When I am not busy taking care of my two energetic little boys, or working on an interior design project~ I play in the kitchen! For the last 15 years, I have been juxtaposing new flavors and ideas; it’s finally time to document my recipes...

I believe in fresh & affordable meals.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spiders for Dinner

This is a fun recipe that allows kids to be creative. It started as "spider" noodles, and now has become squid noodles, space ships, umbrellas, & pom poms--after we let the kids take the lead. 
Fun recipe for a kid party! ........................ 

                                 What you need....
Handful of Spaghetti Noodles
Hot Dogs (or whatever kind of meat or meat sub. you like) cut in small pieces 

Create and Cook Em...
Boil Water
Break noodles in half. Put 8-10 noodles through middle of hot dog to make spiders.
Put spiders in their bath and let cook for apx. 10 minutes

I let my kids get creative with their designs (while I usually stick with the standard spider). This makes it fun when they come out of the bath- the kids search for their creations. Jack made a space shuttle & space station tonight. His buddy, Brynn, stuck all of her noodles out the top, which made for a pretty cool looking squid after it was cooked!

Serve with whatever dipping sauce you like. 

Credits go to Kim & Ian on this recipe!

Let's face it. White Nood's & Hot Dogs are not on the top of Dr. Oz's healthy food list. But cooking w/ your kids is healthy for everyone!
I like this article about Benefits of Cooking with your kids~ taken from WebMD.

Parents, grandparents, and youngsters cooking together in the kitchen, sharing family recipes and secrets passed from one generation to the next, is a lost art in many households across America. These days, it's hard for busy parents even to take time out to teach their kids basic cooking techniques.
It's true that including the kids in cooking meals requires time, patience, and some extra clean-up, especially when the children are younger. But many experts think it is well worth the effort.
For one thing, cooking with your kids can help get them interested in trying healthy foods they might normally turn their noses up at. Susan Moores, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, says she has seen this happen countless times. It's true that kids will be kids -- they'll snack on chips at a school party or enjoy ice cream after a soccer game. But what is most important is how they eat most of the time, Moores says. And that's where parents can play a role. Keep in mind that for kids today, healthy eating essentially means eating more fruits and vegetables, having whole grains and beans when possible, and choosing leaner types of animal foods (even some fish every now and then.)
Encouraging kids to try healthier foods isn't the only benefit of cooking as a family. Among the recommendations in a recent American Heart Association report on overweight in children and teens were:
  • Reducing the number of meals eaten outside the home.
  • Having structured times for family meals.
  • Offering healthier, low-calorie foods.
  • Involving children in meal planning, shopping, and food preparation.
Indeed, cooking with kids can be the gift that keeps on giving; it has both short-term and long-term payoffs.
Some of the short-term benefits:
  • It encourages kids to try healthy foods.
  • Kids feel like they are accomplishing something and contributing to the family.
  • Kids are more likely to sit down to a family meal when they helped prepare it.
  • Parents get to spend quality time with their kids.
  • Kids aren't spending time in front of the TV or computer while they're cooking.
  • Kids generally aren't eating junk food when they're cooking a meal at home.
Some long-term benefits:
  • Learning to cook is a skill your children can use for the rest of their lives.
  • Kids who learn to eat well may be more likely to eat healthfully as adults.
  • Positive cooking experiences can help build self-confidence.
  • Kids who cook with their parents may even be less likely to abuse drugs.

information from webMD

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Whole Wheat Almond Waffles

I love the aroma of my kitchen in the morning with these waffles on the iron. My kids eat them like candy.
2 eggs
1 3/4 milk or almond milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup veg oil (you can sub applesauce, but i think waffles need the oil to be their best- if you must sub, try 1/4 cup applesauce 1/4 cup oil)
2 tsp. honey
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Put all ingredients in bowl. Use mixer for 2 minutes on high speed. Spray waffle iron with pam, and pour away.


Strawberry butter- 2 tablespoons strawberry jam & 2 tablespoons butter.
Top it off with fresh berries, yogurt, flax, nuts, whatev!

Makes apx. 8 large waffles. Freeze what you don't use and pop in toaster when you want to enjoy again!

What can eggs do for you???
1. Eggs are great for the eyes. According to one study, an egg a day may prevent macular degeneraton due to the carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients are more readily available to our bodies from eggs than from other sources.
2. In another study, researchers found that people who eat eggs every day lower their risk of developing cataracts, also because of the lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs.
3. One egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids.
4. According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. In fact, according to one study, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.
5. They are a good source of choline. One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.
6. They contain the right kind of fat. One egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat.
7. New research shows that, contrary to previous belief, moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. In fact, recent studies have shown that regular consumption of two eggs per day does not affect a person's lipid profile and may, in fact, improve it. Research suggests that it is saturated fat that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol.
8. Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.
9. Eggs may prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.
10. Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12.
taken from:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Easy Oatmeal Panakes

This is a fun, simple & easy recipe my kids like to make with me.

1 Package Instant/Quick Oatmeal ( I prefer Maple and Brown Sugar: My kids like Apple Cinni)
1 Egg
1/4 cup Milk ( you may wanna add more depending how runny you like your cakes)
Heat pan to MEDIUM. Mix oats, eggs, and milk. Place butter in pan. Add mix. Let one side cook (see pic above). Add fresh berries if u like. Turn.

These cakes are great even w/o fruit. No fruit in your fridge but need a sweeter day-starter??? Drizzle with agave, yogurt, syrup, honey or "day old" smoothie. Our smoothies never hit the trash. They become a drizzle on our p-cakes, french toast, ice cream, pound cake, biscuits, cheesecake....I could go on and on. Add a little yogurt & old smoothie, throw in the blender-  and its a fab topping so many


  1. Over 40 studies show that eating oatmeal may help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. According to Quaker, all it takes is 3/4 cup of oatmeal each day to help lower cholesterol. The soluble fiber in oats helps remove LDL or "bad" cholesterol, while maintaining the good cholesterol that your body needs. In January 1997, the Food and Drug Administration announced that oatmeal could carry a label claiming it may reduce the risk of heart disease when combined with a low-fat diet.

  2. The soluble fiber in oatmeal absorbs a considerable amount of water which significantly slows down your digestive process. This result is that you'll feel full longer, i.e. oatmeal can help you control your weight.

  3. You probably already have oats in your kitchen. It's estimated that eighty percent of U.S. households currently have oats in their cupboards.

  4. New research suggests that eating oatmeal may reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. In fact, the American Diabetes Association already recommends that people with diabetes eat grains like oats. The soluble fiber in these foods help to control blood glucose levels.

  5. With the exception of certain flavored varieties, the oats found in your grocery store are 100% natural. If you look at the ingredients on a canister of rolled oats, you will usually see only one ingredient... rolled oats.

  6. According to recent studies, a diet that includes oatmeal may help reduce high blood pressure. The reduction is linked to the increase in soluble fiber provided by oatmeal. Oats contain more soluble fiber than whole wheat, rice or corn.

  7. Oatmeal contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates and iron.

  8. The fiber and other nutrients found in oatmeal may actually reduce the risk for certain cancers.

  9. Oatmeal is quick and convenient. Every type of oatmeal can be prepared in a microwave oven. Even when cooked on the stovetop, both old-fashioned and quick oats can usually be made in less than 10 minutes. And what about instant oatmeal… a hot breakfast in under a minute... incredible!

  10. Oatmeal can be absolutely delicious! Whether instant, cooked on the stove or baked in the oven, the combination of flavors you can fit into a serving of oatmeal is limited only by the imagination. Visit Mr Breakfast's Oatmeal Collection to see just 60 of the ways you can start to enjoy oatmeal today! 

Gassy Stir Fry

If you are going out with someone new today, need to impress someone, or have a presentation at work~ do not make this recipe! It has broccoli and shrooms...a combination that will prob give you a lil toots
This recipe is light and hearty. Both my kids loved it.

3 handfulls of diced mushrooms (any kind)
3 handfulls of diced broccoli
handful of diced tofu
Sesame Seeds
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup BBQ sauce

Coat your pan with oilve oil on medium high heat. Add shrooms, broccoli and tofu. Add Vinegar and BBQ sauce. Sprinkle Sesame seeds to your liking. Cover, turn to med-low. Let cook for 5-7 minutes.
The BBQ and Balsamic combination is really interesting; sweet touch with acidic undertones.

I love cooking with BV!
Balsamic vinegar is made of sweet trebbiano grape pressings. The grape pressings are boiled until these turn dark. The syrup is prepared for the aging process. The dark syrup is placed into oaken kegs with a certain vinegar to begin the process of aging. Through the years, the kegs become smaller before being placed on the market. When the moisture evaporates, it thickens and concentrates the flavor of the vinegar. Many people have used balsamic vinegar to treat infections, wounds and body aches.

    Digestive Aid

  1. Erica Brigati, a registered dietitian, states on Livestrong.com that balsamic vinegar contains antioxidants, called polyphenols that "may boost the activity of the digestive enzyme pepsin. This enzyme helps to break proteins down into smaller amino acids." According to Ms. Brigati, this process enhances the immune system, metabolism, cellular repair, and muscle building. Balsamic vinegar also contains acetic acid, which helps the body absorb certain minerals that can strengthen bones.
  2. Reduces Fat

  3. Reducing fat in the body is another health benefit of balsamic vinegar. Using it as a substitute for regular salad dressing or mayonnaise can reduce overall fat and calorie intake.
  4. Diabetes

  5. Using balsamic vinegar with meals can help control diabetes. Ms. Brigati states, "It appears that as little as five teaspoons of the vinegar with a meal can improve insulin sensitivity." Better insulin levels means having better control of diabetes.
  6. Antioxidant Activity

  7. Balsamic vinegar's antioxidants, such as polyphenols, protect the body from cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants protect from cell damage and improve the immune system. Antioxidants guard against harmful radicals in the body. Ms Brigati reports, "More research is needed though to further evaluate the polyphenol content of balsamic vinegar and their exact mechanisms of action."
  8. Other Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar

  9. Marion Volk, a lecturer, practitioner and registered provider, states at Alstudio.com that balsamic vinegar can help reduce headaches and lower the risk for anemia. She points out that balsamic can suppress appetite, and help to control weight. Ms. Volk also reports that adding balsamic vinegar into a diet can help an individual to become more energetic, and less fatigued.

Firm Sweet Tofu

I don't like soggy tofu. This recipe dries it out a bit. I like to make a large batch and use it all week in stir-fry's, wraps, quesadilas, etc. After its cooked, its pretty versatile, and will blend in with any flavor you mix it with!

Sliced Extra Firm tofu
1/2 C. BBQ Sauce
1/2 C. Soy Sauce
Cayenne Pepper
Sesame Seeds
Agave Syrup

Preheat oven to Broil. 
Cut tofu and place on Baking sheet. Mix BBQ Sauce and Soy Sauce. Spread Mixture over Tofu. 
Sprinkle a small amount of Cayenne Pepper over all the tofu. Sprinkle Sesame Seeds over Tofu. 
Drizzle Agave Syrup 

Place baking sheet on middle top rack. Cook for 10 minutes. Flip/turn over tofu. Sprinkle again with Cayenne and Sesame. Drizzle more agave. Cook for another 10 minutes.

Tofu should turn golden brown and start to curl up a bit on the sides. It should feel firm to the touch. If it is still really soggy, put sheet on the top rack of the oven for a few minutes. That'l firm em right up.

This tofu is good with a Peanut dipping sauce.
Tablespoon  of PB
Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
Teaspoon of white wine vinegar.

Make a healthy wrap. Shredded Carrots, Sprouts, Cucumber, Rice, and Red Onion. Add tofu and peanut sauce. Roll it up.