Posted in Carrots, Ingredients, Kale, Lunch, Mason jars, Recipes, Spinach, Tomato

Mason Jar Salad

I’ve seen this idea floating around but have never tried it. I always have issues figuring out what I want to eat for lunch. Even though I love salads, my salads for lunch are often lacking. So this week, I decided to try this.

In a quart-size Mason jar, I put dressing, shredded carrots, broccoli slaw, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, raisin, dried cranberry, almond pieces, kale, spinach, and Swiss chard. As I prepare for school, I pack some bacon bits and Feta cheese to top the salad. This past weekend, I got myself a plate to stay in my room, so when I dumped the salad onto the plate, the dressing distributes over the salad.


I made them last Saturday and ate the last one yesterday. A few pieces were thrown away, but the majority was still yummy!

Stars of the recipe:

  • Quart-sized Mason jar
  • Your favorite dressing (2-3 Tbsp.)
  • Harder skin veggies (celery, carrots, etc. . .) – cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Softer skin veggies (tomatoes, bell peppers, etc. . .)  – cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Favorite nuts and/or dried fruit like cranberries or raisins
  • Lettuce or greens


  1. Put the dressing in the Mason jar.
  2. Next, you place the harder-skinned veggies. (These can stand being next to the dressing for an extended amount of time.)
  3. Place the softer-skinned veggies next.
  4. Then you would put the nuts and/or dried fruit.
  5. Finally, pack in the greens/lettuce, ensuring it’s packed to the top.
  6. Screw the lid tightly.
  7. Place in the fridge, making sure not to tilt the jar.
  8. When it’s time to eat, dump the salad on a dinner-sized plate.
  9. Place any other toppings on top.
  10. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Posted in breakfast, Lunch, Mason jars, nectarine, peach, plums, Salad, Snacks

Stone Fruit Fruit Salad in a Glass Jar

Last weekend, I was perusing Pinterest looking for Mason Jar salad recipes.  On one of the sites, I saw a suggestion that you could do the same sort of thing with fruit minus the dressing.  I was intrigued, so I decided to try it.

I put those fruit salads together on Saturday afternoon, and they were still as good on Wednesday as they were on Saturday.

stone fruit salad

Stone Fruit Fruit Salad

Stars of the recipe:

  • 4 oz. Mason jars (I made 5, so I needed 5 jars.)
  • 1 med.  plum
  • 1 med.  peach
  • 1 med. nectarine
  • Fruit Fresh
  • Opt.  You also could put apricots in it.


  1. Cut the plum, peach, and nectarine into bite-size pieces.  (I wish I had a great cutting method around the stone.)
  2. Evenly place the pieces in the jars filling to the top.
  3. Sprinkle some Fruit Fresh over the fruit.  (This prevents it from turning brown.)
  4. Place the lid on as tight as possible.
  5. Place it in the fridge until you are ready to eat it.
  6. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


I added blueberries to this one.

Posted in Almond milk, breakfast, Coconut, Granola, Healthy, Ingredients, Menu planning, Oatmeal, Peanut butter, Pumpkin, Yogurt

6 Easy Breakfast Foods

In January, I made a resolution to eat breakfast daily. I’ve been faithful toward that resolution except for one time. That one time was a killer on my body. My blood sugar was not stable, so the likelihood of me making bad food choices increased.

As the school year started, I decided to compile a list of easy breakfast foods, especially with a little prep.

1. Yogurt Parfaits

This is my favorite breakfast. In fact, when we were at the beach, I ate this for breakfast several times.

I place Greek yogurt, Granola, and fresh fruit in a bowl. (My favorite Greek yogurt is Greek Gods Nonfat Plain.) You can dress it up any way you want – nuts, Chia Seeds, coconut, different types of Granola, and different fruits.

Here are some granola recipes:

White Chocolate Granola

Pumpkin Granola

Apple Crisp Granola

2. Oatmeal

All it takes is some quick oats and milk/almond milk/water. Place in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. You can add nut butter, chia seeds, flax seeds, chopped-up nuts, coconut, and/or fruit. Place the fruit on the oatmeal before microwaving for a different flavor experience.

Here is an oatmeal recipe:

Instant Oatmeal Mix

3. Breakfast Sandwich

This can be done in a million different ways. Okay, maybe not that many different ways, but you can change it depending on your mood.

Here is the basic formula:

  1. eggs or egg whites
  2. some sort of protein (turkey bacon, bacon, sausage, Canadian bacon) cooked
  3. cheese or no cheese (Switch the kinds of cheese – Colby, Cheddar, Swiss, Feta, etc . . .)
  4. Veggies – spinach, onions, etc.
  5. bread product – whole wheat bread toasted, English muffin, tortilla, Bagel thin

Here’s an easy way to cook the eggs or egg whites:  Spray a round glass bowl (1 cup size) or a coffee mug with cooking spray. Place the egg scrambled or whole. Place in microwave for about 1 min and a half to 2 mins. If it’s not cooked to your liking, continue cooking it at 30-second intervals. (If you want to, you can cook the veggies with the eggs.)

After you cook the eggs, assemble your sandwich and then enjoy!

4. Muffins


Depending on what flour and the ingredients are in your muffins, they can be a semi-healthy choice for breakfast. Whole wheat flour is the best flour to use when making muffins. Lots of fats (oil) and sugar will make your muffin unhealthy. Replace the oil in your recipe with unsweetened applesauce (1 to 1 ratio) to make it healthier.

You can make the muffins ahead of time and then freeze them. Pull a muffin out of the freezer and warm it in the microwave.

I usually pair them with a cheese stick and fruit for a more balanced meal.

Here are some muffin recipes:

Snickerdoodle muffins

Cranberry Pecan Muffins

All-Star Muffin mix

Young’s Dairy Pumpkin Muffins/Bread

French Toast Mini Muffins (My sons’ favorite muffins)

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins– Has avocado in it

5. Smoothies


This is another favorite of mine.

Easy peasy is the name of the game when it comes to smoothies. Throw in some fruit, greens, veggies, Chia seeds, flax seeds, ice, liquid (water, milk, juice, or almond milk), yogurt, and/or nut butter in a blender jar. Blend it together, place it in a cup, and enjoy! (Don’t worry; I don’t put all of those ingredients in at the same time. Those are just some ingredients you can use in your smoothie.)

I pair this up with either a cheese stick or a hard-boiled egg.

Here are some smoothie recipes:

Fruit Smoothie (the Imaginative One’s favorite smoothie)

“Tropical Smoothie” Smoothie“Tropical Smoothie” Smoothie

Carrot Tropical Smoothie

Key Lime Smoothie

Apple Jack Smoothie

St. Patty’s Day Smoothie

Power Up Green Smoothie

6. Pancakes/ Waffles


This can be easy if you make pancakes or waffles during the weekend and freeze them. Pop them in the microwave or toaster for a quick breakfast. You can use the pancakes and waffles for your breakfast sandwich. You can also top the pancakes or waffles with nut butter. Pair it with some fruit for a balanced breakfast.

Here are some pancake/waffle recipes:

Waffle House Waffles

Homemade Baking Mix and Pancakes

What is your favorite easy breakfast?

Posted in Menu planning

Menu Planning Monday – August 19

Since school is back in session, I’ve got to start menu planning again.  

Monday – Pesto Tomato Ravioli, Garlic Bread, Sal,ad and/or veggie

Tuesday – African Beef Sandwiches in the slow cooker, salad, chips

Wednesday – Crockpot teriyaki pork, rice, veggie

Thursday  – Chicken shwarma in the slow cooker, carrot and celery sticks, roasted potatoes

Friday – Mel’s Diner Chili, cornbread, veggie

Saturday – Eating at a wedding

Posted in Family, Hubby, Imaginative one, Wee one

Our Super Trip – Day #8

Day 7

Friday was our last day at the beach.  I once again got up and was out the door by 6:30 am.  This time I went to the pier to watch the sunset.  Boy, was I glad I did because it was gorgeous!

AAfterwardI went to the hotel next to our condo complex because they had a Starbucks.  I was hoping to use my coupon and Wifi.  The coffee shop served Starbucks but was not an actual Starbucks, so they couldn’t accept my coupon.  😦  I ordered a tall latte and ended up with a venti instead.  I didn’t complain.

After stopping at the coffee shop, I took pictures around Folly Beach. Before returning to the condo, I stopped at the Lost Dog Cafe.  The breakfast burrito I got was so good!  I also got a caramel latte with peanut butter whipped cream.  Yum!

Once I was back in the condo, and everyone was up for the day, we spent the rest of the morning at the beach.

After we returned to the condo and had lunch, the Imaginative One and I walked to Sugartime to get him some ice cream.  Then we went to the ear.  He enjoyed watching one of the fishermen pulling up their catch.

Then it was back to the beach for the afternoon.  Once I got down there, the kids decided they did not want to play in the ocean, so I took them to the pool instead.  I got in the pool with them for a little while.

We left the pool area when the four (niece, nephew, Imaginative One, and Wee One) of them decided to play some sort of weird congo dance game.

My in-laws’ bathroom had a whirlpool in it.  The kids decided they wanted to use it, so they got into the whirlpool one at a time.  Even though it was dinner time, the Imaginative One was lying there while reading a book about space.  We let him sit there longer, so we did not have to hear him complain about the dinner.  (He did just that because he didn’t want the chicken.)

After dinner, we all went to the beach and took family pictures.  (I will post the pics of our family and my mother-in-law and father-in-law but not my sister-in-law’s family.)

Once the pictures were taken, it was back to the condo to pack up because we was going to leave for Atlanta. the next morning

Click on the frog to see more pictures of Day 8.

Posted in Chocolate, Dessert, Imaginative one, Ingredients, Recipes, Snacks

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been promising the Imaginative One homemade cookies all week.  However with the stress of not knowing exactly what my assignment is for the upcoming school year, I’ve been nursing a headache off and on all week.

Let me explain, I am an Intervention Specialist which is a fancy title for special education teacher.  Our middle school has an incredible amount of students who need services and I’m talking about those who were in the school district last year.  Plus who ever is new to the building.  It seemed like every time I walked by the office there was another parent registering their child.  Okay sometimes it was the same parent because I went past there within a five minute period.  So I’ve been two scenarios for next year.  Both are fine but one requires lesson planning for next week.  The other does not.  Do you see my stress?

So right now I don’t have a caseload (no one does).  Guess what?  I’ve decided not to stress about it because next week we are going to go over expectations, consequences, and the student handbook.  It will be okay!

Tonight I decided to bake the cookies because chocolate is good for you.  Right!?!  After I made these, the Imaginative One put his seal of approval on the cookies.  So they are that good!

1083449_10201980446056180_294754777_o (1)Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2-1/8 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt (I used sea salt and they turned out okay.)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp.) butter, melted and cooled slightly (I did it for 1 min. and 15 sec. in my microwave.)
  • 1 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 lrg. egg
  • 1 lrg. egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. semisweet or milk chocolate chips (I used semisweet.)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, cream the butter and both sugars together until well mixed.
  4. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla.  Mix well until the batter has lightened in color.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and chocolate chips at the same time.  Mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Form dough in tablespoon sized bowls and place on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets.  (I sprayed my with cookie spray and it worked great.)
  7. Bake for 10 – 12 mins.  (I baked mine for 11 minutes.)
  8. Enjoy with a glass of milk, cup of tea, or cup of coffee!

Since  I used  cookie scoop for my cookies, I baked 57 cookies with the dough.

Printable Recipe

Posted in Family, Hubby, Imaginative one, Wee one

Our Super Trip – Day #7

Day #1

Day #2

Day #3

Day #4

Day #5

Day #6

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

Since it was lightning when I woke up, I did not go for a walk on the beach. I stayed on the balcony and watched the waves come in. No sunrise pictures were taken on day 7 because there was no beautiful sunrise :(. I do have a picture or two of the clouds, though.

After everyone got up for the day, we headed to do some geocaching; if you don’t know what it is, Google it. While we were at the first park, I got to take pictures of the Bridge and watched a family crabbing. That was cool!

After we left that park, we headed to another park to get a geocache. I stayed in the car because there wasn’t any cool scenery to take a picture of. By that time, we were tired of the bugs eating us. So we headed to Piggly Wiggly and got some bug spray.

Hubby and I both wanted to eat at the ‘Wich Doctor for lunch, but it was not open until noon, so we headed out to the beach that overlooks Morris Island Lighthouse before hitting up that local joint. Once we got to the beach, we found my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and nephew. They had been fishing out there all morning. My nephew caught his first ocean fish! We saw dolphins swimming in the water while we were at the beach. That was cool seeing their fins while swimming.

We took our usual pictures with the Morris Island Lighthouse as the backdrop. The Imaginative One and Wee One were not so cooperative when I tried to get their picture together. Argh!

Once we left the beach and got to the car, I discovered my foot had red ants. With all his random knowledge, the Imaginative One told me not to put water on my foot because it would make them attack more. I brushed them off and immediately put the topical Benadryl on my toes that were bitten.

We did end up going to the ‘Wich Doctor for lunch. Hubby tried their pizza, and I got a Greek tuna salad sandwich with olives and capers and pickled green bananas, carrots, and daikon. A local told us that it is a favorite local restaurant.  🙂  The food was delicious.

While waiting for our food to be cooked, the boys and I went to get them shaved ice. They were promised shaved ice the night before, but we could not get it because of the rain.

The rest of the day was spent on the beach. I once again cooked supper for the whole family. This time I made sloppy joes. The hamburger was still not fully defrosted even though it had been in the fridge for almost 24 hours. I was able to work around it this time, though.

After dinner, the Wee One and I went for a walk on the pier. We watched a young adult throw peanuts into the air and the seagulls catching them. They even gave the Wee One a peanut so he could feed the seagulls.

After we walked on the pier, we went to Sugartime and got some treats and ice cream. It was nice to spend quality time with the Wee One.

After we got back from our walk, we sang “Happy Birthday” to my father-in-law and sister-in-law. Then we enjoyed the brownies that were baked to celebrate their birthdays.

More adventures later . . .

Click on the photograph of the Wee One and Imeto see more pictures of our day.1-318

Posted in Family, Hubby, Imaginative one, Wee one

Our Super Trip – Day #6

Day #1

Day #2

Day #3

Day #4

Day #5

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

I could not get my rear out of bed on Wednesday. The walk with my mother-in-law the night before tired my body.   I did get up in time to get pictures of the sunrise from our balcony instead of the beach. That was fine because I have a telescopic lens, so I used that to get closer-of the sunrise.

After everyone was up for the day, my nephew, Hubby, and the Imaginative One went for a bike ride. The Wee One and I went back to Black Magic. Got me a Shark Attack smoothie that was out of this world good. We then went onto the beach but stayed there for a little while because the Wee One didn’t like that none of the other kids were with him.

After Hubby, my nephew, and the Imaginative One returned from their bike ride, we left for Angel Oak. It’s a tradition to visit the tree and get pictures. I brought my tripod and set it up where I thought it should have been. However, I was wrong by a few feet. By the time they told me, I was getting ready to take it down anyway. People laughed as I ran across the canopy to get into place. We got some great pictures, though.

The plan had been to eat our picnic lunch at Angel Oak, but the mosquitoes were biting us. We had to hit a Piggly Wiggly for some topical Benadryl and Starbucks. Their espresso machine was not working, so I got a coupon for a free drink. Which reminds me that I haven’t used it yet.

We ended up going to St. Johns’ Island’s park. To get here, we drove on Bozo Lane and then Dunmovin Drive. (I have a picture of the street signs at the intersection.)  Afterward ate our picnic lunch and listened to thunder in the background.

Once we hit the Bridge, it started storming Mt. Pleasant. We still went to the park and played under the Bridge in the play area. The boys were apprehensive at first because of the rain but discovered playing under a bridge during a rainstorm. Was fun. Even Hubby even played a little bit.

Once we were finished at the park, it had stopped raining, so we headed to downtown Charleston. We wanted to go to a few historical churches and walk around. As we were walking around, I went to Bakehouse again. The cashier remembered me from a couple nights before, so that was cool.

We went to the Provost Dungeon first but decided not to go on the tour because the Imaginative One was tired of museums. We then walked down Broad Street and noticed t bunch of people on the one side of the road and people talking about a miniseries for CBS being filmed across from the church we were heading to. One of the leading actors was Cam Gigandet from the first Twilight movie. We watched for a few minutes but then went into St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. George Washington worshiped there on May 8, 1791, and Robert E. Lee also worshiped there. In the graveyard, John Rutledge, the first governor of South Carolina, is buried there.

Afterward, watching some more of the filming and then walked around looking for the Circular Church. Once we got there, the Imaginative One was not happy to be in another graveyard. Oh, well! We made him walk through it.

Then it was onto St. Philips Episcopal Church. It is famous for ghost stories, and a cannon stuck in the steeple. Charles Pickney, signer of the Constitution, and Edward Rutledge, signer of the Declaration of Independence, are buried in its graveyard.

AWeheaded back to the car and walked down Philadelphia Alley, aka Dueler’s Alley. It was a hidden, out-of-the-way alley full of history and ghost stories.

Once we got the car, we headed back to the condo. I was scheduled to cook dinner that night. I cooked tacos. We ran into a problem, though; the meat was frozen solid. I put it in cold water and slowly removed the defrosted meat. We never got it completely defrosted. The next day the half we put in the fridge was still frozen. Crazy!

My niece spent the night with one of our relatives, so only boys were around. They had fun playing in the condo because we could not go out to the beach because it was raining.

More adventures tomorrow. . .

Click on the photograph of the Angel Oak to see more photographs of the day.

Angel Oak
Posted in Family, Hubby, Imaginative one, Wee one

Our Super Trip – Day #5

Day #1

Day #2

Day #3

Day #4

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

I got up early on Tuesday and took a walk. The sunrise was absolutely gorgeous! So totally worth getting up early to see it.

We had decided to go as a family to see the Battery and take our traditional pictures of the cannon. I almost missed it all because of having to go to the bathroom. I knew I shouldn’t have drunk the second cup of coffee, but it was so good. There is nowhere on the Battery to go to the bathroom. Let me repeat, there are no public restrooms. Argh! A lady and her husband heard my plight and decided to help me find a bathroom. She and I walked over to an inn and asked them for some southern hospitality. Fortunately, the lady did allow me to use their bathroom.

I missed all the kids alone on the cannon but got pictures of all 4 grandkids with the grandparents. (I will not post those pics out of respect for my sister and brother-in-law.)  I also used my tripod to get pictures of the whole family and me. The problem I had was I couldn’t get onto the cannon without crawling onto it. (I was wearing a dress.)  After picture taking was done, everyone went their separate ways. We walked a little down Rainbow Row and ended up in the Edmonston-Alston house. Hubby and I enjoyed that. The Wee One did not enjoy it as much.

We then went to my favorite restaurant in Charleston – Hominy Grill. The boys were not so thrilled with the food. I’ll take that back; they liked the French fries but not the mac and cheese because it had pepper on it and the applesauce because it was lumpy. Hubby and I ate until we were stuffed. I had a Dirty Biscuit, a southern-style biscuit, a fried chicken breast, and sausage gravy. I had it with okra and tomatoes and marinated cucumbers and onions. For dessert, I had a slice of upside-down peach cake.

After returning to the condo, we laid down for a while and took a satisfied belly nap. Everyone else in the house was gone, so it was quiet.

After everyone returned, it was back to the beach for the children. They had fun jumping around in the waves.

Hubby, my father-in-law, my niece and nephew, and the boys went to a minor league baseball game – Riverdogs – that evening, and my sister and brother-in-law went out. So it was only my mother-in-law, and I went to Cory’s Grilled Cheese for dinner. I had Cory’s Famous cinnamon raisin bread, provolone cheese, bacon, and honey mustard. So delicious! I also had their summer slaw, Asian slaw with ramen noodles.

After returning to the condo, my mother-in-law and I walked along the beach. It was nice to talk with her. She is such a giving person. Soon after we returned to the condo, the kids, Hubby, and my father-in-law, came back from the game. Somehow the Imaginative One got a foul ball and gave it to the Wee One. Hubby is still unsure how it happened because all the Imaginative One was supposed to do was get some water.

Then it was off to bed. More adventures later.

Click on the mason jar pic for more pictures of the day.

Posted in Family, Hubby, Imaginative one, Wee one

Our Super Trip – Day #4

Day #1

Day #2

Day #3

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

Monday started with a walk on the beach with Hubby.  I looked like a tacky tourist, as the Wee One would say.  I had on my bathing suit, a cover-up, a thin fabric cardigan, and my photography backpack, and I was carrying around my lens cap insulated coffee cup.  We walked up and down the beach, enjoying the sunrise.

After our walk, we ate breakfast as other people woke up.  Eating on the balcony while watching the ocean waves come in and out and listening to the waves crashing against the beach was a real treat.  Paradise.

My nephew and the Imaginative One ended up getting up and wanting to take a walk, so I took them out for a little while.  The Imaginative One kept wanting to see sea life, so he looked around in the tide pools.  He didn’t find anything too exciting for them.

Once we got back upstairs, almost everyone was stirring, so they got ready to go out to the beach.  I hung around the condo for a while since I had already been on the beach twice that morning.  I ended up going down and staying there for almost an hour.  During that time, the Imaginative One wanted another walk, so we walked past the pier and saw seagulls and terns attacking a bag of chips.  We discovered the chips were not even opened when they started eating them.

My mother-in-law’s cousin and her grandson visited us on the beach.  N. is the same age as my niece and the Imaginative One but got along great with my nephew.  It was great seeing my mother-in-law’s cousin – she is a true southern accent and all.

We were told about this great little hole-in-the-wall grilled cheese restaurant, Cory’s Grilled Cheese, located near the Piggly Wiggly.  We needed a few more things, so it was a good excuse to leave the beach for an hour or so.  We could not find that restaurant what’s so ever.  The restaurant was not located near the Folly Beach Piggly Wiggly.  It was located near the James Island Piggly Wiggly, a big 7-mile difference.  We ended up at Jack’s Cosmic Dogs.  Oh, my goodness.  The food was out of this world good.  I had a Galactic Dog with chili, slaw, and cheese on it and drank Tang with it.  Yum!  Hubby got a grilled brat with bacon, cheese, and spicy ranch to dip the fries in.  The boys and I devoured a whole basket of plain fries.  They were that good.

It was back to the condo for a while.  We visited with my mother-in-law’s cousin for a little while and then played on the beach/in the ocean for a little while.

I had a second cooking class that evening, so Hubby drove me to that.  This time I was actually going to be cooking.  We were going to make cheese straws with caramelized onion dip, pork wraps, baby bok choy, shitake mushroom stir fry, potato salad, and pecan crumble over vanilla ice cream.  Yum!  Since we got downtown half an hour before the class, I asked him to drop me off so I could take pictures as I walked to the class.  That was fun.

I stopped in a local café, bakery, and coffeehouse (Bakehouse) for a cup of Joe before the class.  While waiting for my cinnamon roll latte (which was the bomb), I spoke to the cashier.  It seems that a lot of Ohioans came down to Charleston because whenever she spoke to a tourist, the majority of them were from Ohio.  LOL!

As I walked, it was lightning and thundering in the distance, so it was cool to watch.  I did not take any pics because it is extremely hard to take pics of lightning without a tripod, and there were buildings in the way.

The cooking class was fun and relaxed.  We all had different stations, so I helped make the potato salad.  After we all cooked, we sat down and enjoyed the fruits of our labor.  The lady next to me was a social worker for the D.C. school district, so it was interesting to talk shop with her.

Hubby picked me up and took me back to the condo.  By that time, it was bedtime.  More on our adventures later.

Click on my picture to see pictures from our Super Trip Day 4.