Wednesday, April 23, 2014

DIY Miracle Grow (Chemical Free)

Yes, there is an easy to fertilize your plants without store bought chemicals!  You probably already have everything you need to create this simple fertilizer.....perfect for all your spring and summer plants!


You'll Need:
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 tbl epsom salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ammonia
Mix all ingredients into the gallon of water and use once a month on your plants.  Your plants will thank you :)


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast

Try this delicious stuffed french toast for your Easter brunch or breakfast....use any fresh fruit you like :)


  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbl vanilla 
  • 2 tbl cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup strawberry puree
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 loaf day old bread or regular sliced sandwich bread
  • butter
  • confectioners sugar
  • Strawberries for garnish
  • Whipped cream

*Note:  Use a bunny cookie cutter and cut out heart shapes with your bread!  Do this prior to adding the cream cheese mixture to the center.

  1. In a medium size bowl, whisk milk, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon with the beaten eggs.  In a separate bowl  combine strawberry puree and cream cheese until smooth and creamy.  
  2. Slice the bread in half (if using a loaf bread, slice into 1 inch slices then cut in half).  Spread the strawberry cream cheese mixture into the center of the bread and top with the other half.  Continue with remaining bread slices.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet.  Dip the sandwiched bread into the egg mixture until coated.  Cook until browned on both sides.  Dust with confectioners sugar, sliced strawberries and whipped cream!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DIY Easter Egg Dye

Avoid chemicals and additives in store bought dyes and make your own!  Or this could simply be a little lesson for the kids to how eggs were colored before all the artificial dyes were created.  The longer you let the egg sit the more vibrant it will be!


The Basics:
(per color)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tsp vinegar
  • small sauce pans or bowls (if you are going to be microwaving)
Now for the color infusions you'll need:

Blue:  1/2 cup blueberries
Orange:  2 tbl turmeric
Purple: 1/8 cup grape juice
Purple: 1/2 cup raspberries
Red: 1/8 cup pomegranate juice
Yellow: 2 tbl cumin
Green: 1/2 cup spinach (chopped)

Add each of your color infusions to your bowl or sauce pan and cover with 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil on the stove or covered in the microwave.  Once boiling remove from heat and cover.  Allow to sit until cooled.  Once cooled, add 3 tsp of vinegar to each color.  Now, pace your eggs into the color.  The longer they sit in the color the more vibrant they will be (you could allow to sit for more than a day).  Enjoy!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Sausage

This new take on lasagna has no noodles!  The butternut squash replaces the noodles!  Still just as satisfying and filling.  The squash pairs perfectly with the sausage and adds a delicious sweetness to the lasagna!

You'll Need:
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled
  • 1 lb lean turkey sausage (omit for a vegetarian option)
  • 1 (16 oz) container reduced fat ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of sage
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Begin slicing your squash.  With the squash cut in half, cut off the bulb portion of the squash so you are left with 2 hunks.  Using a mandolin or a sharp knife slice the squash into 1/8 in pieces.  Boil the slices in salted water for 5 minutes.  Drain immediately.

While the squash is boiling, saute the spinach, garlic and onion in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil.  Saute until onion is tender and spinach has wilted.  Set aside to cool.  In the same pan, cook the sausage until browned.

Mix the ricotta with 1 egg and add in the spinach mixture, add in dash of nutmeg and sage.  Lightly grease an 8x8 inch baking pan and layer bottom with the butternut squash (as you would lasagna).  Spread a thin layer of the ricotta cheese mixture and top with some of the sausage.  Continue to work in layers same as you would a lasagna finishing with a layer of the squash.  Top with the mozzarella and parm cheese.  Bake for 25 minutes and allow to cool for 15 minutes.  This will help the lasagna to set up so it isn't watery.  Slice and enjoy!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Creamy Taco Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini noodles are the perfect substitute for pasta.  You'll almost never know your not eating pasta!  The texture is like an al dente noodle, paired with a flavorful sauce you'll never miss the real thing!  This sauce has a kick and is a deliciously creamy taco flavored sauce.  It's so simple to put together...enjoy as a side dish or as a meatless main.

You'll Need:
  • 4 medium to small zucchini or summer squash
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed and finely diced (optional)
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning (or 1/4 cup of this homemade version)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 tbl cream cheese
  • cilantro (optional)
Using a small size french fry slicer on a mandolin, slice the zucchini down length wise to form "noodles".  If you don't have a mandolin, slice the zucchini 1/8 in thick length wise, then slice into thin pasta like strips.  Heat a large skillet and drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add in the jalapeno and onion and saute about 5 minutes.  Add in the zucchini and saute another 5 minutes.  Add in the tomatoes and the taco seasoning and stir to combine.  Finally add in the cream cheese and stir until the cheese has melted.  Garnish with cilantro if desired.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Unless your an avid egg eater, hard boiled egg eater that is, you probably find yourself scratching your head when your kids want to color Easter eggs.  How long do I boil?  Should the water be boiling when I put the eggs in?  Here is a no fail way to prepare hard boiled eggs for decorating!

Tip*  Make sure your eggs are several days old.  The fresher the egg, the harder it will be to peel!  Also, hard boiled eggs must be refrigerated if not eaten within a few hours.  Store them in their shell in the fridge or peeled in a sealed container for up to 1 week.

  1. Place eggs in a large sauce pan and cover by about 1 inch with cold water.  Add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt (this will assist in the peeling of the shell when they are done).  Bring water to a boil.  Turn off the burner as soon as water begins to boil.
  2. Place a cover over the pan and allow to sit for 12 minutes.  Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place in an ice water bath to cool.  
Now its time to decorate!!


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Ham, Egg & Cheese Casserole

This casserole is perfect Easter brunch!  Whats great is that you can prepare it ahead of time so there's no preparation on Easter morning....prepare the night before and keep it in the fridge :)

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbl Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 cups bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup ham, diced (deli ham or ham steak can be used)
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
  • 3/4 cup shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 11 x 7 baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, egg whites and milk.  Add in the mustard, rosemary and salt and pepper.  Fold in the bread, ham and red peppers until well incorporated.  Pour into the prepared baking dish and cover with foil.
  3. Bake 40 minutes.  Uncover and sprinkle with the cheese and bake another 15 - 20 minutes until cheese is golden brown.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Homemade Peanut Butter Eggs

Here is a healthier alternative to Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs (which happen to be my weakness!)


You'll need:

    1 (16 ounce) package confectioners' sugar

    1 cup teddy's creamy peanut butter

    1/4 cup butter

    1 tablespoon milk

    8 (1 ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate

    additional 1 tablespoon butter


    In a mixing bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter and milk (if needed for moisture) until blended. Shape mixture into two 1/2 pound eggs or make a bunch of smaller eggs. Freeze eggs for 1 hour.
    While the eggs are freezing, cut semi-sweet chocolate into small pieces and place in top of double boiler with additional tbs of butter. Melt over medium heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Stick a long-tined fork in top of each peanut butter egg, dip it in melted chocolate to cover then drain on waxed paper. When the eggs are cooled and set, decorate the eggs to suit your fancy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Healthier Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

When it comes to cookies, I think the real thing is best.  If your going to indulge you may as well go for it!  I skimmed a 1/4 cup of butter from this recipe and added a bit of whole wheat flour.  Just enough to make them a bit healthier but not so much that they lack in flavor!

You'll Need:
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (I used 1 cup of white and 1 cup semi sweet)
 Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Place softened butter and sugars in a mixing bowl and mix until fluffy.  Add in the eggs and vanilla (or almond extract).  Add in flour 1/2 cup at a time and the salt and baking soda.  Finally add in the coconut and chocolate chips.  Place heaping spoon fulls onto baking sheet and bake 8 - 9 minutes.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Gluten Free Chia Meatballs - Super Moist!

These meatballs will satisfy both gluten free eaters as well as those without any sensitivity.  They are a great way to sneak veggies into your kids diet too!  The secret ingredient used to keep these meatballs super moist is...cauliflower!!  You will be amazed with how tender and moist these are - and no one will guess they are made with a vegetable!

You'll Need:
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 cup finely grated cauliflower (I used leftover cauliflower rice)
  • 1/4 cup grated parm cheese
  • 5 tsp chia seed
  • 1 egg (omit if you like, the chia will act as a binder)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • salt & pepper 
Mix all ingredients together until completely incorporated.  Heat a skillet on medium heat and drizzle with olive oil.  Make meatballs according to the size you prefer and brown them in the skillet.  Serve with your favorite marinara and spaghetti squash!!