Category Archives: Food

This Saves So Much Time – Why Don’t I Do It Every Week?

When I go food shopping, I say to myself, go grocery shopping, come home, wash the produce, and cut it up. I also plan on storing it all pretty in the fridge. Why is it I only do this about 1/3 of the time, maybe?

It’s not hard, and it doesn’t take that long. Wash, trim, and pop into containers to use in salads, packed lunches, and dinner recipes. Nope, I still don’t do this as often as I would like, even if it is easy. Probably because my back hurts after bringing in all the groceries and finding a place to put them LOL. I think… forget this, I’m sick of food at the moment. Well, until I remember the candy bar I had the checker hand me at the cash register, so I could stash it in my purse. Hey, it’s my bonus for doing the shopping.

I’m going to try to do the veggie prep more often because it really does save a lot of time, and it makes meal prep much easier. We will see what actually happens.

Do you wash and chop veggies right after grocery shopping?

A real refrigerator for two people not set up for a photo shoot.

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Quick and Easy Food Gift Tip ~ 2-in-1

Every year at this time my DH and I make gifts of food. Some years it’s really fancy and some years it’s very simple. This year we chose to do it simple. The food gifts are for people that don’t cook much, or can’t really cook much because of age or illness. We made soup, bread, sweet treats, and of course my DH’s famous Italian olives.

2 gifts-in-1
I love to wrap food gifts using reusable items such as tea towels

Do you give gifts of food during the holidays? Leave a comment and share your favorite food gift, tip for wrapping, or to just say hi.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Tamara

Best Corn Chowder I’ve Ever Made

I was having a craving for corn chowder a while back so I headed to my pantry and started looking to see what I had to make it. This recipe is what I came up with. My husband loved it and so did I. Our DD loved it too. It was  super easy to make and didn’t take very long. Quick and easy is what I like when it comes to cooking daily meals

Ingredients for 6-8 servings:
2-14 3/4oz. cans Del Monte sweet creamed corn
2 cups Organic low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1 medium onion chopped
10 slices bacon cooked and crumbled (I used Trader Joes fully cooked apple smoked bacon).
2 Lbs. Organic klamath pearl potatoes cut into bite-size chunks (skin on) I also got these at TJ’s
Pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Chop and dice the potatoes and onions. In a large stock pot cook bacon. (This only took a minute with the pre-cooked bacon). Remove bacon and set on paper towels. Leave a tsp. of bacon grease in the pot. I did not have to drain any. Add the onions and potatoes. Saute for two minutes. Add the cream corn and vegetable broth. Cook on simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. When the potatoes are tender add the crumbled bacon, 1/2 & 1/2, pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Gently simmer for another 10 minutes. Oh boy I almost forgot. I used a potato masher inside the pot to make the soup thick and chunky. I did not want it pureed.

I think this was so tasty because… The potatoes did not get mushy. Leaving the peel on made it easier. Using pre-cooked bacon was a big time saver. The ingredient list was short. It was done in less than 30 minutes, and my husband raved about it.

It is not low-cal, but I did not care it was too good. Add a simple green salad and you are set with a delicious lunch or dinner. Enjoy!

Print Recipe

Easy Bake Pumpkin Cake

This easy recipe will fill the house with the sweet smell of cinnamon and spice. It’s perfect for potlucks, and family gatherings. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for a few days. Serve with whip cream or vanilla ice cream.

I came up with this recipe, or should say modified, because I did not have a yellow cake mix. I was going to make the well known “Dump Cake” with cherry pie filling, but didn’t have the right ingredients. So, I looked through my pantry and came up with something kind of like it, but in my opinion much better than my original thought. I also thought this would be perfect for this time of year. I love  pumpkin, and spice.

I wish I would’ve thought about taking pictures of this before I was into making it. I also stopped everyone from taking a bite long enough after serving it, so I could snap some pictures with my iPhone. They all laughed at me, but hey, who cares. I thought, yikes I have to make this into a blog post. I know all you other bloggers out there know what I’m talking about.

Print Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. – Trader Joes Pumpkin Bread Mix (or your favorite brand)
  • 5 oz. evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 30 oz. Can Pumpkin Pie Mix
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9x13in glass baking pan with Pam or butter. Mix pumpkin mix, evaporated milk, & eggs in bowl. Pour mixture into baking pan. Sprinkle ½ of bread mix over pumpkin mixture. Run knife through mixture in a zigzag to combine some of the bread mixture into the pumpkin mix. Then, add remaining bread mix to top.


Sprinkle pecans and spices evenly over surface, and then drizzle butter over mixture. Bake for 40min. or until toothpick comes out clean. Keep an eye on your cake; it can burn easily in last few minutes. Let cool for 2 hours, then refrigerate or serve.

This recipe takes 5-10 minutes to prepare. Then, sit back, relax, and enjoy the wonderful smells coming from your kitchen as this cake bakes in the oven.

I hope you enjoy as much as my family did.

Bon Appetit!

Almost Wordless Wednesday — A Heart For You

My hubby sent me this picture. A picture of a heart, how cute, you might say. The funny thing to me about this heart is… It’s a piece of cereal that has been sitting on that drainage grate for 3 weeks. He dropped it so he knows how long it’s been there. It has rained 3 times. You think it would have disintegrated by now. The birds didn’t even want to eat it, and crows eat almost anything. Fiber cereal, no wonder it gives me gas. Oh gosh, did I just say that out loud.

Easy Chocolate Pretzel Stix – Perfect for Gifts

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Make a Perfect Holiday Treat……..

I love making homemade gifts and goodies around the holidays. For me it is something I look forward to each year. These pretzels sticks are so EASY to make and they are very tasty. This is a perfect treat to make with the kids. Even very young children can help and it only requires a few tools and ingredients.

You can switch things up by changing the color or type of topping you use. For instance I made some for 4th of July, see here, or you could use pink or blue for a baby shower. The possibilities are endless.

These sweet treats would be perfect to add to a holiday gift basket or to bring as a hostess gift.

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Ingredients: Print Recipe

  • 1 bag pretzel rods
  • 10oz. bag chocolate chips
  • 1 jar Fall Color Mix sprinkles

Tools/Supplies:

  • Wax paper
  • Cellophane Pretzel Bags
  • Cookie Sheet
  • 4 cup Pyrex or other microwavable dish.
  • Butter Knife
  • Small Plate

Directions:

Put a piece of wax paper on a rectangle baking tray. Use some sort of microwave safe container to melt the chips (deep enough to dip the pretzel rods). I used a 4-cup pyrex measuring cup. Pour the chocolate chips into the container. To melt the chips cook in microwave for 1-1/2minutes, stir with butter knife then cook another 30seconds and stir again. Take a pretzel stick and dip into melted chocolate to coat. I tilted the measuring cup to get the chocolate far enough up the pretzel. Holding the pretzel horizontal I twirled it until no more chocolate was dripping. Then, hold the pretzel over a plate and sprinkle with candy sprinkles or whatever you choose. Set the pretzel on wax paper and continue with the next one. Makes 12 pretzels.

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Now all you have to do is to wait for hem to harden. It took a few hours sitting on the counter. Or, you could put them into the freezer for a few minutes.

When the chocolate gets firm you can

carefully slide them into the pretzel bags.

That’s it. They only take a few minutes. Perfect for you to make with the kids. They are very tasty. In fact I will share with you my little secret shh… I ate one for breakfast with my coffee and it was Yummy! Don’t tell

Bon Appetit,

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Cool and Easy Mango Smoothie

It’s been so hot lately that I have been making smoothies instead of heavy, hot meals. I thought I would share this recipe with you because it’s so easy to make, takes only a few minutes, and has easy clean-up.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.

Ingredients: serves 1-2

1     4oz. package pure mango puree
2     Slices canned peaches (reserve the juice) optional: use fresh peach
1     Medium strawberry
1     2″ x 2″ chunk pineapple

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a tall mixing cup. Or, put into blender pitcher. Add 1-2 Tbs. of reserved peach juice. Use a stick blender or regular blender to mix. No need to add ice because the frozen mango takes care of that.

Pour the mixture into a pretty glass and sip your cool, delicious, nutritious drink.

Just in case you’ve never heard of a stick mixer I’ve included a picture of the one I use. This is not a promo or review, it’s just the one I have. 

Bon appétit,