This is my latest easy, go-to snack, that I’m somewhat obsessed with. It’s simple because most of it is already made for me. All I add is a drizzle of olive oil and rice wine vinegar with herbs. It’s packed full of protein and vegetables, it’s filling, and it makes for a delicious snack or lunch salad.
It amazes me that Trader Joe’s is such a tiny, little store, yet almost every time I go, I find something new! Before I found the ingredients for this salad, it was the to-die-for buffalo mozzarella. I love Trader Joe’s. And I didn’t think I would because it’s so small. Now I’ve discovered that I’m a bit spoiled because it’s only 20 minutes from my house. When we move to New Hampshire, I will have to drive 45 minutes to find the nearest Trader Joe’s. But believe me, that certainly won’t stop me!
All this lovely salad takes to make is Trader Joe’s Healthy 8 Chopped Veg Mix and their Balela salad, a drizzle of olive oil and a drizzle of rice wine vinegar with herbs. That’s it. The chopped veggie mix is pretty much self-explanatory and the Balela salad has chickpeas, black beans, tomatoes, olive oil, and herbs. Mixed together, they create a little bowl of heaven.
This is our son’s kitten, “Kitty-Kitty”. She’s only a few months old and was never given a proper name. She’s longing to get herself outside…or crawl up the screen door. She’s quite naughty, good thing she’s cute.
A welcome home greeting for my mom. She just returned from 3 wonderful weeks in England.
She spoiled me with lovely and tasty gifts!
Our upcoming move and major life change has me thinking. A lot. Remembering cherished things, looking forward to new adventures, “cleaning house” and purging things that probably should have been gotten rid of ages ago.
The dogs are spoiled at Grandma’s house too.
The two men in my life. I love them far beyond words…I won’t even try to spell it out.
I made this pizza on one of the 9 straight, blissful, days my husband was home for a “break”. You can find a similar recipe here. This one has buffalo mozzarella from Trader Joe’s.
And I made these cookie dough truffles…recipe coming soon.
Remember the post where I told you about the heart rocks our son has collected for me over the years? Oddly enough, a few weeks ago we were at the dog park and there was a rock wedged in a picnic table. He dug it out and said, “Hey mom, look at this…a heart rock.” That was one of those blubbering, crying, mom moments, but I contained myself.
My husband is trying to turn me into a redneck. Not really. We needed something bigger to tow our camping trailer across the US. Now we can tow a house if we wanted. When I drive it, I still have to convince myself that it really does fit in a normal car lane.
This is my morning ritual. It’s chilly now and tea hits the spot. I wish it were heavy cream giving it that light look…almond milk isn’t quite the same. I do a bible study every morning and journal. My day is not the same if I miss that time. Those are my new, stronger, reading glasses. For some reason my arms aren’t long enough anymore.
With my husband traveling so much, I usually just make a quick breakfast of almond milk yogurt or peanut butter toast. I made this breakfast while he was home. It was wonderful to sit down and enjoy a proper breakfast together! You can find the recipe here. And bacon…we eat a lot of bacon when he’s home. Somehow I’ve lost 6 pounds without even thinking about it. Must be the bacon…
This is “us” celebrating my 44th birthday and our 21st wedding anniversary.
Ahhh…the dog park. Dusty and sometimes even smelly, but such fun for the pups. We do love and cherish our furry family members, don’t we?
Best Friends Forever.
Well, I’m off to walk the dogs and get on with the chores of the day. Don’t forget your “REAL” to-do list today…
You may remember a while back I baked a Kurobuta ham for Easter. Have you ever had one? This is our Easter ham from last year. All I can say is, “WOW”.
Kurobuta pork (Japanese Black Hog) is hands down the best pork I’ve ever had. It’s basically the “Kobe beef” of pork.
The other day while I was out and about trying to come up with something for dinner I was thrilled to see the Kurobuta pork in something other than ham form at my local butcher. Don’t get me wrong, the ham is absolutely divine, but it’s also extremely expensive and way too much meat for just the two of us. I purchased two loin chops and grilled the for dinner that night. They were amazingly tender and juicy and of course, because I can’t seem to figure out how to cook for just two people, there were leftovers.
Yesterday we started the day off with french toast and bacon and that was followed by me making peanut butter no bake cookies and cookie dough truffles. Lunch came and went and by 2:30 I was starving and hungry for something that didn’t involve sugar. The chops have been staring at me every time I open the fridge for the last couple of days so I decided on a gooey grilled cheese to help balance out some of the sugar. A day of cheese and sugar? Mmmm…it was lovely. Don’t judge.
Loin Chop Grilled Cheese
*You will need:
Dairy Free Butter
Gluten Free Bread
Daiya Cheddar Style Cheese
Thinly Sliced Sweet Onion
Baby Spinach Leaves
Thinly Sliced Loin Chop
Note: Dairy free butter browns very quickly and dairy free cheese melts very slowly. Construct your sandwich, cover, and grill on medium low so the cheese has time to melt and the butter doesn’t brown too quickly.
Vegetable Pakora Lunch
Quite yummy but maybe being a bit overshadowed by those gorgeous organic strawberries…
I am quickly learning that until our house sells, I pretty much cannot commit to a whole heck of a lot. I kind of just have to wake up and greet the day and whatever happens, happens. But that doesn’t stop me from trying to make plans. You would think I would learn. Ha!
Last night I had visions of a glorious day in the kitchen baking and frosting sugar cookies and trying to see if I could come up with a savory pumpkin boule. I convinced myself, and then posted it on Facebook (pretty much jinxing myself) that I was going to get up, take the dogs on a beautiful walk and then spend the entire day in the kitchen doing basically whatever I pleased.
I managed the walk, which was nice. But never got around to the baking. This morning my husband “parted ways” with our realtor. There were a lot of valid reasons but the icing on the cake was that we had an open house two days in a row last weekend and they listed our house in the local newspaper at the wrong price. Yep. And of course the deadline was Friday so it couldn’t be changed or cancelled. So we spent the only two days my husband was home carting animals back and forth and waiting for the open houses to be over. And guess how many people showed up? Zilch. Zero. Nada. No big surprise since the price was wrong and we weren’t even catering to people in our price range. It was quite frustrating and actually made me want to just sit in a heap and cry…or strangle someone. I did neither. We sucked it up and dealt with our weekend like big people. But it wasn’t easy.
So! Out with the old and in with the new! We hired a new Realtor who started working for us immediately. The house will be back on the market on Friday.
I meet with our new Realtor tomorrow so he can take pictures of the house and I can fill out all of the necessary paperwork. Instead of sugar cookies and beautiful pumpkin bread dancing through my head, I had to don work gloves and clean the house and mow the lawn. Oh well, such is life. My expanding hips probably didn’t need sugar cookies and bread anyway…
I did manage to make myself some lunch. I don’t typically buy pre-packaged foods… but have you been down the frozen isles in Trader Joe’s? H-O-L-Y C-O-W…how I envy those of you who can eat whatever you please. It’s probably a good thing that I can’t eat 98% of what they sell or I would be gorging myself on perogi, lasagna, cheese tamales, baby frozen quiche, death by chocolate cake, cheese cake, and all kinds of frozen little delights I’ve never even heard of. I did happen to run across one thing I could try. Vegetable Pakoras. They are basically vegetable fritters but with an Indian kick. They are quite yummy and made for a very nice and quick lunch!
They are vegan and as far as I could tell from the ingredient list, gluten-free. However, they are processed in a plant with other gluten items. So if you are that sensitive…I would steer clear. So far I feel fine, but I will be sure to let you know in the morning if I wake up stiff and headachey.
I was also able to finally find real buffalo mozzarella at Trader Joe’s! I was so thrilled I was sad that I was shopping by myself and there was no one there to jump up and down with me. I think I actually gasped out loud when I saw it tucked in among the goat cheese containers. However, I did refrain from jumping up and down. I surprised my husband with a pepperoni pizza lunch the first day he was back in town.
The buffalo milk didn’t bother my stomach at all, tasted wonderful, and melted like regular mozzarella cheese. It was heavenly.
Well, as I sit here eating a rather dull dinner and dreaming of pizza (a plate of black re-fried beans with Daiya cheese and Tabasco) …I still have bathrooms to clean and it’s already 7:45. I wanted to check in with you all and make sure you knew I hadn’t forgotten about you.
Hope all is well in your neck of the woods! ~ April