Tag Archives: lemon

Tomato & Spinach Pasta


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A nice summer dish. Whether it is a lunch, light dinner or side dish.

Tomato & Spinach Pasta 

1 TB. olive oil
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 – 2 c.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz. fresh spinach
3 c. penne pasta (uncooked)
1/2 a  lemon, juiced (IF not a juicy lemon, use the whole lemon)
3/4 c. fresh Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the tomatoes, cook till the tomatoes begin to “pop” ~ the skins will crack a bit. Add the minced garlic and saute´ a minute.

Add the spinach to the tomato mixture (spinach will wilt a bit) and the pasta, heat through. Stir in the lemon juice, Parmesan and salt & pepper. Heat through and serve.

A great side dish to serve with grilled chicken or fish. A nice way to use your gardens lovely red gems…..



Instant Oatmeal Packs & Blueberry Coffee Cake


Breakfast. Breakfast. Breakfast. You either really enjoy it or you can easily skip it. We enjoy it here. My kids enjoy boxed cereal, OF COURSE the sugary sweet ones are the best. They tell me. Though I already understood.

I am excited to share with you all a healthy breakfast and…. well……another breakfast.  🙂

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In an effort to get them to be less picky and perhaps eat a bit healthier I wanted to make “instant” oatmeal. They enjoy the Instant Oatmeal Packs you can buy from the store. But, since I like to make things harder  I REALLY enjoy making things “from scratch”, I thought it would be fun to make some oatmeal packs at home. I saw a recipe here. Tried a few of the versions.  Take #1. ALL failed. Take #2. Changed the amounts of some ingredients, added a few different things. Pass.  The following is the version they enjoyed.

* Experiment with flavors you family enjoys! Add more or less cinnamon/sugar.

* I just pour boiling water in, stir, less set AND then I add a bit of milk ~ it cools it for the kids plus add a level of well…… the word that starts with “c” and rhymes with “dreaminess”.

* The powdered creamer is optional. I had a vanilla flavored powdered creamed that sounded like it might make for a nice flavor in the oatmeal.

I hope your family enjoys!

Instant Oatmeal Packs 

3 1/2 c. quick oats
5 TB. brown sugar, divided
5 tsp. cinnamon, divided
5 tsp. powdered creamer, divided
10 small or snack size Ziplock bags

Put 1 c. of the quick oats in a food processor or blender and pulse till fine powder.

In EACH Ziplock bag. Put:
1 1/2 TB. oat powder
1/4 c. quick oats
pinch of salt
1/2 TB. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. powdered creamer

Zip closed. Put in your pantry.

When ready to serve ~ pour contents of 1 bag into a bowl and pour boiling water over top (I do JUST shy of 3/4 c.), stir, let set 2 minutes. Stir, serve.

We add a touch of milk and sprinkle with a cinnamon/sugar mixture. Just a touch.


Recipe adapted from Budget 101 ~ let me know IF you try any of the variations!

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This is a lovely taste of springtime/early summer. It is light and lemony and packed full of delicious blueberries.

* I double the glaze.
* DO not thaw your blueberries if they are frozen, just put the frozen berries on top.
* If I happen to have a lemon just sittin’ there, I will add a bit of lemon zest to the topping. Just gives it a little more of a lemon kick.

Blueberry Coffee Cake 
1 lemon cake mix
1/4 c. soft butter
3 oz. soft cream cheese
1/3 c. water
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, I skip
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 TB. soft butter
2-3 TB. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Grease and flour a 9″ x 13″ pan. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, butter and cream cheese. Mix at a low-speed until fine crumbs form. Take out 1 cup of the crumbs and set aside for the topping. To the remaining crumbs ~ add water and eggs and beat for 2 minutes on high. Pour into the prepared pan and top with blueberries. Combine the chopped nuts with the reserved topping and sprinkle over top. Bake @ 350* for 35-45 minutes. Cool 25 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the glaze ingredients and drizzle over coffee cake. Store any leftovers in the fridge. Enjoy! 🙂

Recipe from Mom W.

Fresh From the Garden Salad & Artichoke Fish


Another garden recipe comin’ your way! Thanks to my mom for this one. I new favorite around here! (My favorite part is the olives…….) Oh, add any veggie you want too, I am SURE it will be fantastic!

Fresh From the Garden Salad
1 cucumber, sliced
4 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1/4 – 1/3 c. red onion, sliced
3/4 c. black olives, cut up a bit
2 TB. vinegar
2 TB. sugar
1/4 c. oil
salt & pepper
Combine all the veggies in a bowl….and the olives too. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over. Stir and cover and place in the fridge to meld those flavors together. Enjoy!

Recipe from Mom W.

I know that fish is fantastic for you, I know this and I try to make it often. Tho my often my be every other month or so…if THAT. I need to fix this. I need to learn to eat more fish, flared nostrils or not. I want my kids to like fish. SO that is my goal, to make more fish for the health of my family.  With recipes like this one it should NOT be a problem, it was fantastically good! Does anyone have a favorite way that they prepare fish???

Artichoke Fish
5-6 Tilapia fillets
1/4 c. butter
1 lemon
2/3 c. stuffing mix, crushed up a little
6 oz. can of artichoke hearts, cut up a bit
cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese, for topping
Lay the tilapia fillets on a greased cookie sheet WITH sides. Drizzle the fish with the melted butter, drizzle with the fresh squeezed lemon juice.  Mix together the artichokes with the stuffing mix. Sprinkle of top of the fish and press down a bit. Top with the cheese of your choice (I used cheddar but thought that parmesan sounded FANTASTIC too.) Bake @ 425* for about 10-15 minutes or till the fish is nice and flakey. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from food.com.

Easy Herb Roasted Chicken with Gravy & Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad


 So this weeks featured recipes include  ingredients from Aldi’s sale paper!
Sale runs from May 2 – May 8.
Whole Fryer Chicken, 4.5 lb. average weight. $0.69 per lb. (IF you have not seen these or made these before, don’t be nervous, they are easy and delicious!) These are wonderful cause you can make it for dinner one night and usually have enough leftovers to make something delicious out of it for another night. Here is a recipe for  Easy Herb Roasted Chicken with Gravy.
~ Ranch Salad Dressing mix. $0.69 each. LOVE these. GREAT to have on hand, especially to make Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad! 

Ever see those Rotissere chickens at the store that tempt you with that yummy smell and lovely brown crispy skin?? You can make those in your own home at a FRACTION of the cost!! These little chickens are easy to cook, I have crock-pot cooked them and roasted them. Both are equally delish. Here is a recipe for oven roasting a chicken. This makes a simply lovely gravy ~ serve over mashed potatoes.  You may “de-glaze” the pan with a splash of white wine if you would like to instead of the water.

Easy Herb Roasted Chicken with Gravy
1 lemon, cut in half
1 onion, chunked up
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crush in hand a bit 
1 tsp. poultry seasoning or dried thyme
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 roasting chicken (5-7 lbs.)
1/4 c. water
Heat oven to 375*. Combine soup, rosemary, thyme and garlic in a medium bowl. Reserve 1 c. of soup mixture for the gravy. Place chicken in a shallow roasting pan. Remove any lovely surprises found in the cavity of the chicken and stuff with the onion and lemon.  Season top of chicken with salt & pepper. Roast chicken (uncovered) for 20 minutes. Brush with 1/4 c. of the chicken soup mixture. Roast another 1 hour and 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Take out chicken and put on a platter. Set aside. Spoon off any bits of fat from pan juices. Stir water into roasting pan and bring to a boil, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom. Stir in reserved soup mixture and cook till hot. Serve gravy with chicken and mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Spring is here, summer is near. That means cookouts and EASY no-oven dinners! Here is a salad that is quick and simple. It actually seems to be just like the Bacon Ranch  Suddenly Salad box mix.  This recipe’s ingredients are generally staples we all have in our houses ~ so it is easy peasy too! The original recipes whereabouts are unknown to me, I have had this recipe for years but just recently started making it, I have adjusted some ingredients and added a bit of seasonings to it.

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad 
2 1/2 c. uncooked small shell pasta
1/2 c. shredded carrots
1/2  c. frozen peas
3-4 bacon strips
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. milk
1 env. ranch dressing mix
salt & pepper to taste
dash or two of garlic powder, to taste
Cook noodles till al dente, drain and set aside. Cook the bacon till crisp, drain and crumble up, set aside.  Beat together the cream cheese, sour cream and milk. Add the pkg. of ranch dressing mix. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt & pepper and/or garlic. Combine the noodles, carrots, peas and bacon. Pour dressing over and toss to coat. Chill. When ready to serve, stir and if too dry, then add a touch more milk or sour cream. Serve and enjoy.