Friday, June 15, 2012

A Summer Favorite

Veggie Bean Salad


  • 4 small cucumbers (chopped)
  • 30 cherry tomatoes; sliced (give or take)
  • 2 C corn
  • 1 can Black beans
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
Rinse and drain beans. Chop Veggies. Mix all ingredients.  Chill (if you have the time).. Enjoy!

My mother-in-law made this salad when we went on vacation a few months ago.  One thing I truly love about it is it is a "starter" recipe meaning you can use just about any fresh veggies you want and it always tastes great!  Fresh herbs add even more flavor.  I added fresh dill a few weeks ago and it was sooo yummy!!

 Here are all of the ingredients I used today...
 These are my new favorite cucumbers.  I buy them at SAMs.  They are just the perfect size to chop 1 and add it to your fresh greens salad or to add a few to this veggie bean salad. My daughter will also eat a whole 1 for her lunch
Rinse and drain your beans.  You can really use any bean you like: I have used  Great Northern as well.  I'm sure you could use Pinto or Kidney also.  I tend to use Black beans because I like the difference in color and size, even though these beans are not my favorite.. I know, a bean is a bean, but I'm telling you not all beans taste the same...
 Chop your cucumber to the desired size; no worries about being perfectly uniform.
Here are the tomatoes; Again, I buy mine at SAMs because I can go through a lot of tomatoes in 1 week!! Hmm.. I should say I buy my tomatoes from SAMs when there are none in my garden.  Home grown taste the best, so if you can find a farmers market, buy some there.  Or, if you're feeling adventurous, grow your own!  Just don't plant too many sweet 100s.  The first year my hubby and I grew tomatoes, we planted 5 sweet 100 tomato plants.  We had cherry tomatoes coming out of our ears!!
Here is the salad before sauce: again, use whatever veggies you have on hand.. My mom-in-law has used zucchini and yellow squash.  I'm sure sweet peas would be great!  Add some fresh garlic and basil... the possibilities are ENDLESS!!!
When you mix the "sauce"; do it to your tastebuds.  You might like a little more balsamic or you might want to use fresh squeezed lemon juice... I tend to use as little EVOO as possible to cut down on fat, but then add the flavor with the balsamic, fresh herbs and spices...
And here is my yummy summer lunch: Fresh watermelon, "Better than French Fries" Broccoli, Veggie - bean salad, and a sandwich with arugula ("God's gift of greens to man" in my opinion) on a ciabatta loaf... MMMM.. I'm getting hungry now from posting..

No more recipes for a bit.  Have something fabulous to share with you if you want to teach your preschooler to read... See you soon!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

 "Better Than French Fries" Broccoli

Okay, so it may not be better than french fries, few things are; however, we have a new favorite way to make broccoli at our house... the crispier and the browner, the better... 

Here's the recipe in a nutshell: take note, I'm starting to "dump and pour" when I cook, like my husband does, so all measurements are give or take a little:
  •  10 C Broccoli
  • 1/3 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil (can use bit less)
  • 1/4 C Nutritional Yeast
  •  2 tsp Garlic Salt (Can use more - depends on your taste buds)
Coat Broccoli with remaining ingredients and bake in 400 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.

we buy our broccoli from SAMs now because we eat so much of it; I typically use half of the bag for one recipe
BEST EVER ingredient - we buy ours from Nourish Christian Marketplace, but you can also get it at Whole Foods

Put Broccoli in a large bowl

 Toss Broccoli with EVOO, Nutritional Yeast, and Garlic Salt; I typically don't measure, just add enough to coat. I think it's best to mix it with your hands; that way you can make sure each piece of broccoli gets its fair share of yumminess.   Don't be shy, throw your hands in the bowl!
 Another staple in my household: parchment paper.  The best invention next to peanut butter. (Don't get me started on PB, my 4th love... My husband and my 2 kids taking spots 1, 2, and 3).. Anyhoo, I digress... Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and the only clean up you have to do when your finished is to take the paper off the pan and throw it in the trash!!  Handy tool when your a busy mom like me who hates to wash dishes over and over!!
 Put your coated broccoli in a 400 degree oven and bake for approx 30 minutes, switching pans on racks half way through cook time...
 Halfway done.. Starting to get crispy.  At this point, my little monkey walked in the door and said "MMM, that smells good.  What are you making for Lunch?" *Broccoli*  "OOOHHH YUM, that's my favorite"
 Here we are, the finished product.  Crispy on the edges and oh so tasty.  If you look closely, you can see some smaller browner pieces: these are A's favorites!!  Trust me, it may look a bit scary, but this broccoli is to die for!!  One Saturday night (Matthew was gone) Monkey and I polished off 2 cookie sheets of this broccoli.  I was feeling a bit guilty until I realized, "hey, it's broccoli - could be french fries..." 

Enjoy and stay tuned for my next household favorite - Veggie Bean Salad

Friday, April 27, 2012

Introducting "ASK"

Born December 17, 2011
Weighing 7 lbs, 14 oz
 measuring 20 and 1/2 inches long

Little "Rew Rew" (as Monkey has named him) has filled our lives with joy and we are so proud to have him be in our family.  'A' is the best big sister.  She loves to quiet him when he is crying and to play with him when he is awake.  She gets so excited when her baby brother smiles at her.

And we are blessed to have such an easy baby.  He usually only fusses when he is ready for a nap or when he is hungry.  Otherwise, he is a laid back little guy; happy to play on his mat or sit in his swing or make smiley faces Mommy, Daddy, and Sissy.

We are truly in love!!

~ all pictures taken by
 Chelsea Nicole Photography

3 years... Have you missed me?

So, the short story is... I forgot my blog address...Again. Then I forgot my email that was linked to my blog... Then I forgot my password that was connected to my email.. Needless to say, it took me a while to figure out where I had left my life... online that is.

So here we are... 3 years later with 1 extra peanut and 1 extra dog.  I will try to fill in the missing pieces as best I can; however, as a disclaimer.. If I can't remember where I PUT my blog, it might be impossible for me to remember the details of my life as well.  That's why my motto is "live in the moment" and "enjoy every second", because if it happened yesterday, I may not remember it... :o)

Ha ha!!  Enjoy catching up with us.. I will try to post pictures too...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Our Silly Girl...

The Sad Face...
Gimme a kiss...

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

What am I up to???

We were getting ready to go play in the snow and 'A' decided to make some silly faces before we went outside...

'A' had a fun day playing in the leaves...