Posted in Food, Gluten Free, Imaginative one


I have an obsession with granola.  I love trying new flavors.  We were at Whole Foods yesterday, and I was checking out the granola.  The Imaginative One had to tell me to step away from the granola area because I didn’t need to buy too many of them.  I just love eating them with either plain yogurt or almond coconut milk for breakfast or with my lunch.

Here’s my newest find:


It’s delicious!

Posted in Beans, Easter, Ham, Imaginative one, Ingredients, Meat, Recipes, Soups

Ham and Black Bean Soup (GF, DF)

So on Easter Sunday, I decided to cook Easter dinner. Yes, on Easter Sunday at about 11:45 am, I committed to making dinner. Okay, it was only going to be for 6 of us, so that’s not too bad.

My family of four headed to the grocery store to plan out the meal because I had no clue what I would make. I cooked crock pot ham, honey, cinnamon carrots, mashed sweet potatoes, mixed veggies, and spinach salad. We had lots of ham left-over. Fortunately for us, we love ham!

I’m finding ways to transform the ham into delicious dishes so we are not just eating ham repeatedly, even though the Imaginative One would love that. Last night I made ham and black bean soup using Bob’s Red Mill’s Black Bean Soup mix. To make this soup, you can use any black bean soup mix or dried black beans.

Ham and Black Bean Soup

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 cups of black bean soup mix or dried black beans
  • 8 cups of water
  • 3 cups of diced ham
  • 1/2 lrg. onion, diced
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Rinse and sort the black beans or black bean soup mix.
  2. Put the black bean soup mix or black beans, water, and 1 c. diced ham in a large soup pot.
  3. Bring the water to a boil and then to a simmer.
  4. Let cook for 1-1/2 hours until the beans are soft.
  5. Add the chicken stock, onion, remaining diced ham, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 10 – 15 minutes.
  6. Enjoy! (We had ours with a pretzel roll. We shared the soup with my mother-in-law. She had hers with rice.)

Printable Recipe

Posted in Imaginative one, Ingredients, Potato, Recipes, Side Dishes

Potato Wedges


The Imaginative One loves French fries.  He is the biggest French fry stealer, so when I made these, and he kept trying to take wedges from various family members, I knew this was a hit!  They were so crispy, which is the way I love them.  I ate them without any condiments because they were that good!


Potato Wedges

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 russet potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 egg white
  • spices to taste – I used seasoning salt, black pepper, and Himalayan pink salt.


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  
  2. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together spices and egg white.
  4. Dredge the potato wedges in the egg white-spice mixture.  Coating all of the wedges.
  5. Place on cooking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.  Flip the wedges over.
  7. Bake for another 15 minutes.
  8. Enjoy the wedges with your favorite condiments!

Printable Recipe

Posted in Imaginative one, Random, Randomness, Wee one

What I’m Thankful For – Last 10

11.  Hubby – He’s been a brave soul trying the new foods I’ve been cooking.  A lot of them, he’s actually liked 🙂  Yeah!

12.  My favorite book series – Leslie Meier’s Lucy Stone series, Joanna Fluke’s Hannah Swenson series – I love visiting my “friends” and catching up with them.

13.  Spring is almost here!  It’s a time of rebirth and renewal.  

14.  My family – They are very important to me.

15.  Foodie Pen Pals – I did it in October, November, January, and February.  I love shopping for new people and figuring out their likes and dislikes.  Then I get my package in the mail and try new foods from different places in the US.  Okay, my last one was from five minutes from the house.  This month the person sending me my box is from further away, so that’s exciting.

16.  Going to the beach this summer – I love Charleston, SC.  We finally made a commitment to go to the beach.  Yeah!  I get to eat at my favorite restaurant there.  The boys are going to get to go to Piggly Wiggly.  They want to dump sand on grandpa down there.  We are going to Charlottesville, VA, on the way down or back.  

17.  the zoo – I love going there.  

18.  Coffee – Enough said there!

19.  Chocolate

20.  Being a teacher – There is nothing more fulfilling than teaching, especially when the students have learned something new and are excited about it.

Posted in Imaginative one, Random, Randomness, Wee one

What I’m Thankful For – First 10

One of my challenges for Healthy Self is to make a list of 20 things you are thankful for.  It was supposed to be done on Monday.  Monday was such a crazy day for me, so I didn’t get it done.  Yesterday I was just LAZY, plus because of the changes in the atmosphere – AKA snow coming in – my head was bothering me.

So today, I’m going to make my list:

1.  Snow day – I’m supposed to be testing today, so this stresses me out.  However, I got almost half done on Monday because I knew this was possible.  Go me because these tests are L-O-N-G and one-on-one with the student.  

2.  The Imaginative One – He always gives me a run for my money with his random knowledge.  He loves to learn but doesn’t like to test (discussion in the car the other day).  

3.  The Wee One – He had a music program on Monday night.  If he had a chance, he could have directed that program.  He was on top of the whole production.  There is a special needs student who visits his classroom.  He is so gentle and caring with the little boy.  During the production, he allowed the boy to play with his tie because he knew the little boy needed that.  He also loves to learn.

4.  Losing 15.5 pounds in 2 months – On Monday, a retired teacher subbed in my room so I could test.  She hadn’t seen me since either September or October.  One of the first things out of her mouth was, “You lost weight.”  Made me feel good that someone noticed my effort.  I’m down 2 pants sizes!!!!!  

5.  Learning to eat new foods – I never in a million years would have thought I would love eating shepherd’s pie made with sweet potato/cauliflower mash on the top.  It was absolutely delicious!  I also never thought I would make double chocolate chip muffins with avocados.  Actually, I would never have thought I would eat avocados.

6.  Cuddles with the dog when he’s not sensitive to weather (shakes and won’t leave me alone)

7.  Cuddles with the Wee One 

8.  The Imaginative One showing affection or appreciation towards me – These moments are fleeting but appreciated.

 9.  Being able to cook healthy foods for my family – I constantly tell the boys how lucky they are their mom cooks them dinner.

10.  Photography – I love looking at nature in a different way when I’m taking photographs.  Nature is cool!  I also love taking pictures of the boys growing up.  I have a few pictures of my childhood.  I really wish I had more.  My memories are visual in nature, and I wish I had a picture to go with them to share with the boys.  

Posted in Dessert, Drinks, Ice cream, Imaginative one, Recipes, Snacks, Wee one

Homemade “shamrock” shakes (GF)

Last week, I took the boys to Mcdonald’s so they could try the Shamrock shake. Both of them loved it! This week I decided to make my own version. Ice cream was on sale for a pint. Can’t beat a dollar for a pint!

It’s so simple to make. Just put the ingredients in the blender and blend away.

While they were enjoying their treat, I enjoyed my St. Patty’s smoothie. The recipe is to come later.


 Anticipating his first taste

Homemade “shamrock” shake

Stars of the recipe:

  •  1 pint of vanilla ice cream
  • 3-4 drops of green food coloring
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1/2 c. Milk (more or less depending on preference)


  1. Place all ingredients in the blender.
  2. Blend away.
  3. Enjoy!

The Imaginative One says it would be better with whipped cream.

Oh, this recipe makes 2 shakes or one big one.

Printable Recipe

Posted in Fav Books, Imaginative one

Favorite Book Series – The Sister’s Grimm

In August 2010, I was going to do a series about my favorite books.  I only did one post and then didn’t do any others.  Both the Imaginative One and I have read this series.  This is one of his favorite series, and he always reads excerpts from books.

Imagine your favorite fairy tale characters were real and lived in Ferryport Landing,  New York.

Your mother and father have disappeared without a trace, and for a year and a half, you have lived in foster care, moving from one home to another with your sister.  Suddenly a long-lost grandma of yours is claiming to be your relative.  But wait, your mother and father have told you she died.  Is this a trick?

For Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, this is exactly what happens to them.  They are transported to Ferryport Landing.  There they discover their family is relatives of the Grimm Brothers, who wrote fairy tales and knew the characters personally.  They brought them over from Europe to the United States.  The ancestors of the Grimm Brothers have become fairy tale detectives.

These stories will engage you as you discover a secret organization, The Scarlet Hand, how Sabrina and Daphne react to being in a town full of fairy tale characters, and their adventures as fairy tale detectives.  As the series continues, you will discover more evil plots by the Scarlet Hand.  You will become sucked into the town of Ferryport Landing and into the lives of Sabrina and Daphne. 

Michael Buckley’s website

Posted in Hubby, Imaginative one, Pictures, Wee one

Wordless Wednesday

Monday ended up being a snowy day.  The Imaginative One and the Wee One went outside for maybe a total of 10 minutes.  Most of it was in and out the front door to complain about the cold, their brother, or to get more snow gear.

Hubby told them if they got the living room picked up and vacuumed, he would allow them to get out the legos.  They quickly did that.  The rest of the afternoon was spent playing with those legos on the floor.  Even Hubby got into the action.

Posted in Imaginative one, Pictures, Wee one

Snow Day

During December, we really didn’t see snow.  It tried to snow last Tuesday, but it was rainier than snow.  We had lots of rain.  In fact, there were a couple of times I thought I would need to take a boat to work because of how much rain we got.  Yesterday started out as a mild day with temperatures around 50 degrees.  During church, it started to get really windy.  In fact, we kept hearing the wind whistle throughout the service.  The rest of the day was windy, with the temperatures falling quickly.  We ended the day with temperatures in the lower 30s to high 20s.

This morning I woke up to snow falling.  It’s been nonstop ever since.  The Wee One and the Imaginative One decided to go outside.  They only lasted a few minutes before calling it a day.  They wanted to warm up with hot chocolate.

Here is a picture of the boys enjoying their snow day: