Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What's happening in my house today...

I have to say it again.  I LOVE THE FALL.  This weather is perfect!  

So, I have been productive...in the kitchen.  The rest of the place is a mess but oh well.  It will get done.

So here is what's happening around the place...

The end of summer tomatoes.
 Which turns into this...

 and ultimately this...

I know this may look totally gross, but this is the most concentrated amazing tomato
that you will have.  You just roast on low for 3 hours!  Then you can eat like this or...
blend and make the most DELICIOUS sauce you can imagine....trust me.
Then there was this...

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake!

The smell of cinnamon is amazing!

I needed to use these.  We buy them from a  lady who gets them fresh from the orchard and sells them
from her home.
They are called Mutzu.  Tart and sweet.

The front porch... loving the pumpkins.

What is it about pumpkins?  

This is what is in my crockpot for dinner.
Creamy Potato Soup and BLT's on
homemade bread!

It's still raising!

So that's what is happening in my house today... how about yours?



Monday, September 24, 2012

Spaghetti Squash

I am a terrible gardener.  

I totally kill any plants that I come into contact with.  I don't know why.  I just do.  So this summer I was determined to stick with my small garden of butternut and spaghetti squash.  I weeded like crazy and watered and really kept on top of things... until the end of summer when I just gave up and let it go.  

But nevertheless, I still harvested an abundance of squash!

This was only 1/2.. I gave some away and used a bunch too!
The only problem with spaghetti squash, which is what I have the most of, is what to do with it all?

It is great just cooked up with a little butter and brown sugar... or like pasta with marinara sauce.  But there is only so much of that one could eat.  So, I investigated online and found that I could make soup with it.  

So, I modified the recipe I found and made this...

Creamy spaghetti squash soup!
I put the squash in the microwave cut in half in baking dish with a little water and cooked for 15 minutes.

I sauted some onion and garlic in a little olive oil.  When soft I added the squash to the pot and vegetable stock and blended with my boat motor..  a handheld stand blender.  You can transfer into a blender.  BE CAREFUL WITH HOT INGREDIENTS.  Season with salt and pepper and that is it!

This is a great vegetarian and even vegan soup.  It is creamy without any cream so it is low calorie and packed with vitamins!

Try something different.  I have been eating spaghetti squash for many years and now I have something new to add to my menu!!  This is simplicity at its best.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

My favorite time of year

It's here!  I love it...Fall...the changing leaves, the colors, the morning coffee on the porch in the brisk coolness.  I love the pumpkin muffins, pancakes, soup.  I love the smell of cinnamon anything...
I love that the apples are crisp and fresh... and oh the cobblers and pies.  

There is just something about fall!

Today was one of those days where I took a few minutes to sip coffee on the porch and to add a crisp Mutzu apple to my oatmeal and lots of extra cinnamon.  Bliss!

I also did this...

There is just something about sheets that have been hanging outside on the line on a cool autumn day!

I hardly do it..never in the summer, but in the fall....yes!!

These kind of days are great to put on a sweater and jeans and a scarf and even boots and just enjoy the coolness of the day.

I may even head here later...

If I get a chance

With this...

Yum...Hot Cocoa in my favorite mug!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend trip

Well I did it... It has been 18 years since I have, but I did it this past weekend.  What did you do, you ask?


Ok I live in the country, but I am a city girl still at heart.  I can't help it, I grew up in New Jersey...

So, I prefer sleeping in a bed... in a room...inside...

My good pal Leslie and her husband Dave bought a pop up camper this year and have been doing some weekend camping trips and this was their last one of the season.

Dave and Leslie in front of their second home!
Here they are!!

So, they asked us if we wanted to go.  I thought yes I do want to go!  I can rough it!!

So we went... after not being able to find the poles for our tent and having to borrow one from Leslie's mom at the last minute, we made it to the campsite around 10pm after son #1's football game. (of which he played varsity for the first time!!)

Here are some pics of the rest of the weekend!
Our tent.  Notice the very plush air mattress!  Not messing around here.  LOL
Jonah looks so happy... not!

This is where Micah and Brandon slept... on picnic tables... all night.  I don't know how but that is teenagers for ya.

Jonah crashed out on our air mattress.  Found out later he was sick.

                                   Sweety and me having our morning coffee outside our tent.

A deluxe breakfast... Leslie's friend Geneva made the most amazing breakfast.  That is her on the left.  Homemade biscuits, jam, eggs, bacon, sausage, sausage gravy, toast!!  It was delicious.

                                             Sweety doing the breakfast dishes.  I love him!!

Tyler and Elijah having breakfast on the swings.
Jonah and Micah having sleeping bag fight.

CJ having his biscuit.

Jonah and Tyler hanging out.
Getting in my workout and enjoying every minute of the beautiful boat ride!!

Is this not gorgeous?  Pickett State Park.  Enjoyed a boat ride!

So, we had a wonderful time camping.  I am so glad that I decided to go.  Thanks Dave and Leslie for inviting us!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A quick lunch idea

Sometimes I just don't know what I want for lunch. I spoke last time about the importance of eating breakfast, and by lunch sometimes I just feel well bored. I open my fridge and stare at it and think...I have no idea what I am going to eat. Anyone with me?

So today I had leftovers....which I #1 do not like leftovers and #2 with 4 boys in the house, I usually don't have any leftovers.

But today I did. But it was crunchy tacos last night and today I wanted a little something different. So here is what I made....

It is a burrito made with taco meat, black beans, brown rice, avocado, lettuce and salsa. It was so good, quick to make and of course healthy.

Plus I used some of my favorite Trader Joes products!

These are 2 new products I tried and they are total winners!

And these...so good...

So check your fridge for leftovers and see what you can make for another meal! I even froze the rest of the meat for some weekend nachos!!



Thursday, September 13, 2012

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 You either love it, hate it, or like me can just take it or leave it.  It is totally not my favorite meal of the day and most of the time quite frankly, I can just do without it.  I never really cared for eating in the morning.  Now the husband?  He LOVES breakfast.  It is his favorite.  The works of eggs, bacon or ham, home fries, toast, juice....my stomach just cringes when I think of it. Oh well too each his own I suppose.
  Sometimes it is just too hectic getting the kids ready for school and then heading out for my day.  Sometimes I just don't feel hungry in the morning.
Well studies show that people who eat a good healthy and yes even larger breakfast on average are slimmer than those who don't.  Sounds weird huh?  Well I thought so too but upon reading many articles on it, it is consistent and true.
Breakfast is just what is says... Break the Fast.  You are fasting all night when you sleep.  Sometimes if I don't eat anything after dinner (which by the way is almost impossible for me.. I'll save that for another post)  then I am fasting for 12 to 14 hours....
So, by morning our bodies need nutrients to get us going again.  If we don't eat our metabolism will stay sluggish and we will burn less calories.  Sorry, a cup of java just won't do it.  (i tried)
Eating a healthy breakfast also will keep you from being absolutely famished by lunchtime when we then tend to OVEReat.
What do I mean by a healthy breakfast?  Well don't ditch that cup of joe.  Enjoy 1 or 2 cups with your meal, just don't overdo the sugar and cream.
Here are some great options.
Oatmeal with banana and walnuts.
Oatmeal with apples and cinnamon.
Eggs on a whole grain english muffin.
Eggs with whole grain toast.
Greek yogurt with fruit.
1 C of whole grain cereal (not fruit loops please)

Here is what I am having this morning. Steel cut crockpot oats with banana, applesauce, and blackberries. Yum.
Make your own smoothie!  This is great for on the go
My son makes one almost every morning.
Peanut Butter or almond butter
1 banana (frozen if you have)
1 Tsp Cocoa powder if you want it to be decadent without tons of extra calories.
Protein powder if you wish. (He plays football so yeah he uses it)
Blend well and enjoy!  This one is great.
Another one that I made for son #2 today
1 C milk
1 banana
1/2 C frozen berries
1 tsp honey (of course he needed some sweetness, I don't add it for mine)
Blend and enjoy.  You can also add greek yogurt if you have some on hand.
These breakfasts are super healthy and will get your metabolism revved.  It also with fuel your body with the proper nutrients to keep you going throughout your morning and you won't be starving at lunchtime.
Todays tip:  Don't skip breakfast!!  It truly is the most important meal of the day.