Refreshing  Today is going to be another warm day. The kitchen is so hot and I discovered that my bananas are going bad already, despite the fact that I bought them earlier this week. I know there are a lot of solutions and recipes that call for over ripened bananas, but one of my favorites are my homemade strawberry and banana smoothie!  This is the quickest and easiest recipe. There are no proper measurements or directions. I basically put a small amount of milk, one banana, a cup frozen strawberries and occasionally a handful of blueberries (although I like to keep it simple) and blend it all together. I have a bullet, so it makes the perfect portion for one person. If I am wanting to make it a meal for breakfast or a snack in between, I will add a scoop of protein powder. Especially after coming home from the gym. Depending on how thick you want your smoothie, you can easily control that by the amount of milk you add to the mix.  Mmm, delicious! ...

I heart Do you have a favorite snack, one you could eat and eat and never get sick of? I know I do! My favorite, by far, would have to be popcorn. It’s a healthy option and there are tons of amazing recipes out there! I am a fan of the traditional butter, salt and pepper. However, you won’t be hearing any complaints out of me if you were to hand over some homemade caramel popcorn right now! My mouth is watering as I even talk about it. I haven’t been able to enjoy myself a big bowl of this deliciousness in months! Seriously! We don’t have a popcorn machine and it seems every time I try to pop it in one of our pots (old school style), it just doesn’t work out. This week some of my wonderful extended family came for a short visit and bought us a popcorn maker. I was ecstatic!  Thanks again guys!!!! So, today I started googling some recipes for my new found (again) favorite snack and came across a site that has all sorts of easy recipes to choose from. I am going to try this Chile popcorn recipe tonight…feel free to browse around and see what interests you! ...

Strawberry and Rosemary Scone? I have to admit, when I first came across this recipe I thought it sounded a bit weird. Since I have a lot of time on my hands (can you tell by all the cooking and baking?) I would give it a whirl! Let me tell you, it was well worth the time and effort. This recipe is so easy and delicious, it’s a keeper. The flavor of the rosemary is amazing and the strawberry surprisingly works well with it. To top it off, the lemon glaze is a fantastic finish and brings it all together! I’m telling you, it’s an explosion of wonderful flavors in your mouth. It’s not your traditional scone, but it is brilliant for any occasion or meal.  Hope you give this one a try and enjoy it as much as we did! I thought since my husband and I are heading to Canada in a couple weeks, I would make maple leaf shaped scones. I wanted to see how it would turn out and perhaps bake up another batch for Canada Day (July 1st)! A bit it cheesy? Well, they taste amazing so that’s all that matters I suppose!  This recipe makes a pretty decent sized batch! Plenty to enjoy for the next few days. If you try it out, be sure to let me know what you think!...

Thai Curry Vegetable Soup I am on a soup kick for some reason…I read the other day that it’s ok to have soup in May. So, let’s leave it at that! I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to make for dinner last night, Tuesdays are always so busy for us. I had a can of coconut milk in the pantry and I instantly knew what to do. This is such an easy recipe from Real Simple!  You will see that it calls for tofu, but you can just omit that. If you are a meat lover, you could replace tofu with chicken, which would taste fantastic! I think it took me a total of 20 minutes….plus extra time to let all those curry flavors infuse with the veggies. Don’t be afraid to try new things, curry dishes are one of our favorites around here!  If you are in a real hurry, just substitute fresh veggies for frozen stir-fry. It works great and saves you time cutting up vegetables! Hope you give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!...

Splendid Sunday Yesterday was such a relaxing day. My husband and I just lounged around in our house and enjoyed the quiet. We had all the windows open so the fresh breeze could come and go as it pleased. It was truly a day of rest. Of course, after a while I got an itch to do something. I decided baking would be best, because there is a delicious reward at the end of the task. I had a banana that was kicking around, too ripe to be eaten on its own. So, I thought a batch of banana bread would be perfect! It’s just one of those things that go perfectly with a cup of tea on a peaceful day. ...

Cozy Dinner It’s been quite chilly here lately, which is a true blessing. Usually the temperatures start to rise and I’m in a fetal position in a tub of ice. Well, not that bad….but hopefully you get it. I love this kind of weather and it’s a true blessing it’s this cool, this time of year. It’s almost like a mild winter to my husband and I, so we’ve been enjoying a lot of tea and chill time. I can’t get enough of those days. For dinner, I wanted to make a new favorite of mine. Seeing as this is the second time I have made it. It’s super easy and takes maybe an hour and a half to get it prepped, cooked and on the plate. Not to mention, it’s perfect for a cool day!  I love a good bowl of Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup. There are all kinds of recipes and a lot of them are foolproof. I lost a recipe I was given a while back, but found this one on the internet. I almost prefer this one, since it’s full of delicious veggies making it a bit healthier! I also recommend using spicy italian sausage because it gives the soup a lot more depth and flavor! Don’t forget to whip up a batch of biscuits, it’s perfect on the side! ...

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Vidalia Onion and English Cheddar I love this! I contributed a side dish during our Christmas dinner with my husbands family. I wanted to do something that wasn’t too typical and looked a bit impressive…as though I’ve been cooking forever and knew exactly what I was doing (only my husband knew otherwise)! I was given this recipe and had the opportunity to just go for something new! It was my first time preparing the dish and was a bit leery as to how it would taste and look. It ended up being  a very simple and extremely complimentary side to the delicious ham that was also being served! This is sure to be a recipe I might just have to hold on to it…it’s just too tasty to let go!  Note: You can easily substitute the Vidalia onion and English chedder with a simple white onion and American cheese. Can’t mess it up too bad! For the recipe, just click here! I am no expert at fancy cooking, so trust me when I say that you can do this! You’ll even feel very domesticated afterward! Let me know if you give this a go, you don’t have to wait until next Christmas to try it either! ...

Mock English Toffee This is the first year I made these delicious treats. I think they are going to be a traditional holiday treat for now on! They were a big hit with family and friends and are now one of my husbands favorites! This is the easiest recipe and takes no time at all. I got this recipe from a wonderful cook book I bought with a compilation of year old recipes…those are the best!  Mock English Toffee Unsalted Saltine Crackers 2 Sticks of butter 1 Cup Sugar 12 oz Milk Chocolate Chips Sliced Almonds Preheat oven to 400F Layer crackers on cookie pan lined with tin foil Melt butter in pan and add sugar Bring to boil, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes (liquid should turn brown) Pour mixture over crackers and spread evenly Bake for 6 minutes Follow with Chocolate chips, spreading evenly Sprinkle almonds on top Cool in Refrigerator till set Break apart when cooled and enjoy! I am sure you will love the results of this easy, but delicious recipe! Let me know if you give this a try and how it turns out!...

Coconut Macaroons Here is another quick and easy recipe to whip up and put on a delicious dessert platter. I love these because they take no more than a few minutes to put together, throw in the oven and serve to guests. They look like cute fluffy snowballs, perfect for Christmas season!   ::Ingredients:: 1 1/3 cup coconut 1/3 cup flour 2 tbsp flour 1/8 tsp salt 2 egg whites 1/2 tsp almond extract ::Baking instructions:: Combine coconut, sugar, flour, and salt in bowl. Stir in unbeaten egg whites and extract; mix well. Place small spoon fulls on a baking sheet and bake at 325F for 20 minutes. This should make a dozen or so! ...

Tis the season for baking This year I am so behind in everything. I was so sick of putting my baking on hold that I finally went baking crazy! I rushed to the grocery store after work, bought all my ingredients and spent the next 3 hours in the kitchen putting together a few baking goods. I will share the other recipes with you another day, because today it’s all about the Neiman Marcus cookie! This cookie has all sorts of amazing ingredients in one, which is partially why I chose it. Should I bake chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, sugar cookies, or what! I was given this old recipe from a sweet elderly lady that comes into my work and I decided to try it out. I warn you, it doesn’t look like much but this is a very hearty cookie! Enjoy!  ::Ingredients:: (Recipe may be halved): 2 cups butter 4 cups flour 2 tsp. soda 2 cups sugar 5 cups blended oatmeal** 24 oz. chocolate chips 2 cups brown sugar 1 tsp. salt 1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated) 4 eggs 2 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp. vanilla 3 cups chopped nuts (your choice) ::Baking instructions:: Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies. Simply enjoy with a glass of cold milk! ...
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