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