Monday, April 13, 2015

Making Stuffed Mushrooms

While my Mom, Sister and Nieces visited they decided they wanted stuffed mushrooms.  I had all the ingredients to do so and so I made them!   Here is what I made.


24 medium or large baby bella mushrooms (each about 2 inches wide)2 tablespoons chopped garlic2 oz goat cheese4 oz whipped chives cream cheese, room temperature
4 oz tablespoons shredded colby jack cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 c. Mayonnaise (Hellman's)

1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz Asiago cheese
2 teaspoons Parmesan-style grated cheese
Black pepper, crushed on top


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Gently remove the stems from the mushrooms and set both the caps and the stems aside.
Lightly spray muffin tins with nonstick spray. Place the mushroom caps inside each whole.  
Meanwhile, chop mushroom stems. In a medium bowl, combine the stems with garlic, garlic powder, goat cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, salt, Asiago cheese. Mix well and stir until blended.
Evenly distribute the cheese-veggie mixture among the mushroom caps. Next, add the colby jack and grate the parmesan cheese on the top of each one and add fresh black pepper.
Bake the stuffed mushrooms in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the topping begins to brown. Let cool slightly and enjoy!

Here is a photo of some of the items that were made including the stuffed mushrooms, brownies and Ina Garten cookies (and my nieces favorite- olives!)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

making homemade bread

I read about making bread on a frugal sub reddit on

So I tried it, with this recipe:

I was especially excited for a no knead recipe.  I just needed a Dutch oven!  No proble, I ran to my local store and had one and prepped the dough.

was seriously excited... The bread turned out good, but thinner than I imagined, so I did my research!

I ended up finding another recipe, really similar, but better reviews.

I used 3 c white and 3 c wheat for this one!

This time it turned out great and what I expected!

I now had to get a new Dutch Oven, a ceramic one!  I wanted to see if the results were any better or if I could just have a reserve ;)

So I did and the results were also great!!

Now it's time try experiment with seasonings and cheese :)

I'm trying Rosemary this weekend!  Can't wait to see how it turns out! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Meal Planning- Yes, you have time!

I've had several people ask me how I plan meals for the week.  I thought I'd give an inside peek on how I do this.  Each week, I make a breakfast, two main meals, a meat and sides.  Here's how!

On Saturday night or Sunday during the day, I usually crock pot a pork roast or 3 lbs of chix breast on low in a crock pot for 6-8 hours with 2 T of the seasoning of your choice.  When this is finished, I hen put in container and shred with a fork!  This is ready and it works for salads, sandwiches, tacos, pizza,or quesadillas. Quick no fuss!! Under 10 minute meals!  All you need is a salad on the side or some veggies.

Sunday, I usually wake up and make a frittata or breakfast muffins for breakfast in a cast iron skillet. 8 eggs, 1/3 c milk, salt, pepper, and then pick a meat, two veggies and a different cheese every week. That is usually enough for breakfast through Wednesday for both of us, or just for me if the Hubby is just doing shakes.  When it runs out, we do a shake or yogurt with granola and fruit or scrambled egg with veggie and cheese. (Which you can make on Sunday). 

Next, I usually pick one vegetarian dish and one meat dish and then a couple of veggie or pasta/rice sides.  This week was potato soup and pork barley soup.  The sides I made were macaroni and cheese, twice baked potatoes and asparagus and risotto cakes as sides.  I always pick something from one of my cookbooks, magazine articles, or Pinterest!  I've also recently learned how to make my own bread and croutons!  I'll save that for another post!

It is all super easy and we have meals and plenty of variety.  We also stock up on yogurt, string cheese, almonds, granola, apples, and bananas for sides for lunches!

This helps with variety!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Live the Life you Love!

You may have noticed I didn't write too much after August of last year.  I'm not looking for sympathy, I was just dealing with a lot and wasn't able to properly express myself.  I was trying my best just to sleep at least four hours a night.  Some nights were and are still harder than others, but, I'm realizing we only have one life, so live it and LOVE it!

In late August of 2014, my Grandmother had a stroke.  She was 100!  Yes, 100 Years YOUNG!  She lived life to the fullest was so very sweet and we had a huge 100th birthday for her in December of 2013.

She passed away on August 31st.  Going to her funeral in Rockford, Illinois, was hard for me.  She lived a long life, was a happy and upbeat person.  I know where I get that from :).  The most difficult part is that she was my last living Grandparent.  It made me stop and think a lot, WAY.TOO.MUCH!

On our way to the funeral in Rockford, we learned that my husband's mother had stage 4 lung cancer. She had gone to the doctor because her back hurt.  After all the medications wore off, her chest hurt and they took some tests and she was diagnosed.

My Mom is a cancer survivor, two years ago this June, she had her lung removed due to cancer.  She has had almost a year of clean scans, so this news about my husbands Mom was hard to hear.  Hard to go through again.  Especially because in January of 2012, my Mom's mother, was diagnosed with lung cancer for less than 5 days and passed away.

Yes, this is a lot of cancer.  Yes, they were all smokers.  So, if you are my friend or in my family and I make a comment about smoking, it is from experience.  I have not ever tried smoking, nor will I ever!  I've experienced enough to know that it causes horrible things.

Less than two weeks later, we dropped everything in Grand Rapids and drove the Memphis, as her health had been deterorating.  We arrived at Midnight on Saturday September 20th, she was removed from tube feeding at noon that Saturday and moved to hospice.

We were able to talk to her, listen to her favorite music and just be together with her.  She passed away shortly after 4:30pm on that Sunday.  I'm forever grateful that we decided to just pack up and leave and be there.

After awhile in Memphis, we headed back to Grand Rapids.  Things were difficult going back to work as people kept asking where I was.  Or was I traveling to a fun place for work, or why I hadn't been in the office.  When you are grieving, these are very difficult things to answer.

Slowly, I began to sleep a little more, about 6 hours a night!  Then, as I was finally getting to be back to my normal self, a co-worker who had been on leave was told she needed a heart transplant.  In early December, she got a heart transplant, but unfortunately didn't make it 24 hours.

There is a lot to learn here.  Visit your family as much as you are able.  Living in Grand Rapids, my friends are my family.  They are the family that I chose for myself.  John and I have no relatives in this area, but we are reminded daily to love one another and be happy for what you have.