Category Archives: Sunday

Sunday in the kitchen

I went to the park this morning, excited to try out my new Brooks running shoes. As I expected, they were fabulous. All the other miles I did this week were walking, today I *mostly* ran. My new shoes were definitely worth every penny.


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I also really liked my new water bottle. It holds 16 oz. of water plus room for ice. My iPhone fits perfectly in the zipper pocket and it’s very comfortable holding it while running. I was a hot mess when I finished my 3.11 miles. Florida humidity is no joke, even at 7am.

When I got home from the park, hubby gone to Starbucks. He likes to take Blue and Ozzie with him on the weekends, they love to go for a ride and the folks at Starbucks get a kick out of them at the drive thru. And of course they get treats from them. Much excitement for Blue and Ozzie! And bonus for me this morning, because hubby brought home a Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher for me. Oh so refreshing after a run!


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After some grocery shopping and breakfast, I put together our dinner, which was slow cooker chicken. This is such an easy recipe, smells wonderful while it’s cooking, and makes for good leftovers. Do you sense a theme to the meals I make? Any meal that creates lunch for hubby the next day makes me happy.

Slow Cooker Chicken

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 red potatoes (medium to large)
  • 1/4 white onion
  • Bottle of fat free Italian dressing
  • Celery salt and pepper

Clean the potatoes and cut them into thirds (depending on size). Leave the skins on. Layer bottom of slow cooker with potatoes. Cut onion into small strips and put on top of potatoes. Cut chicken breasts into halves or thirds depending on size. Add whole bottle of dressing. Top with celery salt and pepper. Cover with lid and cook on low for 5 – 5 1/2 hours.


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I don’t normally serve any side dishes with this as it’s pretty filling itself. The dressing make the chicken very tender and juicy, it just pulls apart with your fork.

What slow cooker meals do you like?


Sunday in the kitchen

I can hardly contain my excitement on this post. This evening, I made a dish I’ve been wanting to make for awhile. I’ve been looking up recipes for this and honestly, they’ve all seem a little complicated. It finally occurred to me that I don’t have to follow a recipe exactly, just use it as a guideline. And after I asked hubby yesterday if he thought he might like this dish and he said yes, I was so excited to make it today.

What did I make? Paella, or my version of it… I know this is a very loose version of Paella and is nowhere near the true dish, but it came out fantastic. I know this, because as I type this, hubby is sitting next to me eating a second helping of it.

True Paella has chorizo sausage in it and I was concerned it would be too spicy for hubby. He doesn’t like spicy foods (the total opposite of me), so I wanted to make a version he would enjoy. Hubby suggested I use mild Italian sausage, which we know he loves. Good idea, honey! It worked out very well.

So, here is my recipe…

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 links mild Italian sausage
  • 1 bag Vigo yellow rice (serves 8)
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/4 White onion, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Paprika
  • Minced garlic
  • Adobo powder
  • Olive oil

Cook chicken breasts in olive oil. I like to cook them whole and then cut them up about halfway through. I find it easier to cut then when it is raw.

In another pan, cook sausage in olive oil. When it is done cooking, slice into bit-sized pieces.

In a large saucepan, cook rice as per instructions on package. This will take about 20 minutes to cook. I turned it off while it was still on the moist side as I wanted to keep the dish as moist as possible.

When the chicken is almost done, add paprika (1 teaspoon), adobo powder (I used about a tablespoon of it), and add onion and red pepper. Continue to cook until onions are almost clear. Add minced garlic (about 1 tablespoon) and cook for about 5 more minutes.

In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil and add bouillon cube to dissolve.

In a large skillet, combine rice, chicken, peppers, onion, sausage, and chicken bouillon. Cover and heat on medium for about 10 minutes until bouillon is just about gone. Again, I didn’t want this to be too dry.

This made enough for probably 6 people, so we definitely have leftovers.

I am very happy with how this came out and I don’t think would change anything the next time. I would, however, like to add shrimp as well.

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Fixins’ for my version of Paella. The beer isn’t
in the recipe but it was nice to drink while I cooked it!


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Chicken, peppers, and onion cooking…


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Mmmmmm Italian sausage…


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I can’t even tell you how delicious this smells!


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Ready to eat!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Sunday in the kitchen

Happy July 1st! It’s hard to believe that we are halfway through the year already. It’s no secret that I dislike the summer months, so I am very glad that June passed so quickly. Here’s to hoping that July and August do the same.

Today was much different than last Sunday. This time last week, it was very windy and rainy as we waited for Tropical Storm Debby to decide where she was headed. Today, it has been sunshine and hot. I haven’t left the house at all today. I made breakfast, lunch, and dinner at home (this rarely happens!) with napping and reading in between. I like to call it a mental health day.

For dinner tonight, I made one of hubby’s favorites, turkey rolls. His mom used to make this and I got the recipe from her years ago. It is very easy to make and makes great leftovers. After eating dinner, there will be enough left for lunch for 3 days. I love that!


Turkey Rolls

  • 1 1/4 lb. lean ground beef
  • Canola oil
  • 1/4 white onion, diced
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 packets turkey gravy
  • 1 pack pre-sliced oven-roasted turkey breast (12 slices)
  • Salt and pepper

In a large skillet, sauté white onion. Add ground beef and cook till browned. Tear slices of white bread into small pieces and add to ground beef and onion, cook for about 5 minutes. While the ground beef mixture is cooking, make turkey gravy following directions on packet.

Drain ground beef mixture in strainer. On a plate, add a spoonful of ground beef mixture to each slice of turkey breast and roll up. Put in 9×13 glass baking dish (ungreased). If there is any ground beef mixture left over, add to top of turkey rolls. Pour turkey gravy over top of turkey rolls.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Enjoy!


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Sunday in the kitchen

It’s a rainy, windy day here in Tampa Bay. With Tropical Storm Debby hovering over us, it is the perfect day to stay home and do nothing. Well, almost… Hubby and I made a run to Starbucks this morning and we went to Publix to do our weekly shopping right when they opened. I know I’ve said it before, but I love doing our grocery shopping early Sunday mornings before the rest of the world is there. This morning was no different and I’m glad we went early because the weather has gotten worse since then. A few pictures I took…

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When we got home and put away all the goodies we bought, I made breakfast (hubby’s choice: eggs, hash browns, and toast). He was a happy camper. After some blogging, reading, and napping, I made my way back into the kitchen to try out a recipe I found on Skinnytaste earlier in the week.

The recipe is Black Bean, Avocado, Cucumber and Tomato Salad (click the link to go to the Skinnytaste site).  Everything about this recipe makes me want to try it. It sounds so fresh and delicious. I have been eating avocados like crazy this week, so I know they are perfect right now.

I cut the recipe in half since it would be just me eating it. Here is what I used for the way I made it:

  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 hass avocados, diced
  • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • red onion, minced
  • cilantro, minced
  • lime juice
  • salt and fresh pepper

I use way more onion and cilantro than most people might but I love the flavors. The recipe calls for 1 tbsp. of each (when the recipe is cut in half). I didn’t even measure it, but I would bet I had at least 3 times that.

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I just love all the colors of this. I knew as it came together that it was going to be as wonderful as it sounded.

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Once it was ready, it was lunch time (great timing!). I decided to have it with tortilla chips and melted cheese. It turned out to be a perfect lunch for a rainy, windy day.

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Sunday in the kitchen

What a weekend this has been! With all the rain we had last week, I took advantage of the sunshine this weekend and got caught up on some work, determined not to start next week any more behind than we had to. Thankfully, hubby was willing and ready to help out, as he always is. We completed a project in Plant City yesterday and then this morning, we drove to Cape Coral and Sarasota for a couple projects. A lot of driving, including heading both south and north on my least favorite bridge, the Sunshine Skyway. It’s a pretty bridge and I always seem to take pictures of it, but it just freaks me out. Here are pictures of it from today…

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When we finally got home just after 1, hubby was working out in the garage for a bit, so I sat outside with Blue and Ozzie, despite the heat. They didn’t seem to care – look how happy they were!

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I skipped yoga in the park with the wonderful ladies of the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers so I could have an evening at home with hubby and make a yummy dinner. I am bummed that I missed the meet-up, but after the craziness this weekend, I really just wanted to be home before the craziness starts again tomorrow.

For dinner, I made oven fried chicken – a variation of a WW recipe in their Best Darn Food Ever cookbook. Their version calls for buttermilk (reduced fat), but I hate to buy buttermilk for one recipe and not finish it. Plus I am not really a fan of buttermilk. It’s a bit too heavy for me. So, I just use fat free or reduced fat milk. Their version also calls for bone-in chicken breasts, sage, and rosemary. My version is a little different.

Here is what you need for my version:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup Plain Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • Paprika
  • Basil

Cover a cookie sheet in foil and spray with non-stick spray (I use butter flavor).

Mix the salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, paprika, and basil in a large bowl. On the paprika and basil, I like A LOT. I love the flavors and the more you use, it adds a little color.

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Dip the chicken breasts in the milk and coat with the breading mixture, covering both sides thoroughly. Set on cookie sheet.

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Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes. Spray tops of chicken breasts with non-stick spray (butter flavor) and cook another 15 minutes. This will help it brown.

The chicken comes out very tender and juicy, full of flavor. You can serve just about any side with it. Tonight we had baked potatoes and white corn. For the two of us, I make 3 pieces and hubby will take a piece for lunch the next day. It reheats nicely in the microwave.

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Thanks for reading!

Sunday Birthday Party!

Normally I would do a Sunday in the kitchen post since today is Sunday. I will stray from that today because I don’t have anything really exciting in the kitchen today. We went grocery shopping this morning and stocked up for the week. I am currently making dinner, which is a not-so-healthy taco bake, but man does it smell good!

What I do want to talk about today is my nephew’s birthday party! Super-Cooper as I like to call him, turned 3! He is a little cutie-pie. His birthday party was at Jungle Bounce in Holiday and there was plenty of bouncing, sliding, and laughter from the kiddos. Afterwards there was super yummy cake (the icing was FABULOUS!) and Cooper had a great time opening all his gifts.

Here are some fun pictures from today…

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Happy 3rd Birthday Cooper! We love you!

Sunday in the kitchen {and a doozy of a headache}

This holiday weekend has not been what I had in mind when I looked forward to it all week. Thursday night, I had a sinus headache that thankfully went away on it’s own in a matter of hours. Friday evening, I was hit with another and it was a doozy, right above my right eye. I was in bed by 8pm just so I could be in a dark room with no noise. Saturday morning it was a little better but still there. After I helped hubby’s mom for a bit in the morning and came back home, it hit me again – this time on the left side. I’ve had a lot of headaches in my life and I can honestly say that the one I had yesterday was high on the list of worst headaches I’ve ever had. I could not get comfortable, I alternated between an ice pack on my head and a hot wash cloth. This headache was on the left side and it was throbbing. I actually threw up and that always makes me cry, and then I stood in the shower for 20 minutes with the hottest water possible running over my head. It helped a little but when I got out, I crawled right back in bed. I skipped dinner but was thankful when hubby finally came home from work and insisted I drink an ice cold frappuccino in hopes of the caffeine helping, along with maybe some brain freeze.

I haven’t been able to take any medication since Monday when I went to the eye doctor for the hemorrhage in my right eye. And while I know my body enough to know when a headache is sinus, stress, or whatever, I actually think I had a migraine yesterday. One side of my nose kept opening up which led me to believe it was still sinus-related, but the throbbing and my desire to be in a dark cool room makes me think it was a migraine also.

Today has been better, but I’ve still spent much of it doing nothing and napping. Still unable to take anything until all the blood clears from my eye, I have to rely on taking it easy. It’s not fun but I do NOT want to have another headache like I did yesterday. It. Was. Awful.

So, here is where I’ve spent much of my weekend. Thank goodness we have a super-comfy bed.

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Despite my headache, I did manage to make brownies and cook dinner today. It wasn’t anything new or terribly exciting, but it was nice to cook dinner for hubby. I think he thinks I’m silly when I take pictures of food all the time, but I just love to take pictures of the food I make.

I made hubby a steak (no picture of that!) and a side of shrimp cooked in Carolina BBQ sauce. If you’ve never done this, it’s super easy, and he loves it.

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I also had half a loaf of crispy sourdough bread from Publix leftover from Friday, so I sliced it up and toasted it with butter and garlic. Always a yummy addition to any meal.

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I made myself my super-easy rice, beef, and diced tomato dish. It sounded good and there are leftovers to have for lunch tomorrow!

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And because I was feeling down in the dumps when I went to the store this morning, I decided to make brownies. If a girl can’t enjoy a glass of wine or an ice cold beer, then chocolate is the next best thing. They came out sooooo good!

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I was very glad to have hubby home with me today. He was working yesterday and I know he couldn’t be home with me. Blue and Ozzie, being the super smart Aussies they are, knew that I did not feel good yesterday and they were super snuggly. Whether I was laying on the couch or in our room, they were right there with me. Today, hubby has been good company, letting me sleep and relax. He also says my eye looks much better, which makes me happy. I am so ready to be over this.

I hope you are all enjoying the holiday weekend!

Sunday in the kitchen and a blogger meet-up!

I hope you all have had a wonderful Sunday. I had a fantastic day. I had Starbucks this morning and got my grocery shopping done early. I did laundry and some much needed cleaning. Sad, but yes this makes for a wonderful day. It means I can start the week organized!

The highlight of my day (other than hubby coming home from his paintball weekend today) was a meet-up we had in St. Petersburg for the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers. I was lucky to join this group on Facebook a few months ago after following several local bloggers. They had a meet-up last month, but I was unable to attend. I had this day marked on the calendar, excited to meet a great group of women who I read about and interact with on Facebook and Twitter. We met at The Hooker Tea Co. in downtown St. Petersburg. Like anything new with me, I was nervous going into it, but quickly became comfortable with them. We talked about our blogs, eating out, reading, and more. It really was a great time. I had a yummy iced tea and enjoyed the surroundings. The staff was great and even took pictures of us (with several of our cameras!). I look forward to next month’s meet-up and continuing to get to know these great women.

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After our meet-up, I headed home to make dinner for my honey. He was gone all weekend playing paintball and I was excited to make his favorite meal – steak and shrimp. Normally I would make myself a piece of fish when he has steak and shrimp, but I decided to have the same. Well, almost. I make his shrimp in Carolina BBQ sauce – he loves it. I wanted something a little different, though. So I sautéed shrimp and fresh tomatoes in olive oil, minced garlic, and basil and served it on toasted French bread from Publix (darn you Publix for smelling like fresh bread when I walked in there this morning!). This is the first time I’ve made this bruschetta-type dish and I would most certainly have it again. The flavors were amazing and it was very filling. I couldn’t even finish my steak, thank goodness hubby was home and finished it for me. I also had a nice glass of Pink Moscato. It was soooo good.

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It really was a great Sunday. It’s a shame that tomorrow is Monday and that will ruin everything. So, I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their Sunday!



Sunday in the kitchen ~ Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday. This morning started with a delicious breakfast at Paradise Restaurant in Safety Harbor with hubby and I, my mom, hubby’s mom, my brother, SIL, and niece, and my sister. It was a very nice morning.

My family! My sister, Mommy, me and hubby, niece, sister-in-law, and brother.

Hubby, hubby’s mom, and me!

Me and my most adorable niece.

Yesterday, I submitted a new blog post to The Indie Chicks about my mom, just in time for Mother’s Day. I hope you’ll pop on over and read it. It was very special for me to write and share with everyone. My mom is the strongest woman I know and I look up to her in so many ways.

Today, I’d like to share a recipe I actually made for dinner last night. It is a favorite of mine, super easy to make, and makes great leftovers. You can really add just about anything you want to this dish, there are so many ways to do it. Here is my version:

Brown Rice with Beef and Tomatoes  (makes 2 servings)

  • 1 bag Steamfresh Brown Rice
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 White onion, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (garlic and onion)
  • Olive oil
  • Butter

Sautee onions in olive oil and add ground beef, cook till browned and drain. Heat up can of tomatoes while brown rice is cooking in microwave. Put rice in casserole dish and add butter, ground beef and onions, and tomatoes (minus the juice). Stir and serve! This makes 2 servings. Perfect to make when you are short on time.

Enjoy!! If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear what other ingredients you add.

Have a great Sunday!

Sunday Stuff {and an upcoming giveaway!}

The last few weekends, I’ve posted on Sundays about delicious recipes I was trying or that I enjoyed. This Sunday, I am actually not doing any cooking. I still have yet to grocery shop and I’m contemplating not even doing it today. I chose to go for a walk this morning instead, and hubby joined me which rarely happens and is a real treat when it does. Later, we are going out to dinner for my mom’s birthday, so I won’t be cooking dinner. Since I’m not cooking anything today, I decided I would share the recipe for Whoopie Pies that I tried last Sunday.

First things first, here are a few pictures from last night. My mom and I went to The Beach Boys concert at The Straz Center in Tampa. It was a fun concert, great music, and my mom had a great time as part of her birthday weekend.

This morning, we started the day with a walk over the Memorial Causeway to Clearwater Beach. I don’t think I will every tire of the views here in Florida. Between the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the water, and more, we are so lucky to live here. It’s easy to take it for granted, but how could the scenery for a walk get any better thank this? I even took a panoramic photo with a nifty app on my iPhone.



{upcoming giveaway!}

I am VERY close to hitting 100 followers on Twitter and expect it to happen this week. When it does, I will be hosting a giveaway here for Love Grown Foods Oat Clusters & Love. I’ve had the privelege to try them out thanks to a giveaway I won on a great blog I follow. I was then contacted by Love Grown Foods and they sent me a box of goodies to share. So I now have the chance to have a giveaway of my own and spread the LOVE. Be sure to watch for the upcoming post on that!

And finally, here is the Whoopie Pie recipe, which is taken from the Best Darn Food Ever! WW cookbook. If you happen to have it, it’s on page 221.

Whoopie Pies – 5 Points Plus value – Makes 18*

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup low-fat (1%) milk
  • 3/4 cup marshmallow creme

1. Place oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat overn to 425F

2. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in small bowl

3. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat suagr, butter, oil, and egg white in medium bowl until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low. Beat in flour mixture just until blended then stir in milk just until blended. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto large ungreased baking sheets, making total of 36 cookies.

4. Bake until tops of cookies spring back when lightly pressed, 5-7 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets on wire racks.

5. Spoon 2 teaspoons marshmallow creme on bottoms of 18 cookies. Cover with remaining cookies.

Here’s a reminder of how fabuslous they came out….