Monday, December 30, 2013

Healthy Lunch Recipes Box Set

This is a freebie!


Why Buy This Set?
Because healthy diets can be depressing, and it doesn’t have to be. With a little ingenuity (and some help from this ebook) you can make healthy eating a culinary adventure! No worries, all the recipes in this set are good for both most folks, even those who need to have gluten-free food, taste-wise and health-wise. Your friends and family will love them!

What’s Inside?

Book 1: Delicious and Nutritious Low Carb Lunches
Chapter 1 – Spice Up Your Low Carb Diet with Fun Lunch Recipes
Chapter 2 – Low Carb Brown Bag Lunches
Chapter 3 – Low Carb Weekend Lunches
Chapter 4 – Conclusion

Book 2: Delicious and Nutritious Low Calorie Lunches
Chapter 1 – Introduction
Chapter 2 – Brown Bag Lunch Recipes 
Chapter 3 – Weekend Low Calorie Lunch Recipes 
Chapter 4 – Conclusion

Book 3: Delicious and Nutritious Gluten-Free Lunch Recipes
Chapter One: Gluten-Free Doesn’t HAVE to be Yuck-ee
Chapter Two: Soups Up!
Chapter Three: Green Dreams
Chapter Four: Enter the Entrée
Chapter Five: A Baker’s Dozen

Juicing For The Day

I'm trying to incorporate juicing into my life and so far and I am loving it. The only negative is that it does take a little preparation to have enough for the entire day, but once it's done you are set up for the day. Here's a combination that I made for today.

5 stalks of celery
2 handfuls of spinach
Half of a cantalope
1 beet 
4 carrots (peeled, tops & bottoms removed)
2 small apples
2 small oranges (peeled)
2 pears

I like to use a fine mesh sieve when I pour the juice into the jar. It takes what little pulp that makes it through the juicer out. I use a large mason jar to store the juice in the refrigerator throughout the day. 

This juice is yummy and I can easily finish it by the end of the day. Here's a warning to those who are new to juicing like me. The first day that I drank juice all day I must have gone to pee at least 10 times. I know that may be TMI, but none of the sites that I looked at during my hunt for information on juicing mentioned the number of times that you would have to go to the potty! It was annoying, but it does taper off!!

Don't worry I am not turning this into a juicing blog! I have been crazy busy with the family over the last couple of weeks and I didn't blog the things that I made, but hopefully now that things are going to get back to normal I will be able to get a good schedule going for my food blogging. 


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a few days to spend with family and friends! Please remember to keep our troops who are not home with their families this holiday season in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Green Juice 1

Here's my first greener juice made with spinach. I have to admit I wasn't too sure about the combination even though I have done green smoothies before, but it turned out great. It's still sweet with thanks to the addition of the fruit. This juicing thing is a breeze!

I used 2 carrots that I peeled and chopped off the tops and bottoms, one apple, an orange, and two handfuls of baby spinach.  Voila! Not a ton of juice, but still pretty filling.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Grapefruit-Apple-Celery Juice

This is the juice combination that I experimented with today was delicious! I can't believe that I am just discovering juicing, but better late than never. Tomorrow I am adding a "real" green veggie to the mix-spinach.

1 Grapefruit
1 red apple
3 stalks celery

This made about 400 ml of yummy juice and I like to add lots of ice before drinking.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Apple-Orange-Celery Juice

This is the very first juice that I made with my juicer. The idea is to eventually get to the point where you have more green vegetables than fruit in your juice to get the maximum benefit of natural juicing. This combination is very sweet and you could easily add a stronger flavored vegetable like spinach or kale. I will be trying that next! I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed the celery flavor in this one!

I used 2 apples, 2 stalks of celery and one small orange.

This combination is so amazingly good that it almost feels like cheating. There is a lot of fruit sugar in this, but again, I'm a beginner when it comes to juicing so I am going to work my way up to some of the stronger flavors and I'll be adding spinach next. 

If you are an experienced juicer or have just started and have some combination recommendations I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment and I will give them a try.

My New Obsession:The Fusion Juicer

I have been curious about juicing for a little while now and have been looking into juicing as a way to help with my transition into healthier eating. I love to cook and eat and I can't imagine going on an extreme all juice diet, but I do want to start taking a more active interest and role in my own health. So off to research juicers on the internet I went. There are a lot of juicers out there at at lot of different price points. Boy, if you want to read some nasty reviews go in search of a juicer! I decided on the Fusion Juicer, but if I had gone by the rating on Amazon alone, it would definitely have been a no go. There are 16 negative 1 star reviews and only 8  positive 5 star reviews. There are a lot of negative reviews on this one, but I got it on sale and I thought that I would give it at try. I got it from Wal-Mart and have never had a problem when returning things that didn't work so I decided to give it a try. Maybe I bought the only working model, but I have had no problems with this machine so far. Now, I've only been using it a little over a week, but I haven't run into any of the problems that have been mentioned around the reviews. The only thing that I see as a negative is that the fine mesh sieve needs to be cleaned when you finish so that it is easier to wash. If you don't like to clean up right away, from what I saw in reviews the Breville juicer seems to get points for easy clean up. So, the moral of this story is sometimes you just have to take a chance and go for it and this time it worked out for me. I will be posting the juices I make as I get more organized! 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Taste of Home Christmas Cookbook

If you are looking for Christmas food ideas this is a wonderful cookbook. I love Taste of Home and they are the cookbooks and magazines that I started really cooking from. I didn't jump into complicated recipes first as a beginning cook and Taste of Home always provide simple but yummy recipes.

Happy Cooking!


Let Taste of Home help you plan your holiday parties and menus with this idea-packed cookbook. There are wonderful appetizers and beverages, company-worthy entrees, delectable breads, an array of sides and best of all dazzling, divine sweets—cookies, candies, cakes, pies and more. Included is classic fare, as well as updated twists on old-time favorites.

Festive Appetizers & Beverages
Holiday Parties
Joyful Brunches
Christmas Dinner Menus
Merry Entrees
Jolly Sides
Glorious Breads
Yuletide Cookies
Heavenly Desserts
Candy Sampler
Special Gifts of Food
Thanksgiving Gathering

Caramel Cashew Clusters
Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles
Apple Cider-Glazed Ham
Cheese-Topped Roasted Vegetables
Colorful Gazpacho Salad
Herb-Crusted Prime Rib
Old English Trifle
Raspberry Lemon Cake
Yorkshire Pudding with Bacon and Sage
Asiago Chicken Spread
Calzone Pinwheels
Cherry-Brandy Baked Brie
Hot Spiced Wine
Shrimp Wrapped in Bacon
Warm Pomegranate Punch
Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
Orange Pear Jam
Cracked Pepper Cheddar Muffins
Rustic Pumpkin Bread
Almond Pistachio Baklava
Caramel Apple Cheesecake
Frozen Peppermint Delight
Holiday Walnut Torte
Au Gratin Potatoes ’n’ Leeks
Carrot Cake Doughnuts
Overnight Raisin French Toast
Golden Roasted Turkey
Maple-Oat Dinner Rolls
Sausage Raisin Dressing
Brown Sugar Cutouts
Cherry Kisses
Cranberry Shortbread Bars
Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies
Raspberry Sandwich Spritz

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Breakfast Cookbook Freebie

I'm not sure how long this one will be a freebie it may just be for today so grab it quick!

Book Description:

Christmas Morning is a very busy time
in my home and I am sure it is in yours as well. With this collection
of delicious breakfast and brunch recipes, you can quickly prepare
scrumptious muffins, scones, or breakfast casseroles on Christmas
Eve. This will allow you to spend more quality time with your family
on Christmas morning instead of in the kitchen baking. Make this
Christmas morning one to remember with any of these delicious

Ham and Cheese Hash Brown Casserole
Cheesy Bacon Hash Brown Casserole
Sausage and Cheese Casserole
Country Breakfast Casserole
Spinach and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Mini Breakfast Casserole
Maple Sausage Casserole
Sweet and Savory Breakfast Casserole
Cheesy Breakfast Casserole

Simple Quiche
Cheesy Chicken Quiche
Bacon Cheddar Quiche
Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Mushroom and Spinach Quiche

Bacon Apple and Raisin French Toast
Baked French Toast
Baked Blueberry French Toast
Baked Strawberry Banana French Toast
Baked Cherry French Toast
Peach French Toast Casserole 
Luscious Lemon Raspberry Muffins
Almond Cherry Muffins
Wild Blackberry Muffins
Harvest Cinnamon Apple Muffins
Ripe Banana Muffins
Very Berry Cranberry Muffins
Peaches and Cream Muffins
Sour Cherry Lemon Muffins
Cowboy Southwestern Dinner Muffins
Cheddar Cheese Bacon Muffins
Cheddar Cheese Dill Muffins
Sausage Cheddar Muffins
Very Simple Scones
Rich Chocolate Chip Scones
Strawberry Patch Scones
Harvest Apple Scones
Berry Berry Cranberry Scones 
October Pumpkin Scones
Very Cherry Scones
Gingerbread Scones 
Cranberry Oat Scones 
Island Coconut Scones
Fresh Fig Scones

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Chicken Salad

This is one of the easiest chicken salads you can make. By using boneless skinless chicken thighs you get a lot of flavor at a very reasonable price. So here it is!


6 boneless skinless chicken thighs 
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup seedless red grapes cut in half
3 green onions-chopped
1/2 c. Miracle Whip (I like this for chicken & tuna salad for its slight sweetness)


Cover chicken thighs in a pot of water with the garlic and salt and boil until cooked through. When it's cooked through let cool down and cut into bite size pieces. 

In a bowl add the rest of the ingredients and mix completely.

This is great as a light supper or lunch spread on a hoagie or placed on a bed of lettuce. This is also good with crackers!

(Okay, so sometimes I add fries too!)

Happy Eating!

Homemade Soup Cookbook Freebie

This freebie has some good looking soup recipes. Each recipe has a small photo. There is a link at the end to get a free downloadable cookbook, however I have not downloaded it so I'm not sure what's in that one.

Book Description:

This book is a compilation of different delicious soup recipes. All of the recipes are easy to make and will keep you pleased with their warm scents and refreshing flavors. 

Enjoy the holiday season with pumpkin soup or spend a Sunday night eating a classic, chicken noodle. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Potato Soup

This is a very easy potato soup recipe that was given to me by a wonderful friend that I met during our time in Japan. Ms. Colleen was my neighbor in the apartment tower that we lived in. She was one of the first people to come by and introduce herself and offer help with anything we needed while we adjusted. Ms. Colleen and her husband Dan became close friends to my family and my girls loved them as well as any blood related grandparents. We lost Ms. Colleen to cancer a few years ago and I miss her terribly. She shared a few recipes with me over the years and they are all yummy, so whenever I make one of her them I think of her and I am so glad that I have her recipes to remember her by. 


5 lbs of russet potatoes (cut into cubes)
1 white onion-chopped
8 cups of water
Chicken bouillon granules (2 Tbsp + 2tsp) or 8 bouillon  cubes
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of ground black pepper (1/2 tsp if you don't like a stronger pepper flavor)
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream

 Tip: Don't buy one of those 5 lb bags of potatoes-you'll be peeling those suckers forever!! Buy 5-6 decent sized russet potatoes it will be MUCH faster!


Peel, dice, and rinse potatoes,

Add all of the ingredients except for the heavy cream into a large pot and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Then turn down and simmer for 40-50 minutes until the potatoes are cooked completely and are very fork tender.

Using a immersion blender blend until smooth. If you don't have a immersion blender you can blend in batches in a blender. 

Add the delicious heavy cream.

Thoroughly mix in the cream.

I like to gild the lily a bit by adding crumbled bacon and chopped green onions on top.

My kiddos also like to add a little shredded cheddar to theirs and that is yummy as well. If you want to be fancy you can saute shrimp in a little garlic and olive oil and add that to the top and that is a fabulous addition! Pinkies up!


Freebie: Top 30 Delicious And Tasty American Dessert Dishes


Book Description:

If you are looking for a good variety of Quick & Easy American Dessert Recipes, then this cookbook is definitely for you. Sometimes serving a great Dessert seems harder than it really is, but there are different Desserts available in this cookbook that you can serve and prepare quickly. 

This Cookbook is filled with over TOP 30 mouth watering American Dessert Recipes. In addition, each delicious recipe is accompanied by captivating color photographs to help entice you to the final tasty dish. 


1. DELICIOUS AND MOUTH-WATERING American Dessert Recipes. 
2. Easy navigation through the recipes and the whole book. 
3. Step-by-step description of each preparation method that makes the process of cooking much easier and quicker. 
4. Beautiful and colored pictures of the Recipes. 

What Type Quick Easy Recipes American Desserts Will You Find In This Book? 

There are a total of 30 different recipes inside this book Some Examples of the American Dessert recipes include: 

Red Velvet Cupcakes 
Raspberry Pastry Roll-Ups 
Blueberry Gingerbread 
Island Pineapple Coconut Jello Shots 
Best Orange Creamsicle Cake 
Chocolate Lover's Cake 
Shotts Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake 
Streusel Plum Cake 
Creme Brulee French Toast 
Margarita Parfaits 
Mississippi Mud Pie 
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars 
Strawberry Banana Cream Pie 
Southern Snow Cream 
Applesauce Cake 
Low Carb Lemon Dessert 
Mandarin Orange Cake 
Nutter Butter Cookies 
Rocky Road Fudge Bars 
Pioneer Woman Apple Dumplings 

& Many More…. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Santa's 10 Favorite Christmas Cookies Freebie

Book Description:

Christmas Fun For the Whole Family! 
This e-book contains Santa’s 10 favorite Christmas cookie recipes for parents and children to make together. Now you don’t have to guess anymore about what to leave for Santa. He and his elves work hard all year making toys and delivering them on Christmas Eve, so why not leave him a treat you know he’ll love. Just make one or several of these treats and leave them for him on Christmas Eve. He’ll be so grateful. He may even leave you some extra gifts. If you’re on the naughty list, this can quickly move you to the nice list. 
These recipes are from the North Pole. Some of them are Mrs. Claus’ creations. Some were created by her kitchen elves. Two were left for Santa along with Christmas treats. Most of them contain his favorite cookie ingredients: chocolate, nuts, and coconut. 
The whole family can enjoy making these old-fashioned, delicious Christmas cookies. Making them together may start or reinforce a family tradition and help keep the magic of Santa going. 
Make these treats for: 

* Santa to enjoy on Christmas Eve 
* Christmas parties 
* Family gatherings 
* Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas dinner 

His favorite recipes are listed in reverse order. Gather the family, pick one or more recipes, and get the holiday magic started. 

The Ultimate Christmas Cookies Freebie

Another Christmas Freebie

Book Description:

The Ultimate Christmas Cookies
Cookies-Brownies and Bars
Find your favorite Christmas cookie recipes with The Ultimate Christmas Cookies ; the best sugar cookies, gingerbread men, chocolate cookies, peanut butter cookies and our new favorite Anise cookies. With Christmas approaching fast its time to start baking cookies for Christmas The Ultimate Christmas Cookies has a wide variety of Cookies, Bars and Brownies to suite any taste; even cookies for Santa.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday Cookbook Freebie

Holiday Freebie

Book Description:

Decadent Holiday Dishes That Taste So Good, You’re Family Won’t Know They’re Healthy! Want to enjoy the holidays without packing on the extra pounds? Try fresh new holiday-inspired recipes like Protein Pancakes with Wild Blueberry Sauce, Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal, Skinny Mashed Potatoes, Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Baked Chicken Parmesan, Basil Turkey Meat Balls, Turkey Raisin Chili, and many more recipes that capture the flavor of the holiday season without the extra calories, sugar or guilt!

Taste of Home: Recipes Across America

I love this cookbook! I have to admit that I am a fan of the Taste of Home series of cookbooks and magazines and this one did not let me down. There are beautiful photos and the recipes are all simple and delicious looking. The cookbook is divided into the main regions of the country; Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest, and West. The recipes for each region is then divided into mains, sides & more, and sweets. There are tidbits of information throughout the cookbook about not only the recipes and their origins, but also about the region that the recipe hails from. Two of my favorite recipes so far from this cookbook has been the crawfish fettuccine and the Coquilles St. Jaques which is scallops in a cream sauce. This is a lovely and well priced cookbook that is available in both eBook and hardback formats. This is a good cookbook for both the novice and experienced home cook and well worth giving a try. This is definitely a cookbook that I would like to work my way through.

I received a copy of this cookbook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Book Description:

Whether sinking your teeth into crispy Southern Fried Chicken, enjoying a Philly Cheese Steak or sampling a slice of Ozark Mountain Berry Pie, you simply can’t beat the comfort of iconic American foods. Now, it’s easier than ever to sample the flavors of the country with Taste of Home Recipes Across America.

This keepsake collection offers 655 recipes that deliver regional flair from all 50 states. Grill up a fiery Southwestern barbecue, stir together a little Texas Caviar, host a New England clam bake or share a Chicago deep dish pizza! You’ll find everything from no-fuss snacks and quick supper ideas to weekend menu items and impressive desserts…each of which left a delicious mark on its part of the country!

Divided into five regions (Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest and West), Recipes Across America offers all the mouthwatering specialties enjoyed by locals, including unforgettable dishes featuring regional produce. You’ll even discover ethnic favorites passed-down through generations of cultures who established roots in various cities throughout the nation.

As a bonus, you’ll enjoy fun food facts and folklore sprinkled throughout the pages. (For example, did you know that Chef George Crum of Saratoga, NY is rumored to have created the potato chip after a customer complained about the chef’s fried potatoes?) There are even colorful photos and notes regarding regional landmarks, infamous restaurants and more.

With so many recipes, photos and kitchen tidbits, Taste of Home Recipes Across America makes it a snap to take your senses on a culinary vacation you’ll cherish for years to come.

Some of the recipes included:

NORTHEAST: New England Boiled Dinner, Pennsylvania Dutch Pork Chops, Maple Syrup Corn Bread, Vermont Baked Beans, Brooklyn Blackout Cake, Joe Froggers

SOUTH: Barbecued Sticky Ribs, Bourbon Baked Ham, Low Country Boil, Andouille-Shrimp Cream Soup, Pimiento Cheese Spread, Hummingbird Cake, Southern Sweet Potato Pie, Benne Wafers

MIDWEST: Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza, Rolled Swedish Pancakes, Howard’s Sauerbraten, Beer Margaritas, Kansas Whole Wheat Bread, State Fair Cream Puffs, Lemon Kolaches

SOUTHWEST: Sizzling Tex-Mex Fajitas, Chicken Tamales, Award-Winning Chuck Wagon Chili, Armadillo Eggs, Daiquiris, Texas Caviar, Chunky Fresh Mango Cake, Mexican Ice Cream

WEST: Pacific Rim Salmon, Pork with Artichokes and Capers, Plum Chicken Wraps, Baked Potato Cheddar Soup, California Sushi Rolls, Champagne Cocktail, Habanero Apricot Jam, Sourdough French Bread, Hawaiian Cake, Wyoming Cowboy Cookies

With this collection the country is yours from coast to coast. You can plan a Southern summertime barbecue, feed hungry hands with Tex-Mex, enjoy the silky smoothness of maple syrup pie, have a German feast for Okoberfest, juicy fruits from the Pacific Northwest or a Classic Cobb Salad. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Jar Recipes Freebie

(Not available for the Nook)

Just in time for gift giving! This is a freebie right now so grab it before it goes back to it's original price!


The most innovative way to give gifts from your kitchen. 

100 Easy Recipes In Jars is a collection of easy to make, delicious jar recipes that will make a big dent in your holiday gift giving list. Photos of jar decorating ideas are throughout the book.

The recipes use simple ingredients to create a homemade meal or snack that's as easy to use as a store-bought mix. You do the hard part, while the recipient sits back and enjoys. 

As an added bonus, readers have access to more than 2000 online labels and recipe cards to decorate and personalize their handcrafted gift. These handsome, professionally designed templates can be used to add a personal touch and create a one of a kind gift that will be the highlight of any occasion.

Recipes Include:

Popcorn Seasoning
Coffee, Tea, Cocoa
Nuts & Snacks
Recipe in a Jar uses:
Holiday gift-giving
Fund raisers
Wedding favors
and so much more!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Cheater Chili

The weather here in Arkansas is cold and we just had a front of sleet and snow come through so this is the perfect weather to make my Cheater Chili. I call this Cheater Chili because all it really is is a doctored up box chili mix. I figure if they will put all of the essential spices together for me and I can add to it to make it my own, why not? I hope you enjoy this one. Please leave a comment if you make a different version by adding other ingredients I'd love to try a different version!



I box of your favorite chili kit
1 lb of ground beef
1 can of red kidney beans
1 can of black beans
1-14 1/2 oz can of diced tomatoes 
1-15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 white onion diced


Cook the ground beef with the onion and black pepper

While the beef is cooking drain and rinse the two cans of beans.

Add the beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and all of the ingredient packets EXCEPT for the ground chili pepper and salt packets from the kit, but including the packet of masa to the ground beef. Mix well, then mix in  2 cans of water using the15 oz sauce can. I like to use crushed red pepper flakes in my chili. I don't really like the taste of the preground red chili. So I add the salt packet to the red chili flakes and grind it myself with a mortar and pestle. The flakes will not turn into fine powder, but will blend into the chili nicely. The instructions say to add the masa at the end, but because I usually cook this in the oven or the slow cooker I add it right away.

You can cook this chili one of three ways. I usually use the oven or slow cooker since I love to make things early and not have to worry about babysitting it. An added bonus is that this chili will make your house smell awesome!

1. On the stove top according to the instructions and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

2. In the oven on 350* for about an hour. 

3. In the slow cooker on low for about 6-8 hours.

I serve this chili over tortilla chips or corn chips (Fritos) or with my Southern cornbread recipe. We like to gild the lily with shredded cheese and sour cream.