Saturday, March 26, 2011

Slow Cooker Black Peppercorn Pork Loin with pineapples, onions, nutmeg & dried cranberries

Set crock pot to high heat, cut up one yellow onion & plop the pieces in the cooker, add one large can of chuck pineapples (juice included) and about 2 handfuls of dried cranberries, grate some nutmeg (but not too much)& stir, Then add your pork loin (it does not have to be peppercorn pork loin, it can be plain)

Now lower the crock pot setting to LOW heat and cook four to four and a half hours( you will know it's done when it begins to fall apart). Serve with rice (I made coconut milk jasmine rice.

Side note: if you find there is not enough liquid add about 1/3rd cup of water(I did).  

The first two photos are when it all first when it the pot (not appetizing looking) but I promise you the end results look better and taste GREAT! (Be sure to see other photos below of it all cooked:)

Here served up with coconut milk jasmine rice and brussel sprouts. It was VERY tender and pulled apart! The coconut milk rice went well with it since it was sweet w/the pineapples.

Cauliflower, Baby Broccoli & Ziti SIMPLE RECIPE

In  a large saute pan w/cover to fit..
Start by cutting the cauliflower up and washing it well, dry and set aside, do same with baby broccoli.
in skillet add EVOO to heat but not burn, add in the cauliflower first (and only) saute up until a light golden brown, now chop up some garlic (to your own liking, I like LOTS of garlic;) place in pan, saute a bit watch to make sure garlic does not burn, just brown up a tad, now add in baby broccoli saute up a bit more..
put in 1 carton of low sodium chicken broth or veggie broth (your choice)
I used chicken broth, place cover on let it cook well .. get a potato masher and start to mach it all up..
add in some ground peppercorns and if you like I added in parsley and 4 fresh basil leaves. I aslso added in dried roemsary, I did not have any fresh rosemary! You can also add in some sea salt if you wish.
Boil ziti pasta (or pasta of your choice) and drain, mix together well in pan or in large bowl.
I served with grated cheese and simple focaccia bread! YUM!
It's VERY fast and easy and good for you too! You can add in red pepper flakes for added flavor is you wish!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bunnies Are Going For a Ride Home

Easter Sunday falls on the 24th of April this year. Here are two cute bunnies I got for my children (course they are almost 15 and 25:) but they will ALWAYS get baskets from me! I need to stop eating the candy that I keep buying for them!!!! 

Hope to come up with some neat & unique items for kids!
Guess because more snow is on its way tonight and into tomorrow morning....
my thoughts fall further on the calender when I PRAY it will warmer!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

It may be the first day of spring BUT...

...Mother Nature sure does not know this (she still thinks it's winter) as we have received snow in my area all day long and it's still coming down! I say, it's a CHICKEN SOUP day!!!

I could seriously live off of soup all winter long...but wait, it's NOT winter! SO WHAT!

Nothing to me gives the soup a more clean taste than FRESH dill on top! Oh my!!!

I use free-range, organic chicken, leeks, low sodium chicken broth, celery, carrots,
parsley (if I have it fresh, on-hand), sometimes I use either a yellow onion or scallions, if I have spinach I add that in, I put in frozen squash (1 box)  or I use a sweet potato and then puree it and put it back in the stock..makes for a more colorful and healthy broth (either or will do & make a huge difference to me in the flavor of the stock). Also on top I sprinkle whatever cheese I have on hand at the time, Parm or Romano or a mix of them both!?!? YUM!

I SELDOM use all the of the same ingredients every time I make my chicken soup, I think playing around with it and using what's on hand is HALF the fun!

What do YOU put in YOUR Chicken SOUP? I would LOVE to hear!
Anything different/unique?

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Pond-skimming arm-floaties (optional) —wherein spring snow enthusiasts strive to cross a small and very cold body of water on skis or snow board, usually while dressed according to that year's theme. This year I attended my first event (Tropical Themed) and no, I didn't partake in it...a simple and dry observer only! (wish I were brave enough because it certainly looked fun). I'm sure it was beyond COLD though! Brrrr! I had 3 layers on AND a coat on and  I still shivered watching them! The little kids were GREAT! I only seen one small kid fall in, the rest all made it over the pond! Amazing!

We watch it at a local ski area called Nashoba Valley located in Westford, MA.

They dig out feet of snow at the bottom of the base. Then they put a liner and fill it with water until it's about 3-4 feet deep!!!!! Today was only in the 40s, misty out and no sun! So.....C O L D!!!!!!

Here are some CHILLY but FUN photos from the event! ~Enjoy from the comfort of your home nice 'n warm! (smiles)



Sometimes it's fun to go outside what we normally see/feel is FUN and try something new and exciting like this! Who knows maybe I can get my husband, daughter or son TRY this next year? I am OK with just watching, thank you very much:)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Black Bean Lasagna Rolls

Black Bean Lasagna Rolls
A spicy Southwestern-inspired twist on a classic dish. Lasagna noodles are rolled up with ricotta cheese and black beans, and served with a spooning of salsa.
yield: 8 servings

8 lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterrey Jack cheese
1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained (optional)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups drained canned no-salt-added black beans
Cooking spray
1 (15.5 ounce) jar no-salt-added salsa
Fresh cilantro sprigs (optional) you may use parsley if you wish
black olives (optional) as is corn if you wish!!! The possibilities are endless!

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well.

Combine cheeses and next 3 ingredients, stirring well. Spread cheese mixture over one side of each noodle. Spoon black beans evenly over cheese mixture. Roll up noodles, jellyroll fashion, beginning at narrow ends.

Place lasagna rolls, seam sides down, in an 11- x 7- x 11/2-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

To serve, spoon salsa evenly over rolls, and garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Bon appetite

Here are some new pictures taken on 03-18-2011 when I made it again,
this time I added in corn!

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Madness!

Yesterday, Sunday-March 6th was a sweet mild day weather wise! There were winds and rain BUT the snow is MELTING! Thrilled over that! I now can see my deck and driveway, parts of my patio are peeking through...and it's always greener over the septic tank! LOL
In my particular area it was a high of 56! Not bad, right?

It inspired me to get started on my seeds! I got two types of lettuce, two types of eggplant and 2 pkgs of Broccoli Raab to get started with along with those mini, disposable green house seed starter kits! My basil is planted in a pot (just bought two plants, organic because didn't feel like starting my herbs from seeds)....
Today it is mild again with more rain! I miss my SUNSHINE but just happy to be finding new things under the snow daily! What a treat! Course this means UPs and DOWNs of temps and MUD/flood season....
but SPRING is almost here!!!
Basil started (small but it will grow:)

Bring on the March Madness!!!!

Camilla's are doing good now! yippie!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Another EARLY Spring Treat

I picked up a spring jacket today. I ended up staying in the TAN family (again) BUT it does have a very bright coral color on the inside at least:)!!!! There are no buttons, just the belt and an inside clip up at the top that holds it closed, I love that about this along with its very feminine ruffles on the sleeves and all down the front!

Want to know the very best of this will smith jacket? The price! I paid only $29.99 Got to LOVE

Doesn't the burst of coral make you happy about Spring? It sure does for me!

I also picked up a pair of jeans, a tank and sweter to go over it that is gray and black stripe (no surprise to with my signature theme here: tans, blacks, whites and grays!).

Scallop, Asparagus, Oyster & Clam Piccata

I have made this dish so many times and always make it different .... this time I added oysters and asparagus.

Norwegian scallops, organic grape tomatoes, clams, oysters, capers, asparagus, shallots, garlic, s&p, parsley, clam juice, fish stock, EVOO, butter, white wine, FRESH squeezed lemon juice....

S&P your scallops (make sure they DRY first) set aside in a dish, put some EVOO in a pan, CUT up the asparagus really small and saute, now add in shallots (you can use yellow onion, red onion or scallions for this dish..and/or mix them up). add in the grape tomatoes and saute pressing down the tomatoes until they SQUISH ...add some sea salt and ground peppercorns, now add in your garlic (don't allow it to burn) put in some butter (about 1/2 stick or less..even to taste), add in your clams and oysters (you can omit these and JUST use the Scallops!) add in 1/3 cup of white wine (optional), parsley, clam juice and fish stock if you can't find fish stock use Veggie broth or chicken broth instead! Throw in your scallops & Add fresh squeezed lemon juice --- mix in your cooked angel hair pasta! YUM!  YUM! YUM!
Makes a HUGE bowl as you can see from my photos. Plate and top with grated cheese & more fresh, chopped parsley ---serve with a good bread for dipping!!! I used a CLASSIC ASIAGO FOCACCIA!!!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Simple and VERY Filling Lunch

First let me start off with my LOVE affair for Bolthouse Farm (their drinks are always in my cart when I make runs to the market, usually their vanilla chai tea or carrot juice). Today I decided to try their YOGURT Blue Cheese Dressing on my lunch .. which consisted of mixed salad greens, veggies and crunchy chicken tenders (which I just bought all made at the market in their pre-cooked area by the seafood and deli meats).

Have the Calories and fat

Pussy Willows & Basil

I had to run to my local market to today to pick-up some ingredients for tonight's dinner (my twist on scallop piccata over whole wheat angel hair pasta, more on that later...). I stopped SHORT in my track when I seen a huge barrel of pussy willows!

For $7.99 I could not resist the 20 in the bunch!

In the end they were placed on my bathroom floor in a lilac vase. TOUCH OF SPRING on this March 1st day of SUNSHINE (yet still cold w/snow on the ground:).

I also picked up two small basil plants in which I will plant later in a larger pot!

The parsley in my glass is for tonight's dinner!

Just how much snow is left to melt?
Taken just a few days ago (but we have received 2 more snow days since then:)