Mexican Quinoa

Last year I tried quinoa for the first time and was pleasantly surprised that I liked it. I guess I fell into that "if it is healthy it will taste bad" frame of mind. Which is really weird for me since I really seek out healthier ways to make my favorite foods.

I guess we can all do it once in awhile right?

Funny story..

I had seen the word quinoa in print, but had never heard the correct pronunciation of it. So for oh, probably a year or so, this is how I was pronouncing it. 


Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos

Pork carnitas has got to be one of my  favorite Mexican dishes. I have had it in tacos, burritos, on tostadas, even scrambled up with some eggs for breakfast.

Ohhhhh I am drooling now, excuse me!

So with Cinco de Mayo on the horizon, I knew I wanted to break out this recipe and dig in. But how do I get away with making a big ol' batch of carnitas for just Kevin and I? 

Especially when he is not on the Mexican food band wagon with me. He could seriously go the rest of his life without ever having another Mexican dish!

I know, he is crazy right?

Baked Asparagus and Eggs for 5 Ingredient or Less #SundaySupper

I loved the fact that this weeks Sunday Supper theme is 5 Ingredients or Less.

Why you ask?

Well, I will tell you.

Lately it seems that I have fallen into this "It has to have a lot of cra eerrr ingredients to make it taste good" rut.

Like the more you throw it it the better it gets.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Oh my goodness!

Do you have a certain food that is just like a nice warm hug for your belly?

Well this is it for me!

When I was young it was my Dad making spaghetti with meat sauce. It was one of the meals that only my Dad made.

Granted when he made it he used Ragu and some dried Italian seasoning, but it was made by my Dad so it was made with love. I was always excited when I saw him in the kitchen.

Ravioli Lasagna

I always wanted to be a Mom. Ever since I was a little girl I talked about "When I had my kids". I had decided that I wanted to have 9 by the way. Yes, you heard me, 9 kids! Of course that sounds awesome when you are young and have zero idea what having 1 kid would be like, never mind 9!

Then I had my first, my son. I was 23 and felt very prepared for the whole situation. Ya, ummm not so much. Actually I think I did OK. The fact that he is still breathing is a big clue to that fact eh?

But seriously, he was (and I know soooo many mothers say this) the perfect baby. So sweet and even tempered. Barely cried, I mean ever! He started sleeping through the night when he was just a few months old. I can't tell you how many times I woke up to the sound of him cooing and giggling over the baby monitor. I was seriously blessed.

Then he turned 2.

And became possessed.

No joke people. There were times that I waited for him to levitate and his head to spin around!

It was that mother's curse, I know it was. 

You know the one, I hope that when you grow up, you have kids "Just Like you"!

Then I had my daughter. This time I didn't even get 2 years. She was born screaming and didn't stop, or sleep, until she was about 6 months old. I was a wreck, and wondered how in the heck I was going to make it through their childhood in one piece, or with my sanity in tact.

Well my kids are now 25 and 22. They made it through in one piece, as did I. Although the whole sanity thing? Ya, the jury is still out on that one.

They moved out a year and a half ago. They have their own place, with their significant others, and Kevin and I have our privacy. Just the two of us, able to do whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it (get your mind out of the gutter), and for the first year I didn't know what to do with myself! It was awful. 

Now there are no dirty dishes in the sink, no laundry piled up, no screaming and yelling. But believe it or not I still miss them.

How do I get through it? I make them come to dinner once a week. I get to cook for them all. Talk and laugh and catch up with them. We hug, we smile, we eat, they still don't do dishes. But that's OK. Now when I see that sink full of dishes I smile, remembering all of those years, those little faces, and realize I am one of the luckiest Mom's in the world!!

Ravioli Lasagna  

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound spicy Italian Sausage
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 large (28 ounce) package refrigerated cheese ravioli, defrosted
1/2 cup fresh basil, cut chiffonade (reserve some to garnish)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add tomatoes, red wine, oregano, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to boiling then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until slightly reduced.

Meanwhile, in a very large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage and mushrooms. Crumbling the sausage with a wooden spoon, cook until no pink remains in the sausage and mushrooms are tender. Stir in the basil and set aside.
Spoon one-fourth of the tomato sauce into a 13 x 9" rectangular baking dish. Arrange half of the ravioli on top. Spoon half of the sausage-mushroom mixture over. Spoon another one-fourth of the sauce over sausage-mushroom mixture in baking dish. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese. Spoon another one-fourth of the sauce over cheese. Repeat layers with the remaining ravioli, sausage-mushroom mixture, sauce, and cheese.

Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Uncover; bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese is bubbly and lasagna is heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with remaining basil.

Serve with a green salad and garlic bread.

Serves 8


Garlicky Kale with Beans and Bacon

Do you ever go shopping just to cruise the isles and see what you can find? I know that can be a bit dangerous for the ol' pocketbook, but sometimes I just have to do it. 

It is kind of like a big game of hide and seek. Dinner is hiding somewhere in the store, and I have to find it. Unfortunately I can get a little ADD, especially in the produce section.

Ohh look at the pretty fresh berries. Wait, is that asparagus? WOW that corn on the cob looks awesome....

Make Your Meal Planning Quick and Easy with FitsMe

When you are looking for recipes, do you often find yourself wondering if you can eat them because of dietary restrictions? 

Do you flip through pages in a cookbook quickly because dishes that interest you are few and far between? 

Are you looking for quick and easy meals to prepare on those busy weekday nights?

What if you could go to a website and input the foods you like, the foods you could do without, and the foods you must avoid, and be shown a set of recipes that accommodate your immune system, nutritional plan, and taste buds?

Would you use it? 

If yes have I got the just the place for you. 

It is called, Fitsme, and it ROCKS!

They are a food discovery and meal planning app that aims to make the process of finding food that you can, and want, to eat so much easier, and I love it. 

They analyze every ingredient in every recipe and adapt their interface to show only dishes that fit your tastes and dietary needs. All of the dishes show in a "Pintresty" style set up, and you know how much I love Pintrest. 

All you need to do is pop on over to FitsMe and set up your free account. It is quick and easy. 

Once you sign up you can go to your "Food Personality" to set up your likes, likes, dislikes, needs, etc.

Then click browse and just like that, bing bam boom you are looking through tons of drool worthy photos for those perfect recipes that make you want to get into the kitchen immediately and start cooking

I have been loving just cruising through the site and finding new tasty things to make.

And they just launched some brand new features!

If you create a meal plan, you'll notice a new button called "Create shopping list." Which has several key functions available: 
1. Users can choose which days of the week they want to shop for. For example, just Monday and Tuesday, or the entire week. 
2. Users can scale the recipes to make more of less. Cook for 6, but the servings size is only 2? No problem. 
3. Shopping list are broken down into categories such as: Spices & herbs, Vegetables, fruits, dairy, etc to make shopping easier. 
4. If a user recognizes and has the ingredient in his/her pantry, they can check it off and it'll disappear from the list. 
5. Users can email the list to themselves or others, with a message(optional).

All of these fabulous features on one website and the best of all it is FREE!

Why not give FitsMe a try and see for yourself how easy it is?

Make sure to stop back by and let me know what you think. I would love to hear your feedback!

Compensation was provided by FitsMeApp, however the opinions expressed herein are soley those of the author.

A Few of My Favorite Things 4/22/14

Howdy gang! Welcome to A Few of My Favorite Things.

When I decided to start this series of posts I thought long and hard about what to call them. I played around with a few ideas. Weekend Wanderings, Web Wanderings, even Satisfying Your Saturdays. But no matter what I tossed around, all I could think of was the song from The Sound of Music. You know, "Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens...."? It just seemed so clear to me that I had to use it.

Now it is going to be stuck in your head.

It has been in mine for days! Good thing I love that song!

Anywho, this is where I will share with you all of the fantabulous things I find whilst poking about the internet.

Between, Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Instagram, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and just plain old web searches, I come across so many cool things. I figured, why keep them to myself? I mean, somebody else needs to see this stuff! Right?

So be it food, crafts, blogging, gardening, photography, etc. I will be sharing with you every Saturday.

Sound like fun?

Woohooo let's see what this weeks faves are!!

My Favorite E-Book
How to Monetize Your Food Blog - This e-book is a serious must read for all food bloggers that want to take their blog to the next level. There is also a media kit template available. I was so happy I found this!

My Favorite App/Website
FitsMe - This is a fabulous tool for people that follow a strict diet, such as vegan, paleo, or pescatarian, have food allergies, eat a specific way to attain a physical goal (body building), have little time to find recipes or to plan meals, and more. It really is quite fabulous, with tons of drool worthy recipes and best of all it is FREE!!

My Favorite Food
Cookie Dough Stuffed Whoopie Pies
Free Standing Pallet Herb Garden

My Favorite Giggle

Well that's it for this week my friends. I hope you have enjoyed the goodies that I have shared with you and make sure to come back next Saturday for more!!

Blackberry Pie Bars

I think I am starting to spoil Kevin a bit.

It seems I have gotten over my aversion to baking. Mostly because I haven't burned anything in quite some time *knock on wood*. 

Seriously though, my baking attempts of the past usually ended up with a burned, overly dry, or gooey mess.

Over the first 2 years of blogging, I think I made maybe 5 desserts.

Don't get me wrong, I could make a mean cookie, but anything else? Ppfffttttt ya right!

Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps for Two

I have been craving,  

I mean seriously jonesing for,

some Asian lettuce wraps.

But for some reason I just don't get off my rear and make them.

There is a local restaurant that has a terrific happy hour, and I always get their Asian Chicken Wraps. They are soooooo good I actually crave them in between visits.

I have been promising myself,

for quite some time now,

that I would crack down and make them at home.


It is hard when you can't trust yourself.

Then Kevin accidentally brought home ground pork instead of ground sausage.

That had me stumped for a bit.

It has been so long since I made anything with ground pork my brain just wouldn't kick into gear.

Then I was down at my local "watering hole", which would be the bar my son works at, visiting with a few of the regulars I know. We always chat about food because, well what else do food bloggers talk about? And I mentioned my ground pork dilemma. Someone asked me if I had ever had larb.

Do what?

I am sorry but "larb" just didn't sound very appetizing but hey, that could just be me.

She laughed and explained that is was a Thai ground pork dish.

OK that sounds waaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than larb....right?

She gave me the run down on what she usually puts in it, with me taking a few notes, and I had my dish.

I went home and got to cooking.

Then Kevin asked what I was making for dinner.

Did I tell him?


I told him just what it says here.

"Thai pork lettuce wraps"

"Oh, OK"

*Whew* I dodged a bullet on that one, let me tell you!

Once I had these little beauties on a plate he was hovering. It drives him crazy that I have to take photos before we can eat.

Ahhh the hazards of loving a food blogger.

What happened after the photos?

Well, these didn't last very long.

Yup, he loved them!

Now if I could only get him to love my Mexican food like he does the Asian dishes.

Oh well, I do love a challenge!

Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps for Two  

1 pound ground pork
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced, plus sliced jalapeño for garnish
Juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges, for serving
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoons Sriracha (chile sauce), plus more for serving
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup chopped basil (Thai basil if you can find it)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Chopped salted peanuts
Butter or other leafy lettuce, separated into leaves

In a medium bowl, mix the pork, garlic, shallots and minced jalapeño. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and Sriracha.

In a large skillet, over high heat, heat the oil. Add the pork mixture and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl; stir in the herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the chopped peanuts and sliced jalapeños. Serve with lime wedges, Sriracha and lettuce for wrapping.

Serves 2


Crispy Chipotle Shrimp Burritos for "Stuff, Roll, and Wrap" #SundaySupper

You have absolutely no idea how happy I was when I found out that this weeks Sunday Supper theme was "Stuff, Roll, and Wrap"!

Why you ask?

So glad you did.

I I mean lovvvvvvvvve burritos.

They are just a hug of food goodness all wrapped up in a tortilla to me.

Green Chile Soup with Mini Jalapeno Havarti Grilled Cheese

Green Chile Soup with Mini Jalapeno Havarti Grilled Cheese - A wonderful creamy soup, with the heat from fire roasted Hatch chiles, is the perfect lunch when you pair it with Mini Jalapeno Havarti Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Creamy, spicy heaven!

Green Chili Soup with Mini Jalapeno Havarti Grilled Cheese from

Do you ever dream of food?

I mean all out vivid pictures of a meal in front of you?

I do.

Maybe that is a food blogger thing.

I get some of my greatest inspirations from dreams.

Cheesy Shrimp Crostini

Many of you know that after everyone moved to their own places a little over a year ago (Our kids moved to one house and Kevin and I got our own place). I try to have some, if not all, of the them over for dinner once a week.

Sometimes we will have one, other times two or four. 

This time?

Oh we just had eight!!

Ya, it was a little crazy.

Sweet and Spicy Asian Style Chicken Thighs

I know I have gone on and on.....and on about how much I love Mexican food, but lately I have been on more of an Asian flavor kick.

We have done curry, teriyaki, etc. 

I have really been having a blast working with different ingredients trying to come up with special flavors that will tantalize our taste buds, and Kevin hasn't complained once! I wish I could get him to love Mexican food as much as he does Asian.

I think he just complains to give me a hard time.


Chile Rellenos Casserole with Hatch Green Chiles

Compensation was provided by The Hatch Chili Store in the form of free product. The opinions expressed herein are mine.

I have been going back to the first posts I did here on the blog.

And doing a lot of cringing!

The photos.....OhhhEmmmmGeeeeee

Not that my photography is professional quality now (she says as she looks at all the spots on the casserole dish in these photos). But these old photos are reallllllllllllllllllly bad.

Case in point, my Chile Rellenos Casserole from January 2012

Horrid lighting, old camera, crappy composition.

But a dang good casserole!

Mushroom Swiss Cheeseburger Macaroni

I know I have mentioned many times that I was raised on frozen dinners, and boxed/packaged foods. Then I went out into the real world, had kids, and picked up where my Mom left off. What was one of our favorite meals? Yup, Hamburger Helper. Just about every flavor graced our table at one time or another. But the hands down, all time favorite was the Cheeseburger Macaroni.