Mason Jar Salad

I’ve seen this idea floating around but had never tried to it. I always have issues with 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 get ready for school, I also 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 dump 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!20130831-071505.jpg

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 making sure it’s packed to the top.
  6. Screw in 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


Stone Fruit Fruit Salad in a Glass Jar

Last weekend, I was perusing Pinterest looking  for Mason Jar salad recipes.  One on 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.

Continue reading Stone Fruit Fruit Salad in a Glass Jar

6 Easy Breakfast Foods

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

As the school year starts, I decided to compile a list of good breakfast foods that are easy 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.

In a bowl, I place Greek yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit.  (My favorite Greek yogurt is Greek Gods Nonfat Plain.) You can dress it up anyway 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 a nut butter, chia seeds, flax seeds, chopped up nuts, coconut, and/or fruit.  Place the fruit on the oatmeal before microwaving for a whole 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 up 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 a 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 in with the eggs.)

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

4.  Muffins


Depending on what flour and the ingredients 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 become unhealthy.  Replace your 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 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

Carrot Tropical Smoothie

Key Lime Smoothie

Apple Jack Smoothie

St. Patty’s Day Smoothie

Power Up Green Smoothie

6.  Pancakes/ Waffles


This one can be easy if you make the pancakes or waffles during the weekend and then 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 a 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?

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, Salad and/or veggie

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

Wednesday – Crock pot 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

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.

Afterwards I 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 walked around Folly Beach and took pictures.  Before heading back 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 over to Sugartime to get him some ice cream.  Then we went to pier.  He enjoyed watching on 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 one at a time they got into the whirlpool.  Even though it was dinner time, the Imaginative One was laying in there while reading a book about space.  We let him sit there for a while 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 out to the beach and took the 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 the next morning we were going to leave for Atlanta.

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



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 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

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 lightening 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 for me 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 there.  They had been fishing out there all morning.  My nephew caught his first ocean fish!  We got to see dolphins swimming out 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 was trying to get their picture taken together.  Argh!

Once we left the beach and got to the car, I discovered my foot had red ants on it.  The Imaginative One with all his random knowledge told me not to put water on my foot because it would make them attack more.  I was able to brush 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 how it is favorite local restaurant.  🙂  The food was delicious.

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

The rest of the day was spent being out 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 sea gulls catching it.  They even gave the Wee One a peanut so he could feed the sea gulls.

After our walk 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 I to see more pictures of our day.1-318

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.  I guess the walk with my mother-in-law the night before really tired my body.   I did get up in time to get pictures of the sunrise from our balcony instead of from the beach.  That was fine because I have a telescopic lens so I used that to get closer ups 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   I got myself a Shark Attack smoothie that was out of this world good.  We then went onto the beach but only stayed on the beach  for a little while because the Wee One didn’t like the fact that none of the other kids were out there with him.

After Hubby, my nephew, and the Imaginative One were back from their bike ride, we left to go to the 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 with me 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 the Angel Oak but the mosquitoes were biting us.  We ended up having 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 had to drive on Bozo Lane and then Dunmovin Drive.  (I have a picture of the street signs at the intersection.)  Afterwards we ate our picnic lunch and listened to thunder in the background.

Once we hit the Bridge, it was really starting to storm in 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 it was fun to play under a bridge during a rainstorm.  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 couple of the historical churches and just 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 there was a 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, first governor of South Carolina, is buried there.

Afterwards we watched 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 being stuck in the steeple.  Charles Pickney, signer of the Constitution, and Edward Rutledge, signer of the Declaration of Independence, are buried in its graveyard.

As we headed back to the car, we walked down Philadelphia Alley aka Dueler’s Alley.  It was a hidden out of the way alley that is 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 then slowly took off 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 it was only boys 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

Our Super Trip – Day #5

Day #1

Day #2

Day #3

Day #4

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

I got 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 on the cannon.  I almost missed it though 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 no where on the Battery to go to the bathroom.  Let me repeat there is no public restrooms.  Argh!  A lady and her husband heard my plight and decided help me find a bathroom.  She and I walked over to an inn and she asked them for some southern hospitality.  Fortunately the lady did allow me to use their bathroom.

I missed all the kids by themselves on the cannon but got pictures of all 4 grandkids with the grandparents.  (Out of respect to my sister and brother-in-law I’m not going to post those pics.)  I also used my tripod to get pictures of the whole family and I.  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 then 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 which was 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 peach upside down cake.

After we got back 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 came back, 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 a Cory’s Famous which was cinnamon raisin bread, provolone cheese, bacon, and honey mustard.  So delicious!  I also had their summer slaw which was an Asian slaw with ramen noodles.

After we got back to the condo, my mother-in-law and I went for a walk along the beach.  It was nice to talk with her.  She is such a giving person.  Soon after we got back to the condo, the kids, Hubby, and my father-in-law came back from the game.  Some how the Imaginative One got a foul ball and then gave it to the Wee One.  Hubby is still unsure how it totally happened because all the Imaginative One was suppose 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.