Easy Smoothie Recipe

I try to make this smoothie for my husband and I almost every weekday morning in the Summer. It’s so fresh, healthy, and an added bonus, it fills you up until lunch. I do add a tiny bit of peanut butter or almond butter for protein. It’s also easy to sneak this into our toddler’s juice cup to get lots of great fruits & veggies in him at the beginning of the day. I will admit, some days we just can’t sneak that spinach past him. As our pediatrician says, “just keep trying,” so we do!


1 banana
5 strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries
3/4 cup pre-washed spinach
1/2 cup Horizon 2% milk
2 tbsp organic vanilla yogurt
2 tsp almond butter or peanut butter
(depending on your mood, ha!)

Blend it up, and you’re done! Now, I also have my 2-3 cups of coffee alongside this healthy start, but this Momma needs her coffee.


Blackberry Crisp

I’ve fallen even more in love with blackberries this Summer, especially if I can pick them up at the local farmers’ market. Blackberries eaten alone or in a recipe are divine in our household. I’ve blogged awhile ago about my “Apple Crisp” recipe (given to me from a dear friend of mine); however, I decided to cut that recipe in half and make a few changes for the blackberry crisp.  My husband LOVES blackberries, so I surprised him one night with it on a whim, and now it’s his most requested dessert. It literally takes less me than 5 minutes to prepare, and you can still keep a close eye on your kids while making it! That’s my kind of recipe with an active toddler under my feet all day. It’s also a great dessert to bring to any gathering. It’s delicious, and gives you more “getting ready” time, too.



1/2 Gallon fresh blackberries
(I feel like the local farmer’s market has the best flavor, but store bought works, too!)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, then grab your favorite 8×8 pan, no greasing necessary.
2. Wash all of the blackberries
3. Toss them into the bottom of your 8×8 pan
4. Add 2 teaspoons of water
5. Next, mix up the “crisp” topping

1 Cup flour
1 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup butter ( 1 full stick)

5. To save time, unwrap your stick of butter, place in a microwave safe bowl
(microwave for about 30 seconds, or until completely melted)
6. Next, add your flour and sugar to the melted butter in the same bowl.
7. Stir together until flour & sugar are completely coated in the melted butter.
8. Pour the crisp evenly over the blackberries

Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown (like the photo above). Your kitchen will smell heavenly, and your family will love this treat!

Sometimes, we serve it with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Now, depending on what fruits are in season, I’ve made this with granny smith apples (just add cinnamon), peaches and I want to make it with blueberries next! If you have a bigger crowd to feed, you can double the fruit and crisp, and make it in an 11×13 dish, just bake it for about 45 minutes.


Raspberry-Almond Shortbread Cookies

Ever since having our little one (19 months ago), I haven’t been baking as much as I used to in the past. I think the main reason is the fact that I spend my days chasing after a busy little bee all day, nor, do I want the temptation around my house. After all, I have worked really hard to lose all of the baby weight. The extra calories are just not worth it in my mind.  And, I love my clothes that much.

However,  I do think about baking during nap time, but then I end up folding laundry or vacuuming instead (I know, oh so glamorous, right?). No, really, I love taking care of my little family.


Enough rambling for now, and back to the baking. I’ve never made thumbprint cookies. Have you? These look and sound delicious. So, I plan on making these this weekend.  Of course, much to my husband’s dismay, I will give most of them away, like I always do. I just love this time of year – the perfect excuse to bake for family and friends!


1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup seedless red raspberry jam
sugar for sprinkling
1 cup powdered sugar
3 to 4 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract


1. In a medium bowl beat butter medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the the 2/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Beat until well combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with electric mixer and then using a wooden spoon stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Using your thumb, press an indentation into the center of each ball. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the jam into each indentation and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks to finish cooling.

3. For icing, in a medium bowl combine powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon water and 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract. Add enough of the remaining water to make a drizzling consistency. Drizzle cookies with icing.

Creamy Tomato, Basil, Parmesan Soup

With the cooler temperatures coming soon (yay!), I decided it was time to breakout my trusty crockpot and start making more Fall recipes. I found this easy, soup recipe on Pinterest yesterday, and just had to go ahead and make it for the week ahead. We really like the fact that this soup is loaded with vegetables as well. The recipe doesn’t call for an avocado when serving it, but I added an avocado to the top when I served it last night. I hope you like this soup as much as we do!

creamy tomato

Creamy Tomato, Basil, Parmesan Soup
Adapted from Tastes Better From Scratch

Serves 8


  • 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with the juice
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or Tbsp fresh oregano
  • ¼ cup fresh basil (or 1 Tbsp dry basil)
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1½ cups half and half
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Add diced tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery, tomato paste, chicken broth, oregano, and basil to your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.

About 30 minutes before the soup is ready, prepare a roux. Melt the butter over medium low heat in a skillet and add the flour. Whisk together constantly for about 10 minutes or until the roux is a nice golden brown color. Slowly add 1 cup of the soup from the slow cooker to the roux–it will start to form a thick paste.  Slowly add another 3 cups of warm soup to the roux. Whisk together until smooth. Add the roux mixture to the slow cooker.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese, half and half, and salt and pepper. Add additional oregano and basil if needed, to tastes. Stir well. Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes.

Mumsie’s Hot Chicken Salad

My Mom’s (Mumsie’s) Hot Chicken Salad recipe has always been one of my favorites as a child, and even more so as an adult. It’s SO easy to make, and you probably have 3/4 of the ingredients already on hand. And, at Thanksgiving, you can make it with leftover turkey, instead of chicken – so good!

I have a picky toddler (who also happens to be teething a lot this Summer), so finding healthy dinners can be a real struggle around here, at least ones that will be eaten anyway. Let’s just say, minus my toddler spitting out the celery hidden inside, it was eaten right up the other night.

hot chicken salad

My hope for you is that you make it, and it becomes a family favorite for everyone like it is for ours!

2 Cups cooked chicken (I used the rotisserie chicken)
1 Cup chopped celery
2 T. minced red onion
2 T. lemon juice
1 Cup (scant) real mayo
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

3/4 Cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 Cup crumbled potato chips (I use ruffles)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Spread into a 9×9 baking dish. Top with grated sharp cheddar cheese & crushed potato chips. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Cobb Salad Dip

I read Natalie’s blog almost daily, and when I saw this recipe posted on her blog, I just knew I had to try it. I am a huge fan of cobb salads when we go out, so this dip sounded perfect on a hot Summer day. It’s always fun to try something new, and my family absolutely loved it. Every calorie is worth running the extra mile!

cobb salad dip

Adapted from Designer Bags & Dirty Diapers

One 8 oz. package cream cheese
One 8 oz., container of sour cream
One package Hidden Valley Ranch Dip mix
2 ears of corn
A handful of cherry tomatoes, diced
One Cup sharp chedder cheese, shredded
One Cup shredded romaine lettuce
Cooked & crumbled bacon
Crumbled blue cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Tortilla chips or ruffles for dipping

Let cream cheese sit out and soften for about an hour. Mix cream cheese, sour cream & ranch packet until smooth. Spread in the bottom of any dish. I bake the corn at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes just to slightly soften it, but you don’t have to do cook it at all. Layer shredded cheese and the rest of the ingredients. I top it off with a little bit of blue cheese and bacon. Serve with chips of your choice. Enjoy!

Have a happy day!

Chocolate Brownie Bread

While I was browsing on Pinterest a few days ago, I stumbled across this Chocolate Brownie bread recipe. I haven’t made it yet, but I did make the Kentucky Butter Cake this past weekend (mentioned in this post), and it did not disappoint. It was the perfect finish to our Father’s Day brunch.


I have some buttermilk leftover from making the Kentucky butter cake, (who has buttermilk on hand all of the time, unless it’s in a recipe? No one I know.) and of course I don’t want the buttermilk to go to waste, so I’m going to try my hand at making this Chocolate Brownie Bread. I’ll let you know how it turns out, unless of course you make it before me!

It looks absolutely amazing!



The Best “Apple Crisp” Recipe

This is hands down the best apple crisp I’ve ever had in my life. Before I share this recipe with you, I first need to give full credit to my best friend of 27 years. This recipe has been passed down in her family for years. I asked her for her recipe shortly after I got married, and she gave it to me (thankfully). Since then, I have made this for several house warming gifts, dinner parties and just because…it’s that good.

apple crisp

It’s so easy to make with such simple ingredients – that’s my kind of recipe.

6 Large granny smith apples
2 Cups sugar
2 Cups all purpose flour
2 Sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 Tablespoons water

 Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Start by grabbing your 9 x13 baking dish. Wash and slice the apples into very thin half moon slices. Slice the half moon slices in half. Layer the apple slices in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle your 4 tablespoons of water over the apples evenly in the dish. Sprinkle the ground cinnamon over the apples.

Next, get a large mixing bowl ready for the “good stuff” otherwise known as the “crisp” part. Add your 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of sugar, then your 2 sticks of melted butter. Stir these 3 ingredients together well with a spoon.

Pour the crisp ingredients onto the apples in your baking dish evenly. Place your apple crisp in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy – and don’t worry, you can thank me later!

 I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Tuna Salad

Tuna. You either love it or could leave it.  I love it.  I have literally made this recipe almost every week since I discovered it on Natalie’s blog about a month or two ago. It’s hands down one of my favorite lunches now.  I grew up on both cold and hot tuna salad recipes. My husband even ate it, and he was really skeptical since he didn’t grow up eating tuna like I did. I adapted Natalie’s recipe and added dill pickles to mine. My Mom always had dill pickles in her tuna salad, and I think it added the perfect flavor to it.

This picture below doesn’t do this salad justice. If you like tuna you will love this salad. It’s healthy for you and so good.

tuna salad

Tuna Salad
Two or three 6 oz. tins of albacore tuna packed in water
3/4 cup of light mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1 TBS chopped fresh dill (I used mine out of my spice rack)
1/4 cup drained capers
2 TBS Dijon mustard
4 chopped dill pickles
3 TBS chopped fresh tarragon (I used mine out of my spice rack)
2 TBS chopped leaf parsley (I used mine out of my spice rack)
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
*Optional: add some toasted almonds or 1 chopped apple

 I typically pair mine with crackers and a few slices of cheese on the side for lunches. My Mom made it the other day, and she served hers with a fruit salad (watermelon, cantaloupe and blueberries) and rolls, which sounds good, too. I have also made my husband a toasted tuna salad sandwich with cheese, and he loves this recipe that way as well.


Favorite Breakfast Lately


I have been trying to lose the last of the baby weight (I have about 8 pounds to go to get to my wedding weight), and so since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I have been trying to find my new favorite breakfast. Well, I found it.

I will go through phases with my breakfasts, and then I get bored. Some days, all I want is a piece of toast with butter and jam, and other days, I want eggs or an English muffin. Since I am trying to lose weight, I am trying to eat less bread. I cannot completely cut it out, because I know once I do start eating it again, I will just gain everything back. Crash diets don’t work for me, “everything in moderation” does. I love bread, but if I ever want to get to my size 6 again, I’ve got to cut back. And, I have, thankfully.

This is going to sound wasteful, but my whole life, I have always tried to eat just half of what was on my plate. I have always eaten like a bird, I just pick at my food. Except when it comes to filets or dessert – I finish those every time. You’ve got to balance your calories out, or as I like to call it, prioritizing properly!

Lately, I’ve been loving Greek yogurt with granola mixed in it. Some days, I add fruit to it, like a sliced banana, raspberries or strawberries. It just depends how much time I have between feeding the hubs and the baby before I eat my breakfast, and how lazy I am feeling about washing/cutting fruit!  Coffee is the first thing I make for us, after making a bottle. I usually only drink two cups (bad, I know), but now that I can drink caffeine again, I am living it up. It also just helps when you’re up at 6:00 am everyday with little ones, too.



Dannon Oikos Greek Vanilla Yogurt


Nature’s Path Organix Flax Plus Vanilla Almond Granola



So, that’s what I start my day off with lately. It is helping me lose the weight, I can already tell. I feel full until lunch time, which is all that matters.

What are you loving for breakfast right now? And no, I’m not talking about McDonald’s when I say that, either!

What helps you lose weight? Any tips you would like to share? If so, please do!