Posted in Cooking

Kale and Beet Salad with Strawberry Dressing

I would say liking kale could be considered an acquired taste. It has a strong earthy flavor and has a tough texture as far as a salad green goes. Even cooking it doesn’t make it really tender, but, I’ve come to really enjoy kale salads.

Here’s my take on a kale and beet salad.


Before, I found this really convenient can of already thinly sliced beets, I was cutting them up  myself. Let’s just say beets are very messy. I saw these and now this salad is even easier to make.


Keeping in mind that I am the only one in my family that will eat this salad I only made a lunch sized amount.


For the salad:

  • 1 small bunch of kale – cleaned thoroughly, then roughly chopped (or just pulled in to bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 medium handful walnuts – roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch of scallion – roughly chopped (sometimes I’ll use a small amount of red onion – just whatever I happen to have already at home)
  • 1/4 can of shoestring beets drained
  • 2 Tbsp of Gorgonzola cheese

HINT: Kale has a lot of very tine crevices that can hold dirt and it really needs to be washed thoroughly.

For the Dressing I used:

  • 8 cleaned and diced strawberries
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/8 c. dry white wine
  • pepper to taste

I put mine in a Nutribullet and blend until you get the consistency you want.

I really like the sweetness of the strawberry dressing with the tartness of the kale and Gorgonzola. The flavors just seem to go really good together.

Place the rest of the can of beets in a small container and refrigerate. Then mix with cottage cheese for another healthy snack; or eat them on their own with dinner. Beets are super good for you.



Posted in Christianity

We Are Not Alone

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything at all. Usually, my ideas come to me in the middle of the night, while lying in bed, waiting for sleep. Just waiting…

Why is it that at the end of the day my mind seems to begin to waken? It’s actually quite frustrating for me. I have all kinds of thoughts running through those little synapses. ‘should I make a dinner plan for the week?’ ‘what do I have available in the freezer?’ ‘I hope my son makes it home from work okay’ ‘I have a million ideas to write down’, etc…

I usually end up falling asleep after all of that, or, if I still haven’t fallen asleep by then I start to pray. Praying can be so calming. I pray for my extended family, for sick loved ones, for my son to find his way in life, for my husband, our parents, myself.

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; Colossians 4:2 NKJV

Even though God knows all, He still wants us to come to Him. It seems sort of one sided until we quieten our mind. Sometimes, not always, He does something to really get our attention.

My cousin recently fell seriously ill. She was told by her Doctor if she hadn’t come to the hospital when she did she would have most likely been dead in a day or two. She was REALLY sick.

She has a bible app on her phone. When she got home for the hospital it she picked up her phone and ‘mysteriously’ it was open to a verse that read:

O Lord, Your brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.  – Psalm 30:3 NKJV

Why did God show her this? He has rule over all of us. How can be possibly know us all?  Yet he does. He knows each of us by name. He knows the number of hairs on our head. It’s overwhelming to think just how incredible this really is.

The Lord has called me from the womb; From the matrix of my mother He has made mention of my name. Isaiah 49:1 NKJV

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you: Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV

But the very hairs of you head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:7 NKJV

To me, they are a comfort. They remind me even before I was thought of God knew me and He loved my from even before I began.

Just something to ponder. These scriptures are good to know and keep close when we feel alone~Bam







Posted in Cooking

Healthier slaw salad

I love salads. I have always loved salads. All kinds of salads. Savory, sweet and everything in between.

Here’s what I’m having for lunch tomorrow.

I bought a new salad dressing, on the recommendation of one of my coworkers, and I was pleasantly surprised at it’s flavor. The reason why I say this is because it’s “free” of practically everything. Gluten, fat, sugar, calories, or carbs. I purchased the “Honey Dijon”. I has a mild flavor, and has a thinner consistency than other honey dijon dressings, but I really love the flavor and will definitely be purchasing more.

This is a super simple salad. It took me less than ten minutes to whip it up.

Mix together:

1 cup of raw slaw mix

Half of a Honey Crisp Apple – Julienned

About 7 radish – thinly sliced

Two Tablespoons of Walden Farms Honey Dijon

For a little more crunch and protein I added a handful of chopped walnuts.

I’d sat that’s pretty easy for a healthy lunch!


Posted in DIY decorating

Recovering the Kitchen Chairs

This will be the third time I’ve recovered these chairs in the time that we’ve had them, about ten years now. I have yet to take off the old covers, it adds a little extra cushion and takes less time, if I just cover right over them. That right there lets you know just how easy this job is.


They were a light green and clearly, even after trying to scrub them, I just could not get them cleaned up.

P1010582It’s actually quite simple and very cost effective. I got two yards of fabric from a remnant at Jo-Ann Fabric’s with a 40% of coupon, so the cost was less than $20. YIPPEE!! I already had a staple gun and staples from previous projects around the home. The fabric I bought is a medium thickness upholstery type, brown in color. I knew this time I wanted something darker and very neutral. (eventually we’re going to work on redoing our kitchen floor and I want something that will match just about anything).


To measure out the amount of fabric I’m going to need, I just lay the cushion on top of the fabric neat the corner of the left side and size it up. I just want to have about two inches left on the sides, otherwise, it just gets in the way and needs to be trimmed off anyway. I did some loose measuring with a tape measure here, but otherwise, I really didn’t use one for the rest of the project. I just eyeballed about two inches and made my cuts. Once I knew where I had the extra fabric on the other side I just trimmed it down so I would have about two inches of extra fabric on both sides then I did the same for the other sides and just went from there.

P1010583I start by folding down the two inch side by about one inch so I have about one inch left to work with. I just think that the double layer of fabric helps the staples stick better and the fabric seems to hold up better that way. Then I just staple down the side about four to five times along the edge. Making sure to press on the staple gun HARD, otherwise, they won’t go all the way through to the wood and then you have to start over.


Once the first side is done, turn your seat around and pull the fabric taught – you don’t want any looseness to the fabric. Staple as you did on the first side – keeping fabric taught as you go and continue with the other two sides.


The corners are a little tricky. I staple the fabric down fairly close but not all the way because I’m going to trim any extra fabric here and then “fold” it down so it looks nice (I know no ones going to see it but it just makes me feel better to know it looks nice anyway – OCDish here!!!)


Be very careful to not trim too much, once it’s gone, it’s gone, there’s no going back.


I have the extra trimmed off now and I’m going to put a staple on each side close together. I still have the majority of the fabric under my hand which I’m going to fold down.


Once I have the underneath attached very securely I fold the rest of the fabric down to make somewhat of a point. Trimming any more extra fabric here at the end and stapling down the rest of the corner while holding the fabric taught again at the edge. This makes for a very nice corner finish once it’s completed.


TA-DA. It looks so much nicer now. It only took me about two hours to recover all four chairs (my husband helped with the manual labor – unscrewing/screwing the seats from the frames) otherwise it would have taken me longer. I do always appreciate his help with my crafty stuff.

I’m a firm believer that there’s no need to spend a lot of money for someone else to do something I can do. Not only that, but it makes me feel good to know that I can change these seat covers out when ever I feel a need for change. I don’t have to spend a lot of money or time to do it.

Hope this inspires some of you to change out your own kitchen seat covers the next time they’re looking a little less than appealing.~Bam!







Posted in Life

Biggest Looser -continued

There are only two weeks left in our works “Biggest Looser at Work” contest. I also can’t believe I’ve only lost about five pounds in the last two months, however, my clothes are looser and at my age at least I haven’t gained weight. All in all, I’d say I’m happy with the progress I’ve been making. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it – I really believe the slower I loose weight the better chance I have of keeping it off.

For the last month I’ve have kept track of my daily steps, miles those steps account for, any extra exercise and most importantly all of my food intake. With linked to my Garmin Vivofit it’s super easy to keep track of everything. I also downloaded an exercise grid and made some adjustments to it so I could actually write down my numbers. What can I say – pulling out a piece of paper and writing on it is still a lot less time consuming than waiting for my computer to turn on and going to the file, etc…

I’ll be the first to admit after a long day at work, the last thing I want to do when I get home is exercise, but I promised my health coach (free through our health insurance) I would at least try to do some sort of exercise three times a week. Doing the same thing over and over again is B.O.R.I.N.G. for me, so, one night after dinner I’ll take the dog for a fast walk,  another night I might try to do yoga, or try some easy Pilates, or do a Kettlebell work out – which is my favorite.

Just a little bit of transparency here – In the last few weeks I’ve really had this on my mind; I know this will only get harder for me in the next few months. I absolutely H A T E winter. Cold, bitter weather, lots of snow, ice…ICK. When winter sets in all I want to do is eat, make a nice fire, cover up with a blanket on the couch and sleep. I already know I’m going to have to change the way I think or I’m going to be in big trouble.

I’ve come to realize exercising is not for the faint of heart, but it good for the heart!! ♥♥♥~Bam



Posted in Life

Biggest Looser -Week 5

I can’t believe it’s really been five weeks since we started this contest at work. I kind of lost some gusto about a week ago – for about a week- then it was time for my Intervent Health Coach to call. Oopsie – I kind of fell of the exercise wagon and I have to fess up, or really what’s the use in having someone to be accountable to if I am not honest about my eating or activity level?

First thing in my morning routine is breakfast. I’ve been trying to incorporate some protein smoothies into this routine and I’ve been pleasantly pleased so far. I’ve made a Banana with Peanut Butter smoothie, a sort of copycat Orange Julius type, and an Oatmeal Cinnamon one. I start them all with one scoop of Vanilla Protein powder and Vanilla low-fat yogurt, some unsweetened Almond milk, and then I add the other ingredients to it to make the desired smoothie.

I have been pleasantly surprised at how well these smoothies hold me over until lunch time. On some mornings when I eat egg whites and a turkey sausage I am completely famished by lunch.

Which brings me to my next subject: LUNCH… I have definitely done much better about keeping an eye out for the lunches that we have brought in and when I need to take my lunch. I work in a very fast food laden area of the city, so it is nothing for me to hop in my car and get something quick. Not necessarily healthy and definitely not low calorie or low carb. I have come to realize it is super important for me to take my lunch if I plan on staying on task.


I made a small amount of Tri-color Quinoa per package directions, added some fresh peas and green beans I picked from our tiny garden, fresh lemon juice, pepper and this package of StarKist Salmon Creations (I didn’t realize it was salmon until I had already opened it – I thought it was a tuna package – which is what I usually buy). After I made it and realized it was Mango Chipotle flavored I thought it would be really too spicy. The salmon has a mild flavor and the Mango Chipotle complemented my Quinoa perfectly. I will definitely make this again. Not only was this surprisingly delicious, I didn’t feel hungry half-way through the afternoon and I didn’t get tired either. I was the perfect lunch for the long lasting energy I need.

We do our weigh-ins on the Friday of our pay week, but I wasn’t able to weigh in because I was at the Creation Museum that day with the family. Regardless, I weigh myself at home every Sunday morning when I first wake up. This week I was down another pound.

Now, that may not seem much of an accomplishment to some, but for me, it’s fantastic. Considering I haven’t done much in the way of actual exercise – although I usually always get more than 10.000 steps a day. I have pre-menopausal hormones to deal with and I have hypothyroidism. Even though I take my thyroid medicine daily I just feel that my metabolism is perpetually  slow (maybe it’s just in my head- haha). I also feel that if I’m loosing the weight slowly I will keep it off longer. Hopefully for life. I feel that this needs to be a life long journey – not just a short term contest. Although, it was the kick start that I needed. Thanks Katlyn!!!

We will have to see where the next two weeks bring me.~Bam


Posted in Cooking

Homemade Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

I was at the grocery yesterday and they had a sale on blueberries and I bought a one pound container of them because they just looked so delicious.

My husband doesn’t really like to eat them raw because of the texture they have. At first I thought about making blueberry muffins but then I remembered my oven isn’t working and I can’t get a 12 muffin pan in my little Oster Toaster Oven, nor would anything 9″ x 12″ fit. After narrowing my options down I came up with blueberry pie.

I used a basic Pate Brisee crust which I got from Martha Stewart’s web site years and years ago. It has never failed me and it is really easy to make. For today’s crust, however, I did not use any sugar and I halved the recipe because I just don’t need that much dough.

Once I made the crust I placed it in a ball wrapped up in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to keep it cold until I was ready to put the pie together.

The filling recipe is:

1 pound rinsed and dried blueberries

1/2 each all-purpose flour, sugar, and brown sugar

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Mix all of the ingredients together and pour them into the pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for roughly 40 minutes. Baking times may and probably will vary, because I was using our Oster Toaster Oven instead of a regular large oven.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream~Bam