Monthly Archives: February 2011

Winter wonderland..

Anxiously awaiting Spring….

Nothing beats a toasty hot bonfire on a cool wintery night along with S’mores, drinks, and good company. One thing bonfires are good for is conversation- thoughts, humor, dreams, and stories.  Until recently I always used to just think of the seasons as seasons and never really thought about what each one could truly offer to me.  I was told Winter was about going within to replenish, rest, and nourish the body- a time for self discovery.  Then once Spring came it was time to bloom, to show all that one had discovered.

Since my husband and I are getting ready to leave our house and journey elsewhere, it got me thinking about all I possessed inside and how I’ll get ready for the move.  I spent several weeks weeding out things that had no significant value to me, but just stuff.  It wasn’t me anymore and I was ready to let go of it. It also felt good to be able to pass somethings along to others who needed it or who would enjoy it as much as I once did.  What I had left was things given to me with love, handmade, or had a vacation or childhood/personal memory. I will take these things along with me and look forward to Spring- to new things.



A Few of my favorite inspirational Quotes… I’d love to hear your favorites

“You are my star that shines bright upon me, giving me light to help guide my way. With that I feel comfort in knowing I can move forward. I can be authentic.”

“Living Simply and having purpose”

“Doing what I believe in, being consistent, cherishing the moments, and realizing every day is a gift because I am doing what I want to do.”

“One cannot live well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”

“To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten”

“Creativity goes beyond sheer artistry, it takes courage to express your ideas”

“Disagreements offer invaluable insights. Don’t avoid them-study them.”

“Everyone has a story. Ask the people you love to share theirs”

“It’s important to keep balance in your life. When you have a super fun job, it doesn’t feel like work.”

Chicken Cordon Blue Sandwich

A healthier version of a Chicken Cordon Blue Sandwich inspired by my husband’s obsession with Arby’s Chicken Cordon Blue Sandwich.


1 ground chicken Patty ( I get a pack of 4 at River Market Co-op for $4.45)

Season with: Rosemary, thyme, lavender, cayenne pepper, sea salt, powdered garlic, and paprika.

1-2  slices of deli smoked ham

4 button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced

1-2 slices of  Dill Havarti Cheese

1/8 red onion sliced

1/2 of English muffin-toasted

Handful of spinach leaves washed & dried

Dijon honey mustard sauce (mixture of 2 1/2 tbsp. mayo, 1 tsp. honey, 1 tsp. dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds blended together) Adjust to taste.

Place seasoned chicken patty on a lightly oiled panini press or frying pan at medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms, and onions on press/pan and cook until chicken is throughly cooked and vegetables are browned. Once cooked set aside and cook deli ham until browned. Meanwhile toast 1/2 of english muffin in toaster and prepare sauce.

Assemble the food in the following order: English muffin, chicken patty, havarti cheese, ham, onions/mushrooms, spinach leaves.  Smoother with prepared sauce.

Homemade Deodorant

Ingredients:Shea butter, Beeswax, Cornstarch, Baking Soda, Vitamin E Oil, Essential oils. ( I used Tea Tree & Lavender)

After years of switching back and forth with deodorants and never having good results- my pit problem has finally been resolved!  I figured the only way I was going to get something I liked and worked for me, was if I made it myself. So far the results have been great.

One would say the downfall with natural deodorants is that you sweat more and why would you want to walk around with sweaty pit rings the size of tennis balls? I don’t really want to, but if you think about it, sweating is the natural process we go through in order to cool our bodies down at certain moments. So why would I want to stop my body from doing something natural?  Sweating is healthy for your body. It helps clean out your pores and controls your body temperature.

On the other hand, wearing Conventional Deodorants  don’t really make you sweat, but what you don’t know is that there are artificial chemicals clogging your pores restricting your body from what it’s naturally suppose to do. Those deodorants contain toxic materials and can lead to serious health problems. One website I looked at talked about Aluminum, (which is a common ingredient in deodorant and antiperspirants) it linked the continual use to Alzheimer’s and brain disorders and a possible risk factor in breast cancer.

Just remember:

If you don’t know what the ingredients are or you can’t pronounce them, they probably aren’t good for you. When you use something natural, your body knows what it is and how to use it correctly. When you use something foreign, your body doesn’t know what to do with it and in turn that’s when you develop problems.


Balance: Healthy fat, Carbohydrate (fruits/vegetables/whole grains) and Protein every meal/snack.

Flavor: Experimenting with different spices, herbs, sauces.

Presentation: Make it appealing to eat. Have fun displaying it on your plate. I’m usually inspired by the chefs on Top Chef  (Bravo channel Wednesday nights at 9 pm. It’s my favorite show)

Photo on Left: Pan fried Tilapia with Lavender/pepper spices, drizzle of olive oil, spinach, crumbled blue cheese, my dad’s canned pickle and a side of sauce. (mayo, dill, dijon mustard)

Photo on Right: One new thing that I bought is Chia Seeds.  Chia seeds are a wonderful source of Omega 3. I sprinkle them on pretty much anything. In the photo I have Walrus bread (gluten free bread made with rice flour, garbanzo bean flour, potato starch & other ingredients) with almond butter and Chia seeds.

*While Chia seeds are good for you they also can have side effects-always read about things that you are unfamiliar with before you consume them.

*With balance you don’t get the ups & down’s with your blood sugar, everything remains at an even level throughout the day.  This in turn can help with memory, energy, mood, and weight. *

*Eating balanced was a lot of work at first because I wasn’t used to it, but over time ( just like anything else) it became part of my routine.  It became natural.

Quail Eggs

I have never seen Quail eggs before and was excited to find these at  Mississippi Market in St. Paul. Every time I go shopping I decide to buy something that I’ve never tried before and  find ways to cook with them. I was surprised to discover that quail eggs have 13% protein compared to a chicken egg which contains 11%. Quail eggs also don’t have bad  (LDL) Cholesterol only good (HDL) Cholesterol. I eat an egg everyday so I thought this was perfect for me. The only thing I have to master is cracking open the egg because of it’s thick shell. It took me three eggs to get a good photo.  When you do crack it right, you get a cute little fried egg!

*The large egg is a chicken egg and the small one is the Quail Egg*

Here’s a link to a website with more information on the benefits of Quail Eggs.

Purple Potato Chips

Homemade purple potato chips

I’ve always been fascinated about food and how to make something versus buying it. When you make it yourself you know what you’re eating. Plus I’m obsessed with chips so I thought I’d make a healthier version.

1 purple potato sliced into thin circles (I sliced them using a meat slicer)

Preheated round stoneware drizzled with olive oil

Seasoning: Sea salt

Preheat oven to 475 degrees, Place sliced potatoes on stoneware. Bake for approx. 10-15 minutes turning potato slices over half way through.

When finished sprinkle with sea salt and eat plain or dip with your favorite homemade dipping sauces.

*My favorite dip recipe:

Combine mayo, crumbled blue cheese, roasted garlic, paprika, and parsley