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Little One & Memories With A Recipe

11 Jan

One day it will be your sweet cry

And then the sound of your laughter,

One day it will be your voice speak, 

But today it’s your beautiful heartbeat.

~the most beautiful sound to me~

Today I went for my four month check-up! Yes, it is so hard for David and I to believe that it has been already been 16 weeks since we have been given this miracle.  We are so grateful that we were able to hear our Little One’s heartbeat, so strong and so clear!  For this we give thanks to our Lord.

I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten over the big hump of the early pregnancy nausea and fatigue.  It feels so good to have some of my energy back and it especially feels good to be able to grocery shop and cook again!  I know David is glad about that too!  I’m definitely experiencing issues with food, both aversions and cravings.  One craving I had was for a soup my grandmother, Noni Red, use to make and that I loved when I was younger.  I had not eaten this soup in years–it was time to change that!  I made my grocery list, headed to the store and could barely get home quick enough to start simmering it on the stove.  The smell brought me right back to her house, it was a sweet memory.  It was so good and it’s healthy so I wanted to share the recipe.  I hope some of you will try it and I hope you enjoy it!

Noni Red’s Italian Garbanzo Bean Soup

Noni Red always called them Garbanzo beans, but many people know them as chickpeas.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bag of Garbanzo beans- soaked overnight, drained & well rinsed
  • 2 large cans of diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 2 small cans of tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 1 large container of chicken stock, no salt added
  • 1 med-large onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • rosemary
  • parsley
  • cayenne pepper
  1. In a large pot sauté the onions, garlic and celery in the olive oil over med-high heat.
  2. Add the chicken stock and garbanzo beans, use enough stock to cover the beans.
  3. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
  4. Turn up the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to all to simmer.
  5. After about 45 minutes of simmering I then add all my seasonings:  salt, pepper, bay leaves, rosemary, parsley and a dash or two of cayenne pepper for a little kick.  I can’t give you measurements of seasonings, I just go by looks and taste!
  6. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until the garbanzo beans are tender and all the seasons have gotten all happy together.

Then serve yourself up a bowl, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top and have some good tough, chewy bread on the side– that’s how Noni Red always served it and she knew how to treat food right.

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This recipe is so easy.  It’s so filling.  It’s so healthy. So, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be making it some time soon! 

Note:  I always buy “no salt added” canned goods when I use them for recipes.  This allows me to control the salt and sodium content of my meals.  It’s crazy stupid how much sodium is packed in those little 14 ounce cans.  I’ve realized how much better my recipes have tasted since I’ve started doing this.  Try it!

 

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Chewy Chunky Granola

5 Jan

nola2Homemade Chewy Chunky Granola

I’ve been obsessed with this granola that I buy from Whole Foods market– it’s so chewy and chunky and full of flavor.  I decided to take a look at the ingredients label and realized it was very straight forward.  Then I searched the internet to find recipes for chewy granola that included similar ingredients so I could get my measurements right.  After a little playing around I got what I was looking for.  I made around 10 batches of this a few weeks ago and packaged it up to pass out for a Christmas treat.  In the process I made a couple of batches for our house.  I’ve been surprised with how well it has kept fresh sealed up in an airtight container.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3 cups oats
  • 2 cups slivered almonds
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 flaxseed
  • dash of salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 TBSP canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of salt

What To Do:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Line a large baking pan with parchment paper
  • Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • Combine wet ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated and begins foaming.  Keep on heat for 15-20 seconds after foaming starts
  • Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir until well combined
  • Pour granola onto baking sheet and press to about 1/2 inch thick
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown
  • Must cool completely before breaking it up into chunks
  • Store in an airtight container

 

granola

 

 

Fun Stuff

30 Sep

I am currently working on a lengthy post to share in the next couple of weeks.  It’s going to be a lot of words and no pictures.  So, in the meantime I thought I would share with you some fun stuff– pictures from the past couple of weeks in my life.  These are all taken from my Instagram account, so again, I apologize if you have already seen these.

 

 

I woke up on my birthday and found these beautiful yellow balloons on my front porch.  My friend rocks!  Turning thirty-two felt so good.  I’m healthier than I’ve ever been and I feel years younger.

I love buying the $4 bouquet of flowers from my local grocery store, Kroger.  I put them in little happy vases and old glass bottles around my house.  They last a long time and make me happy!

Noel got a much needed haircut.  All her spots show up now!

We have welcomed fall with arms wide open around here.  Good bye summertime I’ll look forward to seeing you next year.  The day I took this picture it was crisp, cool and all-together incredible outside.

And just in time for that beautiful fall weather, my bike got repaired!  Woots!  I’ve been riding all around my neighborhood.  p.s.  I ride a boy’s bike.  It use to be my dad’s.  Oh well, it’s super comfy and smooth riding.

Look at this pretty, colorful salad!  It’s yumminess matched it’s beauty!

David bought me the bestest, prettiest mums in town.

Us from our wedding day.  Eight years ago.   I’m happier and love him more now than that day and you know, I just didn’t think it could get better than it was then, but it SO has!  Thanks be to God and His goodness and grace to us.

I got this awesomeness at a thrift store for $20!  I was flipping out when I saw it.  My heart literally started racing.  It’s an original piece of art and IT IS HUGE.  It now hangs on the wall in back of our sofa.  I’m sure glad someone decided to donate ‘this ‘ol thing’ to Goodwill.

H A P P Y     W E E K     T O     Y O U !

Spicy Chickpea Snack

18 Sep

They are little. They are spicy. They are healthy. They are cheap.

T H E Y  A R E  C H I C K P E A S !

These spicy chickpeas make a great healthy satisfying snack.  They are super easy to make.  My recipe is just for one small batch, but I recommend doubling or even tripling  it so you’ll have plenty to last you a few days.

Spicy Chickpea Snack

  • 1 – 16oz can organic chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • dash of black pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and thoroughly spray with a non-stick spray.  Drain and rinse your chickpeas.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl then evenly spread on the baking sheet.  Bake for 40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Seriously, I guesstimated the measurements of the seasonings.  Feel free to adjust according to your preference.  Obviously if you like hot, hot spicy then add more Tony’s seasoning.  Also, most recipes for these baked chickpeas call for olive oil.  I found no need to fatten these guys up.  Mine turned out great without using any oil.  Yay!

note to self:  Add chickpeas to the grocery list

 

 

Pictures Tell Stories

5 Sep

Here’s a few of my latest pictures from my Instagram.  They tell stories, but to help you out I’ve added captions!

Summer 2012

David, the Mister in my life and from California, officially became an Arkansan as he dressed in camouflage and went on his first ever hunting trip last weekend.  As he puts it, “I shot at 15 doves’ shadows” — meaning he missed.  Oh well, he had fun!

This is Noel, our 7 year old Cocker Spaniel.  She gets lots of lovin’ from us and doesn’t seem to mind having her picture taken.  Although in this picture I was trying to get her to get in the chair but she was very distracted by the buzzing cicadas!

And this is Noel’s favorite place to rest– on the back of the sofa.  This time she kept sliding down off the cushion and eventually her nose was pressed against my shoulder.  She was snoring.  It was so adorable and I’m so glad I was able to snap a picture of it.

This is my new succulent plant.  Since they require little-to-no maintenance I have been wanting one for a long time.  The last several times we’ve been shopping at Home Depot I have spent several minutes looking at the display shelf full of them.  Well, this time this one was so cute I had to buy it.  I’m really wanting to name it, but I still have not come up with the right name.  Suggestions appreciated.

Avocados were in stock and on sale at the grocery store almost every week this summer and I bought some every time I went shopping!  Also between my Dad’s garden and my brother’s garden I always had an abundance of homegrown tomatoes.  Oh the possibilities that come with a fresh avocado and fresh tomatoes.  This ended up being one of my favorite meals.  Fresh guacamole on toasted whole grain thins and sliced tomatoes!  Yummers!  I started a drastic change in the foods I eat at the beginner of this summer….more on that in another post that will happen soon.

And because of the drastic change I made here’s a picture of all the medicines that I NO LONGER HAVE TO TAKE!  I’m not going to go into all the details of the names of the medications and what they did, but I will say this, all of them were related to an illness that I have that effects the production of hormones in my body.  Through my new way of living I have pretty much reversed the illness without the use of any medications.  Bottom line GOD IS GOOD and I am FOREVER GRATEFUL!

I hope you have had a nice summer!

p.s.  i am ready for fall.

Watermelon Slush

3 Sep


A good, sweet, cold, cubed, seedless watermelon is absolutely one of my favorite treats on a hot summer day.  It’s so refreshing!

I have been making a lot of different fruit smoothies lately and the other day I decided to give some watermelon in the blender a try.  And boy, I am glad I did!  This time instead of a smoothie consistency I went for a more icy, slush consistency– even better!

 

 

W a t e r m e l o n  S l u s h  R e c i p e

  • 3 cups cubed watermelon, chilled for 25 minutes in freezer
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2  juice of choice (I used pomegranate juice)
  • ice

Put all ingredients in a high power blender and let it do it’s magic!

 

Eat Color

13 Aug

The past nine weeks I’ve been busy working on a big project.  I’m not quite ready to fully reveal it, but in the meantime here’s a quick look at some of my Instagrams that will give you a little hint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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