Independence Day – Family, Food & Fun

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. I love everything about it - what it celebrates, how it is celebrated, the weather, the fireworks.... We are lucky enough to live on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. From our back yard we have a great view of the fireworks display shot from a barge just outside of Dana Point Harbor.  We can also see the display put on by San Clemente to the south and Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar to the north.  On  a few exceptionally clear 4th of July … [Read more...]

Meatless Monday – Light and Fresh Eggplant Parmesan

In my ongoing  and sometimes seemingly futile effort to eat well and enjoy food that tastes good, I created a new recipe to satisfy my craving for Eggplant Parmesan without totally blowing my diet.  I made my version meatless because I happened to have meatless Italian sausage on hand.  It's an easy recipe - I cheated and used bottled pasta sauce. it was quite tasty and did not break the calorie bank.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  If you want to indulge go for it - use real italian … [Read more...]

Indian Spiced Turkey and Vegetables

I love to find inspiration for new recipes in magazines and cookbooks. I was thumbing through a past copy of Food Network Magazine and found a section on Crock Pot cooking.  Several of the recipes caught my eye, but I was especially intrigued by a Chicken Tikka Masala recipe.  I like Indian food and I don't get to have it very often so I thought I might as well give it a whirl in my own kitchen. I started by taking stock of what I had on hand and trying to figure out how I might be able to … [Read more...]

Spaghetti Squash (or Not) Vegetarian (or Not) Casserole

So - in an effort to eat more healthfully I was inclined to buy some spaghetti squash at Costco.  It may have been sort of an impulse buy - I had never seen spaghetti squash at Costco before and they were super inexpensive.  So then I had 2 huge spaghetti squash and I needed to figure out what to do with them. I was not having an extra creative day so I decided on faux spaghetti and meatless sauce (since I also bought a jumbo sized package of meatless Italian “sausage” at Costco a while … [Read more...]

Living Happier

I decided this year was going to be a good year. A healthier year and a happier year than last year. I was excited when I opened Facebook one day and saw an advertisement for an app called "Happier".  I decided to give it a try. The idea behind "Happier" is to encourage people to keep track of the happy moments in their day which will encourage and provide an uplifting boost whenever needed. The idea is based in research that, in a nut shell, indicates that happiness is contagious and being … [Read more...]

Abstinence, Fasting and Sacrafice – oh my!

Have you ever wondered why McDonald’s starts randomly advertising fish sandwiches around late winter or early spring?  Have you ever wanted a handy, dandy guide to Lent or wondered why Easter falls on a different day every year?  Wonder no more! Easter must always occur on a Sunday, because Sunday was the day of Christ's Resurrection. It coincides with the paschal full moon, because that was the date of Passover in the Jewish calendar.  The Last Supper (Holy Thursday) occurred on the Passover … [Read more...]

Meatless Monday – Huevos Rancheros with a Quinoa Twist

As part of my quest to improve my health and  lose some weight I've been trying to cook more and eat out less.  I also am trying to eat more vegetarian meals and less red meat.  In order to do this, I have been reviewing cook books and recipes for inspiration for new dishes. I recently came up with this recipe which is a take on Huevos Rancheros.  We had it for a couple of dinners and lunch (since we are only 2 people and it serves 6) but would also make a tasty breakfast or brunch.  It was … [Read more...]

In My Neighborhood

  I‘ve decided that 2014 is going to be a year of positive change and discovery. So far, in the realm of change, we had new front doors installed and the exterior of our house painted. We went with a totally different look for both the door and the house - quite bold for us. A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I (along with our pup Ann Marie) stopped in San Juan Capistrano at Starbucks to get a cup of coffee. Originally we were on the way to the Dana Point Harbor for our usual … [Read more...]

Golden Squash Bisque + 1 = Yum

Have you ever found yourself with three squash and no idea where they came from?  I must not be the only one this happens to.  It happened recently and I wanted to use them before they went bad - they were to pretty not to use.  I decided to make a squash bisque.  It turned out quite nice.  I decided to serve it with cinnamon and salt spiced edamame and egg sandwiches.  It was a  cozy, warm meal on a cool winter evening. Golden Squash Bisque Serves 4 1 Butternut Squash 1 Acorn … [Read more...]

30 Day Challenge – Move More!

I took a break from doing 30 day challenges during the holidays. I probably should have taken the break a month or two before I did - my last two challenges were a bit half hearted. I took January to reset - It’s a new year and I have new resolve. It’s time to get back to 30 day challenges. For me 30 day challenges are, in large part, about trying new things and forming new habits.  This month’s challenge isn’t so much about trying something new, but getting back to something and maybe … [Read more...]