After Church Triple Berry Smoothie

After church today I wanted to take us out for coffee but I didn’t have the extra money to spend. So, I whipped  up these, and served them while we played a family game called Ingenious. Even our 5 year old loves to play this game… and drink the delicious smoothie too of course! Have a blessed week.

From: Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Points: 1 pt 
Calories: 68.4 • Fat: 0.4 g • Protein: 3.3 g • Carb: 12.9 g • Fiber: 3.1 g

  • 1/2 cup blackberries and raspberries
  • 5 medium strawberries
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 6 oz WW berries and cream nonfat yogurt

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with a straw and strawberries.

Caramelized Acorn Squash


  • 2, 1- to 1-1/2-pound  acorn squash
  • 1/4 cup  butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup  apple cider or apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon  ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Cut each squash in half; discard seeds and remove fibrous material. Place halves, cut side down, in the prepared baking pan. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Let stand until cool enough to handle; cut into 1-inch slices. Arrange squash slices in a 2-quart rectangular baking dish, overlapping as necessary.

 For glaze, in a 10-inch skillet heat butter, brown sugar, cider, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat; boil gently, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until heated through. Spoon glaze over squash. Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until heated through. Spoon glaze over squash before serving. Don’t eat squash skins.
Makes 6 servings.

Venison Sausage, Red Onion, and Cheese Frittata






  • 1/2 lb cooked venison sausage, chopped into small bite sized squares
  • 1 red onion, sliced in thin half moons
  • 12 eggs, beaten
  • 1 block cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 TBS cooking oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 TBS cold water


In a heavy chef pan that is oven proof, heat the oil. Then add the onion, stir to coat, let sit and cook the onions for about 2 minutes. Stir in the venison sausage and garlic powder. Continue cooking until sausage is heated through.

Meanwhile break eggs into a large bowl and whisk them with 2 TBS cold water.

Pour eggs into the chef pan and stir gently to mix. Lower your heat to medium. Let stand on heat for 3-5 minutes. Do not stir.  When the eggs begin to look done from the top, layer on the grated cheese and place into the oven under the broiler for about 4 minutes, or until egg is cooked through and puffy with the cheese melted.

You can cut this like a pizza pie and serve it right from your pan or you can over turn it onto a serving platter and slice it that way.

Whole Wheat Waffles

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 TBS. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

In a mixer bowl, put the eggs, milk, and oil. Mix until well blended. Stir the dry ingredients together and add to the mixer bowl, mixing until blended. Cook on a hot waffle iron.
Serve with Fruit Kabobs.

Post Grape-Nuts Apple Crisp Dessert

We wanted a fast dessert tonight after dinner so I looked into my cupboard to see what I had. I have had this box of Post Grape-Nuts sitting in there, half eaten, for a month now. My husband is the only one who will sit down to a bowl of it on a Saturday morning, that is if he hasn’t made his famous pancakes yet. I knew I had apples and brown sugar. So an idea to use up the cereal came to me and I could not shake it, even as the girls bombarded me with loads of other desserts that were more chocolaty.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!








  • 6 apples, peeled, cored, sliced into wedges
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • 2 TBS Flour
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • Juice of  1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 – 1 cup Post Grape-Nuts Cereal



Pre-heat oven to 350.

In a large bowl squeeze lemon juice over the peeled, cored, sliced apples. Coat with flour, toss to mix.

In a separate bowl combine all sugars and spices and mix until well blended. Add in the softened butter. Mix until moist.

Pour sugar mix over apples and stir well with a wooden spoon.

Spray a 8×8 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour in the apple mix. Sprinkle Post Grape-Nuts cereal over the apples and place several dots of butter  on top of that. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the apples are soft.

Serve with

Honey Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Combine all in a mixer and beat on high until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until needed.

French Dip Sandwiches


  • 1- to 3 1/2-pound Roast Beef sliced from the deli
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions, cut into thin rings
  • 1  envelope au jus gravy mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 to 8 hoagie buns, split and toasted if desired

In a large skillet, cook onions until almost tender, add roast and continue to heat the meat through.  In a bowl, whisk together 1 cup water , gravy mix, and pepper. Pour over meat, and continue to heat on low. With a slotted spoon, remove meat and onions and serve on toasted hoagie buns. Serve with bowls of cooking juices for dipping.

What age does to you? And Beef Stroganoff Casserole Recipe

Do you ever feel like you’re stretched too thin? Like you created a world for yourself that would need six more of you? I never knew what Bilbo meant when he said ‘thin like butter over too much bread’, but I do now. Since January I have felt stretched too thin. Not thin as in, I feel my life hanging by a thread as I slip out into the universe, but this as in, I have seven projects going at once four children, a husband, a dog, and a cat… and I might need to shower sometime. It’s been this way for 18 years and I relished it. I preferred having 1 million things to do. No exaggeration. I still prefer having a million things to do but I’ve never felt thinned out, stretched too far,  and needing seven of myself to get through each day. What changed?

My guess is that for the past several months it’s the first time I’ve ever felt like a grown-up. 18 years of parenting and I always felt like I was the unorganized mom, the mom who was faking it, the hippie mom etc. etc. However, the past few months I’ve actually felt like an adult. Is that what age does to you? I didn’t think it would happen after so long, but it has. So I will keep trotting along having 10 projects going at once, four children screaming and hollering for one thing or another, answering my husbands 9000+ questions about parenting,  and trying to find time to shower, but I’ll do it with a feeling of accomplishment that I am now an adult, I think.

————————————————– <3 ———————————————————-

(Space for picture.. I’ll add on Thursday because that is when I’ll make this dish again.. see week 45 Menu)
Beef Stroganoff Casserole

  • 12 ounces dried penne pasta
  • 2 lbs beef stew meat
  • 1 package au jus mix
  • 2 large fresh portobello mushrooms, stems removed and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 14-ounce can beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 8-ounce carton sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh dill or 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • Fresh dill sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return to pan.
Meanwhile, place meat in an oiled pan on low heat, begin to brown. Add butter, mushrooms, onion, and garlic over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender and meat is cooked. Stir in flour and tomato paste. Gradually stir in broth, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup of the sour cream.

Stir meat and mushroom mixture into cooked pasta. Transfer mixture to an ungreased 3-quart casserole. Bake, covered, about 30 minutes or until heated through.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining sour cream, horseradish, and snipped or dried dill. Serve with meat mixture. If desired, garnish with dill sprigs.

Makes 6 servings.

Black Sticky Rice Pudding


  • 1 cup black sticky rice (soaked over night)
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup plus 1/4 cup coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar


In a med sauce pan over med-high heat, combine rice and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally at the beginning and frequently towards the end. Add additional water if necessary. Once rice is just tender and grains begin to open, add 1 cup coconut cream and the sugar. Stir well and cook for a few minutes more. Remove from heat. Spoon into individual bowls and drizzle with remaining cream.

Serves 4-6

Moist Carrot Cake


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS baking soda
  • 1 TBS ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups pureed cooked carrots
  • 1 small 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts for the top (optional)


Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9 inch cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. Peel and cook carrots until a fork easily can be poked in to them. One small bag of full sized carrots should yield about the right amount of pureed, cooked carrots. Drain the carrots and purree while still warm in a blender or food processor until they are smooth. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of the carrot puree and set aside.

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Stir dry ingredients together with a whisk to combine well. Add oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat well for about 2 minutes. Fold in walnuts, coconut, carrots and pineapple. Pour equal amounts of batter into each pan. Set in the middle of the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until edges have pulled away from sides and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let sit in pans 10 minutes. Turn out onto a rack and cool completely. When cool, level cakes to take humps off the center with a serrated knife. Spread cream cheese frosting between the layers and on top. I leave the sides out in the open because they are a beautiful brown and nice and crunchy. Sprinkle chopped nuts on the top if desired.

Cream Cheese Frosting
(makes enough for middle and top of cake. Double if you want to frost sides)

  • 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

Cream together cheese and butter. Slowly stir in sifted confectioners sugar and continue beating until incorporated, light and fluffy.

Fajita-Ranch Chicken Wraps


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1-2 small red, pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 4 TBS bottled reduced-calorie ranch salad dressing
  • 10-inch whole wheat,  flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1/2 cup Salsa
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese

Sprinkle chicken strips with chili powder and garlic powder. Coat a medium nonstick skillet with nonstick spray; heat over medium-high heat. Cook chicken and sweet pepper strips in hot skillet over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and pepper strips are tender. Drain if necessary. Toss with salad dressing.
Divide chicken and pepper mixture between warmed tortillas. Top with salsa and cheese. Roll up; cut in half.

To warm tortillas: Wrap tortillas tightly in foil. Heat in a 350°F oven about 10 minutes or until heated through.

Easy Salsa: In a medium bowl combine

  • 2 seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow or green sweet pepper
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • a dash of black pepper
  • if desired, a few drops bottled hot pepper sauce.

Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 3 days. Stir before serving. Makes 1 2/3 cups.

Winter Vegetable Hash

  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small acorn squash, diced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage

Place oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Melt butter and mix in potatoes, mushrooms, pepper, squash, and shallot. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender.
Mix kale and sage into skillet. Continue cooking 5 minutes, until kale is wilted. Serve and enjoy!

Serve vegetable hash with lime wedges, salsa, and tortillas if you like

Week 44 Menu


Leftovers / Clean Out Refrigerator

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Roast, Spinach and Strawberry Salad, Dinner Rolls, Carrot Cake

Chicken with Spinach Orzo, Dinner Rolls, Leftover Carrot Cake

Winter Vegetable Hash, Grilled Salmon, Serve with lime wedges, salsa, and corn tortillas.

Fajita-Ranch Chicken Wraps, Apple Crisp, Ice Cream

Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash, Onions and Sage, Caramelized Onion Galette, Dinner rolls, Leftover Apple Crisp

Mediterranean Chicken and Polenta, Tossed Salad, Dinner Rolls, Flan

Slow Cooker Ham and Potatoes Au Gratin


  • 6 yukon gold potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 3 TBS. real butter
  • 3 TBS. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 8 ounces cooked ham, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme leaves

Spray the crockpot well with non stick cooking spray.
Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared crockpot. Top with the ham, onion slices, and half the cheese. Season layers with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the remaining potatoes. Top with remaining cheese. Season again.

In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and stir constantly with a whisk for 30 seconds. Stir in milk, cream, and thyme leaves. Cook until mixture has thickened, about two minutes. Stirring constantly (do not bring to a boil).  Pour over the potatoes, and cover.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Serves 5

Spinach and Strawberry Salad


  • 2 bunches spinach rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries
  • chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, pecans, or sliced almonds)
  • crumbled bleu cheese


  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil (start small and add as needed)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a large bowl, combine the spinach and strawberries. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, and poppy seeds. Pour over salad, toss until well mixed and serve. Sprinkle chopped toasted nuts and bleu cheese over top.

Burgundy Beef Stew

  • 2 pounds lean boneless beef chuck pot roast
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 6 medium carrots, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 9-ounce package frozen cut green beans (or fresh picked cut in half)
  • 1/2 of a 16-ounce package frozen small whole onions (or 2 cups fresh)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup Burgundy wine
  • 4 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled (can use turkey bacon)


Trim fat from meat. Cut meat into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper.

(If desired, in a large skillet cook meat, half at a time, in hot oil over medium heat until brown. Drain off fat.)

Place meat in a 3-1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with tapioca. Stir in carrots, green beans, onions, and garlic. Pour broth and Burgundy over meat mixture in cooker.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 9 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours. Sprinkle each serving with crumbled bacon.

Makes 6 servings.