Author Archive

Not Yo ‘ Normal Nacho

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Asian Nachos


Admit it you love a crunchy, salty, sweet, and spicy snack.  Guess what?  ME TOO!!  And one of my all time faves is the fabulous NACHO.  A crisp corn tortilla chip topped with all the sassy southwest flavors it can handle has been my answer to many a Saturday night junk food craving.  I’ve felt that my culinary creativity comes through as I mix up the toppings, and trade out salsas and sauces.  But, when my Super Asian Pack box arrived I realized my creativity has been limited.  Why keep the nacho stuck in the America’s?  I gave that dish a face lift that sent it to the Far East.  And the results were completely irresistible. (more…)

Boxed Dinner Revolution- Asian Style

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Baked WonTon with Blackberry Asian Dipping Sauce and Broccoli Slaw


Boxed foods seem to have gotten a pretty bad rap lately.  People complain that they are full of sodium, lacking on nutrients, void of color, and totally missing true flavors.  Recently though, it seems my best meals have come from a box…a big brown Bountiful Baskets Super box to be exact.  Apparently I am a Sucker for a Super Pack.  The Super Bowl Hostess Pack was a definite win, the Valentine Super Pack melted my heart, and now the Super Asian Pack is sending my taste buds on an all-expense-paid trip to the Orient.  I figure I will get two or even three full meals out of this fabulous box and I can guarantee all of these “boxed meals” will be chock full of flavor, nutrients, and vibrant colors! (more…)

Corn and Tomato Tart (gluten free-but they will never know)

Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Corn and Tomato Tart

Corn and Tomato Tart

I have been loving my heirloom tomatoes from Bountiful Baskets- and so has everyone else in my family.  We have all enjoyed discovering the different flavors that come with each different color and pointing out the best ways to use all the colors to create “the perfect bite”.  The best quote of the night came from my 13 year old while enjoying the little dish I’m about to share with you.  She said “You know what’s great about these tomatoes?  They taste like tomatoes.  A lot of the time tomatoes don’t really taste like anything.  But these are full of tomatoey goodness”.  Yes my dear, yes they are.  And since these little gems have the guts to actually have a flavor, I thought they deserved a dish that showcased it. (more…)

Mozzarella Stick Stackers

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Mozzarella Stick Stackers

As a little kid (and a college kid, and a newly married kid) one of my favorite junk food treats was a crispy, fried mozzarella stick.  There is just nothing better than biting into a crunchy layer of browned bread crumbs followed by the oooey- goooey- goodness of cheese.  Well, maybe even better is giving that a dip into some spicy marinara sauce.  But after my second baby I started to feel my metabolism slowing down and by baby number four it was quite apparent that an indulgent mozzarella stick would hang around (in the form of hips and tummy) for far longer than I wanted.  It was clear I had to avoid one of my favorite guilty pleasures.  Until now! (more…)

A Visit to the Tropics…Via Cake!

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Creamy coconut and pineapple cake with a drizzle of raspberry jelly

The tropical pack is one of my favorites. I open it and the smell immediately transports me to far off beaches filled with refreshing flavors and cool breezes. I will admit though, it is also one of the most intimidating packs for me. Each item seems like it takes special knowledge and intense preparation. In my house, the coconut has often gone to waste (let’s share a moment of silence for the untimely loss of a coconut). The pineapple, kiwi, and mango generally end up tossed in a smoothie (yum- but snore). And the rest of the stuff usually gets incorporated into my weekly meals ending up in a less-than-tropical-flavor. I don’t know about you but using the tropical pack limes to make Southwest Ranch Dressing just seems wrong (although the dressing is SO good- but that’s for a different post). (more…)

(Almost) Grandma’s Three Bean Salad

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

I have been craving Three bean salad. Not the soggy, over-sauced, over-sugared stuff from the grocery store but the slightly crisp, perfectly balanced flavors of tangy and sweet that my Grandma-In-Law creates every year. In my mind there is nothing better than sliding up to a worn wooden picnic table lined with plates of freshly fried chicken, home-style potatoes, and fabulous Three Bean Salad (generally with Texas Sheet Cake for dessert). The smells, sites, and sounds of her fresh garden, apple and cherry trees, and chickens and cows, make these meals an experience for all the senses. One bite of a decent Three Bean Salad and I am transported back to the dairy farm where my family has spent every summer for 14 years.

Eat the Rainbow

Friday, September 20th, 2013

For generations moms have compelled, bribed, and forced their children to eat their veggies. What we moms seem to forget is that kids are made to play and there is nothing more fun to play with than food. SO- if you are trying to get your family to enjoy “Eating the Rainbow” find a way to turn this goal into a game. Here are some ideas to help you.

Intro- Pizza and a Movie

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Night time view of the Hollywood Theatre, in the Hollywood district of Portland, Oregon. The 1926-built theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is still in operation as a movie theater.

Between school, work, homework, sports, choir, church obligations, and chores, modern families do not get much down-time during the week. I have found that the successful (and even the unsuccessful) end of my family’s long week deserves a bit of celebration. By the time Friday rolls around we want to celebrate but generally want that celebration to be peaceful, quiet, and relaxing (ie- wearing jammies). Like many families, we have found that a Friday night of pizza and a movie is the perfect end-of-week celebration balancing festivity and relaxation in a way that is fun for all ages (and meets that all-important pajama dress code).

JoAnn- Pizza and a Movie

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Pizza and a movie night is a fun tradition in my family. We have learned to get creative with crusts and toppings making each pizza night unique, healthy, and fun. Our new grain-free lifestyle could leave us empty handed on pizza night but instead, it has prompted me to try out the cauliflower crust recipes I have seen floating around. I have tried several. Some totally flopped, some partially flopped, and by combining several ideas and working out my own techniques I’ve hit on a recipe that is almost always a winner. So here are my tried-and-true secrets for a great cauliflower pizza crust.

Yuck-Free Nacho Cheese Sauce

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Gluten-Free Nacho Cheese with Hatch Peppers

I am always on the lookout for ways to make my favorite store-bought snacks at home. I have learned that it is almost always less expensive and, considering the MSG, fillers, and preservatives added to most commercial products it is ALWAYS a healthier option (please note I said healthiER not necessarily healthy).