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My New Obsession-Coconut Berry Chia Pudding

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I am obsessed chia pudding and this Berry Coconut version is not only packed with healthy berries and omega 3’s, it’s absolutely delicious! This chia pudding can be made in advance, stores easily in the refrigerator, and makes a wonderful breakfast, snack, or dessert.

So how did this obsession begin? Well I had been reading about the health benefits of chia seeds for months. I had even purchased a small package to use as egg substitutes in muffins and to put in my smoothies. I had read several recipes for chia pudding, but I just couldn’t bring myself to make it. I don’t know why? I love pudding and I make several versions of creamy panna cotta, yogurt parfaits, and mousses all the time, but I just never tried it.

Well Mr. Teacher and I traveled to Vermont over Christmas break where Mr. Teacher’s Mom gave me the task of using up the 5 pound bag of chia seeds that she had purchased. I wanted to make something yummy that we could all enjoy as a dessert or breakfast. It was negative 23 outside and I wasn’t about to travel to the store, so I looked through the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry and decided it was time to get inventive. Coconut Berry Chia Pudding was born.

 


I was so excited that it set up in less than an hour. I hesitantly tried my concoction, and boy was I shocked. It was so yummy! The texture reminded me of panna cotta. The coconut flavor mixed with the berries was divine. I was left wondering why I had waited so long to try this simple pudding. I was in love and my obsession began.

Mr. Teacher’s Mom sent me home with several cups of chia seeds. In the last few weeks, I have played around with different versions of my original creation and I have perfected it. Give my Coconut Berry Chia Pudding a try. Let me know what you think too!

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Fresh Beet Salad with Oranges and Gorganzola

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This salad is a burst of freshness in the darkness of winter. Here in Florida it’s citrus season and I love to try to use all the delicious fresh oranges I can get. Naval oranges, tangerines, Valencia oranges all work, but I love to add the color and sweetness of blood oranges too. You can usually find them this time of year. Give them a try, I know you will not be disappointed!

Fresh Beet Salad with Oranges and Gorgonzola is beautiful and tasty. The colorful beets meld perfectly with the juicy oranges, crunchy walnuts, and the creamy earthy Gorgonzola. When you put everything over the bright mixed greens the colors pop.

Not only is this salad gorgeous, it is also easy and healthy. Beets are really good for you! They contain folic acid, iron, and calcium. Oranges have a ton of vitamin C which may help prevent colds and flu.

So give this salad a try and don’t be shy, let me know what  you think in the comments below.

 

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Super Simple Spaghetti Squash Supper

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The new year is here. If you are like me, you’re trying to stick your New Year’s Resolutions like trying to save money and eat healthier on busy nights. Oh and it is still freezing out in many places so you might be also trying to stay warm. Well this meal can help!

If you are looking for an inexpensive, healthy, low-carb, vegetarian supper that comes together in a the blink of an eye, look no further! Easy & Cheesy Italian Style Baked Spaghetti Squash is a super simple supper. It is big on flavor and quick to throw together.  I like to up use low-fat cheese too! Don’t tell Mr. Teacher! He has no idea! I do make Mr. Teacher some turkey Italian sausages on the side, but you do not need them to make this meal complete. Instead try a nice big salad.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do! Stay warm!

 


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2018 Will be un-Pho-getable

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2018 Will be un-Pho-getable! Happy New Year Everyone!!!! 

If you have ever been to a Vietnamese restaurant you have probably seen and smelled the large bowls of soup filled with noodles and meat. The broth is chocked full of fragrant spices and heedy mix of flavors that will instantly make your stomach rumble. When the bowl arrives at the table it is generally served with slices spicy peppers, fresh cilantro, fresh basil, and juicy limes that you can use to personalize your steaming bowl of goodness.

I have devised two recipes for this mouth watering soup that come together in minutes. This soup is my go to whenever Mr. Teacher and are feeling under the weather or it is cold outside. I swear the mix of spices, the steaming broth, the ginger, garlic, and onion has healing properties.

Since this year is starting off with a super cold burst of Arctic air and nearly everyone I know has a terrible cold or flu, I figured my Chicken Pho recipe and Beef Pho recipe were just thing to help everyone get healthy and start the year off right.

I hope you like these recipes as much as we do! Remember you can save the pins and yum the recipes. Don’t forget to sign up for weekly emails and to comment below.

Thank you for making 2017 great. Let’s make 2018 un-Pho-getable! 

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Boozy Slushes

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My family has been celebrating the holidays with  glasses full of brandy slush for a few decades. It is light and fruity with a hint of sparkle. The slush works well with Christmas Brunch or Christmas dinner.  It can also be made weeks in advance so it is always ready when company arrives. We love it and I am sure you will too!

We alternate between two version of the slush- Lemon Lime Brandy Slush  is a little more sour. I love the lime flavor. It works well with lemon or lime sparkling water if you don’t like things too sweet. You can also use a lemon-lime soda.


The other version is Citrus Brandy Slush. It is a little more orangey and doesn’t contain any lime juice. We used to drink this with 50/50 which is grapefruit soda found in lower Michigan. Now we usually drink it with grapefruit or orange sparkling water.

 

 

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Five on Friday Week 16

This gorgeous winter scene was taken in the UP of Michigan by my friend Bobbie Blackburn.

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Welcome to Five on Friday Week 16! 

  1. Christmas Overalls-We finally got to wear are super cute matching Christmas Overalls to work this week. They are so super cute and comfy! We created quite a stir. Kids were popping into our rooms all day to see us. We have decided that we will were them every Thursday for the rest of December.

    Me, Heather, Katherine

  2. Board and Brush-Last Friday I got to hang out with some amazing friends at Board and Brush. We had so much fun personalizing our boards and creating something for our houses. I can’t wait to go back!

    Krystal, Me, Jessica

  3. Stocking Holders-I have had our Christmas stockings out for a few weeks now, but they were just hanging on the entertainment center handles and not looking very Christmasy. I am excited that this week our new silver snowflake stocking holders arrived. They look so much better and more festive. It is the little things.
  4. Holidays with my Class-I have said it many times, but I just love my class! This year they really wanted to celebrate Christmas. I set up a pallet tree in the corner of my room and Alice the Angel Bear showed up on Tuesday. Alice is just like the elves that are seen all over this time of year, but our classroom elf had to stay up at the North Pole to help Santa and sent Alice as a replacement. It makes me so happy that they are happy! 
  5. Comforting and Quick Recipes-I’m beat! It’s getting chilly outside tonight and the only thing I want is a massive grilled cheese sandwich and some yummy, spicy tomato soup. It’s a good thing I have everything in the pantry to throw together one of our favorites. Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup. I think you will like the recipe too.

 


 

Remember it’s the little things that count! Have a wonderful weekend and don’t forget to share your top 5 below. Also don’t forget to sign up for weekly emails!

Happy Friday and Merry Christmas! 

 

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A Classic Winter Breakfast

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I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on a large farm. It would start snowing before Halloween and the snow wouldn’t stop sometimes until April. Needless to say, I was always freezing. Mr. Teacher is always teasing me because I love the sun now. I soak it up like a lizard. I like to say it’s because I never warmed up and that is why I now live in Southern Florida.

Anyway, as a child my dad would make us breakfast on the weekends. Our favorite thing was always Old School Chipped Beef Gravy  served with 2 slices of toasted white bread that was broken into chunks in a big bowl with lots of freshly cracked black pepper. We would eat it in the living room while watching cartoons together.

To this day it brings back memories of being a little girl and the frigid winters up north. While it doesn’t always get cold down here in the sunshine state, I still make this breakfast a few times a year. I think you will enjoy it too.  When you want a hearty, filling, tasty, quick breakfast that will feed several people without spending a fortune, make Old School Chipped Beef Gravy.

 

 


 

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Five on Friday Week 15

These gorgeous flowers were on my desk on my birthday from Mr. Teacher. They are so pretty!

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Welcome to Five on Friday Week 15!

My birthday was pretty great this year! I just want to say a great big thank you to everyone who made it special!

1.Birthday Flowers- I received some really beautiful flowers on my desk from Mr. Teacher. I LOVE getting flowers at work! It is wonderful to have them sitting on my desk and getting to tell everyone that Mr. Teacher is so awesome for getting them for me. I have been enjoying them all week and I will bring them home today to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

This was so fun and a great way to start our Thursday!

2. Two Birthday Cakes-At the beginning of every school year, we draw names for birthdays. We get a cake for that person and we have a little celebration during on of numerous meetings. It’s always very nice. Not only did I get to share a cake with everybody on the day of my birthday, my wonderful friend Beth got me another cake and pumpkin donuts to have today in a small morning celebration. Heather brought the Starbucks and Chex Mix. It was a sugary, fun filled way to start the day! 

3. Jingly Cat Ears-Heather and Katherine got me the cutest pair of red and green jingly cat ears. We have been watching numerous students at school wear various styles of cat ear headbands for weeks now and kind of making fun of the trend. It was hilarious to get a pair of my own. Of course I wore them all day! And I will also wear them tomorrow with my Grinchy shirt to celebrate Grinch Day. The kids really got a kick out of my cat ears too! 

4. Thoughtful Gifts-There were so many thoughtful gifts this year. My mom got me a pretty new Alex and Ani bracelet to add to my collection and my most favorite Zesty Bread and Butter Amish Pickles. I received several new shower gels, body spays, and lotions, and some awesome, new, and desperately needed, spatulas that say “For the love of food” on the bottom. I even received a few gift cards which were a wonderful surprise.

5.Favorite Gift– In case you didn’t know I love spicy food and I am collector of hot sauces. I think we probably have about 30 kinds in the refrigerator at any given moment. My favorite thing was a glass gallon jug of Garlic Tabasco Sauce with my name printed on the label from Mr. Teacher. This hot sauce is amazing!!! I can’t ever seem to find it anywhere though. Now I have a whole gallon to enjoy.  I will have to figure out some way to pour it out of the huge bottle. Any ideas? I want to save the bottle too. In addition, he also got me a small bottle of Raspberry Chipolte Sauce to try for something different. I’m not ashamed to say I shook a few drops into my mouth as soon as I opened it and it was delicious! 


Remember it’s the little things that count! Have a wonderful weekend and don’t forget to share your top 5 below. Also don’t forget to sign up for weekly emails!

Happy Friday! Merry Christmas!!!

And thank you everyone again for making my birthday special!

 


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Five on Friday Week 14

This beautiful winter sunset was taken by my friend Bobbie Blackburn in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

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Welcome to Five on Friday Week 14!

  1. Thanksgiving Break- It has been no nice to have a break from work. I was exhausted. I am so grateful to have gotten to sleep in and get stuff done around the house.

    Mom’s favorite apple walnut salad with honey mustard dressing.                                                       Try our family favorites here: Cran-Apple Relish
    Apple Walnut Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

     

    Cran-Apple Relish

  2. Thanksgiving Dinner-Mr. Teacher and I celebrated Thanksgiving at my sister’s house in North Port along with the rest of the family. We ate a ton of yummy food, drank wine, and played with my nephews. It was a good day.   We planned really well this year, and there was just enough for everyone to take a little home and not be stuck with a thousand leftovers. Then we came home and ate our tiny bit of leftovers while  watching Christmas movies.
  3. Decorating for Christmas-I just finished decorating the house for Christmas. I am super excited that I get to use my new battery operated timer lights for outside. I used them to decorate my new pallet tree Mr. Teacher made for me and the bushes. Now I will not have to be home to plug the lights in as soon as it gets dark and I won’t have to remember to unplug them when I go to bed. The lights run on batteries and were on sale on Amazon.

    Don’t mind the mess, this picture was taking mid-decorating. This is so cute!!!

  4. Holiday Movies-I have been watching Christmas movies for the last two days while I cook and decorate. I’ve gotten six in so far. Tonight I think it will be time for some National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Elf. I can’t wait!!! Mr. Teacher and I can watch the movies and eat this entire basket of nuts that I just put out. It always reminds me of going to my Grandparent’s house and eating nuts at their bar in the rec room while spinning on the bar stools. Memories!!!!

    Just like at Grandma and Grandpa’s!

  5. Shopping-Black Friday is here and if you haven’t already gone out to shop you can do most of your shopping online from the comfort of the sofa in you pjs. That’s what I did. I am super happy to say that I just have to wait for a few boxes to arrive because I am all done shopping for Christmas. I even got everything wrapped! I will not be stressed at Christmas! Now I just need to get my baking and Christmas cards done.

 

 

Remember it’s the little things that count! Have a wonderful weekend and don’t forget to share your top 5 below. Also don’t forget to sign up for weekly emails!

Happy Friday! Merry Christmas!!! 

 

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Are you crazy about cranberries? I am!

I love this tart berry that is bursting with holiday flavor. I purchase several bags as soon as fresh ones become available and use them in all kinds of ways.

I make a tradition Holiday Cranberry Sauce and Cranberry Jelly with Orange and Ginger. These sweet tart, ruby red sauces are the perfect thing to pair with your holiday turkey. They are also fabulous over cheesecake or mixed with sparkling wine.

Cranberry Jelly with Orange and Ginger

Holiday Cranberry Sauce

If you have a little Holiday Cranberry Sauce leftover simply mix it with some horseradish to give your leftover turkey or roast beef sandwiches a little zip.

Cranberry Horseradish Sauce add zip to sandwiches.

Bake this Cran-Apple Relish with some brie for a festive and easy appetizer.

Cran-Apple Relish with Walnuts has been a family favorite for over a decade. We put it on top of crackers with cream cheese or goat cheese. (Hint: Mix cream cheese with goat cheese. You won’t have to spend as much money on goat cheese and you will still get that great flavor.) We also use this on top of baked brie. It makes perfect appetizers!

All of these delicious cranberry creations can be served on toast or bagels for a festive breakfast as well.

If your crazy about cranberry, give these easy recipes a try today!


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