Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Giveaway Winners!



Thanks to everyone who entered the Simply Orange giveaway!

Congratulations to the two winners of  a coupon for a free bottle of  Simply Orange,

The Better Baker   and    Creative Southern Home


I’d like to thank Simply Orange for providing the free coupons for myself and my readers!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Make Your Own Lightbox

Can you believe we only have a couple days left of March! It’s starting to look more like Spring but if feels more like November here in the northeast.

You know you’re a food blogger when you are excited for at the start of Spring when it’s lighter outside during dinnertime. It is  much easier to take more flattering pictures of your dish with the natural light, right?!

Well to help in the lighting category, this weekend we made a homemade lightbox. This not only will come in handy for dark, dreary days in the kitchen but for taking pictures of my jewelry as well! Angela from Oh She Glows made one a few months ago so I thought I’d share mine as well! This was pretty easy especially since I had Keith to help me out. lol

Homemade Lightbox

What you will need:

  • large box
  • white fabric or tissue paper
  • duct tape
  • box cutter
  • 3 utility lamps
  • 3 daylight bulbs (100 watt)
  • colorful fabric (optional)

Total cost approx. $20


Step 1:

Take your cardboard box and tape one end with the duct tape (this will be the back). Then with your box cutter cut off the front flaps and then cut a window out of the three sides, leave the bottom as is.





Step 2:

Take your white fabric or tissue paper and cut out three squares to fit over the windows that you just cut out from the box and duct tape it to the box.


Step 3:

Slice a slit in the top so you can switch out different color fabrics for the background of your pictures. Love this idea!!


Step 4:

Set it up, shine the lights through each window for a nice soft lighting without all the shadows. The lights come with clamps attached so I clamped two of them on my chairs and the top one is clamped onto my dining room light.


Have fun taking pictures and trying out different backgrounds!



Here’s a picture of a bowl of soup taken under my normal kitchen lighting.


Now here is the same bowl of soup taken from the same angle in the lightbox.


What a difference, don’t ya think?!

The only complaint I have about this is where to store it because it is rather large. I really can’t see this staying on my dining room table, somehow I have a feeling the cat will take it over before too long! lol

With that said,  I really do think its makes such a big difference when you don’t have the option of natural lighting during the day!

Want the recipe for the soup picture above?

It’s Lemon Chicken Soup with Spaghetti from Giada De Laurentiis. I love anything lemon and this soup is really simple and delicious!


A special thanks to hubby for helping me out with this project!

Winking smile

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sesame Fish

Hope everyone’s weekend is off to a great start! I started mine with some pilates with a little partner to keep me entertained! Smile


We are off to do some errands, at least the sun is shinning! Just wanted to share a super quick and easy fish recipe from the 17 Day Diet Program. Although I no longer follow it, I still enjoy many of the recipes from the book!

Sesame Fish

  • 1 lb. tilapia
  • 2 tbls. olive oil
  • 2 tbls. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbls. lite soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tbls. sesame seeds

Spray your broiler pan with non stick spray or cover it with some foil. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, soy sauce and chopped garlic. Pour over fish and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place under broiler, about eight inches from the heat for 20 minutes or until the fish flakes with a fork.

Servings: 4




How easy is that?! And so delicious, I served it with a side of veggies and whole wheat couscous. Perfect quick go-to dish during Lent!

Happy Saturday!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Breakfast Treats and a Giveaway

Well so much for Spring, it snowed here yesterday and we have more to come later this week! Yuck!!!
No matter what time of year it is I am always up for anything with pumpkin or apple, to me they are not just for Fall. So with the snow falling yesterday I decided to warm up and make some baked donuts and a warm cocktail to go along with them.
The great folks from Simply Orange sent me some coupons to purchase one of their juices and to give a couple away to my readers, more on that later.
Simple Orange has different varieties of juices such as, orange, apple, grapefruit, pineapple and mango just to name a few. They are certified by the American Heart Association, gently pasteurized, not from concentrate and  loaded with vitamin C.
So I decided to try the Simply Apple which is 100 % pure pressed.  I loved it because it actually tasted like a real apples, not sweetened. Some of the juices I use to buy for the girls were loaded with added sugars which is why I stopped buying them. This is something I would buy and feel good about! So after searching their website I had to give their  Hot Apple Pie Cocktail a try, visit their website for the recipe.
Just warm up some a couple cups of Simply Apple with a few cinnamon sticks, lemon juice, vanilla extract, allspice and  cardamom  in a saucepan for a couple of minutes. Add some apple schnapps (optional), pour into mugs and top with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.
Holy yum!!! It tastes exactly like hot apple pie only better!
I found the perfect match to go with this, Baked Apple Cider Donuts from Tasty Kitchen. (Click the link for the recipe)
I substituted apple cider for Simple Apple juice and it worked perfectly.
Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl,
then the wet ingredients in another bowl.
Gently combine the dry ingredients into the wet.
Fill a mini muffin pan that has been buttered/sugared with the batter half way.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Brush the donut holes with butter and shake in a bag filled with cinnamon/sugar mixture.
These are so tasty, love the little bites and of course the warm apple flavor from the juice!

I can’t think of a better way to spend a cold, snowy Spring morning!
Now for the giveaway for two lucky readers!
The nice folks at Simply Orange have given me two coupons for one free 59 fl. oz  Simply Orange, Simply Apple or Simply Grapefruit to giveaway to two lucky readers!
To enter this giveaway all you  have to do is:
  • Visit Simply Orange and let me know which juice you’d like to try!
  • Follow my blog via GFC
This giveaway will end on Wednesday, March 30th at 9pm. I will pick two winners and notify you by email, you will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
Good Luck!!!

*Disclosure: Simply Orange provided me with coupons. The views and statements are completely my own.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


So much for the first day of Spring, Jordyn was up all night with an earache. We just barely escaped winter without an ear infection, what a bummer!


While I’m catching up on laundry, Jordyn and Keith are officially parked on the couch for the afternoon watching the race. The poor dogs are wondering why we aren’t outside on this beautiful day. lol


At least someone is enjoying the day!


I have no recipe to share today only a picture of the cupcakes that I made yesterday for the girls school’s Spaghetti Supper. I love making sweets when I know I don’t have to worry about consuming them! Smile


Looks like some good ol’ chicken soup is on tap tonight for Jordyn!

Happy Spring!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


The girls couldn’t wait to jump outta bed this morning and get their green on, they even got poor Maggie in on it!

The other night I got a head start on St. Patty’s Day and cooked up some corned beef and cabbage in the ol’ crockpot.  The recipe came from Food Network and I have to say it was delicious, click here for the recipe! Where are the pictures? Sorry, I just didn’t find anything attractive about pale cabbage, cooked carrots, potatoes and beef, sometimes things are much better eaten than photographed. lol

Last night we had lots of leftovers so I made a yummy panini!

Corned Beef Panini

  • Marble Rye bread
  • corned beef, sliced thin
  • cooked cabbage
  • whole grain mustard
  • swiss cheese

Place all ingredients between two slices of marble rye bread and cook in a panini press or hot skillet until cheese is melted.


What are you cookin’ up tonight?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Traditional Cake

Birthdays are the perfect excuse to have your cake and eat it too!

There is one thing that is never missing from any kind of gathering on Keith’s side of the family, Gramma’s Cake. She is 85 years young and still enjoys making this cake as much as we enjoy eating it. So it was no surprise to me when Keith requested this for this birthday yesterday.

Gramma’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, beat well. Next add the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Pour 1/2 the batter into a greased bundt pan and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Then add the rest of the batter on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.







It’s not your traditional birthday cake but it’s a close 2nd!

Is it Friday yet? Daylight Savings Time has finally caught up with me (yawn)!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Naked Pizza Friday

Did you think I forgot about Pizza Friday? Not a chance!!

Tonight we changed it up a bit and ordered takeout. Keith is lucky enough to work by the new Naked Pizza  in Brookline that just opened up! He knows I’ve been dying to try their pizza so he sent me this pic as a little tease…how could I pass it up?!

naked pizza

I asked him his first impression,  he loved the ipads that kept you busy while you waited for your pizza. Yes, he’s a total tech geek! lol

We ordered the all natural cheese pizza for the girls


And the greenhouse pizza for us



They certainly don’t skimp on the toppings, it was loaded with mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, peppers and black olives.

This pizza passed my “one hand” test, if you can pick up a slice with one hand and not have everything slide right off it’s a keeper, no fork and knife required! lol

The crust had to be my favorite!!!  Love the flavor, not a speck of grease and the fact that they use 10 grains plus prebiotic agave fiber and probiotics really makes a difference! Did I mention they have gluten-free crust as well?

My only complaint is that they don’t have a location closer to me!

I can’t wait for the leftovers today, I was tempted to have some for breakfast this morning! hee hee


Off to get this weekend started, any special plans?


Disclosure: We purchased these pizzas on our own. All the thoughts and views are my own and were not influenced by any outside sources. I just like to share a good thing when I find it!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cho’banana Split

Happy Friday, it’s a soggy one here in Massachusetts!

First off I would like to send my thoughts and prayers out to everyone who has been effected by the earthquake and tsunami and to all the family members who are waiting to hear about their loved ones.

So I can’t decide if this next dish I am about to share is considered a breakfast or dessert. I’m going to say both, but I’ll let you be the judge!

I was lucky enough last month to win a case of Chobani Champions Greek Yogurt for kids! When you have this much yogurt, you need to get creative!

photo chobani champions

The girls love to have some as an afternoon snack or right out of the freezer as yogurt pops. I’ve been trying to get the girls to eat more for breakfast because a small bowl of cereal barely holds them over to lunchtime at school. This is where I thought this recipe would come in handy  for breakfast! It is inspired by Devin Alexander’s cookbook  I Can’t Believe It’s Not Fattening and of course my LOVE for Nutella.

Cho’banana Split


Mix a couple teaspoons of nutella in with the yogurt, I used Chobani Champions honey-nana.


Split the banana in half and spread both sides with peanut butter


Top the banana halves with the greek yogurt mixture


Sprinkle your favorite cereal on top, I used Kashi’s Go Lean Crunch!




It’s almost looks like the real thing, right? Minus the whipped cream and cherry on top!

Well, it tastes delicious and so much healthier!

I’m trying this out on the girls tonight for dessert and if it’s a hit Mom will be a rock star when she offers dessert for breakfast next week!

Woot! Woot!         Open-mouthed smile