Creating a Life…with just Five Things a Day!

words and thoughts from my journey


Working Out the Foodie Kinks

How to Make a Spooky Delicious Meatloaf

Halloween snuck up on me this year, creepily approaching…with the Halloween weekend approaching I wanted to share a favorite among our household – a delicious discovery, a wicked twist on a classic…

So keeping in mind that it’s also #tbt tonight seemed like the perfect night to share this throwback recipe:

Zombie Meatloaf – Deliciously Dangerous!

  1. Make your meatloaf recipe as normal.
  2. Shape meatloaf into a head shape.
  3. Wrap in bacon.
  4. Use onion slices for eyes – slice slightly into them and add drop of red food coloring to center (the food coloring will bleed out making the eyes look blood shot) an onion slice for a nose, and onion slivers for teeth.
  5. Then bake as usual (about an hour at 350 degrees).
  6. “Eat him before he eats you!”



A Low Cal, Healthy but still Tasty Salmon Recipe

I love to cook but I also love to eat healthy…sometimes coming up with the right combination can be tricky… this is a recipe I put together for my Mom and I one night….keeping it around 300 calories per serving (came to 311.5 calories for total meal – I came pretty close!) Recipe is broken down for one serving – multiply to create additional servings.

Ingredients –

  • 3 oz salmon fillet
  • 1/2 c broccoli florets
  • 1/2 medium tomatillo
  • 1 Tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/3 medium potato
  • Blackening Seasoning

Directions –

  1. Heat  pan to medium-high heat and spray pan with Pam. Slice potato into thin slices. Place potato slices into pan and sprinkle with Blackening Seasoning. Cook until tender and then remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, dice tomatillo. Toss tomatillo, chopped onion in small bowl with oil and 1/2 tsp of soy sauce.
  3. Steam broccoli.
  4. While potatoes are cooking, heat second pan to medium heat and spray with Pam. Place salmon fillet in pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes and then drizzle remaining 1/2 tsp soy sauce on top of salmon. Continue cooking salmon until just about done, then top with tomatillo and onion. Cook until at desired doneness.
  5. Serve salmon with potatoes and broccoli.

I failed at getting a picture, so sorry, it was so delicious that we ate it up right away!!!  P.S. Salmon is a Power Food – here’s my post on why it’s so awesome for you, and links for more great recipes to try!   Well I’m off to work out…working hard to stay on track!



#tbt – Recipe Review – “One-Pan Pasta”

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve made this recipe…and I noted in an old post that it was delicious…with my life in a busy, tight schedule I thought this was a great recipe to revisit. Taking only about 30 minutes to make, it is a great fit for an evening getting home at 7pm. I hate eating too late because then I tend to have a hard time getting to sleep at a decent time so the quicker and easier recipe for an evening during the work week the better, but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice taste…

This awesome recipe is so simple to make – chop some ingredients up, throw everything in a pot, and cook! Wallah! Delicious!

One Pot Pasta Prep

This recipe came from a Martha Stewart magazine…the link will follow the recipe. I thought for my followers (speaking of time) I would retype the recipe here to make it readily available for you!

Ingredients Needed:

  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red-pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs basil, plus a few additional torn leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt (can substitute table salt if necessary) and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups of water
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  1. Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet (I didn’t have a straight-sided skillet so I used a pot and came out just wonderful still!). Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Continue to boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat. Season to  taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowls (makes approximately 4 servings) and garnish with basil. Serve with Olive Oil and Parmesan cheese.



#tbt – Banana Bread from Grandma’s Recipe Box

With the thought of bananas – tagging my Power Food post from earlier this week –  – this week’s #tbt post is my Grandma’s Banana Bread Recipe – I posted it publicly about 2 years ago after much debate about letting this cat out of the bag, but over the last several years I’ve learned that we’re here to share our joy with others (I’m awfully dramatic about banana bread aren’t I!)

Two years and two months ago I wrote…

There aren’t many things better to me than my Grandma Bell’s Banana Bread…and today was a good day for it. Our furnace isn’t working too well so today was a perfect day to heat up the oven and we definitely had some ripened bananas in the house from my boyfriend’s Hypothermia adventure a couple of weeks ago (he also had low potassium…hence the bananas). I have to be honest that I am fighting the choice to share this recipe with you…it’s a family favorite and I take a lot of pride in this recipe!

Grandma Bell’s Banana Bread Recipe

  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 very ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Cream together shortening, sugar, and bananas.
  2. Add egg and beat.
  3. Add vanilla extract.
  4. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.
  5. Gently stir in dry ingredients mixture alternating with milk.
  6. Pour in loaf pan (I grease mine so the bread slides out easier).
  7. Bake at 350degrees about an hour.

Please forgive my not-the-best photographs from then…I’ve learned a little in this department since then…

Banana Bread


Power Food – Bananas

Yesterday afternoon I made my visit to the Farmers’ Market to pick up some chow for the week (have to get back on track with packing lunches!). One of my favorite stands is the organic vegetable and fruit stand – he always has the yummiest stuff! That’s where I fell in love with kumquats for the first time! This time around I picked up a bunch of organic bananas. Bananas are a favorite fruit of mine for so many reasons – quick, easy, and packed with health benefits…and tasty too! Bananas fall onto the Power Foods list for many many reasons:

  • Most commonly known for being high in Potassium –
    • essential for good heart health
    • helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels
    • Potassium also helps you be more mentally alert
  • A great source of fiber (about 3grams per medium banana)
    • helps aid and regulate digestion
  • A calcium rich fruit
  • Low in sodium
  • Low Fat
    • Bananas do contain a type of fat called sterols though, which helps keep blood cholesterol levels controlled by blocking the absorption of dietary cholesterol
  • High in vitamin B-6
    • helps in the production of white blood cells
    • strengthens the nervous system
    • studies have shown it to help in protecting against Type 2 Diabetes
    • helps reduce swelling
    • Aids in weight loss
  • They are high in antioxidants
  • Bananas are high in pectin
    • Pectin helps with digestion and gently removes toxins and heavy metals from the body
  • Contains high levels of trytophan which converts to serotonin (the happy good feeling chemical in our brain)
  • Are high in magnesium
  • Higher in sugar with approx 14-15 grams of sugar per medium banana, but the sugars are of low glycemic value.
  • Contain fructooligosaccharides which act as a natural prebiotic
    • helps maintain good bacteria in our lower intestines
    • supports overall digestive health
  • Are a natural antacid
  • They help restore electrolytes to the body

So to sum it up they are a yummy treat that helps keep your gut healthy, your sugars in check, and give you energy : )

Power Food - Bananas

I know this has been a long post, but I don’t want to ruin my routine of posting a power food with some yummy recipes to try too – check these out, I am excited to try at least one of these this week!!!

1.   2.   3.


Power Food – Avocado

When I was younger I wouldn’t touch an avocado, I was quite the picky eater, as my tastes have changed though I have come to love avocados and I’m so glad I did! Avocados are considered a SuperFood because of how high they are in nutrients and studies continue to find new health benefits of it.

Avocados are:

  • High in healthy fats
  • Contain no Cholesterol or Sodium
  • Low in Saturated Fats
  • High in Fiber
  • High in Nutrients – Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Potassium (contains more than in a Banana)
  • Also contain Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Phosphorus, Vitamin A,               B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), and B3 (Niacin)
  • Shown to help lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels
  • High in antioxidants
  • Some studies show it has anti-swelling properties that can help reduce symptoms of arthritis


Recipes to Try:

Power Food – Salmon

Excited to be starting my ‘Power Foods’ Series!

The first fish I ate… Salmon…considered a brain food (oh that’s why I’m so smart!) 


  • Is a great source of high-quality protein
  • Contains Omega 3 Fatty Acids which have been proven to protect heart health, lower risk for stroke, improve blood lipid patterns and blood vessel function, and help reduce symptoms of immune and inflammatory disorders
  • High in Vitamins A, B, B6, D, and Vitamin E (which is a powerful antioxidant)
  • Also contains Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, and Phosphorus


Recipes to Try:

Throwback…Recipe for Pancakes with Love

Here’s another throw back post from my previous Foodie blog…Enjoy!

Today we start the day with Homemade Pancakes and sausage links (I cheated a little on those- just had to cook them) – yum! I had my kitchen assistant in tow too! This is a batter I’ve made several times before – for about two years probably now but it’s so simple to make and typically I have all the ingredients on hand that I had to share! It’s less expensive than buying the pre-made mix and almost just as easy to make than the mix up pancake batters.

Homemade Pancakes:
Yields: 8 Servings

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  1. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in milk, egg, and butter.
  3. Mix until smooth.
  4. Cook in lightly oiled pan or griddle over medium heat until lightly browned.

Pretty easy, huh? Takes me about 5 minutes to make up the batter and then cooking time.

Homemade Pancakes with Dylan

He’s such a cutie…growing up though! Can’t believe how fast time flies, my kiddo turned 11 this past January, before I know it he’ll be all grown up and out on his own doing his own thing. Just reminds you how fast time can go by and how important it is to cherish every moment!

Time to get a cool treat… It’s National Ice Cream Month!!!

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared July to be National Ice Cream Month (… which is a good thing because I’ve been eating a lot of ice cream this past weekend!

And to celebrate some businesses are offering free treats!!! Check out this link…

Some interesting facts about eating ice cream…

  • Americans are the #1 consumers of ice cream worldwide, eating on average 20 quarts a year! New Zealand comes in at #2.
  • About 9% of all milk produced by US Dairy Farmers is used to make ice cream.
  • Vanilla is the most popular flavor, with chocolate coming in at a surprisingly distant 2nd.


I’ve created a Pinterest Board dedicated just to ice cream… yum!!! Check it out for some great flavors and recipes!


And to top it off with a cherry – this month I will be raffling off an chilly prize inspired by Ice Cream! Share your thoughts about ice cream, your favorite flavors, your recipes and links to get your entry!  (winner will be randomly selected from posts at end of month).


ice cream








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