Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ball Parks Finest Beef Dogs... New Item...Tried this flavor and fell in love with them

Last week in your coupons you should have had one of these. I am usually not one to buy much brand name stuff and I also steer away from processed things. Hot Dogs has pretty much just been a treat, every now and again.

I picked these up and was very impressed with them. You put them in a medium fry pan with a bit of water, let boil, and then I just let the water boil off of them and then pick up the crispy outside. They were very juicy. I also was amazed at the seasoning. Mine was cracked Dijon mustard and wow, I could really taste it. I even had my ketchup and mustard out to put on it, but I enjoyed the naked taste. I am also low carbing so there was no bun and I was still okay.. Yes, I know for real?

I would recommend these for a quick meal, with maybe sauerkraut and mashed cauliflower...hmmmmm...

Well gotta go, just thought I would pop in and share..

Have a wonderful Sunday and enjoy....Life is really that simple..

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Quinoa Pasta New Item -- Tried It - did not like it

Bought this the other day, thinking that it would provide a bit more protein to my meal. I bought it on The best place to find the newer stuff coming out on the market.

I am a big fan of quinoa anyway. I make mine in the rice cooker, perfect every time.

I made this today and when it was warm it was just like any other pasta. I thought it was pretty good.

Today I put it in my BLT Pasta Salad. I just snuck in to try it after it had set for a few hours in the fridge, and I was sadly disappointed.
The pasta had taken on the flavors of the tomato and stuff, but it had hardened back into a very aldente toothy bit..yucky..

Sad cause I used the last of my tomatoes on it...but it is okay. I will go on a tomato hunt tomorrow..

But I will not be buying this again.

Friday, August 15, 2014

BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad
((actually by ingredients it is a BSTRO Pasta Salad.. Bacon, Spinach, tomato, ranch and onion Pasta Salad)) But that is alot of words to describe this. I actually have one...Delicious.

I know by now all of you know that I planted 5 tomato plants, and I did not think that they would grow at all. Well I was pleasantly surprised. Each one of my plants all grew to about 6ft plus in height, about 10-15 really big ones, then a lot of medium ones and now I am still in the middle of August and have many medium green ones and about 10-15 baby green ones. Hopefully now that the bigger ones are gone, they will have the strength to grow larger and red by the fall. I just love home grown tomatoes. Swear by the white bread, mayo and tomato sandwich.
This was my start of my tomatoes

This is now

I have this summer not wasted, one tomato. I have tried to use them in different ways. A tart,  marinated, spaghetti pizza, low carb cheese pizza and then today decided to make a BLT, get the T is for tomatoes, Pasta Salad.

Now when you make this if you don't have spinach you can leave it out. I keep a container every week of spinach, just to sneak into anything I can.  I also always keep on hand a large bag of hormel real bacon bits.

I buy the large bag at Sam's and it keeps forever. Great to heat up in a pan and add to egg salads, salads, or even cold for anything you like a bacon bite and taste to.

BLT Pasta Salad


2  12oz box of pasta (any kind you like, I use spirals, so that mayo stuff gets all in the grooves.)

1/3 cup of mayonnaise ( I love the one with the olive oil in it)

1/4 cup of Hormel Real Bacon Bits ( or use real bacon, chunked up)

1/2 small red onion ( you can use regular if you like or  a lighter onion taste might be the green onions) (go  light on onion)

4 medium tomatoes (diced into small bites, also throw the juice and the seeds, it mixes with the mayonnaise and gives it a great taste.)

1 cup of spinach (I julienned these and then cut them into smaller bites)

1 pkg of ranch dressing ( any kind, you could also in a pinch 1/2 and 1/2 mayo and the ranch in a bottle)

Sea Salt and Pepper


1) Prepare pasta as directed ( my new tip for pasta is that I rinse it twice before I put it in the pot to boil, just seems to be less heavy and a I think makes it taste better)

2) In a big bowl, start to cut up everything. In a small bowl mix the ranch and the mayonnaise together.

3) Drain Pasta, let cool. ( I rinse mine until cooled)

4) Dump in big bowl with the stuff you cut up, mix with the mayo mixture, taste, then season. Remember add a little at a time, you can always add more, but you can't take away.

I went ahead and made me a bowl for lunch.  The rest I put in the fridge. Which ideally is how you should do it. Leave it for a few hours to soak up the flavors. I can't wait for dinner to try it again.

Mine all Mine....

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. It helped me finish up my tomatoes that I had around, now I am waiting for my next batch to turn red.

 I also hope that I inspire you to cook at home more.
 Home is where the heart is, so open your heart and cook, make it something that is yours. Your spice, your favorite.
 It really is just that simple.


Want to share a little of my dream with you. I am thinking of putting together a cook book.
Here is the start of my idea...

Name for my first cookbook, I have been working on..

"Waste Not Want Not....Recipes for a New Era..."

Being frugal and spending less at the store in groceries is now the new thing. It isn't anything against that great new recipe you want to try, and you still can every now and then, it is about taking what we have in hand and remaking it. Now when you make that grocery list it starts with, what do I have in my refrigerator, pantry, I don't want to waste...Simply leftovers remade or food started as one recipe that bleeds over into many other new dishes for the weekly meals

Thinking of making an EBOOK through Amazon.. just to get my stuff out there...

Any thoughts....still on the drawing board?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tomato Tart

For those tomato people, you know the ones, the ones who just love this time of year, when those ripe ones are coming off the vine. The sweet tangy garden fresh tomato.  I decided to try a tart. It is kinda like a pizza but the crust is either a puff pastry or a phyllo dough.. a very light start to show case all the ingredients.

I uses the cheese that I had at home, which were blue cheese ( I wanted a little bite, but feta would have been nice too)  The Parmesan in the jar I used to dust just a bit in between the phyllo layers to give it an airy texture.

Well let me get to that recipe.

Tomato Tart


Tomatoes (enough to thinly slice, for the entire tart) (the thinness guarantees not such a wet tart)

1/4 cup of blue cheese crumble ( I used these lightly)

1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (the powdered kind in jar)(this is for in between the layers)

1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese (this is for on top)

2 cups of thinly juilenned  spinach

1/2 small onion (cut juilenned also) )( thin so they cook well)

2 cloves of garlic ( thin, thin slices)

1 stick of butter (melted, to brush between the layers)

Pam spray


Garlic salt

Phyllo dough. ( I used one pkg from a two pkg box, 20 sheets)


1) Precut all the vegetables for the topping. Melt your butter and get a brush.

2) Put parchment paper on a sheet tray. Spray with pam spray.

3) Open phyllo dough and lay out on towel, keep a towel to cover it while you work with it, it is very thin so slowly pull it apart,

4) Lay down one layer of phyllo, brush with butter, ( I dabbed it and then lightly spread it.)

5) Sprinkle a little grate parm from the jar. ( this gives it lightness between the layers)

6) Do this until you are finished with the phyllo dough. ( some recipes called for less, but I liked the layers)

7) On the top, break up the crumble blue cheese and lightly sprinkle it out.  Next, put the thin onions on, the spinach, the garlic slivers, and then lay very carefully out the slices of the tomatoes. Making them real pretty, Then sprinkle with the real grated parm, and sprinkle with oregano.

8) Pop into  oven at 400 for 20 minutes, check it after 15 minutes to make sure it does not burn.

9) Remove from oven when nice and brown and let rest and cool at least 5 minutes. Then cut and enjoy.

It was really light and tasty. The tomatoes being fresh were a very summery taste. Made this as a starter for our meal, but it was very filling and we really didn't need much more. Salad would have been nice with it.

So now that I shared this, you gotta try and make it, just for a snack, just so you can taste summer in your mouth, before summer is gone. I am actually trying to figure out how I can freeze my tomatoes in slices to make it again, when it is cold outside.

This was just so yummy...
And really it was so very simple..
So get out there and enjoy your day.. come back any time.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hummus and Chips


This is one of those foods that I will only eat if I make them at home, I find that the store one's are just too tart or tangy. I also like to make things so that I know what is in them. I even made my own chick peas from the actual dried ones. Doing that gave me at least a quart full of chick peas. I used half and froze half. Giving me equal to about 3-4 cans. And mine were only a dollar a bag. A can of chick peas can run about a dollar. So I save a bit but still in a pinch using the can is easier, and of course quicker.

This is really easy and alot of the ingredients you will need to taste to get the right taste that you prefer.



2 cans or 2 cups of chick peas (save the liquid to use if it is too thick to blend)

garlic salt (you can use garlic powder, or some use garlic clove but the clove is bitter to me)

1/4 cup of tahini paste

1/4 cup of lemon juice (to taste, add just a little first and them more)

1/4 cup of olive oil.

sea salt (to taste)


1) Blend this all together. To make a nice puree. Some like it chunky. You can make it the way you like it.

Serve with a warm pita, or cold pitas. Or you can make a quick pita chip. Take your pita and cut in 8ths and then split it apart. Lay on a microwaveable plate. Squirt with Pam spray and sprinkle a little sea salt.
Microwave for one minute. Wait a minute and they will crisp up as the cool. Then proceed to dip.

My kids will eat hummus on a spoon, on a chip, anything. I love the taste of the chick peas. I like it warm and then I like it ice cold from the fridge.

This is a great summer time snack. When dinner is just a bit too heavy when it is hot outside.

So get to trying this and let me know..

Keep it yours, add spinach, add basil. there is so many different things you can do . It really can be just that simple.

Papadoms A New Food Find

 Gotcha a new food to try....

Papadoms - Papadum

Well not really sure how to spell this neat little snack, but I can tell you that I really did enjoy eating them.

I have never heard of them, but I was chatting with my sister the other day and she was talking about a new snack that she was loving. Papadom's. So you know me, anything new, different, I am off. It is an Indian (made in India) Cracker. You can serve them with anything. They are even good plain. I like the fact that they have protein and fiber in them. They are made from Chick Pea flour. There are recipes to make your own, but I was in a big hurry to try them.

 I have read alot of reviews on which is a better brand, but that I really didn't look into too many choices. I use Amazon all the time and this is the plain that I found in their online store. I think Publix might carry them in their international isle, or an international Market.

I actually bought the 20 packs. Which I really did not realize that, that is alot.
Each pack has 200 grams in it. Each pkg is a little over 7oz and 1 oz is equal to 28 grams. If I did my math right. There are like 17 of them in one package so a serving is one ounce, and one oz would be 3 of these little gems.

Which gives me this little nutritional info:
1 oz= 28grams = 3 pieces
total calories = 104
total fat = 1
carb = 17
fiber = 5
protein = 7

and if you are a weight watcher person. I figured in the calculator 2pts for this serving.

To Make these:

1) Place one on a microwaveable dish. 

2) Spritz with a Pam spray

3) Sprinkle with a bit of salt. (I bet Lime would be good too. or chili)

4) Microwave for around 40 seconds to a minute, watch them kinda puff up, and get a bit brown, stop before they burn.

Please be careful removing them, they are hot. I let cool a bit and then crack them into nice big pieces.

I dipped mine in my hummus dip. I bet a tiziki sauce would be good too. I also read they are really good with curry and Indian type foods.

This I guess, since I bought the giant 20 packs is my new snack food. But that is okay, because I have a few curry chicken recipes and a lamb briyani I want to try and this would be a great addition to my meal. 

I am writing this at 3:30 in the morning, another one of those sleepless nights.
School has started back and I am all off schedule. So enjoy this find. If you try it holler back and let me know what you think.

Until then.. enjoy your day.. make time for yourself. Put your feet up, a cup of tea and keep it light...because it really is just that simple.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fruit Popsicles

this is my peach one

Fruit Popsicles 

I come to find out this summer a lot of things produce do not last more than the time they are supposed to as a matter it sometimes just a few days. I find that I buy batch of bananas and maybe half get eaten and there is always a few turning black. I have bought also a lot of watermelon and it always seems you get halfway through and the crew has lost interest in the delicious sweet watermelon. Their attention span is not too long, but that is a totally whole other subject. 

This summer as usual I always try to stay on my game and I  keep watch on what I bought to save money. Everyone knows with black bananas you can make banana bread, you can put them in the freezer peeled, smoothies or use it make with the Yonanna Maker. I decided this year, to make Popsicles. I know in the store a box of fruit Popsicles,  pure fruit Popsicles are about $3-$4 for six. 

Fruit Popsicles


Fresh fruit 

A bit of sweetener ( you will have to taste mixture to see if needed) 

Coconut Water ( or any liquid you like, just to help blend or to add to the Popsicle )

Popsicle Molds ( dollar store has the plastic one, I purchased mine through amazon and they make twelve)

Popsicle Sticks ( bought a huge box at walmart)


1) Take your fruit and purée the fruit. (Or if you like chunky, purée a bit and cut small chunks to drop into the mold and then  pour in juice mixture)

> At this point... I used watermelon, with a touch of sea salt and lime. I also did a watermelon and dropped a few blueberries in it. I made a set of banana ones just with a little coconut water to make smooth. I also did a few in peach, the peach although I used a bit of coconut water, I did add just a bit of sweetener, it was a tiny too tart. SO BE SURE AND TASTE.. before you pour into your molds.

2) Fill molds, put on top, and put in sticks and freeze.. To unmold just run a little hot water over them and they will come free.

3) You can put each one in a sandwich bag and then all into a freezer bag and keep like that. I found that the single portion bags is the perfect size and they even zip close with the stick in them.
 Here is a picture of the portion bags and one of the popsicles being packaged.

Here is the picture of the molds that I bought at Amazon. I just love mine. I actually have two. I really enjoy a nice fruit pop in the evenings. The kids like the sweeter ones, I make with jello mix. That is just making jello mix and pouring in, and I add a few fruits, strawberries, blueberries.

Making your own fruit popsicles is actually a saver. You can have the comfort of knowing you didn't waste, you know the ingredients and you actually get a good treat.

What could be better than that on a hot summer night..

So my friends, It really is just that simple..