Saturday, October 26, 2013

Road Trip Goodies

Last week our family packed up and headed East to Kansas City for a family visit.  It was a great trip - always good to go back "home" for a bit.  The only downside is the loooooooong car ride!  It's about 9 hours with a 2 and 4 year old and the temptation to stop and eat, eat, eat, eat....  You know the drill.  Bored to tears with nothing to do but pop something in your mouth.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Savory Stuffed Peppers

This is a dish I put off making for a while. When I was young my great grandmother, whom I called “Nanny” with much adoration, used to make stuffed peppers. I distinctly remember hating them. I was a no peppers-no rice-no anything green, kind of child. Like my dad. The dish that the rest of my family adored went against all of my taste buds at the time. It wasn't until only recently (as in the last 6 months) that I even began eating rice. And green peppers? I've been afraid to try them. The smell alone brought back memories of slyly pushing my cooked green peppers into a napkin.

That all changed last week. I figured with all of my eating habit changes it was time to give it a go. I don’t know my Nanny’s recipe so I searched the next best thing in this day and age, Pinterest. I found THIS tasty recipe but I have to admit, I made several changes.


4 large green peppers (or yellow, orange, or red if you choose – I used some of each)
1 lb good quality ground beef
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 onion diced, red or white – I used red
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz cheese chunked (or 2 cups shredded) for the filling and to top with (I used mozzarella and provolone because that’s what I had on hand)
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil the bottom of an oven safe dish with olive oil.

1) Cut the tops off of your peppers. Trim the bottoms so they stand upright without making large holes in the pepper if possible. Place in dish. Discard the seeds and stem but save all usable pieces.

2) Chop up the pepper bits you just cut off. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onion, garlic, and peppers to the pan. Sauté for about 5 minutes or so until the onion is translucent.

3) Place the sautéed veggies in a bowl and use the skillet to brown the ground beef. Once browned, return the veggies to the skillet.

4) Add the brown rice, 4 oz (or 1 cup shredded) cheese chunks, and salt and pepper. Mix well.

5) Stuff your raw peppers, pressing the filling down as you go. It should be just enough for all 4 peppers but if you have smaller peppers than I used, you may have extra. You can cook the extra in a ramekin.

6) Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove peppers and top with a generous amount of cheese. I used 1oz pre-sliced fresh mozzarella and it turned out sooooooo good! Bake for another 10 minutes or so until the cheese is thoroughly melted. You can even broil for a few minutes to give it some crispier brown spots on top.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Myths I Used To Believe: Diet Coke is a Good Choice For Dieters

Just over ten months ago my husband and I made a decision to give up soda. Permanently. It was a New's Year resolution that actually stuck. I have tried to give up pop before and have successfully done so during my pregnancies but I always went back to my tried and true Diet Coke. I can honestly say that I have kicked the habit. Finally! I can count on one hand the number of times I've had a sip of Diet Coke in those months.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Oven "Sun-dried" Tomatoes

Tomato season is over for us here in Colorado but who can resist sun dried tomatoes on a nice salad, in pasta, or on top of pizza?  I LOVE to through these gems in recipes.  They can be quite pricey at natural/health stores but they are surprisingly easy to make at home.  If you have any tomatoes left from the garden, here is a great use for them.  If not, buy a few at the grocery store and make up a batch.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Steamy Post

Now that I'm in my 30's I have finally have figured out that steam rooms are simply awesome!  A few months ago I was fortunate to have my best friend come and stay with us and for her 30th birthday we celebrated by a visit to the spa.  After our lovely massage we were escorted to a steam room to relax.  As we sat in towels sipping on our glass of ice water we both commented on how "mature" we felt in that moment!  As if steam rooms and turning 30 is a normal right of passage!  I'm nearing 31 now and I wish I had discovered steam rooms earlier.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Parmesan Roasted Veggies

My favorite way to make vegetables is probably roasting them.  It doesn't matter which vegetable - they all taste great roasted with herbs and some olive oil.  And it is a very fool proof method.  You can pretty much put in whatever you want! I used to make a dish for family gatherings that got requested quite frequently.  It was Parmesan roasted potatoes and while there isn't much to it, it is incredibly tasty.  You can alter the recipe for any kind of veggies you have on hand.  I have tried a number of combinations.  Some of our favorites are potatoes, red onion, and green beans; peppers, potatoes, and carrots; or broccoli (yes I said broccoli!) peppers, onions, and carrots.