I love sharing me recipes!

I love sharing me recipes!


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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Healthy Back to School Meals & Fitness Ideas For Kids ♥

So I was approached once again by Parade magazine  and Sverve to write about healthy meals for back to school. I asked my stepniece Lucia and here are some supercute healthy recipes we came up with! ♥

Why not try these healthy diy lunchables 

Diy Veggie Lunchable

Diy Lunchables Ham n' Cheese Pinwheels 

Ingredients ♥

2 - packages (8 oz) light cream cheese, softened

1 - packet (.04 oz) Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
6 - (12 inch) burrito size flour tortillas, room temperature
1 - package (12 ounces) thin deli sliced ham
10 - slices Swiss cheese
1 - cup shredded cheddar cheese or Colby jack
1 - 2.25 oz can chopped black olives

Directions ♥
Mix cream cheese and dry salad dressing together. Spread mixture on each tortilla. 

Drain the sliced olives and set aside.

Place two slices of ham on top of the cream cheese mixture. 

Add sliced Swiss cheese and sprinkle on shredded cheddar cheese and olives. 

Roll up tortillas tightly. Just like you would for cinnamon rolls and wrap in plastic wrap. 

Chill at least 2 hours or overnight. Remove wrapping and cut rolls into 1 inch slices. Makes 3 - 4 dozen pinwheels

Sugar Free Peanut Butter n' Jelly Sushi Rolls

Ingredients ♥
(makes 8 pieces)

2 tablespoons JIF® Creamy Peanut Butter

 2 tablespoons Sugar Free SMUCKER'S® Strawberry Jelly, Jam, or Preserves (pick your favorite)
2 slices bread

Directions ♥

Remove crusts from bread. With a rolling pin or large soup can, completely flatten bread.
Spread 1 tablespoon of Jif peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of Smucker's fruit spread on each slice of bread.
Roll each slice into a tight spiral. Cut each spiral into 4 pieces.

Or try these for an after school snack homemade ( freezer Friendly) skinny mini pizzas perfect freezer friendly for after school meals on the go!

Ingredients ♥

Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Biscuits
Pizza Sauce or just tomato sauce

Oregano or Italian Seasoning

Mozzarella Cheese Light 
Pepperoni (Turkey) 
What other toppings you like black olives, basil, mushrooms.

Directions ♥

1.) Preheat oven according to instructions on biscuit package. Mine said 375 degree F
2.) Open the can of refrigerated biscuits. Using clean hands, stretch out the biscuits to make them flatter – about 6-inches across. If you had the time and patience – have the kids help! Work on a surface away from the preheating oven and have them help make their own. 
3.) Spread out onto cookie sheet. I could fit six to a cookie sheet
4.) Put about one spoonful of pizza sauce on each crust. Spread around. Sprinkle with italian seasoning (some sauces come pre-seasoned).
5.) Add cheese and other toppings
6.) Pop in the oven and check after 8-10 minutes. Bake until golden brown and cheese is melted!

Don't forget after school activities are the best to keep fit or kids during the school year. There are so many to choose from for boy's football,soccer, basketball, baseball. For girls cheerleading, dance, swimming, softball. 

Experts speculate that exercise may boost academic performance in various ways, including: burning off pent-up energy and allowing kids to pay attention better and focus on their work; boosting self-esteem and mood; and increasing blood flow to the brain, helping with memory and concentration.

My article is also featured here in Parade magazine ♥

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Grandma Katrina's Russian Pickled Tomatoes ♥

Every end of summer my grandmother used to pick the tomatoes out of the garden, we would have an overabundance of tomatoes to use in salads, and sauces, but she loved pickling them.

 When they lived in Russian pickling was essential to get through the harsh winters. “Build your sled in the summer and your wagon in the winter,” an old Russian saying advises.
In the days when wagons and sleds were a part of everyday life, this was wise counsel: it was a good idea to plan ahead for summer since it came and went in the blink of an eye, while those who didn’t plan for the six months of freezing hell known as the Russian winter would find themselves in a lot of trouble. So here is her recipe it's a perfect compliment to any dish such as baked fish, or steak. ♥

Ingredients ♥

Per 1 quart jar or 1 liter-cherry or whole
1-2 whole onion round
5-6 carrot rounds
3 bell pepper slices
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves
one sprig of parsley
one sprig of dill
10 black peppercorns.
1.5 heaping tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
For 3 liter jars-
1.5 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar

Directions ♥

Place onion,carrots,garlic,black peppercorns,dill,parsley,bay leaf on the bottom of the jar. Place tomatoes in a jar.preferably small, but slice in half or quarters if large. In a pot or sauce pan bring water to a boil. Fill jars(with tomatoes)with boiling water and let them sit for 15-20 minutes. Pour out the water from jars back into the pot and bring it to a boil again. Add sugar,salt and vinegar to the jar with tomatoes and fill it back with the boiling water that was poured out in to the pot. Close the lid tightly.Cover a table with blanket or towel, and place the jar upside down. cover it with blanket or a towel. Keep them covered with a blanket or a towel for 24 hours. Ready in a week or two.The longer, the better. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer Avocado Salad ♥

Here is a perfect summer side salad or light dinner using my favorite sponsored product Hass avocados! ♥

Ingredients ♥

1 garlic clove
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 head of iceburg lettuce
3-4 Hass avocados 
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
fresh parsley italian flat leaf

Directions  ♥

With the side of your knife, smash your clove of garlic and remove the peel. Place it in a small bowl.
Add salt, pepper, olive oil, canola oil, and vinegar to the bowl.
Whisk together with a small whisk or a fork, making sure to beat up the garlic a bit to bring out its great flavor. Set aside.
Wash and dry lettuce and rip apart into smaller pieces with your hands. Toss into a large salad bowl.
Halve the avocados, remove the pits. Add to salad bowl along with thinly sliced white onions.
Whisk dressing once more, throw away the garlic glove, and pour over salad. Toss well and serve immediately.Sprinkle with fresh parsley 
Serves 3-4

Recipe inspired and photo credit by Dash and Bella 

Ginch Gonch Review ♥

I was pleased to try out products with a great new company Ginch Gonch

Underwear, funderwear and loungewear by designer label Ginch Gonch for men and women. Shop for stylish boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, thongs, low-rise briefs, boy shorts, g-strings, pajama pants and long johns from Canadian premium underwear brand, Ginch Gonch. All funky, colorful, and funny underwear styles are unique and stylish for guys and girls. Find the best deals on men & women’s underwear and loungewear online here. The greatest Fun Underwear! ♥

Live Like a Kid!

Ginch Gonch was born from the rebellion against the dull, colorless underwear endured by most people, and has quickly become one of the fastest growing premium lifestyle brands internationally. It was the first of its kind to successfully combine humor and sexuality with funky, fashion-forward designs, and has completely reinvented the underwear industry through the unconventional ways it sets the trend for the rear end.

Ginch Gonch was taken from the dialect commonly used in Alberta and Bristish Columbia, where "ginch" and "gonch" designates underwear - the words probably being from an Eastern European or Ukrainian origin.

Through its cheeky, outside-of-the box marketing campaigns and sassy names for its products, Ginch Gonch has acquired the reputation of being the brat of the industry. Ginch promotes fun, freedom of expression and diversity through its famous catch phrase “Regardless of your inches we cover you in our Ginches!”. Our underwear have won the hearts and crotches of millions all over the world who embrace the Ginch Gonch Live Like a Kid! philosophy.

So go ahead and shop for fun undies! Ginch Gonch 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Mama's Summer Strawberry Rhubarb Pie ♥

Every Summer as a child I remember going to pick strawberries, my grandma would pick a ton of bushels and all had to be in tip top shape! She would make strawberry jam with them, my mother on the other hand made a fantastic pie using the fresh strawberries and rhubarb from the garden. ♥

                                              Fresh strawberries picked from the farm!

                                                  Fresh Rhubarb from the Farmer's Market!

Ingredients ♥

Makes one 9-inch pie

1 recipe unbaked homemade double pie crust ( see below) 
2 1/2 cups rhubarb, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 large stalks)
2 1/2 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour or 1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Directions ♥
Prepare the bottom crust by rolling out one of the pastry disks to an 11-inch circle. Nestle the crust inside the pan so about an inch hangs over the sides. Press the pastry down. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Mix the fruit with the sugar, flour (or cornstarch) and lemon zest. Using the tines of a fork, poke the bottom of the pie crust evenly about five times. Pour the fruit mixture into the chilled pastry. Dot with the butter pieces.

Moisten the edge of the bottom crust with a finger dipped in water. Put on the top pastry in one piece and slice in a few air vents, or in a lattice pattern, trim, and crimp the edges.

Brush the egg glaze over the crust. Transfer the pie to a baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake another 30 minutes longer, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before serving.

Easy Cream Cheese Crust 

Makes two 9-inch pie crusts; recipe can be halved

Ingredients ♥
2 1/2 cups (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional, leave out if making a savory pie)
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 to 4 teaspoons cold water

Food processor
Plastic wrap
Wax paper

Rolling pin

Directions ♥

1. Prepare Your Ingredients - Pour the flour, salt, and sugar (if using) into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Cut the cold cream cheese and cold butter into large pieces and sprinkle them over the flour. Toss a bit with your fingers to coat the pieces with flour.

2. Cut the Cream Cheese and Butter into the Flour - Give the flour, butter, and cream cheese 10-12 one-second pulses. The result should look like large shaggy crumbs.

3. Add the Vinegar and Water - Remove the lid and sprinkle the vinegar and two teaspoons of the cold water over the dough. Replace the lid and process continuously for 3-5 seconds until you see the dough just starting to come together. It should still look a bit crumbly with visible flour and visible streaks of fat. When you pinch some in your fist, it should easily hold together. If it doesn't, sprinkle another two teaspoons of water over the top and process again.

4. Press into Disks and Chill - Turn the dough out onto your work surface and divide it into two equal parts. Gather each mound of dough and press it into a flat 1-inch thick disk or square, depending on the shape of the pan you will be using. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or overnight.

5. Roll Out the Pie Crust - Tear off two large pieces of wax paper. Unwrap one of the pieces of dough and set it in the center of a piece of wax paper. Lay the other piece on top. Working from the middle of the dough out, begin rolling the dough into a thin crust. The dough will be tough to roll at first but then then will gradually become more malleable as it becomes thinner. Rotate the dough and flip it to the other side a few times as you roll. Peel back the wax paper occasionally and sprinkle the dough with a little flour to make sure it doesn't start to stick.

6. Transfer the Pie Crust to the Pan - When the crust is 1/8-1/4 inch thick, it is ready. Peel back the top layer of wax paper and gently invert the crust over your pan. Peel off the second piece of wax paper. If the crust cracks, overlap the two pieces slightly and pinch them together.

7. Chill the Pie Crust - It's fine to bake the pie right away, but if you have time, chill it in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes before putting it in the oven. This chilling time helps the dough keep its shape better in the oven and tends to make a flakier crust.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Italian Dinner Party Menu

Every year I love going to Festa Italiana, it start's today!  and I love throwing together a collaboration of my fave Italian recipes. Here is a fun authentic healthy menu enjoy! ♥ 

click below for details on festa italiana! 


First start off with appetizers try my Insalata Caprese Salad 

Then try my Skinny Italian Pasta Salad 

Now it's time for the main dishes, try my Homemade Italian Tomato Sauce 

Then try some cocktails! 

Here is my recipe for Italian Red Wine Sangria 

And for something supercute try my Italian Flag Popsicles!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Skinny Summer Fish Tacos ♥

Here is a light and healthy recipe for my summer fish tacos! ♥

Yield  8-10 tacos 
Serving size 2 tacos 

Ingredients ♥

1 pound cod fish
olive for for drizzling
kosher salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 lime
1 orange
8-10 corn tortillas, warmed
1 recipe Guacamole 
1 recipe Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa

For the Cabbage Slaw

1/3 head green cabbage, shredded
1/3 head red cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions ♥

For the Fish
Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill over medium high heat.
Drizzle the cod dish with a touch of olive oil and season it with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
Grill the fish on the pre-heated grill for 5-6 minutes on each side until fully cooked. The fish should flake easily and there should be a golden brown crust.
Remove the fish from the grill and squeeze the fresh lime and orange juice over the fish. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
To assemble, place a few large pieces of the flaked fish into a warmed tortilla, Top with a spoonful of guacamole, a bit of salsa and 2 tablespoons of the curtido. Serve immediately.

For the Cabbage Slaw

Combine the cabbage, carrot, and onion in a large bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and then pour over the cabbage mixture and stir.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa ♥

Here is a great summer salsa, with fresh fire roasted tomatoes on the grill! Perfect addition to  chips and a cool margarita night on the patio! ♥

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients ♥

 Fire Roasted Tomatoes ( see recipe below) or if you want fast & easy 1 can (14 oz)
1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 jalapeño, chopped
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, plus 1 tsp of the adobo sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup cilantro
1 lime, juiced

Directions ♥
Combine all ingredients in the food processor or high powered blender and pulse until everything is evenly blended.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Add more chipotle peppers if you like it extra spic.

Remove from food processor or blender and refrigerate

Fire Roasted Tomatoes 

Ingredients ♥

12 to 24 tomatoes, depending on how small or big of a batch you want

Olive oil

Directions ♥

Wipe down your grates with olive oil before turning on. I use a cloth or a brush.
Get your grill fired up.
Let it get hot. I always preheat my grill just like my oven.
Turn it down to a medium heat.
Brush your clean tomatoes with some olive oil. If you don't want to do this step you can roast them without oil. I've done them both ways. Both are good.
Place your tomatoes on the grill. I did this batch whole. No need to cut in half.
Let them cook for about 5 to 9 minutes depending on the size and ripeness of your tomatoes.
Once they develop char you want to use long handled tongs to flip these suckers over.
Cook for another 5 to 9 minutes, depending on your tomatoes.
Once they develop beautiful char on them take them off the grill and place them in a large bowl or casserole dish.
Turn off your grill.
Now cover the bowl or casserole dish with either tinfoil (my preference) or plastic wrap (I freaking hate plastic wrap with a passion) and allow the temperature of the tomatoes to come down. Covering them will help you remove the skins easily once they cool.
Once the tomatoes cool you need to remove the blackened skins. It's easy and quick, trust me.
Throw away the skins.
You are now left with beautiful fire roasted tomatoes!
Cut them up into chunky pieces, and make sure you keep the juices from the bowl and from the cutting process. Those juices are amazeballs in sauces.
You can either get crack-a-lacking on some amazing sauce or you can transfer to a container to either refrigerate or freeze for use later. Make sure you pop in some juice, that's the good stuff so do not waste it.
You can do anything with these fire roasted tomatoes.Make a pasta sauce, marinara, blush sauce, salsa, chili or soup.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Homemade Summer Italian Pesto ♥

Here is a authentic Italian Pesto recipe using fresh basil, I just love the smell of fresh basil! You can use it as a dipping sauce, on top of salads, pastas, or chicken, perfect for summer! ♥

                                               A close up of my beautiful basil plant! 

Makes 1 cup 

Ingredients  ♥  

1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
3 medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of raw pine nuts
roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and FRESHLY GRATED
A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Special equipment: large mezzaluna for chopping

Directions  ♥  

Start chopping the garlic along with about 1/3 of the basil leaves. Once this is loosely chopped add more basil, chop some more, add the rest of the basil, chop some more. I scrape and chop, gather and chop. At this point the basil and garlic should be a very fine mince. Add about half the pine nuts, chop. Add the rest of the pine nuts, chop. Add half of the Parmesan, chop. Add the rest of the Parmesan, and chop. In the end you want a chop so fine that you can press all the ingredients into a basil "cake" ( shape it into a form like you would for a loaf of banana bread) - Transfer the pesto "cake" to a small bowl (not much bigger than the cake). Cover with a bit of olive oil, it doesn't take much, just a few tablespoons.

You can set this aside or place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Just before serving give the pesto a quick stir to incorporate some of the oil into the basil.