Sunday, July 27, 2014

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll recipe ...

Another really, really good recipe
and I can't believe it but I failed to take pictures as I made this
a friend of mine gave me this recipe but it originally
came from someone named Diana Rattray
I don't know you Diana but I LOVE your recipe so thanks!!

Johnny loves when I make this. It's the kind of recipe
that is great for leftovers so we both enjoy taking this to
work for our lunch


1 1/2 to 2 lbs lean ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
 2 - 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
1 - 8 oz can tomato sauce (also good if you use spaghetti sauce)
1 - 8 oz can of water
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook, stirring, until ground beef is  no longer pink and onon is tender. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.

Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.

Johnny and I actually think this is even better the next day!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Taco seasoning recipe ...

here's the taco seasoning recipe
I wish I knew who to give credit to for this but I was given
this recipe by a friend who also doesn't know where it came from

I make this and store in a mason jar along with my other spices
and let me just tell you......once you use this, you'll never buy
the packaged taco seasoning again!
this is just so yummy!!

Loco Taco Seasoning

1/4 cup Chili Powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Use 2 tablespoons of this mix for every 1 lb of ground meat
for some Loco-Good Tacos!

Friday, July 18, 2014

A wedding .....

Johnny and I along with Jacquelyn and Bucky went to
a wedding in May.
A little bit of a bittersweet wedding as it was our son's
ex-girlfriends wedding. I know that may sound weird to some but
Jake and Kayla were together about 4 years so naturally we became
very close to Kayla. Johnny and I always thought she would
eventually become our daughter-in-law!! But as high school
sweethearts usually end up, they both changed. They grew and matured
and their interest became different. And I'm so happy to say that they
have remained friends.
We felt very honored that Kayla and Aaron would invite us to
their special day. It was a little cool that day, especially for the
middle of May but what a wonderful time. The entire wedding, ceremony, dinner and dancing was all outside right along the James River.
here we are enjoying the evening..........

We wish Kayla and Aaron all of the best
and Kayla will always be an unofficial member of our family!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 4th ... more pictures

Just a few more pictures from the bay
Hurricane Arthur came up the east coast while we were down there
but swerved out to sea as it left North Carolina so we
were lucky to only get a little rain on Friday morning
and then the rest of the weekend was beautiful
here's the view at their pool
and this is the view from the porch.....I never get tired of
photographing this view here. The picture below was taken with
my iPhone......the pink hue was so beautiful

here's Johnny and I out in the kayaks

this was taken the morning we had rain......and it was a little
chilly!! Here we are with our morning cocktails......Joanne and
Lois with their Mimosas and me with a Bloody Mary...yum!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 4th ....

We spent 4 wonderful days over the 4th of July
holiday weekend down on the Chesapeake Bay with our
family Tommy and Joanne and good friends
Gene and Lois.
Hanging out with them is so much fun, so relaxing and
you just don't ever want it to end!! We go in to the small
towns of Kilmarnack and White Stone and visit little shops.
Go boating, lounge at the pool or hang at the end of the dock
hoping to catch some fish! We eat a lot of really great food as my brother-in-law Tommy is an excellent cook and of course have a lot of adult beverages......
I also tried kayaking for the first time
and really loved it. Can't wait to go again.

oh look, the love of my life!!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A year later ....

July 9th marked my one year of clean eating
and I can honestly say it was one of my best decisions ever
Physically, I have never felt better. Clean eating has shown me that you
truly are what you eat. Eat crap, feel like crap!
I no longer have the achy arthritis pain in my fingers and knee.
yes, it's still there, I can feel it some but nothing like what it used to be.
My sinus' have never felt so clear and I rarely ever have headaches.
I sleep great and have tons of energy and pretty much just feel good every day.
When I started this I really thought I would not stick with it.
I thought I would miss things like cheese, crackers,
ice cream, cake, cake and cake......haha.
Cake is my weakness!
But I don't because I do allow myself to have things like that
every once in awhile. I stray from my clean eating slightly
when on vacation or during holidays. And sometimes just
because I want something. I have committed myself to eat
clean 90% of the time. I eat no grains except occasional
corn on the cob or popcorn. The only sugar I have is a Starbucks Frap or
a piece of birthday cake sometimes.  And of course my wine....but I limit wine to just weekends but some weekends
I don't even have any. And I eat no dairy. Hard to believe
but I just don't miss this stuff.....also don't miss candy.
My daily eating now consist of good, grass fed beef, free range, no
antibiotics added chicken, seafood, nitrate free, sugar free bacon...mmm, love bacon and lots of eggs. We also eat whatever
vegetables and fruits are in season, though I do buy some frozen
fruit for smoothies. And I load up on good fats like avocados, olive oil, olives,
cashews and almonds. I really don't try to re-create many recipes
because I enjoy the simplicity of my eating now. 
I know I will never go back to eating the way I used to eat and
I'm perfectly fine with that. I just really enjoy feeling so great more than
I enjoyed that food I used to eat!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Recipe ....

here's an easy, quick zucchini recipe
and is really great as an appetizer
slice your zucchini in half, then half again
then cut in to spears
drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, Italian seasoning and fresh
chopped parsley
then cover with shredded parmesan cheese
the picture below is before I added the cheese
place a rack over a cookie sheet.....I use my cookie cooling racks

Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes
then place under the broiler for just a few minutes to slightly crisp up the cheese.
the recipe did not call for a dipping sauce but Johnny suggested
that would be good. I always have homemade tomato sauce
in the freezer so I thawed some out for dipping
very, very good and like I said, very quick and easy.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

A little Sunday cooking ....

Today I didn't really have any plans
thought about raking up the massive amount of pine tags that
are falling in the backyard
but first, I needed to go get some groceries for the week
So I made my menu plan and from that, made my grocery list
When I got there, right as I got inside I heard a familiar voice
yell "mom".........haha! It was Jacquelyn, Bucky and Declan
and right away Declan threw his arms out for me to pick him up
then gave me the biggest that boy!!
Get home and it's just too hot to be raking in the yard so I decided to
go ahead and cut up my veggies and fruit for the week.
which then lead to other cooking.......and holy moly, you just won't believe
what all I did!!! It's so much I'm going to bullet point the list!!
  • I cut up green, yellow and orange peppers for snacking
  • Cut up cucumbers for snacking
  • Boiled a dozen eggs for our breakfast this week
  • Roasted squash, zucchini, onions and smoked sausage
  • Made 4 containers of homemade taco for me and then one for each of the kids. They love it!
  • Roasted broccoli and cauliflower
  • Baked chicken
  • Baked pork chops
  • Cut up a pineapple
  • Made mint pesto (for the chicken)
  • Made a large pot of unstuffed cabbage rolls
  • Made a cucumber salad
  • Cut up 2 watermelons
  • sliced up some Hanover tomatoes!!
  • Made a jug of lime, lemon water for the fridge
So basically I have no cooking or chopping to do this week
I have enough cooked for dinner and lunches
right before going in the oven.....yumm, one of our favorites
Once you have this homemade taco seasoning, you'll never buy the
packaged good!!

I cut up the chicken that I cooked and put in to individual containers
so that we can just grab these for lunch
the reddish color on the chicken is paprika....mmmmm

Cold watermelon ... one of my favorite things about summer!!

I bought a new BBQ rub at Trader Joes and tried it out on
these pork chops. Very good.....and that is what we had for dinner tonight

I just bought this new jug on Saturday at Home Goods. I have a large
one but needed a smaller one that would fit on the fridge shelf...this one is perfect. I love just cold water with squeezed lemons and limes
it's very refreshing

here's the mint pesto.....can't wait to have tomorrow
with my chicken

this makes me so happy! It means I can grab my breakfast and lunch quick in
the morning. And after Jazzercise there is no guessing on dinner, everything
is already ready. Sure makes the week easier
No onions left for my cucumber salad.......ughh!!
Used them in other dishes and forgot to buy more at the store

I don't do this every week.......I wish I did but sometimes there
is just more fun things to do on Sundays!
I'll be putting the recipes up on some other post

July ....

well here I am, halfway through July and finally getting
a blog post up!
Between work, Jazzercise, yard and house work and spending time and
having fun with family, I just don't
have the time to blog.
And I really need to make the time as I have always said, this
is my family journal.
here's my July chalkboard......
I know...not much on it this month and not very creative! haha...
middle of summer and I'm enjoying all of the fresh fruit
We've also been grilling a lot this summer
here's the new corn holder for grilling and it works perfect
drizzle a little olive oil, add some Pegs Salt and yum!!
Declan picked the first cherry tomatoes this year
And we've really been enjoying watermelon this summer
I think I cut up at least 2 every week!
What we have not had much of is rain!! Johnny and I added
5 azaleas and 5 hydrangeas to our yard and they are
suffering pretty bad. Watering with a hose or sprinkler is just
not the same as a good soaking rain. It looks like a summer
cold front will be coming in this week so we're hoping for
a good rain.
that's about all for now.......later