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 upĀ  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 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 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


Posted in Cooking

Kale and Zoodle Salad

I’ve been on a salad kick for a couple of weeks now, and have been taking them to work for lunch. I just thought I’d share this one with you tonight.



This is really what I call a “no-brainer”. One bunch of kale washed an taken off the rib, and chopped to your liking. One zucchini washed, peeled and cut with a Julienne peeler, how ever much red (or other type of) onion, diced-sliced-chopped however you prefer, half of a large tomato chopped, and two stocks of celery thinly sliced. Then I sprinkled some sliced roasted almonds on top. It’s that simple.


For the dressing I grabbed a small handful of fresh chives from our garden mixed it with one Tablespoon of German Mustard, two teaspoons of orange juice, two capfulls of Apple Cider Vinegar and a little pepper to taste. I’ve been trying no to use salt much and I’m sure there’s plenty of it in the mustard, so I elected not to add any more.

I poured the dressing on the salad and put it in a lunch container so all I had to do was grab it and go. Pouring the dressing on it and letting in soak in over night helps to tone down the bitter flavor kale can have sometimes and it also helps to soften the leaves a tiny bit. I don’t generally pour dressing on the night before, but in this case I really thought it was a good idea and the salad was deliciously perfect by lunch the next day.

I have never eaten much kale before this summer and I must admit it is really hardy. When I add kale to my salad it holds me over until dinner without any problems.


Posted in Cooking

Homemade Cherry, Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Even though it’s almost mid-April it feels like winter today. Cold, windy, rainy, cloudy – just dreadful weather in my book. I needed some sort of pick-me-up and I found just the ticket, er, comfort food rather.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream….delicious.

I love my ice cream maker that I got for Christmas a couple years ago, but I haven’t really experimented too much with different flavors and I was going through my pantry and found a jar of Maraschino Cherries that were due to expire next month (I know…how could that be?). Clearly my pantry “might” be a little over stocked right now. Ha-Ha. Anyways that got me to thinking how much I LOVE cherry ice cream and then I saw a bar of dark chocolate just hanging out calling to be used…There was my answer.

I used a basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe and tweaked it a bit.


Firstly, I must say chopping chocolate can get messy. I chopped half of a Gian Hershey’s Dark Chocolate bar and made sure to use only the chopped pieces of chocolate. What I mean by that is when you chop chocolate with a knife it leaves a fine dusting of chocolate along with chunks. I didn’t want chocolate dust in my ice cream only the chunks, so instead of picking up the entire board and swiping all of the chocolate in the ice cream I only picked up the chunks and put it in. (This was just my personal preference – it’s a texture thing).


Five egg yolks and a half cup of white sugar.


Mix with a hand mixer until it’s light yellow and has a thick, creamy texture.
In the meanwhile, cook your liquid mixture on Medium heat until a very slow boil starts.
This is a VERY crucial step in making homemade ice cream, as, I’m sure not may of us care to eat raw eggs or have scrambled eggs in our otherwise creamy ice cream. The eggs must be “TEMPERED” by taking a ladle of hot milk mixture and slowly adding it to the egg mixture. I do this about three times and then the eggs should be warm enough to add to the milk mixture and finish cooking.
Once the eggs and milk have been married continue cooking the cream on Medium, keeping a careful eye out to not boil (otherwise it will curdle and be ruined). Once it becomes thick enough to stick to your spoon then it’s finished cooking.
Pour it over a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.
Gross—not good in ice cream!!!
After the ice cream has cooled down some, cover it with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap is touching the surface of the cream so you don’t get a skin on it, and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours or over night.
I let the ice cream maker do all of the work. Churning away.
After about twenty-five minutes in the ice cream maker and this is what you get. Delicious!!!


The recipe:

2 cups whole milk

2 cups half & half

1 cup sugar – divided

pinch of sea salt

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

5 Large Egg yolks

4 Tbsp juice from the Maraschino Cherries

3/4 of a small jar of Maraschino Cherries – chopped to your likeness

1/2 of a Giant Hershey’s Dark Chocolate bar – chopped to your likeness

In a large sauce pan on medium heat bring to a light boil milk, half & half, 1/2 cup sugar, both extracts, sea salt and juice from cherries.

While that’s cooking mix egg yolks with the other 1/2 cup of sugar until it’s light yellow, thickened and creamy.

Once the milk mixture is at a light boil temper the eggs with the hot milk mixture by adding a ladle-full of milk to the eggs stirring then repeating the process two more times. By then the eggs should be tempered enough to add to the milk mixture and continue cooking them until it’s hot. Be sure to not boil this mixture.

Strain the mixture into a medium-sized bowl and let it cool down some. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it at least two hours or over night.

Pour the cooled ice cream mixture into the thoroughly FROZEN ice cream bowl that comes with your ice cream maker and start her up. I added the cherries and chocolate about 15 minutes into the churning process and let it finish churning another 15 minutes. It’s ready to eat soft serve or placed into a freezer safe pint container and store in the freezer (not that it will last very long…because it’s delicious)!!!!

This was just the ticket to cheer me up on such a dreary Spring day~Bam




Posted in Container Gardening, Cooking

Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

We’ve had a good turn out of Sun Sugar tomatoes and basil in our raised garden this summer and I made this delicious, healthy salad with them and I thought I would share this recipe.

20150728_191730 Simple, healthy ingredients.

1/2 cup Sun Sugar tomatoes – sliced in half

1/2 cup Mozzarella Pearls (I used BelGioioso)

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (I like a minimal amount of vinegar in my dressings – feel free to add more to taste)

1 Tbsp fresh Basil – sliced chiffonade style (rolled tightly and thinly sliced)

salt and pepper to taste

20150728_193223 A delicious, healthy, quick salad to take to work for lunch and as an added bonus it’s gluten free. I don’t have celiac disease so I’m not overly concerned with eating gluten, however, I do believe I feel less sluggish when I eat less gluten. Loved it!!!

For different variations – I’ve add fresh sliced cucumber, or a packet of Mediterranean tuna (it’s one of my favorites).

Enjoy the freshness of summer~Bam.

Posted in Cooking

Lemon Rosemary Scones

I love, love, love lemon. It’s just one of those flavors I really love.

We have fresh Rosemary and Lemon Verbena growing in the back yard in some pots and I thought wouldn’t it be great to bake something with them. Here’s what I came up with.

Lemon Rosemary Scones

It’s an easy recipe. I basically mixed all of the dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in a smaller bowl and then they get mixed together. No stand mixer needed, it’s all done by hand.

Flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, lemon zest, fresh rosemary, lemon verbena. Mix it around just a bit with a fork.
Add cold butter, that’s been diced into small pieces.
Take a hand held pastry blender and blend away until you have a fine crumb mixture.
Add the wet ingredients – egg, vanilla, heavy cream, and fresh lemon juice.
P1010350 Mix it until it forms a ball and then roll it out on a lightly floured surface.
Bake at until they are a light golden brown.
Here you have it…Lemon Rosemary scone with Lemon Chiffon tea. A perfect pair for an afternoon of relaxing.

Recipe: Preheat your oven to 350degrees.

In a large bowl mix:

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 2 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 T. fresh chopped Rosemary
  • 1 T. fresh chopped lemon verbena
  • 1/3 cup very cold butter – diced into small pieces

In a smaller bowl mix:

  • 1 egg- beaten
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 5 T. heavy cream (may need more to get the texture you want)
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice

Mix the liquid ingredients into the dry and then place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead about ten times until the dough is smooth.

Roll out the dough to about 1/3″ to 1/4″ thickness and then either make a circle and cut into pie shape or use a biscuit cutter and make biscuit shapes.

This had the perfect dry, flaky texture of a scone. Perfect for dipping in hot tea or coffee with very mild flavors of lemon and rosemary.