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Apricot Almond Bread Pudding

Apricot Almond Bread Pudding

I made this delicious bread pudding using the organic fruits and nuts that I received from Bella Viva Orchards. I love apricots and almonds, and I thought they would make a great combination for a bread pudding.  I tried to make the recipe not too unhealthy, so the recipes has less eggs, sugar and butter than most bread pudding recipes. Even with that it was plenty sweet, since the dried apricots are so sweet they don’t need extra sugar.

Easy Quinoa Salad Recipe

This weekend we had blackened bluefish for dinner, which I really don’t like at all. So I made this quinoa salad to use as a side dish for everyone else and a main dish for me.  It was very easy to put together, and it has a nice blend of flavors. Of course it would be easy to vary the vegetables based on what you have in the refrigerator, so it is pretty versatile.

Quinoa Salad in a dish

Oatmeal Muffin

I am always looking for ways to add more protein to my children’s diet. My fifteen year old recently decided she won’t eat beef or pork, so it is becoming even more challenging, since chicken and eggs get boring after a while! She loves orange juice, but that is mostly sugar and doesn’t provide any protein at all.  So naturally I was interested in the new Silk Fruit&Protein drink.

This product is a like a fruit juice with added protein, and it is easy to find in the dairy section of the store, with all the milk.  It comes in three flavors, Mango Peach, Mixed Berry and Strawberry Banana.  I knew that the Strawberry Banana flavor would be most appealing to my children.

Bear Paw Sweet Potato


This post is sponsored by Country Crock. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Getting children to eat and enjoy vegetables is difficult for many families, including mine. My children have always been willing to eat fruit, but vegetables are more of a battle. For example, my husband I both enjoy broccoli, but none of the children like it at all. Any attempt on my part to serve it is met with groans and complaints, even when I drench it in cheese.  Country Crock recently came out with the Clare Crespo Cookbook, which is full of fun ideas to make vegetables, like broccoli, more appealing to children, and they asked me to test out a recipe from the book.

Kohlrabi Potato Curry Recipe

bundle of KohlrabiLast week I got a kohlrabi and the grocery store, and had to figure out a recipe to use it in.  It is used frequently in Indian cooking, so I decided to use it in a curry.  I basically made a standard potato curry and added the kohlrabi, and it turned out pretty well. The kohlrabi had a nice taste too to it, and added some variety to the potatoes.

Sausage and Broccoli Pasta Recipe

Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

I enjoy cooking, my children’s schedule this year is making it harder for me to find the time to make complicated meals.  Between dance and basketball it seems like there is usually something going on at dinner time that requires me to drive someone somewhere.  So quick simple meals are a necessity for me right now.  This sausage and broccoli recipe took less than 30 minutes to make, and it was delicious.  I was surprised at how good it tasted, but the combination of the broccoli with the spicy sausage really worked.  I will be making it again, and if you are looking for something quick give it a try!

Pork Sausage Chili Recipe

chili champI love chili, especially this time of year.  Chili is the perfect wintertime food, because it is warm and filling and spicy.  Plus there are so many recipes and variations I rarely make it the same way twice. Sometimes I make Cincinnati Chili, sometimes I make Texas Chili, sometimes I make White Chicken Chili, and sometimes I make it vegetarian. The possibilities are endless.  To help celebrate Chili season and its variations the Chili Appreciation Society International and Bruce Foods sent me some Mexene Chili Powder and Louisiana Hot Sauce to review.

Peanut Butter Balls Recipe

I am always looking for fun activities to do with my kids.  Yesterday we went ice skating, and one of the things I realized while we were there is that I haven’t been doing as many fun activities with my children as I used to when they were younger.  It seems that I am always busy, but not always busy with the things that are most important!  Of course an outing is not always possible, but there are many fun things to do around the house.

Apple Cherry Breakfast Bake Recipe

I am always looking for something new and different for breakfast. I am also trying to eat more fruit, and this is a delicious way to do that. I made this Apple Cherry Bake for breakfast, and it was sweet and tasty.

Apple Cherry Breakfast Bake Recipe #recipe

It is kind of like a fruit crisp, only without the topping. It does take a while to bake, but I think it would work well in a slow cooker, so I am going to try that next time and start it before bedtime. It is a perfect brunch dish, and would go well with muffins or eggs to make a complete and tasty meal.

Vegetarian Chili with Zucchini and Abodo Sauce

Vegetarian Chili with Zucchini and Abodo Sauce

We have been eating more vegetarian food lately, partly because it can be healthier, and partly because my 18 year old is a vegetarian and she is still home on college break.  I made this recipe for Vegetarian Chili earlier in the week, and it came out very tasty. I added in a little sauce from a can of chipotle chile in adobo sauce, and it made a huge difference in the taste.  I didn’t add any of the chilies from the can, but just poured in about a teaspoon of the sauce.  It added a rich smoky flavor to the dish.  It is amazing what a big difference a small addition can make.

Spinach Pear Salad Recipe

Spinach Pear Salad

With trying to eat healthier I’ve been eating lots and lots of salad. So I’ve been looking for ways to make my salads more interesting and go beyond the standard lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes.  I made this Spinach Pear Salad and it was delicious.  I haven’t ever used fruit with salad greens much before, but I can see it is an excellent combination. My husband usually has a token serving of salad, but he had seconds of this one and finished the bowl off.

Mango Chicken Quesadillas

Mango Chicken Quesadillas

It is always  good to have a nice, hot lunch as an alternative to sandwiches.  I used to make lunch for my children almost every day, because we homeschooled and I wanted to make sure they got a healthy lunch.  But now my oldest is in college, my middle child is in public school and just my son and I are left at home.  He complains frequently that I never make lunch anymore now that it is just him, and instead we have leftovers or sandwiches. But it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of time making a meal for just two of us. This is a quick and easy lunch for us.

Chocolate Coconut Meringue Cookie Recipe

Working on the assumption that almost everything tastes better with chocolate, I decided to add chocolate chips to my Meringue Cookies this year. I like to make Meringues, because they are so simple and involve so few ingredients, and they melt in your mouth when you eat them.  They are also about as low calorie as you can get for Christmas cookies. The only drawback is my recipe calls for cream of tartar, which I only use a few times a year. So I usually have to ransack the pantry to find it, because it has invariably ended up all the way in the back underneath something.

Peppermint Kiss Sugar Cookies

peppermint kiss candiespeppermint kiss cookie

I love the Peppermint Kisses candies.  They look so cute and you can really taste the candy cane flavor.  So this year instead of making cookies with chocolate Kisses I wanted to use the Peppermint Kisses in a cookie.  I kept it very simple and just put them on top of sugar cookies as they came out of the oven. The resulting cookie was delicious and super easy to make. If you aren’t into baking you could use refrigerated dough and end up with a very easy dessert to take for a party or cookie exchange.

Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Squash Recipe

golden nugget squashQuinoa and Sausage Stuffed Squash

As soon as I saw these cute little Golden Nugget Squash at the Farm Market I knew I had to find a recipe for them. They look like little pumpkins, so they are perfect for Halloween. I used a recipe from Cooking Light, although I modified it to add more vegetables and changed the sausage to pork sausage. This was delicious, and I will be making it again soon.  The spicy sausage went perfectly with the squash and quinoa, and one squash per adult was the right serving size. The squash had a very mild flavor, so the kids liked it better than something stronger like butternut squash.

Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe

I like to make stir fries for a quick weeknight dinner.  I can have everything chopped up and ready to go, and then it only takes 15 minutes to cook the dinner together when I get home from running the kids back and forth to lessons.  Sweet and Sour Pork is a classic, and a favorite with my children.

sweet and sour pork

Smothered Pierogies with Sausage

I like to cook food from all different cultures, because it is fun to try new things. I don’t get to travel much, but at least I can experience food from all over the world. This weekend I wanted to make a dish with pierogies. Pierogies are an eastern European dumpling that is stuffed with mashed potato filling, and I had a box sitting in my freezer just waiting to be used.  So when I was asked to create a meal with Hillshire Farm Gourmet Creations Sausage I thought it would be perfect to combine with the pierogies, because sausage and mashed potatoes are a great combination.