Granola with Local Honey

My summer breakfasts are very low maintenance. While I would love to eat eggs and bacon every morning, I don’t have the energy. Most often it’s peanut butter toast or a quick smoothie.

But when I find a little extra time and my uncle gives me some honey, I like to make a batch of granola to pour over some yogurt and fresh berries.


Here’s what I add:

  • 4-5 c old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 c nuts/seeds (pumpkin, flax, chia, almonds is what I had on hand)
  • 1-2 tsp dark brown sugar*
  • 1-2 tsp local honey
  • 1/2 c coconut oil*
  • sprinkle with salt

Spread on a cookie sheet and bake 20-30 minutes. Let it cool completely and store in an airtight container.

*More oil and sugar (or coconut flakes) would make it more clumpy, sweeten/moisten to your taste.

Take care!



Weekly Journal

Still chugging along on Campside. I am working the edging so the end is near. But with over 300 stitches per row, it’s not speedy enough for me. I might cheat and knit the swatch for my next project tonight. Slippery slope…

Longer, warmer days are making it possible to grill more. Looking forward to trying this marinade tonight for some easy chicken tacos.


Listening to Brian Southall’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as I try to get outside and exercise again. Not running, mostly walking and a little strength training. I need motivation, and a good audio book that feeds my inner hippie does the trick. (And humming Penny Lane all day is a nice side effect.)

What’s working for you this week?




Easy Monday Dinner – Fat Sandwich

My husband and I lived in Charlotte, NC many years ago, and when we reminisce about our time in the Queen City, it is often the food. Not sure if it was really so special, or if it was that special moment of a marriage before kids when you had extra time and money to splurge on good food.

We both worked in Southpark and I can’t remember the name of the place but it was in the shopping center adjacent the mall, near the Park Hotel, and it was one of my favorite lunch splurges with my coworkers. The best thing on the menu was a simple steak sandwich served with fries, and we called it the “Fat Sandwich.” I can’t remember why, maybe because it was so hearty you wanted to nap the rest of the afternoon, but it was delicious. Here’s the quick way I recreate this, making a simple Monday night dinner for my family:

Fat Sandwich- Serves 4

  • 1 decently thick NY strip steak, trimmed and sliced thin
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • hamburger bun (optional)

Heat the olive oil and saute the onions and peppers until golden. Set aside on a paper towel.


In the warm skillet, melt the butter and add the steak. On med-high heat sear each side to suit your taste. It usually takes 2 mins each side to sear but leave the middle pink. I do this in batches to make sure it is all evenly cooked.


After removing the steak, drop the bun into the steak drippings to brown briefly. My husband and kids prefer no bun, so this buttery toasted bun is the last step for mine alone.

Variation- We have also added zucchini to the onion saute and served over rice, as well as served in tortillas with cheese and salsa.

What is your favorite quick and delicious food? Do you also reminisce about BK times (before kids)?

Main photo of Mark and I (BK times) in a visit to Asheville, NC




Food Mood Shifters

Fill in the Blank: It is impossible to be sad/anxious/angry when eating _______.

Emotional eating has always been my diet downfall. If I had to make a list of my top 5 yummy, feel good treats it would be: jelly beans, cream cheese pastry, toast with blackberry jelly, cherry cola, and coffee ice cream. Sugar is my very obvious crutch.

Not sure how I can flip this without giving up sugar, which would be very near impossible. So yeah, portion control? Use as small rewards for doing things that I should (like exercise and lots of water?).

No plan of action just yet. So for now, you guys can just drool with me over this very delicious toast.


Buttered Toast with Blackberry Jelly

What are your food mood shifters?


In the Kitchen: Gluten Free

I am trying to pysch myself up for eating gluten-free again. While I’ve never been diagnosed with celiac disease, I have experienced symptoms of gluten intolerance.

When I went gluten-free last year, my joint pain disappeared, digestive issues improved, and I slept so much better. I know it’s a healthy choice for me, but it’s really difficult without intense meal prep and planning.

I want to go in it with a better game plan this time, so I started by making a list of dinners that my family already eats that are gluten-free (or easily adaptable for me).

Easy GF Dinners:

Taco Bowls with rice
Roasted Chicken, Potatoes and Carrots
Stir Fry Chicken or Shrimp, Squash and Onions
Potato Soup with Sausage
Grilled Chicken or Pork, served over salad
Hash, with potatoes, peppers, and onion
Cheesesteaks (without the bun)

These are the common dinners that my family loves that make it hard to stick with a gluten-free diet:

Spaghetti (I can make with chickpea pasta)
Sandwiches (I can use GF bread)
Pizza (I am doomed)

I haven’t made it beyond list-making. But as good veggies are popping up in the grocery and farmer markets will be opening soon, it seems less daunting.  Does anyone else have this ‘good on paper, bad on follow-through’ problem?


New Recipes

These colder days bring a renewed energy to get creative in the kitchen for me, but this energy is tempered by my kids -especially because they aren’t always open to new flavors.

Not sure if this resonates, but I need familiar ingredients that are filling- comfort food at its most basic! (eggs, potato, cheese, pork, pie dough), and it needs to be simple enough that it can be made on a weeknight. The kids love to help and I want to encourage it.

I am going to search through these cookbooks that are new at my library for inspiration to try to get some ideas for next month. Tonight, we scrapped the idea on my calendar in favor of breakfast for dinner, which is so comforting on this chilly and damp day!




My November Dinner Plan

This month I am trying out something different.

I decided to give each day of the week a theme according to the time and effort I have for cooking dinner.

Then I filled in a month’s worth of dinners so the Saturday grocery list is easy to compile, and a good starting point if I wanted to buy some food items in bulk.

  • Sunday: Roast Something
  • Monday: Beans-Soup Night
  • Tuesday: Salad Night
  • Wednesday: Out
  • Thursday: Quick Grill
  • Friday: Leftovers-Pizza
  • Saturday: Pasta

november meal planI am sure we will adjust slightly as the month bears on us, but it made my heart happy to have a plan.

How do you meal plan?