Dining in Wonderland

Hubby and I and the dog took the drive to Tucson this weekend. It’s about a 5 hour drive. Went to see Daughter Sarah Jean and her husband Ben and their son Gage. We ventured out to pick up Grandson Gage so he could come visit the Ol Grandparents and see their newly purchased first home.

It is a beautiful home that they love and have been making it their own with new paint and their personal belongings.

I feel sort of bad because I didn’t take any pictures of their great desert landscaping or the side yard with a wonderful pool for Gage to have teenager pool parties in. The record room where we rocked out to Vintage albums, or the awesome game room where you jam on the guitars or try your thumbs out on the newest video games. Oh no I skipped all that goodness and headed for my favorite room which was the dining room decorated in the ” Alice in Wonderland theme”   Sarah decorated it on her own and it was truly delightful and a great conversation piece as we dined on breakfast that Ben prepared for us. Here are the few pictures that I did get.

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It was a great weekend and always wonderful to see your children happy and doing well. Here’s to the “Adventure in Alice’s room”.

Love Love Love

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Roasted Veggie Flatbread


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Loving all the Flat-breads you can purchase in our local stores these days and they taste really good. “NAAN” bread you will also see it called in recipes and  at the stores. Stonefire is a brand that I have found at the grocery store and Costco sells a pack of mini-ones. WWW.stonefire.com Check out their website for recipes and tips.

I made this one the other night and it was yummy, healthy, and fell into our lean,clean cooking category that I have been working on around our house (my hubby has lost 20 lbs). YAY for him!!! I’m still working on that abundance of zucchini I have.

Ingredients: Makes 2 Naan Bread Pizza’s

1 package of Stonefire Baked Naan -(holds 2 Naan flat-breads)

1 package 8 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms

2 carrots thinly sliced

1 large zucchini ( cut into bite size pieces)

1 red bell pepper(chopped into bite size pieces)

1 TBSP. Italian Seasoning

1/4 cup olive oil

Boursin Cheese Spread (your favorite flavor) I used garlic & herb

Herb flavored Goat Cheese

Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

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Place all veggies into a large bowl and pour olive oil and the Italian seasoning on top and stir to coat well. Pour all veggies onto a foil or parchment lined cookie sheet. Place in oven set on Broil about 4-5″ from heating element, broil for about 6 minutes, pull out and stir and toss veggies. Place back into broiler for another 8 minutes approximately.Until they are cooked but still have life in them. They will be cooking some more when placed on Naan bread.

While veggies cool a bit, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place your Naan breads onto a cookie sheet, spread a layer of Boursin Cheese onto the flat-bread,then scatter your veggies onto the flat-bread, ( I had some veggies left over so will use those for lunch tomorrow ) I then pinched off pieces of the Goat Cheese (about 1 oz. per flat-bread) and scattered over the veggies followed by a layer of Mozzarella cheese. I drizzled some olive oil on top and baked for about 7-8 minutes. I drizzled a little more Olive oil when they came out of the oven.

I ate ALL of mine :) As you can see you can top with ANYTHING, the sky’s the limit and if you go to their website they have some really great recipes. This is just what I did with mine today. Hope you enjoy as much as we did.

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Zucchini & Parmesan Bites

Its Zucchini season and there is abundance of it everywhere. Love it and this is what I did with mine this week. Easy, yummy and a healthy way to eat them.

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Ingredients:

3 medium sized Zucchini

Garlic powder, salt and pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions for your bites:

1. Preheat your oven to 425 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil and spray with your favorite cooking spray.

2. Wash and dry zucchini and cut into 1/4″ rounds ( next time I am going to cut them a little thicker and see what happens). Sprinkle zucchini with the garlic, salt and pepper. Spread a thin (or thick) layer of the Parmesan cheese on top of each zucchini. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese turns golden and bubbly. Serve while hot. Enjoy

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Slice your Zucchini approximately 1/4″ thick rounds and line them on a parchment covered cookie sheet sprayed with your favorite cooking spray. Don’t be anal about how they are on the pan just put them there.

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Sprinkle them with garlic salt and pepper, or garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top of the rounds

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Bake them in the center of your oven at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese turns bubbly and brown.

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Five really fun summer cocktail hacks

summer drinks

I was sent this really cool little video that has some fun summer tips to keep adults and kids cooler and smiling thru this summer season. Hope you enjoy.

http://www.food.com/video/5-cool-summer-cocktail-hacks-44?nl=FCW_062315_sidebarCTA&bid=4612322&c32=7779ef00c62a215b0b7a3b2920b23c2319aa7a76

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “You, the Sandwich.”

I’m a foodie,love ALMOST everything,just some more than others. If a restaurant were to name something after me it would be “The Daily Special”, everyday would be something different from what ever is fresh in the kitchen. For example today I look around my kitchen and found this

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Avocados,tomatoes,crab,pesto,mozzarella cheese and fresh basil, just need some nice sourdough and they would have “The Daily Special” Meme the Panini. Tomorrow would be what ever is fresh and ready to move out of the kitchen. Ciao!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/you-the-sandwich/”>You, the Sandwich</a>

The Daily Special

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Gorgeous and her new collar

Meet our rescue dog Gorgeous


We got her last December and she moved right into our home and hearts. She is a terrier mix and loves every human being and critter on this planet.

With such a great name she deserved a collar to match. I purchased this collar at Walmart for around $5.00, dug through my craft closet of a jar I have of misc. flowers, mostly from Hobby Lobby and some that I made from an old sheet,anyway they are all fabric so can be gently washed.

I hot glued them to the collar and sprayed with Scotch Guard brand spray to protect them a little longer from dirt. She barked and pawed at me while I made it because she was so excited.


  

  

Miss Gorgeous knows now how even more Gorgeous she is,if I could have only captured the moment on Kodak when I put the collar on her and told her how pretty she was 😊

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Yuma 2015

Been doing this motorcycle run since 2001 with great friends. This year was no exception                                                                                 See you all next year Yuma 2016

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Ham & Egg Cups :)

These little guys make me happy . Easy to make,taste great,low calories,last for a few days,easy to take to work, shall I continue?

Baked Egg Cups

12 Eggs

12 thin slices of deli ham (round)

1/2 Cup of your favorite cheese (I used Parmesan)

1/2 Cup diced green onion

Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400.  Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.  Lay a piece of ham in each hole creating a little ham cup.  Crack one egg into each hole and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake the eggs for about 12 minutes…until the white is firm and the yolk is still nice and runny.

Carefully remove each egg from the muffin tin and top with grated cheese and green onion.

Add ins I want to try, put in before adding egg: fresh spinach, avocado or cooked aspargus. Its good to get some greens going in with your breakfast for health benefits.

Sunshine Breakfast

Sunshine Breakfast

Only 100 calories per egg. Cant beat that, and I wrap them up in a Ziploc bag and take to work and share cause they are still good cold.

Hope you enjoy!

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Southern Gumbo Ya’ll

It was Mardi Gras a few weeks ago in New Orleans, so time to cook up some Gumbo. We flew there last week for a construction convention and our mouths have been watering all week thinking about the food we were gonna enjoy. Thought I outta make us up a batch and get us ready. This is a very easy recipe just a little time consuming. A little lighter recipe then some, the secret is to get a really dark chocolate colored roux, a process you learn over time. If you get your roux to dark to fast it will burn and ruin your whole batch. So go slow and watch it like a hawk!
First I prepare myself. Get your song station on the right tunes. This is what I use “Songza” and here is a link to the playlist I listened to. Good ol Southern music got me in the mood. Get yourself something cool to drink cause you cant leave once you get started.

http://songza.com/listen/southern-fishing-songza/

This is the basic recipe I use, but added my notes of what I did a little different.

Seafood, Sausage & Chicken Gumbo

Seasoning Mix
1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt,paprika,thyme leaves,garlic powder,ground black pepper,dry mustard and sugar
3/4 teaspoons each of ground cumin,white pepper and onion powder

GUMBO
2 Tablespoons veggie oil
4 chicken thighs(skin on and bone in)
8 cups water or chicken stock ( 2 large boxes of chicken broth does it)
8 ozs Andouille sausage
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chopped white onion
1 1/2 cups chopped red or green pepper( I used both)
1 cup chopped celery (I was out so added celery salt,next time will add fresh in)
1/2 cup chopped parsley (I didn’t have fresh,so I used some dried)
1 lb each of crab meat and shrimp (crab meat was too expensive today so I used 2 lbs of shrimp)
1. Combine ingredients for seasoning mix:

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2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven. Add chicken . Sauté until browned on both sides. Remove chicken to a large saucepan, reserve drippings in the Dutch oven. add your 8 cups of broth or water ( I prefer broth) over chicken cover and let simmer for 1 hour. Drain,reserving stock, bone chicken and reserve meat.

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3. Add sausage to reserved drippings and sauté until browned. Remove sausage, reserve drippings in Dutch oven
Before you start the next step you gotta do a few things because when you start the roux you CANNOT do anything else for about the next 10 minutes. So use the restroom, tie up the children,let the dog out and turn off the phone. Ok carry on.

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4. This is the pan I browned the chicken and sausage in. Add enough oil to drippings to equal about 1/2 cup. Heat and add flour 1/4 cup at a time, stirring until smooth. Cook roux, stirring (whisking) constantly until browned and a deep caramel color 5-7 minutes on a medium flame( I think I could of cooked this roux a little longer and darken it up some but I started getting worried and stopped here and it was still very good. Add onions and peppers and celery,parsley and 2 Tablespoons of seasoning mix. This will be a thick clump of veggies but that’s good.(You will have enough seasoning mix for your next batch of Gumbo). Whisk your clump well and cook 10 minutes.

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5. Add reserved stock about 1 cup at a time and whisk well with each addition and cook 20 more minutes. Add chicken, sausage and seafood and cook another 10 minutes.

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Cook low and slow for another hour or so, make a batch of white rice to ladel the Gumbo over and your set. They say Gumbo is personal, so you can add your favorite ingredients from different sausages, okra,oysters, chicken breasts,thighs or legs or all! Spice it up or down what ever your heat level is. Im thinking next time to make up a batch of Hush Puppies to go along side.

If its your first time of making Gumbo read up on it on the Internet and get tips and ideas for your first batch. One thing I know is true, if you make up a pot of Gumbo you have friends.

Thanks to my Mother-In-Law Shirley Buxton for inspiring me and feeding me this dish. I fell  in love with it and what it represents.

“Laissez les bons temps rouler”

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Meatless Monday- Stuffed sweet potato

I have started a new thing in our house, it’s Meatless Monday. Not to say I don’t eat meat that DAY, but just not for dinner. I find also by picking something meatless it’s tends to run into something healthy. Last Monday I chose these stuffed sweet potatoes. They were easy very tasty and I can speak for both of us on saying we were full, satisfied and went to bed with lighter feeling belly, which is always a good thing!
I chose this theme for Monday cause everyone knows Tuesday Is ALWAYS for Tacos. Hope this inspires you to pick that one day to do something good and different.I swear after you do it once it tends to set in as a tradition .

This is the recipe I used but traded the Kale with Spinach

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Beans and Greens
Serves 4
4 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (4-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) cooked and drained white beans
6 cups kale, trimmed and sliced into ribbons
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Scrub the sweet potatoes and prick them in a few places with a fork. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until soft all the way through, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Start the beans and greens about 15 to 20 minutes before the sweet potatoes are done.

In a wide, deep saucepan with a cover, heat the olive oil over low-moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary sprig, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kale, cover the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the kale is soft. Remove the rosemary sprig, stir in the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, slice each sweet potato lengthwise and push on the ends to open up the middle. Spoon the beans and greens into the center.

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Next week: Meatless Monday- Stuffed Poblano Peppers

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