5 min frozen strawberry dessert


I made this one one when I was craving dessert and had limited ingredients to make anything.

-Frozen strawberries (I used this but you could substitute any frozen fruit like blueberries or raspberries)
-Milk, cream, or half and half. All I had was half and half but if you wanted creamier you could use whipping cream or Missy would use almond milk 🙂

Using a food processor, add strawberries until finely chopped. Blend in sugar. Then, slowly add half and half or other cream until smooth and well blended. Dessert is done!

It’s best to put in freezer for a few minutes. If you have extra it would keep for a few days in the freezer in an airtight container. We couldn’t wait so ate as is and it was a little more like a milkshake consistency but that’s how I like my ice cream so it worked. I also garnished mine with low fat cool whip and a fresh strawberry. Vit doesn’t even like dessert and asked for seconds!

droid pics 185 300x224   5 min frozen strawberry dessert

April 29, 2011
Food, Recipe


Spinach Mac and Cheese and Chicken Sausage meatballs


If there is a staple item that I loved as a picky little kid but have never grown out of even as my tastes have matured, it is mac and cheese. But with the high fat/low nutritional content ratio, it is usually not a good thing to make. I found this recipe on Rachael Rays cooking show- Meals in 30mins or less then added some tweeks of my own
-One package of fresh or frozen spinach
-Cup or so of parmesan cheese
-Milk (I used regular but suppose you could subsititute)
-Bit of butter
-Pasta for the mac and cheese (I used veggie shells)
-Ground chicken or turkey can be subsituted
-Herbs for meatballs- rosemary, tarragon, thyme
-Onion or leek, chopped
-Bread crumbs- I used italian style but you can use regular and add your own herbs
-Two eggs
First, make the sauce. Saute a small pad of butter then add milk, you can use a dash of half and half or cream but of course that adds to fat content. Slowly pour in the parmesan cheese stirring on medium heat until it melts making a creamy sauce. The key to any good alfredo/cheese sauce is adding the cheese slowly. Once you have a good amount of sauce, add in the spinach. While fresh is best, I love frozen spinach because they pack sooo much into a little package so you are eating tons of greens. Stir the spinach into the sauce. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. I used multicolored shells that are veggie based.

The meatballs:
I use ground chicken because it is leaner and healthier than ground beef. With the right combo of herbs it tastes just like sausage, you won’t know the difference but is lower in fat and cholesterol. Also, by adding in bread crumbs etc you are making the meat (and your money) stretch.
Mix together herbs (onion, rosemary, thyme and fennel see are key to making it taste like sausage), a little parmesan cheese if you have some left, bread crumbs, two eggs and ground meat. Make into decent size balls then place in 350 degree preheated oven for ab out 15mins or until meat is brown, not pink.
Serve over mac and cheese and voila!- a grown up healthier veggie and protein packed version of your childhood fav!
chops bobblehead etc 011 300x225   Spinach Mac and Cheese and Chicken Sausage meatballs

Food, Recipe


The Best of Summer Cocktails: Fresh-Mint Mojitos


Mojitos are a quintessential summer cocktailSweet, flavorful, and refreshing, these cocktails are often mixed poorly by bartenders who lack access to fresh ingredients like mint and lime.  Simple syrups, sour mix, and inadequately-muddled mint can turn a good cocktail into a sugary mess.  Learn how to make your own and keep this recipe in your back pocket for summer cookouts.

enjoying mojitos 300x244   The Best of Summer Cocktails: Fresh Mint Mojitos

Enjoying mojitos on the porch

There are a lot of ways to make Mojitos.

If you want a good mojito, it’s not about fancy rum.  It’s about using fresh mint and a little elbow grease.

Here is my tried-and-tested fresh-mint Mojito recipe that has everyone claiming “you didn’t put enough rum in mine” until 5 minutes after they’ve gulped down their first glass.  Most folks don’t make it past two…

Mojito making supplies 300x225   The Best of Summer Cocktails: Fresh Mint Mojitos

Mojito-making supplies: White rum, Fresh Mint, Lime, and Sprite


Ingredients (per glass 8-12 oz glass):

2-3 3″ or longer mint springs with decent-sized leaves (or one long one, obviously.  The more mint, really, the better)
1/3 tsp sugar
1/2 lime, juicedronricorumsilver175   The Best of Summer Cocktails: Fresh Mint Mojitos
1 part (4 oz?) sprite, or sierra mist, or some other lemon-lime soda
1 part (2+ shots worth, as you dare) white rum

I use none other than Ronrico..silver Caribbean rum–just $15.99 at my local liquor store for 1.75L.  Before you judge, try it You’ll go through a lot if you make these Mojitos so you might as well save a few dollars!

  • Use a muddler or mortar & pestle if you have one, or if not, a mug and something to mash the mint with (the handle of a crab mallet has served me well on many occasions).  Add 1/3 tsp sugar and a little squirt of lime to the mint and muddle until thoroughly bruised.
  • Fill a glass with ice (crushed ice is preferable)
  • Fill glass to 1/2 full with rum. Depending on how your ice is arrayed in the glass you’ll get more/less alcohol, so scale according to preference.
  • Juice the rest of the 1/2 a lime into the glass with a citrus juicer.
  • Top with Sprite or other lemon-lime soda
how to make a mojito 300x225   The Best of Summer Cocktails: Fresh Mint Mojitos

How To make a Mojito: Muddle the mint with a little sugar and lime juice



Mojito 225x300   The Best of Summer Cocktails: Fresh Mint Mojitos

MMM mojito

  • After muddling, some of the mint/lime/sugar flavor may be stuck in the container you bruised it in.  Add a splash of soda to that container before pouring the mint mixture into your glass to help transfer more of it.
  • You can twist a Mojito recipe by adding a little muddled cucumber to make it even more refreshing.
  • Add a dash of Chambord or other berry liqueur to sweeten the drink and add a little color
  • The mint is delicious to eat.  But have a friend check your teeth regularly…

Virgin Mojitos:

This drink works out to be delicious even without alcohol.  Substitute club soda, tonic, fizzy mineral water/seltzer, or a combination of all three (depending on how sweet you like your drink).




April 26, 2011
Drink, Recipe



Gardening – Organic and Fresh (my April garden update)


So I started my garden about a month ago.. With 3 (4’x4’x8″) raised cedar garden beds (no leeching of pressure treated wood chemicals into my soil!), some, organic garden soil, organic soil conditioner with a high humus content, and peat moss mixed into some of my existing, very clay-like soil.  I also fixed up my original flower bed that’s about 5’x5′ and have some smaller garden boxes along side my house and deck containing various flowers / plants / edibles.

I’ve only planted a few things so far but I started a lot of seeds indoors and plan to buy a few more plants to round out the gardens.  I still need cucumbers, chili peppers and jalapenos, kale/swiss chard (might be too late though..) and yellow squash. I’ll update every now and then but here’s what I’ve got so far.

I’ve also been gifted two blueberry bushes 🙂 of different varieties for better pollination, and I have a raspberry bush I bought.  As of yet I can’t figure out where to put them.. in the front yard where I have space but hoodlums can steal my berries?? OR in the back yard where I’m pretty much out of sunny spots to plant.. HM!!

Herbs: Thai basil, basil, oregano, dill
Vegetables: zucchini, delicata squash, mixed bell peppers
Fruit: Cherry& heirloom tomatoes
Flowers: Nasturtium, marigold, some unidentified flower from a friend

Planted this season so far:
Vegetables: Sugar snap peas, garden peas, broccoli, spinach, mixed fancy lettuce, radishes
Fruit: strawberries

Returning Perennials:
Herbs: Rosemary, parsley, sage, mint
Flowers: mums, creeping purple flowers, some yellow wild flower

New plants that still need to be put in the ground:
Fruit: raspberries & blueberries (not in the ground yet)
Herbs: basil

April 22, 2011
Gardening, General