever want to quit. I even told my husband that if we won the lottery, I’d keep teaching. My students would just have all their own computers, art supplies galore, and any book we wanted to read as a class.
So now I’m into my 35th year of teaching. Last July my district had offered a $20,000 bonus to any teacher who could retire, in order to save money. It struck me as odd that they’d want to get rid of experienced teachers. I didn’t take it because I felt I’m not ready to retire. It’s been such a big part of me forever, and I’m not ready to give it up yet. Besides I’m only 55, and even though I’ve been teaching so long, I’m just barely old enough to retire.
But then one Thursday, on the eighth day of my 35th year of teaching, I suddenly thought for the very first time ever, “I don’t want to be a teacher anymore.” It’s so weird how it just came over me like that. I don’t know if it’s like the challenges in Survivor where they keep adding water until the bucket finally tips over and the slow leak of problems finally made my bucket tip over. Or maybe this is how it happens for all older teachers.
It wasn’t a single thing that gave me this feeling. I’m hoping it doesn’t last. Maybe it was the severely autistic boy who showed up at my door the first day with no notice, but I don’t really think so. Maybe it was the rigid schedule the principal passed out for everybody to be doing the same subject at the same time of day, or the new basal reader we have to use that we aren’t allowed to call a basal reader. Maybe it’s the look in my student’s eyes when we’re reading the newly required dry textbook when I’m used to wild and crazy discussions about amazing novels.
Maybe it’s that for the first time, our school didn’t meet AYP because two few English Language Developing students in the entire school didn’t pass their reading benchmarks.
When I heard this, I instantly thought of the two English Language Learners in my class who hadn’t passed their reading tests last year and how unfair I thought it was that they even counted on our test scores when they came to our school in January and were absent at least twice a week from that point on. I was wondering how I could possibly have gotten them to benchmark level in three days a week for three months. I was thinking how if only those two students hadn’t counted on our scores, we would’ve met AYP as a school. When I mentioned it to my principal, she just said there are no excuses. We aren’t allowed to have any excuses. We have to get kids to the level they need to be no matter what the circumstances. I thought of the little boy I had with an IQ of 87 who could barely read. I thought of the little girl in a wheelchair who’d had 23 operations on tumors on her body in her eleven years, and the girl who moved from Mexico straight into my class and learned to speak English before my eyes, but couldn’t pass the state test. Somehow it doesn’t feel like making excuses to acknowledge that they had good reason not to pass their benchmarks.
Maybe it was the e-mail I got saying that the department of education in Oregon has raised the cut scores again this year by six or seven points per grade level, even though they just raised them a couple of years ago. I found out that if they would have used these new cut scores last year, over half of the students in grades 3-8 who passed their benchmarks wouldn’t have passed. That led to a realization that as a school we have very little chance of meeting our adequate yearly progress this year, but of course I’m not allowed to say that because there are no excuses. It’s hard not to feel discouraged.
Maybe it was one of the two parents who contacted me in the first few days of school to tell me that their child doesn’t particularly love my program this year. I’m so not used to that. I’ve always had kids achieving highly and loving my class. I’m just not sure how I can use the mandated materials in the required time periods, focusing on the required skills and still get kids to really love it.
Maybe it’s the fact that I lost a third of my retirement when they reformed our Public Employee Retirement System a few years back and now I keep reading about how they want to slash it even more because of the greedy teacher unions and how this is the main reason for the budget problems in our state.
Maybe it’s that I haven’t gotten a real raise in a really really long time, or that we had to cut eight days again this year to solve our state’s budget problems. So I’m taking a big hit again, and nobody seems to notice or care.
Anyway, whatever the reason, for the first time in 34 years it hit me, I don’t want to be a teacher any more. I want to sit on a rocking chair on my porch and drink tea instead. Maybe if they offer $20,000 for me to retire next year, I’ll take it. It’s so weird because never in my wildest imagination did I think I’d feel this way. I wonder if I’ll still feel this way when I close my classroom door tomorrow. I sure hope not because it makes me really sad.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

poached eggs

ok I recently discovered eggs benedict and fell in love. I thought it is simple enough to make myself until I tried to make the egg. I looked online for directions on how to make a poached egg and my dad told me how to do it BUT they never came out cooked in the white part and runny in the middle. I am very particular about eggs. This morning I made poached eggs to go on top of Mt Monseure for breakfast and they were PERFECT!! It actually happened by mistake but a perfected egg came of it.

I boiled water (about 2 cups) in a small pot. Once the water was at a small boil, I realized I didnt put my eggs in yet. I put them in and waited three mins then checked them and they were PERFECT. I was so excited.

Oh, and a mt monseure is ham and swiss on good bread and toasted under the broiler with an egg on top--i like poached but you can fry an egg too.




Saturday, February 19, 2011


We had very low entries but I am glad we had people participate and the winner EILEEN GOSSER! Congrats! We will see you for dinner next week to autograph and give you the book.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

vodka cream sauce

Penne in Vodka Cream Sauce

I LOVE this recipe and it couldn't be any easier to make!


1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 medium onion chopped

2 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 cup vodka

1 large can of crushed tomatoes (or you can crush your own tomatoes in the blender.)

2 tsp + sugar (I use splenda)

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 cup half and half

1/2 cup parm cheese

Put 1 tbsp olive oil in a pot and add onions

Cook until tender crisp and add garlic

cook a minute or 2 until fragrant

add Vodka and cook off alcohol for about 2 minutes

add tomatoes, Italian seasoning and sugar-- more or less to your taste, I like it a little sweeter.

Mix and cook 20 mins

add half and half and parm cheese and cook for 5 more minutes.

Serve over pasta and with crusty bread and salad.




Saturday, February 5, 2011

Game day dip

THose who know me, know I LOVE dip nights for dinner. Here is a dip I had at a friends that could be used for Game day tomorrow.

I had this at a friend's house once and its super easy and YUMEEE

brown 1 lb ground beef
Put beef, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 jar of salsa in a crockpot and heat.

Serve in the crockpot to keep it warm and serve with tortilla chips!



Saturday, January 29, 2011

chicken burgers

I made quick chicken burgers for dinner tonight

1 lb ground chicken

1/2 gala apple small dice

1/4 onion small dice

mix together

and you guessed it--grill it on the forman grill!




Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tarragon chicken

This couldn't be easier to make.

You all know I LOVE my Forman grill. I grill the chicken with garlic, salt, pepper and tarragon on it.

In a pan I put a dab of butter and a little flour to make a rue. (if you are scared of the rue, u can use a bit of corn starch at the end.

add a tsp of minced garlic and saute to the side of the rue.

mix together and add 1 heaping tbsp of tarragon.

Add about 2 cups of chicken stock and allow to boil.

It should thicken from the rue.

Turn heat down to simmer.

add the chicken and simmer for 10 mins. I also add another sprinkle of tarragon in the sauce.

I serve it with brown rice, a veg. and of COURSE APPLESAUCE!!




Sunday, January 23, 2011

Berry Cobbler

This was super duper easy to make and oh so YUMEEE!!!!

I put about a 1/2 cup whole blueberries, 1/2 cup blackberries and 1/2 cup strawberries in a pan.

I added about a 1/2 inch of water to the pan.

I sprinkled splenda over the top of the berries in a thin layer.

I added 1 tablespoon of cornstarch

I brought them to a boil and transferred into a baking pan.


I put about a cup of whole wheat flour in a bowl added 2 turns of a salt grinder, 2 tsps of sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder.
Add water enough to make a thick batter.

Mix with hands. Grab small balls of batter and drop on top of the berries.

Bake 25 mins on 400.

Served over butter pecan ice cream.




Friday, January 21, 2011


Fish scares me! I do not like to cook it usually bc it does not ever come out tasting like anything but I tried baking tilapia last week and it was super yumeee and super easy!!!

Place tilapia in baking pan

sprinkle with thyme and garlic powder

Thinly slice tomatoes and place on top

bake until white and flaky

I served it with rice pilaf and apple sauce




Sunday, January 16, 2011


I will be giving away a copy of My Darling Teddy Bear on February 15th.

This book was written by myself and my daughter. It is an entertaining book about a little girl and her cat Teddy. Teddy loves ice cream and gets into some mischief when the ice cream truck comes to the house. Sophia, his little girl, shows him love and compassion when she figures out what he has been up to.

More copies of the book can be purchased at

To enter to win:

Follow us on twitter @mimimama72 (1 entry)

Follow us on facebook My Darling Teddy Bear (1 entry)

Like yumeeemama by clicking the like button in the comments (1 entry)

Share Yumeeemama via twitter (2 entries)

Share Yumeeemama via Facebook (2 entries)

Retweet the following on twitter. (1 entry)

RT @mimimama72 CHILDREN'S BOOK GIVEAWAY Visit for details.

MOST IMPORTANTLY-- You MUST leave a comment telling me which entries you have completed.

All entries will be entered into to pick the winner.



Portion control

ok I am at my HEAVIEST weight ever and I DON'T like it! What to do? What to do? Well, I dislike exercise--ALOT and I LOVE food--ALOT. I have decided to make a small change to try and challenge this battle of the bulge.

I have taken to eating on my daughter's elmo plate instead of a regular size dinner plate. It does look like a full plate with the food on it and I am getting half the food when I still clean my plate (as i am sure most of us were told to do growing up). I will start weigh ins in the morning and keep you posted on how its working for me.
Wish me luck and anyone who is on the same train as me, feel free to join me. Losing weight is ALWAYS better with a buddy, or 2 or 5 or more!



Quick Chicken and Rice

This was SUPER easy to make with a little help from premade foods.

1-2 boneless chicken breast for each person
garlic powder
1-2 boil in bags brown rice
frozen veggies of choice
1 small jar of carbonara sauce ( I used William Sonoma)

My BEST FRIEND is the George Forman Grill!

sprinkle a coating of garlic powder and thyme on each side of the chicken

I grilled the chicken on my grill until it had a nice brown color.

Boil rice per package directions and add thyme into the cooking water

When rice is 1/2 cooked add frozen veg to water and watch for a bright green color (I used broccoli)

Heat sauce in microwave for desired temperature.

Serve with applesauce.

Super fast, super yumeee, with a little help from prepackaged friends!




Do you live in the southern New Jersey/Philadelphia area?

Do you want your daughter to learn Spanish in a fun environment?

Do you want your child to have the building blocks for a second language?

We need Girls to enter our LAS NINAS class in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Las Niñas now in Cherry Hill!

claudia krusch
CK Translations

We are so proud to share the exciting news that we will be offering Las Niñas classes now in Cherry Hill on Saturdays, 1:30pm at Mathnasium! New topics, new classes home assignments and more on our girl theme Spanish Classes! We will bake cookies, make bracelets, dress dolls and more! All that for our special rate of $ 15.00 per class, two children in the same family will pay only $ 25.00 per class! Only 7 children per class! Ages 4-6.Hurry to reserve your spot @

Saludos muy atentos,

Claudia Krusch

Vote for YumeeeMama

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Who doesn't love free stuff--check out the giveaway widget for giveaways.

Children's book giveaway -how to enter

I will be giving away a copy of My Darling Teddy Bear on February 15th.

This book was written by myself and my daughter. It is an entertaining book about a little girl and her cat Teddy. Teddy loves ice cream and gets into some mischief when the ice cream truck comes to the house. Sophia, his little girl, shows him love and compassion when she figures out what he has been up to.

More copies of the book can be purchased at

To enter to win:

Follow us on twitter @mimimama72 (1 entry)

Follow us on facebook My Darling Teddy Bear (1 entry)

Like yumeeemama by clicking the like button in the comments (1 entry)

Share Yumeeemama via twitter (2 entries)

Share Yumeeemama via Facebook (2 entries)

Retweet the following on twitter. (1 entry)

RT @mimimama72 CHILDREN'S BOOK GIVEAWAY Visit for details.

All entries will be entered into to pick the winner.



like me?

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I will be giving away a copy of My Darling Teddy Bear on February 15th.

This book was written by myself and my daughter. It is an entertaining book about a little girl and her cat Teddy. Teddy loves ice cream and gets into some mischief when the ice cream truck comes to the house. Sophia, his little girl, shows him love and compassion when she figures out what he has been up to.

More copies of the book can be purchased at


for Wii...

I entered a contest --you know I LOVE my contests-- you can enter to win too. Check out the site.

Good Luck


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Baked mac and chz

It took me a long time to make a mac and chz recipe that I liked. Here is what I have come up with.

1 pkg of cheese ends ______Acme NEVER has cheese ends so I buy 2/3 slices each of swiss, monterey jack, sharp cheddar, american and provolone. depends on if you want more of one flavor than another.

2/3 tbsp flour

2 tbsp salted butter

sprinkle of nutmeg

about 1 cup of milk

1/2 pkg of pasta (short pasta--we use rotini or ziti or bowties whatever we have)

Cook pasta per directions on pkg

while pasta is cooking, put butter in sauce pan and allow to melt

add flour in a mound in the middle of the pan, start with 2 but if too liquidy add the rest.

allow flour to cook for about 30 secs to 1 min

then add small pieces of all the cheese (soph likes the job of making the cheese into pieces.)

add 1/2 cup of milk--if mixture is still too thick, add small amounts of milk until a desired thickness (like melted cheese whiz)

When pasta is done, mix pasta and cheese in a bowl

spray a baking pan with pam spray

add pasta and cheese mix

Bake for 25- 30 mins until slightly brown on top.




Baby back ribs

I am very particular about meat as many of my friends know. When it comes to ribs, I will only eat babybacks. I also like ribs that are tender and falling off the bone. I don't however like waiting around to cook them in the oven. I like cooking them in the crockpot and then I can do other things without worrying about the ribs.

1 rack of baby back ribs

give both sides of the ribs a coating of garlic powder, italian seasoning, paprika, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Place ribs in crock pot and add about an inch of chicken broth.

cook on low for 6-7 hours.




Pasta Fagioli

On a cold and snowy Sunday, SOUP is in order! I made pasta fagioli (said FAZZUL) this week.

1/4 tsp olive oil
2 1/8 inch thick slices of pancetta from the deli counter
2 tbsp minced garlic more or less to taste
1/2 onion
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1/2 can tomato paste
1/2 can of diced tomatoes
1 32oz can of chicken broth
salt pepper italian seasoning to taste
1 can of cannelini beans
1/4 lb of ditalini pasta ( or whatever you prefer, small pasta, we used SMALL shells)

preheat a small frying pan
add oil
DICE pancetta add to oil
heat through until slightly brown
add garlic
add carrots, celery and onions
saute until tender crisp
transfer into a crockpot
add can of broth
add tomato paste and whisk into broth
add italian seasoning
add salt and pepper to taste
allow to cook in crockpot on low for 8 hours

10 mins before serving:
add drained and washed cannelini beans
add pasta

cook about 8-10 mins until pasta is cooked.

Serve with parm cheese and crusty bread!




Saturday, January 8, 2011

Famous Footwear contest

This is my entry for the famous footwear contest.

What is something that has turned you into a NEW you?

I think THE greatest thing that transformed me was my not so great childhood. I grew up in a household w/ an alcoholic stepfather and a not so supportive mom. I did see my dad and he was my rock & savior. I have always been an independent person & very opinionated. They didn’t like that. My dad nurtured my indep. W/o details about what happened growing up it involved verbal and physical abuse. I always looked for ways to "escape" from the life I didn't want to be a part of. I buried myself into school and friends.
It paid off. These unfortunate circumstances made me driven. I am now have 4 college degrees from top colleges & prepared to start my doctorate in 2 years. I think these circumstances have also allowed me to become a wonderful mom.
I have shown my daughter in her 5 yrs that her mom is a strong, intelligent, self sufficient woman. That has turned out to be priceless and will effect my daughter by allowing her to grow into the same. She is already a strong, intelligent, self sufficient girl that’s opinionated just like me. I can't wait to see what a successful part of society she will become.
I am proud of myself for overcoming an adverse situation & becoming successful. I hope that young girls who find themselves in the same situation can read this & know that they are not destined to continue a cycle of abuse. Overcome Adversity!

What has transformed you?


Wednesday, January 5, 2011


My boss is teething is giving away a $50.00 gift card. Visit the site to enter to win.


my boss is teething button

The faces of MS, including mine!

we could all use some more fiber in our diet.

We have been to the pediatrician twice this week and they were fruitful visits.

Our first visit was what I thought was a urinary tract infection but ended up not being one. From this visit we learned that little girls should make sure to wipe themselves very dry and to use PH balanced soap to clean girl parts; Johnson and Johnson baby soap/shampoo. GUESS WHAT I DISCOVERED--


Second thing we learned is we could all use more fiber in our diet! I came home and looked for fiber rich foods. Here is what I found. I printed it and put it on my fridge.

July 2008 Issue

The Top Fiber-Rich Foods List
By Sharon Palmer, RD
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 10 No. 7 P. 28

Today’s Dietitian is doing its part to push the fiber intake of Americans with its fabulous list of the highest fiber foods people should be eating today.

Many areas of nutrition tend to elicit controversy, but dietary fiber is usually not one of them. Scientific evidence links fiber intake to a plethora of health benefits, including treating and preventing constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis; decreasing blood cholesterol levels, which protects against certain forms of cancer; and increasing satiety to help control weight.

“There are a number of health benefits for fiber. The most promising benefit that is receiving more and more attention is fiber’s role in immune health. We know that cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity have underlying inflammatory processes. Dietary fiber may play a role to modulate the immune system and therefore produce a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. There is wonderful, intriguing work going on in this area now,” says Roger A. Clemens, DrPH, CNS, FACN, FIFT, a professor in the regulatory science program in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Southern California and a volunteer scientific spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists with more than 30 years of experience in the field.

Consumers are cued into fiber’s health benefits. According to a 2007 International Food Information Council survey, 86% of consumers linked fiber with a healthy digestive system and 73% associated whole grains with heart disease prevention. “There is consumer interest in fiber, but the real challenge is getting them to comply. People complain a lot about flatulence. For most people, the frequent gastric distress will go away,” reports Clemens. The Institute of Medicine recommends dietary fiber intake for adults aged 50 and younger of 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women, and for men and women older than 50, an intake of 30 and 21 grams, respectively. But Americans are falling seriously short of the recommended goal, with an average intake of about 15 grams per day.

Many whole plant foods are rich in different types of dietary fiber, such as pectin, gum, mucilage, cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and soluble fiber. Consuming a variety of fibers is suggested to gain the maximum benefits of a high-fiber diet. Clemens also believes that the future for raising the fiber intake of Americans may be through food science advancements. “I think the future for fiber will involve alternative sources of dietary fiber from tree bark, algae, seaweed, and various kinds and parts of vegetables not previously considered edible, such as peels of fruits and vegetables. With today’s food science and emerging technologies, food manufacturers are putting dietary fiber into almost any kind of food, such as chocolate, powdered beverages, and infant formula,” he says.

In recognition of fiber’s benefits, Today’s Dietitian looks at some of the best ways to boost fiber intake—from whole to fortified foods—using data from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

Top Fiber-Rich Foods
1. Get on the Bran Wagon
One simple way to increase fiber intake is to power up on bran. Bran from many grains is very rich in dietary fiber. Oat bran is high in soluble fiber, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. Wheat, corn, and rice bran are high in insoluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Bran can be sprinkled into your favorite foods—from hot cereal and pancakes to muffins and cookies. Many popular high-fiber cereals and bars are also packed with bran.
Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Oat bran, raw 1 ounce 12 g
Wheat bran, raw 1 ounce 12 g
Corn bran, raw 1 ounce 22 g
Rice bran, raw 1 ounce 6 g
Fiber One Bran Cereal 1/2 cup 14 g
All-Bran Cereal 1/2 cup 10 g
Fiber One Chewy Bars 1 bar 9 g

2. Take a Trip to Bean Town
Beans really are the magical fruit. They are one of the most naturally rich sources of fiber, as well as protein, lysine, vitamins, and minerals, in the plant kingdom. It’s no wonder so many indigenous diets include a bean or two in the mix. Some people experience intestinal gas and discomfort associated with bean intake, so they may be better off slowly introducing beans into their diet. Encourage a variety of beans as an animal protein replacement in stews, side dishes, salads, soups, casseroles, and dips.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 14 g
Adzuki beans, cooked 1 cup 17 g
Broad beans (fava), cooked 1 cup 9 g
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 15 g
Garbanzo beans, cooked 1 cup 12 g
Lentils, cooked 1 cup 16 g
Cranberry beans, cooked 1 cup 16 g
Black turtle soup beans,
cooked 1 cup 17 g
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 16 g
Navy beans, cooked 1 cup 19 g
White beans, small, cooked 1 cup 19 g
French beans, cooked 1 cup 17 g
Mung beans, cooked 1 cup 15 g
Yellow beans, cooked 1 cup 18 g
Pinto beans, cooked 1 cup 15 g

3. Go Berry Picking
Jewel-like berries are in the spotlight due to their antioxidant power, but let’s not forget about their fiber bonus. Berries happen to yield one of the best fiber-per-calorie bargains on the planet. Since berries are packed with tiny seeds, their fiber content is typically higher than that of many fruits. Clients can enjoy berries year-round by making the most of local berries in the summer and eating frozen, preserved, and dried berries during the other seasons. Berries make great toppings for breakfast cereal, yogurt, salads, and desserts.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Raspberries, raw 1 cup 8 g
Blueberries, raw 1 cup 4 g
Currants (red and white),
raw 1 cup 5 g
Strawberries, raw 1 cup 3 g
Boysenberries, frozen 1 cup 7 g
Gooseberries, raw 1 cup 6 g
Loganberries, frozen 1 cup 8 g
Elderberries, raw 1 cup 10 g
Blackberries, raw 1 cup 8 g

4. Wholesome Whole Grains
One of the easiest ways to up fiber intake is to focus on whole grains. A grain in nature is essentially the entire seed of the plant made up of the bran, germ, and endosperm. Refining the grain removes the germ and the bran; thus, fiber, protein, and other key nutrients are lost. The Whole Grains Council recognizes a variety of grains and defines whole grains or foods made from them as containing “all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. If the grain has been processed, the food product should deliver approximately the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.” Have clients choose different whole grains as features in side dishes, pilafs, salads, breads, crackers, snacks, and desserts.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Amaranth, grain 1/4 cup 6 g
Barley, pearled, cooked 1 cup 6 g
Buckwheat groats, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Popcorn, air popped 3 cups 4 g
Oats (old fashioned), dry 1/2 cup 4 g
Rye flour, dry 1/4 cup 7 g
Millet, cooked 1 cup 2 g
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Teff, grain, dry 1/4 cup 6 g
Triticale, flour, dry 1/4 cup 5 g
Wheat berries, dry 1/4 cup 5 g
Wild rice, cooked 1 cup 3 g
Wheat flour (whole wheat),
dry 1/4 cup 4 g
Brown rice, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Bulgur, cooked 1 cup 8 g
Bread (whole wheat), sliced 1 slice 2 g
Crackers, rye wafers 1 ounce 6 g
Spaghetti (whole wheat),
cooked 1 cup 6 g

5. Sweet Peas
Peas—from fresh green peas to dried peas—are naturally chock full of fiber. In fact, food technologists have been studying pea fiber as a functional food ingredient. Clients can make the most of peas by using fresh or frozen green peas and dried peas in soups, stews, side dishes, casseroles, salads, and dips.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Cow peas (blackeyes),
cooked 1 cup 11 g
Pigeon peas, cooked 1 cup 9 g
Peas, split, cooked 1 cup 16 g
Peas, green, frozen 1 cup 14 g
Peas (edible podded),
cooked 1 cup 5 g

6. Green, the Color of Fiber
Deep green, leafy vegetables are notoriously rich in beta-carotene, vitamins, and minerals, but their fiber content isn’t too shabby either. There are more than 1,000 species of plants with edible leaves, many with similar nutritional attributes, including high-fiber content. While many leafy greens are fabulous tossed in salads, sautéing them in olive oil, garlic, lemon, and herbs brings out a rich flavor.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Turnip greens, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Mustard greens, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Collard greens, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Beet greens, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Swiss chard, cooked 1 cup 4 g

7. Squirrel Away Nuts and Seeds
Go nuts to pack a fiber punch. One ounce of nuts and seeds can provide a hearty contribution to the day’s fiber recommendation, along with a bonus of healthy fats, protein, and phytochemicals. Sprinkling a handful of nuts or seeds over breakfast cereals, yogurt, salads, and desserts is a tasty way to do fiber.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Almonds 1 ounce 4 g
Pistachio nuts 1 ounce 3 g
Cashews 1 ounce 1 g
Peanuts 1 ounce 2 g
Walnuts 1 ounce 2 g
Brazil nuts 1 ounce 2 g
Piñon nuts 1 ounce 12 g
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 3 g
Pumpkin seeds 1/2 cup 3 g
Sesame seeds 1/4 cup 4 g
Flaxseed 1 ounce 8 g

8. Play Squash
Dishing up squash—from summer to winter squash—all year is another way that clients can ratchet up their fiber intake. These nutritious gems are part of the gourd family and contribute a variety of flavors, textures, and colors, as well as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids, to the dinner plate. Squash can be turned into soups, stews, side dishes, casseroles, salads, and crudités. Brush squash with olive oil and grill it in the summertime for a healthy, flavorful accompaniment to grilled meats.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Crookneck squash, cooked 1 cup 3 g
Summer scallop squash,
cooked 1 cup 5 g
Hubbard squash, cooked 1 cup 7 g
Zucchini squash, cooked 1 cup 3 g
Acorn squash, cooked 1 cup 9 g
Spaghetti squash, cooked 1 cup 2 g

9. Brassica or Bust
Brassica vegetables have been studied for their cancer-protective effects associated with high levels of glucosinolates. But these brassy beauties, including broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, are also full of fiber. They can be enjoyed in stir-fries, casseroles, soups, and salads and steamed as a side dish.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Kale, cooked 1 cup 3 g
Cauliflower, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Kohlrabi, raw 1 cup 5 g
Savoy cabbage, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 5 g
Brussels sprouts, cooked 1 cup 6 g
Red cabbage, cooked 1 cup 4 g

10. Hot Potatoes
The humble spud, the top vegetable crop in the world, is plump with fiber. Since potatoes are so popular in America, they’re an easy way to help pump up people’s fiber potential. Why stop at Russets? There are numerous potatoes that can provide a rainbow of colors, nutrients, and flavors—and remind clients to eat the skins to reap the greatest fiber rewards. Try adding cooked potatoes with skins to salads, stews, soups, side dishes, stir-fries, and casseroles or simply enjoy baked potatoes more often.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Russet potato, flesh and skin 1 medium 4 g
Red potato, flesh and skin 1 medium 3 g
Sweet potato, flesh and skin 1 medium 4 g

11. Everyday Fruit Basket
Look no further than everyday fruits to realize your full fiber potential. Many are naturally packed with fiber, as well as other important vitamins and minerals. Maybe the doctor was right when he advised an apple a day, but he could have added pears, oranges, and bananas to the prescription as well. When between fruit seasons, clients can rely on dried fruits to further fortify their diet. Encourage including fruit at breakfast each morning instead of juice; mixing dried fruits into cereals, yogurts, and salads; and reaching for the fruit bowl at snack time. It’s a healthy habit all the way around.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Banana 1 medium 3 g
Pear 1 medium 6 g
Orange 1 medium 4 g
Apple 1 medium 4 g
Prunes, dried 1/2 cup 6 g
Raisins 2 ounces 2 g
Peaches, dried 1/4 cup 3 g
Figs, dried 1/2 cup 8 g

12. Exotic Destinations
Some of the plants with the highest fiber content in the world may be slightly out of your clients’ comfort zone and, for that matter, time zone. A rainbow of indigenous fruits and vegetables used in cultural food traditions around the globe are very high in fiber. Entice clients to introduce a few new plant foods into their diets to push up the flavor, as well as their fiber, quotient.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Jicama, raw 1 cup 6 g
Chayote fruit, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Starfruit (carambola), raw 1 cup 4 g
Asian pear, raw 1 fruit 4 g
Hearts of palm, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Guava, raw 1 cup 9 g
Straw mushrooms, canned 1 cup 5 g
Abiyuch, raw 1/2 cup 6 g
Lotus root 10 slices 4 g
Persimmons, raw 1 fruit 6 g
Breadfruit 1 cup 11 g
Avocado, raw 1/2 fruit 9 g
Edamame, frozen 1 cup 6 g
Taro, sliced 1 cup 4 g

13. Fiber Fortification Power
More foods—from juice to yogurt—are including fiber fortification in their ingredient lineup. Such foods may help busy people achieve their fiber goals. As consumer interest in foods with functional benefits, such as digestive health and cardiovascular protection, continues to grow, expect to see an even greater supply of food products promoting fiber content on supermarket shelves.

Food Portion Amount of Fiber
Nature’s Own Double Fiber
Wheat Bread 1 slice 5 g
Wasa Crispbread, Fiber Rye 2 slices 4 g
Weight Watcher’s
Flakes ’N Fiber 1/2 cup 9 g
Silk Soy Milk Plus Fiber 1 cup 5 g
Bob’s Red Mill Organic
High Fiber Hot Cereal 1/3 cup, dry 10 g
Tropicana Orange Juice
With Fiber 1 cup 3 g
Gnu Foods High Fiber Bar 1 bar 12 g
Fiber One Yoplait Yogurt 4 ounces 5 g
— Sharon Palmer, RD, is a contributing editor at Today’s Dietitian and a freelance food and nutrition writer in southern California.

Now go eat an apple!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

new year resolutions

I dont like making NY resolutions because they only last a few days then I am usually done. This year I am determined to uphold my resolution. I want to get my finances in order this year. I am going to hold to a budget given to me to ensure better use of my money.

What is your resolution? Do you REALLY want to keep it up?