This is my new favorite summer drink; I love it! It is so delicious and smooth, with sweet coconut and tart lime...yum! Add a little white rum or maybe coconut rum if you feeling adventurous or leave as is for a perfect summer refreshment. 

Frozen Coconut Limeade
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 4

2 1/2 cups crushed or small ice cubes
1 cup (8 ounces) coconut milk, well-shaken if from a can
1/3 cup lime juice (from about 3 limes)
3 tablespoons sugar (more or less to taste)
Lime slices for garnish

Juice the lime...

Add everything to a blender and mix until it reaches your desired consistency. Pour into glasses, garnish with lime.

Perfect day to put on the swimsuits, the sprinkler and trap the kids in the trampoline...


This is about as easy as it can get AND it is the only way my son will eat this is my new method. In the past, I always used the microwave but now I am trying to eliminate using the microwave as much as into the oven it goes and honestly this tastes 100% better.

Oven Roasted Bacon
Adapted from Ina Garten
Serves- not enough!

8-10 Slices of bacon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with tine foil and lat the bacon on the pan. (I always have to squeeze just-one-more-on-the-pan).

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is really crispy.

Watch the bacon closely around the 15 minute mark because it can burn quickly, depending on how thick/thin the slices are. The bacon I use usually takes 20 minutes.

Dry the bacon on paper towels and serve.

We went to the dairy farm my mom grew up on and the kids found some new friends...

once we got home we found three bucks...



Super fresh and easy for a Labor Day Picnic!
Carrot Salad 
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Serves 4

3-4 carrots
1 lemon, juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
flat leaf parsley

Peel and grate the carrots into shreds using a hand grater and set aside in a bowl.
In a small glass, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the carrot shreds, add the parsley and mix. Do not over dress, you don't want to saturate the carrots, taste as you go and adjust seasoning if needed. Enjoy!

Rufus at his dock diving competition! He did well for his first daughter was his handler and he jumped something around 18 feet.




These muffins are a favorite in our house...

Makes 12 Muffins

1 3/4 cups (212 g) all-purpose organic flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup (150 g) melted unsalted organic butter
3/4 cup (150 g) organic sugar
1 large organic egg, at room temp.
3/4 cup (165 g - 188 ml ) milk
For the Coating:
3 tablespoons unsalted, organic butter, melted
1/3 cup organic sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat convection oven to 350 F. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners.

Mix all the dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon). Set aside.
Mix all the wet ingredients (butter through milk, incl. sugar).
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Distribute the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.
Bake for 18 - 22 minutes.
In the meantime melt butter and mix sugar and cinnamon for the coating.
Brush or dip fresh and still hot baked muffins with melted butter and roll in sugar-cinnamon mixture.

We went on a 3000-mile family road trip to the ocean...2 15-hour days of driving, 7 days at the beach and 2 15-hour days of driving...11 states in 11 days...and it was so much fun! 
The dogs came with...
Hotel rooms seem a little small with 6 of us...
I wrapped 50 little gifts (mostly from the dollar store) for the kids to open during the long car ride. Glow in the dark sticks (at night), pipe cleaners, barbies/aliens, dry erase boards and window clings were favorites. Quite frankly, just the idea of opening a present was a highlight for them. 

Footsteps from the ocean...
 Dogs loved the waves...
Can't wait for next time...




Adapted from Ina Garten's Real Meatballs and Spaghetti, Barefoot Contessa Family Style
Yield: 4-6 Servings

1 pound ground sirloin
¾ cups fresh breadcrumbs (about 3 ciabatta slices (couple days old), crusts removed, ground in food processor. If you have fresh bread, bake it until dry, then grind in F.P.)
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup warm water
Vegetable oil
Olive oil

Place the ground sirloin, breadcrumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, onion flakes, egg and 1/3 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs. You will have 12 to 14 meatballs.
Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Carefully, in 2 batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels.
Add the meatballs to your favorite red sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve with pasta and with fresh grated Parmesan.




Adapted from
Makes 12 Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup olive oil or applesauce
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped apples, small pieces
Streusel Topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease or add paper liners to a 12-cup muffin pan.

Peel and chop the apples and set aside.

In a medium bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a large bowl beat together butter, oil, white sugar, brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Stir in apples, and gradually blend in the flour mixture until completely combined. The batter will be really thick almost like dough but don't worry because the apples will release their juices when baking. 

Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan.

In a small bowl mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon thoroughly and cut in butter until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over tops of mixture in muffin pan.

Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to sit 5 minutes before removing muffins from pan. Cool on a wire rack.

Love these muffins...they also freeze well. They taste best when warm so microwave for about 15 seconds once thawed.


Hopefully the last snowfall for awhile! 




I love recipes like this for this time of year. Super easy, quick and a crowd-pleaser. Every year my book club (of 9 years) does a cookie exchange and one of the girls made this popcorn. With these ingredients I can't imagine there are very many people out there who wouldn't like it. 


18-20 cups popcorn
1 6oz box candy canes
1 package of almond bark
1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Place popcorn in a large bowl. Crush candy canes in a food processor and pour over popcorn. Melt almond bark and mix in peppermint extract. Pour almond bark over popcorn and stir until well coated. Spread onto wax paper to harden.

I love making homemade ornaments for our Christmas tree. This year my daughter and I stayed up late two weekend nights watching movies and stringing popcorn. I actually had to go out and buy non organic popcorn just for that purpose because the organic popcorn we actually eat is about half the size of the non organic...go figure. 

Citrus ornaments are beautiful and easy to make. They remind me of stained glass when the tree is all lit up and shines through the fruit segments. 

All you need is some citrus fruit...the larger the better. Lemons really are too small if you are decorating a large tree. My two favorites are pomelos and grapefruit. 

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F, slice the fruit as thin as you can. Having a sharp knife really can help this you can see knives are on my Christmas list. And bake the fruit for a few hours, flipping every 30 minutes. My fruit slices were a little on the thick side so it took about 4 hours to dry them out completely. Some pieces took as long as 5 hours. 
Tie a ribbon or twine through one of the dried segments and you have a beautiful natural ornament. 

We also decorated the tree with pheasant feathers...well we are trying to. My husband comes home from hunting weekly and brings me a new supply of feathers to replenish the tree because of my puppy. You see, his life is consumed with hunting and pheasants and he simply cannot resist those feathers sticking out of the tree. He has to have one in his mouth at all times.


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